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News

Priest who painted ‘Sodomite Christ’ to exhibit artwork at huge LA religious conference

Fr. William Hart McNichols, who identifies as homosexual, has also painted images of non-canonized individuals as saints.
Mon Feb 10, 2020 - 9:08 pm EST
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Protests at the LA REC in 2019. Lisa Bourne / LifeSiteNews
Joseph Sciambra
By

February 10, 2020 (Joseph Sciambra) — From February 21–23, 2020, during the annual Los Angeles Religious Education Congress (LA REC), the artwork of gay iconographer William Hart McNichols will be displayed in the “Arena Lobby” at the Anaheim Convention Center. McNichols is a self-outed former-Jesuit gay priest. According to Kittredge Cherry, author at the LGBT spirituality website QSpirit, which often features McNichols’ work, “... McNichols is a New Mexico artist and Roman Catholic priest whose gay-positive icons have caused controversy.”

Through his official social media accounts, Jesuit James Martin (who has spoken on the LGBT issue at the LA REC from 2018–2020) has repeatedly praised and recommended the work of McNichols. In a Facebook post from Martin, dated January 23, 2018, he announced that a then upcoming book would feature the work of McNichols who paints in a style reminiscent of Byzantine icons. Martin wrote:

Dear friends: I thought I might start recommending some new books that you might enjoy…Here’s a new one about someone whose work many people on this page enjoy: the Rev. William Hart McNichols, the great iconographer. A new book, “Image to Insight,” collects many of his most beautiful icons and pairs them with reflections by the philosopher John Dadosky, along with a foreword by Mirabai Starr. If you’re a fan of Father Bill’s amazing art I’ll bet you’ll enjoy this book, which is published by the University of New Mexico Press.

(In a December 2, 2019 Facebook post, Martin described McNichols as “my dear friend.”)

McNichols entered the Jesuits in 1968 and was ordained in 1979. In the early 1980s, he volunteered with the dissident group Dignity and worked with AIDS hospices in New York City. Like a number of priests in that era, who were drawn to AIDS ministry, though their work was highly admirable, these priests were often conflicted and either “came-out” as gay or began to disregard Catholic teachings on homosexuality; for example, fellow Jesuits Robert Carter and John J. McNeill. In 1989, McNichols contributed to Jeannine Gramick’s book “Homosexuality in the Priesthood and the Religious Life” which also contained contributions from gay historian and gay-marriage advocate John Boswell; at the time, Gramick was the subject of a lengthy Vatican investigation which later demanded the discontinuation of any involvement with her ministry to the “gay” community; she disregarded the directive. In 2017, James Martin called for the canonization of Jeannine Gramick.

Concerning Gramick’s book, and the entire push for gay-affirmation in the Catholic Church, in 1990, the late Richard John Neuhaus wrote:

The campaign in the church for homosexual rights, as they are called, is by its own definition a frontal attack on church teaching and practice and on cultural patterns that the church is thought to have blessed in the past. Homosexuality in the Priesthood and the Religious Life (edited by Jeannine Gramick, Crossroad) is a useful guide to the campaign’s developing attitudes, arguments, and strategies. It contains eight essays by proponents of a radically changed approach to homosexuality, and fourteen chapters of testimony by lesbians and male homosexuals in the priesthood and religious orders.

In 2002, McNichols spoke out against any sort of association between the burgeoning gay-priest child sex abuse scandal and homosexuals in the priesthood; he said in an interview:

The outcast status of gay people can provide them with a natural bent toward listening. They can be reconcilers; they can understand the sufferings of both sexes. They’re natural priests.

Concerning “gay” priests in the Catholic Church. McNichols continued:

We’re all sort of like Anne Frank’s family, up in the attic, waiting for the Nazis to come. And that’s wrong…The Church of Christ should not be a fearful place.

Also, in 2002, McNichols resigned from the Jesuit Order, but remains a priest in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.

Although his abilities as an iconographer are notable, McNichols’ choice of subject matter remains highly problematic. He has painted images of non-canonized individuals as Saints, including the controversial anti-war and gay-activist Berrigan brothers, murder-victim Matthew Shepard, an anonymous gay priest at Sachsenhausen, Zen-Buddhist teacher Maura Soshin O’ Halloran, and the Buddha himself. But his most controversial work (pictured above) is probably a drawing from 1986 entitled “AIDS Crucifixion” which depicts Christ on the Cross wearing modern men’s underwear being mourned by His Mother, a young blonde-haired St. John, and Mary Magdalene in a low-cut sleeveless dress; above the body of Jesus reads a sign: “AIDS, homosexual, faggot, pervert, Sodomite.”

In 2010, according to Cherry Kittredge, who is also the author of the homoerotic novel “Jesus in Love,” McNichols’ “agent” granted her permission to repost the picture of the “sodomite” Christ to her blog. Several paintings by McNichols were featured in Kittredge’s 2007 book “Art That Dares: Gay Jesus, Woman Christ and More.”

The “queer” Christ meme is one that has found extensive favor in gay-affirmative Catholic circles and ministries; proponents include James Martin, the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Name Province, and the LGBT ministry (Out at St. Paul) at St. Paul the Apostle Church in New York City.

The LA REC annually features a number of Catholic LGBT activists who speak at the Congress; they include gay priest Bryan MassingaleChris Ponnet, and Arthur Fitzmaurice.

In 2017, Bishop Robert Barron, who also speaks every year at the LA REC, told gay journalist and podcaster Dave Rubin, when he was questioned about same-sex marriage:

I wouldn’t want to fully just say that’s great off you go, at the same time I wouldn’t want to get on a crusader’s tank and try to reverse that…

Although Dave Rubin seemed genuinely interested in what the Church teaches, at best, Barron was reluctant to go any further with the discussion.

According to Barron’s 2017 book, To Light a Fire on the Earth: Proclaiming the Gospel in a Secular Age, taking his cue from Pope Francis, Barron wants to deemphasize the so-called “sexual issues.” He said:

As I read Francis, it’s a Gallipoli kind of moment…Yes, we could keep pouring all of our energy into the sexual issues, but let’s change it to the environment, let’s change it to the poor, to immigration, and to the other parts of our Church.

Barron continued:

He’s [Francis] not soft on transgenderism or same-sex marriage, but he’s changed the subject. It’s Gallipoli: Look we’re getting mowed down over here. We’re not making any progress, so maybe let’s bring some men and material elsewhere in this grand struggle. That’s what I see him doing, and it strikes me as just the right move.

At recent LA RECs, the issue of immigration and the environment have taken center stage, including an address in 2019 by former Archbishop of LA Cardinal Mahony on “Volatile Immigration Issues” and in 2017, “a multimedia ecological art exhibit about caring for Mother Earth, based on Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, ‘Laudato Si.’”

 

Published with permission from Joseph Sciambra.


  blasphemy, catholic, homosexuality, jeannine gramick, jesuits, la rec, los angeles, robert barron, william hart mcnichols

News

Diocese pressures parish to cancel talk by man who threw Pachamama in Tiber

The concern was that Alexander Tschugguel's planned talk could 'unsettle the faithful, defame the pope, and contribute to a division within the Church.'
Mon Feb 10, 2020 - 8:13 pm EST
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Alexander Tschugguel. LifeSiteNews / YouTube
Martin Bürger Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

HERZOGENRATH, Germany, February 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The German diocese of Aachen has pressured a parish not to host a talk by Alexander Tschugguel, who in October 2019 threw the Pachamama statues displayed in a church into the Tiber River.

According to a press release put out by parish priest Father Guido Rodheudt, the diocese feared that the talk, including a discussion immediately following, could “unsettle the faithful, defame the pope, and contribute to a division within the Church.”

With that in mind, the parish decided not to go forward with the event. Instead, it was moved to a secular location in Herzogenrath, not far from the parish hall, where it was scheduled to take place initially.

Following the event, Alexander Tschugguel told LifeSiteNews that the concerns of the diocese are unfounded. “I have done my best to spread the faith clearly according to the Catechism,” he said. As one of the principal motivations for his actions, Tschugguel named the duty of all Catholics to always pray for the Holy Father and his salvation.

Stefan Wieland, press secretary of the bishop of Aachen, told LifeSiteNews that the diocese welcomes, in principle, “the lively exchange and discussion on topics of faith.” According to Wieland, the decision to cancel the event was taken by the parish and its parish priest, who were the organizers. There had been no “demand” for this “on the part of the Diocese of Aachen,” said the press secretary.

He continued, “With great concern that the faithful might be unsettled, the deputy vicar general Rolf-Peter Cremer had previously asked Father Rodheudt in a letter on behalf of Bishop Helmut Dieser that the event should not lead to a defamation of the pope.”

Rodheudt confirmed in a statement to LifeSiteNews that the diocese did not demand to cancel the event, but gave “only food for thought.” This led to the cancelation two days before the scheduled date — Monday, February 10, 2020 — as a step “to relieve the concerns of my bishop.”

At the same time, Rodheudt gave more details of his dealings with his diocese on the question of having Alexander Tschugguel speak in the parish hall.

The parish priest told LifeSiteNews, “I received a written request from the general vicariate of Aachen with the request to describe the content and the progression. I did so, pointing out that the event was to be a lively discussion which should have brought together the positions of those in favor and those against, which were already voiced in public.”

Rodheudt clarified that he did not plan to evaluate or judge what Tschugguel had done in Rome — namely, the throwing into the Tiber of Pachamama statues he had taken out of a church.

He continued, “I received a reply from the head of the department in question that I should not have invited Tschugguel because of his theft of the Pachamama statues.”

Rodheudt quoted from a letter written by this diocesan official, dated February 6: “This action contributes to the division of people and thus also of the Catholic Church. That, too, is reprehensible, in my view. That’s why you as the responsible priest should actually not allow this event.”

Only then did Rodheudt receive the letter from deputy vicar general Cremer, “expressing the bishop’s concern that my event could unsettle the faithful and defame the pope. It was also pointed out that the event was not to be used ‘subsequently to justify spiritually the infringing actions of the person invited.’”

The event in Herzogenrath, which had first been advertised last December, was criticized not only by the diocese, but also by Misereor, a relief organization supervised by the German bishops. Based in Aachen, Misereor has supported projects to help the poor in various continents, including Asia, Africa, and Latin America, since 1958.

According to the organization’s website, “[t]he mandate given to Misereor by the German bishops rules out the promotion of pastoral or missionary measures.” Instead, projects to combat climate change are prominently featured, among other things.

In 2018, Misereor collected more than €232 million, with more than €165 million being provided by the German government. Donations by the faithful amounted to €57 million.

Commenting in general on the role of relief organizations supervised by the German bishops, Tschugguel said, “ In the context of the Amazon Synod, many of these so-called relief organizations, which are highly controversial, have advocated a new syncretistic unified religion and have spoken out against baptizing and evangelizing the natives.”

Referring to the Amazon Synod last year, Misereor recounted in a statement made February 3, “Resistance against new paths accompanied the synod already during its preparation. In Rome, opponents then accused the synod and the pope of worshiping idols and preaching paganism. One of them stole four wooden figures made by a wood carver in the Amazon region, each of them depicting a pregnant woman and used in worship services inside and outside the synod. He stole them from a church and then sank them into the Tiber.” [Editor’s note: It is generally understood that the statues, being made of wood, floated.]

According to Misereor, the Pachamama statues express “that the peoples of the Amazon region protect life, that they experience God in their lives.”

Throwing those statues into the Tiber, Misereor argued, “was not an act of self-defense, but an expression of cultural and religious intolerance and forgetfulness of God under the pretext of acting in the name of God and the Catholic Church.”

Misereor expressed its expectations that “the future on our planet will depend on whether we succeed in clearing the way for us to be able to cooperate with each other in cultural and religious diversity as equals in faith.”

Similarly, Stefan Wieland of the diocese of Aachen pointed LifeSiteNews to Pope Francis, who “took a clear position in the context of the Amazon Synod: to value the faith of the people living there and support their commitment to social and ecological justice.”

The organization preparing theology students in Aachen to become teachers at primary and secondary schools referred to the statement by Misereor, commenting, with a comparison to the Third Reich, “While on January 27, 2020, we remembered the atrocities of the Nazi regime against the Jewish people, we must now admonish: Whoever drowns religious symbols may soon be willing to drown people.”

Tschugguel considered being compared to the evils of the Nazis “very far-fetched.” He pointed out that in the past, he had on multiple occasions talked about the fact that “I’m not a nationalist, I’m not a socialist, and I’m certainly not a National Socialist.”

Father Rodheudt, in his press release, spoke of an “interesting gain of knowledge” following the pressure from the diocese and the statement by Misereor. Asked by LifeSiteNews to clarify what he means by that, the priest responded, “The debate about the legitimacy of the discussion shows that there are obviously taboos which are seemingly problematic to talk about.”

Rodheudt expressed his astonishment, given that earlier this month “at the Synodal Path in Frankfurt resolutions that contradict the teaching of the Church were admitted, too.” This indicated, according to Rodheudt, that “the classical taboo of conformity with the teaching of the Church may be broken. So we find ourselves in an area of new taboos. This will have to be considered. So, too, will the questions of the understanding of mission, the knowledge of truth, and its development.”

In his conversation with LifeSiteNews, Tschugguel asked, “How openly can we discuss things within the Church? Which issues are not allowed to be touched?”

