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News

US bishop says environment should be ‘preeminent issue’ for voters, not abortion

Pro-homosexual Bishop John Stowe justified his dissent from the USCCB by stating that 'without the environment to sustain human life, you can't have human life.'
Wed Sep 16, 2020 - 7:48 pm EST
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Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky, in a video message for 2020 'Pride Month' YouTube
Martin Bürger Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

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

LEXINGTON, Kentucky, September 16, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Bishop John Stowe suggested last Thursday that the environment is the preeminent issues for Catholic voters to consider, not abortion. “They are both critical issues,” the pro-homosexual bishop of Lexington, Kentucky, admitted. “I think an argument could be made that … creation is the preeminent issue, because without the environment to sustain human life, you can’t have human life.”

The bishop of Lexington, Kentucky, made his remarks during a webinar hosted by Catholic Climate Covenant.

“We have to look at what office are we voting people into – what office are we electing for and what is their role in that office,” Stowe continued. “We’ve seen what the current President can do by withdrawing from an international treaty about protecting the environment, and the effect that that has had immediately.”

On the other hand, the bishop said, “We have unfortunately lived with abortion as interpreted as a right since 1973. After many administrations of both parties, that hasn’t changed, so when we look at just the immediacy and the role of office and what effect they have, I think that can weigh in on that decision.”

Stowe also criticized the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) for its document “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” which included language qualifying abortion as the “preeminent priority” for voters to be concerned about.

“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,” the bishops wrote.

In another place, they added, “In our nation, ‘abortion and euthanasia have become preeminent threats to human dignity because they directly attack life itself, the most fundamental human good and the condition for all others.’”

“I voted against the inclusion of that language,” said Stowe, arguing it was confusing terminology.

“I do understand the logic of it being preeminent,” he conceded, “because without the right to life the other human rights don’t come into existence. So I do understand it on one level, but unfortunately it gives people the permission to think it’s the only one that matters, and I don’t think that was the intention of the document.”

“It goes against other parts of the document that tell us not to be single issue voters, so if we do take that web of life kind of spirituality, we see the interconnectedness of all these issues,” Stowe pointed out. “Pope Francis has done a great job of leading us towards that. I think the unnecessary inclusion of that word took a step backward.”

The USCCB’s document itself indeed asked Catholics to focus not simply on one issue. However, it qualified that any candidate’s “position on a single issue is not sufficient to guarantee a voter’s support. Yet if a candidate’s position on a single issue promotes an intrinsically evil act, such as legal abortion, redefining marriage in a way that denies its essential meaning, or racist behavior, a voter may legitimately disqualify a candidate from receiving support.”

For faithful Catholics, a politician’s position on abortion and other life issues, including euthanasia, is of key importance.

Pope Benedict XVI, in 2006, identified three “principles which are not negotiable” in politics.

He first mentioned the “protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death.”

Also, he referenced the “recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family – as a union between a man and a woman based on marriage – and its defense from attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different forms of union which in reality harm it and contribute to its destabilization, obscuring its particular character and its irreplaceable social role.”

Finally, the Pope emeritus listed “the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.”

In July, Bishop Stowe had discredited President Trump as not really being pro-life.

“For this President to call himself pro-life, and for anybody to back him because of claims of being pro-life, is almost willful ignorance,” he said. “He is so much anti-life because he is only concerned about himself, and he gives us every, every, every indication of that.”

“Yes, we have to be concerned for the unborn children,” the bishop said at the time. “It’s foundational for us, but it’s all connected,” and “our understanding of pro-life has to be the vision that was described as the seamless garment vision.”

The term “seamless garment” refers to a theory first spelled out by the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin. According to that theory, intrinsic evils like abortion are essentially morally equivalent to societal ills like poverty.

“Pope Francis has given us a great definition of what pro-life means,” Bishop Stowe said. “He basically tells us we can’t claim to be pro-life if we support the separation of children from their parents at the U.S. border, if we support exposing people at the border to COVID-19 because of the facilities that they’re in, if we support denying people who have need to adequate health care access to that health care, if we keep people from getting the housing or the education that they need, we cannot call ourselves pro-life.”

Bishop Stowe also used the July webinar to once again express his support for homosexuality and gender ideology, explicitly saying, “Our understanding of family has to change.”

“We have to be in a different understanding of family, and that’s where the LGBT issues come into play,” he said. “I agree completely with (another webinar participant) that our credibility is on the line with the whole generation, and more, of young people who just don’t buy that teaching, and know from their experience, and know from the people that they know, that there are good and loving people that happen to identify as LGBT, and that’s part of who they are.”


  abortion, benedict xvi, catholic, catholic climate covenant, catholic vote, diocese of lexington, donald trump, euthanasia, faithful citizenship, homosexuality, joe biden, john stowe, pope francis, pro-lgbt, pro-life, seamless garment, united states conference of catholic bishops

News

COVID-19 deaths plummet to zero for the first time since spring in Canada

In addition to no fatalities reported from coronavirus, hospitalizations have flat-lined.
Wed Sep 16, 2020 - 6:49 pm EST
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Anthony Murdoch
By Anthony Murdoch

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

OTTAWA, September 16, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – According to federal public health agency data, Canada reported zero deaths attributed to the coronavirus in a 24-hour period for the first time in six months. 

On September 11, Canada reported 9,163 deaths related to COVID-19, which was the same amount reported September 10. On the same day, there were 135,626 total positive cases overall, with most of these cases, more than 121,000, marked as recoveries.

The report of zero coronavirus deaths came this past Friday and caught the attention of Concerned Ontario Doctors, a grassroots nonprofit organization advocating for healthcare issues affecting frontline doctors.  

The group took to Twitter to bring attention to the fact that deaths and hospital admissions, including those admitted to the ICU, have flat-lined nationwide, despite an apparent rise in cases.

“September 11, 2020: Day 178 of harmful lockdown that started as ‘2 weeks to flatten the curve’ 0 deaths reported in all of Canada popn: 37,971,020) 66,764 additional tests to confirm 702 additional cases (1.05%) 1.8 active cases per 10,000 ppl in Canada #EndLockdown #ReturnToNormal,” wrote the group in a September 12 tweet. 

As of today, Canada has 9,188 deaths attributed to the virus since the nation's first death was reported on March 9.

Data also show that while positive COVID-19 cases have risen in the past few weeks, hospitalization rates, including ICU admissions, as well as deaths, have remained low. 

This is especially the case in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, which make up the vast majority of both COVID-19 deaths and cases in Canada. 

As of today, Ontario reported 44 people in hospital because of COVID-19 and 20 of them in ICU, including 12 on ventilators. Quebec statistics indicate 120 people are in hospital due to the virus. 

Dr. Kulvinder Gill, president and co-founder of Concerned Ontario Doctors, has been a critical opponent of the lockdown measures and the need for a vaccine. 

She recently said the “smears against Hydroxychloroquine” as an effective treatment for COVID-19 need to stop. She also came under fire for saying on social media that a COVID-19 vaccine is not necessary and that extended lockdowns do not accomplish anything. 

In response to the report of no new deaths, Gill took to social media to voice her opinions, which included highlighting herd immunity as an effective strategy in fighting the virus.

“US & UK media finally reporting what we've known for months from published peer-reviewed research by leading scientists: pre-existing cross-protective Tcell immunity & strong Tcell responses bode well for long-term #SARSCoV2 immunity, and #HerdImmunity may already be at hand,” Gill wrote on Twitter

Dr. Harvey Risch, an epidemiologist at Yale School of Public Health, told LifeSiteNews that Canada “should not replicate the Israeli experience” in terms of what Israel did to combat the coronavirus.

“The original (Israeli) lockdown achieved about no new cases for two weeks and yet a massive second wave occurred when the lockdown reopened because there was no understanding of the reservoir of asymptomatic infected people in the population,” Risch told LifeSiteNews.

Risch also told LifeSiteNews that the only “solution” to COVID-19 is herd immunity, which is what Dr. Gill has advocated for, and that lockdowns “postpone the inevitable.” 

“The only solution to this is the development of herd immunity.  That will start to show when 40-50 percent of people have become immune,” Risch told LifeSiteNews.

“Given that the pandemic will continue no matter how, lockdowns just postpone the inevitable, the only way to manage this is to protect people at medium or high risk. Those individuals can either remain completely isolated while everyone else resumes normal life, or have rapid outpatient treatment available in case they need it. That rapid outpatient treatment is of course hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin, plus zinc, plus azithromycin or doxycycline, plus vitamin D.”

Risch has praised hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) as an effective treatment in combating the effects of COVID-19. He recently said that opponents to HCQ have no science to back up their opposition to the drug, which has been approved for use for decades to combat Malaria. 

Risch said of HCQ to LifeSiteNews, “A population can politicize these drugs and go kaput, or it can make use of them and survive. That's the choice.” 

Ontario Premier Doug Ford, who himself has been a vocal opponent of those opposing the lockdown measures put in place in Ontario, has been critical of rising cases and recently threatened to bring in a rash of new lockdowns should numbers continue to rise.

“We will take every step necessary including further shutdowns,” Ford said earlier in the week.

Ford has also been critical of how the Trump administration has handled the coronavirus crisis in the United States. 

In July, he told reporters that the United States has “been reckless. They moved forward too quickly,” in a jab clearly directed at Trump and governors of states such as Texas and Florida, who have reopened their states to near-normal conditions.  

Despite the criticism of the United States and its case counts and death rates, a recent opinion piece published on LifeSiteNews by Robert L. Kinney III suggests that the U.S. death toll related to COVID-19 may have been exaggerated by over “100,000.” 

Today, Dr. Gill blasted politicians on Twitter for saying they are looking into imposing new restrictions. 

“Why are politicians, who’ve secretly broken their own lockdowns & arbitrary restrictions w/out consequence, the very ones to demand/impose more illogical, unethical & unscientific lockdowns/restrictions on citizens? Their blatant hypocrisy/disregard for our liberties is appalling,” Gill wrote on Twitter

Contact information:

Office of Ontario Premier Doug Ford

Room 281

Legislative Building, Queen's Park

Toronto, ON M7A 1A1

Tel.416-325-1941

Fax.416-325-3745

[email protected]

Website contact form: https://correspondence.premier.gov.on.ca/EN/feedback/default.aspx

Ontario MPP Contact information page

https://www.ola.org/en/members/current/contact-information


  canada, concerned ontario doctors, coronavirus, covid-19 deaths, doug ford, hydroxychloroquine, justin trudeau, kulvinder gill, lockdowns, twitter

News

US election authority insists churches can endorse political candidates

The chairman of the Federal Election Commission said non-profits, including churches and religious leaders, 'can absolutely engage' in political speech.
Wed Sep 16, 2020 - 6:28 pm EST
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Olivier Douliery - Pool / Getty Images
Martin Bürger Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

DETROIT, Michigan, September 16, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Trey Traynor, chairman of the Federal Election Commission, has reaffirmed that non-profits, including churches and religious leaders, “can absolutely engage” in political speech, like endorsing candidates and hosting them on church property.

Traynor referred to a little-known executive order signed by President Donald Trump on May 4, 2017, less than four months into his presidency.

“All executive departments and agencies ... shall, to the greatest extent practicable and to the extent permitted by law, respect and protect the freedom of persons and organizations to engage in religious and political speech,” Trump wrote at the time.

“In particular, the Secretary of the Treasury shall ensure, to the extent permitted by law, that the Department of the Treasury does not take any adverse action against any individual, house of worship, or other religious organization on the basis that such individual or organization speaks or has spoken about moral or political issues from a religious perspective.”

Trump specifically mentioned “the imposition of any tax or tax penalty,” as well as “the delay or denial of tax-exempt status; the disallowance of tax deductions for contributions made to entities exempted from taxation under section 501(c)(3) of title 26, United States Code; or any other action that makes unavailable or denies any tax deduction, exemption, credit, or benefit,” as going against his executive order.

Ryan T. Anderson, William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow in American Principles & Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation, at the time criticized the executive order as being “rather weak.”

“All it includes is general language about the importance of religious liberty, saying the executive branch ‘will honor and enforce’ existing laws and instructing the Department of Justice to ‘issue guidance’ on existing law; directives to the Department of the Treasury to be lenient in the enforcement of the Johnson Amendment; and directives to the secretaries of the Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (HHS) to ‘consider issuing amended regulations’ to ‘address conscience-based objections’ to the HHS contraception mandate,” he summarized.

