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Abortion-supporters in Germany use coronavirus as opportunity to push agenda

Travel restrictions and isolating regulations on account of the pandemic necessitate relaxing German laws on when to kill unborn children, pro-abortion groups claim.
Wed Mar 25, 2020 - 8:51 pm EST
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Patino / Shutterstock.com
Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

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

March 25, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Four German organizations promoting abortion are trying to use the coronavirus pandemic to advance their agenda, including using a drug to cause a medical abortion at home instead of at a doctor’s office and categorizing abortion as a necessary medical procedure.

They also demand to have the mandatory counseling session, which by law has to precede any abortion in Germany, done via video conference or on the phone. Should that not be possible, both the counseling and the waiting period of three days between counseling session and the actual abortion “must be suspended,” the pro-abortion groups stated on Sunday.

Lamenting that some counseling centers are closed, some abortion centers have scarce resources, and people are encouraged to stay at home, the supporters of abortion added, “Even late-term abortions abroad (Netherlands, Great Britain) are no longer possible due to travel restrictions during the pandemic.”

In their statement, the groups expressed their worry that there would be more unwanted pregnancies, also caused by situations of “domestic violence and sexual violence,” during the coronavirus pandemic. Another consequence, they said, might be the use of “unsafe methods of abortion.”

German pro-life groups have condemned the demands made by the abortion-supporters.

“We are rightly doing everything possible to protect endangered human lives at the moment,” wrote Bundesverband Lebensrecht (BVL), an umbrella organization uniting many other German pro-life entities. “The protection of life, one’s own sacrifice for the sake of the life of others is the highest priority.”

Nevertheless, promoters of abortion “are only concerned with pushing their ideology, which despises women, in through the back door in a risk situation.”

BVL emphasized that “now, in a special situation of crisis,” abortionists want to make do without real face-to-face counseling in order to give mothers access to the abortion pill.

“Apart from the fact that children are completely disregarded and women with their real problems are abandoned, their physical and mental health is put at risk,” BVL warned.

“Without careful examination, determination of the child’s age and questioning, women are supposed to hastily take abortion pills and wait until their child is dead for lack of care, only to have it removed from their bodies by means of prostaglandins.”

The German pro-life organization strongly criticized the abortionists’ reaction to situations of domestic and sexual violence. BVL called it “misogynistic” to say “domestic violence would increase in view of the initial restrictions and that abortions had to be made easier as a solution to the problem.”

“Afterwards, the women are sent back home, to the same violent situation, until they come for the next abortion. It is incomprehensible that nobody asks why these organizations do not really help the women, namely to improve their life situation.”

Cornelia Kaminski, head of pro-life Aktion Lebensrecht für Alle (AlfA), said it is unacceptable “that clinics and hospitals should continue to pay attention to prenatal infanticide in the current crisis.”

She explained that a normal pregnancy is never an “emergency,” even if it was unintended. “The demand that women should also be allowed to terminate their pregnancy alone in their own homes using the abortion pill shows that the health of these women is not a cause of concern [to abortionists].”

Kaminski also explained the risks women who take the abortion pill have to face: “a psychological burden” as well as “nausea and pain, heavy bleeding and, in the worst case — if the unborn child is not fully aborted — serious infections.” For that reason, gynecologists reject the self-administering of the abortion pill, she said.

Mechthild Löhr, head of Christdemokraten für das Leben (CDL), the pro-life group within the Christian Democratic Union, the largest and most influential political party in Germany, called the abortionists’ push for lowering restrictions on abortions “cynical.”

“Especially under the impression of the current corona epidemic, many people are experiencing in a very impressive way how much solidarity among families and generations strengthens and maintains life and social structures, especially in times of crisis,” Löhr said.

“Only cynics and those who despise the right to life of every human being can so shamelessly ‘use’ for their own interests this critical situation, in which the saving of life and solidarity within our society and our families is needed more urgently than ever before,” she added.

“It is unspeakable and unmasking how many physicians offering abortions and providers of counseling ... run such a sad business model and abuse the current medical emergency situation to demand an even more radical ‘easing’ of abortion conditions.”

Beatrix von Storch, a pro-life politician and member of the Alternative for Germany, a young conservative political party, said removing restrictions on abortion would be “an ethical break in a dam.”

“The abortion lobby never misses an opportunity to undermine the protection of unborn life,” added von Storch, who regularly participates in the German March for Life in Berlin.


  abortion, coronavirus, diy at home abortion, germany, quarantine

News

Priests find ingenious way to say public Mass during Italian coronavirus lockdown

The two priests said the idea came to them by chance.
Wed Mar 25, 2020 - 8:39 pm EST
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Anthony Murdoch
By Anthony Murdoch

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

March 25, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Italian priests from Naples found a creative way to celebrate a public Mass this past Sunday during the coronavirus lockdown, doing so from the roof of their parish with many people joining in prayer from nearby balconies.

With Italian churches closed due to a nationwide coronavirus lockdown, Father Francesco Gravino and Father Lorenzo Fedele, of Our Lady of Health Church, said in a local news report that the idea came to them by chance.

Embed from Getty Images

Late last week, they were testing a speaker set-up on the roof of their church to be able to recite the rosary with their faithful from their balconies. According to Fr. Fedele, he along with Fr. Gravino decided to recite the Angelus after the sound check.

“We went up to the roof to try the speaker for the Rosary as Pope Francis had hoped for and there were many people on the balconies. It was noon and we decided to recite the Angelus, and everyone participated,” said Father Lorenzo Fedele.

Later in the evening, the priests recited the rosary with many faithful joining in prayer from their balconies.

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Credit: Parrocchia S. Maria della Salute - Napoli / Facebook SOURCE: Parrocchia S. Maria della Salute - Napoli / Facebook video screen grab

Fr. Gravino then decided to use their set-up to go one step farther to say the Mass on Sunday. He did so with the permission of Naples cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, according to Fr. Lorenzo.

Italy has been hard hit by the coronavirus. As of today, there have been over 7,500 deaths. Its citizens have been in a government-imposed lockdown since March 9.

As Italians, like many around the world, cope with churches being closed, other priests in Italy have also used creative ways to spread the love of Christ. 

Recently, Father Tomaso Jozef Jochemczyk, a Polish priest serving a few small Italian towns, carried the monstrance in a Eucharistic procession, blessing Italy and his towns in the process, asking God for forgiveness and protection.


  catholic, coronavirus, italy, mass, quarantine

News

Jim Caviezel: Passion of the Christ sequel ‘will be a masterpiece’

The devout Catholic actor who played Jesus in the 2004 classic predicts 'The Passion of Christ: Resurrection' will be the 'biggest film in world history.'
Wed Mar 25, 2020 - 8:27 pm EST
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Actor Jim Caviezel during an interview with Raymond Arroyo Fox Nation Screenshot
Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug
By Doug Mainwaring

March 25, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Actor Jim Caviezel, famous for his portrayal of Jesus in the blockbuster 2004 movie The Passion of the Christ, predicts that the movie’s sequel is “going to be a masterpiece.”

“It's going to be the biggest film in world history,” promised Caviezel.

“It's so imperative at this time,” said the actor in an interview with Fox News contributor Raymond Arroyo.  

Caviezel noted that the big movie production companies avoid scriptural stories, and instead pour all of their resources into making films based on superheroes who, ironically, are often rooted in Christian ideals that go back to Jesus Christ. 

“The films they make are Marvel comic movies,” said Caviezel. “You'll see Superman, but you won't see Jesus.” 

“But the man who wrote Superman, wrote it from Jesus,” observed Caviezel. “I got to play the greatest superhero there ever was.”

The movie, now in pre-production, is titled The Passion of the Christ: Resurrection, and will again feature Caviezel as Jesus. Actress Maia Morgenstern will return in the role of Mary, his mother.   

Caviezel explained that director Mel Gibson is currently working on the fifth draft of the script.

“I won’t tell you how he’s going to go about it,” Caviezel said in 2018 of Gibson’s work on the film project. “But I’ll tell you this much, the film he’s going to do is going to be the biggest film in history. It’s that good.”

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Jesus tells Mary, “Behold, mother, I make all things new.” SOURCE: Screenshot, The Passion of the Christ

Sixteen years later, the enduring fascination with The Passion of the Christ 

The Passion of the Christ brought to life the last 12 hours of the life of Jesus Christ in a powerful, graphic way that had never before been achieved. Despite Hollywood’s disdain for movies about Christianity, audiences flocked to theatres to see it, making it one of the most successful, highest grossing films in history.

“It seems every Lent, every Easter, people gravitate back to this movie," noted Arroyo during the interview. “Why do you think they keep going back to it?”

“I think it’s like the Bible. People are going to keep reading it,” observed Caviezel. “We’ve been reading it for thousands of years. What I think that Mel Gibson and I did very clearly is we stuck to that.”

“Not much has changed in 2,000 years,” he continued. “Jesus is as controversial now than he’s ever been.”  

The movie “is convicting,” said Caviezel, challenging viewers to ponder, “When you die, where are you going to go?” 

“It’s a film that when you watch it,” said Caviezel, “it asks you a big question: What character are you playing in the Bible? I got to play Jesus, but some people play Judas.  Some people play Pilate, or the Sadduccees or Pharisees.” 

“The Bible is the living Word of God,” he declared. “It’s happening right now.” 

Caviezel, who besides being an acclaimed actor, is a man of faith who publicly challenges his fellow Catholics to live their faith out loud in this darkening world.  

“There’s a line in Scripture where Jesus said, ‘I didn’t come to bring peace into the world, I came like a sword to divide father from daughter, mother from son.’”  

Do you “want to be liked by many, or loved by One?” he asked. “The world at its best can only like you because love comes from God.”  

“So do you want to be liked by many or loved by One?” he asked again.    


  catholic, jim caviezel, mel gibson, passion of the christ, passion of the christ: resurrection, raymond arroyo

News

Churches deemed ‘non-essential,’ shuttered as abortionists keep working in Ontario, Quebec

'We must do everything that is within our power to fight this outbreak and flatten the curve,' declared one member of Parliament in justifying church (but not abortion facility) closures.
Wed Mar 25, 2020 - 8:26 pm EST
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R Scott / Shutterstock.com
Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne
By Lianne Laurence

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

TORONTO, March 25, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Abortion centers are open for business but churches are locked in Ontario and Quebec as the two provinces ordered the shutdown this week of non-essential services because of the Wuhan flu pandemic.

Both orders took effect midnight, March 24, with Premier Doug Ford shutting down non-essential services in Ontario for two weeks and Premier François Legault closing down those in Quebec for three weeks.

Quebec reported Wednesday that six people had died from the coronavirus and that the number of confirmed cases rose to 1,339 from 628 on Monday. There are 78 people in hospital with the virus, and of these, 35 are in intensive care, according to CTV News Montreal.

Ontario reported Wednesday that nine people had died from the virus and that the province had 671 confirmed active cases, according to Global News.

However, despite the clampdown, abortion centers in both provinces — which together account for more than half of Canada’s population of 37 million — are open.

“Access to abortion is maintained for any woman who requests it. There are no plans to discontinue these services,” Robert Maranda, spokesperson for Health Quebec, told LifeSiteNews in an email.

Likewise, Ontario includes “independent health institutions” in its list of 74 essential services, which covers abortion centers, although the Ministry of Health did not respond to requests from LifeSiteNews to confirm this.

The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada also asserts that abortion centers are open during the pandemic, and several Ontario abortion facilities verify this on their websites.

There are at least 13 free-standing centers in Quebec that commit aspiration abortions and several more that offer “medical” abortion. Ontario has nine abortion facilities that commit aspiration or surgical abortion as well as a number of others that offer medical abortion

Churches lock doors

Meanwhile, on March 20, Archbishop Christian Lépine of Montreal ordered all churches in his archdiocese closed, as did Cardinal Gérald Lacroix, archbishop of Quebec, in a statement that cited new directives from civil authorities. The Quebec bishops had already canceled all Masses and church events across the province March 15.

George Buscemi, president of Campagne Québec-Vie, decried the government’s priorities.

“In the face of a crisis, they immediately close our churches as ‘non-essential,’ but they’re adamant about keeping our abortion facilities open,” he told LifeSiteNews.

“Sad to see, but not surprising given the trajectory of Quebec society in the last decades. We have much to pray and fast for this Lent.”

The “really essential work” is praying outside abortion facilities, as his colleague continues to do, while “certain Montreal abortionists ‘continue their essential work’ of killing the next generation, thereby contributing to what has made now aging countries like Italy vulnerable to viruses,” added Buscemi in a post on the CQV website.

Likewise, Ontario’s Catholic churches have been locked up indefinitely as of March 24.

In the case of the Ottawa archdiocese, the local health authority ordered the churches closed, on the pain of a $250,000 daily fine for violation.

In other areas, such as Toronto, it is not clear if a municipal, county, or provincial health authority directly ordered the closure, or if the bishops concluded that as churches aren’t listed as essential services, they are legally obligated to lock up.

LifeSiteNews contacted health minister Christine Elliott to confirm if the province explicitly ordered church closures but did not receive a response by deadline.

Churches are essential services: LifeSite co-founder

However, Progressive Conservative MPP Christine Mitas implicitly confirmed that this was the case in a response to Steve Jalsevac, co-founder of LifeSiteNews, when she dismissed his request that the Ford government designate churches as essential services.

That this had not done in the face of massive societal upheaval caused by the pandemic was “of very serious concern to my family and many of my Catholic neighbours and friends and family across the province,” wrote Jalsevac.

“At least in my Catholic faith, the Church is a crucial source of much-needed counsel from the priests and is considered absolutely essential as the very best place to go to pray to ask God to intervene for the best outcome of this frightening situation.

“This has been the case for millennia and most civil authorities, Catholic or not, have long recognized the great importance of the need for citizens to attend Church services or just to pray for God’s intercession to alleviate our anxieties and fears,” he noted.

“It is of course acceptable to have social distancing, sanitizing of hands and other practical rules in place to make sure those attending at Church do not aggravate the situation, but the total closure of the Churches makes no sense at all,” Jalsevac stated.

“Never in the history of Canada has this been mandated[.] ... The province MUST designate Churches as being one of the essential services not required to close but also still required to follow basic virus containment procedures. I urge you to make that change as quickly as possible.”

But Mitas justified the government’s action in a return email.

“I share your assertion that the Catholic Church is an important spiritual and cultural institution — both here in Ontario and around the world,” she wrote. “However, at this point, the Ontario government has decided to limit gatherings as far as practical. I understand your frustration that the Catholic Church is not part of the essential businesses/services list. Still, there is nevertheless a substantial risk that comes with attending services and places of worship,” added Mitas.

“You are quite correct when you assert that this decision is unprecedented; we have never taken action such as this in the past when faced with a crisis — but the nature and scale of this crisis are unique. We must do everything that is within our power to fight this outbreak and flatten the curve.”

Premier Ford stated at a Tuesday press conference that Ontario’s list of essential services “can be adjusted either way...it’s an open list.”

Please contact your MPP asking him or her to designate churches as an essential service. To find the name and address of your MPP, go to the Campaign Life website, here, or the Legislative Assembly of Ontario website, here.


  abortion, christian lepine, coronavirus, doug ford, francois legault, gerald lacroix, ontario, quarantine, quebec

News

Trump admin supports girl athletes forced to compete with boys who say they’re female

The school's policy 'deprives those women of the single-sex athletic competitions that are one of the marquee accomplishments of Title IX,' wrote Trump's attorney general.
Wed Mar 25, 2020 - 8:17 pm EST
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Michael Goodin / The Daily Signal
Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

March 25, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The Trump administration has formally weighed in on the side of Selina Soule, Alanna Smith, and Chelsea Mitchell, the Connecticut high school athletes suing for the right to compete and be judged against only members of their own sex.

The girls are suing the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) for allowing gender-confused boys to compete against females, unjustly impairing their ability to earn not only competitive recognition, but also scholarships for their hard work. Soule has also filed a complaint on the matter with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), which is still pending.

On Tuesday, U.S. attorney general William Barr signed a statement of interest on the matter, formally asserting the administration’s stance that CIAC’s policy violates federal Title IX rules that guarantee equal opportunities for girls in sports.

