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News

UN orgs’ abortion advocacy renews Trump admin interest in defunding

Funding for foreign aid cannot be used to lobby for or against abortion, according to U.S. law. Yet many organizations break the rules.
Fri Jul 31, 2020 - 9:32 pm EST
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A news conference at the pro-abortion Organization of American States. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
Rebecca Oas, Ph.D.
By Rebecca Oas Ph.D.

NEW YORK, July 31, 2020 (C-Fam) — Funding for foreign aid cannot be used to lobby for or against abortion, according to U.S. law. There is growing interest among U.S. lawmakers in enforcing that standard against the UN and its various agencies.

Last year, the U.S. Department of State cited the Siljander Amendment when it cut funding to two organs of the Organization of American States (OAS) due to their pressuring Latin American countries to liberalize their abortion laws. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the cuts in March 2019, saying, “our reduction equals the estimated U.S. share of possible OAS expenditures on these abortion-related activities.”

This came about through a 2018 letter from a group of U.S. Senators led by James Lankford to Secretary Pompeo outlining OAS abortion lobbying and asking him to enforce the Siljander Amendment.

However, the OAS and its human rights bodies are not alone in lobbying for abortion at the international level and that receive U.S. funding. Multiple UN agencies that receive U.S. funding are engaged in similar activities, and the actions taken by the State Department toward the OAS provide a blueprint for how similar steps could be taken to reprimand pro-abortion overreach at the UN.

There is no internationally agreed human right to abortion, nor a right to abortion in international humanitarian law, and the consensus among UN member countries is that abortion laws are a national matter. Nevertheless, the UN Secretariat, the Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the World Health Organization (WHO), UN Women, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and other agencies operating under the UN umbrella routinely pressure countries to decriminalize abortion or legalize it under more circumstances.

The most aggressive pressure comes from the Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights, which includes the independent expert bodies that monitor compliance with the nine core multilateral human rights treaties. All but one of these treaty bodies have directly pressured countries to change their abortion laws, two of which did so for the first time in 2019, despite none of the related treaties mentioning abortion at all. The treaty body monitoring compliance with the treaty on women’s rights (CEDAW) pressured nations in 88 percent of the country reviews it conducted in 2018.

The treaty bodies accounted for 14 percent of OHCHR’s budget in 2017, and the U.S. is among the leading contributors to its operations, giving over $18 million in 2018.

The Secretariat of the UN, led by the Secretary-General, has issued multiple reports characterizing abortion as a right in humanitarian settings, particularly in cases of conflict-related sexual violence.

Similarly, other UN agencies including UN Women, UNFPA, and the WHO, have issued manuals promoting abortion.

While the WHO and UNFPA have been defunded by President Trump as an executive action, a future Democratic administration could reverse those cuts. Nevertheless, as Secretary Pompeo pointed out, ensuring that U.S. contributions are not going to support abortion lobbying is a matter of federal law. Applying that standard to the UN, just as it was applied to the OAS, would be the next logical step.

Published with permission from C-Fam.


  abortion, c-fam, organization of american states oas, united nations

News

Trump ambassador insists to Congress: ‘No internationally recognized right to abortion’

Democrat congressmen in a recent hearing took issue with the Trump administration’s efforts to stymie the promotion of abortion through the U.N. system.
Fri Jul 31, 2020 - 9:17 pm EST
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Kelley Currie, U.N. ambassador at large for global women's issues. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
Lisa Correnti
By Lisa Correnti

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 31, 2020 (C-Fam) — Trump administration officials appeared at a hearing before the Subcommittee on National Security last week to provide Congressional members an update on the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Act, passed by Congress and signed by President Trump in October 2017. Democrats and abortion rights advocates have sought to tarnish the President’s record advancing global women’s rights due to his Administration’s efforts to keep abortion out of international policy and programs.

“While the Women, Peace, and Security Strategy looks good on paper, the Trump Administration has repeatedly failed to demonstrate its commitment to defending the rights of women and girls by attacking access to sexual and reproductive health and sidelining women during conflict resolution and peace negotiations,” said Congressman Stephen Lynch (D-MA) in his opening statement.

In June, the Trump Administration released implementation plans for the four departments responsible for administering the U.S. Women, Peace, and Security Strategy — Department of State, Department of Defense, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Department of Homeland Security. While Administration officials appeared at a virtual civil society event to roll out the new plans they declined a Congressional invitation by House Democrats due to White House procedures that witnesses appear in person.

This refusal prompted a letter to Secretaries of all four Agencies accusing them of “obstruction” and the Trump Administration of “aggressively” pursuing policies that conflict with its WPS Strategy.

The letter authored by the chairwoman of the House Oversight and Reform committee Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) criticized Trump Administration efforts to remove the phrase sexual and reproductive health in negotiated United Nations documents and in the Security Council. It cited the suspension of funding to the UN Population Fund and the recent peace deal negotiated between the United States and the Taliban as substantiation that President Trump fails to protect the rights of women and girls. The subcommittee offered to accommodate with an in-person hearing with limited Members present.

Though the four Agency representatives laid out in detail efforts to advance women’s rights and protection through participation in conflict prevention and resolution, questions posed by Members focused on sexual and reproductive health.

“First of all I want to clarify that there is no internationally recognized human right to an abortion. That is not a recognized right,” said Ambassador-at-Large Kelley Currie. Currie, now presiding over the Global Women’s Issues Office, responded to a question from Congressman Harley Rouda (D-CA) who took issue with the Administration’s efforts to stymie the promotion of abortion through the UN system.

Currie attempted to cite U.S. law that prohibits U.S. taxpayer funds for coercive family planning to justify the decision to withhold funding to the UN Population Fund but was interrupted by the California Congressman. Rouda redirected the questioning to the restriction of contraception — another false accusation being made by reproductive rights advocates.

Currie responded that the Administration does not restrict access to contraception. The U.S. is the largest provider of family planning assistance, she said and continues to do so through massive expenditures of bilateral and multilateral assistance.

The Republican ranking member of the subcommittee Glenn Grothman (R-WI) vocalized the preoccupation with “reproduction” by his Democratic colleagues. “And I’ll caution you, there are some things in the United States I don’t think we should be proud of and I don’t think we should be exporting around the world.” Grothman cited the permissive nature of U.S. abortion laws saying the U.S. is one of seven countries that allows an unfettered right to abortion.

In addition to the Trump Administration’s extensive work on Women, Peace and Security, Trump signed legislation that mandates USAID programming to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment and took executive action on a global initiative to help economically empower 50 million women by 2025.

Published with permission from C-Fam.


News

US senator vows to vote for only Supreme Court nominees who will overturn abortion ruling

'I will vote only for those Supreme Court nominees who have explicitly acknowledged that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided,' Missouri's Sen. Josh Hawley said.
Fri Jul 31, 2020 - 8:56 pm EST
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Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.). Drew Angerer / Getty Images
Martin Bürger Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 31, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Republican Senator Josh Hawley from Missouri has vowed to make a Supreme Court nominee’s position on Roe v. Wade the litmus test for confirming him to the nation’s highest court. The 1973 landmark ruling essentially imposed legal abortion across the country.

“I will vote only for those Supreme Court nominees who have explicitly acknowledged that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided,” Hawley said, emphasizing that any Supreme Court nominee must be on the record already before the nomination.

“I do not want private assurances,” the senator clarified. “I do not seek them. I do not want forecasts about future votes or future behavior, because frankly, I wouldn’t believe them. I don’t want promises of any sort.”

Instead, Hawley continued, “I want evidence that Supreme Court nominees will obey the Constitution and the law. I want to see in the record clear acknowledgment that a nominee understands Roe to be the travesty that it is. If that record is not there, then I will not support the nomination. I don’t care who does the nominating.”

Hawley explained that recent Supreme Court decisions “are a clarion call to wake up and to acknowledge what is staring us in the face. Judicial imperialism is alive and well. It is marching on undaunted. For religious conservatives, these decisions are a call to action.”

According to the senator, who served as attorney general of Missouri until 2019, it was Roe v. Wade “that for religious conservatives made the Supreme Court the great issue of the day.”

At the same time, the conservative and Republican establishment does not want to talk about that case, Hawley pointed out. “‘Don’t mess up the Supreme Court nomination process by raising Roe! It’s imprudent. It’s in poor taste. It will divide our coalition.’ We’re supposed to stick to talk about process, about methods, maybe throw in some talk about umpires, but do not talk about Roe.

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Meanwhile, “Roe is the reason we have a legal conservative movement to begin with. Roe is what propelled generations of religious conservatives to vote for Republican Presidents.”

Hawley called out his party for having persuaded people to vote Republican in order to fix the abortion issue. “And yet, all these years later, eleven Republican-appointed justices later, here we are,” he said. “The nation is apparently no closer to the day when the Supreme Court will renounce this outrage, renounce its imperial pretensions, and allow the good and decent people of this nation to debate and decide this matter for ourselves.”

“How long must this go on?” he asked rhetorically. “How many more elections must there be? How many more promises must be made? How many more justices must be appointed before we will expect of our nominees what the voters already expect of us? How long before we ask our nominees to the Supreme Court of the United States to recognize Roe as the outrage that it is?”

Hawley explicitly numbered Roe v. Wade with two other wrong and immoral decisions of the Supreme Court: Dred Scott v. Sandford on withholding citizenship from black people, and Plessy v. Ferguson on having racially segregated public facilities.

The senator made not only the legal argument for the unconstitutionality and illegitimacy of Roe v. Wade, but also the moral argument, talking about what actually takes place during an abortion.

“Every single life is worth fighting for, and I will not accept failure. I will not accept defeat,” Hawley said. He added that since 1973, “this moral and social injustice has taken the lives of 61 million unborn children.”

In June, after the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, Hawley had already taken to the Senate floor to decry “the end of the conservative legal movement” in a fiery speech.

Bostock v. Clayton County concluded — with “conservative” Justice Neil Gorsuch, a Trump appointee, writing the majority opinion — that “sex discrimination” in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act should be interpreted to mean “sexual orientation” and “gender identity,” in addition to its original biological meaning.

Hawley referred to the legal philosophies of textualism and originalism, by which a jurist interprets legal texts based on their ordinary meaning, as understood by regular citizens at the time the law was made.

He said that “if you can invoke textualism and originalism in order to reach such a decision — an outcome that fundamentally changes the scope and meaning and application of statutory law — then textualism and originalism and all of those phrases don’t mean much at all.”

“Evangelicals, conservative Catholics, conservative Jews: let’s be honest, they’re the ones who have been the core of the legal conservative effort,” he said.

Now, however, it has become evident that “the bargain that has been offered to religious conservatives for years now is a bad one. It’s time to reject it.”

“The bargain has never been explicitly articulated,” Hawley admitted, “but religious conservatives know what it is. The bargain is that you go along with the party establishment, you support their policies and priorities — or at least keep your mouth shut about it — and, in return, the establishment will put some judges on the bench who supposedly will protect your constitutional rights to freedom of worship, to freedom of exercise.”

It is likely for the next president — whether it be Republican Donald Trump or Democrat Joe Biden — to nominate the next justice to the Supreme Court, given that 87-year-old pro-abortion justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has already been hospitalized several times this year.

In a Senate with only a small Republican majority, Hawley’s insistence on any nominee being on the record as willing to overturn Roe v. Wade could derail even a nomination by President Trump.

Trump nominees Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch both evaded questions on Roe v. Wade during their confirmation hearings.

“As a general proposition, I understand the importance of the precedent set forth in Roe v. Wade,” Kavanaugh said in 2018. Asked about an unborn baby not being considered a person, as Roe v. Wade claimed, Gorsuch said in 2017, “That’s the law of the land. I accept the law of the land, senator, yes.”


  abortion, brett kavanaugh, josh hawley, neil gorsuch, roe v. wade, supreme court

News

US archdiocese asks parishes to stop singing songs by renowned hymnist accused of sex abuse

Pro-LGBT David Haas, behind popular hymns such as ‘You Are Mine’ and ‘Blest Are They,’ has been accused of grooming individuals for sexual abuse.
Fri Jul 31, 2020 - 8:50 pm EST
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David Haas RECongress / Youtube screen grab
Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug
By Doug Mainwaring

LOS ANGELES, California, July 31, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has asked its parishes, schools, and ministries to no longer use music composed by David Haas while the prolific Catholic songwriter is being investigated for sexual misconduct. 

The 63-year-old musician, who has been a popular fixture at the massive annual Los Angeles Religious Education Conference, has also been forbidden to perform within the archdiocese.  

The composer of scores of popular liturgical songs, including “You Are Mine,” “We Are Called,” and “Blest Are They,” has been accused by several women of using his high-profile position within the world of Catholic music to groom and sexually abuse them.

The archdiocesan statement announced:

Parishes, schools, and ministries of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles are asked to refrain from using music composed by musician David Haas out of respect for those who have reported sexual misconduct by Mr. Haas.

The Archdiocese is investigating allegations of sexual misconduct described in recent media reports involving Mr. Haas, who was a performer at the Religious Education Congress. The Archdiocese Office of Victims Assistance Ministry, which receives reports of misconduct, had not received reports of sexual misconduct by Mr. Haas prior to the June 2020 allegations reported in the media.

As part of the current investigation, the Archdiocese is looking into a past complaint of inappropriate interaction and/or communication by Mr. Haas with adult women. The Archdiocese is also reviewing GIA Publications’ announcement that it is suspending its relationship with Mr. Haas as his sponsor and publisher. Mr. Haas is not authorized to perform in the Archdiocese pending the outcome of the investigation.

According to Into Account, a group that provides support for survivors of sexual and spiritual abuse within Chrisitan settings, Haas “targeted multiple women using techniques that abuse prevention experts identify as grooming, to create conditions in which women felt obligated to perform sexual favors in exchange for professional opportunities.”

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Into Account sent a letter to organizations warning them that they might serve as “forums in which [Haas] encounters potential victims.”

The letter noted, “The pattern that emerges from the reports we’ve received on Haas’s behavior constitutes a repeated, unethical abuse of the professional and spiritual power he has had in church music circles.” 

“The allegations we’ve received also contain a disturbing component of spiritual manipulation,” continues the survivors’ group’s communication. “Haas reportedly focuses attention on women with past histories of abuse, then uses the vulnerabilities created by trauma to create intimacy. Multiple women have reported to us that Haas is skilled at making his targets feel spiritually affirmed, seen, and loved, with a keen understanding of how that spiritual intimacy can then be exploited sexually.”

The L.A. archdiocese’s action follows a similar move by the Archdiocese of Saint Paul & Minneapolis, where Haas resides, which announced in a statement issued on June 14:

In 2018 the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis received two reports from another diocese that David Haas acted inappropriately with two adult women at an event in another state. Both women complained that Haas’ conduct made them feel uncomfortable. The Archdiocese had received an earlier complaint, in 1987, that Haas had made unwanted sexual advances toward a young adult woman. In each instance, Haas denied that he engaged in inappropriate conduct.

After receiving the 2018 complaint, the Archdiocese informed Haas that it would not provide a letter of recommendation that Haas had requested. Furthermore, we informed Haas that he was not allowed to provide services at Catholic institutions in the Archdiocese without disclosure of these complaints. Unless we receive other information, we will continue this course of action.

