All articles from August 3, 2020


News

US bishop: We must ‘reject any vaccine that is developed using aborted children’

Bishop Strickland reiterated moral opposition to vaccines made from aborted babies in the face of UK bishops declaring that Catholics have a ‘duty to be vaccinated.’
Mon Aug 3, 2020 - 7:48 pm EST
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Paul Smeaton Paul Smeaton Follow Paul
By Paul Smeaton

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

TYLER, Texas, August 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, has reiterated his opposition to vaccines created using cell lines from aborted babies in the face of UK bishops claiming that Catholics have a “duty to be vaccinated,” even if the making of the vaccine is morally problematic. 

“I renew my call that we reject any vaccine that is developed using aborted children,” Strickland tweeted Aug. 1. 

“Even if it originated decades ago it still means a child’s life was ended before it was born & then their body was used as spare parts. We will never end abortion if we do not END THIS EVIL!”

Strickland posted his latest comments on vaccines Saturday after the Catholic Bishops Conference of England & Wales (CBCEW) stated last week that Catholics have a “prima facie duty to be vaccinated.” The CBCEW document first noted a 2005 Vatican statement focused on the moral question of vaccines that have been prepared from cells derived from aborted human fetuses before stating their support for the idea expressed in a 2017 Pontifical Academy for Life statement that “all clinically recommended vaccinations can be used with a clear conscience.”

In April, Strickland released a pastoral letter asking faithful Catholics to join him in helping to bring to a “halt” any development of a coronavirus vaccine derived from aborted babies.

“Tragically, people are not aware of or have chosen to turn a blind eye to the advances in medical science which allow vaccines to be developed with the wholesale use of aborted children’s bodies,” he wrote April 23.

Strickland stressed that just because “the crime of abortion is considered legal in our nation does not mean it is morally permissible to use the dead bodies of these children to cure a global pandemic. Emphatically, this practice is evil.”

“As your Shepherd,” the bishop wrote, “I urge you to join me, NOW, in passionately but prayerfully speaking out against this practice. As I said in the beginning of this letter, I will help you navigate this storm as best as I can.”

Many of the leading coronavirus vaccine candidates in both the UK and the United States are being developed using fetal cell lines that were originally derived from the tissues of aborted babies in the 1970s and 80s.

In an open letter published in May, Catholic clergy and laity led by former papal nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò and Cardinals Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, Joseph Zen, and Janis Pujats said that “for Catholics it is morally unacceptable to develop or use vaccines derived from material from aborted fetuses.”


  aborted fetal cell lines, abortion, catholic bishops conference of england and wales, coronavirus vaccine, joseph strickland, pontifical academy for life, vaccines, vatican

News

Black Christian basketball pro defends decision not to kneel, wear shirt supporting BLM

On Friday, Jonathan Isaac was the only player of his team refusing to embrace Black Lives Matter messaging.
Mon Aug 3, 2020 - 6:58 pm EST
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Jonathan Isaac (in white). Ashley Landis — Pool / Getty Images
Martin Bürger Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

ORLANDO, Florida, August 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Black professional basketball player Jonathan Isaac has defended his decision not to kneel during the National Anthem and not to wear a Black Lives Matter shirt, saying such actions don’t necessarily go “hand in hand with supporting black lives.”

“All lives are supported through the Gospel,” the Orlando Magic forward, who is a Christian, said.

On Friday, Isaac was the only player of his team refusing to embrace Black Lives Matter messaging, as the NBA season started up again after a long interruption due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The NBA has offered its support to players in providing them with a platform for social issues,” wrote sports website Bleacher Report. “The NBA has also placed a Black Lives Matter decal on its courts in Orlando during the NBA restart and has also allowed players to wear social justice phrases on the back of their jerseys in lieu of their names.”

Isaac pointed out how pointless wearing a Black Lives Matter shirt and kneeling during the National Anthem actually are.

“Kneeling or wearing a Black Lives Matter t-shirt don’t go hand in hand with supporting black lives,” he emphasized during a press conference following Friday’s game.

“I believe that for myself, my life has been supported through the Gospel, Jesus Christ, and that everyone is made in the image of god, and that we all foreshadow God’s glory,” Isaac continued.

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

He also pointed out that sin is the root problem of society’s ills. “Each and every one of us, each and every day, do things that we shouldn’t do. We say things that we shouldn’t say, and we hate and we dislike people that we shouldn’t hate and dislike.”

“I feel like we all make mistakes, but I think that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that there’s grace for us and that Jesus came and died for our sins, and that if we all will come to an understanding of that and understand that God wants to have a relationship with us ... we can get past all the things in our world that are messed up, jacked up,” he said.

According to Isaac, racism “isn’t the only thing that plagues our society, that plagues our nation, that plagues our world.”

“We want to get past not only racism,” he added, “but everything that plagues our society. I feel like the answer to it is the Gospel.”

At the end of July, a professional baseball player also refused to kneel in support of the Black Lives Matter movement as the 2020 Major League Baseball season got underway.

Sam Coonrod, pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, said he meant “no ill will” for refusing to take a knee in the league-approved moment of silence, saying that as a Christian, he believes he should kneel only to God.

“I don’t think I’m better than anybody. I’m just a Christian. I believe I can’t kneel before anything but God, Jesus Christ. I chose not to kneel. I feel if I did kneel I’d be a hypocrite. I don’t want to be a hypocrite,” Coonrod told reporters.

“I can’t get on board on a couple of things I’ve read about Black Lives Matter, how they lean toward Marxism and said some negative things about the nuclear family,” Coonrod added.

The Black Lives Matter organization, officially known as “BLM Global Network Foundation,” is advocating for positions contrary to what Christians believe. The organization supports abortion, writing, “We deserve and thus we demand reproductive justice that gives us autonomy over our bodies and our identities while ensuring that our children and families are supported, safe, and able to thrive.”

The term “reproductive,” usually used in combination with “health” or “rights,” is a euphemism for abortion and contraception.

Additionally, the organization wants to abolish the traditional family.

“We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable,” the group wrote in its mission statement.

Black Lives Matter is also in favor of homosexuality and gender ideology. “We foster a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise).”


  basketball, black lives matter, christianity, freedom of speech, jonathan isaac, orlando magic, racism, sports

News

US bishop: AOC calling St. Damien white supremacist ‘crazy, outrageous, insulting’

Bishop Robert Barron took Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to task, calling her accusation 'a colossally misguided attack on this enormously important figure.'
Mon Aug 3, 2020 - 6:36 pm EST
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). Scott Heins / Getty Images
Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug
By Doug Mainwaring

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — After U.S. House member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — popularly known as AOC — criticized Saint Damien of Molokai as an example of colonialism and white supremacy, a U.S. bishop said her claim is “crazy and outrageous,” “ridiculous and insulting.”   

In an Instagram video posting, AOC incorrectly claimed that St. Damien was a “colonizer,” and his statue’s inclusion in the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall is “what patriarchy and white supremacist culture looks like!”

The New York congresswoman experienced a swift backlash from Catholics.

“AOC calls the statue in the US capitol building of Father Damien, a canonized saint in the Catholic Church, a part of ‘white supremacist culture,’” said John Robert Gage in a tweet that displayed AOC’s words over a video of St. Damien’s statue. 

“Father Damien died of leprosy after spending his life serving others who had the disease,” noted Gage

Los Angeles bishop Robert Barron said he felt the need to respond to AOC’s claim because it “was just so outrageous.”

“Did she have any idea who Damien of Molokai was?” wondered Bishop Barron in a pair of video tweets.

“This Belgian man who becomes a priest — a member of a missionary order — he goes mid-nineteenth century to Hawaii, works there for several years, and then volunteers to go to the island of Molokai, which at the time was a place where lepers were sent. And at the time there was no treatment, no cure,” explained Barron. “Those who had the disease were simply sent there to spend the rest of their lives, and they would die there.”  

“Damien went knowing full well that he would most likely never return from this ministry, and in fact, he never did,” added Barron. The saint “is reverenced by the people of Hawaii. He was in his own lifetime and after his death reverenced as a saint by the people of Hawaii.”  

“To associate this man in any way with colonialism or white supremacy is so ridiculous and insulting, and it shows the superficiality and the simplistic quality of these sort of woke categories,” said the bishop.

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

Does Saint Damien look like a white supremacist?

Delivering a knockout punch to AOC, American Thinker’s Monica Showalter showed a picture of Damien after the saint had contracted leprosy and asked, “Here he is — look like a white supremacist to you?


Photo of Fr. Damien taken in 1888, not long before his death.
Hawai’i State Archives in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Fr. Damien: A poor, sick immigrant, not a white supremacist

“The statue AOC objects to as a totem of white supremacy is a statue of a poor, sick immigrant social worker to the poor, whose work was honored by Hawaii's native queen,” wrote the Washington Examiner’s Timothy Carney. “The statue was created by an immigrant woman feminist artist of color, and chosen by the people of the least white state of the union.”

Carney called AOC’s words a “tirade,” noting that “[a]s far as St. Damien being a “colonizer” — well, Hawaii was never a Belgian colony. He wasn’t there representing Belgium, either. He was there representing the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.”

