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News

Irish govt spent over $3M on chemical abortions alone in 2019

The Irish Health Service Executive gives general practitioners over $500 to kill a baby but about $300 to care for a mother during her pregnancy.
Thu Sep 3, 2020 - 9:55 pm EST
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Svetlana.Is / Shutterstock.com
Nancy Flanders
By Nancy Flanders

September 4, 2020 (Live Action News) — Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE) spent $3.4 million funding chemical abortions (abortion pill) in 2019, according to Carol Nolan TD who revealed the “staggering” number in response to a parliamentary question. The money was paid to general practitioners (GP) and does not include money spent on surgical abortions or chemical abortions committed in a hospital setting.

“When you put this information, and the recent annual report on the number of abortions that took place in 2019 together, what we now have is an emerging sense of how much abortion is going to ‘cost’ in terms of the loss of human life and the financial resources that could be better spent at the community level,” Nolan told Gript. “It is also clear however that the fees of [$3.4 million] do not represent anything like the true financial cost because that number only refers to abortions which took place at 9 weeks or under in a community setting.”

This amount is truly staggering when considering the fact that the HSE gave $3.7 million to the entire National Women and Infants Health Programme (NWIHP) in 2019. The pro-life organization Life Institute believes this is a clear example of the government prioritizing funding abortion over supporting pregnant women.

In fact, the National Association of General Practitioners revealed that the HSE pays GPs about $538 to commit an abortion but only $299 to care for a woman during her pregnancy.

“These numbers show that some doctors are literally making a killing from the new abortion regime. GPs are being paid almost twice as much to provide an abortion than they would make from caring for a woman in pregnancy, and for some doctors, abortion is clearly a profitable undertaking,” said the group.

Legalized abortion went into effect on January 1, 2019, and 6,666 abortions were carried out that year in the nation. Additionally, 375 abortions were committed on Irish citizens in England and Wales, and 67 of the abortions that occurred in Ireland were committed on women from Northern Ireland. In 2018, before the legalization of abortion in Ireland, 2,879 abortions were committed on Irish citizens in England and Wales. Since legalization, the number of abortions in Ireland has increased by nearly 150%.

“So, what we now need to know is whether or not the money that was paid out in fees for abortion has led to any kind of reduction or withdrawal of funding for any other maternal and infant health services that are carried out as part of the NWIH Programme,” said Nolan.

Published with permission from Live Action News.


  abortion, abortion pill, ireland, modern medicine, socialized medicine

News

Google, Apple announce COVID ‘contact tracing’ technology built directly into phones

Critics warn that mobile tech is now being turned into an ‘extremely aggressive surveillance tool.’
Thu Sep 3, 2020 - 7:53 pm EST
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Paul Smeaton Paul Smeaton Follow Paul
By Paul Smeaton

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

September 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Google and Apple announced that local and national governments will be able to utilize coronavirus “contact tracing” technology built into their smartphones without the need for developing their own individual apps.

“As the next step in our work with public health authorities on Exposure Notifications," the tech giants said in a joint statement earlier this week, “we are making it easier and faster for them to use them without the need for them to build and maintain an app.”

“Exposure Notifications Express provides another option for public health authorities to supplement their existing contact tracing operations with technology without compromising on the project's core tenets of user privacy and security.” 

Like many of the apps that have been developed around the world, the technology uses Bluetooth signals to identify smartphone users who have been in close contact with each other. If someone using the system registers a positive test for coronavirus, those who are identified as having been in close contact with them may receive a notification from their local health authority.

But with the new technology smartphone users will now see the options for their coronavirus Exposure Notifications in the settings for their phone, rather than having to download an app.

Apple and Google say that “(e)ach user will have to make an explicit choice to turn on the technology and “it can also be turned off by the user at any time.”

Earlier this week, prominent tech researcher Dr. Robert Epstein told LifeSiteNews that Google’s Android smartphone system is “an extremely aggressive surveillance tool.”

“If you're offline on your mobile device and it's an android device it's still tracking every single thing you do. It's tracking every piece of music you listen to on your device and maybe every movie that you watch and every memo that you take and and so on your shopping lists the moment you go back online uh all the new information is immediately uploaded,” Epstein said.

In May, the state of Arizona announced that it is suing Google for allegedly using deceptive practices to track the location of smartphone users without their knowledge after a nearly two-year investigation into the company.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said the investigation had shown that “While Google users are led to believe they can opt-out of location tracking, the company exploits other avenues to invade personal privacy” and “even with Location History off, Google surreptitiously collects location information through other settings such as Web & App Activity and uses that information to sell ads.” 

While the development of the technology means that smartphone contact tracing systems can be rolled without a local app being developed and downloaded by users, Google and Apple say they will continue to work with health authorities using their own app.

“Existing apps using the Exposure Notification API will be compatible with Exposure Notifications Express, and we are committed to supporting public health authorities that have deployed or are building custom apps,” their statement said.

The updated system reportedly requires iOS 13.7, which was released earlier this week for iPhones, and Google is scheduled to bring out an update to facilitate the system for its Android users this month.


  android, apple, arizona, contact tracing, covid-19, exposure notification, exposure notifications express, google, iphone, mark brnovich, robert epstein, smartphones

News

Bishop criticizes German colleagues’ synodal path working doc for saying Christ ‘ordains no one’

Bp. Rudolph Voderholzer excoriated the document for employing 'one-sided distorted biblical theology.'
Thu Sep 3, 2020 - 7:26 pm EST
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Bp. Rudolph Voderholzer of Regensburg, Germany. EWTN - Katholisches TV / YouTube
Martin Bürger Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

REGENSBURG, Germany, September 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer has strongly criticized an official working document drafted for the German Church’s synodal path for stating that Jesus Christ “ordains no one.”

Voderholzer, the bishop of Regensburg, wrote in an open letter that he was surprised to see the document on the role of women in the Church, which will be voted on this Friday, state that Jesus Christ “has male and female disciples, ordains no one.”

“What is the point of such a statement?” Voderholzer asked. “Just as well one would have to say on this level, then: ‘Jesus does not baptize anyone, either, he does not confirm anyone, does not go to Mass even on Sundays, etc.’ The fact that the sacraments belong to the time of the Church post-Easter is obscured. But the fact that in theology there is a very differentiated reflection on the question of the institution of the sacraments is ignored.”

The synodal path is a multi-year reform process initiated by the German Bishops’ Conference and the lay organization called Central Committee of German Catholics. According to its statutes, the hand-picked participants in the synodal path discuss not only the role of women in the Church, but also sexual morality, abuse of power, and the priestly lifestyle.

After pointing out the flaw in the statement that Christ “ordains no one,” Voderholzer offered a brief but profound catechesis on how Christ called some of his followers to be apostles.

“The evangelist known as Mark uses creation terminology when speaking of the constitution of the circle of twelve! In a passage that is quite decisive for the biblical foundation of the sacrament of Holy Orders, it says in connection with the work of the pre-Easter Jesus in Mk 3:13f.: ‘Jesus went up a mountain and called to Him those whom He Himself wanted, and they came to Him. And He appointed twelve (epoiêsen dôdeka), that they might be with Him and that He might send them out ...’”

“Then follows a list with the names of the twelve, whom the evangelist known as Luke then, as is well known, identifies with the apostles in the narrower sense,” Voderholzer continued. “They are also promised: ‘He who hears you hears me’ (Lk 10:16). Together with these twelve he will also celebrate the Last Supper, in the course of which, in the symbolic acts of breaking bread and raising the chalice, he anticipates without bloodshed his sacrifice of the cross and, for the time of the Church, sets up the celebration of the Eucharist as a representation of his death and resurrection.”

PETITION: Join faithful German Catholics in resisting bishops’ plan to ‘Protestantize’ Church! Sign the petition here.

Voderholzer called what the drafters of the document did a “one-sided distorted biblical theology.”

He also pointed out that the document was drafted by a subcommittee of the group focusing on the role of women in the Church. Voderholzer himself is part of the group but was not part of the subcommittee.

The bishop emphasized that it was agreed upon on June 30 that biblical theology should not be part of the working document at all. Instead, it was supposed to be added later on.

Voderholzer said a final vote of the group focusing on the role of women in the Church was canceled for reasons of time, so he had no opportunity to express his disapproval with at least parts of the document.

“I protest against this behavior!” Voderholzer exclaimed.

Bishop Georg Bätzing, president of the German Bishops’ Conference, had to admit earlier today that Voderholzer’s remarks need to be discussed.

While not commenting on the theological propositions of the document, Bätzing said that if the group focusing on the role of women in the Church had indeed violated the statutes by not having a final vote, that would have to be corrected.

Just a few days ago, the working document of the group focusing on sexual morality was released, which proposed to redefine marriage as only one among many other ways “to live love and sexuality.”

In one section, the four-page document stated, “The openness for the passing on of life is not decisive for each individual [sexual] act, but to be affirmed in the overall course of a binding and long-term partnership.”

The document tried to rework “the concept of fertility” to include not just “the openness to new life,” but also “a social and personal dimension.” Accordingly, “[e]ven same-sex couples and other couples who cannot give birth to a new life have the potential for a fertile life.”

Additionally, basing itself on the principle that “man’s dignity is inviolable,” the drafters of the document “regard personal self-determination ... lived in Christian freedom as the central principle of order for the shaping of human sexuality. This means that people are allowed to say ‘no’ to unwanted sexual acts and ‘yes’ to a relationship with a self-chosen responsible partner.”

Due to the coronavirus crisis, the Synodal path will not meet in plenary assembly tomorrow, but in five regional conferences.


  catholic, georg batzing, german bishops conference, germany, holy orders, rudolph voderholzer, scripture, synodal path

News

13 Australian doctors tell govt to end lockdowns: ‘They’re causing unprecedented negative…outcomes’

'Ordinary sensible people if properly informed should inevitably conclude that the current government policy is ill focused, heavy-handed, and unjustifiable ... '
Thu Sep 3, 2020 - 6:44 pm EST
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Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne
By Lianne Laurence

MELBOURNE, Australia, September 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Thirteen top doctors in the Australian state of Victoria urged Premier Dan Andrews earlier this week to end what they denounced as an “unjustifiable” state of emergency.

In an open letter sent Monday to the Labour leader, the doctors blasted the state’s coronavirus lockdown as causing “unprecedented negative economic and social outcomes and negative health outcomes,” the U.K. Daily Mail reported.