“But the federal government should be honoring and enforcing our religious liberty laws anyway, legislation is required to actually address the Johnson Amendment — which isn’t the prime priority on religious liberty — and the Supreme Court has already unanimously instructed the federal government to resolve the case of Little Sisters of the Poor and other HHS mandate cases,” Anderson commented.

The Johnson Amendment, named after then-senator Lyndon B. Johnson, who was to become president a few years later, prohibits all 501(c)(3) non-profits from endorsing or opposing political candidates.

According to Traynor’s understanding, and contrary to Anderson’s interpretation, Trump’s executive order essentially made the Johnson Amendment unenforceable.

However, Traynor suggested that even if the executive order didn’t exist, “the American public would not tolerate the prosecution of either political candidates or a church for having a candidate show up. I think the First Amendment clearly protects that. It protects the church as an organization, regardless of its religious affiliation. It protects it as an organization of people getting together to hear from a candidate.”

“While in past cases it’s probably selective prosecution, I think ultimately it really is just the sense that the American people are not going to tolerate churches being prosecuted for having political candidates come in and talk about the issues of the day,” he continued in his interview with Michael Voris of Church Militant.

Even though bishops will be protected from “adverse action” if they speak out on political candidates, most of them refrain from doing so.

“The bishops are using their non-profit status as a shield to hide behind from having to make a decision about who to support, and to come out publicly and put meat on the bones,” Traynor explained. “They say we should have an informed conscience when we go vote. But they never really take that next step and say, ‘Here’s who meets the criteria. Once you’ve formed your conscience and you know what the position of the Church is on the issues, here are the candidates that really meet those guidelines.’”

He added, “To look at the amount of money that the Church received from the government for social services, I would say that they have a big fear of maybe provoking the government into pulling money away from activities that the Church is involved in. I think it all ultimately comes down to that.”


  2020 presidential election, donald trump, federal election commission fec, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, joe biden

News

Facebook shuts down anti-Biden ad criticizing boys playing in girls’ sports

The American Principles Project said its ad was initially marked by Facebook for 'missing context' as the result of a report from the putative fact-checker PolitiFact.
Wed Sep 16, 2020 - 5:54 pm EST
Featured Image
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
Anthony Murdoch
By Anthony Murdoch

September 16, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Facebook has removed an online ad from the conservative American Principles Project (APP) that calls out former vice president Joe Biden and the Democratic party for supporting policies that threaten women’s sports after PolitiFact published a review critical of the ad.

“Today, it has become clear that the greatest threat to free and fair American elections is not Russia or some other nefarious foreign actor; it is America’s own Big Tech conglomerates — Facebook chief among them,” said APP executive director Terry Schilling in a news release.

“It would be understandable, though still very troubling, if Facebook removed an ad for being ‘fact-checked’ as false. However, our ad has not been found false by any fact-checker, nor could it be.”

The APP said that its ad was initially marked by Facebook for “missing context” as a result of the PolitiFact report.

The banned ad urges Michiganders to vote against Biden and Sen. Gary Peters for supporting the Equality Act, noting the effect that legislation would have on girls’ sports by forcing them to play against gender-confused boys, who still have the strength advantage of their respective sex.

“All female athletes want is a fair shot at competition, at a scholarship, at a title, at victory,” says the narrator in the banned ad.

“But what if that shot was taken away by a competitor who claims to be a girl but was born a boy? Senator Gary Peters and Joe Biden support legislation that would destroy girls’ sports. They call it equality. Really? That’s not fair. Not fair at all.”

The “Equality Act” has the support of Biden, and Peters is one of its cosponsors. The act would impose on both public and private entities that they acknowledge and help out individuals who say they are the opposite of their birth sex.

In another news release sent out yesterday, after their ad was marked by Facebook, Schilling said the APP ad campaign makes a simple claim.

“Policies supported by Joe Biden, Sen. Gary Peters and other Democrats would destroy girls’ sports. There is ample evidence for this claim and more coming in every day. Nothing in the PolitiFact review shows this claim to be false,” said Schilling.

The banned APP ad is part of a $4-million digital ad campaign launched in early September to bring to attention the “radicalism” of the Democrat presidential ticket.

In the APP news release, Schilling said Facebook’s actions are a “frightening trend of Big Tech censorship, particularly of conservative ideas.”

“If our nation’s cherished First Amendment protection of free speech and expression is to meaningfully survive in the years to come, then Silicon Valley must change and quickly,” added Schilling.

The APP says it is appealing Facebook’s decision to ban the ad.


  2020 presidential election, american principles project, big tech, censorship, facebook, joe biden

News

Scientist who fled China: Chinese Communists ‘intentionally’ released ‘Frankenstein’ COVID-19

Chinese virologist Dr. Li-Meng Yan, who defected to US, told Tucker Carlson that the virus is man-made and was deliberately released to ‘make...damage’
Wed Sep 16, 2020 - 5:09 pm EST
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Chinese virologist Dr. Li-Meng Yan on Tucker Carlson's show, Sept. 16, 2020. Fox News / Youtube
Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne
By Lianne Laurence

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

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 16, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A Chinese scientist in hiding in the United States told Tucker Carlson that COVID-19 was created in a lab and that the China’s Communist government released the “Frankenstein” virus “intentionally” to “make such harm.”

Dr. Li-Meng Yan also alleged in her bombshell interview with the Fox News host that the international scientific community is aware that the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus is man-made, but doesn’t want this known.

A medical doctor and virologist, Yan said that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will take steps to see that those who tell the truth, as she is doing, will be “suppressed” or made “to disappear.”

Yan’s Twitter account, which had 60,000 followers, was suspended after only two days and three tweets, and just 48 hours after she and two colleagues released a report stating the SARS-CoV-2 virus was man-made.

Yan, who fled Hong Kong for the United States in April, was among the first scientists in the world to study the novel coronavirus. 

“This is created in the lab, this is from, technically owned by China military and also it is spread to the world to make such damage,” she told Carlson.

“Do you believe the Chinese government released this intentionally, on purpose?” Carlson asked.

“Yes, of course it’s intentionally,” she said. 

The 36-year-old scientist said more information will be released soon, but that she based her allegations on what she discovered as a virologist at the World Health Organization reference lab at the University of Hong Kong.

“I work[ed] in the WHO reference lab, which is the top coronavirus lab in the world, in the University of Hong Kong. And the thing is I get deeply into such investigation in secret from the early beginning of this outbreak. I had my intelligence because I also get my own unit network in China, involved [in] the hospital ... also I work with the top corona[virus] virologists in the world," she said, as reported by Fox News.

Yan earlier told a visibly startled Carlson that she has “solid scientific evidence” that the virus “actually is not from nature, it is a man-made virus created in the lab.”

The “Chinese military discovered and owned the very unique bat coronavirus which cannot affect people, but after the modification becomes the very harmful virus as now,” she said. 

“I have evidence to show why they can do it, what they have done, how did they do it.”

A virus genome is “like our fingerprint,” and the unusual features of the SARS-CoV-2 genome show clearly that it comes “from their own special bat coronavirus and it then targets humans,” she explained.

She described the SARS-CoV-2 genome as a “Frankenstein,” and likened it to “a cow [that] has deer’s head, has rabbit’s ears, and also has monkey’s hands, so they can never get it from nature.”

“What you’re alleging is shocking even more than I anticipated when we invited you on,” Carlson said. 

If this virus genome is “in the possession of many researchers around the world, why is nobody saying this if it is true?” he asked.

“It’s because of the big suppression coming from the Chinese Communist Party government and their friends in the scientific world,” Dr. Yan said.

“The scientific world also keeps silent, works together with Chinese Communist Party, they don’t want people to know this truth,” she said.

“That’s also why I get suspended, I get suppression, I am the target that [the] Chinese Communist Party wants to be disappeared,” Yan added.

“Why would the Chinese government intentionally create a virus like this?” Carlson said.

Ask the Chinese Communist Party, Yan replied.

“We cannot always understand their evil thinking. You have to come to ask them.”

Evidence supporting her allegation includes Beijing’s attempt to cover up the spread of the virus, “making the fabricated virus,” its censorship of information about the virus, and “also clearly to try to make people like me who talk about the truth get disappeared,” Yan said.

“Everyone needs to know the truth,” she added. 

Yan told China expert and LifeSite contributor Steven Mosher in an earlier interview that the virus escaping the “high containment” Wuhan lab 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.” 

However, she 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, he wrote.

Regarding her statement to Carlson that the virus was released “intentionally,” Yan “may have been referring to the well-established fact that the CCP intentionally spread the China Virus throughout the world by allowing flights to continue to leave Wuhan for weeks after they knew they had an epidemic brewing there. That was clearly an intentional release,” Mosher told LifeSiteNews.

“Whether or not the CCP intentionally released it from the lab itself on its own population is a point that she is agnostic about,” he said.

Since Yan began speaking out a month ago, she has been fired from the University of Hong Kong, which dismissed her findings, her husband has distanced himself from her, and her parents have publicly called her a “traitor,” she told Mosher.

“I do this because I am a scientist and I know the truth and I want to tell it to the world,” Yan said then.  

“But if they find me, they will kill me.”

Yan’s short-lived Twitter account remains suspended at this time, leading one Twitter user to question “what are they trying to hide?”

Meanwhile, a clip of Yan’s interview on Tucker Carlson Tonight Facebook has been covered with a notice labeling it “False Information.”

“Facebook is working hard to make sure you’re unable to see our latest post regarding a coronavirus whistleblower,” the show responded in a later post.

“They don’t want you sharing the video, and they are limiting the number of people who can view it. This is censorship, and we will be addressing it on our show tonight at 8pm ET on Fox News.”

Related:

Chinese scientist who defected to US: COVID-19 not from nature but created in lab


  chinese communist party, coronavirus, covid-19, li-meng yan, tucker carlson

News

‘Women for Trump’ board member: The left is ‘afraid’ of Roe v. Wade being overturned

Danielle D'Souza Gill is the author of the new book 'The Choice: The Abortion Divide in America.'
Wed Sep 16, 2020 - 4:51 pm EST
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LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

September 16, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Danielle D’Souza Gill is the youngest board member of Women for Trump. She’s also a graduate of Dartmouth College and the author of a new book titled “The Choice: The Abortion Divide in America.”

D’Souza Gill says she wasn’t exactly sure when she became pro-life, and that she was never pro-abortion, but that “over time...seeing the facts, seeing the ultrasound and heartbeat…all of the things that we've kind of seen with abortion really confirmed the fact that we need to protect human life.”

D’Souza Gill told Jonathan Van Maren on his podcast today that she’s been hitting the campaign trail for President Trump and talking to people from all different backgrounds about his pro-life accomplishments.

“The left [is] worried about the potential overturning of Roe…they’re afraid that if Trump gets another four years in office, then they could really see a reality of the overturning of Roe v. Wade.”

D’Souza Gill argued that “most Americans today don't even support late-term abortion” and that Democrats are out of step with the rest of the country.

Van Maren also asked her what she wanted to accomplish in writing her book. 

“I want my readers to understand..we can be on the attack. We have very convincing arguments, pro-life arguments, and I want them to know how can they debunk the most common pro-choice myths.”

One of those myths, D’Souza Gill said, is the idea that being pro-life means imposing your private views on someone else.

“There's really no such thing as being personally opposed to abortion and not imposing your views on someone else, you know? Just by taking the position, you are imposing your views on someone else and someone else is going to bear the consequences of that.”

D’Souza Gill said she encourages voters to think about their convictions when going to the polls this November.

“Think about what are your convictions? What are your morals and values?…Who do you think is the candidate that aligns with that?… President Trump has been one of our most pro-life presidents.”

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  abortion, jonathon van maren, pro-life, roe v. wade, women for trump

News

‘All this can be avoided if people don’t protest’: Politician after police stomp on man’s head

The man who was rammed by the police car and then subjected to a violent kick in the head has been placed in a medically induced coma. His family says they will pursue legal action against Melbourne police.
Wed Sep 16, 2020 - 4:38 pm EST
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Daniel Andrews Daniel Pockett / Getty Images
Paul Smeaton Paul Smeaton Follow Paul
By Paul Smeaton

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

VICTORIA, Australia, September 16, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The senior politician in the Australian state Victoria has said that “all this can be avoided if people don't protest” coronavirus restrictions in response to questions about video of police first knocking down a mentally ill man with their vehicle and subsequently stomping on his head. An official police statement described the stomp as “inappropriate use of force” and the “use of force in using a police vehicle” as “concerning.”