On Facebook, Alexander Tschugguel commented on the cancelation of his event and its move to a different location: “We won’t let that get us down!”


  alexander tschugguel, amazon synod, catholic, germany, pachamama

News

As Muslim govt ignores slaughter of Christians, Nigerian bishops beg West for help

The Catholic bishops in Nigeria say the government is complicit in the murder of Christians in the country.
Mon Feb 10, 2020 - 8:05 pm EST
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National Mosque of Abuja, Nigeria. Fabian Plock / Shutterstock.com
Paul Smeaton Paul Smeaton Follow Paul
By Paul Smeaton

February 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The president of the Nigerian Catholic bishops’ conference has called on Western nations to “make known the atrocities” inflicted upon Christians and other groups in Nigeria by Islamic terrorists.

Archbishop Augustine Obiora Akubeze, the bishop of Benin City, told Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) that Boko Haram “have attacked both Muslims and Christians in the past. But presently, they are focusing mainly on the killing and kidnapping of Christians.”

The Catholic bishops in Nigeria say the government is complicit in the murder of Christians in the country and that they do not do enough to help communities under attack.

After explaining that “[p]eople are kidnapped for ransom basically in every part of Nigeria,” Archbishop Akubeze said that for the government “to do nothing … makes it difficult to convince more Nigerians that there is no connection between one-sided appointments of officials and the lack of prosecution of perpetrators of these crimes against humanity and the seemingly selective killing of Christians.”

Last month, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah of Sokoto said the only difference between the Nigerian government and Boko Haram “is Boko Haram is holding a bomb.” On Christmas Eve, 2019, Boko Haram reportedly killed seven people in an attack on a Christian village. On Boxing Day 2019, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) released a video of its members beheading 10 Christians and shooting one Muslim.

Bishop Kukah said that the Nigerian government is “using the levers of power to secure the supremacy of Islam.” He said this “gives more weight to the idea that it can be achieved by violence. With the situation in Nigeria, it is hard to see the moral basis they have to defeat Boko Haram.”

“They have created the conditions to make it possible for Boko Haram to behave the way they are behaving,” the bishop added.

Archbishop Akubeze said government appointments to sensitive security positions are “completely suspicious.”

“Virtually all the officials who advise the president are from the same Hausa-Fulani ethnic group,” he said. “Ninety-five percent of them are Muslims in a country where there are about 50 percent Christians. The authority to provide leadership in the security sector is led by one religious sect, one ethnic group, in a multi-religious and multi-ethnic nation. We at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria have repeatedly spoken out against this attitude of the federal government. We have met the president and expressed our complete disapproval at this position and action of the government.”

Archbishop Akubeze continued:

Boko Haram’s attacks on Nigerians have continued for many years. This terrorist group that has sworn allegiance to ISIS operates in northeast Nigeria. But they have staged attacks even in Abuja, the federal capital. Their religious extremist ideology is to make the whole of Nigeria an Islamic republic. They resent and reject everything that is Western, except that they use Western-made guns and ammunition to attack innocent Nigerians. They have attacked both Muslims and Christians in the past. But presently, they are focusing mainly on the killing and kidnapping of Christians.

Archbishop Akubeze said that for the majority of Nigerians, “the government response has largely been unsatisfactory.”

“As we speak, Leah Sharibu, who was taken captive by the Boko Haram and refused to renounce her Christian faith, is still being held,” the archbishop continued. “Only a few weeks ago, a local government chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria was beheaded by Boko Haram. Rev. Lawan Andima was 58 years old, married and the father of nine children when he was killed simply because he was a Christian.”

Archbishop Akubeze said many Nigerians “wonder whether the president lives in a parallel universe” after the Muslim president, Muhammadu Buhari, said that he was shocked at the unabated killing of Nigerians. The archbishop asked: “How can he be surprised at this time, after some of us have attended mass burials of Christians killed by Boko Haram?”

Speaking of the recent kidnapping of four Catholic seminarians, with one being killed and three being released, Archbishop Akubeze said that “there is no doubt that the young men would have been greatly distressed and traumatized.”

“We are pained and saddened at the killing of Michael Nnadi. And to know that he was an orphan is more painful. May his soul and the souls of all who have died in the hands of these criminals rest in peace.”

Asked by the ACN reporter what could be done to help, Archbishop Akubeze thanked ACN for showing “the plight of the poor in Nigeria.” But he said “significant Western coverage” is needed to put pressure on the Nigerian government to act.

One area that I think the Western nations and the media can be of great help is to cover the stories of these atrocities in Nigeria. The number of killings is just mind-boggling. Maybe with significant Western coverage, the government of Nigeria may be put under pressure to act. In the same light, the government of EU nations and America will probably see the moral obligation to seek ways to protect the lives of Christians and other Nigerians who are constantly being attacked by Boko Haram and the herdsmen.


  aid to the church in need, augustine akubeze, boko haram, catholic, christian persecution, nigeria, terrorism

News

Argentine bishop praises Trump’s ‘extraordinary’ pro-life commitment

Retired archbishop Héctor Aguer lauded the U.S. president's 'magnificent speech, a commitment, an extraordinary defense of life.'
Mon Feb 10, 2020 - 7:57 pm EST
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Sean Rayford / Getty Images
Martin M. Barillas Martin M. Barillas Follow Martin
By Martin Barillas

BUENOS AIRES, February 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A prominent Latin American bishop praised U.S. president Donald Trump for his pro-life commitment and “extraordinary defense of life.”

In a Feb. 8 video appeal to fellow Argentines encouraging them to fight the proposed decriminalization of abortion, Archbishop Emeritus Héctor Aguer of La Plata, Argentina praised President Trump for his appearance at the 2020 March for Life and for his “magnificent speech, a commitment, an extraordinary defense of life.”

“The contrast with the politics and government of Argentina is scandalous,” he said.

At the 2020 March for Life, Trump made the first presidential appearance at the annual event, telling the crowd of thousands that “unborn children have never had a stronger defender in the White House.” In addition, Trump’s nominations to the Supreme Court and federal courts have been applauded by pro-life advocates, even while praise from U.S. Catholic bishops has been scant.

Archbishop Aguer — who frequently comments on Church affairs and is counted as one of the most orthodox prelates in the South American republic — denounced in his video appeal pro-abortion Catholic president Alberto Fernández of Argentina and called on pro-life patriots to march once again in defense of life.

Fernández and the left-wing Peronist movement have been successful, so far, in legalizing same-sex “marriage” and have promoted a pro-LGBT agenda. However, in 2018, sweeping legislation to decriminalize abortion was narrowly defeated in the Argentine Senate when pro-life Argentines held mass rallies in defense of human life. Since then, the newly elected pro-abortion Peronist movement in the persons of Fernández and Vice President Cristina Kirchner and their majority in Congress have sought to diminish protections for unborn babies through legislation and regulatory fiat.

In his video message, Aguer recalled that just before his recent meeting with Pope Francis, President Fernández announced that part of his plan to legalize abortion will be to offer assistance to adolescent and adult women who decide not to abort their babies. The president made the offer, apparently, to lessen the impact of his expansion of abortion services. And even while the government claims that objections on the basis of conscience will be protected, government doctors and health professionals still fear they will have to choose between their jobs and committing abortions. 

“Our country’s president is a strong supporter of legalized abortion. One of the first items of his government has been the resuscitation of an abortion bill that failed in the [Argentine] Senate two years ago. But because he was to meet the Holy Father, he added a small concession: that the state will accompany the expectant woman who wants to continue the pregnancy and have her baby. So, he added a little good to something that is bad,” he said.

“The current health minister, Dr. Ginés Gonzáles García, issued a protocol through which a 14- or 15 year-old teen can request an abortion, if she is the victim of rape, without parental permission,” he added.

Aguer said that during Gonzáles’s previous turn as health minister during the Kirchner government, Gonzáles said of the government’s distribution of condoms: “God always forgives, but AIDS doesn’t forgive.” The archbishop remonstrated with the official, saying God does forgive, but only those who sincerely repent of their sins and then resolve to leave sin behind.

Aguer said that because the current government is bent on promoting abortion, Christians and others of good faith should not be shy in making their pro-life witness known. Apart from making appeals on the individual and local levels, Aguer said pro-lifers should make their views known in mass rallies.

In 2018, when thousands of Argentines hit the streets in Buenos Aires and other cities to repudiate the proposed decriminalization of abortion, Aguer said the Senate understood then that there are “some things that should not be touched.” He called on Argentines to gather on March 28 in Buenos Aires to repudiate abortion once again and rally in defense of life.

Evangelical Christians and Catholics are jointly involved in the March. In addition, on March 25, which falls on the Feast of the Annunciation, Catholics have also been invited to pray the rosary at the cathedral of Buenos Aires and cities all across the country and to attend Mass with the intention of preserving the lives of unborn babies. The Feast of the Annunciation commemorates the moment recorded in the Gospel when the angel Gabriel asked Mary to become the mother of God. At her “yes,” she became pregnant with Jesus Christ. The solemnity has been dubbed the Day of the Pre-Born Child by pro-life advocates in Argentina.

Yes to the lives of women and babies

While the rest of the world celebrates International Women’s Day on March 8, thousands of Catholics will set out on a pilgrimage to Luján, a city near Buenos Aires, to protest against the Peronist pro-abortion policy. The Catholic bishops of Argentina will concelebrate a Mass in the large square outside the Basilica of Our Lady of Luján. The bishops are slated to ask the Patroness of Argentina to offer protection for human life “from conception until natural death.” The slogan for the pilgrimage is “Yes to woman; yes to life.” The bishops invited all people of “good faith” to join in common prayers on that day.

Thousands turned out for pro-life Masses in Luján in previous years, which have been held outside of the basilica because of the over-capacity crowds.

In Buenos Aires, Catholics will gather on March 7 to pray the rosary at Plaza Guemes, one of the largest public squares that honors one of the heroes of the nation’s independence. This is the second such public recitation of the rosary in defense of human life. Last year’s gathering brought together several thousands in prayer to end abortion. This is one of a number of public demonstrations of faith that are expected this year while Congress continues to push for decriminalization of abortion.

Some demonstrations by pro-abortion groups have been marked by violence, and pro-life advocates told LifeSiteNews that they fear that leftists and feminists may attack and burn churches as the year advances and congressional debate over abortion heats up, In Mexico, and neighboring Chile and Peru, leftists and feminists have been held responsible for such arson attacks on churches of various Christian denominations. The historical memory of Argentines prompts some to fear attacks on churches this year. Many can recall that Peronists burned churches in the 1950s at the behest of President Juan Domingo Peron.

Pro-abortion Fernández receives Holy Communion at Vatican

A video emerged last week that showed that President Fernández and his mistress both received Holy Communion at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome from the hands of Argentine archbishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo.

When LifeSiteNews journalist Diane Montagna asked Sorondo to justify giving the Eucharist to Fernández, the archbishop called her a “fanatic.” Sorondo, who serves as chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, denied that canon law “obliges” a priest to deny the Eucharist to openly pro-abortion politicians.

“The [Argentine] president is not excommunicated, so I can give him Communion,” he told LifeSiteNews. The pro-abortion policies of the president have “nothing to do with it,” he said. He suggested that denial of the Eucharist to pro-abortion politicians is exclusively an issue for the Church in the United States. However, Archbishop Aguer expressed dismay last week that Fernández was permitted the Holy Eucharist.


  abortion, alberto fernández, argentina, canon 915, catholic, diane montagna, donald trump, eucharist, hector aguer, marcelo sánchez sorondo

News

Switzerland votes to criminalize ‘homophobia’

Offenses will result in fines and up to three years in jail.
Mon Feb 10, 2020 - 7:43 pm EST
Featured Image
Shutterstock.com
Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
By Jeanne Smits

February 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The Swiss have voted by a large majority to make “homophobia” a criminal offense. 

On Sunday, 63.1 percent of the voters who turned out for several popular initiative referendums agreed that “discrimination,” “hate speech” and other forms of public “insults” aimed at homosexuals because of their “sexual orientation” will be punishable by a fine and up to three years’ imprisonment.

During the run-up to Sunday’s vote, the Catholic hierarchy in Switzerland was mostly conspicuous by its absence from the debate. 

With the new legislation, the aggravating circumstance of a victim's homosexuality will be added to the original 1994 anti-discrimination and hate speech law in Switzerland's penal code that already criminalized discrimination on the basis of race or religion. How it will be applied in practice will be determined by jurisprudence. To date, sanctions for discrimination and hate speech under the original law are usually limited to fines, only rarely moving up the scale to a suspended prison sentence.

However, the basis for public control of opinion on the question of homosexuality has now been laid and the door has been opened to thought police on the subject. Moreover, LGBT groups have already made clear that they plan to capitalize on the success of their agenda: they now want hate speech laws to “protect” trans people and “gender identity” and are already campaigning in that direction.

Sunday's vote is also expected to reopen the issue of same-sex “marriage,” adoption and medically assisted procreation for lesbians in Switzerland, where to date, only civil unions are open to same-sex couples.

Among public acts and statements that from now on will be punishable by law, it is expected that calling homosexuality an “illness” or suggesting treatment for it will be considered as hate speech. It will also become illegal to refuse to serve clients because they are homosexuals, including in restaurants, swimming pools, guesthouses or hotels.