Hawaiians would absolutely defend Damien’s legacy of love

“Any Hawaiian here who is aware of their history — which most Hawaiians are — would absolutely, Catholic or not, defend the legacy of Damien as a man who was embraced by the people, and who is a hero to us because of his love for the Hawaiian people,” Dallas Carter, a native Hawaiian and a catechist for the Diocese of Honolulu, told CNA.

“We did not judge him by the color of his skin. We judged him by the love that he had for our people,” said catechist Carter.

AOC picked the wrong statue to criticize

“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez picked the wrong statue to criticize,” declared the headline for Matthew Walther’s article at The Week.

“Ocasio-Cortez is probably not aware of the fact that the statue of the saint is a replica of one that stands outside the Hawaii State Capitol in Honolulu, that he spoke and preached in the Hawaiian language, that his feast day is a holiday in Hawaii, or that he is routinely named in lists of the most admired figures in modern Hawaiian history,” wrote Walther.

American Thinker’s Showalter referred to AOC as a “far-left wokester congresswoman” who had aimed an “amazing insult” at “Hawaii’s patron saint and most beloved figure of honor.”

“AOC owes Hawaiians an apology”

“What she was trying to do was pigeonhole the same flawed narrative of Confederate statues being unworthy to stand based on the legacy of slavery, onto Hawaii’s beloved chosen saint,” observed Showalter. “And she was also trying to erase Hawaii’s history, a truly disgusting thing given the special state’s many worthy figures, and given how little people know of it.”

“Now that it didn’t go over well, she’s saying nothing, expecting it will blow over. But it shouldn’t blow over,” said Showalter. “She owes the Hawaiians an apology and she’s not giving it. Let this be one more reason for Hawaiians to reconsider voting for Democrats. Ocasio-Cortez is exactly what’s wrong with them.”

Fr. Damien bandaged wounds, made coffins, dug graves, heard confessions, and said Mass every morning

The official website of the office of The Architect of the Capitol praises St. Damien of Molokai’s selfless service:

On May 10, 1873, Father Damien traveled with Bishop Maigret and a shipload of lepers to Molokai. After two days Damien was willing to devote the rest of his life to the leper settlement. The bishop replied that he could stay as long as his devotion dictated. Father Damien accomplished amazing feats while residing on Molokai. Six chapels were built by 1875. He constructed a home for boys and later a home for girls. He bandaged wounds, made coffins, dug graves, heard confessions, and said Mass every morning. In December 1884, Father Damien noticed severe blisters on his feet without the presence of pain. As he suspected, the disease was leprosy.

Father Damien died peacefully on April 15, 1889, on Molokai after 16 years of undaunted dedication.

On October 11, 2009, Father Damien was canonized (i.e., elevated to sainthood) by Pope Benedict XVI in a ceremony at the Vatican, thus becoming Saint Damien.

“The bronze statue is based on photographs taken of Father Damien near the end of his life, with the scars of his disease visible on his face and his right arm in a sling beneath his cloak,” explains The Architect of the Capitol’s description. “His broad-brimmed hat was traditionally worn by missionaries. His right hand holds a cane.” 

Why the ongoing attack on Catholic saints?

“What is it with this attack on Catholic saints?” asked Bishop Barron in his second video  tweet, drawing attention to the attacks on statues of Junípero Serra up and down the California coastline, where the saint had preached.

“I just wanted to say something, everybody, to counteract what I think is just a colossally misguided attack on this enormously important figure, who I hope would be reverenced by anybody, of any race, of any background and any creed, would see in Damien of Molokai nothing but a great hero,” said Barron. “I think it’s time to get beyond these simplistic categories and start seeing people in their moral heroism.”


  alexandria ocasio-cortez, cancel culture, catholic, hawaii, racism, robert barron, saints, st. damien of molokai

News

WATCH: California church defies gov Newsom’s order to remain closed, backs ‘recall’ effort

'Satan doesn’t want people to know Christ,' Gina Gleason, Calvary Chapel’s public policy director told LifeSite
Mon Aug 3, 2020 - 5:48 pm EST
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Christians attending worship service at Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, California, July, 2020. LifeSiteNews
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By LifeSiteNews staff

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

CHINO HILLS, California, August 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Southern California may be the last place someone would expect to find God-fearing, Christian Americans fighting to preserve the constitutional right to religious liberty. But that’s exactly what LifeSite correspondent Jim Hale discovered when he traveled to Chino Hills, California last week.

A month ago, Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom issued a dictatorial measure that essentially forced churches in the state to shut down altogether. 

But Calvary Chapel Chino Hills refused to obey and kept its doors open. 

“Satan doesn’t want people to know Christ,” Gina Gleason, Calvary Chapel’s director of faith and public told LifeSite. “People are coming here, being saved, hearing the word of God.”

Gleason believes that “we’re just seeing something supernatural here.”

The church’s associate pastor, Josh Blevins, said they’ve been getting positive responses from all over the world for their courageous decision.

“I really believe that people are searching for something that transcends the circumstances of their life, of culture, of even what’s going on in our nation, especially when things are being tossed to and fro with waves of difficulty and challenges. The very things people have been putting their lives’ hopes and dreams in are now disintegrating from underneath them.”

People want to look to the church for hope, he added.

Members of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills have signed a petition to “recall” Governor Newsom from office because of his pro-abortion, anti-religious liberty policies. In a “recall election,” voters remove an elected official from office through a direct vote before that official's term has ended. 

One woman said he is “destroying” California. Another said he’s “acting a little more like a king than a governor.”

Gleason and Blevins re-iterated to LifeSite that the doors of their church will never close and that now is the time to get serious about prayer and fasting and to stand boldly for the truth and to not give in to a culture of fear. 


  california, calvary chapel chino hills, gavin newsom, josh blevins

News

Mexico City bans treatment for unwanted LGBT attraction, threatens 5-year jail sentence

'There is nothing to cure. Homosexuality is not a disease, we are not sick,' declared the bill’s author.
Mon Aug 3, 2020 - 4:38 pm EST
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By Calvin Freiburger

DROP Disney+: New teen film 'Out' features openly homosexual main character! Sign the petition here.

MEXICO CITY, August 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Treatment to help overcome unwanted homosexual tendencies will soon be illegal in Mexico City under a new law enacted Friday by the city’s Legislative Assembly. 

Under the legislation, which was first introduced two years ago, healthcare practitioners could spend up to five years in prison for conducting “practices consisting of psychological, psychiatric sessions, methods or treatments that are intended to nullify, hinder, modify or impair the expression of gender identity, as well as the sexual orientation of people,” Mexico News Daily reported. Such treatments are commonly known as reparative or “conversion” therapy.

“There is nothing to cure. Homosexuality is not a disease, we are not sick,” declared the bill’s author, Morena party lawmaker Temístocles Villanueva.

“I totally agree. It seems to me that these measures belong to the era of the Inquisition,” added Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum. “It does not correspond to the health systems of the 21st century, it does not correspond to the liberty of this city, because this is a city of rights.” 

Across the world, opponents of reparative therapy commonly elicit opposition to the practice by invoking fringe, abusive practices such as electric shock and other forms of physically-harmful junk science. 

In fact, modern reparative treatment consists largely of simple counseling, the effectiveness of which is backed by studies as well as testimony from those who have benefited.

Despite common left-wing insistence that conversion therapy is junk science (based largely on associating professional counselors with examples of fringe, outdated practices such as electric shock), there are studies that indicate, and former homosexuals who attest to, reparative therapy’s success in improving their lives. 

“We’re not talking about taking choices off the table,” said an attendee of a 2018 rally of ex-gays and transgenders outside the California statehouse, a former lesbian who’s now happily married to a man and has two children. “We are talking about putting more choices on the table.”

Regarding transgenderism, studies also indicate the true harm lies with treatment that reinforces gender confusion instead of correcting it.

In 2017, the University of Cambridge’s Stonewall report found that 96 percent of trans students in Scotland attempted self-harm through actions such as cutting themselves, and 40 percent attempted suicide. Forty percent in the United States have attempted suicide, as well, according to a 2016 survey from the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE). According to a 2011 study out of Sweden, trans people remain 19 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population, even after surgery to reconstruct their bodies.

This is far from the only left-wing curtailment of freedom currently facing Mexico. The Mexican Supreme Court is currently deliberating over a lawsuit challenging the state of Veracruz’s freedom to criminalize abortions beyond the first 12 weeks.


  conversion therapy, conversion therapy bans, gender confusion, homosexuality, lgbt, mexico, mexico city, reparative therapy, transgenderism

News

French National Assembly votes to expand abortion, state-funded artificial procreation for lesbians

The National Assembly also approved genetically modified embryos.
Mon Aug 3, 2020 - 4:18 pm EST
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By Jeanne Smits

PETITION: Hold UN accountable for babies killed by sex-selection abortion! Sign the petition here.

ANALYSIS

FRANCE, August 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The French National Assembly voted in favor of an unprecedentedly transgressive bioethics law last Saturday on second reading, adding a number of changes to the draft law that had been partially toned down by the Senate at the beginning of this year. In particular, the National Assembly approved genetically modified embryos, chimeras, and state-funded artificial procreation for lesbian couples and single women.

