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News

Webster’s Dictionary alters word’s definition to match senator’s pro-LGBT diatribe

The change to the entry for 'preference' came on the same day Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) complained to Amy Coney Barrett about the latter's use of the term 'sexual preference' to describe homosexuality.
Wed Oct 14, 2020 - 8:57 pm EST
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Michael Reynolds-Pool / Getty Images
Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug
By Doug Mainwaring

October 14, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — After Hawaii’s Sen. Mazie Hirono (D) attacked Judge Amy Coney Barrett for using use the term “sexual preference” to reference homosexuality, claiming that it was “offensive” and “outdated,” Webster’s Dictionary quickly changed the online definition of the word.

“Not once but twice you used the term ‘sexual preference’ to describe those in the LGBTQ community,” she said. “And let me make clear: ‘sexual preference’ is an offensive and outdated term. It is used by anti-LGBTQ activists to suggest that sexual orientation is a choice. It is not. Sexual orientation is a key part of a person’s identity. That sexual orientation is both a normal expression of human sexuality and immutable was a key part of the majority’s opinion in Obergefell, which, by the way, Scalia did not agree with.”

“With just two words, Amy Coney Barrett revealed how biased she is against LGBTQ people,” blared an LGBTQNation headline, which suggested that “Barrett used the offensive phrase ‘sexual preference,’ a right-wing dog-whistle that suggests that LGBTQ people can be cured.”

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Later in the day, Webster’s Dictionary tweaked its definition of “preference” to indicate that the term is “offensive” when used to refer to sexual orientation.   

The change — and its timing — did not go unnoticed for long.

“As recently as last month, Webster’s Dictionary included a definition of ‘preference’ as ‘orientation’ or ‘sexual preference,’” tweeted Steve Krakuaer. “TODAY they changed it and added the word ‘offensive.’”

“Insane — I just checked through Wayback Machine and it’s real,” he added.

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Webster’s Dictionary definition earlier in the day yesterday (left), and after the change last night (right).

Evidently, until yesterday, only Sen. Hirono had thought that “preference” was an offensive term. 

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden recently uttered the words “sexual preference.” “Biden used the term in May of this year,” observed AGHamilton29 (AG). “According to some Democrats today, that should disqualify him from public office.”

“Anyone going to ask Mazie Hirono about this?” 

“Hilarious,” exclaimed AG in a subsequent tweet. “Here is The Advocate Magazine using the term ‘sexual preference’ 3 weeks ago. Right before it became offensive.”

“To come from that history to be able to now, as a director, be telling these stories ... about young people who are just comfortable with who they are, no matter what their sexual preference is,” tweeted The Advocate, the nation’s premier LGBT publication. “It's just glorious and so satisfying.”


  amy coney barrett, homosexuality, mazie hirono, supreme court, webster's dictionary

News

Judge rules against reinstating Catholic to student govt office over fears of creating ‘tumult and chaos’

Florida State University violated the free speech rights of the student after he expressed his religious beliefs, the district judge said, but added that it's not in the 'public interest' to allow the elected student senate president to return to his position.
Wed Oct 14, 2020 - 8:25 pm EST
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Jack Denton Alliance Defending Freedom
Dorothy Cummings McLean Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy
By Dorothy Cummings McLean

TALLAHASSEE, Florida, October 14, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) ― A U.S. District judge ruled that reinstating a Catholic student expelled from office because of his privately shared religious beliefs would cause “tumult and chaos.” 

Justice Allen Winsor ruled October 8 that Jack Denton’s constitutional right to free speech had been violated. He stated that Denton, 21, should be paid the salary he expected as the president of the Florida State University student senate for the remainder of the term for which he was elected. 

However, Winsor also ruled that it was not in the “public interest” for Denton to be reinstated. The reason was the “extreme and emotional” reactions of FSU senators, which made it unlikely that Denton could effectively carry out the presidential role.  

Denton, who was elected president of the student senate in 2019, was removed on June 5, 2020 after a second non-confidence vote by the senate. This followed a three-day campaign to have him removed after messages Denton wrote on a private Catholic group chat were made public. Denton had advised fellow members of the Catholic Student Association that certain groups being proposed for their support actively promoted causes contrary to Catholic doctrine. A member of this chat group took screenshots of his remarks and circulated them around the university.  

“To put it mildly, the student senators reacted strongly to Denton’s views,” Winsor wrote. 

“Regardless of how reasonable one finds those reactions, the fact remains that many were extreme and emotional. One senator could ‘think of no more abhorrent thing to hear coming from our senate leadership” than Denton’s remarks,” Winsor continued.  

“His discussion in the Catholic Student Union discussion group made her worry about ‘the safety’ of senators and the whole student body. Another senator echoed the ‘massive outcry from the student body to remove President Denton and do right by the LGBTQ+ community.’ 

Denton’s removal was necessary, one senator insisted, so that we may begin the work to heal. That senator said she just ‘do(es) not feel comfortable developing a professional relationship further (with Denton).’ Another senator insisted keeping Denton ‘would be effectively enabling bigotry.’ She closed by saying that upon thinking that I had to spend ... another three days serving under President Denton, I immediately began to cry. 

Winsor stated that a defense of these reactions was not necessary “to recognize that a federal court order returning Denton to his leadership position could produce tumult and chaos.” He concluded, therefore, that reinstating the young man would “cause more harm than good.” A “senate beside itself over its president’s expression of Catholic views” was “unlikely” to be able to carry out its duties to the university, the judge said. The other students in the government “deserve a functional government,” and not all of them are to blame for Denton’s “unconstitutional removal.” 

In addition, Denton’s term in office would have lasted only a few more weeks after the judgment, and Winsor felt that the young man had “shown substantial benefit” in being reinstated for such a short period of time. Denton still holds the office of student senator.  

As harm has clearly been done to Denton’s First Amendment rights, but because Winsor deemed it unlikely that the young man would succeed in winning damages from the defendants, Winsor directed that Florida State University should pay him “prospectively for six hours of work per week for the remainder of the current term of student senate president.” 

Denton was represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom. In an October 9 press release, the ADF stated that it would continue to fight for his constitutional rights to be “fully restored.”  

 ... Jack has the right to free speech just like all the students who spoke in favor of his removal,” the ADF said.  

“And the university has a duty to uphold its students’ constitutional rights. Yet Florida State officials refused to stop this gross violation of Jack’s rights and have kept enforcing the Student Senate’s removal,” it continued.  

“The Court said today that this was wrong and told the University to stop giving any effect to the vote removing Jack and to start paying him as the rightful Student Senate President. The bottom line is that all students should be able to peacefully share their personal convictions without fear of retaliation. That’s why ADF will continue to advocate for Jack’s constitutional rights to be fully restored.” 

Pastoral support 

A spokeswoman for the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee told LifeSiteNews that the diocesan bishop was in contact with Denton when he was removed from office.  

“Bishop (William) Wack reached out to Mr. Denton after he was relieved from his position as president of the FSU student senate,” stated Sharmane Adams, the director of communications for the Florida diocese. 

“Bishop Wack expressed how proud he was of Mr. Denton and told him that he was praying for him. Bishop Wack also offered any kind of assistance that Mr. Denton needed. Mr. Denton said he was fine and appreciated his support, as well as thanked him,” she continued.   

Adams added that in “the political and moral realm, Catholics have been facing many challenges concerning religious freedom. As Catholics, we are called to practice our faith and follow the teachings of our Church, whether it be in public squares such as colleges and universities or anywhere else. We cannot be silent; we need to let our voices be heard for the sake of the Gospel.” 

The private messages that Denton wrote to his fellow Catholics and later caused so much apparent anguish to some fellow student senators were as follows: 

The various funds on that list are fine causes as far as I know, but everyone should be aware that BlackLivesMatter.com, Reclaim the Block, and the ACLU all advocate for things that are explicitly anti-Catholic. 

BlackLivesMatter.com fosters “a queer-affirming network” and defends transgenderism. The ACLU defends laws protecting abortion facilities and sued states that restrict access to abortion. Reclaim the Block claims less police will make our communities safer and advocates for cutting PDs’ budgets. This is a little less explicit, but I think it’s contrary to the Church’s teaching on the common good. 

I don’t mean to anger anyone – I know this is a very emotional topic. However, it is important to know what you’re supporting when you’re Catholic. If I stay silent while my brothers and sisters may be supporting an organization that promotes grave evils, I have sinned through my silence. I love you all, and I want us all to be aware of the truth. As far as it’s a religious issue or not, there isn’t an aspect of our lives that isn’t religious, because God wants our whole lives and everything we do to be oriented around him! 

To thank Bishop Wack for his pastoral care for Denton, please contact:  

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The Most Rev. William A. Wack 
c/o Jan Viau 
Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee 
11 North B. Street 
Pensacola, FL 32502 
850-435-3500 
[email protected] 


  allen winsor, alliance defending freedom, catholic, constitutional rights, diocese of pensacola-tallahassee, district judge, florida state university, free speech, jack denton, lgbtq+, student senate, student senate association, william wack

News

Barrett confirmation hearing highlights likelihood of polygamy going to the Supreme Court

'Somebody might make the argument that it’s possible for three people to love each other genuinely,' noted Sen. Lindsey Graham.
Wed Oct 14, 2020 - 8:03 pm EST
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Hilary Swift-Pool/Getty Images
Emily Mangiaracina Emily Mangiaracina Follow
By

WASHINGTON D.C.October 14, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – During this morning’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing, Judiciary Committee Chair Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) asked Judge Amy Coney Barrett, “Is there any constitutional right to a polygamous relationship?” 

Barrett responded, “That might be a question that could be litigated. Polygamy obviously in many places is illegal now, but that could be an issue somebody might litigate before the court at some point.” 

“Somebody might make the argument that it’s possible for three people to love each other genuinely and that would work its way to the court if somebody wanted to make that argument, is that correct?” Graham continued. 

“Somebody could, yeah, make that argument,” responded Barrett.  

Barrett has repeatedly stated during her confirmation hearings that it is inappropriate for her to express her views about any previous case, or comment on the constitutionality of any case that may be litigated by the Supreme Court in the future. 

Yesterday, Senator Maize Hirono (D-HI) criticized Barrett for her use of the term “sexual preference.” Hirono complained, “Sexual preference is an offensive and outdated term used by anti-LGBTQ activists to suggest that sexual orientation is a choice.”  

Citing judicial opinions of Justice Scalia, whose judicial philosophy Barrett has said she shares, Hirono said that many same-sex couples “are rightly afraid” that if Barrett is confirmed, she will help “roll back everything the LGBTQ community has gained over the past two decades.” 

Barrett later replied, “I certainly didn’t mean and would never mean to use a term that would cause any offense in the LBTQ community,” Barrett said. If I did, I greatly apologize for that. I simply meant to be referring to Obergefell's holding with regard to same-sex marriage. 

Barrett also reiterated the reason she abstained from expressing her views on Obergefell v. Hodges, the decision that imposed same-sex “marriage” on the country in 2015I was certainly not indicating disagreement with it. The point of now answering was to simply say it was inappropriate for me to say a response,” she said. 

Regarding the question of whether polygamy might be litigated before the Supreme Court, it is notable that polygamy is significantly more accepted today than it was 14 years ago. A Gallup poll released June 23, 2020 found that a full one-fifth (20 percent) of Americans find polygamy admissible, whereas in 2006, only five percent of Americans did. 


  abortion, amy coney barrett, homosexuality, obergefell v. hodges, polyamorous, polyamory, polygamy, supreme court confirmation hearing

News

‘Digital civil war’: Facebook, Twitter censor article detailing Biden corruption

The Big Tech companies restricted distribution of the New York Post's 'smoking gun' story about the candidate's past dealings with Ukraine.
Wed Oct 14, 2020 - 7:17 pm EST
Featured Image
Michael Haynes
By

October 14, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Yet another attack has been made against free speech and reporting by Facebook and Twitter, which deliberately censored promotion of a New York Post story revealing that Joe Biden was aware of his son’s Ukrainian business dealings.

Andy Stone, policy communications manager for Facebook, tweeted that “we are reducing its distribution on our platform.” 

Stone continued by inferring that the article contained misinformation and thus its distribution needed to be limited: “This is part of our standard process to reduce the spread of misinformation,” he said. Censorship occurs before fact-checking on Facebook, according to Stone.

The article in question presented email evidence that Joe Biden had been introduced by his son “to a top executive at a Ukrainian energy firm less than a year before the elder Biden pressured government officials in Ukraine into firing a prosecutor who was investigating the company.” 

The report has been touted as a “smoking gun” and the Trump campaign warned voters that “Joe Biden lied to you!”

Joe Biden had previously repeatedly denied speaking to his son about his business deals.