With a near two-thirds majority for the expansion of the Swiss anti-discrimination law to include homosexuals, lesbians and bisexuals, it could be argued that there is large popular support for the “LGB” community. But the turnout for the referendum did not exceed 41 percent of potential voters, which means only about one in four Swiss registered as voters actually approved the new measure. Fifty-nine percent had no opinion or didn't care.

Voters against were even less numerous, though, indicating that the issue of homosexuality and LGBT rights is no longer seen as a political, societal or moral problem. The opening of civil unions to same-sex couples was already adopted by a clear majority in 2005 in Switzerland, with 58 percent of voters approving their creation in a popular referendum. Years of propaganda are evidently bearing fruit.

The expansion of the anti-discrimination law was at first brought to Parliament by Swiss Socialist party member Mathias Reynard seven years ago, with the support of the left and the ecologists. In fact, both chambers adopted his proposed law in 2018 in Bern.

Two Conservative political formations, the UDC (Democratic Union of the Center) which is today Switzerland’s largest single party, and the UDF (Federal Democratic Union) then went into frontal opposition against the law, via a campaign to impose a popular vote. By April 2019, they had obtained the necessary 50,000 signatures required for the organization of a popular referendum.

Finally, their efforts were of no avail against the steamroller of political correctness, largely operated by the media, which are no less liberal in Switzerland than anywhere else.

Also, according to Mathias Reynard, this “evolution of society” toward more “tolerance and human rights” was obtained through “perseverance” on the part of “associations that worked heavily” in order to obtain their win. This victory was more visible in the French-speaking parts of Switzerland, which are also the more Catholic ones. Support for the new law was weaker in the German-speaking, widely Protestant cantons that are more attached to “freedom of expression,” according to local commentators. The cantons of Appenzell-Innerrhoden, Uri and Schwyz, all voted against the penalization of homophobia.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference (CES) was remarkably cautious about the suggested new scope of Switzerland’s “anti-racist” laws. In a February 3 article, 24heures.ch noted that the Catholic Church had chosen to remain silent.

“The doctrine of the Catholic Church expresses itself with out exception against all calls to hate and discrimination against persons or groups,” was the comment placed on the Swiss Bishops’ Conference website. “It will be up to citizens to judge whether this principle is already sufficiently enshrined in the existing legislation or whether it should be extended,” it said.

According to Encarnación Berger-Lobato, spokeswoman of the CES, this was no lack of courage. “The Bishops’ Conference recognizes that homosexual persons need protection. But as the legal profession is not unanimous as to the fact whether a modification of the penal norm is the most useful and effective way to obtain that, it has decided not to express a position. This is not linked to a theological argumentation, but to a juridical one.”

Whatever that meant, it clearly indicated that the Church was in favor of “protecting” homosexuals from what they call hate speech and discrimination, even though both concepts are widely used in many countries not to prevent bodily harm or unjust differences of treatment, a protection to which all citizens are entitled as such, but in order to preclude any kind of criticism or negativity against groups that are presented as “oppressed minorities.” The ultimate implementation of such laws is usually “positive discrimination,” giving extra rights to the said “minorities.”

One exception among the Swiss bishops was Auxiliary Bishop Marian Eleganti of Coire. Before the vote, in an op-ed published in January, he prophesied: “Because of anti-discrimination laws, we are going to be reduced to silence and punished by decisions of the courts.”

Alexandre Curchod, the Swiss lawyer specializing in freedom of expression, downplayed the force of Switzerland's future anti-hate speech law, recalling that its application will be subject to “strict criteria,” and that only public speech will be punishable. But this includes remarks on public social media.

Curchod also confirmed that under the new measures it will become a penal offence to refuse to accommodate a same-sex couple together in a hotel room. Calling homosexuality an “illness” would probably also be considered “hate-speech” because, he said, “they amount to attacking the dignity of homosexuals.” But these issues will be open to interpretation on the part of the courts.

Asked whether religious groups who say that homosexuality is a “sin” will be able to continue to do so freely, Curchod responded, “If they do that within a community, in a limited circle, they cannot be punished. However, if these comments are made publicly in order to be heard beyond the community, they could constitute an offence.”

Interestingly, some homosexuals did oppose the adoption of a specific anti-discrimination law in their favor.

Michael Frauchiger, co-president of a committee dubbed “Special rights NO!”, said, “I campaign for the acceptance and normalization of my sexuality. But for me, normalization also signifies not to demand special rights.” According to Frauchiger, these ultimately contribute to the “stigmatizing” of homosexuals.

Eric Bertinat, UDC, municipal councillor of Geneva and president of Perspectives catholiques, commented on radiolac.ch:

“Firstly, the new law is not justified because a penal law already exists. Secondly, a penal law is something serious. The simple fact of being accused makes that you really will be held accountable. And most importantly, it really gives a thought tribunal to a lobby, a group – and historically, that is not at all what we want in Switzerland. On the contrary, we always seek an overall vision. In this case, we are really giving arms to a group in order for it to defend its prerogatives. We already know in which direction they are heading: ‘marriage for all,’ adoption and many other demands which we, of course, shall be opposing.”

This last point was confirmed even before Sunday's vote when an online survey by Tamedia between February 6 and February 8 revealed that 61 percent of Swiss citizens support “married for all,” including the right to adopt. Fifty-eight percent are even prepared to go further, favoring “complete” marriage rights, including access to medically assisted procreation with donor sperm for lesbian couples. Only sympathizers of the UDC said they were opposed to these “rights.”

Muriel Waeger, who co-directed the campaign for the anti-homophobia law, interpreted the survey and Sunday's vote as a clear indication that “complete marriage for all” is underway and could be adopted by the parliament in Bern.


  discrimination, hate speech, homosexuality, lgbt, same-sex 'marriage', swiss bishops conference, switzerland

News

Attack on celibacy puts priesthood in ‘mortal danger,’ warns Cdl Sarah

The African cardinal said that by ‘attacking the celibacy of priests, you are attacking the Church and her mystery.’
Mon Feb 10, 2020 - 6:56 pm EST
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By Martin Bürger

ROME, Italy, February 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Robert Sarah has declared that the Catholic priesthood is “in mortal danger” and “going through a major crisis” because of the push from various voices within the Church to abolish priestly celibacy. The African prelate called out those who want to make celibacy optional. 

“By attacking the celibacy of priests, you are attacking the Church and her mystery,” he said. 

Ahead of the publication of the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation “Querida Amazonia” on Wednesday, February 12, which has been rumored to open the doors to married priests, Cardinal Sarah told Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register that faithful Catholics are not asking for priestly celibacy to be overturned. 

“The ordination of married men is a fantasy of Western academics who are in search of violations. I want to affirm it forcefully: The poor, the simple, rank-and-file Christians do not demand an end to celibacy,” he said.

Sarah, the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, said there are voices within the Church who would like to “relativize the celibacy of priests.” 

“That would be a catastrophe! For celibacy is the most obvious manifestation that the priest belongs to Christ and that he no longer belongs to himself. Celibacy is the sign of a life that has meaning only through God and for him,” he said, 

“To want to ordain married men is to imply that priestly life is not full time, that it does not require a complete gift, that it leaves one free for other commitments such as a profession, that it leaves time free for a private life. But this is false. A priest remains a priest at all times. Priestly ordination is not first of all a generous commitment; it is a consecration of our whole being, an indelible conformation of our soul to Christ, the priest, who demands from us permanent conversion in order to correspond to him. Celibacy is the unquestionable sign that being a priest supposes allowing oneself to be entirely possessed by God. To call it into question would seriously aggravate the crisis of the priesthood,” he added. 

With a contribution by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Cardinal Sarah has recently published a book defending priestly celibacy. 

Sarah pointed to Germany, where married priests have been discussed for a long time, and more forcefully since the launch of the “synodal path.” 

“But I am uneasy. In Germany, a strange synod clearly envisages the questioning of celibacy. I wanted to cry out my concern: Do not tear the Church apart! By attacking the celibacy of priests, you are attacking the Church and her mystery,” he said. 

Explaining that those who attack celibacy want to make the Church a purely human institution, “within our power, within our reach,” the cardinal continued, “It means renouncing the mystery of the Church as God’s gift.”

If married men in the Amazon region were allowed to become priests, Sarah argued, that “would prohibit the raising of vocations of unmarried priests. The exception would become a permanent state.”

Asked about priests within the Catholic Church who are married, namely as part of the Anglican Ordinariate and the Eastern churches, Sarah clarified that those exceptions constitute “a parenthesis in the normal and natural state of things.” At the same time, he said, “the lack of a priest is not an exception,” especially in nascent or dying churches.

Cardinal Sarah also attempted to dispel a number of myths surrounding the question of married priests. Even though married priests did indeed exist in the first few centuries of the Church, after their ordination, “they were required to abstain completely from sexual relations with their wives.”

Referring to the Council of Elvira in 305, Sarah made clear that one of the first concerns of the Church after the age of martyrdom was “to affirm that priests must abstain from sexual relations with their wives.”

He quoted the council itself, which stated, “It was unanimously agreed that bishops, priests and deacons, that is to say, all clerics constituted in the ministry, should abstain from their wives and should not bear children; whoever has done so (had sexual relations) should be declared to be deprived of the clerical office.”

In January, Cardinal Gerhard Müller said that the Eastern churches, by allowing married priests, had departed “from the tradition of the early Church.”

Cardinal Sarah echoed this assessment. “It was only much later, because of the corruption of the texts, that the East would evolve in its discipline, without ever renouncing the ontological link between priesthood and abstinence.”

Apart from historical considerations, Sarah also sees practical problems with having married priests, without doubting the holiness of married priests in Eastern churches. “If a priest is married, then he has a private life, a conjugal and family life. He must make time for his wife and children. He is unable to show, by his whole life, that he is totally and absolutely given to God and the Church.”

Starting with statements by former Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Sarah stated that he has shown “that at the root of the abuses committed by clerics, there is a deep flaw in their formation.”

“They wanted to make the priest a man like any other. Some priests were formed without putting God, prayer, the celebration of Mass, the ardent search for holiness at the center of their lives,” Sarah elaborated.

According to the African cardinal, priests were formed without teaching them about God as their only support, “without making them experience that their lives only have meaning through God and for him.” If God is taken out of the equation, the priest is left with nothing but power, Sarah continued.

“If a priest doesn’t daily experience (that) he is only an instrument in God’s hands, if he doesn’t stand constantly before God to serve him with all his heart, then he risks becoming intoxicated with a sense of power. If a priest’s life is not a consecrated life, then he is in great danger of illusion and diversion,” Sarah cautioned.

Cardinal Sarah briefly commented on the rollout of the book From the Depths of Our Hearts, to which Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI had contributed.

Sarah accused the opponents of the priesthood of making the former Pope out to be an old man. He then asked, “But have you read what he writes? Do you think one can write pages of such depth without having all one’s faculties?”

He further accused “some people” of trying “to make us believe that our publishers have manipulated us and have taken advantage of a misunderstanding to mount I don’t know what kind of communication stunt. This is totally false! There is no misunderstanding. Our French publisher has simply implemented what I personally worked out with the Pope emeritus.”

In this context, Sarah praised his French publisher Fayard, with which he had already worked on many other projects, including his trilogy of interview books that were written together with Nicolas Diat. “All these polemics are a diversionary tactic to avoid talking about the essential, the content of the book,” Sarah is convinced.

French newspaper Le Figaro first reported on the book on January 12. The cover of the original edition of the book on celibacy portrayed Benedict as a co-author, including a photo of the former Pope the same size as that of Sarah.

Archbishop Georg Gänswein, prefect of the Papal Household and private secretary of the former Pope, said January 14 that he had called Cardinal Sarah “at Benedict’s request, to ask the book’s publisher to remove the signature of the Pope emeritus from the introduction and conclusion, because he had not co-authored them.”

Following the first backlash, Sarah said in a statement, “The polemic which has aimed to tarnish me for several hours by implying that Benedict was not informed of the appearance of the book ‘From the Depths of Our Hearts’ is completely despicable.”

While the first edition of the book, for reasons of time, was still printed portraying the Pope emeritus as a co-author, future editions were announced as only referring to him as a contributor.

The publisher of the English version, Ignatius Press, maintains that Benedict is a co-author. They argued: “Given that, according to Benedict XVI’s correspondence and Cardinal Sarah’s statement, the two men collaborated on this book for several months, that none of the essays have appeared elsewhere, and that a joint work as defined by the Chicago Manual of Style is ‘a work prepared by two or more authors with the intention that their contribution be merged into inseparable or interdependent parts of a unitary whole,’ Ignatius Press considers this a co-authored publication.”

Archbishop Gänswein later said the introduction and the conclusion were not written by both, but only by the cardinal, even though the French publisher said otherwise.

The German archbishop has not been seen with Pope Francis at his Wednesday audiences for almost a month, which the Vatican claims is “due to ordinary redistribution of the various commitments and duties.”


  amazonian synod, benedict xvi, catholic, georg ganswein, married priests, pope francis, priestly celibacy, querida amazonia, robert sarah

News

How one pro-life org is harnessing the internet to save countless babies from abortion

Human Coalition has helped save more than 14,000 babies across the United States.
Mon Feb 10, 2020 - 5:08 pm EST
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By Stephen Kokx

February 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Brian Fisher was a successful businessman before he became a passionate pro-life activist. In 2009, he launched Human Coalition in order to prevent unborn babies from being aborted. Today he is blazing a trail in the pro-life movement with his marketing and analytical skills.

