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News

Instagram bans LifeSite report on drug to treat COVID, cites ‘misinformation’

The stifled article cited testimony from an accomplished medical doctor and professor of epidemiology at one of the most prestigious Ivy League schools.
Wed Sep 9, 2020 - 8:13 pm EST
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Worawee Meepian / Shutterstock.com
Martin Bürger Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

PETITION: Tell the FDA to reverse its opposition to Hydroxychloroquine and help save lives! Sign the petition here.

September 9, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Instagram has removed a post by LifeSiteNews for allegedly going “against our Community Guidelines” and containing “harmful false information.” The post referred to an article on renowned Yale professor Harvey A. Risch praising the benefits of using hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in treating COVID-19 patients.

Instagram wrote in a standard email sent to LifeSiteNews, “Even if you didn’t mean to offend, our guidelines encourage people to express themselves in a way that’s respectful to everyone.”

“We want to keep Instagram a safe place for everyone,” the email continued. “We don’t allow false information that could contribute to physical harm.”

“In some cases, this includes information that recognized health organizations say could mislead people about how to cure or prevent a disease or that could discourage people from seeking medical treatment.”

The email then referred to the World Health Organization for more information about the coronavirus.

By removing LifeSite’s Instagram post, the social media platform, owned by Facebook, censored not merely a random thought of one of its users, but the informed opinion of a respected medical doctor and professor of epidemiology at one of the most prestigious Ivy League schools.

As reported by LifeSiteNews, Harvey A. Risch had praised the proven benefits of HCQ in fighting COVID-19, emphasizing at the same time that opponents of HCQ have no science to back them up.

“I conclude the evidence is overwhelming,” Risch told host Mark Levin during the latter’s Fox News show in August. “There’s no question that in the people who need to be treated, and are treated early, [hydroxychloroquine] has a very substantial benefit in reducing risk of hospitalization or mortality.”

Risch accused the opponents of HCQ use of being engaged in “a massive disinformation campaign that stretches from the government to the media, that’s either suppressing this message, or it’s countering it with a false message.”

He admitted that he doesn’t know the exact reasons for this disinformation campaign but said later, “It’s an absurd situation that people have compared ... to 1984 and the Ministry of Truth, and someone that’s limiting what people can say on objective facts. It’s beyond belief.”

In reality, “the science is so one-sided in supporting this result that it’s stronger than anything else I’ve ever studied in my entire career,” said Risch. “The evidence in favor of hydroxychloroquine benefit in high-risk patients treated early as outpatients is stronger than anything else I’ve ever studied.”

Risch said most of the scientists working for the government, as well as their institutions, “cite studies that are of hospitalized patients, or they cite studies ... that treat low risk patients. These are people under age 60 with no chronic conditions, and so on — people who will survive the virus just on their own, without treatment almost entirely.”

On the other hand, Risch, and other scientists like him, emphasize the benefit of HCQ use in older people and those with other underlying conditions, who are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and having a more severe progression of the virus.

He explained that he was never contacted by Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and a key member of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force, to discuss how their understanding of the science differs.

Risch admitted that some adverse effects can be measured in some people who take HCQ.

“The medication itself has in some people, perhaps 10 percent of normal people — [it] can change the pacing of the heart muscle contractions, called the heart rhythm. That change has only measurement value. In other words, if you measure it on electrocardiogram, you can see it has essentially no bearing for almost everyone who has that, as to any risks for a real arrhythmia that has potentially life-threatening consequences.”

Risch said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “is a very strange organization that has a history of not making science-based, rational-based decisions about its approvals.”

“It’s outrageous,” he concluded. “People need to be writing or calling their congressmen and senators and complaining that this is not the way the country should work.”

“A bureaucracy that’s in bed with other forces that are causing them to make decisions that are not based on the science — that is killing Americans.”

LifeSiteNews has experienced some censorship not only from Instagram, but also from its parent company, Facebook. One of LifeSite’s posts was slapped with a warning label claiming that the article contained false information. Like the article censored by Instagram, this one, too, talked about HCQ. Facebook also linked to a different article claiming that HCQ is ineffective.

Facebook has been in the news for its censorship for years. Last June, undercover video showed that content moderators at a Facebook contractor admitted they proactively deleted conservative and pro-Trump posts.


  big tech, censorship, coronavirus, facebook, free speech, harvey a. risch, hydroxychloroquine, instagram, lifesitenews

News

Thieves break into Canadian cathedral, steal tabernacle, throw into canal

The consecrated Hosts — the body of Jesus, according to the Catholic faith — were nowhere to be seen.
Wed Sep 9, 2020 - 7:53 pm EST
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Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne
By Lianne Laurence

ST. CATHARINES, Ontario, September 9, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A tabernacle stolen from a Canadian Catholic cathedral early Tuesday morning was found Wednesday lying in a canal — but the consecrated Hosts that had been in it were nowhere to be seen.

Two people were caught on surveillance cameras breaking into St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral about 4:30 A.M. on September 8, Catholic News Agency reported.

A group of cathedral parishioners thereupon “took it upon themselves to conduct a search,” according to Margaret Jong, vice-chancellor of the diocese of St. Catharines in Ontario’s Niagara region.

They found the tabernacle in Centennial Park, “partially submerged in the Old Welland Canal,” Jong told LifeSiteNews in an email.

Parts of the ciborium, the sacred vessel that holds the consecrated Hosts, were not found, she said.

“There was no Blessed Sacrament recovered, and our hopeful presumption is that the consecrated hosts dissolved naturally in the water where the tabernacle was found,” Jong added.

According to the doctrines of the Catholic faith, the consecrated Hosts, also referred to as the Blessed Sacrament, are the literal Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. 

During a radio interview Tuesday, Bishop Gerald Bergie pleaded with the thieves — believed to be a man and a woman — not to harm the consecrated Hosts, but to return them intact, along with the tabernacle.

“The tabernacle can be replaced. It’s the contents ... that is what is so precious to us. That’s what’s irreplaceable,” Bergie told NewsTalk 610 CKTB.

He added there would be “no questions asked” if the thieves returned the Blessed Sacrament unharmed.

Cathedral rector Fr. Donald Lizzotti told LifeSiteNews he was “shocked” when the tabernacle was stolen and relieved that it has been found, even though it has been “badly damaged.”

“The door was taken off it and all the inside stuff was ripped out of it,” and only the lid of the ciborium was found, he said.

Image
The tabernacle before it was stolen.

One of the doors has been returned, Jong said.

“After Bishop Bergie celebrated Mass at the Cathedral this afternoon, a parishioner came to the rectory door with one of the broken-off tabernacle doors,” she told LifeSiteNews.

“He had been greeted by a man on the street who asked if he was a parishioner, then gave him the door, saying it had been handed to him by someone else in Centennial Park,” Jong said.

“Our hope is that the second door may yet be recovered.”

Fr. Lizzotti told CNA he believed that the thieves cased the cathedral beforehand, and he described to LifeSiteNews the lengths to which the pair went to steal the sacred container.

“The tabernacle itself was mounted to wooden platform pieces that were screwed to the altar top itself,” he said.

Moreover, the tabernacle had a covering of steel “which looked like another tabernacle with brass doors” over it. The thieves removed this before they pried the tabernacle, which Lizzotti said is made of lead, from its platform.

“It weighed lots. It took two people to get off the altar,” Lizzotti said.

The video cameras showed the pair taking the tabernacle out of the cathedral and putting it in a shopping cart, he said.

Lizzotti told CNA that police couldn’t find fingerprints, and they believe that the thieves wiped the scene clean.

The trail was next picked up when the cathedral received a phone call Wednesday that the tabernacle had been found, he said.

