All articles from July 23, 2020


News

Vatican archbishop defends posting image of naked adults with naked children. Twitter censors image

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia said the image ‘portrays a Catholic family model’ and has nothing ‘inappropriate.’ Twitter then censored the image.
Thu Jul 23, 2020 - 8:50 pm EST
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Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia Edward Pentin
Paul Smeaton Paul Smeaton Follow Paul
By Paul Smeaton

PETITION: Urge U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference to defend Catholic heritage and statues! Sign the petition here.

July 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A prominent Vatican archbishop doubled down in defense of his posting to social media an image of a naked man and woman lying on the ground surrounded by naked children, despite the fact that Twitter has now placed the problematic image behind a warning label reading: “The following media includes potentially sensitive content.”

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, chancellor of the new John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences in Rome and the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, hit back at those who criticized him for posting the image, accusing them of “a deeply morbid gaze.”

“The photograph, as it has been amply highlighted by the articles that came out on the subject, portrays a Catholic family model and contains nothing erotic, ambiguous or inappropriate. Therefore, it can only disturb a deeply morbid gaze, as it was written: ‘omnia munda munids [sic]’,” a statement published on Paglia’s website reads.

Last week, Paglia posted a link to a tweet from the John Paul II Institute promoting a broadcast featuring film director Alessandro D'Alatri. The film director was behind the 2002 film Casomai, which according to the John Paul II Institute’s web page promoting the broadcast, is “used today in all premarital courses.” 

Both the original tweet and Paglia post included an image showing two actors of the film Casomai, Fabio Volo, and Stefania Rocca, lying down naked with one arm holding up their heads. They are surrounded by four naked children, who appear to be male and of a similar age. The actors are posed in such a way to mostly cover intimate parts of the body, although a significant part of one of Rocca’s breasts is visible.

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Pixelated screenshot of Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia's retweet of the image of naked adults with naked kids.

Twitter has now placed the image behind a warning label reading: “The following media includes potentially sensitive content,” but it can still be viewed if users choose to click through to display the image.

On Paglia’s post, the warning label placed on the original post by Twitter causes the message “This Tweet is unavailable” to appear. However, the link posted in Paglia’s tweet still brings you through to the original post where the image can be viewed.

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Screen grab showing Twitter censoring image of naked adults with children using 'Tweet not available message'

This is not the first time Paglia has been involved in a controversy involving images of naked people.

The archbishop was featured in a homoerotic painting he commissioned in his Cathedral. 

The massive mural covers the opposite side of the facade of the cathedral church of the Diocese of Terni-Narni-Amelia. It depicts Jesus carrying nets to heaven filled with naked and semi-nude homosexuals, transsexuals, prostitutes, and drug dealers, jumbled together in erotic interactions.

As reported by LifeSite’s Matthew Hoffman in 2017, “included in one of the nets is Paglia, the then diocesan bishop. The image of the Savior is painted with the face of a local male hairdresser, and his private parts can be seen through his translucent garb.”

In his recent article, Paglia also defends the controversial mural, likening it to well-known works of Catholic art and claiming that there is “absolutely nothing ‘homoerotic’” depicted and that “it is a traditional representation of the Last Judgment.”

“Regarding this other absurd controversy it should be noted first of all that the Cathedral of Terni is certainly not the only church in the world in which naked bodies are portrayed: just think of the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo's paintings (also subject to censorship, yes, but 500 years ago),” the article says.

While Catholic critics have blasted the mural as "disgusting” and “blasphemous,” Paglia’s recent article says that considering the mural to homoerotic is “morbid” and “groundless.” He has previously claimed that it serves as an “evangelizing” tool.

Paglia also oversaw the release of a controversial sex-ed program during the 2016 World Youth Day in Poland that includes sexually explicit images. The course was criticized as being “thoroughly immoral.” 

The archbishop has defended giving Holy Communion to adulterers, has been instrumental in gutting and remaking the John Paul II Institute according to the pulse of the Francis pontificate, has asserted that priests may legitimately remain at the bedside of someone undergoing assisted suicide in order to “hold their hand” and “accompany” them, and has claimed that anyone who says Judas Iscariot is in hell is a heretic.


  alessandro d'alatri, casomai, catholic, erotic images, john paul ii theological institute for marriage and family sciences, naked children, pontifical academy for life, pope francis, twitter, vincenzo paglia

News

Vatican legal clarification allows bishops to ‘entrust…care of a parish’ to women

Bishops ‘may entrust the pastoral care of a parish to a deacon, to a consecrated religious or layperson, or even to a group of persons.’
Thu Jul 23, 2020 - 8:46 pm EST
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l i g h t p o e t / Shutterstock.com
Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne
By Lianne Laurence

VATICAN CITY, July 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy published an instruction Monday on parish reform and diocesan restructuring that sets out the role of the laity in the Church’s mission of evangelization.

Pope Francis signed the 24-page document, titled “The pastoral conversion of the parish community in the service of the evangelizing mission of the Church,” on June 29, the Solemnity of Ss. Peter and Paul.

The Vatican published it on July 20, along with a written introduction by Monsignor Andrea Ripa, the under-secretary of the Congregation for the Clergy, who described the instruction as an “instrument with which to support and accompany the various projects of parish reform and diocesan restructuring.”

The document does not introduce new legislation, but stipulates provisions of the current law to safeguard “the faithful from certain possible extremes, such as the clericalization of the laity and the secularization of the clergy, or from regarding permanent deacons as ‘half-priests’ or ‘super laymen,’” the under-secretary wrote.

“One could say that the essence of the present Instruction is to recall that in the Church ‘there is a place for all and all can find their place,’ with respect to each one’s vocation,” Msgr. Ripa said.

The document specifies ways of assigning pastoral ministries within the parish and clarifies the role of the deacons, consecrated men and women, and laity in dioceses facing a shortage or lack of priests, as reported by Catholic News Service.

In such “pastorally problematic circumstances,” which are to be regarded as extraordinary and temporary, the Church allows under Canon 517 that a bishop “may entrust the pastoral care of a parish to a deacon, to a consecrated religious or layperson, or even to a group of persons,” the document stated. Such a “consecrated religious” or “layperson” could be female.

Those so entrusted “will be directed by a priest with legitimate faculties, who will act as a ‘moderator of pastoral care,’ with the powers and functions of a parish priest, albeit without an office with its duties and rights,” it said.

“Furthermore, it would be preferable to appoint one or more deacons over consecrated men and women or laypersons for directing this kind of pastoral care.”

A bishop may also “officially entrust to deacons, consecrated men and women and lay faithful, under the direction and responsibility of the Parish Priest” other duties beyond the canonically defined roles of lector and acolyte, the document says.

These include celebrating a Liturgy of the Word on Sundays and Holy Days of obligation in the extraordinary circumstance that no priest is available (giving pre-eminence to deacons in this situation); the provision of baptism; celebrating funeral rites; and assisting at marriages.

However, a bishop must not identify those with roles of responsibility in parishes without a priest as “pastor, co-pastor, chaplain, moderator, coordinator, parish manager,” as these titles have “a direct correlation to  the ministerial profile of priests,” stated the document.

Rather, deacons and consecrated and lay men and women with roles of pastoral responsibility should be designated as “deacon cooperator, coordinator, pastoral cooperator or pastoral associate or assistant.”

Laypeople are called “to make a generous commitment to the service of the mission of evangelization,” first and foremost through the "general witness of their daily lives,” the document stated.

The laity should also be consulted by bishops who are considering merging or suppressing parishes, Msgr. Ripa wrote.

“Dropping plans upon the People of God from above, without their involvement, should be avoided,” he said.

The document noted that the “scarcity of diocesan clergy, the general financial situation of a diocese,” and other situations that are temporary or reversible are not sufficient reasons to suppress a parish.

Nor are “the lack of clergy, demographic decline or the grave financial state of the diocese” legitimate reasons to deconsecrate and sell churches and chapels.

The document emphasized the need for parish communities to cooperate with each other to more effectively evangelize in an ever-changing world.

