September 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — In a letter addressed to the presidents of bishops’ conferences around the world, the head of the Congregation for Divine Worship, Cardinal Robert Sarah, spoke of the need to return to normalcy and asserted that virtual Masses are no substitute for being physically present at the liturgy.
“As soon as is possible,” wrote Sarah in his letter, titled “Let us return to the Eucharist with joy!,” “we must return to the Eucharist with a purified heart, with a renewed amazement, with an increased desire to meet the Lord, to be with him, to receive him and to bring him to our brothers and sisters with the witness of a life full of faith, love, and hope.”
“Broadcasts alone risk distancing us from a personal and intimate encounter with the incarnate God who gave himself to us not in a virtual way, but really, saying: ‘He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him’ (Jn 6:56),” said Sarah, declaring, “This physical contact with the Lord is vital, indispensable, irreplaceable.”
“The faithful should be recognised as having the right to receive the Body of Christ and to worship the Lord present in the Eucharist in the manner provided for, without limitations that go even beyond what is provided for by the norms of hygiene issued by public authorities or Bishops,” said Sarah.
“In the Eucharistic celebration the faithful adore the Risen Jesus present; and we see with what ease the sense of adoration, the prayer of adoration, is lost,” noted Sarah to the bishops. “In their catechesis we ask Pastors to insist on the necessity of adoration.”
Cardinal Sarah offered a litany of reasons for Catholics to flock back to the Mass and to receiving the Eucharist as soon as feasible:
We cannot live, be Christians, fully realizing our humanity and the desires for good and happiness that dwell in our hearts without the Word of the Lord, which in the celebration of the liturgy takes shape and becomes a living word, spoken by God for those who today open their hearts to listen;
We cannot live as Christians without participating in the Sacrifice of the Cross in which the Lord Jesus gives himself unreservedly to save, by his death, humanity which had died because of sin; the Redeemer associates humanity with himself and leads it back to the Father; in the embrace of the Crucified One all human suffering finds light and comfort;
We cannot be without the banquet of the Eucharist, the table of the Lord to which we are invited as sons and daughters, brothers and sisters to receive the Risen Christ himself, present in body, blood, soul and divinity in that Bread of heaven which sustains us in the joys and labours of this earthly pilgrimage;
We cannot be without the Christian community, the family of the Lord: we need to meet our brothers and sisters who share the sonship of God, the fraternity of Christ, the vocation and the search for holiness and the salvation of their souls in the rich diversity of ages, personal histories, charisms and vocations;
We cannot be without the house of the Lord, which is our home, without the holy places where we were born to faith, where we discovered the provident presence of the Lord and discovered the merciful embrace that lifts up those who have fallen, where we consecrated our vocation to marriage or religious life, where we prayed and gave thanks, rejoiced and wept, where we entrusted to the Father our loved ones who had completed their earthly pilgrimage;
We cannot be without the Lord’s Day, without Sunday which gives light and meaning to the successions of days of work and to family and social responsibilities.
“The Church unites proclamation and accompaniment towards the eternal salvation of souls with the necessary concern for public health,” said Sarah, concluding: “Let us therefore continue to entrust ourselves confidently to God’s mercy, to invoke the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, salus infirmorum at auxilium christianorum, for all those who are sorely tried by the pandemic and every other affliction, let us persevere in prayer for those who have left this life, and at the same time let us renew our intention to be witnesses of the Risen One and heralds of a sure hope, which transcends the limits of this world.”
Cardinal Sarah’s letter was written on August 15, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary; approved by Pope Francis on September 3; and published in Italian on September 12, 2020. The translation was provided by the Catholic News Agency (CNA).
IRWIN COUNTY, Georgia, September 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A nurse has come forward to accuse a privately-run Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facility in Georgia of performing hysterectomies on female illegal immigrants en masse, without medical necessity. Whether the women consented or understood the procedure they were undergoing is unclear.
The activist groups Project South, Georgia Detention Watch, Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, and South Georgia Immigrant Support Network have filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) against Irwin County Detention Center (ICDC) on behalf of a nurse who used to work there, Dawn Wooten.
Law & Crimereports that Wooten and others allege witnessing several examples of “jarring medical neglect” at ICDC (which is run by the private prison company LaSalle Corrections), the most alarming of which is the claim that an outside physician was brought in to examine women, most of whom he performed hysterectomies on.
“Everybody he sees has a hysterectomy—just about everybody. Everybody’s uterus cannot be that bad,” Wooten says. “We’ve questioned among ourselves, like, goodness he’s taking everybody’s stuff out…That’s his specialty, he’s the uterus collector.”
“Recently, a detained immigrant told Project South that she talked to five different women detained at ICDC between October and December 2019 who had a hysterectomy done,” the complaint says. “When she talked to them about the surgery, the women ‘reacted confused when explaining why they had one done.’”
Among the complaint’s examples is a detainee who says she was improperly anthesized beforehand and subsequently heard the doctor had mistakenly removed the wrong ovary, destroying her ability to have children in the future:
Everybody he sees has a hysterectomy—just about everybody. He’s even taken out the wrong ovary on a young lady [detained immigrant woman]. She was supposed to get her left ovary removed because it had a cyst on the left ovary; he took out the right one. She was upset. She had to go back to take out the left and she wound up with a total hysterectomy. She still wanted children—so she has to go back home now and tell her husband that she can’t bear kids… she said she was not all the way out under anesthesia and heard him [doctor] tell the nurse that he took the wrong ovary.
LaSalle Corrections has so far refused to comment on the allegations. ICE has issued a statement claiming that it “does not comment on matters presented to” OIG, and while it “takes all allegations seriously,” it also maintains that “anonymous, unproven allegations, made without any fact-checkable specifics, should be treated with the appropriate skepticism they deserve.” ICE added that ICDC “has been inspected multiple times, with and without warning, and that the facility has been found to be in compliance with Performance Based National Detention Standards.”
In 2014, the California State Auditor released a report which of the 144 prison inmates “who underwent tubal ligations from fiscal years 2005-06 to 2012-13, auditors found nearly one-third were performed without lawful consent.”
“In some cases, physicians falsified the consent forms,” USA Today reported. The audit found “that all women receiving tubal ligations had been incarcerated at least once before, indicating that they were repeat offenders,” seeming to suggest they were targeted.
Beginning in 1932, what is now known as the infamous Tuskegee Study or Tuskegee Experiment was a “40-year experiment run by Public Health Service officials followed 600 rural black men in Alabama with syphilis over the course of their lives, refusing to tell patients their diagnosis, refusing to treat them for the debilitating disease, and actively denying some of them treatment,” The Atlanticsummarized.
September 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A new Burger King ad campaign features a homosexual embrace showing an image of the fast food chain’s official mascot “kissing” McDonald's well-known mascot, Ronald McDonald.
Burger King Finland launched the ad to celebrate Helsinki Pride Week, which just ended. The pro-homosexual celebration normally takes place in June but was postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The ad shows the Burger King’s full face as he “kisses” and puts his hand on the face of what appears to be Ronald McDonald.
While Ronald McDonald’s face cannot be seen, he is identified from his trademark red hair, striped shirt, and yellow vest.
At the bottom of the ad, the phrase “Love Conquers All” can be seen with a version of the “gay pride flag” featuring a black and brown stripe that appears to be influenced by the Black Lives Matter movement.
An Adweek report from last week quoted Burger King Finland brand manager Kaisa Kasila as saying “Burger King has always stood for equality” and that it’s “everyone's right to be just the way they are.”
“What … better way to convey our values than by portraying an all-encompassing kiss between Burger King and McDonald. We wanted to show that in the end, love always wins,” Kasila told Adweek.
Burger King is part of Restaurant Brands International (RBI), which includes fast-food chains Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and Canada’s Tim Horton’s.
Fernando Machado, RBI’s global chief marketing officer, was quoted as saying in the Adweek report that “diversity and inclusion” are “cover values at Restaurant Brands International.”
“We believe that a wide range of diverse voices and perspectives makes us a stronger company,” Machado told Adweek.
Machado also said he was “proud of the fact” that RBI has a Corporate Equality Index (CEI) from the pro-LGBT Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC Foundation) “of 100 percent.”
The HRC Foundation’s website says they are “a roadmap and benchmarking tool for U.S. businesses in the evolving field of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer equality in the workplace.”
Advertisements featuring the “gay kiss” between the Burger King mascot and Ronald McDonald have been placed all over Helsinki. The ad also appears in local Burger King restaurants, and are front and center on Burger King Finland’s Facebook and Instagram pages.
While the ad features McDonald’s well-known mascot, it appears that it was not done in collaboration with McDonald’s, one of Burger King’s biggest competitors.
Machado said he hopes “the other guys” “understand that it's celebrating “love.”
“We hope that ‘the other guys’ understand that it is actually a celebration of love rather than a competitive statement,” Machado said in the Adweek report.
This is not the first time Burger King has promoted the homosexual lifestyle.
In 2014, a San Francisco Burger King franchise featured its signature sandwich, the Whopper, with a rainbow wrapping with the words, “The Proud Whopper” in a marketing stunt designed to promote homosexual “pride.”
Attorney General Barr calls mainstream media ‘basically a collection of liars’
The press 'has dropped any pretense of professional objectivity and are political actors, highly partisan who try to shape what they’re reporting to achieve a political purpose and support a political narrative that has nothing to do with the truth.'
WASHINGTON, D.C, September 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Attorney General Bill Barr on Friday issued a scathing critique of the mainstream media’s coverage of riots and violent protests after the death of George Floyd during an arrest in May. Barr accused most of the mainstream media of being “basically a collection of liars.”
“Right on the street it was clear as day what was going on, anyone observing it, reporters observing it, it could not have escaped their attention that this was orchestrated violence by a hardened group of street fighting radicals,” Barr told Townhall. Nevertheless, “they kept on excluding from their coverage all the video of this and reporting otherwise and they were doing that for partisan reasons, and they were lying to the American people.”
The Attorney General said the media “has dropped any pretense of professional objectivity and are political actors, highly partisan who try to shape what they’re reporting to achieve a political purpose and support a political narrative that has nothing to do with the truth.”
“They’re very mendacious about it,” Barr added. “It’s very destructive to our republic; it’s very destructive to the Democratic system to have that, especially being so monolithic. It’s contributing to a lot of the intensity and partisanship.”
Even though Barr criticized the mainstream media as a whole, he granted that on the level of individual journalists, there are some exceptions. “I think there are a handful of reporters in the mainstream media that still have journalistic integrity, and there are some, but the overwhelming majority don’t have it anymore,” he pointed out.
He said the reporters covering his Department of Justice “do understand some of the issues. But, on the other hand, some of them have essentially adopted the same methods and ploys as what I refer to more generally as the national media and that is they’re not because, probably somewhat because, of their own orientation but also what their editors say, they’re not really interested so much in what really happened but in pursuing a preformed narrative that suits some kind of ideological agenda. That’s what it’s all become.”
Barr had joined the administration of President Donald Trump as Attorney General in 2019. He had previously served in the same capacity under President George H.W. Bush for just over a year.
Barr is no stranger to criticizing the mainstream media. In February, he argued that “the corporate – or “mainstream” – press is massively consolidated. And it has become remarkably monolithic in viewpoint, at the same time that an increasing number of journalists see themselves less as objective reporters of the facts and more as agents of change.”
“These developments have given the press an unprecedented ability to mobilize a broad segment of the public on a national scale and direct that opinion in a particular direction,” the Attorney General said.
“When the entire press ‘advances along the same track,’ as Tocqueville put it, the relationship between the press and the energized majority becomes mutually reinforcing,” he continued. “Not only does it become easier for the press to mobilize a majority, but the mobilized majority becomes more powerful and overweening with the press as its ally.”
