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News

US bishop reverses plan to ban Communion on tongue as churches reopen

Bp. Douglas Deshotel had 'discontinued' Communion on the tongue in his diocese but reversed course after a ruling from the U.S. bishops' conference.
Fri May 15, 2020 - 9:18 pm EST
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Bishop Douglas Deshotel of Lafayette, Lousiana. Catholic Diocese of Lafayette LA / YouTube
Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

LAFAYETTE, Louisiana, May 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Bishop Douglas Deshotel has revised his decision to allow only reception of the Eucharist in the hand amid the coronavirus pandemic. He credited guidelines issued by the Thomistic Institute for correcting his previous decision.

“[I]f anyone desires to receive communion on the tongue they may certainly do so with every precaution taken not to make contact between the minister and the communicant,” the head of the Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana, wrote on May 12.

Deshotel had previously sent directives to all parishes regarding the implementation of Phase I of Democratic governor John Bel Edwards’s plan to reopen the state of Louisiana. The diocesan directives allowed for indoor Masses at a “maximum 25% occupancy rate of each church, social distancing at all times, and hygiene precautions,” the diocese wrote on its website.

In his May 12 letter, the bishop told all priests and deacons of his diocese that he wanted “to make a clarification on the guidelines for the distribution of Holy Communion as we begin to implement Phase I of reopening the Churches of the Diocese.”

Whereas before, he had written, “Holy Communion on the tongue is discontinued until health conditions improve,” he now pointed out this was stated “out of an abundance of caution in preventing contamination and before the ruling of the [United States Conference of Catholic Bishops] was issued.”

“Every Catholic has a right to receive Holy Communion in the most reverent way they deem, in the hand or on the tongue,” Bishop Deshotel emphasized.

On April 30, Archbishop Leonard P. Blair of Hartford, Connecticut, in his position as the chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Divine Worship, sent a memorandum to all bishops, suggesting they use guidelines prepared by the Thomistic Institute, which is part of the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C.

According to the Thomistic Institute, receiving Holy Communion directly on the tongue is possible “without unreasonable risk.”

“Opinions on this point are varied within the medical and scientific community: some believe that Communion on the tongue involves an elevated and, in the light of all the circumstances, an unreasonable risk; others disagree,” the document pointed out. “If Communion on the tongue is provided, one could consider using hand sanitizer after each communicant who receives on the tongue.”

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The guidelines specifically referred to Redemptionis Sacramentum, an instruction published by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in 2004. According to the document, “each of the faithful always has the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue.”

Popular blogger Fr. John Zuhlsdorf praised Deshotel “for having the backbone to move from his previous position.”

Several other bishops in the United States, but also in other countries, continue to maintain that only the reception of Communion in the hand is possible.

Bishop Richard F. Stika of Knoxville, Tennessee confirmed in a tweet that the priests of his diocese “will not give Communion on the tongue as per my instruction.” Beyond that, he said that if the person wanting to receive Holy Communion on the tongue “makes a scene,” then “they will be asked to leave and not permitted to return [until] this passes.”

“You are dispensed from Mass or you may attend Mass and not receive the Eucharist,” he wrote. “You have two options. You have not option to possibility [sic] spread the infection.”


  catholic, communion in the hand, communion on the tongue, coronavirus, douglas deshotel, eucharist, lafayette, louisiana, quarantine

News

Hundreds of faith leaders urge Congress to protect them from COVID-19 lawsuits

Faith leaders worry that they'll be sued for helping people if someone claims to have contracted the coronavirus while having worked with them.
Fri May 15, 2020 - 9:16 pm EST
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Claire Chretien / LifeSiteNews
Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — First Liberty Institute informed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday that faith leaders representing millions of believers in the United States fear “a swarm of lawsuits blaming houses of worship and religious ministries for any person who attended a religious gathering or received food or shelter from a charity or ministry and subsequently contracted COVID-19.”

The legal organization urged Congress to protect groups of believers from lawsuits related to the coronavirus and the manifold orders currently in place.

The statement was accompanied by a letter to members of Congress, which was signed by hundreds of religious and conservative leaders, including Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, radio host Eric Metaxas, and Protestant preacher Franklin Graham.

While First Liberty Institute, as a law firm, is convinced that “these lawsuits should eventually prove meritless,” religious organizations would still have to pay enormous amounts of money to get to that point.

“Many of the same religious organizations who rushed to provide aid and comfort to those affected by COVID-19 now find themselves struggling financially. And a wave of lawsuits would force many to cease their operations, whether due to the cost of litigation, or the mere specter of it.”

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First Liberty Institute suggested that there is a “legitimate concern that some people — and their lawyers — will cherry pick certain guidelines from around the nation in order to assign liability to religious organizations.”

“They might claim that a religious organization or a house of worship was negligent because it did not follow a single recommendation buried deep within a set of guidelines,” the statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee pointed out.

“Or they might claim that, even though the religious organization or house of worship was careful to follow all relevant guidelines and orders, it is nonetheless negligent because it did not follow a more stringent guideline issued in a town a thousand miles away.”

The letter to members of Congress echoed those fears.

“We must not permit religious organizations to be blamed or held liable for negligence because a food pantry in Wyoming did not follow an artificial amalgamation of every guideline from Washington to Florida,” the faith leaders wrote by way of example.

“And even if the courts agree,” they continued, “the number of lawsuits attempting to apply that artificial standard may shut down the food pantry long before it has a chance of winning its casein court. Indeed, the mere threat of litigation may cause many religious organizations to remain closed far beyond what is necessary.”

The letter urged legislators to “include in the next iteration of COVID-19 economic relief legislation immunity for religious organizations from negligence suits resulting from their serving the public or reopening in accordance with local orders.”

Similar protections are already in place for medical professionals and certain other groups.

“Providing this reasonable measure of protection to religious organizations and houses of worship in America will ensure that they can continue performing their vital functions of serving Americans and ministering to all of our spiritual and physical needs,” both the statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee and the letter to members of Congress pointed out.

“Without this protection,” the document continued, “many ministries may feel that they cannot reopen because a lawyer may claim that they are negligent in not following the standards of another industry or even another state. And some of those who do open may find themselves facing the very lawsuits we fear.”

Kelly Shackelford, president of Texas-based First Liberty Counsel, said, “Churches, synagogues, and America’s houses of worship have provided critical care, comfort, and calm in the midst of the uncertainty caused by a worldwide pandemic.”

With some governors already opening up their states, “Congress should provide America’s houses of worship the assurance that America’s faith communities can continue to be good Samaritans to the oppressed and the downtrodden.”

The statement and letter did not refer to the First Amendment or religious freedom.

Most lawsuits filed in recent weeks had argued that limiting religious gatherings in size, if not outright banning them, violates the First Amendment. Those lawsuits always emphasized that social distancing measures and other ways to ensure proper hygiene would be implemented.

In addition to lawsuits, religious leaders in several states have demanded from their governors to change executive orders imposing more severe restrictions on worship services, which are theoretically fully protected by the First Amendment, than on grocery stores.

Last week, hundreds of pastors in California announced plans to defy Democratic governor Gavin Newsom’s executive orders deeming religious gatherings nonessential. In an open letter to the governor, they “declared their intent to begin holding in-person church services beginning on Sunday, May 31, 2020.”

In Massachusetts, 260 pastors told pro-abortion Republican governor Charlie Baker on May 7 that religious institutions are, in fact, essential. “It is also clear that church is essential under both our state and federal Constitutions,” they wrote in their letter.

In Virginia, almost 200 pastors asked Democratic Governor Ralph Northam to revise executive orders limiting religious gatherings to ten people. “The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a hospital for the spiritually sick,” the religious leaders wrote. “Yet corporate worship services of more than 10 people have been banned in Virginia since March 23, regardless of the public-health protocols in place and notwithstanding that groups are permitted to gather in settings such as non-retail offices and ‘essential’ retail businesses.”

At the same time, the federal Department of Justice (DOJ) is supporting the case of Lighthouse Fellowship, a Protestant community in Chincoteague, Virginia, that was served a summons for holding worship services amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a Statement of Interest filed in early May, the DOJ explained that governments are in a position to take necessary and temporary measures to meet genuine emergencies. However, “there is no pandemic exception to the Constitution and its Bill of Rights.”


  christianity, coronavirus, courts, first liberty institute, lawsuits, religious freedom

News

Hero priest who ‘thundered’ against abortion remembered at Canada’s March for Life

Fr. Alphonse de Valk was a ‘modern day prophet’ who was a ‘godsend’ to Canada’s fledgling pro-life movement.
Fri May 15, 2020 - 8:46 pm EST
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Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne
By Lianne Laurence

TORONTO, May 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The late Fr. Alphonse de Valk was a “modern-day prophet” who “thundered” against abortion, denounced sin as an “obstacle to God’s will,”  and was a “godsend” to Canada’s fledgling pro-life movement who always found the right words to lift the spirits of beleaguered pro-lifers.

Those were among tributes paid during the Virtual March for Life’s Wednesday broadcast of a memorial Mass for the Basilian priest, a longtime mainstay of the Canadian pro-life movement who died April 16 at age 88.

Campaign Life Coalition, Canada’s national pro-life, pro-family political lobbying group, dedicated its 23rd annual March for Life, which had been moved online because of coronavirus pandemic restrictions, to Fr. de Valk.

He was, in fact, a driving force behind Campaign Life taking on the organizing of an annual March for Life, said Campaign Life president emeritus Jim Hughes in a video tribute.

“He was a man who didn’t take no for an answer, so when Nellie Gray, the founder of the March for Life in Washington, goaded me into starting a National March for Life in Canada, it was Fr. Al who said, ‘Come on, we can do this,’ so away we went.”

The rally on Parliament Hill and march through the streets of Ottawa has since become Canada’s biggest annual pro-life event, and marks May 14, 1969, when the Liberal government of Pierre Trudeau, father of the current prime minister, passed an omnibus bill that opened the door to abortion on demand.

Hughes recalled hiring Fr. de Valk to run the Interim in 1983, the beginning of 30 years working alongside the Basilian in the pro-life movement. 