“The historical parish institution (must) not remain a prisoner of immobility or of a worrisome pastoral repetition, but rather, it should put into action that ‘outgoing dynamism’ that, through collaboration among different parish communities and a reinforced communion among clergy and laity, will orient it effectively toward an evangelizing mission, the task of the entire People of God,” it stated.

Msgr. Ripa also stressed this.

“Given that the church is mandated by Christ to be missionary, evangelizing and outward-looking, a reform of her structures is continuously required in order to respond to the challenges of the day,” the under-secretary wrote.

“Naturally, this involves a certain reorganization in the way the pastoral care of the faithful is exercised, so as to foster a greater co-responsibility and collaboration among all the baptized.”


  catholic, clericalism

News

Pro-life senator holds minute of silence on senate floor for dismemberment abortion victims

After a video describing the gruesome procedure, Sen. John Lowe said, 'If you don’t have a tear in your eye from watching that, you are cold-hearted.'
Thu Jul 23, 2020 - 5:55 pm EST
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Republican state Sen. John Lowe
Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

URGENT PETITION: Tell the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade! Sign the petition here.

LINCOLN, Nebraska, July 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – During floor remarks Tuesday evening concerning legislation to ban a second-trimester abortion procedure infamous for dismembering babies in the womb, a pro-life Nebraska senator devoted the last minute of his speaking time to a minute of silence to recognize the lives lost to abortion.

LB814 would prohibit abortionists from using the dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortion procedure in the state. D&Es are more commonly known as “dismemberment abortions” because they function by tearing a preborn baby apart limb by limb. Women seeking the abortion would not be punished, but abortionists who violate it would face up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine, as well as be liable for civil penalties.

The Nebraska Senate voted 30-8 Tuesday to advance the bill from committee to floor debate in the current legislative session, the Omaha World-Herald reported. “I believe that discussion of human dignity belongs at the top of that list” of legislative priorities, said Republican state Sen. Suzanne Geist, who introduced LB814. “It’s more important to me than tax credits.”

During the session, Republican state Sen. John Lowe referred listeners to a video by reformed ex-abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino explaining dismemberment abortions in stark detail. “It’ll make your heart wrench,” he challenged his colleagues. “If you don’t have a tear in your eye from watching that, you are cold-hearted.” 

Lowe concluded his remarks by devoting the final minute of his time to a period of silence to recognize abortion’s victims:

Pro-abortion activists have objected to the “dismemberment” label as inflammatory and misleading, but the abortion industry itself has effectively admitted its accuracy. The National Abortion Federation’s own instructional materials describe “grasping a fetal part,” then “withdraw(ing) the forceps while gently rotating it” to achieve “separation.” Notorious late-term abortionist Warren Hern has written that “there is no possibility of denial of an act of destruction by the operator (of D&E procedures). It is before one’s eyes. The sensations of dismemberment flow through the forceps like an electric current.”

Defenders also claim dismemberment abortions are the safest second-trimester procedure available (for the mother), but pro-lifers suspect abortionists actually prefer D&E abortions because they can fit more into their schedule, and therefore make more money. “Dismemberment abortion facilitates fetal harvesting,” Kansans for Life executive director Kay Culp told LifeSiteNews last year. “Clinicians experimenting on aborted baby parts don’t want their research tainted by drugs, and, they want fresh organs – packed for shipping within minutes of death.”

Opponents of LB814 objected that the bill was a waste of time because it’s sure to get struck down in the courts anyway. While a federal appeals court did block Kentucky from enforcing its dismemberment abortion ban last month, pro-lifers note that in 2000’s Stenberg v. Carhart, even pro-abortion Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens admitted that partial-birth abortion and dismemberment abortion were “equally gruesome,” and that it was “simply irrational” to conclude that one was “more akin to infanticide than the other.” Stenberg struck down the federal partial-birth abortion ban, but Gonzales v. Carhart ultimately upheld it in 2007.


  abortion, dismemberment abortion, dismemberment abortion ban, john lowe, lb814, nebraska

News

Top medical org demands FDA make COVID treatment hydroxychloroquine more widely available

Recent evidence shows the drug to be effective and to drastically reduce the mortality rate in countries where the medication is used.
Thu Jul 23, 2020 - 4:55 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.

July 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The Association of American Physicians & Surgeons (AAPS) has submitted additional evidence to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) and Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in hopes of compelling the agency to relax its restrictions on the use of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) to treat COVID-19 among the general public.

Last month, AAPS filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to compel HHS and CDC to release more of the tens of millions of doses in the government’s possession to the public. The FDA has not officially cleared the drug for COVID-19 treatment (it has long been approved for malaria, autoimmune conditions, and arthritis), but has allowed it “to be distributed and prescribed by doctors to hospitalized teen and adult patients with COVID-19, as appropriate, when a clinical trial is not available or feasible.” (At the same time, the FDA warns not to use it outside of trials or hospitals.)

This week, AAPS followed up by submitting to the court additional evidence of the drug’s safety and effectiveness.

“As confirmed by another recent study of thousands of patients at the Henry Ford Health System in Michigan, HCQ is both very safe and highly effective in treating COVID-19, reducing mortality by 50 percent,” the group argued. “Countries with underdeveloped healthcare systems are using HCQ early and attaining far lower mortality than in the United States, where (HHS and the FDA) impede access to HCQ.”

“The mortality rate from COVID-19 in countries that allow access to HCQ is only one-tenth the mortality rate in countries where there is interference with this medication, such as the United States,” AAPS general counsel Andrew Schlafly said, citing easier access to the drug in Philippines, Poland, Israel, Turkey, and even Venezuela.

Yet the group laments that a “perfect storm of politics in this presidential election year, along with conflicts of interest at the defendant federal agencies, has resulted in unjustified obstacles to access to HCQ, an inexpensive medication having a track record of more than 75 years of safety.”

In the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak, scientists began researching HCQ’s potential applications in treating the new virus – a development that was quickly promoted by President Donald Trump, after which partisans in media and government began a push to discredit the drug, from outlandish stories about a man who died after drinking fish tank cleaner to a junk study falsely claiming HCQ killed Veterans Administration patients.

Several early studies showed promise as a COVID-19 treatment, but a May study published in The Lancet purported to not only find “no benefit” to using HCQ, but instead finding “decreased in-hospital survival and an increased frequency of ventricular arrhythmias,” leading several countries to ban it. However, that study was retracted upon the discovery that the company that provided its data was very likely fraudulent.

“The interference with public access to hydroxychloroquine is disrupting our political processes,” Schlafly said. “Perhaps that is what some want, in order to deter Americans from attending political conventions and even voting, but it is unconstitutional for the FDA to infringe on these constitutional rights by blocking access to this safe medication.”


  association of american physicians and surgeons, coronavirus, covid-19, food and drug administration, hcq, health and human services, hydroxychloroquine, trump administration

News

New lawsuit: McCarrick, Catholic priests ran ‘sex ring’ from Jersey Shore beach house

The lawsuit alleges that from approximately 1970 to 1990, McCarrick sexually assaulted at least seven minor boys.
Thu Jul 23, 2020 - 4:52 pm EST
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Theodore McCarrick at a US Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting before details of his predation were made public Claire Chretien / LifeSiteNews
Dorothy Cummings McLean Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy
By Dorothy Cummings McLean

NEWARK, New Jersey, July 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) ― A lawyer for a man who has accused Theodore McCarrick and other priests of child sex assault has declared that the now-infamous former cardinal ran a “sex ring” from his beach house.  

On Tuesday night the man, known only as Doe 14, filed a suit against Theodore McCarrick and others at New Jersey Superior Court in Middlesex County. McCarrick’s former dioceses of Metuchen and Newark, as well as Catholic churches and schools that employed priests Doe 14 says also abused him were also named. 

The civil action claims that a Father Anthony DiNardo had “unpermitted sexual contact” with Doe 14 in “approximately 1978” when the boy was an 11-year-old parishioner and altar server at St. Francis Xavier Church in Newark, NJ. 

Doe 14 was then allegedly groomed and assaulted by his East Orange school principal, Brother Andrew Thomas Hewitt, C.F.C., when the boy was approximately between the ages of 14 and 16, approximately between 1981 and 1983. 

