Two additional $1,200 tickets issued under the Public Health Act to individuals exercising their Charter rights to peacefully protest have also been withdrawn by Crown prosecutors.
On the afternoon of May 2, 2020, Patrick Lefebvre and approximately six others were at the Alberta Legislature grounds in Edmonton, peacefully protesting the Alberta Government COVID lockdown measures. Mr. Lefebvre was approached by two Alberta Sheriffs on bicycles. One Sheriff told Mr. Lefebvre, “You’re not going to be able to have your rally here.” The Sheriffs then forcibly grabbed Mr. Lefebvre by the arms and physically compelled him to walk off the Legislature grounds to a Sheriff vehicle.
Mr. Lefebvre was detained by the Sheriffs for approximately 30 minutes. He was issued a ticket in the amount of $1,200 for allegedly contravening an order of a medical officer of health.
On the afternoon of May 10, 2020, Patrick Tipper and approximately 50 other individuals, independently attended the Legislature grounds to peacefully rally against the Canadian Government gun ban and the Alberta Government COVID lockdown.
During the rally, two teams of three Sheriffs each moved among the attendees, targeting individuals for detentions and removal from the grounds. One team of Sheriffs approached Mr. Tipper and demanded that he accompany them off the Legislature grounds. He was detained and ticketed.
Mr. Tipper’s ticket was also in the amount of $1,200 and issued for allegedly contravening an order of a medical officer of health. Like Mr. Lefebvre, Mr. Tipper was not told what was unlawful about his conduct or why he had been removed from the Legislature grounds.
ST. CATHARINES, Ontario, September 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Local police are seeking help from the public to identify two men suspected of stealing a tabernacle from a Canadian cathedral.
Niagara Regional Police issued a press release September 10 with descriptions of the suspects, as well as surveillance camera images of the pair standing inside St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral and of them pushing a shopping cart carrying the stolen tabernacle.
The police statement describes the two suspects as male, with one wearing a “red hoodie, camo pants, black running shoes and carrying a backpack” and the other wearing “grey jogging pants, black hoodie, pushing a shopping cart, and carrying a backpack.”
The 176-year-old cathedral of the Diocese of St. Catharines in southwest Ontario was broken into at 4:30 A.M. September 8, and the tabernacle pried off the main altar and carried away.
After hearing of the devastating event, a group of cathedral parishioners organized a search.
They found the tabernacle Wednesday morning “partially submerged” in the Old Welland Canal, according to a statement by diocesan vice chancellor Margaret Jong. The Blessed Sacrament was not found.
According to Catholic doctrine, the consecrated Hosts, also referred to as the Blessed Sacrament and the Eucharist, are the literal Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ.
Deliberate desecration of the consecrated Host is the gravest of sins.
“[O]ur hopeful presumption is that the consecrated Hosts dissolved naturally in the water where the tabernacle was found,” Jong said.
During a radio interview Tuesday, Bishop Gerald Bergie of St. Catharines pleaded with the thieves not to violate the consecrated Hosts, but to return them intact, Catholic News Agency reported.
“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 said there would be “no questions asked” if the thieves returned the Blessed Sacrament unharmed.
Cathedral rector Fr. Donald Lizzotti said he was “shocked” by the incident and described to LifeSiteNews the lengths to which the thieves 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, it 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.
The recovered tabernacle is “badly damaged,” he said.
The doors were taken off, and the ciborium — which holds the consecrated Hosts — is missing, though the lid was found, he said.
One of the tabernacle doors has also been found, and “our hope is that the second door may yet be recovered,” Jong said.
A man on the street gave the one door to a parishioner and said he had been given it by another individual in Centennial Park.
Lizzotti told CNA he believes that the thieves checked out the church beforehand and that the police could not find any fingerprints and believed that the thieves had wiped the scene clean.
The cathedral’s “most vulnerable” doors are now barricaded with crossbars, and the parish will be “putting in a surveillance system, and alarm system,” he told LifeSiteNews.
Bishop Bergie told the radio station that because it was so dark, the surveillance camera footage is “grainy,” and it might be hard to identify the culprits.
He said the thieves may have thought the tabernacle’s bronze doors were gold, or they could have had a more heinous motive, CNA reported.
“Who knows what goes through the minds of these people?” he said.
Catholic author Phil Lawler, when writing some years back about a willful and announced act of desecration of the Host, observed: “A generation or two ago, even the most hardened anti-Catholic bigot would have shied away from such a frontal assault on the Holy of Holies. But we live at a time when hatred for the Church is intense, and the Enemy is not afraid to show his face.”
He quoted Jesuit Fr. Donald Keefe’s words to that perpetrator: “Your conduct with respect to the Eucharist is execrable, but that you would spend so much time and energy on that desecration, and yet more upon publicizing your iniquity, is indisputable evidence that you take the Eucharist very, very seriously.
“So you should: it is the central reality of the universe; more; it represents our only ground for joy. There has been a long line of people like yourself unable to bear its existence and intent upon its abolition, but that is a cause lost from the beginning.”
September 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – An outbreak of polio in the African country of Sudan has been linked by the World Health Organization to an oral polio vaccine. In fact, the wild poliovirus was officially declared to be eradicated in Africa just last month, meaning that all remaining cases of polio on the continent are caused by vaccines.
Two young children in Sudan are now paralyzed after their vaccination.
“The first case, a child of 48 months, had onset of paralysis on 7 March 2020 and was from Sulbi city of Kas locality in South Darfur state,” the World Health Organization (WHO) announced in a press release at the beginning of the month. “The state is in the west of the country, bordering Central African Republic, South Sudan and close to the border with Chad.”
“The second case, a child of 36 months, had onset of paralysis on 1 April 2020 and was from Shari city of Al Gedarif locality in Gedarif state in the east, close to the border with Eritrea and Ethiopia.”
Both children had received their last dose of the oral vaccine in 2019. Now they are paralyzed.
According to the WHO, both cases are connected to an outbreak first detected last October, “currently circulating in Chad and Cameroon.” Eleven more cases where the vaccine-derived poliovirus has been detected in people in Sudan have been confirmed and are under investigation.