Fr. de Valk, who had a master’s in history and had taught at St. Thomas More College at the University of Saskatoon, and had been principal of St. Joseph’s College at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, subsequently felt it was necessary to “dwell more on the Catholic issues,” and with Hughes’s support, started Catholic Insight.

“He was a man dedicated to the lives of the unborn,” and his pride in his priesthood was such that “he wanted to imbue everyone with this whole sense of who God was and the love of God for all of us,” Hughes said.

“At our annual national and Ontario conference weekends, Fr. Al would celebrate Mass and his homilies were just so absolutely beautiful they frequently were the focal point of the whole weekend.”

That was echoed by Steve Jalsevac, co-founder of LifeSiteNews, who recalled that Fr. de Valk would find in his homilies “just the right thing to encourage us, take away our fears, lift our spirits and trust that we were doing the most important work in the world.”

Fr. Ian Boyd, fellow Basilian and professor emeritus at Seton Hall University, described his late brother priest as a “modern-day prophet.” 

“A prophet, in the biblical sense, is a providential instrument sent by God for the guidance of his people, and that’s what Fr. de Valk did as a leading spokesman in defense of unborn life,” said Fr. Boyd, one of the original founders of Campaign Life.

“I think like all prophets he thundered against a crime which modern society no longer recognized as being criminal,” he added.

“He was haunted by the idea of sin as an obstacle to the will of God. He was, in that sense, a priest who had the uncomfortable role of speaking truths that people in contemporary society did not want to hear.”

Fr. de Valk was “a godsend to CLC, and to Canada, and to LifeSite, with his vast historical knowledge and his ability to churn out exceptionally well-researched, hard-hitting articles faster than anyone I’ve ever known,” noted Jalsevac.

“I worked with this irascible, stubborn and yet also kind and generous Dutchman — I’m half Dutch so I know what that’s about — from the time he first became involved with Campaign Life Coalition in the 1980s,” he recalled. 

“His character certainly created challenges and often boisterous disagreements, but you know, that character was also a gift from God for him and for us,” observed Jalsevac.

“It gave him the strength to persevere in fighting the incredibly difficult battles that only a person with such a determined character could continue to face each day, without crumbling or giving in to the strong temptation to take the easy way of compromise.”

Campaign Life relied on Fr. de Valk for guidance and advice, and he “agonized over many of these complex decisions in order to ensure that he was making the correct recommendations.”

But he “never denied Christ to even the slightest degree in his writings and political and other strategy recommendations,” Jalsevac said. “He did not care what man thought but only what God would think.”

Former Campaign Life staffer Fr. Louis Di Rocco celebrated the Mass on May 2, the Feast of St. Athanasius, at St. Ann’s Parish in Ancaster, with Fr. Wayne Lobsinger and Fr. Gregory Merkley concelebrating.

While Fr. de Valk was an “excellent” historian and writer, his “essential identity was that of a Catholic priest,” Fr. Di Rocco said in his homily.

“He related everything to his great faith, and its unchangeable truths,” noted Fr. Di Rocco. “It was his priestly identity, united to his keen intellect, as well as his stamina and perseverance, that bore so much fruit.”

The Virtual March for Life broadcast of the memorial Mass was followed by the Virtual Candlelight vigil, hosted by A Guy and A Girl ministry.


  alphonse de valk, basilians, campaign life coalition, catholic, jack fonseca, jim hughes, lifesite news, march for life canada, pro-life priest, steve jalsevac

News

‘Be not afraid’: Woman jailed for entering abortion centers to save babies encourages pro-lifers

Mary Wagner, who inspired the growing Red Rose Rescue movement in the United States, offered inspiring words in connection with Canada's 23rd March for Life.
Fri May 15, 2020 - 8:14 pm EST
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Pro-life prisoner of conscience Mary Wagner greets children during a visit to Poland. Jacek Kotula
Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne
By Lianne Laurence

TORONTO, May 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The words of this year’s March for Life theme — “Be not afraid Canada” — are “so important because they speak on the level of revealed faith but really to the heart of our conscience,” Mary Wagner said in an interview aired Thursday during Canada’s first Virtual March for Life.

Known as Canada’s “pro-life prisoner of conscience,” Wagner, 46, has spent nearly six years in jail because of her peaceful attempts inside abortion facilities to save women and children from the violence of abortion.

She was one of a number of guests featured during a three-hour Virtual Rally and March for Life organized by Canada’s national pro-life political lobbying group, Campaign Life Coalition. (Wagner’s segment starts at minute 28:13.)

The March for Life is Canada’s biggest annual pro-life event and marks the legalization of abortion on May 14, 1969. The 23rd annual march was moved online because of coronavirus pandemic restrictions. Wagner spoke to Matthew Wojciechowski, Campaign Life’s vice president.

Wagner’s modus operandi is to enter an abortion facility with roses, which she offers to to the mothers in the waiting room along with offers of help and alternatives to abortion. She refuses to leave the mothers and unborn babies until arrested and taken away by police.

She has inspired the growing Red Rose Rescue movement in the United States. Indeed, the day of Canada’s Virtual March for Life, four people — including two priests — were arrested in Red Rose Rescues at two Washington, D.C. abortion facilities, and at least three rescuers were arrested in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Wednesday.

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Wagner, who hails from British Columbia, was herself inspired by Linda Gibbons, who spent 11 years in jail for counselling or praying for abortion-minded women at Toronto’s abortion centers.

Gibbons “was the reason I moved to Toronto 10 years ago,” she said.

Courage comes from knowing God’s will through prayer

Wagner and Gibbons have saved lives by offering help to women “at that final hour,” as Wojciechowski described it when he asked Wagner how she had the courage to reach out to women at that time.

“It’s really prayer, Matthew, it’s really prayer,” replied Wagner, a Catholic who spent time in a contemplative community discerning her vocation.

“I’m grateful and I don’t think that God would have led me to this if He hadn’t prepared me through time in the monastery, and understanding the preeminence of prayer, of Adoration [of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament] especially,” she said.

“Every year since I moved to Toronto in 2010, I’ve been able to take a time after a period in custody and give it all to God, and really ask Him, ‘Shall I continue this path?’” added Wagner.

“So really surrendering to Him, and asking His will has been what gives me that confidence, because I think that if we know what His will is, what’s most pleasing to Him, then He gives us that grace to carry it out and that confidence,” she said.

“As for reaching out to those women at that moment, St. Thérèse has really been an invaluable friend to me, and the little way of love, that God is not asking us to do great things, but to be faithful,” she said.

“So in reaching a woman who is at that moment determined to abort her child, it’s really asking God to come in and step in and just trusting and asking Him to lead step by step, little by little, and putting it all in His hands.”

Saving babies in maximum security jail

Wagner refuses to abandon the mothers and unborn babies when the police arrive at the abortion facility, as they inevitably do. She is then arrested and typically is charged and summarily convicted of mischief, which in Ontario carries a maximum sentence of six months.

However, because she cannot in conscience sign bail conditions requiring her to stay away from abortion facilities, Wagner usually remains in jail until her trial, a period of time that can be as long as or longer than her sentence.

Wojciechowski pointed out that Wagner’s ministry does not end when she is in jail, where she often encounters pregnant women, and asked her to tell how she was “able to bring Christ’s love to these women who are truly suffering in prison.”

She and Gibbons “happened to be in maximum security together in the summer/fall of 2012” and had “just learned that one of the women we had been with” had come from another jail to have an abortion in Toronto “at probably at five and a half months,” Wagner related.

They were “grieving the loss of that little one” when they then “met another woman who had just come in, and she was pregnant and also abortion-minded, having had several of her children aborted and not having any living children,” she said.

“Linda and I, we prayed and we fasted for this woman,” recalled Wagner.

“And we also got help on the outside for her. It was a bit of a financial component to her struggle, and so people were willing to help her out on the outside. But really, I have a very strong sense that it was the week of prayer and fasting that we offered for her” that resulted in the woman deciding against abortion.

“Her little boy was born on Mother’s Day, and then she came to see me when he was about four months old, and they were just thriving. She was a completely different person — he had changed her life completely, for the better. I really believe that’s the power of prayer,” said Wagner.

“It makes me think of the story in the Gospel, when the friends of the man who was paralyzed brought him over to Jesus on a mat, and the remark of Jesus that when He saw their faith, He healed the man. He said, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’” she said.

This Gospel also reveals “the intention of God to unite us and the power therein of a united family of believers,” Wagner said.

Be not afraid to choose the better path

When discussing the March’s theme “Be Not Afraid,” Wagner mentioned she had recently watched A Hidden Life, a movie by Terrence Malick about Blessed Franz Jägerstätter of Austria, who was beheaded by the Nazis in 1943 for refusing to serve in the German army.

A “simple, humble father and farmer” and “devout Catholic,” Jägerstätter “simply stood his ground because he knew that he couldn’t do something that he knew was wrong,” observed Wagner.

“So the words ‘Be not afraid,’ I think they resonate deep in our conscience whenever we are faced with a choice to either, I mean not just to do right or wrong, but to choose even ... the better path,” she said.

“And that transcends all faith even, but especially as Christians, they resonate for us because they come from the words of Jesus.”

To watch the Virtual March for Life Rally, visit www.marchforlife.ca or the March for Life YouTube channel here.


  abortion, march for life canada, mary wagner, red rose rescue

News

Two pro-life Conservative leadership candidates vow to allow abortion debate in Canada

MP Derek Sloan and Dr. Leslyn Lewis both said they would welcome a debate on abortion.
Fri May 15, 2020 - 7:51 pm EST
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Dr. Leslyn Lewis (right), a candidate in the leadership race for the Conservative Party of Canada, reaffirmed her strong pro-life stance during an interview. YouTube screenshot
Anthony Murdoch
By Anthony Murdoch

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OTTAWA, May 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Conservative Party of Canada leadership hopefuls reaffirmed their commitment to the pro-life cause Thursday while speaking at the fourth day of the virtual National March for Life in Canada. The two official pro-life candidates on the ballot vowed that they would reopen the abortion debate in Canada should one of them be elected to lead the party. 

