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News

Woman gives Communion to bishops, priests at opening Mass of German ‘synodal path’

Norms of canon law may have been violated, but one expert admitted that the German Church seems not to sweat such things.
Tue Feb 11, 2020 - 8:55 pm EST
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'Symbols at the opening Mass: The bishops sit with the other delegates in the nave of the church, Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer receives Holy Communion from a young female Eucharistic minister.' Konradsblatt
Martin Bürger Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

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FRANKFURT, Germany, February 11, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The opening Mass prior to the first assembly of the synodal path in Germany last January emphasized an alleged equality of bishops, priests, and deacons on the one hand and laypeople on the other. With the exceptions of three bishops concelebrating the Mass, all clergy were sitting in the pews, indistinguishable from any laypeople.

At one point, lay extraordinary ministers were photographed giving Holy Communion to bishops and priests who were not wearing liturgical garments.

Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki had already voiced his criticism of the opening Mass in an interview. Pointing to the fact that bishops and laypeople had walked in together in procession, he said this indicates “that everybody here is equal.” This has “actually nothing to do with what the Catholic Church is and holds,” the archbishop of Cologne said.

The opening Mass for the meeting of the members of the synodal path in Frankfurt last month was celebrated by Cardinal Reinhard Marx, head of the German bishops’ conference. With the exception of a deacon as well as two concelebrating bishops, all members of the clergy were sitting in the pews, wearing their coats instead of liturgical garments.

The Second Vatican Council went to great lengths to emphasize the dignity of the laity. “The chosen People of God is one: ‘one Lord, one faith, one baptism;’ sharing a common dignity as members from their regeneration in Christ, having the same filial grace and the same vocation to perfection; possessing in common one salvation, one hope and one undivided charity,” stated the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium.

The document continued, “There is, therefore, in Christ and in the Church no inequality on the basis of race or nationality, social condition or sex, because ‘there is neither Jew nor Greek: there is neither bond nor free: there is neither male nor female. For you are all ‘one’ in Christ Jesus.’”

Still, the Second Vatican Council “teaches that bishops by divine institution have succeeded to the place of the apostles, as shepherds of the Church, and he who hears them, hears Christ, and he who rejects them, rejects Christ and Him who sent Christ.”

At the same opening Mass, norms of canon law may have been violated. Even though more than 100 bishops, priests, and deacons were present, a number of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion were used in the liturgy.

According to the Code of Canon Law (CIC) published in 1983, the ordinary ministers of Holy communion in the Novus Ordo Mass are bishops, priests, and deacons. As canon 910 explains, extraordinary ministers are those officially instituted as acolytes “or another member of the Christian faithful.”

However, as the CIC points out, laypeople may not simply distribute Holy Communion under any and all circumstances. Instead, canon 230 clarifies, “When the need of the Church warrants it and ministers are lacking, lay persons, even if they are not lectors or acolytes, can also supply certain of their duties, namely, to exercise the ministry of the word, to preside over liturgical prayers, to confer baptism, and to distribute Holy Communion, according to the prescripts of the law.”

The German bishops’ conference first allowed laypeople to distribute Holy Communion during Mass in 1968. At that point, it was limited to men and considered an “experiment” for three years. Laypeople giving Holy Communion to the faithful soon became the norm.

In 2004, then-prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments Cardinal Francis Arinze from Nigeria published a lengthy instruction on “certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist.”

Approved by Pope John Paul II, the document explains, “Only when there is a necessity may extraordinary ministers assist the Priest celebrant in accordance with the norm of law.”

In another section of the instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum, Arinze reiterates how extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion may only be used in case of necessity.

In addition to the ordinary ministers there is the formally instituted acolyte, who by virtue of his institution is an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion even outside the celebration of Mass. If, moreover, reasons of real necessity prompt it, another lay member of Christ’s faithful may also be delegated by the diocesan Bishop, in accordance with the norm of law, for one occasion or for a specified time, and an appropriate formula of blessing may be used for the occasion.

The instruction continues, “If there is usually present a sufficient number of sacred ministers for the distribution of Holy Communion, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion may not be appointed. Indeed, in such circumstances, those who may have already been appointed to this ministry should not exercise it. The practice of those Priests is reprobated who, even though present at the celebration, abstain from distributing Communion and hand this function over to laypersons.”

Arinze affirms, “Indeed, the extraordinary minister of Holy Communion may administer Communion only when the Priest and Deacon are lacking, when the Priest is prevented by weakness or advanced age or some other genuine reason, or when the number of faithful coming to Communion is so great that the very celebration of Mass would be unduly prolonged.”

LifeSiteNews asked Father Gero P. Weishaupt, professor for canon law in Austria and the Netherlands, how to understand terms like “need” and “necessity” when talking about extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion.

Weishaupt, who also serves as a judge on ecclesiastical tribunals in Germany and the Netherlands, pointed out that those are relative terms, depending on the individual case and the discernment of the celebrant. “For a young and healthy priest, 100 communicants is not much, but for a frail and possibly sick priest, it is,” he explained.

The canon lawyer also drew attention to the fact that canon law seems to be applied selectively in Germany. When it comes to somebody leaving the Church as an organization according to German law in order to avoid paying the Church tax, the German bishops “immediately insist on excommunication.”

At the same time, “[h]eresies and the denial of truths of faith that are closely related to revelation, such as the non-admission of women to the priesthood, remain without punitive consequences.”

The use of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion might be a rampant problem in Germany because of deliberate misinformation on the part of the dioceses. In a brochure on the service of those extraordinary ministers published in 2015, the Archdiocese of Vienna never mentions the limitations put on them by the Code of Canon Law and the instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum.


  canon law, eucharist, extraordinary ministers, francis arinze, germany, liturgy, novus ordo, redemptionis sacramentum, reinhard marx, synodal path

News

British territory of Gibraltar ponders legalizing abortion through all 9 months of pregnancy

Abortion remains a crime in Gibraltar, punishable by life imprisonment, although no woman has ever been sentenced for it.
Tue Feb 11, 2020 - 8:27 pm EST
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blutack / Shutterstock.com
Paul Smeaton Paul Smeaton Follow Paul
By Paul Smeaton

February 11, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Pro-lifers in Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula, held a rally with a host of international speakers last week in preparation for a referendum next month on whether or not the territory will accept new abortion legislation.

Abortion remains a crime in Gibraltar under Section 162 of the 2011 Crimes Act of Gibraltar and carries with it the sentence of life imprisonment. That being said, no woman has been sentenced under this provision.

In July 2019, the Gibraltar Parliament voted to allow abortion before the 12th week of pregnancy where the mother’s mental or physical health is deemed to be at risk, and later in pregnancies when the unborn child suffers from an undefined “abnormality.”

Crux reports that a pro-life petition signed by over 6,000 people convinced the parliament to hold a referendum on the new law. That referendum will be held next month on March 19.

Gibraltar Pro-Life Movement (GPLM) organized a rally last week with speakers including abortion survivor, Claire Culwell, who spoke at last month’s March for Life in Washington, D.C., and British politician and member of the House of Lords David Alton.

Rally-organizer Stephanie Yeo told Gibraltar News that she believes “that the truth isn't being represented properly in the law.”

“The bill is quite difficult to read and obviously for people who aren't legally minded,” she said. “And so what we want to bring is just that information, so people when they go in to vote, they go in to vote with facts and with truth of what it stands for, what the bill stands for and what this means for Gibraltar.”

Culwell, who survived an abortion that killed her twin sibling, told the rally: “I am a twinless twin in the name of choice.”

“I am one of many survivors of abortion,” she continued. “There is a domino effect to abortion. Not just the woman and the child, but it is generation after generation that we see missing in the name of choice. You can do something about it here in Gibraltar. You can vote NO on 19th March. Please keep up your work and thank you for your commitment. You are fighting for the lives of people like me.”

Lord Alton told the rally that “science teaches us that life begins at fertilization. And science has moved on dramatically since abortion was legalized.”

“When the U.K.’s obsolete limits were being set, we didn’t know what was happening in the womb,” he said. “We do now. This is a law which flies in the face of science and humanity. Today we know so much more about the undeniable humanity of the child in the womb.”

Patricia Parody, chairperson of GPLM, said the rally showed the “energy and momentum within the pro-life side.” She said she was confident that when the people of Gibraltar are fully informed of what the proposed law means, they “will opt to save babies and support mothers on the 19th of March by voting No.”

Dr. Anthony McCarthy of the U.K. pro-life group the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) told LifeSite that “the proposed changes to the law make it clear that abortion on demand is the real goal.”

The people of Gibraltar are faced with a momentous decision to protect or withdraw protection from young human lives.  The proposed changes to the law make it clear that abortion on demand is the real goal: an aim that has nothing to do with medicine or the welfare of mothers and their unborn children. We know from bitter experience what happens when “grounds” for abortion are used to make the practice more palatable and how social abortion becomes the norm, together with explicit lethal discrimination against any unborn child with disabilities.


  abortion, gibraltar, referendum, united kingdom

News

Prominent Catholics to champion ‘authentic purity’ as answer to culture of death at Rome Life Forum

The theme for 2020 is: ‘Opening the door to purity and closing the door to vice’
Tue Feb 11, 2020 - 7:52 pm EST
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Cardinal Burke at the Rome Life Forum in Rome, May 18, 2018. Steve Jalsevac / LifeSiteNews
Dorothy Cummings McLean Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy
By Dorothy Cummings McLean

ROME, February 11, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) ― The seventh annual Rome Life Forum will bring together pro-life, pro-family Catholics from all over the world to discuss “authentic purity” as the way to counter “attacks on human life, the family, and our faith.” 

Rome Life Forum 2020 will take place on May 20-21, introducing two more days of pro-life activities leading up to the 10th annual Rome March for Life on May 23. The Forum will be held in the world-famous Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, also known as the Angelicum.  

The theme this year is “Opening the door to purity and closing the door to vice.” 

Cardinal Raymond Burke, Cardinal Willem Eijk, and prior emeritus of the Monks of Norcia, Fr. Cassian Folsom, OSB, will be among the speakers.

Another of this year’s speakers, John Smeaton of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), told LifeSiteNews that this international gathering is a “unique opportunity” for Catholic pro-life leaders to gain strength from one another. 

"The Rome Life Forum provides leaders within the pro-life and pro-family movement, united in their love for the Church, with a unique opportunity to strengthen one another in fidelity to the truth, and in working to restore a truly Christian civilization worldwide,” Smeaton told LifeSiteNews. 

SPUC’s chief executive noted that Forum participants have come from the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Italy, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, Poland, the Philippines, Romania, Brazil, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Albania, Malta, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, India, Portugal, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Sweden, and Hungary as well as other countries. 

“One thing which unites us all is a clear understanding that the pro-life movement cannot win the pro-life and pro-family battle on their own,” Smeaton said. 

“The Church must recover her teaching authority to save her children. And at this time of trial, the faithful at all levels of the Church Militant must mobilise to fight for her.”

Rome Life Forum a ‘foretaste’ of heaven

Past speaker Michael Hichborn, president of the Lepanto Institute, told LifeSiteNews that going to the Rome Life Forum is like a “foretaste” of heaven. 

“I've been to the Rome Life Forum every year since 2014, and each one is better than the last,” he said enthusiastically.  

“It's like a mini-retreat for me, and the reunion of so many good friends is like a foretaste of the reunion we'll enjoy for eternity in heaven.”

Hichborn said “the wonderful thing” about the Roman Forum is that anyone can attend ― and all faithful Catholic should. 

“Those Catholics who wish to have a solid understanding of the current rebellion in the Church should attend,” he said.  

“Over the course of three days, faithful Catholics will not only be able to hear brilliant presentations, but have one-on-one access to various Catholic leaders from around the world.”

‘A wonderful sense of fellowship’

Canadian Catholic journalist Deborah Gyapong told LifeSiteNews that the Forum is an excellent networking opportunity. 

“Nowhere else have I experienced such an international gathering of pro-life and pro-family leaders and experts from as far away as New Zealand, from all over Europe and the UK, and from North and South America,” Gyapong said.   

“There is a wonderful sense of fellowship and joy at the Forum, a gathering of happy warriors. For me as a journalist, it was a forge for ideas and source of contacts.” 

Gyapong told LifeSiteNews that she believes the Rome Life Forum is a “huge encouragement and chance to share victories and strategies” for pro-life leaders and activists.  

“For young people who attend, it's a great chance to find mentors.” 

Margaret Akers of SPUC Scotland is one of the younger pro-life leaders participating in the Rome Life Forum 2020. She told LifeSiteNews that she very much enjoyed talks given last year by Fr. Linus Clovis and Cardinal Raymond Burke, both of whom will be speaking again at the Forum this May. 

“I was particularly struck by the talk given by Fr. Linus Clovis, who spoke beautifully about the role of Our Lady in the Church and our lives; it was incredibly moving,” Akers said.  

“I am always pleased to hear Cardinal Burke and last year’s conference was no exception,” she added. 

He framed patriotism and commitment to one’s ‘fatherland’ in a way one doesn’t often hear in an age of globalism, and it was inspiring.”  

Akers said she believes this year’s theme, “Opening the door to the virtue of purity,” is particularly necessary today. 

“I look forward to hearing how each of the speakers chooses to expand on this topic,” she said. 

Dr. Joseph Shaw, chairman of the UK’s Latin Mass Society, will be speaking at the Roman Life Forum for the first time this year. While pondering the theme of purity, Shaw told LifeSiteNews that intellectual honesty is key. 

“It is very evident today that much thinking about theology and morality is conditioned by the need to justify certain conclusions -- conclusions justifying or permitting lifestyle choices which one does not wish to confront or reconsider honestly,” Shaw said. 

“Whether the problem arises from one’s own past decisions, or those of people one loves, or those accorded value by one’s circle, true intellectual honesty is a real risk, an adventure in which one faces the possibility of losing friends, status, and career.”  

Shaw said intellectual work that is constrained by these worldly considerations is “worthless.”

“We must rediscover our love of the truth, and a true commitment to it, because it is in the truth that we find God, who is Truth, and not in some sordid intellectual compromise,” he concluded.

‘The food is always great at the Forum’

A five-day trip to Rome uses up one’s vacation time, but Gyapong argued that the location and the price of the Rome Life Forum have been right.

“The food is always great at the Forum,” the journalist said.   

“The price is really modest, and you can't beat the location ― Rome,” she added.  

“Participants find opportunities to worship together at daily Mass, the city is wonderful, and the weather is just right in May. Participants in the Forum also join the Italian March for Life, another joyous occasion that has grown substantially over recent years.”

The Rome Life Forum is also a chance to make a spiritual pilgrimage. Hichborn told LifeSiteNews that his fondest memory of the Rome Life Forum is from his first trip there. 