“This is not a positive cycle, and I think it is fair to say that it puts the press’ role as a breakwater for the tyranny of the majority in jeopardy. The key to restoring the press in that vital role is to cultivate a greater diversity of voices in the media.”
A recent Gallup poll has found that 86 percent of Americans see “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of political bias in the media. “Although 56 percent of U.S. adults see at least a fair amount of bias in their go-to news source, they are much more concerned about bias in the news other people are getting (69 percent) than about their own news being biased (29 percent),” Gallup reported.
Among Republicans, 71 percent have an unfavorable opinion of the mainstream news media. On the other hand, only 22 percent of Democrats and 52 percent of independents express the same sentiments.
Since Trump launched his campaign for president in 2015, he has been an outspoken critic of the mainstream media.
At one press conference in 2018, for instance, Trump called CNN’s Jim Acosta “a rude, terrible person” after the reporter interrupted the President several times and eventually refused to give up the microphone in order to let somebody else ask a question.
“CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them,” Trump said. “The way you treat (former White House Press Secretary) Sarah Huckabee is horrible, and the way you treat other people are horrible (sic). You shouldn’t treat people that way.”
A little later, after another reporter had already started to ask his question, Acosta stood up again, beginning to talk to the President without a microphone.
In response to Acosta’s behavior, Trump said, “OK, just sit down please. When you report fake news, which CNN does a lot, you are the enemy of the people.”
September 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – In an attempt to scrape up support from Catholics for Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential bid, the recently launched “Catholics for Biden” organization has announced some three dozen national co-chairs, including some of the most dissident “Catholics” in the country.
One of the organization’s newest co-chairs is Carolyn Woo, former president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), which is run by the U.S. Catholic bishops.
During her tenure at the scandal-plagued CRS, Woo doubled down on the organization’s “commitment to maintaining dues-paying memberships in contraception and abortion spreading organizations, providing funds to abortion and contraception distributing organizations, and retaining the employment of a vice president who is a homosexual activist in a same-sex ‘marriage,’” according to a Lepanto Insitute Report.
Democrats have good reason to try to pull out all the stops to garner Catholic support for their candidate: In 2016, Catholics pulled the lever for Republican Donald Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton, 52% to 45%.
According to the National Catholic Reporter (NCR), the hodgepodge of high profile “Catholic” Biden co-chairs – many of whom have waged war on pro-life initiatives and individuals – includes:
Hillary Clinton’s former vice presidential running mate, Senator Tim Kaine, (D-VA). Kaine boasts a 100% rating from NARAL and Planned Parenthood. He supports same-sex “marriage” and, oddly, showed himself to be so “woke” at a 2016 vice presidential debate that he couldn’t refer to himself as a man, but, instead, promised to be “Hillary Clinton’s right-hand person.”
Senator Dick Durbin, (D-IL), also sports a 100% rating from NARAL, and was barred by Bishop Thomas Paprocki from receiving Communion in his diocese because of Durbin’s support for abortion. Earlier this year, Paprocki announced via Twitter, “I am offering my prayers and fasting during this penitential season of Lent for the conversion of Senator Dick Durbin, that he will return to the pro-life position he once held when he was first elected to public office by the people of central Illinois.”
Dr. Stephen Schneck, retired Director of the Institute for Policy and Research & Catholic Studies at The Catholic University of America and a former Obama White House appointee, has said that despite their pro-abortion policies, “it makes much more sense to support Democrats,” because of the other social issues they promote. Schneck is also a board member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Catholic Climate Covenant, an organization which asserts, “Catholics do care about climate change.”
Former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley “pinked out” his Twitter photo as a sign of solidarity with Planned Parenthood during the questioning of Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards at a U.S. House hearing on September 29, 2015, according to Ballotpedia. He also tweeted, “Today, and everyday, I Stand With Planned Parenthood. We cannot let Republicans continue this attack that endangers health care for millions.”
Samantha Power, while the Obama Administration’s U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, pushed for so-called LGBT rights.
Four members of the pro-abortion Kennedy family serve as ‘Catholics for Biden’ co-chairs: Mark Shriver, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend; Tim Shriver Jr., and Victoria Reggie Kennedy, wife of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.
All seven other members of the U.S. Congress serving as co-chairs for “Catholics for Biden” also sport 100% ratings from NARAL Pro-Choice America:
Other co-chairs include Democratic strategist and media commentator Donna Brazile; former Ambassadors Elizabeth Frawley Bagley, Kevin O'Malley, and Tim Roemer; Former Obama White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough; and former Obama Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.
“We believe the Biden-Harris agenda is deeply aligned with the common good values of Catholics and people of faith and much more aligned with those values than what we see from the current administration,” Josh Dickson, faith engagement director at Biden for President, told NCR.
Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, recently told EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo that Catholics must vote for politicians who are “for life.”
“And it’s better to vote for a good Protestant than for a bad Catholic. We must judge according to what they are doing and not only [according] to their words. That is biblical criteria. Look to the fruits,” he said.
Saint John Paul II once stated that the right to life must be defended with “maximum determination” as the “most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights.”
“Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights—for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture—is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination,” he proclaimed in 1988.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops stated at their most recent gathering that the “threat of abortion remains our preeminent priority because it directly attacks life itself, because it takes place within the sanctuary of the family, and because of the number of lives destroyed.”
September 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Environmental alarmism may remain a top priority for political and cultural elites, but the evidence does not bear it out, according to a report finding that the resources necessary to sustain human life are growing more available rather than less.
In April, the libertarian Cato Institute released the second edition of its Simon Abundance Index, named after the late economist Julian Simon, whose predictions were rooted in the belief that human innovation ultimately overcomes scarcity.
The index measures “prices of 50 basic commodities between 1980 and 2017,” such as wheat, rice, natural gas, crude oil, beef, and more, in light of metrics such as how long it takes to earn enough money to buy a particular good and the impact of population growth on the good’s availability.
“Between 2018 and 2019, the world’s population increased from 7.594 billion to 7.677 billion or 1.1 percent,” the study found. “Over the same period, the nominal prices of 50 commodities declined by an average of 6.65 percent and nominal gross domestic product (GDP) per hour worked increased by 3.8 percent.”
Cato concludes that “the Earth as a whole was 570.9 percent more abundant in 2019 than it was in 1980.”
This conclusion contrasts sharply with the longstanding conventional wisdom of the environmental movement, which holds that increasing human population invariably means less food and land to go around. Simon himself rejected that thinking in a famous wager with environmentalist Paul Ehrlich that prices would go down during the 1980s thanks to more people translating to more scientific progress and technical innovation.
But while population optimists may have evidence on their side, alarmists retain powerful political and cultural support, from major media outlets such as The Washington Post, to the internationally-active Gates Foundation, to even the Vatican – contributing to a world in which fertility rates have fallen from 4.7 children per woman in 1950 to 2.4 in 2017, and are on track to fall below the replacement rate of 2.1 by the end of the century.
LONDON, United Kingdom, September 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The U.K. government has said that it will “consider all options to improve vaccination rates” in response to a petition urging the government to “prevent any restrictions on those who refuse a Covid-19 vaccination.”
The government responded to the parliamentary petition today, which has been signed by more than 125,000 people. Once such a petition reaches 100,000 signatories it is considered for debate in Parliament. Only British citizens or U.K. residents are eligible to sign the petition.
“We believe it is everyone’s responsibility to do the right thing for their own health, and for the benefit of the wider community. There are currently no plans to introduce a Covid-19 vaccine in a way that penalises those who do not take up the vaccine. However, the Government will carefully consider all options to improve vaccination rates, should that be necessary,” the government said.
British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, which has been developing a vaccine in collaboration with the University of Oxford, 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. Last week trials for Astrazeneca’s coronavirus vaccine were paused worldwide after a U.K. trial participant developed “an unexplained illness” which mainstream media several outlets described as a “serious suspected adverse reaction”
The New York Times reported that an anonymous source “familiar with the situation” told the Times 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 Astrazeneca trials have now resumed in the U.K., but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is yet to authorise the trials to resume in the US.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales (CBCEW) has stated that Catholics have a “prima facie duty to be vaccinated” and that “all clinically recommended vaccinations can be used with a clear conscience” even if they are made using cell lines from an aborted baby.
In an open letter published in May, Catholic clergy and laity led by former papal nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò and Cardinals Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, Joseph Zen, and Janis Pujats said that governments must ensure that the fight against COVID-19 is not instrumentalized by supranational bodies to enforce coercive means of control over populations.
“Citizens must be given the opportunity to refuse these restrictions on personal freedom, without any penalty whatsoever being imposed on those who do not wish to use vaccines, contact tracking or any other similar tool,” they wrote.
The letter also states that “for Catholics it is morally unacceptable to develop or use vaccines derived from material from aborted fetuses.”
Trump admin moves to stop foreign orgs who receive any US funding from promoting abortion
'The new rule would require that foreign organizations receiving global health aid through contracts from the US government agree to not provide or promote abortions, even with funding from other sources,' SBA List stated.
September 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The Trump administration is moving to further strengthen the pro-life Mexico City Policy by extending the existing ban to contracts with entities that provide foreign aid.
Shortly after taking office in 2017, President Donald Trump’s Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA) policy not only reinstated the Mexico City Policy, which bars the United States’ $8.8 billion in foreign aid from being distributed to entities that perform abortions, but took the additional step of expanding it to groups that promote or discuss abortion.
PLGHA currently applies to foreign aid disbursed through grants and cooperative agreements, but the new rule proposed by the State Department would also exclude entities that receive foreign aid via contracts, regardless of whether those entities technically fund their abortion-related practices via separate sources.
Such contracts comprise approximately 40% of health-related foreign aid, The Hillnotes, meaning the new rule would significantly increase the amount of money directed away from abortion.
“We thank President Trump and Secretary Pompeo for boldly defending life on the world stage,” Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser responded. “From day one they have championed innovative policies to protect unborn children and their mothers, as well as taxpayers.”
Last month, the State Department released a report concluding that PLGHA has not harmed foreign aid to legitimate women’s health services.
“In total, only eight out of 1,340 prime awardees with awards in place between May 2017 and September 30, 2018, have declined to agree to the Policy, as well as a small portion of sub-awardees,” the report said. In rare cases where services have been disrupted, the government says it “has worked to transition activities to new partners as quickly as possible to prevent or resolve instances in which delays or gaps in service could or have occurred.”
Public comments in support of the proposed rule can be submitted until November 13 by clicking here.
PETITION: Stand with priest who faces Church penalties for saying "You can't be a Catholic and a Democrat."! Sign the petition here.
MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin, September 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Starting next Sunday, Catholics in the archdiocese of Milwaukee are obliged once again to attend Sunday Mass, ending a six month dispensation during the height of the coronavirus crisis.
“Those who deliberately fail to attend Sunday Mass commit a grave sin,” declared Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki in his most recent blog post.
“Fear of getting sick, in and of itself, does not excuse someone from the obligation,” Listecki emphasized. “However, if the fear is generated because of at-risk factors, such as pre-existing conditions, age or compromised immune systems, then the fear would be sufficient to excuse from the obligation.”
Listecki mentioned a number of possible further exceptions from being obliged to attend Sunday Mass. “If a person is ill, especially during this pandemic, they should remain at home,” he wrote. “Likewise, if a person is at risk because of age, underlying medical conditions or a compromised immune system, one would be excused from the obligation. If a person is caring for a sick person, even if they are not sick, they would be excused from the obligation out of charity.”
The archbishop encouraged the faithful of his archdiocese “to weigh their own circumstances through an examination of their conscience and determine, by use of their conscience, whether or not they are excused from the Sunday obligation.”
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “The Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants) or dispensed by their own pastor. Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin.”