A last-minute amendment presented in the middle of the night, shortly before the vote on the whole text by the head of the socialist parliamentary group, Olivier Faure, was also approved by the majority, creating a new exception allowing so-called “medical abortion” up to birth: the “psycho-social distress” of the mother. To date, in France, late-term abortions (after 12 weeks of gestation) require medical approval that is legally limited to cases of severe malformation or supposed unviability outside the womb, or when a pregnancy puts the mother’s life in danger.

This major change to French abortion laws, which allow elective abortion with no conditions during the first three months of pregnancy (up to 220,000 legal abortions take place each year in France), was approved by the representative of the government. It comes after an informal approval by Health Minister Olivier Véran of “psychosocial distress” as an excuse for abortion beyond the legal term in April, during the COVID-19 confinement.

Tugdual Derville, speaking for the pro-life association “Alliance Vita,” commented on Twitter: “Those who know that it has NEVER been possible to verify distress, that was the former motive for voluntary abortion, will understand where the trap lies.”

Due to the significant amendments voted by the deputies, the law will return to the Senate for a second reading, probably before the end of this year. The Senate is expected to modify the text once more, at which point a joint committee formed by the Senate and the National Assembly would be formed in order to adopt a compromise text. However, when a joint committee fails to agree on a compromise, the National Assembly ultimately has the upper hand.

As it stands at present, the legislative journey of the draft bioethics law and its major dispositions are so scandalous that it is hard to know where to begin.

The vote of the law by 60 for and 37 against (out of a total of 577 members of the National Assembly), at 4:00 in the morning on the first Saturday in August when a large proportion of French citizens are either on vacation or on the road going there or coming back, was widely denounced as a “manipulation” on the part of the government. As was the arbitrary reduction of the discussion to 25 hours: one of the law’s main opponents, Emmanuelle Ménard, was present throughout but was not able to speak even once to explain her votes on amendments or the text as a whole.

Bishop Bernard Ginoux of Montauban’s comment on Twitter, shortly after the result of the vote was made public, puts it in a nutshell: “#Vote by the National Assembly. This is how civilizations die and how the spirit of a people is reduced to nothing. Those who will come after us are in great danger.”

The very principle of periodically revised bioethics laws that was decided upon in France in 1994 inevitably leads to increasing disregard for life and natural law. The initial idea was to create a framework that would prevent technological innovation from allowing scientists and doctors to work unchecked, while at the same time lifting some restrictions that existing legal principles would impose on them. In order to keep up with the new challenges of ongoing “technological progress,” it was decided that the bioethics laws would be revised by Parliament every five years.

Ultimately the laws were revised less frequently, but the revisions did lead to increasing freedom for medical and research teams to manipulate human embryos, and other transgressive measures such as the genetic selection of embryos in order to obtain the birth of a child who can be “used” to cure an older brother or sister waiting for a bone marrow transplant.

The 2020 revision’s most spectacular intent was to give LGBT couples access to procreation. It was discussed at grassroots level during extensive national consultations that rejected both surrogate motherhood and artificial procreation for single women and lesbian couples. The results of the consultation were set aside regarding medically assisted procreation for all women on the grounds that the more conservative sectors of society had mobilized their forces during the debate, and it was approved in the successive readings of the law to date. Its funding by the national health insurance system has also been approved.

Surrogate motherhood was rejected on the other hand, but there is still a loophole for male homosexual couples who can in practice obtain the inscription of a child carried by a surrogate mother abroad into French civil registers via the biological father, with an adoption process for the partner.

The principle of biological filiation itself is being axed by the new law, giving precedence to “voluntary” filiation. Babies born thanks to gamete donation will not be considered as the donors’ children as the law positively prohibits determination of parentage between the donor and the baby. Maternal filiation will be established by the fact of giving birth, but by “recognition” of the child by the father or “second mother.” All couples, however constituted, are deemed to have the same rights and duties. According to parliamentary critics of the law this will open the door to the legalization of surrogate motherhood on the grounds of “equal rights” for male homosexual couples.

Some amendments presented by members of the ruling government party “La République en march” were rejected, such as the possibility for a woman to carry her female partner’s baby, or post-mortem insemination. The law does permit the elective conservation of ovae without a medical reason.

The new law, as amended by the National Assembly, also allows parents of a child born from donor sperm or ovae to obtain non-identifying information about the donor before the child’s 18th birthday. Beyond that date, access to that information, including the identity of the donor, will be given to the child him or herself. To date, gamete donations are anonymous in France.

At the same time, under the new law, gamete donors who are married will no longer be required to obtain consent from their partner.

Not content with having revolutionized the juridical framework of filiation – with this law, the systematic destruction of marriage and family has reached a new high – the French National Assembly has attacked the integrity of the human embryo itself. By allowing genetic engineering of embryos via the CRISPR-Cas 9 technique, it has paved the way for the birth of genetically modified babies.

The National Assembly also authorized the introduction of human stem cells into animal embryos, allowing the creation of “chimeras” and definitively blurring the frontier between human beings and animals.


  abortion, artificial reproduction, france, french bioethics law, late-term abortions

News

UK bishops: Catholics have a ‘duty to be vaccinated,’ even if shots made using aborted babies

'We believe that there is a moral obligation to guarantee the vaccination coverage necessary for the safety of others,' insisted the bishops.
Mon Aug 3, 2020 - 2:47 pm EST
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By Paul Smeaton

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

UNITED KINGDOM, August 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales (CBCEW) has stated that Catholics have a “prima facie duty to be vaccinated.” 

Moreover, after noting a 2005 Vatican statement focused on the moral question of vaccines which have been prepared from cells derived from aborted baby humans, the U.K bishops state their support for the idea that “all clinically recommended vaccinations can be used with a clear conscience.”

“The Catholic Church strongly supports vaccination and regards Catholics as having a prima facie duty to be vaccinated, not only for the sake of their own health but also out of solidarity with others, especially the most vulnerable,” the letter released Thursday, July 30 states.

“We believe that there is a moral obligation to guarantee the vaccination coverage necessary for the safety of others. This is especially important for the discovery of a vaccine against COVID-19,” the bishops continue.

The statement is co-signed by Bishops Paul Mason and Bishop John Sherrington, who are referred to on the CBCEW website as “Lead Bishop for Healthcare” and “Lead Bishop for Life Issues” respectively.

While the letter notes that “[t]he Church is opposed to the production of vaccines using tissue derived from aborted foetuses,” it also states that “the Church teaches that the paramount importance of the health of a child and other vulnerable persons could permit parents to use a vaccine which was in the past developed using these diploid cell lines.”

The bishops then briefly mention the 2005 Pontifical Academy for Life document “Moral reflections on vaccines prepared from cells derived from aborted human foetuses,” before quoting a separate 2017 Pontifical Academy for Life statement, which asserts that “all clinically recommended vaccinations can be used with a clear conscience and that the use of such vaccines does not signify some sort of cooperation with voluntary abortion.” 

The bishops later quote the aforementioned 2005 Pontifical Academy for Life document, highlighting a section which says that the burden of combating unethical practices by pharmaceutical companies “must not fall on innocent children and on the health situation of the population – especially with regard to pregnant women.”

The CBCEW statement continues to emphasize the role of vaccinations in supposedly “protecting the most vulnerable.”

“If a pregnant woman, for example a teacher in a school, comes into contact with unvaccinated children, unfair and complex moral decisions may be imposed upon her, including whether it would be safe for her to work during her pregnancy,” the letter continues. 

“Exposure to unvaccinated children could incur serious consequences, the gravest of which include a threat to the lives of the mother and her unborn child.” 

The CBCEW document does not explain why a teacher who presumably would have received vaccines and thus immunity would be at risk from an unvaccinated child. The letter also does not account for the fact that parents are expected to keep sick children, whether or not they have received vaccines, home from school. 

While acknowledging the “distress many Catholics experience when faced with a choice of not vaccinating their child or seeming to be complicit in abortion,” the bishops state that “[t]he Church distinguishes between the present unethical sourcing of vaccines and the use of historical cell-lines which were derived from aborted foetuses in the 1970s.” 

Without providing any further details on what such distinctions might be, they then provide a July 2019 quote from the U.K. government's Department of Health and Social Care saying that “new human foetal tissue” will not be used in the creation of rubella, rabies, or hepatitis A vaccines.

The bishops also wrote in their letter: 

Human society has often benefitted [sic] from the wrongs done in the past for which we must repent. We live with the benefits of very questionable medical experimentation. For example, Edward Jenner, who invented vaccination, conducted research by injecting an 8 year old boy with cowpox followed by smallpox. While today such experimentation would be unethical by any standards, we wouldn’t deny life-saving vaccination because of its dubious historic provenance. 

They then wrote, “The Catholic Church prays for and encourages all those who are seeking to find a vaccine against this destructive virus. We hope that ethical sourcing of such a vaccine is possible.”