“Title IX and its implementing regulations prohibit discrimination solely ‘on the basis of sex,’ not on the basis of transgender status, and therefore neither require nor authorize CIAC’s transgender policy,” the statement reads. “To the contrary, CIAC’s construction of Title IX as requiringthe participation of students on athletic teams that reflect their gender identity would turn the statute on its head.”

“Under CIAC’s interpretation of Title IX, however, schools may not account for the real physiological differences between men and women. Instead, schools must have certain biological males — namely, those who publicly identify as female — compete against biological females,” the statement continues. “In so doing, CIAC deprives those women of the single-sex athletic competitions that are one of the marquee accomplishments of Title IX.”

Chase Stranglo of the left-wing American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which is representing the transgender athletes, responded by declaring that the organization’s clients “are two high school seniors who are just trying to enjoy their final track season of high school and who now have to contend with the federal government arguing against their right to equal educational opportunities. History will look back on these anti-trans attacks with deep regret and shame. In the meantime we will continue to fight for the rights of all girls to participate in the sports they love.”

In fact, gender-confused students remain free to compete against members of their actual sex, and research affirms that boys who call themselves girls retain physical advantages over real girls.

Last June, the Journal of Medical Ethics published a paper concluding that “healthy young men [do] not lose significant muscle mass [or power] when their circulating testosterone levels were reduced to [below International Olympic Committee guidelines] for 20 weeks,” and “indirect effects of testosterone” on factors such as bone structure, lung volume, and heart size “will not be altered by hormone therapy.” Therefore, “the advantage to transwomen [men] afforded by the [International Olympic Committee] guidelines is an intolerable unfairness.”

Such findings are consistent with those of organizations like USA Powerlifting, which contends that “men naturally have a larger bone structure, higher bone density, stronger connective tissue and higher muscle density than women. These traits, even with reduced levels of testosterone, do not go away. While MTF [‘male-to-female,’ meaning men who drug themselves to appear and perform more like women] may be weaker and less [muscular] than they once were, the biological benefits given them at birth still remain over than [sic] of a female.”


  aclu, high-school sports, lgbt, selina soule, title ix, transgender athletes, transgenderism, trump administration, women's sports

News

More states move to suspend abortions, enforcement up in the air

Reports on the ground describe mothers walking into abortion facilities that are supposed to be closed.
Wed Mar 25, 2020 - 8:09 pm EST
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Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

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

March 25, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The list of states ordering a suspension of elective abortions during the coronavirus outbreak continues to grow, with Louisiana, Maryland, and Mississippi joining Ohio and Texas in halting “non-essential” procedures, including abortion.

U.S. surgeon general Jerome Adams and the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have advised health care facilities to reschedule non-urgent appointments and elective procedures, both to limit the spread of the coronavirus and to free up time and resources to focus on patients afflicted by COVID-19.

Compliance with this guidance has been mixed, leading some states to mandate that facilities halt “non-essential” procedures. LifeSiteNews previously reported on Texas and Ohio issuing statements making it clear to abortionists that the suspension applies to them and today can confirm that other states that have effectively done the same.

The Louisiana Department of Health issued an order suspending elective, non-essential procedures at “all licensed health care facilities in Louisiana.” It does not specifically mention abortion, but Louisiana Right to Life reports that all three of the state’s abortion facilities have closed down just the same.

Maryland has ordered a similar suspension, and while its order didn’t mention abortion, either, Republican Del. Dan Cox sought clarification from the state Department of Health, which confirmed that the order “prohibits all elective and non-urgent medical procedures and applies to all licensed healthcare facilities and licensees in Maryland.”

In Mississippi, Republican Gov. Tate Reeves has openly declared his intention to stop abortions as part of the state’s elective procedure crackdown. “We’ll take whatever action we need to, to protect not only the lives of unborn children, but also the lives of anyone who may contract this particular virus,” he said.

Enforcement of these bans is another matter. 

Mississippi state health officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs told reporters he “was not familiar with” the ban’s application to abortion and would “have to review the situation a bit more” before commenting further. The so-called Women’s Health Organization abortion center in Jackson was still open as of Tuesday. Pro-Life Mississippi president Laura Duran says her group has filed complaints on the matter.

On Wednesday, the Ohio-based Created Equal uploaded footage of a Columbus Planned Parenthood location continuing to welcome customers as usual. “The abortion industry claims they perform healthcare. However, we have evidence that abortion centers across the nation are staying open in the midst of this national health crisis, risking public health and safety,” Created Equal president Mark Harrington said. “These centers must close their doors to help stop the spread of COVID-19. If they believe in the health of Americans, they have no other choice.” 

Operation Rescue reports cases of abortion facilities remaining open in Michigan, Florida, and Ohio, where police refused to take action to enforce Attorney General David Yost’s order. Ohio officials have so far been noncommital on the prospect of taking action against the defiant abortion center, Preterm. Sources have also relayed to LifeSiteNews reports from pro-life volunteers who have witnessed customers continuing to enter abortion facilities in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Live Action has a detailed rundown of state actions on medical activity, which notes that New Jersey and Massachusetts have taken the opposite approach to the above states and are expressly allowing abortions to continue. In Puerto Rico, abortions are continuing even as the pro-life Cree Women’s Care has been shut down.

“What we are seeing once again are abortion facilities acting as if they are above the same rules that the rest of us are expected to live by,” said Operation Rescue president Troy Newman. “This is an inconsistency in the state and federal orders that are were instituted to stop the spread of COVID-19. Abortion facilities frequently fail to maintain basic infection control protocols, and should have been among the first to shut down.”

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


  abortion, abortion clinic closings, coronavirus, healthcare, louisiana, maryland, michigan, mississippi, ohio, planned parenthood, preterm, women's health organization

News

Coronavirus pandemic forces Vatican to alter Holy Week ceremonies for entire church

Many of the traditional elements will be scrapped or altered.
Wed Mar 25, 2020 - 8:05 pm EST
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Pope Francis venerates the Cross on Good Friday in 2015.
Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

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

ROME, Italy, March 25, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The Vatican has further specified what will happen in parishes throughout the world during Holy Week this year, given that numerous countries and bishops have banned public Church services due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Since “the date of Easter cannot be transferred,” explained Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, “in the countries which have been struck by the disease and where restrictions around the assembly and movement of people have been imposed, bishops and priests may celebrate the rites of Holy Week without the presence of the people and in a suitable place, avoiding concelebration and omitting the sign of peace.”

For Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, the decree published today by the Holy See states that the liturgy “is to be celebrated within sacred buildings.” Usually, a procession takes place before Mass, which involves all faithful attending Mass.

The Chrism Mass, which is traditionally celebrated by each diocesan bishop on the morning of Holy Thursday, has already often been moved to another day within Holy Week. It may again be moved this year, according to the decision of national bishops’ conferences.

In a previous decree, published March 19, Cardinal Sarah already indicated that Chrism Mass might even be moved to a date after Easter.

The Mass of the Lord’s Supper on the evening of Holy Thursday will not end with a procession. The Blessed Sacrament, which would otherwise be moved to a different altar, “is to be kept in the tabernacle.”

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments said the ceremonial washing of the feet, “which is already optional, is to be omitted.”

While in regular times, no private Masses are to be said during the Triduum, the last three days preceding Easter, this year “the faculty to celebrate Mass in a suitable place (on Holy Thursday), without the presence of the people, is exceptionally granted to all priests.”

On Good Friday, a part of the liturgy is the universal prayer, where the priest prays explicitly and solemnly for certain predetermined causes, for instance for the whole hierarchy of the Church. This year, “Bishops will arrange to have a special intention prepared for those who find themselves in distress, the sick, the dead.”

The German bishops already published a new prayer.

“Let us also pray for all those who are seriously ill during these weeks; for those who live in fear and care for one another; for those who care for the sick in medicine and nursing; for researchers who are seeking protection and remedies; and for those who have to make decisions and are working for society, but also for the many whom death has ripped out of life,” the first part reads.

“Almighty, eternal God, you are our refuge and strength; many generations have experienced you as powerful, as a helper in all needs; stand by all who are affected by this crisis and strengthen in us the faith that you hold all people in your good hands. But accept the deceased into your kingdom, where they are safe with you,” the second part of the prayer continues.

The decree of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments points out that the adoration of the Cross by kissing it, also a traditional element of the Good Friday liturgy, “shall be limited solely to the celebrant.”

The Easter Vigil, celebrating Christ’s resurrection, is to be celebrated “only in Cathedral and parish churches.” The baptismal liturgy, a major part of the Easter Vigil, which traditionally features adult baptisms of converts to the faith, is to be shortened to only the renewal of baptismal promises, the decree states.

Expressions of popular piety, for instance the prayer of the Stations of the Cross, will not be possible during Holy Week in many parts of the world. Thus, Cardinal Sarah said they “can be transferred to other suitable days in the year.”

He specifically mentioned September 14, the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, and September 15, the feast of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady. Both days strongly relate to the passion of Christ during Holy Week.

The decree also encouraged the faithful to “prayerfully unite themselves” to the private liturgies from their homes. “Means of live (not recorded) telematic broadcasts can be of help,” Sarah wrote.


  catholic, chrism mass, coronavirus, easter, easter sunday, good friday, holy see, holy thursday, holy week, pope francis, robert sarah, vatican

News

Ex-trans who had genitals cut off to live as ‘female’ reveals how God saved his life

A 'bolt of lightning' moment brought him back to his God-given gender.
Wed Mar 25, 2020 - 7:23 pm EST
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Anthony Murdoch
By Anthony Murdoch

March 25, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – An ex-transgender revealed on a BBC show how a “bolt of lightning” experience with God helped him to cease living as a “woman” and to start living again according to his biological sex. 

The BBC World Service program Podcast, titled “The Detransitioners: He2She2He”, goes over the lives of different men who struggled with gender dysphoria. 

The story of Daniel who lived life as “Danielle” stands out. Daniel, who like many others who lived life thinking he was something other than his birth sex, suffered mental abuse from his mother at an early age. 

In the Podcast, he notes how his mother would drive home the message to him that “men are bad.” This trauma caused him to question his biological sex, and ultimately led him to a life living as a “woman.”

At first, he lived as a “woman” while deciding against “sex change” surgery, and even briefly went back to living according to his biological sex for a short time. 

He ultimately decided for “sex change” surgery in Thailand, which included removing his male genitals, something he deeply regrets doing. 

“When I was being wheeled into the operating room, I started having these thoughts, don’t do it,” said Daniel in the Podcast. “I didn’t listen to the don’t do it inspirations in my head and I just said, I come all the way here, I paid the money, and I went through it.”

Daniel said it was “very difficult” for him after waking up from the surgery, as he noticed the bruises on his legs. He had a very difficult time afterward and fell into a deep depression. 

It was after this life-altering surgery when Daniel had the “bolt of lightning” experience, in which he felt called by God to start living again according to his birth sex.  

“I was praying one morning, and I said I’m unhappy, something is wrong. I had a bolt of lightning experience and I shook, and I had inspiration from I believe a power greater than myself, I choose to call it the power of God,” said Daniel.

He went on to say that he heard, “I created you, male, you are walking around trying to live in a female world that is not your creation, and you need to turn around and go back to your birth gender.”

Shortly after his experience, Daniel rushed to email his pastor, close friends, and his sister. After receiving support from them, he knew that he had to go back to living as God created him. This all happened within one day.  

Daniel, who is now married to a woman, said that even while he was living as a “woman” he had strong attractions to females. 

He will eventually need surgery to reconstruct his natural male genitals. 

Daniel noted it was hard to find a doctor to perform this kind of surgery, but he eventually found a specialist in Europe who focuses on de-transitioning. He had hoped the doctor could help him with his reconstruction while he was doing a residency in the United States. The surgery did not happen, however, as Daniel was told he must wait for improved liver functions before having the procedure done. 

Many nations around the world, such as Germany and Canada, have introduced legislation that will make it illegal to help minors with same-sex attraction or gender confusion get the help they need. 

There are instances like Daniel’s that show that the loving power of Christ, along with faith-based support groups, can help heal those affected by gender dysphoria. 

The case of KathyGrace Duncan shows that banning faith-based help could be detrimental in assisting those who want to overcome unwanted same-sex attractions. 

Duncan lived life as a “man” for 11 years before Christ’s healing power saved her. A recent LifeSiteNews video highlights her journey, as well as her plea with Canadian senators to stop legislation that would ban the types of therapy that helped heal her.


  bbc, conversion therapy, detransitioning, gender confusion, gender dysphoria, sex change regret, sex-change surgery, transgender

News

Man who almost died from coronavirus tells Fox News how drug backed by Trump saved his life

Rio Giardinieri felt like he was close to death but recovered after taking hydroxychloroquine.
Wed Mar 25, 2020 - 6:35 pm EST
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Rio Giardinieri
Paul Smeaton Paul Smeaton Follow Paul
By Paul Smeaton

March 25, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A 52-year-old man who thought he was going to die as a result of the coronavirus told Laura Ingraham of Fox News that he believes the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine saved his life.

Rio Giardinieri says he had been suffering with a fever for nine days, that his breathing became worse, speaking became difficult, and that he expected to die as a result of the coronavirus. 

But Gardinieri decided to request hydroxychloroquine from medics after a friend of his from a prayer line told him about the drug. That friend had seen the drug covered recently on Ingraham’s show.

"I'm not a scientist. I'm not a doctor. But I know when I'm sitting here in pain and they've tried all kinds of antibiotics sorting through me and I continue to get worse. My breathing became worse. Speaking became difficult," Giardinieri told Ingraham on Monday. 

"And a friend of mine from a prayer line reached out, a friend of 43 years and said, 'Hey, I saw this on Laura Ingraham's show. You need to take this medicine and you need to ask your doctor to give it to you now.’"

Giardinieri says that after taking the antiviral, he had a headache that lasted for a couple of days, but “all the other symptoms were completely gone.”

Gardinieiri said he chose to pursue the experimental treatment, as he feared if he didn’t he would die. ”My feeling at that particular time was I thought I was at the end of my rope and I didn't see any other options,” he said. “For me, it was a risk worth taking."

Ingraham covered the possibility of antivirals such as hydroxychloroquine being used to fight the coronavirus during her March 16 show, when she interviewed one of the co-authors of a small French trial that has used hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin as treatment for the virus. That study has also been covered by fellow Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

On March 19, President Donald Trump announced that the FDA had approved the use of a malaria drug to treat the COVID-19 coronavirus. He called the discovery that the drug could be used to combat coronavirus a “tremendous breakthrough.” 

On Saturday, Trump tweeted, HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE & AZITHROMYCIN, taken together, have a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine. The FDA has moved mountains - Thank You! Hopefully they will BOTH (H works better with A, International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents)......be put in use IMMEDIATELY. PEOPLE ARE DYING, MOVE FAST, and GOD BLESS EVERYONE! @US_FDA @SteveFDA @CDCgov @DHSgov

Ingraham has continued to promote the French study in recent days, tweeting a link to the report on Sunday along with the message: “Fact: Reports of successful use of hydroxychloroquine + azithromycin to treat COVID-19 are NOT merely “anecdotal.” Saying this dismisses findings of France’s top epidemiological researchers. Dr. Fauci, meet Prof. Raoult Didier.”

On Monday Ingraham tweeted an article from Forbes highlighting the case of Margaret Novins, a 53-year-old nurse from New Jersey who reports that her fever was gone within a day of taking hydroxychloroquine, after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Yesterday, Ingraham interviewed Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and member of the White House coronavirus task force, and asked him if he were to test positive for the coronavirus if he would feel comfortable taking one of these new antivirals such as hydroxychloroquine. Fauci responded that he “might take one of those drugs” but that he would “do it within the auspices of a controlled clinical trial.”

Last week, James Delingpole of Breitbart wrote an article explaining that there are at least three studies demonstrating the success of anti-malarial drugs containing chloroquine against the coronavirus.

Delingpole explained

The reason that Chloroquine works, I understand from an expert in viral pandemics, is that (it) enables the body to absorb more zinc. Zinc appears to be the most effective agent in disrupting the virus and preventing the ‘cytokine storm,’ which is the deadly phase in which the virus tricks the body’s immune system into attacking its own healthy tissue, with often fatal consequences.

On Sunday, The New York Times reported that scientists have identified 69 drugs to test against the coronavirus, including chloroquine.