According to his lawyer Jeff Anderson, when Doe 14’s future at Essex Catholic Boys’ School became unsure in 1982, thanks to problems paying tuition, Hewitt allegedly told the boy that he would have to speak to “the Boss,” i.e. the recently appointed Bishop of Metuchen, Theodore McCarrick. 

Hewitt allegedly brought Doe 14 to meet McCarrick under the understanding that the bishop might pay his tuition, and afterwards Doe 14 was taken on overnight and weekend trips to McCarrick’s Sea Girt, NJ beach house. 

There, according to his lawyer Jeff Anderson, Doe 14 found an “assembly of seminarians and other priests” subservient to the bishop. The lawsuit states that McCarrick directed the sleeping arrangements, pairing minor boys with adult clerics. McCarrick also allegedly chose his own bed partners from the boys, seminarians, and priests. One of his victims was Doe 14. 

“In the night, with the assistance of others, McCarrick would creep into this kid’s bed and engage in criminal assault of him, whispering ‘it’s okay,’” stated Anderson during the Zoom press conference he held yesterday. 

Anderson also named Father Gerald Ruane, Father Michael Walters, and Father John Laferrera as priests who had “unpermitted sexual contact” with the then-teenage boy between 1982 and 1983. The lawyer called the assemblies at the beach house a “sex ring.” A deed to the property where the alleged acts took place shows, however, that the Diocese of Metuchen bought the house in  Sea Girt in 1985, two years later than the time the lawsuit claims. 

The lawsuit alleges that from approximately 1970 to 1990, McCarrick sexually assaulted at least seven minor boys. 

Not named in the lawsuit, but stressed in yesterday’s press conference, was the supposed role of the Vatican in the outrages at the Sea Girt beach house. Anderson deplored the “open and obvious criminal sexual conduct in a culture that was effectively cloaked in papal power.” 

Anderson blamed Pope John Paul II for making McCarrick a bishop in the first place and stated that all the popes who followed him had allowed McCarrick to “ascend” to Archbishop of Newark, Archbishop of Washington, D.C., and the head of the Papal Foundation. 

But in actual fact, McCarrick was promoted through the episcopal ranks only during the pontificate of John Paul II and his resignation as Archbishop of Washington. D.C. was accepted by Pope Benedict XVI soon after McCarrick’s 75th birthday. 

Benedict XVI also quietly sanctioned McCarrick in 2008 following reports that McCarrick had been guilty of sexual misconduct with seminarians and priests. As for the Papal Foundation, McCarrick was a co-founder of the influential American charity. 

These facts are made clearer in the actual lawsuit, which includes a timeline of events, including the revelations by Father Boniface Ramsey and Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganó that Vatican officials had been informed about McCarrick’s misconduct with seminarians by 2000. 

However the lawsuit also holds that Pope Francis was “complicit” in a cover-up around McCarrick, stating that he “did not take action as to McCarrick or accept McCarrick’s resignation from the College of Cardinals until July 2018 after several accusations that McCarrick had sexually abused minors became public.” 

According to former Papal Nuncio to the U.S. Archbishop Viganó, Pope Francis was aware in 2013 that the American then-cardinal had a reputation for sexual misconduct with seminarians and priests. Nevertheless, the pontiff permitted McCarrick to continue in his influential role as a cardinal, flouting the sanctions laid on him by Benedict XVI.  

During the press conference, Anderson would not reveal why Doe 14 had chosen not to file the suit under his own name and sidestepped the issue of criminal charges. There is no indication that criminal charges have been laid in Doe 14’s case. 

Theodore McCarrick, 90, resigned from the College of Cardinals in 2018 and was dismissed from the clerical state in 2019 after it was revealed to the public that he had credibly been accused of sexually abusing boys. McCarrick had also been the subject of complaints by seminarians and priests, an open secret known even in the highest echelons of the hierarchy by 2008. He has always publicly professed that he is innocent of sexual misconduct. 

Brother Andrew Thomas Hewitt, C.F.C. died in 2002. In 2017, the Irish Christian Brothers revealed that allegations of sexual abuse at Essex Catholic had been made against Hewitt and others. 

Father Gerald Ruane, who died in 2015, was dismissed from ministry in 2002 after allegations that he had abused a teenage boy in the 1970s were deemed credible. 

Father Michael Walters was dismissed from ministry in 2019 after allegations that he had abused a boy and a girl in the 1980s were found credible. 

Father John Laferrera was dismissed from ministry in 2012 after six men filed a lawsuit against him for sexual abuse in 2011. 

July 29, 2020 update: This report now includes information that the Diocese of Metuchen bought the house in  Sea Girt in 1985, two years later than the time the lawsuit claims.


  carlo maria viganò, catholic, homosexuality, pope francis, theodore mccarrick, vatican cover-up

News

Expert explains how China uses smartphones to spy on Christians in their homes

The communist government is now able to monitor private religious practices within people’s homes – thanks in part to American technology.
Thu Jul 23, 2020 - 4:34 pm EST
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Martin Bürger Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 16, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The Chinese government is using digital technology – partly made by American companies – to target and repress religious groups more than ever before, a foreign policy expert told the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom on Wednesday.

While religious persecution has always been a part of communist China, new technologies have made “that repression far more effective,” Chris Meserole, who works with the Brookings Institution and teaches at Georgetown University, testified.

During a hearing of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom on Wednesday, Meserole explained that formerly, the government was generally only able to “to repress public forms of religious organizations, practices, identities, and beliefs, particularly in urban areas.” Religion practiced privately at home, on the other hand, was relatively safe.

“Digital technologies have changed that,” argued Meserole. “As processors, sensors, and cameras have proliferated, the extent of religious life that the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] can surveil has expanded dramatically.”

“Video and audio surveillance of public mosques, churches, and temples has exploded,” he pointed out. “Rather than simply shut down a religious school or house of worship, authorities can monitor all activity and individuals within those facilities and sanction undesired behavior or individuals with greater specificity.”

In fact, Meserole said, the government recently shut down a church in Beijing for refusing to install video surveillance equipment in the building.

Digital technologies also help the government to target underground religious organizations and networks, he continued. “From video feeds to GPS tracking, authorities have greater ability to detect religious groups that meet and operate covertly.”

“In Xinjiang, for instance, smartphone location data, vehicle location data, checkpoint logs, facial recognition technology, and video feeds from buses, streets, and drones, can be used to identify when individuals in the same religious network meet together covertly, potentially even in real-time.”

Meserole said that video surveillance can identify religious symbols. That data is then used “for real-time classification by police and security services around China, with authorities being notified when someone who is classified as a Uighur Muslim or Tibetan Buddhist appears on a CCTV feed.”

The foreign policy expert explained that “networked video feeds have made it possible to observe religious practices in a far wider range of contexts,” as opposed to personally sending government officials to church services, which used to be the case.

“For instance, the Sharp Eyes project enables authorized individuals within a community to view feeds not only from public security cameras, but also from smartphones and smart TVs, including those within private residences and homes,” said Meserole.

“Since China’s recent counterterrorism law and Xinjiang’s ‘de-extremification regulations’ refer only vaguely to religious behaviors that may lead to terrorism and extremism, such systems would make it possible for authorities to detain individuals for privately observing customary religious practices.”

In his final point during his testimony before the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), Meserole observed that “digital technologies have also made it easier to monitor the religious beliefs an individual expresses and engages with.”

“The smartphone in particular has revolutionized state surveillance of religious belief,” he said. “Not only are Chinese authorities able to monitor messages on WeChat and other applications, but they can also require individuals to install logging software that tracks all video, audio, and text stored on the phone or accessed online.”

He added that the Chinese government does not stop at surveillance of its population, but instead combines these measures “with longstanding forms of mass repression.”

Tony Perkins, head of the pro-family lobby organization Family Research Council and one of nine USCIRF commissioners, emphasized that “key technological components driving China’s surveillance state come from American businesses and researchers, while some companies have actively cooperated with Chinese authorities to make such surveillance possible.”

