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News

Canadian Conservative party bars another social conservative from leadership race

Jim Karaholios told supporters his disqualification was 'unlawful.'
Mon Mar 23, 2020 - 9:20 pm EST
Featured Image
Jim Karaholios. CBC News / YouTube.com
Anthony Murdoch
By Anthony Murdoch

TORONTO, Ontario, March 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A Conservative Party of Canada subcommittee has banned social conservative candidate Jim Karaholios from running for the leadership of the party. This happened despite the fact that he had submitted the required signatures and funds to be eligible to run in the race.

In a March 20 statement, the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) said the Dispute Resolution Appeals Committee (DRAC) had ruled that Karaholios, an Ontario lawyer, was officially disqualified from the race. No reason was given.

The DRAC is a subcommittee of the Leadership Election Organizing Committee (LEOC) of the CPC, which oversees candidates. Its ruling reads:

After careful consideration of all the evidence and submissions of Mr. Karahalios and the complainant, and the findings and reasons for decision of the Chief Returning Officer, the Dispute Resolution Appeals Committee rules that Mr. Karahalios be disqualified as a candidate for Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.

According to the CPC official statement, the party’s chief returning officer (CRO) reviewed a complaint made against Karaholios on March 9. The complaint against him was for “statements made by Mr. Karahalios through email, mail, and social media earlier in the month.”

After reviewing testimony from both the unnamed complainant and Karaholios, the CRO made a ruling (which has not been made public) on March 17 regarding Karaholios after consultation with the LEOC. Karaholios unsuccessfully appealed the March 17 decision the following day.

LifeSiteNews contacted the CPC for comment regarding Karaholios being disqualified but was told to refer to the official party statement.

The official CPC statement ends as follows: “No further comment will be made by LEOC, the Co-Chairs, the CRO or DRAC.”

The banishment of Karaholios marks the second time in a month that a socially conservative candidate has been prohibited from running in the party leadership race. In late February, pro-life and pro-family advocate Richard Décarie was barred from running.

Karaholios has the support of Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) as one of three pro-life socially conservative approved candidates, alongside Derek Sloan and Leslyn Lewis. Sloan and Lewis are now officially on the ballot. 

In a March 20 statement about the matter, CLC said it was “outraged” that Karaholios is barred from running, going on to say he has every right to be there.

“He has earned the right to be on the ballot,” said Jeff Gunnarson, National President of CLC. “Accordingly, grassroots party members have a right to vote for him in this leadership race.”

Today, CLC launched a petition in support of Karaholios, which calls on the CPC’s National Council to reinstate him as an official candidate, saying his disqualification was “illegitimate.” 

“His unlawful ‘disqualification’ at the hands of the party’s Dispute Resolution Appeals Committee (DRAC) is illegitimate,” says the CLC petition.

“According to the published leadership election rules, this small group of anonymous people on DRAC do not possess the authority to disqualify candidates.”

The petition ends with a call to action to “demand that CPC National Council override DRAC, and reinstate Jim’s candidacy, effective immediately.”

In an email sent to his followers on March 22, Karaholios said it was not LEOC that disqualified him; rather, it “was done by a small group of anonymous people who did not have the authority.”

He also said his disqualification was “unlawful” and “not in accordance with the National Council's Leadership Election ‘Rules.’” He urged his followers to contact the party’s National Council in protest and provided names and emails of both the LEOC and the National Council members.

CLC’s political operations director, Jack Fonseca, said in the March 20 CLC statement that CLC is pleased to have at least half of the candidates be social conservatives, but “[i]t should be three out of five, and LEOC cannot be allowed to get away with this.”

In addition to Sloan and Lewis, only two other candidates are officially fully on the ballot: pro-abortion Peter MacKay and Ontario M.P. Erin O’Toole.

There are two other approved candidates in the running, Marilyn Gladu and Rudy Husny, who have until March 25 to submit the remainder of $300,000 along with 3,000 signatures to the party to stay in the race. Rick Peterson announced on Friday that he was withdrawing.

The CPC and the LEOC have come under fire from approved candidates for not postponing the leadership race considering the coronavirus epidemic. Sloan blasted the LEOC this past Sunday for not delaying and moving forward all deadlines.

As it stands now, the leader will be announced at the June 27 party convention in Toronto.

The deadline to be eligible to vote in the CPC leadership race is April 17, and one must be a member of the party to vote. CLC is asking pro-life Canadians who are over the age of 14 to purchase Conservative Party memberships before the deadline.

Find CLC Petition in support of Jim Karahalios here: https://www.campaignlifecoalition.com/petition/id/36

Contact information: 

Conservative Party of Canada 
1720-130 Albert St. Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5G4
1-866-808-8407
https://www.conservative.ca/contact/


  conservative party of canada, jim karaholios, social conservatives

News

Priest calls for spiritual adoption of victims dying alone from coronavirus

There's a movement to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet for the quarantined victims.
Mon Mar 23, 2020 - 7:32 pm EST
Featured Image
Intensive Care Unit at hospital in Lombardy, Italy Screenshot, Sky News
Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug
By Doug Mainwaring

PRAYER PLEDGE: Rally around the daily Rosary to stop the coronavirus Sign the petition here.

March 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Inspired by news that due to severe quarantine restrictions people succumbing to the coronavirus in Italy are dying separated from family and friends, a Catholic priest sent out an appeal to believers to daily “spiritually place ourselves beside one of the poor unfortunate men and women who are dying alone in hospitals all over the world because of this virus.”  

The families of the dying can’t say goodbye, hold their loved ones’ hands, or pray with them because everyone is quarantined. And so thousands are dying alone – utterly alone and scared in their final hours.  

More than 6,000 in Italy and more than 10,000 worldwide so far. 

LifeSiteNews was forwarded a touching proposal conceived by Fr. Philip Kemmy, a priest in Ireland who suggests that we each commit to praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet each day with a very specific intention in mind.  

Fr. Kemmy explained:  

Earlier this evening I was reading a news report on the SkyNews website which, quoting a doctor in a hospital in Italy, had the headline: “Everyone Dies Alone.” It was a very sobering and tragically sad report, describing how, because they have to be isolated, those suffering and slowly dying from Covid19 meet their end without the comfort and consolation of their relatives and loved ones. The medical staff do what they can, but they are overwhelmed by the task that lies before them. When I read that headline, immediately I was stirred to begin this little project.

Inspired by a scene in the Diary of St. Faustina, where she was spiritually transported by the Lord in order to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy at the bedside of a dying man she did not know, I would like to suggest that we would each commit to praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet each day for the days ahead to spiritually place ourselves beside one of the poor unfortunate men and women who are dying alone in hospitals all over the world because of this virus, some of whom are perhaps not well prepared spiritually for their earthly end. If families were to pray it then several dying persons would be spiritually adopted with the one prayer of the Chaplet. 

Praying the Chaplet for the dying, we will petition Jesus to enfold them in his Merciful Love in their final hours and grant them a strong experience of his consoling presence before they take their leave of this life. This would be a great act of mercy and love for those who are victims of this virus and who are approaching their end.

Please consider taking part in this project. There is no need to sign up to anything. It is a simple movement which, please God, will bear enormous fruit for the souls for whom we pray. I would appreciate it if you were to pass this on to others you know who might be willing to take up this spiritual work of mercy. In the final weeks of Lent it would be a good spiritual practice to incorporate into our prayer routine. 

Yours in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,

Fr. Philip

Image
Chapel at hospital in Lombardy, Italy, filled with coffins of coronavirus victims awaiting cremation SOURCE: Screenshot, Sky News

Doctors and nurses hold back tears over anguish for their scared, lonely patients 

The Sky News report, “Everyone Dies Alone,” reveals how the healthcare system in Italy has been stressed to the breaking point. Overworked hospital staff are exhausted after working 12-hour days for many weeks.   

“Time and again doctors and nurses hold back tears as they describe the anguish they feel for their patients who are dreadfully scared and lonely in their last hours,” according to Sky News. “The only care and kindness comes from the medical staff -- strangers who are trying, but often failing, to save them.”   

Sky News Correspondent Stuart Ramsay, who confessed that it was “genuinely heartbreaking covering this story,” recounted his experience visiting Cremona Hospital in Lombardy, Italy:   

We passed room after room full of coffins. At the end of a corridor, he opened a door and gestured that we go inside what I could see was a church.

I didn't understand, but as we turned the corner we were confronted by more rows of coffins.

There are so many dead at the Cremona Hospital in Lombardy that they have to use the church to store the bodies before they are picked up and taken away to be cremated.

Their families haven't been able to pay their last respects or say goodbye. They can't because they are in lockdown quarantine.

It's a recurring theme now, everyone dies alone.

Read the full report and watch the video here.  

Unfathomable mercy envelops the soul

Fr. Kemmy recalled God’s words to St. Faustina:

At the hour of their death, I defend  as my own glory every soul that will say this chaplet; or when others say it for a dying person, the pardon is the same.  

When this chaplet is said beside the bedside of a dying person, God’s anger is placated.  Unfathomable mercy envelops the soul, and the very depths of my tender mercy are moved for the sake of the sorrowful passion of my Son.  

And Jesus said to St. Faustina:

When they say this chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between my Father and the dying person, not as the just judge, but as the merciful Savior. 

The Divine Mercy Chaplet

If you are unfamiliar with the Divine Mercy Chaplet, it is recited using a Rosary:

Opening Prayer:

You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls,

and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world.

O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy,

envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us.

Repeat 3 times: 

O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of Mercy for us, I trust in You!

Pray:

Our Father, 

Hail Mary and 

The Apostle's Creed

For each of the five decades (On each “Our Father” bead of the rosary), pray:

Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

On each of the 10 “Hail Mary” beads, pray:

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Concluding prayer (Repeat 3 times):

Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Closing Prayer

Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury 

of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase 

Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.

 


  coronavirus, divine mercy chaplet, italy, sister faustina, sky news, spiritual adoption, st. faustina

News

Pope asks Christians worldwide to pray ‘Our Father’ on March 25 in response to coronavirus

Two days later, on March 27, he will grant a plenary indulgence through his 'Urbi et Orbi' blessing.
Mon Mar 23, 2020 - 5:27 pm EST
Featured Image
Pope Francis gives an address at the start of the academic year at the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family.
Dorothy Cummings McLean Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy
By Dorothy Cummings McLean

PRAYER PLEDGE: Rally around the daily Rosary to stop the coronavirus Sign the petition here.

VATICAN CITY, March 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) ― Pope Francis has announced two extraordinary spiritual events to help the world as it struggles with the coronavirus: a universal prayer and a special blessing.