Also on Sunday, a doctor based in Orange County, New York, claimed that he has had a 100 percent success rate after treating 350 coronavirus patients using hydroxychloroquine and zinc. Dr. Vladimir Zelenko announced the results of his recent treatments by posting a video to YouTube, and his claims have recently been covered by Fox News host Sean Hannity.

On Monday, the White House announced the launch of new supercomputing resources to help “rapidly advance scientific research for treatments and a vaccine.”

During yesterday’s White House press conference, Dr. Deborah Birx, the top response coordinator for the White House’s coronavirus task force, told the press that there has been a massive increase in testing for the coronavirus in the United States, with more than 220,000 tests done in the past eight days.

Trump expressed confidence yesterday about the ongoing pandemic, telling a Fox News virtual town hall: “I would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter.”


  anthony fauci, coronavirus, donald trump, fox news, hydroxychloroquine, laura ingraham, malaria, tucker carlson

News

NYC health dep’t encourages masturbation, tells people to ‘avoid group sex’ during pandemic

'This is all depressingly typical of the Sexual Revolution, which treats sex as a mere bodily function,' commented pro-family expert Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse of the Ruth Institute.
Wed Mar 25, 2020 - 5:29 pm EST
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shutterstock.com
LifeSiteNews.com
By LSN

NEW YORK, New York, March 25, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – New York City’s health department has recommended masturbation as the safest sexual activity during the COVID-19 outbreak.

In what the New York Post has described as a “coronavirus sex memo,” the Department of Health also cautions people against acts involving “mouth on anus” because feces can spread the coronavirus.

“If you usually meet your sex partners online or make a living by having sex, consider taking a break from in-person dates,” it suggests.

“At first I thought it was as joke,” said Ruth Institute President Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., “but New York City’s health department really did issue guidelines on containing the Wuhan virus which recommend masturbation and warn against group sex, at least while the crisis lasts.”

The health department memo says, “Masturbation will not spread COVID-19, especially if you wash your hands (and any sex toys) with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after.”

“The next safest partner is someone you live with,” the city advises. “If you do have sex, have as few partners as possible.”

“Make sure you have an effective form of birth control for the coming weeks,” the memo adds.

Morse, whose organization defends the family, commented, “Normal people know they should not participate in life-threatening activities. Do the residents of New York need to be told to abstain from casual sex, sex with strangers, and orgies during this major public health crisis?”

“Memo to NYC Health Department: no one has ever died from abstaining from sex,” said Morse. “If you think you’ll die without sex, you are probably a sex addict. It appears that the Department is run by and for sex addicts. It assumes that group sex, casual sex and orgies are normal.”

Morse continued: “This is all depressingly typical of the Sexual Revolution, which treats sex as a mere bodily function. It maintains that people have a right to sex, as much and any way they want, free of consequences. This is the perspective that allows the New York Health Department to think they are making a bold move. Recommending limits of any kind, but only for the duration of the pandemic, that’s a radical step for them.”

“One thing they never do is discuss sex in a moral context,” Morse observed. “For them, talking about sex and morality in the same breath is puritanical and obsessive. But since the Centers for Disease Control says there are 20 million new STD infections each year, maybe there’s something to be said for self-restraint.”

Morse concluded: “Other casualties of the Sexual Revolution include divorce, failure to achieve intimacy, fatherless families, declining fertility, and a pornified culture. It’s unlikely that the New York City Department of Health has put out memos on any of this.”

The Ruth Institute’s upcoming Summit for Survivors of the Sexual Revolution – Protecting Children and Families (July 17-18 in Lake Charles, Louisiana) will examine many of these issues.


  coronavirus, masturbation, new york city, new york city department of health, sodomy

News

Texas halts all abortions due to coronavirus crisis

Phone calls to all the abortion facilities in Texas demonstrate that these centers have ceased performing abortions.
Wed Mar 25, 2020 - 5:22 pm EST
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Jiri Flogel / Shutterstock.com
Mark Harrington
By

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

COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 25, 2020 (Created Equal) — Phone calls to all the abortion facilities in Texas demonstrate that these centers have ceased performing abortions. This comes in the wake of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s warning to Texas abortion businesses that they are not exempt from executive orders to cease non-essential procedures. For now, Texas is abortion free!

VideoTX Abortions Halted Due to Coronavirus

According to the calls made to Texas abortion centers, the facilities have ceased not only surgical abortions but also RU-486 medical abortions.

While Ohio, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Maryland have issued orders for abortion facilities to comply with public health directives ... only Texas has enforced it.

Here is a brief summary of the current status of #StopTheSpread in various states (the situation is developing, so the status changes daily):

All or at least surgical abortions have been specifically ordered to stop in four states (TX, LA, OH, MS). Abortions were stopped in two of these states (TX, LA), but are now being scheduled in one of them (LA).

Eight other states have banned elective surgeries, yet abortions continue (MD, FL, CO, MI, VT, NY, AK, AZ).

One state pulled its ban on elective surgeries (MN), and another has no order in place, but hospitals are taking initiative to cancel elective surgeries (GA). Abortions continue in both states.

Four states banned elective surgeries, but made a special exception for abortions (MA, WA, IL, NJ).

We are following these developments closely. Stay tuned for more information.

Published with permission from Created Equal.


  abortion, coronavirus, texas

News

Pro-abortion Biden uses pro-life talking points to defend coronavirus economic lockdown

Biden ironically said that 'no life is worth losing to add one more point to the Dow’ and that ‘no one is expendable, no matter your age’
Wed Mar 25, 2020 - 4:52 pm EST
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Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden at Trident Technical College February 26, 2020 in North Charleston, South Carolina. Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

March 25, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – As policymakers debate the wisdom of forcing millions of Americans to stop working indefinitely in the name of halting the spread of the coronavirus, some politicians have taken to employing rhetoric at odds with their most divisive stances.

Pushing back against the notion that lockdowns should be halted soon due to the threat they pose to the economy, former Vice President and Democrat presidential frontrunner Joe Biden declared that “no one is expendable” regardless of age, and that “no life is worth losing to add one more point to the Dow.”

In a similar vein, pro-abortion New York Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo stressed that “we will not put a dollar figure on human life.”

These politicians’ odes to the sanctity of human life struck an odd tone to many observers in light of their opposition to virtually any limits on sacrificing human life in abortion. Biden is running on a platform that includes direct taxpayer funding of abortion and federal action to block states from enacting even modest abortion restrictions, including parental notification requirements, ultrasound laws, and waiting periods.

Beyond abortion, Biden’s declaration of solidarity with the elderly might not sit well with his own health advisor, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, who wrote in 2014 that “living too long” (defined as past age 75) renders people “faltering and declining,” and that a “younger person who has yet to live a complete life” should “certainly” be prioritized for “vaccine or any antiviral drugs” during a pandemic.

Cuomo, meanwhile, is the governor who infamously signed last year a law codifying a “right” to third-trimester abortions, erasing the state’s recognition of preborn babies as potential homicide victims, removing abortion from the penal code entirely, and allowing non-doctors to commit abortions.

As for the substance of their remarks, critics argue that pitting human life against the economy is a false choice for multiple reasons: first, that economic hardship without a clear path to recovery imperils lives too (as evidence by a 300% spike in calls to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline); and second, that targeted isolation of and care for the elderly is entirely possible while allowing the younger and healthier to go about their lives.

Lockdown opponents further note that deaths and hospitalization numbers so far have been dramatically lower than the computer projections that inspired the lockdowns in the first place. Some argue that the United States should instead be following the strategy articulated by Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Benett, which is to isolate the vulnerable and allow the rest of the population to develop herd immunity.

“So what we need to do over the next period of time is to take care of grandma and grandpa from far away,” he said. “Lots of WhatsApp and Skype and you name it. Bring them food, clean the box before you leave, and then they take it in the house. But do not enter the house, do not hug them, because you're risking them.”

“Over the next few months, gradually the rest of the population, want it or not, is going to get the coronavirus,” Benett continued. “Most, the overwhelming majority of people who get the coronavirus, won't even know it. It will take three or four weeks, they won't know they have the virus, and by the end of those four weeks, they'll be immune.”

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


  abortion, andrew cuomo, coronavirus, economy, joe biden, social distancing

News

Pro-life org raises alarm over Trudeau using coronavirus for ‘totalitarian power grab’

'Trudeau has let out his inner Mussolini. It’s frightening, really. He’s using the cover of the coronavirus panic to seize dictatorial power.'
Wed Mar 25, 2020 - 3:33 pm EST
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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau outlines Canada’s whole-of-government response to COVID-19, Ottawa, Ontario, March 11, 2020. Justin Trudeau – Prime Minister of Canada / Youtube
Anthony Murdoch
By Anthony Murdoch

OTTAWA, Ontario, March 25, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The pro-abortion Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau’s $82-billion coronavirus bill received Royal Assent to become law today after concessions were made to the opposition Conservatives who demanded it be amended to remove, as much as possible, “undemocratic power grab” sections of the bill.

Concerns remain that Bill C-13 might still give the government too much “dictatorial power” despite revisions to the bill.

Many Members of Parliament (MPs) voiced opposition to portions of Bill C-13, after reading the first draft of the bill in detail earlier in the week. To pass the legislation, the Canadian Parliament was recalled Tuesday after being in recess since March 13. A limited number of Members of Parliament (MPs) from each party were present Tuesday.

MPs were outraged at its apparent abuse of authority, which included sections 2, 4 and 9. This portion would have given unlimited spending and taxing powers to the minister of finance Bill Morneau until January 1, 2022, with no approval from parliament.

Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer announced today that he was pleased concessions were made to the bill to rectify most of their concerns, most notably the removal of section 2.

“What we were not prepared for was the government’s attempted undemocratic power grab,” said Scheer in a Conservative Party statement today.

“The Liberals shamefully tried to use a public health crisis to give themselves the powers to raise taxes, debt and spending without parliamentary approval until January 1, 2022.  But after hours of negotiation, the government has backed down.”

The Canadian Constitution states that parliament alone has the power regarding taxation and the approval of spending.

Jack Fonseca, Director of Political Operations for Campaign Life Coalition, said to LifeSiteNews that despite the concessions made, concerns remain that Bill C-13 might still give Trudeau too much power.

“I do know from inside sources, that the Conservatives were very worried that Trudeau’s allies in the mainstream Liberal media were successfully spinning the story to paint them as the villains who are “holding up financial relief” that Canadians need,” said Fonseca.

“For that reason, I fear that the compromise legislation that the Conservatives finally agreed to, may potentially still end up giving Trudeau too much dictatorial power. However, I applaud what must have been a herculean effort to roll back Trudeau’s power grab as much as they did, and thank God for that.”

The Conservative Party statement sent out today says that in addition to the removal of section 2, the party was able to get the government to roll back their unlimited spending powers. These powers will now be only available for a six-month time frame ending on September 30, 2020, instead of January 1, 2022.  

The Conservative Party was also able to get the special warrants timeline window pushed to June 23, 2020, instead of September 30, 2020. Special warrants are given by the Governor-General so that funds can be obtained for the government's urgent needs when Parliament is not sitting.

Additionally, the government agreed to “include explicit reference to putting taxpayers’ rights first” and that sunset clauses be placed in legislation. The sunset clause in the bill repeals the legislation on September 30, 2020.

Lastly, the Conservative Party was able to get the government to “be accountable to Parliament through regular reports to the House of Commons Health and Finance committees and that the Finance Committee has the right to recall Parliament if we identify any abuses.”

When speaking about the bill to LifeSiteNews after information first broke of its concerning sections, Fonseca said Bill C-13 shows once and for all that Trudeau is a danger to Canadian democracy.

“Trudeau has let out his inner Mussolini. It’s frightening, really. He’s using the cover of the coronavirus panic to seize dictatorial power. This is further evidence for my position that Justin Trudeau is the most dangerous man in Canadian political history.”

Fonseca then noted Trudeau’s love of China.

“Trudeau, the unrepentant admirer of China's ‘basic dictatorship’ and Cuba’s mass-murdering dictator Fidel Castro, cannot be trusted,” said Fonseca.

Trudeau famously praised China’s ‘basic dictatorship’ in speaking at a Liberal party fundraising event in 2013, after a reporter asked him which country besides Canada he most admires. 

In response to the reporter, Trudeau said: “There is a level of admiration I actually have for China because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to actually turn their economy around on a dime... I mean there is a flexibility that I know Stephen Harper must dream about, of having a dictatorship that he can do everything he wanted that I find quite interesting.

 Fonseca warned that Trudeau's “totalitarian power grab” could potentially affect all future family and life issues in Canada down the road, given Trudeau’s “obsession with promoting abortion and homosexuality using taxpayer money.”

He warned that all Canadian pro-life and pro-family advocates should pay close attention to this issue.

Background to Bill C-13’s passage

All parties initially agreed to pass spending measures announced last week by Trudeau to assist Canadian individuals and businesses cope with the fallout of the coronavirus epidemic.

In a statement sent out on March 23, Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer did not mince words in regards to the proposed legislation and his opposition to parts of it after it became clear it was being used as a “power grab.”

“Conservatives are ready to work to support Canadians in this time of crisis. But we will not give the government unlimited power to raise taxes without a parliamentary vote. We will authorize whatever spending measures are justified in response, but not sign a blank cheque,” said Scheer. 

Scheer initially announced that he was willing to approve spending measures, so long as the bill did not grant “the government unprecedented powers.”

Trudeau then agreed to remove section 2 on Tuesday, after multiple Canadian media outlets, who managed to obtain embargoed drafts of the legislation, highlighted the contentious section in reports. 

In its original form, Bill-C-13 contained 20 sections in total. One section which remains in place creates the Public Health Events of National Concern Payments Act. This allows any Liberal cabinet minister, with finance minister’s Bill Morneau’s approval, to spend as much money as required to combat a public health emergency. 

At his daily press conference from his residence while in self-isolation on Tuesday, Trudeau nevertheless pressed on with the rest of his legislation, saying these types of spending measures are needed to combat the “exceptional situation” the nation is in. 

“We recognize that this pandemic is moving extremely quickly and it is an exceptional situation that requires extreme flexibility and rapidity of response by governments to be able to help Canadians and react to a situation that we’ve seen is moving quickly every single day.”

Many opposition MPs such as Conservative Derek Sloan who is a nominee in the running for the party leadership, called out Trudeau’s aid package as an affront to democracy.  

“The fact that Trudeau even proposed this patently unconstitutional power grab in the middle of a crisis should concern us all,” said Sloan via Twitter Tuesday. 

Yes, there seem to be some good and necessary components to help fight COVID-19. But this bill goes far beyond that. This bill grants sweeping powers to Trudeau and his team to do pretty much whatever they like for the next 18 months, including unlimited ability to tax.

Sloan said in an email to supporters yesterday that never in Canada’s history has a bill like Trudeau’s “been done before.”

“Even the Parliamentary Budget Officer who reviewed a draft of the bill called the new powers ‘unprecedented,’” he said. “Maybe Trudeau sees this as his chance to bring to fruition the dictatorships he so admires.”

Leslyn Lewis, another nominee in the running for the Conservative party leadership, called the bill as proposed by Trudeau’s Liberals “unacceptable” since it would give the Liberals a “blank cheque for 21 months.”

In emails to supporters, she accused Trudeau of using the coronavirus to “advance undemocratic agendas.”

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre and Shadow Minister of Finance was direct in saying his party would not support any legislation if sections which remove the parliamentary process are not taken out. 

“Scheer's message is simple: approve aid to families & businesses immediately. Take out any sections of the bill that rob Parliament to give unprecedented powers to Trudeau. Give help to Canadians not power to government. #HellNo.” 


  bill c-13, canada, coronavirus, covid-19 emergency response act, justin trudeau

News

Catholic Tanzanian president on coronavirus: ‘We didn’t close down churches’

'They should be always open for the people to seek refuge to God.'
Wed Mar 25, 2020 - 2:04 pm EST
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John Magufuli, President of Tanzania flickr / GCIS / GovernmentZA
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By Doug Mainwaring

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

March 25, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Amid the dire messaging and drastic steps of world leaders to separate citizens to stem the spread of the coronavirus – including the shutting down of Catholic Masses throughout the western world – the president of Tanzania told the people of his nation, “We [don’t] close down churches.”  

President John Magufuli, leader of a country of 57 million people located on the east coast of Africa, is a Catholic. He spoke at St. Paul's Cathedral in the nation’s capital. 