On the day before the Archdiocese of Saint Paul & Minneapolis issued its statement, prominent Catholic music publisher GIA Publications announced on Facebook that it had ended its relationship with Haas, revealing that it had not sponsored his work since late January.

“Early this year we became aware of allegations of sexual misconduct by David Haas,” stated the publisher.  New allegations of sexually abusive conduct by Mr. Haas continue to be reported.”

Catholic hymnal publisher OCP has also cut ties with Haas, saying it is “profoundly disturbed” by news of the allegations. 

“While OCP’s 2021 missals have already gone to print, we will determine the content of future publications in light of this situation,” the publisher’s Facebook statement continued. 

The Diocese of Jefferson City, Mo. has announced a moratorium on music by Haas.


  archdiocese of los angeles, catholic, david haas, novus ordo, sex abuse crisis

News

Veteran journalist fights back after union tries to ‘cancel’ him for exposing Soros

The Chicago Tribune Union Guild accused 35-year journalist John kass of writing an 'odious, anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.'
Fri Jul 31, 2020 - 8:39 pm EST
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John Kass. Chicago Tribune / YouTube
Paul Smeaton Paul Smeaton Follow Paul
By Paul Smeaton

CHICAGO, July 31, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A veteran journalist has refused to back down after he was publicly accused of “religious bigotry” for reporting on the connections between increases in violence around the U.S. and the political donations of globalist billionaire George Soros.

John Kass, who has spent 35 years working as a columnist and political reporter for the Chicago Tribune, has penned a defense of his July 22 article “Something Grows in the Big Cities Run by Democrats: An Overwhelming Sense of Lawlessness” after the Chicago Tribune Union Guild reacted to the article by sending an open letter to all Tribune staff arguing that Kass “does not deserve a mainstream voice, especially at a time when hate crimes are rising.”

Kass’s article highlighted that “President Donald Trump is sending federal law enforcement into the big cities run by Democratic mayors, where murder and gang shootings are out of control” and that “these Democratic cities are also where left-wing billionaire George Soros has spent millions of dollars to help elect liberal social justice warriors as prosecutors.”

The Chicago Tribune Union Guild accused him of writing an “odious, anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that billionaire George Soros is a puppet master controlling America’s big cities.”

But Kass has pointed out that his article “did not mention Soros’ ethnicity or religion” and that “Soros’ influence on these races is undeniable and has been widely reported.”

Kass makes the point that Soros’s political donations are not a secret, much less a “conspiracy theory,” before highlighting some of the recent coverage of Soros’s investments in mainstream media outlets.

As recently as February, the Sun Times pointed out roughly $2 million in Soros money flowing to Foxx in her primary election effort against more law-and-order candidates.

In August 2016, Politico outlined Soros’ money supporting local DA races and included the view from opponents and skeptics that if successful, these candidates would make communities “less safe.”

From the Wall Street Journal in November 2016: “Mr. Soros, a major backer of liberal causes, has contributed at least $3.8 million to political action committees supporting candidates for district attorney in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, Texas and Wisconsin, according to campaign filings.”

The Huffington Post in May 2018 wrote about contributions from Soros and Super PACs to local prosecutor candidates who were less law-and-order than their opponents.

Kass expressed sympathy with those less able than he is to stand up to the ever-increasing censorship of proponents of “cancel culture.”

PETITION: Break up Big Tech tyrants and defend free speech! Sign the petition here.

“Most people subjected to cancel culture don’t have a voice,” he writes. “They’re afraid. They have no platform. When they’re shouted down, they’re expected to grovel. After the groveling, comes social isolation. Then they are swept away.”

“But I have a newspaper column,” he continues.

“I will not apologize for writing about Soros. I will not bow to those who’ve wrongly defamed me. I will continue writing my column.”

Earlier this month, the George Soros–founded Open Society Foundations announced that it is investing $220 million in “Black-led justice organizations” that among themselves call for defunding the police and mass mail-in voting and express support for the riots that have swept across the country following the death of George Floyd.

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.

Last year, he invested $5.1 million in a super-PAC dedicated to funding groups working against Trump’s re-election.


  chicago tribune, freedom of speech, george soros, john kass

News

Respected Vaticanist: Pope Francis’ successor will most likely be ‘more conservative’

Edward Pentin said Francis’ choice of cardinals from the peripheries may swing the pendulum ‘back towards a more conservative pope.’
Fri Jul 31, 2020 - 8:35 pm EST
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Dorothy Cummings McLean Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy
By Dorothy Cummings McLean

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ROME, Italy, July 31, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) ― A leading Vaticanist predicts that Pope Francis’ successor will be a “more conservative” pope. 

Edward Pentin, British journalist and author of the new book The Next Pope: The Leading Cardinal Candidates, told EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo last night that a College of Cardinals filled with Francis’ own choices does not necessarily mean the continuation of his policies in the next papacy. 

“I think the fact that (the new Cardinals) come from the peripheries adds an interesting element, a surprising element, perhaps,” Pentin told the “World Over” host.

“The Global South, where these new cardinals come from, tends to be more conservative.” 

Pentin added that whether one of these cardinals, if elected pope, would have to follow Francis’ “more progressive line” is “unclear and perhaps not likely.”

“I think, as the Roman saying goes, a fat pope follows a thin one, and I think we may well get the pendulum swinging back towards a more conservative pope, as that’s what usually happens,” he said.

“That is likely to happen.”

Pentin’s 700-plus page book gives an in-depth look at the 19 men he believes are the current front-runners for the papacy among the 124 cardinals eligible to vote. The author told Arroyo that the cardinals were chosen for their reputation for sanctity, teaching, fame, and having been mentioned by others as potential candidates. Pentin and his collaborators also looked at the 19 cardinals in relation to the three offices of every bishop: sanctifying, teaching, and governing. 

“We looked at those three areas to see if they were qualified in these areas,” he said. 

“Each profile in the book we divided into those three offices, and I think you get an idea into how they fare … ” 

One of the frontrunners is Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea. Arroyo noted that if Sarah is elected, he will be the first African pope since Pope Gelasius I (492-496). Pentin said Sarah is seen not so much as an opponent of Pope Francis but as a prophetic voice. 

“A lot of people here and elsewhere see him very much as a prophetic voice,” he told Arroyo. 

“Someone who is speaking very much to the people at a time when the Church doesn’t have so much of a strong voice.”

Pentin indicated that Sarah’s willingness to speak “against the spirit of the times” has found favor with a “growing number of cardinals, bishops and lay faithful as well who feel that’s needed now.”

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, is also considered a frontrunner despite being connected with a Vatican financial scandal and the Holy See’s secret agreement with China. Pentin explained that this is because, after the “turbulence” of the Francis years, cardinals may want to go back to a known quantity, an Italian senior cardinal.    

“Being Secretary of State does give him that sort of seniority and weight, of course, and there have been other previous Secretaries of State who have gone on to become pope,” Pentin said. 

“We felt that he had a certain likelihood of being chosen because of that.”

Parolin is very respected for his diplomatic career, especially among diplomats in Vatican City, but Pentin acknowledged that there are “big marks against” the cardinal’s name because of the financial scandals and the China accord. He believes, however, that it’s hard to say that Parolin is responsible for these things, as his job is to execute the orders of Pope Francis. 

Cardinal Luis Tagle, the former Archbishop of Manila, is also in the running, having appeared to be quite popular during the Youth Synod. Moreover, he is a known favorite of Pope Francis. 

“He does have the quality of appealing to the youth, but there are obviously some concerns about him, too, which I have put in the book,” Pentin said. 

These include Tagle’s murkiness on some aspects of moral teachings as well as belonging to the “Bologna School” of thinkers who see Vatican II as a “progressive” council.  

Pentin brushed off potential criticism that publishing a book now about the next conclave is disrespectful to the current, very much alive, pontiff by pointing out that cardinals need in-depth knowledge about each other in advance. 

“There’s been criticism in the past that the College of Cardinals don’t really know their brother cardinals very well, and they get placed in this conclave where they really don’t know who to vote for,” the author explained. 

“They’re not equipped to know who to vote for, and we heard this at the last Conclave.” 

The Cardinals’ lack of familiarity with each other has been “exacerbated,” Pentin said, by Pope Francis’ decision to do away with the usual pre-consistory meetings before new cardinals are made. 

“Usually cardinals got to know each other quite well (at them), and those have now gone, so there’s no real mechanism for cardinals to get to know each other,” he added. 

The author pointed out that conclaves happen very quickly after they are announced, and that does not give anyone enough time to research potential candidates. 

“That’s why we wanted to do it now,” he concluded.


  catholic, edward pentin, ewtn, luis tagle, papal conclave, pietro parolin, pope francis, raymond arroyo, robert sarah, the next pope: the leading cardinal candidates, the world over

News

San Francisco archbishop urges fasting, prayer to restore public worship in California

Abp. Salvatore Cordileone also directed his priests to insist that laypeople studiously wear masks in order to persuade the government to expand public worship.
Fri Jul 31, 2020 - 8:16 pm EST
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Abp. Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, Calif. EWTN / YouTube
Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug
By Doug Mainwaring

SAN FRANCISCO, California, July 31, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — With California’s governor continuing to ban indoor church services in many California counties with no end in sight, the archbishop of San Francisco has issued a call for prayer and fasting for  the “restoration of public worship unhindered.” 

In his memo, he has asked the priests of his diocese to join him “in being more personally spiritually engaged.”

“It is my conviction that, with all that is going on in our society at this time, we need to redouble our efforts on the spiritual level,” said Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, at the conclusion of a 1,300-word memo to priests of the archdiocese, published by Catholic San Francisco (CSF).

“In particular, in addition to adoration, we have to reclaim an authentic and serious spirit of fasting,” continued the archbishop. “Fasting has traditionally been understood to mean no more than one meal in the course of a day. I am asking you to join me in observing Friday as a day of fast (unless your health condition cannot allow for it): please abstain from at least one meal on Fridays, and more than one if possible.”

“Let us storm heaven with prayer and fasting for a restoration of public worship unhindered, for a swift end to this pandemic, for health care workers and researchers, and for government officials who must make very complicated decisions for the overall well-being of our communities,” he urged.

The Catholic Church in San Francisco has been ostensibly under siege by state officials who have rejected the archdiocese’s plans to begin offering public Masses, despite assurances of complying with the minutiae of safety protocols outlined by health officials.

As the spring pandemic lockdown turned into summer, and violent, destructive riots have seized American cities — including the City by the Bay — Archbishop Cordileone has in a public way shown that he views the Church as being under spiritual assault, requiring spiritual warfare in response.

Last month, after a monument to St. Junípero Serra in Golden Gate Park was toppled by a mob inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Cordileone led a small crowd to the site, where they prayed the rosary and he performed an exorcism ceremony.

Cordileone said the statue of St. Junípero Serra, which had stood there since 1907, had been “blasphemously torn down” and that an “act of sacrilege” had occurred where they prayed. He said the outrage was an “act of the Evil One” and that evil had “made itself present” at the site.

The reparation took the form of fasting and praying the rosary and the prayer for the intercession of Saint Michael, as well as blessing the ravaged plinth and site with holy water.

“We offer this prayer and bless the ground with holy water, so that God might purify it, sanctify it, so that we in return might be sanctified,” Cordileone said.

“This [sacrilege] is the activity of the Evil One, who wants to bring down the Church, who wants to bring down all Christian believers,” the archbishop said.

“So we have gathered together to pray to God in an act of reparation, asking God’s mercy upon us, upon our whole city, that we might turn our hearts back to Him,” he continued.

Cordileone asked that Catholics pray, fast, and learn about the history of St. Junípero Serra and the Catholic Church.

* * *

Complete text of Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone’s statement, published by Catholic San Francisco (CSF):

July 30, 2020

For over four months now we have been deprived of the usual way in which we Catholics keep holy the Sabbath.  As a sacramental Church, it is in our nature, indeed it is our very identity, to physically gather together to worship and share in the Eucharist.  I’m sure that you, just as I, are very concerned about the long-term effects this will have on our people’s spiritual health.

As you might imagine, many people are giving me advice (sometimes more like orders!) about what I should do, and it is often contradictory.  I detect no unified sense of how the Church should proceed in these unprecedented times. Please know, though, that I have been working very hard over these past several months to try to convince our local authorities in the City and County of San Francisco (which still allows only outdoor gatherings with a limit of 12) that we can resume in-person worship services in a safe and responsible way.  I have spent countless hours in crafting communications and in telephone conversations and Zoom meetings with city officials, leading health specialists, legal experts, religious leaders and others, culminating in a Zoom meeting July 8thwith (among others) Mayor London Breed, San Francisco Health Officer Dr. Tomás Aragón, and His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco (as the various Eastern Orthodox congregations in San Francisco are also eager to resume their Divine Liturgy services).

By means of this memo, then, I would like to give you a brief overview my efforts in this regard, as well as some words of encouragement and guidance along with an invitation to join me in being more personally spiritually engaged.

Review of the Situation

All throughout these conversations, I have spoken of how we want to be partners with the City in caring for our people – not just for their physical and financial health, but mental and spiritual health as well – emphasizing, too, the many different ways in which we have been supporting our local government in the effort to stem the spread of the virus and come to the aid of those in need.

With regard to local health orders in San Francisco for reopening for public activities, I have pointed out the two separate considerations of indoor and outdoor services, comparing us to similar (or even identical) secular activities.

  1. The City had been allowing indoor retail at 50% capacity, but not allowed any indoor religious services at all.  The concern here from the perspective of health experts is that in a retail store, people enter to make a purchase and then leave, without spending much time indoors; it is much riskier for a group of people to spend an extended period of time inside the same space.  However, at larger retail outlets it is quite possible for people to spend an hour or more in the store, while we can keep our services to under an hour; moreover, the employees in the store are indoors continuously for many hours at a time.  In addition, a church can be a much safer place than a retail store, because it is a more controlled environment: the people are stationary; we can insure social distancing; we can insure that people are wearing face coverings; we can keep the doors open to allow air flow; we can sanitize high touch areas between services.
  2. With regard to outdoor services, you are all well aware that pre-planned and scheduled street protests have been allowed to continue unhindered, while the limit of no more than 12 people still applies to everyone else, including us. Yet here again, an outdoor worship service is a much safer event than a protest, since the people are stationary, social distance is respected, and the participants are wearing masks.

Unfortunately, despite all of these efforts and explanations, and despite hearing words of approval for our Archdiocesan safety plan that was submitted to the City’s Recovery Task Force, there has been no change in the health order in San Francisco.  Indeed, with counties now going on the state’s watch list and health orders changing rapidly, it is sometimes difficult to keep track of it all. This is what resulted in the confusion that led to the City Attorney sending inspectors to conduct surveillance in our churches.

Pastoral Care for Our People

Thank you for the continued pastoral care you give to your people.  Please continue to do so, always in keeping with the local health orders of your county.

1. I would especially ask you to do everything possible to make Mass available to your people.  Given the limits on numbers that have been imposed on us, I am asking each priest (except for the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) to be willing to celebrate up to three Masses on a Sunday, as necessary to respond to the demand.  People who want to attend Mass will seek it out; making more Masses available will minimize the risk that some Masses may become overcrowded with people having to be sent away.  Also, continue to celebrate daily Mass, and for those parishes that have the capability, continue to livestream all Masses.

2. Please do your best to provide the other sacraments to your people as well, especially Reconciliation and Penance.  The safety protocols of the Archdiocese provide for a safe way that Confessions can be kept to a regular schedule.