“In the late 2000s, most for-profit businesses were using internet ads to reach people,” Fisher told pro-life activist Jonathon van Maren in a recent interview. “And the pro-life movement was not doing a lot of that work. And so to us, it was sort of just a logical gap. ‘Let's go online to where our potential clients are and let's introduce ourselves and invite them to have a conversation with us.’”

Fisher says his team realized pretty quickly that there was a disconnect between how pro-lifers were operating and the reality on the ground. Technology, he said, offered a unique way to reach women who were using the internet to get an abortion.

“If a woman...is searching for an abortion provider, we want to be the first link that she sees, which means we need to be very wise and aggressive about how we market to her through ads and links online,” he said.

“The first ad that you'll see or the first link you'll see will belong to us, and she'll click on the phone number and she'll be immediately connected to our contact center and we'll continue to build the relationship from there. It's also the exact same sort of cycle that you and I go through all the time when we're searching for a product online.”

While he admits Google and social media is under pressure to crack down on social conservatives, Fisher believes that his team is effective enough to overcome any sort of censorship. “We will continue to find creative ways to find women who need our services,” he emphatically stated.

Ultimately, Brian Fisher is someone driven by numbers. After bringing on auditors and a group of marketers to evaluate what sort of improvements could be made, he decided to implement a number of changes, and says he will continue to do so going forward.

“Once we were operational, the data then drove our decisions. We started a contact center because the data suggested we should. We began to bring in our own clinics…because the data suggested that we should. We started a social work program because the data said we should. We started a political effort because the data was irrefutable.”

Fisher says it’s important to create a pipeline where pregnant moms can feel loved and welcomed. In order to do that, pro-lifers need to reach out to them in ways they haven’t before.

“We continue to find new ways to reach women who are high risk to abort. We own and operate a fantastic call center…they take calls and chats and texts and instant messages from women all day long,” he said. “And then they set appointments at either a pregnancy center that we work with in different parts of the country or at our own network of clinics that we own and operate.”

Fisher said that Human Coalition has an extended social work program that helps women with continual care. He’s also in the beginning stages of setting up a virtual clinic online. 

“It's a rescue system designed to find women and children who are at risk.” We need to “bring them into a loving system of care,” he said.

Listen to the interview in its entirety below.

The Van Maren Show is hosted on numerous platforms, including SpotifySoundCloudYouTubeiTunes, and Google Play.

For a full listing of episodes, and to subscribe to various channels, visit our Acast webpage here.

To receive weekly emails when a new episode is uploaded, click here.


  abortion, brian fisher, human coalition, pro-life, technology, the jonathan van maren show

News

Sanders vows pro-Roe litmus tests, ‘significant’ expansion of Planned Parenthood funding

The Socialist presidential candidate reaffirmed his full-fledged commitment to protecting and expanding abortion.
Mon Feb 10, 2020 - 5:08 pm EST
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Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

February 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Socialist presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, reiterated his pro-abortion bona fides to voters Friday evening, pledging to enshrine abortion in federal law and give far more of the taxpayers’ money to the abortion industry.

Sanders, whom some in the media are dubbing the Democrat primary’s new frontrunner, made the remarks Friday evening during a presidential debate in New Hampshire.

“Is there a litmus test for those of us up here? For me there is,” he said. “I will never nominate any person to the Supreme Court or the federal courts in general who is not 100 percent pro-Roe v. Wade. Number two, we have got to codify Roe v. Wade into legislation. Number three, we have to significantly expand funding for Planned Parenthood.”

Sanders also declared that “being pro-choice is an absolutely essential part of being a Democrat.” 

The answer came as little surprise to those familiar with Sanders’ record. His uncompromising abortion platform includes judges that would not only uphold but expand Roe v. Wade, directing the U.S. Department of Justice to “go after those states” that restrict abortion “in every way that I legally can,” support for overseas abortion funding as part of fighting climate change, voting against medical care for newborns who survive abortions, and refusing to answer whether abortion is ever wrong.

Last week, it was reported that Sanders is considering an executive order that would reverse the Trump administration’s Protect Life Rule, which cuts almost $60 million from Planned Parenthood’s annual federal funding by disqualifying abortion groups from receiving family-planning grants under the Title X program.


  2020 democrat primary, abortion, bernie sanders, codifying roe v. wade, democrats, judicial nominees, litmus tests, taxpayer funding of abortion

News

Trump unveils budget plan to defund abortion centers like Planned Parenthood

'The Budget prioritizes the value of human life by ensuring that Federal funding does not support abortions,' the plan explains.
Mon Feb 10, 2020 - 4:29 pm EST
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President Donald Trump at the March for Life, Washington D.C., Jan. 24, 2020.
Calvin Freiburger
By Calvin Freiburger

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The White House submitted its $4.89 trillion annual budget proposal to Congress Monday, laying out a plan that contains numerous spending cuts, including defunding abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood. The plan illustrates President Donald Trump’s policy priorities, though few expect it to resemble whatever ultimately becomes law.

The Fiscal Year 2021 plan calls for various cuts to the budgets of the US State Department, Department of Education, Environmental Protection Agency, and more, while increasing military spending as well as the budgets for the Departments of Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs, as well as NASA. It projects a $4.6 trillion deficit reduction, but rolls back the timetable for eliminating the deficit from eight years to fifteen.

On the pro-life front, the plan calls for eliminating the taxpayer funding Planned Parenthood receives via US Departments of Labor and Health & Human Services (HHS), as well as funding for the pro-abortion United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). It would also strengthen federal conscience protections by adopting the Conscience Protection Act.

“The Budget prioritizes the value of human life by ensuring that Federal funding does not support abortions,” the plan explains. “The Budget proposes to prohibit Federal funding, such as in the Title X Family Planning and Medicaid programs, for certain entities that provide abortion services. The Budget also protects conscience rights, prohibits coercion in healthcare, and allows private parties to enforce such rights in Federal court. With these protections, the Administration will continue to ensure robust protection of conscience rights and religious liberty.”

Regardless, while the administration can and will continue to unilaterally block certain pockets of abortion funding, such as the UNFPA and excluding abortion organizations from the Title X program, few expect the FY2021 plan’s new pro-life provisions to make it into the final budget that becomes law. Planned Parenthood has continued to receive over $500 million from federal taxpayers every year since 2016, and reported $616 million in its most recent annual report. 

Despite numerous pro-life campaign promises from the president and congressional Republicans, the abortion industry’s subsidies have continued. This is due to a variety of factors, including Senate and House GOP leaders that conservatives say are unwilling to fight for the base’s priorities, Senate filibuster rules that require Democrats to agree to most bills despite Republicans having a majority, and Democrats taking the House of Representatives in 2018.

President Trump himself has repeatedly demonstrated he is unwilling to veto spending bills that contain abortion dollars, though conservatives argue that such bugdet fights are winnable with the proper pressure.

“If outside conservative organizations, media, and members of Congress would actually stay focused, President Trump’s second term can be more fiscally conservative,” Conservative Review senior editor Daniel Horowitz writes. “Trump will sign a bad budget if the swamp consensus coalesces around it. But at the same time, if conservatives work to back the non-swamp elements of the administration pushing for spending cuts the president is clearly OK with, he would sign a good budget as well.”


  abortion, conscience rights, defund planned parenthood, defunding planned parenthood, donald trump, federal budget, spending

News

Former Bill Clinton strategist excoriates woke 2020 Dems: ‘Not how you win an election’

'We have to beat Trump. And so far, I don’t like what I see,' said James Carville, who blasted his fellow Democrats for being way too far left.
Mon Feb 10, 2020 - 3:50 pm EST
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By Paul Smeaton

February 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Long-term Democratic Party strategist and political commentator James Carville has accused the party of losing its mind in an interview with Vox, slamming the party for getting “distracted” by woke issues and leftist causes, rather than the issues that voters actually care about.

Carville, who was the lead strategist during Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 presidential campaign, spoke to Vox following an appearance last week on MSNBC, where he slammed the Democrats for their chaotic mismanagement of the recent Iowa caucus.

The 2020 Democrats are all virtually in lockstep on social issues: they support taxpayer-funded abortion on demand and the homosexual/LGBT cause. At least two candidates – Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg – list their gender pronouns in their Twitter bios. The latter is in a same-sex “marriage.” Warren says she will let a gender-confused child vet her nominee for Secretary of Education if she wins.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has said he would direct the Justice Department to “do everything in its power” to block state laws that place any restriction on abortion, including parental notification requirements, ultrasound laws, and waiting periods. Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders has threatened that he would “use the Department of Justice to go after those states” that restrict abortion “in every way that I legally can.” Every Democrat candidate has also pledged to nominate pro-abortion judges to the Supreme Court and federal bench.

In an expletive-laden interview, Carville urged his fellow Democrats to focus on “building coalitions to win elections” and on becoming “a majoritarian party.” 

Carville wants the presidential candidates to move away from talking about issues such as “open borders and letting prisoners vote,” saying that “[m]ost of the people aren’t into all this distracting s***.”

Carville said that the Democrats have “one moral imperative here, and that’s beating Trump. Nothing else matters.” But at this stage he is not optimistic about their ability to do that.

READ: Second Sanders staffer caught praising Soviet Union, fantasizing about violence

“We have to beat Trump. And so far, I don’t like what I see. And a lot of people I talk to feel the same way.”

He insisted that the primary purpose of a political party was to acquire power, saying: “The purpose of a political party is to acquire power. All right? Without power, nothing matters.”

Later in the interview he said: “We can’t do anything for anyone if we don’t start there [beating Trump in this year’s presidential election] and then acquire more power.”

Carville identified the key divide within the Democratic Party as being between people who think “there’s a real yearning for a left-wing revolution in this country” and people like himself who are focused on “building coalitions to win elections” and listening to what people think and “framing your message accordingly.”

“We have candidates on the debate stage talking about open borders and decriminalizing illegal immigration,” Carville lamented. “They’re talking about doing away with nuclear energy and fracking. You’ve got Bernie Sanders talking about letting criminals and terrorists vote from jail cells. It doesn’t matter what you think about any of that, or if there are good arguments — talking about that is not how you win a national election. It’s not how you become a majoritarian party.”

“Bernie Sanders isn’t a Democrat,” he said. “He’s never been a Democrat. He’s an ideologue.” Nevertheless, Carville insists that he will vote for Sanders in the presidential election if he wins the Democratic nomination. But he says that if that happens then the Democrats will have no chance of gaining power in the Senate.

Asked if Sanders could win the presidency, Carville responded:

Who the hell knows? But here’s what I do know: Sanders might get 280 electoral votes and win the presidency and maybe we keep the House. But there’s no chance in hell we’ll ever win the Senate with Sanders at the top of the party defining it for the public. Eighteen percent of the country elects more than half of our senators. That’s the deal, fair or not.

So long as [Mitch] McConnell runs the Senate, it’s game over. There’s no chance we’ll change the courts, and nothing will happen, and he’ll just be sitting up there screaming in the microphone about the revolution.

Carville opined that Warren “gets distracted and loses her core anti-corruption message” when she supposedly follows the advice of her aides to adopt “left-wing” positions. 

He also blames Biden for preventing other potential “mainstream” candidates such as Cory Booker from gaining more support. He said: “And then Biden gets in and blocks out good candidates like Cory Booker or Michael Bennet or Steve Bullock by occupying this mainstream lane. There just isn’t enough oxygen and they couldn’t get any traction. But these are serious people, professional people, and they could’ve delivered a winning message.”

When the interviewer suggested to Carville that due to the supposedly right-wing bias of the media it was difficult for Democrats to get their messaging to Americans, Carville responded:

I think the other side wants us to think there are no swing voters, that we’re doomed and it doesn’t even matter if you have a message because you can’t reach anyone. I think that’s bullshit. I think that’s a wholly incorrect view of American politics. But look, if no one’s persuadable, then let’s just have the revolution.

Falling into despair won’t help anyone, though. I mean, you can curse the darkness or you can light a candle. I’m getting a f*****g welding torch. Okay?

And does he think any of the Democrat candidates still in the race for the nomination could beat Trump? 

“I don’t know, I just don’t know. I’m hoping that someone gets knocked off their horse on the road to Damascus.”


  2020 democrat primary

News

Ukrainian bishops fraternally correct German bishops for abandoning Catholic sexual morality 

The German bishops' 'synodal path' promotes changing Catholic sexual teaching on contraception, masturbation, and homosexuality.
Mon Feb 10, 2020 - 3:42 pm EST
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Bishop Radosław Zmitrowicz, head of the Ukrainian Episcopate’s Commission for the Family. misyjne pl / Youtube screen grab
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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

KIEV, Ukraine, February 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Ukrainian Catholic bishops have delivered a fraternal correction to the bishops of Germany for their “synodal path” that, among other things, promotes changing Catholic sexual teaching on contraception, masturbation, and homosexuality.