Campaign Life Coalition’s (CLC) political operations director Jack Fonseca spoke Thursday with the two official pro-life candidates in the running for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada, Dr. Leslyn Lewis, and MP Derek Sloan. Fonseca also spoke with ousted pro-life candidate Jim Karahalios, who reaffirmed his commitment to life. The event took place virtually this year because of the coronavirus.  

Sloan said he would allow a “full discussion” on “all aspects of abortion” in parliament. 

“If I am elected as leader, there will be debates, there will be discussion, there will be votes on all aspects and issues surrounding abortion,” Sloan said in the video montage that kicked off the day four virtual march. 

“You are doing the right thing to march today for life, you’re doing the right thing to stand up to those who are unable to stand up for themself.”

In his interview with Fonseca, Sloan spoke about his 12-point pro-life plan, which includes a ban on sex-selective abortion, a ban on partial-birth abortion, freedom of conscience for healthcare workers, and review of the current euthanasia and assisted-suicide legislation. 

In his closing remarks to Fonseca, Sloan voiced his support for the virtual marchers.

“Thank you all for what you are doing. You’re marching for those who are unable to march for themselves,” Sloan said.

“And your stand today is laying the foundation for this movement in Canada. Keep on marching. Courage can be costly, but compromise is fatal.” 

Pro-life Conservative MP Sloan sparked a media frenzy for saying in a letter and video that Canadian Chief Medical Officer Dr. Theresa Tam should be fired for her coronavirus response. 

In speaking with Fonseca, Lewis went over her promised pro-life initiatives that she would enact if elected leader. Lewis said she would ban coerced and sex-selective abortions, increase funding for pregnancy crisis centers, and end federal funding for international abortions.

“I believe in the sanctity of life, and that includes pre-born life,” Lewis said to Fonseca, adding that she thinks common ground can be found among Canadians on the issue of abortion in Canada.

Fonseca asked Lewis for her thoughts on euthanasia and assisted suicide.

“I oppose euthanasia, I feel that it is very important for us to honor the life especially of our seniors and those that are in palliative care,” Lewis said.

“They’ve given so much to our society, and I believe that we should give them back the love and comfort that they need in their last days. They should feel that during their last days they’re not a burden to society, and that’s why under my government I would invest in palliative care centers.” 

Lewis also told Fonseca that if Bill C-7 passed she would repeal it as leader. Bill C-7 was introduced in February and would further expand Canada’s euthanasia laws. Euthanasia was legalized in Canada by pro-abortion Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party in 2016 with Bill C-14

Bill C-7 came about as Trudeau's acceptance to a Quebec court decision in September. That ruling struck down the requirement that a person’s “natural death be reasonably foreseeable” to qualify them for death by lethal injection.

Lewis concluded her interview with Fonseca telling him the reasons she is running for the party leadership.

“I want to change the discourse in our democracy from one that demonizes people who hold different beliefs to a system that is truly meant to be, a system where we can have healthy debates about issues like life issues including euthanasia and abortion,” Lewis said. 

“I also believe that members of parliament should be able to vote their conscience freely on moral issues. I also believe that we can restore our democracy to a point where it respects people like you and me and respects our rights and our belief that life is sacred.”   

Fonseca also interviewed ousted conservative leadership Candidate Jim Karahalios, who shared his thoughts on why he thinks he was ousted from the leadership race, and what he would do if elected leader. 

“If they can remove me in the middle of a leadership race when I’m in third place, what’s the hope for any blue conservative or pro-life conservative to run in a nomination in the future again. They will just deny anyone who has the courage to speak up,” Karahalios said to Fonseca. 

Karahalios said he would end abortion funding oversees and let all MPs vote their conscience on social issues. He also vowed to protect the conscience rights of healthcare workers and vowed to put forward a concerted effort to ensure that Supreme Court judges are strict “interpreters'' of the law with no hidden agendas.  

He thanked all the pro-lifers who supported him, saying, “Don’t give up hope and fight for a better future.”

According to Karahalios, the party disqualified him because of a complaint filed by the Erin O’Toole campaign requesting his disqualification. In early March, he sent an email with the title, “Say NO to Shariah Law. Stop Erin O’Toole.” O’Toole, an Ontario MP, complained publicly that Karahalios was a “racist” for this email.

Karahalios launched a lawsuit against the Conservative Party of Canada for what he called an “unlawful” disqualification during the campaign. He would like to be reinstated in the leadership race. His trial took place today, with a ruling expected to be known soon. 

All three interviews can be viewed (interviews start at the 1:27:36 mark) on the March For Life Canada’s YouTube page as part of the day four virtual march.

O’Toole and former Nova Scotia MP Peter MacKay, along with Lewis and Sloan are the four official candidates in the race to replace current Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer.

The Conservative Party’s Leadership Election Organizing Committee (LEOC) set an August 21 date to end the race. Party members will be voting via mail-in ballots, which will be sent out to members in July. 

CLC urges all social conservatives age 14 and older to purchase a Conservative Party membership to be eligible to vote for the new leader. The deadline to register is today, May 15, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Contact information:

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


  abortion, bill c-7, conservative party of canada, derek sloan, erin o'toole, euthanasia, jack fonseca, jim karaholios, leadership race, leslyn lewis, national march for life 2020, peter mackay

News

Canadian archbishop: Selling euthanasia as ‘solution’ to suffering is ‘misguided’

Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast denounced assisted suicide in the midst of the coronavirus and said an abortion-free Canada remains the goal.
Fri May 15, 2020 - 7:09 pm EST
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Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast gives a homily at the virtual 2020 National Mass for Life in Canada. YouTube screenshot
Anthony Murdoch
By Anthony Murdoch

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OTTAWA, May 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) –  Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa said that trying to sell euthanasia and assisted suicide as a “solution” to a problem will lead to a different kind of “infection” in Canada of the continued devaluation of human life. 

Prendergast said these words as part of his homily as the celebrant for the National Mass for Life, which was shown live from Ottawa’s Notre-Dame Cathedral on May 14 (watch video here beginning at minute 21:29). The National Mass for Life kicked off the fourth day of the 23rd annual Canadian March for Life. The event is taking place virtually this year because of the coronavirus. 

Prendergast began the Mass by saying that the Canadian March for Life is a celebration to  “witness the God-given dignity of the human person from the moment of conception until natural death.” 

Prendergast said the goal of the Canadian March for life is to seek an abortion-free Canada. 

“We seek a Canada in which every unborn child is protected in law and welcomed into life,” Prendergast said, adding that we seek legal reforms and a spiritual culture renewal, and that the path will be hard but “we cannot give up the fight.” 

Prendergast then shifted his sermon to focus on the issue of euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada. He spoke of how the coronavirus has shown to be particularly deadly to the elderly.

“Selling euthanasia and assisted suicide as a solution to suffering is inviting a different kind of infection to sweep through our communities – the devaluation of human life out of the misguided quest for personal autonomy,” Prendergast said in his homily. 

“I ask you, doesn’t every family deserve the right to the care that our elders need to sustain their lives, rather than an expedient means of ending it prematurely?”   

Prendergast said the coronavirus has put a spotlight on the fact that Canada’s elderly need better palliative care, and we as a nation need to rethink this “precarious situation in which the elderly live.”

 “We are called, dear brothers and sisters, to state boldly that consultations aimed at extending the scope of euthanasia and assisted suicide will place our frail senior citizens at even greater risk, as parliament now contemplates more accessible life-ending measures,” Prendergast said. 

“Taking measures to end one’s life easier to access, while continuing to underfund good long-term care, sends a clear message. It says the society values expediency over compassionate dignified health care and assistance.” 

Prendergast added that better care for seniors should not be a “privilege” only for the wealthy, “but a basic right for all of our older people.” 

He stressed that compassionate palliative care is vital in Canada to have a respectful society, saying that competent palliative care is what the elderly truly need, instead of an “incentive” to seek an early death. 

Euthanasia was legalized in Canada by Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party in 2016 with Bill C-14. In February 2019, Bill C-7 was introduced, which further expanded on Bill C-14.

Bill C-7 came about as Trudeau's acceptance to a Quebec court decision last September. That ruling struck down the requirement that a person’s “natural death be reasonably foreseeable” to qualify them for death by lethal injection.

Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, warned on day three of the 2020 Virtual March for Life that Canada was on track to become “worst” assisted suicide jurisdiction in the world.

More than a thousand people tuned in during day three of the march to view a screening of a powerful film that deals with the realities of euthanasia and assisted suicide.  

For Sunday’s kickoff of the 2020 Virtual March for Life, more than 3,000 tuned in to view a free screening of global pro-life advocate Obianuju Ekeocha’s documentary “Strings Attached.” Sunday’s event saw such high demand that for a brief time the site marchforlife.ca crashed. 

Day two of Canada’s virtual March for Life featured two powerful pro-life films, “Crescendo” and “Sing a Little Louder.” 

More than a thousand tuned in to view the films, which included a conversation with CLC’s global policy and advocacy adviser, Mattea Merta, and the producer of the film, pro-life activist and film producer Jason Jones, who is the founder and president of Movie to Movement.  

Day four saw a pro-life Mass in memory of Fr. Alphonse de Valk, CSB, which was followed by the virtual candlelight vigil for victims of abortion.

After the airing of the National Mass for Life, many tuned in to view the Virtual March for Life event, which featured many prominent pro-life leaders, as well as current pro-life politicians in Canada who offered words of encouragement. 

Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) decided in April to hold this year’s March for Life virtually, as the coronavirus health restrictions on public gatherings made it impossible to conduct the march in Ottawa. 

CLC is the largest leading national pro-life and pro-family political lobbying group in Canada. The CLC virtual Canadian March for Life started Sunday and continued until May 15. This year’s theme was “Be not afraid Canada!”

Being in a virtual format, the 2020 March for Life replicated some of the March’s usual mainstays, such as the candlelight vigil, Masses, and a rally.  

The “virtual” march took place on Thursday, May 14. This day was chosen for the March as it is the same day 51 years ago in 1969 when abortion was legalized in Canada. That was the day when then-Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (Justin Trudeau’s father) passed a heavily criticized omnibus bill amending the Criminal Code to allow abortions to be done in hospitals.

This law remained in effect until the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the 1969 law as unconstitutional in the 1988 Morgentaler decision. The law was removed on a technicality, however. The court ruled that it violated a woman’s Charter right to security of the person since the law could not be applied equally across the country. 