3. Please bear in mind that, while we are preparing for a full return to public Masses in the safest way possible, some parishes, especially in the City of San Francisco, may be under added scrutiny at this time.

4. Last but not least, please regularly remind people to follow the safety practices necessary to curb the spread of the virus. This is real, it is dangerous, and it has to be taken seriously.  The resurgence is due in no small part to people becoming lax once the shelter-in-place rules began to be lifted.  Please urge these practices upon them; absolutely do not give them the impression that the coronavirus is not a serious threat to the physical health of our community.  In particular, please regularly remind your people to observe the “three W’s”:

  • Wear a face covering (it’s the simplest and most effective thing one can do);
  • Watch your distance (when in a group, keep six feet apart);
  • Wash your hands.

Prayer and Fasting

Allow me to end on a more positive note.  First of all, a truly happy one: as you know, this Saturday Deacons Ben Rosado and Ian El-Quito will be ordained priests, and so welcomed to the Presbyterate of our Archdiocese.  While only a small representative group of the clergy can be present, it is a time of rejoicing for our Archdiocese, so I ask you to hold them in prayer on that day and to follow the Ordination Mass via livestream if you can. Since we cannot all be together on that day and welcome them in the usual way, please make an effort to reach out to them whenever that opportunity presents itself.  Please join in prayer as well for the deacons who will be ordained on the successive Saturdays (transitional deacons on August 8th, and permanent deacons on August 15th).

Finally, it is my conviction that, with all that is going on in our society at this time, we need to redouble our efforts on the spiritual level.  In particular, in addition to adoration, we have to reclaim an authentic and serious spirit of fasting.  Fasting has traditionally been understood to mean no more than one meal in the course of a day.  I am asking you to join me in observing Friday as a day of fast (unless your health condition cannot allow for it): please abstain from at least one meal on Fridays, and more than one if possible.  Let us storm heaven with prayer and fasting for a restoration of public worship unhindered, for a swift end to this pandemic, for health care workers and researchers, and for government officials who must make very complicated decisions for the overall well-being of our communities.


  catholic, coronavirus, freedom of religion, salvatore cordileone, san francisco

News

Trudeau admits he at first put brake on WE Charity deal because it’d be ‘closely scrutinized’

The Canadian Prime Minister said he knew that with his ties to the charity, the selection ‘would be closely scrutinized’
Fri Jul 31, 2020 - 7:41 pm EST
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By Lianne Laurence

PETITION: Break up Big Tech tyrants and defend free speech! Sign the petition here.

OTTAWA, July 31, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suggested to a House of Commons committee Thursday that he knew there would be a perception of conflict of interest if his cabinet approved a no-bid contract to oversee a $912 million student volunteer program to WE Charity, which has close ties to his family. 

That’s why, when he first heard about the public service’s proposed deal on May 8, he “pushed back” and pulled the item from the cabinet agenda for further review, Trudeau said during his 90-minute online testimony. 

“Given the scale of the program, the questions that have been raised and my own commitment to youth issues, we needed more time as well. We (chief of staff Katie Telford) both knew that WE Charity was known to be connected to people in our government, including myself, as I’d spoken at their events in the past,” Trudeau said.

“So we knew that the selection of WE Charity would be closely scrutinized. We wanted to make sure that the process and decision were the best possible in the circumstances. So I decided to pull the CSSG (Canada Student Service Grant) proposal from the cabinet agenda for May 8th so that further work could be done.”

But Trudeau did not consult the ethics commissioner, nor did he recuse himself when cabinet subsequently approved the contract on May 22, which he said was presented as a “binary choice” to either green-light the program overseen by WE Charity, or reject it entirely.

Trudeau took a rare step for a Canadian prime minister and testified before the finance committee meeting as his minority government becomes increasingly engulfed by a scandal that implicates Finance Minister Bill Morneau and raises significant questions about WE Charity itself and its relationship with the Liberal government.

Both Trudeau and Morneau are under investigation by the ethics commissioner and both have apologized for not recusing themselves from cabinet discussions to approve a now-cancelled contract that would have seen WE Charity receive up to $43.5 million to administer the Canada Student Service Grants program, reported CBC

The CSSG is part of the Liberals’ COVID-19 economic relief efforts and was designed to give grants to students in return for volunteer hours, and has apparently been put on hold since the agreement was dissolved July 3. 

Morneau is also facing calls to resign after he told the finance committee on Tuesday that he wrote a cheque that day for $41,366 to reimburse WE Charity for travel expenses for two trips his family took with the organization in 2017.

He has one daughter who works for WE Charity and another who has spoken at WE Day events on a volunteer basis, and has donated to the organization. Several former WE Charity staffers also told CBC that they felt pressured to attend Morneau’s “holiday party” in December 2018.

Trudeau, who has appeared at many WE events, is under fire because his mother and brother received more than $300,000 in the last four years to speak at WE events, and his wife Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, a WE ambassador who hosts a WE podcast, received $1,400 to speak at a WE Day in 2012.

He told the committee he didn’t have details on how much money his family received from WE Charity over the years.

“My mother and my brother are professionals in their own right who have engagements and have for many, many years, with many different organizations across the country, and I don’t have the details of their work experiences or expenses,” he said.

The prime minister also said he had no influence over the public service decision that WE Charity was the only organization capable of managing the student volunteer program.

Trudeau said he does not socialize with Craig and Marc Kielburger, the Ontario Catholic brothers who in 1995 founded Free the Children, the forerunner of today’s WE global “youth empowerment movement” that includes WE Charity, the for-profit “social enterprise” ME to WE, and is perhaps best known for its star-studded WE Day stadium extravaganzas for students.

As criticism of their organization intensifies in the wake of the scandal, the Kielburgers also testified for four hours before the committee earlier this week.

It was revealed in early July that most of the WE Charity board of directors for Canada and the United States either resigned or were replaced in March. Former Canadian board chair Michelle Douglas told the committee on Tuesday that the charity’s management refused to provide her with more financial information during massive layoffs that month, the National Post reported.

Craig Kielburger then asked her to resign and she agreed because “I could not discharge my governance duties,” Douglas said.

The brothers testified later that day that they and Douglas disagreed on what level of reporting was necessary. They contended that “inaccurate statements” are “truly killing” their organization, which admittedly has “grown overly complex.”

WE Charity is also downplaying reports that it violated its loan covenants two years in a row, “failing to pay back millions in bank loans despite having the assets to do so,” the National Post reported. 

The bank granted deferments because “WE Charity had tens of millions in real estate secured against these loans.”

It also has emerged that the Liberals awarded the contract not to We Charity but to We Charity Foundation, which only received charity status last year and has as its sole purpose to “hold real estate,” according to Global News.

“It is absolutely shocking that the government would say that they provided a grant to WE Charity when in fact they provided the grant or funds to WE Charity Foundation — a shell corporation with no assets, no history, no record of charitable work,” lawyer Mark Blumberg told Global News.

NDP and Conservative committee members also grilled Trudeau’s chief of staff Katie Telford on Thursday regarding the timeline of events, notably that Trudeau announced the student volunteer program on April 22, and that WE Charity began incurring expenses for the program on May 5, three days before Trudeau said he first heard about the deal and some two weeks before cabinet approved it. 

Conservative political strategist Jenni Byrne was among commentators tweeting doubts about this:

Conservative commentators likewise greeted Trudeau’s testimony with some skepticism.

“Saying he ‘pushed back’ against the deal because he knew what the perception would be if it was approved is devastating to his defence of not committing a conflict of interest when he voted in favour of it in cabinet. He knew the perception of being in a conflict & did it anyway,” tweeted Toronto Sun columnist Lorrie Goldstein.

He also referred to the seeming contradictions between various testimonies as a “like a liar’s picnic.”

Globe and Mail columnist Andrew Coyne tweeted:

Committee member NDP MP Charlie Angus questioned whether Trudeau understands what a conflict of interest is, tweeting:

This is Trudeau’s third ethics investigation since he was elected prime minister in 2015. Ethics commissioner Mario Dion ruled last year that the prime minister improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to intervene in the criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin. In 2017, he was found to have breached ethics when he accepted family vacations on the Aga Khan’s private island.

It remains to be seen what effect the current controversy will have on the Trudeau government, but WE Charity has announced it is canceling WE Days “indefinitely,” pointed out Parents As First Educators (PAFE) president Teresa Pierre in an email to supporters.

Thus the “scandal may have an additional positive effect of limiting the ability of WE to engage young people in its cult-like movement for ‘social change,’” she said.

In a study published last year, two researchers at Queen’s University described WE Charity as a “new secular spiritual movement,” and it recruits young people through the 7,000 schools in Canada -- many of which are Catholic schools -- that are involved in its WE Schools program, wrote Pierre.

Moreover, performances at WE Days “have been repeatedly criticized by family values organizations over the years for their raunchy lyrics and suggestive dance routines,”she observed

Notably, Jennifer Lopez’s “eyebrow-raising ‘sex romp’ to her song ‘Booty’ in 2014 that had one commentator asking whether WE Day was suitable for young children.” 

LifeSiteNews has reported extensively on similar scenarios at WE Days, as well as the fact that Marc Kielburger admitted in March 2011 in a letter to the Ottawa Catholic School Board that Free the Children stocked contraceptives at their Baraka medical clinics in Kenya. The Kenyan bishops asked Canadian and U.S. Catholics to stop funding the charity for this reason.

The brothers signed a Mother’s Day Manifesto in 2011 denouncing the Conservatives’ planned funding cuts to the International Planned Parenthood Federation as a “paternalistic refusal to offer women in Africa the same rights offered to women in Canada.”

RELATED

WE Day Toronto to include lewd gay anthem rapper Macklemore performing for school children
‘Trudeau! Trudeau!’: We Day leads 16,000 youth in chant for Canada’s new pro-abortion prime minister
Kielburgers: We’re Catholic but don’t take a stance on abortion
Kielburger’s Free the Children board chairman a leading homosexual activist
Kielburgers’ Free the Children caught promoting abortion for Third World
Free the Children manager resigns after report on his work as gay stripper


  bill morneau, canada student service grant, craig kielburger, house of commons, jody wilson-raybould, justin trudeau, katie telford, kielburgers, marc kielburger, mario dion, we charity

News

Trudeau govt launches ‘voluntary’ COVID contact tracing app to keep Canadians ‘safe and healthy’

The Prime Minister said the free app named ‘COVID Alert’ is designed to serve as a tool to help ‘limit the spread of COVID-19.’
Fri Jul 31, 2020 - 6:38 pm EST
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Anthony Murdoch
By Anthony Murdoch

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

OTTAWA, Ontario, July 31, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government announced today a previously promised national coronavirus contact-tracing smartphone application that for now will be used by Canadians on a “voluntary” basis.

The Canadian Prime Minister said the free app named “COVID Alert” is designed to serve as a tool to help “limit the spread of COVID-19.” 

“While we have made good progress over the past few months, COVID-19 remains a very serious threat to the health of Canadians. As we continue to gradually restart our economy, innovative technologies like this new app will help us keep our families and communities safe and healthy,” Trudeau said in a press release about the COVID Alert app. 

The app will be first available to residents of Ontario to use, with the eventual goal being to bring other provinces and territories “on board in the coming weeks and months.”

Canada’s new national COVID-19 tracing app was promised by Trudeau months ago. Ontario Premier Doug Ford had been urging for a national application for some time as well.

In June, Trudeau first announced that his government would be rolling out a “Made in Canada” free national coronavirus contact-tracing smartphone application to Ontario residents to test before going nationwide. 

It was promised to be made available starting July 2 but was delayed. 

“COVID Alert” was developed by the Ontario government, BlackBerry, and Shopify, as well as the federal agency the Canadian Digital Service.

In the government press release about the launch of the app, Ford said he is “proud” of the “Ontario-made app.” 

“I am proud of the fact that this Ontario-made app will now be available to individuals and families right across the country. It will be another powerful tool to help us stop the spread of this deadly virus and keep people healthy and safe. I encourage everyone to download it onto your handheld device. It is free, easy to use, and the responsible thing to do,” Ford said. 

According to the government press release, the app is available for download in the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store, and “assigns a random code to a user’s device that pings other users of the app via Bluetooth when they are within a range of approximately two metres.”

“If they test positive for the virus, users can choose to upload their random codes to a central server located in Canada. Once uploaded, the random codes are stored on the server for 15 days, after which they are automatically deleted.”

Although anyone in Canada is able to download “COVID Alert,” the app will only give a user an alert if they have been in close contact with an individual who tested positive in a province or territory that has the app integrated into its testing system, which is currently only Ontario. 

The federal government press release states that “COVID Alert” is a collaboration between “Health Canada, the Canadian Digital Service, the Province of Ontario, and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.”

The news release goes on to say that the app has undergone a “security assessment” by BlackBerry as well as the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, saying that all “data provided to the app will be securely stored and protected.”

When first announced in June, Trudeau said the app would be “completely voluntary. It will be up to individual Canadians to decide whether to download the app or not, but the app will be most effective when as many people as possible have it.”

Today, he again stated this same message to reporters, saying, “I want to be clear, this app isn't mandatory,” adding "It's completely voluntary to download and to use."

Alberta was the first Canadian province to launch a voluntary coronavirus contact tracing application in May, the Alberta Health Services (AHS) ABTraceTogether app.

At the time, Jay Cameron, a lawyer for the Alberta-based Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF), told LifeSiteNews that the legal group is keeping a close eye on government-issued contact tracing apps.

“We are watching carefully and remain concerned about the slippery slope and government comfort with accessing and utilizing personal data,” Cameron said.

Cameron also told LifeSiteNews in May that observing people via a smartphone app constitutes a search.

“Monitoring someone’s whereabouts using their cell phones is, of course, a search,” Cameron said.

Jill Clayton, Alberta’s information and privacy commissioner, raised concerns about the AHS ABTraceTogether app, saying the Alberta government’s coronavirus smartphone contact tracing application does indeed run “a security risk” for users of Apple devices.

Earlier in July, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney suggested the reason the app could not be fixed properly for Apple users was that the federal government had told Apple and Google not to work with Alberta or “other provincial governments on improving the Trace Together app.”

The Privacy Commissioner of Canada also today released a statement in which he put his support behind the COVID Alert app.

“Canadians can opt to use this technology knowing it includes very significant privacy protections,” said Daniel Therrien, privacy commissioner of Canada, in the statement, adding that he will “use it.”


  alberta, alberta health services, approval ratings, contact tracing, coronavirus, covid alert, covid-19, doug ford, justin trudeau, ontario government

News

Fauci endorses eye goggles, face shields, calls for masking every flu season

The White House's COVID-19 adviser's suggestion is viewed with skepticism by other medical professionals and conservatives.
Fri Jul 31, 2020 - 5:47 pm EST
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Dr. Anthony Fauci.
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By Calvin Freiburger

PETITION: Support pastors fighting against oppressive state mandates! Sign the petition here.

July 31, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Americans should add eye protection to their new facewear loadout when going out in public, the Trump administration’s controversial COVID-19 adviser said Wednesday in an interview.

"If you have goggles or an eye shield, you should use it," National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci told ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton this week. "You have mucosa in the nose, mucosa in the mouth, but you also have mucosa in the eye. Theoretically, you should protect all the mucosal surfaces.” He acknowledged the eyewear was not formally recommended yet, but gave it his strong personal recommendation.