Another page run by President Donald Trump’s campaign posted a message on Twitter in response to Facebook’s censorship of the article, protesting that the social media site was acting in favor of Biden: “Facebook is actively interfering in the election. Facebook is rigging the election for Joe Biden.”

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, sent a letter to Facebook, demanding that the site give an account of their censorship, strongly hinting at the political bias present in the organization.

The Post noted the apparent double standards being employed by Facebook, when the site “did nothing to restrict access to the recent New York Times story on President Trump’s tax returns.”

Stone’s own professional resume reveals a long history of working for the Democrat Party before moving to Facebook in 2014.

The censorship of the Post article is not limited to Facebook. Sohrab Ahmari, the op-ed editor for the Post, posted that Twitter was preventing him from promoting the article. 

Ahmari called out the social media site: “This is a Big Tech information coup. This is digital civil war,” he said.

He went on to detail what Twitter had blocked. “I, an editor at The New York Post, one of the nation’s largest papers by circulation, can’t post one of our own stories that details corruption by a major-party presidential candidate, Biden.” 

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Twitter is also blocking the Post’s article from being shared in private messages.

Both Twitter and Facebook are well known for censoring conservative views. President Trump signed an executive order in May in an effort to counteract social media censorship, but Twitter has continued its regular practice of censoring the president’s tweets.
LifeSite recently began a series of articles and videos highlighting censorship by Big Tech companies.

 


  2020 presidential election, big tech censorship, conservatives, donald trump, facebook, hunter biden, joe biden, new york post, russia, twitter

News

Liberal com-box trolls melt down over Barrett’s comments about believing in ‘power of prayer’

Comments ranged from calling Barrett a 'moron' and a 'psychopath' to equating Christianity with belief in leprechauns and fairies to saying her words induced vomiting.
Wed Oct 14, 2020 - 6:59 pm EST
Featured Image
Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Jonathan Ernst-Pool / Getty Images
Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug
By Doug Mainwaring

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 14, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A 43-second video of

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett asserting her belief in the power of prayer triggered a barrage of angry denunciations from leftists in the comment section, ridiculing her Christian faith.

Comments ranged from calling Barrett a “moron” and a “psychopath” to equating Christianity with belief in leprechauns and fairies to saying her words induced vomiting. 

The attacks began shortly after LifeSiteNews posted the conclusion of Barrett’s opening remarks to the Senate Judiciary Committee:

I believe in the power of prayer, and it has been uplifting to hear that so many people are praying for me. I look forward to answering the Committee’s questions over the coming days. And if I am fortunate enough to be confirmed, I pledge to faithfully and impartially discharge my duties to the American people as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

In general, Amy Coney Barrett’s detractors revealed that they think faith in God is delusional, prayer is a waste of time, and a belief in Christianity should automatically disqualify a nominee for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. 

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LifeSiteNews readers pushed back against the comments attacking Judge Barrett’s faith.

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  amy coney barrett, christianity, prayer, supreme court, youtube

News

Amy Coney Barrett lays out timeline from legal contraception to 60M abortions

'The only reason that it’s even worth asking' about the contraception case Griswold v. Connecticut, Barrett specified, 'is to lay a predicate for whether Roe was rightly decided.'
Wed Oct 14, 2020 - 6:22 pm EST
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Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds-Pool / Getty Images
Michael Haynes
By

WASHINGTON, D.C, October 14, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — On the third day of the hearings to confirm Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, she and her questioners visibly presented the moral and legal links joining contraception and abortion, as well as same-sex “marriage.”

Sen. Coons (D-Del.) made mention of the 1965 case Griswold v. Connecticut, which states that married couples cannot be legally forbidden to use contraceptives in their own homes. He then repeatedly asked Barrett if she agrees with former Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia “that Griswold was wrongly decided, and thus states should be able to make it illegal to use contraceptives if they so chose[.]”

Barrett answered by reminding the senator that she could not express a view on such a matter but that Griswold was “very, very, very unlikely to go anywhere.”

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However, she went on to note that “the only reason that it’s even worth asking that question is to lay a predicate for whether Roe was rightly decided, because Griswold does lie at the foundation of that line of precedent.”

Coons then presented the link between the legalization of contraception and a whole host of other changes in moral practice over the years. “It anchors a lot of modern liberty interests ... it was extended to unmarried couples in Eisenstadt; it was extended into the right for women to control their reproductive choices in Roe and in Casey.”

The senator further presented the link between contraception and the promotion of the homosexual movement: “it was also extended to support same-sex couple intimacy in Laurence v. Texas, and ultimately that same-sex couples have a right to marry in Obergefell.”

The Eisenstadt case extended the use of contraceptives to un-married couples in 1972, while Roe used the arguments and language of Griswold and Eisenstadt to impose legal abortion on all fifty U.S. states in 1973.

The legal precedent set by the Griswold case, allowing married couples to use contraception, was thus employed throughout the decades until the Obergefell decision in 2015, which, citing Griswold, ruled that no state could refuse to recognize two men or two women calling themselves “married” as such.


  amy coney barrett, chris coons, contraception, griswold v. connecticut, homosexuality, roe v. wade, roe v. wade movie, supreme court

News

US bishop: Right to life must be ‘paramount’ in 2020 election

'The right to life itself must be given our paramount consideration'
Wed Oct 14, 2020 - 5:30 pm EST
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Diocese of Cleveland Bishop Edward C. Malesic
Mary Werbaneth
By

CLEVELAND, Ohio, October 14, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Bishop Edward Malesic of the Diocese of Cleveland released a letter on his diocesan website regarding the “paramount consideration” that must be given to the right to life and opposing abortion above all other issues when voting in next month’s election.

“The consistent teaching of the Church regarding the intrinsic evil of abortion seeks to secure all other rights as well,” Malesic wrote in his Sept. 30 letter. 

He agreed with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, who stated in their Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility, that “the threat of abortion remains our preeminent priority because it takes place within the sanctuary of the family and because of the number of lives destroyed.” 

Malesic went on to say that it is not enough to vote according to conscience, but that one’s conscience must be properly formed.

“A properly formed conscience comes through prayer, Scripture and studying the teaching of the Church that is promoted and protected by the apostles and their successors, the bishops.”

He again quoted the bishops:

A Catholic voter cannot vote for a candidate who favors a policy promoting an intrinsically evil act, such as abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, subjecting workers or the poor to subhuman living conditions, redefining marriage in ways that violate its essential meaning, or racist behavior, if the voter’s intent is to support that position...At the same time, a voter should not use a candidate's opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity.

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Malesic made it clear that, even though there are other social justice issues that need attention, the right to life is foremost. 

“When we cast our vote, we must not remain indifferent to those positions and policies that would negatively impact religious freedoms, erode the traditional family, or make it difficult for the poor to access adequate education, housing and healthcare. We must carefully consider how to fix our broken immigration system, address the worldwide refugee crisis, preserve our natural resources, protect the environment and strive for humane solutions to global conflict and terrorism,” he said. 

“But, to be clear, although there are many causes our Church stands for and is vocal about, the right to life itself must be given our paramount consideration so that people can have the chance to secure all the other benefits that life can afford,” he added.


  2020 election, abortion, edward malesic, seamless garment

News

WATCH: Man who left LGBT lifestyle says he’ll be jailed under new Canadian law for telling story

Hudson Byblow struggled with unwanted same-sex attractions and transgender inclinations.
Wed Oct 14, 2020 - 5:03 pm EST
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Hudson Byblow CampaignLifeTV / Youtube screen grab
Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne
By Lianne Laurence

TORONTO, October 14, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A Canadian man who has struggled with unwanted same-sex attractions and transgender inclinations is pleading with the Trudeau Liberals not to criminalize therapy that helps minors deal with the same struggles he did.

“The reason it took me so long to make this video was because I think I had to adjust to the shock that it would possibly be illegal for my own story to be shared,” Hudson Byblow, an internationally renowned Catholic teacher, speaker and member of Courage International,  says in a video message to Members of Parliament (MPs).

“I’m a person who has same-sex attractions and transgender inclinations, both being part of my story, and I have spent a lot of time sharing my story of finding peace and joy outside of that mindset, regardless of wherever my attractions were,” added Byblow, a 39-year-old who lives in Saskatchewan.

“I have a voice, and the moment that it’s going to get suppressed, it’s like, what does that say about our country? True North strong and free?”

Byblow’s video is the fifth in a series co-produced by Campaign Life Coalition, Canada’s national pro-life, pro-family political lobbying group and LifeSiteNews, in which individuals relate how they were helped in dealing with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion.

They all urge Canada’s MPs not to pass Bill 8 — reintroduced by the Liberals in October as Bill C-6.

The sweeping bill adds five new offences to the Criminal Code: causing a minor — defined as under age 18 — to undergo conversion therapy; removing a minor from Canada to undergo conversion therapy abroad; causing a person to undergo conversion therapy against his will; profiting from providing conversion therapy; and advertising an offer to provide conversion therapy.

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The first three offences are punishable by up to five years in prison, the last two by up to two years in prison.

The bill defines “conversion therapy” as any “practice, treatment or service designed to change a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual or gender identity to cisgender, or to repress or reduce non-heterosexual attraction or sexual behaviour.”

Bill C-6 notes: “For greater certainty, this definition does not include a practice, treatment or service that relates to a person’s gender transition; or to a person’s exploration of their identity or to its development.”

His story “too hot for the law”

However, if the bill passes, “then I guess I’m just going to have to go to jail for sharing my story. And…I’ll have the Canadian lawmakers to thank for that,” Byblow says in his message to MPs.

“I don’t want that to happen, obviously, but …what does that leave a person to do, right? It leaves a person hide – hide because their story is too hot for the law.”

In an extended interview with Grandin Media in 2018, Byblow related his journey from a troubled youth ensnared in homosexual pornography and transgenderism to a practicing Catholic who has found the joy of living a chaste life.

He said he is now a member of Courage International, a Catholic apostolate for men and women who experience same-sex attractions and want to live according to the teaching of the Catholic Church.

“I asked myself ‘Am I a sexuality with a person or am I a person with a sexuality?’ For me that was like ‘Boom!’. I can’t, as a matter of self-honesty, call myself a straight person or a gay person or a trans person. I have to call myself a person. My personhood is my first ingredient, so to speak,” Byblow related then.

“It’s important that this topic not be reduced to mere behaviour management. This is about real people with real hearts, but also real choices to choose to live chastely or not,” he added.

“But I know that I never could have conscientiously chosen to live chastely unless I had first come to see the joy of it myself from others,” Byblow told Grandin Media.

“We never know what God can do. Sometimes He lets us carry a cross of experiencing something we would rather not experience. It’s up to us to take up that cross and follow Him anyway.”

Ideas will “become hate”: Byblow

In his message to MPs, Byblow urged them not to “kowtow to the demands” of “extreme activists” and described the “LGBTQ pride movement” is “a religion in itself” and an “opposing ideology.”

“I’ve had activists tell me over coffee… to say something, like, anything short of absolute affirmation is a form of hate,” he said.

“And that’s what I’m really worried about, is that so that makes ideas that broaden the narrative a form of hate. And of course, …if our laws kind of kowtow to the demands of these…I would say, extreme activists, then ideas become hate.”

If that happens, “some spiteful people” will have the ability to “hamstring anybody who believes something differently,” Byblow said.

“To me, that makes the LGTBQ pride movement, or the activist movement, nothing short of a religion in and of itself, and now we’re talking about opposing ideologies.”

Canadians are free to express ideas that dissent from the mainstream narrative in other areas, but not when it comes to same-sex and transgender inclinations, he said.

However, “these are ideas that brought me freedom, and have brought lots of other people freedom too, he said. “I have walked away from the LGTBQ mindset and have found a new life – I have found a way to find peace and joy.”

Media refuses to tell stories like these

According to Byblow’s website, he speaks in the USA and Canada “about human sexuality, in accordance with Pope JPII’s Theology of the Body, in a way that is engaging, unifying, and personalized.” He has also consulted for Catholic Answers, LifeTeen, and Courage International,” and has been published in the Chastity Project, National Catholic Register, Ascension Press, One Peter Five, CRISIS Magazine, and Catholic World Report.

Campaign Life’s director of political operations Jack Fonseca said the videos are essential to counteract the media’s misleading portrayal of “conversion” therapy.

“The biased Liberal media has been pumping out story after story, column after column, to falsely vilify effective and helpful counselling supports for people who struggle with unwanted gender confusion or same-sex attraction,” he told LifeSiteNews.

“It won’t report on people like Hudson and the others in our video series who can testify to the personal experience of finding healing for therapy and/or spiritual counselling to walk away from an LGBT lifestyle.”