“I insist upon you my fellow Christians and even [Muslims], do not be afraid, do not stop gathering yourself to glorify God and praise Him,” said Magufuli. “That is why as a government we didn’t close down churches or mosques.” 

“Instead, they should be always open for the people to seek refuge to God,” Magufuli insisted. “Churches are places where people could seek the true healing, because there the True God resides. Do not...be afraid of praising and seeking God’s face in the Church.”

“The Coronavirus cannot survive in the Eucharistic body of Christ; it will soon be burnt away,” he declared.   

“That is exactly why I did not panic while taking the Holy Communion, because I knew, with Jesus in the Eucharist I am safe,” said President Magufuli. “This is the time of building our faith in God.”

President Magufuli delivered his remarks on March 22, Laetare Sunday.  

In a previous display of his Catholic faith, in 2018 Magufuli encouraged Tanzanians to disregard the pressure coming from pro-contraception foreigners – including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) – and continue reproducing. He promised that the government would improve healthcare, specifically maternal health with the building of 67 new hospitals.

The Tanzanian president questioned the merits of so-called family planning and expressed concern over low birth rates experienced by many countries. 

“I have traveled to Europe and elsewhere and have seen the harmful effects of birth control. Some countries are now facing declining population growth. They are short on manpower,” said Magufuli.


  catholic, coronavirus, john magufuli, tanzania

News

Large families shopping during COVID-19 met with ‘distrust, aggression’

Some families are being asked to prove how many children they have to care for.
Wed Mar 25, 2020 - 12:27 pm EST
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Yuganov Konstantin / Shutterstock.com
Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

March 25, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A pro-family organization in Germany reported that large families shopping during the coronavirus pandemic, which is causing shortages of some items in stores, experience “a lack of understanding, distrust, and even direct aggression.”

Some families were even asked to prove how many children they have to care for. They were then faced with doubts regarding the truth of their statements.

“If a family has five children, they need 1 kilo of pasta and two cans of tomatoes for one meal,” said Elisabeth Müller, head of Verband kinderreicher Familien Deutschland (KRFD). “What for others is a purchase to stock up is a normal weekend shopping trip for families with several children,” she explained.

Instead of being frowned upon while shopping, parents of large families “need solidarity, understanding and respect for the task of providing food and care,” Müller continued. “In the current situation, parents are under enormous pressure.”

Annika Kröller, who also works for KRFD, said parents need to be true all-rounders in the current situation. “They cook, teach, do handicrafts, read, play, clean up, and always have to plan for the next few days.”

She pointed out that parents “don’t have time to rest or think calmly, and in many families the corona crisis also triggers existential fears, because the savings account is rarely overflowing.”

While children in large families are not bothered by the fact that all schools and child care facilities are closed in Germany, since they always have someone to play with, parents are under “enormous psychological pressure,” Kröller said.

In the context of shopping for large families, KRFD stated that a “multi-child family card,” some sort of identification card on which all children belonging to the family are listed, “has proven to be very useful.” Already in use in Thuringia, KRFD “urgently” recommended the adoption of similar cards in all parts of Germany.

Originally, KRFD had intended to have an alternative to “family passes” to amusement parks or cultural institutions, which usually include admission for only up to two children.

However, following the coronavirus outbreak, “it is becoming more and more important for families to acquire sufficient food and necessities.”

For this reason, the website of the “multi-child family card” in Thuringia explained, “the card now serves as a family record of the persons living within the family and is intended to make it easier for families with many children to purchase basic food, necessities and hygiene products for the coming weeks.”

The “multi-child family card” is a private initiative, but it is recognized by the state of Thuringia in Germany, as well as many organizations representing all kinds of businesses and individual institutions.

In fact, even far-left prime minister Bodo Ramelow praised the card. “The abundance of children is a blessing for our society, a statement that is actually self-evident, and yet it is not uncommon for everyday life to present a different picture,” he said in 2019, when the card was first introduced.

Regarding the importance of family life, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, Müller said the family was a reliable place of retreat and support. “The period of the coronavirus should encourage us as a society to think about what is really important in life and what is important when everyday life is so radically questioned.”

In Germany, current rules state that “visiting public places is only permitted alone, with one other person who does not live in your household, or when accompanied by the members of your own household.” Restaurants and service providers like hairdressers are closed for at least two weeks.

More than 31,000 people in Germany have tested positive for coronavirus, and the country is reporting 149 deaths so far. Death rates in other countries, including the United States, are significantly higher.


  coronavirus, family, germany, krfd, large family

News

Lawyers warn against health care rationing based on age, disability: It violates civil rights law

'We’re reading the unthinkable—the Seattle Times reported that Washington State and hospital officials have been meeting to consider how to decide who lives and dies,' commented Thomas More Society Vice President Peter Breen.
Wed Mar 25, 2020 - 12:26 pm EST
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Anthony Murdoch
By Anthony Murdoch

March 25, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A group of U.S. lawyers have warned that rationing health care based on disability or age during the coronavirus outbreak violates federal civil rights law.

“Federal law requires that decisions regarding the critical care of patients during the current crisis not discriminate on the basis of disability or age,” lawyers representing the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund and the Thomas More Society wrote in a March 23 memorandum. “In this respect, anticipated longevity or quality of life are inappropriate issues for consideration.”

“Decisions must be made solely on clinical factors as to which patients have the greatest need and the best prospect of a good medical outcome. Therefore, disability and age should not be used as categorical exclusions in making these critical decisions.”

Charles LiMandri, Partner at LiMandri & Jonna LLP, and who also serves as Special Counsel of both groups, served as the lead attorney on the legal memorandum. The memo was prepared at the request of three scholars from prominent American universities. 

The scholars requested the legal memo in light of reports that many American state-level authorities are beginning to weigh their options of introducing the rationing of health care based on age or disability, in light of the coronavirus epidemic. 

The term “health care rationing” has been touted by some in the mainstream media as something that could become the new norm in the United States should hospital beds become scarce.

In his legal analysis, LiMandri says that trying to justify policies of health care rationing “on the basis of disability or age” in light of the coronavirus would “violate federal law regarding invidious discrimination.”

LiMandri adds that it would also “open up the purveyors of those policies to legal liability which will likely be exploited.”

“We’re reading the unthinkable—the Seattle Times reported that Washington State and hospital officials have been meeting to consider how to decide who lives and dies,” commented Thomas More Society Vice President Peter Breen. “In our nation’s capital, the Washington Post is running editorials about the ‘nightmare’ of rationing health care, as is the National Review in the hard-hit state of New York. The horrific idea of withholding care from someone because they are elderly or disabled, is untenable and represents a giant step in the devaluation of each and every human life in America.”

LiMandri’s analysis cites current federal legislation that would govern matters relating to the denial of medical care based on a patient’s age or disability.

The memorandum cites the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, which “prohibits age discrimination in programs or activities that receive financial assistance from the federal government, including Health and Human Services (HHS) funding”; the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which “prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs conducted by federal agencies or programs receiving federal financial assistance”; and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which prohibits any discrimination based on disability in the private sphere and by state and local governments.

LiMandri’s analysis says that the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) “extends the above protections against discrimination based on disability or age to individuals participating in any health program or activity administered by HHS or that receives funding from HHS.”

As of March 24, there were currently 44,183 cases of the coronavirus in the U.S. with 544 deaths. 

In a March 24 opinion piece for LifeSiteNews, Steven Mosher, an expert on China and the President of the Population Research Institute, explained how coronavirus statistics can be distorted resulting in overblown projections. 


  coronavirus, disability rights, health care, health care rationing

News

Ontario Catholic churches locked, beer and pot stores stay open

It is not clear at this point exactly what health authority ordered the closure of churches in particular regions, and specifically in Toronto.
Wed Mar 25, 2020 - 12:17 pm EST
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Ottawa's Notre Dame Cathedral Shutterstock.com
Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne
By Lianne Laurence

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

TORONTO, March 25, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — At least four Ontario Catholic archdioceses — including the province’s largest dioceses of Ottawa and Toronto — have locked their churches indefinitely in the face of the Wuhan flu pandemic even as the province’s pot, beer, and liquor stores remain open.

Premier Doug Ford’s government ordered a mandatory shutdown of all non-essential services that begins at midnight March 24 and will last at least 14 days, and which exempts 74 businesses or services deemed “essential” — including beer stores, the provincial Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) outlets, and cannabis stores.

But it is not clear at this point exactly what health authority ordered the closure of churches in particular regions, and specifically in Toronto.

Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa directed his priests Monday to close down all churches — even for private prayer — in his diocese, citing an order from Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, medical officer of health for the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, who has authority over the counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry; the counties of Prescott-Russell; and the city of Cornwall.

A spokesperson for health minister Christine Elliott confirmed with LifeSiteNews in an email that the province’s chief medical officer did not order Ottawa to shut its churches.

Roumeliotis’s March 22 directive shuts down all “churches, mosques, synagogues and other places of worship,” as well as all daycares, gyms and recreational centers, and personal services settings, such as tattoo and body piercing parlors, manicure spas, and hairdressing salons, within his jurisdiction.

Corporations that violate the order, which does not have an expiration date, could be fined up to $250,000 daily.

Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto issued a March 24 directive to his priests to close all churches in his archdiocese immediately.

However, Collins’s statement does not, as does Prendergast’s, refer to an order by a health authority who has jurisdiction over Toronto — which Roumeliotis does not.

Although Elliott’s spokesperson confirmed Tuesday that the province did not order the Ottawa area churches closed, a Canadian Press story published March 25 claimed that it was because of a provincial directive that Collins ordered Toronto churches shut.

LifeSiteNews asked the health minister to confirm if the province ordered the shutdown for Toronto but had not heard back by deadline.

Archdiocese spokesman Neil McCarthy did not answer LifeSiteNews’s question as to what health authority ordered the closure of churches in the Toronto archdiocese, but instead referred to the public statement.

All public Masses were canceled in the Toronto and Ottawa archdioceses March 17, when Ford declared a state of emergency, but up to this point, churches had remained open.

Meanwhile, the Sault Ste-Marie diocese, under Bishop Marcel Damphousse, closed all churches March 24, citing as its reason the provincial shutdown of non-essential services. Bishop Ronald Fabbro closed all churches in the London diocese March 20.

LifeSiteNews asked Roumeliotis in his daily press briefing Tuesday why Catholics could not be allowed to visit the Blessed Sacrament if the parishes could ensure keeping social distancing protocol — particularly when liquor and cannabis stores remain open.

“My theory is that it’s hard to control the number of people going in, number one. Number two, it’s also hard to control the age of the people going in, and you don’t want to put vulnerable people there,” Roumeliotis said.

“I do understand and respect the religious approach, but I had to take a stand on these issues that had nothing to do with being anti-religious or anything like that; I’m looking at the public good here,” he added.

Moreover, he doesn’t have “any say about the licensed LCBO and marijuana [stores],” he said.

“Is liquor an essential product? I don’t think so. I don’t drink,” Roumeliotis said. “But I can see the dichotomy there. I see the irony.”

Ford defended keeping Ontario’s pot and liquor stores open at a press conference Tuesday, stating that mental health experts advised the government that access to these substances is necessary for persons with addictions.

“We met and heard ... from mental health and addiction that it’s absolutely critical to keep that open,” he told reporters.

“They don’t want to put more of a burden on the health care system. And I know some people at home are sitting back and thinking you know, how...does that work, well, there are people out there with addictions. We’re there to help them, we’re there to support them,” Ford said.

The list of essential services “can be adjusted either way...it’s an open list,” he added.

Meanwhile, R.R. Reno, editor of American magazine First Things, criticized the hierarchy in a March 17 column for this response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Closing churches is utterly unnecessary. People can gather to pray before the reserved sacrament while maintaining the ‘social distancing’ advised by public health experts,” wrote Reno.

“Modest-sized Masses can be conducted in ways that do not irresponsibly risk spreading the virus. The same holds for baptisms and funerals. In some circumstances, pastors can limit attendance to immediate family,” he added.

“But simply suspending the sacraments suggests that the Church lives in accord with the world’s priorities,” which regard “the prospect of death as the supreme evil to be avoided at all costs,” Reno wrote.

“The Church’s concern should be to sustain the spiritual health of those entrusted to her care. Closing churches and cancelling services betrays this duty of spiritual care,” he said.

“In a time of pandemic — a time when Satan whips up in us all fears of isolation, abandonment, and death — churches must not join the stampede of fear.”

Please contact your MPP asking him or her to designate churches as an essential service. To find the name and address of your MPP, go to the Campaign Life website, here, or the Legislative Assembly of Ontario website, here.

To express your concern to the Church, leave messages here:

Cardinal Thomas Collins
Phone: 416-934-0606, ext. 609
email:[email protected]

Archbishop Terrence Prendergast
Phone: (613) 738-5025
[email protected]


  archdiocese of ottawa, archdiocese of toronto, coronavirus, doug ford, quarantine, terrence prendergast, toronto

News

Socialist Canada is a warning sign for Americans

Americans that think they want a few socialist policies need to hear about Canada's slow fall into complete socialism.
Wed Mar 25, 2020 - 10:38 am EST
Featured Image
LifeSiteNews.com
By LSN

March 25, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – In Canada, 88% of people do NOT attend a religious service of any kind. After World War II, roughly 66% of Canadians attended Christian services weekly. Sadly, a similar drop in religion was also seen in Sweden. Although Sweden is now considered one of the more godless European countries, it was once a very religious, family oriented society.  

What happened to Canada and Sweden? Socialism.  

In today’s episode of The Van Maren Show, author of The Trouble with Canada William Gairdner, a Canadian political philosopher, business man, and former Olympian, joins Jonathon to discuss how socialism has taken such a strong hold in Canada and the impacts it has had on the country. 

Gairdner and Jonathon discuss not only what Canadians can do, but they see Canada as a warning for the US and other countries that are glorifying socialism. 

Watch the full interview: 

Gairdner points to Pierre Trudeau’s undermining of the decentralized Canadian political system as the beginning of Canada’s rapid fall into socialism. Prior to Pierre Trudeau, Canada followed a British style constitutional framework, “which gave all the provinces their constitutional obligations and duties and the federal government its obligations and duties and never the twain should meet.”  

Pierre Trudeau had a background in a more French code of law with a more socialistic influence. Pierre introduced government healthcare and agreed to subsidize the healthcare costs of the provinces that agreed to mandatory provisions established by the federal government.  

When a political leader suggested ‘free daycare for all’, Gairdner got frustrated with the government continually increasing taxes in order to subsidize these programs and wrote to the conservative party.  

The note read, “You're too pink. If you don't get more blue, you won't see any more of my green.” His letter made it into the papers and Gairdner couldn’t help but get involved in politics. He did an in-depth analysis of what had/was happening in Canada and wrote The Trouble with Canada.  

Gairdner walks listeners through the history of Canada’s founding and the search for freedom that brought the pilgrims to North America. He makes the important distinction that these pilgrims wanted freedom to do good, freedom to follow their religious virtues, not the complete ‘freedom’ of unlimited sex, drugs, etc. that people are seeking today. 

Listen to the full interview: 

Gairdner outlines the progression from the pilgrims to the libertarian socialism that is seen in Canada. A government that lets you do whatever you want personally, pornography, drugs, etc, but is socialistic in all other realms. Gairdner claims that Canadians are freer than they have ever been personally, yet they are willing to put up with being otherwise surrounded by government regulation. 

And now, with gender ideology, people are taking this even further and saying their will has the ‘right’ to command their biology.  

Gairdner encourages conservative Canadians to pursue what he calls the 4 F’s - freedom, family, free enterprise, and faith. He also encourages people not to be afraid of debate and dialogue, but to truly say what they think. He shares the words of his late father, “Know what you think. Say what you think and do what you say.”  

By encouraging dialogue and discussion, people will hopefully start to change hearts and minds.  

The Van Maren Show is hosted on numerous platforms, including Spotify, SoundCloud, YouTube, iTunes, and Google Play.

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

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  jonathon van maren, pierre trudeau, socialism, the van maren show, william gairdner

News

California police dept to use drones to ‘monitor’ shutdown: Latest coronavirus updates

Live updates on the coronavirus crisis and how it relates to pro-life issues, faith, and freedom.
Wed Mar 25, 2020 - 10:14 am 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 25, 2020, 5:09 p.m. EST: “The Department of Homeland Security has been briefed that New York City’s morgues are nearing capacity, according to a department official and a second person familiar with the situation,” Politico reported today. Some of New York City’s parks and playgrounds may be closed soon.