Meanwhile, the 176-year-old church’s two “most vulnerable doors,” including the one through which the thieves had gained entry, have been “barricaded” with crossbars, he said.

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The tabernacle after it was found.

“We’re putting in a surveillance system, and alarm system,” added Lizzotti.

Bishop Bergie said Tuesday that perhaps the thieves thought the bronze doors were made of gold — or they may have had a more malicious intent.

“Who knows what goes through the minds of these people?” he said.

He said the surveillance camera footage, taken in the dark of night, is “kind of grainy” and that it may be hard to get a clear picture of the suspects, CNA reported.

A number of people have been hanging around the cathedral in recent months, the bishop added.

“Even yesterday, the man that’s our caretaker said he noticed two fellas that were staying around all day, outside sleeping and eating,” he said.

“I don’t know if they’re involved, it’s hard to tell.”

LifeSiteNews contacted the Niagara Regional Police, which has an office right across from the cathedral, for an update on the investigation. However, the officer in charge did not respond by deadline. Moreover, at press time, police had posted no information about the incident on their website.

St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral also suffered a number of instances of theft and vandalism during its 2019 renovations, including thieves carrying off bronze and copper lamp posts outside the church last September, CNA reported.

Dr. Christian Elia, executive director of the Catholic Civil Rights League denounced the theft and desecration of the tabernacle and the terrible act of desecration of the Blessed Sacrament.

“It is deplorable for our churches and places of worship to be the subject of the current wave of violent attacks,” he told LifeSiteNews.

“It points to a mounting disrespect in our society for religious spaces, and by implication, for the people who may worship inside.”

As well as the theft of the tabernacle in St. Catharines, other episodes of vandalism at Catholic churches in Canada since May 2020 include “damages to eight statues at Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto in Sudbury, vandalism to statues at St. Patrick’s Parish in Markham, Sacred Heart Church in Calgary, the Basilica of Our Lady in Guelph, Our Lady of Lebanon in Toronto,” Elia recounted.

“The frequency of such attacks is troubling, and continued vigilance is needed,” he said.

Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government “has pledged $4 million per year in matching grant money for extra security for places of worship, schools and community centres,” Elia noted.

Anti-Catholic violence is also on the rise in the United States. In June, vandals pulled down and desecrated statues of Catholic missionary St. Junípero Serra in San Francisco and Los Angeles.


  catholic, consecrated hosts, ontario, st. catherines, theft, vandalism

News

Trump promises to provide school choice to every parent in America if reelected

'Biden opposed school choice,' Trump reminded voters at a North Carolina rally.
Wed Sep 9, 2020 - 7:15 pm EST
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President Donald Trump addresses a crowd during a campaign rally at Smith Reynolds Airport on September 8, 2020 in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Photo by Sean Rayford / Getty Images
Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug
By Doug Mainwaring

PETITION: Support school choice and call on the U.S. Senate to pass the SCHOOL Act! Sign the petition here.

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina, September 9, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – At a campaign rally where “red hats outnumbered masks 100 to 1,” President Donald Trump promised that if reelected, he would provide school choice to every parent in America.

Trump contrasted his pro-school choice views with those of his Democrat opponent at a rally in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on Tuesday night.

“Biden opposed school choice,” said Trump. “He opposes North Carolina opportunity scholarships and he has stated that if he is elected, charter schools are gone. He said they’re gone.”

Trump asserted that charter schools “have been incredible.”  

“In a second term, I'll provide school choice to every parent in America,” he declared. “And we’ll also take good care of our teachers. Our teachers are very, very important to me. Very important. Nothing more important.”  

“A vote for Republicans is a vote for safe communities, great jobs, and a limitless future for all Americans.”

While President Trump was speaking in the Tar-Heel State, North Carolina Congressman Dan Bishop introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives that would fund students directly if their schools don't reopen in person amid the ongoing Chinese coronavirus shutdowns.

Dubbed the “CHOICE Act,” H.R. 8182 would “direct the Secretary of Education to establish a grant program to make grants to the parents of students served by local educational agencies that will not provide in-person instruction.” 

“The bill restricts the federal government from any influence over curriculum, creed, practices and admissions policy and forbids discrimination against private, religious or home education providers,” according to a statement released by Rep. Bishop’s office. 

Last month, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul introduced similar legislation. S. 4432, known as the “Support Children Having Open Opportunities for Learning (SCHOOL) Act,” would allow federal education funds to follow a child to the public school, private school, or homeschool program of their parents’ choice.     


  2020 election, 2020 presidential election, coronavirus, north carolina, president trump, school choice, school vouchers

News

CS Lewis’ stepson reveals fascinating insights into father’s personal life

Douglas Gresham reveals to Jonathon Van Maren personal stories about his life growing up with C.S. Lewis as his stepfather.
Wed Sep 9, 2020 - 5:21 pm EST
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LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

September 9, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — C.S. Lewis lived an extraordinary life. A penetrating author best known for The Chronicles of Narnia, Mere Christianity, and The Screwtape Letters, Lewis is widely regarded — alongside his friend J.R.R. Tolkien — as one the most influential fiction writers of his era.

Canadian pro-life commentator Jonathon Van Maren had the privilege of sitting down with the last living person who knew C.S. Lewis well, Douglas Gresham.

Gresham was born in 1945 to American writer Joy Davidman. He became familiar with Lewis around the time his mom married the Christian writer in 1956. He and his brother David were not yet teenagers.

“I vividly recall my first time meeting him,” Gresham told Van Maren. “Jack” came to stay with him, his brother, and his mom possibly for Christmas one year, he couldn’t exactly recall when. 

“I remember walking through the back porch of the kitchen door. And as I walked in…Jack appeared from the other side of the kitchen. He was perhaps the most shabby looking individual I've ever seen in my life…there was nothing particularly handsome looking about him.”

But, Gresham said, “the way he approached me and talked to me and the way we had a conversation just completely eradicated any of the misgivings I might have had about the man. I gained a very, very good friend very quickly.”

Gresham’s mother died from cancer in 1960. He, along with Lewis and his brother, a schizophrenic, mourned her death together. But Gresham told Van Maren that the pair was without a doubt two birds of the same feather.

“She was just a woman who was immensely powerful, mentally. A huge brain, huge abilities in that area, and she was a very good writer…she had never met anyone on the same level as herself until she met Jack. They just sort of clicked together. It was inevitable, I think.”

Gresham shared other intimate details about growing up as well, including his strained relationship with his brother, who has since passed away.

Gresham is the author of two books — Lenten Lands and a short biography of his stepfather, who dedicated The Horse and His Boy to Douglas and his brother David. Gresham served as co-producer of the film adaptations of the Narnia book collection.

Van Maren recently wrote about his reflections on the interview, which was truly unique, for First Things. Below is a portion of his essay:

For decades, despite a booming cottage industry of Lewis biographies and endless academic theorizing about the last years of Lewis’s life, Douglas kept to himself the fact that Lewis struggled mightily to help his mentally ill stepson. “We didn’t tell anybody,” he told me. “The only reason I’m releasing it now is because people should know what Jack put up with and what Warnie put up with and how heroic they were to do it at all.” It is time, he added, “that people understand what Jack and Warnie went through. Jack and Warnie [Lewis’ brother] didn’t know what the heck to do”….

“Jack helped my brother through all sorts of difficulties in education and so forth,” Douglas told me. “When my brother decided to become Jewish rather than Christian—he’d already been through Islam and tried Buddhism—Jack went out of his way to get special pots and pans for him so he could cook his own kosher food and get kosher food from the Jewish shop in the middle of the covered market in Oxford.” “Jack went out of his way to do everything he possibly could for that lad, and none of it was accepted,” Douglas said. “Well, it was accepted, but he was never grateful about it. He was just very badly damaged mentally and emotionally, and he stayed that way.”