After the Angelus on Sunday, which the pontiff prayed from within the library of the Apostolic Palace and was broadcast live, Pope Francis asked Christians around the world to pray the Lord’s Prayer simultaneously on March 25, the feast of the Annunciation. 

“In these trying days, while humanity trembles due to the threat of the pandemic, I would like to propose to all Christians that together we lift our voices towards heaven,” Francis said. 

“I invite all the heads of the churches and the leaders of every Christian community, together with all Christian of the various confessions, to invoke the Almighty, the omnipotent God, to recite at the same time the prayer that Jesus, our Lord, taught us,” he continued. 

“I, therefore, invite everyone to do this several times a day, but all together, to recite the Our Father this coming Wednesday, 25 March, at noon (Rome time), all together. On that day on which many Christians recall the annunciation to the Virgin Mary of the Incarnation of the Word, may the Lord listen to the united prayer of all of His disciples who are preparing themselves to celebrate the victory of the Risen Christ.”

Rome is on Central European Standard Time, which is five hours before Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) and six hours before Central Daylight Time (CDT). Thus, the simultaneous prayer will take place at 7 a.m. in Toronto and New York, and 6 a.m. in Chicago. 

The Argentinian pontiff also announced that he would offer the papal “Urbi et Orbi” blessing during a prayer service on March 27, and that participating in the blessing through the media would, in part, confer a plenary indulgence. 

“With this same intention, this coming Friday, 27 March, at 6 p.m., I will preside over a moment of prayer on the sagrata of St. Peter’s Basilica, before the empty square,” Francis said. 

“I invite everyone to participate spiritually through the means of communication,” he continued. 

“We will listen to the Word of God, we will lift up our supplication, we will adore the Blessed Sacrament, with which at the end, I will give the Urbi et Orbi blessing, to which will be connected the possibility of receiving the plenary indulgence.”

The Urbi et Orbi (“to the City (of Rome) and to the World”) blessing is normally reserved for Christmas and Easter.  

According to Vatican News, Matteo Bruni, director of the Holy See Press Office, confirmed that Friday’s prayer service will be broadcast live from the Vatican, beginning at 6 p.m. Rome time (1 p.m. EDT, 12 p.m. CDT). Bruni noted that the plenary indulgence attached to the Urbi et Orbi blessing “is subject to the conditions foreseen by the recent Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary.”


  annunciation, catholic, coronavirus, plenary indulgence, pope francis, urbi et orbi

News

British public placed under strict lockdown: ‘You must stay at home’

Police have been given the power to fine people who are in public without a good reason and to break up assemblies.
Mon Mar 23, 2020 - 5:15 pm EST
Featured Image
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson shutterstock.com
Dorothy Cummings McLean Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy
By Dorothy Cummings McLean

LONDON, England, March 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) ― People in Britain are to be confined to their houses except for a slim number of reasons, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced today.

“You must stay at home,” Boris Johnson told over 66 million people at 8:30 p.m. GMT tonight. 

Johnson called the COVID-19 coronavirus “the biggest threat this country has faced in decades” and explained that no health service in the world could cope with large numbers of people all becoming ill at the same time.  

“It is vital to slow the spread of the disease,” the prime minister said. 

Whereas the British public had merely been asked to stay home and practice “social distancing” to alleviate the coronavirus crisis, weekend crowds at beaches, public parks, and tourist sites showed that many Britons have been reluctant to make the sacrifice. However, as of now, residents of Britain are confined to their homes, and police have been given the power to fine people who are in public without a good reason and to break up assemblies. 

The good reasons to be out include shopping for food and medicine, going for one form of exercise a day, like “a run, walk, or cycle,” “any medical need, to provide care or help a vulnerable person,” and traveling to and from work – and only if this is absolutely necessary and the work cannot be done from home. 

“That’s all – these are the only reasons you should leave your home,” Johnson said. 

“You should not be meeting friends. If your friends ask you to meet, you should say ‘no,’” he continued.

“You should not be meeting family members who do not live in your home. You should not be going shopping except for essentials like food and medicine — and you should do this as little as you can. And use food delivery services where you can.”

Eliminating temptations to gather, the British government has ordered all shops, restaurants, parks, gyms, and places of worship to close. Gatherings of more than two people who do not live in the same household are banned.   

“To ensure compliance with the government’s instruction to stay at home, we will immediately close all shops selling non-essential goods, including clothing and electronic stores and other premises including libraries, playgrounds and outdoor gyms, and places of worship,” said Johnson.

“We will stop all gatherings of more than two people in public – excluding people you live with,” he continued.

“And we’ll stop all social events, including weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies, but excluding funerals.”

This strict quarantine will last for at least three weeks.

“The way ahead is hard,” Johnson conceded, “...and many lives will sadly be lost [anyway].” 

He insisted, however, that “we will rise to this challenge.” 

Developing...


  boris johnson, coronavirus, england

News

U.K. on lockdown, Olympics postponed: Here’s the latest coronavirus news

Live updates on the coronavirus and how it relates to pro-life issues, faith, and freedom.
Mon Mar 23, 2020 - 4:57 pm EST
Featured Image
shutterstock.com
Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire
By Claire Chretien

LifeSite’s previous (and future) live updates on the coronavirus crisis and how it relates to issues our readers care about can be viewed HERE.

March 23, 2020, 6:00 p.m. EST: Texas has become the latest state to stop abortions due to the coronavirus crisis, deeming them not medically necessary.

Here is more information about the lockdown of Great Britain from LifeSite’s Dorothy Cummings McLean, who is based in Scotland.

The Catholic bishops of Portugal are going to consecrate their country to Jesus and Mary on March 25 (the Feast of the Annunication) at Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima and are inviting other prelates to do the same.

“Any other country can also join the initiative, simply by a request from its bishops’ conference to the bishops’ conference of Portugal,” ACI Digital/CNA reported.

March 23, 2020, 4:54 p.m. EST: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has put Great Britain on a national lockdown. “Gatherings with more than two people in public, excluding people you live with, will be stopped, as will weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies,” a London news report explained. Funerals are the exception to that. 

A LifeSite article with more details is forthcoming.

March 23, 2020, 3:10 p.m. EST: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has just announced a national lockdown for 21 days. 56 million people live in South Africa. All businesses will be closed from midnight of Thursday, March, 26 through midnight of April 16.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are being postponed.

Ontario is shutting down all “non-essential” businesses for two weeks.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has ordered all schools, public and private, to remain closed for “at least” the rest of the academic year. He is also ordering a number of businesses to be closed.

“I want to be clear, essential businesses will remain open,” he insisted. “These are things like grocery stores, pharmacies, and banks. You will still be able to buy food and necessary supplies for you and your family. Restaurants can remain open for carryout, curbside, and delivery service only.”

“I also want to be clear about the expectations for essential businesses that remain open. Social distancing matters everywhere. So essential businesses that remain open have a responsibility to adhere to social distancing recommendations. You need to step up sanitizing practices on common surfaces,” Northam admonished.

March 23, 2020, 1:23 p.m. EST: Archbishop Gregory Michael Aymond of New Orleans has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Baltimore Sun reports:

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Monday he was ordering closed all non-essential businesses in the state, including retail stores that had been allowed to remain open.

Hogan said the additional step was necessary to “slow the spread of COVID-19 in Maryland.” The order, which takes effect at 5 p.m. today, does not include essential or critical industries as defined by the federal government: health care, law enforcement, emergency workers, food, energy, water, transportation, public works, communications, government, critical manufacturing, financial services, chemicals and defense. Restaurant carry-outs, liquor stores and daycare centers are among the businesses that can remain open.

Big box stores will remain open, but Hogan said he has asked local law enforcement to help those retailers deal with crowd control.

The tighter restrictions were imposed in part because Maryland residents, Hogan said, continue to flout social distancing guidelines and ignore a ban on mass gatherings of more than 10 people.

“Let me repeat, once again as strongly as I possibly can: if you are engaged in this activity, you are breaking the law and you are literally endangering the lives of your family friends and fellow citizens,” Hogan said.

March 23, 2020, 1:13 p.m. EST: Michigan, Indiana, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Wisconsin have asked or are about to ask citizens to stay home unless they are going to the doctor, grocery store, or pharmacy.

Beginning at 11:59 p.m. tonight, Dallas County, Texas is under a “shelter-in-place” order from a judge.

March 22, 2020, 7:37 p.m. EST: Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is the first U.S. senator to test positive for the coronavirus.

Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, who was recently sentenced to 23 years for sexual assault and rape, also has the coronavirus.

A March 17 article from the New York Daily News says that New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority employees have been given letters authorizing them to travel. These letters can be shown to law enforcement, the article says, in the event that most citizens are restricted from traveling. 

LifeSiteNews is unaware of any Catholic diocese in the United States that offered public Masses this weekend.

March 21, 2020, 6:46 p.m. EST: The first person known to have died of the coronavirus in Washington, D.C. is a Franciscan friar, Br. John-Sebastian Laird-Hammond, OFM. He lived at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land, a popular Catholic pilgrimage site in the nation’s capital, just a short distance from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. He was 59 and had been suffering from leukemia. 

Today, nearly one billion people – roughly one seventh of the world’s population – were confined at home, AFP News reported.

The Associated Press reported:

The coronavirus pandemic took an increasingly bleak toll Saturday in the U.S. and Europe, producing staggering caseloads in New York and Italy and setting off a desperate scramble to set up thousands of additional hospital beds as the disease notched another grim advance.

Italy, at the heart of Europe’s rampaging outbreak, announced nearly 800 new deaths and 6,600 new cases — its biggest day-to-day increase yet. In New York, state officials sought out desperately needed medical supplies and hospital beds as confirmed coronavirus cases soared above 10,000 statewide, with 56 deaths.

“Everything that can be done is being done,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, adding, “We are literally scouring the globe looking for medical supplies.”

Across the world, streets, squares and highways in major cities were deserted as curfews and lockdowns multiplied to try to stop the spread of COVID-19. In the U.S., New Jersey and St. Louis were added to a growing list of areas where residents were ordered to stay home. Health care workers from Oklahoma City to Minneapolis sought donations of protective equipment. Staff at a Detroit hospital began creating homemade face masks for workers. Even rural hospitals were strained as people increasingly felt the pandemic closing in.

March 20, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The coronavirus crisis continues to rage around the world. 

California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a “statewide order” forcing the nearly 40 million people in the Golden State to stay at home and only leave for essential or medical business. It is in effect until further notice. The left-wing governor told his constituents, “You can still take your kids outside, practicing common sense and social distancing. You can still walk your dog.”