‘Cognitive dissonance’ 

U.K. Catholic Deacon Nick Donnelly told Church Militant that “one of the cell lines being exploited in the production of the COVID-19 vaccine at Oxford University is from a healthy baby girl murdered through abortion in 1972 in the Netherlands.”

“Her kidney cells were harvested for medical research and given the dehumanizing label HEK-293. She'd probably be a 40-year-old mother with her own family by now,” Donnelly said.

“I don't know how CBCEW can say it's okay for Catholics to use vaccines incorporating cell lines from babies murdered through abortion,” he continued. 

“Instead, the bishops are saying not only is it morally permissible to benefit from her murder through abortion, but that its a moral obligation for the greater good.”

In an open letter published in May, Catholic clergy and laity led by former papal nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò and Cardinals Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, Joseph Zen, and Janis Pujats said that “for Catholics it is morally unacceptable to develop or use vaccines derived from material from aborted fetuses.”

This weekend Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, reiterated his opposition to vaccines created using cell lines from aborted babies.

“I renew my call that we reject any vaccine that is developed using aborted children,” Strickland tweeted. 

“Even if it originated decades ago it still means a child’s life was ended before it was born & then their body was used as spare parts. We will never end abortion if we do not END THIS EVIL!”

 

 

 

 

The U.K. government recently signed a deal with Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for the supply of up to 60 million doses of their potential coronavirus vaccine. Sanofi and GSK are receiving more than $2 billion in U.S. federal funding for their coronavirus vaccine project. Sanofi has received funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for other projects. It says of its work on the coronavirus vaccine that they are “a part of a consortium of 15 healthcare companies alongside the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation working to identify concrete actions that will accelerate treatments, vaccines, and diagnostics.”

Last month U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson referred to opponents of vaccines as “nuts” and Health Secretary Matt Hancock has called on politicians to “stand shoulder to shoulder” against those who “are threatening lives” by opposing vaccines.

Phil Lawler, founder of Catholic World News and news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org, says that “when a Covid vaccine becomes available, this statement by the English bishops will be quoted by zealous lawmakers campaigning to make the vaccine mandatory—and thus to deprive the English people of the freedom to make their own medical decisions for themselves and for their children.”

“In fact the bishops’ statement itself is clearly an argument in favor of mandatory vaccination, and to rally Catholics to that cause,” Lawler continues.

“In a release accompanying the statement the bishops’ conference states that its goal is ‘to encourage Catholics to commit to protecting the most vulnerable in society’ — by vaccination, naturally.”

More than 760,000 people have signed LifeSiteNews’ petition calling on governments around the world not to make coronavirus vaccines mandatory.

The signatories of the May open letter by Catholic clergy and lay leaders insist that individuals must be free to reject coronavirus vaccines without any penalties being imposed on them.

“The fight against Covid-19, however serious, must not be the pretext for supporting the hidden intentions of supranational bodies that have very strong commercial and political interests in this plan,” the letter states. 

“In particular, citizens must be given the opportunity to refuse these restrictions on personal freedom, without any penalty whatsoever being imposed on those who do not wish to use vaccines, contact tracking or any other similar tool.”

One of the signatories of that letter, environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr., recently warned of the need to be cautious about any new coronavirus vaccine, pointing out that key parts of testing are being skipped. 

In an online debate on mandatory vaccinations the son of Senator Robert F. Kennedy and the nephew of President John F. Kennedy pointed out that a significant percentage of participants in a recent trial for a leading coronavirus vaccine have been hospitalized.

Kennedy highlighted the potentially worrying results of trials of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine, which is receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. federal funding. The trial 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 20 percent.”

Kennedy also mentioned another reason not to trust blindly any company currently producing vaccines in the United States. Each one of the four vaccine producers “is a convicted serial felon: Glaxo, Sanofi, Pfizer, Merck.”

“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,” Kennedy stated

“It requires a cognitive dissonance 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.”


  abortion, catholic, catholic bishops' conference of england and wales, coronavirus, coronavirus vaccine, mandatory vaccinations, parental rights, vaccine, vaccines

News

Maryland gov. overrides county that threatened to jail parents, teachers if private schools reopened

'As long as these schools develop safe plans that follow CDC and state guidelines, they should be empowered to do what’s best for their community. This is a decision for schools and parents, not politicians.'
Mon Aug 3, 2020 - 2:02 pm EST
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Governor of Maryland website
Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland, August 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Maryland’s Republican Gov. Larry Hogan issued an executive order Monday overriding a county’s decision to force private and parochial schools to remain closed against their will. Under the now-overruled order, parents and educators could have faced up to a year in jail for attempting to open or operate a school.

On Friday, Montgomery County health officer Dr. Travis Gayles announced that private schools in the left-wing county just outside the nation’s capital would be forbidden from holding in-person classes through at least October 1, citing the threat of COVID-19 (despite the county having lower daily increases in cases than the state as a whole). 

“A person who knowingly and willfully violates this Order or any Local Order is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding one year or a fine not exceeding $5,000 or both,” Gayles’ order warned. 

“I strongly disagree with Montgomery County’s decision to mandate the closure of private and parochial schools,” Hogan responded. “As long as these schools develop safe plans that follow CDC and state guidelines, they should be empowered to do what’s best for their community. This is a decision for schools and parents, not politicians.”

On Monday, Hogan followed up by issuing an amended emergency order, which states that local school systems retain the primary authority to decide whether to operate for themselves.

“The recovery plan for Maryland public schools stresses local flexibility within the parameters set by state officials,” the governor explained. “Over the last several weeks, school boards and superintendents made their own decisions about how and when to reopen public schools, after consultation with state and local health officials.”

“Private and parochial schools deserve the same opportunity and flexibility to make reopening decisions based on public health guidelines,” he continued. “The blanket closure mandate imposed by Montgomery County was overly broad and inconsistent with the powers intended to be delegated to the county health officer.”

Keeping schools closed is not among the COVID-19 prevention or containment measures advocated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). 

Last week, CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield said the “cost to our nation in continuing to keep these schools closed is substantial,” especially the mental and emotional toll of prolonged social isolation. “We’re seeing, sadly, far greater suicides now than we are deaths from COVID,” he said. “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.”

In May, a group of more than 500 doctors signed an open letter warning President Donald Trump of the “short, medium, and long-term harm to people’s health with a continued shutdown … The millions of casualties of a continued shutdown will be hiding in plain sight, but they will be called alcoholism, homelessness, suicide, heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure. In youths it will be called financial instability, unemployment, despair, drug addiction, unplanned pregnancies, poverty, and abuse.”

The Trump administration has forcefully advocated that public schools reopen this fall. 

In California, the second-largest teachers’ union in the country said that defunding police and a moratorium on charter schools should be part of coronavirus re-opening plans. “This is a painful decision, but we have to keep health and safety first,” Los Angeles schools superintendent Austin Beutner said.


  coronavirus, covid-19, larry hogan, lockdowns, maryland, montgomery county, private schools, religious schools, travis gayles

News

CNN uses ‘individuals with a cervix’ instead of ‘women’ in report on cervical cancer screening

The CNN tweet of the report was met with mixed responses, with some replying by saying that the news report should have just used the word 'women.'
Mon Aug 3, 2020 - 11:44 am EST
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Siriluk ok / Shutterstock.com
Anthony Murdoch
By Anthony Murdoch

August 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — In a report on cervical cancer screening, CNN refused to use the word “women” when describing people who need such screenings, using instead the phrase “individuals with a cervix.” Critics on social media quickly pointed out that the “woke” choice of words seemed like something out of a “Soviet internal memo” and that CCNN wanted to “cancel women.”

“Individuals with a cervix are now recommended to start cervical cancers screening at 25 and continue through age 65, with the primary human papillomavirus (HPV) testing every five years as the preferred method of testing,” opens the CNN report published Thursday.

The report was about updated cervical cancer screening guidelines issued by the American Cancer Society (ACS) in a paper called “CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.”

The ACS paper that the CNN report is based on also uses an extreme form of “gender-inclusive” language, using the phrase “individuals with a cervix” and not mentioning “women.” 

The “gender-inclusive language” in the report caught the attention of Catholic author Eric Sammons, who blasted the news network’s use of words as something out of a “Soviet internal memo.”

“CNN apparently wants to cancel women, but as a full-time writer/editor, I also find the woke need to use clunky language painful to behold. ‘Women’ is a beautiful word; ‘individuals with a cervix’ sounds like something you’d read in a Soviet internal memo,” tweeted Sammons this morning.

Lila Rose, founder and president of the pro-life group Live Action, took to Twitter as well to blast the CNN report.

“This language is objectifying and incredibly disrespectful to women,” tweeted Rose.

The CNN tweet of the report was met with mixed responses, with some replying by saying that the news report should have just used the word “women.”

“You could’ve just said Women,” said one user, which prompted someone to reply,  “its not just women.” This triggered another user to respond in defense of the first, saying, “yes it is.”

Another user replied to the CCN tweet by tweeting, “Women is not a dirty word.” Someone else who claimed, “Men can have a cervix too.”