The letter had contributions from urologists, psychiatrists and surgeons and warned against extending the state of emergency, stating it was “vital” that the state’s extreme stage four restrictions be lifted September 13 as scheduled.

“The medical, psychological and social costs of the lockdown are disproportionately enormous compared to the limited good being done by current policies,” it stated.  

The doctors also asked Andrews to allow parliament “to openly discuss and debate appropriate medical plans to manage the current COVID-19 crisis” — particularly given the new knowledge of how the virus works and a sharp decline in COVID-19 deaths.

“Stage 3-4 lockdowns for the whole community have continued for no apparent scientific reason,” the letter states. 

“We now know that whilst COVID-19 is highly contagious, it is of limited virulence.”

For people “who are physically well and under 60 years of age, the mortality risk is extremely low. Contrary to what you have said, Mr. Andrews, the virus DOES discriminate,” the doctors added. 

“Ordinary sensible people if properly informed should inevitably conclude that the current government policy is ill focused, heavy-handed, and unjustifiable as a proportionate response to the risks posed by COVID-19 to the public’s health.”

However, despite these pleas, the state parliament voted early Wednesday morning 20-19 to extend the state of emergency another six months.

This allows Brett Sutton, Victoria’s chief health officer, to extend and impose COVID-19 restrictions, such as a curfew and mandatory mask wearing in public, for that period of time, The Australian reported.

Opposition leader David Davis -- who on Tuesday asked the premier and health minister to meet with “all the 13 doctors” who contributed to the letter -- blasted the Labour government for shutting down debate during the marathon session.

“The Andrews Government described the bill as the most important to be debated this parliamentary term, yet time and time again, Labor voted to prevent important questions from being asked,” Davis said. 

Opposition lower house MP Tim Smith lamented the vote as a “very, very, sad day in Melbourne and Victoria.”

“These laws are so extreme they’re seeing Victorians only allowed out of their homes to do an hour of exercise every day. This has never happened before in our history,” he told a Sydney radio station on Wednesday morning.

“A six-month extension to the state of emergency powers are totally disproportionate to the threat, the risk that will be posed to Victorians next year by the coronavirus.”

The 13 doctors underscored this in their letter.

The stage four restrictions have “caused or exacerbated depression, anxiety and other mental health issues, as well as contributed to domestic violence, through an extreme and unjustified disruption to family, social and work life,” they wrote.

Moreover, appointments to general practitioners have fallen “dramatically” because people are afraid to see a doctor because of the virus, and as a direct result, they will have a “poorer prognosis.”

“This has especially been the case with consultants who treat cancer. A study in the UK estimated an extra 4,000 deaths from not screening the four main cancers alone and not from lack of treatment,” they wrote.

The doctors’ letter compared coronavirus data with other serious medical conditions.

“We are told that since March 2020, 565 Victorian patients have died either with or from the virus (31st August numbers). This compares with annual Victorian deaths of approximately 10,000 patients with cardiovascular disease and 11,000 with cancer,” they wrote.

“Accordingly, the COVID-19 deaths are a relatively small proportion of the 114 deaths per day that are normally seen in Victoria. In comparison, since the start of March, COVID-19 has been associated with three of the 114 deaths per day.

The letter was initiated by Box Hill Hospital urologist Dr. Geoff Well.

Contributors were: Royal Melbourne Hospital transplant surgeon Dr Bob Millar, Monash Hospital orthopaedic surgeon Dr Jon Bare and Nossell Institute for Global Health public health physician Nathan Grills, Professors John Murtagh, Haydn Walters and Kuruvilla George, Dr Peter Denton, Dr William Edwards, Dr Andrew Taylor, Dr Michael Knight, Dr John Mathai and Dr Eamonn Mathieson. 

“We just want to have significant input into this response instead of a blanket approach that is harming the general population,” Well told NCA Newswire.

“The mood of the population has changed dramatically in the past two weeks – there seems to be one half that is getting angrier and angrier and the other half which has just lost all hope – these policies are affecting the general psyche of the community.”

The Andrews government’s new restrictions imposed mid-August include an 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. curfew, except for “work and essential health, care or safety reasons”; people cannot leave their homes except to shop for food and essential items, receive or give care, take daily exercise, or to work; face coverings are mandatory anywhere outside one’s home, even in open spaces when one is alone; no one can visit any home other than his or her own, except to give care; people may only gather in public with one person from outside their home.

Andrews stated repeatedly before Wednesday’s vote that extending the state of emergency did not mean stage four restrictions would be in place the same length of time, according to the Daily Mail.

On Sunday, the government will release plans to move both regional Victoria and its capital city of Melbourne out of restrictions.

The vote to extend the state of emergency comes as outrage grows over Victorian police arresting a pregnant woman for “incitement” after she promoted an anti-lockdown protest on Facebook.

The Australian letter is not the first time doctors have protested coronavirus restrictions. In May, more than 500 American physicians signed a letter to President Donald Trump expressing their concern over the fallout over the lockdowns.

Here is full text of the letter by the Australian doctors:

Dear Premier,

We, the undersigned, are senior medical practitioners of various specialities who practice in Victoria and are deeply concerned with the Victorian government’s management of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) viral pandemic as a public health issue.

The purpose of this letter is to make you aware that not all medical practitioners are in agreement with the Chief Medical Officer and the Victorian government regarding the most effective way to control this disease. We believe that an alternative medical response is required that reflects what we know about the spread of the virus, those who have died from it, and the impact that the stage 3-4 lockdown restrictions are having on the physical and mental health of the general population.

For the sake of people in Victoria with other medical illnesses, it is vital that Stage 4 restrictions be lifted on schedule in mid-September.

This letter details our concerns and recommendations. We are ready to offer any assistance we can to help create and implement a revised, effective and just response to the Victorian situation; to this end we would be pleased to meet with you at your convenience to discuss the matter further.

Government response to Covid-19 and available data

Focusing on the numbers of cases of COVID-19 is at best an unsophisticated way of looking at disease management. Factors such as the side effects of any policy, its cost effectiveness, the quality of life years lost, and the cost per life saved are fundamental when considering disease management. In addition, any policy to manage any disease must be reviewed in light of new data.

We believe that the government’s initial response to handling COVID-19, via a stage 3 lockdown to ‘flatten the curve’, was reasonable in view of the limited information available at the time on the outbreak in China and the alarming number of deaths in Italy. The initial response, though arguably excessive, was still highly effective in preserving medical capacity and allowing time to coordinate a full medical response, with the community accepting that the social and economic consequences were reasonable and for the common good

However, we now know that whilst COVID-19 is highly contagious, it is of limited virulence.

Whilst an accurate cause of death of a person can be difficult to determine, we are told that since March 2020, 565 Victorian patients have died either with or from the virus (31st August numbers). This compares with annual Victorian deaths of approximately 10,000 patients with cardiovascular disease and 11,000 with cancer. Accordingly, the COVID-19 deaths are a relatively small proportion of the 114 deaths per day that are normally seen in Victoria. In comparison, since the start of March COVID-19 has been associated with 3 of the 114 deaths per day.

Most of the 565 deaths have occurred in nursing homes which according to doctors currently working in this environment have described causal factors related not only to the virus but to other care related issues, including isolation, loneliness, and related diminished nutritional intake.

However, in Victoria we have had 541 LESS deaths this July compared to July last year. (3,561 deaths compared to 4,102 deaths in July 2019).

In Australia last year, 2019, in the month of July alone we had 71,000 new laboratory confirmed cases, and a total of 313,000 laboratory confirmed cases of influenza for the year. This is only a fraction of the actual total cases of influenza, as many cases go untested.

In August 2017 we had 99,000 new laboratory confirmed cases of Influenza and a total of over 250,000 cases for the year.

During 2017 and 2019 Influenza resulted in 25-30,000 hospital admissions and up to 2500 ICU admissions across Australia. Three percent of hospital admissions were pregnant women and up to 18 per cent were under the age of 16.

The deaths from Influenza each and every year is between 3500 and 4000, according to the Australian Influenza Specialist Interest Group website and the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This is despite recent excellent rates of vaccination in the vulnerable population and millions of vaccinations utilised each year. (2020,18 million, 2019 13.2 million, 2018 11 million, 2016 8.3 million)

The vast majority of deaths associated with COVID-19 have occurred in frail people over 80 years, many of whom also had significant co-morbidities. In Victoria more than 73 percent of known COVID-19 deaths resided in nursing homes. (381 out of 524 and 30 out of 52 in NSW, as of August 30).

For people who are physically well and under 60 years of age, the mortality risk is extremely low. Contrary to what you have said, Mr Andrews, the virus DOES discriminate. See graphs below.

Since June 2020, the death rate has risen sharply in aged care facilities where the risk of transmission of COVID-19 has been unacceptably high. However, the government, and the doctors advising it, have not reviewed their policy in order to focus on this vulnerable segment of the population. Instead, stage 3-4 lockdowns for the whole community have continued for no apparent scientific reason.

Medical and social consequences

As medical practitioners, it is our collective experience that patients are presenting later to us with their medical complaints. Specialist referrals from GPs, and indeed GP workload, have fallen dramatically due to patients’ reluctance to leave home in fear of acquiring the virus. As a direct consequence of this delay, many will have poorer prognoses. This has especially been the case with consultants who treat cancer. A study in the UK estimated an extra 4000 deaths from not screening the four main cancers alone and not from lack of treatment.

In addition, it is our professional opinion that the stage 4 lockdown policy has caused unprecedented negative economic and social outcomes in people, which in themselves are having negative health outcomes. In particular, it has caused or exacerbated depression, anxiety and other mental health issues, as well as contributed to domestic violence, through an extreme and unjustified disruption to family, social and work life. Job losses, home schooling, the isolation of the elderly and single people and the restriction on the number of people who may attend funerals, are but a few examples of how the government’s current response is harming the health of the general population.

In short, the medical, psychological and social costs of the lockdown are disproportionately enormous compared to the limited good being done by current policies, and are relevant factors to be taken into account by any responsible government.

Proposed amendments to the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (Vic)

We further note with much concern, that the proposed amendment to the Public Health and Wellbeing Act that would effectively allow the government to continue its current policy to manage COVID-19 even if there were to be zero cases over a period of time. This is unfathomable and certainly contrary to the objects of the Act, which require accountability, proportionality and collaboration to be fulfilled.