Perkins even mentioned some American businesses by name. “We know China’s surveillance industry depends on imports of advanced processors and sensors from American companies, including Intel and Nvidia.”

He also referred to “Google’s planned development of Project Dragonfly” – canceled only after the tech giant’s employees protested the initiative – which “would have enabled its search engine to conform to China’s Great Firewall censorship standards.”

Perkins said “we also have a responsibility to ensure that the fruits of American innovation are not distorted into a dystopia.”

USCIRF was created in 1998 as an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission, monitoring “the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad.” The organization releases an annual report on the state of religious freedom worldwide.


  china, chinese communist party, communist china, facial recognition surveillance system, freedom of religion, smartphones, spying, surveillance

News

WATCH: Top Trump campaign official urges Catholics to ‘call out’ Dem governors ‘who deny you Mass’

Kimberly Guilfoyle, ex-wife of Dem Gov. Gavin Newsom — responsible for closing down churches in 29 counties — said that Catholics need to ‘stand up publicly for your faith’
Thu Jul 23, 2020 - 4:12 pm EST
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Donald Trump and Kimberly Guilfoyle Kimberly Guilfoyle / Instagram
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By Doug Mainwaring

PETITION: Tell politicians not to discriminate against churches when reopening society! Sign the petition here.

July 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A top fundraiser for the Trump campaign who is the ex-wife of California Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom is urging Catholics in a campaign video for Trump’s reelection to “call out” Democrat governors who have shuttered Churches, denying Catholics Mass and Holy Communion. 

“Democrat governors all around the country have taken away your right to receive Communion.  Catholics should not have to sacrifice their right to practice their religion,” said Kimberly Guilfoyle, a former co-host of Fox’s The Five.

“My ask for you as a Catholic is: Continue talking about these assaults on our Christian faith, and make them known. Call out the perpetrators.  Call out the governors who deny you Mass.  Do not be silent.  Stand up publicly for your faith because together the silent majority will reign.”

Earlier this month, Democrat Gov. Newsom banned worship services inside churches in 29 counties. 

In a short video made public today by “Catholics for Trump,” Guilfoyle, who is the current girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr., did not mince words in describing the ongoing physical assaults against Catholic property in the U.S. and the actions of liberal politicians preventing the faithful from receiving the Eucharist. 

“Around the world, the Catholic Church is under fire.  Literally,” stated Guilfoyle in her video plea.  

“There have been three thousand attacks throughout Europe in which churches have been destroyed, burned, and vandalized.  Most alarming, it is happening right here in America,” said Guilfoyle. “This week, a statue of Christ was toppled and beheaded in Miami.  In Colorado, a statue of the beloved Virgin Mary was defaced with red paint,” said Guilfoyle.  “The list goes on.”

“Do you know where this kind of thing happens frequently?” she asked.  “Communist China, a country that openly persecutes Christians.”  

“Freedom to practice our faith is a founding principle of our country,” said Guilfoyle.   “President Trump through his four years in office has been a fierce defender of Christianity and our right to practice openly here and around the world.”

“The Democrats who claim to be staunch defenders of human rights feel comfortable denying you this most sacred right we have as Americans,” she noted.

“The President will continue fighting for us, but he cannot do it alone,” she continued.  “Today, we need to come together and fight for our faith harder than we ever have before.”

“Catholics understand that receiving the Eucharist every Sunday is an essential part of the faith.  It is the Body and Blood of our Savior, Jesus Christ,” declared Guilfoyle.    

“My ask for you as a Catholic is:  Continue talking about these assaults on our Christian faith, and make them known.  Call out the perpetrators,” urged Guilfoyle.  “Call out the governors who deny you Mass.  Do not be silent.  Stand up publicly for your faith because together the silent majority will reign.”  

“This November will decide the fate of America.  And I hope I can count on you to help keep Donald Trump in the White House,” she concluded.  

Former Congressman Tim Huelskamp who now serves on the “Catholics for Trump” advisory board told LifeSiteNews that Guilfoyle is right on target with her remarks.

“Catholics want to go to communion.  They want to receive the Eucharist,” said Huelskamp. “Governor Wolf in Pennsylvania, Governor Walz in Minnesota, and Governor Whitmer in Michigan, make it hard if not impossible for Catholics to do so.”

“The level of anti-Catholic activity being conducted by the left, right now, is shocking,” added Huelskamp.  

“The attacks on Catholic places of worship and Catholic symbols of worship are extraordinary,” said Ed Martin who also serves in an advisory position with “Catholics for Trump” and is a member of the pro-life coalition for the Trump campaign.  

“If you’re Catholic, you feel it,” said Martin, “and the failure of the media to cover it has meant that the policymakers and the leaders have been able to dodge” addressing the attacks.

Complicit Clergy has provided an interactive map online to keep track of attacks on Catholic statues, parishes and persons in North America this year.  The new project already lists over 50 incidents in the United States and Canada. Readers can click on each pin on the map to find out more about the incident.  

LifeSiteNews has reported in detail on a great number of acts of vandalism, carried out not only against Catholic churches, but also other Christian houses of worship, and which seemingly occurred with increasing frequency in recent weeks. 


  catholic, catholics for trump, donald trump, gavin newsom, kimberly guilfoyle, masses

News

Americans overwhelmingly agree Big Tech has too much power: Pew poll

Nearly 75 percent of respondents think that social media companies have excessive influence in politics and 47 percent say government regulation is needed.
Thu Jul 23, 2020 - 2:27 pm EST
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Calvin Freiburger
By Calvin Freiburger

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

July 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Almost three-quarters of the public believe the world’s leading social media platforms are too powerful, according to a newly-released survey from Pew Research.

Seventy-two percent said social media companies have “too much power and influence” in politics today, according to the survey, and a combined 27 percent said they had either the right amount or not enough. Forty-seven percent of respondents said the government should regulate “major technology companies” more than they are right now.

The findings come as little surprise, given the ongoing controversies over suppression and discrimination that have only intensified in recent months against conservative content across Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Twitter set off a firestorm in May when it placed a “fact-check” on a Trump tweet pertaining to the fraud potential of mail-in voting, then censored another Trump tweet stating that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” pertaining to the Minneapolis riots. The company claimed the latter tweet was “glorifying violence.” 

Twitter has been the subject of numerous free-speech controversies for years, and alarmed critics yet again in March when it announced it would be aggressively policing COVID-19 “misinformation,” including  “denial of global or local health authority recommendations” with the “intent to influence people into acting against recommended guidance,” or “call(s) to action such as “coronavirus is a fraud and not real -- go out and patronize your local bar.”

Conservatives suggested some of these rules were a pretext to stifle debate about COVID-19, and they were seemingly vindicated when Twitter locked the account of conservative pundit Candace Owens for tweeting that Michiganders should disregard the intensely controversial lockdown imposed by Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and return to work.

From Facebook, two whistleblowers came forward recently to attest the platform aggressively discriminates against conservatives on a global scale for the purpose of influencing election outcomes.

One of the insiders provided footage of content moderators openly discussing how they would like to delete “every Donald Trump post I see on the timeline” and “delete all Republicans … for terrorism” if they so much as post a photo “wearing a MAGA hat.” Cognizant service delivery manager Demian Gordon can also be seen saying he would not hold staff accountable for taking down Trump posts on the grounds that they “gotta get the Cheeto (Trump) out of the office.”

The other described witnessing moderators “deleting on average 300 posts or actioning 300 posts a day” in a way “that just targeted conservatives or favored liberals,” with personnel equating Trump supporters with violent hate groups, while expressly making an exception for overtly-hateful posts by the moderators’ LGBT allies in the name of supporting Pride Month.

As for YouTube and its parent company, numerous leaked private conversations show not only that the dominant ideologies at Google are dramatically out of step with the general public, but that the company is willing to enforce those ideologies through its ostensibly neutral services and platforms. Psychologist and technology researcher Dr. Robert Epstein warns that Google could use its vast power over search results for news and video to shift as much as a tenth of the vote toward former Vice President Joe Biden in the fall’s presidential election.