Fonseca urged all pro-family Canadians to send their MP a link to Byblow’s message, as well as to the other videos in the series.

“The more people who share these videos with their MP, the more likely the lawmaker will watch it and take the message to heart.”

To find out who your MP is and contact information, go to the Campaign Life Coalition website here.


  bill c-6, campaign life coalition, conversion therapy bans, homosexuality, hudson byblow, justin trudeau, transgenderism

News

Court panel strikes down Texas ban on gruesome dismemberment abortions

A judge claimed the dismemberment procedure is acceptable because other types of abortions are 'dangerous' and 'no benefit to the woman.'
Wed Oct 14, 2020 - 4:28 pm EST
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Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

October 14, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A three-judge panel of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a Texas law on Tuesday that would have banned the use of aptly-named “dismemberment abortion” procedures common in the second trimester.

Enacted in 2017 but never enforced due to legal battles, the law bans the dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortion procedure, more commonly known as “dismemberment abortions,” because they tear a preborn baby apart limb by limb. The judges voted 2-1 against the law.

The ban “forces abortion providers to act contrary to their medical judgment and the best interest of their patient” by requiring them to instead use “dangerous” procedures that offer “no benefit to the woman, Judge James Dennis claimed in his majority opinion. Its “burdens substantially outweigh its benefits,” he claimed.

The office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has not yet responded to the decision or announced its next move, but Texas Right to Life has declared that the ruling “demonstrates the need for judges who follow the strictest interpretation of the Constitution,” and that “Texas must continue the legal battle to force a federal circuit court split, pressuring the Supreme Court of the United States to evaluate the merits of the law.”

Pro-lifers note that in 2000’s Stenberg v. Carhart, pro-abortion Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens admitted that partial-birth abortion and dismemberment abortion were “equally gruesome,” and that it was “simply irrational” to conclude that one was “more akin to infanticide than the other.” Stenberg struck down the federal partial-birth abortion ban, but Gonzales v. Carhart ultimately upheld it in 2007.

Pro-abortion activists have objected to the “dismemberment” label as inflammatory and misleading, but the abortion industry itself has effectively admitted its accuracy. The National Abortion Federation’s own instructional materials describe “grasping a fetal part,” then “withdraw(ing) the forceps while gently rotating it” to achieve “separation,” and notorious late-term abortionist Warren Hern has written, “there is no possibility of denial of an act of destruction by the operator (of D&E procedures). It is before one’s eyes. The sensations of dismemberment flow through the forceps like an electric current.”

Defenders also claim dismemberment abortions are the safest second-trimester procedure available (for the mother), but pro-lifers suspect abortionists actually prefer D&E abortions because they can fit more into their schedule, and therefore make more money.

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  abortion, dismemberment abortion, dismemberment abortion ban, fifth circuit court of appeals, judicial activism, texas

News

Democrats announce outside witnesses to attack Barrett on abortion, Obamacare

The fourth day of confirmation hearings will feature several outside witnesses, including a woman who 'fought for her right' to have an abortion at age 16.
Wed Oct 14, 2020 - 3:50 pm EST
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Martin Bürger Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

WASHINGTON, D.C.October 14, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Democrats will continue to attack Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett over Obamacare and abortion during tomorrow’s questioning of outside witnesses, including a young woman who as a teenager “fought for her right” to have an abortion. 

With their choice of four outside witnesses, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee seem to follow the line of questioning employed during yesterday’s and today’s confirmation hearings, which involved only Barrett. Tomorrow, the committee will hear from several outside witnesses, four of which were named by the Democrats. 

Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) announced earlier today that senators may question Crystal Good, who “fought for her right to obtain an abortion at age 16. Crystal will speak about the importance of reproductive rights and justice.” 

The phrase “reproductive rights and justice” is a euphemism for abortion and contraception. 

Two witnesses will be speaking about the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. 

One of them is Stacy Staggs, “a mother of 7-year old twins. Stacy’s twins have multiple pre-existing conditions due to their premature birth and rely on the Affordable Care Act’s protections.” 

Stacy works with Little Lobbyists, a nonprofit started by families with children who have complex medical needs,” Feinstein’s press release stated. “Stacy will discuss the devastating effects on her family if the Supreme Court overturns the Affordable Care Act.” 

The other, Dr. Farhan Bhatti, is “a family physician and CEO of Care Free Medical, a nonprofit clinic. Dr. Bhatti will discuss the harm to his patients if the Supreme Court overturns the Affordable Care Act.” 

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Finally, Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, “will speak about the importance of voting rights and other civil rights protected by the Constitution and federal law.” 

Like abortion and Obamacare, the issue of voting has come up frequently during the hearings. 

Republicans also announced a number of outside witnesses. 

One of them is former federal judge Thomas B. Griffith, who on Monday wrote about his conviction that Barrett’s Catholic faith would not influence her decisions as a Supreme Court justice. Griffith said in his article for Bloomberg that he sees “no reason to think” Barrett would impose her faith on others via her rulings. 

It takes no guesswork to determine whether Barrett will approach her work in this way,” Griffith, himself a Mormon, argued. “She has already said that she will. In her 2017 confirmation hearings, she said (under oath!) that a judge should ‘never’ impose her ‘personal convictions, whether they derive from faith or anywhere else, on the law.’ She said so again in a 2019 speech to Hillsdale College: ‘A judge is obligated to apply the law as it is, and not as she wishes it would be.’” 

And she said so again in a 2019 speech at Princeton University: ‘A judge’s view about the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act should not turn on whether he or she thinks the act is good or bad policy.’” 

Saikrishna Prakash, law professor at the University of Virginia, will testify, as well. On the day after Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court, Prakash explained the nominee “approaches stare decisis from a practical perspective” in her academic writing. 

The legal term stare decisis refers to judges granting weight to past rulings’ status as precedent, regardless of whether they were rightly decided. Some judges put more weight on it than others, with Justice Clarence Thomas being most critical of the concept. 

The question of stare decisis is especially relevant with regard to potentially overturning the legalization of abortion in the 1973 landmark case Roe v. Wade. 

Barrett “doesn’t ever say that the courts should be overturning a bunch of precedents,” Prakash told Bloomberg. “She disagrees with those who want to revolutionize case law.” 

As a professor, and then a judge, Barrett was instrumental in forming young minds. Two of her students and clerks will be testifying at tomorrow’s hearing. 

Amanda Rauh-Bieri clerked for Barrett on the Seventh Circuit, and Laura Wolk, who was the first blind woman to clerk at the Supreme Court, is one of Barrett’s former students at the University of Notre Dame. 

While all these witnesses will be part of the same panel, a separate panel will feature comments from two representatives of the American Bar Association (ABA), the most prominent and influential association of lawyers in this country. 

In a letter dated October 11, the ABA wrote that a “substantial majority of the Standing Committee determined that Judge Barrett is ‘Well Qualified,’ and a minority is of the opinion that she is ‘Qualified’ to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. The majority rating represents the Standing Committee’s official rating.” 


  abortion, amy coney barrett, crystal good, dianne feinstein, supreme court confirmation hearing

News

Police arrest four pro-lifers after they enter Planned Parenthood facility, counsel mothers to choose life

Once inside the abortion center, the pro-life Red Rose Rescuers gently approached mothers seated in the waiting room and offered them red roses as a symbol of life
Wed Oct 14, 2020 - 3:45 pm EST
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Police arrest Will Goodman, Oct. 14, 2020.
Michael Haynes
By

UPDATE, October 16, 2020: All four rescuers who were arrested were subsequently released by 1:00 p.m. Eastern time the same day.

SHREWSBURY, New Jersey, October 14, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Peaceful pro-lifers have performed another Red Rose Rescue this morning by entering a Planned Parenthood abortion facility and offering help to the mothers inside.

At 9:10 am EST this morning, two veteran pro-lifers, Fr. Fidelis Moscinski, CFR and Joan Andrews Bell, entered the Planned Parenthood in Shrewsbury, NJ.

Once inside, they gently approached mothers seated in the waiting room and offered them red roses as a symbol of life. Attached to each rose was a card that stated on one side You were made to love and to be loved...your goodness is greater than the difficulties of your situation. Circumstances in life change. A new life, however tiny, brings the promise of unrepeatable job.”

On the other side of the card were the phone numbers of local pregnancy help centers.

When police officers swiftly arrived on the scene, the pro-lifers attempted to continue conversation with women or sat on the floor praying quietly or singing hymns.

The pro-lifers were arrested at 9:35 am EST and driven off.

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Shortly afterward, two more rescuers entered the Planned Parenthood facility. Will Goodman and Matthew Connolly walked in at 9:55 am EST, in order to pray and counsel mothers.

They were arrested only ten minutes later. At one point there were twelve police officers on the scene.

However, as a result of the Red Rose Rescue, all appointments at the facility were rescheduled; today is the day on which the abortion pills are normally given out to mothers.

Dr. Monica Migliorino Miller, director of the Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, gave a statement regarding the rescue: “The Red Rose Rescue in Shrewsbury is a true defense of the unborn about to be put to death - but the goal is to also reach out to the mothers who are inside the abortion center, to talk to them, offer them words of encouragement to give life to their unborn children and offer them real practical material help. This is why the rescuers go into the abortion center. We go where the women are!  They have passed by the sidewalk counsellors but the Red Rose Rescuers simply go that one extra step before it is too late.”

Miller continued: “But should the women still not choose to give life - the rescuers will stay in the clinic, sit there peacefully praying and singing hymns and continuing to reach out to the mothers. We know from experience that as long as there is a pro-life presence inside the abortion centers the killing is halted. The unborn deserve at least this much defense.”

This marks the second Red Rose Rescue to take place at a Planned Parenthood abortion facility and is also the seventeenth rescue in the United States since September 2017.

Whilst rescuers have been arrested in the past, to date, none of the Red Rose Rescue volunteers have been charged under the Federal Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE), which prohibits pro-lifers from physically obstructing entrances to abortion mills.


  abortion, fidelis moscinski, joan andrews bell, matthew connolly, planned parenthood, pro-life witness, red rose rescue, will goodman

News

Courts unleashed Big Tech bias by misinterpreting law, Clarence Thomas suggests

Section 230 immunizes websites from being held liable for the third-party content they host, such as posts, tweets, or videos uploaded by their users.
Wed Oct 14, 2020 - 2:22 pm EST
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Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas
Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 14, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – As lawmakers and activists advocate for various changes to federal law to address social media giants’ manipulation of information, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas weighed in by suggesting the heart of the problem is not the law itself, but how courts have interpreted it.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court released a list of orders for numerous cases, among them Malwarebytes Inc. v. Enigma Software Group USA, LLC. The dispute concerns the limits of computer-service providers’ immunity from civil liability under Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act, in this case as it pertains to filtering decisions allegedly motivated by “anticompetitive animus.” 

The Supreme Court rejected a petition to take up the case, but Thomas issued his own statement which, while not legally binding, offers insight into the nature and limits of the hotly-contested law.

“Courts have also departed from the most natural reading of the text by giving Internet companies immunity for their own content,” Thomas writes. “Section 230(c)(1) protects a company from publisher liability only when content is ‘provided by another information content provider.’ Nowhere does this provision protect a company that is itself the information content provider...And an information content provider is not just the primary author or creator; it is anyone ‘responsible, in whole or in part, for the creation or development’ of the content.”

“But from the beginning, courts have held that §230(c)(1) protects the ‘exercise of a publisher’s traditional editorial functions—such as deciding whether to publish, withdraw, postpone or alter content,’” Thomas continues. “Under this interpretation, a company can solicit thousands of potentially defamatory statements, ‘selec[t] and edi[t] . . . for publication’ several of those statements, add commentary, and then feature the final product prominently over other submissions—all while enjoying immunity.”

Thomas argues that “by construing §230(c)(1) to protect any decision to edit or remove content...courts have curtailed the limits Congress placed on decisions to remove content.”

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In the context of social media, Section 230 immunizes websites from being held liable for the third-party content they host, such as posts, tweets, or videos uploaded by their users. This provision has been credited with helping the internet thrive, but has grown controversial in recent years as social media companies have grown bolder in exercising editorial judgment over which content to restrict and what to flag as “hateful,” “harmful,” or “misinformation.”

That trend has led to growing calls on the Right to either amend, reinterpret, or repeal Section 230. The conservative Media Research Center’s (MRC’s) Free Speech Alliance (of which LifeSiteNews is a member) is currently working on gathering as many public comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as possible urging the commission to review how Section 230 is currently interpreted and applied.