Governor Steve Sisolak of Nevada signed an emergency measure severely limiting the availability of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, two drugs that have been effective at treating COVID-19. Doctors can no longer prescribe and dispense the drugs to patients with the coronavirus – only to patients with conditions the drugs are approved to treat (malaria, lupus, arthritis) – and prescriptions can only be for a 30-day supply. However, doctors may prescribe the drugs to hospitalized coronavirus patients.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, a rare pro-life Democrat who is also sympathetic to the LGBT cause, tweeted Monday that he would be fasting on Tuesday. Louisiana residents are under a “stay at home” order.

A research group scraped data from the Instagram profiles of over 500,000 people in Italy and found that over 33,000 people violated quarantine orders. The company “has offered its research to the Italian government.”

In Spain, soldiers have discovered the elderly “completely abandoned” at nursing homes. Some were “dead in their beds.”

In the U.S., concerns about the health care rationing – and discrimination the elderly and disabled could face under such rationing – continue to swirl.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s coronavirus relief bill, which received Royal Assent to become law today, has been described as an “undemocratic power grab.”  

Tanzanian President John Magufuli bucked the trend of world leaders urging or forcing churches to shut down during this crisis. 

“I insist upon you my fellow Christians and even [Muslims], do not be afraid, do not stop gathering yourself to glorify God and praise Him,” he said. “That is why as a government we didn’t close down churches or mosques.” 

More American cities, like Philadelphia, are ordering residents be confined to their houses. The governor of Idaho today announced a “stay-at-home” order.

A video of a priest blessing Rochester, New York and some of its suburbs by dropping holy water from a plane can be viewed here.

Other LifeSiteNews articles on the coronavirus crisis today include:

March 25, 2020, 10:13 a.m. EST: Vatican offices remain open although with a reduction in staff present in the facilities. Pope Francis is continuing private, but not public, audiences. Four people – a visiting priest, two employees of the Vatican Museum, and a worker involved in processing freight – are quarantined with the coronavirus.

At Breitbart, Thomas D. Williams reports:

The Vatican has halted production of the print version of its daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano out of fear of coronavirus contagion, moving to an online-only format.

The Vatican newspaper made its announcement through a front-page letter from Andrea Monda, who was named the director of L’Osservatore Romano in December 2018.

As the Italian daily Il Messaggero observed, the coronavirus has accomplished what two world wars could not, since L’Osservatore Romano never missed a single day of production during the entire twentieth century, despite attempts by Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels to persuade the Mussolini government to shut down L’Osservatore Romano in 1938 after the pope’s newspaper came out with a scathing article criticizing the Reich’s Manifesto of Race.

“A small virus from China, the COVID-19, has brought the pope’s glorious newspaper to its knees,” Il Messaggero noted, and the March 25 issue, on the Catholic feast of the Annunciation, will be the last hardcopy issue until further notice.

“In the long history of the Vatican newspaper — which dates back to 1861 and therefore has more than a century and a half of life — only once was the newspaper not printed,” said Mr. Monda. “That was on September 20, 1870, immediately after the breach of Porta Pia and the capture of Rome, with the end of the Pontifical State and the temporal power of the Pope.”

40 Days for Life vigils have been suspended, although many abortion facilities remain open.

Click here to read about and see photos of a “parking lot” Traditional Latin Mass on Sunday.

March 25, 2020, 8:55 a.m. EST: Prince Charles has tested positive for the corinavirus. He is 71. His symptoms are mild, according to a statement from the royal family. The last time he was with the Queen, who is 93, was on March 12. 

March 24, 2020, 8:25 p.m. EST: Pro-abortion New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who last year signed into law a bill expanding abortion up to the moment of birth in the Empire State, has tweeted in the context of the coronavirus, “We will not put a dollar figure on human life.”

Paul Smeaton has written an important article about why we must pray the rosary during this pandemic – and how LifeSite readers can join us for a daily rosary on our social networking app for pro-lifers.

Singing songs in Italian and Polish, a priest carried the Blessed Sacrament through his town in Italy. A video and photos are available here.

Meanwhile, Pope Francis has said that he believes that the coronavirus pandemic is nature “having a fit” in response to environmental pollution.

The U.K. government has reversed course after saying it would allow women to take both abortion pills at home during the coronavirus outbreak. The statement announcing that was “published in error” on a government website, a spokesperson said.

The bishops of Portugal are re-consecrating their country to the Immaculate Heart of Mary to fight the coronavirus.

The John-Henry Westen Show today features Father Maximilian Mary Dean, a cloistered hermit. He talks about ways to thrive while stuck at home during this crisis and says that mankind is being punished with the coronavirus for its many sins and that large-scale suffering is “always linked to our sins.”  

March 24, 2020, 12:58 p.m.: Former president and CEO of EWTN Dan Burke has the coronavirus and is in intensive care at a hospital, he announced on Facebook.

March 24, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Virginia and West Virginia are the latest American states to implement draconian measures restricting freedom of movement and assembly because of the coronavirus.

Beginning at 11:59 p.m. tonight, in Virginia, public or private gatherings of more than 10 people are banned. Businesses like hair salons, gyms, and theaters will be closed. Businesses like grocery stores, liquor stores, doctor offices, home improvement stores, and pet stores will remain open. This allegedly will last through April 23, 2020. 

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice has ordered his constituents to remain at home. They may still go to the store, walk their dogs, and go to the doctor. The full order can be viewed here

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a similar lockdown last night. 

The Washington Examiner reports on the increasing use of drones to monitor and communicate with citizens:

A California police department is planning on using drones equipped with cameras and loudspeakers to monitor a coronavirus shutdown.

...

Drones are starting to play a larger role in society and crime. U.S. Border Patrol agents are having issues with smugglers using drones to watch them as they work along the southern border. The drones are also used to move small quantities of drugs across the border.

At the peak of China’s coronavirus outbreak, the country used talking drones to force citizens in certain areas to wear face masks.

"Where is your mask? Wear your mask!" operators of the drones shouted at passersby in Chinese.

In Belgium, which has more than 3,700 cases of the coronavirus, authorities have begun using drones to warn citizens about a lockdown that was put in place. Drones could be seen hovering overhead and reading off medical guidelines to people below.

"Take care of yourself and others," a woman's voice blares.


  coronavirus, live coronavirus updates

News

Four people in Vatican infected with COVID-19, offices remain open

Pope Francis is continuing private audiences but not public ones.
Wed Mar 25, 2020 - 9:23 am EST
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Spencer Platt / Getty Images
Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Follow Matthew
By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

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

March 25, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The Holy See announced yesterday that its offices remain open and are continuing to function, although with a reduction in staff present in the facilities. In addition, Pope Francis stated on Sunday that he is continuing his own work as normal and is still holding private audiences, although not public ones.

Although a prudent distance is being maintained between individuals within Vatican City, and measures are being taken to disinfect the facilities in use, the Vatican Press Office has admitted that three new cases of infection have arisen recently, for a total of four, and the Italian press are expressing concern that the situation is ripe for a larger outbreak.

“I’m adjusting to this new way of doing things,” Pope Francis said Sunday in an interview with the Spanish journalist Jordi Évole, describing the now-empty St. Peter’s Square as a “desert.” Asked if he is in isolation, the pontiff responded, “Yes . . . no, that is to say, I am taking care of myself. I don’t receive groups, but I do receive personal audiences. Every hour or every half-hour, pre-scheduled. And I continue to work as normal.”

The current approach, according to a report by Vatican News, is to “avoid the further spreading of COVID-19 in a way that does not involve suspending its proper activities.” 

The Holy See “is entrusting to the leadership of the Dicasteries ‘the task of continuing to carry out the essential services of the Universal Church,’” Vatican News states. They are to do this by “arranging for minimal numbers of personnel in their offices and encouraging, insofar as it is possible, that work be done remotely, in such [a] way as to limit the transfer of employees and at the same time guarantee the exercise of the Petrine ministry.”

However, the Italian newspaper Il Messagero reports that precautions taken so far in the Vatican appear not to be sufficient for preventing the spread of disease. “Up to now, in many Vatican congregations the area has not been sterilized, and many of those working in the offices do not have masks available to them. They are only following the practice of maintaining a distance of one meter from others and of using hand santizers, but the risk of contagion remains quite evident to everyone.”

Physical copies of the Vatican daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano are no longer being printed “out of fear of coronavirus contagion,” Thomas D. Williams reported at Breitbart

The four individuals who have been confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 were quarantined immidately after testing positive as a precaution, according to Matteo Bruni, the director of the Holy See, and reported by Il Messagero. “Their isolation will last another fourteen days. They are currently being cared for in Italian hospitals or in their own homes.”

In addition to the first case of infection, which was a visiting priest, two employees of the Vatican Museum and one worker involved in processing freight have been infected with COVID-19, according to Il Messagero.

Pope Francis has been exposed to at least one person infected and symptomatic with COVID-19: the French bishop Emmanuel Delmas, who attended an audience with Francis on March 9 with other French bishops during an ad limina visit. Moreover, in late February, the pontiff was ill for several days with what appears to have been a strong cold, prompting him to cancel his participation in several public events. However, he appeared to be healthy in his interview with Évole on Sunday, which was conducted through an internet video service.

The Holy See assured the press yesterday that they have a plan for quickly reporting any cases of infection to the health authorities of the place of residence of the employee and as well as those of Vatican City State, although the details of their plan have not been made public.


  catholic, coronavirus, covid-19, emmanuel delmas, jordi évole, pope francis, vatican news, vatican press office

Opinion

Leftist media suppress hopeful news about drugs that might beat coronavirus

The media accused Trump of lying about the drugs' potential value. Now it's become clear that Trump was accurate.
Wed Mar 25, 2020 - 7:23 pm EST
Featured Image
David Shao / Shutterstock.com
Andrea Widberg
By Andrea Widberg

March 25, 2020 (American Thinker) — Very soon after the coronavirus hit America, reports emerged that chloroquine, an older malaria drug, and its analogue, hydroxychloroquine, were helpful against the virus, especially when used in conjunction with azithromycin, an antibiotic. Trump expressed a strong hope that these drugs would effectively treat those with serious coronavirus cases.

The media reflexively struck back. They first accused Trump of lying about the drugs' potential value. Now that it's become clear that Trump was accurate, the media have a new tactic, which is to present chloroquine as a deadly drug that will kill more than it cures. For the media, it's never about the actual issue; it's always about "getting" Trump.

On Sunday, American Thinker ran Andrew Longman's excellent summary of chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, and azithromycin. Before reading this post, you might want to refresh your knowledge by reading that article. The takeaway is that these drugs have been around for a long time, so doctors are familiar with them; that there's an increasing body of evidence that they work; and that the Trump administration got the FDA to allow doctors to prescribe them "off-label" or for "compassionate use" (that is, for a purpose other than treating malaria). (Just two recent examples of successful chloroquine use are here and here.)

On Saturday, Trump tweeted out his hope that hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, when taken together, could save lives. Please note that he didn't say they "would" save lives, just that they had a "real chance" to change the outcome:

Within what seemed like minutes, the media had their new narrative: hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine kill!!!

Axios tweeted that a man died after "ingesting chloroquine phosphate — one of the anti-malaria drugs that Trump has mentioned in recent days":

Despite the "self-medicating" bit, which is clear in the tweet, the story gained traction as an anti-Trump diatribe when a blue-checked doctor tweeted out the same Axios story:

What Axios neglected to report is that the man and his wife didn't merely "self-medicate." According to the hospital website, the couple went the extra mile when they "ingested chloroquine phosphate, an additive commonly used at aquariums to clean fish tanks." Nobody can allege with a straight face that Trump told them to do that.

Naturally, Vice had to get in on the act. It ran a story with the headline, "People in Nigeria Are Poisoning Themselves With Chloroquine after Trump Said It Was a Cure for Coronavirus: The president won't stop hyping the untested 'cure,' even after Dr. Anthony Fauci and the commissioner of the FDA warned it's unproven." Except Trump never said it was a cure. He said he hoped it would be and that he had a good feeling that it could be the answer. That fools self-medicate is not Trump's fault.

Nevertheless, all the usual people afflicted with Trump Derangement Syndrome piled on. The following tweet is representative, since it's a twofer, with both Laurence Tribe, a chronic embarrassment to the once great history of Harvard Law School, and George Conway, Kellyanne Conway's shrill husband, chiming in:

When it comes to Trump, the media, the Democrat establishment (but I repeat myself), and the NeverTrumps all seem to have adopted as their motto Groucho Marx's famous song, "I'm against It." Here's the video because, when Groucho says it, it's funny, and we can all use a laugh right now:

Published with permission from the American Thinker.


  2020 presidential election, coronavirus, donald trump, mainstream media

Opinion

State governments prioritizing abortionists over other workers as coronavirus rages

Hundreds of thousands of people across the country are now unemployed and worried about paying the rent or buying food, but the 'essential' work of killing babies continues.
Wed Mar 25, 2020 - 7:21 pm EST
Featured Image
Have a nice day Photo / Shutterstock.com
Susan Daniels
By Susan Daniels

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

OHIO, March 25, 2020 (American Thinker) — Thousands of restaurant and bar servers were abruptly unemployed Sunday night, March 15, 2020, and other business closed their doors immediately under orders from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). But there is one group of people who have job security and are still working instead of applying for unemployment.

"Our doors are open" is the message when calling abortion facilities (Planned Parenthood) in the Cleveland, Ohio area. Those people all continue to work and get paid. While hospitals have canceled non-essential surgeries, abortions apparently don't fall under that category. Planned Parenthood's motto should be "Let no child stay alive."

The National Abortion Federation (NAF) sent out the following:

As state and municipalities exact measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, more non-essential businesses will be instructed — or required — to close. At the same time, hospitals are preparing for a surge in COVID-19 cases and increased strain on their staff, resources, and systems, and will likely begin indefinite postponing non-essential or elective procedures. During this public health crisis, pregnancy care, including abortion care, remains an essential health service. The NAF calls on leaders to ensure that outpatient abortion clinics can remain open and urges hospitals to continue to provide abortion care.

While schools and churches have been shuttered and longed-for graduation ceremonies have been canceled, apparently it is okay to congregate at an abortion facility or use limited hospital resources. Planned Parenthood phone messages comfort the caller by adding that the abortionists are working with the CDC and the ODH to ensure the safety of their patients and that the chance of catching the coronovirus remains low.&nb"Leave a message to make an appointment."

While Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House, tried to pad a bill infusing more money into abortions, a bill that was designed to help fight the Chinese Virus, as President Trump calls it, her efforts failed.

Massachusetts hospitals are forbidden from performing non-essential procedures, but the abortions continue. A state agency memorandum opines: "Terminating a pregnancy is not considered a nonessential, elective invasive procedure for the purpose of guidance. However, the ultimate decision is based on clinical judgment by the caring physician."

President Mark Harrington of Created Equal, a pro-life organization, said: "Clearly, the abortion industry will not 'allow this crisis to go to waste.'"

Hundreds of thousands of people across the country are now unemployed and worried about paying the rent or buying food, but the government keeps the abortion industry workers employed doing the essential work of the killing of babies. 

Susan Daniels has been an Ohio-licensed private investigator for twenty-seven years. She uncovered Barack Obama's phony social security number in 2009.

This post first appeared at the American Thinker on March 20, 2020. It is published here with the author's permission.


  abortion, coronavirus, modern medicine, ohio, quarantine

Opinion

Virginians can now be jailed for a year for attending church services with 10 people

Gathering in a church is now punishable by up to 12 months in jail or up to a $2,500 fine, or both.
Wed Mar 25, 2020 - 5:33 pm EST
Featured Image
Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia. Zach Gibson / Getty Images
Terence P. Jeffries
By Terence Jeffries

RICHMOND, Virginia, March 25, 2020 (CNS News) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued an executive order on Monday that is aimed at stopping the new coronavirus — and, in the process, makes it a criminal offense to hold a church service attended by more than 10 people.

Yes, his order makes it a crime for more than 10 people to gather in a church.

There are two passages in the text of the governor's order that are relevant to this.