According to Polish newsmagazine wPolityce.pl, the Ukrainian Episcopate’s Commission for the Family, headed by Poland-born Bishops Radosław Zmitrowicz and Jan Niemiec, sent a letter on Thursday to the German bishops’ own Commission on Marriage and the Family, headed by Bishop Heiner Koch. 

In the February 6 letter, the Ukrainians urge the Germans to stop bowing to LGBT ideology, but instead to remain faithful to the perennial teachings of the Church. 

The parts of the letter translated into Polish and published by journalist Grzegorz Górny illustrated that the Ukrainian bishops believe that the German bishops are giving material support to a “mass ideological attack” against the young. 

“LGBT circles are leading a mass ideological attack on our young people and children with the aim of demoralizing them,” the bishops wrote.  

“The above mentioned organizations justify and support their activities and their propaganda, among other things, with ‘the new view’ of the German Episcopate,” the continued.  

“It hurts us to observe how LGBT propaganda quotes your wording to fight with Christianity and also with everyone who acknowledges the true anthropology based on Holy Scripture and natural law.”

The Ukrainian bishops underscored that both same-sex attracted people and married couples in their dioceses have been affected by the conclusions made by German churchmen at the end of a conference on sexuality they hosted last December in Berlin.  These included the ideas that homosexuality is “normal” and that “a sexual relationship after a divorce and remarriage is no longer generally assessed as being a grave sin.”

“Some of our faithful, who themselves carry the burden of homosexuality and other wounds in the sexual sphere, learning of the statement of your Commission [for the Family], feel powerless in the fight for a chaste life,” the Ukrainian bishops wrote. 

“Married couples opposed to the contraceptive mentality of this world as well as open to the gift of life feel deep doubt after reading your opinions about birth control.”

The letter writers reported that faithful Catholics in Ukraine are also having to face accusations of apostasy from their Protestant and Orthodox neighbors.

“Some of our faithful suffer the claims, and even accusations, of other Christians that the Catholic Church is departing from the truth revealed by Christ,” the bishops explained.  

“Some Protestant communities accuse us of infidelity to the Word of God, and our Orthodox brethren of infidelity to Tradition,” they continued. 

“Why? Because they see your position not as your private teaching or even as the separate path of the Church in Germany, but as the position of the whole Catholic Church.”  

According to Grzegorz Górny, the Ukrainian bishops then asked the German bishops to become faithful again to the scriptures and traditional Catholic doctrine.

Górny also reported that in an interview with the Ukrainian website Rodyna, Bishop Zmitrowicz said that “fraternal correction” was not enough.

“We understand that this is above all a spiritual battle and prayer and other forms of penance are of great importance,” Zmitrowicz stated. 

“We have the same temptations. Writing this letter helped us to see that truth that sets us free,” he continued. 

“Just as the German Commission publicly presently the first results of its work, so we dare to present publicly our understanding of faith and morals. We want only to be faithful to the Revelation of God, which we cannot change, reduce, or ‘sugar-coat’.” 

When asked why the German bishops were so radically departing from the faith, Zmitrowicz said that he wasn’t sure, but that there is a temptation to “be like other nations.” 

“How many times did the Chosen People of both the Old and New Testaments experience this temptation?” he asked. 

“It seems to me that what strongly influences the thinking of some Catholics in Germany and other countries strongly affected by secularization is the environment in which they find themselves. It is a society which has lost real contact with faith in God. That means, they understand their work, rest, health, illness, death, love, marriage, sex and sexuality, education...apart from Gospel revelation. Christian proposals for life seem too marvelous, too beautiful, unrealistic, impossible to practice in this world we live in. People try to adapt teachings and rules for life to the society in which they live.” 

Zmitrowicz said that the earliest Christians had the “power of the Risen Christ” which helped them set aside their old and unhappy lives. Their belief in God “infected others and slowly changed society.” 

He said that he is “happy and proud” that the Catholic Church understands sex (gender) and sexuality so well, mentioning in particular the “Theology of the Body” of St. John Paul II. However, he has grave misgivings about the ideological current in the German Church

“The German Commission proposes the opposite direction, which destroys people’s lives. It closes them to the love brought to us by Jesus Christ. Without this love, man cannot be happy.”  

Zmitrowicz hopes that other Bishops’ Conferences in the world will also offer the German Bishops fraternal correction and thinks that the Ukrainians might inspire them to action. 

“Many bishops from different countries have criticized the German ecclesiastical revolution only in their private circles, but they haven’t taken any public stand,” he said. 

“Why? I don’t know. But their silence is taken as consent.” 


  catholic, fraternal correction, germany, homosexuality, jan niemiec, radosław zmitrowicz, synodal path, ukraine

News

Bloomberg admits bathroom wars about ‘man wearing a dress’ sharing girls’ locker room in 2016 video

LGBT supporters have turned against the Democrat presidential candidate over his remarks and want him out of the race.
Mon Feb 10, 2020 - 3:06 pm EST
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Michael Bloomberg Scott Heins / Getty Images
Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

February 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Today, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is a standard-issue progressive, but he’s currently under fire from LGBT activists for past comments in which he bluntly acknowledged why the transgender cause was counterintuitive to most Americans.

The 2016 video shows Bloomberg speaking to a crowd at England’s Oxford University, during which he addressed the “disconnect” between “intelligentsia” such as himself and the attendees, versus the “vast bulk of people” of the American Midwest.

“If you think about it, we, the intelligentsia, people who could make it into this room, we believe a lot of things in terms of equality and protecting individual rights that make no sense to the vast bulk of people,” Bloomberg said. “They’re not opposed to you having some rights, but there’s a fundamental disconnect between us believing the rights of the individual come first and the general belief around the world, I think it’s fair to say, that the rights of society comes first.”

“If you want to know, is somebody a good salesman, give him the job of going to the Midwest and picking a town and selling to that town the concept that some man wearing a dress should be in a locker room with their daughter,” he continued. “If you can sell that, you can sell anything. I mean, they just look at you and they say ‘what on Earth are you talking about?’ And you say, well, this person identifies as, her gender as different than what’s on their birth certificate. And they say, ‘What do you mean? You’re either born this or you’re born that!’”

LGBT activists, including the Human Rights Campaign’s Charlotte Clymer, and openly transgender and pro-LGBT Vox journalist “Katelyn” Burns, responded that the remarks should disqualify Bloomberg from the Democrat nomination:

Business Insider reported that the Bloomberg campaign responded with a statement that did not acknowledge the uproar over those specific remarks, but stressed the mayor’s past support for transgender employee healthcare, and that he was “running to defeat Donald Trump and reverse the many policies he has implemented that attack the rights of the transgender community.”

The pro-abortion Bloomberg, who donates heavily to left-wing causes such as gun control and climate change, touts a pro-LGBT record ranging from helping enact same-sex “marriage” to having “presided over New York City’s first official same-sex marriage (sic) the day it became legal.”

He recently released a “comprehensive plan” for “LGBTQ+ equality,” which includes signing the so-called Equality Act into law, reversing the Trump administration’s ban on gender-confused soldiers, prioritizing “hate crimes” investigation, and “implicit bias training” for federal law enforcement.

Feb. 11, 2020 update: This report now refers to “Katelyn” Burns as an openly transgender and pro-LGBT journalist who writes for Vox.


  2020 democrat primary, democrats, lgbt, michael bloomberg, transgender bathrooms, transgenderism

News

Dominican theologian: Pope Francis compromises ‘too much’ with ‘enemies of Christianity’

Italian priest Fr. Giovanni Cavalcoli said that Francis is failing in the 'safekeeping of sound doctrine.'
Mon Feb 10, 2020 - 2:22 pm EST
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Fr. Giovanni Cavalcoli ArpatoTyn / Youtube screen grab
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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

ROME, February 8, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) ― A respected Italian theologian has signaled that Pope Francis is failing in his duty to protect the doctrine of the Catholic faith 

In a January interview with Italian Catholic online newspaper La Fede Quotidiano, Fr. Giovanni Cavalcoli, O.P. said that Benedict XVI could be an excellent theological resource for Francis, but the pontiff doesn’t seem to consult him.

“My impression is that Francis doesn’t listen much to Benedict who, in my estimation, had undertaken a line of reform more balanced than that of Francis, more in accordance with … the interpretation that sees the doctrine of the [Second Vatican] Council in continuity, even if more advanced, with the preceding Magisterium,” Cavalcoli stated. 

“It seems to me that instead Francis indulges in an interpretation that concedes too much to the progressives [...] which is same as saying that he is conceding too much to the Protestants, to the Marxists and to freemasonry, while struggling to dialogue with the traditionalists and followers of Archbishop Lefebvre [i.e. the Society of St. Pius X], something which Benedict managed to do.” 

The prolific author and professor, 78, told his interviewer that Benedict was a much better defender of the Catholic faith than Francis is. 

“As for the safekeeping of sound doctrine, Benedict was certainly more zealous and diligent than Francis, who is too absorbed by his need for contact with the masses,” Cavalcoli said.

The Dominican theologian contrasted the German pontiff’s approach to regimes hostile towards Christianity to that of the Argentinian.

“In terms of the relationship with the Islamic world and the communists, while Benedict was more concerned with doctrinal clarity, urging Catholics to patience and to bear persecution, Francis, in order to obtain peaceful co-existence, seems to compromise too much with the enemies of Christianity,” Cavalcoli said. 

The Catholic Church is in a time of unprecedented crisis, he added, saying that the “Church is living in a moment of serious difficulty and doctrinal and moral decadence, under the semblance of a false modernity, which it has never experienced in all her history.”

“As has been diagnosed for 40 years now, beginning with St. Paul VI, while the Council offered hope of theological progress, moral and spiritual, there was an unexpected massive return of modernism … a modernism worse and more dangerous than that of St. Pius X’s day, as [Jacques] Maritain realized in 1966.” 

Cavalcoli said that while Francis has talked of the New Evangelization “starting processes” instead of “occupying spaces”, in reality modernist theologians are occupying “all the spaces, suffocating the freedom of the few normal Catholics remaining, without starting any true reform, but rolling back theology to the heresies before the Councils of Nicaea [325 AD] and Calcedon [451 AD] and philosophy to the pre-Socratic naturalists and myths of the Amazon.”

The Dominican theologian sees the Holy Spirit more at work in the laity than in the clergy today, but says that Francis is the “guide” of the Church, and he must be supported and saved from his “false friends and flatterers.” 

“I see the acuity of diagnosis, energy and spiritual freedom, wisdom, the sensus Ecclesiae, presence and parresia of the Holy Spirit more in the laity than in the shepherds,” Cavalcoli told La Fede Quotidiano.

“Pope Francis is like a helmsman on the barque of St. Peter in a mighty tempest,” he continued. 

“He struggles to hold the rudder. However, he is the guide. We must stay near him, accept him, support him, pray for him, help him, advise him, free him from false friends and flatterers, call him back to his duties, [and] welcome everything that he does well.”    

This is not the first time an influential cleric has voiced concern about the pontiff’s “false friends and flatterers.” Cardinal Gerhard Müller, former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo in a 2018 interview and in a statement to LifeSiteNews in 2019 that Francis is overly influenced by such people. 


  catholic, giovanni cavalcoli, pope francis

Opinion

Conservatives shocked as Facebook, Twitter refuse to censor pro-Trump video

It's noteworthy when social media outlets allow a popular conservative video to remain on their sites.
Mon Feb 10, 2020 - 10:01 pm EST
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Alex Wong / Getty Images
Andrea Widburg
By Andrea Widburg

February 10, 2020 (American Thinker) — One of the most worrisome things in America today is that the public square isn't public. Instead, it's owned by tech oligarchs, all of whom hew left politically. For years, Google (and its subsidiary YouTube), Twitter, and Facebook have systematically shut down conservative speech while giving almost unlimited passes to speech coming from the Left.

Twitter has been especially fierce in silencing conservatives, but Facebook has had its moment. Of late, private Facebook groups are finding their posts censored, even though they're being shared only among members of like-minded communities. Facebook also has a revolting habit of appending to certain links that it doesn't like claims that the link could be false and directing people instead to "reputable" sources such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the AP, or Reuters.

For this reason, it's noteworthy when social media outlets allow a popular conservative video to remain on their sites. In this case, the video was a re-cut showing highlights from Trump's State of the Union speech, intercut with endlessly repeated footage of a vindictive, petty Pelosi ripping that same speech.

Those who opposed the video, which has been viewed millions of times, claimed that it's a "manipulated video," which violates Facebook's current rules and Twitter's upcoming rules. Both outlets, however, rejected that viewpoint — and rightly too. The concept of a dangerously manipulated video arises in the context of "deep fakes" — that is, videos so subtly manipulated that people do not realize that the video has been altered.

In this case, it's clear even to the meanest intelligence that the video has been altered to make a point (a good point):

Kevin Jackson made a similar, equally good video:

Sooner or later (with sooner being better), Trump is going to have to address the way in which the social media giants systematically suppress conservative speech. In an ideal world, competition would create competitive sites. However, it's been years now, and none of the competitive attempts have taken off.

The unique status of the tech giants makes them very difficult to challenge in the free market. In many ways, they have become the internet equivalent of the restaurants and hotels that the Civil Rights Act addressed when it passed legislation overriding private property rights and holding that people who own places of "public accommodation" cannot discriminate. Given social media's extraordinary reach and control over communications among members of the public, it's dangerous to allow these tech sites to hold such unlimited power over the content of speech in America.