Footage of the incident shows a police car ramming into the man, before one officer appears to stamp or forcefully kick his head while he is restrained on the ground by six other officers. The arrest is not believed to be linked with the man breaking coronavirus restrictions. Police alleged that the man had become aggressive, resisted arrest, and damaged a patrol car.

Nevertheless, when State Premier Daniel Andrews was asked during a press conference what he made of a number of recent incidents involving Victoria Police – including the now widely viewed footage of the man being kicked in the head by police officers – and if he was worried that such incidents might affect public trust in police, Andrews drew a link with people protesting the coronavirus restrictions.

“I think I’m safe to make the following comment,” Andrews said, “much of this, sorry, all of it can be avoided if people don't protest. That’s the first thing, because protesting is not only selfish but it’s stupid.”

Andrews has since said that the incident should be “properly investigated” and that he doesn’t think it “speaks to [Victoria Police] culture.” The officer considered “most involved” in the incident has reportedly been suspended from duty.

The Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Neil Paterson has issued a statement on the incident, saying that it was an “inappropriate use of force by a police member with regard to the kick or the stomp to the head of the man involved in that incident.”

“I’ve also formed the view that the use of force in using a police vehicle with the man involved in that incident is concerning,” Paterson said. 

The man’s father, Glen, told the 3AW news station that his son was “rammed by the police car” and that he had not been aggressive to the police. Glen said that his son has bipolar disorder and that he had left the hospital on Sunday while waiting for an appointment. He said his son left because the hospital had no bed available for him while he waited a day and a half to see a doctor. Glen claims that the hospital called the police solely out of concern for his son’s own safety and that his son was not a danger to anyone else.

Glen told radio host Neil Mitchell that his son had been subsequently placed in an induced coma by medics in order for them to conduct a CT scan. He said that the family would be launching legal action against the police. 

“I couldn’t sleep last night, I was so upset,” he said.

Sky News Australia host Paul Murray described the incident as “horrific.” Murray described the incident as “one of those moments where police have gone too far in Victoria.”

“But this wasn’t about coronavirus restrictions,” Murray noted. 

“This was apparently about a bloke who had escaped from a public hospital. A person who apparently had mental health issues. He was knocked down by the police car. If this was a person of color there would be rages in the street,” he continued.

Murray said it was “disgusting” that although the incident happened on Sunday, on Monday none of the other officers involved had raised any concerns. 

“Nothing happened on Monday,” he said. “It was only after the footage had been made public that formal complaints had been raised and they weren’t raised by anyone but those responding to the footage that was out there.” 

In recent weeks Victoria Police have been gaining worldwide attention for their heavy-handed treatment of those not complying with lockdown restrictions. Videos which have gone “viral” online on social media in recent weeks include Victoria Police arresting a pregnant woman in her own home for the “crime” of promoting an anti-lockdown event; Victoria Police smashing the door down of a man’s home and arresting him for allegedly promoting anti-lockdown events online; and a video which shows a young woman being forced to the ground by a large, male police officer for the “crime” of not wearing a mask in public.

This past weekend, according to reports in Australian media, almost 200 people were fined and 74 arrested at events protesting the Victoria coronavirus restrictions, with multiple videos of dramatic arrests posted online.

Victoria currently has one of the strictest coronavirus lockdowns anywhere in the world, with daily curfews and mandatory mask wearing in public. People are severely restricted in where they can go and what they can do.

Thirteen top Australian doctors recently urged Premier Dan Andrews to end what they denounced as an “unjustifiable” state of emergency. 

Last month Victoria police chief commissioner Shane Patton was unapologetic as he explained that police had in some instances been smashing car windows due to people inside the cars not cooperating with police or following the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The Victoria Police have received further recent media attention due to a Royal Commission investigation into the Management of Public Informants which has identified 124 criminal convictions in Victoria as “tainted” due to the police using evidence given to them by barrister Nicola Gobbo about her own clients. Victoria Police have issued an apology and admitted that they were “profoundly wrong” to allow Gobbo to inform on her own clients.


  australia, coronavirus, daniel andrews, lockdowns, melbourne, victoria, australia

News

Catholic school trustee still under attack by LGBTQ activists despite being cleared by board

Mike Del Grande is under attack for opposing gender identity in Catholic schools. He was cleared last month of complaints that he violated the trustee code of conduct in his defence of Church teaching.
Wed Sep 16, 2020 - 4:26 pm EST
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Mike Del Grande, a trustee of the Toronto Catholic District School Board. Lianne Laurence / LifeSiteNews
Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne
By Lianne Laurence

PETITION: Stand with priest who faces Church penalties for saying "You can't be a Catholic and a Democrat."! Sign the petition here.

TORONTO, September 16, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A Catholic school trustee under attack for opposing gender identity in Catholic schools was cleared last month of complaints that he violated the trustee code of conduct in his defence of Church teaching.

But despite Michael Del Grande’s vindication, pro-LGBTQ activists continue to lobby the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) to censure or remove him.

One of the beleaguered trustee’s most vocal opponents is Catholic teacher Paolo De Buono, whose Twitter account reveals non-stop blatant efforts to push the transgender and homosexual agenda within the TCDSB – including with his Grade 5 and 6 students at Toronto’s St. James Elementary School.

Last Friday, De Buono tweeted his interview with CityNews in which he announced he has asked Ontario’s minister of education to investigate the TCDSB for “systemic homophobia” for not censuring Del Grande.

Del Grande sparked a controversy last winter in the last round of the board’s months-long bitter debate over amending its code of conduct for teachers and students to include “family and marital status” and “gender identity and gender expression” as prohibited grounds of discrimination.

On November 7, he tabled a “reductio ad absurdum” motion he later described as “hyperbolic” that was meant to underscore the consequences of passing the amendment. 

The motion, which was ultimately ruled out of order, asked the board to refer the matter to committee to study whether it should add other aberrant sexual behaviors, such as pedophilia or bestiality, as protected categories under the code along with gender identity and expression, behaviors which are incompatible with Catholic Church teaching on God's plan for human sexuality.

Del Grande vilified by LGBTQ lobby

Del Grande, who has a Masters in theological studies and a teaching degree, was twice chair of the TCDSB, and budget chief for Toronto under the late Mayor Rob Ford, was instantly pilloried in the media and by LGBTQ activists. 

Then-director Rory McGuckin and chair Joe Martino released a statement distancing the board from Del Grande’s comments, as did the Ontario of Catholic School Trustees Association. 

The board received complaints alleging Del Grande violated the trustee code of conduct by tabling the motion, and parent activist Nicole Richard launched a change.org petition calling for his resignation.

In an update Monday she referred to De Buono’s CityNews interview and request to the ministry for “oversight” and declared: “We will be watching closely and will send out an update once a response has been issued.”

Richard also launched a petition in the fall of 2019 asking the TCDSB “to protect our LGBTQ youth” by amending its code of conduct.

The petition was promoted on Twitter by then TCDSB chair Maria Rizzo, who spearheaded the campaign for the change.

Rizzo and her “sycophants” targeting Del Grande

Moreover, Rizzo and those trustees who are her “sycophants” and “puppets” continue to wage war against Del Grande, according to Joe Volpe, a cabinet minister in Paul Martin’s Liberal government and editor of online Italian-English newsmagazine Corriere Canadese.

Volpe, who reports extensively on the TCDSB, identifies the trustees most securely in Rizzo’s orbit as Markus de Domenico, Norm Di Pasquale, Ida Li Preti, and more recently, Daniel Di Giorgio.

“Michael Del Grande – incidentally, not a personal friend of mine – has become the target of their venom. Their tactics cannot be described as anything less than intended to poison his reputation,” Volpe told LifeSiteNews in an email.

“They behave as a group which is anxious to feed off anyone they have deemed vulnerable. ‘Mainstream Media’, prone, as it seems to be, to anti-Catholicism is a willing and ready tool.”

Jack Fonseca, director of political operations for Campaign Life Coalition, Canada’s national pro-life, pro-family lobbying group that awarded Del Grande last year for his stand, likewise blasted those targeting Del Grande. 

“This LGBT cabal inside and outside the TCDSB is attacking Mike because of his opposition to radical gender identity theory, which is a pure philosophical movement that is entirely irrational and unsupportable by science or medicine,” he told LifeSiteNews.

“They are not true Catholics. These are dissidents who spout heresy and try to use their fake identity as Catholics to confuse the faithful and most especially the youth in our schools,” added Fonseca.

“For the life of me, I do not understand why Cardinal Collins has not yet excommunicated de Buono and this Richard person… He needs to do something to protect the flock from these wolves.” 

Fonseca also dismissed the petitions against Del Grande because in his analysis, there were few signatories from Toronto or Ontario “and there’s almost nobody in Canada.”

“So it's really a fake petition ... to pretend, to show mass opposition to Mike Del Grande  where none actually exists,” he told LifeSiteNews.

Del Grande cleared of any violations but Rizzo not

The board’s obvious factions were clearly evident in the November 7 eight to four vote approving the amendment to the code.

Rizzo, de Domenico, Di Pasquale, Di Giorgio, Li Preti, Martino, Angela Kennedy, and Frank D’Amico voted for the change, while Del Grande, Teresa Lubinski, Garry Tanuan and Nancy Crawford voted against.

The same pattern emerged on August 20 when the board voted on complaints against Del Grande — but in this case, Kennedy voted in his favor.

Del Grande’s opponents thus fell short of the required majority they needed to find him guilty of violating the code.

Trustees also voted unanimously that night that Rizzo was guilty of conflict of interest. She is to be sanctioned by the board on September 17.

Despite this notable occurrence, there seems no end in sight of the campaign against Del Grande, and Fonseca is urging “all Catholics of good will” to rally behind him and trustees who supported him.

“Michael Del Grande is a giant of the faith. He is doing the job of the bishops and our spiritual leaders, stepping into the gap when they refuse to do so to defend fundamental moral teachings of the Catholic Church,” Fonseca told LifeSiteNews.

“We need to stand behind Mike. He needs to know that he has the backing of faithful Christians, and that we will not allow the evil anti-Catholic forces that are trying to destroy him to prevail.”

Antics of Rizzo et al threaten to destroy TCDSB: Volpe 

Teresa Pierre, president of parent advocacy group Parents as First Educators likewise urged Del Grande and the trustees backing him to stand firm.

“Trustee Del Grande is tireless in opposing gender ideology at the board, because the Catholic faith opposes gender ideology. Attacking Del Grande for opposing the addition of gender ideology terms to the Code of Conduct is nonsense,” Pierre told LifeSiteNews in an email.

“Trustees must hold the line firmly in defence of this trustee, who was only doing his job as steward of the faith.”

Volpe warns that the actions of Rizzo and her circle — some of whom, he suggests, are eying future political opportunities with the Ontario’s Liberal Party — could have the direst of consequences for the world’s largest publicly funded Catholic school board.

“In our humble opinion, the personal ambitions of that quintet, so closely tied to the Opposition at Queen’s Park, take second place to their fiduciary obligations as trustees of a Catholic School System,” he told LifeSiteNews.

“They ooze hypocrisy. From our point of view, this can only lead to the destruction of that system.”