The effort is meant to help support an executive order President Donald Trump signed in May, aimed at tweaking how federal agencies interpret and enforce Section 230. The order essentially directs the FCC to propose an administrative rule that would “spell out what it means for the tech giants to carry out their takedown policies ‘in good faith,’” national security attorney Stewart Baker explained.


  big tech, censorship, clarence thomas, communications decency act, free speech, section 230, social media bias

News

Woman arrested amid Vatican financial scandal claims she worked in ‘parallel diplomacy’

Cecilia Marogna, 39, described as Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciù’s 'security advisor' has been accused of embezzlement. Vatican investigators allege that she received €500,000 ($588,000 US) from the Holy See for 'secret' humanitarian works in Africa and Asia.
Wed Oct 14, 2020 - 2:06 pm EST
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Cecilia Marogna / Cardinal Angelo Becciu
Dorothy Cummings McLean Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy
By Dorothy Cummings McLean

MILAN, Italy, October 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) ― A woman associated with the Vatican’s latest financial scandal was arrested yesterday in Milan. 

Cecilia Marogna, 39, described as Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciù’s “security advisor”, has been accused of embezzlement. Vatican investigators allege that Marogna, who received €500,000 ($588,000 US) from the Holy See for “secret” humanitarian works in Africa and Asia, used almost half the money to buy handbags and other luxury goods. Marogna was arrested by the Italian financial police after the Vatican issued an international arrest warrant through Interpol. 

Marogna, like Becciù, is from the Italian island of Sardinia. According to the Sardinian Post, it is “the first time Milanese judges must decide on an extradition to the Vatican.” Milan’s Court of Appeal will have to decide within 48 hours of the arrest if it was warranted but the actual extradition to the Vatican city-state could take weeks. The Post noted that Marogna might appeal to the Italian Supreme Court. 

Il Messaggero reported last night that Marogna had received the money in “different slices” between December 2018 and July 2019. The money was deposited into the bank account of her company Logsic, which has its headquarters in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

“Of that approximate 500,000 euros, however, almost 200,000 was spent on clothes, restaurants and luxury accessories,” Il Messaggero stated and detailed that, among other expenditures, €2,000 went to Prada and €8,000 to Chanel.

Logsic itself is alleged to be a shell company, with a closed office “without even a name plate” at its Slovenian address and a post office box “shared with five other companies.”

“The credit transfers in question would have been approved when Becciù had already been followed as Substitute of General Affairs by [Archbishop] Edgar Pena Parra, but it would have been the [Cardinal] who asked Monsignor Alberto Perlasca, at that time the head of the administrative office of the Secretariat of State, to honor the deal made with the managing director of Logsic,” Il Messaggero reported. 

The story of “Cardinal Becciù and the lady” first seized the attention of the Italian press last week after a television news show claimed to have evidence that Marogna had spent thousands of the Vatican’s euros, thanks to the cardinal, on luxury items. In interviews afterwards, Marogna denied that she had a familial or any kind of improper relationship with Becciù. She said that she had met the cardinal in 2016 and had offered to work for him in resolving tricky problems abroad in her capacity as a diplomatic expert.

“I received money from him because I am an expert in geopolitics and parallel diplomacy,” Marogna told Italian newspaper “Domani”.

The businesswoman said that she had used the money she had been paid to do the work she had been asked to do: “create relationships and contacts in difficult countries. I did reports and analysis, so it is fair that I was paid,” Marogna declared. 

“I’m not a con artist.”  

The luxury goods she bought were used to further these ends, she maintained, and claimed that the money covered work done over four years. But some of the money, Marogna admitted, she took as her fee.

“It’s not like I’m a missionary,” she observed.   

This is the latest of a series of shocks involving Cardinal Becciù’s financial dealings as the second most senior official of the Secretariat of State from 2011 to 2018. On September 24, the Vatican released a terse note stating that Becciù had resigned as Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints and from the rights connected with the cardinalate. Shortly after, an Italian newspaper alleged that the cardinal had been involved in questionable financial transactions, including the transfer of large sum of Vatican money to a charity administered by one brother, the patronage of the carpentry firm of another brother, and the patronage of a food-and-drink company owned by a third brother. 

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At a press conference the next day, Becciù stated that he had had an uncomfortable meeting with Pope Francis, who told him that the financial police had accused the cardinal of embezzlement. 

Becciù is also alleged to have interfered with the clean-up of the Vatican finances mandated by Pope Francis. In April 2016, the then-Substitute for General Affairs cancelled an external audit planned by Cardinal Pell, the then-Prefect for the Economy.

“Unilaterally, and without permission of Pope Francis, Becciu cancelled the audit and announced in a letter to all Vatican departments that it would not take place. When Pell challenged internally the audit’s cancellation, Becciu persuaded Pope Francis to give his decision ex post facto approval, sources inside the prefecture told CNA. The audit never took place,” Catholic News Agency reported in 2019.


  angelo becciu, cecilia marogna, vatican finances, vatican financial corruption, vatican financial scandals

News

President Trump ‘is sounding like a bishop’ should when he speaks about unborn children

'He’s basically quoting the Catholic Catechism,' Bishop Joseph Strickland said on his podcast today.
Wed Oct 14, 2020 - 1:08 pm EST
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By LifeSiteNews staff

October 14, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas offered high praise for President Donald J. Trump this week on The Bishop Strickland Show, which is being streamed live every Tuesday night on LifeSite’s YouTube channel here at 9:00 pm EST. Strickland is one of the most outspoken bishops on pro-life issues in the entire country. 

During his conversation with co-host Terry Barber, His Excellency said that we should “put politics aside” and simply recognize that the sitting President of the United States is speaking about unborn children in a way that makes him sound like he’s a Catholic bishop.

“He’s basically quoting the Catholic Catechism,” Strickland remarked. “He is sounding like a Bishop or any faithful Catholic.”

Strickland and Barber had just watched a clip of Trump’s address to this year’s virtual Al Smith dinner, the annual fundraising event usually hosted in New York City that Democratic and Republican presidential candidates normally address in person.

Barber agreed wholeheartedly with Bishop Strickland, saying, “I appreciate President Trump speaking like this…I was shocked when I heard this.”

Strickland and Barber also touched on the sexual revolution launched in the 1960s and the Netflix movie Cuties. Both agreed that the film was pornographic and that anyone who has a subscription to Netflix should cancel it immediately. 

During the tail end of the broadcast, Bishop Strickland expressed strong resistance to a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine. He echoed the remarks of Bishop Athanasius Schneider in saying that such a vaccine is not from God and that people of faith need to resist all efforts to require a vaccine.

“It’s the whole pharmaceutical industry. There’s a lot of money in these vaccines — not just for COVID but vaccines, period. And it’s all woven into the abortion industry…they want to make money.”


  bishop strickland, bishop strickland show, donald trump, joseph strickland, president trump, the bishop strickland show

News

Canadian police perform midnight COVID quarantine check on terrified woman home alone

The 32-year-old woman, who was self-isolating due to travel,  locked herself in the bathroom, believing intruders were breaking in to abduct her and worse.
Wed Oct 14, 2020 - 12:35 pm EST
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Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne
By Lianne Laurence

FLINTON, Ontario, October 13, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Ontario police showed up after midnight with flashlights and banged on the door of a 32-year-old woman living alone to perform a COVID quarantine check last week. The terrified woman, who was self-isolating due to travel,  locked herself in the bathroom, believing intruders were breaking in to abduct her and worse.

The woman's father says he is filing an official complaint with the police and is considering legal action for “significant suffering damages” that he says his daughter experienced as a result of the police action.

The father, who declined to be interviewed by LifeSiteNews and asked that his personal details not be published, sent an account of the incident to Ontario Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) Randy Hillier, who posted it on his website, Facebook and Twitter.

In his October 6 email, the father says that his daughter had returned from abroad and was quarantining alone in a family property in the hamlet of Flinton.

In March, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government brought in emergency orders under federal Quarantine Act requiring individuals entering Canada from other countries to isolate for 14 days. Those found guilty of breaking the orders face a maximum fine of $750,000 or six months in jail.

“Last night (early today) at 1:24 AM, [redacted] OPP attended the property with no notice and no announcement or introduction and no police car lights on,” the father stated.

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“My daughter only heard loud banging on the door and saw flashlight(s) and car headlights, but no flashing police lights and frantically locked herself in the bathroom and called me in Oshawa,” he said.

“I am two hours from a terrified daughter asking me what to do, Daddy, if the intruders enter the house and abduct her or whatever. We called 911 from Oshawa and were informed within about another 10 minutes that it was the police doing a quarantine checkup (at 1:24 AM?),” he stated.

“Meanwhile my daughter can hardly breathe and I’m helplessly left to wonder what is to become of my daughter. My other son was contacted the Sergeant [redacted] who callously stated that this is a pandemic and police can do what they want.”

The father is filing an official complaint with the OPP detachment and “considering media contact and legal action for significant suffering damages,” he said.

“What are OPP doing terrorizing a single female law-abiding citizen following quarantine guidelines as set out by your government in the middle of the night?”

Independent MPP Hillier told LifeSiteNews that “the family and myself are seeking to resolve this,” but that he could not speak on their behalf as to what the resolution might be.

There “could be other legal actions,” he suggested. “I think we can all see that the actions that happened were intolerable.”

OPP reached out and apologized: spokesman

The officer in question serves at OPP Central Hastings detachment, but the force does “not release the names of officers involved in specific incidents,” OPP spokesman Bill Dickson told LifeSiteNews.

He said the OPP has apologized for the timing of the quarantine check.

“A member of the Central Hastings OPP recently attempted to conduct a required compliance visit, under the Federal Quarantine Act, in the early hours of the morning,” Dickson said in an email.

“We are aware that this matter caused distress and was subsequently shared on social media.”

The OPP “has reached out the individuals involved in the incident to apologize for the timing of the compliance visit and moving forward, will ensure Quarantine Act visits are not conducted at unreasonable times,” added Dickson.

He did not comment on whether or not the officer identified himself as police in a timely manner, stating that the OPP “will not engage in a discussion in the media about an incident.”

Nor did he confirm if the father has gone forward with filing a formal complaint.

Hillier told LifeSiteNews that as a result of his social media post, “OPP brass” has reviewed protocols around quarantine checks and “verbally” assured him such incidents won’t happen again.

He’s also written OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique for an assurance that there will be protocols for such compliance checks.

Hillier said that what’s particularly disturbing about the Flinton incident is the officer allegedly stating he could do what he wanted because this is a pandemic.

The incident comes after Premier Doug Ford, in response to media criticism he was being too lax in enforcing coronavirus restrictions, told police during a press conference in September to “bring the hammer down.”

“No, no, he can’t. I don’t care what the premier says,” said Hillier. “We must adhere to the rule of law. We must have regard and respect for people.”

Canada on path to “medical authoritarianism”

However, such incidents are not unusual in a Canada that is “descending down a scary path towards medical authoritarianism,” says Jay Cameron, lawyer with the Calgary-based Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedom (JCCF).

“That’s taking place across the country,” he told LifeSiteNews.

“Police are showing up and doing randomized checks. I've heard stories about people being compelled to present ID at the door to verify their identity. And it’s all to enforce the quarantine provisions,” Cameron added.

The “rigorous checks and balances” in Canada’s Criminal Code are “sorely missing and entirely absent in most cases” in the country’s new “health regime,” he said.

“The Charter says it protects against authoritarian state action, but governments are ignoring the Charter. That’s the practical reality.”

He pointed to an incident in Quebec City where police arrested and forcibly quarantined two people suspected of being infected with Covid-19 at a karaoke bar.

The Post Millennial reported last month that Quebec City health authority Dr. Jacques Girard explained during a press conference that patrons were told to wait for their test results at the bar, but some refused to do so.

As a result, he ordered two people “taken and forcibly placed into isolation by the state … and police cooperation was exceptional,” said Girard.

The individuals were not being held at home, he added.

“It is a location; we at the CIUSS [Government agency] have the power to provide for preventative isolations. It is happening.”

LifeSiteNews contacted Girard for a comment on the incident, but did not hear back.

Cameron underscored the disturbing aspects of the case.

“The police did the bidding of that one public health official. No judge was involved, no lawyers were involved, there was no bail hearing, there was no show cause hearing. It was all based on suspicion of infection of a disease that we know is nowhere as near as scary as we were told.”

Some provinces have put their own quarantine restrictions in place, he said.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s UCP government has implemented a 14-day mandatory isolation period for individuals arriving from other countries that is a “house arrest provision” and does not even allow the quarantined individual to go outside for “mental health” and exercise.

“Locking down everything and harassing citizens for a virus that statistically is nowhere near as dangerous as what’s projected is draconian.”

The Trudeau government’s plans to expand federal “quarantine/isolation sites” across Canada is also a cause for alarm, added Cameron.

PHAC made 180,438 referrals to police since March

Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) media relations told LifeSiteNews in a statement that it and the RCMP rely on “regional law enforcement agencies to verify the compliance of travelers entering Canada,” and that “law enforcement is expected to use its discretion” in enforcing the emergency orders.