In May, Trump signed an executive order aimed at tweaking how federal agencies interpret and enforce Section 230. The order essentially directs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to propose an administrative rule that would “spell out what it means for the tech giants to carry out their takedown policies ‘in good faith,’” national security attorney Stewart Baker explained.


  big tech, facebook, free speech, google, pew research center, polls, public opinion, social media, social media bias, twitter, youtube

News

Italian Catholic priest resigns from parish after officiating lesbian civil union

The priest who officiated the homosexual ceremony will now 'take a suitable period for reflection in order to recover the clarity and joy of his presbyteral ministry in the concreteness of today’s world,' his bishop said.
Thu Jul 23, 2020 - 10:33 am EST
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Paul Smeaton Paul Smeaton Follow Paul
By Paul Smeaton

SANT’ORESTE, Italy, July 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A parish priest in Italy has resigned from his position and agreed with his bishop to take a break from active ministry after he performed a same-sex civil union ceremony in a local town hall.

Earlier this week Italian media published the news that Father Emanuel Moscatelli, of St. Lorenzo’s parish in Sant’Oreste, officiated at a civil union ceremony between two women on July 11, which was described in reports as a “wedding.”

In response to the reports, local Bishop Romano Rossi of the Civita Castellana diocese announced in a statement that Moscatelli has agreed to resign and take a break from active ministry.

“On the afternoon of Tuesday, July 14, we met in the bishop’s office with Fr. Emanuele, and we agreed that he would resign his assignment as pastor, as a sign of taking distance from what had happened,” Rossi stated.

“We also peacefully agreed that he should take a suitable period for reflection in order to recover the clarity and joy of his presbyteral ministry in the concreteness of today’s world. Fr. Emanuele expressed his full faith in the Church as Mother and in the Bishop, and also his openness to the itinerary that will be proposed to him. Last Sunday I concelebrated [Mass] with him in the parish and announced the events to the community,” he continued.

“It is important for us to have clarity on a doctrinal level, communion on a pastoral level, and lucid and delicate attention to brothers in difficulty,” the bishop said.

Italian media outlet ADN Kronos also reports that Rossi told them that Moscatelli will not be able to return “to be a parish priest in St. Orestes” but that he will eventually return to active ministry and “be able to do everything, when the time comes.”

In his comments to ADN Kronos, Rossi said that “there is a canon that prevents priests from officiating civil ceremonies regardless of who gets married.”

However Rossi has not stated whether Moscatelli will undergo a canonical trial as a result of his actions.

Canon 1369 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law states: 

A person who in a public show or speech, in published writing, or in other uses of the instruments of social communication utters blasphemy, gravely injures good morals, expresses insults, or excites hatred or contempt against religion or the Church is to be punished with a just penalty.

While some prominent Catholic bishops have expressed support for civil unions between people of the same-sex, the Vatican’s Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) taught in its 2003 document Considerations regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons that “respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behavior or to legal recognition of homosexual unions.”

“In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty. One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application. In this area, everyone can exercise the right to conscientious objection,” the CDF document continued.

The Catholic Church teaches that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered” and “under no circumstances can they be approved” (CCC 2357).


  emanuel moscatelli, italy, romano rossi, same-sex 'marriage'

Opinion

Little Sisters case proves leftists want to force all Americans to be pro-abortion

All Christians must be aware that the anti-life left is not content to be in favor of abortion, euthanasia, and transgender operations only for leftists themselves.
Thu Jul 23, 2020 - 9:02 pm EST
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Little Sisters of the poor at the Supreme Court in 2016. Mark Wilson / Getty Images
Christine de Marcellus Vollmer
By

July 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The war on goodness has been declared.  Goodness, what civilizes our humanity, which otherwise tends to barbarity, is under siege and is in real danger of being overwhelmed by economic and ideological interests that aspire to eliminate any barriers in their path to total license.

The latest and most shocking example of the dangerous times in which we are living has been the all-out effort to force the Little Sisters of the Poor to kowtow to the fanatical interpretation of Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) and submit to dispensing contraceptives and abortifacients, which contravene their convictions, their beliefs, and their statutes.

The ACA specifically exempted churches (that was a former battle), but not “faith-based ministries.” Consequently, religious nonprofit organizations, such as the Little Sisters of the Poor, were to be fined if they did not comply with the law.

On October 6, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services under Republican leadership updated the religious exemption to protect religious nonprofit organizations. The State of Pennsylvania, in the grip of the ideology of Planned Parenthood and at the behest of Big Pharma, asked a federal judge, Wendy Beetlestone, to issue an injunction to neutralize the exemption, ultimately ordering the Little Sisters to pay a penalty of tens of millions of dollars. At the same time, Pennsylvania proceeded to sue the federal government, alleging that the exemption violated the Constitution, federal anti-discrimination law, and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

The absurdity of this attack upon the Little Sisters, an order of nuns who give gratuitous care to 13,000 of the elderly poor in 31 countries, including in 23 houses in the United States, can only be explained by a hatred of this kind of noble and selfless service. 

PETITION: Urge Catholic bishops to refuse Holy Communion to pro-abortion Biden! Sign the petition here.

This past July 8, 2020, the United States Supreme Court ruled on the side of reason, deciding that HHS has the authority to allow exemptions. Thus, the Little Sisters are for now safe from a fine that would have wiped out an organization that has done its wonderful work since 1839 entirely by gifts and donations.

What is grave is that the decision simply allows HHS to make the exception. It does not in fact free religious institutions from the encroachment of the dictatorship of anti-life regulations. With a change of government, Democrats will waive the exceptions, and all religious institutions will be liable once again for fines of millions of dollars if they adhere to their pro-life convictions. The left has the goal of eliminating all of these “annoying” pro-life organizations, and the battle will continue to rage.

The Little Sisters of the Poor was founded in France in 1839 by a saintly nun by the name of Jeanne Jugan, convinced by her Catholic faith that the love of Jesus for the poor must be imitated by His followers. She raised up homes for the elderly by begging in the style of St. Francis of Assisi, and quantities of young women followed her loving and dynamic lead. Based on her sanctity and the miracles attributed to her, Pope Benedict XVI declared Jeanne a saint in 2009.

All Christians must be aware that the anti-life left is not content to be in favor of abortion, euthanasia for the elderly or incurable, and transgender operations for leftists themselves. They are bent on imposing these with taxpayer money upon the entire country, and on the world through the United Nations. Life in the European Union has lost the battle, as we can see by the laws being imposed in Europe. Heroic lawyers, judges, congressmen, and funders, supported by our pro-life President Trump, are resisting these decivilizing forces in the United States of America. The future of the nation depends upon their success.


  abortion, catholic, contraception, freedom of religion, little sisters of the poor, obamacare, supreme court

Blogs

As at-home abortions rise, will women see the humanity of the babies they’ve killed?

At an abortion facility, those carrying out the procedure never permit women to actually see the baby they have aborted. But women aborting by themselves at home will see.
Thu Jul 23, 2020 - 9:14 pm EST
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Jonathon Van Maren Jonathon Van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon Van Maren

July 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A new study by Dr. Katherine A. Rafferty of Iowa State University and Tessa Longbons from the Charlotte Lozier Institute titled “#AbortionChangesYou: A Case Study to Understand the Communicative Tensions in Women’s Medication Abortion Narratives” was published in the journal Health Communications on June 1, 2020. With medication abortions on the rise, women are increasingly using RU-486 to abort at home, leading to more complications and an increase in emergency room visits.

According to one summary of the study, at-home abortions are having an impact on the emotional health and well-being of those utilizing this abortion method. In an analysis of 98 blog posts from women who aborted their babies using medication between October 2007 and February 2018, the study’s authors found that 83% of women reported that their medication abortion had changed them. According to the article:

Each site of struggle characterized a different noteworthy moment within a woman’s medication abortion experience: the decision, the medication abortion process, identity after the abortion, and managing the stigmatizing silence before and after the abortion.