Published with permission from the American Thinker.


  censorship, donald trump, facebook, free speech, nancy pelosi, twitter

Opinion

Bishop Barron’s ‘police Catholic media’ proposal shows laypeople don’t trust bishops

Through two decades of scandal, our shepherds have forfeited the trust of the faithful. How could we trust them to police Catholic media?
Mon Feb 10, 2020 - 9:50 pm EST
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Bishop Robert Barron Claire Chretien / LifeSiteNews
Phil Lawler
By Phil Lawler

February 10, 2020 (CatholicCulture.org) — Bishop Robert Barron kicked off a heated online debate last month with his proposal “to introduce something like a mandatum for those who claim to teach the Catholic faith online, whereby a bishop affirms that the person is teaching within the full communion of the Church.” The suggestion that bishops would give their stamp of approval to some Catholic bloggers — and, more important, deny it to others — is terribly wrongheaded. Our bishops have much more important work to do.

In making his proposal Bishop Barron said: “I do think that the shepherds of the Church, those entrusted with supervising the teaching office, can and should point out when people on social media are harming the Body of Christ.” But his proposed solution — which has been dubbed online a “yellow check” system — is mainly a reaction against the dangerous level of vitriol that is unfortunately evident in some corners of the Catholic blogosphere. The proposal does not distinguish carefully between two different sorts of offenses: offenses against civility and offenses against doctrine.

Some online commentators employ a nasty tone. They deserve rebukes and admonitions and fraternal corrections — not just from prelates but from all good Catholics who notice the offenses. But the particular role of a Catholic bishop is to preserve the integrity of doctrine. If Bishop Barron had suggested that bishops denounce any online commentators who preach heresy, I would have quickly agreed. By emphasizing the question of editorial tone, however, he introduced a much more subjective judgment. In handing out the yellow checks, it seems, the bishop is not asking: “Does this site contradict established Catholic doctrine?” Instead he is asking: “Do I approve of this site’s approach?” The difference is enormous.

Bishop Barron runs his own burgeoning online media empire, and presumably would not have to worry about gaining the approval of his fellow bishops. He recently called for the formation of “an army of young priests specially educated and equipped to evangelize the culture through these means.” Those priests, too, could be confident of receiving yellow checks from the bishops who trained and commissioned them. But what of the thousands of lay Catholics who have devoted their time and energy to online work, sincerely believing that they could thereby enrich the life of the Church and further the spread of the Gospel? We would be at the mercy of the bishops: under pressure to apply for the yellow check, to wait patiently (how long?) for a judgment, to respond to any concerns that might arise in local chanceries. And we could be denied the yellow check — thus labeled as pariahs — if the bishop took exception to something we wrote.

Would it be relevant at this point for me to observe that some of the most vitriolic and uncharitable commentaries that I have read have been produced by writers who are published by diocesan papers, and by professors at Catholic universities? That is, by authors who have at least the implicit approval of their bishops?

And speaking of Catholic universities…

Bishop Barron explicitly suggested that his proposal would give the bishops a supervisory task similar to the one that Pope John Paul II entrusted to them in Ex Corde Ecclesiae, when he asked diocesan bishops to ensure that Church teachings were faithfully presented at Catholic colleges and universities within their dioceses. Yet the American bishops have very clearly not carried out this task. Many Catholic institutions of higher education — including the oldest, largest, wealthiest, and most prominent — are hotbeds of heterodoxy. Having failed miserably to make a mandatum system work for Catholic colleges, how could bishops now be expected to make a similar system work in the much more chaotic world of the internet?

But let’s imagine, for the sake of the argument, that some upright bishop would exercise his proper authority, and inform a blogger that he should no longer identify himself as “Catholic.” What could we expect? There is a precedent. In 1968, Bishop Charles Helmsing of Kansas City issued “an official condemnation of the National Catholic Reporter” and directed the paper’s editors “in all honesty to drop the term ‘Catholic’ from their masthead.” They did not. More than 50 years later — and despite a second public condemnation from another local bishop in Kansas City, where the paper is published — the Reporter continues to question and undermine formal Church teaching.

Still more remarkably, this newspaper — which is operating under episcopal condemnation — receives the support of American bishops, who grant the Reporter interviews, offer the paper for sale in the vestibules of parish churches, and advertise diocesan job openings in its pages.

Father James Martin, SJ, who tirelessly promotes the acceptance of homosexuality, regularly boasts that his book on the subject carries endorsements by two American cardinals. I have no doubt that he would quickly win a yellow check. I am not nearly so confident that I would pass muster. And I am virtually certain that some more conservative Catholic news sites would be denied episcopal approval. Indeed it is widely assumed that Bishop Barron had some of my journalistic colleagues in mind when he proposed the yellow-check system. In short I fear that the Barron Proposal would, in practice, be a means by which American bishops would seek effectively to censor certain viewpoints, to silence certain critics.

If our bishops enjoyed the confidence of their people, such fears could be dismissed lightly. But here is the most important reason why the yellow-check system would be a disaster: American Catholics do not trust their bishops. Through two decades of scandal, our shepherds have forfeited the trust of the faithful. Today, sadly, we could not be confident that our bishops would use their authority to safeguard orthodox doctrine. We could not be confident that they would avoid the temptation to mute criticism and censor embarrassing disclosures. All too plainly our bishops have failed us — in precisely those areas.

Here's my counter-proposal: to restore confidence in the hierarchy, our bishops should seek “yellow checks” from the laity, to be awarded to those prelates who have ensured the faithful teaching of Catholic doctrine in their parishes, schools, and universities.

Published with permission from CatholicCulture.org.


  catholic, freedom of speech, media control, robert barron, sex abuse crisis

Opinion

Benedict’s secretary Gänswein mysteriously removed from papal household post

Welcome to the new, transparent Vatican regime.
Mon Feb 10, 2020 - 9:43 pm EST
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Archbishop Georg Gänswein, July 15, 2017. EWTN katholisches TV / Youtube
Phil Lawler
By Phil Lawler

February 10, 2020 (CatholicCulture.org) — The Prefect of the Pontifical Household is no longer functioning as the Prefect of the Pontifical Household. But that doesn’t mean that Archbishop Gänswein has been removed from his post, the Vatican press office assures us; it’s just “an ordinary redistribution of the various commitments and duties of the prefect of the papal household.” So now the Prefect of the Pontifical Household is functioning solely as private secretary to the retired Pope. Since he has been acting in that role already for several years now, it’s hard to see how his responsibilities have been redistributed. But it’s easy to see that he’s been moved out of the apostolic palace, and out of the limelight. And it’s virtually impossible for a competent reporter not to see that this move occurred right after Archbishop Gänswein played an awkward central role in a messy controversy over the publication of a book — a book about which the Vatican has offered no comment whatsoever. No public comment, that is; no comment for the record.

Welcome to the new, transparent Vatican regime, the regime of dialogue, the regime of accountability.

Published with permission from CatholicCulture.org.

PETITION: Support Cardinal Sarah's and Pope Emeritus Benedict's Defense of Priestly Celibacy" Sign the petition here.


  benedict xvi, catholic, georg ganswein, pope francis

Opinion

Jesuit college boots Catholic student for defending Catholic teaching on homosexuality

Melbourne’s prestigious Newman College is showing open support for LGBT students while actively discriminating against those who uphold the Church’s teaching on sexuality.
Mon Feb 10, 2020 - 9:30 pm EST
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Newman College Chapel, University of Melbourne.
Kathy Clubb
By

February 10, 2020 (Family Life International) — Melbourne’s prestigious Newman College is showing open support for LGBTI students, while actively discriminating against those who uphold the Church’s teaching on sexuality. Newman College is a residential campus for Catholic University of Melbourne students and was established more than a hundred years ago. The Jesuit-run college, which charges fees of around $25,000 per year, created a ‘Diversity Committee’ in 2019, complete with a ‘queer representative’ and the new Dean has been lauded by students for promoting the college as being ‘a safe space for Queer students.’

The dean’s efforts included holding a ‘diversity dinner’ during the second semester of 2019, featuring Newman’s first openly-gay president and LGBTIQ+ activist, William Kabira, as a speaker. Kabira’s speech, on the topics of diversity, ‘coming out’ and ‘queer’ representation at the college, was witnessed by at least two Priests, the Dean and other members of the Newman faculty. The event was publicised on social media and in the college student newsletter.

Additionally, Melbourne University’s student newspaper [1] applauded the dean for her pro-gay stance in a June 2019 article entitled, “Further supports for queers at Newman College”:

The University of Melbourne’s Newman College has taken steps towards greater inclusivity of its queer students, with efforts being made to improve their wellbeing and representation. The Dean of Newman, Genevieve Leach, has been a resident counsellor at the college for over a year, and oversaw the formation of a queer group for Newman students. She was also involved in updating the college’s student conduct policy.

The article includes details of a controversy in which a student who queried the college’s pro-queer stance was thrown out of a student Facebook group for ‘homophobic’ behaviour.

However, the article made no mention of the extreme discrimination perpetrated by members of the LGBTIQ+ lobby against conservative students.

By far the most egregious example of this discrimination is Newman’s treatment of Arts student, Riley Soares. Riley lived at Newman College from 2017–2019 while studying at Melbourne University.  He experiences same-sex attraction, but faithfully abides by the Church’s teaching in this matter. After publicly taking a traditional stance on marriage and sexuality that conflicted with the views of Newman College, Riley was denied residence at the college for the current study year, 2020 and his scholarships were not renewed.

Riley’s conflict with the Newman gay lobby goes back to 2017 when he took a stand for traditional marriage during the debate on the redefinition of marriage. For simply upholding the Church’s unchanging teaching on the nature of marriage, Riley was harassed and bullied by other students, subjected to accusations of homophobia and insults such as ‘faggot’ and ‘brainwashed Christian’ on social media.

Then in September 2018, Riley was the subject of discrimination by another student on the basis of being a Charismatic Catholic. He made complaints to the dean and was told it would be followed up if there was another incident. The insulting behaviour continued and Riley made a further complaint in writing, complete with screenshots. The dean instigated an informal investigation which resulted in an apology being given to Riley by the offending student orally, but no written apology. Riley accepted this fairly inadequate apology, but the mockery continued nevertheless until the offending student left the college.

In mid-2019, after the Farrago newspaper published its article on the ‘Diversity Committee’, Riley shared a video on his personal Facebook page about James Parker — a well-known Catholic activist who has rejected his former gay lifestyle. President William Kabira accused Riley of homophobia online and commented on the video saying that it was ‘ BS’. Kabira then falsely accused Riley of saying ‘gays are going to hell’ and also falsely accused him of supporting “gay conversion therapy” which he misunderstood as involving electro-shock therapy.

In response, Soares created an online petition against bullying experienced at Newman by those opposed to the ‘Diversity Committee’, as well as against the numerous Pride activities that were taking place at the college. The petition, while expressing respect for individuals choosing to identify as LGBTIQ+ and opposing discrimination against LBGTIQ+ individuals, pointed out that promoting that lifestyle was against Catholic teaching.

A member of the Newman Students Club retaliated by making their own petition and was encouraged by members of Newman’s General Council. The petition contained defamatory remarks about Riley that were so extreme that the company hosting the petition, Change.org, had the petition removed. Change later sent an email to Soares, apologising and stating that the petition had violated their community standards.

Things came to a head in November of 2019, when the college Provost, Sean Burke, held a meeting with Riley. At the meeting, he expressed the college’s decision to discontinue Riley’s scholarship and residency. The Provost noted that Riley had ‘been hurt and that he had hurt a fair few in this community’ and drew his attention to the conflict with the so-called ‘Diversity Committee’. Sean Burke allegedly told Riley that it was in his best interests not to return to the college and that he needed to become ‘more independent.’

When asked how he felt about his treatment at the hands of the ‘Diversity Committee’ and Newman faculty members, Riley Soares commented:

It’s been frustrating that Newman would put me in this position and blatantly refuse to address the members of Newman Students Club and General Council’s defamatory and bullying petition against me, which one could find for many months in the first 5 results when they googled my name. It affected me in a number of practical ways: for instance, at this point, I haven’t been able to find any secure housing for the year. Also when I’ve tried to apply for jobs, employers have done a google search on me and found the defamatory change.org petition against me as a concern and have denied me employment.

I feel very disappointed that a Catholic College would expel me for defending the Catholic ethos on the grounds of questioning whether it was appropriate that the College promotes the homosexual and queer lifestyle.

The College administration sees me as a threat because although I am a student who struggles with same-sex attraction, I refuse to bow down to the radical LGBTIQ+ agenda. I follow the Church’s teaching and the biblical stance on homosexuality and I will never compromise.

What is their message by kicking me out? It’s to set an example for other students. Don’t you even dare to question whether some of the actions and views of these people pushing these things are a little extreme, otherwise you’re going to be labelled a homophobe or transphobe, or gasp, even a bigot. Don’t you dare be courageous and speak out, otherwise we are going to take away your reputation, your standing among your peers- even perhaps your scholarship and right to residence at our very welcoming Catholic College. How diverse are we?