Fauci also suggested that masking should morph from a temporary emergency measure to a permanent seasonal practice: "It is inevitable that we're going to have some degree of flu. I'm hoping that the wearing of masks and other coverings are going to not only protect us against COVID-19, but also help protect us against influenza."

White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx echoed Fauci’s endorsement of face shields the next day in an interview with Fox & Friends, arguing that whereas the mask is to protect others from what the wearer expels, a face shield “would decrease the ability for them to touch their eyes and spread the virus as well as those droplets coming towards them.” She also attempted to put a “fun” spin on face shields, stressing that “you can decorate them.”

The past month has seen an explosion of both private businesses and state governments requiring individuals to wear masks in public spaces, with a few localities going so far as to encourage residents to report neighbors for noncompliance or even mandate masks in private homes, despite the fact that the science is less certain than many pundits and politicians are.

A “pooled (so-called ‘meta-’) analysis of 10 controlled trials assessing extended, real-world, non-health-care-setting mask usage revealed that masking did not reduce the rate of laboratory-proven infections with the respiratory virus influenza,” Dr. Andrew Bostom of Brown University wrote. “The findings from this unique report — published May 2020 by the CDC’s own ‘house journal’ ‘Emerging Infectious Diseases’ — are directly germane to the question of masking to prevent COVID-19 infection and merit some elaboration.”

Accordingly, Fauci and Birx’s latest advice is not sitting well with conservatives skeptical of the broader lockdown regime:

“Worrying about others wearing a mask is like worrying about others wearing a seatbelt or condom,” wrote Breitbart’s John Nolte. “But here we are, turning into a fascist country under the premise of safety. And here’s Fraud Fauci preparing us to become timid and afraid, preparing us to be scared to leave our home during the sniffle season, preparing us to do anything the government demands for our own good.”

Nolte pointed out that Fauci has changed his tune dramatically since March, when declared that “people should not be walking around with masks,” because “it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is. And often there are unintended consequences: people keep fiddling with their mask and they keep touching their face.”

Nolte added that he himself does wear a mask, and has done so since before Fauci supported them, but only because his wife’s medical situation makes her especially at risk. “If it was just me, I’d be hoping to catch the corona just to get it over with,” he said.


  anthony fauci, coronavirus, covid-19, deborah birx, face shields, goggles, masks, public health, trump administration

News

New study: Coronavirus lockdowns don’t save lives

The lockdowns have also caused suicide numbers to rise.
Fri Jul 31, 2020 - 4:56 pm EST
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By Calvin Freiburger

July 31, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Draconian lockdowns of the type adopted in many American states are less effective at combating COVID-19 than strategies more narrowly targeted at those most in danger, according to a study of 10 different nations released this week by the conservative Heritage Foundation.

The comparative analysis looks at the responses to the coronavirus outbreak employed by the United States, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Italy, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Iran.

It first found that while the U.S. leads the free world in confirmed cases per capita (China’s numbers are believed to be higher, but there are serious doubts as to the credibility of the authoritarian regime’s official data), and has suffered 200 time the daily deaths of North Korea since June 1 despite having one-fourteenth the population density.

However, it also cautioned that the comparison was potentially misleading, as the U.S. consists of 50 different states which have adopted a range of different responses, and that U.S. cases and deaths are both “highly concentrated in a few, mostly heavily populated, areas.” For example, New York was America’s most hardest-hit state, thanks in part to Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo forcing nursing homes to take in COVID-19 patients, despite elderly residents’ heightened vulnerability to the virus.

Internationally, the study found: “Some countries that eschewed lockdown policies and relied on more targeted approaches, such as South Korea and Iceland, have experienced outcomes even better than those that have relied on the more severe lockdown approach,” while the “fact that Australia and New Zealand, two similar countries, approached the COVID-19 pandemic so differently, yet had similar outcomes, suggests that alternatives to the most restrictive forms of lockdowns have merit, even in the short run.”

“Specifically, Australia had 13,595 COVID-19 cases (0.0534% of its population) and 139 deaths (0.000546% of its population), while New Zealand had 1,556 cases (0.0323% of its population) and 22 deaths (0.000457% of its population),” authors Andy Vanderplas and Kevin Dayaratna write. “However, New Zealand’s unemployment level is forecast to increase to 9.2% by December, while Australia’s is expected to increase to 7.6% over this same time period.”

Both nations responded to their outbreaks by recommending “social distancing,” restricting entry to the country by foreign nationals and employing smartphone apps for contact tracing. But Australia “has encouraged schools to remain open for in-person classes as much as possible” and allowed “important industries, such as construction and mining” to keep operating, whereas New Zealand’s Alert Levels 3 and 4 “highly restrict New Zealanders’ economic freedom and travel.”

In another instructive comparison, “South Korea permitted much of its economy to remain open, choosing instead to engage in aggressive testing and isolating the infected,” yielding “13,979 cases and 298 deaths (0.0272% and 0.000579% of its population, respectively” as of July 22. By contrast, “Italy pursued a strict lockdown policy,” and by the same date “had 245,590 cases and 35,097 deaths (0.406% and 0.058% of its population, respectively).”

“Maintaining a strong economy and protecting public health are not mutually exclusive,” the authors conclude. “Focusing on hot spots, protecting the elderly and most vulnerable, utilizing isolation centers to prevent the virus from spreading, taking advantage of contact tracing, and engaging in appropriate testing are policies lawmakers should consider in the coming months.”

The lockdowns across the United States, which have been mandated at the state level but are based in large part on recommendations by the Trump administration, have come with severe consequences for both the economy and other aspects of public health, thanks to Americans being temporarily forbidden from working in “non-essential” jobs, which yields anxiety, as well as the mental and emotional fallout from prolonged social isolation. 

“We’re seeing, sadly, far greater suicides now than we are deaths from COVID,” U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention director Dr. Robert Redfield acknowledged this month. “We’re seeing far greater deaths from drug overdose that are above excess that we had as background than we are seeing the deaths from COVID.”


  coronavirus, covid-19, economy, freedom, heritage foundation, lockdowns, public health

News

New survey: People less likely to support abortion pill when they learn how it works

More women than men shifted their opinion against availability of the abortion pill, with a notable swing of 29 percentage points among suburban women. When those who changed their minds were asked an open-ended question about why, the top two responses were seeing information about prenatal development and understanding that the abortion pill works by killing a human life or a baby.
Fri Jul 31, 2020 - 4:38 pm EST
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LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 31,  2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Yesterday, national pro-life organization Live Action released survey results revealing Americans’ views toward the abortion pill.

The survey, commissioned by Live Action and conducted by the Polling Company, Inc., assessed the attitudes of a representative sample of Americans, 95 percent of whom are registered voters. The survey found that, when given information about the abortion pill and how it affects women and children, Americans are much more likely to oppose the drug than support it.

The abortion pill is a drug called mifepristone (most commonly sold as the brand Mifeprex) and works by blocking the pregnancy hormone progesterone, causing a developing child to die of starvation. More than 3.7 million children have been killed by the abortion pill, and 24 women’s deaths have been recorded through 2018. The abortion pill can lead to maternal death via severe blood loss, infection, or an undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy. In fact, it is four times more dangerous for women than surgical abortion. 

Before watching an informational video about how the abortion pill works (available here), 45 percent of respondents said they supported availability of the drug, and 31 percent said they did not. After watching the video, the percentage of respondents who favored the drug’s availability had dropped to 39 percent and the percentage who opposed the drug’s availability increased to 42 percent – a total swing of 17 percentage points. 

More women than men shifted their opinion against availability of the abortion pill, with a notable swing of 29 percentage points among suburban women. When those who changed their minds were asked an open-ended question about why, the top two responses were seeing information about prenatal development and understanding that the abortion pill works by killing a human life or a baby. 

In the survey’s messaging series, respondents were asked whether individual facts about the abortion pill made them more likely or less likely to support the abortion pill. Results of this section revealed that respondents were much more likely to oppose the abortion pill based on each piece of information. For example, 54 percent of respondents said that the potential removal of FDA regulations, which would place women at risk of undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy and make the drug available to minors and others, would make them less likely to support the drug, while this information made only 18 percent of respondents more likely to support it. 

Lila Rose, Founder and President of Live Action, said that the survey results are crucial to informing the pro-life movement’s next steps toward the goal of seeing the abortion pill banned in the U.S.: 

Live Action’s survey confirms that accurate medical information on the procedure and prenatal embryology shifts hearts and minds away from the abortion pill. And accurate medical information is exactly what the abortion industry doesn’t want women and the public to have. While the abortion industry plots to expand the abortion pill at the expense of children’s and women’s lives, human rights groups and medical associations are working to sound the alarm and stop the bloodshed. Every American needs to know what this deadly drug does to children and women. Live Action’s survey takes the pulse on the American public and provides a blueprint for our next steps to stop the killing and ban the drug.

Learn more about the abortion pill by reading Live Action’s investigative report, written in consultation with the American Association of Pro-Life OB/GYNS (AAPLOG). Find survey results here

RELATED:

Medical associations, pro-life groups to FDA: Ban the abortion pill now

Police investigating murder of 28-week-old baby after mom took abortion drugs

Leaked email shows UK health authority aware of 2 maternal deaths connected to DIY abortion pills


  abortion, abortion pill, coronavirus

News

Medical associations, pro-life groups to FDA: Ban the abortion pill now

"There are no benefits to mifepristone. The ‘successful’ outcome of mifepristone ingestion is a dead child, and the possible side-effects are an injured or dead woman," commented Live Action's Lila Rose.
Fri Jul 31, 2020 - 4:25 pm EST
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LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

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

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 31, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – This week 23 human rights groups, including two medical associations, demanded that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Stephen Hahn exercise his authority under 21 CFR § 2.5 to ban the abortion pill as an imminent danger to public health.

On July 13, 2020, an Obama-appointed federal judge ruled in favor of the abortion industry’s request that the in-person requirement of the FDA’s Risk Evaluation Mitigation Strategy (REMS) be blocked during COVID-19. The abortion lobby argued that the requirement that women be prescribed the abortion pill in a healthcare setting is an “undue burden” to abortion access during COVID-19, but has openly acknowledged that it considers REMS “medically unnecessary” and has been campaigning for its removal for years. The signatories include the leadership of the American College of Pediatricians, American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Live Action, Students for Life of America, Samaritan’s Purse, and the Susan B. Anthony List.

In their letter, delivered to Commissioner Hahn, the pro-life organizations argued: “This rogue judicial activism is a gross breach of the separation of powers, undermining the FDA’s statutory authority to regulate drug safety, while recklessly endangering American women and preborn children. The FDA must fight back.”  

The drug, mifepristone (most commonly sold under the brand name “Mifeprex”) blocks the pregnancy hormone progesterone, resulting in starvation of a developing child in the womb. Mifepristone also poses risks to women so serious that the FDA placed the drug under REMS. The REMS for Mifeprex requires that women attend an in-person consultation at a qualified facility where the drug is dispensed by a certified provider. At this in-person visit, the woman must be given patient information materials that alert her to potential risks such as hemorrhage and infection (which are potentially life-threatening), and a missed ectopic pregnancy diagnosis, which can also be fatal. 

Lila Rose, Founder and President of Live Action, said that mifepristone should never have been approved in the first place, and that a ban on the abortion pill is long overdue. 

“Mifepristone was not designed to heal an illness or manage symptoms of a disease; rather, it was designed to kill children,” said Rose. “Mifepristone is not medicine or healthcare.”

“When the FDA approves drugs, it analyzes whether the risks of the drug outweigh its benefits. There are no benefits to mifepristone. The ‘successful’ outcome of mifepristone ingestion is a dead child, and the possible side-effects are an injured or dead woman. It is a grave injustice that the FDA approved mifepristone for U.S. distribution under Bill Clinton twenty years ago, and it is twenty years past time that our elected and appointed federal leaders take the necessary action to ban this catastrophic drug within U.S. borders. Stop the killing. Ban the drug.” 


  abortion, abortion pill, fda, food and drug administration

News

Trump to mobilize military to deliver COVID vaccine to millions ‘very, very quickly’

Trump said that a military general is overseeing the logistics of delivering the vaccine once it is developed.
Fri Jul 31, 2020 - 2:17 pm EST
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Shutterstock.com
Martin Bürger Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

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

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 31, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Amid growing concerns about the safety and efficacy of a COVID-19 vaccine, President Donald Trump has announced his administration is “all set to march when it comes to the [coronavirus] vaccine,” with a military general overseeing the logistics of delivering the still-in-development product.

“I think you’re going to see something that’s going to be spectacular,” Trump said on Thursday. “The FDA has approved things at a rate that’s a tiny fraction of what it would … take during another administration.”

“We are way ahead on vaccines, way ahead on therapeutics. And when we have it, we’re all set up with our platforms to deliver them very, very quickly,” he added.

Based on “a senior administration official,” Politico reported that “distribution of any coronavirus vaccine will be a ‘joint venture’ between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], which typically oversees vaccine allocation, and the Department of Defense.”

While, according to the official, the Department of Defense “is handling all the logistics of getting the vaccines to the right place, at the right time, in the right condition,”, the CDC is tasked with tracking any side effects, as well as “some of the communications through the state relationships [and] the state public health organizations.”

On May 15, President Trump had launched “Operation Warp Speed” in order to fast-track the development of a coronavirus vaccine, bringing together “the best of American industry and innovation, the full resources of the United States government, and the excellence and precision of the United States military.”

“Its objective is to finish developing and then to manufacture and distribute a proven coronavirus vaccine as fast as possible,” Trump explained. “In addition, it will continue accelerating the development of diagnostics and breakthrough therapies.”

At the time, he said the military would help in distributing the vaccine across the country, which has a population of some 300 million.

“When a vaccine is ready, the U.S. government will deploy every plane, truck, and soldier required to help distribute it to the American people as quickly as possible,” Trump said. “We have the mightiest military in the long history of humankind. We have the best and most devoted workers ever to walk the face of the Earth. And now we’re combining all of these amazing strengths for the most aggressive vaccine project in history.”

Trump clarified that there will be no mandatory vaccinations, saying that the new vaccine would be for those “who want to get it,” adding, “Not everyone is going to want to get it.”

Even though the President vowed to keep any coronavirus vaccine voluntary, observers have questioned the wisdom of fast-tracking the development.

Environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. pointed out during an online debate on July 23 that key parts of testing are being skipped.

“The Moderna vaccine, which is the lead candidate, skipped the animal testing altogether,” Kennedy said. It was also tested on only “45 people. They had a high-dose group of 15 people, a medium-dose group of 15 people, and a low growth group of 15 people.”

“In the low-dose group, one of the people was so sick from the vaccine they had to be hospitalized,” he explained. “That’s six percent. In the high-dose group, three people got so sick they had to be hospitalized. That’s twenty percent.”

In spite of these significant problems, “they’re going ahead, and making two billion doses of that vaccine.”

Another problem with the testing of the coronavirus vaccine is that it’s tested not on “typical Americans,” but a carefully selected group of people who don’t suffer from certain conditions.

“They use what they call exclusionary criteria,” Kennedy said. “They are only giving these vaccines in these tests that they’re doing to the healthiest people.”