Paragraph 1 says: "Therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Article V, Section 7 of the Constitution of Virginia, by § 44-146.17 of the Code of Virginia and in furtherance of Executive Order 51, I order the following: 1. Effective 11:59 p.m., Tuesday, March 24, 2020 until 11:59 p.m., Thursday, April 23, 2020, all public and private in person gatherings of 10 or more individuals are prohibited."

Image

This is a screen capture of paragraph 1 in Gov. Ralph Northam's executive order prohibiting "all public and private in person gatherings of 10 or more individuals."

 

The second relevant section of the order says: "Violation of paragraphs 1, 3, 4, and 6 of this Order shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor pursuant to § 44-146.17 of the Code of Virginia."

Image

This is a screen capture of the paragraph in Gov. Ralph Northam's executive order that states it is a Class 1 misdemeanor to violate paragraph 1 of the order.

Indeed, the actual text of § 44-146.17 says: "Executive orders, to include those declaring a state of emergency and directing evacuation, shall have the force and effect of law and the violation thereof shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor in every case where the executive order declares that its violation shall have such force and effect."

Northam, in his executive order, declared, "Violations of paragraph 1" — which states that "all public and private in person gatherings of 10 or more individuals are prohibited" — are Class 1 misdemeanors. Thus, under Virginia law, they are Class 1 misdemeanors.

What can the government do to you for committing one of these Class 1 misdemeanors?

The Code of Virginia spells out the punishment in § 18.2-11. It says: "The authorized punishments for conviction of a misdemeanor are: (a) For Class 1 misdemeanors, confinement in jail for not more than twelve months and a fine of not more than $2,500, either or both."

Now, attending a typical church service — like, say, a Catholic Mass on Sunday — would seem to fall within the scope of "public and private in person gatherings of 10 or more individuals."

Northam's executive order does not use any terminology that specifically indicates it applies to churches or other places of worship. Nor does it include language listing churches and other places of worship among those "essential" locations that are not subject to the ban on gatherings of 10 or more people.

But a "Frequently Asked Questions" sheet that his office published about the executive order does address the issue.

The fifth question it answers is: "What about religious services? Can I still go to my church, synagogue, or mosque?"

The answer: "Virginians are strongly encouraged to seek alternative means of attending religious services, such as virtually or via 'drive-through' worship. Places of worship that do conduct in-person services must limit gatherings to 10 people, to comply with the statewide 10-person ban."

Image

This is a screen capture of the question-and-answer in the "Frequently Asked Questions" sheet published by Gov. Ralph Northam's office that says places of worship "must limit gatherings to 10 people, to comply with the statewide 10-person ban."

To make certain that this meant that the law making it a misdemeanor criminal offense to have gatherings of more than 10 people applied to churches, I addressed a question to Northam's press secretary, Alena Yarmosky.

I asked her via email: "How about a simple yes or no: Are church attendees and churches exempted from the misdemeanor penalty that applies to other individuals and organizations that violate the governor's Executive Order and have gatherings that bring together more than 10 people?"

She responded by email: "The Governor's EO 53 bans assemblies of more than 10 people, statewide. That includes gatherings at private schools, private clubs, parties, as well as any other social get-together, and religious services."

Conclusion: The governor has issued an executive order that "bans" religious services that bring together more than 10 people. His executive order expressly states that any "violations" of the paragraph in the order that bans "gatherings of 10 or more persons ... shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor." Virginia law says that when a governor's executive order states that violating that order is a Class 1 misdemeanor, those violations are indeed Class 1 misdemeanors.

Virginians now live in a state where holding a church service attended by 11 people has been unilaterally declared a crime by the governor.

The same executive order that creates this church-attending crime also declares that Virginia's state-owned liquor stores are "essential retail businesses" that "may remain open during their normal business hours."

How can a person walk into a liquor store, exchange a glass bottle of whiskey and money with a clerk and keep his social distance? Could 11 people in a church — praying the rosary together — stay further apart physically than the buyers and sellers at a Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control store?

The Catholic dioceses of Arlington and Richmond had already voluntarily determined to close their Masses to the public to limit the spread of the coronavirus — before the government ordered them to limit their gatherings to 10 people. They gave witness to the virtue of prudence. But prudence also counsels against the sort of edict Northam redundantly issued this week ordering churches to close under penalty of law.

What would St. Thomas More think of a government that made it a crime to gather and pray in church?

What would the framers of the First Amendment think?

What future "emergencies" will inspire future governors to act on Northam's precedent?

(Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of CNSNews.com.)

Published with permission from CNS News.


  coronavirus, quarantine, ralph northam, religious freedom, religious persecution

Opinion

Liberals taking advantage of coronavirus crisis to sneak abortion legalization

Let us be very clear about what happened this week with the abortive imposition of DIY abortions under the pretext of fighting coronavirus.
Wed Mar 25, 2020 - 5:07 pm EST
Featured Image
Mike Liu / Shutterstock.com
Pavel Stroilov
By Pavel Stroilov

March 25, 2020 (Christian Concern) — Pavel is a political exile of Putin’s Russia, having fled to the UK after his research as a historian put his life and liberty at risk. He then studied law at King’s College London and University of Law. He now works as a legal consultant for Christian Legal Centre.

Let us be very clear about what happened this week with the abortive imposition of DIY abortions under the pretext of fighting coronavirus. On Monday afternoon, the gov.uk website published an official legislative document, which drastically changed the substance of the law with immediate effect. The document read as follows:

The Abortion Act 1967 — Approval of a Class of Places

This approval supersedes the approval of 27 December 2018.

The Secretary of State makes the following approval in exercise of the powers
conferred by section 1(3) and (3A) 1of the Abortion Act 19672:

Interpretation

1. In this approval –
“home” means, in the case of a pregnant woman, the place in England where a
pregnant woman has her permanent address or usually resides or, in the case of a
registered medical practitioner, the place in England where a registered medical
practitioner has their permanent address or usually resides;

“approved place” means a hospital in England, as authorised under section 1(3) of
the Abortion Act 1967, or a place in England approved under that section.

Approval of class of place

2. The home of a registered medical practitioner is approved as a class of place for
treatment for the termination of pregnancy for the purposes only of prescribing the
medicines known as Mifepristone and Misoprostol to be used in treatment carried out
in the manner specified in paragraph 4.

3. The home of a pregnant woman who is undergoing treatment for the purposes of
termination of her pregnancy is approved as a class of place where the treatment for
termination of pregnancy may be carried out where that treatment is carried out in
the manner specified in paragraph 4.

4. The treatment must be carried out in the following manner-

a) the pregnant woman has-

i) attended an approved place;

ii) had a consultation with an approved place via video link, telephone
conference or other electronic means, or

iii) had a consultation with a registered medical practitioner via video link,
telephone conference or other electronic means; and

b) the pregnant woman is prescribed Mifepristone and Misoprostol to be taken for
the purposes of the termination of her pregnancy.

Mark Davies
Director, Population Health
20 March 2020

1 Section 1(3A) was inserted by section 37(3) of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 (c. 37).

2 1967 c. 87.

Mr Davies’s signature was clearly visible on the pdf version published.

Pushed when national attention was elsewhere

These were the very DIY abortions on demand which the pro-death lobby had been lusting after for many years. As long as we had a properly functioning democracy, they had no success. Now that the voters have other things on their minds, it was imposed on us overnight — without debate, without vote, without publicity — insidiously slipped and shuffled into the pack of other measures we are told we need to survive. The moment was chosen very carefully — the day when everyone’s attention was completely consumed by Boris Johnson’s address to the nation announcing the lock-down. The calculation evidently was that nobody would notice, and once the wheels were in motion, it would be too late to protest.

Thankfully, this was not to be. The publication was spotted by a few pro-life groups (including Christian Concern), who promptly published protests. At some point overnight, one of those messages reached someone senior enough in the government to pull the brake. On Tuesday morning, the document was gone from the website, replaced by the inelegantly worded, obviously rushed notice:

“The information on this page has been removed because it was published in error.
“This was published in error. There will be no changes to abortion regulations.”

There was formal legislation 

Do not be fooled by the understandable attempts to play this down. It was not an error of sending a wrong tweet: for a few hours, there was formal legislation in place which legalised DIY abortions. If, heaven forbid, such an abortion took place on Monday evening, it would have been legal. What has happened was not an administrative error. This was a disingenuous and sinister attempt by the pro-abortion forces to exploit the epidemic as a narrow opportunity to bypass democracy, and achieve their long-standing objective by the back door.

This is very serious in itself; but the significance of this extends beyond the all-important issue of abortion, wherever you stand on it. Our ability to cope with the coronavirus crisis depends entirely on people’s trust in the national leadership. It is remarkable how the country dutifully shut itself down on a say so of Boris Johnson (hardly the most non-controversial leader to appeal to all creeds). However, once the government attempts to exploit that crisis to implement an agenda which has nothing to do with coronavirus, that trust is lost. The consequences for the epidemic would be catastrophic. That would cost lives.

Whoever in the government has pulled the brake on the abortion coup d’état on Monday night deserves much credit for that. However, two further things need to happen before the trust can be restored.

Scandal must not be swept under the carpet

Firstly, this scandal must not be swept under the carpet as an ‘administrative error’. It must be thoroughly, transparently investigated. Those responsible for abuse of power, and for sabotaging the national effort to resist the dangerous epidemic, must be named and sacked without delay.

Secondly, the government’s Coronavirus Bill (and its wider ‘Coronavirus policy’) must be urgently reviewed to identify and remove all similar abuses. DIY abortions was not the only drastic measure there which had nothing whatsoever to do with coronavirus, and everything to do with stealing people’s liberties.

Doctors will have power to section people indefinitely

The Coronavirus Bill (which is being passed into law this week at breakneck speed) will, among other things, (1) authorise a forcible detention of people on mental health grounds (‘sectioning’) on the opinion of any one doctor (rather than two, as previously required) and (2) abolish the six-month time limit on ‘sectioning’. Any one doctor will have the power to lock you up in a lunatic asylum indefinitely — all in the interests of your own and others’ safety.

It is well-known, and self-evident, that forcible psychiatric detention is an area which is open to abuse in the absence of effective safeguards. In the Soviet Union, it was used simply as a tool to suppress political dissent. This may be an extreme example, but where is the guarantee that one rogue doctor or another will not, once in a while, abuse his newly found unlimited power? For very good reasons, we have had safeguards against that in our law. Now they are being urgently abolished — supposedly as an obstacle to our survival of the epidemic. How exactly are they such an obstacle?

It should be stressed that this has nothing to do with increasing doctors’ capacity to deal with coronavirus patients. A psychiatrist is not much help in treating a respiratory disease. In fact, he would be as useful as a gynaecologist. Just like gynaecologists can safely continue to supervise (and hopefully, sometimes refuse to authorise) abortions, there is no reason why psychiatrists cannot carry on doing their usual job — which includes, most importantly, protecting people from arbitrary detention on unsound psychiatric grounds. Those duties are not expendable luxuries, but are vital safeguards of liberty.

Powers to issue warrants for surveillance 

Another frightening power-grab in the Coronavirus Bill is the expansion of the power to appoint temporary judicial commissioners, with the powers to issue warrants for surveillance, under the Investigatory Powers Act 2016. The threat to civil liberty is obvious; and this has nothing to do with coronavirus.

Given those examples, one inevitably looks more sceptically at the idea that the government knows best about its other measures which ostensibly have something to do with coronavirus. Things like prolonging local councillors’ term in office for a whole year without a democratic mandate; police power to detain anyone for up to 48 hours on suspicion of a threat to public health; Ministers’ authority to ban mass gatherings; or court trials by skype. Are all those things really necessary? Or have some civil servants simply been waiting (heaven knows for how long) for a convenient moment to introduce them without provoking mass protests on the streets?

For example, skype trials in court sound sensible at the time of an epidemic, but the very first reported trial is a rather frightening one. That is a Court of Protection trial last week to decide the fate of an anonymous man in his ’70s, whose GP wants to switch off his life support to let him die ‘in dignity’, and whose family objects. Remember all the debates and protests over the cases of Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans in this country, and Vincent Lambert in France? Under the new regime, decisions on life and death cases of this kind are being made on a skype call. No proper trial, no ‘army’ of protesters, no real media coverage. It was only reported as a technological curiosity — the first major trial taking place by skype.

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance

These and other measures are meant to be introduced only on a temporary basis. There is a sunset clause in the Bill, whereby these new laws will automatically lose force after two years unless Parliament votes to extend them beyond that period. Amendments are being debated to shorten that period. However, this does not answer the concern that some of the most drastic innovations in the Act are clearly not necessary to contain coronavirus at all. If in those two years, someone is wrongly ‘sectioned’ in a lunatic asylum, it is small comfort to them that this practice will cease in 2022. Further, as a general rule of constitutional history, temporary limitations on liberty tend to become permanent whenever they are convenient for the state. We still live today with all sorts of draconian laws introduced as a matter of emergency after 11 September 2001. Come 2022, the Coronavirus Bill powers may also be extended on whatever pretext. Indeed, section 90 of the Bill even permits the extension of those powers without a vote in Parliament.

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. Many dictatorships originate in people’s panicked enthusiasm for drastic measures to deal with a genuine crisis. Putin’s regime in Russia, for example, took hold because people trusted their democratically elected president to do whatever it takes to defeat the threat of terrorism. Eventually, when Putin responded to another terrorist attack by replacing regional elections with appointed governors, that trust was largely lost — but it was too late. It is no surprise that when we see fairly similar moves attempted in this country, our trust in the government hangs in the balance.

At least in terms of public trust, the next few days will be crucial for the government’s efforts to control the epidemic. If the government is serious about it, its legislation must be cleansed of all disingenuous attempts to take advantage. And if they are not serious about it, nobody else will be.

Published with permission from the Christian Concern.


  abortion, coronavirus, united kingdom

Opinion

Why canceling Masses, locking churches is a recipe for failure in dealing with coronavirus

'Wherever it has been tried, a society without God fails.'
Wed Mar 25, 2020 - 11:42 am EST
Featured Image
Shutterstock.com
John Horvat II
By

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

March 25, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – As the coronavirus spreads across the nation, officials are taking measures to ensure the health of the body. Sadly, the health of souls is brutally neglected. 

A recent message on Twitter brings home just how shocking the situation has become. One woman wrote: 

“Confessions have been canceled as well. God help us. If I die, I’m going to Hell.”

Her dramatic cry was responding to the news about how diocese after diocese announced the shutdown of all churches. Now all dioceses in America have canceled Masses and services.  Adoration chapels have closed. Even Confessions has been canceled as all human contact must be minimized. People are left without spiritual help.  

Distressed priests in their parishes are ordered to withdraw from their pastoral duties. Some are even told that they may hear confessions only in cases of death. Other directives discourage baptisms and last rites. We have been orphaned by a gigantic spiritual withdrawal.

The faithful are distraught. Some parents are resorting to baptizing their children. Others look for alternatives in vain. People fear for their eternal salvation.

A Deadly Secular Mentality

These closings are a sad commentary on the state of a nation that has turned away from God. Temporal and spiritual leaders are only considering material measures to fight the epidemic. These drastic measures targeting the spiritual welfare of the faithful are the consequence of a secular mentality that stupidly dares to quarantine God as a useless figure in the fight against the coronavirus.

Indeed, modernity’s liberal philosophy holds that everything can be resolved through technology, economics and material progress. This crass materialistic perspective celebrates the enjoyment of life as the supreme value. Suffering and tragedy must be avoided at all costs. That is why when the “tragedy” of an unwanted child appears, modern society says, abort the “problem.” Similarly, when a threat like the Chinese virus disrupts life, it must be ruthlessly and efficiently eradicated by modern “scientific” measures independent of any moral considerations.

According to this cynical philosophy, God, if He is considered as all, is at best a psychological comfort for the weak who have no faith in modern solutions. The New York Times writer Mattia Ferraresi, who understands nothing about the Faith, belittles church closures saying that “for believers, religion is a fundamental source of spiritual healing and hope. It’s a remedy against despair, providing psychological and emotional support that is an integral part of well-being.” 

However, not even psychological comfort is granted to the faithful, in the handling of the coronavirus. God must be removed from the picture. Churches must be closed.

A Recipe for Failure

Such an impious way of acting is a recipe for failure. 