“Participation in the communal celebration of the Sunday Eucharist is a testimony of belonging and of being faithful to Christ and to his Church,” the Catechism adds. “The faithful give witness by this to their communion in faith and charity. Together they testify to God’s holiness and their hope of salvation. They strengthen one another under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.”
Archbishop Listecki’s blog post also contained a brief catechesis on fulfilling the Sunday obligation, recounting his experience as a teacher of moral theology for many decades.
Listecki wrote he always said “yes” when asked if it was “really a serious sin to miss Sunday Mass.” However, “I would qualify that certain circumstances exempt a person from the obligation.”
Instead of looking at Sunday obligation as “a law that the Church imposes,” Listecki argued to see it as coming “from a deep relationship we have with God and the acknowledgment that His Son, who is our Savior and Redeemer, was raised on this particular day of the week. The importance of celebrating this day was something even the earliest of Christians could not live without.”
Listecki related attending Sunday Mass to attending certain family functions, “which demonstrate our belonging and the value that we have as family members. It is a means of acknowledging our identity and growing in our experience as a family.”
“For instance, in my home, as an extended family member, you were always expected to attend Christmas Eve dinner at my grandfather’s home and only a serious situation would justify your absence,” the Archbishop said. “Our family history and relationships were built upon this gathering and others that were deemed essential. The same holds true for Sunday Mass.”
One of the first bishops in the United States to reinstate the Sunday obligation after it was suspended across the nation was Bishop Donald E. DeGrood of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in mid-August.
Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, wrote to the bishops’ conferences all over the world that “it is necessary and urgent to return to the normality of Christian life, which has the church building as its home and the celebration of the liturgy, especially the Eucharist.”
“As soon as is possible, however, we must return to the Eucharist with a purified heart, with a renewed amazement, with an increased desire to meet the Lord, to be with him, to receive him and to bring him to our brothers and sisters with the witness of a life full of faith, love, and hope,” Sarah pointed out in his letter dated August 15, and approved by Pope Francis on September 3.
Phil Lawler, editor of Catholic World News, released an opinion piece expressing his doubts “that the faithful of the Milwaukee archdiocese will flock back to their parish churches this coming Sunday.”
“Bishops can issue authoritative orders, but they can’t flip emotional switches,” he explained. “And when a prelate seems to be saying that it’s gravely sinful to skip Sunday Mass because the archbishop says so—when just last week it wasn’t sinful at all because the archbishop said so—he is stretching his authority to the breaking point.”
Lawler wished for bishops to release statements like, “Look, maybe I shouldn’t have issued a general dispensation. The usual rules applied then, and they still apply now. If you are sick, or have good reason to think you might become sick, then you’re excused from your obligation. That bar is naturally going to be lower during this epidemic, as it would be during any health emergency. But there still is, and always will be, a Sunday obligation.”
September 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis received 14 French ecological activists from widely different horizons on September 3, in a bid to show that the Catholic faith is not a prerequisite for commitment in favor of “Our Common Home.” Days after launching the World Day for Creation and calling for a “Jubilee for the Planet,” the Pope once more focused on Amazonia and the “wisdom” of its indigenous cultures, in an impromptu address from which the words “God,” “Jesus,” and “Christ” were totally absent.
Instead, Pope Francis promoted “ecological conversion,” speaking of his own awakening to the needs of the planet since the Aparecida meeting of Latin American bishops in 2007.
Seen from France the event was a curious one. It was a motley group that assembled in the reception room of Santa Marta for a private audience with Pope Francis, together with the president of the French Bishops’ conference, Eric de Moulins-Beaufort.
All the guests are known activists, often left-wing. They ranged from actress Juliette Binoche, who supports the “fight” of Polish women for legal abortion and who has played lesbian “love” scenes in her films, to Audrey Pulvar, a journalist and politician, and a former socialist minister’s concubine who is presently one of the deputy-mayors to Anne Hidalgo, the socialist pro-abortion and pro-LGBT mayor of Paris. Pulvar herself is a self-proclaimed feminist and abortion supporter who also created an endowment fund, African Pattern, for the financing of the “ecological transition” in Africa. The fund has yet to take concrete action.
Other visitors included Valérie Cabanes, a lawyer who lobbies for the recognition of “ecocide,” or crimes against nature, and who wants nature to be considered as a subject of rights in international law, and Maxime de Rostolan, an “ecological entrepreneur” who does not believe in economic growth.
The most peculiar figure of the group was surely Pablo Servigne, with his “theory of collapse” and “learning to live with catastrophes” while understanding that “everything is connected” and that man should “form alliances with [creatures] ‘other than humans’.” Servigne founded a magazine named Yggdrasil which in Nordic mythology is the cosmic tree in which the cosmos always renews itself in never-ending cycles of nature. He suggests that all should embark upon an “initiatory voyage” in order to find “the being that vibrates in everyone,” calling it back to life “thanks to other living beings.”
The group went from Paris to Rome by train and bus to lessen its “carbon footprint” and so that its members could get to know each other.
Once in the presence of Pope Francis they were surprised to find that the Pope decided not to read his prepared speech (which included mentions of religious truths and a quote from Pope John Paul II: “Not only has God given the earth to man, who must use it with respect for the original good purpose for which it was given to him, but man too is God’s gift to man. He must therefore respect the natural and moral structure with which he has been endowed.”)
Pope Francis told his guests that they would get the official text but that he preferred to “speak spontaneously.”
“I would like to begin with a piece of history. In 2007 the Conference of the Latin American Episcopate took place in Brazil, in Aparecida. I was in the group of drafters of the final document, and proposals arrived regarding Amazonia. I said, ‘But these Brazilians, how they go on about Amazonia! What has Amazonia got to do with evangelization?’ This was me in 2007. Then, in 2015, Laudato Si’ was published. I had a journey of conversion, of comprehension of the ecological problem. Before then I didn’t understand anything!” Pope Francis confided to the group.
The language of “conversion” is usually related to conversion to God by renouncing sin, evil, and error. In this event, Pope Francis clearly suggested that his “journey of conversion,” a process of becoming aware of the needs of nature and turning toward the material creation as a good that must determine action, was a sort of religious itinerary.
He also recounted that he accelerated the publication of Laudato si’ in view of the Paris Climate Conference (COP 21) in 2015 at the request of Ségolène Royal, former concubine of president François Hollande and then minister for the Environment.
“I called the team that was doing it – because you know that this was not written by my own hand, it was a team of scientists, a team of theologians, and all together we carried out this reflection – I called this team and I said, ‘This must come out before the Paris meeting’ – ‘But why?’ — ‘To apply pressure.’ From Aparecida to Laudato Si’ was, for me, an inner journey,” said Pope Francis.
How true is this? In 2007, Pope Francis was easily elected to preside the drafting committee responsible for the redaction and publication of the “Aparecida” document, which prolonged and amplified the ecological foundations laid in Medellin in 1968 (with its liberation theology orientations) and Puebla in 1979.
Many of the themes that were brought to the fore in the Amazon Synod were present in the Aparecida document and its pressure in favor of “overcoming anthropocentric exaggeration” and adopting “a vision that contemplates the human being in relation to other creatures and the biosphere.”
The expression “Common Home” was also present in the document, together with pleading for “Our sister mother Earth.”
It was also the Aparecida document that made expressions such as “living in communion with nature” mainstream in the Catholic Church; it spoke of the “riches of peoples and cultures” in the Amazon, praising their “traditional knowledge of natural resources.”
In the same way as the Amazon Synod, it presented the Amazon as first and foremost a “pluri-ethnic, pluri-cultural[,] and pluri-religious” region where “traditional peoples seek to see their territories recognized and made legal,” and where local churches must promote a common “pastoral care” for the whole Amazon basin – as was decided at the close of the Amazon Synod. This “pastoral care” would not aim for the spiritual well-being and salvation of souls but would promote “a development model that puts the poor first.”
Is it possible that Pope Francis actually did not “understand anything” of this text whose final draft he was responsible for? What is certainly true is that he now wants “everyone” to “undertake this journey of ecological conversion.”
Pope Francis added, in his off-the-cuff remarks:
When I went to Amazonia, I met many people there. I went to Puerto Maldonado, in Peruvian Amazonia. I spoke with the people, with many different indigenous cultures. Then I lunched with 14 of their chiefs, all of them with feathers, in traditional costume. They spoke a language of wisdom and of the highest intelligence. Not just intelligence, but wisdom. And then I asked, “And you, what do you do?” – “I am a university professor.” An indigenous person who wore feathers there, but went to university in “civilian” clothing. “And you, Ma’am?” – “I represent the Ministry of Education for this entire region.” And it was like this, one after the other. And then a girl: “I am a student of political science.” And here I saw it was necessary to eliminate the image of indigenous peoples whom we imagine only with arrows.
But it would seem these people who live in a modern way, with modern jobs and the comforts that go with them, wanted to be seen as living as in pre-colonial times, eliminating the image of development that came to them from Christian Europe.
The Pope continued: “I discovered, side by side with them, the wisdom of the indigenous peoples, and also the wisdom of ‘good living,’ as they call it. ‘Good living’ is not the ‘dolce vita,’ the easy life, no. Good living is living in harmony with creation. And we have lost this wisdom of good living. The original peoples bring us this open door.”
“Good living,” to the indigenous peoples of the Amazon, means living in harmony with oneself, others, nature, the supreme being because of the “intercommunication within the cosmos,” as the Instrumentum Laboris of the Amazon Synod explained. It is in fact the “sumac kawsay” of the Amazonian aboriginals or call of the ancestral teachings of the indigenous tribes. According to the communist magazine Contretemps in France, Ecuadorian and Bolivian revivals of the “Buen vivir” are in fact a “cultural criticism of capitalism.” It rejects Western civilization but was built with the contribution of Western Marxist, anarchist, feminist, and ecologist thought, according to the same study.
Pope Francis went on to criticize “liberalism” and the “Enlightenment” through which “we have lost the harmony of the three languages: the language of the head: thinking; the language of the heart: feeling; the language of the hands: doing.”
This “holistic” approach can be dangerous when it opposes a so-called doctrinal Church to one of empathy that goes along with the signs of the times. Surely the Enlightenment was profoundly revolutionary, but it arose from a rejection of dogma and the revealed truths of the Catholic faith – a faith that requires men to govern their feelings and passions by their intelligence and to be tuned to what is good.
September 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo that it is “better to vote for a good Protestant than for a bad Catholic.”
“I think as we are citizens in a pluralistic state with religious freedom. And, I don’t support a candidate in Germany because he is Catholic but because he has the right understanding of life and the basics for human rights,” Müller told Arroyo in a September 10th interview on the EWTN show The World Over.
“And it’s better to vote for a good Protestant than for a bad Catholic. We must judge according to what they are doing and not only [according] to their words. That is biblical criteria. Look to the fruits.”
Müller made the response about voting for a “good Protestant” over a “bad Catholic” after a question from Arroyo regarding the group called “Catholics for Biden,” and whether or not a Catholic could vote for a pro-abortion politician.
The recently launched group “Catholics for Biden” claims that one can be a Catholic and vote for Biden. Pro-life priest Fr. Michael Orsi told LifeSiteNews in early September, however, that the “whole idea of Catholics for Biden is a scam.”
The U.S. Presidential elections are scheduled to take place on November 3 in what is likely to be a close race between the two biggest political parties in the U.S.
Former vice president Joe Biden, who is pro-abortion while touting his Catholic faith, will represent the Democratic party, while U.S. President Donald Trump, who is pro-life, will seek another term on behalf of the Republican party.
Biden has publicly touted his Catholic identity throughout his career in politics, but is a fanatical supporter of abortion rights in all its forms, which runs contrary to the Catholic church's official teaching that abortion is an “abominable crime.”