“Across the African continent, 172 type 2 cases in 14 countries have been reported in 2020.”
Polio, the Mayo Clinic explains, “is a contagious viral illness that in its most severe form causes nerve injury leading to paralysis, difficulty breathing and sometimes death.”
In response to the outbreak in Africa, “WHO assesses the risk of further international spread of (circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2) across central Africa and the Horn of Africa to be high.”
Just in late August, health authorities had “declared the African continent free of the wild poliovirus after decades of effort.”
“The declaration leaves Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan as the only countries thought to still have the wild poliovirus, with vaccination efforts against the highly infectious, water-borne disease complicated by insecurity and attacks on health workers,” the Associated Press reported.
The polio vaccine recently made headlines when vaccine manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur announced it was no longer producing “Poliovax,” a vaccine that used the aborted fetal cell line MRC-5. The company said it would now use Vero cells, which come from monkeys, to make those vaccines instead. It will also continue to produce the IPOL polio vaccine, which also uses Vero cells.
Critics of a potential coronavirus vaccine have frequently argued that the product, especially if key parts of testing have been skipped, could be unsafe. News of the polio vaccine causing children in Africa to suffer from polio only strengthens their argument.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., founder of Children’s Health Defense, warned during an online debate in July, “The Moderna vaccine, which is the lead candidate, skipped the animal testing altogether.”
Another aspect of testing was equally unsatisfying, he said. The Moderna vaccine was tested “on 45 people. They had a high-dose group of 15 people, a medium-dose group of 15 people, and a low growth group of 15 people.”
“In the low-dose group, one of the people was so sick from the vaccine they had to be hospitalized,” he explained. “That’s six percent. In the high-dose group, three people got so sick they had to be hospitalized. That’s 20 percent.”
In spite of these significant problems, the nephew of former President John F. Kennedy continued, “they’re going ahead, and making two billion doses of that vaccine.”
Earlier this month, 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 suffered from illness.
While several news outlets characterized the incident as a “serious suspected adverse reaction,” the manufacturer, AstraZeneca, only referred 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 reported that an anonymous source “familiar with the situation” 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 insisted 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.”
Across the globe, people have taken to the streets to protest the COVID-19 lockdowns. A common theme at all events was the protesters’ fear of a mandatory coronavirus vaccine.
RICHMOND, Virginia, September 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A COVID-19 vaccine should not be mandatory, and getting people to take it “serves certain special interests,” a young medical doctor told LifeSiteNews.
“I have no doubt about it,” Dr. Leland Stillman said when LifeSite’s video reporter Jim Hale asked him if the push for the vaccine had, in many ways, to do with money. Hale spoke with Stillman at the “March Against Mandates” in Richmond, Virginia, last week.
Stillman, a physician who was also one of the speakers at the event, said that “it’s quite clear from the data” that COVID-19 “is not nearly as virulent or deadly as it was made out to be originally.”
“It’s a problem. It’s a disease. People are sick. People are dying. I have friends in New York City. I have friends in New Jersey who worked through the COVID-19 pandemic, at the peak of it, saw the sickest patients, who had lots of patients on ventilators.”
But the other hand, “I work in rural America, and I’ve seen three cases in eight months. And one of them was a false positive. You’re going to tell me everybody ought to be vaccinated over a virus that seems to be harming a very, very small proportion of Americans, most of whom were already extremely old or malnourished or extremely sick? That doesn’t hold water.”
He pointed out that the people dying from the virus “are clearly people who are sick previously,” sometimes “by their own choices: they ate poorly, they smoked, they didn’t exercise.”
At the same time, “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 of.”
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.”
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program was created in 1986. It protects pharmaceutical companies from lawsuits related to vaccine injuries or deaths.
“It was created after lawsuits against vaccine companies and health care providers threatened to cause vaccine shortages and reduce U.S. vaccination rates, which they believed could cause a resurgence of vaccine preventable diseases,” Children’s Health Defense explains.
Children’s Health Defense reports, “According to the vaccine-injured and their loved ones, the program has failed miserably as a litigious, broken system where the injured are up against a government vaccine program, government owned vaccine patents, government health officials who administer the program and government paid attorneys from the Department of Justice. There is no judge, no jury of your peers and no discovery. Claimants feel the system is set up for their claims to fail.”
The vaccine industry not being liable for their products is “unprecedented,” Stillman 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,” he added, “basically brainwashing Americans into thinking that the solution to their problems is drugs that don’t actually fix their medical issues.”
He emphasized that it wasn’t even “a matter of debate” that vaccines can cause injury. “It’s merely a matter of debate as to to what degree, how often, and so on and so forth.”
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.
Asked about the benefits of using hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) to treat COVID-19, Stillman said he did not have personal experience with the medication. Among his friends in the medical profession, however, he said the response seemed to be positive.
SACRAMENTO, California, September 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Tens of thousands of Californians descended on the state capitol on Sunday for an outdoor, in-person worship service that doubled as an act of defiance against the state’s efforts to restrict religious assembly.
Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom has banned indoor religious services (along with various types of secular gatherings) in 29 counties representing 80 percent of the state’s population in the name of containing the spread of COVID-19. The latest response to his actions, the “Let Us Worship” rally, attracted more than 12,000 attendees for a day of prayer, music, and public speaking, the Daily Wirereported.
Official Capitol Hill police estimate was 12,000 tonight in Sacramento!!! ��������
“The fervor to worship God free from government edict and societal persecution drove America’s earliest settlers across oceans and wild frontiers to this beautiful land to create a new nation built on a simple premise that all men are created equal and cannot be denied their inalienable rights to life and liberty,” the event’s organizers said in a statement. “But our freedom to worship God and obey His Word has come under unprecedented attack.”
“It’s time for the Church to rise up with one voice and tell our government leaders and the rulers of big tech that we refuse to be silenced,” they declared.