Similar measures are being undertaken in England. The Guardian reports:

Boris Johnson took the extraordinary step of ordering pubs, clubs and restaurants across the UK to close on Friday, and announced an unprecedented wage-support scheme to try to prevent a consequent tsunami of job losses.

Announcing the decision in the fight against the coronavirus, the prime minister said he realised that it went against what he called “the inalienable free-born right of people born in England to go to the pub”.

Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, has declared that Easter Masses “cannot be transferred to another time,” because of the coronavirus. The annual Chrism Mass, usually celebrated on the Tuesday of Holy Week, may, however, be postponed by bishops to a later date. Expressions of popular piety and processions common to Holy Week and the Easter Triduum may also take place later in the year, depending on the judgement of local ordinaries. The cardinal suggested September 14 and 15. 

All public Masses in New Zealand are cancelled.

Communist China’s relationship with the pro-abortion World Health Organization is under scrutiny.

The Independent reports:

A London hospital declared a critical incident after its intensive care unit was overwhelmed with coronavirus patients.

Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow, part of the London North West University Healthcare Trust, sent a message to staff on Thursday night warning that it had run out of critical-care space.

 

The hospital said it called on neighbouring hospitals for help to take on additional patients. The incident was stood down after 24 hours.

Six patients who have died at the hospital tested positive for the coronavirus infection.

It comes as the NHS rushes to find an extra 30,000 bed spaces in order to establish makeshift intensive-care units ahead of an expected surge in coronavirus cases over the coming weeks.

Bishop Athanasius Schneider, one of the world’s foremost defenders of Catholic orthodoxy, has written a scathing examination of the situation in which Catholics around the world have found themselves, comparing it to life in the Soviet Union and Rome in the first centuries.

Schneider writes:

Millions of Catholics in the so-called free Western world will, in the coming weeks or even months, and especially during Holy Week and Easter, the culmination of the entire liturgical year, be deprived of any public acts of worship due to both civic and ecclesiastical reaction to the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19). The most painful and distressing of these is the deprivation of Holy Mass and sacramental Holy Communion.

The current atmosphere of an almost planetary panic is continuously fueled by the universally proclaimed “dogma” of the new coronavirus pandemic. The drastic and disproportionate security measures with the denial of fundamental human rights of freedom of movement, freedom of assembly, and freedom of opinion appear almost globally orchestrated along a precise plan. Thus, the entire human race becomes a kind of prisoner of a world “sanitary dictatorship,” which for its part also reveals itself as a political dictatorship.

An important side-effect of this new “sanitary dictatorship” that is spreading throughout the world is the growing and uncompromising ban on all forms of public worship. Beginning on March 16, 2020, the German government issued a ban on all forms of public religious gatherings for all religions. Such a drastic measure of strict prohibition of all forms of public worship was unimaginable even during the Third Reich.

St. Andrew Apostle, a parish in the Archdiocese of Washington, hosted “drive-in Eucharistic Adoration” with a five-foot monstrance and 150 cars in its parking lot. One complaint of some Catholics in the Washington, D.C. area and the neighboring Diocese of Arlington is the lack of information about which parishes still have Confession or Adoration and when special events like this take place.

Dane County, Wisconsin, home to the left-wing stronghold of Madison, has just launched an online tool for the express purpose of reporting to the authorities citizens who gather in groups of 10 or more.

Senators Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Richard Burr (R-NC), and James Inhofe (R-OK) all dumped millions of dollars of stocks after being briefed on the coronavirus, it has been revealed. Loeffler’s husband is the Chairman of the New York Stock Exchange.

Scientists are claiming that the Trump administration’s ban on research using aborted fetal tissue is blocking coronavirus treatment research.

Army Times reports that National Guard “activations [are] expected to rapidly increase” and “could be used for law enforcement.”

Pope Francis has granted special indulgences to coronavirus sufferers, the details of which can be read here.

A Texas abortionist is self-quarantining himself and worried fewer babies will be killed because of it.

Monaco’s Prince Albert II has the coronavirus, as does Catholic University of America president John Garvey.

Finally, I’ve written a blog post about nine pro-life things you can do while stuck at home because of the coronavirus


  abortion, catholic, coronavirus, freedom, freedom of assembly, freedom of association, gavin newsom, kelly loeffler, live coronavirus updates, new zealand, pope francis

News

Amid virus scare, bishop stands at busy intersection, blesses passersby with Eucharist

'We still have hope,' declared Dr. Taylor Marshall.
Mon Mar 23, 2020 - 4:19 pm EST
Featured Image
St. Philip Institute / Facebook
Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug
By Doug Mainwaring

TYLER, Texas, March 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – As Catholics throughout the western world have been cut off from the Sacraments and often find themselves locked out of their churches due to the coronavirus, Bishop Joseph Strickland stationed himself at the busiest intersection in his city, armed with the Blessed Sacrament held high.  

Early in the day on Saturday, Strickland announced via Twitter, “I plan to stand at the busiest intersection in our city this evening with  a deacon, vested in a cope & bless the people of God with the Real Presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ in His Blessed Sacrament. I urge every priest to do the same in their city. Bring the LORD to His people!” 

Afterwards, Bishop Strickland posted a picture of the event accompanied by a prayer for the sick, that they might know that have been chosen to be united to Christ in his suffering for the salvation of the world:

O God, who willed that our infirmities
be borne by your Only Begotten Son
to show the value of human suffering,
listen in kindness to our prayers
for our brothers and sisters who are sick;
grant that all who are oppressed by 
pain, distress or other afflictions
may know that they are chosen
among those proclaimed blessed
and are united to Christ in his suffering 
for the salvation of the world.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Bishops, priests, and deacons urged to follow Bishop Strickland’s boldness

“We need dynamically orthodox, happy, faithful, manly, courageous Catholic Bishops like Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas,” tweeted Deacon Keith Fornier, who can be seen standing by the Strickland’s side.  

“Deacons, become what you are! Rise up,” encouraged Fournier. “Be Deacons 24/7.”

“This is an American Catholic BISHOP. We still have hope,” declared Dr. Taylor Marshall.  

“Thank you Bishop Strickland,” added Marshall. “He carries Jesus to the world.”

Stacy Trasancos, Executive Director of the St. Philip Institute, posted video of the Tyler Texas Bishop raising a monstrance above the crowded intersection:   


  coronavirus, joseph strickland, texas

News

Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter spark fear over free speech with joint coronavirus statement

The social media and tech companies are vetting information about the health crisis and allowing what they consider to be legitimate.
Mon Mar 23, 2020 - 3:51 pm EST
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Twin Design / Shutterstock.com
Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

March 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The world’s top technology and internet companies, including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter, responded to the global coronavirus pandemic by banding together to pledge their cooperation in disseminating accurate information about the health threat and preventing the spread of misinformation. But critics fear excessive dependence on social media carries risks of its own.

“We are working closely together on COVID-19 response efforts,” reads a joint statement released last week by Facebook, Google, YouTube, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Reddit, and Twitter. “We’re helping millions of people stay connected while also jointly combating fraud and misinformation about the virus, elevating authoritative content on our platforms, and sharing critical updates in coordination with government healthcare agencies around the world. We invite other companies to join us as we work to keep our communities healthy and safe.”

Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have all launched tools to promote information vetted and endorsed by medical authorities, as well as outlined the steps they’re taking to scan for and remove postings ranging from popular misconceptions to fraudulent advice – even obvious satire, in Twitter’s case.

While some of these rules are fairly straightforward, critics fear some of them could potentially cross the line from halting the spread of misinformation into stifling legitimate debate about the wisdom of government’s response as well as the true threat of the virus, a relatively new and evolving situation on which the experts themselves are not of one mind

Google’s efforts, meanwhile, have already produced some hiccups, such as inadvertently blocking legitimate news apps and even the U.S. Centers for Disease Control from appearing in certain searches on the Google Play store.

“Social media is an important tool for connecting, particularly in times when we are forced to be apart. But using it as our primary or only source of accurate news information – particularly in a public health crisis that is evolving at warp speed – may be risky,” warned Cara Zwibel, director of the Fundamental Freedoms Program at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

Zwibel noted that the erroneous removal of legitimate information from these platforms was unsurprising, given their reliance on automated programs over human reviewers. “What the current environment serves to highlight is the increasingly significant role that these private companies play in how we access and consume information,” she said. “It also makes plain some of the challenges and costs associated with using algorithms to moderate and, in some cases, censor, expressive content.”

While concern lingers over tech giants wrongly removing too much content, at the same time critics are accusing these same companies of leaving up some of the most egregious instances of misinformation from influential figures. Last week, Breitbart faulted Twitter for deciding to let stand a tweet in which Tesla CEO Elon Musk claims “kids are essentially immune” from the coronavirus, which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control says is untrue. 

More seriously, Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin have written to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey demanding that the platform take down tweets from Chinese government officials and state-owned media outlets lying about the regime’s initial handling of the outbreak and spreading conspiracy theories about the virus actually originating in the United States.

“By banning Twitter in China, the Chinese Communist Party is keeping its citizens in the dark,” the lawmakers declared. “By putting propaganda on Twitter, the Chinese Communist Party is lying to the rest of the world.”

“It is clear that Chinese Communist Party officials are using Twitter to disseminate propaganda in the midst of a dangerous global crisis,” the letter continued. “Even worse, this propaganda obscures and confuses users over the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and potentially undermines efforts to contain and control the outbreak. We believe this behavior more than warrants their removal from the platform.”

As of Monday afternoon, the Chinese tweets in question remained live.

Readers can click here for LifeSiteNews’ live updates on the coronavirus and its impact all over the world.


  big tech, china, coronavirus, elon musk, facebook, free speech, google, public health, social media censorship, twitter

News

Democrats derail coronavirus relief bill, see chance to ‘restructure’ USA to ‘fit our vision’

'We'll be introducing our own bill and hopefully it will be compatible,' said Pelosi.
Mon Mar 23, 2020 - 2:06 pm EST
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shutterstock.com
Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Bipartisan legislation to provide temporary relief to Americans put out of work by coronavirus lockdowns across the country came crashing down Sunday after Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signaled to Senate Democrats that she wanted to write her own version.

Among the provisions of the $1.6 trillion Senate bill were $75 billion for hospitals across the country and $1,200 checks to every American making below $75,000 a year, as well as financial aid to businesses that have been forced to indefinitely shut down in the interest of containing the virus’ spread.

Ahead of a Senate vote on the package, Pelosi announced Sunday that she wants to draft her own plan instead of presiding over House feedback to the Senate version. “From my standpoint, we’re apart,” Pelosi said of her outlook for an agreement between the two parties. “We'll be introducing our own bill and hopefully it will be compatible.”