Another user rebuked the “men can have a cervix” commenter by saying, “Only if you want all categories to become utterly meaningless and language to collapse as a functional tool for navigating social life. I could insist that my dog is a human being; don't make it true or useful.”

In its extreme form, “gender-inclusive” language can mean entirely replacing the words “male,” “female,” “man,” “woman,” “boy,” “girl,” and gender-specific pronouns with neutral words such as “everyone” and “they” or “their.”

This language is promoted by the pro-LGBT group GLAAD.

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

“How about using folks instead of guys? Or try using everyone instead of men or women. Addressing a more formal crowd? Try distinguished guests in place of ladies and gentlemen! It’s that easy,” suggests  GLAAD on its website.

The United Nations defines “gender-inclusive” language as “speaking and writing in a way that does not discriminate against a particular sex, social gender or gender identity, and does not perpetuate gender stereotypes.”

“Given the key role of language in shaping cultural and social attitudes, using gender-inclusive language is a powerful way to promote gender equality and eradicate gender bias.”

The U.N. guidelines list ways a person could write in English that limit, or eliminate, any reference to sexes.

Despite the CNN report going to the extreme in its omission of the word  “women” to describe those who have a cervix, there are some high-profile LGBT-supporters, such as the author of the Harry Potter novels, J.K. Rowling, who has spoken out against this extreme form of “gender-inclusive” language.

Rowling was hit with a barrage of backlash from the mainstream media, LGBT activists, and even stars of the film adaptations of the Harry Potter books for blasting an article from Devex titled “Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate.”

She responded to the report on Twitter, saying, “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

Rowling then went on to say in a follow-up tweet that “if sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction.”

Shortly after her social media message, Rowling published a lengthy essay in which she defended her social messages. In her essay, she wrote about why she opposes the transgender agenda and added that she refuses to “bow down” to it despite massive public pressure to capitulate.

Rowling also argued that trans activism has resulted in the “erosion of women’s and girls’ rights” and the erosion of what it means to be female.

“I’ve read all the arguments about femaleness not residing in the sexed body, and the assertions that biological women don’t have common experiences, and I find them, too, deeply misogynistic and regressive. It’s also clear that one of the objectives of denying the importance of sex is to erode what some seem to see as the cruelly segregationist idea of women having their own biological realities or — just as threatening — unifying realities that make them a cohesive political class,” wrote Rowling.

“But, as many women have said before me, ‘woman’ is not a costume. ‘Woman’ is not an idea in a man’s head. ‘Woman’ is not a pink brain, a liking for Jimmy Choos or any of the other sexist ideas now somehow touted as progressive. Moreover, the ‘inclusive’ language that calls female people ‘menstruators’ and ‘people with vulvas’ strikes many women as dehumanising and demeaning. I understand why trans activists consider this language to be appropriate and kind, but for those of us who’ve had degrading slurs spat at us by violent men, it’s not neutral, it’s hostile and alienating,” she added.

Rowling’s social media comments and her essay were both met with attacks by LGBT activists, including the LGBT rights organization GLAAD. 


  cnn, j.k. rowling, mainstream media, pronouns, propaganda, transgenderism

News

Leftist protesters burn Bibles, American flags in Portland as riots continue

The Portland protests have turned violent on numerous occasions, with President Donald Trump sending in federal troops to restore order.
Mon Aug 3, 2020 - 11:20 am EST
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Martin Bürger Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

PORTLAND, Oregon, August 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Left-wing protesters burned several copies of the Bible on Friday night during the ongoing demonstrations in Portland, Oregon, which were first started by Black Lives Matter movement more than two months ago. Video footage also shows protesters setting fire to American flags while chanting, “F--- Trump.”

U.S. senator Ted Cruz from Texas took to Twitter, commenting, “This is who they are.”

Donald Trump, Jr., the son of the president, said, “Now we move to the book burning phase. I’m pretty sure ANTIFA doesn’t actually stand for what they say it stands for. Maybe just remove the anti part of them [sic] name and it’s perfect.”

“Antifa” is short for “anti-fascism.” The group espouses far-left ideologies like anarchism and Marxism. The movement is also using violence to achieve its goals.

“Are we still pretending that ANTIFA isn’t simply a group of actual Fascists?” Trump added later. He also retweeted another user questioning “what burning the Bible has to do with protesting against police brutality.”

“Do not be under the illusion that these protests and riots are anything but an attempt to dismantle all of Western Civilization and upend centuries of tradition and freedom of religion,” wrote Ian Miles Cheong.

The Portland protests have turned violent on numerous occasions, with President Donald Trump sending in federal troops to restore order.

Portland could be an increasingly dangerous place not only because of the riots, but also because police are not properly funded.

“In order to solve the crimes, [chief of police Chuck] Lovell said the bureau pulled detectives and officers from an ‘already diminished patrol’ unit to help investigate and follow up on the high number of homicides,” reported local television channel KATU.

“Beyond deadly shootings, the bureau is getting called to more shootings, in general, compared to last year. Shootings are up each of the last three months this year, compared to the same time last year.”

Lovell cited Portland’s recent decision to dissolve the gun violence reduction team as another factor making police work more difficult.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has expressed his openness to partially defunding the police. When asked if he agrees “that we can redirect some of the [police] funding,” Biden responded, “Yes, absolutely.

Following the death of George Floyd in police custody on May 25, Black Lives Matter protests erupted across the country, with Antifa joining in the riots. Frequently, Christian church buildings and other religious symbols, especially statues, were the target of the rioters’ wrath.

Shaun King, a leading voice in the Black Lives Matter movement, best known for claiming to be half-black despite both parents on his birth certificate being listed as white, declared Monday that statues, murals, and stained glass windows depicting Jesus as white should be taken down for being “form[s] of white supremacy,” meant to be “tools of oppression” and “racist propaganda.”

On May 31, vandals had attempted to burn down historic St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., just across from the White House. Local fire officials said the fire was in the basement, and they managed to put it out before it spread.

In New York, St. Patrick’s Cathedral was defaced with graffiti.

In June, 100 people reportedly helped to topple a statue of the missionary saint Junípero Serra with ropes on Olvera Street in Los Angeles. In a video of the incident, one participant can be heard saying “this is for our ancestors” as the statue comes crashing down.

In Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, activists pulled down another statue of St. Junípero Serra. A video of the incident shows those in attendance cheering as the statue is toppled. One person can be seen hitting the statue with fists and another person hitting it with a skateboard once it has fallen to the ground.

The Black Lives Matter organization, officially known as “BLM Global Network Foundation,” is advocating for positions contrary to what Christians believe. The organization supports abortion, writing, “We deserve and thus we demand reproductive justice that gives us autonomy over our bodies and our identities while ensuring that our children and families are supported, safe, and able to thrive.”

The term “reproductive,” usually used in combination with “health” or “rights,” is a euphemism for abortion and contraception.

Additionally, the organization wants to abolish the traditional family.

“We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable,” the group wrote in its mission statement.

Black Lives Matter is also in favor of homosexuality and gender ideology. “We foster a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise).”


  2020 presidential election, antifa, bible, black lives matter, christian persecution, oregon, portland, riots

News

Pope’s biographer says Benedict ‘very frail,’ in severe pain from infection

A German newspaper reported the former Pope has already picked out his final resting place.
Mon Aug 3, 2020 - 10:20 am EST
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Peter Seewald (right) presented his 1100-page biography of Benedict XVI to the former Pope and his private secretary Archbishop Georg Gänswein on Saturday, Aug 1, 2020. Jakob John Seewald
Martin Bürger Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

August 3, 2020 1:06 PM EST update: This report now includes a comment by Archbishop Georg Gänswein, Pope Benedict’s private secretary, announced through the Vatican press office and more information about Benedict’s travel to Germany, as well as more information about Seewald’s biography. 

ROME, Italy, August 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is suffering from shingles (Gesichtsrose) and is “very frail,” a local German newspaper reported earlier today, referring to papal biographer Peter Seewald as the source of the information.

“The viral disease is accompanied by attacks of severe pain,” wrote Passauer Neue Presse. On Saturday, Seewald had met the 93-year-old former head of the Catholic Church in order to present his monumental biography of the German Pope.

“At the meeting, the Pope emeritus was optimistic despite the illness, and said that if his strength increased, he would possibly take up his pen again,” the newspaper pointed out.

Seewald also emphasized that Benedict’s thinking and memory are alert, but his voice is hardly audible. A documentary released by German television station BR in January had already featured some new footage where the Pope was barely understandable.

The newspaper explained that the former Pope’s spiritual testament will be published after his death. “As his final resting place he had disposed of the former grave of Saint John Paul II in the crypt of Saint Peter’s cathedral,” continued Passauer Neue Presse. “He felt particularly attached to this predecessor.”

Archbishop Georg Gänswein, Pope Benedict’s private secretary, announced through the Vatican press office that there was no reason “for particular concern,” reported the Catholic News Service

“The health condition of Emeritus Pope does not give cause for particular concern, except that of a 93-year-old who's overcoming the most acute phase of a painful but not serious illness,” he said. 

Pope Benedict developed shingles following his return to Rome in June. He had previously visited his brother Msgr. Georg Ratzinger one last time, before his death on July 1.