The court encouraged the Canadian Parliament to come up with replacement abortion legislation. This effort failed when then-Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s draft law failed in a Senate tie vote. Canada has since had no abortion law at all, thus abortion is permitted through all nine months of pregnancy.


  2020 canadian march for life, abortion, archdiocese of ottawa, assisted suicide, bill c-14, bill c-7, campaign life coalition, catholic, coronavirus, euthanasia, pierre trudeau, terrence prendergast, virtual

News

WATCH: Country singer includes recorded heartbeat of unborn daughter in powerful new song 

Brett Young’s song encourages his unborn daughter to grow up to be a “lady” like her mom
Fri May 15, 2020 - 7:06 pm EST
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Still from Brett Young's 2020 song 'Lady' Brett Young / Youtube
Clare Marie Merkowsky
By

NASHVILLE, Tennessee, May 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – American country singer Brett Young’s powerful new song “Lady” includes a recording of his unborn daughter’s heartbeat in the song’s background.

While Young sings, “I remember when I first heard your heartbeat,” his daughter’s fetal heartbeat, recorded during a visit with the doctor, can be heard beating in the background.

“Yeah, she was a little musician before she knew it,” Young said in an interview with People.  

Young shows his love and affection to his unborn child throughout his song, telling her she will “always be my baby.” He tells her to watch her mother to learn “just how to be a lady.” Young said in a video on May 4th that the message to his daughter was “If you wanna really know how to be a lady, watch your mom.” The song was released April 30. 

On May 1st, Young tweeted that he was “so excited to finally introduce ‘Lady’ to the world.”

“It is easily one of the most special songs I’ve ever written,” he wrote.  

He said in a May 4th video that he had already decided to write songs to his children after they were born, and he “got to know them a little bit.” However, even before his daughter was born, his love for her was growing and he “started trying to put together ideas.”

In the song, Young remembers hearing his daughter’s heartbeat for the first time during an ultrasound, when the baby was about eight weeks. He sang in his song that this was the “first time you (his daughter) ever scared me.” He finished writing the song while his daughter was still in her mother’s womb.

A couple of months before the baby was born, Young discussed the song with songwriters Jon Nite and Ross Copperman. He decided to make the song a tribute to both this wife and child. The baby was born last October. 

In a May 4th video, Young said that “the song isn't about my daughter, but rather, it's a message to my daughter about my wife her mom.”

Young decided to call the song “Lady” after his wife, who he called “Lady” for a long time. 

“I'm excited to write that song ... I hope it's as meaningful to people listening that have children or a family or are planning to,” Young said.

He concluded, “it is really, really special to my wife and I. I can't wait until my daughter's old enough to hear it and understand it and know that Daddy wrote her a song before she was even here with us.”


  brett young, country music, pro-life

News

Kenyan bishop warns COVID-19 researchers not to exploit Africans in vaccine testing

'Citizens' dignity' must be preserved, and they should not be instilled with 'fear of the disease in order to get people to agree to undergo trials,' the bishop said.
Fri May 15, 2020 - 5:31 pm EST
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Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

PETITION: No to mandatory vaccination for the coronavirus! Sign the petition here.

May 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – As scientists race to develop a viable vaccine for COVID-19, concerns about the final product and its implementation have similarly grown. Now a Kenyan bishop is speaking out about the importance of carrying out testing in a safe and transparent manner.

“Whereas the COVID-19 pandemic is a grave matter at hand, it should not in any way be used to compromise the rights and dignity of the citizens” of Kenya, Bishop James Wainaina of the Diocese of Muranga said earlier this month, Catholic News Agency reported

Bishop Wainaina was responding to reports that researchers currently developing COVID-19 drugs are planning on testing them in Kenya. The head of one such study, Dr. Loice Achieng Ombajo, says he got approval from one government review body and is awaiting word back from two others. But the bishop is concerned about the lack of public input on the approval process, as required by the country’s constitution.

“Vaccines or drugs may have side effects on the citizens,” he said, so “we must be convinced of the safety of the same and preservation of the citizens' dignity … Everything should be done with maximum openness, and testing should not be carried out on unsuspecting citizens.”

“All of us must remain vigilant to the foreign insurgences, including research agencies that plan to come and lure poor Kenyans with money, and instill fear of the disease in order to get people to agree to undergo trials of such vaccines and drugs,” Wainaina declared.

As of May 15, the world is estimated to have seen more than 4.5 million cases of COVID-19, with more than 306,000 deaths and 1.7 million recoveries. Kenya has had just 781 cases, 45 deaths, and 284 recoveries.

In the United States, many of those deaths have occurred within nursing homes, and mounting evidence suggests that far more of the public has contracted and recovered from the virus than the official count indicates. 

In response, many states have imposed strict limits on “non-essential” activity, including delays of non-urgent medical procedures. As a result, hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost, and steep declines have been seen in people seeking and receiving care for everything from cancer to heart disease. Now, concern is building about the mental health toll of the lockdowns.

A growing number of medical experts argue that, in light of the fact that COVID-19 primarily affects the elderly and immunocompromised, but poses relatively little risk to the young, policymakers should pursue a narrower strategy of protecting the former groups while allowing the rest of society to resume normal life. “If we focus on the elderly, we will bring a death rate that is likely no more than 1 percent down to fractions of a percent,” says Dr. Donald Yealy, chair of emergency medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Nevertheless, some politicians, such as the governors of California and Illinois, have gone so far as to claim that normal life cannot resume until a vaccine or another form of cure has been developed and released.

While the media often fixates on parents who oppose vaccines over their potential for side effects (a subject of intense debate), they tend to overlook another group that generally supports vaccines in general while having an ethical conflict with vaccines derived from aborted babies’ cells. The Canadian government is currently working with the Chinese on one such vaccine. 

Many are also concerned about the broader principles at stake, such as an individual’s right to decide how to best care for one’s self and one’s children.

LifeSiteNews has collected more than 395,000 signatures for its petition opposing the prospect of forcing people to take an eventual COVID-19 vaccine. 

“The so-called ‘public health experts’ have gotten it wrong many times during the current crisis,” the petition argues. “You should not, therefore, allow their opinions to rush decisions on policy regarding mandatory vaccination.”

“If after sufficient study of the issue, a person who has reached the age of majority wishes to be vaccinated using a morally-produced vaccine, along with his children, that is his business,” it reads. “But we cannot and will not permit the government to make that decision for us.”

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


  africa, coronavirus, covid-19, james wainaina, kenya, medical research, vaccines

News

George Soros: We’re now in ‘revolutionary moment’ that allows us to achieve the ‘inconceivable’

In a new interview, the left-wing billionaire called the coronavirus pandemic ‘the crisis of my lifetime.’
Fri May 15, 2020 - 4:24 pm EST
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Billionaire George Soros speaks in Berlin, Germany on September 10, 2012. Sean Gallup / Getty Images
Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

PETITION: No to mandatory contact tracing and government surveillance for the coronavirus! Sign the petition here.

May 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Left-wing billionaire George Soros has indicated that the coronavirus pandemic paves the way for societal changes previously thought impossible, calling it “the crisis of my lifetime.” Soros had lived through the Second World War as a youth.

“Even before the pandemic hit, I realized that we were in a revolutionary moment where what would be impossible or even inconceivable in normal times had become not only possible, but probably absolutely necessary,” he said during an interview on May 11.

Soros also said that “Europe is facing several existential dangers.”

He was “particularly concerned about the survival of the EU because it is an incomplete union.” While, according to the Hungarian-born billionaire, the European Union was “in the process of being created,” that process “was never completed.”

Thus, Soros said the EU was “exceptionally vulnerable – more vulnerable than the US not just because it is an incomplete union but also because it is based on the rule of law.”

Soros also commented on a recent conflict between Germany and the EU. Germany’s highest court had ruled on May 5 that one of the EU’s Court of Justice decisions regarding policies of the European Central Bank (ECB) was not legally binding. In turn, the European Court of Justice asserted that it alone had jurisdiction over the ECB.

In the interview, Soros sided with the EU. “When Germany joined the EU, it committed itself to abide by European law,” he argued.

He voiced his fears that countries like Poland or Hungary might become more independent of the EU, if also “the German court can question the decisions of the European Court of Justice.”

Soros asked, “Can Hungary and Poland decide whether they follow European law or their own courts – whose legitimacy the EU has questioned? That question goes to the very heart of the EU, which is built on the rule of law.”

“Poland has immediately risen to the occasion and asserted the supremacy of its government-controlled courts over European law. In Hungary, Viktor Orbán has already used the COVID-19 emergency and a captured parliament to appoint himself dictator,” Soros claimed.

The last election took place in 2018, and the next one is scheduled for 2020.

Additionally, a new poll has shown that the majority of Hungarians (54 percent) seem to support the measures of the Orbán administration and would vote for him.

“The ruling poses a threat that could destroy the European Union as an institution based on the rule of law, precisely because it was delivered by the German constitutional court, which is the most highly respected institution in Germany,” Soros emphasized.

In the course of the interview, Soros again talked about his idea of having the EU issue perpetual bonds, which he called Consols. With the money created through Consols, he would finance the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as climate change.

“European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says that Europe needs about €1 trillion ($1.1 trillion) to fight this pandemic, and she should have added another €1 trillion for climate change,” according to Soros.

He said Consols “should never be issued in normal times, but are ideal right now.” However, he did not explain why the financial instrument is not appropriate for “normal times,” even though he himself characterized it as a perpetual bond.

In the course of the interview, Soros briefly talked about President Donald Trump, accusing him of wanting “to be a dictator. But he cannot be one because there is a constitution in the United States that people still respect.”

While the constitution, according to Soros, “will prevent him from doing certain things,” that does not prohibit the President from trying, “because he is literally fighting for his life.”

“I will also say that I have put my faith in Trump to destroy himself, and he has exceeded my wildest expectations,” Soros added.

Soros is a prolific financier of left-wing causes throughout the United States and around the world, including abortion, euthanasia, population control, same-sex “marriage,” transgenderism, and more.