Following Pelosi’s announcement, the vote on the Senate bill failed at 47-47, the Daily Caller reports.

Democrats have publicly complained that the Senate bill needs additional provisions for food stamps, expanded emergency leave, and unemployment insurance. But reports emerged Monday that Democrats are also pushing for the inclusion of measures entirely unrelated to the coronavirus response, including “unprecedented collective bargaining powers for unions,” “increased fuel emissions standards for airlines,” and “expansion of wind and solar tax credits.”

A review of Pelosi’s draft released Monday reveals that her proposal also calls for same-day voter registration, early voting, a bailout for the US Postal Service, and more:

The demands echo Democrat House Majority Whip James Clyburn’s comments earlier this week that the crisis presents a “tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.” Democrats previously tried and failed to use the relief package to establish what White House officials called a “slush fund” for abortion reimbursements, an idea that could be revived in Pelosi’s new bill.

Senate Republicans responded by excoriating Democrats for risking “your life, your job, your retirement savings” with their “game of chicken”:

The Daily Caller notes that the New York Times initially reported the story under the headline, “Democrats Block Action on $1.8 Trillion Stimulus,” but twice revised it in ways less negative toward the Democrat Party – first by presenting a sympathetic justification in “Democrats Block Action on Stimulus Plan, Seeking Worker Protections”; then by cutting reference to the Democrats entirely with “Partisan Divide Threatens Deal on Rescue Bill.”

Readers can click here for LifeSiteNews’ live updates on the coronavirus and its impact all over the world.


  congress, coronavirus, democrats, james clyburn, nancy pelosi

News

UK govt allows women to abort children at home in response to coronavirus

A pro-life group is calling the move 'dangerous and ill-thought-through'
Mon Mar 23, 2020 - 12:59 pm EST
Featured Image
Ultrasound of baby in mother's womb at 12 weeks. Shutterstock.com
Paul Smeaton Paul Smeaton Follow Paul
By Paul Smeaton

UPDATE March 24, 2020, 10:39 a.m. EST: The U.K. government has reversed course and said the statement was published “in error.”

LONDON, United Kingdom, March 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The U.K. government has authorized women to kill their preborn children at home by using both stages of a chemical abortion process during the coronavirus pandemic.

A statement on the U.K. government website reads:

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has approved 2 temporary measures in England to limit the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) and ensure continued access to early medical abortion services:

  • women and girls will be able to take both pills for early medical abortion in their own homes, without the need to first attend a hospital or clinic
  • medical practitioners (doctors) will be able to prescribe both pills for the treatment of early medical abortion from their own homes

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has condemned the move, saying it poses dangers for women and is “exploiting a time of national crisis to rush through an ideology-driven change”.

“This is a dangerous and ill-thought-through move,” said Antonia Tully, SPUC Director of Campaigns. “Mifepristone and misoprostol are powerful drugs designed to kill an unborn baby – the rules regulating them shouldn’t be changed in this way.” 

“The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has been campaigning for these DIY abortions for months, as part of a propaganda campaign to assure women that abortion pills are safe and simple, when they are anything but. Now they are exploiting a time of national crisis to make this ideological change.”

“This hurried ‘temporary’ measure, has been pushed through at a time when the nation is grappling to cope with Covid 19.  Under this new approval, medical practitioners can prescribe the pills from their home which now counts as ‘a class of place for treatment’. And the practitioner can prescribe these deadly drugs ‘via video link, telephone conference or other electronic means’.”

Mrs Tully continued: “The evidence is that home abortions increase the risks to women. One study, tracking women living in a rural environment, found an increase in complications from 4.2% in 2008 to 8.2% in 2015, for medical abortions at less than 12 weeks. The authors said that a “potential reason is that the proportion of induced abortions performed at home has risen.”

Mrs Tully went on: “The RCOG recently released guidance which calls abortion ‘essential’. Ending the life of a child is never essential, and to try and claim this when the NHS is trying desperately to save life is even more disgusting. It is vital to conserve our core services for genuine health emergencies rather than see them lost on unnecessary elective procedures like abortion.”

John Smeaton, SPUC’s chief executive officer, has taken to Facebook to slam the move, describing the coronavirus as “a chastisement for, amongst other things, the killing of innocent children in the womb.”

“Boris Johnson's government does not realize that the coronavirus is a chastisement for, amongst other things, the killing of innocent children in the womb. I fear he soon will. We need to pray for repentance and conversion on the part of all of us.”

Last week, pro-life doctors in the United States told LifeSite that continuing abortions during a pandemic is “medically irresponsible.”

In a statement sent to LifeSite, the American Association of Prolife OB/GYNs (AAPLOG) stated that “abortions offer zero health benefits to women and do not treat a disease process” and issued a call for “abortions to be suspended according to the current recommendations pertaining to elective procedures and office visits.”


  abortion, chemical abortion, coronavirus, medical abortion, ru-486, society for the protection of unborn children spuc, united kingdon

News

Students demand university president rescind ban on pro-life club

The students hope that recently introduced legislation in Ontario from the Doug Ford government, which mandated that all publicly assisted colleges and universities have a free speech policy, might help.
Mon Mar 23, 2020 - 11:38 am EST
Featured Image
shutterstock.com
Anthony Murdoch
By Anthony Murdoch

OTTAWA, Ontario, March 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The University of Ottawa Students for Life (UOSFL) will write directly to their university president demanding he reinstate them as a club, after a vote by the university student union failed to overturn a December prohibition of them.  

Garifalia Milousis, co-president of UOSFL, told LifeSiteNews that an appeal to get the club’s status restored at the February 23 board meeting of the University of Ottawa Student Union (UOSU), was not successful.

Milousis said their next step is to send a letter to University of Ottawa President and Vice-Chancellor Jacques Frémont, to put pressure on him to respect free speech on campus. 

“At this point, the only step that we are taking right now is to write an open letter to the president of the university decrying what’s happened and calling for his action,” Milousis told LifeSiteNews. 

The Student Life Committee, which serves as a sub-committee within the UOSU, voted to ban the club in December 2019. 

The UOFSL was not able to get the four-fifths majority needed from the UOSU board to overturn the Student Life Committee’s December ban, meaning they will not be able to regain official status. 

Of the UOSU board members who were at the meeting, five abstained from voting, four voted in favor of overturning the previous club’s revocation, and three voted against overturning the previous revocation of the club's status.

According to Milousis, the UOSFL does have legal counsel helping them with their case, but as it stands now, the only action being taken is to put pressure on Frémont.  

Milousis says that they are taking this approach with the hopes that recently introduced legislation in Ontario from the Doug Ford government, which mandated that all publicly assisted colleges and universities have a free speech policy, might help.

“We are trying to really impress upon the President the importance of him getting involved because of the potential legal ramifications of the UOSU making these determinations.”

Milousis noted that although historic case law in Ontario has ruled that universities and student unions are separate entities, meaning that student unions are not subject to the charter, the recent “Doug Ford Policy” changes the landscape. 

She also mentioned the Alberta Court of Appeal recently rejecting the University of Alberta’s imposition of a $17,500 security fee on the University Alberta Pro-Life club. 

This pro-life victory was hailed a win by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, a group which has helped many individuals and organizations fight laws targeting free speech in Canada. 

The doors were locked 

UOFSL was originally going to present its appeal of the UOSU board meeting on February 16. However, Milousis told LifeSiteNews that when they showed up for the meeting, the doors were locked with no sign of a meeting.

Milousis said that her group later found out that the UOSU had notified students via their Facebook page in a February 6 post, that the UOSU’s February 16 Board Meeting was rescheduled to February 23.

“The UOSU and the Student Life Committee both failed to notify our club about this important development, wasting my time and the time of my colleague, as well as causing us emotional stress and anxiety,” Milousis told LifeSiteNews. 

“This also further delayed our opportunity to gain justice, causing additional frustration to our club members and sending a message to our club members that the UOSU considers us unimportant and negligible.”

The ban on the UOSFL was driven in part by a 500-signature petition against them, which was started by fifth-year University of Ottawa biology student Bridget Dueck.  

Contact information for respectful communications

Office of the President – University of Ottawa
Tabaret Hall
550 Cumberland, Room 212
Ottawa ON K1N 6N5
Canada
+1-613-562-5809
[email protected]


  abortion, free speech, students for life, university of ottawa, university of ottawa students for life

News

Pachamama destroyer stricken by COVID-19 released from hospital

Alexander Tschugguel, the founder of the St. Boniface Institute, is the highest-profile lay Catholic leader with the virus, with thousands of supporters praying for his complete recovery.
Mon Mar 23, 2020 - 10:57 am EST
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Alexander Tschugguel / Twitter
Dorothy Cummings McLean Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy
By Dorothy Cummings McLean

PRAYER PLEDGE: Rally around the daily Rosary to stop the coronavirus Sign the petition here.

AUSTRIA, March 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) ― Alexander Tschugguel, the young man who removed pachamama idols from a Catholic church and threw them in the river during the Amazon Synod, is on the mend and returning home from the hospital, where he was being treated for the coronavirus.

“On my way home from #hospital. Will need a few days still but happy about being out of [the] hospital! Deo Gratias! #catholic,” he tweeted this morning underneath a photograph of himself, masked but clearly happy, in the back of a medical van. 

Tschugguel, 26, who became internationally known for removing and disposing of wooden pachamama figurines from a Roman church during the Amazon Synod last October, had been hospitalized with the COVID-19 coronavirus since March 17. 

Tschugguel, the founder of the St. Boniface Institute, is the highest-profile lay Catholic leader with the virus, with thousands of supporters praying for his complete recovery. Tschugguel has used his ordeal to send a Christian message, saying that God “demands sacrifices from us” and that we have to “repent for all the bad things in the world and especially for all the bad things that have happened in the Church.”

Referring to the civil and ecclesiastical restrictions on the public during the pandemic, Tshugguel has counselled meekness to God’s will.

“God in His abundant providence has imposed these restrictions upon us and we must see them as a cross to bear, especially for all those who are fatally ill with the virus, for all those families that are torn apart, for all aborted children, for the destruction of our homelands,” he wrote to LifeSiteNews.  

“For all this suffering we must now sacrifice our freedom, our prosperity and the lives we’re accustomed to living,” he continued. 

“Let us do this together as believers. We can rest assured that God will never abandon us.”