Benedict had surprised everybody by flying to Germany on June 18. Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer of Regensburg welcomed him at the airport. The Pope Emeritus stayed at the seminary in Regensburg, visiting with his dying brother several times a day. He was accompanied by his private secretary Gänswein, his doctor, his caregiver, and one religious sister.

During his stay in Germany, which was supposed to be private, Benedict XVI spent the bulk of his time with his brother, but also met with the Apostolic Nuncio to Germany, Archbishop Nikola Eterović, as well as the Minister President of Bavaria Markus Söder. He traveled to the cemetery where his parents and his sister are buried.

Catholics and other bystanders lined the streets whenever the Pope Emeritus moved from one place to another in Regensburg. Thus, in spite of the private nature of his visit, numerous photos and videos of the 93-year-old former Pope were taken. He traveled back to the Vatican on June 22.

Peter Seewald’s biography of Pope Benedict was released in May. While writing the book, Seewald talked to the Pope on several occasions, leading to Benedict’s remarks on homosexuality and abortion being picked up by the news media.

Benedict linked the dominance of “homosexual marriage” and “abortion” in the world to the “spiritual power of the Anti-Christ.”

“One hundred years ago,” Benedict said, “everybody would have considered it to be absurd to speak of a homosexual marriage. Today, one is being excommunicated by society if one opposes it.” The same applies to “abortion and to the creation of human beings in the laboratory,” Benedict added.

“Modern society is in the middle of formulating an anti-Christian creed, and if one opposes it, one is being punished by society with excommunication,” he went on to say. “The fear of this spiritual power of the Anti-Christ is then only more than natural, and it really needs the help of prayers on the part of an entire diocese and of the Universal Church in order to resist it.”

Asked about the claim that he as Pope encountered “many blockages” during his papacy on the part of the Roman Curia, Pope Benedict answered: “Blockages came more from the outside than from the Curia. I did not want merely to promote first and foremost the purification in the small world of the Curia, but in the Church as a whole.”

He added that “in the meantime, events have shown that the crisis of the Faith has led also especially to a crisis of Christian existence.” This, he continued, is what the “Pope has to have in front of his eyes.”

“Of course,” he pointed out, “events such as ‘VatiLeaks’ are a nuisance and not understandable for the people in the world at large and deeply disturbing. But the real threat to the Church and with it to the Petrine Office does not come from such things, but from the world-wide dictatorship of seemingly humanistic ideologies.” To contradict this dictatorship, Benedict explained, “means the exclusion from the basic consensus in society.”

Seewald had previously released four interview books with Pope Benedict: Two when he was still Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, one as the reigning Pontiff, and one as Pope emeritus.


  catholic, peter seewald, pope benedict xvi

Opinion

Leftist ‘wokeness’ is a new religion, and it’s coming to convert you

In case you hadn’t noticed, a new fundamentalist religion has been born in the streets of America. It’s the religion of Woke.
Mon Aug 3, 2020 - 7:35 pm EST
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William Kilpatrick
By William Kilpatrick

August 3, 2020 (Turning Point Project) — In case you hadn’t noticed, a new fundamentalist religion has been born in the streets of America. It’s the religion of Woke — the religion of people who believe they have been given a special revelation about the nature of society. They have discovered that American society is irredeemably racist and heteronormative and, therefore, must be torn down.

They were blind but now they see. They were asleep but now they’re woke. And they think you ought to be woke too — even if it takes the violent occupation of city streets and squares to wake you up to the truth of their religion.

As I said, it’s a fundamentalist religion. The religion of the woke people is narrow, puritanical, and righteous. Those who don’t conform to its catechism — the heretics — are quickly expelled or “cancelled.” As with other fundamentalist faiths, the new religion appeals not to reason, but to emotions. The proof of one’s faith is shown by the repetition of mindless slogans and by passionate demonstrations of commitment.

Strangely — or perhaps not so strangely — the woke people do not worship a Supreme Being. They look not to God, but to the State for the answers to life’s problems.  The promised land is not in heaven, but here on earth. And it can be achieved once the woke people take the reins of government.

Sounds familiar? It should. The religion of Woke is not really a new religion. It’s simply one more iteration of an old religion — the religion of humanism. The basic assumption of this religion is that there is nothing higher than man and the institutions he has created. Despite the pleasant-sounding name, “humanistic” religions regularly end up committing human sacrifice of one kind or another. The good of the individual is sacrificed to the needs of the state. Pre-born babies are sacrificed to “quality of life.” And dissenters from the official creed are simply exterminated.

It’s well-known that idealists and humanitarians were initially attracted to movements such as Nazism and communism because of their humanistic promises. Indeed, the Nazi Party platform of 1934 was in many respects a “progressive” document which promised cradle-to-grave welfare for all German citizens.

What is less well-known is that both Nazism and communism were, in effect, religious movements which attempted to replace worship of God with devotion to the leader — Hitler, in the case of Nazi Germany, and Lenin and Stalin in the case of Soviet communism. Even today, North Koreans are expected to treat their own “Dear Leader” as a divinity, and in some Chinese towns, Christians are being forced to replace Christian symbols with portraits of Chairman Mao Zedong and President Xi Jinping.

The religious impulse is built into human nature, and if it is not directed toward God, it will be directed toward some unworthy substitute for God. In the process, God Himself becomes the enemy.

It’s not surprising then that the woke faithful, like their communist compatriots, tend to be anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, and anti-God. They have broken stained glass windows, torn down statues of saints, and vandalized dozens of churches and synagogues. Hostility to religion is a hallmark of leftist movements and the Woke religion is nothing if not a leftist movement. The Red Guard of the movement are Black Lives Matter and Antifa, both of which are avowedly Marxist groups.

The most visible manifestation of the Woke religion are the black-clad rioters who tear down statues and set fire to public buildings. But the Church of Woke is much larger than that. Its number includes politicians, local and federal office holders, teachers unions, professors, television anchors, celebrities, young professionals and middle-aged CEOs. Moreover, the Church of Woke is engaged in ceaseless evangelization. As Robby Starbuck observed in a recent Federalist piece:

[The Church of Leftism’s] evangelists are everywhere, their efforts permeating all aspects of life: television shows, websites, social media, consumer bank landing pages, corporate advertising. Barely a single product, app, or promotion these days comes without a free leftist sermon.

What’s more:

The Church of Leftism ... has established a veritable army of missionary- teachers to convert children to its radical faith.

Whatever one wants to call it — the Church of Woke or the Church of Leftism — the new faith appears to be growing rapidly. Wokeism is now the established faith of the establishment culture. As the number of those who identify as Christians continues to decline, the number of the woke continues to increase.

Which raises a question. How is the Catholic leadership responding to the rise of this new religion? Not only is the religion of Woke drawing souls away from Christianity, it is, in many respects, diametrically opposed to the Christian faith. For example, Black Lives Matter, which is a member in good standing of the Woke alliance, strongly supports abortion and the LGBT agenda while simultaneously seeking to dismantle the traditional family.

Like other leftist “religions,” the religion of Woke is a religion of rebellion. Whatever their immediate complaint, the ultimate complaint of the woke people is against God and the order He created. In the case of the LGBT-supporting Black Lives Matter, the rebellion is against the God-ordained institution of marriage as between one man and one wife — the institution that God established “from the beginning of creation” (Mk. 10:6).

One would think that the USCCB should issue a statement to the effect that a Catholic cannot in good conscience join BLM or support them. Some bishops and priests have made that point, but most seem content to sit on their hands, waiting to see how The New York Times handles the issue. Meanwhile, several U.S. priests have been reprimanded or suspended by their bishops for having dared to criticize the BLM organization.

Besides, the hierarchy have more pressing issues to worry about. They can’t be expected to bother their heads about the possible destruction of American society by true believing communists when the fate of our relationship with “Mother Earth” is at stake.

Under the leadership of Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia (a well-known patron of earthiness), the Pontifical Academy for Life has issued a document which claims that the Covid-19 pandemic is a punishment for “depredation of the earth.” In other words, for sins against the environment.

It seems strange to be focusing on the environment of the rainforests and grasslands when the environments of Chicago, Minneapolis, Portland, and Seattle are going up in smoke. But there is good precedent for the Academy’s concern for “Mother Nature,” because Pope Francis made the same point a few months ago. He speculated that the coronavirus pandemic was “nature throwing a tantrum” in response to ecological sins.

More recently, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the anti-poverty arm of the USCCB, announced a $500,000 grant to Direct Action & Research Training Center (DART) to fight climate change. According to Bishop David O’Connell of Los Angeles, the “effects of climate change devastate poor communities around the country.”

Yes, once the sea level eventually rises to inundate Miami Beach and the rest of the Atlantic seaboard, it will undoubtedly have a devastating effect on the poor, the rich and everyone in between.

But in the meantime, there is a different type of climate change that is already devastating poor communities in hundreds of cities, and neither the bishops nor the Vatican has had much to say about it.