Contact Del Grande and trustees who support him to express your support:

Nancy Crawford
Ward 12: Scarborough
Phone: 416-512-3412
Fax: 416-512-3214
E-Mail: [email protected]

Michael Del Grande
Ward 7: Scarborough/ North York
Phone: 416-512-3407
Fax: 416-512-3214
E-Mail: [email protected]

Angela Kennedy
Ward 11: East York/Toronto
Fax: 416-512-3214
E-Mail: [email protected]

Teresa Lubinski
Ward 4: Parkdale-High Park, Etobicoke-Lakeshore
Phone: 416-512-3404
Fax: 416-512-3214
E-Mail: [email protected]

Garry Tanuan
Ward 8: Scarborough
Phone: 416-512-3408
Fax: 416-512-3214
E-Mail: [email protected]

Related:

Toronto Cardinal under fire for approving ‘gender identity’ policy for Catholic schools

LGBT activist Catholic teacher brags about reading pro-gay, trans books to 5th, 6th graders

Toronto Star smears Catholic schools trustee with leaked allegation by pro-abortion student

WATCH: Toronto Catholic school board locks out priest, pro-family org trying to deliver petition


  canada, homosexuality, mike del grande, persecution, toronto catholic district school board

News

Pro-LGBT US cardinal: Catholics in ‘good conscience’ can vote for radical pro-abortion Biden

Cardinal Tobin’s de facto endorsement of Biden contradicts the country’s top pro-life priests who have warned that 'no Catholic can vote for Joe Biden'
Wed Sep 16, 2020 - 1:59 pm EST
Featured Image
Cardinal Joseph Tobin By Adsderrick
Martin Bürger Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

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

BOSTON, Massachusetts, September 16, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Joseph Tobin, who supports homosexuality, stated that Catholics in “good conscience” could vote for pro-abortion Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. Tobin’s de facto endorsement, where he mentioned Biden by name, contradicts the country’s top pro-life priests who have warned that “no Catholic can vote for Joe Biden” because of his radical abortion advocasy. 

The Archbishop of Newark, New Jersey went even further, stating that he has a “more difficult time” with the “other option,” not mentioning President Trump by name. 

The Cardinal made the comments during a webinar on “The Church and Catholic Voters in the 2020 Election.” The event was hosted yesterday by Boston College’s Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life.

Cardinal Tobin gained notoriety in 2018 for tweeting, “Nighty-night baby. I love you.” He later deleted the Tweet and claimed it was “meant as a private communication with one of my sisters.” Beyond that, Tobin lacks credibility among numerous faithful Catholics in the United States. Among other things, he backed homosexual activists, such as Fr. James Martin, and personally welcomed an “LGBT Pilgrimage” to his cathedral. His position is that the Church is “moving on the question of same-sex couples.”

Contradicting Cardinal Tobin, several members of the hierarchy have come out in recent weeks and months, indicating that Catholics cannot vote for pro-abortion candidates like Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, as well as the Democratic Party as a whole because of its pro-abortion platform.

Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, endorsed a video by Fr. James Altman in which he argued no Catholic could vote for the Democrat Party in the upcoming election.

“As the Bishop of Tyler I endorse Fr. Altman’s statement in this video,” the bishop wrote on Twitter. “My shame is that it has taken me so long. Thank you Fr Altman for your COURAGE. If you love Jesus & His Church & this nation...pleases (sic) HEED THIS MESSAGE.” 

Bishop Rick Stika of Knoxville, Tennessee, tweeted, “How can a person say they are a faithful Catholic and yet support those who support the ultimate child abuse and human rights violation of those yet born? Slavery was legal at one time and yet now we look at it with horror. A child yet born is not the property of another.”

“A child not yet born is a total human person that must be protected,” he affirmed. “This nation will continue to decline if abortion continues. Those who love life will never go away and will continue to fight. The cause is just as it is the promotion of the dignity of the human person.”

Fr. Frank Pavone, head of Priests for Life, said Biden’s “failure to protect the unborn puts him not only in conflict with the Catholic faith but with the Christian Gospel, the Founding principles of America, the very meaning of public service, and basic human decency. You can’t kill babies, and you can’t authorize anyone else to do so.”

Fr. Stephen Imbarrato, a regular on EWTN and a member of Red Rose Rescue, explained, “Many people respond to my comments with, ‘what about Trump?’ This is not about Trump. Trump isn’t even Catholic. This is a Catholic issue. A Catholic can’t vote for Biden whether they feel in good conscience they can or can’t vote for Trump.”

Pro-life groups have condemned Joe Biden and his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, as the “most pro-abortion presidential ticket in American history.”

As Pope Benedict explained in 2006, there are some “principles which are not negotiable” in the political arena. Among other things, the Holy Father mentioned the “protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death.”

According to Pope Benedict, this was not even a Catholic position, but one derived from natural law, “inscribed in human nature itself and therefore … common to all humanity.”

Both Biden and Harris have made clear that, instead of protecting life, they would make it easier for women to procure abortions, both within the United States and abroad.

Biden dedicated one section of his Agenda for Women to “Reproductive Health,” which is generally a reference to abortion. The former vice president under President Barack Obama said he “will work to codify Roe v. Wade, and his Justice Department will do everything in its power to stop the rash of state laws that so blatantly violate Roe v. Wade.”

Roe v. Wade is the 1973 Supreme Court ruling essentially legalizing abortion across the country under the guise of a woman’s right to privacy. Many states passed legislation trying to limit the widespread killing of unborn babies. Some legislation includes so-called heartbeat bills, which prohibit abortions as soon as the unborn baby’s heartbeat can be detected after roughly six weeks of pregnancy.

Joe Biden said he wanted to repeal the so-called Hyde Amendment by reissuing “guidance specifying that states cannot refuse Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood and other providers and reverse the Trump Administration’s rule preventing these organizations from obtaining Title X funds.”

Planned Parenthood provides more than 345,000 abortions annually, according to its most recent report. Additionally, the organization handed out more than 593,000 emergency contraception kits, commonly known as the morning-after pill, which can also cause abortions in many cases.

Biden’s plan would, accordingly, enable women to abort their babies using taxpayer money.

The Democratic presidential candidate, in his Agenda for Women, also vowed to rescind the Mexico City Policy requiring foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) not to “perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning” as a condition for receiving federal money.

First introduced under Republican President Ronald Reagan, it was rescinded by Democratic Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, while Republican Presidents George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump kept it in place or reinstated it.

President Trump, unlike Biden’s proposals, took numerous steps to protect life.

Most recently, the Trump administration began moving to further strengthen the Mexico City Policy by extending the existing ban to contracts with entities that provide foreign aid. Shortly after taking office in 2017, the President not only reinstated the Mexico City Policy, but took the additional step of expanding it.

The policy, officially known as Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance, 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.

Readers may contact the archdiocese of Newark here.


  2020 election, abortion, joe biden, joseph tobin, pro-abortion politicians

News

Trudeau Liberals quietly draft plan to regulate information on internet in Canada

Conservative politician Derek Sloan said that such plans have ‘no place in a Canada any of us would recognize.’
Wed Sep 16, 2020 - 11:58 am EST
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Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau. Pete Baklinski / LifeSiteNews
Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete
By Pete Baklinski

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

OTTAWA, September 16, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has drafted documents related to regulating the internet in Canada, a move critics say could have alarming implications for the country’s online free and independent press. And, at least for now, the government is keeping the plans away from public scrutiny.

Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault’s department told Blacklock’s Reporter on Monday that citizens interested in reading what the Reporter called a “confidential discussion paper detailing the regulations” must first spend money to obtain the file via an Access To Information request.

“The department has prepared a discussion paper to advance policy development,” said Daniel Savoie, a spokesman for the Department of Heritage.

“The Canadian Heritage discussion paper in question is an internal government document. It has not been shared publicly, including to any advocacy groups,” he added.

MP Derek Sloan, who recently lost his bid to become leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, tweeted his reaction to the government’s plan.

“Canada’s Heritage Minister has drafted a plan to regulate information on the internet. Appropriately, his document is secret. This has no place in a Canada any of us would recognize,” he stated.

Lawyer Jay Cameron, litigation manager for the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, told LifeSiteNews that whatever the intention of the government might be regarding regulating the internet, at the end of the day, free speech will suffer. 

“When the Federal Liberals announce with great fanfare that they are going to tackle ‘online hate,’ what they really mean is that they intend to censor legal speech they and their supporters disagree with. When you start asking questions what you quickly realize is that what the Federal Liberals mean by ‘online hate speech’ is really ‘speech online that they don't like’ and is disagreeable to their supporters because it departs from progressive orthodoxy,” Cameron said. 

“Canada already has a Criminal Code prohibition against hate speech, but it has rigorous defences built into it and prosecution requires consent from the Attorney General.  The Heritage Minister knows that the speech he wants to go after is legal and cannot be prosecuted under section 319 of the Criminal Code. So he wants to create a new tool to prevent speech that is otherwise legal,” he added.

Cameron said that in Canada, section 2(b) of the Charter protects the right of citizens to have their own thoughts and beliefs and to express them. “This includes ‘thoughts, beliefs and opinions’ the Heritage Minister does not like,” he said. 

“In other words, the reason Canadians have a Constitution in the first place is to protect them from authoritarian politicians like Stephen Guilbeault,” Cameron added. 

Guilbeault alarmed free speech advocates in February when he stated that the Trudeau government was considering forcing online news websites along with social media platforms to obtain a government license to operate in Canada. He later walked back the comments after widespread backlash, stating that the Liberal government has “no intention to impose licensing requirements on news organizations,” nor will it “regulate news content.”

A controversial Liberal government report titled “Canada's communications future: Time to act,” all the same recommended a media registry for news outlets in Canada.

That report, released in January, said Canadians “should have access to trusted, accurate, and reliable sources of news reflecting national, regional, and local perspectives from diverse sources and across all platforms.”

Martin Shields, a Conservative member of Parliament for Bow River, Alberta, told the Standing Committee of Canadian Heritage during a February meeting that parts of the report are opposed to current Canadian law.

“From the broadcast telecommunications report there are words in there: fair, reasonable, trusted, accurate, reliable (...) those words scare the hell out of me. They’re subjective, and they’re in that report in a number of places,” said Shields, “Those kind of subjective words don’t fit in the law. They’re not there.”

The Media Research Center (MRC), a media watchdog in the United States, told LifeSiteNews at that time that it was “terrifying” to see a government report calling for news websites and social media to obtain a government license to operate.

“Canada was one of the Allies that defeated fascism. Canadian soldiers fought for freedom and now the Canadian government seems eager to take that away,” said Media Research Center (MRC) culture vice president Dan Gainor. 

“Watching an ally, a neighbor and a friend talk about regulating the free press shows where the far left wants to take, not just Canada, but any nation they control,” he added.

Lisa D.S. Bildy, a lawyer for the Canada-based Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, told LifeSiteNews earlier this year that “any time a government gets involved in the regulation of the press, even if it's billed as protecting citizens from harm, there should be cause for concern.”

“A free and independent press is a cornerstone of democracy and liberty,” she said.

Contact information:

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault - Minister of Canadian Heritage
15 Eddy Street, 12th Floor
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0M5
Telephone: 819-997-7788
Email: [email protected]

MP Michelle Rempel Garner
Conservative shadow minister for industry and economic development
Suite 115, 70 Country Hills Landing NW 
Calgary, AB T3K 2L2 
Telephone: 403-216-7777 
Email: [email protected]

Justin Trudeau - Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2
Fax: 613-941-6900
[email protected] 
https://pm.gc.ca/en/connect/contact


  canada, canadian radio-television and telecommunications commission, derek sloan, free speech, freedom of the press, justin trudeau, media registry, steven guilbeault

News

Arkansas abortionist suspended, replaced by accused sexual predator

The emergency suspension order will be in force until a disciplinary hearing can be held.
Wed Sep 16, 2020 - 10:44 am EST
Featured Image
Abortionist Willie Parker.
Cheryl Sullenger
By Cheryl Sullenger

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas, September 16, 2020 (Operation Rescue) — An Arkansas abortionist, Thomas H. Tvedten, 74, has had his medical license suspended on an emergency basis after the Arkansas State Medical Board (ASMB) determined that his acts of “gross negligence and ignorant malpractice” on a minor girl posed a danger to the public.

In Tvedten’s emergency suspension document, the ASMB references his failure to properly evaluate and diagnose a minor girl, “TS”, when he “certified the child for a medical marijuana card.”

The emergency suspension order, dated August 13, 2020, will be in force until a disciplinary hearing can be held. That hearing is scheduled for October 1, 2020, at 10:30 a.m. at the Medical Board offices in Little Rock.

“It is very difficult to persuade a medical board to suspend an abortionist’s license on an emergency basis. The offense has to be considered egregious with the belief that further harm will come if the person is allowed to continue practicing medicine,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “But on a personal level, as a father, the fact Tvedten was helping a little girl get marijuana raises disturbing questions about why he wanted that child drugged.”

It is unknown if the minor was also one of Tvedten’s abortion patients. More information about the case is expected to become public after the October 1 hearing.

Tvedten, who is the owner of the Little Rock Family Planning abortion facility in Little Rock, Arkansas, has previously run afoul of the Medical Board in another drug-related violation. In 1983, Tvedten’s medical license was suspended for three months after he admitted “supplying patients with Demerol injections to be injected at the discretion of the patient.”