Specifically, the legislation explicitly mandates that the government’s decisions on public health initiatives must be transparent, systematic and appropriate, with members of the public given access to reliable information in appropriate forms to facilitate a good understanding of the issue. In addition, the legislation acknowledges that decisions will be enhanced through collaboration between all levels of government and industry, business, communities and individuals.

Recommendations

For all these reasons, ordinary sensible people if properly informed, should inevitably conclude that the current government policy is ill focused, heavy-handed, and unjustifiable as a proportionate response to the risks posed by COVID-19 to the public’s health.

As the virus is not going away soon, and an effective vaccine may not be available for a considerable period of time, if at all, we respectfully call upon the government to do the following:

1 The State of Emergency not be continued past September 13 with an agreement made for parliament to be allowed to openly discuss and debate appropriate medical plans to manage the current COVID-19 crisis. A panel of non-politically aligned medical and health-related experts be selected by a bi-partisan parliamentary group to provide the transparent and active role of informing and advising government decisions and responses to the epidemic.

2 Ensure adequate measures, testing, and protection of the vulnerable, especially those in aged residential care environments and their families and carers.

3 Clearly communicate to the public the medical evidence-base, objectives and timelines of any proposed future management plans, with open disclosure of the processes and negative consequences, to inform those discussions and decisions.

4 A broader focus be given to the health and well-being of Victorians, by utilising all relevant available data and by calculating the costs and harms, including the social, economic, family, emotional, psychological and spiritual impacts on the community, of any decisions and plans to manage the COVID-19 crisis, thereby explaining and justifying the merits of these plans as a reasonable and proportionate response.

5 To review regularly the outcomes of any management decisions and demonstrate a willingness to modify plans as new data and insights become available.

Thank you for your time in reading this letter. We look forward to your early response.

Yours faithfully, Mr Geoff Wells, Urologist, Box Hill Hospital, Private Practice; Mr Bob Millar, Transplant Surgeon, Royal Melbourne Hospital; Mr Jon Bare, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Monash Hospital, Private Practice; Professor Nathan Grills, Public Health Physician, University of Melbourne; Professor John Murtagh, Emeritus Professor AO Academic General Practitioner; Professor Haydn Walters, Respiratory Medicine, University of Tasmania; Professor Kuruvilla George, Psychiatrist; Mr Peter Denton, General Surgeon; Mr William Edwards, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Private Practice; Dr Andrew Taylor, Gastroenterologist, St Vincent’s Hospital; Mr Michael Knight, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Private Practice; Dr John Mathai, Psychiatrist; Dr Eamonn Mathieson, Anaesthetist, Private Practice.

 


  australia, covid-19, dan andrews, david davis, doctors, labour party, victoria

News

Trump promises to ‘fully defund’ Planned Parenthood if he wins election

'As I seek re-election this November, I need your help in contrasting my bold pro-life leadership with Joe Biden’s abortion extremism,' Trump says in a letter to pro-life supporters.
Thu Sep 3, 2020 - 4:51 pm EST
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President Donald Trump delivers remarks Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, at Flavor First Growers and Packers in Mills River, N.C. Shealah Craighead / White House / Flickr
Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

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

September 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – President Donald Trump has formally identified what he intends to do for the preborn should he win a second term in office, following controversy over his campaign releasing a second-term agenda document that failed to mention abortion.

“As I seek re-election this November, I need your help in contrasting my bold pro-life leadership with Joe Biden’s abortion extremism,” Trump says in a letter to pro-life supporters.

“The Democratic Party unequivocally supports abortion-on-demand, up until the moment of birth, and even infanticide — leaving babies to die after failed abortions. Joe Biden’s embrace of this extreme position is most evidenced by his support for taxpayer funding of abortion on-demand. Forcing taxpayers to pay for abortions is an abhorrent position that must be defeated at the ballot box. Joe Biden has doubled down on these positions with his selection of abortion extremist Kamala Harris as his running mate.”

Specifically, Trump pledges to “continue our transformation of the federal judiciary” via conservative Supreme Court appointees, to “overcome Democratic filibusters in Congress to finally pass and sign into law” legislation banning late-term abortion and taxpayer funding of abortion, and strengthening protections for infants born alive after failed abortions; and to “fully defund the big abortion industry such as Planned Parenthood of our tax dollars.”

Trump consistently governed as a pro-lifer in his first term, and there was little doubt that a potential second term would bring more of the same. However, the Trump campaign came under fire last month for releasing a second-term agenda that failed to reference the preborn at all among his list of priorities. 

Days later, the campaign quietly added a “Defending American Values” section to the agenda document, which pledges to “continue nominating constitutionalist Supreme Court and lower court judges”; “protect unborn life through every means available”; and “defend the freedoms of religious believers and organizations.”

The unforced error notwithstanding, the November election presents a stark choice for pro-life Americans. Trump’s Democrat opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, is campaigning on a plan to enshrine effectively unlimited abortion on demand into federal law, at taxpayer expense, and even to use the federal Justice Department to tie the hands of states that try to enact any pro-life restrictions.

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House Democrats are also reportedly planning to demand that spending bills no longer include the pro-life Hyde Amendment beginning next year, which would allow direct federal funding of elective abortions. Whether they ultimately succeed will depend on who controls Congress and the White House next year.


  2020 presidential election, abortion, donald trump, republicans

News

Almost 100 Republicans call on FDA to ban ‘dangerous’ abortion pill from market

The legislators requested the drug be classified as an ‘imminent hazard to the public health’ that poses a ‘significant threat of danger.’
Thu Sep 3, 2020 - 4:22 pm EST
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Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

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

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 3 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Ninety-two members of Congress have written the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) demanding that the abortion pill be pulled from the market as an “imminent hazard to the public health.”

Twenty Republican senators led by Texas’s Ted Cruz signed one letter, and 72 GOP House members led by Georgia’s Jody Hice signed another. “Given the devastating impact this drug has had on American women and children, we must now urge the FDA to exercise its authority (…) and classify the abortion pill as an ‘imminent hazard to the public health’ that poses a ‘significant threat of danger’ and remove this pill from the U.S. market,” they argued.

The lawmakers take aim at a federal judge’s recent decision to block the Trump administration from limiting abortion pills to in-person dispensation by physicians during the COVID-19 outbreak, as opposed to letting women take the pills at home without medical supervision. “We believe that this rogue judicial activism is a gross breach of the separation of powers, undermining the FDA’s statutory authority to ensure drug safety, while recklessly endangering American women and children,” the letter declared.

“It is by now nakedly obvious that the abortion industry and its allies in the media, billionaire philanthropic circles, and special interest groups, have wanted an unregulated and demedicalized abortion pill since the moment the FDA first approved it in 2000,” the lawmakers argued. “We believe this deadly pill should never have been approved, yet the abortion industry was politically rewarded with an accelerated approval process normally reserved for high-risk drugs that address life-threatening illnesses like AIDS. As you are surely aware, pregnancy is not a life-threatening illness, and the abortion pill does not cure or prevent any disease.”

After the letter was released, several media outlets attacked the signatories for supposedly claiming pregnancy was never “life-threatening.” Cruz responded by noting that the letter actually said pregnancy was “not a life-threatening illness”:

The letter follows a coalition of pro-life groups, including Live Action, Samaritan's Purse, the Susan B. Anthony List, Heritage Action, The American College of Pediatricians, AAPLOG, and more sending their own letter to the FDA calling for the same thing.

“This lethal drug that the FDA permits for killing innocent preborn children during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy is also highly dangerous for women,” that letter explained. “According to the FDA’s adverse event reporting system, the abortion pill has resulted in over 4,000 reported adverse events since 2000, including 24 maternal deaths. Adverse events are notoriously underreported to the FDA, and as of 2016, the FDA only requires abortion pill manufacturers to report maternal deaths.”


  abortion, abortion pills, chemical abortion, congress, food and drug administration, jody hice, republicans, ru-486, ted cruz

News

Polish bishops call for ‘counseling centers’ for LGBT people wanting to regain ‘natural sexual orientation’

‘At the core of the Church’s mission is the duty to witness to the truth flowing from the Gospel and the law of God,’ the bishops wrote
Thu Sep 3, 2020 - 4:13 pm EST
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Polish Bishops' Conference June, 2017. www.episkopat.pl
Dorothy Cummings McLean Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy
By Dorothy Cummings McLean

LUBLIN, Poland, September 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The Conference of Polish Bishops has written a pastoral paper encouraging respect for people who identify as LGBT while pointing out the problems with LGBT ideology.  The long, often technical, document appeared on August 28. 

“The obligation to respect people belonging to the LGBT+ movement does not mean uncritically accepting their views,” the bishops wrote. 

“On the contrary, it means their careful analysis and verification in the light of objective truth about human sexuality and the principles of the common good,” they continued. 

“The ideology of these movements and their demands are burdened with numerous errors harmful to the life of society: for example, the accusation of lacking tolerance, behind which an ideology negating the difference and natural complementarity of men and women frequently hides. The appeal to nature mainly hides human biology, a cultural option, gender impulse or psychosexual emotionalism.”

In “Stance of the Conference of the Polish Bishops on the LGBT+ Question”, the bishops also call for counseling for people who wish to “regain their sexual health and natural sexual orientation.” 

“In view of the challenges created by gender ideology and LGBT+ movements, and especially keeping in mind the difficulties, suffering and spiritual ruptures experienced by these people, it is necessary to create counseling centers (also with the help of the Church or also through her structures) offering help to people who want to regain their sexual health and natural sexual orientation,” the bishops wrote. 

According to the Conference of Polish Bishops’ website, the bishops stress that the Church is open to dialogue with “every person of good will seeking the truth.” The bishops hold up as their model Pope Francis, who they say “meets with people identifying themselves with LGBT+, kindly extends a hand to them, expresses understanding of their tendencies, but at the same time does not avoid a clear presentation of the teachings of the Church about gender ideology or practices against nature and the dignity of man.”

Pope Francis, has, however, bowed to LGBT ideology on a few occasions, describing people who identify as transgender according to their “preferred” sex, not according to their biological sex. 