“My wife and I attended with our (then) four-month-old daughter, Maria Faustina,” he recalled. 

“We landed in Rome on the very day St. Faustina was being canonized, and we happened to walk into the church where St. Catherine of Siena is buried. We were able to actually touch her tomb and pray there. While we were at the Forum, Cardinal Raymond Burke gave a blessing to all three of us. For me, this memory will always signify what the Rome Life Forum is.”

The full price of the Roman Life Forum registration is £110/€130 (approx. $143 US). A one-day ticket is £65/€75 (approx. $84 US). To register and see the complete schedule, please visit voiceofthefamily.com.


  cassian folsom, catholic, john smeaton, joseph shaw, linus clovis, raymond burke, rome life forum 2020, willem eijk

News

Catholic theologian quits Dems over candidate’s abortion extremism

A Fordham University professor says Pete Buttigieg's attitude toward late-term abortion is 'the straw that broke this camel's back.'
Tue Feb 11, 2020 - 7:00 pm EST
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shutterstock.com
Dorothy Cummings McLean Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy
By Dorothy Cummings McLean

NEW YORK, February 11, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) ― A pro-life Democrat has quit the party over its pro-abortion extremism. 

Charles Camosy, an associate professor of Theology at Fordham University, has also resigned from the board of Democrats for Life. 

Camosy, who specializes in biomedical ethics, explained his reasons for his decision in an op ed he wrote for Thursday’s New York Post: the Democrats’ complete disregard for the unborn child.  

“... When it comes to abortion, elite Democrats turn into hard-core libertarians, believing the state has no business getting involved in the private choices of individuals,” the professor wrote.  

“Abortion is merely ‘health care,’ and the unborn child, unimaginably vulnerable even when wanted, is made invisible and violently discarded,” he continued. 

“On this topic, at least, the party has dug in on the side of what Pope Francis calls the ‘throwaway culture’ — the troubling modern tendency to discard people seen as inconvenient. The Democratic elite even rejects conscience protections for medical practitioners who object to abortion. Opposition to taxpayer-funded abortions, once acceptable, has become taboo.”

But it was same-sex married Pete Buttigieg’s attitude to late-term abortion, aired last week on The View, that convinced Camosy that pro-life Democrats are “fighting a losing battle” in convincing their party to respect their position. Buttigieg had indicated that he didn’t think the government should have any say regarding late-term abortion or post-birth infanticide. 

“The straw that broke this camel’s back was Pete Buttigieg’s extremism,” Camosy wrote. 

“Here was a mainstream Democratic candidate suggesting, at one point, that abortion is OK up to the point the baby draws her first breath.” 

He concluded that if the party was “willing to go all-in on the most volatile issue of our time with a position held by only 13 percent of the population, it was time to take no for an answer.”

Camosy also predicted that, thanks to its pro-abortion “extremism,” the Democratic Party will lose the next election. 

“My broader values mean I can’t vote Republican, however, and this makes me one of many millions of Americans for whom our political duopoly doesn’t work,” he wrote.

“ (...) But millions of others who don’t share my broader values will reluctantly feel forced to check the box for a Republican in November. And Democrats will have no one to blame but their own extremism.”

To get his Democrat readers to understand why he feels so strongly about the issue, and why pro-abortion extremism will lose the party elections, Camosy asked them to participate in a thought experiment in which they suppose that “hundreds of thousands of children are being killed each year in horrific ways,” either because they have Down syndrome, or because their grandparents think their parents are too young, or because an abusive partner demands it.

“And then suppose a political party claimed this killing was a social good. Just another kind of health care. Something to shout about with pride,” the ethicist asked.  

“This party, it should go without saying, would be unsupportable,” he concluded.

“Then keep in mind pro-lifers rightly see no moral distinction between a living human child at seven weeks’ gestation with a four-chambered heart pumping blood, a prenatal child at 20 weeks’ gestation who, we now know, can almost certainly feel pain, and older children who have already been born. Then do the math. The reasoning should be clear.”

Last Thursday, Pete Buttigieg appeared on the talk show The View, where the one Republican host, Meghan McCain, asked the pro-abortion politician if he would support the killing of viable children while they are being born. 

“ ... People, even Democrats – and there are a lot of pro-life Democrats in the country – want to know exactly where your line is, because you’ll be the president if you win,” McCain said. 

“Right, but my point is that it shouldn’t be up to a government official to draw the line,” Buttigieg replied.

“It should be up to the woman who is confronted with the choice.”

The former Mayor of South Bend then waffled on the question of killing babies after they are born. 

“So if a woman wanted to — I don’t know — invoke infanticide after a baby was born, you’d be comfortable with that?” McCain asked him. 

 “Does anybody seriously think that’s what these cases are about?” the Democrat replied.  

He then claimed any “late-term situation” is “by definition” one in which “the woman was expecting to carry the pregnancy to term. Then she gets the most, perhaps, devastating news of her life.”

“I don’t know what to tell them, morally, about what they should do,” he said.

“I just know that I trust her and her decision, medically or morally, isn’t going to be any better because the government is commanding her to do it in a certain way.”


  2020 presidential election, abortion, catholic, charles carmosy, democratic party, fordham university, infanticide, new york post, pete buttigieg, theologian

News

US bishop declares ‘person cannot change his or her gender’ in new pastoral guidelines

Springfield Bishop Thomas Paprocki clarified policy on gender dysphoria to protect church and school leaders 'from being pressured and intimidated.'
Tue Feb 11, 2020 - 5:51 pm EST
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Springfield Bishop Thomas Paprocki.
Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug
By Doug Mainwaring

PETITION: Support Bishop who declared: 'You cannot change your gender'" Sign the petition here.

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois, February 11, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – In a sensitively worded but thoroughly-grounded-in-truth pastoral guide regarding the handling of gender identity issues in his diocese, Bishop Thomas Paprocki declared unequivocally, “A person cannot change his or her gender,” and “should accept and seek to live in conformity with his or her sexual identity as determined at birth.”  

While the diocese encourages professional counseling for those who suffer from gender dysphoria, Bishop Paprocki has made clear that certain policies regarding the Diocese of Springfield are non-negotiable:

  1. All persons will be addressed and referred to with pronouns in accord with their biological sex;

  2. All correspondence, documents, and records will reflect the subject person’s biological sex;

  3. All persons will use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their biological sex while on diocesan or parish property.

These directives apply not only to diocesan schools, but to all Church employees and volunteers. 

The clear statement of policy is timely as Catholic schools and other diocesan entities increasingly face situations that challenge previously unquestioned, widely-accepted norms.  

“In an aggressively activist political climate — often fueled by social media — our pastors, principals, and administrators of parishes, schools, and affiliated groups and institutions deserve the clarity and protection of consistent diocesan policy on the matter of gender identity,” said Bishop Paprocki.  

“Such policy protects our leaders from being forced to sort through these complex and sensitive matters reactively, under the pressure of inevitably sensitive situations,” he continued. “Such policy also protects our leaders at the local level from being pressured and intimidated on the basis of what is believed to be their own personal interpretation and opinion.”

Bishop Paprocki is taking a preemptive stance to ensure that Catholic schools do not follow the path of celebrating and accepting transgenderism that public schools in his state have chosen. 

Paprocki explained that the document was developed “due to the increased pressure on Catholic schools and other institutions through the courts and legislatures, requiring schools to allow boys who believe they are girls to use girls’ restroom and locker room facilities and play on girls’ sports teams, and vice versa. Many public schools have begun to implement such policies.” 

While acknowledging that gender dysphoria is a real psychological condition, in which a biological male or female believes he or she is the opposite gender, Paprocki said, “It is of paramount importance to handle such situations with gentle and compassionate pastoral skill and concern.”

Gender dysphoria is a condition that affects the entire family, noted Paprocki. He continued:    

In a culture that promotes a false and overly sentimentalized conception of love, many families of an adult or child with gender dysphoria will feel a sense of obligation to support their loved one in “whatever is going to make them happy.” 

Family members likely wrestle with a sense of confusion, guilt, and uncertainty over how best to support their loved one; and they face pressure, either directly or indirectly, from the prevailing culture to celebrate and reinforce their loved one’s gender dysphoria and feel compelled to “solve” the problem by surgically and hormonally changing the biological sex of the affected person. 

Such treatments, especially for children, are invasive and disruptive physically, chemically, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually.

“Fueling the confusion that families face in these circumstances is not merciful,” declared Springfield’s bishop. “It is imperative to be clear on the reality of human biology as a gift from God that we cannot change.”

“The Catholic Church teaches that the removal or destruction of healthy sexual and reproductive organs is a type of mutilation and intrinsically evil,” he said. “Procedures, surgeries, and therapies designed to assist a person in ‘transitioning’ his or her gender are morally prohibited. ‘Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity.’”

“It must be clear that our schools and Church institutions (including sacramental records and school records) will refer to such persons with the gender pronouns, along with bathroom and locker room use and sports activities that acknowledge their God-given biology,” said Paprocki.  

“Some families may not be willing to agree with this approach, and we need to respect their freedom,” he continued, “but they must likewise respect the Church’s duty to adhere to revealed truth if they are to participate actively and fully in our faith community, especially our Catholic schools.” 

“A student of any Catholic school who insists, or whose parents insist, on open hostility toward, or defiance of, Church teaching, or who otherwise intentionally violate this policy, may be expelled,” he concluded. 

Enraged Pro-LGBT Catholic groups launch petition, want bishops to chastise Bishop Paprocki

Liberal Catholic media and pro-LGBT groups within the Church are furious with Bishop Paprocki’s guidance.  

New Ways Ministry asserted that Paprocki’s policy statement is “shameful,” calling it a  “nearly unparalleled crusade against LGBTQ people” that is “in no way consistent with church teaching.”  

“His dangerous wielding of authority harms many people not only in his diocese, but in the wider church,” continued the New Ways Ministry commentary. “While bishops are loathe to criticize one another publicly, for the good of the People of God, his episcopal peers must condemn Paprocki’s approach to LGBTQ people.”

DignityUSA launched a petition against Bishop Paprocki’s pastoral guidance, averring that the “onerous new policy seeks to condemn and isolate transgender and nonbinary people and their families.”  

Jamie L. Manson, a columinist for the liberal National Catholic Reporter who identifies herself as the “Only out queer woman in the worldwide Catholic media,” tweeted, “Few Catholic bishops are as radically homophobic as Paprocki (remember his exorcism of same-sex marriage?). Now he has trans kids in his crosshairs.”


  biological sex, catholic, catholic schools, diocese of springfield, gender dysphoria, lgbtq, national catholic reporter, new ways ministry, thomas paprocki

News

Nurse tells Senate about babies thrown in garbage, left to die after failed abortions

'The mother screamed for someone to help her baby, and my colleague rushed to call a neonatologist over from the unit...'
Tue Feb 11, 2020 - 5:39 pm EST
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Dr. Israel Shapiro / Youtube
Martin Bürger Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 11, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A former nurse testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee today that some babies are born alive during failed abortions and left to die, something that would be remedied if an anti-infanticide bill becomes law.

The Judiciary Committee also heard from an expert neonatologist and Patrina Mosley, Director of Life, Culture and Women’s Advocacy at the Family Research Council. The trio of witnesses made the case for passing the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.

If passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate and signed by the president, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act would require that the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence be given to babies who survive abortions as to any other newborn. Additionally, the law would establish criminal consequences for practitioners who fail to act accordingly.

Jill Stanek, now the National Campaign Chair to the Susan B. Anthony List, recounted her own experiences from her time as a nurse at a hospital that committed abortions. 

“I could not bear the thought of this suffering child dying alone, so I rocked him for the 45 minutes that he lived. He was 21 to 22 weeks old, weighed about half a pound, and was about the size of my hand,” Stanek said of an abortion survivor who had been left to die in the Soiled Utility Room.

Referring to a fellow nurse at the same hospital, Stanek told the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee how a live aborted baby had accidentally been thrown in the garbage. 

“When she realized what she had done, she started going through the trash to find the baby, and the baby fell out of the towel and on to the floor,” she explained.

In a particularly horrifying episode, one mother “was not only shocked when her little boy was aborted alive, she was also shocked that he didn’t appear to have the external physical deformities she had been told he was going to have. The mother screamed for someone to help her baby, and my colleague rushed to call a neonatologist over from the unit.”

The baby died within half an hour.

Stanek described in graphic detail the procedure known as labor-induced abortion. According to her testimony, the goal of that procedure is simply “to cause a pregnant mother’s cervix to open so that she will prematurely deliver a baby who dies during the birth process or soon afterward.”

Dr. Robin Pierucci, a physician and neonatologist with decades of experience, said that a newborn’s first diagnosis is always that he or she is a baby. “All other diagnoses (prematurity, respiratory distress, sepsis, etc.) are secondary and never negate the first one. Because of their preeminent diagnosis (human baby), we are always obligated to care, whether or not we have the ability to heal.”

Pierucci stated that the physicians should apply the medical standard of care to every human being. “There is no ethical reason why this medical standard of care should be abandoned for a subgroup of people because they might be less ‘wanted’ than others; wantedness does not determine humanness,” the doctor, who also holds a master’s degree in bioethics, clarified.

She spoke of the example of Mother Teresa, who went out to the poor and abandoned dying in the streets of Calcutta, India, in order to care for them, regardless if there was any hope for them to be cured.

“We too should never allow a baby, especially a baby, to die anywhere but in the warmth of our arms, nestled securely against our hearts,” added Pierucci.

The Family Research Council’s Mosley pointed out that the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002 only recognized that all babies born alive are persons. However, this recognition was not combined with a “federal criminal statute against taking the lives of born-alive infants.”

For that reason, Mosley explained, between 2003 and 2014 at least 143 babies were born alive and died after failed abortions, according to official data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC’s report admits that this number is “almost certainly an underestimate,” due to a gap in state reporting. Some of the babies died within minutes of birth; others lived longer than a day.

Mosley concluded her testimony, which was heavy on statistics, by telling the stories of premature babies who went on to live full lives “by simply receiving adequate care.”

One of the babies Mosley highlighted was recently featured by President Donald Trump at his State of the Union address. 

“Ellie was born at just 21 weeks and six days. She is one of the youngest babies to survive in the United States. Today, Ellie is a healthy 2-year-old girl,” Mosley said.

She also pointed to the world’s smallest surviving baby, “Saybie” from San Diego. Saybie only weighed “the same as a large apple at just 245 g (8.6 oz), when she was born at 23 weeks and three days in December of 2018.”

Mosley called the senators at the hearing to be “morally and logically consistent” by passing the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. If the new baby born alive “is a full person under federal law, then they are worthy of humane care and protection under federal law,” argued Mosley.