In a letter to the boys’ father, William Gresham, in America, Lewis was less than forthcoming about these difficulties: “They’re a nice pair and easy to get on with—if only they got on better with one another.” William—a veteran of the Spanish Civil War and an accomplished writer in his own right—came to visit the boys at The Kilns shortly after Joy’s death in 1960, at Lewis’s urging. But David had no interest in spending time with his father. In the U.S. shortly thereafter, William killed himself after being diagnosed with tongue cancer. With Lewis’s death on November 22, 1963, Douglas and David had lost their mother, their father, and their stepfather within three short years. 

After Jack’s death, Douglas went to live with journalist Jean Wakeman. (J.R.R. Tolkien, whom he’d met at the Inklings meetings Lewis often took him to as a boy, also offered to take him in if he needed a place to stay.) Warnie, grieving for Joy and his brother, finally succumbed to the alcoholism he had fought so long to defeat. Gresham says that after Jack’s death he never saw Warnie sober again. David struck off on his own, and his mental illness plagued him for his entire life.

“Nobody seems to know that David was ever there,” Gresham told me. “He seems to have faded out of existence. . . the biographies that I’ve encountered about Jack, for example, hardly mention my brother.” For Gresham, it's a signal that the biographers haven’t dug deep enough. “I grew up with him, and I can tell you a great deal more than any of the biographers.” Perhaps it is time that Douglas Gresham put pen to paper and did just that.

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  cs lewis, narnia, the chronicles of narnia

News

Trials of UK COVID vaccine derived from aborted baby cell line paused after participant falls ill

The pharmaceutical company insists that the decision to pause the trials is a 'routine action
Wed Sep 9, 2020 - 5:10 pm EST
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shutterstock.com
Paul Smeaton Paul Smeaton Follow Paul
By Paul Smeaton

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

UNITED KINGDOM, September 9, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Trials for one of the leading potential coronavirus vaccines, which uses cell lines from an aborted baby, have been temporarily stopped after a trial participant was taken ill.

AstraZeneca, a British pharmaceutical company that has been developing a coronavirus vaccine in collaboration with the University of Oxford, issued a statement yesterday announcing the “voluntary pause of vaccination across all trials.”

While several outlets are describing the incident as a “serious suspected adverse reaction,” AstraZeneca’s statement simply refers to it as “a single event of an unexplained illness that occurred in the UK Phase III trial.” Large scale trials of the potential vaccine have also been happening in other parts of the world including South Africa and Brazil.

The New York Times has reported that an anonymous source “familiar with the situation” has told them that “the individual “had received a diagnosis of transverse myelitis, an inflammatory syndrome that affects the spinal cord and is often sparked by viral infections.”

The pharmaceutical company insists that the decision to pause the trials is a “routine action” and that “[i]n large clinical trials, illnesses will happen by chance and must be independently reviewed.”

AstraZeneca is using the HEK-293 cell line made from fetal cells harvested from an aborted baby decades ago in the production of their coronavirus vaccine. The HEK-293 cell line was originally derived from kidney tissue taken from a healthy baby girl who was electively aborted in the Netherlands in 1972.

Last month Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that his government made an agreement with the British pharmaceutical company to supply Australians with their coronavirus vaccine for free, providing that the vaccine passes clinical trials.  Shortly after announcing the agreement Morrison first said that a coronavirus vaccine will be made “as mandatory as you can possibly make it” before quickly walking back the comments somewhat and saying that the vaccine “is not going to be compulsory” and that “we can’t hold someone down and make them take it.”

In May the US Federal government announced that it was giving $1.2 billion towards the development of AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine as part of President Trump’s ‘Operation Warp Speed’ program.


  aborted fetal tissue, astrazeneca, coronavirus vaccine, coronavius, hek293

News

Trump announces potential Supreme Court nominees, one of whom defended pro-life hero Daleiden

Sarah Pitlyk was part of the defense team for Center for Medical Progress head David Daleiden in Planned Parenthood’s case against him for exposing the abortion giant’s sale of organs from aborted babies.
Wed Sep 9, 2020 - 4:34 pm EST
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President Donald Trump announces his list of potential Supreme Court nominees, Sept. 9, 2020. Donald J Trump / Youtube
Martin Bürger Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

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

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 9, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – President Donald Trump this afternoon released a list with 20 additional names of potential Supreme Court nominees, including three senators: Ted Cruz of Texas, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, and Josh Hawley of Missouri.

Another name on the new list was Sarah Pitlyk, who was part of the defense team for Center for Medical Progress head David Daleiden in Planned Parenthood’s case against him for exposing the abortion giant’s sale of organs from aborted babies.

Just in December, the Senate confirmed her nomination to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, defying left-wing attacks on her pro-life public statements.

“Ms. Pitlyk is a towering intellect, a supremely capable lawyer, and a strong Constitutional conservative,” Thomas More Society executive vice president Andrew Bath said at the time. Pitlyk had worked as special counsel for the Thomas More Society.

“She’s done terrific legal work over the years on some of the Thomas More Society’s biggest cases, and that, together with her service as a law clerk for now U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh has prepared her well for her time on the bench,” Bath continued.

“Sarah Pitlyk will be a fair and wise federal judge who will bring honor and distinction to the federal judiciary and make the president who nominated her and the Senate that confirmed her proud.”

Trump said during today’s brief speech announcing the new names, “Every one of these individuals will ensure equal justice, equal treatment, and equal rights for citizens of every race, color, religion, and creed.”

He emphasized that all potential Supreme Court nominees would be justices like the late Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito. He did not, in that context, refer to the two justices he nominated himself, namely Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

Both Gorsuch and Kavanaugh have written opinions disappointing conservatives.

Trump had already released two lists with 21 names overall during his 2016 campaign for president.


  donald trump, supreme court shortlist, us supreme court

News

Priest banned from posting videos after Catholic News Agency report on his anti-mask comment

'We ought to obey God rather than man. And if the bishop tells you to do something that is contrary to your health, contrary to reason, and contrary to the common good, disobey it.'
Wed Sep 9, 2020 - 3:16 pm EST
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Father Daniel Nolan, FSSP
Martin Bürger Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

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

DENVER, Colorado, September 9, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) priest in the Archdiocese of Denver came under fire from Catholic News Agency (CNA) for saying Catholics needn’t follow draconian coronavirus mask mandates from their bishop or governor. 

“Disobey your bishop, disobey your governor,” if they try to force you to wear a face covering, Father Daniel Nolan, FSSP quipped in a video that was briefly posted online. 

His superiors said he is no longer to post videos on the Internet, and the Archdiocese told LifeSiteNews it is satisfied with the way the issue has been addressed.

Nolan serves at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Littleton, Colorado.

“They cannot tell you to wear a mask,” Nolan had said. “This is a lie. They are lying to all of us.”

“Don’t wear a mask,” Nolan continued. “If your bishop tells you, don’t do it. And I encourage everybody not to wear a mask. And I am telling you: disobey your bishop, disobey your governor. That’s what I’m telling you.”

“We ought to obey God rather than man,” he emphasized. “And if the bishop tells you to do something that is contrary to your health, contrary to reason, and contrary to the common good, disobey it. And it’s contrary to the common good to continue to go along with an attempted communist takeover of the United States, which is what’s happening.” 

“If you’re healthy, you have a 0.006 percent chance of dying from COVID,” Nolan noted, adding, “scamdemic,” a phrase popular with those who believe the global response to the coronavirus outbreak has been overblown.

READ: Explosion in mandatory masking isn’t driven by science, but fear

“My next sermon is gonna get me, like, transferred, so enjoy me while you can,” the priest joked.