The USCCB says its document is intended to help as a “guidance for Catholics in the exercise of their rights and duties as participants in our democracy,” but is not a document to tell people who to vote for.
“In this statement, we bishops do not intend to tell Catholics for whom or against whom to vote. Our purpose is to help Catholics form their consciences in accordance with God's truth. We recognize that the responsibility to make choices in political life rests with each individual in light of a properly formed conscience, and that participation goes well beyond casting a vote in a particular election,” says the USCCB document.
Arroyo asked Müller if he thought if most Catholics had a “properly formed conscience” especially considering its an election year.
Müller responded by saying that Catholics always “have a right” to vote for whom they choose, but that as a “Christian and as a Catholic” they should always vote for life.
“All the voters have the right to vote for those candidates they want to vote for them but as a Christian and as a Catholic you need some criteria for the election, and the bishops don't indicate you must vote for them or for them,” Müller told Arroyo.
“But they (the bishops) give us Magisterium, give us some criteria. The doctrine of the Church is the moral doctrine and the social doctrine and we have to look for candidates who are in favor of life, this is the basis.”
The USCCB’s Forming Consciences document states in regards to abortion that: “The threat of abortion remains our preeminent priority because it directly attacks life itself,4 because it takes place within the sanctuary of the family, and because of the number of lives destroyed. At the same time, we cannot dismiss or ignore other serious threats to human life and dignity such as racism, the environmental crisis, poverty and the death penalty.”
Arroyo asked Müller if abortion should hold the most prominent issue above other moral issues, referring to the USCCB Forming Consciences document which states that “abortion remains our preeminent priority.”
Müller responded by saying that if you “deny the life of the people” then all other issues have no “reality.”
The right to life is the “basis” for all other rights, he said, adding that God created everybody according to his image and likeness.”
“Therefore, life is the basis, all the other values have no bases no reality — social justice and equality for everybody — if you deny the life of the people.”
Müller also told Arroyo that it is “impossible” for other life issues such as the death penalty to be compared to the evil of abortion and that if one is a Catholic they can only be “pro-life.”
“Judging a person, only God can do. But we don’t judge persons. We do judge about some attitudes and the thinking and if you are Catholic you can only be pro-life, for life,” Müller told Arroyo.
“To be Catholic to be a Christian is believing in God, the creator of everybody. You cannot say ‘I am Catholic, I’m a Christian, I believe in God but I accepted the legislation which includes the possible killing of people in the mother’s womb and outside the mother's womb.’ That is absolutely clear.”
Müller also told Arroyo that claims that Trump is a “racist” is “absolutely wrong.”
“I don’t think that Trump is in favor of racism. It’s an attribution that I think is absolutely wrong. I cannot imagine that a person with a conscience can be a racist. It’s impossible because we all are created by God and therefore racism is absurd,” Müller told Arroyo.
The disturbing difference in treatment between good priests and bad bishops
Priests who speak the truth get destroyed, while faithless bishops live in luxury.
Tue Sep 15, 2020 - 6:29 pm EST
By Bettina di Fiore
By Bettina di Fiore
Bettina di Fiore
“There will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction … Bold and willful, they are not afraid to revile the glorious ones …”
—2 Peter 2:1, 10
“It’s no wonder the faithful have lost confidence in the bishops, because so many of them did such a horrible job on the scandal and still to this day don’t say anything about the worst miscreants. Oh, but they sure will get all over a priest — instantly — who simply speaks the truth.”
—Fr. James Altman
September 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Today, ash rained down all around me while I pumped my gas. The sky was pea green. Yesterday, it was orange. I could not see the sun either day. Fires have been blazing around the vicinity of my San Francisco Bay Area home for weeks, and the level of smoke and debris in the air has hit critical mass.
While I hunkered under the scant shelter provided by the awning over the gas pump, the people around me went on about their business as though the veritable brimstone falling from the sky were a mere drizzle of rain. An SUV plastered in bumper stickers advertising the homosexual proclivities of its discordantly singing driver tore across the parking lot. Meanwhile, another driver piled out of a car blaring obscene rap music wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with a borderline-pornographic image — in full view of the children sitting in the back seat of the adjacent vehicle.
Is this how people behaved while Sodom and Gomorrah burned? I wondered.
After everything that’s happened this year, you’d think people would give more sober consideration to the Last Things — that they’d be at least a bit more concerned with making sure the eternal destinations stamped on their souls’ tickets were of a beatific nature. But all evidence suggests otherwise. Here in Gomorrah, even as we drown in ash and choke on smoke from the fires raging all around us, we’re still reveling in our sins, thumbing our noses at God, and castigating anyone who refrains from joining in the libertine fray.
Worse yet, we’re being egged on by the very “shepherds” who should be correcting our errors. Here in San Francisco, Catholic Charities was busy promoting “gay pride” throughout the month of June. Our archbishop, Salvatore Cordileone, is chairman of the board of directors of that organization. The selfsame archbishop has turned a blind eye to the scandalous antics of the notoriously pro-LGBT Most Holy Redeemer Parish — which did a “gay” version of the Stations of the Cross this past Lent — for his entire tenure, despite numerous complaints from the laity (including me). Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., Archbishop Wilton Gregory publicly prayed for God to “bless those who take to our streets to protest injustice” — effectively endorsing the recent riots. And while forest fires blazed, the pope himself was preaching his pet gospel of “climate change” rather than the gospel of Christ.
The few priests who have the courage to address, and attempt to correct, our iniquities are immediately dogpiled by their viper “brethren” for being “uncharitable” or “divisive.” I’m thinking of Fr. James Altman, who had the audacity to state the simple fact that one cannot simultaneously be a faithful Catholic and vote for a political party that is drunk on the blood of aborted babies. He also had the courage to call out two specific DNC darlings who happen to wear collars — pro-LGBT Fr. James Martin, S.J. — who once tweeted “art” portraying Jesus as homosexual — and left-wing mouthpiece Archbishop Wilton Gregory.
Fr. Altman’s words ignited a firestorm. The laity lit up social media with both outrage and support. Fr. James Martin, never one to sit on his hands, tweeted several none too subtle responses regurgitating that worn out line of equivocal, empty verbiage every “Catholic” Democrat spouts for self-absolution: voting-is-a-matter-of-conscience-blah-blah-blah. He also, by his own back-handed admission, advised people to complain to Fr. Altman’s bishop:
Apparently, many people took Fr. Martin’s advice, and it didn’t take long before Bishop Callahan issued a very public bit of “private” fraternal correction, with the threat of canonical penalties if Fr. Altman doesn’t fall into line — thus proving exactly what Fr. Altman alleged in his now infamous homily: any priest who speaks truth is badgered into silence by the hierarchy.
The truths spoken by Fr. Altman — that one cannot simultaneously serve the God of Life and the Party of Death; that the left-wing agenda is contrary to the teachings of the Church — are actually no-brainers that we should be hearing from every priest, bishop, and cardinal, and yes, even the pope. But this is far from the case, and one need do no more than follow the money to find out why. The DNC funnels billions of dollars to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; the Obama administration alone was a $1.6-billion cash cow for the USCCB. After all, their lifestyles are expensive — and that money’s gotta come from somewhere. I mean, have you seen the places these guys live in?
It seems even the “modest” ones are pretty darn posh. This one sold for a mere $1.2 million:
Of course the hierarchy is invested in preserving the status quo, at best, and in promoting the leftist agenda at worst — it’s paying off for these bishops, big time. To call their flocks to repentance would require them to rectify their own iniquities — which, as we’ve learned from the endless scandals of recent years, are legion — or else face inevitable charges of hypocrisy from their flocks. They don’t want us to change because they don’t want to change. The more debauched society becomes, the more debauched they can get away with being.
Even as Gomorrah burns, they are reveling in their depravity, encouraging us to do the same, and attempting to silence all dissent.
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths. (2 Tim. 4:3-4)
That time is here. But God will not be mocked. To whom will you listen?
Chinese labor camp survivor explains why socialism is hell
Man-made famines, thought police, inescapable surveillance, forced abortion and sterilization, forced organ harvesting, and so many more crimes against humanity have brutalized the Chinese people for more than 70 years.
Tue Sep 15, 2020 - 6:26 pm EST
By Reggie Littlejohn
By Reggie Littlejohn
By Reggie Littlejohn
September 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – September 15 is the International Day of Democracy – a day when those of us fortunate enough to live in a democratic society celebrate breathing the air of free speech, freedom of religion, self government, and the rule of law.
Too often, socialism is held up as an ideal, even in the United States. My colleague, Jennifer Zeng, is a courageous survivor of a Chinese labor camp. She describes the truth about socialism. The Chinese Communist Party forcibly aborted Jennifer’s second child under the One Child Policy. Then, they burst into her home in the middle of the night and detained her. When she asked why, the police officer answered, “Because of your thought.”
Jennifer, a survivor of “socialism with Chinese characteristics” – communism – tells the story of being detained and tortured brutally in a labor camp because of her religious beliefs. On her first day, she and others were forced to squat with their hands behind their heads, looking at their feet, for 15 hours, in the baking sun. Anyone who fainted was shocked awake with electric batons.
Jennifer says that “Every day was a struggle between life and death.” She says that the slave labor in the camp was used to make products sold all over the world, including in the United States. She says that she and others were forced to submit to blood tests, the results of which would go into a database for forced organ donation, in which innocent people were killed to harvest their organs for transplant.
Anyone who thinks socialism is a good idea should watch this video. It is just four minutes long. Socialism makes promises that sound noble, but in reality, it delivers crushing pain. Man-made famines, thought police, inescapable surveillance, forced abortion and sterilization, forced organ harvesting, and so many more crimes against humanity have brutalized the Chinese people for more than 70 years. Those of us who live in democracy must commit ourselves to never let this evil form of government take hold of our land.
I have met Jennifer. She combines true humility and sincerity with intellectual brilliance and inexhaustible courage. Thanks to Breitbart for producing this powerful video, and providing subtitles.
September 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Dishonesty and deception, unfortunately, are sometimes discovered in local or federal bureaus and departments with significant power over the lives of Americans. Over the past months, some have mentioned certain government entities’ dishonest methods of labeling and counting “COVID-19 deaths” which were not caused by COVID-19. The use of dishonest and deceptive methods by investigators − whether they be scientific, medical, the FBI, etc. − should be unnecessary when one is claiming to be proving something to be true; one should not need to use falsehoods to prove a truth.
The use of deceptive methods makes the investigators, and their results and conclusions, untrustworthy; if a government department or bureau uses dishonest or deceptive methods in one way, one can reasonably expect the bureau or department to be deceptive or dishonest in other ways.
The discovery of deceptive methods of counting COVID-19 deaths may lead some to ask: if government entities deceptively label deaths which really occurred falsely as COVID-19 deaths, would the same government entities simply make up deaths or forge death certificates which never occurred and add those false deaths to the city, state, or total death count in America?
Government entities are merely reporting numbers rather than names of people. It is unlikely that anyone is actually checking up on each number that is labeled as a COVID-19 death, and doing so would be almost impossible. It would be seemingly easy for some or many to get away with adding deaths to the total count which never actually occurred.
It is yet another serious question which most would prefer not to ask. Are there any indications suggesting that the “COVID-19 death count” in America includes deaths which may have never occurred? The answer is, yes, there are indications suggesting that deaths which may have never occurred may be included in the COVID-19 death count.
Health care professionals are often on the lookout for fraud in scientific and medical research. One of the most important indicators of medical research fraud or error is implausible trends in research data. The overall approach to COVID-19 is comparable to medical or scientific research in that there are entities, like the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which are collecting, studying, and forming conclusions from medical data.