The Human Rights Law Alliance have been assisting Riley for apprehended unlawful discrimination and are yet to decide whether they will make a legal challenge. With the memory of Wilson Gavin so fresh in our minds, FLI prays for Riley’s situation and wishes him the best . For chaste, same-sex-attracted Catholics raise the ire not only of the secular world but most especially of liberal Catholics. Those who claim that Christ’s teaching on sexuality is an impossible goal have yet to learn the value in carrying their cross and denying themselves in order to find true freedom.


[1] http://farragomagazine.com/2019/06/24/further-supports-for-queer-students-at-newman-college/?fbclid=IwAR3dClLcJ7r5o9SPf7riUcI5OkZmDxoAm1eXHLVVL9MoHktf7T5BNjdf58A

Published with permission from Family Life International.


  australia, catholic, higher education, homosexuality, jesuits, lgbt tyranny, newman college, riley soares, university of melbourne

Opinion

Was blasphemous Super Bowl halftime show a sign we’re living in the end times?

Our Lord also said that when He comes, it will be like at the time of Noah. Things are beginning to look that way lately.
Mon Feb 10, 2020 - 7:47 pm EST
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Charles S. LiMandri
By Charles LiMandri

February 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Our Lord told us that no man knows the day or the hour when He will return (Matt. 24:36–44). But that does not mean we would be without signs that we could not afford to ignore (2 Timothy 3:1–5). For those who are aware of current events in society and the Church, there is an abundance of such signs. For example, in the just referenced scriptural passage, our Lord also said that when He comes, it will be like at the time of Noah. As others have observed, that was the only time in the history of the world, other than our own time, when same-sex “marriage” was legal.

Moreover, like many Christians who watched the Super Bowl recently, we had to turn off the halftime show, which was a hyper-sexual display resembling a frenzied pagan ritual. It even went so far as to have a blasphemous mockery of the crucifixion of our Lord. Yet that did not stop the cultural elites responsible for such content from also spotlighting a lesbian coach of the San Francisco team, or from Blue Shield showing two men kissing in one of the Super Bowl commercials. Even the casual observer would have to acknowledge that those running the major networks and the NFL have abandoned Judeo-Christian values and are quickly going the way of Canada and Europe in their hostility toward traditional religious beliefs.

This does not come as a surprise to this author, who warned twelve years ago that the culture would be lost if the United States legalized same-sex “marriage.” Indeed, as this author further explained, the U.S. has been on the road to secularization for the last half a century. What I did not anticipate, however, would be that even the current pope would part company with his predecessors in caving to the gay lobby. What becomes legalized eventually becomes normalized, and then enforced, which is now happening with unprecedented speed.

For example, this author is representing a Christian female baker who is being sued by the State of California for refusing to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. The state is continuing to persecute this good Christian even though the court already ruled in her case that the making of a wedding cake is a form of expressive speech protected by the First Amendment. The cultural elites who have ushered in this new morality will not tolerate any dissenters. But again, this should come as no huge surprise to the well informed Catholic. Indeed, our Blessed Mother related to a Fatima visionary over 100 years ago that the final battle would be over marriage and the family.

Well before that, Our Lady warned in the sixteenth century that the cataclysmic cultural events we are currently witnessing would come to pass in our lifetimes. Our Lady further predicted the apostasy and conflicts within the Church that we have seen with such events as the scandal associated with the P​achamama pagan idols in the Vatican and most recently with the intended ordination of married men in the Amazon.

One can easily envision that the leftist leaders in the Church will keep pushing next for female deacons and priests, and then openly gay priests and bishops. We have already seen that progression of destructive events among the liberal Anglicans, which has caused their organization much turmoil and division. Since the Catholic Church has always served her followers as the repository for the fullness of the Truth, where will we turn if certain leaders in the Church fail to fulfill her mission on earth?  As always, the answers can still be found in Holy Scripture and the timeless magisterial teachings clearly set forth in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Our Lord asked the question: when He returns, will He find faith on Earth (Lk. 18:8)? The answer to this question is that there will be a faithful remnant (Rom. 11:1–5). And we can take continued comfort in the fact that our Lord promised that the gates of Hell would not prevail against the Church (Matt. 16:18). Still, we must heed the signs of the times, even though no man knows the day or the hour of our Lord’s return. The inevitable collapse of society, and the current crisis in the Church, should cause us to ready ourselves for His return like never before.

Our merciful and just God simply cannot be expected to continue to tolerate indefinitely the wholesale corruption of the Christian civilization that the Church built, including her most vulnerable and innocent children. Therefore, we must heed the warning: “Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing, and following their own evil desires” (2 Peter 3:3). As witnessed during the Super Bowl halftime show, and in countless other ways, those brazen scoffers are already here in full force.

Charles LiMandri  is the Chief Counsel of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF), which specializes in religious liberty cases. He is double-board certified in pre-trial practice and trial advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, and he is admitted to practice law in California; in New York; in Washington, D.C.; and before the United States Supreme Court. The FCDF website is www.FCDFlegal.org.


  apocalypse, catholic, end times, homosexuality, noah's ark, our lady of fatima, super bowl liv

Opinion

Pope Francis’s post–Amazon Synod exhortation could be worse than everyone thinks

By intention or not, the current papacy has brought back something that we thought died in 1978.
Mon Feb 10, 2020 - 6:51 pm EST
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Robert Royal
By Robert Royal

February 10, 2020 (The Catholic Thing) — This week may mark a watershed in modern Catholicism. On Wednesday, the Amazonia Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation will be released (more on that later in the week). Ever since that head-spinning event (Pachamama was only the most conspicuous disorder), we have seemed to be headed to major changes on priestly celibacy, deaconesses, and — in several respects — the very nature of the Church.

It’s rumored in Rome that Pope Francis may have retreated a bit on those issues now, perhaps owing to the controversy over the Cardinal Sarah/Benedict XVI book defending priestly celibacy. The Exhortation may “only” recommend establishing a commission on celibacy. If true, we’ll still have yet another case of papal ambiguity. The faithful will be left trying to determine whether the commission is intended really to “study,” or to create an expectation — as happened in the 1960s, with the Pontifical Commission on Birth Control.

Either way, by intention or not, the current papacy has brought back something that we thought died in 1978 with the election of Karol Wojtyla: the feeling that virtually everything in the Church is up for grabs, not only celibacy and deaconesses, but marriage, sexuality, Hell, the Devil, Communion, teaching authority. Jorge Bergoglio may be pope in Rome, but it often seems these days that many of the ideas he entertains are manufactured in Germany.

During the German synod in recent days, for instance, a laywoman dismissed Cardinal Woelki’s objections that a mixed clerical/lay group convened to make rules is a denial — a Protestantization — of the real nature of the Church. She asserted, on her own authority, that his  “model of authority” was no longer valid. Francis has issued some statements opposed to such assumptions, to little effect.

But why not? High figures in the Vatican make up their own rules, as well. The pope met recently with the Argentine president, Alberto Fernandez, who is pro-abortion, divorced, and living with a “domestic partner” (his second since divorcing). None of that stopped Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, another Argentinean, head of the Pontifical Council for the Social Sciences, from giving them both Communion at Mass. Sanchez Sorondo called American journalist Diane Montagna and other Americans who raise questions about such laxness “fanatics.”

Are you a fanatic if you believe the Catechism of the Catholic Church?

Anyone who desires to receive Christ in Eucharistic communion must be in the state of grace. Anyone aware of having sinned mortally must not receive communion without having received absolution in the sacrament of penance. [CCC1415]

The Argentine president and his girlfriend may have gone to Confession and promised to live chastely. And repented of intentions to legalize baby killing. However unlikely, that would be welcome. But if so, that could have been made clear to remove any possibility of scandal or confusion about Church disciplines — far preferable to slandering people who take reception of the Eucharist seriously.

Benedict XVI’s personal secretary, Archbishop George Ganswein, it appears (no one in Rome seems to want to know or say for sure), was sidelined from his position as Prefect of the Papal Household last week owing to the flap over that book on celibacy. Somehow you get the impression that Bishop Sanchez Sorondo’s cavalier attitude about the Eucharist, “the source and summit” of the Christian life (Lumen Gentium 11), will not put him in jeopardy.

The Exhortation that will be released Wednesday, however, will not only have major repercussions within the Church. Given the centrality of priesthood and celibacy, it will be easy to overlook that the Amazon synod addressed various worldly matters such as environment and economics as well.

The world pays very little attention these days to what the Catholic Church has to say — unless, of course, the Church is encouraging “world leaders” to do what they already want to do, as with climate change and open borders.

That’s a tragedy — for the world — because without Catholic Social Teaching (CST), the world (as becomes more evident hourly) has no idea what human life is, or what it’s for. Even the modern notion of human rights, absent God and the idea of man as made in His image and likeness, is a mere abstraction that quickly degenerates into self-destructive willfulness on questions like abortion and sexual identity.

But there’s another reason that CST attracts so little attention: the often quite poor and partisan way that Catholic principles are misapplied — by popes, bishops, priests — to real-world situations that don’t remotely correspond to their assumptions. And not only in rhapsodic flights about indigenous peoples living in the Amazon.

For example, Bishop Sanchez Sorondo famously opined after a trip to China, “Right now, those who are best implementing the social doctrine of the Church are the Chinese.” Can someone in his position really not know that: China is a world-class polluter, practices social surveillance and repression like no other nation on earth, and is subjecting religious believers to persecution, re-education, and outright martyrdom?

Pope Francis himself has said repeatedly that a Third World War is currently being fought, but in piecemeal fashion, so that we don’t notice. If so, we should be able to look and see what he’s saying. But there’s nothing to see. During the Cold War, America and the USSR fought proxy wars in Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chile, Angola, Vietnam, etc. But that was decades ago.

Today, militant Islam is engaged in terrorism and re-establishing the caliphate. All the decent nations in the world seek to stop it. And despite the dozens of small armed conflicts that always exist at any given moment, it’s difficult to see how all that adds up to global war, except in the sense that the fallen world is always at war with itself.

Pope Francis often says, “This economy kills.” And it does, as all economies do. But we have a global economic system that, for all its flaws, is something quite close to a miracle. And in large-scale economic terms is constantly improving.

Just the other day at a special Vatican seminar on economics, he called for global wealth redistribution and pointed out that 5 million children die worldwide every year from preventable causes.

Five million dead is terrible, but it’s down from 12 million not long ago. And there are many ways to  “save the children.” Fifty-three million children, more than ten times the number who die because of poverty, are aborted every year — without anything like special Vatican initiatives.

It’s unrealistic, I suppose, to expect the pope or bishops to Google some of these questions and look at what’s actually happening in the world. They prefer old socialist or new radical perspectives — troubled teenager Greta Thunberg, to a sober Scandinavian environmentalist like Bjørn Lomborg; Pachamama romanticism to the hard work of crafting practical compromises. Their moral pronouncements sound wise and compassionate,  but in current circumstances, are very poor contributions to public affairs.

Keep an eye out, of course, for how celibacy, deaconesses, and Church governance are treated in the coming Exhortation. But don’t forget that there’s a world of other problems in play as well.

Published with permission from The Catholic Thing.


  abortion, alberto fernández, amazon synod, canon 915, catholic, celibacy, environmentalism, eucharist, greta thunberg, marcelo sánchez sorondo, pope francis

Opinion

Harrowing film on forced abortion in China receives Oscar nomination for ‘Best Documentary’

Anyone who thinks that Communism is a good thing must see this film.
Mon Feb 10, 2020 - 12:07 pm EST
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YouTube / screenshot
Reggie Littlejohn
By Reggie Littlejohn

February 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – One Child Nation was nominated for Best Documentary at the Academy Awards. The film is a harrowing expose of the devastation caused by the womb police who enforced China’s One Child Policy. But the film goes beyond that. It is a scorching indictment of Communism itself. 

First, a caveat. The film begins with the statement that China ended the One Child Policy in 2015, making it seem as though the film serves as a memorial to a tragic era gone by. The film does not mention, however, that forced abortion continues under the Two Child Policy. The new rule is that every couple is allowed to have two children. Single women and third children are still forcibly aborted. In its recent report, released January 8, 2020, the Congressional Executive Commission on China stated: “Local-level officials reportedly continued to enforce compliance with family planning policies using methods including heavy fines, job termination, and coerced abortion.”

The atrocities described in the film continue to this day, and the battle to stop them must continue until all coercive population control in China has ended.  We cannot explore China’s dark past and ignore China’s dark present.

Nevertheless, the film is remarkable in the intimacy of the portraits it paints, while at the same time giving rise to agonizing conclusions regarding the world’s most massive social engineering experiment gone shockingly awry. 

The Chinese Communist Party has boasted that it “prevented” 400 million births through its One Child Policy. This statistic is mind-numbing, inconceivable. The filmmakers, Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang, shows us how this was accomplished in Wang’s village.

Wang returned to China after having given birth to her son, to learn what her family and community experienced under the One Child Policy. The interviews Wang records are heartbreaking in their candor. Here we meet the uncle who left his infant daughter in a marketplace, hoping that someone would take her in. No one did. Over several days, he watched as she slowly starved to death.   