In cities across the country, temperatures are soaring as the advance troops of the militant Church of Woke set fire to buildings and blocks full of businesses. And as the businesses go up in smoke, so do the chances of the poor for rising out of poverty. Moreover, when times get tough in the cities, the middle and upper-middle classes tend to move out, leaving the poor stranded in urban areas with shrinking income bases. So, maybe it’s time for the bishops to get their heads out of the clouds of climate change and look around at the damage that the Social Justice Warriors (many of whom the bishops indirectly support) have done to the poor.

There’s one final irony to be noted. Ever since the beginning of his papacy, Francis has reserved his harshest criticism for religious fundamentalists. He has never ceased to scold them for their “rigidness,” “narrowness,” and “intolerance.” The “fundamentalists” he mainly has in mind are traditional Catholics, but he admits that the type can be found in every religion.

Shouldn’t he, then, take issue with the religion of Woke? It is, after all, the most fundamentalist faith on the planet. Its closest competitor in this regard is Islam, but the edge has to be given to the Woke. There is such a thing as a moderate Muslim, but you can’t remain moderately woke for long. If you don’t quickly convert to full wokeness, you will be subject to an inquisition, and, if found guilty, the righteous members of the congregation will attempt to destroy your life, and, if possible, the lives of your spouse and children.

But the Woke should not be compared to fundamentalist Christians. To do so would be a grave injustice. Fundamentalist Christians are Christians, after all, and that puts a check on the temptation to be overly rigid. However, because they don’t believe in a Supreme Judge, there is no such check on the Woke. They can properly be compared not to fundamentalist Christians, but to the Jacobins during the Reign of Terror or the Red Guard during Mao’s Cultural Revolution.

If Francis really wants to make the world safe from fundamentalists, he should take a closer look at the religion of the Woke. He will find many things that should disturb him.

He is, for example, a great fan of dialogue. He sees it as the solution to every problem. But, as you will have noticed, the Woke people don’t want to dialogue. They want to do all the talking, and they want you to shut up. Just as the Nazis in Hollywood movies “have ways of making you talk,” the Woke have ways of silencing you. And, as a recent survey shows they’ve been hugely successful.

The survey, which was release by YouGov and the Cato Institute revealed that sixty-two percent of respondents find that the “political climate these days prevents them from saying things they believe because others might find them offensive.” Almost a third feared that saying the “wrong” thing could get them fired. The only category of persons in which a majority felt free to express themselves were “strong liberals,” i.e. the Woke.

If Pope Francis is true to his principles, he ought to take the Church of Woke to task for its un-nuanced view of the world. Perhaps at this very moment he is penning an Encyclical to help Catholics better understand the dangers of this new religion. But don’t count on it.

Published with permission from the Turning Point Project.


  antifa, black lives matter, catholic, christianity, humanism, riots, turning point project, wokeness

Opinion

ISIS’s horrific genocide against Yazidi people began 6 years ago today

ISIS made no secret of its desire to destroy the religious minority group it called 'pagan.' The effects of that genocide remain today.
Mon Aug 3, 2020 - 7:13 pm EST
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Yazidis attending Friday rituals in Lalish, Iraq, 2014. Chris McGrath / Getty Images
Arielle del Turco
By Arielle del Turco

August 3, 2020 (Family Research Council) — Six years ago today, ISIS invaded the Sinjar region in northern Iraq, the quiet homeland of the Yazidi people. It only took a few hours for ISIS to seize Sinjar City and kidnap or kill all who were unable to flee in time. Those who did manage to escape ran to Mount Sinjar without food, water, or medical care, with ISIS hot on their heels.

An ancient religious group familiar with being persecuted by their neighbors, Yazidis had lived simple lives in the rural region. But the attacks by ISIS would have long-lasting consequences.

It took U.S. airstrikes to push the ISIS militants back as Kurdish forces made a safe passageway for Yazidis to descend Mount Sinjar later that month. But in the heat well over 100 degrees, hundreds of Yazidis — many of them children and infants — had already died on the mountain despite airdrops with aid from the U.S. and other military forces.

Meanwhile, ISIS attacked Yazidi villages in the surrounding area. Upon capture, the men and women were separated. The men who refused to convert to Islam were rounded up to be shot and killed. Captured women and children often heard the gunfire that killed the men of the village and saw the evidence of mass murder as ISIS fighters returned with their clothes stained by the blood of their husbands, sons, and brothers.

Militants took many of the younger women to be bought and sold as sex slaves. Women too old to enter the slave trade were shot. The region was soon littered with mass graves.

Yazidi children were forcibly converted to Islam. Thousands of boys were forced to become ISIS fighters, tortured and starved in the process. Today, many of these former child soldiers are missing arms or legs lost while fighting for their abductors.

ISIS made no secret of its desire to destroy the religious minority group it called "pagan" through the use of forced conversion, enslavement, and mass killings. The overwhelming evidence of ISIS' intent to eradicate religious minorities prompted the United States to officially declare the Islamic State attacks on Iraq's Christians, Yazidis, and other minorities a genocide in 2016.

Thankfully, the terrorists' genocidal efforts were unsuccessful, and many Yazidis remain to tell the story of their people. Yet, the painful legacy of genocide lingers, and ISIS' brutal campaign still haunts the survivors.

Today, an estimated 2,800 women and children who were kidnapped by ISIS remain missing. Hundreds of thousands of Yazidis are still displaced, living in camps with minimal resources. As U.S. officials look to develop policy and foreign aid priorities in the Middle East, every feasible effort should be made to help the survivors of genocide.

August 3, 2014 is now remembered as the day ISIS began its genocide against the Yazidi people. Most days dedicated to commemorating genocides remember atrocities that happened decades or centuries ago. This remembrance day is different because the Yazidi genocide happened a mere six years ago. The horror is still within our recent memory, and the survivors are still in need of help.

ISIS is no longer the focus of the American news cycle, but we would be remiss to forget the victims of genocide so quickly, especially those who are still in need of our help. The effects of ISIS linger. As the international community looks to maintain stability in the Middle East, consideration should be given as to how best to aid and restore the religious communities ISIS worked to destroy.

Published with permission from the Family Research Council.


  family research council, iraq, isis, islam, islamic state, jihad, religious freedom, yazidis

Blogs

Washington Post’s hit piece on COVID-stricken priest left out these important facts

The Washington Post attacks a loving priest who contracted the coronavirus
Mon Aug 3, 2020 - 2:05 pm EST
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Monsignor Charles Pope Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word / YouTube screenshot
Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire
By Claire Chretien

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

August 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The left-leaning Washington Post published an article this past weekend that seemed to relish the fact that Monsignor Charles Pope, a popular priest in the nation’s capital, has been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

“The pastor of a Catholic church on Capitol Hill who urged people not to ‘cower in fear’ of the novel coronavirus has contracted covid-19, the disease the virus causes, prompting D.C. health officials to tell about 250 staff and parishioners to self-quarantine for two weeks,” it began

The piece, authored by Rebecca Tan, went on to quote at length left-wing Catholic writer Dawn Eden Goldstein, who for weeks has been attacking Pope on Twitter. Tan reached out to Eden via Twitter. 

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Following the announcement of Msgr. Pope’s diagnosis, Goldstein went on a Twitter rampage condemning the priest for allegedly refusing to wear a mask outside and suggesting that had he been more careful, he wouldn’t have gotten sick.

The contempt for Msgr. Pope on display by the Washington Post and Goldstein is reminiscent of the media’s April 2020 mockery of a Virginia pastor who died from the coronavirus after “def[ying] social distancing.” Their scornful attitude also brings to mind recent media treatment of former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, a cancer survivor who had the coronavirus and died.

The Post’s steely, unempathetic ire seems to have been brought upon Msgr. Pope because of his writing and speaking out against “the serious and potentially deadly effects of this unprecedented shutdown.” 

On May 6, he wrote the following at the National Catholic Register:

I am neither an epidemiologist nor an immunologist, and I accept that some degree of protective measures is necessary to protect the vulnerable and to minimize the spread of the disease.

However, I am also concerned about the serious and potentially deadly effects of this unprecedented shutdown. I do not support every action or position of the demonstrators, but I am sympathetic to their essential concern that the “cure should not be worse than the disease.” The lives of those afflicted by or particularly susceptible to the new coronavirus matter, but so do the lives of others who are experiencing mounting losses and struggling to provide for their families.

Many with this concern are demonized and told that they are selfish and don’t care if other people die. This is, of course, an unfair accusation. Those who are calling for a gradual reopening want people to live, too. Living consists of more than having a pulse. Living involves thriving, interacting with others, cultural enrichment. Living involves the dignity of work, contributing our labors and sharing in their fruits. For a Catholic, living means the Holy Mass, receiving the sacraments and gathering for communal worship.

The response to the pandemic has indeed shown that the “cure is worse than the disease.” In addition to causing millions of people to lose their jobs and shutter their businesses, the restrictive measures taken by lawmakers have led to a huge uptick in suicides, supposedly virus-positive people being fitted with ankle monitors, and governments telling people they may not sing in church or even while live-streaming services in an empty church. Moreover, many have died alone in hospitals without the comfort of family by their side. There are even global food shortages causing tens of thousands of children to die from starvation. Some citizens are being told they must cover their faces in their own homes.