Some of the witnesses also referred to comments made by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam last year, during which he seemingly endorsed infanticide. Northam had said, “So in this particular example, if the mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen: The infant would be delivered; the infant would be kept comfortable; the infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desire, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”

“So, whether a newborn gets the chance to live or not is a matter for ‘discussion,’ while precious moments slip by as the infant is fighting for her life on the delivery table. At this point, we are no longer talking about abortion or a woman’s body. We are talking about a child who has clearly become the patient,” Mosley responded to that statement in her testimony.

Democrats currently running for their party’s presidential nomination all support taxpayer-funded abortion on demand. Last week, during an appearance on The View Pete Buttigieg refused to condemn infanticide or say at what point during pregnancy he thought late-term abortion ought to be restricted.

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, meanwhile, was asked about a litmus test during a recent presidential debate and responded: “Is there a litmus test for those of us up here? For me there is. 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.”

Planned Parenthood commits more than 300,000 abortions annually.  

On Wednesday, the Democrat-controlled U.S. House Subcommittee on Health of the Committee on Energy and Commerce will hold a hearing on the pro-abortion “Women’s Health Protection Act” of 2019.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, referred to the bill as the Abortion on Demand Act. 

“This radical and egregiously misnamed bill would strike down democratically enacted state and federal protections for unborn children and their mothers nationwide, expanding abortion on demand through birth. It would sweep away even the most modest pro-life protections, such as popular limits on late-term abortions after five months of pregnancy, health and safety standards for abortion facilities, informed consent, and conscience protections,” Dannenfelser said ahead of the hearing.


  abortion, born alive abortion survivors protection act, born alive infant protection act

News

Drag Queen who’ll appear on ‘Sesame Street’ fires back after 55k sign LifeSite petition against him

Porter made big news when it was revealed that he intends to appear on Sesame Street in drag.
Tue Feb 11, 2020 - 4:57 pm EST
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Billy Porter
Scott Schittl
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February 11, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Billy Porter – the drag queen LGBT activist who won a Tony award in 2013 for his headline role as a drag queen in the Broadway production Kinky Boots – is unhappy that a LifeSite petition is asking Sesame Street to drop the upcoming show where he appears in drag.

Regarding the petition, Billy Porter has been quoted in the New York Post’s Page Six supplement as saying: “Stay out of my bedroom and you will be fine — that is none of your business.”

But Gualberto Garcia Jones, Director of Advocacy at LifeSite, responded to Porter by saying: “No one wishes to intrude upon Billy Porter’s private affairs. What 55,000 people have asked is to protect children from being exposed to sexualized, gender-confusing attire and notions on Sesame Street.”

“Exposing children – who just want to see their favorite puppets – to sexual concepts beyond their years and maturity is just wrong. Allowing a man who is dressed up as a gender-bending man-woman is a sexual act that has no place on Sesame Street,” Garcia Jones continued.

“LifeSite and a majority of sane people in this country oppose adults trying to impose their sexual proclivities upon children. These sexualized concepts and ideas are ones which children do not comprehend, and to which they cannot consent,” he concluded.

Porter made big news when it was revealed that he intends to appear on Sesame Street in drag.

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LifeSite has contacted AT&T, the parent company of Warner Media and HBO Max – producers of Sesame Street – to discuss how this episode will harm children, but as of press time, has received no response.

Dr. Paul McHugh, former psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins University, studied the phenomenon of gender confusion for 40 years. He has said that the notion of gender fluidity “is doing much damage to families, adolescents, and children and should be confronted as an opinion without biological foundation wherever it emerges.”

As an actor and as an LGBT activist, Porter is no stranger to gender-confusing ideas, dress, and roles.

Porter has made a name for himself, starring in Broadway productions like the aforementioned Kinky Boots and in the television production Pose.

Wikipedia offers these short synopses of both productions:

Kinky Boots: “Based on the 2005 British film ‘Kinky Boots,’ written by Geoff Deane and Tim Firth and mostly inspired by true events, the musical tells the story of Charlie Price. Having inherited a shoe factory from his father, Charlie forms an unlikely partnership with cabaret performer and drag queen Lola to produce a line of high-heeled boots and save the business.”

Pose – “Pose is an American drama television series about New York City's African-American and Latino LGBTQ and gender-nonconforming ballroom culture scene in the 1980s and, in the second season, early 1990s. Featured characters are dancers and models who compete for trophies and recognition in this underground culture, and who support one another in a network of chosen families known as Houses.”

Porter has starred in this Pose since 2018. Wikipedia explains “ballroom culture” thusly:

“Ball culture, drag ball culture, the house-ballroom community, and similar terms describe an underground LGBT subculture that originated in 1920s New York City, in which people ‘walk’ (i.e., compete) for trophies, prizes, and glory at events known as balls. Ball participants are mainly young African-American and Latin American members of the LGBTQ community. Attendees dance, vogue, walk, pose, and support one another in one or more of the numerous drag and performance competition categories.”

“Transgenderism is not about ‘Love.’ It is a disorder – gender dysphoria – which has absolutely no place on a children's program,” the LifeSite petition says. “By contributing to this social contagion, ‘Sesame Street’ is forcing children to deal with adult concepts and notions about sexuality which are beyond their level of maturity, and which can leave psychological scars.”

“Many jurisdictions define this kind of behavior as abuse.”

If you haven’t yet had a chance to read this petition, please CLICK HERE. And then, please consider signing and sharing.

To politely make your feelings known about this issue, call Warner Media (who run HBO Max for AT&T) at: 212-484-8000.


  billy porter, drag queens, homosexuality, sesame street

News

Pro-abortion Andrew Yang under fire for not wanting to ‘celebrate’ abortion

The Democrat presidential candidate angered activists with what they interpreted as moderate comments.
Tue Feb 11, 2020 - 3:46 pm EST
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Scott Olson / Getty Images
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By Calvin Freiburger

February 11, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Democrat presidential candidate Andrew Yang is just as far left on abortion as the rest of the 2020 primary field, but he finds himself at odds with pro-abortion activists this week for a recent rhetorical overture he made to voters who are more moderate on the issue.

During a candidate’s forum on the issue this weekend, the entrepreneur said Democrats “have to get back to the point where no one is suggesting that we be celebrating an abortion at any point in the pregnancy," The Blaze reported. "There was a time in Democratic circles where we used to talk about it being something, like, that you don't like to see, but should be within the freedoms of the woman and the mother to decide."

“There is a really important tone to set on this, where you don't just say, like, we're absolutist about it, though I have to say I am relatively absolutist about it on this,” Yang continued. “Like I think that it should be completely up to the woman and her doctor and the state should not be intervening all the way through pregnancy. But it's a tragedy to me if someone decides they don't want to have a child and they're on the fence and then maybe at some point later; it's a very difficult personal decision and it's something that we should be very, very sensitive to. I think that celebrating children, family, like these are universal human values and if we manage to lead on that and say that we also stand for women's reproductive rights, I believe we can bring Americans closer together on a really, really important personal issue.”

Various pro-abortion activists, commentators, and other figures responded with outrage, denying that anyone celebrates abortion and calling on Yang to drop out of the race for the offense of echoing “forced birth” rhetoric:

In fact, there are many documented examples of politicians and activists celebrating abortion, such as New York officials lighting the One World Trade Center spire pink to commemorate the enactment of the so-called Reproductive Health Act (passage of which was met with thunderous applause in the state capitol), the Shout Your Abortion movement, various stunts from pop stars such as Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez, and various events such as art galleries, bowling fundraisers, and parties to promote and normalize abortion.

Last fall, the group Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity (URGE) erected “Abortion: You Do You” billboards meant to, in executive director Kimberly Inez McGuire’s own words, “celebrate that individual autonomy and abortion access.” In 2018, comedian Michelle Wolf performed a “Salute to Abortions” skit on her since-canceled Netflix show, complete with music, confetti, and the declaration “God bless abortions!” In 2011, a disturbing incident was filmed in Rockford, Illinois, where activists outside of an abortion facility cheered a pregnant mother entering the building to have her baby killed.

There is no sizable, organized pushback against such incidents among supporters of legal abortion, who generally allow them to go entirely unmentioned.

While Yang’s moderate messaging and friendly demeanor have won him a small handful of conservative and pro-life fans, a review of his public statements confirms he is just as extreme as his fellow Democrats.

Yang’s campaign website declares that “access to birth control” as well as to “safe and affordable abortion services” should “be provided to all Americans,” with state abortion laws “subject to oversight by a board of doctors.” His campaign told The New York Times in November that he favors codifying Roe v. Wade in federal law, has a pro-Roe litmus test for judicial nominees, would not regulate post-viability abortions, would federally fund abortions and Planned Parenthood at home and abroad, would force private insurers to fund abortion and contraception, would make contraceptives and abortifacients available over-the-counter, and would ban abstinence-only sex education.

During the same event where he dissented from “celebrating” abortion, Yang also declared that “abortion rights are economic rights.”


  2020 democrat primary, abortion, andrew yang, democrats, pro-abortion extremism

News

Pro-family Hungarian leader Orbán praises ‘Catholic approach’ for helping country flourish

The Hungarian Prime Minister said his country has chosen 'Christian liberty' instead of 'liberal freedom.' 
Tue Feb 11, 2020 - 3:38 pm EST
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Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary sits down with Chris DeMuth of the Edmund Burke Foundation at God, Honor, Country: President Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II, and the Freedom of Nations - A National Conservatism Conference in Rome, Italy - February 4, 2020. National Conservatism / YouTube screen grab
Paul Smeaton Paul Smeaton Follow Paul
By Paul Smeaton

February 11, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, told a conservative conference in Rome last week that “the universal Catholic approach” is the only one “which appreciates and accepts national sovereignty.”

Orbán made his comments during an address given to the National Conservativism Conference in Rome on February 4. In a wide-ranging speech, he spoke about his core anti-Marxist political principles, the impact of Muslim migration to Europe, the reasons for Hungary’s economic success and the relationship between national identity and conservative politics. 

Orbán has said in the past that “Christianity is Europe's last hope”. He has a strong history of promoting pro-family policies in Hungary and has not been afraid to stand-up to anti-life globalists such as George Soros.

In his speech last week, Orbán highlighted the roles played by former US President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II in overcoming the Soviet Union and defending the nations of Central Europe.

Orbán said that his generation in Hungary considered Reagan as “the liberator of our personal life”. He said that Reagan had “changed the world” by changing his strategy during the Cold War from one where “the target was not to win, just to peacefully coexist”, to one that can be summarized by the sentence: "We win, they lose." Orbán said that Reagan’s change in strategy resulted in “the captive nations”, such as Hungary, becoming “free again.” 

“Without Ronald Reagan,” he said, “there would have been no chance to push the Russians, the Soviet Union out of Central Europe and to get rid of communism.”

Although himself a Calvinist, he also singled out Pope John Paul II for his role in defending people in Central European nations from the Soviets. “We never considered the Holy Father as a Catholic leader of the Vatican,” he said. “We always considered him as the biggest defender of Central European countries on the world stage, whatever their religious background.”

A radical anti-Communism political movement

Orbán explained that as young men he and his friends had not wished or intended to enter politics, but that they did so in 1988 because they realized that the Soviet Union’s structure and the communist regime was not strong enough to survive, and so they thought “now this is the right moment to do something.” 

They founded, in his words, a “radical anti-communist” party, which initially had an upper age limit of 35, due to what Orbán describes as the older generation’s tendency to “make some compromises on communist thinking and communist politics.” That upper age limit for members was later removed.

He says that from its founding, his party was not just anti-communist in terms of national independence against the Soviet Union, but that they stood “against the communist way of thinking, the Marxists way of thinking which is still going on, you know.” 

“The liberal professors and politicians argue by using different words but meaning the same thing, you know, as the Marxists speak,” he added. “That is the reason why we feel that we are still the same anti-communist radical politicians as we were 30 years ago, fighting the same battle. That is the point.”

A Europe of sovereign nations

Orbán explained that in his view there are two competing views of Europe. One he identified as “federalist, empire-oriented approach” which wants to “build Europe from above” and which “wouldn’t like to have sovereign states.”

The other vision, the vision he insists upon, is what he describes as “building Europe from the bottom”, which he says means “respecting national sovereignty and finding a way for sovereign nations to cooperate in order to find the common interest of the European nations.”

He describes Hungary as a “Christian democracy” and says that Hungary has chosen “Christian liberty” instead of “liberal freedom.” 

“It is very unique, nobody likes it outside Hungary,” he says. “The liberal press is always attacking us, making jokes of us, but it works. And the people vote for it again and again and again. This is my approach, and that’s the reason why I believe in Christian democracy.”

Interestingly, Orbán noted the significance of what he calls “the universal Catholic approach” in shaping his political thinking. He said that in building up sovereign nations “we have to resist the attempts to build an empire” and that “the universal Catholic approach” is “the only one which appreciates and accepts national sovereignty. It is a global idea but considers sovereign states valuable.”

“That is the reason why in Hungary, where 75% are Catholic and 25% are Calvinists, we are able to cooperate for national sovereignty on a Christian-democratic basis,” he continued. “That creates a national unity for national sovereignty, as we understand. So Christian democracy I think is the best framework to conceptualize what we are doing.”

The reality of Muslim migration in Europe

Orbán explained that in Hungary they have “Muslim migrants that amount to zero. So we don’t have any.” 

He contrasted this with the demographic make-up of western European nations, saying that “it is pure mathematics to understand where the western countries will develop in terms of demography and composition of their societies.”

“Mathematics is a very severe thing,” he continued. “It is obvious that they will create, will develop or evolve a society which will be a composition of a big Muslim community which is growing and a Christian community which is decreasing. That is how the Western countries will look like, whether we like it or not. It is not a wish, it is not a critique, it is a description, you know, of what is going on, not just because of the migration crisis in 2015 but because of the previous 30 years as they understood the whole issue of migration, and because of the poor performance of families, in terms of reproduction of their nations in many countries.”

He said that, as a result of this, many European countries are seeing “a new type of society consisting of a decreasing Christian element and an increasing Muslim element.” 

“The liberals support that process, because the liberals think it is good,” he said. “They don’t like Christian society, they don’t like the identity as we understand societies, so they think that the new composition of Western societies would provide a nicer life, a better life than it was during the so-called Christian Europe. Therefore they support that process.”

Orbán said that it was not his job to convince other nations to adopt different immigration policies, but stated his hope that other nations would not attempt to “force us to follow the same track.”

He said that the 2015 migration crisis had presented a positive opportunity for nations to reassert their national identities and to ask questions such as “What does it mean to be French? What does it mean to be German?...What does it mean to be Italian? Or to be Central European, or Hungarian?”

He observed that “the migration issue is a good cause for Christian democrats and national conservatives to explain again to the people what is at stake, what is really important, and how we imagine the future.”