His Open Society Foundations spend almost $1 billion annually in 100 different countries, including $150 million per year funding the left-wing American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the leading abortion company Planned Parenthood, and other liberal groups. He invested $5.1 million in a super PAC dedicated to funding groups working against Trump’s re-election; and is an aggressive supporter of the European Union who has spent money in hopes of influencing the elections of multiple European nations.

In January, he announced the launch of an international network for educational institutions for the purpose of advancing his interpretation of “democratic values” and combating the rise of “nationalism.”


  coronavirus, george soros

News

Experts warn of alarming spike in mental health emergencies caused by coronavirus lockdowns

A growing chorus of voices is expressing concern that the lockdowns may actually be doing more harm than good to public health.
Fri May 15, 2020 - 4:19 pm EST
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Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

PETITION: No to mandatory vaccination for the coronavirus! Sign the petition here.

May 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – As societies around the world remain heavily restricted in the name of containing COVID-19, a growing chorus of voices is expressing concern that the lockdown efforts may actually be doing more harm than good to public health.

As of May 15, the world is estimated to have seen more than 4.5 million cases of COVID-19, with more than 306,000 deaths and 1.7 million recoveries. In the United States, many of those deaths have occurred within nursing homes, and mounting evidence suggests that far more of the public has contracted and recovered from the virus than the official count indicates. 

In response, many states have imposed strict limits on “non-essential” activity, including delays of non-urgent medical procedures. As a result, hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost, and steep declines have been seen in people seeking and receiving care for everything from cancer to heart disease. Now, concern is building about the mental health toll of the lockdowns.

As compiled by the right-leaning educational nonprofit Just Facts, several recent studies have found a number of warning signs, such as anywhere from a third to a half of US adults reporting that anxiety related to COVID-19 is significantly straining their mental health in a variety of ways, from fear of losing loved ones to frustration with losing their jobs through no fault of their own.

Just Facts also cites several studies affirming that such mental can be lethal, such as a 2004 Lancet paper finding that not only do “stress and depression result in an impairment of the immune response and might promote the initiation and progression of some types of cancer,” but that “lack of social interactions” – such as the lack imposed by “social distancing” and home isolation – can be a contributing factor.

“The isolation, the fear, the uncertainty, the economic turmoil – they all cause or could cause psychological distress,” Devora Kestel, director of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) mental health department, acknowledged this week in a report to the United Nations.

Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons, a psychiatrist and director of the Institute for Marital Healing outside Philadelphia, agrees. He appeared on Relevant Radio Wednesday, where he argued that reopening the economy as soon as possible was essential to curbing the mental health threat.

“My recommendation is the implementation of the Turkish protocol which has successfully allowed adults to continue to work and to be protected from COVID morbidity and mortality through the use of HCQ [hydroxychloroquine], which protects the lungs, etc. and a Japanese antiviral [favipiravir] if HCQ is not effective,” he explained.

The Turkish approach Fitzgibbons referenced is far less restrictive than that of the United States. It only imposes general lockdowns during the weekends, and during the week only forbids those younger than 20 and older than 65 from leaving their homes.

"Doctors prescribe hydroxychloroquine to everyone who is tested positive for coronavirus," explained Dr. Sema Turan, a member of the Turkish government's coronavirus advisory board. Together, HCQ and favipiravir seem to "delay or eliminate the need for intensive care for patients,” in his experience.

A growing number of medical experts also argue that, in light of the fact that COVID-19 primarily affects the elderly and immunocompromised, but poses relatively little risk to the young, policymakers should pursue a narrower strategy of protecting the former groups while allowing the rest of society to resume normal life. “If we focus on the elderly, we will bring a death rate that is likely no more than 1% down to fractions of a percent,” says Dr. Donald Yealy, chair of emergency medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

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


  anxiety, coronavirus, covid-19, depression, isolation, lockdowns, loneliness, mental health, stay-at-home orders

News

Planned Parenthood spends $5 million to decry COVID-19’s impact on abortion ‘access’

The abortion purveyor is pouring money into battleground election states in an attempt to make the public believe its services are vital.
Fri May 15, 2020 - 2:00 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.

May 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – As the United States struggles to navigate the medical, social, and economic hardships of the response to COVID-19, the nation’s largest abortion chain is preparing to devote large sums of money to spread the message that it is the true victim.

NBC News reported that Planned Parenthood Action Fund is rolling out a $5 million “accountability” campaign  to pepper Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wisconsin – most of which are battleground states for the November elections – with radio, internet, and snail mail advertising on state efforts to either continue or suspend abortions as part of COVID-19 emergency measirues.

The campaign is only the first part of the abortion giant’s election-season messaging related to the coronavirus, with Vice President of State Policy and Advocacy Rachel Sussman describing it as a “starting point to help connect the dots for people” between publici-health decrees and abortion “access.”

Advice from medical authorities has led many governors to order the temporary suspension of all or most “non-urgent” health appointments and elective medical procedures, both to limit the spread of COVID-19 and to free up time and resources to focus on infected patients. Some have expressly included surgical abortions, to the abortion industry’s chagrin.

Planned Parenthood, which killed 345,672 preborn children last year while receiving more than $616 million from the federal government, has bitterly denounced those restrictions and sued for an exemption from the same compromises that actual medical fields across the country have accepted. 

But pro-lifers argue that these “safe, home abortions” run the risk of placing additional, unnecessary strain on the healthcare system.

“Elective abortion, both surgical and drug induced, also generates more patients to be seen in already overburdened emergency rooms,” the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) says. “Most abortion providers instruct women to go to an emergency room if they have any concerning symptoms after the abortion. Approximately five percent of women who undergo medication abortions will require evaluation in an emergency room, most commonly for hemorrhage. Surgical abortions can also result in hemorrhage. Emergency room personnel – who are already struggling to meet the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic – will be further strained to provide care to these women.”

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


  abortion, coronavirus, covid-19, planned parenthood, planned parenthood action fund

News

Cdl. Zen condemns globalization, China’s encroachment on other nations

'In China the people are slaves under the Communist Party,' the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong declared, and 'the poor of the poor countries did not feel they got any help from this globalized economy of the world.'
Fri May 15, 2020 - 10:32 am EST
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Cdl. Joseph Zen, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong. Salt and Light Media / YouTube
Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

May 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Joseph Zen has condemned the modern phenomenon of globalization while also calling out China for the role the country is playing in the world community, as well as among its own citizens.

“In China the people are slaves under the Communist Party,” the former bishop of Hong Kong pointed out in a blog post he contributed to, titled “Preparing for Post-Pandemic Humanity.”

“The fact is: a pandemic started in China and it spread quickly over the whole world,” he wrote.

“The analysis: it must have something to do with globalization. Globalization is a fact and the enormously increased mobility of the people explains, in part, the fast spreading of the pandemic.”

Cardinal Zen is one of three cardinals who signed the appeal “for the Church and the world,” warning that the COVID-19 pandemic is being used as a “pretext” by world leaders to “control” people and strip them of their fundamental rights, providing a “disturbing prelude to the realization of a world government beyond all control.”

In his blog post, published in English on May 13, Zen used the coronavirus pandemic “of apocalyptical dimension” to encourage people to “have a hard look at the journey in history of our humanity. Can we be proud of our scientific progress, of the many possibilities of more consumption?”

He pointed out that there are two aspects to globalization. “Pope John Paul II used to distinguish a ‘globalization of solidarity’ from a ‘globalization of marginalization’, one is operated by people who care for the real good of all human beings, the other is driven by selfish interest of individuals and groups.”

In the course of his article, it became clear that his criticism of globalization, and China’s role in it, was specifically directed at the “globalization of marginalization.”

While many people had welcomed globalization at first, Zen said, “the actual outcome was [very] disappointing.”

According to Zen, “the poor of the poor countries did not feel they got any help from this globalized economy of the world.”

Instead, the people “running the economic globalization are the world’s rich and strong.” He specifically mentioned the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Zen lamented that too often, those kinds of organizations “end up … helping the Governments of the poor countries, the rich and powerful people in those countries, not the poor people, because the poor people of the poor countries have not been invited to take active part in the process.”

“The managers of the globalization plan the world economy with scarce consideration of the real local situation and needs,” Zen continued. “Local governments and other operators, rich and powerful, may be more interested in getting the money into their own pockets rather than helping the poor people of their country.”

The cardinal then turned his attention to China. In the past, Zen had severely criticized the Chinese treatment of the Catholic Church, as well as the deal Pope Francis made with China.

Even though China is widely considered to be rich and strong, Zen urged the readers of his blog post “to distinguish between the people and the nation.”

“In a totalitarian regime the people contribute to the wealth of the nation, but they don’t get a fair share in its prosperity. In China the people are slaves under the Communist Party. To slaves … is not allowed the luxury of dignity,” Zen said in no uncertain terms.

At this point, even the people of China have become a problem, Zen said. “Under the dominion and bad example of their masters, the Chinese people have lost their traditional virtues. In a world of ‘struggle for survival’ they make recourse to lies and violence, just like their masters. China became a threat to the world.”

Zen compared China to the colonial powers of the time before the two world wars, coming to the conclusion that the “new colonizers are worse than the old ones!”

The modern silk road, officially termed the Belt and Road Initiative, has been criticized, among others, by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He called it a “colonial enterprise” threatening to leave “debt and broken communities in its wake.”

The Chinese government took over a port in Sri Lanka. It was handed over to China on a 99-year lease, which was immediately described by some as an erosion of Sri Lanka’s sovereignty.

The $1.3-billion port “was opened seven years ago using debt from Chinese state-controlled entities,” the Financial Times reported in 2017. “But it has since struggled under heavy losses, making it impossible for Colombo to repay its debts.”

Cardinal Zen pointed out that as the coronavirus has stopped life as virtually the entire world knew it, “we realize how [much] more important is the truth, our right to information and the freedom of expression.”

“In close contact with death we are encouraged to pursue the human and gospel values with more determination,” the 88-year-old prelate said. “We discover that the real heroes are not those we use[d] to admire on the screen, but those who sacrifice themselves in serving the sick, those who take care to keep clear and healthy our environment.”