The conclusions are used to promote freedom-removing draconian decisions (like the lockdowns, mask mandates, and potentially even forced vaccinations) and prompt trillions of dollars of funding requests and allocations. The main data that are used to support draconian actions are the COVID-19 deaths, pneumonia deaths, and total deaths in America compared to previous years (which are often referred to as “excess deaths”).
As I previously have written, based on the CDC’s severity criteria, COVID-19 is less severe than public health officials and politicians have been claiming. The article also mentioned the possibility of the discovery of significant flaws which would make the CDC’s data almost completely unreliable; those flaws can be observed in the CDC’s COVID-19 statistics and will be explained in this article.
Three different death counts will be mentioned throughout this article and it is important to keep them separate in one’s mind while reading: deaths with COVID-19 listed as the underlying cause of death, deaths involving pneumonia, and the total number of deaths in America from any cause. Some repetition is used to specify which medical information is relevant to the claims that are made.
As initially mentioned, there are at least two ways in which COVID-19 death counts could be wrongly increased: one is by labeling deaths that really occurred falsely as COVID-19 deaths (for example, falsely labeling a death as a COVID-19 death of a person who actually died from cancer but “with” or “presumed with” COVID-19; or everyone who dies after merely testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 without any COVID-19 symptoms falsely being labeled as a “COVID-19 death”). Previous articles have examined that possibility and it will not be completely elaborated here.
A second possible way in which deaths could be fraudulently or erroneously reported is by simply adding deaths which never really occurred to the COVID-19, pneumonia, or total death counts. This article will look into that possibility.
Some medical information which was mentioned in a previous article needs to be repeated before identifying the implausibility of the CDC’s COVID-19, pneumonia, and total death counts.
To be considered a severe case of COVID-19, the CDC requires “clinical or radiographic evidence of pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)”. It is unlikely that non-severe COVID-19 cases (cases without pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome) would cause death; in other words, true COVID-19 deaths would likely require “clinical or radiographic evidence” of pneumonia or ARDS. (A necessary side note: a diagnosis of pneumonia or ARDS cannot be made on “clinical evidence” alone; according to the medical literature, radiographic imaging is necessary for a diagnosis of both pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome.
Thus, the CDC’s use of “clinical evidence” as a criterion could result in wrongly inflated pneumonia or ARDS statistics.)
Elsewhere, the CDC makes a similar point, implying that a true COVID-19 death would include pneumonia and/or ARDS, when explaining to physicians how they are expected to fill out a death certificate. The CDC acknowledges that in the cases where “COVID-19 played a role in the death” of a person, the “life threatening conditions” (and therefore the conditions which cause death) expected to be observed are pneumonia and/or acute respiratory distress syndrome. And UpToDate, a source edited by physicians and used by millions of medical professionals worldwide, explains the same medical fact:
[t]he major morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 is largely due to acute viral pneumonitis that evolves to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
The main point to keep in mind, according to the source and even the CDC, is that if COVID-19 causes death, the deaths will mostly be due to lung problems known as pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome. That is, a true COVID-19 death would be expected to result in viral pneumonia and/or ARDS, and the certificate of death for a true COVID-19 death would likely then include at least both COVID-19 and viral pneumonia or both COVID-19 and ARDS.
To simplify: If SARS-CoV-2 infects a person at all, its most severe effects occur when it infects the lungs. The vast majority of people infected are not harmed by SARS-CoV-2. In rare instances, it is proposed that SARS-CoV-2 can cause a person to die. When it causes death, there are expected sequences of events and/or conditions which occur in the lungs before a person dies. The expected chain of events is as follows:
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome
Those conditions in the lungs should be diagnosed by a doctor. Without pneumonia and/or ARDS present at death, then, based on the above medical information, it is unlikely that COVID-19 was the underlying cause of death. (When a COVID-19 infection leads to death after sepsis or other problems, it typically does so after viral pneumonia has set in; the death certificate should still mention viral pneumonia and/or ARDS in such cases.)
In an oversimplified manner, one might say “you most likely can’t have one without the other” − that is, according to the CDC and the medical source above, you typically can’t have a true COVID-19 death without a person having the lung problems of viral pneumonia and/or ARDS. If at least one of those conditions is not found prior to a person’s death, then it is unlikely that COVID-19 was the underlying cause of death.
Now, the following involves important distinctions which require close reading: according to the CDC, prior to the introduction of COVID-19 in America there were approximately 3,000 to 5,000 “deaths involving pneumonia” every week for the last 20 years or so. Because of these expected deaths involving pneumonia not caused by COVID-19, one would expect the 2020 deaths involving pneumonia statistic to be higher than deaths with COVID-19 as the underlying cause of death. But if the CDC’s data listed counts of COVID-19 as the underlying cause of death as higher than counts of deaths involving pneumonia, then the data would be unlikely to be true and would suggest either error or fraud.
This implausible trend is observed in the CDC’s data for multiple weeks in 2020.
So, for multiple weeks, the CDC reports that deaths with COVID-19 listed as the underlying cause remained above the total pneumonia deaths from pneumonias of all different causes, indicating that those statistics are either significant errors or fraudulent. The “COVID-19 as the Underlying Cause of Death” count and “Deaths Involving Pneumonia” data above from the CDC seem not only implausible, but actually absurd, for multiple reasons.
Notice the trends of deaths with COVID-19 as the underlying cause of death compared to the deaths involving pneumonia; for the weeks ending 4/11/2020, 4/18/2020, 4/25/2020, and 5/2/2020, each week the CDC reports that there were up to approximately 5,000 more death certificates supposedly with COVID-19 listed as the underlying cause of death than there were total deaths involving pneumonia from all different potential causes of pneumonia (which includes the most common bacterial pneumonia caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, other bacteria, fungi, mechanical ventilation, other viruses, etc.). This is scientifically and medically implausible because, again, COVID-19 is a respiratory illness which, if it causes death, is expected to cause death after causing viral pneumonia.
The statistic of the number of death certificates listing COVID-19 as the underlying cause of death should not be higher than the number of deaths involving pneumonia.
Also implausible are the data for the weeks during which deaths with COVID-19 listed as the underlying cause of death are equal to, or nearly equal to, the deaths involving pneumonia.
This is a big deal and requires repetition: the numbers are implausible because, according to the CDC, prior to the spreading of COVID-19 in the U.S., there were approximately 3,000 to 5,000 deaths involving pneumonia per week for the last 20 years or so.
That is, non-COVID-19 causes of pneumonia have typically accounted for about 3,000 to 5,000 pneumonia deaths every week in the past; it is scientifically and medically implausible, then, for counts of deaths with COVID-19 listed as the underlying cause of death to be more than or equal to weekly deaths involving pneumonia because of the expected 3,000 to 5,000 weekly deaths involving pneumonia not caused by COVID-19.
Because of the expected number of approximately 3,000 to 5,000 deaths involving pneumonia per week not caused by COVID-19, deaths involving pneumonia would be expected to be higher than deaths with COVID-19 listed as the underlying cause. But the CDC’s data provided above claims the opposite, which indicates the data is unlikely to be true: from the week ending 4/4/2020 to the week ending 6/13/2020, the CDC reports that there were about 20,000 more deaths with COVID-19 listed as the underlying cause of death then there were deaths involving pneumonia.
Such numbers are not only scientifically and medically implausible but are actually absurd; science, and medical facts, suggest those numbers should not be believed to be true.
The above statistics appear even more implausible of late; the numbers of reported deaths with COVID-19 as the underlying cause of death or deaths involving pneumonia resulting from the reported June, July, and August “surges” in COVID-19 cases throughout the U.S. are not even close to the above statistics which are mainly from New York State, New York City, New Jersey, and Massachusetts in April and May during the lockdowns.
COVID-19 reportedly continues to spread, but, thus far, the trends of COVID-19 deaths and pneumonia deaths are much different and much less than the earlier weeks’ data from the CDC.
Such significantly different data trends indicate the potential of either error or fraud.
And when critically evaluated in light of the implausible COVID-19 and pneumonia deaths’ data mentioned above, the CDC’s total count of deaths in America (and “excess deaths” in 2020 compared to previous years) may be shown to be false. There are indications that false deaths that may have never occurred may have been reported in the CDC’s statistics, which would make the total death count falsely too high; such falsities would also result in the CDC’s statistics of supposed “excess deaths” in 2020 when compared to previous years unlikely to be true. More medical information is helpful to explain the claim.
The CDC defines the “underlying cause of death” on the death certificate as “the disease or injury that initiated the chain of morbid events that led directly and inevitably to death” (emphasis added). COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that, when it causes death “directly and inevitably,” is expected to do so usually by resulting in viral pneumonia.
The individuals (usually physicians) certifying the death certificate of a person who truly died from COVID-19 as the underlying cause of death would probably want to make sure that the medical information on the death certificate is the same as that information in the patient’s medical charts for insurance and legal reasons. The concept is explained in this way in an online publication describing the death certificate and how death certificate certifiers should fill out the cause of death:
For each condition listed in…the cause-of-death statement, a space exists to indicate the approximate time interval between the onset of the condition and death. For each condition, the interval should be indicated as accurately as possible based on the certifier’s assessment of available information…Stating the interval should not be approached casually—the information may be used to assess pre-existing conditions in some medicolegal settings or when insurance claims are processed. Stating the interval also serves as a check that the immediate, intermediate, and underlying causes of death have been written in the proper order. [emphasis added]
If a person dies from pneumonia resulting from COVID-19, the physician would want to include pneumonia on the death certificate, at least in part, to certify the interval/amount of time the person had the pneumonia prior to dying. If a death is truly caused by COVID-19, then viral pneumonia is expected to be one condition in the “chain of morbid events that led directly and inevitably to death” and it should be mentioned on the death certificate.
When evaluating the CDC’s overall data of COVID-19 in America, if there is a significant discrepancy between the number of times pneumonia is mentioned “in conjunction with deaths involving COVID-19” when compared with the data of the total number of times COVID-19 is listed as the underlying cause of death on death certificates, it is possible that some or many COVID-19 deaths may have never occurred and are merely completely falsified numbers or potentially forged death certificates.
Such a discrepancy is observable in the CDC’s data. From February 1, 2020 up to the time of this writing, COVID-19 has been reported by the CDC as the underlying cause of death on 162,229 death certificates but pneumonia is “mentioned in conjunction with deaths involving COVID-19” on those death certificates 74,332 times (space limits a complete explanation, but it should be noted that 74,332 is likely too high of a number because the number includes influenza and several types of pneumonia rather than solely viral pneumonia).
The CDC’s data claims there were about 100,000 (or more) times in which COVID-19 was listed as the underlying cause of death without pneumonia mentioned on the death certificate. This is a major discrepancy because, again, if a death is truly a COVID-19 death, viral pneumonia should be present at death; and if viral pneumonia is present at death, the physician certifying a death certificate would likely be sure to include it on the death certificate.
This discrepancy suggests the possibility of a large number − up to 100,000 or more − of falsified deaths included in the COVID-19 death count which may have never occurred. If this is the case, then the total deaths in America and “excess deaths” would also obviously be falsely too high.
This is a big deal. It should also be noted that according to the CDC, the majority of the “deaths involving COVID-19” occurred in healthcare settings where pneumonia could have been diagnosed or ruled out.
Such a major discrepancy that may have wrongly been used as the basis for freedom-removing political decisions and caused significant harm to millions of people requires repetition for emphasis: supposedly about 100,000 deaths with COVID-19 listed as the underlying cause of death did not even “mention” pneumonia on the death certificate. Or, using the CDC’s terminology, in 100,000 or more deaths where “COVID-19 [is reported to have] played a role in the death” of a person, the “life-threatening conditions” of pneumonia and/or acute respiratory distress syndrome were not even “mentioned” on death certificates.