He said that because of the starkly different approach being taken between liberal democracies in western Europe and Christian democracies in central and eastern Europe that there was a real possibility that “in 20 years’ time Europe will show a different picture on the Western part, on a civilizational basis, and on the Eastern part” and that would mean it would become “difficult to answer how we can cooperate if we became so different.”

Leading the fight against “mainstream liberalism”

When asked directly by his interviewer about Hungary’s “pro-natalist policy” and whether this meant he had “serious or big ambitions?” Orbán initially responded briefly, simply saying “Don’t worry.”

When pressed further he said the role that Hungary has been playing of leading the “fight against the liberal mainstream is not the job of small countries.” He said that the simple reason they have played that role is “because there is nobody else” but said that he hopes that bigger countries, such as Italy or Spain, “will take the same flag and take the role away from us, or join us in leading that fight.”

Making families in Hungary “great again”

LifeSite spoke today with Dr. Imre Téglásy, leader of Human Life International (HLI) in Hungary and one of the abortion survivors featured in the new pro-life ad “Faces of Choice” which premiered at the recent March for Life and was blocked from being aired during the recent Super Bowl.

Téglásy told LifeSite that, in his view, “Viktor Orbán is the greatest politician of the last three decades in Hungary.”

He said Orbán has “recognized the challenge of this crisis caused by the “demographic winter,” which means that Europe is underpopulated due to parents refusing to have families or making certain that they do not have a family by means of contraception and abortion. 

Téglásy noted that when Orbán came to power the fertility rate was tragically low in Hungary (1.28 children per family) and that this meant “the soon extinction of the whole nation.”  Téglásy said that Orbán has initiated “lots of incentives to promote the idea of ‘Making Families Great again.’”

Téglásy concluded by praising Orbán’s promotion of pro-life and pro-family values.

After an age of feminist liberation, Orbán’s government was courageous enough to make women free, as well as affirming them in their God-given vocation to become mothers and glorious with their children.


  birthrate, conservatives, hungary, immigration, muslims, national conservativism conference, viktor orban

News

EXCLUSIVE: Conservative leadership contender would let Canadian politicians debate abortion

MP Derek Sloan says the party base 'wants people who are not ashamed to be conservative.'
Tue Feb 11, 2020 - 1:59 pm EST
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By Lianne Laurence

BELLEVILLE, Ontario, February 11, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Canadian conservative leadership hopeful and rookie Member of Parliament Derek Sloan says that if elected party chief  he’ll “actively encourage” MPs to bring forward bills on social issues such as abortion and same-sex “marriage.”

“I know the base wants people who are not ashamed to be conservative,” the 35-year-old lawyer and father of three told LifeSiteNews in a recent interview.

“And as leader, I will never make a caucus member apologize for saying something that’s conservative. I will never make the party apologize. I will actively encourage members to push the boundaries when it comes to political correctness. And that’s what the base wants and that’s what we need.”

MP for the south-east Ontario riding of Hastings-Lennox and Addington, Sloan scored an impressive 29 percent approval rating from Canadians in an Ipsos poll rating leadership hopefuls, only two of whom — Peter MacKay and Erin O’Toole — are approved candidates.

He and another half-dozen aspiring contenders have until February 27 to submit 1,000 member nomination signatures and $25,000 in order to register and be vetted by the leadership committee.

Candidates must also submit the balance of a total of 3,000 signatures and $300,000 by March 25 to stay in the race, which ends with the leader announced at a June 27 convention in Toronto.

Sloan decided to enter the race because he’s convinced Conservatives must have “distinct ideological difference on everything” and “a bold vision that can catapult the party to a position of dominance. … And I wasn’t sure we were going to see that in this election. And I …thought and thought and prayed about it and decided that now was the time for me to move forward.” 

A devout Seventh Day Adventist and social conservative, Sloan contends that there are many in the Tory caucus who share his pro-life and pro-family views, but “their electoral tactics seem to be along the lines of avoid anything controversial at all costs” and “to avoid censure” from a “liberal media.”

“I don't think that that is a winning recipe, and in all honesty, the last election’s results should, I hope, definitively show that that’s not the recipe for success,” he said. “Although some people are taking the opposite lesson from it.” 

Indeed, contender MacKay infamously stated after the election that leader Andrew Scheer’s social conservative views hung around his neck like a “stinking albatross.” 

Moreover, Global News is suggesting that leaked reports of former MP John Baird’s internal review of the party’s election performance say Scheer’s personal opposition to same-sex “marriage” was a major problem for the Conservatives.

Baird is reportedly now thinking of entering the race, telling Global News he appreciates Alberta Premier Jason Kenney urging him to do so, and that the Conservative Party needs to be “modern.”

Sloan believes the party is “at a crossroads” and that the result of the race triggered by Scheer’s resignation in December will “determine whether we chart the course to be the dominant political force in the country or whether we go into the wilderness for another 10, 15 years.”

As for particular issues, he says he’ll be releasing his platform next month.

On abortion, he’s “not specifically endorsing any particular route” but believes encouraging debate in caucus, and looking to “a variety of very talented pro-life MPs in caucus to sort of bring forward those ideas” is the best approach.

Sloan says he supports Conservative policy that Canada should not fund abortion in other countries.

On same-sex “marriage,” he is “not intending to re-open the marriage debate,” but agrees the Conservative Party has been “effectively neutral” on the matter since 2016, when delegates scrapped its policy supporting the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.

Section 7 of the policy book allows Conservative MPs to vote their conscience on moral issues and he would let MPs to “bring forward bills on any issue that's of concern to them,” he said, including on same-sex “mariage.”

As for the firestorm over leadership hopeful Richard Décarie’s comments to CTV’s Evan Solomon that homosexuality is a “choice,” Sloan said it “was just silly” in the way it “exploded.” Décarie also wants to restore the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.

Sloan thinks Décarie should be allowed to run so party members can vote on his ideas, even though some high-level Tories called for his disqualification for “bigotry” in the wake of the controversy, during which the Ottawa press corp besieged Conservative MPs for an opinion on whether or not being homosexual was a “choice.”

“There’s tremendous pressure in the Ottawa bubble, so to speak, by the media and other sources to sort of adopt a politically correct frame of mind,” Sloan told LifeSiteNews. 

“The pressures are real and they’re there. And that’s why … we have to pray for our Members of Parliament and ask for and pray for courage and wisdom for them to deal with these types of things,” he added.

Sloan had his own run-in with Solomon when he asserted that the cause of homosexual orientation is “scientifically unclear,” and stated his opposition to Bill S-202, now in the Senate, which will criminalize “conversion” therapy. 

Bill S-202 is “over broad” and “interferes with parental rights,” Sloan told LifeSiteNews, adding that when he refers to “conversion therapy,” he isn’t talking about such alleged practices as shock therapy that “to my knowledge is not practiced at all today,” but “the freedom of people to engage in in the type of counselling and even spiritual guidance that they feel is appropriate.”

He also opposes the Liberal transgender ‘rights’ bill C-16, which he points out allows men who claim to be women to access to women’s change rooms and women’s prisons.

His willingness to wade into controversial subjects is one way pro-life Conservatives can guage whether he will himself buckle under the pressure, Sloan said.

“If I wanted to play it safe, I would simply not have done this at all, let alone been speaking about this on national television,” he told LifeSiteNews.

“I know that in the past many people have tried to say the right things and have left social conservatives feeling burned and feeling used. Nonetheless, it’s important that they have a seat at the table,” he added. 

“It’s important that social conservatives are in this, and…really take a look at the candidates and… try and make a difference in this race.”

Sloan is still seeking signatures from individuals who have Conservative Party members for at least 21 days; those who wish to sign his nomination papers can go to www.dereksloan.ca. Similarly, those who wish to support pro-life candidate Décarie can go to www.richarddecarie.ca.

Campaign Life is urging Canadians 14 years of age and older to buy a membership in the Conservative Party of Canada as soon as possible in order to influence the outcome of the leadership race.


  abortion, canada, conservative party of canada, derek sloan, homosexuality, leadership race, same-sex marriage

News

Dead babies hoarded by late abortionist to be given proper burial

The attorney general of Indiana will offer remarks on behalf of the state at the memorial service.
Tue Feb 11, 2020 - 1:34 pm EST
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A memorial to unborn victims of abortion erected by the Knights of Columbus in the Diocese of St. Augustine, Florida. Cliff / Flickr
Calvin Freiburger
By Calvin Freiburger

SOUTH BEND, February 11, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The remains of 2,411 aborted babies discovered in the possession of the deceased abortionist Ulrich Klopfer will be buried at an Indiana cemetery Wednesday afternoon.

Klopfer, who operated at the Women’s Pavilion in South Bend, Indiana until his medical license was suspended in 2016, died last September at age 75. 

The Sheriff’s Office of Will County, Illinois (where Klopfer had a home) announced in September that a Klopfer family attorney had notified the county coroner’s office of the discovery of thousands of “medically preserved fetal remains” among his property. The next month, even more were found in the trunk of a car owned by Klopfer.

The Indiana Attorney General’s Office announced Monday that the remains will receive a memorial service on February 12 at Southlawn Cemetery and Palmer Funeral Home in South Bend. “Attorney General Curtis T. Hill Jr. will offer remarks on behalf of the State of Indiana and will be available following the service to discuss the status of the investigation,” the announcement says.

In addition, Citizens for a Pro-Life Society and Priests for Life have collected and published names for all 2,411 babies, submitted by thousands of pro-lifers, which can be read here.

“Every aborted unborn child deserves to be named and recognized as members of the human family,” Citizens for a Pro-Life Society says. “Let us honor the victims of abortion. Let us pray for their mothers, their fathers, and pray for the conversion of all those who facilitated the killing of the innocent unborn and commit ourselves to end the injustice of abortion.”

Ever since the first discovery, pro-lifers have noted that the story underscores the violence of abortion and the relative lack of scrutiny the abortion industry enjoys in many states. In particular, it has potential ramifications for pro-abortion Democrat presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, who as mayor of South Bend defended other scandal-plagued abortion centers in the area. 

After several days of silence, Buttigieg said last September that the discovery of the first group of bodies was “disturbing” but should not “get caught up in politics at a time when women need access to health care.”

Those wishing to attend the Wednesday service can RSVP and find full details by clicking here.


  abortion, culture of life, curtis hill, fetal burial, fetal remains, indiana, pete buttigieg, ulrich klopfer

News

Poll shows support for pro-life candidate to lead Canada’s conservative party

Derek Sloan has 29 percent of respondents saying they would consider voting Conservative in the next election should he be the party leader.
Tue Feb 11, 2020 - 1:32 pm EST
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Derek Sloan dereksloan.ca
Anthony Murdoch
By Anthony Murdoch

February 11, 2020, (LifeSiteNews) – A pro-life Canadian politician who intends to run for the Conservative party of Canada leadership had a strong showing in a recent poll, which asked respondents who they think is best to lead their party.  

Derek Sloan is a newly elected Conservative Member of Parliament for Hastings—Lennox, and Addington. He had a total of 29 percent of respondents saying they would consider voting Conservative in the next election should he be the party leader.

Jeff Gunnarson, National President for Campaign Life Coalition, Canada’s national pro-life, pro-family political lobbying group, said that Sloan’s showing is a positive indication that the social conservative voice is alive and well. 

“He is doing very well, in fact, he is doing as we expected a social conservative would do,” said Gunnarson to LifeSiteNews. 

“For all intents and purposes, statistically he is tied for second place… (Peter) O’Toole is considered second man and Sloan is only two points behind the second-place candidate. The new guy on the block, the social conservative guy, is giving Peter (MacKay) a run for this money.”

The poll conducted by Ipsos for Global News which sampled 1,000 Canadians in late January, showed that 40 per cent of respondents would consider voting Conservative in the next election should pro-abortion Peter MacKay be the party leader. The poll was released Feb. 4.

Marilyn Gladu, from the riding of Sarnia—Lambton, and Erin O’Toole, from Durham, who both recently said they will march in the June Toronto pride event, came in with 31 per cent support. 

The current leader of the Conservative Party Andrew Scheer announced in the fall that he will be stepping aside, which prompted the leadership race. During the 2019 Canadian Federal Election, he came in a close second place to pro-abortion Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. 

Gunnarson noted that although Sloan is relatively unknown heading into the race, the social conservative voter base is not something to be taken lightly. 

“It goes to show you that voters, individual Canadian voters, and party voters, in the makeup there is a good number of Canadians who are socially conservative and want to see someone like Derek Sloan lead.”

For his part, Gunnarson feels that socially conservative candidates must stay true to their beliefs, but at the same time be able to court all fields of the party.  

“The key here is to have a social conservative, pro-life candidate who can court all spectrums without compromising their principles,” said Gunnarson. 

Derek Sloan was given a “green light” by Campaign Life Coalition in their 2019 election guide and they have supported him via Twitter

A candidate who intends to run in the leadership for the Conservative Party of Canada, pro-life Richard Décarie, who said he would return the party to a male-female marriage definition, was not included in this particular poll. He also has the support of Campaign Life Coalition.

The poll showed that among conservative voters, Peter MacKay had the highest support at 84 percent. However, despite being in fourth place, Sloan’s overall support at 67 percent is not far behind O’Toole at 73 percent, and Gladu at 69 percent. 

Real Women of Canada, a group whose mission is to support traditional family and marriage, recently put out a message stating five socially conservative candidates in the running. They include both Sloan and Décarie. 

MacKay is the only candidate who has the full approval of the Conservative Leadership Candidate Nomination Committee. Both O’Toole and Gladu have submitted applications, but they are still in the review process. Alberta businessman Rick Peterson has also announced that he intends to run. 

Applicants must submit a $25,000 fee as well as collect 1000 signatures from members in the party from a minimum of seven provinces in 30 ridings. In order for a candidate to get on the final voting ballot, they need to have a total of $300,000 as well as 3,000 signatures. The deadline to enter the race is set for February 27.


  abortion, canada, conservative party of canada, derek sloan, leadership race, pro-life, social conservatives

News

NFL star reads the entire Bible, encourages others to do the same

Kirk Cousins of the Minnesota Vikings shared that over the course of two years, he read the entire Bible.
Tue Feb 11, 2020 - 1:19 pm EST
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Kirk Cousins Ezra Shaw / Getty Images
Anthony Murdoch
By Anthony Murdoch

February 11, 2020 - (LifeSiteNews) – One of the highest-paid professional athletes in the NFL has encouraged his fans to read the Bible, a milestone the player recently announced he achieved. 

On Twitter, Kirk Cousins, quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings, wrote, “It took me over two years, but just finished reading through the entire Bible for the first time. Def recommend it!” 

Cousin’s suggestion was well-received by many of his online followers, including teammate CJ Ham.  

“I’m next,” Ham responded.  