Tschugguel promised to make a video about his ordeal once he is well enough to do so. He has also stressed that COVID-19 “strikes much harder than expected and hits all age groups.” 


  alexander tschugguel, catholic, coronavirus

News

Pro-life campaign: Halt abortions to free up resources for coronavirus fight

'We cannot have confusion that puts patients in genuine need of emergency care at risk,' said John Smeaton of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.
Mon Mar 23, 2020 - 10:54 am EST
Featured Image
wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com
Society for the Protection of Unborn Children
By Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

PETITION: Urge state governors to stop abortions during coronavirus crisis Sign the petition here.

March 23, 2020 (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) — The world’s oldest pro-life group is poised to launch a national campaign followed by a global campaign urging governments and lawmakers to ensure essential medical resources are not diverted from patients in genuine need at this time of pandemic.

They argue that it is necessary to halt abortions during the coronavirus crisis. SPUC is pointing to directions already endorsed in the USA by the US Surgeon General to ban all elective surgeries during the Coronavirus emergency.

John Smeaton, chief executive of The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children said:

It is vital to conserve our core services for genuine health emergencies rather than see them lost on unnecessary elective procedures like abortion.

People in this country cannot get a GP appointment at this time of unprecedented crisis and yet the self-serving abortion lobby demands special treatment so they can continue with their inhuman agenda regardless of the misery and mayhem which surrounds them. It is shameful.

It is an outrage that while our frontline health care professionals put their lives at risk on a daily basis to save patients’ lives, the abortion lobby demands much-needed health resources to continue to kill unborn babies and risk the lives of their mothers in the presence of catastrophic virus outbreak.

NHS hospitals have been told to cancel operations in an effort to free up 30,000 beds to create space for an expected surge in coronavirus patients. In a letter to NHS chiefs this week, NHS England said hospitals should look to cancel all non-urgent surgeries for at least three months starting from 15 April.

The letter from NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said: “The operational aim is to expand critical care capacity to the maximum; free up 30,000 (or more) of the English NHS’s 100,000 general and acute beds.”

In the meantime, in the USA the pro-abortion lobby is causing confusion. As the US Surgeon General calls for all elective surgeries to be suspended, some abortion advocacy groups are demanding that abortions continue despite the desperate need for resources to be focused on tackling the Coronavirus emergency.

Mr Smeaton said: “We cannot have confusion that puts patients in genuine need of emergency care at risk. Almost everyone who attends hospital or doctors’ surgeries has some medical condition, illness or injury for which treatment is requested. This is not the case with women visiting abortion clinics — they arrive physically fit and healthy and the procedures that they undergo does not make them any fitter or healthier, even if successful. Abortion is an elective procedure carried out on healthy women which is an unnecessary drain on health resources at a time when those resources are desperately needed elsewhere.”

In the initial stages of the SPUC campaign it is intended to encourage pro-life legislators to challenge the Westminster and devolved Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland legislatures, as well as Departments of Health.

Mr Smeaton said: “Those in power must be held to account and urged to reconsider abortion plans which so clearly threaten the health of mothers and represent an irresponsible misuse of vital resources. We shall also be urging similar action throughout the world.”

Mr Smeaton said that the coronavirus outbreak presents a host of unanswered questions which should result in the abortion industry being closed down around the world.

Mr Smeaton said:

Who has the skill and the knowledge at abortion clinics to carry out the necessary diagnostic tests to identify coronavirus?

Who, at every abortion clinic in the country has the responsibility to ensure that there is no risk of cross infection of this highly infectious disease and how is that risk eliminated?

On what medical or scientific basis do abortion clinics claim to be able to identify that a client has or has not contracted Coronavirus - which medical and/or scientific person or body have they consulted and what written evidence can they produce?

How is such identification carried out in fact at every clinic?

Mr Smeaton said the pandemic raises huge questions concerning potentially serious risks to women’s health with a mounting number of concerns over abortion services and especially the capacity of private abortion clinics to deal with the threats to health. He asked:

  • On what medical or scientific basis is an abortionist satisfied that surgical abortion procedures do not expose women to the coronavirus?
  • One of the comments which appears in reports from Care Quality Commission, the independent regulator of health and social care services in England, is the risk of cross infection at several private abortion clinics. In the case of coronavirus, this risk must be greatly increased. How are clients protected from contracting coronavirus when visiting an abortion clinic?
  • Who has the skill and the knowledge at every one of those abortion clinics to carry out the necessary diagnostic tests to identify coronavirus?
  • Who, at every abortion clinic in the country has the responsibility to ensure that there is no risk of cross infection of this highly infectious disease and how is that risk eliminated?

Mr Smeaton said: “There is a clear case for SPUC to launch a national and international campaign at this dreadful time. The ramifications extend throughout the UK and across the planet. As the world’s oldest pro-life group, we have a responsibility to take the lead and we shall do so as we engage with our international contacts to promote our campaign. In the meantime, we invite women across the world faced with unexpected pregnancies to seek positive help from crisis pregnancy organisations, so that the lives of their babies and their own health can be protected amid the current loss of life.”

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


  abortion, coronavirus, national health service, nhs, pandemic, society for the protection of unborn children spuc

Opinion

Liberal media cannot be trusted to report accurately on Trump or coronavirus

We don't need a petty bunch of reporters looking to make the president look bad.
Mon Mar 23, 2020 - 9:42 pm EST
Featured Image
Drew Angerer / Getty Images
Silvio Canto, Jr.
By Silvio Canto Jr.

March 23, 2020 (American Thinker) — A few months ago, I saw a poll that Americans do not exactly trust the media:

Americans remain largely mistrustful of the mass media as 41% currently have "a great deal" or "fair amount" of trust in newspapers, television and radio to report the news "fully, accurately and fairly."

Yes, the poll is about six months old, but nothing has happened to improve the credibility of the media.

Another story just came out that President Trump is not taking the virus seriously. This is the story:

U.S. intelligence agencies were issuing ominous, classified warnings in January and February about the global danger posed by the coronavirus while President Donald Trump and lawmakers played down the threat and failed to take action that might have slowed the spread of the pathogen, according to U.S. officials familiar with spy agency reporting.

And then comes the next paragraph:

The intelligence reports didn't predict when the virus might land on U.S. shores or recommend particular steps that public health officials should take, issues outside the purview of the intelligence agencies. 

But they did track the spread of the virus in China, and later in other countries, and warned that Chinese officials appeared to be minimizing the severity of the outbreak.

So the intelligence folks told President Trump there was a virus out there but not much more specific than that. They couldn't say when it would hit the U.S. or make any specific recommendations to fight the spread.

I guess that's like saying to the pilot: "Hey friend, there is some turbulence out there but we don't know where or if it will even hit your plane."

We don't need a petty bunch of reporters looking to make the president look bad.

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

This article originally appeared at the American Thinker. It is published here with the author’s permission.


  coronavirus, donald trump, mainstream media

Opinion

As Trump’s coronavirus response raises poll numbers, media demands to silence him

In addition to seeing Trump being serious, aggressive, and hopeful when handling the coronavirus situation, Americans also get to see what a terrible job the media are doing.
Mon Mar 23, 2020 - 8:48 pm EST
Featured Image
NBC News / YouTube
Andrea Widberg
By Andrea Widberg

March 23, 2020 (American Thinker) — Many people are regularly watching the now daily press briefings from the White House. During these briefings, President Trump, Vice President Pence, and various members of the White House Chinese Virus team give updates and take questions from a continually shrinking pool of reporters. (Even reporters have to practice social distancing, after all.)

Because the Trump administration has been so forthcoming, allowing people both to see what the federal government can and cannot do and to understand the data and decisions affecting their lives, several polls show that Americans approve of how he is handling the coronavirus. If you look at a Real Clear Politics snapshot from March 21, which shows the consolidated polling data on the coronavirus, you can see that three major polls show Trump’s approval soaring:

Image

In addition to seeing Trump being serious, aggressive, and hopeful when handling the coronavirus situation, Americans also get to see what a terrible job the media are doing. When reporters ask questions, they don’t seek information that will be useful to the American people. Instead, they’re only trying to push the narrative that Trump is a racist, ineffectual idiot. The media may think they’re proving their point, but, through their mean-spirited questions, they end up giving Trump more opportunities to make his case before the American people.

No wonder, then, that a new trend is sweeping through the media world. Media people are demanding that the outlets for which they work stop carrying Trump’s press conferences. Stopping the leftists’ censorship demands is like playing whack-a-mole, because they pop up everywhere. The first to demand censorship was Eric Boehlert, who insisted on March 13 that the media act as a “principled” gatekeeper to ensure that the American people cannot hear from their president:

On Friday, Rachel Maddow, doyenne of the Russia Hoax, called to silence the president:

And on Saturday, Margaret Sullivan, in the Washington Post, also insisted on censoring Trump:

More and more each day, President Trump is using his daily briefings as a substitute for the campaign rallies that have been forced into extinction by the spread of the coronavirus.

These White House sessions — ostensibly meant to give the public critical and truthful information about this frightening crisis — are in fact working against that end.

Rather, they have become a daily stage for Trump to play his greatest hits to a captive audience….

Trump is doing harm and spreading misinformation while working for his own partisan political benefit — a naked attempt to portray himself as a wartime president bravely leading the nation through a tumultuous time, the FDR of the 21st Century.

The press — if it defines its purpose as getting truthful, useful, non-harmful information to the public, as opposed to merely juicing its own ratings and profits — must recognize what is happening and adjust accordingly. (And that, granted, is a very big “if”)

William Jacobson, of Legal Insurrection, put her in her place:

Incidentally, Trump has not said that chloroquine is a cure. He says he hopes it is and thinks it may be — but the reality is that, except for off-label use, the FDA is dragging its heels while people die. As for the hysteria about the drug’s ill effects, doctors have been using it for 20 years and know its toxicity. Moreover, it’s a good alternative to death.

Leftists hate free speech. The free flow of ideas always carries with it the risk that their ideas will be challenged and defeated. That’s also why they love universities, where they have unparalleled access to absorbent minds. And why do I suddenly throw universities into this post? Because of this PragerU short video, which sums up the whole problem with the left and free speech:

Published with permission from the American Thinker.


  coronavirus, donald trump, mainstream media, polls

Opinion

Signs of hope as coronavirus panic sets in: Effective drugs, less bureaucracy

Crises have a way of sorting out the good people, ideas, and institutions from the bad.
Mon Mar 23, 2020 - 8:09 pm EST
Featured Image
Mariadav / Shutterstock.com
Clarice Feldman
By

March 23, 2020 (American Thinker) — Crises have a way of sorting out the good people, ideas, and institutions from the bad, and as the Wuhan virus spreads throughout the world, the sorting process is made easier. The decision to close our borders to China, criticized by the WHO, the left, and media as “racist,” has proven to be essential, and the bien pensant governments around the world are now following suit, shutting down their borders to aid in containment.