If the expected life-threatening, and death-causing, conditions were not mentioned 100,000 or more times when COVID-19 was reportedly listed as the underlying cause of death, one can reasonably, at minimum, state that there is a major discrepancy in the CDC’s COVID-19 data.
When that discrepancy is combined with the additional discrepancy of implausible weekly trends in deaths with COVID-19 listed as the underlying cause of death compared to deaths involving pneumonia, it seems reasonable to ask if thousands of reported COVID-19 deaths actually did not occur.
While the topic cannot be completely looked into here, it should be mentioned that such falsification could have been committed at several different levels, including local or state government levels, a federal bureau or department, etc. (rather than by individual physicians forging death certificates; while possible, it is unlikely that physicians would deliberately forge thousands of COVID-19 death certificates without mentioning pneumonia).
Either way, to put it mildly, the CDC’s counts of COVID-19 deaths, pneumonia deaths, and total deaths are not completely trustworthy.
Plandemic, Part 2
In the case of coronavirus, it should be clear that gain-of-function research is a dangerous game that should not be permitted. By giving researchers the go-ahead to continue this kind of research, even as the NIH publicly “paused” funding for it, the NIH and Fauci failed to uphold its moral and legal responsibilities.
It’s also clear that the CDC has engaged in illegal activities relating to the patenting of the virus, and that they had ample motive and means to profit from a coronavirus pandemic. It’s hard to imagine a more corrupt system than what we currently have. The question is: When will something be done about it?
September 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Pink News, an online LGBT “news” outlet, has been frequently called out by none other than gay commentator Douglas Murray as a trashy hate rag primarily focused on grievance-peddling. All of that is true, but the most obvious attribute of those writing for the site is an utter lack of self-awareness. On September 8, for example, they published an attack on 34-year-old Joshua Williamson of Newquay Baptist Church under the headline “Hateful preacher insists there’s no such thing as a gay Christian while thanking God for cancelling Pride.”
Williamson’s sin (and it’s important to note that these activists do believe in sin, they’ve just flipped the script) is a social media post noting that Cornwall Pride in the UK had been cancelled with the comment “Wonderful news!” When someone asked him why he’d posted this, he responded that “I don’t think sin should be celebrated,” later referring to the biblical books of John, James, and 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. He also noted that at a prayer meeting, he and the attendees had prayed both that the event would be cancelled and that “the Lord would save the organisers. One prayer answered, now we wait for the second prayer to be answered.”
Williamson, like all orthodox Christian pastors, opposes the celebration of sexual activity the Bible deems sinful. All relatively literate people once knew this. But this is 2020, and Williamson was immediately the target of a wave of hatred from those accusing him of hatred. Cornwall Pride put out a call for LGBT supporters to call the police and accuse Williamson of a hate crime, while others announced that they would be protesting his church services. There were also calls for Newquay Baptist Church to lose its charitable status, and for Williamson to be deported to Australia, where he was born. (Imagine the howl that would rise if this sort of thing was said about a Muslim imam?)
Despite this, Williamson accepted the invitation of a transgender community member to attend a meeting. At the hour-long meeting, Williamson shared his views, and invited any interested members of the LGBT community to come to his church. He then asked for permission to give them a pamphlet articulating the biblical position on homosexuality. This pamphlet was photographed and shared online, resulting in further backlash and renewed calls to the police demanding a hate crime investigation.
According to Christian Concern, one social media user called on people to burn the church down. Another concurred, stating in all caps: “LET’S BURN A CHURCH! LET’S BURN A CHURCH.” Other comments included a suggestion that a mass orgy be performed at the church and that those distributing the pamphlet be assaulted. Another photoshopped the heads of Williamson and his wife onto a homosexual porn photo and put it online.
At this point, according to Christian Concern, Williamson reported “the threat to Devon and Cornwall Police, who are Cornwall Pride’s sponsor” and “was told the situation was ‘complex’ and that they did not believe the threat would materialise” and “also stated to Pastor Williamson that he should make sure he did not offend anyone in the LGBT community in order to avoid breaking the law.” He was further told that he should restrict his views to a “safe environment,” presumably inside the doors of his church.
Williamson’s statement in response to all of this is worth quoting in full:
My family and I, and our church community, have been very concerned by the level of anti-Christian abuse and threats of violence that we have been targeted with over the past few weeks. The police have not formally spoken to me about any hate crime or sought a witness statement to look at the various online comments which have included threats to burn down our church.
As Christians we seek to speak the truth in love and would readily welcome all people to our services. The Bible, however, proclaims a message of repentance which calls on all people to turn from their sin and to trust in Christ. It would be unloving for us to remain silent about what God’s Word says in relation to human sin, including all forms of sexual sin. We therefore, must proclaim the truth that homosexuality is a sin, but that God loves sinners and Jesus can forgive all our sins.
Newquay Baptist Church is made up of sinners who have been forgiven by a wonderful Saviour; since this is the case, we would invite all people, including the LGBT community, to come to our services. Our desire is that all would come to know and love Jesus.
Christian Concern is currently supporting Williamson, and chief executive Andrea Williams released a statement as well:
It’s becoming worryingly common in the UK to see threats and calls for violence against Christians for voicing their simple opposition to LGBT Pride. Police forces should show Christians they take this seriously by protecting their free speech against mob threats rather than by seeking to keep Christians quiet.
Christians are called to repay evil with good – I have no doubt that Pastor Williamson will continue to share the reality of sin and the good news of Jesus Christ with the people of Newquay.
None of the context—or statements from Williamson—made it into the coverage slapped online by Pink News. The hateful ones, to these activists, are not those who threatened to burn down a church (which frequently hosts families overnight), or assault people for passing out leaflets, or photoshopped a man and his wife into pornography. It is the pastor who stated publicly time and again that he loved those who hated him, and fervently prayed for their salvation. To that, the response has been simple and telling: To hell with him. The police, unfortunately, do not seem to disagree.
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:
Chinese scientist who defected to US: COVID-19 not from nature but created in lab
Chinese whistleblower Dr. Li-Meng Yan just published a scientific paper summarizing how the 'unusual features of the SARS-CoV-2 genome suggest … sophisticated laboratory modification rather than natural evolution'
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September 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The coronavirus was man-made and did not originate from a wet market in Wuhan, says a Chinese whistleblower and one of the first scientists to study COVID-19 in China.
Dr. Li-Meng Yan, 36, a medical doctor and virologist who fled to the US in April to tell the world about the origins of the virus, said that based on her own research the coronavirus “did not come from nature at all. It was created in a lab.”
Dr. Yan and her colleagues have just published a scientific paper summarizing how the “unusual features of the SARS-CoV-2 genome suggest … sophisticated laboratory modification rather than natural evolution.” In it, she lays out exactly how the deadly pathogen could have been synthesized in the P-4 lab in Wuhan.
And now various scientists from around the world are saying she may be right.
In a lengthy interview with me two weeks ago, Yan, who is in hiding and fears for her life, said that the Chinese government knew the virus was man-made and knew about the dangers of person-to-person transmission well before it became a global pandemic.
Before she defected, Yan worked at Asia’s top virology lab – the P3 Lab at the University of Hong Kong. The lab is the global center for coronavirus research where its famous “SARS hunters” cracked the code of the first SARS coronavirus outbreak in 2003.
In late December, her supervisor Dr. Leo Poon asked her to look into a cluster of SARS-like bases that had originated in Wuhan, a city of 11 million in central China. She began to communicate with a network of medical contacts throughout China, and by December 31, learned that there was human-to-human transmission of the new virus — a fact that was suppressed by the Chinese Communist Party, and later by the World Health Organization, she said.
Yan took her concerns to Poon, who repeatedly warned her to “keep silent,” she said. He told her not to criticize the CCP or contradict them on their official line on the origins of the coronavirus, which they said was spread from eating wild animals at a wet market in Wuhan. “If you do, we will get into trouble and be disappeared,” she said he told her.
For three months, Yan took his advice to heart and continued her research, She soon discovered that COVID-19 has two artificial, man-made “insertions” that make it particularly deadly to human beings. The first “insertion” allows it to spread easily from person-to-person, while the second “insertion” allows the virus to infect different kinds of tissue once it is already in the human body.
“Any scientist who has this knowledge will know that it is not from nature,” she told me.
Around the world, virologists who are studying the virus are starting to back her claims that the virus is man-made.
“The properties that we now see in the virus, we have yet to discover anywhere in nature,” said Norwegian virologist Birger Sorensen in a July 13 interview with the scientific journal Minerva. “We know that these properties make the virus very infectious, so if it came from nature, there should also be many animals infected with this, but we have still not been able to trace the virus in nature”
“When we compare the novel coronavirus with the one that caused SARS, we see that there are altogether six inserts in this virus that stand out compared to other known SARS viruses,” said Sorensen who works for Immunor AS, a Norwegian company that researches and develops vaccines.
Nikolai Petrokvsy, the director of endocrinology at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, also said that the virus could be man-made.
“Our own research, which is currently under review and was based on rigorous molecular modeling, revealed some highly unexpected findings for a virus postulated to have recently crossed from animal to humans,” he told me in an interview. “From the very earliest isolates it was uniquely adapted to infect humans above other species we tested.”
An internationally renowned scientist, Prof. Joseph Tritto, who is the president of the Paris-based World Academy of Biomedical Sciences and Technologies (WABT), has also published a book describing how the China Virus was created in the lab. I have summarized Prof. Tritto’s book here.
US researchers are being more cautious, but are not dismissing Dr. Yan's claims.
"We can't rule it out," said Jonathan Latham, a virologist and co-founder of the Bioscience Research Project in Ithaca, NY, a non-profit that conducts scientific research. He said his team of researchers believe that the Wuhan Institute of Virology studied tissue samples from miners who were infected with the virus in 2012, but they don't know whether those samples were later manipulated in the lab. "If they go wrong, then you have a man-made virus," he told me. He also believes that the virus "almost certainly escaped" from the lab.
Richard Ebright, a professor of chemistry and director of the Waksman Institute of Microbiology at Rutgers University in New Jersey, said that although he disagrees with Yan's theory of "insertions," he would not rule out the possibility that the virus could have been lab-manipulated.
"It is important to note, this does not rule out the possibility the virus was laboratory constructed or laboratory-enhanced using methods that do not leave signatures," he said.
Dr. Yan, in her new article, has convincingly rebutted the arguments of Lathan and Ebright. She points out that both are based on a belated claim, by the now disappeared director of the P4 lab in Wuhan, Dr. Shi Zhengli, that she “found a close relative to the China Virus in nature" way back in 2012. Dr. Shi only reported this “discovery” in January of this year after the outbreak of the pandemic, registering it under the name of coronavirus RATG-13. Its suspiciously similar to SARS-CoV-2 and, as Dr. Yan explains in her article, a close study of its genome shows that it is a fabrication.
For her part, Yan was desperate to get the truth out in order to save lives. She knew she would have to leave China to do so, she said. “I tried to persuade my husband who worked in the same lab to come with me,” she said. “But I failed.” Yan secretly bought a plane ticket to Los Angeles and landed in the US on April 28.
She spent her first two months in the country in hiding, while being debriefed by US intelligence officials. But with cases rising dramatically around the world, she began to speak out. She gave an interview to Fox News last month.
There are nearly 30 million cases of the virus and almost a million deaths globally, according to the most recent statistics collected by Johns Hopkins University.
Why would the Chinese government create such a deadly pathogen? Was it trying to create a bioweapon or a vaccine? Yan said she doesn’t know the answer, but noted that all labs in China are under the control of the government. And in Wuhan, research into the coronavirus is under the supervision of Chen Wei, an epidemiologist who is a bioweapons expert and major general in the Chinese military, Yan said.