“If you look at their exclusionary idea criteria: You cannot be pregnant, you cannot be overweight, you must have never smoked a cigarette, you must have never vaped, you must have no respiratory problems in your family, you can’t suffer asthma, you can’t have diabetes, you can’t have rheumatoid arthritis or any autoimmune disease. There has to be no history of seizure in the family. These are the people they’re testing the vaccine on.”

He asked, “What happens when they give them to the typical American? You know, Sally Six-Pack and Joe Bag of Donuts who’s 50 pounds overweight and has diabetes.”

Kennedy stressed several times that “any other medicine … that had that kind of profile in its original phase-one study would be [dead on arrival].”

“No medical product in the world would be able to go forward with the profile that Moderna has,” he reiterated.

During yesterday’s statements on being ready to deliver a coronavirus vaccine very quickly, Trump mentioned several vaccine developers by name, calling them “great companies” that are “doing very well.”

Kennedy, however, is skeptical of these companies, referring to them as “convicted serial felon[s].”

“In the past 10 years, just in the last decade, those companies have paid 35 billion dollars in criminal penalties, damages, fines, for lying to doctors, for defrauding science, for falsifying science, for killing hundreds of thousands of Americans knowingly.”

“It requires a cognitive dissonance,” Kennedy commented, “for people who understand the criminal corporate cultures of these four companies to believe that they’re doing this in every other product that they have, but they’re not doing it with vaccines.”

Other observers have also raised ethical and moral questions about a vaccine that is developed by using a cell lines harvested from aborted babies.

A LifeSiteNews petition saying no to mandatory vaccinations has garnered more than 736,000 signatures and can still be signed here.


  coronavirus, coronavirus vaccine, department of defense, donald trump, operation warp speed, president trump, us military, vaccinations, vaccines

News

Trader Joe’s refuses to bend knee to woke petition demanding removal of ‘racist’ branding

'We want to be clear: we disagree that any of these labels are racist'
Fri Jul 31, 2020 - 1:40 pm EST
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Trader Joe's discount retailer storefront, shopping carts - Saugus, Massachusetts USA QualityHD / Shutterstock.com
Dorothy Cummings McLean Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy
By Dorothy Cummings McLean

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

MONROVIA, CA, July 31, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) ― A popular chain of American supermarkets has resisted “woke” demands to change the names of some of its products that some critics consider “racist.” 

In the wake of a well-publicized petition demanding that Trader Joe’s change some of its product packaging, and reports that the company would do so, last week the company announced that it would not comply. 

“We want to be clear: we disagree that any of these labels are racist,” Trader Joe’s wrote to its customers

“We do not make decisions based on petitions,” the announcement continued. 

“We make decisions based on what customers purchase, as well as the feedback we receive from our customers and Crew Members. If we feel there is need for change, we do not hesitate to take action.”

The company explained that its decision, decades ago, to use such product names as “Trader Giotto’s” “Trader José’s,” and “Trader Ming’s” was a light-hearted way of showing “appreciation for other cultures.” It also cited the name of its “Avocado’s Number” guacamole as a reference to a mathematical concept.   

Trader Joe’s stated also that they “constantly reevaluate” their decisions for the sake of their business. All their products were reviewed a couple of years ago, they said, and they had eliminated names and products that weren’t doing well. 

“It’s kind of what we do,” said the business.  

More recently, their clientele had assured them that the light-hearted names for their products “are largely viewed in exactly the way they were intended­—as an attempt to have fun with our product marketing.” 

“We continue our ongoing evaluation, and those products that resonate with our customers and sell well will remain on our shelves,” Trader Joe’s affirmed. 

The teenage activist who wrote the petition, Briones Bedell, stated in the petition that the food store needed to “remove racist branding and packaging from its stores.”

We demand that Trader Joe’s remove racist branding and packaging from its stores. The grocery chain labels some of its ethnic foods with modifications of “Joe” that belies a narrative of exoticism that perpetuates harmful stereotypes. For example, “Trader Ming’s” is used to brand the chain’s Chinese food, “Arabian Joe” brands Middle Eastern foods, “Trader José” brands Mexican foods, “Trader Giotto’s” is for Italian food, and “Trader Joe San” brands their Japanese cuisine.

Renowned human rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali praised the business on Twitter yesterday, saying that its announcement was a “silver lining on the horizon.” 

“Looks like Trader Joe's is taking the lead in showing corporations how to stand up to the woke mob,” she remarked.  

Author and mathematician James Lindsay also remarked that the company provided a good example.

“Trader Joe's showing the world how it's done,” he posted to Twitter. 

Steve Skojec, the editor of popular Catholic online magazine OnePeterFive, celebrated the company’s courage. 

“May I have your attention please: Trader Joe’s isn’t as stupid or craven as you were led to believe,” he tweeted.  

Skojec’s remark elicited a testimony that the company is also a good employer. 

“I worked for Trader Joe’s for five years and loved a lot about the job,” wrote Michelle Mitsui of Hobart, Indiana. 

“It was retail, so sometimes it was boring, and sometimes customers were jerks, but they paid us well, and we got health insurance, and they treated us like people. I love Trader Joe’s.”

Petition writer Bedell noted the contrast between Trader Joe’s refusal to change and an earlier admission of error. Bedell cited a statement made on July 17th by a spokeswoman for Trader Joe’s that the company was changing its branding.

San Francisco online newspaper SFGate quotes Kenya Friend-Daniels, Trader Joe’s director of public relations, as saying: 

While this approach to product naming may have been rooted in a lighthearted attempt at inclusiveness, we recognize that it may now have the opposite effect— one that is contrary to the welcoming, rewarding customer experience we strive to create every day. With this in mind, we made the decision several years ago to use only the Trader Joe's name on our products moving forward. Since then, we have been in the process of updating older labels and replacing any variations with the name Trader Joe's, and we will continue to do so until we complete this important work.

At this time, I don’t have an exact date but we expect to have the work completed very soon. Packaging for a number of the products has already been changed, but there’s a small number of products in which the packaging is still going through the process. 

Bedell seemed confused by the contrast between Trader Joe’s statement and that of its spokeswoman. 

“Given the contradictory nature of these statements, we ask that Trader Joe’s clarify which ethnically branded products will be modified,” she wrote.

The high school senior objects to the very founding of Trader Joe’s by Joe Coloumbe because his vision for the store was inspired by a 1919 travel book and a Disney ride she deems “exoticism at its worst.”


  racism, trader joe's, wokeness

News

Trump says he will issue more executive orders on ‘Big Tech’ if Congress fails to act

Fri Jul 31, 2020 - 1:31 pm EST
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President Donald Trump at CPAC 2017 Steve Jalsevac/LifeSIte
Paul Smeaton Paul Smeaton Follow Paul
By Paul Smeaton

PETITION: Break up Big Tech tyrants and defend free speech! Sign the petition here.

WASHINGTON D.C., July 31, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – President Donald Trump has said that he will issue executive orders to “bring fairness to Big Tech” if Congress fails to act. 

“If Congress doesn’t bring fairness to Big Tech, which they should have done years ago, I will do it myself with Executive Orders. In Washington, it has been ALL TALK and NO ACTION for years, and the people of our Country are sick and tired of it!” Trump tweeted as Wednesday’s antitrust hearing at the U.Sa. House of Representatives began.

In May, Trump signed an executive order suggesting the federal government will begin to interpret much more narrowly the legal immunities social media companies currently enjoy.

During Wednesday’s hearing on technology and antitrust, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) accused Google of election interference through the blacklisting of conservative news websites from its online search results after Google CEO Sundar Pichai admitted that the creation of lists of blocked sites “can involve a manual portion.”

Gaetz’s accusation came after Breitbart News released data this week that it says show that “Google is deliberately working to interfere with the reelection of Trump in 2020” through purging Breitbart and other conservative websites from search results.

Following Wednesday’s hearing, Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson challenged Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the highest ranking Republican on the committee hosting the hearing, as to why he has accepted large donations from Google.

“It seems very difficult for any candidate or party to win anything if all the information about the race is controlled by people who are working for the other side, which is where we are now,” Carlson said. 

Jordan insisted that the money he has received from Google has not influenced him politically.

“Look, if they want to exercise their First Amendment liberties and give me money, I raised $3 million last quarter – if Google gives me a few thousand-dollar check, God bless them,” he replied. 

“That doesn’t change who I am. You saw that today in the committee, I went after them for the very issue you just raised.”

Carlson had previously challenged Jordan as to why more action hasn’t been taken against the anti-conservative bias exercised by big tech companies.

“Lawmakers are tasked with running the country and passing our laws by definition, and these companies operate with a special carve-out provided them by Congress, and Congress has never done anything to rein them in and so we’ve got, what, 96 days until the election,” Carlson said. 

“Are there going to be any consequences until then?”

Earlier this week, LifeSiteNews joined with other conservatives in an open letter challenging the CEO of Google over the removal of conservative websites from online search results.

Prior to Wednesday’s antitrust hearing, independent journalist Mike Cernvoich released what is apparently a leaked internal Republican memo penned by Jordan, which Cernovich says “sells out Conservatives to Big Tech.” 

The 39-page memo indicates that Republicans in Congress will not take any significant action against the internet giants.

“Even if this hearing suggests that Google, Amazon, Apple, or Facebook have acted unlawfully, that would not necessarily mean underlying antitrust law needs an overhaul,” the memo reads.

A Republican spokesperson has responded to the memo, which was also covered in Politico, saying that it was simply a “guidance memo” intended as an “information and learning tool,” and that it doesn’t represent the official GOP position.

“Guidance memos are created to present all sides of the equation for members of Congress to learn about issues before the committee, and this leaked document has been wildly mischaracterized,” the spokesman said. “These memos are regularly created for every hearing to show every argument that might come up in a hearing. These memos are NOT meant to serve as a plan of attack for any hearing.”

When LifeSiteNews searched online for the leaked memo earlier this week, a Google search for the words “Cernovich antitrust memo transcript” failed to bring up Mike Cernovich’s website, where the memo was posted. Even after clicking a link provided by Google to “repeat the search with the omitted results included,” Cernovich’s website still did not appear in the search results at all.

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The exact same search entered into DuckDuckGo brought up Cernovich’s website as the second result. 

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LifeSiteNews has contacted Jordan’s Washington office requesting further comment on the memo, but has not received a response.


  big tech, big tech bias, big tech censorship, censorship, jim jordan, tucker carlson

News

Hospital fires Catholic security guard for helping priest visit dying woman during lockdown

The married father of three young daughters is now out of a job and looking for work
Fri Jul 31, 2020 - 1:22 pm EST
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Robert Glemann
Martin Bürger Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

PETITION: Support pastors fighting against oppressive state mandates! Sign the petition here.

TAMUNING, Guam, July 31, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A security guard in a Guam hospital has been fired with “no warning” over helping a priest give last rites to a dying patient amid the coronavirus lockdown. Guam, a small island in the Pacific ocean, is a territory of the United States.

Robert Glemann, a married father of three young daughters, told LifeSiteNews that one woman “had a massive brain hemorrhage and … was going to die in the next few hours,” according to nurses.

Image
Robert Glemann and family

“The zeal for the salvation of souls kicked in and I contacted my priest friend to be on standby just in case their family wanted her to see a priest,” said Glemann. “I prayed a Rosary to ask for the Blessed Mother’s help. The daughter finally came in and she wanted a priest for last rites.”

Glemann spoke to the local pastor, whom he considered a personal friend. “He then told me that he was specifically told that he wasn’t allowed to come in the Emergency Room.”

“I was quite fired up by then, because I was seriously concerned for the salvation of this particular woman (some internal motivation I can’t explain). I gave Father a stern reminder of his duties as a priest regardless of COVID or any Hospital Policies. The priest felt disrespected and thought I was giving him orders so the conversation ended.”

However, Glemann then asked “one of the saintly nurses if she could convince this priest to come.” In fact, both nurses and doctors had given their approval of having a priest administer last rites to the dying person.

In the end, another priest agreed to come.

“I made sure that the Security Officer at “stage one” (a place where they stop people before they enter the ER) was going to let the priest in,” said Glemann. “I escorted the priest into the facility and he administered the last rites. Thanks be to God and Our Lady’s intercession!”

Glemann allowed the priest into the facility on June 12. On June 18, less than a week later, he was fired from his job without prior warning. “I was told that I had made a ‘possible’ HIPAA violation.”

HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act aimed at protecting patients’ personal data. Glemann’s boss explained that it was not clear he had broken that law, given that he “didn’t do something crazy like … take the patient’s medical records and post them online.”

“My boss went on to tell me how I was a great employee and I was doing a fantastic job,” Glemann pointed out. “Just that I ‘angered the Big Lady’ (the head administrator who previously denied priest entrance in a similar situation).”

The local archdiocese of Agaña had contacted the hospital on June 15, lamenting the difficulties to get priests inside to minister to the sick and dying, and asking to clarify the hospital’s policies.

Episcopal Vicar Fr. Ronald S. Richards pointed out that hospital ministry protocols were likely to stay for an indefinite time. “We have received calls most often from Security who insists quite forcefully that a priest come to the hospital to administer last rites. On several occasions these are patients in the Emergency Room.”

During a meeting with the hospital, the archdiocese had agreed on May 27 that priests should not enter the emergency room. “However, we have received numerous calls from Security as well as the ER Charge Nurse, the Nursing Supervisor as well as family members for a priest,” wrote Fr. Richards.

“With each of these occasions, we have called to confirmed [sic] if a priest will be allowed to enter the ER based on your policy,” he added. “Each time we were told that because it was only for ‘a short period of time it would be okay for a priest to come in.’ So, we have sent in a priest each time.”

Richards explained that the archdiocese always referred to the hospital policy when receiving calls, “but it is the hospital staff that is modifying the policy, therefore we are at a loss as to how to respond. We are merely trying to work harmoniously with your administration in what is best for all concern [sic].”

Robert Glemann, the fired security guard, has started a Fundly account to raise money for his family while he is looking for a job, and possibly relocating to a state more supportive of religious liberty.


  catholic, coronavirus, covid-19, hospital, last rites, lockdown, sacraments

News

Elites, Dems crowd church for John Lewis funeral as normal Americans face worship restrictions

'Two sets of rules...these are the folks that insist we wear masks and distance everywhere. They are liars,' commented C-FAM's Austin Ruse.
Fri Jul 31, 2020 - 12:37 pm EST
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Attendees at the funeral of Rep. John Lewis pack the church as most Americans are banned from doing the same YouTube / screenshot
Paul Smeaton Paul Smeaton Follow Paul
By Paul Smeaton

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

ATLANTA, Georgia, July 31, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Conservative commentators are criticizing Democrat elites for failing to observe so-called social distancing and other measures which they have insisted are necessary while at a funeral service for Democratic congressman John Lewis.

Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton were all in attendance and spoke at the service in Atlanta, Georgia, as well U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Images from the service shared to social media show a packed church with many members of the congregation not “social distancing” – a measure which has been insisted upon for churches around the country in response to the coronavirus crisis and which the Georgia state government says is currently required.

“Why okay for people to be INSIDE A CHURCH, NOT socially distanced, with robust singing/preaching #JohnLewisfuneral but average folk barred from holding graveside outdoor services with more than a few people or be with a loved one at death in hospital? Why people don't have trust,” American bioethicist and conservative commentator Wesley Smith posted to Twitter.