CNA first reported on the video, saying that “Church officials” were “evaluating” Fr. Nolan. Parishioners subsequently told Church Militant that they considered the CNA article a “hit piece” that “hyped off-the-cuff remarks made by Fr. Daniel Nolan that were inadvertently captured on video and posted briefly online Tuesday evening.” 

The author of the article was J. D. Flynn, CNA’s editor-in-chief.

CNA journalist Kevin Jones, who said on Twitter that Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is his home parish, called his priest’s remarks “an unfortunate and petty act of rebellion against the mask mandate aiming to limit coronavirus spread.” Jones then suggested he was “stay[ing] away” from the parish because of “yellow flags” and “anti-mask signaling.” 

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Issue ‘has been addressed...to the satisfaction of the Archdiocese of Denver’

Mark Haas, Director of Public Relations for the Archdiocese of Denver, told LifeSiteNews earlier this week that the issue “has been addressed internally by the pastor of the parish and religious order to the satisfaction of the Archdiocese of Denver.”

Fr. James Jackson FSSP, Nolan’s pastor, sent a short message to parishioners explaining CNA hadn’t given him adequate time to answer their inquiry. He suggested that the matter is already essentially resolved.

In the message, which was obtained by LifeSiteNews, Jackson wrote, “The title of the article says ‘Church officials evaluating priest who told Catholics to ‘disobey’ bishop on mask wearing.’ This is not correct. It was published yesterday [September 2], but the evaluation is over.”

Jackson told his parishioners that when CNA contacted him, “I hadn’t seen the video, and I asked for time to see it, to ask Fr. Nolan about it, and to consult my superior and the Archdiocese. Basically the reporter gave a couple of hours to accomplish all this, but I had other things which needed to be attended to, so I didn’t give a statement. So, the reporter published his article without input from me, which by now a good number of you have read.”

“The consequence to the video is that Fr. Nolan is forbidden by our superiors from uploading things on the internet,” wrote Fr. Jackson. “The duration of this interdict has not been determined. Other than that, no other consequences from the Church will be forthcoming.”

Meanwhile, the vicar general of the archdiocese, Fr. Randy Dollins, “was of good cheer, extremely helpful and supportive,” reported Jackson. “I can’t tell you how much I was impressed by him.”

FSSP priest: Mask mandates now but ‘in the future, it’s going to be a vaccine’ 

Fr. Nolan, who was ordained in 2014 after serving in the Marine Corps as a Captain, said in early August that he was personally refusing to wear a mask anywhere.

During an interview with “Restoring the Faith” on YouTube, he said, “I think it’s important. I think this is where civil disobedience comes in, and we are absolutely within our rights.”

“I don’t wear a mask anywhere I go,” he confirmed. “If I’m requested, ‘you need to put on your mask,’ I’m going to reply, ‘Well, I’m exempt.’”

“And I don’t have to disclose my medical information to you,” Nolan explained. “I don’t have to disclose to you why I have a medical exemption. If they push the issue, I’ll say, ‘Look, you’re free to call the authorities, but I will not wear a mask.’”

READ: Explosion in mandatory masking isn’t driven by science, but fear - Part II

Nolan drew a parallel between resisting mask mandates now, and having to resist a mandatory coronavirus vaccine in the future.

“Now, it’s not wearing a mask...In the future, it’s going to be a vaccine with who knows what’s in there. And it’s going to be jail time, or censure, or taking you away from your kids, or taking your kids away from you. That’s what [is] coming next if you don’t stand up now and say, ‘I’m not going to wear a mask, I’m not going to submit to this fear and this control.’”

“You will lose everything,” Nolan warned. “This is our last chance to stand up and resist.”

At this point, the priest made it clear that he was only expressing his personal opinion.

“That is not the decision of the Church, the Fraternity [of St. Peter], or my parish. That’s Father Dan Nolan, and I encourage everybody: Be bold. Stand up. It’s uncomfortable, but if you really don’t want to wear a mask, don’t wear it. Make them ask you. Be polite.”


  archdiocese of denver, catholic, catholic news agency, coronavirus, coronavirus vaccine, fssp, masks, priestly fraternity of st. peter

News

Another Australian state passes law requiring priests to break seal of Confession, report child abuse

'Many priests and bishops have publicly stated that they will go to jail before obeying these laws'
Wed Sep 9, 2020 - 2:15 pm EST
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Paul Smeaton Paul Smeaton Follow Paul
By Paul Smeaton

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

QUEENSLAND, Australia, September 9, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The Australian of Queensland has passed a law requiring Catholic priests to violate the seal of the Confessional and report any instances of confessed child sex abuse, or face up to three years in prison.

The legislation arose as a result of recommendations from the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which recommended in 2017 that clergy and confession no longer be exempt from mandatory reporting. Similar laws have already been passed in the states of Victoria and South Australia as well as in Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.

Australian media reports that the legislation received bi-partisan political support but that one elected Queensland politician, Stephen Andrew an MP with the One Nation party, spoke out against the new law.

“The bill poses a real danger for public trust and cohesion in our community,” Mr Andrew said.

“Many priests and bishops have publicly stated that they will go to jail before obeying these laws,” he continued.

“How confident can the people of Queensland be that they live in a free and open democracy governed by the rule of law, where the state jails its bishops?”

In January, Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge said in a submission to the Queensland Parliament that the legislation would make clergy “agents of the state.”

“The state would effectively be saying that there is some sin that cannot be forgiven, that God has no part to play in this, that clergy should be agents of the state, that the Sacrament of Penance is outlawed,” Coleridge said.

Coleridge has also said that the law will “not make a difference to the safety of young people” and that enforcement of the law will be problematic.

Coleridge has made no statement since the passing of the legislation and no mention of the new law is made in the Queensland bishops’ newly released statement on the upcoming state election in October.

Canon 984 of the 1973 Code of Canon Law states that a confessor is “forbidden to use knowledge acquired in confession to the detriment of the penitent, while it also says that Church authorities may not use, “for the purpose of external governance,” knowledge of sins that come from the hearing of confession. 

Prior to the law passing on Tuesday the Brisbane Oratory in Formation, which leads a Catholic parish close to the centre of Brisbane, encouraged their community to join a Rosary Crusade and all-night vigil in response to the law.

In their 5/6th September newsletter the Oratory Fathers outline multiple reasons why they saw that the new law will not stop sex abuse.

The Oratory Fathers point out that because Confessions are anonymous “exact details are not required in confession and hence there would be no basic facts to report.” 

The newsletter points out that unrepentant perpetrators of sexual abuse generally do not go to Confession and that the charge against priests failing to report instances of confessed sexual abuse would be unenforceable “except where persons with religious malice or police act as ‘dummy penitents’ leading to the imprisonment of priests for non-reporting of events that never occurred.” 

The Oratory Fathers even suggest that the new law is likely to inhibit the repentant abusers from seeking Confession where the priest would have the opportunity of encouraging them to report themselves. 

“In the case that an abuser does confess the priest has the opportunity to encourage them to report themselves, the law may deter such offenders from going to confession and receiving this counsel,” the newsletter states.

“Priests can and do encourage victims of abuse to report it to a trusted adult outside of the confessional, this opportunity may be lost if the law deters a victim from talking about being abused during confession.” 

Following the passing of the law the Oratory Fathers thanked the faithful for their efforts in prayer and in writing to their MPs and said that Queensland politicians are “aware of a strong and faithful Catholic community in Brisbane.”

We had 170 people join us in our all-night Rosary Crusade before the Blessed Sacrament. Thank you to all of you who...