“The frequency of compliance visits by law enforcement is based on operational requirements and priorities of each law enforcement unit.”

PHAC assigns “a priority level, either high, medium or low priority to travelers based on indicators gathered from the verification call(s) or from other sources, such as information referenced at time of border crossing,” it stated.

“PHAC is not able to provide the numbers of referrals that were sent to police as a result of Canada Border Services Agency flag.”

According to the PHAC statement, from the Mandatory Isolation Order’s implementation on March 25, 2020 until September 29, 2020, “a total of 180,438 referrals (high and medium) were made by PHAC to law enforcement for the physical verification of travelers.”

During that time, “a total of 52 contravention tickets and four summonses, have been reported to PHAC as being issued for offences under the Quarantine Act.”

Contact information to respectfully express your view:

Office of Ontario Premier Doug Ford
Room 281
Legislative Building, Queen’s Park
Toronto, ON M7A 1A1
Tel. 416-325-1941
Email: [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

OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique
777 Memorial Avenue
Orillia, ON L3V 7V3
Tel. 705-329-6111


  canada, coronavirus, coronavirus restrictions, ontario, police, police brutality, police negligence, police violence, quarantine, randy hillier

News

Another COVID vaccine using aborted baby cell line pauses trials after participant’s ‘unexplained illness’

This is the second time that trials for a coronavirus vaccine using a cell line developed from tissue from an aborted baby have been halted due to a serious medical concern. 
Wed Oct 14, 2020 - 11:07 am EST
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Patrick Delaney Patrick Delaney Follow
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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ, October 14, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Clinical trials for one of the leading potential coronavirus vaccines, which uses cell lines from an aborted baby, have been temporarily paused due to a serious medical complication in one of its participants 

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) released a statement on behalf of their pharmaceutical division Janssen Monday announcing they “have temporarily paused further dosing in all our COVID-19 vaccine candidate clinical trials due to the development of an “unexplained illness” in one individual.  

This pause effects all trials of the J&J vaccine including Janssen's large-scale Phase 3 clinical trial which began on September 22 and anticipates the enrollment of 60,000 volunteers and 215 research sites. 

Though the specific participant’s illness has not been released, it is being evaluated by an independent Data Safety Monitoring Board” as well as the corporation’s “internal clinical and safety physicians.” 

The J&J statement insists that such adverse events “are an expected part of any clinical study, especially large studies” and they have “prespecified guidelines” which provide protocols for pausing such trials when they face a “serious adverse event.” 

However, the halting of these clinical trials occurs with a background of concerns raised among experts regarding the potential risks of rushing coronavirus vaccines to the end user in a matter of months, a process which would normally require years to achieve.   

Due to the tight timelines required by the Trump Administration’s Operation Warp Speed, the Food and Drug Administration has permitted these potential vaccines to be directly tested on humans without first completing the necessary animal testing to ensure safety and efficacy.  

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Further, this particular vaccine from J&J utilizes the human fetal cell line PER.C6 for its development. The PER.C6 fetal cell line was derived from retinal tissue taken from an 18-week-old baby boy who was aborted in the Netherlands in 1985 and was later converted into a fetal cell line in 1995. 

Dr. Alex van der Eb, who developed the PER. C6 cell line, told FDA hearings in 2001 that the cell line was developed from retinal tissue from an 18 week old preborn baby.

I isolated retina from a fetus, from a healthy fetus as far as could be seen, of 18 weeks old. There was nothing special with a family history or the pregnancy was completely normal up to the 18 weeks, and it turned out to be a socially indicated abortus – abortus provocatus, and that was simply because the woman wanted to get rid of the fetus...what was written down was unknown father, and that was, in fact, the reason why the abortion was requested. 

This is the second time that trials for a coronavirus vaccine using a cell line developed from tissue from an aborted baby have been halted due to a serious medical concern. Last month AstraZeneca, which is using the HEK 293 cell line, announced a “voluntary pause of vaccination across all trials” due to what the New York Times reported from their sources to be “a diagnosis of transverse myelitis, an inflammatory syndrome that affects the spinal cord and is often sparked by viral infections.”  Though the studies in the U.K. have now resumed, according to The Wall Street Journalthey remain on hold in the U.S. 

Between March and August of this year, the Trump Administration’s Department of Health and Human Services announced the granting of almost $1.5 billion to Johnson & Johnson for the development, testing, manufacturing, and delivery of 100 million doses of this vaccine with the option to purchase more. 


  aborted fetal cell lines, coronavirus, coronavirus vaccine, covid-19, fetal cell lines, hek293, janssen, johnson & johnson, operation warp speed, per.c6

News

Australian family fined $10,000 for crossing over COVID boundry to buy vitamins, food

Joshua and Ailes Deen and their four children were stopped by Vitoria Police for crossing over the arbitrary line marking the city border and fined.
Wed Oct 14, 2020 - 10:47 am EST
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Joshua and Ailes Deen being interviewed by Rebel News, Victoria, Australia, Oct. 2020. Rebel News / video screen grab
Michael Haynes
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MELBOURNE, Australia, October 14, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A young family has fallen foul of the extreme laws and restrictions currently in force in the state of Victoria, Australia, and has been served with a $10,000 fine.

Joshua and Ailes Deen and their four children live in the town of Kurijang in the outskirts of the city of Melbourne. Returning from a short drive to replenish their supply of vitamins, the family was stopped by Vitoria Police for crossing over the arbitrary line marking the city border.

In an interview with Rebel News, Ailes Deen recounted how, after explaining their story to the police, the family was told they would receive fines of “a thousand dollars each, and when they came in the mail they were five thousand dollars.”

The current laws regarding the COVID-19 restrictions in the region state that individuals are only allowed to leave the metropolitan area for a minimal number of reasons, of which buying necessary goods is included.

However, the fine was issued to the Deen family on September 19, whilst Melbourne was in an even stricter lockdown, forbidding residents to leave their homes except for essential shopping, exercise, permitted work or caregiving. Crossing the border from the metropolitan area into regional Victoria was not permitted under this level of lockdown, and an additional 5km travel limit was also in place.

Joshua Deen described how their proximity to the regional border necessitated traveling across it: “I drive down my street and I turn left and that’s the very road that I got pulled over on, the road that leads to my street.”

Despite the heavy financial penalties incurred for crossing the border, there were no indications given of where the border was. “There’s no signage, there’s no nothing, there’s no roadblocks here,” said Joshua.

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“Who can afford ten thousand dollars,” exclaimed Ailes.

Expressing his own disbelief at the amount of the fine, the interviewer mentioned that “people are going to want to join us in the fight to fight this fine.”

He went on to describe the fines as going against all logical behavior: “Where is the common sense? Where is the discretion of the police officers? Surely someone in the state of Victoria can see that fines like this aren’t just irrational — they’re devastating to real families.”

A lawyer engaged to dispute the fine on behalf of the Deen family, pointed to the fact that the police had been extremely heavy-handed in issuing the fine. “Police have a discretion when issuing infringements and the community is entitled to expect that they exercise that discretion appropriately. $10,000 is a significant penalty for a young family…obviously well beyond their capacity to pay.”

Joshua urged others in similar situations to “stand up for yourself, stand up for your rights, and if you know you’ve done the right thing, speak up. I think that’s the only way we’re going to get through these hard times we’ve got in front of us.”

Victoria has come under international scrutiny for its excessive restrictions related to COVID–19. British newspaper, The Guardian reports that the Victorian government is facing “three class-action lawsuits over the lockdowns…with potentially thousands of plaintiffs seeking damages.”

On a recent episode of the John-Henry Western show, Dr. Bella d’Abrera described how “the crushing, anti-freedom measures taken by the Victorian government during COVID-19 are reminiscent of 1960s Berlin.”

In addition to the $4,957 fines issued to anyone entering regional Victoria from metropolitan Melbourne without good reason, shops in the regional area are being forced to check that their customers are not from the metropolitan area. Failure to do so will result in a fine of $9,913 for the business.

The government website further states that non-compliance with travel restrictions can result in a fine of up to $20,000 for individuals and $100,000 for businesses. Anyone caught not wearing a face mask without a legitimate reason, faces a fine of $200.

Around 2,000 soldiers have been deployed onto the streets in Victoria, to enforce the draconian laws.


  australia, coronavirus, coronavirus restrictions, lockdown, lockdowns, rebel news

News

Hyde Amendment has saved millions of babies from abortion. And Biden wants to repeal it

Dr. Michael New related how the amendment, which prevents federal funding of abortions, has saved numerous babies from abortion.
Wed Oct 14, 2020 - 8:45 am EST
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Madeleine Jacob Madeleine Jacob Follow
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October 14, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – As the 2020 Presidential election consumes the news, it is important for pro-lifers to truly understand the impact this election will have in the battle to save lives. 

In today’s episode of The Van Maren Show, Dr. Michael New, a research scholar, joins Jonathon to discuss how a Democratic Presidency impacts abortion rates, and what would happen if Joe Biden was able to repeal the Hyde Amendment. 

Michael New, Ph.D. is an Associate Scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute, and a visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science and Social Research at The Catholic University of America. He studied Political Science and Statistics at Stanford University and has completed numerous pro-life research projects. 

One surprising figure that has been cited recently, especially in memes, is that the number of abortions decreases during Democratic presidencies. The argument is that Democrats increase welfare programs and funding, which decreases the financial pressures that lead to abortions. Dr. New quickly dispels this myth. 

Listen to the full interview here: 

The abortion rate has been on a steady decline since 1980, according to Dr. New. In fact, when it did go up, it did so under a Democratic President, President Jimmy Carter. 

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When looking at the number of abortions, it is important to note that this figure is impacted by the number of women of childbearing age. Additionally, reporting the number of abortions has changed over the years. For example, California stopped reporting the number of abortions. 

Van Maren also points out that the rate of sexual activity among minors is decreasing. Although some may argue this is due to liberal sex-education, this isn’t the case. Dr. New tells listeners that research shows non-abstinence-based sex-education classes do not reduce pregnancy rates. 

Dr. New also highlights the fact that increasing access to contraception does not reduce the rate of abortion. Research indicates that half of women seeking abortions were using birth control the month they got pregnant. Dr. New points to the fact that the contraception mentality separates sex from procreation which lends itself to more of an abortion mentality.

Surprisingly, Dr. New also tells listeners that social welfare programs aren’t linked to a reduction in abortions. Currently, no research shows that welfare programs impact the number of abortions. 

What does impact the number of abortions according to the research? Federal funding of abortion. Numerous research studies show that decreasing federal funding of abortions decreases the number of abortions. 

Even the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion research institute, found that reducing Medicaid funding resulted in more unplanned pregnancies being carried to term. 

The Center for Reproductive Rights also did an analysis in 2010 that found that the Hyde Amendment had stopped 1 million abortions since 1976. 

Dr. New completed his own analysis for the Charlotte Lozier Institute and found that from 1976 to 2020, the Hyde Amendment had stopped 2.4 million abortions. 

“Don’t anybody tell you that pro-life political involvement has been for naught. There are 2.4 million women out there who have been spared a lifetime of regret because of the Hyde amendment and there are 2.4 million people walking around today who owe their lives to the Hyde Amendment,” Dr. New tells listeners. 

The Hyde Amendment prevents federal funding of abortions except to “save the life of the woman” or in the case of incest or rape. The Hyde Amendment was passed in 1976 and was upheld by the Supreme Court in a 1980 ruling. 

The Hyde Amendment, which is a budget provision, has been passed every single year. It has been passed every single year, despite the party of the President or the party in control of Congress. Both Clinton and Obama signed appropriations bills that included the Hyde Amendment. 

“So it is something that at one point enjoyed a lot of bipartisan support,” Dr. New says.

Now, Joe Biden is promising to repeal the Hyde Amendment as soon as he becomes President. 

“Regardless of what the exact figure [number of babies saved] is, it is a big number, lives are being saved by the Hyde Amendment and the election of Joe Biden wold clearly put the Hyde Amendment in danger,” Dr. New tells listeners, “I don’t ever advocate panicking, but we should be concerned.”

Dr. New also points out that Biden could also try to “pack the court” by adding more members to the Supreme Court. If this happens, the court would most likely be anti-life and would rule against both federal and state pro-life policies. 

Although there is often a strong conservative push back at the state level when a Democrat takes the White House, Dr. New warns that this won’t be enough to combat a Biden presidency. 

“I think overall a Biden presidency would do much more harm than good.” 

The Van Maren Show is hosted on numerous platforms, including Spotify, SoundCloud, iTunes, and Google Play.

For a full listing of episodes, and to subscribe to various channels, visit our Acast webpage here.