“We are gonna worship like we’ve never worshiped before, and I declare that after all of this is over tonight, the remnant, the residue of this worship will saturate this ground and seep into that building,” added Republican state Senate Minority Leader Shannon Grove, one of the event’s speakers. “And when it goes into that building, it will touch every heart that enters. God bless you, let us worship!”
After the event, Grove came under fire for attending and speaking without a mask despite being told she was supposed to quarantine until September 10 because she attended a lunch with Republican state Sen. Brian Jones, who tested positive on August 26.
Numerous churches have defied Newsom’s order, including Grace Community Church of Sun Valley, Cornerstone Church of Fresno, Destiny Christian Church of Rocklin, Harvest Rock Church of Pasadena, Godspeak Calvary Chapel of Thousand Oaks, and North Valley Baptist Church of Santa Clara. Those last two currently face thousands of dollars in fines for holding in-person services and for singing during service. Los Angeles County has gone to court four times so far in efforts to secure a court order to quash indoor religious services at Grace Community.
“[The] bishop does not want live-streaming of the Masses,” he told the faithful after his live-streamed Mass today. “This might be the very last live-stream of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass that I can give. That is unfortunate, but, the ‘manner and tone’ of the people opposing us is just that vile and despicable...it causes everyone to cave, and indeed it appears to be the case here.”
Altman also explained, “You’ll notice the children are not here today. And the reason they're not here today is because of the ‘manner and tone’ of several vile and despicable comments and letters and emails and phone calls that were made both to the diocese and to my parish office after [Jesuit Father] James Martin urged his followers in public to contact us and complain.”
“When we talk about manner and tone, that speaks volumes. [We’ve] seen the manner and tone throughout the last hundred and some days all around the country. We’ve seen what evil manner and tone actually is. The reason why the children aren’t here today is because of that specifically.”
“If anybody wants to complain about manner and tone,” he suggested, “perhaps they should start with those people whose manner and tone actually is diabolical and evil…”
LaCrosse Bishop William P. Callahan issued a statement yesterday faulting the “manner” and “tone” of Fr. Altman’s message telling people not to vote for pro-abortion Democrats, which has now been viewed over 475,000 times and will likely surpass a half million views in the next 24 hours.
“Canonical penalties are not far away if my attempts at fraternal correction do not work,” promised Bishop Callahan, who accused Fr. Altman of having inflicted a wound on the Body of Christ.
As Fr. Altman faces disciplinary measures from his bishop, support for the beleaguered but unwavering priest has been pouring in from many corners.
Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas was the first to declare explicit support for Altman’s message, saying via Twitter, “As the Bishop of Tyler I endorse Fr. Altman’s statement in this video.”
“My shame is that it has taken me so long. Thank you Fr Altman for your COURAGE. If you love Jesus & His Church & this nation...pleases [sic] HEED THIS MESSAGE,” said Strickland on Saturday.
As the Bishop of Tyler I endorse Fr Altman’s statement in this video. My shame is that it has taken me so long. Thank you Fr Altman for your COURAGE. If you love Jesus & His Church & this nation...pleases HEED THIS MESSAGE https://t.co/D413G0lfQV
After Bishop Callahan issued his statement, Bishop Strickland “doubled down” yesterday on his support for Altman’s video, telling CNA (Catholic News Agency):
I support Fr. James Altman's video because I believe, not only Catholic Christians, but ALL God's people must ask themselves some tough questions each time they prepare to cast their vote in any local, state, or national election.
Voting is not an easy task nor one to be taken lightly. On the contrary; it requires research, prayer, and discernment. We must ask ourselves- Do we believe in God. Do we as a nation believe in God? Are we willing to acknowledge our sins and seek repentance and reparation as individuals and as a nation? Are we casting our vote through the lens of Jesus Christ and his Teachings?
If my support of Father Altman can prompt meaningful conversations and prayerful discernment about these questions, then I am at least beginning to fulfill my role as a pastor of souls and a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Father Richard Heilman, a popular speaker and writer, expressed his support for Fr. Altman by promoting on Facebook a “Peaceful Prayer Rosary Rally” to be held at Fr. Altman’s parish this Sunday.
“If Father Altman is silenced for this video, that will be the bigger scandal,” tweeted Teresa Beem. “Many will be wounded. A judgmental tone is exponential better than preaching heresy or misinformation with a perfect tone & smile.”
If Father Altman is silenced for this video, that will be the bigger scandal. Many will be wounded. A judgmental tone is exponential better than preaching heresy or misinformation with a perfect tone & smile. Satan is an angel of light. Prophets preach with hellfire. Read the OT.
With Cardinal Wuerl leaving disgraced because he had lied and covered up, and with Cardinal McCarrick being laicized for his crimes, did we ever learn if they were in a state of grace when they made these momentous decisions regarding pro-abortion rights politicians? pic.twitter.com/36JLY89gPf
“If Father's bishop feels the need to correct his priestly son, that is his right to do so. But the bishop in question had better take a long look in the mirror and assess where he has been in messaging regarding abortion and Catholic politicians who claim full status with the implication of no sinful impediment to reception of the Eucharist,” wrote Dr. Gerard M. Nadal, a molecular biologist and microbiologist who is also President-CEO at Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, in a Facebook posting.
PETITION: Stand with priest who faces Church penalties for saying "You can't be a Catholic and a Democrat."! Sign the petition here.
Nadal said that he thought Fr. Altman was wrong to declare that “Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and the rest of the wayward Catholic gang in office” are not Catholics, but then issued a strong warning to Bishop Callahan.
“He had better take careful stock of what degree of silence he may or may not have been guilty of in speaking out forcefully against this greatest of American sins before dishing out canonical penalties in a unilateral fashion, lest he impale his soul upon his tongue,” cautioned Dr. Nadal.
“How quick he was to jump all over his priest. Has he done so with pro-abort Catholic politicians and Communion?” wondered Nadal. “The laity are expected to be just as obedient to the teaching authority of the Church and her bishops as priests are expected to be.”
Other social media users praised Fr. Altman as a hero and expressed gratitude for him “passionately defending the Catholic faith, for daring to call out those clergy and laity alike who do not live Christ's message.”