In 1987, Tvedten pleaded guilty to Criminal Mischief, a second-degree misdemeanor for unspecified criminal acts.

Tvedten is also a 9/11 conspiracy theorist who has published videos and operates a blog where he opines that the buildings that collapsed in New York during the September 11, 2001, attacks were brought down by controlled demolition.

Operation Rescue has documented 67 known medical emergencies at Tvedten’s Little Rock Family Planning that have required women to be transported by ambulance to local hospitals for serious abortion-related injuries.

Image

New Temporary Medical Director

Tvedten is also a plaintiff in a Federal lawsuit that is challenging the constitutionality of an Arkansas law that requires abortionists to be board-certified or eligible for board certification as Obstetrician/Gynecologists.

According to a motion recently fled in that suit, Little Rock Family Planning has two abortionists, Tvedten and Thomas Horton, that provide 94% of all abortions at that facility. Neither meet the Ob/Gyn requirement. Another abortionist, Fred Hopkins of California, conducts abortions once every other month at the Little Rock facility, but is unable to fill in for Tvedten due to scheduling issues.

The abortion facility instead has hired nationally-known abortionist Willie Parker to act as Medical Director and fulfill the ObGyn requirement on a temporary basis in order to keep the facility from closing.

As previously reported by Operation Rescue, Parker was once idolized by the left, but fell out of favor after a woman came forward and posted a blog about an unwanted sexual encounter with Parker and warnings about what she believed was his predatory sexual behavior.

After the allegations surfaced, several pro-abortion organizations distanced or cut ties with Parker, including the National Abortion Federation, Physicians for Reproductive Health, and the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.

Newman considers the abortion facility too dangerous to operate. He concluded, “Given the number of medical emergencies at Little Rock Family Planning, the inability to consistently meet regulations, and the seriousness of accusations involving sex abuse and drugs against its abortionists, it would be safer for the public to just shut that abortion business down.”

Published with permission from Operation Rescue.


  abortion, arkansas, operation rescue, thomas tvedten, willie parker

News

As censorship continues to worsen in 2020, LifeSite calls on readers to boldly defend truth

Big Tech is not relenting in its crackdown on truth. Your support is urgently needed!
Wed Sep 16, 2020 - 10:16 am EST
Featured Image
LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

September 16, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Let’s face it: our world is in fearful chaos. The elite-controlled mainstream media are using their platforms to confuse, discourage and divide us. With the continued attacks on life, family, freedom and faith truth can now ONLY be found via alternative news sources. 

This is where you come in.  

You have the power to sustain an unapologetically traditional news source that shines a light into darkness and expose truth. One that gives you, and tens of millions around the world, access to stories that would otherwise be ignored or distorted and that derail the lies the mainstream media wants you to believe.  

However, this news mission is completely dependent on the generosity of its readers. 

Our Fall fundraising campaign begins today. We must raise a minimum of $300,000 by October 2nd. That's what is needed to fuel this powerful, pro-life and pro-family alternative to all the other media who are merely pumping out what their globalist financial masters direct them to produce. 

Follow this link to make a secure, one-time donation of $500, $250, $100, $50, or even a monthly gift of $25 to help spread truth to millions: https://www.lifesitenews.com/donate 

Not only have we been fighting unprecedented censorship of our news reporting, our readers are telling us that their personal social media posts are also being censored - and this is only going to get worse as the year continues.  

The tech giants have publicly promised that they are going to do this! 

From the very beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, mainstream media and giant, monopolistic corporations like Facebook, Google and Twitter have been doing everything in their power to censor anyone and anything that contradicts their liberal agenda narrative.  

We are constantly looking for and developing new ways to get around the censorship and blocking of our reports. We have an incredibly talented team that is very creative in responding to these challenges. 

Today, you have an opportunity to help us. As you know, it takes a sustained effort to change culture; it must be done all year long – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  

A gift of $500, $250, $100, $50, or even a monthly gift of $25 or more will defeat lies and save lives. Follow this link right now to make a secure donation today: https://www.lifesitenews.com/donate 

A gift of financial support from you will help make reporting on major breaking news stories like these possible in the future: 

  • Christian churches in California who are not backing down despite government orders to prevent them from gathering to worship God; 
  • Rallying behind a priest who was unlawfully removed from his parish for speaking out against Black Lives Matter; 
  • Interviewing key players in the pro-life and pro-family movements about the censorship they’ve faced, and how censorship of conservatives must end.  

As you can see, the need is great and the stakes are high. Without a doubt, by the end of 2020 those who hold traditional values on life, family, faith and freedom will receive even more pushback when they speak out. Our bedrock Judeo-Christian values are being eroded left and right, and the moral fiber of our society is being pushed into rapid decline. 

Your donation will help change the narrative and take back these values for the good of our society.  

We will not back down and I hope that you will step out onto the frontlines of the battle and stand with us today in this epic crusade to defend what is left of Christian civilization. 

Perhaps you will consider raising your hand a little higher in your commitment to life-affirming journalism by joining our exclusive sustain life team with a monthly gift of $25 a month or more today.  

Do you believe in this work enough to join this team?  

If you say YES today to a monthly pledge, your recurring gift will be matched by a generous donor’s support, not only today, but every month through the end of the year. Doubling the amount of truth you share and the lives you will save.  

Follow this link to start a monthly gift today: give.lifesitenews.com/sustainlife  

We are a warriors for truth team. I hope you will stand with us on the Frontlines with a one-time or monthly gift today.  

Our society as we know it depends on our joint efforts. 


  2020 fall campaign, lifesite campaign, lifesite fundraiser

News

City in court for unequal treatment of pro-life group requesting colored lights on bridge

Through the 'Light the Bridge' program, the City invites community groups — except, apparently, pro-life ones — to request the bridge be lit in specific colors to reflect their causes.
Wed Sep 16, 2020 - 9:15 am EST
Featured Image
The High Level Bridge in Edmonton, Alberta. discostu55 / Shutterstock.com
LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

PETITION: Tell politicians not to discriminate against churches when reopening society! Sign the petition here.

EDMONTON, Alberta, September 16, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms will be in court on Thursday, September 17, on behalf of the Alberta March for Life Association (AMLA) to compel the City of Edmonton to turn over a list of causes and events that the High Level Bridge has been lit up for. The virtual hearing will take place at 2:00PM and is required for the Applicants to be permitted to provide the court with evidence and to obtain further evidence from the City.

In October 2020, the Justice Centre filed an application for judicial review on behalf of AMLA against the City of Edmonton, after the City abruptly cancelled a scheduled lighting of the High Level Bridge for the 2019 March for Life.

Operated by the City of Edmonton, the High Level Bridge is outfitted with 60,000 programmable lights, lit every day in the morning and evening. Through the “Light the Bridge” program, the City invites members of the public and community groups to request the Bridge be lit in specific colours to reflect their event, cause or campaign.

On March 6, 2019, Jerry Pasternak, Vice Chair of AMLA submitted an application to the City for the Bridge to be lit up on May 9, 2019 in the colours of pink, blue, and white, the colors of  the March for Life. AMLA’s bridge lighting application was approved by the City on March 7, 2019. However, on April 5, the City cancelled the scheduled lighting, claiming that “lighting the bridge for this event cannot be approved due to the polarizing nature of the subject matter.”

Judicial review is the only way a government decision can be legally challenged in Alberta. Typically, only the government is allowed to provide evidence. The party bringing the action requires special permission to enter evidence. In this case, the Justice Centre is requesting the court order the City to provide a list of past Bridge lightings, to demonstrate the Applicants’ claim the City acted in a biased manner when it cancelled the scheduled lighting for the March for Life. Although requested by the Applicants, the City has refused to produce such a list.

The Justice Centre is also asking the court to permit affidavit evidence as part of the judicial review. The Bridge is regularly lit in association with various political causes, some of which result in “polarization” among Edmonton residents. The Justice Centre has filed an affidavit containing evidence the City has lit the Bridge in association with Anthropogenic Climate Change events and campaigns, despite extensive evidence of the intensely “polarizing” nature of Climate Change.

second affidavit has been filed containing evidence of the many times the City permitted the Bridge to be lit for “political” events and commemorations, in breach of the City’s own policy regarding the lighting of the Bridge.

Under the Charter, the City cannot discriminate against the content of free expression in spaces it has opened up to the public for expressive purposes, such as the High Level Bridge. In deciding to cancel the lighting of the Bridge for the March for Life, exclusively because the organization expresses pro-life views, the City failed to explain how such expression is “polarizing”, or whether it is more “polarizing” than other causes, or how the City determines which organizations or issues are sufficiently “polarizing” to justify being denied the right to use a public space that is available to a long list of other causes.

“The City must not biasedly promote favoured ideological causes while excluding other causes by arbitrarily labelling them as “polarizing,” states Justice Centre lawyer James Kitchen.

“The Applicants are seeking to ensure the court has a full record of evidence in making a decision whether the City acted unlawfully in cancelling the lighting of the Bridge for the March for Life, including evidence of the City lighting the Bridge in violation of its own guidelines,” concludes Kitchen.


  abortion, courts, discrimination, edmonton, justice centre for constitutional freedoms, lawsuit

News

Fauci claims life after COVID-19 will return to normal only ‘towards the end of 2021’

Trump’s top COVID-19 advisor said most people won’t be vaccinated until late next year.
Wed Sep 16, 2020 - 8:49 am EST
Featured Image
Dr. Anthony Fauci Rob Carr / Getty Images
Martin Bürger Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

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

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 16, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Dr. Anthony Fauci said it could take as long as “towards the end of 2021” for life after COVID-19 to be back to normal. Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) and President Donald Trump’s top advisor during the coronavirus crisis.

“If you’re talking about getting back to a degree of normality which resembles where we were prior to COVID, it’s going to be well into 2021, maybe even towards the end of 2021,” he said on Friday during an interview with MSNBC.

Fauci was talking about a scenario where a COVID-19 vaccine was ready to go very by the end of the year, or at least early next year. He cautioned that “by the time you mobilize the distribution of the vaccine and get a majority or more of the population vaccinated and protected, that’s likely not going to happen until the end of 2021.”

The Trump campaign, meanwhile, wrote in an email that “anti-vaccine conspiracy theories” could lead “to more Americans dying from the coronavirus.”

President Donald Trump himself had said that the vaccine would be voluntary. At the same time, the campaign email stressed the safety of the potential vaccine.

“President Trump has moved mountains to produce a life-saving safe vaccine in record time,” the email stated. “Perhaps that scares Joe Biden, who botched the response to the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic so badly that his former chief of staff Ron Klain admitted it was only pure luck that it wasn’t ‘one of the great mass casualty events in American history.’”

The Trump campaign argued both Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris were being “reckless and wrong” for refusing to say they will take the vaccine.

Whereas people protesting the lockdowns, mask mandates, and mandatory vaccines, are in general more likely to vote for Trump, people supporting the Democrats tend to be more supportive of governments imposing vaccinations.

Now, however, given that Trump is making sure the vaccine is ready as soon as possible, Democrats have suddenly emerged as vaccine critics, questioning the safety of the product developed during the Trump administration. In turn, the president’s campaign is attacking Democrats from the left, saying they’re “reckless and wrong” in their refusal to support the distribution of a potential COVID-19 vaccine.

A large – and growing – number of Americans have said they would not get the vaccine.

“Fifty-one percent of U.S. adults now say in a Sept. 2-6 poll that they would get a COVID-19 vaccination if one became available, representing a decline of 21 percentage points over the past five months,” reported Morning Consult. “This includes double-digit decreases among men, women, Democrats, Republicans, independents, residents of urban, suburban and rural environments and respondents of all levels of education.”

A petition against mandatory vaccinations launched by LifeSite less than two months ago has garnered over 865,000 signatures and can still be signed HERE.

In addition to his comments about vaccines, Dr. Fauci also warned about a supposed greater risk of transmitting and contracting COVID-19 in the upcoming months. “Being indoors absolutely increases the risk,” he said. “I am concerned when I see things starting indoors, and that becomes more compelling when you move into fall and winter season.”

During a webinar last Friday, the head of NIAID criticized American citizens for not adequately changing their behavior during the lockdowns imposed by governments. “When you’re dealing with a situation that requires behavioral change, we in the United States have a significant issue that I’m very disappointed in,” he lamented.