Posted by The Brisbane Oratory in Formation on Tuesday, September 8, 2020

The Oratory Fathers are urging the Catholic faithful to pray for the protection of priests through the intercession of St John of Nepomuk, a fourteenth century priest and martyr who endured torture and suffered death by drowning rather than break the seal of the Confessional.


  australia, catholic, confession, mark coleridge, seal of confession, stephen andrew

News

Teachers call child protective service on students for missing online school last spring

Teachers from public schools in Massachusetts allegedly had been informing local police and child protective services on parents whose kids missed online school meetings while learning during the spring. 
Wed Sep 9, 2020 - 12:55 pm EST
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Shutterstock.com
Anthony Murdoch
By Anthony Murdoch

MASSACHUSETTS, September 9, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Teachers from public schools in Massachusetts allegedly had been informing local police and child protective services on parents whose kids missed online school meetings while learning during the spring. 

The Boston Globe reported that officials in Massachusetts singled out “dozens” of families to the state’s Department of Children and Families (DCF), due to an alleged lack of participation in virtual learning, which began after local schools were shut due to the coronavirus. 

According to the Globe report, the majority of the referrals to the DCF were done simply because a student did not login to certain class times, and that most of the parents of those referred were moms with no previous social services records. 

The Globe reported that the “trend” was most common in higher-poverty, and mostly Black and Latino school districts, with next to none in “wealthier communities.” 

According to the Globe report, officials in several school districts claimed that in each case they reported the child had a “pattern of problematic behavior” and was not only because they did not sign into online classes. 

But the Globe also reported that it talked with parents who had both calls and visits from the state DCF. 

One parent, Em Quiles, was quoted in the Globe report as saying she “couldn’t believe it” after she got a call from the DCF in June accusing her of neglect because her 7-yer-old had apparently missed class and assignments during remote class time. 

Quiles told the Globe that she struggled to work with her son’s school’s online platform and that they “didn’t offer any help.” 

A neglect charge levied against a parent can carry with it serious consequences if proven to be true in the state of  Massachusetts, such as a child being taken into state custody. 

Quiles told the Globe that it did not take much time for the DCF agent to realize that the complaint against her was not valid, adding she knew she didn’t do “anything wrong.”

Michael Gregory told the Globe that “It’s the exact wrong thing that the moment calls for” when it comes to parents being targeted due to their kids missing online Zoom meetings or assignments. 

Gregory is managing attorney with the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative of Massachusetts Advocates for Children and the Harvard Law School. 

A LifeSiteNews opinion piece by Randall Smith highlights how schools in the United States investing in multi-billion-dollar technology upgrades, which includes online learning, does not “translate to kids learning.” 

“The greatest danger of any crisis is the inability to learn the lessons it should teach. Will the online, ‘tech’ mania pass with the passing of the coronavirus pandemic? Is the online experience a temporary solution to a passing problem?” wrote Smith. 

“I wouldn’t bet on it. Having spent billions on new tech while firing actual faculty members, administrators will be loath not to use their new gadgets to ‘transform’ education.”


  child protective services, massachusetts, schools, zoom

News

Tech company MobileCause pulls plug on Family Research Council 1 hour before election broadcast event

'MobileCause has not only provided yet another example of big tech censorship but in their desperation to silence those they disagree with, they have now added religious discrimination to their portfolio?'
Wed Sep 9, 2020 - 12:15 pm EST
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LifeSiteNews.com
By LSN

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

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 9, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – In a stunning incident of big tech censorship and religious discrimination, MobileCause's CEO Victor Limongelli terminated Family Research Council’s (FRC) contract one hour before the conservative religious organization's Pray Vote Stand broadcast. The termination, based upon FRC’s religious views, prevented the broadcast from reaching thousands of Christian voters with information about the 2020 election.

MobileCause develops software for nonprofits. 

“MobileCause has not only provided yet another example of big tech censorship but in their desperation to silence those they disagree with, they have now added religious discrimination to their portfolio,” said Tony Perkins, president of FRC. “Is it a coincidence that a big tech company pulled the plug on us one hour before the second installment of one of our most extensive evangelical voter education and mobilization efforts in this election cycle? The big tech agenda is beyond obvious. MobileCause views evangelicals and conservatives as a political enemy that must be silenced, and so it timed its religious discrimination for maximum effect.”

“The Left's determination to silence voices with which they disagree should make clear to every evangelical voter what is at stake in this election and why they need to pray, vote, and stand! Big tech, Hollywood, and the elites intend to decide this election, and they will resort to religious discrimination, censorship, and bullying to get that mission accomplished. We cannot, and we must not, allow them to succeed,” concluded Perkins.

For more information on the weekly Pray Vote Stand broadcast, please visit prayvotestand.org.

Contact information for respectful communication:

MobileCause
27001 Agoura Road 350A 
Calabasas, CA 91301 

888.661.8804
818.296.0345 
[email protected]


  2020 election, 2020 presidential election, big tech, big tech bias, big tech censorship, family research council, mobilecause

News

BREAKING: Trump praises Catholic navy chaplains for ‘compassion & skill,’ says US gov’t won’t cancel contracts

'The United States Navy, or the Department of Defense, will NOT be cancelling its contract with Catholic Priests who serve our men and women in the Armed Forces so well,' the president tweeted this morning.
Wed Sep 9, 2020 - 11:51 am EST
Featured Image
NEWPORT NEWS, VA - MARCH 02: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to members of the U.S. Navy and shipyard workers on board the USS Gerald R. Ford CVN 78 that is being built at Newport News shipbuilding, on March 2, 2017 in Newport News, Virginia. Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete
By Pete Baklinski

September 9, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – President Donald Trump confirmed in a tweet this morning that the U.S. Navy has reversed course and decided to renew contracts with Catholic priests to celebrate Holy Mass on military bases. Trump praised the Catholic priests for their “great compassion & skill.”

“The United States Navy, or the Department of Defense, will NOT be cancelling its contract with Catholic Priests who serve our men and women in the Armed Forces so well, and with such great compassion & skill. This will no longer be even a point of discussion!” he wrote in a tweeted in which he tagged New York Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan.

Rear Adm. Bette Bolivar, the commander of Navy Region Southwest, announced the reversal of the plan to suspend most contracts for priests on Tuesday, reported the San Diego Union Tribune.

Vice Admiral Yancey Lindsey, the commander of Naval Installations Command, had previously stated about the original decision: “We have a responsibility to use our limited resources wisely in meeting the needs of our personnel. Therefore, we will reduce redundancies and capture efficiencies by realigning resources.”

The San Diego Union-Tribune, which first reported on the news, explained at the time that “religious services will be cut at bases where those services are readily available in the surrounding community outside the base.”

The newspaper pointed out, “While the Navy has an active-duty component of clergy – the Chaplain Corps – the number of Catholic priests among them is small. To make up for that shortage, the service contracted with priests to lead services on U.S. bases. Those contracts are the ones being canceled.”

The San Diego Union-Tribune quoted Fr. Jose Pimentel, who was contracted to say Mass on naval bases in the San Diego area, as saying, “One issue is discrimination (and) another is the violation of your right to practice your religion.”

Between 250 and 400 service members attend Mass at San Diego Navy installations every weekend.

petition by LifeSiteNews signed by over 10,000 people, addressed to Commander of Navy Installations, Vice Admiral Yancy Lindsey, and Commander in Chief, President Donald Trump, argued that it is “blatant discrimination” against Catholics to cancel Masses while still offering services to other Christian denominations.

“Going to Mass on Sunday is not just a optional thing for Catholics, it is an obligation. The Navy, therefore, has an obligation to its Catholic sailors, to facilitate attendance at Mass, especially as many sailors may not be able to travel off-base,” the petition stated.