For those who wonder why this variety of flu depends on our isolating ourselves for a while until we can contain it, Lauren Ancel Meyer, my young friend and a scientist, explains:

The recent threats of SARS, swine flu, Ebola, and Zika have brought fame to an epidemiological statistic known as R0. It stands for the basic reproduction number and is intended to be an indicator of the contagiousness of infectious agents (it is pronounced R-naught). In short it tells us how many people each new case will infect during the early days of a pandemic on average. An outbreak is expected to continue if R0 has a value >1 and to end if R0 is <1.

A lot of attention has been paid to recent estimates suggesting that covid-19 has a lower R0 than SARS, roughly two versus three. Clearly, then, R0 is not the whole story. It indicates whether one case will turn into two or three or four, but not how quickly or how silently that will come to pass.

The level of intervention required to curb an outbreak very much depends on all three factors: its R0 value, speed, and visibility in the community. We should not be fooled by the relatively modest R0 of covid-19 as its speed and stealth make it all the more difficult to contain. Even if each case infects only two others, the number of infections can skyrocket undetected in the absence of early and extensive control measures that limit person-to-person contact.

Our study highlights the elusiveness of covid-19. Keeping people apart is the only guaranteed way to block infections given the immense challenge of identifying contagious and soon-to-be contagious cases. Whether the policy goal is to stop transmission, protect those at high risk, or “flatten the curve” to ensure that fewer people are sick at any one time, extreme social distancing strategies of the type we have been seeing are strongly recommended.

Speed of containment is of the essence, and the good news is that while the development of any vaccine against it requires more time, there are existing pharmaceuticals, some of which are readily available and not terribly expensive, that seem to be efficacious. 

Among these are hydroxychloroquine (brand name Plaquinel) and chloroquine. Jeffrey Satinover reports that a “French clinical study with 24 patients and excellent 5 day elimination of the virus used” the more readily available Plaquinel. It must be taken under medical oversight because of the risk of interactions and the long-term “effects on the retina.” Plaquinel is produced by Teva, an Israeli company which will donate six million tablets through wholesalers to hospitals around the country by the end of the month and more than 10 million tablets within a month. Resochin has shown some potential in treating the virus as well, and Bayer just donated three million tablets.

In Italy, remdesivir, a broad-spectrum antiviral drug produced by Gilead, proved effective. That drug, however, is in limited supply, though Gilead is working “to increase its stock a rapidly as possible.” Favipiravir, a Japanese-produced drug, reportedly has proven effective in China. There is certainly reason for optimism that with closed borders, self-isolation, and available drug treatments, we can stem the spread of this virus. 

Fly-over country seems largely unaffected, but the big cities on the coasts are not. My muse Iowahawk (David Burge) has a point:

@iowahawkblog

BTW, great call on that 20-year campaign to promote high density urban living and public transportation, smart people.

Living in small city apartments without much space to cook or store essentials, urban dwellers might stop looking down on their suburban and rural fellow citizens as restaurants near them are shuttered and grocery store visits restricted to a few customers at a time.

For many decades, big government proponents have worked and spent fortunes of tax revenues to wean Americans from their cars and onto public transportation, and it is now an “obvious fact that crowded subways and buses are the worst thing in the face of a new, extremely contagious respiratory virus.” 

The same can be said of the misguided (indeed, in my view, idiotic) war on plastic bags by blue-state and local politicians: 

New York’s environmentalists have terrible timing. The statewide ban on single-use plastic bags took effect on March 1, the same day New York confirmed its first case of coronavirus. To protect the public, officials in the Empire State and elsewhere should immediately suspend their plastic bag bans. 

Much remains unknown about Covid-19, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it “may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials.” Reusable shopping bags may harbor the virus and could facilitate its spread in grocery stores and pharmacies that remain open even as workplaces, schools and restaurants shutter. Yet in California, New York, Seattle and elsewhere, plastic bags are banned, and shoppers are urged to rely on reusable bags.

Social distancing as enough medicines, respirators, and medical facilities are becoming available is made more tolerable because of the internet and the new ways it facilitates delivering services and goods to individual consumers. An early adapter, I have found these to be an enormous saving of time and effort. These services now are proving invaluable in the time of social isolation. They also are providing new jobs for those temporarily dislocated as their normal employment is shut down.

The internet has also made distance learning available, so learning can take place even with schools closed. That may, however, be a mixed blessing, as this laugh-out-loud video from an Israeli mother of four kids reveals:

Another example of independent entrepreneurial genius is the distilleries producing hand sanitizers to alleviate the shortage of them (a shortage, by the way, made worse by the actions of New York governor Cuomo).

Abbott Molecular finally got FDA permission to produce needed test kits and this week deployed 150,000 of them and expects to produce up to one million of them a week by month’s end.

In contrast to the private industries are government institutions, which on a national and international level are often so sclerotic that they prevent necessary rapid, effective responses. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control comes to mind, as Carl Quintanilla tweeted:

@carlquintanilla

WSJ: “While the virus was quietly spreading within the U.S., the CDC had told state and local officials its ‘testing capacity is more than adequate to meet current testing demands,’ according to a Feb. 26 agency email viewed by The Wall Street Journal..”

How Washington failed to build a robust coronavirus testing system

Government decisions that limited testing for the pathogen blinded the U.S. to the outbreak’s scale, impeding the nation’s ability to fight it by isolating the sick and their contacts.

In part this occurred because, instead of concentrating on its core mission of fighting the spread of infectious disease, the CDC had expanded its mission into faddish stuff like racism and obesity. 

The World Health Organization was even worse. At a critical time, it was acting as a propaganda arm of the Chinese communists, praising the Chinese who obfuscated the news and lied about it.

Experts have pinned the virus as starting possibly as early as October, months before the CCP alerted the world about the risks posed by the deadly disease. Rather than addressing the issue, China arrested journalists and doctors who tried to sound the alarm. In addition, the “People’s Republic” blocked information on social media and removed all news stories that attempted to report accurate infection numbers. The end result of this was preventable suffering, as countries were unable to take the urgent action needed to respond.

Yet through all the CCP’s obfuscation and ensigning preventable deaths, the WHO consistently praised the CCP for its “transparency” and “leadership,” saying its actions were “making us safer.” To the incredulity of health professionals around the world when finally alerted to the seriousness of the threat in January, the WHO refused to declare it a public health emergency. It took until February 10 for the WHO to even send an advance party to China.

At the same time WHO representatives gushed in praise of the regime’s response, noting the “Chinese people feel protected.” The WHO continues to lavishly praise China as they continued to downplay the threat of the coronavirus, taking months to classify it finally as a pandemic because that “might spook the world further.”

China now claims it has no new domestic cases of the virus, to which Iowahawk responds, “Looks like there is a worldwide shortage of grains of salt.” And “It’s really amazing how people who fancy themselves as exquisitely check-three-times skeptics are the first to sign up for the big multilevel marketing seminar at the Beijing Ramada Inn.” 

As private industry steps up, the administration has scrapped a number of policies and regulations that slowed down aid. Among them are these: finally, Medicare will pay for TeleMed so that the sick and elderly can get help from doctors by telephone instead of being forced to make trips to doctors’ offices. Truckers were given an okay to move emergency supplies without the federal mandates for rests so they can move supplies more quickly to where they are needed. 

new appreciation is due not only to the first responders we always rely on, but also to the truckers, farmers, and grocery and warehouse stockers who are hard at work. 

Another lesson of this ongoing crisis — in addition to the need for U.S. domestic production of some key medical supplies and pharmaceuticals, even greater skepticism about the veracity, competence, and agendas of media, and reexamination of the gospel of globalization and open borders — is greater appreciation of muscular labor and those who feed us, protect us, give us energy, and clean up after us, and who cannot afford to stay home, and whom America cannot afford that they might.

Of course, actions by some, notably Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the media, can only be explained, to paraphrase wretchardthecat, by raw fury, because “they were wrong about a whole host of things. Events made monkeys of them.” Events still will. Mayors who let thousands of homeless people tent out on their streets where they relieved themselves daily amid piles of rat-ridden heaps of trash and drug paraphernalia will learn some lessons about public health. Nancy Pelosi, who for three and a half years accused the president of treason and exceeding his constitutional powers, now begs him to assume dictatorial powers. The mainstream media are almost entirely discounted as a source of reliable news and are reduced to posing ignorantly framed gotcha questions at the conclusions of transparent first-class White House briefings. The notion that cities like Baltimore, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, whose leaders have undermined the rule of law and law enforcement, will suddenly be able to get the will and manpower to enforce lockdown of the residents defies all probability.

In the end, I expect and hope that the leadership of the adults in this administration will succeed in making this economic and social dislocation very short-lived and that the not well disguised hopes of the president's opponents for a depression and a huge death toll will end up being no more than self-discrediting monkey business.

This article originally appeared at the American Thinker. It is published here with the author’s permission.


  centers for disease control, coronavirus, drugs, quarantine, world health organization

Opinion

Explaining why Italy has such a huge problem with coronavirus

What is left out of the story in the mainstream media is why Italy has so many cases of a Chinese virus.
Mon Mar 23, 2020 - 7:59 pm EST
Featured Image
Fiumicino Airport in Rome. Nataliya Pylayeva / Shutterstock.com
Brian C. Joondeph
By

March 23, 2020 (American Thinker) — Watching cable news these days, it is difficult to know which is greater: the rise in Chinese Coronavirus cases worldwide or the panic and sense of doom for those unable to work, travel, or freely associate with others.

The media are in overdrive, under the journalistic principle of “if it bleeds, it leads.” Predictions of an exponential rise in illnesses and hospitalizations are a cable news staple this week, with many reports suggesting that America is just a few weeks behind Italy.

Rather than offering calm, USA Today warned, “Too many coronavirus patients, too few ventilators: Outlook in US could get bad, quickly.”

Referring to Italy, the publication reports, “Italy’s hospitals are choosing who gets lifesaving breathing machines and who does not.” In other words, death panels and rationing.

This is what’s ahead for the U.S., the media claim, even without Bernie Sanders’s “Medicare-For-All” scheme. “US hospitals are on the cusp of too many severely ill patients without enough intensive care unit beds and ventilators to keep those patients breathing,” warns USA Today.

What is left out of the story is why Italy has so many cases of a Chinese virus. If calling the virus “Chinese Coronavirus” or the “Wuhan virus” is deemed racist, despite a long tradition of naming infectious diseases based on their origin, we can call it the “Belt and Road virus.”

Image

YouTube screen grab.