Cousins, 31, is married and has two young children. His father is a pastor at  Discovery Church in Orlando, Florida. Cousins has been open about his Christian faith; in 2017, he made headlines for turning down a $53 million long-term contract with his team at the time, the Washington Redskins, citing it as God’s will

“My faith is ultimately driving this decision. Do I feel like the Lord is leading me to make this decision or that decision and where does he give me peace?” said Cousins

“I didn't know if it was going to be for football or for something else, but he placed me in Washington, D.C. for a reason. I believe that with my whole heart, and as a result, I was content to be patient and allow time to reveal that and to continue to just wait on the Lord.”

Cousins also thanked God after he won the first playoff game of his professional career this year. In early January, after the Vikings defeated the New Orleans Saints 26-20, Cousins said to Fox Sports’ Chris Myers, “The quarterback carries weight but that comes with the job. Like you said, my faith is important to me. It is the foundation of my life.”  

“And ultimately, that is where I gain my peace and strength. Win or lose today, God is still on the throne. And I take comfort in that.”

His Twitter account bio is itself a Bible passage: “Micah 6:8[:] ‘What does the Lord require of you? To act justly, love mercy & walk humbly with your God.’”

Along with Cousins and Ham, New England Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson has been open about his faith. He is the executive producer of Divided Hearts of America, a new documentary about abortion, and has spoken at the March for Life.

“My goal is to unveil the truth about abortion, the laws, the history and where our country is headed,” he said. “I believe in the sanctity of life, be it in the womb or on your deathbed. That’s my conviction. But with the film, I’ll engage those who disagree and hear their reasoning. The No. 1 thing I’m looking for is empathy on both sides.” 

Despite some of its players being openly Christian, the NFL has disappointed Christian fans in a number of ways.

The 2020 Super Bowl halftime show featured a pole dance and provocative gyrating from Colombian singer Shakira and American actress Jennifer Lopez.

Meanwhile, during that same Super Bowl, Fox Sports Network refused to air a pro-life ad by Faces of Choice featuring 14 people who survived botched abortions.

In July 2019,  the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks co-sponsored a Drag Queen Story Hour at Atlanta’s City Hall.


  abortion, benjamin watson, bible, cj ham, kirk cousins, nfl, super bowl

News

West Virginia Senate votes to ban killing babies born alive during abortions

Abortion industry whistleblowers have said active and passive infanticide does happen when babies are born after failed abortions.
Tue Feb 11, 2020 - 11:15 am EST
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Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

CHARLESTON, West Virginia, February 12, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The West Virginia Senate voted unanimously Monday to pass legislation banning the killing of infants who survive attempted abortions, while such legislation remains stalled nationally.

The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act requires abortionists to administer basic medical treatment to children delivered alive after failed abortions, the Associated Press reports. Violators would face discipline from their medical licensing board, up to and including potential revocation of their license.

The measure passed the state House last month, and now returns to the House to reconcile lingering differences between the text of both versions. West Virginia Republican Gov. Jim Justice said Monday he “will proudly sign this bill into law when it comes to my desk because every human life – born and unborn – is precious and a gift from God.”

“Once again West Virginia legislators have shown overwhelming bipartisan support of a simple, compassionate, commonsense bill to protect babies in the Mountain State who might survive abortions,” West Virginians for Life legislative coordinator Karen Cross said in response to the news.

Abortion defenders have attepted to discredit born-alive laws by arguing that infanticide is a myth, and that existing laws already suffice to deter it. In fact, several former abortion industry insiders and policy scholars have told Congress that many cases of infanticide are not captured by the official numbers.

READ: Nurse tells U.S. Senate about babies thrown in garbage, left to die after failed abortions

“There have been many cases and multiple witnesses who have come forward and admitted that they saw babies either actively or passively killed after they survived an abortion,” retired OB/GYN and former abortionist Dr. Kathi Aultman testified last September. “In Florida, a woman who had laminaria placed in her cervix to dilate it returned for her procedure, but the doctor was late, and she delivered a live baby girl at 23 weeks. A clinic owner with no medical experience snipped the cord and placed the still living baby and the placenta in a biohazard bag. The remains were found by police a week later after several calls from an informer.”

Regardless of how frequently babies survive abortions, the fact remains that even PolitiFact has acknowleged that the existing federal laws on the subject, the Child Abuse Prevention & Treatment Act of 1974 and the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002, do not contain specific criminal penalties for withholding medical treatment from newborns.


  abortion, born-alive protection act, infanticide, west virginia

News

Switzerland bans death penalty but will now help prisoners kill themselves

Prison officials have now confirmed that assisted suicide should be available to Swiss prisoners.
Tue Feb 11, 2020 - 9:50 am EST
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FOTOKITA / Shutterstock.com
Society for the Protection of Unborn Children
By Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

February 11, 2020 (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) — Swiss officials, following a request to die from an imprisoned child rapist, have confirmed that prison inmates will be allowed to undergo assisted suicide. Michael Robinson, SPUC Director of Communications said: “When convicted of a crime, one should serve the sentence due. A child rapist should not have the option to opt out via assisted suicide.”

Peter Vogt was imprisoned in 1996 after he spent decades sexually assaulting girls as young as ten. Vogt now claims to be suffering from heart and kidney problems, and has applied to die at a Swiss assisted suicide clinic.

Earlier this year the child rapist wrote a letter to seemingly manipulate his way out of a life-long prison sentence via assisted suicide. Vogt’s letter stated that “It would be better to be dead than to be left to vegetate behind these walls…Nobody should have to commit suicide in his cell alone.”

Prison officials have now confirmed that assisted suicide should be available to prisoners although the operational procedures have still to be confirmed.

Mr Robinson said: “Permitting assisted suicide is fundamentally wrong and perversely creates a scenario where some prisoners choose to die whilst European nations uphold strong prohibitions on the death penalty for other prisoners”.

Published with permission from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.


  assisted suicide, euthanasia, prison, switzerland

News

Cardinal Marx will not seek second term as head of German bishops

In a surprise announcement, the archbishop of Munich declared 'it should be the younger generation's turn.'
Tue Feb 11, 2020 - 8:34 am EST
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Cardinal Reinhard Marx at the funeral of Karl Lehmann. Thomas Lohnes / Pool/Getty Images
Martin Bürger Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

BONN, Germany, February 11, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — In a surprise move, Cardinal Reinhard Marx has announced he will not be available for a second term as president of the German bishops’ conference. The archbishop of Munich declared, “I think it should be the younger generation’s turn.”

Marx has been, and still is, one of the most powerful bishops in Europe, if not the world. He was named archbishop of Munich and Freising, one of the two most prestigious dioceses in Germany, in 2007. Pope Benedict XVI made him a cardinal in 2010.

He became president of the German bishops’ conference in 2014. From 2012 until 2018, Marx was also president of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community. The German cardinal is one of six members of Pope Francis’s exclusive Council of Cardinal Advisers, preparing for a reform of the Roman Curia.

In a press release, the German bishops’ conference quotes from a letter Cardinal Marx had written to the other bishops, explaining his decision to not pursue a second term as president of the organization.

“The year 2020 is progressing, and with it we glance at the agenda and the schedule for this and the coming year. This also applies to the commitments of the president of the German bishops’ conference. I therefore think it is right to make it clear even now, before the election of the president at the general assembly this spring, that I am not available for a possible second term of office.”

The German bishops’ conference meets twice a year for a general assembly. While the meeting in the fall always takes place in Fulda, where Saint Boniface, the apostle to the Germans, is buried, the spring assembly meets at various locations.

This year, the German bishops will meet in Mainz for four days, starting March 2. The new president will be elected on March 3.

The bishops are set to talk about the post-synodal apostolic exhortation “Querida Amazonia,” following the Amazon Synod. The document is scheduled to be published tomorrow, February 12. The other main point of discussion is the synodal path in Germany. 

In his letter, Cardinal Marx said his decision had been made some time ago. “My consideration is that I would be 72 years old at the end of a possible second term of office, and then the end of my task as archbishop of Munich and Freising will also be near. I think it should be the younger generation’s turn.”

The cardinal also speculated that “perhaps it would be good if there were more frequent changes in this task.”

Before Marx, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of Freiburg headed the German bishops’ conference for only one term. Zollitsch’s predecessor, Cardinal Karl Lehmann of Mainz, was its president for more than 20 years.

“I was very happy to serve as president of the German bishops’ conference, but ‘everything has its time,’” said Cardinal Marx.

He emphasized his continuing active involvement within the bishops’ conference and said he will be “particularly committed to the synodal path, which in my view has gotten off to a good start.”

At the same time, Marx admitted, “I would like to have a stronger presence again in the archdiocese of Munich and Freising, especially in the comprehensive strategy process which we want to begin this year.”

In 2019, Marx had met with 50 representatives from all the important panels of the archdiocese. During a conversation that lasted more than three hours, those present dealt with “the development of a personnel strategy for the year 2030, pastoral care concepts, leadership models for parish associations, and structural issues,” among other things. Out of this grew what Marx called a “comprehensive strategy process.”

LifeSiteNews has reported on Cardinal Marx’s many controversial actions and positions.

In 2019, LifeSiteNews reported that Cardinal Marx “fired back at the Vatican after it informed him the German bishops’ plans for a ‘binding synodal path’ are ‘not ecclesiologically valid.’”

Last December, the head of the German bishops’ conference stated in an interview that homosexuals belong to the Church’s “sacramental community.” He also defended a “blessing” for homosexual couples.

Last month, John-Henry Westen of LifeSiteNews joined other Catholic leaders in a prayerful protest outside the offices of Cardinal Marx in Munich. A coalition of lay Catholics, called Acies Ordinata, prayed in firm protest against the German bishops’ conference and its president, as LifeSiteNews wrote at the time.

On this occasion, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò came out into the public for the first time after publishing his testimony implicating Pope Francis in the cover-up of the sexual abuse perpetrated by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was later dismissed from the clerical state.

The unwillingness of Cardinal Marx to be available for a second term as president of the German bishops’ conference has caught everybody by surprise. The Catholic news website run by the German bishops spoke of a bombshell.

In a first reaction, Thomas Sternberg, head of the Central Committee of German Catholics, said, “We thank Cardinal Reinhard Marx for his convincing emphasis on an ecumenical Church that is oriented toward the world. For him, democratic consciousness and the Catholic Church are not opposites.”

The synodal path in Germany has been organized by both the German bishops’ conference and the Central Committee of German Catholics.


  amazon synod, catholic, german bishops conference, germany, reinhard marx, synodal path

Opinion

Ukrainian priest defends fraternal correction of German bishops’ liberal ‘synodal path’

Here is why the Ukrainian bishops decided to take the bold step of defying the German bishops.
Tue Feb 11, 2020 - 9:24 pm EST
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Cardinal Reinhard Marx, president of the German bishops' conference. Alexander Hassenstein / Getty Images
Krystian Kratiuk
By Krystian Kratiuk

February 11, 2020 (Polonia Christiana) — The Church under no circumstances discriminates against people who have some kind of disorder in the sphere of sexual identity because these disorders could be either a result of some kind of trauma or the effect of unhealthy relationships, etc. At the same time the Church reveals truth to all people, including the truth that acting out on such inclinations is a sin which destroys a human being. As long as the teaching of the Church in such delicate moral cases is clear and unambiguous, such people, who want to be faithful to their Christian vocation, struggle to lead a life of chastity. In such cases they can take advantage of either spiritual or therapeutic help — said Father Roman Laba, a Pauline monk, the director of the Ukrainian office for the pastoral care of the family at the Episcopal Conference of Ukraine.

Why did the Ukrainian bishops decide to take such a bold step as the fraternal correction of the German bishops?

I’ll begin by stating that the letter is one by the Commission for the pastoral care of families at the Episcopate of the Ukraine addressed to the similar Commission of the Episcopate of Germany. Our commission is led by Bp Radosław Zmitrowicz and Bp Jan Niemiec. The initiative of the Commission was supported by the President of the Episcopate Bp Bronisław Bernacki and vice-president Abp Mieczysław Mokrzycki.

The reason for writing this letter is the Gospel and the sense of responsibility for the Church. The letter quotes St. Paul’s words about the Church as the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, If one member suffers, all suffer together with it (1 Cor 12.26). Therefore, what happens in the German Church has an effect on the whole Body of the Church. In the early centuries of Christianity, such a sense of responsibility for the Church was very strong. For example, St. Ignatius of Antioch on his way to Rome, where he was to die as a martyr, wrote letters to the churches in Ephesus, Magnesia, Tralles, Rome, Philadelphia and Smyrna, and wrote to the local churches that had their own bishops; as well Ignatius, the bishop of Atnioch, also felt obliged to spiritually care for them and for the whole Church.

It seems that there is a lack of a similar attitude today. Many Christians live convinced that what’s happening in Germany maybe is not right, but it’s the Germans’ problem. This isn’t the case!

It is a problem for the Church. The main responsibility of the bishops is to guard the deposit of Faith and take care of the Body of the Church. And if it is ill in some part, the other can’t say, Is it our business? St. John Chrysostom, commenting on St. Paul’s words about the Mystical Body, says that when a man’s foot steps on a thorn or a prickle, the head bends so that the hands could remove the thorn. Remaining silent to what is happening in the Church in Germany is as if the eye said to the hand, I have no need of you, or the head to the feet, I have no need of you (cf. 1 Cor 12.21). I think that the same Spirit which inspired Paul the Apostle has inspired our Bishops to be responsible for the pastoral care of the family in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian bishops used some very interesting arguments. They say, for example, that because of “the new paths of the German Church” the souls of the Ukrainian Catholics are in danger, especially those who suffer from homosexual inclinations. How to understand that?

The Church under no circumstances discriminates against people who have some kind of disorder in the sphere of sexual identity because these disorders could be either a result of some kind of trauma or the effect of unhealthy relationships, etc. At the same time the Church reveals truth to all people, including the truth that acting out on such inclinations is a sin which destroys a human being. As long as the teaching of the Church in such delicate moral cases is clear and unambiguous, such people, who want to be faithful to their Christian vocation, struggle to lead a life of chastity. In such cases they can take advantage of either spiritual or therapeutic help.

A few days after the Commission for the family at the German Episcopate had written that homosexuality belonged to “normal types of sexual predispositions”, the news got into the Ukrainian media, particularly different leftist websites and wreaked much havoc in the heads of our faithful. How is it possible that the issues, which the Holy Scripture unambiguously judges as negative and sinful (meaning the acts), German Pastors and experts of their commission deemed “a normal predisposition”?! Such statements are contradictory to the Bible and magisterial documents, in particular to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Especially those Catholics felt betrayed, who carry a burden of homosexual inclinations and struggle for their own chastity. So far, they had received hope and courage from the Church.