Adding to the concerns about China’s bioweapons program is the fact that Major General Chen Wei was just last week given an award, called “The People’s Hero,” by none other than Chinese President Xi Jinping for her work on the China Virus.
According to Yan, the Wuhan lab had used a coronavirus owned by the People’s Liberation Army as “the backbone” for their “insertions.” The pathogen, internationally registered under ZC45 is the only one owned by the People’s Liberation Army biowarfare labs, she said.
“The Wuhan lab was collecting hundreds of coronavirus from all over China,” she said. “They claimed it was to better predict future coronavirus epidemics that might emerge from nature. But if they were worried about a coronavirus epidemic, why weren’t they making any effort into vaccine research, as we were doing in our lab in Hong Kong?”
As to how the virus might have escaped from the “high containment” Wuhan lab, Yan said, “It was not an accident. No one in the lab got sick or died. There are always two people in the lab. No live virus would be able to escape.”
Yan said she doesn’t know if the escape was caused by a disgruntled employee or whether a more sinister plot involving the Chinese government was afoot.
What we do know is that the Great Chinese Cover-up continues. Dr. Shi, who created the China Virus in her lab, has disappeared. The Wuhan Lab itself remains off-limits to foreigners. The Chinese Communist Party is doing everything it can to hide the origins of the virus.
Since she began speaking out last month, Yan has been fired by the University of Hong Kong which also dismissed her findings that the virus is man-made. Her husband has distanced himself from her, and her parents have publicly called her a “traitor,” she said.
“I do this because I am a scientist and I know the truth and I want to tell it to the world,” she told me. “But if they find me, they will kill me.”
Steven W. Mosher is the President of the Population Research Institute and the author of Bully of Asia: Why China’s Dream is the New Threat to World Order.
Scandalous abuse story of former Vatican official raises questions about Benedict’s resignation
There is a case now before the criminal courts of Germany in which two priests testify to gruesome sexual abuse at the hands of a then-senior official in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, Monsignor Christoph Kühn.
September 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – At the time of Pope Benedict’s resignation in 2013, newspaper reports from all over the world speculated that the papal abdication was tied to a secret “300-page Vatican dossier that allegedly found an underground network of high-ranking gay clergy, complete with sex parties and shady dealings with the Vatican bank.” We have now learned of reports of homosexual sexual abuse of several priests by a high-ranking Vatican monsignor alleged to have taken place inside the Vaticanwere first reported by one of the victims in 2006, but they went without even an official investigation until now.
The monsignor in question was transferred from the Vatican to a plum post in Vienna, Austria where he is reported to have sexually offended again, and from there was transferred again, this time to a German diocese where he was given another top position with a hefty salary increase. One of the big questions in all this is what Pope Benedict knew of the situation – if anything – and what effect it may have had on his decision to resign the papacy.
In 2002, the Catholic Church was rocked by the widespread public revelation of sexual abuse perpetrated by Catholic clergy. While sexual abuse in all professions was nothing new, among clergy it brought a particular repugnance. But more than that, the new revelations highlighted the role of the bishops themselves in the crisis, as it made clear that they had allowed known sexually abusive priests to go without punishment and to be transferred to other parishes or dioceses where they would sometimes even abuse again.
A case which had its first diocesan hearing last Monday, September 7, concerns a high-ranking Vatican monsignor accused of coercing multiple priests under him into masochistic sexual acts. The alleged abuse was first reported to Vatican officials in 2006 with no official investigation taking place until after a German newspaper – Die Bild – began reporting on various aspects of the case last year, resulting in a police investigation and the laying of criminal charges.
While the 2002 clergy abuse revelations were still very much in the news, there was another homosexual abuse scandal playing out quietly inside the Vaticanin the waning years of Pope John Paul II’s life. Later, while Pope Benedict, along with the rest of the Church, was expressing public grief – meeting with abuse victims and promising reforms – those in high Vatican positions were using the same old playbook in mishandling credible allegations of sexual abuse within the Vatican’s own walls.
In addition to the diocesan investigation in Eichstaat, there is a case now before the criminal courts of Germany in which two of the priests testify to gruesome sexual abuse at the hands of a then-senior official in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, Monsignor Christoph Kühn.
Monsignor Florian Kolfhaus and a second man – a former priest – both allege that Kühn violently compelled them into sexual masochistic acts.
Kolfhaus first lodged a complaint against Kühn at the Vatican in 2006. He testifies that his abuse took place inside the offices of the Secretariat of State, as well as inside the Casa Santa Marta, a residence for Vatican prelates which is now the residence of Pope Francis.
But it appears no formal investigation was launched until 2019, in spite of the fact that a report by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, Delegate for the Pontifical Representations, was presented to the Superiors of the Secretariat of State on July 3, 2006.
The other priest who testifies in the case has since become laicized and is now a practicing homosexual and LGBT activist. He has given his testimony for the Kolfhaus complaint that is currently underway in Germany. The court files include a WhatsApp message from Kühn to this former priest from April 2017, in which the monsignor offers some future financial support should the laicized priest help him to clear his name with regard to the allegations against him.
Kühn was the head of the German Section of the Secretariat of State in the Vatican from 2001 till 2008. This position put him in charge of vetting priests and bishops from Germany for elevations, and as such he was privy to all the personnel records of these prelates. Being in such a high position and involved in the German church, Kühn was often in close contact with Pope Benedict XVI both after his 2005 election and prior to that in Benedict’s role as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith.
As head of the German Section until 2008, Kühn organized Benedict’s trips to Germany, traveled with him on the papal plane, and was often photographed side by side with him at official receptions such as that with German President Horst Kohler in 2005 during his visit to Cologne, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, as well as the future Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Kühn’s reputation was conservative. As Kolfhaus explains in a denunciation to the Vatican as well as to the Diocese of Eichstätt in which he outlines the abuse, “Msgr. Kühn took interest in me personally, given the difficult work that he was about to undertake, namely radically changing the ‘political line’ of the Bishops’ Conference in Germany on the participation of the German bishops in the national system regarding abortion legislation. (The German dioceses – contrary to various directives given by the Holy See – participated in the state-run system, giving on request a certificate to women that was required in order to have a legal abortion. This conflict greatly polarized the Catholic Church in Germany.)”
Kolfhaus says he suffered sexual abuse at the hands of Kühn from the end of 2003 until 2004 and has been reporting the abuse to different superiors in the Vatican and elsewhere since 2006. Through his lawyer, Dr. Alexander Stevens, Kolfhaus told LifeSite that he did not begin the legal process or go to the press with the abuse he suffered. Only after details of the abuse were reported by the German newspaper Die Bild in 2019, and police questioned Kolfhaus, did he act.
“When journalists or civil authorities come to me I have to answer truthfully, to lie here would be nothing other than covering up for the perpetrator,” Kolfhaus told LifeSite’s Dr. Maike Hickson.
In 2008, Kühn was moved to Vienna to work in the nunciature (or, the Vatican embassy), and here is where the question of Pope Benedict’s knowledge of the case comes into question.
Two sources close to Pope Benedict spoke anonymously to LifeSite’s Dr. Maike Hickson about it, suggesting that Kühn was moved to Vienna because his scandalous sexual behavior became too well-known. One said that the Pope moved Kühn knowing of the problems and even asked Cardinal Joachim Meisner, Archbishop of Cologne, to take Kühn into his diocese, but Meisner refused.
Another source stated: “When it became known that he [Kühn] had harassed various young men (among them also Kolfhaus), he was removed by Benedict XVI from the Vatican and sent to Vienna.” This source insisted, defending the Pope, that Benedict did personally intervene in the case and that he punished Kühn two times by sending him into less important positions, first to Vienna (2008) and then to Eichstätt (2012), this time removing him from the diplomatic service.
Recall that Pope Benedict was elected in 2005 and announced his resignation in early 2013.
Another source from Benedict’s circle, however, suggests that Benedict did not know of the matter and it was handled either by the then-Secretary of State himself (now-Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone) or the then-Substitute (now-Cardinal Fernando Filoni).
At the end of August 2012, Kühn was removed from the diplomatic service of the Vatican and was moved to his home diocese of Eichstätt in Germany where he was personally appointed Canon of the Cathedral by Bishop Gregor Hanke. That position, however, gained Kühn a much larger salary and notable position.
It took until April of 2019, when accusations against Kühn were brought to the public by the German newspaper Die Bild, for Bishop Hanke of the Diocese of Eichstätt to suspend Kühn from his duties.
LifeSite reached out to Monsignor Kühn with questions. In response, Kühn’s lawyer threatened a lawsuit should LifeSite report on the case. The response denied all charges and not only forbade reporting on the case but also forbade further research into it.
Kühnpublicly addressed the accusations for the first time in July 2020 after Italian Vaticanist Marco Tosattipublished a translation of portions of a July 16, 2020, Die Bildarticle on the case on his blog. Kühn vehemently denied all charges. Moreover, Kühn claims that Kolfhaus’ lawyer Alexander Stevens is “a well known LGBTQ activist and supporter of the relative lifestyle and debauchery.”
Stevens, the alleged victim’s lawyer, told LifeSite’s Dr. Maike Hickson thatKühn’s accusation against him is false. “The prelate obviously doesn't hesitate to even discredit the victim's lawyer,” he wrote via email. “Here, in my opinion, Kuhn's strategy is once again exposed: to neutralize the enemy by deliberate untruths.”
When LifeSite published our original report on this case on Sept 5, Monsignor Kuhn’s lawyers threatened a lawsuit if we did not take down our story by 4:00 p.m. that same day.
In addition to the testimonies of the two priests, there are two explosive pieces of evidence in the case which point to Kuhn’s guilt. One is the testimony of Archbishop Viganò and the other from a former employee of the diocese of Eichstaat.
On January 22, 2020, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò provided testimony for the Church investigation into the case because from May 1998 till July 2009 he was the Delegate for the Pontifical Representations at the Secretariat of State, a position which was responsible for the personnel of the Roman Curia subordinate to the Substitute of the Secretary of State.
In Viganò’s testimony — which LifeSite confirmed with the archbishop himself — he states that he is “aware of precise information regarding the harassment and all kinds of abuses committed by Msgr. Christoph Kühn against Msgr. Florian Kolfhaus.”
Archbishop Viganò also notes that Kolfhaus informed various individuals of the abuse including a superior at the Secretariat of State and also a bishop in charge of preparation of candidates for diplomatic service for the Vatican.
Archbishop Viganò also reports that now-Cardinal Pietro Parolin was informed as well.
According to Viganò’s knowledge, no official investigation was undertaken by July 2009 (when he ceased his duty as Delegate for the Pontifical Representations) to examine Kolfhaus’ reports of the abuse he suffered. Viganò told LifeSite that evidence which would have called for official investigation included: the report sent to the Secretariat of State by Archbishop Justo Mullor, President of the Pontifical Academy; a report of the psychologist who returned a negative judgment on Kühn, dated June 14, 2006; and Viganò’s note for the Substitute on July 3, 2006.
Viganò’s testimony also calls into question the 2001 decision to have Kühn at the Vatican in the first place. He recounts that sexually scandalous behavior by Kühn was known to the Vatican as early as 1997 when Kühn was a priest in the Nunciature in Zimbabwe. Viganò relates:
Msgr. Christoph Kühn began his service on July 1, 1997, in the Apostolic Nunciature in Zimbabwe. During this, his first assignment, the Nuncio, His Excellency Msgr. Peter Prabhu, had to report some of the behavior of his collaborator [Kühn] that could have indicated his possible homosexual tendency. The Nuncio reported in February 1998 that on returning from a pastoral visit of several days, he was told that Fr. Kühn was very sick and that he [Kühn] wanted to see him [Prabhu] immediately. The Nuncio went to his room and knocked on the door. Kühn told him [Prabhu] to come in and revealed himself lying in his bed wearing only very skimpy panties. The Nuncio told him to get dressed and went away. Afterward, Kühn went from his bedroom to his office dressed in the same way, despite the admonition he had received, and then went down to the common area of the Nunciature in that same undressed state.