A Chinese newspaper headline from last year makes the connection: “Italy aims to develop closer trade ties with China through Belt and Road.” Business ties between Italy and China provided not just a road, but a superhighway for the coronavirus to travel from Wuhan to Milan. How’s that globalism working out?

The world has luxury handbags and clothes with labels from Gucci and Prada, but Italy has Chinese workers manufacturing those items, and now a deadly virus.

Italy has a tight Chinese connection, and not the Bruce Lee movie variety of the same name. From the South China Morning Post, “[t]he Chinese began migrating to Italy about 30 years ago but numbers have swelled in the past decade, bringing the total population to about 300,000.” A travel website shows nine inexpensive flight options between China and Italy.

A Chinese couple from Wuhan took advantage of these travel opportunities in mid-January, visiting Verona, Parma, and Rome before becoming febrile and quarantined in hospital, testing positive for the virus. How many Italians did this couple encounter in restaurants and shops?

The Wuhan virus was well known at the time, yet Italy was unconcerned, with travel and commerce proceeding as usual with China. An Italian virologist observed, “The Italian government lagged at first. It was lazy in the beginning...too much politics in Italy.”

A few weeks later, rather than social distancing, Italian officials recommended social intimacy. The woke Florence mayor encouraged Italians to “hug a Chinese.” How did that work out? How many Italians died of the coronavirus due to political correctness?

Mid-January brought the annual Wuhan Lunar New Year banquet. How many Chinese nationals living in Italy traveled home to Wuhan to visit friends and family, bringing the virus back to Italy when they returned?

Italy is also an old country, at least in terms of percentage of the population older than age 65. Italy ranks number two in the world behind Japan, with 22.4 percent of their citizens age 65 or older, the high-risk population for coronavirus deaths.

While Italy now leads the world in coronavirus deaths, passing the country of origin China a few days ago, “99% of those who died from virus had other illnesses,” according to Bloomberg. In other words, if it hadn’t been Wuhan coronavirus this month, it might have been pneumonia or heart failure next month.

Smoking is another Italian problem. Twenty-eight percent of Italians smoke, lower than China at 48 percent, but higher than the U.S. at 20 percent. Smoking is one more risk factor contributing to the high death rate in Italy.

Instead, the media blame the lack of ICU beds, not political correctness, woke Italian politicians, Italian demographics, or China’s Belt and Road running roughshod through Italy.

Italy has a great health care system, we are told. International living encourages would-be ex-pats, “Italy ranks among the World Health Organization’s top 10 countries for quality health services (by contrast, the U.S. only holds 37th place, despite being the highest spender).”

So why is Italy in such a medical crisis, leading the world in coronavirus deaths? Perhaps the U.S. health care system isn’t that bad, and we have more ventilators than the hair-on-fire media claim.

Health care policy wonks know all about the “Triple Aim” and “bending the cost curve” but are probably are not versed in how many intensive care unit beds we have compared to other countries. These critical care beds include ventilators, which approximate the number of beds.

A 2012 paper in Intensive Care Medicine looked at critical care beds per capita in Europe. Germany led the way with 29 ICU beds per 100,000 population. Italy had less than half that number at 13 beds. Interestingly, farther down was Denmark, Bernie Sanders’s ideal country, with only 7 beds per capita.

With our health care system barely keeping up with Cuba, according to health care policy expert Michael Moore, the U.S. should be pulling up the rear in this metric compared to the rest of Europe. How does the U.S. compare?

Another paper from 2015 answers that question. In the U.S., ICU beds per 100,000 population was significantly higher than for Italy. For adults age 20 years and older, ICU beds range from 32 to 39 beds per 100,000, depending on location. For the elderly, those 65 years and older, most vulnerable to the coronavirus, there are 171 to 210 ICU beds per 100,000, 15 to 20 times the number in Italy.

While the numbers are clearly insufficient for Italy, they may be adequate for the U.S., depending on the course of the virus over the next few weeks. With President Trump instituting a travel ban from China in late January, criticized severely at the time, the number of infected Chinese bringing the virus to the U.S., compared to Italy, was blunted, and hopefully fewer Americans will require critical care.

Italy and much of the E.U., with no such travel restrictions until recently and much too late, are swamped with cases, overloading their lauded health care systems.

Despite fear-mongering predictions from cable news, I would wager that most 80-year-olds infected with Chinese Coronavirus would rather be in the United States than in Italy, despite the World Health Organization’s opinion on the two health care systems.

While things could change, it is not likely that U.S. doctors will have to rely on death panels to decide which patients receive an ICU bed and which are told to take two aspirin and call the undertaker in the morning.

America may be better equipped to withstand this viral pandemic than the mainstream media want to acknowledge. For example, be wary of media-reported data. Increasing the number of people tested in the U.S. will artificially raise the confirmed cases.

ABC News ran this headline: “NIH director: Up to 70K coronavirus cases could be confirmed in US by end of next week.” Yes, due to more people being tested, including many asymptomatic or recovered individuals testing positive.

But they conveniently bury an important caveat to their headline.

That doesn’t mean necessarily that the outbreak has exploded at an even more rapid rate. It just means we’re now able to find out who’s out there, who is infected, because testing is now going to be much more available across the country.

In the meantime, follow current hygiene precautions, and turn off cable news. Be thankful that a fixer is in the White House rather than some political hack. The storm will pass, and the country will recover and eventually be greater after going through all of this.

Brian C Joondeph, M.D. is a Denver-based physician and freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in American Thinker, the Daily Caller, Rasmussen Reports, and other publications. Follow him on Facebook, LinkedInTwitter, and QuodVerum.

This article originally appeared at the American Thinker. It is published here with the author’s permission.


  china, coronavirus, italy, mainstream media, socialized medicine, world health organization

Opinion

If there’s no Hell, Christ’s Second Coming is pointless

If all go to Heaven, nothing done in this life would have any eternal significance — either for good or for evil.
Mon Mar 23, 2020 - 12:08 pm EST
Featured Image
The Door to Hell, Turkmenistan. flydime / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0
Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM, Cap.
By Thomas Weinandy OFM, Cap.

March 23, 2020 (The Catholic Thing) — Sin, by its very nature, is a direct attack upon or a violation of some good. For example, lying offends the good of truth; gluttony transgresses the good of proper eating. Now, do some evil acts contravene a good to such a degree that they merit everlasting damnation? According to the Catholic tradition, these acts are termed mortal sins. Let us look at some examples.

Fornication and adultery grievously violate the good of marriage and sexuality. While couples, in these sexual acts, may desire to express their love for one another, what they are actually doing is attacking the good of marriage and the sexual acts that pertain exclusively to marriage.

By holding that fornication and adultery are mortal sins, Christian morality perceives that marriage, and the sexual acts performed within marriage, possess so great a dignity and goodness, that to violate the inherent beauty of marriage by engaging in fornication and adultery is to merit damnation. The damnation related to fornication and adultery, thus, is a recognition that accentuates the unassailable sacredness, the inviolable goodness, and the indissoluble bond between a man and a woman in marriage. To diminish the judgment against fornication and adultery, to suppose that they are “no big deal,” is to demean the absolute God-given goodness of marriage itself.

Again, grievous violations against the inherent dignity and value of the human person are also mortal sins that merit everlasting damnation — e.g., murder, slavery, human trafficking, and extreme hatred and prejudice. To kill the innocent, to perform or have an abortion, to sell others for sexual exploitation, to attack and assail others because of their race or religion, to euthanize the elderly, or the physically or mentally handicapped, all of these acts, as do similar acts, seriously abuse the sacrosanct goodness and dignity that resides within each human being.

Once more, to hold that such evil acts are not deserving of Hell is to say that the dignity and worth of each person is not of supreme value. The nature of the punishment must always be in proportion to the offense committed and the good violated. In the above examples, the good of the person is so desecrated that, without repentance, Hell is the only appropriate punishment.

Although mortal sins are deserving of Hell, what cannot be forgotten is the Father’s mercy made manifest in Jesus Christ. To repent of such deadly sins and to ask for forgiveness, along with the doing of penance for the offense, brings the sinner back to life through the Holy Spirit. This is the good news of salvation — no sin is unforgivable. Right up until the moment of death, everyone can avoid Hell and come to enjoy eternal life with God.

Here, some may, nonetheless, propose that repentance after death may be possible. Those who die in grievous sin may be punished for a time, maybe for a very long time, but, eventually, they will be purified and forgiven, and so enter into heavenly bliss. To advocate such a position, however, makes life here on this earth a farce.

If all go to Heaven, nothing done in this life would have any eternal significance — either for good or for evil. The good that one enacts does not merit, in Jesus Christ, eternal life, and the evil that one enacts has no lasting condemnatory consequences. The urgency of this life is lost. Striving to live a virtuous life becomes meaningless. Valor, courage, gallantry, and nobility lose their inherent integrity.

There are no situations wherein one can manifest one’s mettle and steadfastness — caring for a sick friend or an elderly spouse, or forthrightly standing up for what is true and good against the forces of evil. There would be no resolve to preach the Gospel, or even to practice one’s own faith. There would be no “High Noon” moments where one must choose to be courageous or shrink away in cowardice — in the end neither would really matter.

Martyrs are not made in a world where Hell is not a live option, for one would never feel challenged to love God and neighbor to the fullest degree, the freely giving up of one’s life. Without the possibility of Hell, life loses its zest, its vibrancy, its earnestness, for nothing one does here would have any everlasting worth. Life merely becomes a charade — a pretending of making important choices, of executing significant decisions, of actually accomplishing something important.

A good and loving God, however, would never have created such a futile world nor would he have approved of such a wasted life. God created us to expand his goodness and imitate his love, and to do so is to his and our eternal glory. Not to do so is to our everlasting condemnation.

Ultimately, if there’s no Hell, Jesus’ glorious coming at the end of time would be a ho-hum event. We would already know the outcome. Truth, goodness, and justice would not, finally, win the day over lies, wickedness, and corruption, for, in the end, neither uprightness nor evil would be of any everlasting importance. Goats would not be separated from the sheep and thrown “into eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41), for even the earthly unrepentant goats would now graze in the sheep’s heavenly pasture.

Such a scenario would not be in keeping with the goodness of the Father, nor with the truth of his Son, Jesus, nor with the love of the Holy Spirit. What will actually transpire when Jesus comes again in glory is that the Saints will shine like the stars. They will rejoice in each other’s steadfast goodness and virtue, and together they will give praise and glory to God, he who is truly a God of love and goodness, a God who has rescued them from sin and sin’s condemnation — Hell.