When another Twitter user pointed out that those in attendance were wearing masks, Smith posted an image of the funeral showing congregants clearly not observing “social distancing” measures.

Others referenced the similarity between congregants at the funeral not following the lockdown/coronavirus protocols they demand of the rest of the country with the mainstream media’s lionizing of massively crowded Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests across the United States. Those protests have shown little regard for “social distancing” or other draconian coronavirus lockdown measures, yet they have been praised by the media which at the same time criticized President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign for its decision to resume in-person rallies.

Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson also drew particular attention to Obama’s “eulogy” in which the former U.S. president called for the end of the Senate filibuster, with Carlson labelling Obama’s address “a divisive and deeply dishonest campaign speech in church.”

“Imagine if some greasy politician showed up at your loved one’s funeral and started throwing around stupid partisan talking points about senate procedure. Can you imagine?” Carlson asked.

“You would be shocked if that happened. Desecrating a funeral with campaign slogans? What kind of person would do that? Democrats in the audience didn’t blink, they cheered. It all seemed normal to them and why wouldn’t it? Political power is their religion.”


  coronavirus, freedom of religion, john lewis, liberal hypocrisy

News

LifeSite petition encouraging break-up of Big Tech goes viral

The petition has surged, with over 47,000 signatures in less than 48 hours.
Fri Jul 31, 2020 - 11:01 am EST
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LifeSiteNews.com
By LSN

July 31, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — After less than 48 hours, LifeSite’s petition encouraging the break-up of Big Tech has gone viral, already attracting more than 47,000 signatures.

“Since Big Tech has now started to censor news and opinion, it’s clear that more competition — not monopoly — is needed on the internet,” said Gualberto Garcia Jones, LifeSite’s director of advocacy. “Big Tech needs to be broken up so that competition of ideas can flourish again in America.”

Big Tech’s policy, which entails the censorship of legitimate news and opinion, is seriously undermining free speech and democracy itself.

This petition, therefore, calls for the government to use existing antitrust laws to break up the Big Tech monopolies — including the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and Google (owner of YouTube) — which have coalesced over the past two decades.

This petition is necessary because of the increasing severity and frequency of affront to free speech by Big Tech monopolies.

For example:

  • Just this week, Big Tech conspired to “erase from the internet” the White Coat Summit — a meeting of licensed practicing doctors who reported on their experience using hydroxychloroquine to treat the coronavirus.
  • Recently, at Facebook, two whistleblowers came forward to attest that the platform aggressively discriminates against conservatives on a global scale for the purpose of influencing election outcomes.
  • Twitter has been the subject of numerous free speech controversies for years and alarmed critics just this March when it announced that 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” and “call(s) to action such as ‘coronavirus is a fraud and not real — go out and patronize your local bar.’”
  • In 2018, Google, YouTube, et al. succeeded in manipulating the Irish abortion referendum by blacklisting pro-life videos, manipulating pro-life search terms and results and intentionally withholding pro-life information.

“Of course, we believe that people are capable of sorting through opinion and news themselves. However, we cannot accept Big Tech stepping in to censor what opinion and news is available,” said Garcia Jones. “Regrettably, Big Tech must now be broken up if legitimate free speech is going to survive and continue to thrive on the internet.”

In an era where almost everything is polarized, a recent Pew poll reported remarkable unity on this question. Seventy-five percent of Americans believe that Big Tech companies have too much influence, and there is overwhelming support for breaking up the Big Tech monopolies.

President Trump took a step in the right direction in late May with his executive order to combat social media censorship through more regulation.

But much more can be done and needs to be done right now.

This petition calls on policymakers to be level-headed in this regard and use existing laws against monopolies to start the process of breaking up Big Tech.

People need to continue to speak up all around the world, so if you haven’t yet signed the petition, please consider signing and sharing with your like-minded family, friends and colleagues.

Please CLICK HERE to read and sign the petition. Thank you!


  big tech, censorship, coronavirus, facebook, hydroxychloroquine, petition, youtube

News

Democrats push to fund international abortion, target Little Sisters again

Funding international abortions will 'uplift women around the world,' claimed Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL).
Fri Jul 31, 2020 - 9:43 am EST
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Mark Wilson / Getty Images
Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 31, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives have introduced legislation to repeal a longstanding restriction on overseas abortion funding, and plan to vote on a spending bill that would open the door to further pro-abortion spending, including targeting the Little Sisters of the Poor once more.

Democrat Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois has introduced the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act, which would repeal the 1974 Helms Amendment, to “uplift women around the world,” in Schakowsky’s words. The amendment states that “No foreign assistance funds may be used to pay for the performance of abortion as a method of family planning or to motivate or coerce any person to practice abortions.”

In promoting her bill, Schakowsky claimed the Helms Amendment was “deeply rooted in racism,” whereas repealing it would “uplift women around the world,” Breitbart reports. In response, Students for Life of America president Kristan Hawkins blasted the pitch for the bill as “tone-deaf,” especially in light of the fact that (per the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute) the “abortion rate for black women is almost five times that for white women.”

“That is not the kind of reality U.S. taxpayers want to export to other countries,” Hawkins said.

At the same time, the House is slated to take up New York Democrat Rep. Nita Lowey’s HR 7617, a spending bill for several government departments that attacks current restrictions on abortion funding from multiple angles.

The bill would allow the District of Columbia to pay for abortions with taxpayer dollars; gut the Trump administration’s Protect Life Rule, which bars abortionists from receiving Title X funds; undo administrative rules protecting the right not to participate in or subsidize abortion; deny Teen Pregnancy Prevention funds to programs that teach abstinence; and cut funding for “sexual risk avoidance” education, which is defined as “voluntarily refraining from non-marital sexual activities.”

Further, a manager’s amendment introduced by Lowey would reverse the Trump administration’s move to protect religious entities such as the Little Sisters of the Poor from being forced to fund contraceptives under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that the administration had the right to issue the exemption, but did not strike down the Obama-era mandate itself.

On the other side of the aisle, Republican Congressman Roger Marshall of Kansas has introduced the Abortion Provider Loan Elimination Act, which would ensure that no more COVID-19 relief money goes to the abortion industry and open an investigation into how Planned Parenthood received more than $80 million from the Paycheck Protection Program.

“As an OB/GYN who’s delivered over 5,000 babies, I am proud to stand alongside the pro-life community in introducing this bill which will ensure abortion providers cannot take advantage of our hard earned tax dollars during a pandemic, and investigate how they were able to do so in the first place,” Marshall said.

None of the aforementioned bills are expected to make it through the current divided Congress, though they serve as examples of the types of legislation that could become possible depending on the outcome of November’s presidential and congressional elections.


  abortion, democrats, helms amendment, house of representatives, jan schakowsky, nita lowey, paycheck protection program, roger marshall, taxpayer funding of abortion

News

Pope Francis pens preface to COVID book edited by modernist Cardinal Kasper

The pontiff supported governments’ decision to ban Masses during the first months of the crisis while acknowledging that many Catholics had suffered a 'painful Eucharistic fast.'
Fri Jul 31, 2020 - 6:00 am EST
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Franco Origlia / Getty Images
Dorothy Cummings McLean Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy
By Dorothy Cummings McLean

VATICAN CITY, July 31, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) ― Pope Francis has contributed a preface to a book of personal reflections by Cardinal Walter Kasper, among others, about the COVID-19 pandemic.

The book, published in Italy by Libreria Editrice Vaticana, is entitled Communion and Hope: Witnessing Faith in the Times of Coronavirus in Italy. For the Spanish-speaking market, it is called “God in the Pandemic.” A collection of essays, the volume was edited by Cardinal Kasper, 87, and the Indo-German founder of the Walter Kasper Institute, Fr. George Augustin, 64.

Cardinal Walter Kasper is one of the cardinals believed to have backed the election of Jorge Bergoglio as pope in 2005 and then, successfully, in 2013.  The German theologian, a former bishop of Rottenburg-Stuttgart, is known for his early advocacy of the admission of  divorced and “remarried” Catholics to Holy Communion. He has more recently suggested that homosexual relationships are “analogous” to marriage. 

Kasper is believed to exert a strong theological influence on Pope Francis. However, his strong opinions have led him into occasional embarrassments, such as his dismissal of the traditional views of the African bishops in 2014, and his declaration in 2010 that someone landing at London’s Heathrow airport might think they were in a “Third World country.” 

Contributors to the new book include Archbishop Bruno Forte, the pro-LGBT theologian who introduced the issue of homosexuality at the Synod for the Family.

According to the Holy See’s own Vatican News, Pope Francis likened the coronavirus pandemic to a sudden “storm.”

“Like a sudden breaking storm, the coronavirus crisis has caught us all by surprise, abruptly changing on a global level our personal, public, family and working lives,” the pontiff wrote.

Francis noted that people had lost loved ones, jobs and financial stability. He reflected also that Christians were unable to celebrate Easter in church and that many had not had recourse to the sacraments. 

“This dramatic situation highlights the vulnerable nature of our human condition, limited as it is by time and contingency,” he wrote.

The pontiff saw a bright side to the pandemic in that it has helped people to contemplate what is truly important in life.

“It reminds us that we have forgotten or simply delayed attending to some of the key issues in life,” he wrote. 

“It is making us evaluate what is really important and necessary, and what is of secondary or only superficial importance.”

This “time of trial” is reorienting us toward God, Francis said. He also reflected that it has made us aware of our dependence on others and our call to serve others and our “gravely diseased planet.”

Previously Pope Francis has astonished Catholics by blaming the Covid 19 novel coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, on human mistreatment of the environment. In March, the Argentinian pontiff told a Spanish journalist that he believes the pandemic is nature “having a fit” in response to pollution. 

During his dramatic Ubi et Orbi service on April 1, Pope Francis again connected the virus to environmental decline. He prayed aloud to God, “We did not stop at your reproach to us, we were not shaken awake by wars or injustice across the world, nor did we listen to the cry of the poor or of our ailing planet. We carried on regardless, thinking we would stay healthy in a world that was sick.”

Vatican News reported that this year’s Easter, which most Catholics and other Christians spent at home, locked out of churches, led Pope Francis to reflect that the “Easter message of Christ’s victory over death ... showed Christians that we cannot remain paralyzed in the face of the pandemic.”

“Easter brings us hope, trust and encouragement,” he wrote. 

“It strengthens our sense of solidarity. It speaks to us of overcoming past rivalries so that we may see each other, above and beyond any differences, as members of one large family, where we bear each others’ burdens."

Francis then compared the contagion of the disease to the “contagion of love” and expressed gratitude for the good deeds of medical professionals and priests during the pandemic.

Pope Francis asserted that public Masses were not "possible" during the beginning of the pandemic."

 "The first phase of the corona virus, in which public celebrations of the Eucharist were not possible, represented for many Christians a time of a sorrowful Eucharistic fast." Pope Francis also acknowledged that livestreamed Masses were “no substitute for the living presence of the Lord in the celebration of the Eucharist” and expressed his satisfaction that in many places, Catholics have been allowed to return to Mass in person. 

“The presence of the Risen Lord in His Word and through the celebration of the Eucharist will give us the strength we need to resolve the difficulties and challenges that we will face after the coronavirus crisis,” he wrote.

Aug. 5, 2020 update: This report now includes additional information about Cardinal Kasper and the Pope’s previous statements about the pandemic. 


  catholic, coronavirus, pope francis, walter kasper

Opinion

Censored Frontline Doctors speak out: ‘We want to help people’

These 20 physicians, from across multiple specialties, aren't doing this for media attention.
Fri Jul 31, 2020 - 9:50 pm EST
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Tony Perkins Tony Perkins
By Tony Perkins

July 31, 2020 (Family Research Council) — The who's who of Big Tech took a turn before Congress Wednesday afternoon — and not a moment too soon, considering the mess they're making of free speech. The men behind Apple, Facebook, Google, and Amazon have a lot of questions to answer about censorship, if House leaders will let Republicans ask. And the first one, considering what happened this week with the frontline doctors' conference ought to be: Why are you letting your political agenda get in the way of the coronavirus facts?

By the time Facebook had taken it down, their news conference on COVID had beaten out some of the biggest names on the platform. With 17 million views, even the group — America's Frontline Doctors — was surprised at how desperate people were for information. They'd come to D.C. with one goal: to address some of the rumors about the pandemic and share their views on the best ways to fight it. As men and women who'd spent the last several months treating patients with COVID, their opinion was valuable — to everyone, it turns out, but Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg's platform pulled the video, insisting it was full of "false information about cures and treatments for COVID-19." Twitter and YouTube soon followed suit. Dr. Teryn Clark, one of the participants who joined me on Washington Watch Tuesday, was "shocked." First, because the event got so much attention, and then because it was considered controversial. Their intention, she insisted, was only to help answer people's questions. "The numbers are starting to look like they don't add up, people are living in fear. There have been a lot of deaths, but recently, more of the people who have ... tested positive with this have not had symptoms, have been younger, healthier, and recovered more quickly. So I think there is really a curiosity in our society as well. 'It's not looking like in my community, like it's supposed to look and like it looks on the news. So what's the story here?'"

Their main goal, Teryn said, was to share what they'd see up close. "We had, as you said, millions and millions of viewers. And then we were equally surprised when we woke up and all of it had been taken down." Even the website that hosted their conference was gone, along with all the links to the studies that have been done on hydroxychloroquine. That, she shook her head, is where so many people seem intent on shutting down debate. There are papers, she explains, from our own government talking about the drug's effectiveness in treating other COVIDs. "I don't know how it's controversial that we're looking at [an] NIH paper [from] the time Anthony Fauci was at the NIH."

The facts, Teryn argued, are being ignored. And she knows it, because she's treated actual patients and watched them recover. "I was referring people to the CDC's own website," she said, which has a two-page fact sheet on the drug, and even that is cause for censorship. Look, Teryn argued, the medical community has studied this drug for years. "It's been around a really long time... So it's not a mystery. It's not unsafe. It's effective immediately... I just don't know how it could be seen that we're [advocating something] dangerous."

These 20 physicians, from across multiple specialties, aren't doing this for media attention. "We don't have a dog in the fight. We have nothing to gain financially... We're motivated because we want to help people and we want to [cut] through what some of the medical boards are doing with this medication." It's so out-of-control, she explained, that pharmacists are refusing to fill the prescriptions. "I've never been questioned about a prescription," she said. "[I could probably write a prescription] for a crazy amount of opioids and get less pushback than I get on this for 20 tablets of this medicine." It's unprecedented.

What's driving this "unusual behavior" in the medical community? Teryn doesn't know. What she does know is that these social media platforms are just as committed to covering up the facts as anyone. And it's time to call them out.

Published with permission from the Family Research Council.


  big tech, censorship, coronavirus, family research council, frontline doctors, hydroxychloroquine

Opinion

Why are Google, Facebook, Twitter so bent on censoring doctors who promote cure for COVID?

‘It’s time to make the Hydroxychloroquine protocol a decision between a patient and the doctor and get big tech out of it’
Fri Jul 31, 2020 - 12:54 pm EST
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America’s Frontline Doctors at a Washington D.C. press conference July 27, 2020
Mary Ann Kreitzer
By Mary Ann Kreitzer

PETITION: Break up Big Tech tyrants and defend free speech! Sign the petition here.