In 2016, the pontiff referred to a woman who had undergone a “sex-change” operation as a “man,” saying that she had “married” another woman. HE mentioned receiving the pair in the Vatican and clarified that the post-operative female was “He that was her but is he.” More recently the Pope praised a woman religious for opening a “trans home” for men who present as   female and referred to the men as “girls.”

The Polish bishops began their 27-page, 105 paragraph document with a reaffirmation of the Church’s mission in the world and a declaration of their reluctance to abandon people with same-sex desires.

“At the core of the Church’s mission is the duty to witness to the truth flowing from the Gospel and the law of God,” they wrote.  

“For whenever the Church would confirm a man in his error or turn her eyes from his loss, she would betray her Master, she would betray that man, and she would betray herself because ‘this man is the primary route that the Church must travel in fulfilling her mission: he is the primary and fundamental way for the Church, the way traced out by Christ himself,’ they continued. 

“‘From that also ‘every threat to human dignity ... must necessarily be felt in the Church's very heart [...] and engage her in fulfilling her mission.’ [saying of John Paul II. Redemptor hominis. Rome 1979 nr 14;  Evangelium vitae. Rome 1995 nr 2, 3).”

They added that this teaching is also inspired by Christ’s invitation to open hearts wide to him and that only Christ can “soothe the personal grief and moral ruptures of people identifying themselves as LGBT+.” 

“Only He can bring peace and inner harmony to their lives. Lord Jesus directs to them in a special way the words ‘Come to Me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest’ (Mat 11:.28),” they wrote. 

The paper is divided into four sections: “The Sexuality of Men and Women in the Christian Vision of the Person”; “LGBT+ Movements in a Democratic Society”; “LGBT+ people in the Catholic Church”; and “The Church regarding the LGBT+ position in matters of the sexual development of children and young adults.”

The bishops recognize that the Church and human society have been presented with many new challenges, thanks to the “so-called sexual revolution” and the “cultural and moral changes” that came along with it. 

“The rejection of traditional morality has led to deep changes in the understanding of human sexuality,” they wrote. 

“Gender ideology as well as the attitudes characteristic of LGBT+ are a particular expression of these changes.”   

Reception of the document has been mixed. 

Krystian Kratiuk of  Polonia Christiana magazine told LifeSiteNews via email that “atheists and Church progressives” have criticized the document harshly, particularly because it supports therapy for people with same-sex attractions.

“Left-wingers accuse [the bishops] of wanting to forcibly convert people from homosexuality, which is nonsense since the bishops wrote only that therapeutic programs should not be abandoned for people who feel the need to combat disorderly sexual tendencies,” the journalist wrote. 

Kratiuk believes that “from a conservative point of view” the document is “generally good” but has a “flaw.” 

“Namely, it introduces the phrase ‘LGBT+’ into official Church documents in Poland, which the Church has not used at all so far,” he said.

“Moreover there is talk of ‘LGBT+ people’, which we know is a word artificially created by gay activists,” Kratiuk added, noting that a year ago the bishops had condemned the phrase when Warsaw mayor Rafał Trzaskowski signed a “LGBT Charter of Rights”.

Traskowski lost in the recent presidential election to Andrzej Duda, which inflamed Poland’s ongoing culture war. 

At press time there was no official translation of the Polish bishops’ document into English.


  catholic, homosexuality, polish bishops, same-sex attraction, unwanted same-sex attraction

News

Trump waives ‘requirements’ so as to deliver COVID vaccine by November 1

CDC Director Robert Redfield said that the order to ‘expedite vaccine distribution will not compromise the safety or integrity of the products being distributed’
Thu Sep 3, 2020 - 2:45 pm EST
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Martin Bürger Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

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

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – President Donald Trump wants a COVID-19 vaccine ready to go by November 1, a letter from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to all governors shows.

The letter, dated August 27, was obtained by McClatchy and reported on yesterday by the publishing company’s newspapers.

CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, a Trump-appointee, wrote that the normal time needed to obtain the necessary permits and licenses in vaccine development is “a significant barrier to the success of this urgent public health program.”

“CDC urgently requests your assistance in expediting applications for these distribution facilities, and, if necessary, asks that you consider waiving requirements that would prevent these facilities from becoming fully operational by November 1, 2020,” Redfield continued.

“The requirements you may be asked to waive in order to expedite vaccine distribution will not compromise the safety or integrity of the products being distributed,” he assured the governors.

It remains to be seen if the public will also be convinced of the safety and integrity of a rushed vaccine. 

The CDC’s letter to governors comes on the heels of the head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Commissioner Stephen Hahn, indicating that his agency is willing to skip critical Phase III testing for potential COVID-19 vaccines, raising concerns about the safety of the final product.

In an interview with the Financial Times last Sunday, FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn said, “It is up to the sponsor [vaccine developer] to apply for authorisation or approval, and we make an adjudication of their application. If they do that before the end of Phase Three, we may find that appropriate. We may find that inappropriate, we will make a determination.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vaccine trials involve three phases, with a fourth sometimes added after the vaccine has already been approved.

“During Phase I, small groups of people receive the trial vaccine,” the government agency explains on its website. “In Phase II, the clinical study is expanded and vaccine is given to people who have characteristics (such as age and physical health) similar to those for whom the new vaccine is intended. In Phase III, the vaccine is given to thousands of people and tested for efficacy and safety.”

Hahn clarified that his agency would not technically approve any vaccine that has not undergone Phase III testing, but only issue what is called an emergency authorization.

“Our emergency use authorisation is not the same as a full approval,” he explained. “The legal, medical and scientific standard for that is that the benefit outweighs the risk in a public health emergency.”

President Trump had launched what he called “Operation Warp Speed” in May, in order to fast-track the development and distribution of a coronavirus vaccine and make it available to the general public as soon as possible.

At the same time, he said the new vaccine would be for those “who want to get it,” adding, “Not everyone is going to want to get it.”

Meanwhile, leaders in various states have indicated they would like to make the vaccine mandatory.

Concerned citizens across the country have mobilized, organizing petitions and protests, in order to keep the COVID-19 vaccine a voluntary measure instead of one mandated by the government.

Yesterday, hundreds of freedom lovers came together in Virginia’s capital of Richmond to protest the mandates imposed by the government in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, specifically regarding vaccination.

One of the speakers at the “March Against Mandates, Dr. Leland Stillman, a general physician, told LifeSiteNews that “it’s quite clear from the data” the COVID-19 “is not nearly as virulent or deadly as it was made out to be originally.”

He added that the people dying from the virus “are clearly people who are sick previously,” often “by their own choices: they ate poorly, they smoked, they didn’t exercise, they made choices.”

On the other hand, “the public at large who may work very hard and spend a lot of money keeping up their health, is being told that they’re going to be forced to vaccinate with a vaccine that, again, we don’t know the efficacy of, and we don’t know the side effects.”

He said an attitude like this “certainly violates the principle … that I was taught as a physician, which is primum non nocere, which means, ‘first, do no harm.’ So it’s just, this is all political theater, and it’s an agenda to get people vaccinated because it serves certain special interests.”

In the context of talking about “special interests,” Stillman encouraged people to “look at the National Vaccine Injury Compensation [Program]. I mean, it’s $4.4 billion, at least, of taxpayer dollars that have been paid out … to people who’ve suffered from privately held products. And the vaccine industry doesn’t have liability.”

“That’s unprecedented,” the young doctor continued. “Your builder’s liable if your house collapses on you. Your gun manufacturer is liable if your gun misfires. Your plumber is liable if they make a mistake and there’s a massive leak in your house, and your house floods, and you have to do hundreds of thousands of dollars in remediation.”

“But if your child is injured by a vaccine,” Stillman explained, “the vaccine manufacturers have no liability. That’s a recipe for corporate malfeasance. And, of course, the vaccine manufacturers, the pharmaceutical industry has been convicted many, many times of criminal activity. Are they ever sent to jail? No. They get fined. They get fined, and they get slapped on the wrist. And then they go back to business.”

Stillman said Americans “need to wake up to the fact that the mainstream media is not telling them the truth about their health. Because the reality is that the mainstream media works for the people who pay their salaries. And that’s the top advertisers.”

“And you can go through the list of the top advertisers on any mainstream media network, and you will see that they are producing things that either make you sick, or treat the sicknesses that you have. Why would anyone who’s got that agenda tell you how to be healthy?” he asked.


  cdc, centers for disease control, coronavirus, robert redfield, vaccinations, vaccines

News

Dissident Catholics launch ‘Catholics for Biden’ in attempt to secure Catholic vote

Numerous priests, however, have come out saying that no faithful Catholic can vote for Joe Biden.
Thu Sep 3, 2020 - 2:09 pm EST
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Joe Biden hi-fives Kamala Harris. mobilize.us / Back To Blue Campaign
Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug
By Doug Mainwaring

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

September 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A group calling itself “Catholics for Biden,” created to generate grassroots Catholic support for the Democrat Presidential candidate, is set to launch today.    

The national group, which appears to be the brainchild of Kennedy family members Mark Shriver and Tim Shriver, Jr., will kick-off with a Zoom meeting Thursday evening, featuring Senator Dick Durbin and Sister Simone Campbell among others. 

“Catholics for Biden” wants to convince Catholics to vote for the former VP and his running mate, Kamala Harris, despite their unwavering support for maintaining a legal right to abortion in the United States.  

Numerous priests, however, have come out saying that no faithful Catholic can vote for Joe Biden. Fr. James Altman, a priest in the diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin, recently went as far as saying “You can not be Catholic and be a Democrat.”

Democrats have good reason to try to secure the Catholic vote. In 2016, Catholics pulled the lever for Republican Donald Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton, 52% to 45% according to the Pew Research Center. 

“Time to end the story of single-issue Catholic voting,” tweeted Tim Shriver, Jr., grandson of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, President John F. Kennedy’s sister.  

“Time for young Catholics voices to tell the story of what our faith truly demands,” continued Shriver.  “Join us tomorrow night for the launch of Young Catholics for Biden w/ Sr. Simone.”  

“Join us for the Catholics for Biden launch on Thurs, 9/3, 7-8pm ET!,” urged Mark Shriver.  “We'll be joined by US Senator Dick Durbin, Sister Simone Campbell, Dr. Stephen Schneck, Dr. Polly Baca, Felice Gorordo, my nephew Tim Shriver Jr.!! & more.”