One factor contributing to the trauma of women who aborted on their own was the fact that they were pressured to have abortions. Ffity-three percent of women reported that either the father of the baby or a family member pushed abortion on them, exposing once again the farcical nature of the “choice” that many women face. Several stated that they were unaware that they had choices other than abortion until it was too late. In their own words:

“I remember my husband telling me, ‘well don’t expect me to be too happy with the idea of having it if you decide to keep it. I won’t be too loving.’ That was a knife through my heart and I made the tough decision to go through with the abortion.”

“They all tell you ‘it’s your choice’ in the moment, but you don’t feel that it is. Being unable to afford it, unable to tell you loved ones, not having the help or feeling unable to support a child. When your partner doesn’t want it like you do. All these things push you, blind you to a decision that you don’t realize will destroy you.”

“I was kind of excited but I was so scared to tell my family. I told my mom and her first response was I hope you’re getting an abortion. You’re going to be a terrible mom.”

Follow Jonathon van Maren on Facebook

According to Pregnancy Help News, the study concluded that “[u]ltimately, these centripetal discourses (coming from society, the pro-choice movement, other people in their lives, or their own fears) negated the centrifugal discourse that other alternatives (adoption or keeping their baby) were justifiable options available to them.”

As the practice of at-home abortions using medication increases — especially during the COVID-19 pandemic — many pro-life activists have expressed concern that it will be more difficult to reach women and that the seeming simplicity of the process will make abortion seem easier, less horrific, and more common than surgical abortions. While that is certainly a concern, the first-hand testimonies of women who have aborted their babies in this fashion have led me to believe that the trauma that frequently accompanies these procedures could produce a different result.

At an abortion facility, those carrying out the procedure never permit women to actually see the baby they have aborted as a matter of policy. Shielding women from what they have just done is essential to maintaining the fiction that abortion is a simple health care procedure, and it is for this reason that people — especially those who have had abortions — often react with shock when they come face to face with imagery of aborted babies. The most common response pro-life activists here when displaying abortion victim photography is I never knew. With at-home abortions, however, many — if not most — women will actually see the baby they have aborted. This is an experience that would not have occurred in an abortion facility, and the impact of seeing the aborted child is often traumatic. The study contains the reactions of some women to their at-home abortions:

“I felt her come out[.]”

“I was in so much pain on the bathroom floor.”

“The pills made me vomit, lose control of my bowels, sweat, faint, pass out, and go into full labor.”

“They told me it wouldn’t hurt and I wouldn’t feel a thing. THAT WAS SUCH A LIE. I felt everything, I heard everything, I seen everything. I ended up blacking out from the pain and puking all over myself.”

“I knew to expect blood clotting, but nothing could’ve prepared me for seeing her body. It was the color of my own skin, and was actually starting to look like a person.”

“We were told we would go back to normal and it won’t affect us but they were wrong!!! All I feel is emptiness and hatred. I used to be the happiest most positive girl. All I want is to take it back.”

It is possible that medication abortions will continue to rise, and that most will see it as even more convenient than going into an abortion facility. But it is also possible that when abortion becomes a more intimate experience and increasing numbers of women come face to face with the children who have been expelled from their wombs, that many will see what the facilities have long kept hidden from them: the reality of what abortion actually is. Only time — and more death — will tell.

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, Mark David Hall speaks about America’s Founding Fathers, the ideals upon which our society was established, and what this means for Americans today. You can subscribe here and listen to the episode below: 


  abortion, charlotte lozier institute, do-it-yourself abortion, post-abortion trauma, ru-486

Blogs

Renowned scholar debunks myths around Communion in the hand

Dr. Peter Kwasniewski shares the real history of the Church's practice of receiving Communion in the hand
Thu Jul 23, 2020 - 3:07 pm EST
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John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry
By John-Henry Westen

July 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Today’s special episode of The John-Henry Westen Show is an interview I did last last week with Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, Thomistic theologian, liturgical scholar and choral composer who, aside from authoring books and essays for many of the most well-known Catholic websites in the world, also writes a column here at LifeSite.

Peter and I spoke for about 45 minutes as part of the “Love and reverence to Our Lord: Let’s always receive Holy Communion on the tongue” conference. The conference was organized by Voice of the Family and broadcast on LifeSite’s YouTube page. Click here to watch a recording of the entire conference for free.

Our conversation was wide-ranging but focused primarily on the necessity of receiving Holy Communion on the tongue, as this was the practice of the church for over a thousand years.

We also discussed some of the lesser known facts surrounding the reception of communion in the hand. And, we explored, in depth, various declarations made by the Church in the past (as well in recent years) regarding the proper reception of the Eucharist.

“Early centuries of the Church don't give us as full a picture as we would like to have,” Peter told me. “We have a lot of fragmentary evidence. It seems that there was a diversity of manners of receiving communion in the early centuries. Communion was received in the hands, but…not [in] the way it's done today.”

“We also have evidence from St Ephrem the Syrian, from the Liturgy of St. James, from St Gregory the Great, and other Fathers of the Church that Communion was given in the mouths as well, and that the clergy were the ones who most properly Communicated with their own hands.”

He added that the Council of Rouen, “a regional council [held] in the year 878, mandated communion in the mouth.”

Ultimately, Peter believes that “there's a very heightened awareness early on [in the Church] of the awesomeness of the Sacrament…in fact, it's this growing sense of reverence that leads the church over time progressively to restrict and finally to abolish communion in the hands. Except, of course, for the clergy…but for the laity, by the time you reach the year 1000…communion in the mouth is universal…what we're dealing with here is, in my opinion, a clear example of organic development.”

I wanted to know why, if Communion in the hand had largely been done away with and receiving Our Lord on the tongue was the norm for over a thousand years, how did it ever get revived again in the 20th century. 

Peter said that in the 1960s priests were experimenting with Communion in the hand and that bishops’ conferences were agitating for it. Paul VI, who tended to favor liturgical change on a huge scale but initially opposed communion in the hand, decided to ask the bishops of the world if receiving Communion kneeling and on the tongue should be discontinued. Their answer was a resounding no, and was published in Memoriale Domini, an instruction approved by Paul VI in 1969. 

But, Peter added, “the weird thing is, is that in the same document, after laying this out and giving the results of the vote and saying it should be retained, [Paul VI said that] since there are some places in the world where Communion in the hand has already been introduced, in order to regulate it better, the Episcopal conferences are allowed to permit it under certain conditions.” 

“It's it's an odd document,” Peter added, “because it really persuades you rhetorically as you're going through it that we should keep this traditional matter. And then it says, but the Episcopal conferences can decide otherwise.”

Peter then debunked the claim that receiving Communion in the hand is a sort of restoration or return to what the early Church did.

“What we're doing now, there is very little resemblance to what” the Church did in the Patristic age. The ancient manner of receiving Communion is not the same as is done in the Novus Ordo Missae, he said. Instead of holding up your left hand and then placing the host on your tongue, what you would do is receive Communion on your right hand and bow down and take it up with your mouth. “Sometimes a cloth was used.”

Citing Pope Pius XII, Peter also stated that there is a “false antiquarianism” that was introduced in an attempt to go back to previous practices. “It’s a mistake to try to restore later in the Church's history practices that occurred much earlier on because it was not without the guidance of the Holy Spirit that the church developed in the way that she did,” he argued.

If we say that “for many centuries…the church went off the rails…and if we want the authentic Christian church, we have to go back to the apostles or at least to the apostolic period, that’s a Protestant error…lo and behold, there were some liturgical reformers in the 20th century saying exactly the same thing.”

I then asked Peter what are the main problems with receiving Holy Communion in the hand. He told me that it is contrary to at least a thousand years of tradition, that it shows a lack of reverence to the Blessed Sacrament, that it decreases belief in the Real Presence, that it lessense the awareness of the anointed hands of and dignity of the priest, and that it fosters a culture of casual and unworthy Communion.

“Many bishops are abusing their authority right now because…they’re supposed to uphold Canon Law and Canon Law is really clear that the faithful have the right to receive communion on the tongue. That's it,” he said. 

A bishop cannot refuse or forbid Holy Communion on the tongue, he stated. “Communion in the hand is an exception. It's what's called an indult. It is a permission.” “I think what this coronavirus is bringing out is a real crisis in the faith of the bishops, in the real presence of Our Lord and in the reverence and adoration we owe him.”