On another occasion during an encounter that lasted two hours in an Italian club, with the lights out as slides were projected, Fr. Kühn took a young blond boy about 9 or 10 years old and made him sit on top of him with his arms around the young boy.
A second testimony in the court files has just been partly corroborated by the Bishop of Monsignor Kuhn, Bishop Hanke. The testimony is from a man who was employed in a high-ranking position by the diocese of Eichstätt. He sums up what he was told by higher-ups in the diocese concerning Kühn in 2014. He was warned to be “cautious” around Kühn “because of his somewhat difficult past.” When he asked for further information, both the finance director of the diocese and the Vicar General informed him that Kühn was known to have had some “unresolved encounters” during his station in Africa that were related to the “homosexuality of the prelate Kühn.” During his time in Vienna, they added, “it went so wild he was forbidden entrance into a hotel.”
According to this source, the Vicar General told him that the official reason for Kühn’s dismissal from Vienna was the “story with the hotel” as well as “additional non-consensual sexual contacts during his diplomatic stations.” The testimony also notes that he spoke with Bishop Hanke about the matter and the bishop noted that Kuhn should be thankful to be in the diocese and should be grateful to Bishop Hanke.
The German newspaper which first broke the story reported September 7 that Bishop Hanke partly confirmed the testimony of the diocesan employee by admitting that the Vicar General did know of serious allegations against Kuhn and cautionedthe diocesan employee regarding Kuhn.So here is a bishop acknowledging that the Vicar General cautioned an employee regarding Kuhn for his sexually deviant past and they didn’t see fit to warn the unsuspecting faithful Catholics whom they put in Kuhn’s path?
Canon law (1395) insists that “a cleric who persists with scandal in another external sin against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue is to be punished by a suspension. If he persists in the delict after a warning, other penalties can gradually be added, including dismissal from the clerical state.” Canon law experts have told LifeSite that much of the problem leading to the Church sex abuse scandals has been the ignorance of and refusal to apply canon law.
It reminds me of other abuses in the Church where bishops are flagrantly ignoring canon law and thus harming the faith and the faithful. Canon 915 states that those “persevering in manifestgravesin are not to be admitted to holycommunion.” And yet pro-abortion politicians like Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden are given Holy Communion. Priests who abuse the faith of children by grave distortion such as Fr. James Martin are promoted and celebrated in the Church while those who defend the faith and warn the faithful of the gravity of supporting pro-abortion politicians, such as Fr. James Altman, are silenced and threatened with canonical penalty.
There is another canon law we the faithful laity need to pay attention to. It is canon 212. It is the Church law which informs the faithful of their right and duty to tell our shepherds and the rest of the faithful about their concerns to defend the faith.
According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.
We cannot stand for thedereliction of duty of our bishops, that failure to admonish and correct abuse among clergy. Many bishops have failed to take action to correct and admonish clergy sexual abuse, liturgical abuse and abuse of heretical teaching. These abuses threaten our children’s bodies, minds, and souls and we the faithful cannot and must not remain silent. For our children, for our Church, and for our fidelity to Christ – and indeed for the good of abusing clergy and negligent bishops – we must fight the corruption in the Church with prayer and fasting yes but also with public campaigns and actions to demand shepherds in the mold of Christ rather than wolves in shepherds’ clothing.
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September 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Exactly one hundred years ago today, on September 15, 1920, Pope Benedict XV promulgated the encyclical Spiritus Paraclitus, dedicated to celebrating the life and work of St. Jerome, for the fifteenth centenary of St. Jerome’s death. Although little remembered today (as would be true of most features of Benedict XV’s pontificate), it deserves a fresh look from our vantage, especially for some elements that might be surprising to us.
Benedict XV reminds us that Jerome was inflexible in adhering to the Church’s dogma of the inspiration and inerrancy of the Scriptures:
Thus, not denying at all, but rather affirming the human authors as true (albeit secondary) causes, Jerome emphasizes that God works with these authors in a unique fashion to which no other creaturely activity can be equated:
If we ask how we are to explain this power and action of God, the principal cause, on the sacred writers we shall find that St. Jerome in no wise differs from the common teaching of the Catholic Church. For he holds that God, through His grace, illumines the writer’s mind regarding the particular truth which, “in the person of God,” he is to set before men; he holds, moreover, that God moves the writer’s will — nay, even impels it — to write; finally, that God abides with him unceasingly, in unique fashion, until his task is accomplished. Whence the Saint infers the supreme excellence and dignity of Scripture, and declares that knowledge of it is to be likened to the “treasure” and the “pearl beyond price,” since in them are to be found the riches of Christ and “silver wherewith to adorn God’s house.” (§9)
Thus, Jerome would hold no truck with modern-day scholars who claim to identify all kinds of “errors” in Scripture:
Jerome further shows that the immunity of Scripture from error or deception is necessarily bound up with its Divine inspiration and supreme authority. He says he had learnt this in the most celebrated schools, whether of East or West, and that it was taught him as the doctrine of the Fathers, and generally received. Thus when, at the instance of Pope Damasus, he had begun correcting the Latin text of the New Testament, and certain “manikins” had vehemently attacked him for “making corrections in the Gospels in face of the authority of the Fathers and of general opinion,” Jerome briefly replied that he was not so utterly stupid nor so grossly uneducated as to imagine that the Lord’s words needed any correction or were not divinely inspired. … Here he is in full agreement with Augustine, who wrote to Jerome that to the Sacred Books alone had he been wont to accord such honor and reverence as firmly to believe that none of their writers had ever fallen into any error; and that consequently, if in the said books he came across anything which seemed to run counter to the truth, he did not think that that was really the case, but either that his copy was defective or that the translator had made a mistake, or again, that he himself had failed to understand. (§13; §15)
Benedict XV, having summarized Leo XIII’s extremely clear reaffirmation of this truth, then says:
It grieves us to find that not only men outside, but even children of the Catholic Church — nay, what is a peculiar sorrow to us, even clerics and professors of sacred learning — who in their own conceit either openly repudiate or at least attack in secret the Church’s teaching on this point. (§18)
He describes and castigates the views of the Modernists, who separated the “primary or religious” truth of Scripture from its “secondary or historical” references, claiming that inerrant truth applies only to the former category, not to the latter. The pope also rejects the idea that it is sufficient to say Scripture is free from error in the sense that the intentions of the authors were good, or they described what was commonly held at the time (but was factually false). None of this, says Benedict XV, is compatible with the truth of Scripture’s absolute freedom from any error of any kind, when correctly understood in accordance with the principles of biblical interpretation practiced by the Fathers and Doctors of the Church. Benedict XV predicts that if the Bible is taken as a mere sourcebook for religious opinions and feelings, it will lose its authority altogether. How right he is has been abundantly demonstrated in the century that has elapsed from Spiritus Paraclitus.
Benedict XV then asks: What virtues should we learn from Jerome? He writes:
We are deeply impressed by the intense love of the Bible which St. Jerome exhibits in his whole life and teaching: both are steeped in the Spirit of God. This intense love of the Bible he was ever striving to kindle in the hearts of the faithful, and his words on this subject to the maiden Demetrias are really addressed to us all: “Love the Bible and wisdom will love you; love it and it will preserve you; honor it and it will embrace you; these are the jewels which you should wear on your breast and in your ears.”… This [love of Scripture] is so conspicuous in his letters that they almost seem woven out of Scripture texts; and, as St. Bernard found no taste in things which did not echo the most sweet Name of Jesus, so no literature made any appeal to Jerome unless it derived its light from Holy Scripture. (§31, §33)
The pope urges the bishops to whom the letter is addressed to train good teachers of Scripture for the seminaries and other schools.
Was there ever a time, Venerable Brethren, when there was greater call than now for us all, lay and cleric alike, to imbibe the spirit of this “Greatest of Doctors”? For there are many contumacious folk now who sneer at the authority and government of God, Who has revealed Himself, and of the Church which teaches. You know — for Leo XIII warned us — “how insistently men fight against us; You know the arms and arts they rely upon.” It is your duty, then, to train as many really fit defenders of this holiest of causes as you can. They must be ready to combat not only those who deny the existence of the Supernatural Order altogether, and are thus led to deny the existence of any divine revelation or inspiration, but those, too, who — through an itching desire for novelty — venture to interpret the sacred books as though they were of purely human origin[.] (§39)
Several paragraphs of this encyclical are devoted to St. Jerome’s numerous relationships with students whom he instructed in Scripture and in biblical languages. For example, Jerome describes how he taught Hebrew to Paula, which she learned so well that she could chant the psalms in Hebrew without a Latin accent; the same is true of her daughter Eustochium. If these matrons and virgins could learn their Bible, often memorizing whole sections of it, what excuse have the priests and teachers of the Law? “Learned clerics sin through ignorance of the Bible; therefore he demands of them an assiduous reading of the text” (§45):
How can a cleric teach others the way of salvation if through neglect of meditation on God’s word he fails to teach himself? What confidence can he have that, when ministering to others, he is really “a leader of the blind, a light to them that are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, having the form of knowledge and of truth in the law,” if he is unwilling to study the said Law and thus shuts the door on any divine illumination on it? Alas! many of God’s ministers, through never looking at their Bible, perish themselves and allow many others to perish also. “The children have asked for bread, and there was none to break it unto them” (Lam. 4:4); and “With desolation is all the land made desolate, for there is none than meditateth in the heart” (Jer. 12:11). (§47)
Benedict XV then cites many passages from St. Jerome in which this worthy Father complains about excessively lengthy, elaborate, ornate discourses from the clergy, empty of conviction and power because they stray so far from the Word of God, or handle it superficially. It’s interesting to reflect on the different problems that afflict preaching in our own day: no longer (usually) too great a length or too fancy a style, but a frequent lack of any substantive doctrinal and moral content at all. One wonders how a gifted polemicist like Jerome would react!
In the encyclical’s conclusion, the pope expends eloquence of his own to sing the praises of this immense scholar and saint:
His voice rings out, telling us of the super-excellence of Holy Scripture, of its integral character and historical trustworthiness, telling us, too, of the pleasant fruits resulting from reading and meditating upon it. His voice summons all the Church’s children to return to a truly Christian standard of life, to shake themselves free from a pagan type of morality which seems to have sprung to life again in these days. ... Today this flood [of worldliness] seems on the verge of sweeping away all human institutions — unless God steps in to prevent it. And surely this calamity must come if men persist in sweeping on one side God the Creator and Conserver of all things! Surely whatever cuts itself off from Christ must perish! Yet He Who at His disciples’ prayer calmed the raging sea can restore peace to the tottering fabric of society. (§68)
The entire document merits a re-reading. May Our Lady of Sorrows, who stood faithfully beneath the Cross of her divine Son, obtain for us all the grace of unbending fidelity to Him, and may St. Jerome be our example and intercessor in plumbing the depths of God’s Word.
There is a case now before the criminal courts of Germany in which two priests testify to gruesome sexual abuse at the hands of a then-senior official in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, Monsignor Christoph Kühn. One of the big questions in all this is what Pope Benedict knew of the situation if anything and what affect it may have had on his decision to resign the papacy.
The Seven Sorrows of Mary: ‘The Church will be abandoned to great persecutions’
By Mother Miriam
To help keep this and other programs on the air, please donate here. In this episode, Mother Miriam talks about the seven sorrows of Mary and the messages of Our Lady's many apparitions. You can tune in daily at 10 am EST/7 am PST on our Facebook Page. Subscribe to Mother Miriam Live email updates here.