His bishop, Bishop Callahan, is about to "silence" this brave priest for courageously speaking truth to power, for passionately defending the Catholic faith, for daring to call out those clergy and laity alike who do not live Christ's message. #IStandWithFrJamesAltmanpic.twitter.com/NKb2LzmZIJ
Diocese of La Crosse
Office for communications / public relations
September 9, 2020
Statement From Bishop Callahan Regarding Father James Altman
Fr. James Altman has become a social media phenomenon and is now a main stream media story. The amount of calls and emails we are receiving at the Diocesan offices show how divisive he is. I am being pressured by both sides for a comment; one side holds him up as a hero or a prophet, the other side condemns him and vilifies him and demands I silence him.
As I review Fr. Altman’s latest video statement of 30 August 2020, I understand the undeniable truth that motivates his message. When we approach issues that are contradictory to the Faith and teachings of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church, particularly on abortion and other life issues, we should invite dialogue and heart-felt conversion to the truth. Our approach must never seek to divide, isolate and condemn.
That being said it is not only the underlying truth that needs to be evaluated but also the manner of delivery and the tone of his message. Unfortunately, the tone Fr. Altman offers comes off as angry and judgmental, lacking any charity and in a way that causes scandal both in the Church and in society. His generalization and condemnation of entire groups of people is completely inappropriate and not in keeping with our values or the life of virtue.
I am applying Gospel principles to the correction of Fr. Altman. “If your brother does something wrong to you, go to him. Talk alone to him and tell him what he has done. If he listens to you, you have kept your brother as a friend. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two others with you to talk to him.” (Mt 18:15-16). I have begun this process, not in the bright light of the public arena, but as the Gospel dictates, in private. Canon law indicates that before penalties are imposed, we need to ensure that fraternal correction, rebuke or other means of pastoral solicitude will not be sufficient to repair the scandal (can. 1341).
Most people expect a decisive move from me, one way or another. Many suggest immediate penalties that will utterly silence him; others call for complete and unwavering support of his views. Canonical penalties are not far away if my attempts at fraternal correction do not work. I pray that Fr. Altman’s heart and eyes might be open to the error of his ways and that he might take steps to correct his behavior and heal the wound he has inflicted on the Body of Christ.
Pray for me as I address this issue, and pray for Fr. Altman that he might hear and respond to my fraternal correction. Finally, please pray for the Church that we might seek the truth in charity and apply it in our daily actions.
TUSCALOOSA, Alabama, September 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The Alabama Board of Medical Examiners has suspended the medical license of notorious abortionist Leah Torres, citing alleged false statements in her licensing application, as well as public statements she has made.
The board took action against Torres, the medical director of West Alabama Women's Center (WAWC) in Tuscaloosa, after a complaint filed by CEC For Life, Life Legal Defense Foundation, Operation Rescue, Pro-Life Tuscaloosa and Alabama Physicians for Life, according to a press release from CEC for Life.
The board “presently has evidence in its possession that the continuance in practice” of Torres “may constitute an immediate danger to her patients and/or the public,” it says in its letter to Torres, dated August 26.
The board further notified Torres that she “committed fraud in applying for a certificate of qualification to practice medicine in Alabama” through at least four false statements, including falsely denying that her hospital staff privileges had been revoked, and that a medical malpractice action against her was settled in August 2018.
The board further found that Torres has engaged in “unprofessional conduct” in the form of “public statements related to the practice of medicine which violate the high standards of honesty, diligence, prudence, and ethical integrity demanded from physicians licensed to practice in Alabama and which evidence conduct which is immoral and which is willful, shameful, and which shows a moral indifference to the standards and opinions of the community.”
Those public statements are not specified in the letter, but Torres’ history of far-left commentary is well known, from insisting preborn babies can’t scream because “I transect the cord 1st so there’s really no opportunity,” to declaring “abortions save women's lives. Period. Every. Single. Time,” to dismissing moral objections to her work on the grounds that “God performs way more abortions than I do.”
After the 2015 release of undercover videos revealing Planned Parenthood’s sale of organs from aborted babies, Torres claimed she didn’t “perceive anything shocking” in videos of abortion industry insiders casually discussing “another boy” lying dismembered on a counter, admitting “it’s a baby” of their victims, or expressing a desire to illegally profit from fetal remains.
Torres’ West Alabama Women's Center is also facing a criminal investigation over the death of a woman in May after she was seen being helped out of the facility. “She appeared sick and pale, and had to be physically supported as she struggled to walk from the clinic to an awaiting private vehicle, which then reportedly transported her to the hospital where she was later pronounced dead,” Operation Rescue reported.
"The abortion industry feels they are not accountable to anyone and you can see it in the way they operate,” said Fr. Terry Gensemer, director of CEC For Life. “However, in Alabama, citizens are making certain the state holds these places accountable. Abortion is not welcome here, and we are exposing these clinics: prayerfully, peacefully and legally."
At the same time, Gensemer lamented, the problem remains that Torres and abortionists like her were not stopped from getting licensed in the first place. “Torres is just one more instance where ADPH neglected their responsibility to make certain a clinic they are licensing is adhering to state regulations,” he said. “Citizens are continually endangered because ADPH refuses to regulate these clinics in any meaningful way."
Torres has until September 21 to file an appeal of her suspension, and has been ordered to appear at a hearing on December 21.
September 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — UN Secretary-General António Guterres has said that the coronavirus crisis has highlighted an ongoing system of “patriarchy” and a “male-dominated culture which damages everyone.”
His comments were later posted on Twitter via the official UN account.
The #COVID19 pandemic is demonstrating what we all know: millennia of patriarchy have resulted in a male-dominated world with a male-dominated culture which damages everyone – women, men, girls & boys.
Guterres decried the “salaries and conditions” of women employed in the health care sector, the percentage of women in “decision-making roles” in the health sector and that “Personal Protective Equipment is often made to fit a standard man” which he says means that “women care workers may be at greater risk of infection.”