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  2020 u.s. election, charlotte lozier institute, hyde amendment, joe biden, michael new, the van maren show

News

Ontario shuts down businesses again for COVID, spurring outrage

A prominent doctor and a politician critical of government-imposed coronavirus lockdowns in their province blasted the new measures.
Wed Oct 14, 2020 - 7:43 am EST
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Premier Doug Ford of Ontario. Premier of Ontario / YouTube
Anthony Murdoch
By Anthony Murdoch

ONTARIO, October 14, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Two Canadians — a doctor and a politician — critical of government-imposed coronavirus lockdowns in their province have blasted new measures that effectively shutter “high contact locations” such as restaurants, gyms, and cinemas in Toronto, Ottawa, and the Peel region in Ontario.

@fordnation @celliottabilityWHY are you doing this? Do you realize the immense & irreparable harm, suffering & deaths your illogical lockdowns/restrictions are causing? Pls govern with #humanity. There’s another way—the saner approach, more moral approach & scientific approach,” wrote Ontario doctor Kulvinder Gill on Twitter Friday, in opposition to the measures, which effectively once again lock down the three most populous regions of the province.   

This past Friday, the Ontario provincial government under Premier Doug Ford announced “additional health measures” in modified Stage 2 reopening protocols for Toronto, Ottawa, and the Peel region, due to an apparent increase in new COVID-19 cases in those areas.  

Under the new restrictions, restaurants, bars, movie theaters, fitness clubs, team sports, performing arts centers and venues, museums, zoos, and conventions centers have been ordered closed.

The restrictions will be in place for at least 28 days and went into effect this past Saturday.

Schools and churches are not affected by the new lockdown measures, and restaurants are still allowed to sell take-out meals.    

Gill is president and co-founder of Concerned Ontario Doctors. She and her group have been critical opponents of the COVID-19-imposed lockdown measures in Ontario and Canada-wide.

She has said the “smears against hydroxychloroquine” as an effective treatment for COVID-19 need to stop. She has advocated for natural immunity as a defense against the virus and is opposed to rushing in a COVID-19 vaccine.

Gill has touted Sweden, which did not impose massive lockdown measures, as a model to follow in how to combat the coronavirus. As she did on Friday, Gill again called out Ford on Twitter over his government’s lockdown measures.

“Premier @fordnation, you have grossly abused your powers with catastrophic lockdowns & restrictions causing immense harm to innocent citizens. Now you’re disrespecting the public office you hold by gaslighting innocent citizens daily. The science and the law are NOT on your side,” wrote Gill on Twitter later in the day.

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Independent Ontario MPP Randy Hillier, who has called out Ford’s coronavirus lockdown measures repeatedly, blasted the new measures on Twitter late last week.  

“So there was little difference between covid and a bad flu season. But we will destroy our economy, diminish assess to family doctors and healthcare and teach our kids that there classmates are dangerous and kept away from one another. #FordFailedThePeople,” wrote Hillier on Twitter Friday.  

Yesterday, Hillier shared on Twitter a letter he received from an Ottawa resident who expressed his dissatisfaction with lockdowns and the harms they can cause.

“More and more health experts confirm that lockdowns will not make the virus go away, and that we have to learn to live with this as part of our normal baggage of natural viruses and illnesses, and that like other coronaviruses in the past, we have evolved to build growing immunity to such viruses and will, as always, adapt and become stronger in overcoming symptoms caused by COVID-19,” wrote a person named “Andre” in a letter to Hillier.

“We continue to live in fear and allow our governments to slowly destroy the livelihood, wellbeing, and safety of a manually selected minority. We are not all in this together.”

Hillier recently raised the alarm over the Trudeau Liberal government’s plan to expand COVID isolation/quarantine facilities coast to coast.

Ford had earlier said he was not in favor of imposing new restrictions on businesses. He later revealed that his health advisers had convinced him to “change his mind” because of new modeling presented to him last Thursday, which showed continued high case counts.

“I stood up here for days, fighting, saying we've got to keep [businesses] going, but after the numbers I saw yesterday ... if I didn't make this decision now, I'd be negligent,” Ford said to reporters last Friday. 

Toronto mayor John Tory and the city’s top doctor, Eileen de Villa, had been lobbying the Ford government to impose another lockdown in high population areas of the province, to “slow the spread.”

Tory, de Villa, and Ford went as far as to “urge” families to not gather over the weekend to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving, with Tory saying the safest option for those who live alone is to “join with others virtually.”

On Friday, Ford said his government would provide $300 million in funding for restaurants and other businesses that are directly impacted by the new restrictions, in the form of funds for helping with fixed business costs.

Friday’s new restrictions come on the heels of earlier curbs introduced in mid-September, when Ford imposed “severe fines” for those who break physical distancing health rules put in place due to the coronavirus.

Along with the fines, Ford instituted a province-wide reduction in gathering limit size, allowing for only 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors, down from 50 inside and 100 outside.

Crowd size limits were not affected by Friday’s new lockdown measures.   

As Ontario shuts down many parts of its economy again, some provinces, such as Alberta, do not appear to want to go in that direction.

In speaking with reporters last week, Alberta premier Jason Kenney said new lockdowns would devastate small businesses, adding that “we’re not gonna enforce our way out of this.”  

“Alberta has done extremely well on a global scale by taking a lighter approach to restrictions than many other jurisdictions that had vast lockdowns and aggressive enforcement and micromanaging people’s lives,” Kenney told reporters.

Kenney also said he does not believe that “hypothetical numbers” in new modeling, as Ontario used to justify new lockdowns, will “help.”

“At this point, we don’t believe that creating hypothetical numbers is going to improve our COVID response,” Kenney said to reporters.

The timing of Ontario’s new COVID-19 lockdowns comes around the same time the World Health Organization (WHO) changed course, saying over the weekend that world leaders should stop lockdowns.


  coronavirus, doug ford, kulvinder gill, ontario, police state, randy hillier

Opinion

US bishops funding group that blatantly campaigns for pro-abortion Joe Biden: report

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, through the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, is funding an organized and direct effort to elect Joe Biden as the next president.
Wed Oct 14, 2020 - 10:25 am EST
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Michael Hichborn Michael Hichborn Follow Michael
By Michael Hichborn

NOTE: At the end of this article, the Lepanto Institute asks that you contact your bishop to demand that all members of Faith in Action be immediately and permanently banned from future funding from the CCHD.

October 14, 2020 (Lepanto Institute) — The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) through the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) are funding an organized and direct effort to elect former vice president Joe Biden as the next president of the United States. Faith in Action (formerly the PICO Network) is one of the most heavily funded organizations of the CCHD. The Faith In Action Network includes forty-nine organizations spread across twenty states. At least twenty-nine affiliates of Faith in Acton’s network receive funding from the CCHD, comprising more than $1.5 million in the 2019–2020 CCHD grants cycle. Each local affiliate of Faith in Action is a branch from the national organization, which means that every directive and action of the national organization is also the directive and action of the local groups as well. Those Faith in Action members receiving CCHD funds for 2019–2020 are:

Faith in Action Bay Area – $30,000
Faith in San Joaquin – $25,000
Inland Congregations United for Change – $75,000
LA Voice – $40,000
People Acting in Community Together – $25,000
Sacramento Area Congregations Together – $50,000
San Diego Organizing Project – $50,000
Together Colorado – $50,000
Faith in Florida – $40,000
Faith in Indiana – $40,000
The MICAH Project – $60,000
Brockton Interfaith Community – $65,000
Essex County Community Organization – $75,000
I Have a Future – $60,000
Massachusetts Communities Action Network – $65,000
Pioneer Valley Project – $75,000
United Interfaith Action of Southeastern Massachusetts – $50,000
Worcester Interfaith – $40,000
Michigan Faith in Action – $65,000
ACTIONN – $65,000
Granite State Organizing Project – $40,000
Faith in Essex County – $50,000
NM Comunidades en Acción y de Fe – $55,000
Alliance of Communities Transforming Society – $65,000
Faith in New York – $50,000
Niagara Organizing Alliance for Hope – $65,000
VOICE – Buffalo, Inc. – $65,000
Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower and Rebuild – $65,000
Vermont Interfaith Action – $60,000

In 2016, the CCHD awarded the National PICO Network a massive grant of $500,000, which means that Catholic funding has gone to both local members of Faith in Action as well as the national organization.

As will be shown from Faith in Action’s own website and social media feeds, Faith in Action is involved in a consistent and direct partisan push in favor of Joe Biden and against Donald Trump for the 2020 national election. Not only is this a direct violation of CCHD grant guidelines, but if left uncorrected it displays USCCB complicity with electioneering for an apostate Catholic who supports abortion through all 9-months of pregnancy, has performed two same-sex “marriages,” and is running on a campaign that promises persecution of faithful Catholics throughout the country.

CCHD grant guidelines clearly state that partisan activities are strictly forbidden by CCHD and IRS guidelines:

Both the teachings of the Catholic Church and the regulations of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service prohibit CCHD from engaging in or supporting partisan political activities. Additionally, under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations absolutely are prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.

As suchany organization involved in partisan political activities is ineligible for CCHD funding. Non-partisan voter registration efforts undertaken by applicant groups facilitate civic participation in democracy and are supported by the Church. At the same time, howeverany effort that seeks to register voters for one political party over another constitutes partisan political activity. Any group involved in such partisan political activity would be ineligible for funding. [emphasis added]

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In addition to this guideline, the CCHD forbids funding to organizations that are members of coalitions which violate Catholic moral teaching:

CCHD CANNOT FUND groups that knowingly participate in coalitions that have, as part of their organizational purpose or their coalition agenda or actions, anything that contradicts fundamental Catholic moral or social teaching, due to the fact that CCHD is an initiative of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Examples would be promotion or support of contraception, abortion, same-sex marriage, euthanasia, racism, the use of the death penalty, or punitive measures toward immigrants. Prohibited activities include participation in or endorsing actions that promote legislation that contradicts Church teaching (for example, voter guides and other written materials in support of such ballot measures). [emphasis original]

This report will prove that Faith in Action is in direct violation of both CCHD guidelines through its “Live Free” project and through the actions of its leadership and their relationship with a Biden-endorsing Political Action Committee.

Because the scope of electioneering within the Faith in Action network takes place on national, regional, and local levels, the CCHD must immediately defund all Faith in Action members, demand the money to be returned, and forbid all future funding from ever going to members of Faith in Action. The precedent for taking such measures already exists. In 2008, the CCHD permanently banned the community organizing network called ACORN from all future funding, due in part to “questions surrounding political partisanship.

Live Free Project

The Live Free Project is one of Faith in Action’s major national projects. It works primarily around the issues of gun violence and criminal justice, but in recent months has directly promoted and called for the election of Joe Biden and the defeat of Donald Trump in the national presidential election.

Earning $113,000 a year, Faith in Actions’ Director of Urban Strategies and Director of the Live Free project is Rev. Michael McBride.

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In 2017, while employed as one of Faith in Action’s highest paid key employees, McBride helped co-found the political advocacy organization called the Black Church Political Action Committee (Black Church PAC). On the Black Church PAC’s homepage and under the section titled, “Our Founding Members,” McBride’s biography clearly indicates his work for Faith in Action, identified by its former name, PICO.

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The first problem with this relationship is that the Black Church PAC, being highly partisan, has directly endorsed Joe Biden for president. The open and active political activities of McBride as both a Director of Faith in Action and the Black Church PAC have blurred the lines between the two organizations to the point of non-existence.

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Of course, Rev. Michael McBride’s work to elect Joe Biden in and of itself does not violate CCHD guidelines. However, he has repeatedly used the Faith in Action Live Free platform to cross promote Black Church PAC partisan activities. This is a direct violation of CCHD guidelines and possibly a violation of IRS rules and regulations. What this means is that Faith in Action, through one of its directors and on its social media platform, is promoting a PAC that is directly involved in the effort to elect Joe Biden.

There are too many instances of FIA Live Free’s social media being used to promote Black Church Pac activities to list them all. But bearing in mind that Black Church PAC has declared its open support for Joe Biden, all FIA posts promoting Black Church PAC is driving traffic directly to the promotion of Joe Biden and other Democrats. Here are a few of the social media posts from FIA’s Live Free Project promoting Black Church PAC:

This is a very recent Facebook video of Black Church PAC voter registration training uploaded by FIA’s Live Free Project:

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This is a live-feed posted by FIA’s Live Free Project of an October 5th Black Church PAC voter drive concert:

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This October 01 Facebook post by FIA’s Live Free Project promotes Black Church PAC’s “Souls to the Polls” training session. Of note is the fact that this session directly instructs participants to find out more about Black Church PAC, which means that FIA is sending people to an organization that has openly endorsed Biden for voting information:

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Michael and Ben McBride (both high-level Directors in Faith in Action) made a video response to the first presidential debate on Sept 30 for the Black Church Pac, wherein both describe President Trump as “vile,” “racist,” and “disgusting.” At 7:08, Ben McBride, the co-Director for PICO California, called President Trump “the Klansman in Chief.”