History records just how disastrous this materialistic philosophy has been! Communist and socialist regimes have all based themselves on materialistic models of a society without God. Likewise, our liberal, practically atheist society operates as if God did not exist. Such a model has created a moral and psychological wasteland that progress and science cannot hope to address. 

Wherever it has been tried, a society without God fails. A state that only deals with material goods will eventually suppress all things spiritual. When a godless state acts, it will always do so with brutality since it does not consider human nature’s superior spiritual side. 

This superior side is what makes every person unique and establishes each one’s dignity. This recognition orients all toward their purpose in life and ultimately to God. National leaders that respect this spiritual perspective can act with wisdom, charity and understanding of human dignity.  

Government Needs God’s Aid

In times of crisis, governments need God’s aid. They need the Church’s vast experience in dealing with adversity and tragedy.  The Church is not a force that complicates the process of fighting the coronavirus. Rather the Church is an efficient and compassionate partner that will make the fight human, self-sacrificing and full of charity. When calamities strike, the Church has always served on the frontlines, not the sidelines. The grace of the Sacraments fortifies the faithful to better join in this fight. 

To secure this much-needed help, temporal and spiritual leaders must consider the spiritual welfare of citizens. They cannot consign them to despair of their salvation like the poor woman deprived of confession. The Catholic code of canon law teaches that salus animarum lex suprema, the salvation of souls is the highest law. To what purpose are human lives saved, if the souls are eternally lost? 

The Church maintains the nation’s largest private health care system. If given a chance, its ministers can easily find ways to administer the Sacraments, even inside the draconian health norms established by authorities.   

Missing Faith

What is missing in this fight is faith. Too many still cling to modernity and believe that government efforts alone can save the world. If that is the case, then all is lost, since so much corruption, sin and disorder reign. 

Just because modernity denies the action of God in history, it does not mean God does not act. God does aid those who call upon Him. When natural solutions to modern problems fail, it is time to look for supernatural ones.

The coronavirus crisis will only be resolved when a humble and contrite humanity has faith in God who can do all things. He is directing human events. It is only a matter of following His divine indications. 

John Horvat II is a scholar, researcher, educator, international speaker, and author of the book Return to Order, as well as the author of hundreds of published articles. He lives in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania where he is the vice president of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property.


  coronavirus, mass, modernism

Opinion

Celebrating 25 years of John Paul II’s ‘The Gospel of Life’

Wed Mar 25, 2020 - 10:56 am EST
Featured Image
Janet Morana
By

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

March 25, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – St. John Paul II makes clear at the start of The Gospel of Life that there is only one, indivisible Gospel – the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This Gospel of Life is at the same time and with the same force the Gospel of Mercy. Christ is Life, and He is Mercy itself. He came to reconcile us to the Father and to one another, and therefore also to the unborn.

From the beginning of my own involvement in the pro-life movement over 30 years ago, I loudly echoed the theme that abortion hurts women, precisely because it destroys their children. Just as we are motivated to save those children, that same motivation drives us to save and heal those moms, their families, and everyone wounded by abortion.

We who reject abortion do not reject those who have abortions. Rather, we embrace them with the love, mercy, and peace of Christ.

This encyclical speaks directly to this point, as St. John Paul II addresses directly those who have had abortions:

“If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. To the same Father and to his mercy you can with sure hope entrust your child. With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone's right to life” (n. 99).

Several years after these words were proclaimed to the Church and the world, Georgette Forney of Anglicans for Life and I co-founded the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, which has become the fulfillment of John Paul II’s words about how those who have been forgiven from abortion can become “among the most eloquent defenders of everyone’s right to life.” This campaign is the world’s largest mobilization of those who have had abortions and speak out about its pain, and about the healing that can be found in Jesus Christ.

Moreover, through its “Shockwaves of Abortion” initiative, the Campaign embraces the many people, aside from the mother herself, who are wounded by the killing of her child. The dad, grandparents, siblings, other relatives, and friends of that aborted child are deeply damaged. So are the abortionists and their staff, and the pro-life advocates who tried to save the child but could not.

All of these people are wounded, all of them need healing, and many of them are also sharing their testimonies. At times our campaign has gatherings during which, in one place, these various people speak out together and express their repentance and healing. Each different group helps all the others to heal. The man expressing his regret for not being a support to the mother of his child brings a measure of comfort to all the mothers who experienced the father’s failure to be a man. The mother’s expression of regret is a consolation for all grandparents who carry the pain of what their daughter did. And so is the case in every direction among this wider circle of victims, all repenting together, and all healing together.

It is a kaleidoscope, a symphony, a beautiful, integrated vision of the Culture of Life and of the Gospel of Life.

The encyclical The Gospel of Life has, indeed, born much fruit in the pro-life movement, in the Church, and in the world. And that fruit will only continue to increase.

Janet Morana is the Executive Director of Priests for Life and co-founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign.


  abortion, catholic, evangelium vitae, gospel of life, john paul ii, silent no more

Opinion

It’s reasonable for European Christians to be fearful of mass Muslim immigration

Christ understood that some men were as dangerous as wolves and he wanted his disciples to understand it as well.
Wed Mar 25, 2020 - 10:19 am EST
Featured Image
AlejandroCarnicero / Shutterstock.com
William Kilpatrick
By William Kilpatrick

This article originally appeared in the April 9, 2018 edition of Crisis. It is published here with permission from the Turning Point Project.

March 25, 2020 (Turning Point Project) — In a number of talks and statements over the years, Pope Francis has scolded Europeans for their fear of immigrants. He came back to that theme early in March following electoral gains by “anti-immigrant” parties in Italy. According to a Reuters report, “Pope Francis on Sunday expressed concern over national policies dictated by fear.”

On other occasions, Francis has denounced Europeans for their “xenophobia,” thereby suggesting that the fear of immigrants is irrational. But, as a number of polls have revealed, Europeans aren’t anti-immigrant, they’re anti–Muslim immigrant. Europeans appear to have little or no problem with Hindu, Chinese, Filipino, Polish, and West Indian immigrants. If Europeans are “xenophobes” why aren’t they calling for a ban on Hindu and West Indian immigrants?

In his recent comments, Pope Francis said, “the world today is often inhabited by fear... And fear often turns against people who are foreign, different, poor, as if they were enemies.” Yet Italians and other Europeans don’t seem to fear people who are different per se. The fear they have is a highly specific one. It doesn’t lump all foreigners together, but focuses rather on a specific group.

A survey by Chatham House shows that the majority of Europeans want a total and permanent halt to Muslim immigration — not Hindu immigration or Chinese immigration. This specificity suggests that the problem lies not with the Italians, French, English, Germans, and Dutch, but with Muslims. Or — more specifically — with something in Muslim culture. That something is Islamic ideology. As Europeans are finally coming to realize, Islamic ideology is thoroughly incompatible with Western values. Indeed the Koran instructs Muslims not to associate with non-Muslims who are regarded as “vile creatures.”

One of the misleading assumptions of our times is that fear is born of ignorance. Its corollary is the belief that increased education or increased familiarity with the “other” will banish fear. For example, after the Italian election results, Cardinal Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, said that the Church would have to continue its “work of education.”

But, in fact, Italians along with Germans, French, Brits, Dutch, and so on have been drenched for decades in the kind of education that Cardinal Parolin favors. A large part of the curriculum in European schools is devoted to teaching youngsters to respect different races and cultures. Indeed, many European students are given the distinct impression that other cultures are morally superior to their own.

Cardinal Parolin and others in the hierarchy seem to subscribe to what might be called the Rogers and Hammerstein school of race relations. In South Pacific, Lieutenant Cable laments the prejudice he will encounter should he marry his Asian sweetheart:

You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

Yet for years, European children have been taught exactly the opposite. They have been taught not to be afraid of people of different races. They have been taught to welcome people from other cultures. And, by and large, it has worked. Europeans have extended a welcoming hand to immigrants. For a long time it even worked in regard to Muslims — until it didn’t. Eventually, it occurred to many Europeans that their own experience and their self-acquired knowledge contradicted the Pollyannaish view of cultural differences they had learned in school. They discovered that cultures were not all basically the same. The problem, as they came to realize, was not with racial or ethnic differences, but with ideology. After all, Islam is not a race. Muslims come from a variety of racial, ethnic, and national backgrounds. Race wasn’t the problem. The problem was with the Islamic value system — a system that convinced young men that they could serve God by raping girls and running down pedestrians.

The more familiar Europeans became with Islamic ideology and its consequences, the more they came to fear it. Their experience has been the very reverse of another Rogers and Hammerstein song — the one that goes:

Getting to know you,
Getting to know all about you.
Getting to like you,
Getting to hope you’ll like me.

Nice sentiments. But it doesn’t always work that way. For example, the more that Jews in Germany became familiar with the Nazis and their ideology, the more they properly feared them. Likewise, Poles, Hungarians, and Czechs were right to fear the communist takeover of Eastern Europe. Unfortunately, many Europeans and Americans were not fearful enough about the twin threats posed by Nazism and communism. Their naiveté and lack of prudent fear was a major factor in enabling first the Nazis and then the communists to enslave half of Europe.

The same might be said of the pope’s almost complete lack of rational, prudential fear. By encouraging people not to be fearful of a real danger, the pope only adds to the danger. For example, attacks on European Jews have risen sharply in recent years. Jews in Europe are fearful once again — not because of some irrational prejudice on their part, but because of the rise of an ideology every bit as anti-Semitic as that fostered by the Nazis.

Jews are not alone in their fears. The victims of Muslim immigrant crime include Christians, Hindus, agnostics, men, women, children, the handicapped, the elderly, and babies in carriages. According to many verses in the Koran, all non-Muslims who have not submitted to the rule of Islam are legitimate targets. Some teen-age victims of Muslim rape gangs report that their abusers quoted the Koran to them in justification of the abuse. Because of mass Muslim migration of the type that Francis favors, thousands of girls have been raped in England alone. Indeed everyone is at increased risk: concert-goers in England, families celebrating Bastille Day in France, shoppers at Christmas markets in Germany, pedestrians in Barcelona, and train and subway passengers all over Europe.

As he often does when encouraging migration, Francis relies on religious sentiments to overrule both statistical evidence and common sense. One of his favorite themes is that the face of the migrant is the face of Christ. Another theme is that Christ wants us to welcome the migrant “with arms wide open.” But how does he know that Christ wants us to welcome millions of strangers all at once? Christ admonishes us to welcome the stranger, but he has nothing to say about mass migration. Does the verse about welcoming the stranger mean that Europe must take in more Muslims than it can possibly assimilate? Is it the will of God that Europe be turned into an Islamic colony? That’s what will likely happen if the pope’s “open arms” and open borders recommendations are followed.

Even if we think of Christ’s words as applying only to individuals, it seems safe to assume that he expects us to exercise some prudence. Must a widow with two young daughters take in three suspicious looking strangers? When welcoming strangers, doesn’t Jesus want us to use our reason and weigh the evidence? Indeed many of Christ’s parables are about acting prudentially: the five foolish virgins, the man who builds his house upon sand, the householder who needs to be on the watch against thieves.

Considering the Pope’s repeated endorsement of mass migration, one might think that his position accurately reflects the teaching of the Catholic Church, but, in fact, the Catechism of the Catholic Church takes a more prudential view. Here’s the second of its two paragraph on immigration:

Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to immigrants’ duties towards their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens (2241).

Since a good many Muslim migrants in Europe have little or no respect for the spiritual heritage of the countries that receive them, and little sense of duty toward them, it would seem that they do not meet the right-to-immigrate criterion set by the Catechism.

But prudence is not the pope’s strong suit. Indeed he is gaining a reputation for imprudence. He speaks off-the-cuff but not off-the-record to reporters on airliners. He continues to grant interviews to an elderly atheist journalist who doesn’t bother to take notes. He says things that seem to contradict settled Church teaching (such as the existence of hell). He has even said that the security of migrants is more important than national security.

All this is rather reckless, and it leads one to wonder if he has a similar casual attitude to the question of migration. Has Francis bothered to acquaint himself with the immigrant situation in Europe? Is he familiar with the statistics on crime, violence, and sexual assault? Does he know that, compared to other immigrant groups, Muslims have shown an unwillingness to assimilate? Does he understand why the people of Europe have the fears which he so casually dismisses as “xenophobia”?

Are Europeans guilty of an irrational fear as Francis suggests, or is he guilty of an irrational optimism? He never explains why their fear is irrational. And he never explains why his optimism is justified. All he offers are vague assurances that everything will work out once people “encounter” each other in “authentic” ways and engage in cultural “exchange.”

Pope Francis’s injunction to fear not seems biblical at first glance, but it’s not entirely so. Christ tells us to fear not because despite persecutions and hardships he is always with us. He does not, however, enjoin us to invite the persecutors into our midst and then expect that he will save us from the consequences. Persecutions will come but Christ does not command us to facilitate the persecutions.

When he does send his disciples out into fearful situations, he makes sure that they understand the danger and take precautions against it: “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves” (Mt. 10: 16).

Christ understood that some men were as dangerous as wolves and he wanted his disciples to understand it as well. By contrast, Francis seems oblivious to the danger posed by the lone wolves that mix in with the Muslim migrants coming into Europe — this despite the fact that Islamic State leaders have repeatedly talked of their plans to seed Europe with thousands pf lone-wolf terrorists.

In addition to the lone-wolves, Europe is also filling up with “wolf-packs” — gangs of migrant youth who roam through the streets of towns and cities armed with knives and iron bars, terrorizing all in their path and, in some cases, forcing police to flee. Just last week, police in Duisburg, Germany clashed with a gang of 80 Muslim youths armed with machetes. Does the pope know about Duisburg? Does he know about the 1,400 rapes committed by Muslim gangs in Rotherham? The thousand victims of rape gangs in Telford? The 1,200 sexual assaults committed outside the Cathedral of Cologne on New Year’s Eve 2016?

If he does know — and there is a good chance that he doesn’t — it doesn’t seem to enter into his calculations. Pope Francis, it seems, doesn’t bother with prudential calculations. He has a preconceived narrative about Muslim migration, and anything that doesn’t fit into it is simply ignored.

If, indeed, allowing Islam’s pernicious ideology to flood into Europe is the proper Christian thing to do, then good Christians should follow Francis’s advice. But Francis has never made the case for mass Muslim immigration. He tells us that Christ wants it, but offers scant evidence that this is so. There is a much stronger case, backed by history, scripture, and common sense that Christian are called upon to resist the Islamic invasion of Europe.


  europe, immigration, islam, jihad

Opinion

Bishops must get the sacraments to as many people as possible during crisis

Why is it that at a time when many pious Catholics are begging for a chance to participate at Mass, and many conscientious pastors are willing to oblige them, our bishops are steadily pumping the brakes?
Wed Mar 25, 2020 - 10:05 am EST
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Phil Lawler
By Phil Lawler

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

March 25, 2020 (CatholicCulture.org) — Over the course of this past weekend I heard of several different ingenious schemes, concocted by energetic pastors, that would have allowed Catholics to attend Mass without violating “social distance” or government regulations. In every case the plan was vetoed by the diocesan bishop.

Yes, I understand that bishops are concerned about the possible transmission of a deadly virus — but so are the pastors who invented ways to allow parishioners to worship in small groups, standing 10 or more feet apart. Yes, I understand that we all have a moral obligation to obey government regulations that are issued for the sake of the common good — but these schemes would have fallen within the scope of the existing regulations.

Why is it that at a time when many pious Catholics are begging for a chance to participate at Mass, and many conscientious pastors are willing to oblige them, our bishops are steadily pumping the brakes?

“My number one priority as your archbishop is to ensure the safety and health of all who attend our Masses, the children in our schools, and those we welcome through our outreach and services,” Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Washington, DC, told his people. But that’s wrong. So clearly wrong, in fact, that it’s disturbing to see that sentence attributed to a bishop of the Catholic Church, whose number-one priority, always and everywhere, is the salvation of souls. The spiritual safety of the people is a bishop’s primary concern; everything else is secondary.

How can a bishop serve the spiritual needs of his people at a time when a pandemic makes gatherings risky? Some obvious possibilities have been honored in the breach, as one American diocese after another has closed down services.