His speech also included a call not to allow the coronavirus crisis to impact women’s access to “sexual and reproductive health services,” a euphemism frequently used in UN documents to refer to contraception and abortion.
“It is simply counter-productive, for example, to deprioritize maternal and reproductive health services,” he said.
“All women have a right to quality, affordable sexual and reproductive health services. Governments have a responsibility to make sure women and girls can access these services, even during a crisis.”
Without a trace of irony, Guterres said moments later in his speech that “We need to take the opportunity of an economic reset to ensure the rights to life, dignity, and security for everyone.”
Guterres said that the UN’s “roadmap” to “rebuild more equal, inclusive, and resilient societies” is the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
That agenda calls for “universal access to sexual and reproductive health” and the further imposition of “comprehensive sexuality education programmes” around the world.
Cotton followed up the social media post with another shortly after, stating: “The First Amendment protects your right to worship. The Second Amendment protects your right to own and carry a gun. And it's time for Roe v. Wade to go.”
The First Amendment protects your right to worship. The Second Amendment protects your right to own and carry a gun. And it's time for Roe v. Wade to go.
“I’m honored that President Trump asked me to consider serving on the Supreme Court and I’m grateful for his confidence. I will always heed the call of service to our nation,” Cotton said in an official statement.
“The Supreme Court could use some more justices who understand the difference between applying the law and making the law, which the Court does when it invents a right to an abortion, infringes on religious freedom, and erodes the Second Amendment.”
The list announced yesterday also included Republican senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri.
Unlike Cotton, Hawley subsequently stated that he has “no interest in the high court” and is focused on “confirming constitutional conservatives.”
I appreciate the President’s confidence in listing me as a potential Supreme Court nominee. But as I told the President, Missourians elected me to fight for them in the Senate, and I have no interest in the high court. I look forward to confirming constitutional conservatives
Hawley recently said he will “vote only for those Supreme Court nominees who have explicitly acknowledged that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided.”
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.
Trump also added to the list Allison Jones Rushing, a social conservative favorite who previously interned for Alliance Defending Freedom and now sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, and Stuart Kyle Duncan of U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Duncan was the lead attorney who successfully argued on behalf of the owners of Hobby Lobby before the United States Supreme Court against Obamacare’s contraception mandate, thereby protecting the conscience rights of business owners.
September 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Conservative critics are accusing The Washington Post of threatening voters with violence after the newspaper published an article last week suggesting that only a landslide win for Joe Biden in November’s presidential election will lead to peace on America’s streets.
The Post, which is owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, published an opinion piece last week by Rosa Brooks, a law professor at Georgetown University, in which she detailed the results of a “war games” exercise she helped to organize through the “Transition Integrity Project” group, in which a number of actors explored a variety of different election outcomes.
“A landslide for Joe Biden resulted in a relatively orderly transfer of power. Every other scenario we looked at involved street-level violence and political crisis,” Brooks wrote.
Brooks, who previously worked as special counsel to the president at George Soros’s Open Society Institute in New York and who is currently on the advisory board of the Open Society Foundations’ U.S. Programs, made no attempt to disguise the bias of those involved in the imaginary role-playing games, explaining that in each of the hypothetical scenarios, Trump and his supporters acted to provoke and increase violence, while Biden and his team encouraged peace and calm.
“In each scenario, Team Trump — the players assigned to simulate the Trump campaign and its elected and appointed allies — was ruthless and unconstrained right out of the gate, and Team Biden struggled to get out of reaction mode. In one exercise, for instance, Team Trump’s repeated allegations of fraudulent mail-in ballots led National Guard troop to destroy thousands of ballots in Democratic-leaning ZIP codes, to applause on social media from Trump supporters,” she writes.
Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh said the purpose of the Brooks article was to “frighten” and “threaten” Americans “into voting against Trump.”
“They’re just coming right out and telling you now that if Biden does not win, and in a landslide, meaning it better be doubtless, it better be no question about it, if Biden doesn’t win in a landslide, then your country is going to be violent, violent, violent 24/7. And they published this at the Washington Post, which means they stand behind it,” Limbaugh said in response to the article.
The Washington Post article is consistent with Biden’s own recent efforts to blame the violence in Democrat-run states around the country on President Trump, while suggesting that a Trump victory will lead to more violence.
In a speech given last Monday Biden accused Trump of “stroking [sic] violence” and called him a “toxic presence” before asking: ‘Does anyone believe there will be less violence in America if Donald Trump is re-elected?”
Meanwhile, Biden and other Democrats have refused to condemn the violence by Black Lives Matter and Antifa activists in so-called “protests” around the country. In June, Biden’s running mate, vice presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris, told talk show host Stephen Colbert that the “protests” will not stop.
“They’re not gonna stop,” Harris said. “And everyone beware, because they’re not gonna stop. They’re not gonna stop before election day in November and they’re not gonna stop after election day. And everyone should take note of that on both levels. That this isn’t — they’re not gonna let up, and they should not, and we should not.”
The Transition Integrity Project presidential “war games” event was first reported by the Boston Globe in July. While mainstream media outlets described the event as “bipartisan,” prominent “Never Trumpers” such as political commentator Bill Kristol and former Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele were among those representing Republicans, while the group representing the Democrats included Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign manager John Podesta and former interim Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile. The full report of the event was published August 3.
In addition to her links with the globalist Open Society Foundation, “war games” organizer Brooks has a number of significant political connections. A recent report in The National Pulse detailed evidence from Federal Election Commission (FEC) records showing that between February 2019 and February 2020, Brooks has donated more than $5,000 to Biden’s campaign. Brooks is also a Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, which has received significant funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Google.
As part of the “war games” exercise, during the “game” in which Trump wins the presidency, the actor playing Biden refused to concede defeat, leading to “1) Political chaos; 2) Widespread threats of violence, and sporadic actual violence in the streets; and 4) [sic] A hostile, dangerous, highly-partisan, and frequently unconstrained information and media environment.”