July 31, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Joseph Goebbels, head of the Third Reich’s Ministry of Propaganda once said, "Let me control the media and I will turn any nation into a herd of pigs." A handful of large corporations in the United States today control the bulk of information available to the public on the internet. Increasingly those who express unpopular opinions, diverging from the liberal mainstream’s narrative, are censored and banned. 

Google, Twitter, and Facebook recently flexed their cumulative muscle by removing a July 27th press conference video by a group of board-certified physicians discussing what’s become a treatment for the coronavirus using hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) that’s become a political football since President Trump spoke favorably about it several months ago. During the eight hours the video was online at Breitbart’s website, about 16 million people viewed and shared it.

What “crime speak” did the doctors commit in the video that got them banned by the tech groups? They disagreed with the demonization of a medical protocol using hydroxychloroquine, zinc, and the z-pack to treat early onset of the coronavirus.  Within hours of the video appearing on Breitbart the three giants, who don’t appear to have any medical background, acted in concert to cancel the views of these frontline doctors, despite the fact that they have treated hundreds of patients with the virus. In view of the fact that medicine is an “art” and often involves doctors trying and developing unproven treatments, one would expect a conversation rather than a draconian crackdown. Many once-controversial treatments are now standard. Doctors of the past ridiculed by their peers, like Louis Pasteur who developed the cure for anthrax and rabies, are now revered as medical pioneers. 

The liberal censorship lockstep became even more obvious as the mainstream media picked up the story and began attacking the doctors. CNN, in a clearly biased article, stated that:

The video, published by the right-wing media outlet Breitbart News, featured a group of people wearing white lab coats [my emphasis] calling themselves "America's Frontline Doctors" staging a press conference in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC.

CNN implied that these men and women were imposters at worst, snake oil salesmen at best. The liberal news outlet and their allies in the mainstream media decried the facts presented as “misleading, false, and misinformation.” They dismissed out of hand these doctors who work directly with virus patients or who have expertise in particular areas relating to COVID-19 policies. The views of reputable medical professionals deserve to be heard. The doctors stated at the outset that they want to offer good news and hope to the American people about the virus. 

Pediatrician Robert Hamilton, author of 7 Secrets of the Newborn, is known as the “baby whisperer” for his “how to” method for calming crying infants. He received his medical degree and did his residency at UCLA medical school and has practiced pediatrics for over 35 years. Past president of the Los Angeles Pediatric Society, he founded Lighthouse Medical Missions, a volunteer group that organizes short-term medical missions to Africa, Asia, Central and South America – participating himself in more than two dozen. Because of his expertise and reputation, he has appeared as a guest on several TV shows including Dr. Oz and Good Morning America. He told reporters that children tolerate the virus well. Few are hospitalized and their mortality rate is very low. Children, he said, “are not the drivers of this pandemic.” In general, they are not passing it on. “We need to normalize the lives of our children,” he said. “We do that by getting them back in the classroom.”

Dr. Simone Gold, an emergency room physician and lawyer from Los Angeles with over thirty years experience, graduated from Chicago Medical school and received her law degree from Stanford. She spearheaded a letter from 600 doctors last May calling for an end to the shutdown. The letter described the shutdown as a “mass casualty” event saying that among the “casualties...hiding in plain sight” are “alcoholism, homelessness, suicide, heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure.” People are not getting treatments they need because of the fear engendered over the virus. Other doctors addressing the conference called for freedom for doctors and the public to have treatments available that are effective. One doctor said he never before saw an illness treated by telling victims to go home, shelter in place, and see if their illness got worse.

Following big tech’s censorship of the video, the attack on the doctors went into high gear. The Frontline Doctors website was immediately de-platformed. Most mainstream media reporting on the event vilified the doctors and ignored or debunked the data and studies they offered as evidence for the efficacy of the HCQ protocol. The press conference was only part of a medical conference where scientific data was presented. How many media outlets reported on the science coming from many countries showing that HCQ saves lives?

In response to the censorship, the group held a second press conference Tuesday, July 28th, calling for an end to the “paralyzing fear.” They promised they aren’t going away. Hydroxychloroquine is safe at low doses, they said, and was used successfully against SARS in 2005 which acts in a way similar to the coronavirus. Neurologist Teryn Clark from Newport Beach, CA urged people to see for themselves the safety of hydroxychloroquine by going to the CDC website’s information page for malaria and hydroxychloroquine. “The mechanism of action for this disease (COVID-19) is very similar.” Drugs, she said, are often used for off-label purposes, and there is a petition currently at the FDA to put the drug on label for the virus.

Dr. Richard Urso said he’s been trying to get the word out about the effectiveness of HCQ since January. “We can’t let our patients die without treatment and that’s the major thing that’s happened. We’ve been told to hide in our houses, wear a mask, and wait for a vaccine. That’s not a strategy. We have a strategy.” He went on to point out that studies done in other countries show the efficacy of using the drug and that one of the world’s leading virologists, French microbiologist Didier Raoult, has used hydroxychloroquine with astounding results since the beginning of the pandemic. “Hydroxychloroquine works; withholding it from patients is shameful!”

In many parts of the world, HCQ is available over the counter. It’s one of the safest drugs available and has been used for over 60 years. As Dr. Clark said, there is no shortage of the drug in the United States. In fact, there’s a stockpile of 63 million doses. 

One of the most compelling messages came from child psychiatrist Mark McDonald of Los Angeles who described the increasing mental health crisis among his young patients. He’s seeing fear across the board with bed-wetting, self-mutilation, depression, anxiety even suicide. “We need a strategy to end the fear,” he said. “At this point, it’s not a medical crisis; it’s an emotional crisis. But people are so afraid, [they are] grasping at straws to find anything, anything at all that will give them a sense of peace and comfort.” He went on to offer hope saying, “We have that now...hydroxychloroquine If we can release this and get this to the American people the fear will end, our children will be safer...parents will be back to work and our country will get back on its feet. We need to do this now! Take charge of yourselves.... Don’t leave it up to the leadership, the politicians, the media, the special interest groups....Talk to your doctors, to your senators...speak out, take back your freedom, stop living in fear.”

The group advised Americans to contact their doctors and political leaders and demand that HCQ be made available for virus treatment and prophylactic prevention. It’s time to make the HCQ protocol a decision between a patient and the doctor and get big tech out of it! As for the censorship and one-sided narratives, Joseph Goebbels knew the key ingredient to controlling the masses was to convince them they were in control. “Propaganda works best,” he said, “when those who are being manipulated are confident they are acting on their own free will.”


  america’s frontline doctors, censorship, coronavirus, covid-19, facebook, google, hydroxychloroquine, simone gold, stella immanuel, twitter

Opinion

Parents must protect their children from Netflix’s transgender indoctrination

Netflix defends its pro-transgender agenda by saying, 'The Baby-Sitter’s Club is a smart, sweet, and self-aware update of a beloved book series about preteen BFFs who start a childcare service.'
Fri Jul 31, 2020 - 10:48 am EST
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Scene from Netflix's 'Baby-Sitters Club.' Netflix Futures / YouTube
Denise Shick
By

July 31, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — In a recent episode of The Baby-Sitter’s Club, a children’s TV show aired on Netflix, one of the preteen babysitters, Mary Anne, lectures medical professionals about their insensitivity to a nine-year-old boy, who identifies as a female named Bailey. Mary Anne tells the adults they are “completely ignoring” their patient’s true identity and making “her feel insignificant and humiliated.”[1]

Let’s set aside the preposterous idea that middle-schoolers know more about medical treatment than doctors and nurses. Instead, we’ll unpack the even more ludicrous idea that transgenderism is appropriate, even necessary subject matter for preteens.

Netflix defends its pro-transgender agenda in the children’s series by saying, “The Baby-Sitter’s Club is a smart, sweet, and self-aware update of a beloved book series about preteen BFFs who start a childcare service.”[2]

Rose Dommu, the man (who calls himself a woman) who wrote the script for the episode mentioned above, says, “What this episode give[s] me is hope. … Imagine the young trans children who are going to watch this & see a version of themselves who is actualized, supported, and HAPPY”[3]

We all want children to be supported and happy, but force-feeding them transgender propaganda disguised as harmless entertainment is not the path to achieve those goals. In fact, intentionally planting lies in children’s minds about sex and gender may cause them irreparable harm.

Consider these sobering facts presented by Drs. Cretella, Van Meter, and McHugh of the American College of Pediatrics:

  • Puberty-blocking hormones “induce a state of disease — the absence of puberty — and inhibit growth and fertility in a previously biologically healthy child.”
  •  “According to the DSM-5, as many as 98% of gender confused boys and 88% of gender confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty.”
  • Children who take puberty-blockers and cross-sex hormones “will never be able to conceive any genetically related children even via artificial reproductive technology.”
  • For both children and adults, cross-sex hormones (testosterone and estrogen) are associated with dangerous health risks including but not limited to cardiac disease, high blood pressure, blood clots, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.[4]

Far from being “smart ... sweet and self-aware” as Netflix claims, the series is dangerous to both the mental and physical well-being of the children who watch it. Far from being a sign of “hope,” as Dommu suggests, this brand of insidious propaganda may very well lead to the dangerous health risks associated with puberty-blockers and cross-sex hormones. Far from being “happy,” as Dommu suggests, teens who pursue sex alteration have higher rates of depression and suicide than those who are content with their biological sex.[5]

Let’s not pretend this sort of indoctrination is harmless entertainment. If we care about the well-being of children, let’s make sure they know the truth about sex, gender, and the path to wholeness.


[1] Qtd. in “Netflix’s Sinister Endorsement of ‘Transgender’ Children,” National Review, 28 July 2020, https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/netflix-transgender-children-the-baby-sitters-club/ 

[2] Qtd in “Netflix Defends Transgender Plot in Kids’ Series Baby-Sitters Club: It’s ‘Updated for 2020,’”Christian Headlines, 27, July 2020, https://www.christianheadlines.com/contributors/michael-foust/netflix-defends-transgender-plot-in-kids-series-baby-sitters-club-its-updated-for-2020.html

[3] Qtd. in “Netflix Defends.”

[4] Michelle A. Cretella, MD, Quentin Van Meter, and Paul McHugh, “Gender Ideology Harms Children,” American College of Pediatricians, updated September 2017, https://www.acpeds.org/the-college-speaks/position-statements/gender-ideology-harms-children.

[5] HRC staff, “New Study Reveals Shocking Rates of Attempted Suicide Among Trans Adolescents,” Human Rights Campaign, 12, September 2018, https://www.hrc.org/blog/new-study-reveals-shocking-rates-of-attempted-suicide-among-trans-adolescen


  child abuse, hollywood, netflix, propaganda, the baby-sitter's club, transgenderism

Blogs

Police investigating murder of 28-week-old baby after mom took abortion drugs

The consequences of more 'at-home' abortions are gruesome – and this is only the beginning.
Fri Jul 31, 2020 - 2:50 pm EST
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shutterstock.com
Jonathon Van Maren Jonathon Van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon Van Maren

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

July 31, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-lifers have been warning for several years that the rise of “at-home abortions” (also morbidly known as “do-it-yourself” or “DIY” abortions) would come with serious consequences. Earlier this month, the American pro-life organization Live Action released an extensive investigation into the dangers of the abortion pill, noting, among other side-effects, that complications can include “severe cramping, contractions, and heavy bleeding.” The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) notes that women taking the abortion pill should be aware that bleeding could last an average of nine to 16 days, with up to eight percent experiencing bleeding for a month.

FDA statistics cited by Live Action’s report also note that the abortion pill has thus far caused “24 maternal deaths” between 2000, when it was approved, and 2018. In total, the abortion pill has resulted in or contributed to over 1,000 hospitalizations—and over 4,000 so-called “total adverse events.” As the coronavirus pandemic has turned abortion activists into full-time RU-486 pushers, the body count is rising—while the media almost totally ignore the inevitable consequences.

A story today out of the United Kingdom by the Daily Mirror highlights just how gruesome those consequences can be. Police in the Midlands (in central England) have launched a murder investigation into the death of a newborn after the mother took abortion drugs that were mailed to her. They are also looking into two other cases of babies being aborted at 28 weeks, which is four weeks after the U.K.’s abortion limit of 24 weeks. 

Additionally, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), an executive non-departmental public body of the Department of Health and Social Care, has begun examining at-home abortions and has thus far identified up to seven other cases, indicating an “escalating risk” with taking abortion drugs at home. According to the Sun Online, several mothers needed emergency hospital treatment—and “[t]he website also reports that two women died in the North West after early medical abortions in the last few weeks.” 

According to Nigel Acheson, CQC’s Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals, speaking to the Mirror: “We are aware of a small number of serious incidents who have accessed early medical abortion have suffered complications. We have followed up directly with the providers concerned, and continue to work closely with NHS England and Improvement, the Department of Health and Social Care and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to ensure the appropriate safeguards are in place to protect women accessing this service.”

To summarize: Some women are taking abortion drugs late in pregnancy, thus killing a child whom it is still illegal to kill in the U.K. (Under British law, before 24 weeks, abortion is healthcare and after 24 weeks, abortion is murder.) Additionally, two women thus far have died, likely as a result of taking abortion drugs, and others have been hospitalized. The Sun Online assured readers that “thousands of women” have taken the abortion pill safely, which both ignores the fact that the abortion pill is lethal for the child in question and will surely be cold comfort to those who have lost a loved one to a drug the abortion industry insists is not dangerous.

This trend is just beginning. The U.K. changed the rules surrounding at-home abortions in April, allowing women to procure abortion drugs by mail and abort their babies at home. These laws are set to last until 2022, and women can abort up until the tenth week of pregnancy using abortion pills until then. They are supposed to utilize “telemedicine”—consulting with a physician via phone or video—who will prescribe them the pills, after which a kit with the necessary abortive drugs can be mailed to their homes. There are no reports as of yet indicating whether doctors signed off on the drugs that were used to kill late-term babies in the womb.

But we do know that these tragic stories are just beginning. 

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 Rob Hoogland, who was ordered by a judge to call his daughter a boy or face “family violence” charges. Hoogland’s daughter was undergoing testosterone treatment against his wishes after being convinced by her school counselor that she was a boy. To top it off, Hoogland couldn’t even share his story or seek help outside his lawyers due to a gag order placed on him by the court. You can subscribe here and listen to the episode below: 


  abortion, abortion pill, coronavirus

Blogs

Why priest is wrong in describing Communion on tongue as Gnostic and Calvinistic

'One barely knows where to begin taking apart such a tangled web of misinformation and fantasy'
Fri Jul 31, 2020 - 1:12 pm EST
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James Tissot, The Communion of the Apostles.
Peter Kwasniewski Peter Kwasniewski Follow Dr. Peter
By Dr. Peter Kwasniewski

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

July 31, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The internet exposes the most breathtaking ignorance to full public display. It’s like a form of intellectual nudism. I suppose this is a good thing, as the errors and vices of the postconciliar Church can no longer hide, like creepy-crawly things in dark swamps, but are being exposed for what they are in broad daylight. This is not to say they will be instantly wiped out. It is only to say that it is easier to fight an enemy who makes himself apparent. 