“Finally,” he added, “we appreciate our faith which teaches us that we are children of God, brothers and sisters in the human family. Thank you Lord, for this lesson from the pandemic.”


  catholic, china, communism, globalization, joseph zen

Opinion

Is coronavirus the ‘revenge of nature,’ as Pope Francis says?

Pope Francis wants 'sacred respect for the earth,' which is 'not just our home but also God's home.' Do these statements stand up to scrutiny?
Fri May 15, 2020 - 9:36 pm EST
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Frame from BBC video report
Luiz Sérgio Solimeo
By Luiz Solimeo

May 15, 2020 (Tradition, Family, Property) — In several recent pronouncements, Pope Francis has hinted that the current coronavirus pandemic is a revenge of nature.

“A Revenge of Nature”?

In a March 22 interview with Spanish journalist Jordi Évole, Pope Francis was asked whether the present pandemic is not “a revenge of nature”?1 The pope answered with a popular saying, which he repeats like a theological axiom: “God forgives always; we men forgive sometimes; the nature never forgives.” He added that “nature is kicking us so we can take care of it.”2

Speaking to English journalist Austen Ivereigh, of the liberal Catholic London weekly The Tablet, on April 8, 2020, Pope Francis repeated the same refrain and, after commenting on various calamities, he said, “I don’t know if these are the revenge of nature, but they are certainly nature’s responses.”3

“We Have Sinned Against the Earth: We Need an Ecological Conversion”

The same idea emerges in the special catechesis on the United Nations’ fiftieth Mother Earth Day, April 22.

“Because of our selfishness,” says Pope Francis, “we have failed in our responsibility to be guardians and stewards of the earth. ... We have sinned against the earth... And how does the earth react?” And he repeated the mantra: “God forgives always; we men forgive sometimes; the earth never forgives. The earth never forgives: If we have despoiled the earth, the response will be very bad.”

Later on, the pope states, “We are the ones who have ruined the work of the Lord!” Hence, “in today’s celebration of Earth Day, we are called to renew our sense of sacred respect for the earth, for it is not just our home but also God’s home.”

But respect is not enough; it would seem. “We need an ecological conversion”.4

The Earth: “God’s Home”?

The statement by Pope Francis that the earth “is not just our home but also God’s home” is imprecise and can lead to pantheist confusion. Traditional Catholic doctrine says that God, “by his power and virtue, fills heaven and earth, and all things contained therein. ... While he himself is confined to no place. ... he is, however, frequently said in Scripture, to have his dwelling in the heavens.”*

For example, Psalm 123:1 reads, “To you, I raise my eyes, to you enthroned in heaven.”

The first book of Kings shows God’s omnipresence, as He cannot be contained in the heavens or on earth: “Is God indeed to dwell on earth? If the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain you, how much less this house which I have built!” (1 Kings 8:27).

The prayer that Our Lord taught us begins precisely with this invocation: “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name” (Matt. 6:9).

(* The Catechism of the Council of Trent, trans. Rev. J. Donovan [Hawthorne, Calif.: The Christian Book Club of America, 1975], 494–5.)

“Nature Never Forgives: If You Slap It, It Will Always Slap You Back”

Already in January 2015, in one of his peculiar airborne interviews, flying from Sri Lanka to the Philippines, when challenged by a journalist’s question about whether climate change was man’s fault, the pope answered: “I don’t know if it’s all, but mostly, for a large part, man ‘slaps’ nature, continually, but we have taken hold of nature, of mother earth. I remember — you already heard this — what an old peasant once told me: ‘God always forgives, we men sometimes forgive, nature never forgives. If you slap it, it will always slap you back.’”5

Encyclical Laudato Si’: The Key to Understanding Pope Francis’s Pontificate

These and other anthropomorphic statements — certainly strange, sometimes unintelligible, and even incongruous — take on meaning when read in the light of Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si’.

In fact, this encyclical gives us the key to understand other papal pronouncements, acts, gestures, and attitudes6 and, notably, the post-synodal apostolic exhortation Querida Amazonia.7

The Earth, Treated as a Living Being

In these documents, Pope Francis deals with the earth, nature, and the environment as if they were rational beings, endowed with intelligence, will, and sensibility, just like man.

Laudato Si’ affirms, for example: “This sister [the Earth] now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her” (no. 2). “This is why our oppressed and devastated earth is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she ‘groans in travail’” (Rom. 8:22) (no. 2).

Please note the Marxist characterization of the “poor” as the “oppressed.” The encyclical recommends an ecological approach for one “to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor” (no. 49). “These situations have caused sister earth, along with all the abandoned of our world, to cry out, pleading that we take another course” (no. 53).

Thus, thanks to these cognitive and volitional faculties and sensitivity, Mother Earth is supposedly able to understand man’s behavior toward it and make a moral judgment about human acts, finding them good or bad. Likewise, the earth would feel offended by human actions that it considers evil and take revenge by causing fires, floods, devastation, and pandemics such as the coronavirus.

Earth Day, or Mother Earth Day — celebrated by Pope Francis — is an initiative of the naturalist-pantheist ecologist movement that began in the seventies. In 2009, the agnostic United Nations approved it as a kind of civil “holy day,” as seen on the institution’s web site:

Resolution Adopted by the General Assembly on April 22, 2009 [without reference to a Main Committee (A/63/L.69 and Add.1)] 63/278. International. ...

Recognizing that Mother Earth is a common expression for the planet earth in a number of countries and regions, which reflects the interdependence that exists among human beings, other living species and the planet we all inhabit,

Noting that Earth Day is observed each year in many countries,

Decides to designate April 22 as International Mother Earth Day...

(United Nations General Assembly, “Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 22 April 2009” [without reference to a Main Committee (A/63/L.69 and Add.1)] 63/278, “International Mother Earth Day,” Sixty-third session, Agenda item 49 (d), 08-48747, May 1, 2009, https://undocs.org/A/RES/63/278.)

 

Moreover, the United Nations posted a message to its web site on April 22, the latest International Mother Earth Day, that goes in the line of Pope Francis’s conceptions:

When Mother Earth Sends Us a Message

Mother Earth is clearly urging a call to action. Nature is suffering. Australian fires, heat records, and the worst locust invasion in Kenya. Now we face COVID-19, a worldwide health pandemic link to the health of our ecosystem. ... Let’s remind more than ever in this International Mother Earth Day that we need a shift to a more sustainable economy that works for both people and the planet. Let’s promote harmony with nature and the Earth.

(United Nations, accessed May 6, 2020, https://www.un.org/en/observances/earth-day)

Divinizing the Earth

Now, is granting the earth faculties of a rational creature and placing it as a judge and avenger of man’s actions, not equivalent to divinizing it?

This divinization of the earth seems to be the “theological” underpinning of the ceremonies worshipping the idol of the Pachamama goddess in the Vatican Gardens and Saint Peter’s Basilica, the center of Christianity. Two bishops carried the idol on their shoulders in procession from the Basilica to the Synod Hall. Pope Francis effectively participated in all these actions.8

Raising Pachamama and Dethroning Man

By divinizing the earth, Pope Francis changes traditional Church doctrine, which always considered man as the king of corporeal Creation.

Genesis is clear in this regard: “And God blessed them [Adam and Eve], saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth” (Gen. 1:28).

Fr. José F. Sagües, S.J., in his treatise on God’s creation, says with precision: “Our assertion ... that the world exists because of man and certainly to serve him in order to glorify God, is of divine and Catholic faith, and, if considered in relation to each one of the things that exist in the world, it is a truth that is certain in theology.”9

The qualification “of divine and Catholic faith” means that this is a truth revealed by God and proposed by the Church to be believed. To deny it is heresy.10

Fr. H. Pinard says: “All [Church] Fathers and theologians indeed consider man as the providential crowning of the sensible world: everything is ordained to him since without him things would not fulfill their end; nature would have no voice to praise God. ... Man was created last, the Fathers [of the Church] say, precisely because it was fitting that everything should be ready before introducing the king of the universe.”11

In the encyclical Laudato Si’, running counter to the text of Genesis and the entire tradition of the Church, Pope Francis states: “It is true that we Christians have at times incorrectly interpreted the Scriptures, nowadays we must forcefully reject the notion that our being created in God’s image and given dominion over the earth justifies absolute domination over other creatures” (no. 67).

In his documents and statements, the pope consistently presents man, not as the master of nature, of the sensible world, a condition which man uses to give glory to God, but virtually reverses that order. Man is no longer considered to be the master but the servant of nature. Man must submit to and obey nature.

Worse Than the Coronavirus Pandemic

With the present pontificate, the ongoing Church crisis rooted in the Modernist heresy and the “Nouvelle Théologie,” has reached an unimaginable degree. With errors and evils attacking the soul more severely than the coronavirus attacks the body, this endangering eternal salvation, the crisis of faith is far worse than the current pandemic.

Drastic sanitary measures have been taken to mitigate the coronavirus epidemic. Yet, from a spiritual standpoint, the faithful are left completely unprotected at a time when they most need assistance.

While deifying nature and favoring the idolatrous cult of Pachamama, Pope Francis quickly closed Rome’s churches and allowed bishops from all over the world to do the same, suspending public masses and the distribution of the Sacraments.

Why should we have expected anything different, given that, in his encyclical Laudato Si’, Pope Francis characterizes the Holy Eucharist (the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord) as “a fragment of matter”?12

He Who Has Faith Will Possess Life

Saint Paul declares, “But we are not among those who draw back and perish, but among those who have faith and will possess life” (Heb. 10:39).

Confident in the maternal protection of Mary Most Holy, let us continue to fight for the integrity of the Faith and the restoration of Christian civilization.

Published with permission from Tradition, Family, Property.