Major political unrest ensues with California, Oregon, and Washington potentially seceding from the United States. The report finally details that in January, the House of Representatives awards Biden the presidency, while the Senate continues to recognize Trump. “[W]ithout a single president-elect entitled to be Commander-in-Chief” it is “unclear what the military would do in this situation.”
According to coverage of the event by The New York Times, it was Podesta who played the role of Biden during the game in which Trump won the election. The Times claims that Podesta’s actions “shocked the organizers.”
In June, Biden told Trevor Noah of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show that he believes that Trump will try to “steal the election” but that the military will remove him from the White House.
“I promise you,” Biden said, “I am absolutely convinced they will escort him from the White House with great dispatch.”
Last month, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged Biden to “not concede under any circumstances.”
“I think this is going to drag out and eventually I do believe he will win, if we don’t give an inch,” Clinton said.
Hillary Clinton has some advice for Joe Biden: Don’t concede in a close race.
September 1o, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Disney filmed Mulan in the region of China where Uighurs are imprisoned in concentration camps and more than a year after its CEO threatened to boycott the state of Georgia for passing a pro-life “heartbeat” bill.
The Daily Caller drew attention to Disney’s past anti-life stance in the wake of controversy erupting after Mulan’s online release Friday.
A live-action remake of Disney’s 1998 animated film, Mulan tells the story of a girl who disguises herself as a boy to fight in China’s imperial army in the place of her father.
Disney shot parts of the movie in China’s mountainous northwest Xinjiang province, the site of Beijing’s widespread human rights abuses against the Uighur people and other Muslim minorities – and the film’s credits thank eight agencies of China’s communist regime, reported theGuardian.
These include “the public security bureau” in Turpan, a city in eastern Xinjiang where several re-education camps detaining Uighurs have been documented, and the “publicity department of CPC Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomy Region Committee,” which is the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda department in Xinjiang, it reported.
The Daily Caller contrasted this activity to Disney CEO Bob Iger warning in May 2019 that the corporation might boycott Georgia after Republican Governor Brian Kemp signed a law prohibiting abortion if a doctor can detect the unborn baby’s heartbeat. The law took effect this January, but is currently blocked as a court battle over it ensues.
Iger told Reuters then it would be “very difficult” to film in the state once the law was on the books because a lot of people in the movie business wouldn’t want to work there.
The Motion Picture Association of America credits the film industry with creating more than 92,000 jobs in Georgia, which offers tax credits to movie studios, the Daily Caller reported.
Disney has made several films in the state, including Black Panther and Avengers: Endgame.
Founder of Culture of Life Africa Obianuju Ekeocha also brought up Iger’s threats in response to Georgia’s pro-life bill when she blasted Disney as “evil” on Twitter:
So here is @Disney’s CEO last year shamelessly threatening to stop operations in Georgia.
Because a bill was passed to protect unborn babies.
The movie was already a target of a boycott before its release because lead actress Liu Yifei, who plays the titular character, said she supported Hong Kong police in their frequently violent suppression of pro-democracy protesters.
Indeed, Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong was among many who took to Twitter to condemn Disney after the credits rolled.
It just keeps getting worse! Now, when you watch #Mulan, not only are you turning a blind eye to police brutality and racial injustice (due to what the lead actors stand for), you're also potentially complicit in the mass incarceration of Muslim Uyghurs. #BoycottMulanhttps://t.co/dAMgZ6PWTD
In 2017, Mulan director Niki Caro posted photos on Instagram from the capital of Xinjiang, and the film’s production team told Architectural Digest that they spent months in the province researching locations, according to the BBC.
The filming took place in 2018, and coincided with China ramping up the building of “reeducation” internment camps in Turpan. Researchers contend the public security bureau in Turpan oversees at least 14 such camps in the area, the Guardian reported.
Human rights advocates are asking Disney to be open about its dealings with China.
“Disney should disclose the details about the human rights due diligence it had conducted — if there was any — before making the decision to film in Xinjiang, what agreements it had made with Xinjiang authorities in order to do the filming, and what assistances it received from authorities,” said Human Rights Watch China researcher Yaqiu Wang.
German doctor: COVID-19 vaccine ‘could prove to be the biggest mistake’
The risk is rising of a half-finished and ineffective product causing massive damage to health.
Thu Sep 10, 2020 - 8:38 pm EST
By Prof. Dr. Paul Cullen
By Prof. Dr. Paul Cullen
Prof. Dr. Paul Cullen
By Prof. Dr. Paul Cullen
September 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The first vaccine was developed at the end of the 18th century by English country doctor Edward Jenner. Jenner’s success was so resounding that it remains the blueprint for all vaccination programs to this day. The smallpox vaccine shows the four characteristics that characterize a good vaccine candidate. The disease to be vaccinated against must be so serious that it justifies the vaccination of a large number of people. This is because healthy people who may never come into contact with the pathogen are vaccinated. Therefore, one must be sure that the benefits outweigh the risks with great certainty and by a large margin. If this is not the case, vaccination constitutes a bodily injury. This precautionary principle, which is expressed in the dictum primum nihil nocere (“first, do no harm”), has been the guiding principle of all medical action for more than 2,000 years. This sensitivity is also the reason why for a long time vaccine production was exclusively in the hands of the government. The pathogen must also not change. If frequent mutations occur, vaccination is like shooting at a moving target with a fixed gun: you can hit the bull’s eye, but you usually miss. Thirdly, the pathogen should occur only in humans, because its eradication is possible only if it does not find shelter in animals. Finally, vaccination should provide long-term and comprehensive protection against the targeted disease.
Usually, the development of a new vaccine takes six to ten years. First the vaccine must be produced in cell cultures, in chicken eggs or by means of molecular biological processes. However, this production represents only a small part of the overall development. Particularly demanding is the testing, which takes place in a pre-clinical phase in the test tube and in animal experiments, followed by three clinical phases in test subjects. In the first clinical phase, the tolerability of the vaccine is usually tested on fewer than one hundred people. Questions are answered such as: Does redness or pain occur at the injection site? Does it lead to inflammation? Are there deaths?