Fauci warned young people, who are very unlikely to die from the coronavirus, not to forget “their societal responsibility to not propagate the outbreak because if they get infected, they’re likely going to infect someone else who then might infect someone who really is vulnerable and will have a serious severe consequence.”

Fauci’s expertise has been questioned during the course of the coronavirus crisis. Early on, he had advised against wearing a mask, only to change his position later and strongly recommend wearing face coverings.

“I don’t regret anything I said then because in the context of the time in which I said it, it was correct,” Fauci defended himself. “We were told in our task force meetings that we have a serious problem with the lack of PPEs and masks for the health providers who are putting themselves in harm’s way every day to take care of sick people.”

Fauci has also been criticized for suggesting in April that using hookup apps like Tinder to meet strangers for sexual encounters at the height of the lockdowns was simply a question of “relative risk.”

“If you’re willing to take a risk—and you know, everybody has their own tolerance for risks—you could figure out if you want to meet somebody,” he said. “And it depends on the level of the interaction that you want to have. If you’re looking for a friend, sit in a room and put a mask on, and you know, chat a bit. If you want to go a little bit more intimate, well, then that’s your choice regarding a risk.”

Only a couple of weeks earlier, Fauci had said, “I don’t think we should ever shake hands ever again, to be honest with you. Not only would it be good to prevent coronavirus disease, it probably would decrease instances of influenza dramatically in this country.”


  2020 u.s. election, anthony fauci, coronavirus, coronavirus vaccine, forced vaccination, vaccines

News

WATCH: Catholic priest blasts ‘new normal’ of COVID-19 regime as ‘evil’

'There’s nothing normal about it. It is not normal for human beings to be six feet apart from one another. It’s not normal for human beings to be covering their face when they try and talk to somebody.'
Wed Sep 16, 2020 - 8:45 am EST
Featured Image
edierdel / Shutterstock.com
Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne
By Lianne Laurence

CRYSTAL, Minnesota, September 16, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A well known Catholic priest denounced COVID-19 restrictions as “not human” and urged Americans to reject the so-called “new normal” of required masks and social distancing that deepen isolation and fear as “evil” and a diabolical deception.

“The new normal” is anything but, insisted Father Robert Altier, a well known homilist, author, member of the board of Catholic Parents Online, and host of the DVD series Beauty, Truth, Goodness: The fundamentals of Catholicism. His remarks came in a video-recorded homily posted on September 7 on the YouTube page of Complicit Clergy.

“There’s nothing normal about it. It is not normal for human beings to be six feet apart from one another. It’s not normal for human beings to be covering their face when they try and talk to somebody,” he said.

“It is not normal for us to be locking ourselves in the house for months at a time. It is not normal for us to be acting the way that we are because of what’s going on.”

In fact, Altier, the parish priest of St. Raphael’s in Crystal, Minnesota, characterized “the new normal” Americans are being asked to accept as diabolically inspired.

It “has nothing to do with God, and it has nothing to do with humanity. Well, that doesn’t leave a whole lot of options then, does it? Where do we think it’s really coming from?” he questioned.

“It is evil. Let’s be clear what it is. It is evil,” added Altier.

“Who is interested in causing division? Not God. Who is interested in violating your dignity as a human person? Not God. So the options are fairly limited as to where all this is coming from ultimately. It should be pretty blatant.”

Moreover, Fr. Altier insisted, mask and social distancing mandates cause people to be so fearful and isolated that they are reluctant to discuss any doubts they may have about these unprecedented measures or suspicions about who or what might be behind them.

Fr. Altier believes that this is all part of the plan.

“It’s to divide. It’s to isolate. And we’re just going along with it. ‘Oh, this is the new normal. No problem.’  No, this is not even human. It is a problem,” he said.

“Think back six months ago... If you were told six months ago to do what we’re doing today, what would you have thought?” the priest questioned.

“But they just did it incrementally. Let’s just lock everything going for a while, get people used to that. Then we’ll scare the heck out of them. Then we’ll tell them that they have to wear masks, and then we’ll tell them they have to be six feet apart, then we’ll tell them that then, then, then, then, then,” he said.

Fr. Altier traced the roots of the current problem, saying the indifference of many Americans to unbridled immorality in their midst allowed followers of Karl Marx and Saul Alinsky to push forward inexorably with their agenda.

“Sin is rampant, and most people in America don’t care — a lot of people even rejoice in it. They think that this is great,” he said.

“It is not. It is destructive. It is not only destructive of the individuals who are involved in the sin, but as Saint Paul says, ‘A little yeast leavens all the dough.’ All of us are going to be affected by this, and we are.”

In modern America, that “little leaven in the dough” is the pernicious influence of radicals using the Marx and Alinsky playbooks.

“What Marx said is to happen is that you push, and you push, until there’s enough push back. But you’ve already now moved the line of acceptability. And as soon as there’s enough pushback, then stop. You don’t pull it back. You stop it there and then you wait for a little bit, and then you start pushing again,” said Fr. Altier.

“Little by little, the old frog in the water starts boiling away and just continues to sit there. Here we are,” said Altier.

Even though people may be compelled to comply, they must maintain their independence of thought, he urged.

“Let’s at least make sure that we’re thinking clearly. And that we’re not giving in to stupidity. If they’re going to require that we do certain things and we have no option, we may have to do certain things, but they are not normal,” Altier said.

“And let’s not conform ourselves to the nonsense, because that is what it is,” he added. “Let’s not play their game and call it ‘the new normal’, because it will never be normal. It is not human. We need to be clear.”

Doing this will inevitably mean incurring the wrath of others, even “your neighbor,” warned Altier.

“Anyone who wants to see something different from the narrative is being shut down. The truth enrages these people,” said the priest.

“The truth enrages people who don’t want it. Jesus is the truth. Again, what their response was to Him [is] not going to be any different [for] us, if we’re going to speak the truth. We’re going to live the truth. We have to be clear and we have to embrace the truth,” he said.

“If we want the norm, and that is indeed what we were created for, it is right in front of you,” added Altier, gesturing to the tabernacle.

“He’s the one who created us. He’s the one who made us in His own image and likeness. He is the norm.”

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis released a statement acknowledging that it is investigating Fr. Altier for a different homily, this one about coronavirus specifically:

The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis is aware of Father Altier’s homily from last Sunday and has been in contact with him. With the assistance of experts in this area, the matter continues to be under review. Stemming from our belief in the dignity of all human life, the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all people and has consistently collaborated with public health officials and government officials in the development of safety protocols for our parishes and schools. Please join with us in prayer for all those who are sick with COVID-19, those who care for them, and for individuals and families affected in any way by the pandemic. May all we do reflect the compassionate face of Christ the healer to one another.

Fox News reported that Fr. Altier “spent 20 minutes explaining why he believes the COVID-19 virus was manufactured and spread on purpose.”


  archdiocese of st. paul-minneapolis, catholic, coronavirus, minnesota, police state, robert altier

Opinion

Revealing disturbing LGBT propaganda in New Zealand’s new sex ed directive

The Ministry of Education has a lot to answer for.
Wed Sep 16, 2020 - 6:46 pm EST
Featured Image
bysora / Shutterstock.com
Michelle Kaufman
By Michelle Kaufman

September 16, 2020 (Family Life International NZ) — New Relationships and Sexuality Education Guidelines which push the gender diversity and inclusivity narrative have been published by the Ministry of Education. The guidelines are intended for teachers, leaders and Boards of Trustees of all State and State-Integrated schools.

There are two guides, one for years 1–8 and another for years 9–13. Both guides are titled Relationships and Sexuality Education. Content in each document is generally the same, with some issues, such as pornography, and sexting, being fleshed out further in the secondary school resource.

According to the preamble on the Ministry of Education site, the guidelines “make explicit the key learning at each curriculum level.” The Ministry claims to have integrated “the latest research on relationships, gender, sexuality, and wellbeing.”

The documents are a revision on the 2015 resource “Sexuality Education: A guide for principals, boards of trustees, and teachers”. They have been developed in response to the Education Review Office report “Promoting Wellbeing through Sexuality Education.”

Sexuality education is required in the New Zealand Curriculum through the Health and Physical Education strand for New Entrants to Year 10. 

In order to ensure all students receive sexuality education, including senior students in Years 11 to 13, and students whose parents have removed them from this aspect of the curriculum, schools are encouraged to provide “opportunities in health education, in other curriculum programmes, and in many other school contexts.”

The Ministry of Education maintain that “relationships and sexuality education cannot be left to chance in schools,” and are advocates for this education to begin from early childhood, building consistently.

What parents need to know

Gender diversity and inclusive school communities are the main concern of the document

Although key learning indicators linked to the NZ Curriculum do include the usual sex ed suspects (naming body parts — including genitals — at level one, contraception, consent, sexual health, etc), a thorough reading of the documents leaves one with the impression that the purpose is to groom young children into accepting a worldview that embraces homosexuality and transgenderism as normative.

In the overview, the intention is made clear. The authors state that the guidelines

“cover learning about relationships as well as about gender and about sex and sexualities. They discuss social and emotional learning and look at how young people can come to understand the physical and social contexts of gender, bodies and sexuality… The formation of young people’s personal and gender identities is viewed as an ongoing lifelong process.”

In addition, schools are asked to implement policies and foster an environment which embraces gender diversity. 

Schools are required to:

  • Have inclusive environments.
  • Allow children to express their gender identities and sexual orientation freely.
  • Ensure children can choose their own name and identity.
  • Discuss diversity of sex characteristics, gender identity and sexuality in their programmes.

In addition, policies should include:

  • Permitting biological boys to access girls toilets and changing rooms (see below for more information);
  • School rolls and records are to use the person’s name, gender and pronoun of choice;
  • Forms are to include gender diverse and non-binary options;
  • Students of all ages should have confidential access to health services.

A quick glance through the Glossary of Terms at the back of both documents, confirms any doubts about the purpose of the document. With the exception of STI’s, every term is specific to gender or sexual orientation. 

Upholding the human rights of all people is said to be essential, but that’s not really the case

While the documents express a concern for the rights of all to be upheld, on a closer reading, it is clear that these rights only pertain to certain people. The Human Rights Commission is quoted within the texts:

“All people have the same rights and freedoms, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC). SOGIESC is an umbrella term like Rainbow, LGBTQI+, and MVPFAFF. It includes people who are takatāpui, lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, intersex, transgender, transsexual, whakawāhine, tangata ira tāne …”

The acronym MVPFAFF is for Pacific terms — māhū, vakasalewalewa, palopa, fa‘afafine, ‘akava‘ine, fakaleitī (leitī), fakafifine, which tend to describe men who behave like a female.

Cross-curriculum learning about Relationships and Sexuality

Sexuality education is traditionally taught as part of the Health and Physical Education learning area. Under the Education and Training Act 2020, parents and caregivers can legally request in writing that their child be released from health class during sexuality education.

However, this new resource encourages teachers to find opportunities across the curriculum, and to utilise “authentic social contexts” as teaching opportunities. The exemption above does not apply to other subjects or instances where sexuality is discussed.

Each document gives example learning intentions for each curriculum area, showing how the Guidelines might be integrated into other subject learning. The following examples are important as they show how the narrative can be applied outside of Health. These examples serve as a warning to parents be very vigilant.

KEY COMPETENCIES

  • Thinking: examine their own and others attitudes
  • Using language, symbols, and texts: they will critically examine values, cultures, and stereotypes and how these affect themselves and others.
  • Participating and contributing: learn about the importance of respecting diversity and contribute to inclusive classroom and school communities.

SUBJECT

YEARS 1 to 8

YEARS 9 to 13

Physical Education

* Explore and challenge gender stereotypes and work towards inclusion.
* Discuss issues related to gender binaries.

* Undertake critical inquiry into homophobia and transphobia in physical activity and sporting contexts.
* Discussing and challenging gender issues related to sport and physical education uniforms.

English

* Critically explore how the diversity of families, schools, and communities is represented in texts.
* Engage in dialogue and debate in the context of provocative online posts linked to relationships, gender, and sexuality.
* Identify positive and negative gender bias in media stories.