  • He can make it clear that the celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice — which is absolutely necessary as the duty of Christ’s Church — will continue each day, even if lay people cannot attend.
  • He can tell the faithful that they are released from their obligation to attend Mass on Sunday. (In many dioceses today, the faithful have not been told that they are released from that obligation — only that they are barred from fulfilling it!)
  • He can make provisions for sacramental Confessions — out in fields or parking lots, as circumstances require — and/or he can inform pastors that they have the authority to give general absolution during this time of crisis.
  • He can encourage Eucharistic processions, Benediction, and other public forms of public prayer, if they can be arranged to preserve social distance. Better yet, he himself can go out onto the streets to encourage his flock in prayer. Follow the example of Bishop Strickland; bring the Blessed Sacrament to a busy intersection.
  • In short he can work to reassure the faithful that he is doing everything possible to make the sacraments available to the laity whenever and wherever it is possible, to resist the insidious popular notion that the life of the Church is “non-essential.”

The ESPN network reports that Adam Silver, the commissioner of the National Basketball Association (NBA), is already planning how the league might resume its schedule. It won’t happen soon, but when the time comes, and games can be held safely, the NBA will be ready. Professional basketball games are obviously not essential, but scheduling them is Silver’s job, and he takes it seriously. I hope and pray that our bishops are being equally diligent: using this period of enforced quiet to plan with their priests so that the sacraments can be administered as widely as possible during this emergency, and the normal work of the Church restored as quickly as possible when the crisis passes.

Published with permission from CatholicCulture.org.


  catholic, eucharist, sacraments, us bishops

Opinion

At what point is coronavirus ‘cure’ worse than the disease?

Are we, as a nation, reaching a point at which our fear of death threatens to paralyze us?
Wed Mar 25, 2020 - 9:58 am EST
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Klochkov SCS / Shutterstock.com
Phil Lawler
By Phil Lawler

March 25, 2020 (CatholicCulture.org) — I am going to die.

No, I’m not sick. I feel fine. The last time I saw my doctor, he was quite happy with my overall condition. So I don’t mean that I expect to die soon — although these days I am acutely aware of that possibility. But even if I continue in good health, at my age I realize that the end is much closer than the beginning. Sooner or later I shall die. We all do.

That doesn’t mean that I take death lightly. When I see death coming (if I see it coming), I don’t suppose I’ll be so philosophical about it. I don’t want to die. My plan is to “live forever or die trying.”

Nor do I take it lightly when others die. I have buried and grieved and prayed for my parents, for other relatives and neighbors and friends. I do not expect — do not want — others to “go gentle into that good night.” We should all fight against death. These days we are all making substantial sacrifices, for the most part willingly, to preserve not only our own lives but the lives of others — including many that we do not know. As we should.

But even as we make these sacrifices, even as we fight to ward off a deadly epidemic, we should bear in mind two essential truths. First, all of us will die. Every victory over death is only a temporary one. Death is a part of life. Second, there are things worse than death.

What could be worse than death? you might ask. As a Christian, I answer: sin. Far worse than death of the body is death of the soul: separation from God’s love, the loss of the unsurpassable eternal reward offered to us through Jesus Christ. This is why I have and will continue to argue that the Church must continue to provide the sacraments, to serve the spiritual needs of the faithful in this time of trial.

But even if you don’t share my faith, even if you are not religious, I think that a similar point can be made. There really are fates worse than death. We admire heroes who are willing to give their lives for a noble cause. During the battle of Belleau Wood, a legendary Marine sergeant reportedly exhorted his men to charge by saying, “Come on, you sons of b-----, do you want to live forever?” That’s not the sort of language you ordinarily hear in church, but don’t you notice the similarity of sentiment? There are some things worth dying for.

And certainly there are some things worth taking a risk for. As much as we admire bravery in the face of danger, we despise timidity. No doubt you would be safer if you spent your life cowering at home, but what could you accomplish? “A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once,” Shakespeare tells us. To risk nothing is to accomplish nothing.

Are we, as a nation, reaching a point at which our fear of death threatens to paralyze us? Yes, the pandemic justifies extreme measures. But how extreme? There may be a point at which we must take risks to preserve both our lives and our very way of life. Will we be ready?

The current restrictions on ordinary life have imposed severe costs, and those costs will multiply as the shutdown lengthens. I do not mean merely economic costs, although those costs cannot be ignored. I am thinking rather of the cost to our culture, to our quality of life, to our cohesion as a society. If we are locked down for months, as some experts have advised, we may emerge as a very different sort of society.

Think of the political implications of the restrictions. The First Amendment right to assembly, as well as the right to freedom of worship, has been set aside by emergency orders. Self-appointed groups of informers are cropping up to denounce neighbors who are insufficiently obedient to government policies. Local officials are announcing that they will not prosecute petty criminals, and will release convicts from prisons. The federal government is proposing to spend trillions of dollars that it doesn’t have, laying huge new burdens of debt on future generations, to prop up a spavined economy. All these developments are dangerous to the future of our republic.

The policies are justified — for the short run, at least — by the argument that without them, people will die. But that argument by itself is incomplete. Will the emergency measures prevent unnecessary deaths? At what cost? Equally important — and often overlooked — is the likelihood that the shutdown will actually cause unnecessary deaths. At some point the cure is worse than the disease.

To shut down all “non-essential” business is to take an enormous risk — and not only an economic risk. It isn’t easy to determine whether or not a business is “essential” to public health. Hospitals need parts and paper and supplies and computer networks. Food must be packaged and shipped and stored. Some work that seems “non-essential” today might become essential later. If you don’t replace the brake pads on your car, eventually you may crash. If the building inspector stays home, eventually a fire hazard may cost lives. So people will die.

A severe economic contraction is also a threat to public health. Some chronic conditions will be aggravated by stress (and their victims will become more vulnerable to the coronavirus). Some people, deprived of daily work, will develop bad habits — inadequate diet, lack of exercise, alcohol or drug abuse — and their health will decline. Suicide rates will climb, as they always do during tough times. Elderly people will try to do too much, sometimes with fatal results. These are all predictable consequences of the shutdown: consequences that will become evident more as the restrictions continue. Again, people will die.

And speaking of the elderly, the primary victims of the epidemic, how much have the restrictions helped them? For now they are less likely to contract the virus (although how much less likely is unclear). But many are now confined to their own homes, unable to live normal lives. In nursing homes, residents are locked in their own rooms, unable to receive visits from family or friends. They may be living longer, but they are living as virtual prisoners.

We are all trying to preserve lives, to preserve the quality and dignity of life. So please don’t say that anyone who questions the current draconian restrictions is endangering human lives. Lives are already in danger; we are doing our best to save as many as possible.

In time of war, a military commander may be obliged to make a painful choice, knowing full well that any tactic he chooses will endanger lives. Effective leadership entails a willingness to take risks. So it is today, in our war against a deadly virus. Some people will die: that is now a sad but unavoidable reality. We must not allow an inordinate fear of death to stop us from making prudent decisions.

Published with permission from CatholicCulture.org.


  catholic, coronavirus, first amendment, quarantine

Opinion

Harvard summit promises hostility to homeschooling, demands for more regulation

The homeschool community may be interested in a summit scheduled for June 18–19 at Harvard Law School to discuss 'a controversial practice.'
Wed Mar 25, 2020 - 9:35 am EST
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zef art / Shutterstock.com
Darren Jones
By Darren Jones

March 25, 2020 (Home School Legal Defense Association) — To someone of my generation (I’m proudly Gen-X), the word “summit” evokes President Carter bringing warring sides of the Middle East together, or President Reagan meeting in icy Reykjavik with General Secretary Gorbachev.

Well, the homeschool community may be interested in a summit scheduled for June 18–19 at Harvard Law School to discuss “a controversial practice” — homeschooling.*

The Homeschooling Summit: Problems, Politics, and Prospects for Reform is being billed as a means of bringing together leaders in education and child welfare policy to discuss child rights and homeschooling.

They include:

  • Dr. Rachel Coleman, founder of the Coalition for Responsible Home Education and co-founder of Homeschooling’s Invisible Children. She is expected to reiterate her organization’s views that homeschooling must be more firmly regulated by the government. Proposed regulations include a call for annual evaluation of every homeschooled student.
  • Samantha Field, author of “Meet HSLDA, The Most Powerful Religious-Right Lobby You’ve Never Heard Of.” The article starts by declaring, “The Home School Legal Defense Association has fomented a culture of suspicion and wild conspiracy theories that may put children in danger.”
  • Carmen Longoria-Green, litigation counsel for Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Green’s 2015 Note for the Georgetown Law Review describes the current homeschool environment as “massively deregulated” and suggests that states should set up a process where homeschooled students could petition a judge to force their parents to send them to public school. (Educational Empowerment: A Child’s Right to Attend Public School, 103 Geo. L.J. 1089) Such a process is necessary, she told the Washington Post, because “It’s unreasonable to expect children to be their own advocates ... You need a forum where an outside person looks at the situation and says, ‘Is this person meeting educational outcomes?’”
  • Dr. Chelsea McCracken, who asserted in 2018 that “Research on homeschooled students’ academic performance has been hampered by the lack of data collected on homeschooled students in most states.”
  • Dr. Barbara Knox, who worked at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine as the head of the hospital’s Child Protection Program until 2019, when she voluntarily resigned while under investigation for alleged unprofessional acts including intimidation of her colleagues. She currently works with the Alaska Child Abuse Response and Evaluation Services, “a department charged with making medical determinations about whether a child has been abused or not.” Dr. Knox is a leader in the field of pediatric child abuse medicine, a specialty that the Parental Rights Foundation contends can lead to doctors seeing child abuse “lurking behind every injury.”
  • James Dwyer, a law professor at the College of William and Mary. He is the professor famous for claiming that “The reason parent-child relationships exist is because the State confers legal parenthood …”. In his 1994 law review article “Parents’ Religion and Children’s Welfare: Debunking the Doctrine of Parents’ Rights” (82 Calif. L. Rev. 1371), Dwyer argued that “the claim that parents should have child-rearing rights — rather than simply being permitted to perform parental duties and to make certain decisions on a child’s behalf in accordance with the child’s rights — is inconsistent with principles deeply embedded in our law and morality.”
  • Professor Robert Reich, whose views on homeschooling can be best summed up by the title of his 2015 editorial in the New York Times: “More Oversight is Needed.”

The summit is being organized by Dwyer and Professor Elizabeth Bartholet. In Bartholet’s recent article in the Arizona Law Review, “Homeschooling: Parent Rights Absolutism vs. Child Rights to Education & Protection,” she “recommends a presumptive ban on homeschooling, with the burden on parents to demonstrate justification for permission to homeschool.”

preliminary agenda includes riveting topics such as “The Current Politics: HSLDA Dominance and Tactics”** and “Concerns With Homeschooling.”

The summit looks like a fascinating line-up of speakers, and HSLDA would love to attend. Alas, it’s invitation only, and the exact location is undisclosed. However, we know that many parents homeschool to protect their children from abuse, so if you have questions about the summit, the website states you can contact Crisanne Hazen ([email protected]) or call 617-496-1684. Additionally, there are a limited number of hotel rooms for summit attendees near the Law School — see the website for further details.

* The title of Professor Dwyer’s 2019 book: Homeschooling: The History and Philosophy of a Controversial Practice

** To be honest, I think this talk alone should be worth the price of admission.

Published with permission from the Home School Legal Defense Association.


  harvard law school, harvard university, home school legal defense association, homeschooling, parental rights, propaganda

Blogs

Christianity provides a recipe for transforming great sorrows into deep joys

‘Sorrows make it possible for us to experience real joys, and above all the joy of the Resurrection’
Wed Mar 25, 2020 - 11:28 am EST
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By Dr. Joseph Shaw

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

March 25, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Last Sunday, Laetare Sunday, was a feast of joy. Stuck at home, in preparation for watching Mass on a small computer screen I read the commentary on the day from Fr Pius Parsch’s classic The Church’s Year of Faith. 

This Sunday has a unique distinction in the Church year—a day of joy in the season of penance and sorrow! …All the Mass texts ring with joy; the entrance song is a joyous shout, ‘Laetare—rejoice!’

This particular Sunday is a little moment of joy in a season of sorrow. As we approach Easter, there are, in fact, others: the joy of Christ’s entry into Jerusalem, remembered on Palm Sunday, and the joy of the Institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper, on Holy Thursday. Earlier, there was the Feast of the Transfiguration. Though not tied to the Easter cycle, but generally falling in Lent, are the great feasts of St Joseph and the Annunciation: not to forget St Patrick. And then, of course, is Easter itself, and the long Easter season.

As Fr Parsch likes to say, the Church is a good psychologist. You can’t have uninterrupted misery throughout Lent. It would wear us out, emotionally and spiritually, and we would become numb to it. The moments of joy, in fact, enable us to face the difficulties, the penance, and the sorrow: to face them and suffer them. Yes, sorrow: sorrow over our own sins, which is sharpened by our compassion for the sufferings of Our Lord, sufferings which He bore for our sins.

In the same way, we encounter problems if we attempt to exclude penance and sorrow from our lives, and from the liturgy. If the penitential aspect of Lent is ignored, and life simply goes on as normal, and if we are told that God is all about joy, joy, joy, then it ceases to mean very much. We won’t have special moments of joy, but just joy as usual, and joy as usual is not very joyful, at least not in our fallen world. Without the contrast, it loses its meaning.

There is another difficulty as well, which is that the world we live in will not go along with an insistence that everything is joyful all the time. Even people in quite comfortable circumstances have moments of suffering and sorrow, and it is far from being the case that most people are in comfortable circumstances. Those who do seem to have no real problems often seem to generate fake ones to compensate, as if they were missing out. They complain about trivialities, and suffer all sorts of hypochondriacal maladies. 

People like that can sometimes be made to feel better by a religion of joy and more joy, because the ersatz salvation on offer can solve their non-existent problems. Real religion does not offer to solve all our problems—health problems, poverty, the suffering of injustice. It is not God’s will that all such difficulties be removed from the world, just like that, though it inspires people to oppose and ameliorate them. What God does do, is to give us the spiritual strength to live through them.

The coronavirus is a particular case, but in truth sufferings great and small are characteristic of human life in general. The Church cannot and does not ignore the reality of sin, suffering, and death. She follows the advice of St Paul: not to pretend everything is wonderful when it is not, but rather: “Rejoice with them that rejoice; weep with them that weep” (Rom 12:15). She puts on black vestments in recognition of the seriousness of death; she dons violet for penance. She has songs of joy, and songs of grief and repentance.

These sorrows make it possible for us to experience real joys, and above all the joy of the Resurrection. Just as the Resurrection could not have happened without the Passion, so our regeneration in grace cannot happen without our death to sin. Grief can be the price we pay for joy: the grief of bereavement, for example, may seem the coping stone on a joyful marriage. Joy and sorrow are not so much enemies in competition: in the present world they are inseparable.

In the words of the poet William Blake:

It is right it should be so 

Man was made for Joy & Woe 

And when this we rightly know 

Thro the World we safely go 

Joy & Woe are woven fine 

A Clothing for the soul divine 

Under every grief & pine

Runs a joy with silken twine  

The world to come is another matter:

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes: and death shall be no more, nor mourning, nor crying, nor sorrow shall be any more, for the former things are passed away. (Apoc 24:1). 

But this is not because the mourning and sorrow were unnecessary or meaningless, but because we have passed through them. 


  catholic, faith, suffering

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EpisodesWed Mar 25, 2020 - 6:50 pm EST

Seeking Mary on the Feast of the Annunciation

By Mother Miriam
By

To join us on the Frontlines of the culture war, and to benefit future shows like this, please consider giving a monthly gift here: https://give.lifesitenews.com/sustainlife/

 

Watch Mother Miriam's Live show from 3.25.2020. Today, Mother asks listeners to pray for Dan Burke, founder of the Avila Institute and former President of EWTN. She also discusses the beauty and importance of the Feast of the Annunciation.

 

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

 

Subscribe to Mother Miriam Live here.


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EpisodesWed Mar 25, 2020 - 3:57 pm EST

Socialist Canada is a warning sign for Americans

By Jonathon Van Maren   Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon Van Maren

In today’s episode of The Van Maren Show, author of The Trouble with Canada William Gairdner, a Canadian political philosopher, business man, and former Olympian, joins Jonathon to discuss how socialism has taken such a strong hold in Canada and the impacts it has had on the country. 

Gairdner and Jonathon discuss not only what Canadians can do, but they see Canada as a warning for the US and other countries that are glorifying socialism.