Weddings and funerals in many places have also been banned or severely restricted, although elites have ignored their own rules. For instance, many U.S. lawmakers packed a Georgia church for the funeral of Rep. John Lewis, and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser then exempted them from the district’s requirement that anyone coming from Georgia quarantine for two weeks.

Millions of people in the U.S. and around the globe generally agree with the sentiments Msgr. Pope has expressed in his writings – that there is more to life than avoiding disease, that it’s unreasonable to indefinitely lock people in their homes, but that at the same time reasonable health precautions should be taken to prevent the spread of the virus

In an August 1 video, Msgr. Pope revealed that he’d cried upon receiving the positive COVID-19 diagnosis – not out of fear of the virus, but because what he knew it would mean for his parishioners. 

He went to an urgent care facility that tested him for the virus, and then “it came back positive.” Afterwards they sent him to Georgetown hospital because his oxygen levels and fever were not where they needed to be.

“I spent all night in the emergency room...I got discharged at 3 a.m.,” he said. “When I was told that the test came back positive, I really wept. I don’t think that the nurse practitioner understood” why I was crying, he said. She asked if he was “that afraid of COVID.”

“I said not COVID,” he recalled. “But how many lives this is going to affect...when you’re a priest, you literally and figuratively touch hundreds of lives and I can see all the dominos falling...I could see huge numbers” of people being asked to quarantine.  

The Post predictably chose not to include that sentiment of Pope, instead just reporting, “He apologized for the ‘inconvenience’ he had caused parishioners who were asked to quarantine.”

In its hit piece on Msgr. Pope, the Post also revealed its deep ignorance of religion by describing Holy Communion – which the Catholic Church teaches is the literal body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ – as “the Catholic ritual of sharing wafers and wine.”

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Screenshot of the Washington Post's original description of Catholic Communion, accessed August 2 at 9:37 p.m. Eastern time. The article now says Communion is 'where wafers and wine are shared to represent the body and blood of Christ,' which is also inaccurate.

‘Lukewarm’ Catholic comments completely misrepresented

In an interview Sunday night, Msgr. Pope told LifeSiteNews that his physical symptoms are similar to a “bad case of the flu” and emphasized that the Post article misrepresented comments he’d made on the radio about “lukewarm Catholics.”

“The thing that most pained me in the article was that someone accused me of saying anyone who doesn’t come back to Mass now is a lukewarm Catholic. I have not said [that],” he said. “I never meant that. It was quoted out of context in a much longer conversation on a radio show where I distinguished between Catholics who should not come back to Mass – older folks and those with medical conditions and then some younger folks who may be taking care of people with medical conditions – I fully understand that – and people need to make their own prudential decisions.”

Msgr. Pope said he had been talking about people who were lukewarm in their faith before the coronavirus outbreak started, and are not likely to be rushing back to the pews. He was not saying anyone who doesn’t go to church during the pandemic is lukewarm, as the Post and Goldstein suggested he was. His comments can be listened to in their entirety here. He made “a lot of distinctions” in his comments on the radio, he said.

“I am concerned that there are some people out there who we may have lost forever or a long, long time,” he continued. “Even after this crisis is over, we’re going to have to work very hard to bring them back to the Church. There are also others who have felt abandoned and hurt by the Church, and we’re going to have to work very hard to bring them back.”

“There are lukewarm Catholics. They do exist. I’m concerned that at some level, the Church wasn’t particularly relevant to begin with and after four or five months off they’re not exactly gonna be rushing back.”

He continued, “I think the question is to find balance. I think that there are legitimate times that we can and should wear masks for now and socially distance and we should follow protocols for Communion. And – I continue to ask this question, ‘what’s the endgame? When will this [gripping] fear let up?’ Because we’ll never have a completely risk-free world. So the question is: how do we balance fears on both sides and move forward to the life we once knew in this country?”

Goldstein chided Msgr. Pope for drinking water without a mask while protesting racism 

Yet the Post was not done misrepresenting facts and conflating the truth about Msgr. Pope.

In its report, Goldstein was quoted as saying she felt “insulted” by his remarks on the virus.

“He has used his platform to mock and ridicule Catholics who are taking precautions,” she claimed. “It’s so un-pastoral, so unlike a priest.” 

The Post continued:

Goldstein said she encountered Pope on June 6, a day of mass racial justice protests in Washington, while he was leading a rosary procession with about 30 priests, nuns and congregants, most of whom were not wearing facial coverings.

Goldstein, who was distributing water and masks with other members of St. Joseph’s, said she offered Pope a mask but he declined — a decision she felt was irresponsible.

It was not mandatory at the time to wear facial coverings outdoors, though city officials had urged residents who were attending protests to do so.

Msgr. Pope provided LifeSite with more context for that interaction.  

“We were praying for an end to racial injustice in all its forms,” the priest, whose parish is predominantly African American, explained. This was in the wake of the national outcry over the killing of George Floyd. “We walked over a mile on a hot day. And we came all the way up to the Capitol. And there was a little watering hole that St. Joseph’s parish had nicely set up. And so we stopped and got some water.” 

“It was a large area. We all spread out.”

“I downed a couple bottles of water because we were all very dehydrated,” he said. “And Dawn [Goldstein] comes along at some point and says, ‘you gotta wear a mask.’ [I said], ‘I’m drinking water, and I have a mask in my pocket.’”

“I always carry [a] mask in my pocket, in case I need to go into a store [or] help somebody close up,” he added. “The only people I was close to were people I already live with. I think that her request was excessive and I declined. I said, ‘I have a mask, but I’m trying to drink water. How am I going to do that when I’m wearing a mask?’ And then she left with a huff and next thing I know I’m being excoriated on the Internet.”

In August 2019, Center for Family and Human Rights president Austin Ruse wrote at Crisis magazine an article essentially arguing that Goldstein has gone off the rails.

“In recent months Dawn [Goldstein] has fashioned herself as the scourge of what she sees as right-wing anti-Francis heresy,” the pro-life leader wrote. “Her specialty is making wild charges against these ‘heretics’ and then often having to walk them back and apologize.”

“I first experienced Dawn’s animus during the Viganò-McCarrick controversy. Dawn was incensed at Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s claims of deep episcopal corruption and spent weeks on Twitter going after him,” wrote Ruse, a former friend of Goldstein. “I felt it strange that she seemed far less interested in getting the Vatican to release their files on McCarrick. When I told her so, she blocked me on Twitter.”

Goldstein was “a charming, eccentric, if slightly whacky (in a good way), incredibly fun woman,” Ruse wrote. “But, somewhere along the line, she has become an uncharitable scold who sees herself as a one-woman wrecking crew against those she sees as the enemies of Francis, many of whom are her former friends in the Catholic trenches. She’s on the trajectory of Mark Shea-ing herself—of getting so lost in the battles that she loses both her reputation and her (forgive the expression) brand, both of which have been quite good.”

Msgr. Pope is an extraordinary, loving priest 

One other possible reason Msgr. Pope is being so unfairly attacked is that he isn’t falling over himself apologizing for his past comments about the coronavirus, which are actually helping encourage people to not be paralyzed by fear.

“COVID’s not a terminal illness for most people,” he said during his interview with LifeSite last night. “It’s kind of a bad case of the flu...I’m recovering and I expect to recover unless something unfolds that I’m not expecting. And I think most people do recover. And then very sadly, some have died.” 

This is why people should “act prudently,” he said, “but not just [cower] in fear. My concern is the excessive fear, and that’s far worse than the disease itself. Anything is possible if you go out your front door.”

This reporter has known Msgr. Pope for five or six years now. Like me, he’s an animal lover. When my dog died in 2016, Msgr. Pope called me to see how I was holding up. Although I’m not his parishioner, he officiated my wedding. He’s comforted me when I’ve been brokenhearted and helped me navigate crises of all kinds. More than once I’ve called him crying late at night, and he’s been there for me.

And something that has always struck me about Msgr. Pope is his reaction to the homeless asking him for money. This has happened multiple times when I’ve been with him, usually after pro-life activities in the city. Every single time I’ve seen him interact with a person begging, he’s opened up his wallet and given away all the cash inside – and then asked the homeless person to pray for him. (Sadly, city dwellers often ignore the homeless; that is why I noticed this.)

Msgr. Pope has always been very gentle and paternal toward me, exactly as a priest should be. I’m grateful to him for caring about the spiritual, emotional, and physical health of all the faithful with whom he comes in contact. He is everything a priest should be, and the malicious Washington Post piece is everything “journalism” should not be. 

LifeSite’s Stephen Kokx contributed to this article.


  catholic, charles pope, coronavirus, dawn eden goldstein, washington d.c., washington post

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Episodes Mon Aug 3, 2020 - 4:16 pm EST

Catholic families can’t settle for being ordinary, must be extraordinary

By Mother Miriam
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Watch Mother Miriam's Live originally aired earlier and re-aired on 8.3.2020. In today’s episode, Mother Miriam speaks about the duties of parents, homeschooling, and the need for Catholic families not to settle for mediocrity, but to strive to be extraordinary.

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