* Analyse how family relationships are represented in different genres and/or text types.
* Explore how texts represent and convey relationships, including intimate relationships, aspects of consent, safety, communication, identity, gender representation, and ideas of love.
* Create texts (oral, written, or visual) to convey ideas about gender and sexuality.
* Use information literacy skills to draw conclusions about a self-selected topic related to intimate relationships.

Science

* Consider how biological sex has been constructed and measured over time and what this means in relation to people who have variations in sex characteristics.
* Consider variations in puberty, including the role of hormone blockers.
* Explore the role of genetics in constructing debates about gender and sexuality.

* Identify famous male and female scientists who identify as male or female or have diverse gender and sexual identities, and describe their contributions.
* Explore what “male”, “female”, and “hermaphrodite” mean in relation to plants and animals.

Technology

* Explore symbols linked to the gay and transgender rights movements.

* Interrogate the design and sustainability of menstrual products, such as tampons and pads.
* Interrogate the design and sustainability of contraceptives.

Social Sciences

* Explore the women’s liberation movement (for example, women gaining the right to vote in 1893 in Aotearoa New Zealand) and the development and persistence of gender stereotypes (for example, by researching the #MeToo movement).
* Consider famous “rainbow” figures from history.
Identify different types of families and gender roles within them.

* Consider the impacts of digital technologies on social movements and sharing of information in the context of shifting societal norms of gender and sexuality.
* Explore the history of rainbow movements and gay rights in Aotearoa New Zealand, for example, law changes over time to address issues from the death penalty to marriage equality.

The Arts

* Explore issues around relationships, consent, and gender stereotypes through visual art, dance, and drama.
* Consider plays with roles that do not conform to gender stereotypes.

* Consider plays and role plays that critically investigate stereotypes relating to gender and sexual orientation.
* Identify ways that colour and language are related to gender and sexual orientation.
* Identify gender and sexual orientation stereotyping in popular music.

Languages

* Discuss the use of gendered or non-gendered pronouns across different languages.

* Consider how the terminology of gender and sexuality has changed over time in English, Māori, and other languages.

Mathematics and Statistics

* Explore ways of collecting information and interpreting the data in meaningful ways… for example in relation to class or school demographic information.

* Explore ways of collecting information and interpreting the data in meaningful ways… for example in relation to:
* Gender and relationships in TV advertising
* Population data explored in terms of gender and sexuality bias.

 The Guidelines actively work to dismantle the natural family

According to the documents, it is important for schools to “include policies that explicitly require inclusion of diverse staff, families, and community members who interact with the school.” This, it is said, is part of the whole-school approach of establishing and maintaining a culture of inclusivity.

School events are viewed as opportunities to “welcome diverse families with a range of structures, actively including same-sex, trans, and gender-diverse partners and community members.”

Furthermore, teachers and school leaders are encouraged to use language which recognises “gender diversity and diverse families.” 

“Schools should avoid referring exclusively to “Mum and Dad” and include other possible family structures, such as families where single parents, same-sex parents, gender diverse-parents, foster parents, or other family members are the key caregivers” the document states.

There is no doubt that teachers need to be sensitive to the family situations of their students. However, marriage and family are the foundation of a civil society. We do a grave disservice to our children when we undermine the institution of the natural family.

Students to have access to toilets and changing rooms that align with their “gender identification” not their biological sex

Both primary and secondary school Guidelines highlight a belief that students should have “access [to] toilets and changing rooms that align with their gender identification,” claiming that it “supports their sense of identity and wellbeing.”

While acknowledging that “toilets and changing rooms can be unsafe environments,” limited consideration is given to the feelings and vulnerability of students who may have to share the facilities. 

Gaining student feedback is given a cursory mention, although seemingly, it is more important to gain the feedback of those students who identify as “trans, non-binary, or intersex”, rather than the boys and girls whose spaces are being impinged.

“Trans, non-binary, and intersex ākonga (students) should be able to choose a toilet and changing room that matches their gender identity. Trans girls should be able to use the female toilets if they prefer to. Ideally, schools will have at least one gender-neutral toilet available for ākonga, but trans, non-binary, and intersex ākonga should not be required to use this rather than male or female toilets.” (RSE Guidelines)

Access to toilets by students who “identify” as a gender other than their biological sex has already become an issue in New Zealand schools. Some female students have been ridiculed for feeling disturbed and vulnerable in such situations. With these Guidelines in place, students will have less of a voice than ever before.

Activist “support groups” are encouraged

Activist support groups operating within secondary schools are actively encouraged. According to the Years 9 to 13 document, these support groups can be teacher and/or student led. The groups include “gay-straight alliances, queer groups, rainbow groups, peer sexuality support groups, feminist groups, and school health councils… advocating for change within the school.”

Assistance in setting up these activist groups is given by way of listing three resources:

  • InsideOUT (an organisation that works with “rainbow” youth throughout New Zealand)
  • Guide to LGBTQIA+ students (on the Ministry of Education curriculum site)
  • Secondary Schools Diversity Groups: Rainbow safety first (on InsideOUT’s website)

These so-called support groups have as their goal the normalisation of LGBT behaviour within the school community.

With the exception of the promotion of teen parent units, it is disappointing to note that groups advocating positive healthy lifestyles, such as chastity (which includes abstinence) or pro-life advocacy groups are not mentioned as potential advocates for change in the school community.

Pornography and sexting are addressed, but not because they are bad for young people

It is laudable that pornography and sexting are identified as problems for students. The documents cite a recent study by the Office of the Film and Literature Classification Office which revealed that one in four young people in New Zealand have seen porn before the age of twelve.

Highlighted is the incidence of porn use as students grow older. “One in four seventeen-year-old boys and one in ten seventeen-year-old girls see porn at least monthly” claims the secondary school document.

However, the concern doesn’t appear to be that pornography and sexting are bad for youth or people in general.

Referring to research, the authors state that “young people want more and better information about sex and sexuality. RSE programmes provide an opportunity to discuss the complexities, issues, and impacts of widely available pornography, including how it is becoming a kind of de facto sex education.”

There is the concern: that pornography is becoming a “de facto sex education.” The Ministry would much rather teachers provide the sex education.

This attitude becomes blatantly clear when making reference to the legal implications of sexting. “Even if the person portrayed originally shared or made the images or video with someone consensually, that doesn’t mean that the person has consented to its being shared to a wider group,” the document states. The inference is that if consent is given, the original act is acceptable behaviour.

Recommendation that school uniforms be reviewed

According to the Relationships and Sexuality Guidelines, uniforms for boys and girls is “an exclusionary practice.”

“School uniforms,” it states, “often reinforce gender norms and binaries, so schools should offer gender-neutral clothing choices when reviewing school uniforms.”

The UNESCO report mentioned above labelled “gender-specific uniforms” as “implicit homophobic and transphobic violence.” 

The recommendation that school uniforms be reviewed is not a small matter.

Anti-bullying programmes are avenues used to normalise homosexual behaviour

All bullying is nasty behaviour that strips people of dignity. Bullying can never be tolerated.

But like all good things, there is the potential for it to be hijacked. That is the case with anti-bullying campaigns which are used to mainstream LGBT behaviour. 

C-Fam, an organisation which keeps a close eye on developments at the United Nations, saw this hijacking coming some years ago. In a 2016 article they highlighted a UNESCO report, which advocates for “inserting LGBT materials into public school curriculum worldwide by means of a UN General Assembly mandate aimed against bullying.”

In that article, C-Fam staff noted concerns that the report “uses the issue of bullying as a pretext to mainstream homosexuality among children.” The report made “no reference to children with disabilities, those belonging to religious minorities, or migrant children who are also targets of bullying.”

In 2016, C-Fam reported that the General Assembly had given the green light to a Global Anti-Bullying Campaign. 

Turning back to New Zealand, evidence of the influence of the UNESCO’s reports can be found. The Relationships and Sexuality Guidelines specify that procedures around dealing with bullying should “directly address” incidents related to “sexual orientation and gender identity.”

“Such bullying includes making sexist remarks as well as homophobic or transphobic mocking and name-calling,” the Guidelines state.

Readers are directed to find out more from bullyingfree.nz, which has a plethora of information about bullying in general and includes a specific section relating to LGBT bullying. There, a Ministry of Youth Development survey is referenced, stating schools should lead by “acknowledging and normalising LGBTIQA+ young people.”

Conclusion

There is an agenda being implemented which is accelerating at lightning speed. It’s an agenda that wants to destroy all that is true, good and beautiful about friendships, sexuality, marriage, family and replace them with a distorted, inverted notion of freedom.

Parents and caregivers should be very concerned about the content of these Guidelines. They should also be very concerned about the government’s pledge of support for schools to implement the recommendations contained within. 

Find out what parents and caregivers can do here.

Published with permission from Family Life International NZ.


  child abuse, education, family life international nz, homosexuality, new zealand, propaganda, relationships and sex education, sex ed

Opinion

No, a COVID-19 vaccine is not necessary to return life to normal

Injecting healthy people with a vaccine that is not needed and may cause some harm is not part of the traditional ethical playbook.
Wed Sep 16, 2020 - 10:43 am EST
Featured Image
arda savasciogullari / Shutterstock.com
Matthew Hanley
By Matthew Haney

PETITION: No to government and corporate penalties for refusing COVID-19 vaccine! Sign the petition here.

September 16, 2020 (The Catholic Thing) — If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times: life just can’t get back to normal until a vaccine is ready for stopping COVID-19. Owing to fear, aggressively cultivated panic, and blind trust in what we are disingenuously told is “science,” this view has taken on such momentum that challenging it seems unthinkable — possibly even a punishable offense.

On the one hand, we hear that American ingenuity and freedoms (which of course should be appreciated) have already enabled us to be on the verge of producing said vaccine in record time. On the other hand, several Catholic voices have focused on questions about a vaccine that, at some point in its development, might make use of cell lines derived from aborted fetuses.

That objection is important, as is our responsibility to be vigilant about demanding untainted alternatives (though such vaccines may, in certain circumstances, licitly be used since material cooperation is sufficiently remote). There’s a broader issue, however, that needs much more attention than it has received.

I am talking about the entire premise that a vaccine is necessary for people to resume their lives — which, from a public health standpoint, is absurd. There is even talk that it may become mandatory — that resuming basic activities such as work, school, travel, commerce, etc. will be contingent upon getting the vaccine. That would be an extreme, overtly totalitarian maneuver, not a sincere, well-grounded public-health measure.

A couple of pertinent considerations should be sufficient to raise serious questions about the vaccine-as-the-only-solution mentality we find ourselves immersed in today.

The overall survival rate for those exposed to the coronavirus is likely somewhere north of 99.6 percent. COVID-19 mortality has largely run its course in a great many places (as viruses tend to do). And no vaccine has ever been successfully developed for any virus in the corona family.

Should this lead us to conclude that normalcy should not return “until we have a vaccine that we’ve gotten out to basically the entire world,” as Bill Gates insists?

I support the proper medical use of vaccines, of course. Who doesn’t? But Gates’ statement is ludicrous on its face — and unavoidably prompts the question of what could motivate it. His misanthropic population control mania is no secret, nor is the suspicion that he is keen on using vaccines — among other technologies — to reach that end.

His wife, Melinda Gates (nominally a Catholic), has taken to the pages of Foreign Affairs to fret about the impact COVID-19 will have on contraceptive supply chains. This while the masses have been enduring crippling, surreal lockdowns, and massive unemployment, which make dark suspicions about not-so-hidden agendas hard to dismiss.

The actual number of people who have died as a result of COVID-19 has been difficult to ascertain, in part because the authorities and a compliant media have deliberately conflated possible COVID-19 cases with deaths resulting from underlying conditions. After months of incessantly dire media accounts, the CDC just reported that actually only 6 percent of the deaths attributed to COVID-19 — less than 10,000 people — did not coincide with underlying, lethal conditions.

Close to half of the COVID-19 deaths in the United States have occurred in nursing homes — an indictment of authorities that carelessly exposed this vulnerable group to known carriers. How safe and effective will The Coming Vaccine be for the elderly, compromised population that COVID-19 mainly kills? And for the masses under a full-court press to submit to the shot?

It may actually trigger a harmful response, if not immediately (as adverse events from ongoing trials attest) then subsequently, upon eventual exposure to the pathogen.

That manufacturers aren’t held legally liable for whatever happens under these “emergency” circumstances does not inspire confidence. And efforts to study how best to coax people into getting vaccinated — Yale is testing which kind of sales pitch (e.g., guilt and other forms of emotional manipulation) would be most persuasive — doesn’t exactly inspire confidence either.