We concluded our conversation by discussing how receiving Communion on the tongue is more fitting and more reverent than receiving it on the hand.  

“In the traditional rite of Baptism, the priest blesses and exorcises some salt…and then he puts a little of the salt into the mouth of the child…the meaning of that is that the tongue is being blessed for the essential reception of the Bread of Life…your tongue is blessed so that it may properly receives the host.”

Listen to our enlightening conversation below.

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

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

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  communion, communion on the tongue, eucahrist, holy communion, mass, peter kwasniewski, reverence, the john-henry westen show

Blogs

Catholic layman reveals strategy he used to overcome priest’s Communion-on-tongue ban

'I want all Catholics to know that receiving Holy Communion on the tongue is their right, and what they can do to regain that right, because it works!'
Thu Jul 23, 2020 - 1:27 pm EST
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Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
By Jeanne Smits

PETITION: Support priest who was suspended for calling out the Black Lives Matter organization! Sign the petition here.

July 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – “I want all Catholics to know that receiving Holy Communion on the tongue is their right, and what they can do to regain that right, because it works!” A French reader told LifeSite of his personal experience of being refused Communion in his local parish because of COVID-19 guidelines, and of his successful fight, through an official appeal to the bishop, to reclaim the possibility of receiving Our Lord humbly and reverentially, kneeling and on the tongue.

His surname, as well as identifying elements, will be left out of this story, in the interests of peace and discretion: Guillaume is his Christian name, and that is how he shall be called hereafter.

Having obtained the capitulation of the bishop, pure and simple, for the parish he and his wife attend (somewhere in France) Guillaume is now faced with derogatory emails from the priest who officiates there; the couple were even asked to step down from various responsibilities they had been happy to accept in this Novus Ordo parish.

How did Guillaume obtain such success? On the basis of advice given by Fr Reginald-Marie Rivoire of the traditional Dominican community of Saint-Vincent-Ferrier in the Catholic bi-monthly L’Homme nouveau  at the beginning of the coronavirus restrictions, Guillaume decided to present a canonically-founded appeal to the local bishop, in which he quoted several texts from Rome that allow local indults for Communion to be given in the hand, but that have repeatedly confirmed that all faithful “always have the right to receive Communion on the tongue by their own choice.”

Fr Reginald-Marie Rivoire is a doctor in Canon law. 

The Catholic faithful’s right was made clear by the Redemptionis Sacramentum Instruction of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments dated March 25, 2004, clarifying Memoriale Domini of 1969 allowing Communion in the hand as an exception that bishops were able to concede as an “indult” in their own diocese.

Five years later, in the context of the swine flu epidemic in 2009, the same Congregation answered a query about Communion on the tongue in the new circumstances by letter on July 24, stating: “This Dicastery observes that its Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum (…) clearly stipulates that ‘each of the faithful always has the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue’ (n. 92), nor is it licit to deny Holy Communion to any of Christ’s faithful who are not impeded by law from receiving the Holy Eucharist.”

The same letter concluded with the words: “May you persevere in faith and in love for Our Lord and his Holy Church, and in continued devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament.”

Guillaume’s appeal did not end up on the desk of the Congregation for Divine Worship, perhaps because the Church’s laws and instructions are so clear that the bishop considered it would have been useless to resist. That is the lesson he would like to share with so many Catholics facing the same kind of difficulty – not to say persecution – on the part of Church authorities all over the world “because of” COVID-19.

The ordeal started on the first Sunday of March, when the priest of Guillaume’s parish – whose faithful had been used to receiving Communion on the tongue before his arrival – said during his homily that due to the epidemic, he would only give Communion in the hand for sanitary reasons.

When the time came, Guillaume went to Communion with his hands folded, knelt down and opened his mouth to receive the Host as he always had, directly on the tongue. The priest refused. Not wanting to make trouble in church, Guillaume silently returned to his pew, profoundly hurt, having been treated like a public sinner.

Shortly afterwards, France entered into lockdown on March 17, and public Masses were suspended by the civil authorities, with no resistance from the French ecclesiastical hierarchy. When the ban was lifted on May 25, Guillaume and his family decided to go to another parish where the local priest was continuing to give Communion on the tongue.

At this point, he began to receive angry letters from the priest who had refused to give him Communion before the lockdown. He was told he had chosen to go to a “disobeying” priest, and that he was “not on the right path towards sanctification.” He was accused of being “obstinate,” of “wanting God to submit to his personal desires” even though God’s Son gave His bishops authority over disciplinary matters. Guillaume was even asked whether he thought he was in the state of grace to go and receive Holy Communion elsewhere because of his lack of humility and his disobedience to the local bishop, who was presented as having made the decision that priests must give Communion in the hand. Another similar letter followed. Guillaume and his wife decided not to answer.

They did complain about the correspondence to the Catholic hierarchy and, on June 25, Guillaume lodged a formal appeal with the local bishop, politely but firmly invoking the Roman documents quoted above. In that letter, couched in courteous terms, he underscored the “great suffering” that was affecting his and his wife’s spiritual life.

“Regarding law, it is a great injustice, and regarding ecclesial communion, it constitutes a discrimination,” he wrote.

Counting on the bishop’s “pastoral goodwill,” the letter stated: “We have recourse to you, your Excellency, who are the guarantor of justice and communion in the parishes of the diocese, so that we may once again have the immense joy of receiving Our Lord, in our parish, following the humble inclination of our heart, that is, on the tongue, in accordance with the liturgical norms.”

Four days later, a registered letter from the bishop invited the couple to come and discuss the situation with him, but before that could happen, a week after Guillaume had sent his official appeal, his parish received informal notice from the bishop that Holy Communion could be distributed on the tongue. Since then, about half of the parishioners have resumed the traditional manner of receiving the Host, kneeling and on the tongue.

But Guillaume has since then received several letters from his parish priest questioning his knowledge of canon law and church affairs and accusing him of “stubbornness” and even of “fanatical pride.” 

In a presentation of his fight for the reverent reception of the Eucharist on Gloria.tv, Guillaume published the letter that has obliged a bishop to step back from a general prohibition of Communion on the tongue, even if it was only for one parish and as discreetly as possible.

He suggests that faithful in the same situation as he should first get in touch with the priest who refuses Communion on the tongue, invoking Redemptionis sacramentum and the 2009 letter applying to a sanitary situation. If that is impossible, they can also try humbly to receive our Lord on the tongue, with some hope of success. Guillaume himself was sent away with a curt: “I will not give you Communion.”

If the priest, as he probably will, opposes his duty to obey his bishop, Guillaume suggests that that is the time to appeal directly to that bishop, by registered letter, taking care to keep a copy.

The letter should give precisely the date, parish and circumstance in which a given priest has refused Communion on the tongue. It should recall the norms precisely and ask for the bishop to intervene in order to put an end to the abuse. It should also, “subtly,” Guillaume insisted, make clear that in case of a refusal, a recourse will be made to the Congregation for Divine Worship. Adding a copy of the latter’s response in 2009 may suffice.

Don’t forget to pray for your priest, your bishop and the success of your action, Guillaume added, and don’t have exaggerated hopes of seeing the bishop reinstate Communion on the tongue in his entire diocese. 

Also, don’t forget to thank your priest or your bishop if you are successful… and, “prepare to suffer.” Quoting the violent messages received from the local priest, Guillaume commented: “This incredible outburst of violence on the part of a priest, despite the fact that he is ‘classical’ (without being traditional) has made us aware of the capital importance of respect for the Blessed Sacrament. If it was of no importance, such passions would not be unleashed. Satan does not seem to like communion on the tongue at all…”


  catholic, communion on the tongue

Blogs

How the ‘woke’ globalist cult is trying to reprogram Americans into unthinking bots

The woke globalist cult wants you as a member, whether you like it or not. Here's how you resist.
Thu Jul 23, 2020 - 12:28 pm EST
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Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire
By Claire Chretien

July 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – “A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, ‘You are mad; you are not like us.’” ― St. Anthony the Great

“What is the cost of lies? It’s not that we’ll mistake them for the truth. The real danger is that if we hear enough lies, then we no longer recognize the truth at all.” ― HBO’s Chernobyl 

What is happening to our planet? 