“We, the undersigned, are dismayed to learn that the Navy intends to cancel on-base Masses for Catholic sailors citing cost as the reason, while, at the same time, continuing to fund other religious services as per normal.”

Popular Catholic blogger Father John Zuhlsdorf thanked Trump for the good news.

“THANK YOU!  I'm one of those priests who in the past contracted with the Navy.  THANK YOU!” he tweeted.

LifeSite’s Martin Bürger contributed to this report


  donald trump, masses, navy, us navy

News

Navy alters course after outcry, says Catholic Masses will continue on bases

After public outcry, which included a petition by LifeSiteNews signed by over 10,000 people, the Navy has reversed course and decided to renew contracts with Catholic priests to celebrate Holy Mass on military bases.
Wed Sep 9, 2020 - 11:31 am EST
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Glynnis Jones / Shutterstock.com
Martin Bürger Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

September 9, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – After public outcry, which included a petition by LifeSiteNews signed by over 10,000 people, the Navy has reversed course and decided to renew contracts with Catholic priests to celebrate Holy Mass on military bases. The cost-cutting measure was to be enforced across the country.

Rear Adm. Bette Bolivar, the commander of Navy Region Southwest, announced the reversal of the plan to suspend most contracts for priests on Tuesday, reported the San Diego Union Tribune. 

Trump confirmed the news in a tweet this morning: 

Vice Admiral Yancey Lindsey, the commander of Naval Installations Command, had previously stated about the original decision: “We have a responsibility to use our limited resources wisely in meeting the needs of our personnel. Therefore, we will reduce redundancies and capture efficiencies by realigning resources.”

The San Diego Union-Tribune, which first reported on the news, explained at the time that “religious services will be cut at bases where those services are readily available in the surrounding community outside the base.”

The newspaper pointed out, “While the Navy has an active-duty component of clergy – the Chaplain Corps – the number of Catholic priests among them is small. To make up for that shortage, the service contracted with priests to lead services on U.S. bases. Those contracts are the ones being canceled.”

The San Diego Union-Tribune quoted Fr. Jose Pimentel, who was contracted to say Mass on naval bases in the San Diego area, as saying, “One issue is discrimination (and) another is the violation of your right to practice your religion.”

Between 250 and 400 service members attend Mass at San Diego Navy installations every weekend.

LifeSite stated in its petition addressed to Commander of Navy Installations, Vice Admiral Yancy Lindsey, and Commander in Chief, President Donald Trump, that it is “blatant discrimination” against Catholics to cancel Masses while still offering services to other Christian denominations. 

“Going to Mass on Sunday is not just a optional thing for Catholics, it is an obligation. The Navy, therefore, has an obligation to its Catholic sailors, to facilitate attendance at Mass, especially as many sailors may not be able to travel off-base,” the petition stated. 

“We, the undersigned, are dismayed to learn that the Navy intends to cancel on-base Masses for Catholic sailors citing cost as the reason, while, at the same time, continuing to fund other religious services as per normal.”

Karen White, herself a former naval officer who retired as a lieutenant, told LifeSiteNews about the harsh “the very unique life that sailors and their families lead.”

“I won’t detail to you what my son-in-law endured on his 7 month deployment on a destroyer last year,” she said. “There were many deprivations suffered, regarding schedule, food, living conditions, etc. And he is an officer! Not to mention separation from everyone he loved and often, especially in the surface Navy, harsh superiors as well.”

White’s husband was also a long-time naval officer, retiring as a captain.

“God has mostly been eradicated from our current human culture,” White pointed out. “Suicides from the resulting emptiness are on the rise in all of society but are particularly high amongst active duty and veterans.”

“Young people who enter the service, though smart and capable, often enter with a lot of personal baggage and are extremely young. They get paid little but do benefit from the discipline, though they don’t always have good examples to follow. For the faith-filled or those faltering in their faith, the chapel and chaplain are lifelines for them. Schedules are all over the place and the ability to catch a morning or noon Mass and especially a Sunday Mass can provide the strength they need to endure the rest of their crazy life.”

She also spoke about difficulties of long deployments, often without access to Mass at all, in addition to being separated from the family back home in the United States.

With that in mind, having priests ministering “to military is unique.”

“The priests who are Navy chaplains, even the ones on contract, have an appreciation for their unique life and minister to them specifically in it,” she said. “While the option to go to a parish off base is there, it is not the same. Military chaplains are used accommodating military moves in their sacramental preps, for instance.”

“I just want you to understand the unique role and importance of having a priest on base, serving the Catholic military population there,” she emphasized. 


  masses, navy, petition, us navy

Opinion

California leads nation in systemic sexualization of children

Senate Bill 145 amends a bad law to make it worse.
Wed Sep 9, 2020 - 5:55 pm EST
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shutterstock.com
Linda Harvey
By Linda Harvey

PETITION: Urge state legislatures to scrap universal mail-in ballots and help protect the vote! Sign the petition here.

September 9, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Sure, let’s make it easier for adults to homosexually molest young teens. This makes lots of sense.

And ignores thousands of years in the track record of child corruption. 

Why are we even talking about this? There are sound reasons why adults who have same-sex attractions have historically been barred from access to children, and we ignore the time-honored rationale at our peril.

California, on a track to become the most self-destructive state in the union (not counting Oregon, Washington, and New York), just passed a bill that weakens penalties for adults having homosexual sex with minors.  Senate Bill 145 is ready for Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign, and by the time you read this, it may be law. 

The reality is, this bill amends a bad law to make it worse. Right now, a 23-year-old guy who has sex with a 15-year-old girl does not automatically become a sex offender. This bill seeks “equality” to make homosexual encounters on par with the current law.

Whether Newsom signs or not, this bill or one similar will return, because this isn’t the first time radicals have tried this in California. It allows the judge to keep an adult offender off a sex offender registry, at his/her discretion, if the victim is 14 to 17 years of age and the adult is less than 10 years older, and anal and oral sex (rather than vaginal sex) are the sex practices involved. These are the typical elements of homosexual conduct.

State Sen. Scott Wiener, the openly homosexual sponsor, said the bill, “eliminates discrimination against LGBTQ youth in our criminal justice system.”

Wiener apparently believes there are young people born with an “LGBTQ” identity sticker tattooed on their infant bodies, rather than these being developed, deviant, avoidable desires. Wiener also assumes that a 14-year-old is mature enough to give consent, also not true, but like many homosexuals, he may have little knowledge of child development. And probably doesn’t care.

Homosexual activists have pushed for many years to lower the age of consent for teens to have homosexual sex. But why legitimize this behavior? Homosexual coupling will never be marriage in the eyes of God, if you believe Scripture. And we can also point to the evidence of destruction clearly before us.

American children are the props for an alleged progressive utopia where, through the heartlessness of the left, they become victims of abortion, school brainwashing, child porn, or sexual molestation.

 Yes, not all adults with homosexual attractions are interested in children, but enough are that historically, societies have kept such folks separated from kids. 

Opposite-sex molestation is a concern as well, but there’s a key difference. There are already built-in barriers to limit men from molesting girls compared to same-sex molestation, a big one being the potential for pregnancy and the disclosure that brings. 

But overall, opportunities for same-sex sexual contact are greater. Adult males can be camp counselors and sleep in the bunkhouse with boys. They may use the same restrooms as boys. Adult females may be coaches of girls’ teams.

The restroom/locker room access issue for gender-confused youth is one championed by “LGBTQ” activists because it opens up even more opportunities for sex in all directions. It seems cynical, but given the amount of time and funding devoted to selling this to America, one cannot help but conclude that there are big donors in the “LGBTQ” community fond of the idea of males (dressed as females or males) with easy access to little boys or little girls. All the barriers come down if they get their way.