Injecting healthy people with a vaccine that is not needed and may cause some harm is not part of the traditional ethical playbook. And it is, purely and simply, untrue to think it is an urgent necessity upon which everything else must revolve. It’s the demand for “safety” run amok.

Oh, and did I mention that The Coming Vaccine will probably employ genetic engineering techniques for the first time ever? The mRNA methodology used by at least one leading vaccine candidate has never been previously tested, much less clinically proven. Crossing that bridge could have profound ripple effects we have scarcely even considered — and surely seems to contradict the supposed “safety first” ethos that has otherwise dominated COVID-19 decision-making.

Insisting upon this approach is all the more maddening when safe and effective treatments — which also happen to be very inexpensive — have emerged, only to be maligned and withheld from those who could stand to benefit. Hydroxychloroquine (particularly as an early outpatient treatment in combination with zinc and/or antibiotics) has been more than adequately demonstrated to be quite useful in real-time, actual practice (by comparing the results of countries that used it — and when they did — versus those that didn’t). But this is somehow resoundingly unwelcome news.

Forbidding its use makes no sense, especially since all the drastic impositions foisted upon the public were supposedly about “saving lives.”

We’ve been told repeatedly that “we’re all in this together,” so we have a hard time seeing that both individual well-being and the common good have been in the crosshairs for months, with no end in sight. We suppose a vaccine really is the ticket out of this manufactured mess.

We haven’t asked the obvious cui bono question (who benefits from these unprecedented, unreasonable, inhumane restrictions?), which has a fairly obvious answer: those with certain financial, political, and ideological agendas.

We’ve been manipulated, conditioned — and pitifully compliant. And that, not the lack of a vaccine, is the urgent problem.

Published with permission from The Catholic Thing.


  big brother, bill gates, bioethics, coronavirus, melinda gates, population control, the catholic thing, vaccines

Opinion

One by one, bishops slowly insisting Catholics go back to Mass. How many will listen?

Having used their authority to stop lay Catholics from attending Mass, can bishops now invoke their authority to bring them back? Will this genie go back in the bottle?
Wed Sep 16, 2020 - 9:44 am EST
Featured Image
Wouter Tolenaars / Shutterstock.com
Phil Lawler
By Phil Lawler

September 16, 2020 (CatholicCulture.org) — Starting this coming Sunday, it will be a serious sin for a Catholic in the Milwaukee archdiocese to miss Sunday Mass without a serious reason. Last week it was OK. It’s still OK in most other American dioceses and archdioceses.

Can we expect ordinary Catholics to understand this situation? Can we expect them to come back to Sunday Mass, after a six-month hiatus? Having used their authority to stop lay Catholics from attending Mass, can bishops now invoke their authority to bring them back? Will this genie go back in the bottle?

Milwaukee’s Archbishop Jerome Listecki has ended the blanket dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday, and warned the faithful of his archdiocese: “Those who deliberately fail to attend Sunday Mass commit a grave sin.”

“Fear of getting sick, in and of itself, does not excuse someone from the obligation,” the archbishop continued. But wait: wasn’t a fear of illness the reason why Archbishop Listecki, and so many other prelates, issued a dispensation from that obligation? The archbishop obviously anticipates that question, and his statement continues:

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.

So each lay Catholic must decide for himself whether he has real reason to fear that going to Mass could endanger his health, and if it would not, the regular Sunday obligation applies. Fair enough.

But the Sunday obligation only applies in Milwaukee (and in the few other dioceses whose bishops have ended the dispensation). So what happens if a lay Catholic who resides in Milwaukee finds himself in, say, nearby Chicago on a Sunday morning? Is he bound by the Sunday obligation because he is under Archbishop Listecki’s authority? Or dispensed because he is in another ecclesiastical jurisdiction where the blanket dispensation is still in place? It is difficult to understand why something that is gravely sinful in one place is not sinful at all just a few miles away.

For that matter, if it will be gravely sinful to skip Mass next Sunday, why was it acceptable to skip Mass last Sunday? At first glance Archbishop Listecki’s decision — and consequently, his warning about the possibility of grave sin — appears to be based on nothing more than his own personal authority; there is no reference to the Decalogue, to the solemn commandment to keep holy the Lord’s Day, to the notion that worship is an obligation in justice.

To an informed Catholic (and bear in mind that not all Catholics are informed), the basic facts are clear:

  • The Church, through her hierarchy, has been granted authority by Jesus Christ to impose and lift obligations. (Didn’t we just hear that “whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven”—if we were at Mass that Sunday?)
  • The Church formally teaches that Mass attendance on Sunday is necessary to fulfill the Third Commandment.
  • However the Church also teaches that the faithful may be excused from this obligation “for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants), or dispensed by their own pastor.” A bishop, as pastor for his diocese, thus has authority to issue a blanket dispensation.

What sort of illness constitutes a “serious reason” for failure to attend Sunday Mass? The individual must answer that question for himself. His answer will depend on his particular circumstances: his age, his overall health, the possible risks of exposure to new disease. The pastor cannot come take his temperature and his medical history. The individual must trust his own judgment.

Urgent appeal to the bishops of the world: Feed your flock! Sign the petition here.

Back in March, however, the Catholic bishops of the US — all of them — did make that judgment. They decided that all Catholics had a “serious reason” for not attending Sunday Mass. That the bishops had the authority to make that judgment, and issue the blanket dispensations, is beyond question. Whether they were prudent in doing so is another matter.

When the Covid epidemic first broke upon us, we were virtually all frightened. That fear was not irrational; the disease was spreading at an objectively frightening rate. The media fanned the flames of fear, and — influenced no doubt by the media hype — so did our bishops. Within weeks all the churches were closed, and for most of us attending Sunday Mass was no longer an obligation; in fact it was an impossibility.

Bishops are not epidemiologists; they did not know — any more than the rest of us did — how fast the virus would spread and how deadly it would prove. As time passed, more information became available, and we could put the Covid epidemic in perspective, we all reached our own conclusions about the risks we were running, and the risks we were prepared to run. But if we concluded that Sunday Mass would be safe — that we no longer had a “serious reason” to absent ourselves — that option still was not open to us, because the bishops had closed our churches.

Looking back, Archbishop Listecki explains in his recent statement why the churches were closed:

As responsible parish communities, we needed to assess the transmission of the COVID-19 virus, permit our parishes the time to establish plans for sanitizing worship spaces, secure needed resources, evaluate the appropriate numbers for social distancing and solicit the voluntary personnel necessary to accomplish the tasks of preparing our worship spaces.

In other words, our bishops and pastors were methodically deciding when, and under what conditions, they thought the churches would be safe. But since bishops have no special expertise on questions of public safety — and since their decisions on this matter were unquestionably based on calculations of public safety — many Catholics are likely to question their judgments. Archbishop Listecki acknowledges that a rational fear of exposure to Covid, based on pre-existing conditions, “would be sufficient to excuse from the obligation.” Just a few weeks ago the archbishop effectively ruled that everyone had a rational basis for fears. Now he says that, at least for most people, that rational basis is gone. But it isn’t that simple. Many Catholics in Milwaukee no doubt are afraid — having been told for months that they should be afraid — and the archbishop can’t flip a switch to turn off their fears.

So while I applaud Archbishop Listecki for ending the dispensation, and for reminding the faithful about their Sunday obligation, I doubt 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. 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.

Back in March, a number of bishops undermined their own authority still further because they never did tell the faithful that they were dispensed from their Sunday Mass obligation; they simply said that there would be no Mass celebrated for the public. Now of course the people in that case were dispensed, since one is never obligated to do the impossible. But when regular Sunday Mass resumes in those dioceses, it will be very, very difficult for the bishops to insist on the Sunday obligation. It isn’t easy to credit a bishop’s authority to tell you that you must attend Sunday Mass, when he was so ready blithely to announce that you couldn’t.

I wonder whether some bold prelate will simplify matters for all of us, with a statement something like this:

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.

Published with permission from CatholicCulture.org.


  catholic, catholicculture.org, coronavirus, sunday obligation, third commandment, us bishops

Blogs

Formerly world-class Westminster Cathedral Choir now declining under new management

Why would the authorities, bequeathed with this astonishing legacy, not wish to make the most of it to raise worshipers’ hearts to God in prayer?
Wed Sep 16, 2020 - 8:59 am EST
Featured Image
tlorna / Shutterstock.com
By Dr. Joseph Shaw

PETITION: Restore Catholic Mass for our Sailors! Sign the petition here.

September 16, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The saga of Westminster Cathedral Choir School claimed a fresh victim last week with the resignation of another senior employee, the music administrator, Madeleine Smith. Like the director of music, Martin Baker, she was unhappy about the sidelining of the choir at England’s premier Catholic Cathedral. Baker resigned late last year and was absent from Christmas services. There was no official explanation, and he has not been replaced. What is going on?

Westminster Cathedral Choir is served by men and boys, in the ancient Catholic tradition. The boys attend a school set up specially for them by Cardinal Vaughan, the founder of the cathedral, in 1902. He wanted to have something in his new cathedral equivalent to the great choirs of the Anglican cathedrals, which commonly have their own schools — boarding schools — so the boys can be recruited from a wide area and are available to sing on Sundays. Vaughan’s vision was realized, and Westminster Cathedral Choir is famous. It is, or was until recently, at least as good as the best Anglican cathedral choirs, such as those of Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s, and in the context of the global meltdown of Catholic sacred music since the 1960s, it was regarded as the best Catholic cathedral choir in the world. Westminster Cathedral was the only Catholic Cathedral in the world to have a sung Mass every single day — again, until recently.

Just as Cardinal Vaughan and other Catholic leaders over millennia wanted to build the most beautiful churches possible, and have in them the most moving devotional art, so too they wanted the best sacred music. The greatest achievements of the human spirit should be offered to God, and our acts of worship should be clothed in the best we can offer Him. Art and above all music have the power to touch the heart, to get through to us when words fail, to express our awe, our joy, and our sorrow, and as Pope John Paul II expressed it, they can be “an echo of the Spirit of God” (Ecclesia in Europa [2003] 60).

I know this kind of argument confuses some people. If the best we can do is not all that great, it will be acceptable to God — because, yes, He looks at the heart. If the best we can do is reserved for mindless secular entertainment or commercial ends, God will be less impressed. What does it say about us as a society that the best efforts of artists are devoted to making violent and immodest films? What does it say about us as individuals if our home entertainment systems are more expensive than the altar furnishings in our churches?

So what has happened in Westminster Cathedral? As reported in The Times, the key change has been a new head teacher of the Choir School, of which the choristers now represent only 10%, who has abolished full-time boarding for choir members. Allowing them to go home on Saturdays may seem uncontroversial, but in fact they are obliged to go home, so the school is no longer able to accept pupils from outside London, and Saturday rehearsals for Sunday services are impossible. As has been pointed out by many distinguished Catholic and non-Catholic musicians, the quality of the singing cannot be maintained under this regime.

Why would the authorities, bequeathed Vaughan’s astonishing legacy, not wish to make the most of it to raise worshipers’ hearts to God in prayer, and to draw non-believers into the Church? Knowing the debate as it has played out on these issues over decades, it is clear that there are two factors in play.

One is the desire of the school’s new leadership to make it a commercially and academically successful school. The emphasis is on getting the pupils, who leave at the age of 13, into elite “public” (i.e., independent) schools such as Eton, where many of the U.K.’s Prime Ministers have been educated, including the present one.

The other is that, in the context of this temptation, Church authorities have no strong interest in maintaining the choir’s ability to sing to a world-class standard. Normally, they would find the idea of competing with posh private schools a bit embarrassing, but they evidently find the idea of an elite choir even more so. The choir’s unique ability to sing the most complex and sublime pieces of the Catholic patrimony of Sacred Music in the way they were intended to be sung — by boys and men, rather than using adult professional female singers — pushes the cathedral down a particular liturgical pathway that is not particularly congenial to them. They pay lip service to the value of the choir but in some ways would be happier with a third-rate choir singing the kind of third-rate modern music that makes many Catholic worshipers flee for the hills. (I’ve written about the love of the mediocre here.)

We can only hope some sanity returns before the damage to Westminster Cathedral Choir becomes irreversible.


  catholic, sacred music, westminster cathedral