Footnotes

  1. In the original Spanish, “ajuste de cuentas de la naturaleza.”
  2. “‘Espero que los Pueblos Aprendan de la Crisis para Revisar Sus Vidas,’ Dice el Papa a Jordi Évole,” Religión en Libertad, Mar. 23, 2020, https://www.religionenlibertad.com/noticias/197972338/Espero-que-los-pueblos-aprendan-de-la-crisis-para-revisar-sus-vidas-dice-el-Papa-a-Jordi-Evole.html. (All emphases are mine).
  3. Austen Ivereigh, “Pope Francis Says Pandemic Can Be a ‘Place of Conversion,’” The Tablet, Apr. 8, 2020, https://www.thetablet.co.uk/features/2/17845/pope-francis-says-pandemic-can-be-a-place-of-conversion.
  4. Pope Francis, “General Audience,” Apr. 22, 2020, https://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2020/04/22/200422a.html.
  5. Alan Holdren and Andrea Gagliarducci, “Full transcript of Pope’s interview in-flight to Manila,” Catholic News Agency, Jan. 15, 2015, https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/full-transcript-of-popes-interview-in-flight-to-manila-96471.
  6. See Arnaldo Vidigal Xavier da Silveira, “Notes on the Unacceptable Philosophy and Theology of Laudato Si’,” TFP.org, Aug. 2, 2017, https://www.tfp.org/notes-unacceptable-philosophy-theology-laudato-si/.
  7. See Luiz Sérgio Solimeo, “Resisting the Grave Errors in Pope Francis’s Apostolic Exhortation Querida Amazonia,” TFP.org, Mar. 3, 2020, https://www.tfp.org/resisting-the-grave-errors-in-pope-franciss-apostolic-exhortation-querida-amazonia.
  8. See Luiz Sergio Solimeo, “Having Worshipped Pachamama, Pope Francis Now Disparages Mary’s Co-Redeeming Role,” TFP.org, Dec. 23, 2019, https://www.tfp.org/having-worshipped-pachamama-pope-francis-now-disparages-marys-co-redeeming-role/.
  9. Fr. José F. Sagües, S.J., “De Deo Creante et elevante,” Sacrae Theologiae Summa, vol. II, tr. II, no. 204.
  10. See Fr. Sixtus Cartechini, S.J., De Valore Notarum Theologicarum (Rome: Typos Pontificiae Universitatis Gregoriane, 1951; Sainte Croix du Mont, France: TRADIBOOKS, n.d.), 83.
  11. s.v. “Création,” in Dictionnaire de Théologie Catholique, vol. III, col. 2172.
  12. Pope Francis, Encyclical Laudato Si’, May 24, 2015, no. 236, http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html; see Xavier da Silveira, “Notes on the Unacceptable Philosophy and Theology of Laudato Si’,”

  amazon synod, catholic, environment, environmentalism, laudato si’, pachamama, pope francis, querida amazonia

Blogs

Surprise: Stats show putting males who say they’re female in women’s prisons harms women

Those who see the insanity of these policies are left to wonder how many women will be raped before the authorities give up on the transgender ideology.
Fri May 15, 2020 - 7:55 pm EST
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Jonathon Van Maren Jonathon Van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon Van Maren

May 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Ever since the transgender phenomenon has gripped the minds of the elites, female inmates in the prison system have been in danger.

A female prisoner in Illinois alleges that a “transgender woman” — a male — raped her in prison. Justin Trudeau’s trans policies have resulted in women being locked up with male sex offenders and killers. In fact, a man who raped, tortured, and murdered a 13-year-old girl decided to identify as a female and get himself transferred to a female prison in Canada. In the U.K., prisoners are reportedly identifying as transgender to get a cushier time in prison. And there are many other examples that could be cited.

Not a single one of the prominent pro-LGBT leaders obediently following the dictates of the LGBT movement has ever addressed any of these crimes, and to even point out that male prisoners are identifying as female to both get out of male prisons and to get locked in with a vulnerable female population is to immediately be condemned as a transphobe. This is the only response left to those who have implemented policies that are an utter failure — and worse, have resulted in women being raped and abused, just as opponents of these policies warned.

In the United Kingdom, authorities are now being forced to reckon with the results of accepting transgender ideology. According to the Daily Mail, “Transgender prisoners have carried out seven sex attacks on women in jail[.] ... Official figures show for the first time the true scale of offending by criminals who were born male but were allowed to move into female jails after changing genders [sic]. Yet despite risks, prison governors are still allowing trans inmates to move into the jails. Male-born trans prisoners were first allowed to request a transfer to women’s jails in England and Wales in 2016.”

PETITION: Stop 'sex change' operations during coronavirus crisis! Sign the petition here.

It is unclear how many female prisoners must suffer at the hands of the male criminals they are locked in with before authorities finally admit the cruelty and insanity of their actions. Within a year of the policy change, a man named David Thompson, who had been convicted of raping several women, sexual offenses involving children, and attacking an elderly neighbor with a knife, got himself sent to a female prison, where he promptly sexually assaulted two female inmates under his new name, Karen White. A judge had sentenced him to life in prison and labeled him a “highly manipulative” predator, but the transgender ideology has made fools of authorities who would otherwise presumably know better.

According to the Mail, Thompson-White was “not a one-off,” and in “response to a Parliamentary question from former Labour Party General Secretary Baroness McDonagh, Ministers have revealed [that] there have been several other sexual assaults by trans prisoners.” In fact, of 124 recorded sexual assaults in female prisoners, 7 of those were perpetrated by “transgender individuals” — males. In other words, the Mail pointed out, transgender inmates are about 1% of the female prison population but are responsible for 5.6% of sexual assaults (that we know of.)

In fact, the Ministry of Justice attempted to hedge their response to questions surrounding their transgender policy, initially declining to mention Karen White among the perpetrators and admitting that they do not know if the transgender predators have been punished, as those records are “not held centrally.” They also claimed that transgender prisoners have not assaulted prison staff, despite former prisons minister Rory Stewart stating in a recent interview that there have been “situations of male prisoners self-identifying as females [and] then raping staff in prison.”

After the Karen White assaults, prison authorities in the U.K. have attempted to revise the policy permitting prisoners identifying as transgender to transfer to account for “specific risk factors that must be considered where they might impact ... other prisoners,” but according to the Mail, “figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show increasing numbers of trans prisoners are being allowed to move to women’s jails.” Feminists such as Nicola Williams of Fair Play For Women have highlighted the situation and noted that locking up males identifying as female in women’s prisons is dangerous for women. The authorities cannot accept such criticisms, because their new ideology forces them to say men like David Thompson are actually women, despite all evidence to the contrary (and often the presence of male genitalia, which in days of yore was considered a tip-off as to the sex of the person in question).

In the meantime, those who see the insanity of these policies are left to wonder how many women will be raped before the authorities give up on the transgender ideology.

Jonathon’s new podcast, The Van Maren Show, is dedicated to telling the stories of the pro-life and pro-family movement. In his latest episode, he interviews Scott Klusendorf about the fundamental flaw Klusendorf sees in the idea of locking down the country under the guise of preventing people from getting coronavirus.  

You can subscribe here and listen to the episode below: 


  prison, rape, transgenderism, united kingdom

Blogs

Coronavirus lockdowns cause spike in families favoring homeschooling

If increasing numbers of families decide to pursue these options for themselves, we will be threatening the secular progressive agenda in a real and definite way.
Fri May 15, 2020 - 7:55 pm EST
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Stock Rocket / Shutterstock.com
Jonathon Van Maren Jonathon Van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon Van Maren

May 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Just weeks after Harvard law professor Elizabeth Bartholet recommended a ban on homeschooling in order to counter the influence of Christian and conservative parents, a stunning new poll from RealClear Opinion Research of 2,122 registered voters shows that COVID-19 lockdowns have had an unlikely effect: 40% of families are now “more likely to homeschool or virtual school after [the] lockdowns,” with 64% supporting “school choice.”

To John Schilling, president of the American Federation of Children, this is great news. “Every single family with kids in school has been incredibly disrupted by the lockdowns,” he said in a statement. “With 55 million students no longer in their normal educational setting, families are clearly considering new options, and many are seeing the benefits of homeschooling and virtual schooling. Policymakers should note that there is a strong desire to have these and other education options available to families, with strong support for the general concept of school choice[.]”

The poll asked parents (626 respondents): “Are you more or less likely to enroll your son or daughter in a homeschool, neighborhood homeschool co-op, or virtual school once the lockdowns are over?” To that question, 40.8% indicated that it was more likely, with 31.1% saying that they were less likely to do so. Of those who indicated that they were more likely, 44.9% were of the age group 18–34, 40.8% were of the age group 35-44, and 35.3%, 45-54. Only ethnic lines, whites were 36.6% more likely to consider these options, 50.4% of blacks were, 38.2% of Hispanics, and 53.8% of Asians. Somewhat surprisingly, the party affiliation breakdown was more or less even: 45.7% of Democrats and 42.3% of Republicans.

A shift toward greater parental involvement in the education of children — and more than that, more parental responsibility — would be a very encouraging development. As polarization continues to divide the United States into irreconcilable camps, it is increasingly untenable to have a single educational system run by the federal government, with standards imposed by whoever happens to be in office. (Barack Obama’s infamous transgender directives are a good example of this.) As the chasm between the beliefs of conservative America and secular progressive America grows wider, it increasingly makes far more sense for parents and communities to pursue their own arrangements, where they can guarantee that their deeply held beliefs are passed on to their children.

The poll was also encouraging with regard to support for school choice across the board. The question posed was pointed: “School choice gives parents the right to use tax dollars designated for their child’s education to send their child to the public or private school which best serves their needs. Generally speaking, would you say you support the concept of school choice?” Of the 64% of the 2,122 respondents who indicated their support, a full 59% were Democrats and 75.2% were Republicans (with 60.2% stating that they were Independents.) There was a majority through all age categories, with the highest support — 67.2% — among the age group 18–34. Wide support ran across ethnic and racial lines, and even among those who send their children to public school (67.7% support for school choice).

Interestingly, support for school choice remained high regardless of where the respondent lived. There was 69.3% support from urban respondents, 62.6% from suburbia, 52.5% from small-town respondents, and 68.2% from rural respondents. Not that much of a difference in support, all things considered. Considering America’s growing divisions, it is encouraging to see that a majority, across all party, racial, and geographic lines, supports the idea that parents should be able to pursue the best education for their children as they see it. In fact, 69% indicated support for the American Federation of Children’s Federal Tax Credit Scholarship (Education Freedom Scholarships)— again, even among those who currently send their children to public school.