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On Sept. 24, FIA’s Live Free facebook page posted Black Church Pac’s “Souls to the Polls” training session. In the session, Michael McBride tells viewers that their political decisions should be fueled by their rage.

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This is an Aug. 18 Black Church PAC video conference promoting the same-sex “marriage” advocacy group called the Human Rights Campaign, posted on the Live Free FB page.

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In August of 2020 Live Free was a “Community Partner” in a program called “Into Action” which clearly called for the support of the Biden-Harris ticket. In Live Free’s tweet promoting “Into Action,” the video promotion starts with a woman holding a purse that says “feminist,” while the next female in the sequence makes an allusion to abortion saying, “My body, my business.”

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The entire event was absolutely vile, actively promoting transgenderism and abortion, but we’ll get into that in our next report on Faith in Action. Here is a clip from the Into Action event of which Live Free and Black Church PAC were “community partners.” What this clip contains is a very unambiguous call for people to vote for Democrats. To see the entire Into Action video, click here.

Again, what this shows is that there is an intimate relationship between Faith in Action and the Joe Biden-endorsing Black Church PAC, and this relationship is leading those who follow Faith in Action to embrace the political endorsements and activities of the Black Church PAC. But Faith in Action’s association with the Black Church PAC isn’t the only activity constituting direct partisan political activity that violates CCHD grant guidelines.

FIA’s Live Free Project Twitter activity is full of negative propaganda regarding President Trump and even calls for the funding of Democrat candidates.

For instance, on October 11, Live Free retweeted direct calls for the funding of Gary Peters, the Democrat Senator from Michigan.

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This is clearly partisan behavior. But there’s more. Some of these re-tweets are crass and vile and perhaps the US Bishops may wish to take a second look at who they are paying to represent their social justice activities.

Here are a few examples:

On September 29, amid a plethora of negative tweets about President Trump, Faith in Action’s Live Free Project retweeted a statement that one “cannot debate a piece of [expiative].”

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On October 04, Faith in Action’s Live Free project retweeted a call for people to “vote as if [Biden] is down 27%,” which is essentially a call for votes for Biden.

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On October 05, FIA’s Live Free Project retweeted a false claim that Trump’s campaign is engaged in voter suppression.

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On October 06, FIA’s Live Free Project retweeted a call to have “Trump removed from power,” while claiming “We are at war with Putin.”

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PICO California

PICO California is the regional umbrella for all 19 Faith in Action member organizations in California. Rev Ben McBride (Rev. Michael McBride’s brother) is co-director of PICO California, and at $110,000 a year, his salary is very similar to his brother’s.

PICO California also used social media to promote Black Church PAC activities and make a direct call for the defeat of President Trump, as seen in this Sept 10 retweet by PICO California of Rev. Michael McBride.

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PICO California also promoted Black Church PAC’s “Black Church Rocks” and “Souls to the Polls” partisan voter drive efforts on September 21 and October 5:

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Faith in the Valley San Joaquin

Faith in the Valley San Joaquin is a member organization of FIA, and was granted $25,000 for the 2019–2020 CCHD grants cycle. It has also joined FIA’s promotion of partisan activities on its social media platforms.

This Aug. 8th Facebook post promoted a Black Church PAC event, saying:

“Yo! The play is in motion; let’s get a win for the Lord and the ancestors! This Monday, years of work coalesce into launching Black-led, Black-centric, Black church organizing ensuring we get Trump out, and our freedom IN! This Black vote this November gonna be epic!” [emphasis added]

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These examples from the national, regional and local levels of Faith in Action clearly show an organized effort by leadership within FIA to use the network to push their own partisan projects. The lack of oversight by the CCHD in both its “rigorous” screening process and ongoing grants compliance efforts has allowed the Bishops name to be used by this behemoth community organizing group to stump for party politics. Bishops across the country, many of whom demand that priests violate their own consciences by taking up the CCHD collection, are now directly complicit in the funding of political electioneering. Faith in Action as a network is in direct violation of the CCHD grant guidelines regarding involvement in partisan politics, and MUST be immediately and permanently defunded, just as was done with ACORN in 2008. And if the USCCB is unwilling to take such action against Faith in Action, then individual bishops will have no choice but to withdraw from the CCHD collection in the fall.

Contact your bishop and the CCHD and DEMAND that Faith in Action be permanently DEFUNDED!

Click here for the contact information for your bishop.

Click here for the name and email address of your diocesan CCHD director.

NATIONAL OFFICE STAFF
Bp. David Talley, Chairman of the CCHD Subcommittee – [email protected]
Ralph McCloud, CCHD Director 202-541-3367 [email protected]
Lydia Jiles, Grants Administrator 202-541-3210 [email protected]
Juan Aranda, Grants Specialist for Area D 202-541-3370 [email protected]
Main Number . . . . . . . . . . 202-541-3210
Fax Number . . . . . . . . . . 202-541-3329
Main Email . . . . . . . . . . [email protected]

Grant Specialists
Area A  Ian Mitchell  202-541-3371  [email protected]
Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont

Area B  Gene Giannotta  202-541-3211  [email protected]
Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin

Area C  Randy Keesler  202-541-3369  [email protected]
Alabama, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee , Virgin Islands, Virginia, West Virginia

Area D  Juan Aranda  202-541-3370  [email protected]
Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas

Area E  Sean Wendlinder  202-541-3212  [email protected]
Alaska, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming

Published with permission from the Lepanto Institute.


  2020 election, abortion, catholic, catholic campaign for human development cchd, joe biden, usccb

Opinion

Irony: UN puts human rights abusers China, Russia, Cuba on Human Rights Council

If this were an election for United Nations human rights abusers, China would bring home the gold medal.
Wed Oct 14, 2020 - 10:04 am EST
Featured Image
Xi Jinping, ruler of China. Kevin Frayer / Getty Images
Peter Skurkiss
By Peter Skurkiss

October 14, 2020 (American Thinker) — This week, China, Russia, and Cuba were elected to the United Nations' Human Rights Council. This trio of countries is among the worst offenders of human rights on the planet.

If this were an election for United Nations human rights abusers, China would bring home the gold medal. No amount of double-talk about regional representation or anything else can justify this travesty. This is yet another example, as if one was needed, showing not just how useless the U.N. is, but how corrupt and downright immoral it is.

Hopefully, in his second term, President Trump will pull the plug on the U.N. That organization does not deserve any financial support from the U.S. And it is a stain on America to have that international organization headquartered in New York, allowing all those "diplomats" and other bureaucrats to turn the city into their playground.

Pulling out of the U.N. will have the foreign service people and globalists in an uproar. But if anyone can do it and stand up to collective hysterics, it is Trump. He did it on moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, his pull out from Syria, on his approach to China and much more. When trump decides to move on something, he can move fast. This will be especially true in a second term. 

Membership in the U.N. is not in America's interest. No amount of diplo-speak can make it so. And half-measures won't do, either. The U.N. is corrupt beyond reform. It's time to close the chapter on it, Mr. President.

Published with permission from the American Thinker.


  american thinker, china, cuba, human rights, russia, united nations

Opinion

Why the mainstream media are so eager to normalize, encourage pedophilia

The press, Big Tech, and Hollywood keep promoting the idea that pedophiles deserve special sympathy.
Wed Oct 14, 2020 - 10:00 am EST
Featured Image
Scene from Netflix's Cuties. Netflix / YouTube
Deborah Franklin
By Deborah Franklin

October 14, 2020 (American Thinker) — The media have been working to normalize pedophilia, but the American people keep rejecting it. Until recently, the pedophilia-pushers suffered no serious consequences for their relentless campaign to sexualize children and groom them for adult exploitation. But the recent indictment of Netflix for distribution of child pornography has changed the dynamics.

A grand jury in Texas has indicted Netflix, a streaming giant with $20 billion in annual revenue, for allegedly promoting "lewd visual material" of a child. The indictment claims that Cuties, Netflix's much-hyped film, "depicts the lewd exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of a clothed or partially clothed child who was younger than 18 years of age at the time the visual material was created." Furthermore, Senator Ted Cruz has called on the Justice Department to investigate Netflix and the film's creators.

The reaction to Cuties has been a perfect distillation of the media versus the people: the media loved it, and the people hated it. Cuties came with the full backing of the political and cultural establishment through its Netflix association. Susan Rice, who served as Obama's national security adviser, serves on Netflix's board. Barack and Michelle Obama have a multi-million-dollar with Netflix to produce programming, as do Prince Harry and his wife.

Almost unanimously, the major film critics adored the award-winning Cuties, lavishing praise on it as "extraordinary," "inspired," and "empathetic and analytical." These arbiters of cultural standards dismissed criticism of the film's sexualization of children as closed-minded tripe from right-wing "pearl-clutchers."

But the American people despised Cuties and launched a campaign to cancel Netflix subscriptions. According to Variety, the backlash against Cuties caused Netflix cancelations to spike nearly eightfold, with 2.5 million people canceling their Netflix accounts. Rotten Tomatoes captured the split: 86% of critics praised it versus 15% of the audience.

Unfortunately, it's not just entertainment companies that promote pedophilia; Big Tech does it, too. Last year, to the public's dismay, Twitter changed its rules to accommodate pedophiles: "Discussions related to child sexual exploitation as a phenomenon or attraction towards minors are permitted, provided they don't promote or glorify child sexual exploitation in any way." And in 2018, Facebook startled users when it published a "stomach-churning survey that asked readers whether pedophiles should be allowed to solicit 'sexual pictures' from underage girls." After an outcry from the public, Mark Zuckerberg admitted that publishing the survey had been a "mistake." Facebook has been accused of failing to remove exploitative images of children and hosting a "Pedophiles Are People" page.

A landmark in the pro-pedophilia campaign was a 2014 editorial in the New York Times, "Pedophilia: A Disorder, Not A Crime." Other articles from high-profile media outlets followed, painting a sympathetic portrait of pedophilia as a challenging quirk that should be accommodated. Example from the Independent: "Not all pedophiles are bad people — we need to have a sense of proportion." The author explained, "In my studies of the Paedophile Information Exchange in the 1980s, many members admitted sexual feelings for children which they had been able to contain or turn to social good. Some gravitated toward occupations such as schoolteacher or social worker, where they could enjoy the company of children without plotting abuse. This fitted with personality profiles indicating that they were gentle, rational and not disposed to harm anybody."

After promoting the idea that pedophiles deserve special sympathy, the press campaign introduced the insidious concept that children are capable of consent. (Teen Vogue: "Video Shows Toddlers Understand Consent.") From there, the campaign inevitably moved on to bitter accusations against right-wing haters who find the practice objectionable. See Newsweek's "Why Is the Alt-Right Obsessed with Pedophilia?" and Salon's "I'm a pedophile, you're the monsters: My week inside the vile right-wing hate machine." In other words, if you don't accept the sexual exploitation of children, you're the problem.

For parents trying to protect their children, the task grows ever harder as the debased culture surrounds them. Public libraries sponsor Drag Queen Story Hour, in which fully costumed drag queens read books celebrating gender fluidity to little kids. Mainstream TV talk shows welcome an 11-year-old "drag queen" with gushing excitement. And even popular toys aren't safe. Hasbro was forced to pull a Trolls doll, after 300,000 people signed a petition complaining that the doll giggled when a button on her "private area" was touched.

In this degraded media environment, legal protections for children are eroding, too. Last month, Governor Newsom of California signed a bill that gives judges discretion on whether or not to list someone as a sex offender for engaging in certain sexual behaviors with a minor, ages 14 to 17, provided the adult is less than ten years older. The mayor of San Diego captured the public's disgust when he said, "As a parent I'm appalled that last night our governor signed a law maintaining a 24-year-old can have sex with a 14-year-old and it not be considered predatory." But there was no media outcry or investigation into the law's implications.

Why are the media trying to normalize pedophilia? For many people who are trying to understand this disturbing phenomenon, the story of Jeffrey Epstein may hold the key. The billionaire pedophile, who was arrested for sex-trafficking of minors, died under mysterious circumstances in his New York prison cell before he could go to trial. Some of the most powerful people in the world visited Epstein on his island and other residences, where they are suspected to have been recorded in compromising situations. Epstein's friends included media magnates and celebrities, who may have shared his tastes and participated in his activities.