Moses tells the Israelites, just prior to their entering the Promised Land, “Today I have set before you life and prosperity, death and doom.” If the people keep God’s commandments, they will live; if they do not, they will perish. Moses exhorts them: “Choose life” (Deut. 30:15–20).

Lent is a time for choosing life — a time of further cultivating virtue and growing in holiness. Choosing life here on earth has eternal consequences — the gaining of eternal life in Heaven. Not to choose life here on earth also has everlasting consequences — that of perishing forever in Hell.

As Christians, we know that it is only by abiding in Christ, he who is the light of life, that we can truly choose life — the life of the Holy Spirit through whom we become children of our heavenly Father.

Published with permission from The Catholic Thing.


  adultery, catholic, hell, murder, sin, slavery

Opinion

Bishops’ coronavirus crisis response is revealing the faithful’s true priorities

It seems as though we, as a society, don’t consider religion essential.
Mon Mar 23, 2020 - 11:54 am EST
Featured Image
Phil Lawler
By Phil Lawler

March 23, 2020 (CatholicCulture.org) — When a crisis strikes, we reveal what is important to us — as individuals and as a society. Awash in the flood of information and misinformation about the current epidemic, we are all developing opinions, which may or may not prove to be accurate. What we actually do — the actions we take, far more than the statements we make — shows where our hearts lie.

With that in mind, let me offer a few reflections on the crisis.

We like to talk. Everyone seems to have an opinion on the causes of the epidemic and the best ways to respond — and a willingness to debate these issues online. Very few people have any expertise in epidemiology, but we can still pick our own favorite “experts” and promote their analyses. And the legitimate experts do differ in their opinions. We are dealing not only with hard statistics (the number of infections, deaths, and recoveries) but also — in fact primarily — with projections of how trends will develop. Any projection is built on assumptions, and those assumptions can be questioned. So the debate continues.

The near-obsessive discussion is also a coping mechanism, no doubt. We talk because we’re worried; we search for new information because we’re unsettled by the information that we have. At the same time we talk because that’s what humans do: we communicate. Isn’t it a relief when the conversation shifts to some other topic — the weather, perhaps, or last night’s ballgame? Oh, wait; there wasn’t a ballgame last night; and that’s part of our problem. What else can we talk about?

[A confession: I didn’t want to write about the epidemic today. But unless I’m much mistaken, readers aren’t in the mood for an essay on just-war theory or the filioque clause.]

Oh, and one more thing about our priorities: We, as a society, place a high value on toilet paper. About that observation, I trust, there will be no arguments.

We, as a society, don’t consider religion essential. The churches were closed before the bars and restaurants were shut down. Surely the virus is more likely to spread when people are sitting elbow-to-elbow, eating and drinking, than when they are seated quietly in the pews. But public officials were reluctant to impose what seemed like draconian orders; religious services were seen as less essential. (“People have to eat!”)

To this day, gyms remain open even in cities under strict quarantine. So healthy young people — who might not be particularly vulnerable to the virus, but can certainly pass it along — gather to sweat and pant together, to share showers and locker facilities. (“Well, we need our exercise!”)

Still more remarkably, day-care centers are not only open; they are expanding their services, now that schools (which often serve the same function) are closed. There is probably no more efficient means of spreading germs than by bringing toddlers to a central location to roll around together. (“But Mom has to get to work!”)

Yes, people need to eat; but with rare exceptions they could prepare and eat their food at home. Yes, people should exercise; and the great outdoors beckons, with parks and hiking trails that preserve “social distance.” And yes, many mothers find it necessary to work, but at what cost do we preserve their employment options, after having closed down so many other workplaces? Thus we reveal our priorities.

In a more sinister way our health-care system itself betrays its priorities. At first it seems only logical that non-essential surgeries will be postponed. But look more carefully. If you’re in agony because of kidney stones or an infected tooth, tough luck. But elective abortions will continue on schedule.

For me personally, the most shocking revelation of the past two weeks has been the cavalier attitude displayed by Church leaders about the shutdown of sacramental ministry. The very first pastoral priority of a Catholic bishop is — or should be — to ensure that the faithful have access to the sacraments. Today, in most US dioceses, the public celebration of Mass has stopped; baptisms and confessions and weddings and funerals have been curtailed if not cancelled. This is an unprecedented pastoral disaster: a suffering that American Catholics have never experienced or even contemplated.

Last week I argued that the Church should offer more spiritual support, not less in this time of crisis. I was overjoyed to read a statement that was originally attributed to Pope Francis (it turned out to be from his private secretary), insisting that priests should be “on the front lines” and warning: “I think of the people who will certainly abandon the Church, when this nightmare is over, because the Church abandoned them when they were in need.”

I know that the Church has not abandoned me. I know that good priests are still celebrating Mass privately. (I also know, to my profound regret, that some priests mistakenly think that they cannot celebrate Mass privately. And I know that many bishops, in announcing the suspension of public celebrations, did not give the faithful the very necessary reassurance that the Eucharistic sacrifice would continue.) I realize that many pastors decided, in good faith, that they had no choice but to curb public celebrations of the Eucharist. Still I wish that, at a minimum, our bishops had shown more reluctance to take this drastic step. I wish that they had conveyed, in their public announcements, an understanding of how the faithful would suffer, and shown that they regretted that suffering. I wish that their statements had sounded more like sorrowful messages from a grieving father, and less like bureaucratic memos from civil servants.

It cannot possibly be right that when a pastor is instructed to stop celebrating Mass in public, the fateful directive comes not from his archbishop, but from a public-relations consultant. It cannot possibly be right that at a time when public officials are saying that services will be shut down for at least two weeks, the bishops in Ohio have already announced that there will be no public celebrations for Easter — without even waiting to see how the next few weeks might change our situation.

During the years when the Soviet empire persecuted the Church, I heard a story about Christians in a gulag, who petitioned for permission to celebrate Easter. The pitiless superintendent replied that they could hold their service — in the pond on the grounds of the prison camp, which had not yet fully thawed. He thought surely that would be enough to crush this unwelcome manifestation of religious faith. He was wrong. On Easter Sunday morning, the stalwart Christian inmates waded into the icy waters to pray together. Because worship was their top priority.

Published with permission from CatholicCulture.org.


  catholic, coronavirus, daycare, feminism, quarantine

Blogs

COVID-19 closes churches, schools, businesses. Why is abortion industry open for business?

Ohio's abortion industry has even defied COVID-19 state orders to shut down.
Mon Mar 23, 2020 - 3:39 pm EST
Featured Image
Philip Rozenski / Shutterstock.com
Jonathon Van Maren Jonathon Van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon Van Maren

March 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – More than 100 pro-life leaders are demanding that abortion clinics be shut down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. They are calling on governors to shut down abortion centers still operating in defiance of public health warnings as well as state and national health directives. While authorities have moved to shut down schools, businesses, and even churches, most abortion clinics remain open for business. 

According to Mark Harrington of the Ohio-based pro-life group Created Equal, who helped spearhead the effort: “Every day, abortion facilities violently end the lives of thousands of human beings. And now, by refusing to close their doors as COVID-19 wreaks havoc across the nation, they are endangering the general public, too. Not only are these facilities consuming scarce personal protective equipment, they risk spreading COVID-19 throughout their state. Furthermore, abortionists themselves are not immune to COVID-19 and some, including one in Michigan, may have already contracted the disease. These facilities also put a burden on community EMTs and hospital ERs, should they have a medical emergency at one of their locations.”

In Ohio, the attorney general ordered health care providers to cease all “nonessential and elective surgical abortions” this weekend, highlighting federal guidelines released to address concerns that the ongoing pandemic will soon result in a shortage of hospital beds as well as personal protective equipment. 

Abortion activists, predictably, have argued that abortion is an essential service because abortions are “time-sensitive.” This, presumably, is due to the fact that if an abortion is delayed long enough, the pregnancy is likely to result in the birth of a living baby. Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio and Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region responded by saying that they would continue offering abortions will working to “reduce the use of equipment in short supply.” 

One abortion activist even took the opportunity to call for the complete elimination of all abortion restrictions, tweeting last week that: “The absolute, most 100% PROLIFE thing we can do now is strip away all barriers to abortion immediately. It will save the lives of people who will try to self manage without safe meds. It will stop the spread of virus by cutting unnecessary travel. IT. IS. SAFE. MAKE. IT. LEGAL.”

Created Equal released a video today proving that abortion clinics are open across the country, and the website Stop the Spread Right Now highlights the fact that abortion clinics in Ohio are operating despite a cease-and-desist order that has been issued to all abortion clinics by the state’s attorney general. 

Created Equal, Right to Life Action Coalition of Ohio, and other pro-life and pro-family groups have been working with Governor Mike DeWine as well as the Attorney General and the Ohio Department of Health to respond to the fact that abortion clinics were ignoring the directive sent out mandating that all elective surgeries must be stopped, and pro-life leaders from across the country are now joining the campaign to call on their leaders to shut abortion clinics down.

In fact, there is already one instance of an abortion clinic potentially contributing to the spread of COVID-19. According to John Barros, who has stood outside the Women’s Health Center in Orlando, Florida, for sixteen years offering help to the women arriving there to procure abortions: “This morning a worker here verified that they had done an abortion on a lady from a cruise ship that has the Corona virus yesterday [March 16]. She is so worried and shocked that they would do it for an extra $900. I couldn’t believe it really…” Barros, who has a friendly relationship with some of the clinic staffers, confirmed that he had been told twice that this had taken place, and that the staff was extremely concerned that the patient might have had the potentially deadly virus.

As this anecdote highlights, abortion clinics may become deadly places in more ways than one as they continue to defy government directives to close their doors. Their commitment to the destruction of pre-born human beings cannot be shaken—even by a pandemic.

This story is developing…

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 speaks with Alessandra Bocchi, who is currently in Rome, about what is actually happening on the ground in Rome and across Italy. Bocchi is from Lombardy, the hardest hit region of Italy, but is “stuck” in Rome due to the government’s requests that people not leave their current locations in order to stop the spread of the virus. The scene she shares is quite surreal.

You can subscribe here and listen to the episode below: 


  abortion, coronavirus, created equal, ohio, planned parenthood

Podcast Image

EpisodesMon Mar 23, 2020 - 1:33 pm EST

Virtues to keep your eyes on Christ during these trying times

By Mother Miriam
By

To help keep this and other programs on the air, please donate here.

Watch Mother Miriam's Live show from 3.23.2020. Today, Mother discusses the strength of St. Charles Borromeo who ministered to the sick and dying during a plague in Milan. She also focuses on the virtues we can work on during this unprecedented time to keep us close to Christ.

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

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