However, when they heard that some pastors of the German Church preached something different, this undermined their faith a lot. Some of them asked us to explain the issue. This is why the letter was presented, and in the nearest future another letter will be addressed to the faithful of the Ukraine, which will remind them that the doctrine of the Church in these issues remains the same, because Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Heb 13.8).

It was also pointed out in the fraternal correction that the German bishops reach out to… promoters of LGBT ideology or gender ideology, which was strongly condemned by Pope Francis. What did the authors of these charges mean?

The Ukrainian leftist media, which supports gender ideology and LGBT circles, started taking the stance of the German Episcopate as a revolutionary change, as an example for the whole Church and not differentiating between the Commission and the Episcopate. At the same time, the same media showed the Church in Ukraine as a church which was backward and discriminated against people from LGBT circles. For example, “Our World” (from Kiev), an LGBT center for legal aid, published the following message on their website, “At the same time when Ukrainian Churches with zealous hatred fight for their sacred right to discriminate against and promote enmity towards LGBT people, the German Catholic Episcopate Conference has decided to re-examine the doctrine of the Church on the issue of homosexuality, sexual morality as such and the sacrament of Holy Orders, as well as the sacrament of Matrimony. After last week’s consultations in Berlin, the President of the Commission for marriage and the family of the German Bishops’ Conference announced that the bishops agreed with the statement that homosexuality was “a natural form of man’s identity”.

Do Catholics in the Ukraine follow the process of the so-called Synodal Path in Germany? What else, apart from the sphere of sexual morality, might raise their concern?

Some people do follow the process of the Synodal Path. Most often these are people who are involved in the life of the Church, who belong to different movements and communities. There are other topics that raise concern other than the issues in the sphere of sexual morality. Firstly, there is the process of a certain revision to the way power is exercised in the Church and there could be a temptation to change from the hierarchical system towards a democracy, which is typical of Protestant communities.

The process of the Synodal Path is itself happening in a way detached from the Church. This danger was emphasized by Cardinal Marc Ouellet and Pope Francis himself. Discussions on abolishing celibacy are disturbing, although this is not a dogmatic issue, but a very important sign of priestly commitment. Even more disturbing are discussions on female deaconates and a female priesthood. Heedless of the fact that the Magisterium of the Church expressed its own opinion on the subject, this issue was among those discussed in the Synodal Path.

Do you think that the admonition from the Ukrainian episcopate will be noticed in Germany? That it will provoke reflection?

It seems that the Church in Germany, including its shepherds, is under the strong influence of neo-Marxism. In the Ukraine (I mean also Poland) we have a vaccine against it because we had whole decades when we could see Marxism in its most brutal, totalitarian form. We pray for the Church in Germany, because we’ve received a lot of material support from their Catholics. Thanks to their support we’ve been able to build many churches and pastoral houses.

We haven’t forgotten that and apart from our prayers we thanked them for that support in our letter. However, we cannot be silent, because otherwise we’d be guilty of corruption. It’s hard to say if this letter will be noticed. Surely, it will be in some way. But I have little optimism in this case. I hope that our letter will bring courage and uplift the bishops who are faithful to the Revelation and who have raised the alarm. Certainly, among such hierarchs would be Card. Gerhard Müller, Card. Rainer Maria Woelki from Cologne and Bp. Rudolf Voderholzer from Regensburg. I hope that the letter will raise concerns about the Universal Church in some other Episcopates. I pray that they have discernment and the courage to defend the Faith.

We know that on December 17 Catholics and members of the Orthodox Church gathered in front of the Supreme Council of the Ukraine in Kiev to protest against LGBT ideology. It was a reaction to the parliamentary voting on “Bill 0931”, also called “The Bill to Prevent Discrimination” which was scheduled for that day and which, according to Ukrainian Christians, supposedly struck at the constitutional right to the freedom of expression. What was the reaction of the Roman Catholic bishops to that fact?

The bishops supported the initiative of the lay Catholics who went not only to protest in front of the Parliament but also to pray. Our shepherds also participated in improving that bill. The Ukrainian Council of Churches, which was presided over by Witalij Krywicki, the ordinary of the Diocese of Kiev-Zhytomyr, consulted extensively with lawyers and sent back their proposals to the parliament. Generally, the idea is that the Church could have its say on the issues mentioned in the bill (e.g., homosexuality) not only at church services and catechesis (this is not banned by the legislation), but also during public debates and would be able to preach the Gospel while not being accused of discrimination.

Please, from me personally and from the editorial staff and our readers, accept our cordial gratitude and expressions of special solidarity and, please, pass them along also to the Ukrainian bishops. What they did is an act of particular courage and fidelity to the teaching of the Church in our days.

Thank you very much.

Krystian Kratiuk
Transl. Jan J. Franczak

Published with permission from Polonia Christiana.


  amazon synod, catholic, celibacy, german bishops conference, germany, reinhard marx, synodal path, ukraine

Opinion

Texas Supreme Court to rule whether dad should share daughter with mom’s ex-boyfriend

The court is set to hear oral arguments in a parental rights case that could shape up to be truly groundbreaking.
Tue Feb 11, 2020 - 9:13 pm EST
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MR.Yanukit / Shutterstock.com
Texas Homeschool Coalition
By Texas Homeschool Coalition

AUSTIN, February 11, 2020 (Texas Homeschool Coalition) — The Texas Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in a parental rights case that could shape up to be truly groundbreaking.

The case (known as In re CJC) centers around a father who is battling against a non-relative for custody of his four-year-old daughter. This non-relative was the boyfriend of the daughter’s now-deceased mother.

What makes this case especially noteworthy is that all parties in the case openly acknowledge that the father is an entirely fit parent — a good father who acts in the best interest of his daughter. Nevertheless, the boyfriend argues that he should be allowed to share custody of the daughter over the father’s objections.

The conflict arose after the child’s mother died in a tragic car accident in 2018. At the time, the mother and father were divorced and were sharing approximately 50/50 custody of their daughter.

During the last 11 months of her life, the mother lived with her boyfriend. As a result, the daughter also lived with her mother’s boyfriend for about half of that 11-month period.

After the mother’s death, the daughter’s maternal grandparents filed suit against the father, seeking sole custody of their four-year-old granddaughter. The court dismissed the suit, noting the grandparents’ inability to prove that leaving the father as sole custodian would cause any harm to the child.

However, despite finding that the father was an entirely fit parent, the court still granted partial custody to the boyfriend. It reasoned that the boyfriend was not required to provide the same proof as the grandparents had been.

In fact, the judge agreed with the boyfriend’s argument that he should be allowed to come before the court on an equal footing with the actual father. The judge concurred that there should be no presumption in favor of the father’s having sole custody of his own daughter.

As was recently outlined in an attorney general opinion, which THSC worked to obtain in February 2019, the constitutional right of parents to raise their children has been clearly established through 100 years of case law. In fact, the United States Supreme Court describes it as “the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests recognized by this Court.”

What makes this case so disturbing is that a non-parent was not simply given custody of another man’s daughter — he was given custody on the grounds that the biological father had no greater right to custody of his own daughter than did a virtual stranger.

This case has far-reaching implications.

If the court agrees with the boyfriend’s argument, horrible damage could be done to the constitutional right of parents to raise their children.

On the other hand, if the court agrees with the father’s argument, such a decision could thoroughly squash dissenting voices who have argued for years that the fundamental constitutional rights of parents are weak and narrow. Dissenters make these arguments despite the 100 years of case law that say otherwise.

Thankfully, the Texas Supreme Court currently has at least four justices with a solid record of protecting the constitutional right of parents to raise their children. Only five votes are needed for the father to prevail. The court as a whole also has a long track record of protecting this right.

If the father is successful, the court could use the opportunity to write a broad opinion that eliminates ambiguities which dissenters often invent to belittle parental rights.

However, even in victory, the court could choose to rule narrowly in an attempt to resolve the case while avoiding the larger issues. It is not an overstatement to say that this case has the potential to become the most significant parental rights case in Texas history.

The enormous potential of the case has not been lost on the pro-family legal community.

Early last fall, the Texas Public Policy Foundation and the Texas Home School Coalition each submitted briefs defending the father’s constitutional right to make decisions for his daughter. THSC’s brief was joined by 14 legislators and two other pro-family organizations.

While the Texas Supreme Court was not required to hear the case at all, the court intervened and temporarily suspended the trial court’s grant of custody to the boyfriend while the justices considered a final decision on the case.

After the court’s temporary order, additional pro-family organizations lined up to support the father’s constitutional rights. Alliance Defending Freedom, the Parental Rights Foundation and A Voice for Choice Advocacy all submitted supporting briefs. The state of Texas also submitted a brief defending the father’s constitutional rights.

Following this litany of supporting briefs, the Texas Supreme Court has now scheduled the case for oral arguments on March 24. Representatives from THSC will be in attendance at the hearing.

While the battle is far from over, the strong support for this father’s right to raise his daughter, as well as the pro-family record of several Texas Supreme Court justices, provides hope that this could be the most significant and beneficial parental rights case Texas has ever seen.

Published with permission from the Texas Homeschool Coalition.


  courts, divorce, parental rights

Opinion

A Christian grandfather’s 12 steps to help guide his grandchildren to heaven

'Never stop striving to be the saint that God is calling you to become. Hear and follow His voice.'
Tue Feb 11, 2020 - 11:00 am EST
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Shutterstock.com
Paul Fuchs
By

Editor's note: The letter below was written by a Catholic father to his three grown children and their spouses. He writes that the letter “lists twelve concrete steps that they can take to increase the Faith and the spiritual growth of both themselves and their children.”

February 11, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Dear children and spouses of my children: Recently your Mom and I attended a program for teachers to be formed in the faith (we teach 9th grade Confirmation class). It was very thought-provoking and informative. Although you already are doing a good job with religious instruction, below are a few specific suggestions we gleaned from the program that may help you and your children to deepen your faith and augment your spiritual life.

I regret that I failed to do these very practices when you were younger, but I lacked the necessary wisdom and maturity. Thank God for Mom's intervention and wise instruction. I am now attempting to rectify that serious error. Do not make the same mistake I made and fail to take an active role in the spiritual life and faith formation of your young children.

Image

No one else is going to do this for you.

  1. Daily Family Prayer. Everyone joins in prayer. Morning, evening, before each meal, and/or bedtime. Consider the Rosary, even if only a decade. The Guardian Angel prayer, St. Michael the Archangel prayer, and Come, Holy Spirit prayer are short but effective prayers that children can easily learn. Brief periods of prayer are clearly better than none at all.
  2. Sunday Mass and Holy Eucharist. Make the Mass and the reception of the Eucharist the central focus of your family's week. Model for your family humility and deep reverence for Holy Communion.
  3. Sacrament of Reconciliation/Penance. Go with your children. Aim for once monthly, but no less than every 2-3 months. Remind them that we are all sinners, and that God wants us to ask for His forgiveness.
  4. The Holy Bible. Read the Bible regularly, including to your children. Again, a few minutes spent reading a few verses is better than none. The Bible provides a solid foundation for our Faith. Before each reading, ask the Holy Spirit to assist you to better understand God's word.
  5. The Saints. Read about the lives of the Saints to your children at least once weekly. The Saints are role models that we should emulate. Let your children hear their remarkable yet very human stories. Start with their patron Saints. The Saints' stories of individual courage and boldness, many even in the face of death, will inspire them as they encounter the dangers of the modern secular culture.
  6. Catholic/Christian Culture. Place the crucifix and pictures and/or statues of the Blessed Mother and/or Saints in a prominent location throughout your home. Do not hide your Faith from your children, or neighbors or visitors.
  7. Gratitude. Thank God frequently throughout each day for His gifts and His Grace. Compliment and thank your spouse regularly for his/her sacrifice. Educate your children about all the gifts God has already bestowed upon them, most importantly life itself, the gift of faith, and you as their parent.
  8. Dedication. Begin each day with a short prayer to ask God to assist you to draw closer to Jesus, our Lord and God, and to become a better Catholic, a better man or woman, a better father or mother, a better son or daughter, a better sibling.
  9. Discipline. Challenge yourself to set aside dedicated time each day, even if only five minutes, to pray to God and listen to His response. Silence is required to hear the voice of God. Devote time to Him.
  10. Talk. Set aside uninterrupted and dedicated time, even if only for 10-15 minutes, to talk with your children in an unhurried and attentive manner.  Aim to do this daily, but no less than three times per week. During this time, turn off everything - television, radio, cell phones, video games. Allow no exceptions.
  11. Volunteer. Seek to perform some charitable service as an entire family at your Church and/or at a local community agency, even if only once or twice per year.
  12. Trust. Even when times are tough, when there is a storm in your life and seemingly nowhere to turn, trust completely in God that He will calm the storm, just as He did for the Apostles in the boat, and provide you with a safe and welcoming shelter.

Bonus. Laudate App. The most popular Catholic app. Add this to your iPhone. This app has daily Mass readings, reflections, stories on the Saint of the Day, prayers, etc. Mom highly recommends it!

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Never stop striving to be the saint that God is calling you to become. Hear and follow His voice.

Mom and I are immensely proud of you and your children. Continue the good work.

Love Dad


  christian, family, heaven, prayer

Opinion

After huge backlash, major bank reinstates scholarship funding for Christian schools

Fifth Third Bank got an earful from the local community. And, after a few days of protests, rallies, and non-stop phone calls, the business finally relented.
Tue Feb 11, 2020 - 10:04 am EST
Featured Image
Rosamar / Shutterstock.com
Tony Perkins Tony Perkins
By Tony Perkins

February 11, 2020 (FRC Action) — Seven hundred kids. That's how many students would have lost their scholarships — and a chance at a better life — if Fifth Third Bank hadn't come to its senses. Instead, after a week of uncertainty, the company sat down with Florida parents and pastors and decided not to listen to Florida's cultural bullies. It's one thing for a company to support LGBT extremism. It's quite another, the bank agreed, to hurt needy children in the process.

Most kids had already left school for the weekend when they got the good news: one of the biggest contributors to the Florida voucher program wasn't dropping out after all. Fifth Third Bank — who'd joined Wells Fargo in abandoning the scholarships — had gotten an earful from the local community. And, after a few days of protests, rallies, and non-stop phone calls, the business finally relented: its $5.4 million investment in school choice for the state would go on — regardless of what the Orlando Sentinel and a handful of liberal lawmakers think.

It was a major reversal for the bank, who threw the program into complete chaos earlier in the month — all because parents had the option of using those scholarships for religious schools, who (not surprisingly) have religious beliefs. Democratic Reps. Anna K. Eskamani (D) and Carlos Guillermo Smith (D) apparently object to that and have been harassing corporate donors to drop their contributions over those schools' biblical views on marriage and sexuality. Local parents, pastors, and politicians were furious — including a good number of their Democratic colleagues. Members like Reps. James Bush III (D) and Rep. Al Jasquet (D) couldn't believe their party would actually use children as pawns to appease the LGBT Left. "We have children that need these opportunities," Bush said. When there's a chance for parents to have a choice that will help their kids, "we should afford them that opportunity."