We meet the family planning official who said that women with illegal pregnancies were tied up and dragged “like pigs” for forced abortions. We see one of the local “womb police” – a midwife personally responsible for more than 50,000 forced abortions and sterilizations – who now seeks to atone for her “sins” by helping infertile couples conceive. We meet the artist who, devastated at finding full-term babies in trash heaps, lovingly preserved and photographed them as a testimonial to the lives that could have been. Wang was courageous in keeping the disturbing images in the film, though doing so caused the film to be rated “R.”

Wang asks those she interviews if they think the One Child Policy was a good thing, worth the sacrifice. Astonishingly, the answer is an overwhelming yes – it was necessary to fight the “population war.” This view is consistent with the collectivist attitude of Communism and its powerful propaganda machine: sacrifice the one for the good of the many.  

Do those interviewed really believe that the policy was a good thing, despite the excruciating pain it has caused them personally? Or did they merely say so, because they were being filmed and knew that their statements could get back to the Chinese government, resulting in persecution if they defied the Chinese Communist Party on one of its central policies?

When asked why they did not take measures to save their babies, the overwhelming answer is, “We had no choice.” This is the hallmark of Communism: the peacetime killing of its own citizens. The true face of Communism is never more clearly seen than in the faces of the Family Planning Police, dragging women out of their homes, strapping them to tables, and forcing them to abort babies they want. Anyone who thinks that Communism is a good thing must see this film.

I asked a pro-life friend if he had seen One Child Nation.  He replied, “No, I would never see a film that advocates for abortion.” He was referring to the filmmaker’s statement at the end of the film that she thinks it ironic that she has left a nation where women are forced to have abortions only to come to a nation that restricts abortion, evincing an ill-conceived moral equivalency between China and the United States. 

It is unfortunate that the filmmaker, having made a film of unparalleled power regarding the brutality of forced abortion in China, chose to take a wholly unnecessary stand on the America abortion debate. The filmmaker’s comment is a non sequitur. Ignore it, and see the film. 

You can watch the trailer here and rent the film on Amazon Prime here.

Reggie Littlejohn is the President of Women’s Rights Without FrontiersA video on her work to stop forced abortion in China can be viewed here.


  abortion, academy awards, china, china's one-child policy, communism, communist china, forced abortion, one child nation

Blogs

How did Hollywood get so ‘woke’?

At this year's Oscars, Joaquin Phoenix gave a passionate speech about animal rights, veganism and 'Speciesism,' and the director of an Obama documentary quoted Karl Marx and the Communist Manifesto.
Mon Feb 10, 2020 - 8:55 pm EST
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HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 09: (L-R) Joaquin Phoenix, winner of the Actor in a Leading Role award for “Joker,” Renée Zellweger, winner of the Actress in a Leading Role award for “Judy,” and Brad Pitt, winner of the Actor in a Supporting Role award for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” during the 92nd Annual Academy Awards on February 9, 2020 Rachel Luna/Getty Images
Michael L. Brown Michael L. Brown Follow Dr. Michael
By Dr. Michael Brown

February 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Why do so many members of the Hollywood elite espouse such radical, leftist ideas? Why are they so pro-abortion, so pro-queer activism? Why are they so passionate about saving trees and caring for cows? How and why did Hollywood become so “woke”?

After Sunday’s Oscars, the Daily Mail ran this lengthy headline: “And the award for the most self-righteous Oscars acceptance speech goes to . . . Joaquin Phoenix lectures about animal rights, Brad Pitt slams impeachment trial and Obama documentary director urges ‘workers of the world to unite.’”

What? “Joaquin Phoenix launched a passionate speech about animal rights, veganism and Speciesism” while the director of an Obama documentary quoted Karl Marx and the Communist Manifesto? The elite, the mega-rich, and the powerful called for the uprising of the oppressed working class?

Other tag lines in the Mail included:

  • Hair Love creator Matthew Cherry advocated for the Crown Act, a California law that prohibits discrimination based on hair style or texture, in his speech
  • American Factory co-director Julia Reichert - who is fighting terminal cancer - quoted from The Communist Manifesto 
  • Janelle Monae opened the show by declaring herself a ‘proud’, ‘black queer artist telling stories’
  • Sigourney Weaver declared: ‘All women are superheroes’ when she presented an award

Yes, Hollywood has been “woke” for many years now, fashioning itself to be the prophetic voice of conscience. And, the truth be told, many in Hollywood are passionate about their causes, from animal rights to climate change, and from same-sex “marriage” to immigration.

In other words, for many of them (if not most; only God knows), this is not just a show. They truly believe they are in the right. They truly believe conservative religion is damaging people’s lives. They truly believe we are destroying the planet. 

To quote Joaquin Phoenix at length, “I think whether we’re talking about gender and equality, or racism, or queer rights, or indigenous rights, or animal rights, we’re talking about the fight against injustice. We’re talking about the fight against the belief that one people, one race, one gender, one species has the right to dominate, control, use, and exploit another with impunity.”

Not only so, but, “We go into the natural world and plunder it of its resources. We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and then steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable.”

So, pity the poor baby cow (after all, it is a living creature), but rip those human “clumps of cells” out of their mother’s wombs. This is the hypocrisy of Hollywood.

But this doesn’t answer two fundamental questions. First, why is this segment of the population so outspoken about social and political issues? Why do they claim to care so much? Second, why have they taken up positions on the extreme left with issue after issue?

Obviously, we can only speak in general terms, since Hollywood is not a monolith. But perhaps the answer to the first question is simply this: Everyone in Hollywood is involved with producing movies. Most movies carry a message. So, the people involved see themselves as messengers.

The editor of a major newspaper once told me that many journalists see themselves as having a prophetic role. They do not just report the news. They challenge injustice. They seek to correct wrongs. Consequently, some of their writing will reflect a particular bias.

Perhaps, in the same way, as actors play certain roles and screenwriters produce the scripts and directors oversee the process, they feel they are playing a prophetic role in the society. They are telling stories that need to be told. They are making social statements. Consequently, they themselves have something to say. (For my response to this, see here.)

But how, then, did their message become so slanted? Why a quotation from Karl Marx? Why the concern about inseminating a cow?

This, in my view, is the result of taking up causes from a me-centered perspective. (I would say “man-centered,” but that uses the dreaded “m” word. To say “human-centered” doesn’t seem to cut it as well.) In other words, rather than seeing things from God’s perspective, they see things from an earthly perspective.

So, rather than see the meaning of marriage as God intended it for human flourishing and the wellbeing of society, they see the “injustice” of two women not being allowed to “marry.”

That also means that they see animals as equal to humans (since humans are not uniquely created in the image of God). They even see trees as equal to humans (and even better than humans, since trees are noble creatures that never hurt anyone).

As to how these views became so dominant in Hollywood, this would seem to reflect a process similar to that in our universities. Specifically, after the counterculture shift of the 1960s, an increasing number of leftist intellectuals and artists and cultural influencers rose to the top. And they now hold positions of dominance, effectively silencing and suppressing those who dissent.

Interestingly, though, many “common people” – the proletariat, if you will – are not having it. As the Mail also reported, “while the well-heeled crowd at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles applauded their speeches, their ‘lectures’ nauseated the audience at home. 

“Many viewers took to Twitter to slam the stars as ‘hypocrites’ and called the event the ‘wokest Oscars ever’.”

Perhaps a little too “woke” for the tastes of many?

Personally, I can appreciate how gifted many of these actors and writers and cinematographers and directors are. 

I can appreciate the sacrifices some of them make for their trade (in other words, their riches come with a price).

I can even appreciate their concern for the environment (within reason) and their compassion for animals (again, within reason).

But when wokeness means quoting Marx, celebrating queerness, and caring more for baby cows than for baby humans, then I have a simple message. Hollywood, you need a spiritual awakening. You are not yet truly woke.


  abortion, academy awards, homosexuality, oscars

Blogs

Feminist prof who practices occult calls for human extinction to save planet

Patricia MacCormack argues for ‘phasing out reproduction’ as the only solution to ‘climate change’
Mon Feb 10, 2020 - 1:15 pm EST
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Prof Patricia MacCormack gives a lecture on "Vulvic Deamonitalia" at Queen Mary University of London in 2017. CUNTemporary Events / Youtube screen grab
Jonathon Van Maren Jonathon Van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon Van Maren

February 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – On January 23, 2020, Bloomsbury Academic published a call to action for all those who care about “climate change.” The Ahuman Manifesto: Activism for the End of the Anthropocene by Patricia MacCormack, a professor of continental philosophy at Angelia Ruskin University, cuts to the chase and advocates for the ultimate solution to global warming: The end of the human race. For MacCormack, “Extinction Rebellion” has a whole different meaning.

MacCormack admits to being an “occultist magician.” She has actually given lectures—often in a get-up that is either supposed to be emulating a witch and bearing an eerie resemblance to the costumes we see frequently at Drag Queen Storytime—on the “invocation” or “convocation” of demons, which she says is an important feminist or queer practice. Invoking demons, she says, is not entirely risk-free, because “madness is as likely as ecstasy.” She says all of this entirely unironically.

MacCormack is not the sort of weak-kneed climate activist who believes that we should save the planet for our children. In fact, she doesn’t think there should be any children. 

A researcher who has “published in the areas of continental philosophy…feminism, queer theory, posthuman theory, horror film, body modification, animal rights/abolitionism, cinesexuality and ethics,” MacCormack once argued that animals are equal to human beings. Now, she’s arguing that humans should get out of the way entirely.

The abstract for her book describes her thesis thusly: “Collapsing activism, artistic practice and affirmative ethics, while introducing some specifically modern phenomena like death cults, intersectional identify politics and capitalist enslavement of human and nonhuman organisms to the point of ‘zombiedom’, The Ahuman Manifesto navigates the ways in which we must compose the human differently, specifically beyond nihilism and post-and trans-humanism and outside human privilege. This is so that we can actively think and live viscerally, with connectivity (actual not virtual), and with passion and grace, toward a new world.”

All of that nonsense, roughly translated, is that the culmination of human progress should be human extinction. What MacCormack is trying to do is to present “the apocalypse as an optimistic beginning,” but for other species, who will do much better once we’re all dead, an eventuality she finds positively wonderful to consider. Her book, according to the Cambridge News, “argues that due to the damage done to other living creatures on Earth, we should start gradually phasing out reproduction.”

This is precisely why these climate fanatics pose far more danger to human civilization than climate change does: They are attempting to seize power by declaring a state of emergency, and once they have acquired power on those premises, they will use it to implement an actual state of emergency. We know what it looks like when the state uses its power to control the reproduction of millions: The forced sterilizations, the women who were kidnapped and had their pre-born children torn from their wombs, the trauma of truncated families and a culture in crisis. It was called the One Child Policy, and it only recently began to be phased out in China. It resulted in 336 million abortions and unmeasurable misery.

MacCormack, at least, does not try to sugar-coat her proposals. “I arrived at this idea from a couple of directions,” she told the Cambridge News. “I was introduced to philosophy due to my interest in feminism and queer theory, so reproductive rights [abortion] have long been an interest to me—this led me more to learn about animal rights, which is when I became a vegan. The basic premise of the book is that we’re in the age of the Anthropocene, humanity has caused mass problems and one of them is creating this hierarchal world where white, male, heterosexual and able-bodied people are succeeding, and people of different races, genders, sexualities and those with disabilities are struggling to get that.”

“The book also argues that we need to dismantle religion,” she went on, “and other overriding powers like the church of capitalism or the cult of self, as it makes people act upon enforced rules rather than respond thoughtfully to the situations in front of them.” Presumably, MacCormack believes her solution of human extinction is an example of responding thoughtfully to the facts in front of us, although she doesn’t explain how she’s going to get people to care about “climate change” by removing the primary motivation that is offered for caring about “climate change,” which is the preservation of the planet for people and their progeny. She admits this, noting that “Everyone’s okay with the ideas of the book until they’re told they’d have to act on it.” 

Not so very long ago, the term “death cult” was considered to be a sinister term, not an aspirational description of the human race. MacCormack may be fringe for the moment, but she is the future of climate change activism: Actively hostile to the human race, and an advocate of “phasing out reproduction.” Mainstream radio programs regularly host long discussion with people who have decided not to have children to preserve the planet for the children, and MacCormack is just a bit ahead of the curve. Climate activists are utterly convinced of their own righteousness, and totally willing to use state power to force their solutions on all of us. 

We should be listening to their proposed solutions very carefully. 

Jonathon’s new podcast, The Van Maren Show, is dedicated to telling the stories of the pro-life and pro-family movement. In his latest episode, he interviews Dr. Christopher Yuan, a former drug addict who lived a promiscuous gay lifestyle. Dr. Yuan is now a professor at Moody Bible Institute and today, he discusses his powerful journey and conversion and what the LGBT agenda is to the US.You can subscribe here and listen to the episode below: 


  abortion, climate change, climate change hysteria, forced abortion, patricia maccormack, population control

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EpisodesSpecial Reports Mon Feb 10, 2020 - 1:56 pm EST

Septuagesima: the liturgical season to prepare for lent

By Mother Miriam
By

Watch Mother Miriam's Live show from 2.10.2020. Today, Mother discusses septuagesima, the liturgical season that prepares us for lent and begins roughly 70 days before Easter. Join Mother as she shares more about this season and how you can make the most of it!

 

You can tune in daily at 10 am EST/7 am PST on our Facebook Page.

 

Subscribe to Mother Miriam Live here.