A Catholic Boomer priest, trained at St. John’s in Camarillo—there is no need to give his name, but he has quite a following on Facebook—posted this nugget:

For the first thousand years of the Church Communion was given in the hand only. John Calvin’s influence on the Church, along with the Gnostics preached that the human body was evil and that humans were basically evil and that Communion was only for the holy Clergy. This heresy was condemned, so the Jansenists, who followed a lot of Calvin’s heresies, said ‘You aren’t good enough to touch the Body of Christ with your hand, only with your tongue!’ as if the tongue is holier than the hand. When someone is Baptized or Confirmed their entire being is Baptized or Confirmed, not just their tongue. They are anointed and consecrated to Christ, their entire body, mind and spirit.

One barely knows where to begin taking apart such a tangled web of misinformation and fantasy.

1. We already have evidence of communion into the mouth from the first millennium. Msgr. Nicola Bux argues there are even indications of it at the Last Supper

2. The early Christians did not practice communion on the hand in the way we do it. Our way is novel and desacralizing.

3. A custom that is observed for well over 1,000 years by all Eastern and Western Christians has nothing to do with Calvin or Gnosticism or Jansenism, but with humble and adoring reverence towards the Body of Christ, and due respect for the anointed hands of the priest who handles the Body of Christ as his proper office. The custom also predominated for practical reasons: it is safer and more efficient.

4. The tongue, in fact, is specially blest in the traditional rite of baptism, where a pinch of exorcised and blest salt is placed on it, with a prayer that looks ahead to the reception of Communion: “N., accipe sal sapientiae: propitiatio sit tibi in vitam æternam” (N., receive the salt of wisdom: may it be propitious to you unto eternal life), and then:

O God of our fathers, O God the Author of all truth, vouchsafe, we humbly beseech Thee, to look graciously down upon this Thy servant, N., and as he tastes this first nutriment of salt, suffer him no longer to hunger for want of heavenly food, to the end that he may be always fervent in spirit, rejoicing in hope, always serving Thy name. Lead him, O Lord, we beseech Thee, to the laver of the new regeneration, that, together with Thy faithful, he may deserve to attain the everlasting rewards of Thy promises.

No other part of the body is set aside in this manner for blest food. It is no wonder that the removal of this precious rite coincided with a permission, born of disobedience, for communion on the hand.

Let us consider some really important points that one would think should be obvious, but in our era, which combines a staggering lack of common sense with a confounding lack of historical, cultural, and liturgical awareness, I suppose nothing can be taken for obvious anymore.

1. Hands are seldom clean, which is why we’re supposed to be washing them frequently these days. More to the point, the hands are dirtier than the mouth, otherwise the CDC wouldn’t be constantly telling us not to touch our faces. Our mouth is inside of us, so it’s already got what we have (so to speak), but it doesn’t have what the outside world has, until something is put into it. In other words, all things being equal, the mouth is a “safe space” and the hands are not.

2. Moreover, the hand symbolizes work (“work of human hands”), while the mouth symbolizes speech, thought, judgment, and love. The Book of Revelation doesn’t say that Jesus has a sword in His hand; it says “And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword” (19:5), showing His power and His reign of justice. The Song of Songs does not begin: “Let him touch me with the touches of his hands,” but “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth.” This suggests that Scripture sees the mouth as closer to the heart of the person, more expressive of who and what he is.

3. Building off of these points is the symbolism of receiving in the mouth vs. taking with the hand. When someone puts food into our hands, it is being “handed over” and comes into our power. When, in contrast, someone feeds us directly into the mouth, we are basically passive: the feeder feeds, and the one fed is fed, like a small child by its parent. The latter arrangement suits better the divine feeding of us with bread from heaven.

4. While it is true that all of the faithful are baptized into Christ’s priesthood, the ordained priest participates in that priesthood in an essentially different and higher way: he can act in persona Christi capitis, in the person of Christ the Head of the Church. His ordination has set him apart essentially, not accidentally, for that office, and for all the activities that flow from it. Therefore it is fitting for him to feed himself and then to feed the other members of the Church, as Christ did His apostles at the Last Supper.

5. It was precisely centuries of opportunity to internalize these truths—together with lots of practical experience, good and bad—that prompted the Church universally, in all her Eastern and Western rites, to move exclusively to communion in the mouth, preceded or accompanied by a manifest sign of adoration.

6. Therefore, against this millennial tradition, the abrupt return of communion in the hand in the 1960s sent one and only one signal: the Eucharist and the priesthood aren’t such a big deal after all. Don’t worry about kneeling or bowing profoundly before it; don’t worry about being fed with the bread of angels. It’s just a symbol of our communal belonging and how great we already are by our baptism. And that brings us full circle to the Facebook post with which we began.

Stepping back, then, we see that one consistent set of symbols—developed over time by a Church that, guided by the Holy Spirit, believed profoundly in transubstantiation and the Real Presence—has been replaced by another set contrary to it, erosive of these beliefs. How hard is it to see that this “swap” has, in fact, taken place; that it cannot have been caused by the same Spirit, but rather, an opposing spirit; and that the Church must return, in sackcloth and ashes, to her eminently sensible and sacred tradition?

The painting shown above is by James Tissot (1836-1902): "Communion of the Apostles." Tissot researched his paintings with exceptional care, and envisions the Lord feeding the Apostles as is customary in the Middle East, where a friend may place food in a friend's mouth, or a lover in that of his beloved, at least on special occasions (think of the custom of the bride and bridegroom feeding cake to one another at the wedding reception). Msgr. Nicola Bux, a distinguished specialist in liturgical and sacramental theology, makes the same argument (see here for references). The point is not that all communion was given this way in ancient times, but rather that we cannot exclude that communion was sometimes given directly into the mouth from the beginning, before it became the universal norm later on.


  catholic, communion, communion in the hand, communion on the tongue, holy communion

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Quebec cardinal’s complaints against govt’s COVID restrictions come too late

Cdl. Gérald Lacroix's strongly worded letter appears to have been mainly aimed at reassuring the many Catholics who have been 'questioning the commitment of the Bishops of Quebec throughout this pandemic.'
Fri Jul 31, 2020 - 6:00 am EST
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Cdl. Gérald Lacroix. Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images
Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
By Jeanne Smits

July 31, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The archbishop of Québec, Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, made a formal protest last Sunday against the COVID-19 measures that left religions, and in particular the Catholic Church, behind in the French-speaking province of Canada. In his statement, given last Sunday in the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, on the feast day of Saint Anne, patroness of Québec, Cardinal Lacroix listed the “disappointing” ways in which the rights of believers were neglected throughout the Chinese coronavirus crisis.

“It was very arduous to make ourselves heard,” said Cardinal Lacroix, who later remarked that the Québec government never entered into direct dialogue with the Catholic Church and other religious authorities. “This leaves me with the impression that government authorities do not take us seriously and want to ignore our existence,” he stated.

“After 400 years of presence, of commitment and cooperation in building this country, it is not fair that faith communities should be treated this way. Our participation in building Quebec is not insignificant. We are proud of our contribution and we have no intention of retreating into our sacristies. The mission of the Church is at the heart of society,” he said at the end of his statement.

He had already noted that places of worship were largely ignored throughout the first phases of lockdown, only to appear when many restrictions had been lifted, including for casinos: “In the Government of Quebec’s schedule published on May 25, we learned that after the preliminary phase, after Phases 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, ‘places of worship’ appear in the item Subsequent Phases in the same way as bars and cruises.”

While outspoken, the cardinal’s public protest comes late in the day and appears to have been mainly aimed at reassuring the many Catholics of Québec who have been “questioning the commitment of the Bishops of Quebec throughout this pandemic.”

His clarifications were, however, somewhat disappointing.

Cardinal Lacroix insisted at length on attempted dialogue on the part of the Catholic Church’s hierarchy in Québec with the authorities, and also on their willingness to observe all health regulations even if he had been disappointed to find that the government did not take reasonable “deconfinement protocols” developed by them into account. It does not appear from his statement that the Catholic Church firmly insisted on its rights and prerogatives when “in dialogue” with the government.

“While the sale of alcohol and cannabis has been deemed an essential service throughout the pandemic, faith communities, which we can certainly consider an essential service to the community, have been virtually ignored. Even casinos were given the right, before us, to accommodate 250 people in places much smaller than our churches. It makes no sense at all!” he went on to say. Strong language, certainly, but Québec Catholics would probably have liked to hear it during the long weeks without the Holy Mass and the sacraments.

The Catholic Church’s strategy in Québec appears to have been to join all other faith groups — “Anglicans, Evangelical Christians, Jews and Muslims” — in their dialogue with the public health authorities in order to ask for a common solution.

Cardinal Lacroix made clear that the Catholic authorities fully aligned themselves on an “interreligious” platform: “Spiritual needs are an integral part of human life for those who manifest that need — and there are many still in Quebec; all these people deserve to be treated with respect, to be considered by their government. Our faith communities are not just places of prayer. They are also places of support, of mutual aid at the social, family and human levels.”

On his blog hosted by Campagne Québec-Vie, Augustin Hamilton observed that the cardinal appears to believe that only part of the population feels “spiritual needs,” as if all others “could do without.” “All men have spiritual needs. All have their eternal salvation at stake,” he commented.

Hamilton also noted that the cardinal did not underscore the fact that access to abortion was presented as an “essential need” throughout the confinement.

Seen from France, Cardinal Lacroix’s and his collaborators’ strategy seems to have been doomed to fail. When several groups of traditionally minded Catholic associations and individuals seized the Council of State through an emergency procedure, last May, in order to request for the discrimination against the Catholic Church in the deconfinement protocols that had been put in place on May 12, they presented themselves specifically as Catholics.

They conceded that prayer can be done anywhere and insisted that uniting as communities was not the main issue. Their leading counsel told the judges that Catholics need to be able to unite in church because Mass is the non-bloody renewal of the Sacrifice of Our Lord and that in Holy Communion, Catholics receive the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, and that this can not take place virtually by following Mass on the internet.

It was an audacious strategy, because France is a secularist state, where Church and State were formally separated in 1905 through a law that was enforced with violence. But it paid off: public Masses were allowed to resume before the French government initially planned for it, and other faith groups obtained the right to have public gatherings once more, by ricochet.

Here below is LifeSite’s full translation of Cardinal Lacroix’ statement.

* * *

Statement by Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix

Archbishop of Quebec

in the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré,

July 26, 2020, Feast of Saint Anne, Patron Saint of Quebec

The situation we have been experiencing since March has not been easy, both for you and for us. No one had foreseen such a pandemic and no one had a response plan in hand. We developed one as the situation unfolded. All of us did our best to protect the health of the faithful, of the ordained ministers, and of the collaborators in the various spheres of our Church's life.

This has forced us to make difficult and demanding decisions. I am aware that the closure of our places of worship and the cancellation of community pastoral activities have upset many people. Being deprived of Eucharistic celebration, Eucharistic communion and the other sacraments for almost four months has been very painful, be it for the faithful as well as for the pastors and pastoral teams.

Many of you have been questioning the commitment of the Bishops of Quebec throughout this pandemic: "What are our Bishops doing? Are they maintaining a dialogue with the authorities of Public Health and the Government of Quebec in order to promote our needs and to ensure that believers are taken into account?

I can assure you that, from the very first hours of this pandemic, the Catholic Bishops of Quebec have made great efforts to enter into dialogue with the Quebec authorities. It was very arduous to make ourselves heard.

We took the initiative of bringing together leaders from other faith communities: Catholics, Anglicans, Evangelical Christians, Jews and Muslims, to reflect together and let the Public Health authorities and the Government of Quebec know that we wanted to collaborate by transmitting to our faithful the instructions so that this malignant virus would spread as little as possible. From the beginning – and throughout the last few months – we have been fair players, wishing to do our part for the good of society and to collaborate in the collective effort in times of crisis. It was necessary for us to stand together and we have done so.

Unfortunately, we must note that there has been little or no recognition of all these efforts. Communities of faith, regardless of who they are, do not seem to get the attention of our elected officials or public health authorities. This leaves me with the impression that government authorities do not take us seriously and want to ignore our existence.

At no time have we managed to establish a frank and direct dialogue with Government and Public Health officials. Our contacts have been continuously limited to third parties. We have worked and submitted protocols for eventual deconfinement. We were told by third parties that these protocols were well prepared and developed, but there was never an official announcement that they were accepted.

On two occasions, in press conferences with the Prime Minister and the director of public health, it took questions from reporters to find out what was happening with places of worship. Only then were we able to receive, piecemeal, partial information concerning our situation. In the Government of Quebec's schedule published on May 25, we learned that after the preliminary phase, after Phases 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6,  “places of worship” appear in the item Subsequent Phases in the same way as bars and cruises. In my humble opinion, this is distinctly disappointing.

That we should be prevented from celebrating Christian funerals in our large churches, when funeral companies were soon able to offer funeral rites in their small parlors, has caused a great deal of misunderstanding. It is as though there is a double standard. Despite our protests, the authorities have always turned a blind eye to this reality.

While the sale of alcohol and cannabis has been deemed an essential service throughout the pandemic, faith communities, which we can certainly consider an essential service to the community, have been virtually ignored. Even casinos were given the right, before us, to accommodate 250 people in places much smaller than our churches. It makes no sense at all!

Spiritual needs are an integral part of human life for those who manifest that need - and there are many still in Quebec; all these people deserve to be treated with respect, to be considered by their government. Our faith communities are not just places of prayer. They are also places of support, of mutual aid at the social, family and human levels.

I confess that the timidity with which our government has avoided any open and serene dialogue with the leaders of faith communities does not seem to me to be healthy for our Quebec society. Let me be clear: we are not claiming any privileges from the government. Believers are full-fledged citizens, they are women and men involved in all areas of human life in the Quebec we love. We have the right to be considered with respect and not ignored or relegated to the status of VARIA.

To this day, we still have to negotiate week after week with the authorities, who are trying to impose unreasonable restrictions on us.

Here, as in all our places of worship, teams have worked very hard to put in place the necessary measures to ensure maximum respect for hand washing, wearing masks, two-meter distancing, and continuous cleaning between celebrations. I am very proud of the thorough work that our teams have accomplished.

Please, give us a break! We've made our case. For the past four months, we have proved ourselves to be very good collaborators. Do not abuse our patience and stop ignoring our existence and our sense of responsibility.

Forgive these rather long words on the feast of St. Anne. But I wanted you to know that the Bishops have been very active and committed, in your name, in the name of all the faith communities of Quebec. This is our responsibility as pastors and we want to fulfill it. It's not because we haven't yet managed to make ourselves heard in a satisfactory way that we're going to give up. It is not only for the good of our Catholic community, but also for the good of all faith communities and for the “living together” of the Quebec people.

After 400 years of presence, of commitment and cooperation in building this country, it is not fair that faith communities should be treated this way. Our participation in building Quebec is not insignificant. We are proud of our contribution and we have no intention of retreating into our sacristies. The mission of the Church is at the heart of society; it is there that the disciples of Jesus must bear witness to the faith that animates them and keeps them alive, to be beside their brothers and sisters, believers or non-believers, as collaborators for the future of our country.

The state is secular, but society is not! In our beloved Quebec, believers and unbelievers live together. All must be respected because all have a right to their place. Brothers and sisters, you can count on us to continue to seek ways of dialogue. This is the most promising way to continue our journey together, in harmony, respect and peace.

Gérald C. Cardinal Lacroix

Archbishop of Quebec

Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, July 26, 2020.


  catholic, coronavirus, freedom of religion, gerald lacroix, quebec

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