These new data, says John Schilling, indicate that it is time for action. “This is the time for leadership and for desperately needed bold reforms to be implemented across our K–12 system,” he stated. “Millions of families are seeing the inadequacies of school districts that are too inflexible. We owe it to our nation’s families and students to give them more flexibility and additional educational options. Moreover, policymakers owe it to the taxpayers who are footing the $800-billion K–12 education bill to maximize their investment by ensuring every child has access to a quality education and outcomes are improved across the board.”

Many conservatives and Christians were concerned that governments are utilizing and will continue to utilize the COVID-19 pandemic to vastly increase government control and interference in the personal lives of citizens. That is precisely why the proposal of Harvard’s Elizabeth Bartholet was so alarming — because we know that there are many in power who fully agree with her and would leap at the chance to ban homeschooling. In that context, this new polling is particularly encouraging: Rising levels of support for not only school choice, but also homeschooling and virtual schooling will make it difficult for authorities to restrict these options. And if increasing numbers of families decide to pursue these options for themselves, we will be threatening the secular progressive agenda in a real and definite way: by denying them access to our children.

Jonathon’s new podcast, The Van Maren Show, is dedicated to telling the stories of the pro-life and pro-family movement. In his latest episode, he interviews Scott Klusendorf about the fundamental flaw Klusendorf sees in the idea of locking down the country under the guise of preventing people from getting coronavirus.  

You can subscribe here and listen to the episode below: 


  coronavirus, education, elizabeth bartholet, homeschooling, quarantine

Blogs

Was the coronavirus created by Chinese scientist who tried to cover her tracks – and failed?

Dr. Shi Zhengli's January 2020 'discovery' was the equivalent of trying to wipe the fingerprints from a gun that had just been used to commit murder
Fri May 15, 2020 - 1:54 pm EST
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Dr. Shi ZhengLi speaks at a Yixi talk June 23, 2018. Yixi.tv
Steven Mosher Steven Mosher Follow Steven
By Steven Mosher

PETITION: No to mandatory vaccination for the coronavirus! Sign the petition here.

Editor’s note: The following report provides an account of how the coronavirus was likely created in a biolab by a Chinese scientist who then tried to cover her tracks after it escaped. 

May 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Dr. Shi Zhengli, known as China’s batwoman, was worried.  Her creation, a highly infectious coronavirus, had leaked from her lab in October.  Early efforts to stop the widening circle of infections had failed.  It had spread like wildfire through the densely populated city of Wuhan.

The Communist authorities were also worried that the source of the epidemic would be traced back to the Wuhan lab.  To muddy the waters, on January 3rd,  China’s National Health Commission ordered all biolabs in China to destroy not only the samples of the SARS-CoV-2 that they had isolated from those infected, but also the genetic sequencing of the virus’ RNA strand.  Dr. Shi must have been only too happy to cover her own tracks—evidence suggests she had already started doing so--by destroying the evidence of the deadly virus’ actual origins in her lab.

It was the equivalent of trying to wipe the fingerprints from a gun that had just been used to commit murder. 

The “gun” itself couldn’t be destroyed, however.  In fact, the murder weapon used was busy replicating itself by the billions within each and every person who came down with the China Virus.

Dr. Shi and her superiors, undoubtedly including Major General Chen Wei, the head of the PLA’s bioweapons program, knew that the coronavirus she had assembled using recombinant technology was so different from other known coronaviruses that it would raise suspicions.  None of the other known beta-coronaviruses, the family from which her “backbone” coronavirus came from, had anything resembling the genetic sequence she had inserted to make it more infectious to humans.

To reinforce the “Wet Market” cover story, namely, that this new pathogen had come from nature and not from her lab, something had to be done. And it had to be done quickly, since by then the China Coronavirus had spread to the rest of the world.  Anger against China for its lack of transparency about the origins and characteristics of the virus was growing. 

Dr. Shi decided to “discover” a new bat coronavirus that was very similar to the one she had created.  That “discovery” would prove that coronaviruses similar to SARS-CoV-2 were found in nature, and so deflect the growing suspicion that she had engineered it in her lab.  

The similarity between the two coronaviruses—including their common ability to infect humans--would greatly reinforce her story that the SARS-CoV-2 had jumped from a bat to a human, perhaps through some intermediate species at the Wuhan wet market. 

So, all Dr. Shi had to do was sit down before her computer keyboard, open a word file, and begin to fabricate the SARS-CoV-2 analogue that she would claim to have found in nature seven years before. All she had to do was type in the genetic sequence of her own creation, SARS-CoV-2, changing a few nucleotides now and again to mimic the “random mutations” that regularly occur in nature.

She could easily have completed the “data entry” part of her task in a day, since all she was doing was entering in a string of letters alternating between the four nucleotides, A, U, G, and C.  And coronaviruses contain less than 30,000 different nucleotides.

Dr. Shi registered her new virus on January 27th, 2020, with the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the customary repository for such information.  She called it RaTG-13, Ra for Rhinolophus affinis, the Latin name of the Intermediate Horseshoe Bat, and 13 for 2013, the year she supposedly “discovered” it.

A lot of people have been taken in by Dr. Shi’s clever “discovery,” which is looking more and more like a forgery. No one else has independently verified its existence.  No other lab has a sample of it, and no one else has ever sequenced it.  And of course, they likely never will, because more and more evidence suggests that it exists only in a string of letters on her computer. 

It was a brilliant scheme, and it almost succeeded.  The Chinese virology community—following new, strict Party guidelines—has published a flurry of studies suggesting that the existence of RaTG-13 proves that SARS-CoV-2 came from nature.  They claim that other “first cousins” of the China Coronavirus will soon be found to exist in nature if we just keep looking.  They do genomic analyses showing that RaTG-13 and SARS-CoV-2 are 96% identical throughout the whole sequence of the viral genome.  They calculate that the two share a common ancestor a few decades back.

Actually, the only thing the two virus genomes have in common is Dr. Shi herself, who engineered the one and appears to have fabricated the other.    

As clever as Batwoman is, however, she did not commit the perfect deception.  She left behind a few key clues that reveal, as clearly as fingerprints on a murder weapon, what she was up to.

One blogger, writing at Nerd Has Power, has brilliantly teased these findings out of the data. The blogger’s efforts can be read here if you have a free afternoon and a strong math background.  I offer here a summary of one of the blogger’s critiques, in the hope of making the blogger’s general line of argument accessible to the layman. Because he published his raw data, I and others have been able to check and verify his work.  I offer here a summary of one of the blogger’s critiques, in the hope of making the blogger’s general line of argument accessible to the layman.

An Impossible Ratio:  As viruses evolve, they mutate.  That is to say, one of the four nucleotides is randomly replaced by another.  Most of these random mutations do not produce changes in the amino acids that make up the protein.  Such mutations are called “synonymous”, since the three-nucleotide “codon” still codes for the same amino acid despite the change.  Like a synonym in a thesaurus, it “looks” different but “means”—in terms of the amino acid and resulting protein—the same thing.

But then there are “non-synonymous” mutations.  These are mutations that do change the resulting amino acid and hence the configuration of the resulting protein.  In nature, the ratio of synonymous to non-synonymous is approximately 5:1. 

Here’s where Dr. Shi got into trouble.  When typing in the genomic sequence of her “discovery” she made way too many non-synonymous changes at the beginning.  Then, one-third of the way through the sequence, she apparently realized her error.  After that, she made way too few non-synonymous changes.  So while the entire genome has the expected 5:1 ratio, there are stretches where the ratio is closer to 2:1, and other long stretches where it is as high as 44:1.

Nature’s mutations are random.  Dr. Shi’s “mutations” are not. Dr. Lawrence Sellin has calculated that the odds that her “mutations” occurred naturally in just one area—the critical spike protein--at almost ten million to one.     

If RaTG-13 is merely a strategic deception, as I believe it is, then what real coronavirus did Dr. Shi enhance in “Gain-of-Function” research to create the highly infectious SARS-CoV-2?  Evidence suggests that a coronavirus from a People’s Liberation Army biolab may have played this role.  

If Dr. Shi’s research was in any way connected with the PLA’s bioweapons research program, this would go a long way towards explaining China’s bizarre behavior – the secrecy, the serial lying, the brutal quarantine, the persecution of whistleblowers, the seeding of the virus around the world, and the furious rejection by Beijing of the idea of an international commission to investigate the origin and spread of the disease.  It all seems wildly overwrought, even by the standards of a conspiratorial Communist Party whose leaders suffer from a pathological paranoia. 

Be that as it may, there is one thing about Dr. Shi’s research that we do know with absolute, ironclad certainty: The U.S. was helping to fund it.  From 2013 onwards, the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, run by the now-famous Dr. Anthony Fauci, gave $7.4 million for research involving gain-of-function work and collecting and studying bat coronaviruses, $600,000 of which went to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.  Much of the rest went to other labs in China. 

If Dr. Fauci was as familiar with the Chinese Communist Party as he is with viruses, he would not have sent the Wuhan Institute of Virology one thin dime. He would have known that the PRC has a long-running program to develop bioweapons. He would have concluded that China’s only BSL-4 high containment lab was the obvious place to carry out at least some of this research.  And he definitely did know that the “Gain-of-Function” research he was funding had the potential to create “Pathogens of Pandemic Potential” that might not be used for peaceful ends.

Apparently none of these considerations ever crossed his mind.

Now that Western intelligence services have concluded that SARS-CoV-2 probably is a manmade chimera that leaked from a lab — a lab that he was funding — you might think that Dr. Fauci would be inclined to reevaluate the role he played in this global debacle.

Instead, he continues to tell us that there is “no scientific evidence the coronavirus was made in a Chinese lab” and that there is “no evidence” that it leaked from the lab.

It is a sad end to a career that was at least long, if not particularly illustrious.

Steven W. Mosher @StevenWMosher is the President of the Population Research Institute and the author of Bully of Asia: Why China’s Dream is the New Threat to World Order.


  anthony fauci, coronavirus, shi zhengli

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EpisodesFri May 15, 2020 - 11:20 am EST

We must speak the truth, even when it’s not easy

By Mother Miriam
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Watch Mother Miriam's Live show from 5.15.2020. Today, Mother encourages her listeners to speak out against evil and government supression even if no one else is doing the same. We must defend and speak the truth no matter the cost.

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