So when Fifth Third's leaders finally listened to reason and reinstated their donations, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who's been an outspoken champion of the program, was thrilled. "I am glad to see Fifth Third Bank putting students and their families above destructive identity politics," he said. "It shows people can raise their voice and overcome the insane 'woke' agenda that drives our politics and culture. School vouchers provide opportunities for low income and special needs students, and I am proud of all the Floridians that stood up for these children." Other leaders from both parties, including Governor Ron DeSantis (R), also praised the company for seeing the bigger picture.

As principals like Lakisha Robinson know better than anyone, this option is sometimes the only option for parents. Her Victory Christian Academy is right smack-dab in the inner-city of Orlando, an "oasis in the desert," as she calls it. "We're almost all minori[ties]," Lakisha explains. "We have mostly African-Americans... in an area that's mostly impoverished." When parents have the choice between a failing school or a private one, "it's a whole other ballgame."

But Victory, like other schools in the program, is "unapologetically Christian," so having bullies at the door is nothing new. "We catch a lot of different heat in this area," explained on "Washington Watch." But the reality is, Lakisha explains, no child is forced to go to their school — parents choose it. And they do so, she points out, even when they aren't Christians themselves because "they love the positive environment of the academy" and its proven success.

Sure, she agrees, they could get more money being a charter school (which is what a lot of liberals have tried to push Victory toward), but that would mean surrendering their values. "They [wouldn't] allow us to use our Christian curriculum or ... allow us to keep Christian in our name. And we want it to be Victory Christian Academy, not Victory Academy." The state's voucher program is one thing that helped her school keep its identity and offer a high-class education. "It means more to us to stand firm on God's principles." These needy neighborhoods, she insists, "need the Word of God more than anything."

And the results speak for themselves. In these past 18 years, students are graduating and getting into good universities. "These are first generation college students," she says. Their lives — and the lives of their families — will be forever impacted because of this program. If Fifth Third Bank can see that, surely Wells Fargo can too. Join us in calling on their leadership to put aside their petty agenda and support Florida's children. Contact them by phone or email here. Schools like Lakisha's depend on it!

Published with permission from FRC Action.


  education, fifth third, scholarships, school choice, wells fargo

Opinion

Voter fraud is a huge problem in the Democratic Party

The modern Democratic Party actively encourages and facilitates voter fraud at every opportunity.
Tue Feb 11, 2020 - 9:41 am EST
Featured Image
Matthew Cavanaugh / Getty Images
John Eidson
By John Eidson

February 11, 2020 (American Thinker) — The Democrats' explanation for frantically pursuing President Trump's impeachment and conviction went like this: If he's not removed from office, he will rig this year's election as he did in 2016. According to Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his hand-picked team of anti-Trump, pro-Hillary investigators, no evidence was found that presidential candidate Donald J. Trump was involved in election-rigging of any kind. But such rigging did occur in 2016, including the instances mentioned below. 

As Bernie Sanders can attest, his 2016 run for the presidency was rigged out of existence by collusion between the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, both of which were later implicated in a nationwide voter fraud operation. Three weeks prior to the election, investigative journalist James O'Keefe's Project Veritas released two videos of an undercover sting in which high-level Democrat operatives bragged about running a nationwide voter fraud operation financed by the DNC and the Clinton campaign:

  • "We've been busing in people [illegal voters] for 50 years and we're not going to stop now."
  • "[We know] this is illegal."
  • "I think backward from how they would prosecute us, and then try to build out a method to avoid [getting caught]."
  • "We implement the plan across every Republican-held state."
  • "[Our operation] causes massive changes in state legislatures and Congress."
  • "Hillary knows what's going on."

One of the covert operatives caught in the Project Veritas sting is a longtime Democrat named Bob Creamer. Found guilty in 2005 of tax violations and bank fraud, Creamer was a respected player in Democratic Party politics. Official visitor logs show the convicted felon visited the Obama White House 342 times, including 47 personal meetings with President Obama, a fact that was buried by the mainstream media when O'Keefe's explosive exposés were released less than a month before the election Hillary Clinton was heavily favored to win.

Although Creamer was forced to resign after being caught on tape discussing a nationwide voter fraud operation funded by the DNC and the Clinton campaign, the Democrat dirty tricks operative was honored with a front-row seat at President Obama's farewell address in January 2017. Click here to see an NBC News screen grab of Creamer and his wife seated directly in front of the podium where President Obama spoke. In the Democratic Party, getting caught bragging about a nationwide voter fraud operation is worthy of being awarded the most coveted seat in the house.

How Democrats use false charges of Republican racism to justify and facilitate voter fraud

Covert voter fraud operations aren't the only way Democrats subvert fair elections. Despite their feigned protests to the contrary, voter ID laws are not racist, nor do they suppress minority voting. How does requiring voters to present a photo ID suppress the ability of any adult citizen to vote? Government-issued photo IDs are easily obtainable by every legitimate voter in America, including those who don't drive. Virtually every voting-age citizen already has photo identification, yet Democrats aggressively oppose laws that require photo IDs to vote. Blocking voter ID laws is but another way Democrats knowingly rig elections by facilitating and encouraging illegal voting.

Things that require photo identification:

  • Driving a vehicle
  • Airport check-in
  • Hotel check-in
  • Hospitals & outpatient testing
  • Doctors' offices
  • Social Security office
  • Medicare/Medicaid
  • Pawn shop transactions
  • Federal, state & local courts
  • Military bases
  • Donating blood
  • Volunteering at charities
  • Professional applications
  • College applications
  • Job applications
  • Buying a house
  • Boarding a cruise ship
  • Boarding a train
  • Getting a license to hunt or fish
  • Buying cigarettes & alcohol
  • Opening a bank account
  • Applying for credit
  • Cashing a check
  • Getting a tattoo or body piercing
  • Getting a library card
  • Visiting Congress

Things that don't require photo ID in many Democrat-run jurisdictions:

  • Voting

Democrat election official admits rampant voter fraud

As reported by The New York Post, Manhattan Board of Elections commissioner Alan Shulkin was caught on a Project Veritas undercover video slamming Mayor Bill de Blasio's municipal ID program as contributing to "all kinds of fraud," including voter fraud.  Here's more of what Commissioner Shulkin had to say:

  • "I think there's a lot of voter fraud."
  • "There's thousands of absentee ballots and I don't know where they came from."
  • "In some neighborhoods they bus people around to vote, they take them from poll to poll."
  • "De Blasio's municipal IDs can be used for anything, including voting."
  • "The city doesn't vet people who get ID cards to see who they really are."
  • "Anybody can go in there and say I am John Smith and I want an ID card."

So was Commissioner Shulkin praised by fellow Democrats for exposing voter fraud? Not a chance. A month after his comments were made public, he was told by party officials to hit the road.

Bottom line

As shameless practitioners of the "ends justify the means" election tactics of Saul Alinsky, the modern Democratic Party actively encourages and facilitates voter fraud at every opportunity. If America had an honorable press, Democrat election-rigging operations would have been blown out of the water decades ago.

An electrical engineering graduate of Georgia Tech and now retired, John Eidson is a freelance writer in Atlanta.

Published with permission from the American Thinker.


  2020 democrat primary, 2020 presidential election, bernie sanders, donald trump, voter fraud, voting

Blogs

US bishops’ 2020 voting guide videos omit ‘pre-eminence’ of abortion

The videos redirect the attention of U.S. Catholics to other issues, like immigration and 'climate change.'
Tue Feb 11, 2020 - 8:38 pm EST
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USCCB / YouTube
Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug
By Doug Mainwaring

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 11, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has released a series of five short videos aimed to “inspire prayer and action in political life and to help Catholics apply the Church’s teaching as handed down by Pope Francis,” as the U.S. moves deeper into the 2020 election year.

However, the videos fail to acknowledge the pre-eminence of abortion as the most significant life issue continuing to face the Catholic Church in the United States as they redirect the attention of U.S. Catholics to other issues — such as immigration and “climate change” — which are more dear to liberal prelates and the pontiff. 

The failure to highlight abortion as pre-eminent is particularly glaring in the video that zeroes in on protecting human life and dignity

The seamless garment has prevailed

The videos are said to complement the USCCB’s document, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” approved at last fall’s general assembly, but only after a contentious discussion among the bishops over whether or not abortion should continue to be recognized as the “pre-eminent” life issue facing the Church and the world today.

In the end, bishops who fought to maintain abortion as a top social justice priority won 143-69, voting against including a full quote by Pope Francis in the document that downplayed abortion and which one bishop argued was necessary to keep the bishops’ priorities in line with the pope’s.

While the “pre-eminence” of abortion was kept in the document, it is nowhere to be found in the videos. 

Some might dismiss this as an oversight, but the omission is a loud declaration that the USCCB chose to let abortion fade as a top life issue while quietly embracing the view of a minority — but powerful — cadre of liberal prelates aligned with Pope Francis and papal nuncio Christophe Pierre.   

The one third of bishops who along with Pope Francis have chosen to embrace the spirit of Cardinal Bernardin’s “seamless garment” — an approach which assigns equal weight to all important social justice issues — have apparently won where it counts.  

While almost no laypersons have read the bishops’ document on faithful citizenship, the videos are intended to be widely viewed, broadcasting the bishops’ message to laity and the world at large. The implied message is that abortion is just one of many important issues.

USCCB throws door wide open for Catholics to vote for Democrats in 2020

“The bishops of the U.S. invite all Catholics to bring their faith into the public square,” said Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the USCCB, in a statement introducing the videos. Gomez also served as chairman of the working group on Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, which was responsible for the videos.  

Yet Catholics are being sent into the public square during this election year charged with a radically different set of faith priorities. 

With abortion removed as a top focus, reduced to the moral equivalent of immigration as a life issue, the Catholic bishops of the United States have thrown the door wide open for Catholics to vote for Democrat candidates.

This is unsurprising, considering the pope’s antipathy for President Trump and his pontificate’s embrace of highly politicized liberal causes. 

“Political engagement and participation are important ways that together we can work to protect the unborn, welcome immigrants, bring justice to victims of racism and religious intolerance, support families, accompany those experiencing poverty, and advocate on behalf of all who are vulnerable,” said Gomez.

Chairman of the USCCB’s Pro-Life Committee Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann’s missed opportunity

Perhaps the most surprising element of the video series is that Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, chairman of the USCCB’s Pro-Life Committee and a stalwart protector of the unborn, appears in the videos but does not declare the primacy of abortion. 

Until now, Naumann has been unwavering in his defense of the unborn. 

In his powerful homily at the National Prayer Vigil for Life Mass in Washington, D.C. last year, Archbishop Naumann declared unequivocally, “Protecting the life of unborn children is the pre-eminent human rights issue of our time.” But there is barely an echo of that statement in his video appearance.

Perhaps Archbishop Naumann is the victim of an editor’s cut and splice, but it seems likely he would have had the opportunity to critique the videos before they were released.

Videos make no attempt to appeal to Catholic men

Not only is the content of the videos jarring for pro-life America, but the effeminate tone that saturates the entire series will leave many Catholic men cold.

This is not a call to action to soldiers and warriors for Christ; it is an appeal for do-gooders and helpers in a Church where women and soft men possess the dominant voice. 

The videos call not for the Church Militant, girded with the full armor of God (Eph. 6:10–17), but for the Church Reactionary, armed with placards, aprons, and a smiling face.     

The infomercial-style videos feature various bishops, including Archbishop Gomez, Archbishop Naumann, Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, and auxiliary bishop Robert Barron of Los Angeles. They are available in four languages (English, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese):

And while the five videos have been available to the public via YouTube for more than a week, they have been viewed, on average, less than a thousand times each. 


  abortion, catholic, jose gomez, joseph naumann, united states conference of catholic bishops, usccb, voting

Blogs

Think LGBT cultural changes ‘won’t affect you’? Here’s the ugly way they do

I've spoken with and received emails from heartbroken parents whose lives and families have been destroyed by the transgender phenomenon.
Tue Feb 11, 2020 - 8:06 pm EST
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Veja / Shutterstock.com
Jonathon Van Maren Jonathon Van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon Van Maren

February 11, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — LGBT activism generally has two steps. Step one has the activists angrily asking those who oppose their agenda how the proposed policy will impact their lives, with the emphatic assertion that it will not. The second step has these same activists, once they have successfully achieved their goal and demonized their opponents, informing us all precisely how their agenda will impact our lives. They assured us that redefining marriage, for example, would have no impact on religious liberty. A few minutes later, Democratic presidential candidates on CNN were musing about removing charitable status from churches.

Even scarier is the transgender agenda. Trans activists and their allies are claiming that any girl or boy who believes herself or himself to be born in the wrong body should immediately receive “affirmative” treatment, which generally includes puberty-blockers, hormone treatments, and eventually the requisite mastectomies and castrations to complete what they are now insidiously referring to as “gender affirmation surgery.” Parents are often caught off guard by their children coming out as transgender and are so viciously attacked when they suggest that their children should wait before engaging in any regimens or surgeries with permanent results (mutilation and infertility being only two) that concerned parents frequently have to meet in secret.

In fact, some trans activists are openly claiming that any parent showing insufficient enthusiasm for “gender affirmation treatments” is guilty of negligence or even abuse, despite rising numbers of teenagers who are realizing, too late, that surgery was not the right answer for them. (One girl who went through the surgery and now regrets it stated bluntly that “those surgeons should be in prison.”) In fact, the Journal of Medical Ethics recently suggested that children might be taken away from their parents if the parents disallow their underage children to purse transgender surgeries.

These ideas are beginning to creep into the political sphere as well. A recent example cropped up during this month’s election in Ireland, where an “LGBTI spokesman” for the notoriously progressive Sinn Féin party stated that if his party secured enough seats to form government, children under the age of sixteen would be permitted to take their own parents to court if their parents were opposed to the children changing their legal sex. John McGuirk of Gript reported that Senator Fintan Warfield, answering a question from the Trans Equality Network Ireland (a group funded by the taxpayers), noted that:

In relation to gender recognition, we want to extend gender recognition to 16 and 17-year-olds, that would be what the Sinn Fein supports, and then, allowing gender recognition for under 16-year-olds with parental consent, and then where parental consent isn’t available, that the family court would rule in the best interest of the child, would be the Sinn Fein’s position.

In short, a major political party was suggesting that the courts could be used to usurp parental authority and permit underage children to legally change their sex on their birth certificates and other official documents. If the parents do not accept that their son has become their daughter or their daughter has become their son, Sinn Féin is happy to ensure that the government will. At the moment, parental consent is needed for a child to change how legal documents record his sex.