If the vaccine survives this phase, which lasts from weeks to months, the second phase will involve up to 1,000 test persons to determine whether the vaccination causes an immune reaction at all. If this is the case and the vaccine does not show any serious side-effects, the third and longest test phase follows. In most cases, 30,000 to 50,000 test persons are divided into two groups, one of whom receives the new vaccine, the other a placebo. Both groups are then usually exposed to an infection with the target pathogen for four to six years. After this period, it is investigated whether the vaccine group has fewer or at least milder infections than the placebo group. The long-term observation of many people also serves to detect rare, serious side-effects.
Currently, the whole world is waiting for the new vaccine against COVID. In a video podcast, German chancellor Angela Merkel said it is about “how we develop vaccines for all people in the world.” U.S. president Donald Trump even announced on television that he was prepared to “be the first person to receive the vaccine.” In a radio interview, Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder pondered the idea of withdrawing the license from doctors who refuse to administer vaccines like the one against COVID. Almost everything concerning the development of the vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus deviates from the principles of vaccine development.
For a pathogen to be suitable as a vaccination candidate, it must pose a significant risk to everyone. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that severe COVID-19 progressions are, with few exceptions, restricted to very old people with pre-existing conditions. For the rest of the population, progressions are mild and often asymptomatic, especially in children. In addition, the virus is extremely prone to mutation and is almost ubiquitous in the animal kingdom. More recent data also indicate that immunogenicity of the vaccine may be difficult to achieve. Thus, it is not certain whether antibodies alone protect or whether the so-called cell-mediated immunity is not the main focus. In addition, antibody levels seem to drop rapidly after infection and are even more likely to drop after vaccination. All this makes it appear questionable whether SARS-CoV-2 is even a candidate for mass vaccination or a mass vaccination requirement.
Approximately 200 vaccine candidates against SARS-CoV-2 are currently being developed, at least ten of which are already in clinical trials. For all candidates, the fact that the test phases are being shortened, as they are, is highly problematic. It is true that time can be gained by removing bureaucratic hurdles. Also, mRNA or DNA vaccines require less time for production than conventional vaccines. But more than about one year cannot be saved overall. Any shortening of the subsequent test phases is associated with a higher risk of side-effects and a poorer evaluation of efficacy. This cannot be avoided with any test procedure, however sophisticated, but is a biological fact.
Many of the vaccines are also problematic for other reasons — for example, the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, which is already in the third clinical trial phase. This vaccine, which consists of a monkey adenovirus that carries the SARS-CoV-2 spiked protein on its surface, is produced in a cell line derived from the kidneys of a child who was aborted, probably in 1972. Similar candidates, such as the vaccine candidate developed by CanSino Biologics Inc. and the Institute of Biotechnology of the Chinese military, as well as a variant from the University of Pittsburgh, use either this renal cell line or another cell line from a child aborted in 1985.
Five other vaccines currently in clinical trials consist of messenger RNA (mRNA) molecules that are injected under the skin or into muscle tissue and absorbed by our own body cells. mRNA, a molecular cousin of DNA, is used to transmit the genetic information of DNA to the ribosome, the “assembly line of protein production” in the cell. The mRNA in the vaccine, which is structured like the RNA in the SARS-CoV-2 virus, “captures” our cells and causes them to produce and excrete parts of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. According to theory, these then trigger a protective immune reaction against the virus.
The mRNA vaccination principle, on which work has been going on for more than 20 years, sounds promising but is fraught with considerable risks. For this reason, mRNA vaccines have so far only been approved in veterinary medicine (salmon and pig), and not in humans. The main risk is the possible triggering of severe autoimmune reactions. The immune defense is directed not only against the pathogen, but also against components of one’s own body. At that time, mRNA vaccines were developed against the lung diseases SARS and MERS, which like COVID-19 were caused by coronaviruses. Not only did these vaccines not have long-term efficacy, but they also caused severe autoimmune reactions in the lung tissue, which is why they did not pass clinical trials.
Another candidate in clinical testing does not consist of mRNA, but of the genetic material DNA, which is injected directly into test persons. The mode of action is similar to that of mRNA vaccines, with DNA being inserted into the information chain one step before mRNA. Therefore, the DNA vaccine carries not only the same risks as an mRNA vaccine, but also additional risks. For example, an immune reaction may occur against the DNA itself, the effects of which are not clear. In addition, and more importantly, there is the possibility that some of the vaccine’s DNA will integrate with our own DNA. Such insertion in the wrong place can lead to serious unintended consequences, such as cancer development. There are no reports of such an effect, which led the biochemist and director of the Paul Ehrlich Institute, Klaus Cichutek, to say that “in the case of DNA vaccines, we have spent many decades pursuing a theoretical risk that has never actually been proven in animals and clinical trials.” This statement must be considered abridged because there has not been a long-term study in a larger number of people. In addition, most of the publications on the question come from the research laboratories of the vaccine manufacturers.
The requirements for a vaccine in terms of safety and efficacy are much higher than those for drugs. This is all the more true when the whole of humanity is under discussion as recipients. The SARS-CoV-2 virus is not particularly suitable as a candidate for mass vaccination. The hasty program of development cannot guarantee the required safety. Almost all of the vaccines currently in clinical trials are either unethical or based on active principles whose long-term effects and effectiveness have never been tested on humans. But in vaccine production, the devil is in the details. Despite intensive research over several decades, we still do not have a vaccine against HIV or malaria. And even the effectiveness of the annual flu vaccination is only between 10 and 30 percent. The swine flu vaccine knitted with a hot needle in 2010 proved to be a fiasco, both in terms of its side-effect profile and its effectiveness. It may not be possible to find a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 in the end. But this result is far better than a half-finished and ineffective product causing massive damage to health for which — let’s not forget — not the vaccine-manufacturer, but the general public would have to pay. In retrospect, such a scenario could prove to be the biggest mistake of the whole COVID episode.