Sister Simone, who spoke at the Democratic National Convention in August, recently skirted the issue of her support for abortion, telling Catholic News Agency (CNA), “It is above my paygrade.”

Simone, who is the executive director of the Network Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, is known for her support for legal abortion and is regarded as having undermined the U.S. Bishops’ expressed concern over Obamacare’s abortion component when the controversial health care takeover was being debated before its passage.

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, (D-Illinois), was barred by Bishop Thomas Paprocki from receiving communion in his diocese because of Durbin’s support for abortion.  Earlier this year, Paprocki announced via Twitter, “I am offering my prayers and fasting during this penitential season of Lent for the conversion of Senator Dick Durbin, that he will return to the pro-life position he once held when he was first elected to public office by the people of central Illinois.”   

Dr. Stephen Schneck, retired Director of the Institute for Policy and Research & Catholic Studies at The Catholic University of America and a former Obama White House appointee, has said that despite their pro-abortion policies, “it make much more sense to support Democrats,” because of the other social issues they promote.   

Schneck is also a board member of the USCCB’s Catholic Climate Covenant, an organization which asserts, “Catholics do care about climate change.”

Bishop Richard Stika of the Diocese of Knoxville, Tennessee, recently questioned the faithfulness of Joe Biden as well as U.S. House of Representatives Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, to the teachings of the Catholic faith.  

“It really confuses me that both Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi time and time again state that they are faithful Catholics and yet promote unlimited abortion as well as deny so many of the teachings of our faith. Nancy stated that she will no longer support the Hyde Amendment,” wrote Bishop Stika on Twitter. 

“I guess they think it is ok to say they are faithful but yet support the ultimate child abuse and human rights violation of the death of the unborn,” continued Bishop Stika. “I hope someday, her portrait will be removed from the Capital as she did of those who supported slavery. No difference.” 

Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island, delivered a searing succinct message to the Democrat presidential contender: 

“Biden-Harris. First time in a while that the Democratic ticket hasn’t had a Catholic on it,” declared Tobin.  

“Sad,” he added. 


  2020 election, 2020 u.s. election, abortion, catholic, catholics for biden, dick durbin, mark shriver, richard stika, simone campbell, tim shriver

News

Kanye West: Planned Parenthood guilty of ‘black genocide’ by abortion

'Abortion is the number one killer of black lives in the United States,' West said
Thu Sep 3, 2020 - 1:37 pm EST
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Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

PETITION: Urge the U.S. Attorney General to investigate the Black Lives Matter organization! Sign the petition here.

September 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Rapper and declared presidential candidate Kanye West called out the racial ramifications of abortion yet again this week, accusing Planned Parenthood of perpetrating a “black genocide” in an interview with TV host Nick Cannon.

“Abortion is the number one killer of black lives in the United States,” West said. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, abortion kills more black people than HIV, homicide, diabetes, accidents, cancer, and heart disease — watch this one — combined. Three thousand shootings in Chicago a year, 700 murders, you’ve got to put that with heart disease, you’ve got to put that with HIV, you’ve got to put that with diabetes, you’ve got to put that with just accidents, and put that with cancer, and it doesn’t add up to specifically abortions. If you think about that number, 1,000 black babies are aborted each day.”

“It’s happening every day, and right now God has given me the information, and he ain’t gave me no other information other than this information, and we have this right now, so that means he wants me to say this now,” West declared. “In 50 years, there’s been 22 million — over 22,500,000 — black people aborted strategically and on purpose. Planned Parenthood was set up and placed in minority communities to kill black people.”

West also discussed his emotional July campaign stop in North Carolina, where he confessed to almost having his first child aborted. “For anyone who wants to tear me down for crying, you realize that because of South Carolina, there are people who have decided to have a child?” he said. “Because they connected. And if they were on the fence about it, they never saw anyone in my position take that position and say, ‘Look at this. This is a 7-year-old right here. And she might have never made it here.’”

“We are inside a genocide as we speak,” West stressed. “I didn’t even want to have to say that information out loud, but God said, ‘Ye, I need to use you.’ I’m one of the bullhorns.”

The comments are the latest manifestation of the rapper’s spiritual transformation in recent years, starting with his praise of President Donald Trump in 2018 and conversion to Christianity the following year. West has repeatedly spoken out against abortion in the past, and criticized the idea that blacks and Democrats should be natural allies.

However, there remain contradictions in West’s pro-life testimony. Though his abortion story captured many headlines, far less attention was paid to the fact that in the same speech, he also said that abortion “should always be legal” because the “law is not by God anyway,” and abortion should instead be discouraged by paying women to choose life.

In July, West announced his presidential ambitions under the “Birthday Party” banner, telling Forbes he soured on Trump ever since “I caught wind that he hid in the bunker” during the Black Lives Matter riots in Washington, D.C., though he also panned Biden as “not special.” He was also candid about his lack of expertise, promising that his “answer for anything that I haven’t researched” will be to consult with “the strongest experts that serve God and come back with the best solution.”

It’s still unclear how serious West is about actually running for president. He has made the ballots of eight states as of late August, his campaign has missed filing deadlines in several others, as well as an August 20 deadline for reporting his campaign fundraising and spending to the Federal Election Commission.


  abortion, black abortion rate, black genocide, genocide, kanye west, planned parenthood

News

Revealed: Ghostwriter Fr. Rosica plagiarized in homilies for top Canadian archbishop

Fr. Thomas Rosica, now a byword for plagiarism in the English-speaking world, has admitted to preparing three texts containing plagiarized material for Cardinal Marc Ouellet.
Thu Sep 3, 2020 - 11:44 am EST
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Fr. Thomas Rosica. Salt and Light Media / YouTube
Dorothy Cummings McLean Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy
By Dorothy Cummings McLean

VATICAN CITY, September 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A priest who plagiarized under his own name for decades also plagiarized homilies he prepared for a leading cardinal.

Fr. Thomas Rosica, 61, has admitted to preparing three texts containing plagiarized material for Cardinal Marc Ouellet. Formerly the archbishop of Quebec City and the Catholic primate of Canada, Ouellet is now the prefect of the Congregation of Bishops.

The appearance of plagiarized material in Ouellet’s published homilies was discovered by Ohio Dominican University philosophy professor Michael V. Dougherty. Dougherty, an authority on plagiarism, examined the homilies in his recent book Disguised Academic Plagiarism and suggested that the cardinal’s homilies were ghostwritten by a priest he called “R.” 

After first denying he was Ouellet’s ghostwriter, Rosica admitted to a Canadian newspaper that he was responsible for the controversial material.

“I did assist him with these texts back in 2006–2007. After that when he moved to Rome I had not assisted him with any texts. He is the author of his own work. I have not been his ghostwriter since assisting him on three different occasions back in 2006–2007 as he prepared for the Eucharistic Congress in Quebec City (2008),” Rosica told the National Post.

Rosica was clear that it was he, not Ouellet, who was responsible for the deception, not that he called it that.

“The texts were not properly cited for their sources,” he told the Post.

“The Cardinal is not responsible for my errors in proper citation of sources in the original drafts of the text I prepared. They are my errors.”

Rosica also admitted to drawing upon the material in the Ouellet homilies for subsequent works.

The principal source used by Rosica to create the homily Ouellet gave at Windsor’s Assumption University in April 2007 was a speech given by Cardinal William Levada five weeks earlier at the University of Louvain. But the material Rosica lifted was not actually by Levada, but by the Benedictine theologian Fr. Jeremy Driscoll. Both Levada’s Louvain homily and Ouellet’s Assumption homily were subsequently published in Origins magazine. Dougherty assumed that Levada had also employed a “plagiarizing ghostwriter” and that this was a curious case of “double plagiarism.”

Other uncredited sources in the 2007 homily Rosica prepared for Ouellet  include the theologians Edward Schillenbeeckx and Igor Kowalewski.

Two other works written for Ouellet by Rosica, published in 2008, contain  a similar “patchwork” of unattributed lines or passages taken from the writings of Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI, St. John Paul II, Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, the Lutheran theologian Mary W. Anderson, and an unknown writer from the Vatican Information Service. 

As the writings of cardinals carry a certain magisterial weight, Dougherty is troubled that the thoughts of private theologians (including a non-Catholic) have been imputed to a cardinal, thus granting them a higher status among Catholics, especially Catholic scholars, than they should have. He is also concerned by the concealment of texts’ magisterial weight by minor clergy or laypeople who pass them off as their own. He calls both phenomena incidences of  “magisterial plagiarism.”

Doubts that Cardinal Levada employed a ghostwriter

A further complication has arisen thanks to the strong probability that Cardinal Levada did not, in fact, employ a ghostwriter for the Louvain homily examined by Dougherty. Fr. Driscoll, today the abbot of Mount Angel Monastery, told LifeSiteNews that he had collaborated with the cardinal.

“Concerning the homily at Louvain ... [Levada] wanted to bring to them a perspective he appreciated from discussions with me and probably other faculty members of Mount Angel,” Driscoll shared via email. 

“We spoke about this, and then I authored part of the homily, or rather shared with him what I had written earlier. In the context of a homily I did not expect ‘credit’ for my thought, for a homily is not an academic setting.” the abbot continued. 

“... I was more than happy if Cardinal Levada wanted to use thoughts I had formulated for his work as Cardinal Prefect. ... For my part, I do not feel plagiarized.”

Driscoll added that he did not know how his words got into a homily by Cardinal Ouellet and also that he had not been contacted by Professor Dougherty.

“I refrained from contacting the parties in this case because in my academic studies of plagiarism, I focus on published texts, not the motivations of those involved in their manufacture,” Dougherty told LifeSiteNews via email this morning. 

“To publish means to make public, and public texts deserve careful scrutiny when they are inauthentic. I hope the publisher, Origins, will issue the necessary corrections.”

The professor stated also that “authorship violations” are not good for the discipline of theology.

“The same passages are part of the published works of Abbot Driscoll, Cardinal Levada, Cardinal Ouellet, and Fr. Rosica,” he said.

“This creates confusion for assessing the authoritative weight of the texts.”

Dougherty has no issue with cardinals employing ghostwriters as long as the ghostwriters don’t plagiarize — or insert their own previously published ideas too blatantly in magisterial texts, as Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernández did as the ghostwriter for Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia.  

However, David Mulroney, a former president of the Catholic University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto, told LifeSiteNews he is concerned about the practice.