Just a few years ago, the LGBT lobby was condemning those who resisted the transgender agenda, angrily demanding to know why anyone would oppose something that would allegedly have no impact on their lives. This was a lie. I’ve spoken with and received emails from heartbroken parents (one of whom had two children identifying as transgender), and in some cases, their lives and their families have been destroyed by the transgender phenomenon. One mother mourned that her “once-beautiful daughter is now bearded, homeless, and sterilized.” Nobody told her, and thousands of others, that their children would be swept up in this phenomenon — and that many of their sons and daughters would make irrevocable choices as a result.

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 U.S. You can subscribe here and listen to the episode below: 


  homosexuality, lgbt tyranny, parental rights, transgenderism

Blogs

Analyzing the de facto schism in the Catholic Church in Germany

Martin Bürger is a German Catholic journalist who has the inside scoop on what's going on in the Church in Germany.
Tue Feb 11, 2020 - 4:21 pm EST
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John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry
By John-Henry Westen

February 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — For years the Catholic Church in Germany has been heading down a very dangerous path. It seems that with each day we are getting closer to a point where it officially breaks off into schism.

Just last week the Vice President of the German Bishops Conference, Bishop Franz-Josef Bode, said that, “Christ became a human being, not a man.” What blasphemy! 

On top of that, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the president of the German Bishops Conference, has time and time again expressed support for heretical policies — ordaining women deacons, allowing Protestants to receive Holy Communion, and blessing homosexual unions, among other things. Thankfully, he will not be seeking re-election as head of the bishops conference. 

Today on my podcast I delve into everything going on in the German Church with Martin Bürger, a journalist who now works at LifeSite but was born and raised in Germany. Martin received his Master’s degree from the International Theological Institute in Austria in 2017. He is an expert on the faith in Germany, so I wanted to get his take on what’s really going on there.

Martin and I discuss a wide range of issues related to the German Church. We talk about the “synodal path” that they have embraced as well as the far-left proposals churchmen there want to enact. We discuss the Acies ordinata I participated in in Munich against Cardinal Marx and we get to the bottom of why the German Church has so much power and seems to be able to do whatever it wants without any reprimand from the Vatican.

“The German Bishops conference decided to embark on the synodal path only in 2019,” Bürger told me. “And right after that they decided to have four different study groups to prepare and focus on.”

The four subjects they are tackling, he continued, are 1) power and the abuse of power among clerics 2) the role of women in the Church 3) sexual morality and 4) priestly lifestyle. 

In the documents that have been prepared on these topics there exists “all kinds of interesting and weird and bad stuff,” Bürger explained. The text is written in such a way that it “opens the door to the use of contraception, to masturbation, and to homosexuality as a good an accepted practice.” The documents are completely and utter contradictory to what the Catechism teaches, he added.

I’ve argued before that the German bishops conference, it’s vice president, and many of the bishops (or at least a good number of the bishops in Germany) are all going in this direction, and that they are going to end up totally opposed to the faith.

And even though German Cardinals Walter Brandmüller and Gerhard Müller have warned about a potential schism, Cardinal Marx continues to push his heresy without thinking twice. Why and how can that be?

“The German church,” Bürger told me, “is very, very rich in many ways due to the church tax that they collect…everybody even nominally Catholic contributes to the church's well-being by being taxed at a certain rate. And that money, obviously, buys influence…that’s one of the main reasons the Germans are so influential in the Vatican.”

Bürger says that the money the German church collects is based on numbers, and that even though the church has seen hundreds of thousands of people leave the faith in recent years, many of them still get taxed as Catholics. He believes that the Church in Germany wants to keep those tax dollars pouring in, so it “wants to be appealing and open to every kind of sinful situation.”

If the church was more conservative, he said, it could alienate the faithful and drive them away, which could lead to more people leaving the church, which would result in them losing out on massive amounts of money.

Despite the preponderance of heresy and the likelihood of schism, Bürger says that the culture in Germany is still strong and that there are lots of organizations and faithful Catholics doing good work.

“We have a lot of people who go to adoration and that kind of thing,” he said. “So we have to start somewhere. And then just with the grace of God…things will work out.”

The John-Henry Westen Show is available by video on the show’s YouTube channel and right here on my LifeSite blog.

It is also available in audio format on platforms such as SpotifySoundcloud, and ACast. We are awaiting approval for iTunes and Google Play as well. To subscribe to the audio version on various channels, visit the ACast webpage here.

We’ve created a special email list for the show so that we can notify you every week when we post a new episode. Please sign up now by clicking here. You can also subscribe to the YouTube channel, and you’ll be notified by YouTube when there is new content.

You can send me feedback, or ideas for show topics by emailing [email protected].


  cardinal marx, cardinal reinhard marx, german bishops conference, german catholic bishops, the john-henry westen show, vatican

Blogs

How Egyptian Christians murdered for their faith can revitalize the corrupted West

The particular persons are secondary to the main message: the victory of ordinary people through Christ.
Tue Feb 11, 2020 - 8:53 am EST
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Acclaimed author Martin Mosebach at the premiere of his new book, The 21.
Peter Kwasniewski Peter Kwasniewski Follow Dr. Peter
By Dr. Peter Kwasniewski

February 11, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Martin Mosebach, a German novelist who has won major prizes for his literature, is also a penetrating, witty, and sensitive essayist about issues facing the Catholic Church today. One of his books has gained considerable fame: The Heresy of Formlessness, first published in English by Ignatius Press and now published in a second, expanded edition by Angelico Press. Another fine collection of essays is his Subversive Catholicism.

Mosebach surprised the world with his most recent work of nonfiction, The 21: A Journey into the Land of Coptic Martyrs, which he researched during a lengthy stay in Egypt. The English translation was released by Plough Press one year ago, in February 2019. As its title makes clear, it centers on the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians by the forces of ISIS sometime between February 12 and February 15, 2015. Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria (“pope” here is an ancient honorific title for the head of the regional church) canonized them and appointed February 15 as their feast day.

The first part of Mosebach’s fascinating and at times riveting book discusses the political dimensions of the act recorded on the video released by ISIS on February 15, 2015. Mosebach brings his keen powers of observation and description to bear on the different people he meets and their different ways of thinking about the Christian faith in the midst of a predominantly Muslim society. In a dialogue about martyrdom with a young agnostic entrepreneur (ch. 4), the contrast between modernity and Christianity is starkly drawn:

The Christians’ concept of truth is neither formula nor doctrine — it is a person, Jesus Christ, who said that he himself is truth. Those to whom he has revealed himself must not, and cannot, ever betray him; they must bear witness to his simultaneous divinity and humanity[.] ... [The] Christians’ truth ... is proved by their readiness to die for it. (36)

For the entrepreneur, however, “business is the ultimate truth, which I totally get. It sounds like your peasants from those dumps in Upper Egypt might be the very last Christians” (37).

Mosebach imagines Nietzsche “squaring off” and losing against the murdered Copts’ bishop, the metropolitan of Samalut, who radiates confidence, strength, determination, intelligence, compassion, and devotion to Christ the King (41–51). The bishop says at one point:

Why do you want to meet these people [the victims’ families]? Do not expect too much. They are all the same. You can visit any Coptic family, and you will find the same attitude toward the church everywhere — the same strong faith, and the same readiness for martyrdom. This is not a Western church in a Western society. We are the Church of Martyrs. I take no special risk when I say that not a single Copt in Upper Egypt would betray the faith. (46)

When Mosebach reaches the village, “to meet these people,” he finds it poor and ordinary. The families that lost sons to the Islamic terrorists laud and celebrate their memories, with photographs to which crowns have been added. A Copt had composed a hymn to them:

... a simple verse that, like a litany, recited all their names and sang their praises. ... Relatives both young and old, as well as my ever-increasing entourage, stood before the reliquary and sang the hymn, their hands raised in prayer. ... To my ears, this type of singing didn’t sound particularly sacred, but rather cheery and playful, like a children’s counting rhyme. ... By opening one’s mouth in song, loss became reverence, grief became gratitude, despair became joy, and the tune carried everyone away. (95)

Mosebach is startled to discover no desire for recrimination:

In the many conversations I had, never once did anyone call for retribution or revenge, not even for the murderers to be punished. It was as if the families wanted nothing whatsoever to do with them, because the martyrs’ sheer splendor outshone them[.] (93)

I noticed a review of this book at Amazon in which the reader said he was disappointed that Mosebach wasn’t able to find a lot of personal information on these men: they were inconsequential, average young men. What this reviewer failed to see is Mosebach’s frequently reiterated point: the particular persons are secondary to the main message: the victory of ordinary people through Christ. As the metropolitan had said, nearly any randomly selected group of twenty-one Copts could have been marched on to the beach and executed for their faith.

They now wore crowns, even though they had only done what was expected of them, and what all their brothers were equally prepared to do. Unexpectedly, this natural fulfillment of duty, which would otherwise be taken for granted, was surrounded by the greatest splendor — but this served only to prove that little more than the thinnest veil separates earthly life from the heavenly sphere. (82)

Why should Catholics take seriously the witness of these twenty-one, who belong to an ancient ecclesial body that is no longer in communion with the pope of Rome? The great English Catholic liturgist Fr. Adrian Fortescue gives us the answer:

For the sake of these glorious memories [Antony of the desert, Paul the first hermit, Athanasius, et al.], for the sake too, of the long line of their martyrs under Islam, we can feel nothing but respect, wish nothing but good for the people of Christ in Egypt. They have stood for his name so faithfully during the long, dark centuries now past. May they stand for it in happier ages to come. May they confess it (honoring the all-holy Lady Theotokos) no longer, please God, in unhappy isolation, but joined again to the Church which acknowledges him throughout all the world[.] (Aidan Nichols, The Latin Clerk [Cambridge: Lutterworth Press, 2011], 121)

There are at least four lessons we should have the humility to learn from the Coptic Christians.

First, the big picture — the cosmic, eschatological picture — is clearer to them than it is to us in the West; they truly see the world with “Christian eyes.” Western believers have allowed their vision to become clouded; we are distracted, caught up in minutiae, lulled to sleep by comforts, narrowed by the narrowness of modernity. Our notions of progress are laughably naïve.

From their [the Copts’] point of view, the ups and downs of history are merely temporary conditions: no victory or defeat of life’s good cause is permanent. Right up until the last judgement, the entire earth will remain a battlefield, but it only mirrors the simultaneous, invisible battle being waged between angels and demons. Again and again, it is angels who help believers overcome evil. (192)

Second, for all the talk about a “new evangelization,” Catholics are not very good at it; we don’t stand up well to persecution, which is the most basic form of evangelical witness. The Copts’ marginalized status in Islamic Egypt has only intensified their adherence to Christ and His Gospel and show us what it will look like, and what it will take, to thrive as a minority:

The western Church must ask itself whether it is as well prepared to spread the faith in an increasingly secularized world as the Coptic Church is. The Copts have clearly had a head start: they have long had to withstand oppression by a hostile majority, and have an intimate collective knowledge of martyrdom. Due to this history, they have endured countless setbacks for more than a millenium. And yet they have not disappeared and they have not grown numb; on the contrary, they have kept the apostolic heritage of early Christianity alive. ... The Copts have relevant experience when it comes to the future of Christianity too. How might Christianity look, and continue on, once societal majorities and governments are no longer tolerant and benevolent, but hostile? (212–13)

Persecution is not going away. How are we going to deal with it?

Another recent book by a Coptic Christian, Putting Joy into Practice by Phoebe Farag Mikhail, tells us about another group of courageous Christians from Egypt. Shortly after the slaying of the twenty-one, twenty-five parishioners in Tanta were killed when a bomb exploded during services on Palm Sunday. Fr. Daniel Maher, whose son was killed during this explosion, prayed this prayer of thanksgiving at the funeral — wearing the same blood-spattered tunic he had worn on the day of the attack:

Let us give thanks unto the beneficent and merciful God, the Father of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ. For He has shielded us, rescued us, and accepted us unto Him, had compassion on us, supported us, and brought us unto this hour[.] ... O Master, Lord God Almighty, Father of Our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ, we thank You upon every condition, for any condition, in whatever condition. (85)

Attacks on Christians in Sri Lanka and in Texas — and the more subtle but no less real persecution of Christians in the workplace or in politics — force us to consider whether we are willing to stand up for the Lord when the time of confrontation comes.

Third, we need to ask ourselves if we are not too insulated, cocooned in comfort, in our technologized world. Can Christianity endure where comfort reigns, where money is plentiful, where pain is avoided, and where commitment is systematically shunned? The Copts radically challenge our “prosperity gospel” and our usual metrics, giving us all the more reason to separate ourselves in some ways from the norms of our decadent society.

At one point Mosebach finds himself at a mall in New Cairo and sees it as a mirage:

The intolerance of the past, the fateful choice between conversion or death, the smell of blood, violence, proud zealotry, loyalty, truth, and tears — it all sounded strange and unlikely in this shopping mall where no such articles could be bought. And because absolutely everything else imaginable actually was in stock, there was no room to feel like something was missing. Wasn’t this the solution to all those unsolvable issues, all the baggage that history sought to drag along into the present and the future? (222)

Fourth, in the chapter most intriguing to me (ch. 13, “The Martyrs’ Liturgy”), Mosebach says of the Copts’ extremely ancient Eucharistic liturgy, which takes hours to sing:

They have preserved the rite, because it can be celebrated in all its fullness even in the poorest, most primitive places. It has been preserved in isolation, perhaps precisely so that it can be present at a time like ours, in which Western Christianity appears ready to renounce all ties to its roots in the ancient church. Western critics of the traditional [Roman] rite often accuse “liturgical men” [homines liturgi] of exaggerating the liturgy’s importance, holding it up as aestheticism while at the same time neglecting the other pillars of the church: diakonia, serving the poor; and martyria, bearing witness to one’s faith. The Copts don’t need their liturgy to be held up as such an example — indeed, for them, the opposite is true: liturgia and martyria are obviously and inseparably connected. (152–53)

If we expect to be true servants and witnesses, we must also be true worshipers who celebrate the mystery of God “in all its fullness, even in the poorest, most primitive places,” hymning His majesty and miracles, and not renouncing our inheritance of faith. The traditional liturgical rites of the Catholic Church are permeated with “conversion or death, the smell of blood, violence, proud zealotry, loyalty, truth, and tears.” We must recover and renew ourselves with these rites, living and dying by their power, if we expect to have the strength to be Christ’s witnesses in the times ahead.


  catholic, christian persecution, coptic christians, egypt, isis, martin mosebach

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Our Lady of Lourdes, finding Christ through Mary

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EpisodesSpecial Reports Tue Feb 11, 2020 - 4:43 pm EST

Analyzing the de facto schism in the Catholic Church in Germany

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