Americans now risk being shamed, attacked, and even murdered for not wearing a mask in public. The “right of the people to peaceably assemble” has basically been abolished (the right of the people to violently assemble, however, is another story). 

Petty bureaucrats delight in creating and enforcing arbitrary rules about everyday life. Attempts to launch an iconoclastic cultural revolution are picking up steam. Kindergarten now takes place over Zoom. Government hotlines have been created for people to report on others playing tennis, going to church, or showing their faces in public.

What can Catholics do in the face of this insanity?

First, we must pray and work on getting our own lives and souls in order. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the highest form of prayer we have. We must take advantage of the graces offered to us in Holy Communion, especially now that we know how easily we can lose access to the Sacraments. St. Padre Pio said it would be easier for the earth to exist without the sun than without the Mass. Depriving the faithful of the Eucharist is like depriving us of oxygen. Frankly, I was dismayed over how eagerly bishops banned Masses at the onset of the coronavirus outbreak and how quickly their priests went along with it. One friend recently wished bishops and priests treated sin as seriously as they do the virus (and what we can only assume is fear of lawsuits related to the virus).

The deep feeling of abandonment so many Catholics felt when Masses were banned – not only because of the actions of our bishops but also those of many, many priests – was and still is very real. Some priests didn’t protest when they were banned from giving the Last Rites; others went along with episcopal orders to lock church doors, giving parishioners the clear message that the Church’s mission of giving out soul-saving sacraments was not really an essential service. 

Will we have Christmas Masses in much of the country this year? Flu season and whatever “wave” of coronavirus we’re on then make it seem unlikely. What a wretched thought: no Easter or Christmas Masses in 2020. I hope I am wrong. 

Receive Communion while you can. Try to find a priest who will give you the Sacraments, including the Eucharist. Go to Confession. Pray the rosary.

Read books that share accounts of keeping the faith under oppressive communist governments, like Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s Christus Vincit: Christ's Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age

Mass cult recruitment and reprogramming 

Second, we must understand group psychology and how cults operate. It is impossible to stress enough how important this is.

The Marxist mob feeds on loneliness and uses the universal desire for acceptance to coerce people into proclaiming the dogmas of the revolution, thus signaling that they are “with the program.”

In November 2018, cult expert and former intelligence analyst Stella Morabito wrote at The Federalist, “As a nation, we need to talk openly and clearly about the reality of coercive thought reform. We must understand how easily our minds can be molested when isolated from real conversation and debate. The only people who profit from such conditions are powerful elites in their never-ending quest to control the lives of others.”

“What about the transgender movement? Is that a cult? What about a huge administrative state? Does it operate in a cult-like manner? How about socialism? Does the socialist movement have features of a cult?” (Yes, yes, and yes.)

“The stated beliefs of any of the above groups are irrelevant to the questions above,” she explained. “To figure out whether something is a cult, you must just look at the tactics and methods of those groups, especially their tolerance for different points of view.”

Morabito, who has for years been sounding the alarm about the cult-like nature of political correctness and gender ideology, offered seven notes on how cults operate, based on the book Cults in Our Midst, by Margaret Thaler Singer. She also shared Singer’s list of the “six conditions practiced by cults.”

Morabito summarizes:

  • Cults are defined by their methods and tactics, not their supposed beliefs. Cults and cult-like thinking always proliferate at times of great social upheaval, when people feel displaced.
  • Cults always serve a powerful elite, with recruits manipulated from above to profit those elites, who employ coordinated persuasion programs.
  • Cults always have a hidden agenda that is never exposed when recruiting. They isolate their recruits from other points of view in order to control and manipulate them.
  • Cults control language in order to blunt independent thought. They cultivate dependency, debilitation, deception, dread of separation, and desensitization in people, all of which makes it harder for them to walk away.
  • The main goal of a cult is simply to grow, grow, grow. There is no end in sight in terms of recruitment or fundraising or power.
  • Cults make a point of getting footholds in the institutions of society — including government, media, and education — in order to get mainstream credibility.
  • Cults are very organized in suppressing critics and criticism.

According to Singer, cults:

  1. Keep the person unaware of what is going on and how he or she is being changed a step at a time.
  2. Control the person’s social and/or physical environment; especially control the person’s time.
  3. Systematically create a sense of powerlessness, fear, and dependency in the person.
  4. Suppress old behavior and attitudes by manipulating a system of rewards, punishments, and experiences.
  5. Instill new behavior and attitudes by manipulating a system of rewards, punishments, and experiences that induce group-approved behaviors.
  6. Put forth a closed system of logic and an authoritarian structure that permits no feedback and refuses to be modified except by leadership approval.

Anyone with ears to hear and eyes to see should be able to detect that what Singer and Morabito are talking about is exactly what’s going on today. The “new normal” we are constantly being told to accept is, in reality, a re-programming simulation being carried out in the aftermath of the coronavirus response and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Increasingly, Americans are being forced to isolate themselves. Sometimes this isolation is literally mandated by the state in the name of public health. Other times this isolation is a result of rejecting political correctness. For example, in June, one New York Times columnist urged people to text relatives and loved ones “telling them you will not be visiting them or answering phone calls until they take significant action in supporting black lives either through protest or financial contributions” (Morabito describes this as “emotional blackmail”).  

Isolate people, break them down, reprogram them. They emerge as compliant, unquestioning bots, aware that no dissent is ever acceptable and that questioning any contradictions is a cardinal sin of the highest degree.    

The simple fact is that this new “religion of wokeness” – being, as it is, an error – is full of contradictions and absurdities. For example, sex discrimination is wrong, it claims. But it also says there are no meaningful distinctions between men and women. Receiving Communion is too dangerous, its proponents argue. But sex with strangers is alright, “if you’re willing to take a risk” (according to this religion’s high priest Dr. Anthony Fauci). Similarly, going to church or protesting the lockdowns (even while wearing a mask) will spread the plague but rioting will not

Essential for this new cult to thrive is that the collective memory of society must be whitewashed and cast out into the abyss. One way this is being accomplished is that Americans are increasingly told they are “white supremacists” for believing that any part of Western Civilization or Christianity should be preserved. It doesn’t matter if one believes black lives matter and wants to avoid spreading disease; what matters is that he goes along with the cult’s prescribed rituals related to these matters. Any deviance from the “party line” is unacceptable.

George Orwell’s 1984 quote about history comes to mind: “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

Just what is the antidote to the ongoing mass cult recruitment to the “Church of Woke” and the “Sanitary Dictatorship”? For one, speaking out, which empowers and inspires others to realize they are not alone and can share their same opinions. Building community, which combats loneliness, is also essential. Focusing on building strong, meaningful, and loving connections with family and friends is a must (Morabito has written about this extensively). And recognizing that yes, rejecting the cult recruitment of the mob may get you shunned or “cancelled,” but the consequences of going along with anti-freedom, anti-Christ, Marxist lies are far worse. As the two expressions go, “better to die standing than to live on your knees,” and “better to die with the Sacraments than live without them.”

Don’t be a conformist. Think for yourself. Ask questions, especially when you’re told not to ask questions. 

Finally, take Sohrab Ahmari’s “Courage Pledge.” Ahmari, recognizing that people will continually be “asked to acquiesce to ever more extreme positions, on penalty of their jobs, livelihoods, family relationships and their presence in the digital public square,” crafted the following pledge for all free thinkers:

  • I believe in the inherent dignity of all people.
  • I will not submit to outrage mobs.
  • I will stand for the truth, not your truth or my truth.
  • I will not hang that sign on my office door, make that symbolic gesture and so on if I don’t believe in its message.
  • I will not denounce my friends.
  • I am not ashamed of traditional faith or the American flag.

In other words: I do not consent. I will not comply. I will not submit.

Say those words to yourself over and over, and live by them.

Stephen Kokx contributed to this article.


  1984, black lives matter, coronavirus, george orwell, groupthink, mob, mob violence

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