“What's troubling is that the latest revelations force us to confront the fact that the problem is larger than a single plagiarist priest,” Mulroney said via social media.

“The idea that senior prelates need ‘ghostwriters’ to interpret and communicate the word of God is unsettling and, as we are discovering, dangerous,” he continued.

“It suggests a clerical bureaucracy that functions much as other bureaucracies do, instead of resolutely focused on the mission of saving souls, and it alerts us to a clubby clericalism that is too ready to overlook or ignore warning signs of problematic behavior by high-profile colleagues.”

Fr. Rosica has become a byword for plagiarism in English-language media since February 2019, when LifeSiteNews reported that he had presented the words of several sources as his own in an address he had recently given at England’s Cambridge University. Further revelations of Rosica’s career as a plagiarist soon followed. His fraudulent habit reached back over thirty years and involved newspapers, magazines, websites, books, scriptural reflections in missals, and academic journals. Unfortunately, to this day, work believed to be Rosica’s, but taken partly from others, is still publicly available online and in print.  

Professor Dougherty told LifeSiteNews that academic plagiarism in humanities disciplines has been one of his research interests for the past decade. So far he has produced two books and several articles on the topic. 

“When Fr. Rosica’s plagiarism appeared in the news last year, a colleague in theology suggested that I look at Fr. Rosica’s academic writings,” Dougherty said by email.

“After I requested a retraction for a plagiarized article in the journal Worship, I learned that philosophy professor Joshua Hochschild was also examining Fr. Rosica’s works, so we worked together to identify plagiarism in many books and articles by Fr. Rosica and to request retractions for them,” he continued.

“Many publishers and editors have issued retractions by now.”

In early 2019, Rosica was still an influential figure in the Catholic Church, known internationally as a Church spokesperson to the media, an adviser to the Vatican about the media, and the executive director of Canada’s Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation. A priest of the Congregation of St. Basil, Rosica also wielded significant influence at such Basilian colleges as the University of Saint Michael’s College at the University of Toronto. 

This high-profile career, launched when Rosica served as the national director of World Youth Day 2002, stalled and then crashed to earth after revelations of his plagiarism became international news. In February 2019, Rosica resigned from the governing council of the USMC. In March, the École Biblique et Archéologique Française de Jérusalem (EBAF) revealed that Rosica did not hold an “advanced degree” from the school, as he had led others to believe. In June, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops formally withdrew works it had published with the Basilian priest. That same month, Rosica resigned from Salt and Light.

As the stories proliferated, some Catholics wondered why it was plagiarism, not Rosica’s combative style or endorsement of heterodox theologians and ideas, that was his downfall.  

“I suspect that interest in this plagiarism case is high because Catholic readers rightly expect published religious and theological texts to be trustworthy,” Dougherty told LifeSiteNews. 

“Those who produce fraudulent religious and theological texts have a duty to correct them,” he added. “The prolonged failure to correct or retract fraudulent texts is an ongoing injustice to readers.”

According to a publication of the Archdiocese of Toronto, Rosica is now a chaplain to the Basilian Fathers in a seniors’ home in Toronto.

LifeSiteNews has reached out to Fr. Rosica and to Cardinal Ouellet via the Congregation for Bishops.

Fr. Rosica told LifeSiteNews that he has never written for Cardinal Levada.


  catholic, marc ouellet, plagiarism, thomas rosica

News

Ex-abortion facility director reveals how her father helped her become pro-life warrior she is today

Abby Johnson said that she’s ‘proud’ that her dad can see that the ‘strong work ethic he instilled in me is now being used to proclaim life’ 
Thu Sep 3, 2020 - 11:39 am EST
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LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

The following story is written by Abby Johnson, founder and CEO of And Then There Were None, and is an excerpt from Because of Our Fathers by Tyler Rowley, a new book that tells the stories of 23 Catholics whose fathers led them to Christ.

September 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – I remember standing at the top of the stairs, looking down at the water below me. The pastor had told me it would be warm, but I was still nervous to get in. Even as an eight-year-old child, I knew that walking into that water meant something special. I had prayed the Sinner’s Prayer and had given my heart to Jesus. I wasn’t exactly sure what that meant, but I knew I didn’t want to go to Hell, and I knew that I really did love Jesus. The pastor had told me that if I really wanted Jesus to be in my heart, then the next step after the prayer was Baptism. I really did want Jesus to live in my heart.

I stepped in and surprisingly, the water was very warm. It felt as if I were stepping into a bathtub. My pastor was already in, helping me get situated in the water. It felt weird to be in the water with all those clothes on. The pastor asked me if I had accepted Jesus into my heart. I said that I had. He asked me if I was ready to be baptized and make it public that I was a Christian. I said yes to that too. “Then I baptize you, Abby, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” I held my nose and fell backward into the water. As I came up, I wiped my eyes and saw my dad standing at the top of the stairs. He was beaming, smiling from ear to ear. Everyone in the congregation clapped, and I climbed up the stairs. I gave my dad a hug and realized that now it was his turn. 

I watched him go into the water and come up, and I felt such relief. “Whew, now Dad and I will be in Heaven together,” I thought. I didn’t really understand that my dad was already a Christian. He had simply never been baptized by full submersion, and that is required in the Baptist faith. A sprinkle as a baby won’t cut it for the Baptist church. My dad had been raised Methodist, and by joining the Baptist church, he had to be fully submerged. So we decided to do it together, Easter 1989. And that’s my dad. He has always been beside me at the important times of my life—his faith was an example of the faith that I would one day strive to have.

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

That’s the example my father has always been for me and my mom. He has been the epitome of provider, protector, father, and husband. He showed me how a husband should love his wife. He showed me how a father should love his children.

My dad has spent his career as a mechanical engineer. He’s not only wise but also very intelligent. I grew up believing that I could do anything I put my mind to. Education was vitally important in our home. My dad wanted me to research on my own, make decisions on my own, and find my own path. I’m sure he and my mom never guessed that path would lead me to the doors of Planned Parenthood.

Looking back, I can’t even imagine how hard my eight years there must have been for my parents. They had to strike a delicate balance: always being proud of me and, at the same time, hating my work. This strong work ethic that I received from my father must have felt like a double-edged sword at times for him. Yes, he wanted me to believe I could be anything, but never, ever thought I would want to be an abortion facility director.

My dad has always had a very strong faith but is pretty reserved. My mom is the one who wears everything on her sleeve. After I had worked in the abortion facility for eight years, my mom had become exasperated. One night, after a phone call with me, she let her frustration out. She said to my dad, “She is just never going to get out of there. I don’t understand how she doesn’t see what she’s doing.” I wasn’t there for the conversation, but I imagine that, after hearing my mom’s outburst, my dad slowly looked up from the paper, took his reading glasses off, and set them on the table beside him before replying, “God has promised us that she will return to Him. Scripture tells us that as long as we raise our children knowing the Lord, then they will always return. We may not be here to see it, but we have to trust that it will happen.”

Just one month later, I called my parents to tell them that I had just left the clinic for the last time. They were on vacation, but I didn’t want to wait to tell them. I called and asked what they were doing. “Driving around Estes Park,” my mom said. I asked her to put the speaker on so that Dad could hear me while I gave the big news.

“I quit my job at Planned Parenthood,” I said. It was quiet for just a few seconds before I heard my mom exclaim, “Are you serious? You quit!”

Then all I could hear was laughing and crying and what could only be described as joyful noises in their car. It suddenly got quiet again, and my dad spoke up. “Abby, do you need us to send you money?” That was my dad, the perpetual provider. Even through all the excitement, it was as if my dad sensed what could be coming. Leaving my job, my friends, my steady income—it would come with a cost. And while I knew he had to be beaming with pride that his prayers had been answered, he never stopped worrying. He never stopped being Dad.

I’m proud that my dad has been able to see me grow into the woman he wanted me to be. I’m proud that he can see that the strong work ethic he instilled in me is now being used to proclaim life. No matter where I have been in life—being baptized as a child, graduating from high school and then college, working at Planned Parenthood, having my children, sitting at the premiere of my film—he has always been there to support me. He has loved me so well throughout my life, and I pray that the faith that I have watched him live out will be abundantly evident in the faith that I share with my children.


  abby johnson, abortion, because of our fathers, fathers, planned parenthood

News

Christian university imposes random COVID temp checks, threatens suspension

Dordt University's 'Community Covenant for COVID-19' includes the possibility of mandatory coronavirus vaccines, compliance with testing, and other potential quarantine measures.
Thu Sep 3, 2020 - 10:50 am EST
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Anthony Murdoch
By Anthony Murdoch

SIOUX CENTER, Iowa, September 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A Christian university has mandated that for students to attend its school, they must sign an open-ended “Community Covenant for COVID-19,” which includes the possibility of mandatory coronavirus vaccines, and compliance with testing, potential quarantine measures.

Dordt University is a Christian college located in Sioux Center, Iowa. The school’s “Community Covenant for COVID-19” agreement also requires students to submit to random temperature checks. If a student passes, he will receive a hand stamp.

The school says the extra COVID-19  measures are to broaden “the definition of what it means to be pro-life,” according to an August 21 report from the Iowa Standard, which had access to the school's covenant document.

“We will be remembered more for how we treated one another during this trying time than we will for who was right or wrong about the precautions that we were all asked to enact for the sake of others and for ourselves,” reads the Community Covenant for COVID-19 document.

A page on the university website mentions the covenant but does not provide in-depth detail as to its contents.

The Iowa Standard report also mentions an email sent to students before the start of the school year, which told students they are forbidden to attend their local church in person until September 13.

“From now until Sunday, Sept. 13, students are asked to only virtually attend local churches. We’ll continue to collaborate with local church leaders regarding in-person attendance from Sept. 13 and beyond, but like so many other things in life right now, our situation could change,” says the email.

The email also says that to attend classes, students have to sign the document.  

“Students, you are required to review and sign the COVID-19 Community Covenant before the first day of class on Tuesday, Aug. 25. You will not be allowed to attend classes without completing this form,” says the email.

LifeSiteNews reached out to Dordt University to ask for a copy of the Community Covenant for COVID-19 document, as well as to clarify how a Christian college would “ban” students from attending their local church in person.

As of press time, there has been no reply.

The Dordt coronavirus covenant also mentions that students may be “required” to have both the flu vaccine and a potential coronavirus vaccine should one become available, although there may be “limited” exemptions.