Relative to childhood innocence and sexual integrity, there are several categories of adults with same-sex attractions:

  1. A small group, mostly males, has a sexual interest in prepubescent same-sex children (even as these men engage in same-sex relations with adults). They violate a child’s innocence with no qualms.

  1. A larger group is interested in same-sex contact with pubescent/preteen children. Again, a conscience doesn’t interfere with obsessive desires.

  2. A substantially larger, overlapping segment seeks young teens for sexual pleasure. This common fantasy surfaces everywhere in homosexual media. “Gay” icon Harvey Milk did this not coincidentally in California, where May 22 is designated as his special day to be observed in the state’s clueless public schools.

  3. Virtually all other homosexually-inclined adults may do none of this, but will look the other way. They are tolerant of, or even regular consumers of adult porn and won’t put up much of a fuss over child porn.

And this is why homosexual behavior should never have legitimacy, certainly not as marriage. It’s not just what they do (bad enough) but what they support, or fail to protect.

Homosexuals virtually never protect children. Why? Because most are still children emotionally themselves. And our culture is critically damaged when adults with powerful political sway refuse to protect, and even endanger, children.

It’s also why those of us who have seen the evolution of this movement and its interest in children are heartbroken that everything we predicted is now happening.

And it never had to, if Christians would listen and be willing to speak out. There are still way too many self-labeled (but biblically illiterate) Christians who have the following attitude:

“I know two ‘gay’ guys down the street and they would never hurt anyone! I see no reason why they shouldn’t love whomever they want.”

Yes, and they probably fall into category 3 or 4 above. Their behavior, and its legitimacy, fosters the systemic sexualization destroying the lives of too many children. 

And that’s why California is stupid and reckless with the welfare of its kids if they enact this law. The state already requires porn-drenched “CSE” sex education in schools, a jaw-dropping reality just dawning on parents of public schoolchildren. California also requires, by law, “LGBTQ” issues to be taught in schools as a positive option. It’s completely insane.

I hate to say we told you so, but we told you so. Many so-called “progressives” and many in our churches will continue to be blind. Let’s pray for hearts to change, for those corrupting children to repent, and for eyes to open so our kids can receive the protection they deserve from responsible adults.

Linda Harvey is president of Mission America.


  california assembly, gavin newsom, gender confused, homosexuality, lgbtq, same-sex attraction, scott wiener, sex offenders

Opinion

Austrian Catholic school sex ed features graphic sex acts, gender ideology

A sexualized view of children has infected the German-speaking Church.
Wed Sep 9, 2020 - 12:48 pm EST
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View of Vienna from St. Stephen's Cathedral. MarinaDa / Shutterstock.com
Dr. Silvia Behrendt
By Dr. Silvia Behrendt

VIENNA, Austria, September 9, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A Catholic foundation running kindergartens and daycare centers in the Archdiocese of Vienna is implementing a sex education curriculum informed by gender ideology. Employees are trained in sex education by a group fully embracing gender ideology, too.

The St. Nicholas Foundation is a Catholic institution of the Archdiocese of Vienna. Through its kindergartens and daycare centers with about 850 employees, it looks after about 6,000 children. The Austrian Family Alliance, which is committed to the protection of children against ideological indoctrination and sexual-pedagogical transgressions at educational institutions, discovered almost three years ago that the St. Nicholas Foundation has its educational staff trained by the Viennese sexual-pedagogical association “Selbstlaut.” This association is one of the most ideologically questionable and radical associations in the German-speaking world committed to gender ideology, as can be illustrated by a few examples. In the teaching materials for 6- to 12-year-old children published by the association with financial support from the government, the following illustration of a so-called “House of Diversity” is found, in which various sexual practices are shown by children:

[Editor’s note: Readers should be warned that the illustration is extremely graphic. It can be viewed here.]

Natural procreation through the union of man and woman is presented as one of many possibilities among reproductive medicine and other approaches to having a child under the title, “How do babies really come to us?” Out of 16 family models depicted, only two represent the natural family with father, mother, and children, and these two are ridiculed by their corresponding subtitles. Pictures suggest to the children that half of the people are intersexual (in reality it is less than 0.1 percent).

These are just a few examples of the ideological content of these materials, which aim to present to children an image of sexuality that is detached from the natural family contexts in which they grew up. By denying the children’s realities of life and the biological and sociological facts, the “ideology of diversity” is supposed to be anchored in the adolescents at an early age. The association “Selbstlaut” also represents a concept of abuse prevention that is dangerous for children. The children are supposed to learn “at every small step” of an encounter to “feel” whether a “communicated consent regarding […] sexual activities” is given. This is by no means only about so-called “doctor games”, which serve to satisfy children’s curiosity. Rather, sexual activities among children should be assumed to be normal. In doing so, a morality of consent that is completely absurd for children is established. This sexualized view of children is typical of current sex education in the German-speaking world and can be traced back to the so-called “neo-emancipatory sex education” of professor of social education and pedophilia activist Helmut Kentler. Kentler’s criminal activities in the 1970s are today the subject of public debate and investigation in Germany.

Back to the St. Nicholas Foundation. This foundation had, obviously in cooperation with the association “Selbstlaut”, developed a sexual education concept for its facilities, which was obtained and published by the Austrian Family Alliance. This concept, which is now being applied within the Church, is imbued with gender ideology and reveals numerous shortcomings that are dangerous for the children. They were analyzed in detail in a report by the psychiatrist Christian Spaemann. Among other things, completely unacceptable and uncontrollable staging of sexual self-experience and doctor games are recommended for children in a public institution. According to the concept, every child has the right “to determine his or her own body, i. e. to decide what kinds of touches he or she finds pleasant and who may touch what, how, where and when.” Even the decidedly liberal, respected German sexual pedagogue Karla Etschenberg, when asked, looked at the concept and, in a letter she wrote, assessed it negatively throughout, describing it as dangerous for children. This raises the question of how it is possible that such concepts, influenced by cultural Marxism, can be applied in the Church, while the psychological consequences of sexual assaults between children are increasingly being discussed in scientific communities and the media. Any experienced psychotherapist can tell a thing or two about this.

What has happened in the meantime? More than two years ago, the Austrian Family Alliance contacted the archdiocesan leadership. In doing so, the organization demanded that the foundation publicly distance itself from the “Selbstlaut” association, withdraw the sexual education concept, subject the staff to corrective retraining and, if necessary, draw consequences as to personnel so that one can be sure that nothing like it will happen again in the future. Only in this way can parents in good conscience entrust their children to this foundation. Nothing has happened despite repeated interventions at various levels of Church authorities. This is perceived as depressing insofar as these are children in need of protection. It is also about numerous well-meaning pedagogical staff members who are exposed to ideological indoctrination through further training at the association “Selbstlaut” and who would also be entitled to protection by their employer. The Austrian Family Alliance wants to continue the fight.

The article was first published in German by Austrian Catholic news website kath.net on September 8. With permission, it was translated into English by LifeSite’s Martin Bürger.


  archdiocese of vienna, austria, catholic, catholic schools, child abuse, education, pornography, sex education, st. nicholas foundation, vienna

Blogs

When are Catholics required to obey their bishops?

‘They cannot bend us to their human will, and they cannot impose on us their opinions on non-spiritual matters, however good their intentions.’
Wed Sep 9, 2020 - 6:49 pm EST
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Shutterstock
By Dr. Joseph Shaw

September 9, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Readers may be surprised, or scandalized, that Catholics like myself critical of bishops who appear to be pushing the practice of Communion in the hand during the COVID-19 epidemic are minimizing the importance of the virtue of obedience. So having criticized one view of what obedience is about, I’d like to say something positive about obedience.