Added by the author after the original publication:
Since this article was written, the use of an adenovirus vaccine manufactured by the state-owned Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow, Russia, was reported. This vaccine, termed “Sputnik V,” contains a mixture of two adenoviruses that have been genetically modified to carry on their surface the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (glycoprotein S). The author was unable to determine if human fetal cell lines were used in the development of this vaccine, which was introduced after a phase one clinical trial involving only 76 individuals.
The above article was first published on August 27, 2020 by German Catholic weekly newspaper Die Tagespost. Prof. Dr. Paul Cullen, the author, is president of “Doctors for Life” in Germany. His article has been translated with permission by LifeSite’s Martin Bürger.
September 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — In 1993, a Benedictine monastery, Fort Augustus Abbey in Scotland closed the school that had been its major work since its foundation in 1880, though latterly plagued by allegations of child abuse. In 1998, citing the high cost of maintaining the monastic buildings, the community itself was dissolved, its members dispersing to other monastic communities.
A similar process is now taking place with another Benedictine community, Downside Abbey in England. In 2019, the community was legally separated from the school which had existed alongside the monastic community since 1617, at that time an English Catholic institution in exile on the Continent. School and monastery have shared the current site in southwest England since 1814. But now it has been announced that the monks will be leaving: exactly when and to where has yet to be determined. The monastic buildings were designed for fifty monks, and the community is down to eight, with little prospect of new members. It is expensive to maintain, and co-existing on the same site as a school they no longer run is awkward. It is time, apparently, to move on.
The problems these institutions have had with vocations and with their schools are distinct, though entangled. Britain’s fee-paying boarding schools have had a difficult time in recent years, but many continue to flourish. It seems that they will do so without such a strong contingent of Catholic monastic schools among them as in the past. The more fundamental problem for these and many other communities has been the lack of vocations.
This is hardly a secret, and in 2015, the English Benedictines held a crisis meeting to consider the situation, which was reported by one participant, Fr .Hugh Somerville-Knapman of Douai Abbey. He notes:
There was much discussion about the fact that young recruits now usually bring with them an implicit challenge to the status quo in many houses. We all agreed that their zeal and idealism must not be crushed but nurtured, matured and even encouraged.
Something else the meeting apparently agreed about was the liturgy:
There were repeated calls for greater dignity to our worship ... and the need to de-stigmatize the Extraordinary Form.
The two things are linked. The young men who have been presenting themselves at Benedictine houses over the last twenty or thirty years have very often been more liturgically and theologically conservative than the senior members of the communities themselves. Put simply, these young men have not always been made very welcome. The same phenomenon has been recorded in diocesan seminaries, but in recent years, bishops and seminary rectors have begun to be appointed from a generation ordained well after Vatican II, who are a bit more open-minded. In religious communities, the old-timers don’t disappear from the scene in the same way, and one can continue to be dominated by the generation personally responsible for ripping out the old High Altar and tossing the old books onto the bonfire, even as they reach their seventies, eighties, or nineties. These men are not friendly to the idea that they may have made a mistake.
If there has been progress on the issues identified by Fr. Somerville-Knapman since 2015, it has been well hidden.
As Fr. Christopher Basden pointed out in a recent open letter, not all religious communities have declined in the way that Downside’s has, and some have reversed such declines. The examples Fr. Basden gives provide several models that could be followed — models with proven track records of success. These range from the complete restoration of pre–Vatican II liturgy and practices, as practiced in the monastery of Norcia in Italy, to the use of a form of the Office reformed after the Second Vatican Council, as practiced by the Carthusians of Parkminster in England, though celebrated in Latin, and various options in between, as practiced by some of the French Benedictine communities. Fr. Basden writes, of Parkminster:
In 1990 my dear late friend, Dom Bernard O’Donavon, then Prior, felt they simply could not go on. They were down to eleven old men. The buildings were crumbling all around them. Continual Postulants and Novices simply came and went with none persevering for almost twenty years. The wisdom was that they were finished and that they would have to move. Thankfully, a higher wisdom intervened, Dom Cyril Pierce took over and as a remarkably successful Master of Novices at The Grand Chartreuse (twelve men to solemn profession) also oversaw a confident formation of new men. In addition to this he oversaw lottery funding to repair the sorry state of the monastery. Thirty years later they have twenty-seven monks. It takes but one man with the vision and determination and grace to succeed.
What Fr. Basden’s examples have in common is not a single, precise liturgical and community vision, but a life that is understood from within and from without as serious and tough, but sustained up by its celebration of the Office, which for religious claiming allegiance to St. Benedict has got to be the ultimate priority. As St. Benedict wrote, “nihil operi Dei præponatur”: “nothing is to be given priority over the Work of God” — that is, to the recitation of the Psalms, Antiphons, and Readings of the Office.
Readers should pay attention not to me, if I suggest that the spiritual vitality of a Benedictine community can be provided only by singing the Office in Latin with its ancient antiphons and using the ancient melodies. No: you should listen instead to Pope Paul VI on the subject, writing in 1966.
In present conditions, what words or melodies could replace the forms of Catholic devotion which you have used until now? You should reflect and carefully consider whether things would not be worse, should this fine inheritance be discarded. It is to be feared that the choral office would turn into a mere bland recitation, suffering from poverty and begetting weariness, as you yourselves would perhaps be the first to experience. One can also wonder whether men would come in such numbers to your churches in quest of the sacred prayer, if its ancient and native tongue, joined to a chant full of grave beauty, resounded no more within your walls. We therefore ask all those to whom it pertains, to ponder what they wish to give up, and not to let that spring run dry from which, until the present, they have themselves drunk deep.
Pope Paul knew that religious communities all over the world were preparing to ditch the sung Latin Office, and with prophetic insight he knew what the consequence would be. As Shakespeare expressed it, lamenting a previous dissolution of the monasteries: “Bare, ruined choirs, where late the sweet bird sang.”
Even if I am right, if I don’t speak charitably I’m not acting like a Christian
By Mother Miriam
To help keep this and other programs on the air, please donate here. In this episode, Mother Miriam apologizes for past remarks and calls on us to always be charitable. You can tune in daily at 10 am EST/7 am PST on our Facebook Page. Subscribe to Mother Miriam Live email updates here