“I understand that for public health reasons, Dordt may require me to have an influenza vaccination this year (limited exemptions may be available for individuals with specific religious or health reasons). I also understand that, should an effective vaccine for COVID-19 be developed which could significantly reduce the impact of this disease on our community, Dordt may require me to be vaccinated,” reads one of the statements students must agree to from the covenant.

“I will follow the guidelines of Dordt’s leadership regarding COVID-19 mitigation, even if they have to change mid-year,” reads another.

LifeSiteNews also reached out to Dordt University to ask them about mandating vaccines for students, but as of press time did not get a reply.

A concerned parent of a student said that the school is overstepping its “boundaries” with the covenant. 

“In my opinion, the university has blatantly overstepped its boundaries and seeks to bind students’ consciences by potentially forcing them to disobey their elders by complying with this document,” a Dordt parent was quoted as saying in the Iowa Standard report.

The Iowa Standard also lists other requirements students must agree to in the covenant.

“While acknowledging that these rules and precautions may or may not be effective in mitigating the spread of COVID-19, I agree to comply with such rules and precautions and any modifications or amendments to them. I understand that failure to do so is a violation of Dordt’s Student Code of Conduct and that failing to comply could subject me to disciplinary sanctions, including, but not limited to, probation, suspension, dismissal and being denied further entry onto Dordt’s campus,” reads a statement students must agree to.

The email sent to students also included certain health measures students would have to agree to, such as washing one’s mask “perhaps as often as you wash your underwear.”

The email also mentions that students would have to complete a daily health assessment online “every 24 hours” until at least September 30.

A video posted on Dordt’s YouTube page goes over health measures students are expected to comply with, including the random temperature checks, a mask made of at least “two layers,” and gloves in computer labs.

Virtually all universities across the United States, as well as in Canada, have implemented strict back-to-school COVID-19 measures.

Examples include a recent San Diego Tribune report that highlights how San Diego State University hired private security to be on the lookout for students who violate school coronavirus policies such as mandatory masks and social distancing.

Indiana State University has threatened students with suspension if they do not comply with the school's COVID-19 rules.


  coronavirus, dordt university, education

News

Black leaders demand Planned Parenthood repent of ‘systemic racism’

Planned Parenthood Federation of America must disavow its 'racist legacy' that 'targets Black lives in the womb,' demanded a coalition of over 100 American black leaders.
Thu Sep 3, 2020 - 10:38 am EST
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Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne
By Lianne Laurence

September 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A coalition of more than 100 American black leaders are calling on Planned Parenthood Federation of America to disavow its “racist legacy” and end its “systemic racism” that “targets Black lives in the womb.”

In a letter sent Tuesday to Planned Parenthood acting president Alexis McGill Johnson, the signatories blast the abortion giant for the “massive iniquity” of targeting black communities for abortion, all the while stating support of Black Lives Matter.

They ask McGill Johnson to “confront the systemic racism of America’s abortion practices and to publicly renounce the racist legacy of your founder, Margaret Sanger.”

“Ms. Johnson, your words about the Black Lives Matter movement ring hollow while your organization perpetuates this racist legacy,” the signatories write. “[W]ill you confront the iniquity that your abortion practices perpetrate against Black lives? Will you fight the racism that targets Black lives in the womb?”

The “impact of abortion on Black communities is unequal and disproportionate,” the signatories write.

Black women are only 13 percent of the female population, but they “represent 36 percent of all abortions,” the letter states.

Black women are also “five times more likely than white women to receive an abortion. In some cities, like New York, more Black children are aborted every year than are born alive.”

Moreover, across America, “Planned Parenthood’s surgical facilities target minority communities for abortion. In fact, 79 percent of Planned Parenthood’s surgical abortion facilities are located in or near communities of color,” write the signatories. “This is no accident.”

“This massive iniquity, and the disproportionate harm it does to Black Americans, is fully in keeping with the racist, eugenicist vision of your organization’s founder,” the signatories write. “Margaret Sanger wanted to use abortion and contraception to cull minority populations.”

Indeed, Sanger infamously stated in a 1939 letter: “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.”

The letter to McGill Johnson was organized by the Human Coalition Action (HCA)  in partnership with the Frederick Douglass Foundation, according to a preamble on the HCA website.

“This effort demonstrates the outrage among the Black community that we have been strategically and consistently targeted by the abortion industry ever since the practice was legalized almost 50 years ago,” HCA executive director Rev. Dean Nelson told Catholic News Agency.

The letter was signed by elected officials, pastors, and attorneys, including Louisiana state senator Katrina Jackson (D), Texas state representative James White (R), Georgia state representative Mack Jackson (D), Indiana attorney general Curtis Hill (R), pro-life activists Benjamin Watson and Alveda King, and political strategist Justin Giboney.

The letter comes after the Planned Parenthood of Greater New York (PPGNY) affiliate ousted CEO Laura McQuade in June after 300 of the affiliate’s employees signed a letter accusing McQuade of “systemic racism, pay inequity, and lack of upward mobility for Black staff,” as well as abusive behavior and financial malfeasance.

In July, PPGNY announced that it was removing Sanger’s name from its flagship Manhattan abortion facility because of its founder’s “harmful connection to the eugenics movement.”

The step was “necessary and overdue” to “reckon with our legacy and acknowledge Planned Parenthood’s contributions to historical reproductive harm within communities of color,” the chair of the affiliate’s board said.

The coalition’s letter referred to this incident, stating that the abortion giant’s New York employees “raised awareness about the toxic culture and systemic racism within the organization.”

However, while “Planned Parenthood of Greater New York and North Central States has disavowed Sanger’s eugenic views, Planned Parenthood National has remained silent,” the signatories write.

“We call on you to change that. Planned Parenthood National must renounce the views and legacy of its founder and acknowledge and discontinue its ongoing systemic targeting of Black Americans with abortion facilities.”

Read the full letter here.

Related:

NY Planned Parenthood to scrub racist Margaret Sanger’s ‘harmful’ name from abortion center

New Planned Parenthood CEO tries to rewrite history, deny Margaret Sanger’s racism

Planned Parenthood’s shocking ties to eugenics go far beyond Margaret Sanger

7 shocking quotes by Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger


  abortion, alexis mcgill johnson, black lives matter, margaret sanger, planned parenthood, racism

News

Diocese asks parishes to promote Catholic LGBT Ministry in parish bulletins

Pro-LGBT Fr. James Martin applauded the announcement in the Kentucky diocese led by pro-LGBT Bishop John Stowe.
Thu Sep 3, 2020 - 6:00 am EST
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Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky, in a video message for 2020 'Pride Month' YouTube
Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug
By Doug Mainwaring

PETITION: Demand CBS management stop Stephen Colbert's mockery of Jesus! Sign the petition here.

LEXINGTON, Kentucky, September 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A Catholic diocese has asked parishes to place an ad for an LGBT Ministry in their weekly bulletins:

The request, made by the Office for Peace and Justice in the Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky, was applauded by pro-LGBT Jesuit priest James Martin on Twitter.

“Good news from Lexington, Ky,” Martin declared. “Diocese asks parishes to promote Catholic LGBT Ministry in weekly parish bulletins.”

Diocese of Lexington Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv., has a long history of pro-LGBT activism within the Catholic Church. In June, he released a “Pride Month” video in which he aplogized for the Church’s teaching on homosexuality and gender confusion.  

During 2019’s Pride Month, Stowe issued a “prayer” card that celebrates homosexual “pride” and includes an image of a crucifix with rainbow colors coming from it.

In 2018, Bishop Stowe allowed Fortunate Families, a pro-LGBT “Catholic” organization working in partnership with “Lexington Catholic LGBT Ministry” and the University of Kentucky LGBTQ* Resource Center, to host dissident Fr. Bryan Massingale. He spoke about “LGBT Persons in the The Age of Pope Francis & Social Ethics.”

Stowe is one of five bishops who endorsed Fr. Martin’s book, “Building a Bridge,” and was also a featured speaker at a 2017 conference for the dissident group New Ways Ministry. The gathering was titled “Justice and Mercy Shall Kiss: LGBT Catholics in the Age of Pope Francis.”

Fr. Martin, the leading advocate for the normilization of homosexuality and transgenderism within the Catholic Church, is an honorary member of the Fortunate Families Board of Directors. The Fortunate Families website states that Martin’s “prophetic ministry is a gift to our ministry and to the church.”

The suggested parish bulletin announcement lists JR Zerkowski, executive director of Fortunate Families, as the contact person for the LGBT Ministry. 

According to his online bio, Zerkowski founded and leads “Together on the Bridge,” a pro-homosexual ministry and “Together on the Journey,” an LGBT Family, Friends, and Allies Ministry. 

Zerkowski was “instrumental in beginning two LGBTQ+ support groups at Lexington Catholic High School and Catholic LGBTQ+ ministries throughout the United States and Canada.” He also publishes a monthly faith-based article that appears in LinQ, the Pride Community Services Organization of the Bluegrass LGBT magazine.

According to its own website, Fortunate Families’ application for a booth at the 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia was “denied because the committee overseeing the booth ... made the determination that Fortunate Families teaches that ‘if parents don't accept everything about their homosexual child's lifestyle the child will commit suicide.’”

Fr. Martin’s tweet was a follow-up to an early posting praising a Mexican archbishop 

“Good news from Mexico: Archbishop of Monterrey, Rogelio Cabrera López, in dialogue with LGBTQ Catholics, says he ‘always wanted priests to serve the LGBTIQ+ community with charity and respect.’ He spoke with Mexico Network of Rainbow Catholics (REDCAM).” 

During the interview, López spoke of designating a chapel to conduct baptisms for the children of homosexual couples and that he had appointed three priests from the Archdiocese of Monterrey to “serve diverse groups,” including LGBTIQ+ Catholics “as God intended.”


  catholic, diocese of lexington, fortunate families, homosexuality, james martin, john stowe, jr zerkowski, lexington catholic lgbt ministry, lgbt, new ways ministry

News

Dennis Prager: COVID lockdowns are no longer a mistake but a ‘crime’

The conservative commentator stated that America under COVID has become ‘unrecognizable.’
Thu Sep 3, 2020 - 6:00 am EST
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Martin Bürger Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

PETITION: No to radical mandatory mask mandates! Sign the petition here.