Obedience is indeed a wonderful virtue. We should not see it as a passive or effeminate virtue, but as a primary virtue of the soldier. Christians are, after all, soldiers of Christ, and it is the constant theme of traditional Catholic spirituality that we should overcome our self-will in order to conform ourselves to the will of God. This, after all, is what the love of God is: “If you love Me, obey my commandments” (John 14:15). Furthermore, our religious superiors exercise over us God’s authority, and for most of us our opportunity to obey God in specific matters comes in the form of obeying God in our superiors.

The difficulty modern Catholics have had with obedience is partly the result of spiritual writers of recent centuries taking it too much for granted that they are not talking about obeying our superiors in matters of sin, or about “rash” obedience when what we are commanded might be sin; nor about matters that go beyond our superiors’ competence, or about commands that fail to promote the common good. 

St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas take such a strict line on the last of these issues that it appears commands that are well-intentioned but are not actually going to do any good would not count as valid commands at all, since for them the very definition of a command involves the promotion of the common good. We can leave a little room for maneuver over matters where our judgment of what will promote the common good may be no better than that of a superior, but the point remains that for the great Fathers and Doctors of the Church what obedience is about is leaving aside our own interests for those of the community, under the direction of the person charged with the promotion of this common good, and not at all about enslaving ourselves to an alternative human will, however that will might be clothed in the dignity of office. 

The second alternative would not be a proxy for obedience to God, but rather of obedience to Satan, who is the ruler of human tyrants, governed as they are by their passions.

The idea that the command of the superior is the command of God could be very dangerous unless it is remembered that it contains in itself this important limitation: that we should obey God rather than man (Acts 5:29). If we regard our bishop — as we should — as exercising authority from God, and therefore undertake to obey him as a way of obeying God Himself, we could never imagine that this would involve disobeying God’s will. This does not only mean that we should not obey the bishop in breaking the Ten Commandments, but that it is not true obedience to carry out the bishop’s desires, should he harbor them, to harm souls in any way.

It was a matter of great satisfaction to many of us Catholics in England and Wales in 2011 when our bishops reimposed the obligation of Friday abstinence: we are now obliged to abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year, unless it is a Solemnity. It was similarly gratifying in 2017 when our bishops reimposed the obligation to go to Mass on the traditional dates of the feasts of the Ascension and Epiphany, which had been moved to the nearest Sunday. We should rejoice, similarly, at the authority priests have over us in the confessional, to give or withhold absolution, and to impose a penance on us. These exercises of authority are for our spiritual good: it is easy to see how they benefit us, and the very inconveniences to which they might put us can be a source of grace when accepted with humility. 

Obedience can be difficult, when we are asked to do something difficult or dangerous for the common good, such as when a priest is asked to serve a remote and impoverished community. Obedience has a special value — and this is a favorite theme of spiritual writers — in relation to penance, since penances we choose for ourselves can be a source of spiritual pride, a problem which is mitigated if the penance is imposed on us by a superior.

However, the authority of bishops and priests over lay Catholics is actually extremely limited, and hardly goes beyond the kinds of examples just given. They cannot bend us to their human will, and they cannot impose on us their opinions on non-spiritual matters, however good their intentions. Above all, they are given power to do good, and never to do evil.


  bishops, catholic, communion in the hand, covid-19, obedience, st. augustine, st. thomas aquinas

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Half of Christians, majority of Catholics, say fornication is ‘sometimes or always’ acceptable

The study highlights the rise of so-called 'sexual atheism,' in which people profess belief in Christianity but ignore its teachings on sexuality and marriage.
Wed Sep 9, 2020 - 3:59 pm EST
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Jonathon Van Maren Jonathon Van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon Van Maren

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September 9, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Back in 2014, a study conducted by the online dating website ChristianMingle.com revealed that 63% of single Christians between the age of 18 to 59 indicated that they would be willing to have sex before marriage. One commentator noted that these numbers prove something that many have been observing for some time: The rise of so-called “sexual atheism,” in which people profess belief in Christianity but ignore its teachings on sexuality and marriage.

That trend appears to be continuing. In a survey recently conducted by Pew Research Center, over 50% of respondents identifying as Christian indicated that they believe extramarital sex is “always” or “sometimes” permissible. A full 62% of Roman Catholics surveyed stated that casual sex is “sometimes” or “always” acceptable, and 54% of mainline Protestants concurred. Those numbers are significantly lower than the percentage of “unaffiliated” people surveyed who believe casual sex to be permissible—84%—but still indicative of an enormous disconnect amongst those claiming to hold to Christian teaching.

Of course, much of this can probably be attributed to the fact that many people use these categories as cultural identifiers rather than a description of their actual beliefs. I was over twenty before I met a Catholic who attended church regularly, and many—if not most--mainstream Protestant churches are as enthusiastic about celebrating Pride Month as Big Business. Most of these churches have tried so desperately to stay culturally relevant that they have begun to empty out entirely—if you’re not offering anything solid or distinctive, why should anyone get up early Sunday morning just to listen to a bad knock-off of secular music?

In fact, commentators such as Ross Douthat have pointed out that the rise of the so-called “nones”—those who identify with no religious tradition—in recent years can be largely attributed not to a decline in religiosity but to the collapse of cultural Christianity. As Christianity becomes an increasingly despised worldview in the culture at large, people have less and less of a motivation to identify as Christians. Many of these mainline Protestants and Catholics professing sexual atheism are probably the next generation of “nones” but simply haven’t fully dropped their cultural identification yet.

It is significant that the religious group with the strictest view on sexuality—evangelical Protestants—are still predominantly conservative. Thirty-two percent of evangelicals surveyed stated that they believe extramarital sex is acceptable. That number is obviously very high, but nowhere near as high as with self-identified Catholics, mainline Protestants, or the unaffiliated. I’d be interested to know what these statistics would look like once religious practice such as regular church attendance was factored in. I suspect that many of those who stated their belief that casual sex is acceptable would be the of the “Christmas and Easter” variety.

Interestingly, some encouraging data was also revealed recently, with the Center for Disease Control’s 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey indicating that less than 40% of American high schoolers have had sex, a drop of more than 15% since the early 1990s. According to the Institute for Family Studies, the YRBS provided some good news: “Closer examination reveals that most teens are having less sex and delaying sex longer, and that sexually-active teens have fewer lifetime sexual partners. That confirms other data indicating that American teenagers are far more risk averse than their parents, challenging the popular media representation of an increasingly sexualized adolescent life.”

That statistical drop is not an indicator of better sexual behavior—digital pornography has ravaged this generation, contributed to the destruction of morality in Christian communities, and spawned the mainstreaming of all sorts of sexual practices amongst the young that would not be captured in a survey specifically asking about intercourse. But still, less sexual activity among young people is still an overall positive, especially as it means fewer abortions. The data that matters the most, in my view, is the consistent evidence that those who wait until marriage to have sex are the happiest. We all used to know this. It’s time we remembered it. 

Jonathon’s new podcast, The Van Maren Show, is dedicated to telling the stories of the pro-life and pro-family movement. In his latest episode, he interviews Alessandra Bocchi, an Italian journalist well-known for her freelance reporting all over the world. She believes the mainstream media is driven by ideology rather than a desire for truth. It’s “hard to find a nuanced and informed view” on current events, she says. Journalism today is “all about personalities and memes rather than substance.” It’s more concerned with “catering to [the progressive elite] as opposed to reporting the truth…they’ve lost their integrity and credibility in many respects.”

You can subscribe here and listen to the episode below: 


  catholic, christianity, fornication, pew research center, sexual atheism, sexuality and culture, sexually active