September 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Conservative commentator Dennis Prager argued in his most recent syndicated column that the COVID-19 lockdowns imposed across the United States nearly six months ago are no longer just a mistake.

“The lockdown is a crime,” the radio talk show host wrote. “But even more upsetting is that it is supported by so many Americans.”

“This country is unrecognizable to those of us who lived through the 1968-1970 pandemic, which killed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 100,000 Americans – the 2020 equivalent of 170,000 Americans,” he summarized. “Nothing shut down. Not one mask was worn.”

Prager contrasted the approach to the coronavirus taken in Sweden with that adopted by his home state of California, coming to the conclusion that everybody should have followed the Scandinavian country’s example.

“That country never locked down and has even kept children under 16 in school the entire time,” he pointed out. “As regards teachers, Sweden's Public Health Agency reported that ‘a comparison of the incidence of COVID-19 in different professions suggested no increased risk for teachers.’”

In contrast, schools in California are still, for the most part, either exclusively teaching online or making use of smaller classes, with some students going to school and others staying home on a rotating basis.

Teachers in Los Angeles and other parts of the Golden State, Prager wrote, “refuse to enter a classroom that has students in it. Their disdain for their profession has been superseded only by that of the Los Angeles teachers union, which announced that teachers will not resume teaching until the police are defunded.”

Apart from schools, for about a month Sweden has reported “almost no deaths from COVID-19 while the entire society remains open and almost no one wears masks … For all intents and purposes, the virus is over in Sweden.”

Meanwhile, California is governed by Gavin Newsom, a Democrat – “that most dangerous of leaders: a fool with unlimited power.” The governor “has destroyed and continues to destroy tens of thousands of small businesses and untold numbers of livelihoods,” Prager emphasized.

He also called out politicians for their arbitrary standards to stop the spread of the virus.

“Why can people eat with no mask in an airplane – inches, not six feet, from strangers – but cannot eat in a California restaurant, which is so much bigger than the inside of an airplane, while sitting six feet from others?” he asked. “Because Newsom ordered it, the Los Angeles Times supports it and, like sheep, Californians have accepted it.”

Prager quoted Swedish doctor Sebastian Rushworth, who explained that people in his country have by now returned to normal life. Countries that imposed far-reaching lockdowns on their citizens acted unreasonably, he argued.

“Shutting down completely in order to decrease the total number of deaths only makes sense if you are willing to stay shut down until a vaccine is available,” Rushworth said. “That could take years. No country is willing to wait that long.”

In May, Prager had still maintained that the coronavirus lockdowns “may have been an enormous mistake,” or, “possibly, the worst mistake the world has ever made” – not going so far as to call them a crime.

“The lockdown is ‘possibly even more catastrophic (than the virus) in its outcome: the collapse of global food-supply systems and widespread human starvation’ (italics added),” wrote Prager at the time. “That was published in the left-wing The Nation, which, nevertheless, enthusiastically supports lockdowns.”

He accused the elites, not simply the left, of being “deceitful, cowardly and immature.”

Prager, in 2009, founded PragerU, an educational video outlet with a conservative viewpoint. YouTube has, in recent years, limited access to the videos posted on the Google-owned platform.

PragerU eventually filed several lawsuits on both the state and the federal levels against the company.

One of the complaints, filed with the Superior Court of California, argued that Google was “continuing to unlawfully restrict and restrain speech and expression on the global social media and video sharing platform known as YouTube.”

Fox News reported that PragerU accused Google of violating California state law in four ways, including “unlawfully restraining free speech in violation of the state’s constitution and discriminating against PragerU based on political, religious, ‘or other discriminatory animus’ in violation of California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act.”

Additionally, the lawsuit alleged that Google, which bought YouTube in 2006 for more than $1.6 billion, was “engaging in unlawful, misleading, and unfair businesses practices.” In 2019, YouTube generated roughly $15 billion in revenue.

The lawsuits were eventually dismissed by the courts.


  california, center for disease control, covid-19, dennis prager, gavin newsom, lockdowns, prager university, prageru, schools, sweden

Blogs

Spanish bishop apologizes to spouses refused Communion on tongue

A deputy wrote to the couple that the bishop 'communicated with the rector of that church so that something similar does not happen again.'
Thu Sep 3, 2020 - 11:22 am EST
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wideonet / Shutterstock.com
Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
By Jeanne Smits

September 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A Spanish Catholic who was refused Holy Communion on the tongue, together with his wife, has received a formal letter of apology from his local bishop, who confirmed that whatever sanitary recommendations are in place for the prevention of the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus, receiving the Host directly in the mouth cannot be forbidden.

The incident took place on July 26, when the lay Catholic and his wife presented themselves for Communion in the church of Saint Ignatius of the Salesians in Ciudad Real, 200 km south of Madrid. The celebrant refused to allow the couple to receive Holy Communion kneeling and on the lips, on the grounds that COVID-19 rules say the Host should be given in the hand.

The husband wrote to the bishop of Ciudad Real, Gerardo Melgar, saying his and his wife’s rights had been violated.

The diocese answered on August 20, 2020, with a remarkably courteous letter affirming the faithful’s right to receive Communion reverently. Here below is LifeSite’s translation of the letter:

Diocese of Ciudad Real

Ciudad Real, August 20, 2020

Dear Sir, in the Lord,

I am pleased to acknowledge receipt of the letter addressed to His Excellency Gerardo Melgar Viciosa, Bishop of Ciudad Real, Prior of the Military Orders of Santiago, Calatrava, Alcántara and Montesa, dated July 29, in which you make known that you consider your rights as a member of the faithful of the Church to have been violated because you and your wife were denied communion on the lips in the Eucharist celebrated on July 26, 2020, at 10:30 am, in the Church of San Ignacio (Salesians) in Ciudad Real.

His Most Reverend Excellency has entrusted me with the task of expressing his apologies for such a situation, and has also communicated with the rector of that church so that something similar does not happen again, because although it is true that the health emergency in which we find ourselves makes it advisable that the faithful receive Communion in the hand, as a safety measure to avoid spreading Covid-19, at no time can it be forbidden to do so on the tongue, if the faithful who are to receive it so desire.

I take this opportunity to express to you the expression of my consideration and esteem in Christ.

Signed :

Juan Carlos Fernández de Simón Soriano

Chancellor-Secretary General of the Bishopric of Ciudad Real

Prot. No. 520/0262

This vindication of the layman’s protest — which must have been courteously worded to elicit such a response — makes very clear that the Church cannot change the rules for giving the Eucharist for whatever reason, including sanitary requirements whose objective is in itself good: preventing the spread of a contagious disease.

It is a way of recalling that the Church has rights that transcend those of the civil authorities, who are not competent to change her way of doing things, in particular with regard to the Sacraments.

Bishop Gerardo Melgar, according to the letter, personally contacted the priest who refused to give the Host on the lips and gave him clear orders not to recommence, which means that the diocese did not merely pay lip service to the layman who asked for his rights to be respected.

It must be understood that in this case, the layman’s request was not a mere demand to his own advantage, but an affirmation of the right to show due veneration to the adorable Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord.

The letter’s insistence that the current “health emergency” would make it “advisable” to distribute Holy Communion in the hand is regrettable, in that it is not founded on scientific fact. No studies have been made justifying the decision by bishops’ conferences and individual bishops and other religious authorities to ban Communion on the tongue in so-called application of governmental sanitary rules.

Instead, last June, 21 doctors from Austria, quoting the professional opinion of an Italian professor of medicine, gave a list of reasons showing that the reception of Holy Communion kneeling and on the tongue is “safer than hand Communion.” This is particularly the case in the Tridentine rite, which includes “barrier measures” such as requiring the priest to hold thumb and forefinger joined together from the moment he has consecrated the bread, using them only to touch the Host from then on until the moment when he once again purifies his hands.

They also noted that when the faithful kneel to receive Communion, contamination by droplets is less likely because the priest’s face is not at the same level as that of the communicant, and contamination comes mostly from sullied hands.

Dr. Didier Raoult of France is also of the opinion, following his experience with the Wuhan coronavirus, that COVID-19 is mostly spread by hand and insists that hand-washing is more effective to avoid contagion than wearing a mask.

The Austrian doctors recalled:

[I]n a communication of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church of April 3, 1985, we read: ‘The Apostolic See maintains the traditional method of administering Communion throughout the Church …’ The same Congregation affirmed in 2009 that the faithful always have the right to receive communion on the tongue and that it is not allowed to refuse it. No exception (such as a pandemic) is mentioned here.

The 2009 note from the congregation was written as a response regarding the HIN1 flu epidemic.

A layman in France obtained a similar result to that of the couple in Spain when he complained that he had been refused Communion because he did not want to receive the Host in the hand, invoking canon law and the above response of the Congregation for Divine Worship. Receiving Communion on the tongue follows the regular prescription of the Church, reception in the hand being allowed only through an “indult,” or exception, however widespread this may be.

This is not the first time that the diocese of Ciudad Real in Spain has been confronted with the faithful’s refusal to receive the Host in the hand. In 2017, the progressive Catholic media outlet Religión Digital told the story of a lady who was refused Communion thrice in the rural parish of San Carlos del Valle because she did not want to receive the Host in the hand.

The refusals were followed by a public demonstration joined by about 100 parishioners asking for the diocese to replace their parish priest. Fr. Miguel Palomar ended up asking for forgiveness from the woman at the end of his Sunday sermon, promising to amend: it would “never happen again,” he said.

The COVID-19 crisis is giving many bishops and priests a pretext to impose Communion in the hand. But it is clear that the imposition is unlawful.

COVID deaths in Spain have decreased steadily since a peak of 877 in one day at the end of March. Since the beginning of June, they have varied mostly between 0 and 10, with a few moderate highs of around 50.


  ciudad real, communion in the hand, communion on the tongue, coronavirus, eucharist, gerardo melgar, spain

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Episodes Thu Sep 3, 2020 - 2:43 pm EST

Voting for GOP presidential ticket ‘is a vote for the life of children in their mother’s womb’

By Mother Miriam
By

To help keep this and other programs on the air, please donate here. In this episode, Mother Miriam talks about voting for pro-life politicians in order to protect the unborn. You can tune in daily at 10 am EST/7 am PST on our Facebook Page. Subscribe to Mother Miriam Live email updates here.