Epstein's death prevented a trial that could have exposed the sordid underbelly of various media titans. But a new trial of his associate, Ghislaine Maxwell, is scheduled for July 2021. If she survives until the trial, Maxwell may tell tales about child exploitation that decent people will find sickening. One option for worried media personnel is to work hard to convince the public that pedophilia is normal and should be accepted with a sophisticated shrug. If that is the case, we may see even more frantic pedophilia promotion in the coming months.

However, the 2.5 million people who canceled their Netflix accounts because of Cuties are not in a mood to passively accept the ongoing assault on their deepest values. Further legal action against Netflix might be coming. In the war between the media and the people over pedophilia, Cuties may be a watershed battle.

Published with permission from the American Thinker.


  american thinker, big tech, child pornography, cuties, hollywood, jeffrey epstein, mainstream media, netflix

Opinion

How Adam and Eve paved the way for the modern scourge of divorce

As long as Adam and Eve remained in the grace of God, they were able to love each other unselfishly. But then they disobeyed God.
Wed Oct 14, 2020 - 9:00 am EST
Featured Image
zebra0209 / Shutterstock.com
Hugh Owen
By

October 14, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The great Christian Father of the Church St. John Chrysostom expressed the common conviction of the Christian community when he commented on Moses’s words, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder,” arguing that God

gave this command that the one man should be joined to the one woman. But if it had been His will that he should put this one away, and bring in another, when He had made one man, He would have formed many Women. But now both by the manner of the creation, and by the manner of lawgiving, He showed that one man must dwell with one woman continually, and never break off from her. (On Matthew, 62:1 [370 B.C.], in NPNF1,X:382)

The book of Genesis makes clear that God created man and woman for each other — equal in dignity but with different and complementary gifts. The great German saint Hildegard of Bingen wrote that:

After God had created Adam, Adam experienced a strong sense of love, when God sent sleep over him. And God created a figure to love for the man out of his rib, and so the woman is the love of man. As soon as the woman was shaped, God gave man the procreative instinct, so that through his love for the woman he would father sons. For when Adam saw Eve, he was completely filled with wisdom, because he saw in front of him the mother through whom he was to father sons. But when Eve saw Adam, she saw him as if she was seeing heaven, and as the soul lifts up desiring the heavenly, for her hope was resting in man. So also only mutual love and no other shall and may be between man and woman.

In this passage St. Hildegard beautifully summarized the complementary callings of man and woman — of the man to be the spiritual leader of his wife and family; and of the woman to be the help-mate of her husband and the nurturer of her family. With the insight of a true mystic, St. Hildegard saw that God had created the union of man and woman for their mutual sanctification (“as the soul lifts up desiring the heavenly”) and for the procreation and sanctification of their offspring. As partners in this union, Adam and Eve enjoyed equal dignity but distinct roles. To Adam in his role as head of the human family, God gave the task of guarding and caring for his wife and their home in paradise. To Adam alone God gave the commandment not to eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Eve received this commandment from God indirectly through her husband. Her obedience to the commandment depended on her faith in the Word of God as she had received it from Adam.

The Fall of Adam and Eve

The Bible teaches that God created everything in the universe for man — man, made in the image and likeness of Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word of God. Not only did God make every kind of material creature for mankind; He also made a host of spiritual beings to serve Jesus Christ the Incarnate Word and the men made in His image. The Bible teaches that a great angel named Lucifer, or the light-bearer, rebelled against God. According to the Fathers of the Church, the foremost commentators on Holy Scripture, Lucifer rebelled because he — a great spirit — did not want to serve creatures of flesh and blood. In his rebellion against God, Lucifer dedicated his angelic intelligence and energies to driving a wedge between God and His human creatures, so as to drag as many of them as possible to eternal damnation in hell. Lucifer’s first attack was directed against Eve, since she had received the commandment of God indirectly through her husband and was more vulnerable to Satan’s clever manipulation of the Word of God.

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The Bible tells us that Satan did not immediately tempt Eve to eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Instead, he twisted God’s words so as to make them appear unreasonable and self-contradictory, and only then, after he had sowed a seed of doubt in Eve’s mind concerning the goodness and trustworthiness of God, did he appeal to her pride and selfish delight in the appearance of the fruit. In this way, her selfish delight in the appearance of the fruit overwhelmed her reverence for the Word of God and for the authority of her husband through whom she had received God’s commandment. According to Genesis:

1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any of the beasts of the earth which the Lord God made. And he said to the woman: Why hath God commanded you, that you should not eat of every tree of paradise?

2 And the woman answered him, saying: Of the fruit of the trees that are in paradise we do eat:

3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of paradise, God hath commanded us that we should not eat; and that we should not touch it, lest perhaps we die.

4 And the serpent said to the woman: No, you shall not die the death.

5 For God doth know that in what day soever you shall eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened: and you shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil.

6 And the woman saw that the tree was good to eat, and fair to the eyes, and delightful to behold: and she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave to her husband who did eat.

God had set Adam over his wife as her protector and guide. According to the Fathers of the Church, if Adam had corrected Eve and brought her to repentance, she could have been restored to God’s grace. But Adam failed in his duty toward her, and, by placing her will above the Will of God, he followed her into disgrace and disobeyed God.

And to Adam he said: Because thou hast hearkened to the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat, cursed is the earth in thy work; with labour and toil shalt thou eat thereof all the days of thy life.

18 Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou eat the herbs of the earth.

19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till thou return to the earth, out of which thou wast taken: for dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return.

Commenting on these words, St. John Chrysostom added:

You are head of your wife, and she has been created for your sake; but you have inverted the proper order; not only have you failed to keep her on the straight and narrow but you have been dragged down with her, and whereas the rest of the body should follow the head, the contrary has in fact occurred, the head following the rest of the body, turning things upside down.” (St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Genesis 17:17, English version, The Fathers of the Church, vol. 74, p. 231)

As long as Adam and Eve remained in the grace of God, they were able to love each other unselfishly with His divine love. But as soon as Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they lost His divine grace and lost control over their thoughts and passions. The light of God’s glory, which had shone around their bodies from the moment of their creation, now dimmed, and exposed their nakedness. The husband and wife who had been created in union with God, with each other, and with creation now found themselves alienated from God, from each other, and from all created things. The Original Sin of Adam had brought death and divorce into the world.


  adam and eve, bible, book of genesis, christianity, divorce, marriage

Opinion

Mainstream media stoke COVID fear by confusing case counts, positive tests

Are cases really on the rise, or are these simply positive tests? You won't know from watching TV.
Wed Oct 14, 2020 - 8:02 am EST
Featured Image
SamaraHeisz5 / Shutterstock.com
Brian C. Joondeph
By

October 14, 2020 (American Thinker) — COVID cases are on the rise, or so we are told daily by a hysterical media establishment. Newspaper headlines scream panic, as this recent USAToday article proclaimed: "COVID-19 cases rising in 39 states — 9 months into the pandemic: We are overwhelmed."

It's the American people who are overwhelmed — nine months into masks and lockdowns, with a presidential election just weeks away, facing a daily barrage of doom and gloom from the media. Are cases really on the rise, or are these simply positive tests?

The above article, one of many, warns, "A startling nine states setting ominous, seven-day records for infections." Thirty-nine states reported more cases in the last week than they had in the week before.

Image

YouTube screen grab.

What exactly is a "case"? The USAToday article doesn't say. Neither do other articles or cable news doctors and other "experts." Is a "case" simply a positive test?

The CDC answers this question with a "case definition." A case is not just a positive test. Instead, what is needed is "[p]resumptive laboratory evidence AND either clinical criteria OR epidemiologic evidence." Notice the AND, meaning not simply a positive test.

Yet what the media trumpet as "surging cases" are only positive tests. There is no discussion of whether or not any of the individuals with positive tests are showing symptoms or are actually sick with the Chinese flu — or if they are contagious and needing to be quarantined.

As an analogy, suppose we routinely checked people's blood sugar or blood pressure and called any single high reading diabetes or hypertension. Imagine testing everyone's blood sugar after lunch, when it naturally rises, and calling anyone with a reading over 140 a diabetic. We would have a surge in diabetes, yet the vast majority of these individuals are not actually diabetic.

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The COVID PCR test is quite sensitive, amplifying any viral particles found in the nose, whether dead or alive, repeatedly until the test is positive. Most of these positive "cases" are neither contagious nor symptomatic, as even the New York Times acknowledged.

The more people we test, the more positive tests will result. Nancy Pelosi called for "testing, testing, testing," and that is exactly what we now have. The U.S. is currently performing over a million tests per day, with just under 5 percent coming back positive.

The U.S. is performing 2.87 daily tests per thousand people, far more than most countries. For comparison, Canada is a third lower at 2.09 tests per thousand, France 1.9, Germany 1.87, Australia 1.21, and India 0.82.

More tests mean more positive results, but not necessarily cases of COVID. For example, the U.S. performing 2.87 tests per thousand people compared with Mexico performing 0.08 tests per thousand will yield dramatically different results, showing the U.S. "surging" in cases as the media describe.

This then fuels the false narrative that the U.S. has so many cases of COVID due to the orange man's ineptitude rather than the orange man ramping up testing, as everyone called for, to a level unmatched by any major country.

Hospitalizations, a measure of disease severity, have been steadily declining since March, with a small bump in mid-summer. They've gone from a high of over 3,000 hospitalizations per week last spring to fewer than 700 per week now, according to the CDC.

Fears of a surge early last spring led to only the sickest patients being admitted to the hospital at that time. There are no such concerns now, and those hospitalized presently are not as sick, receiving hospital care much earlier in their illness. President Trump's recent hospitalization with only mild symptoms is an example.

Yet these so-called case surges, in actuality only positive tests, are driving societal policy decisions. New York City is shutting down nine neighborhoods based on a positive test rate of over 3 percent for seven straight days. Yet the country as a whole has a higher test positive rate of 4.9 percent currently.

There is no mention of how many New Yorkers are actually sick or hospitalized — simply positive tests, as New York is following Nancy Pelosi's recommendation of "testing, testing, testing." In fact, back in July, New York had likely achieved herd immunity based on getting hit hard early in the course of the pandemic. Yet for inexplicable reasons, New York is closing down again.

In my state of Colorado, Governor Jared Polis extended the mask mandate for another 30 days due to "a rise in hospitalizations" for the Chinese virus. This extension conveniently goes just past the election.

As Coloradans have been wearing masks for months, it raises the question of whether masks are doing anything if hospitalizations are increasing. Unknown is whether patients are being hospitalized earlier in the disease course, given excess hospital capacity compared to last spring.

Colorado reports only a third of critical care ventilators in use, hardly a shortage, and it's unknown how many of those ventilators are for COVID patients versus the myriad of other conditions requiring ventilator support.

Many schools and businesses remain closed based on positive test numbers. The personal and societal costs mount, as many states and cities prefer to keep draconian shutdown orders in place long after they have served their purpose of "flattening the curve."

How many cancer screenings, vaccinations, and other preventative care measures have been delayed over lockdowns, with consequences of undetected disease becoming manifest in years ahead?

Death counts were the metric of choice last April, a constant ticker on cable news shows. Now it's cases, with no context between positive tests and actual cases. Democrats then blame Trump for not having a "national plan," allowing the virus to remain "out of control."

The only plan is to make Americans miserable ahead of the election, hoping voters choose a new leader, one whose COVID plan is virtually identical to the existing president's plan.

What's shameful is that the media, ignorant or uninterested in the facts, deliberately present a false equivalence between positive tests and cases, all to push a gloom-and-doom narrative to influence the upcoming election.

President Trump was right when he said, after returning from Walter Reed to the White House, "Don't let it dominate you. Don't be afraid of it." "We're going back, we're going back to work. We're going to be out front. ... Don't let it dominate your lives. Get out there, be careful."

Brian C. Joondeph, M.D. is a Denver-based physician and freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in American Thinker, Daily Caller, Rasmussen Reports, and other publications. Follow him on Facebook, LinkedInTwitterParler, and QuodVerum.

Published with permission from the American Thinker.


  2020 election, american thinker, coronavirus, mainstream media, police state

Blogs

Bishop Schneider: ‘Today the Church of Rome finds herself in…spiritual collapse’

His Excellency shared his thoughts about Fratelli Tutti with The Remnant Newspaper.
Wed Oct 14, 2020 - 4:53 pm EST
Featured Image
John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry
By John-Henry Westen

October 14, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Bishop Athanasius Schneider has expressed grief over Pope Francis’ latest encyclical Fratelli Tutti, noting that it “lacks a clearly supernatural horizon,” misrepresents St. Francis, and furthers the theological confusion Pope Francis created with his Abu Dhabi statement.  

Reflecting on the time of St. Francis where the saint was called by Christ to rebuild the Church, Archbishop Schneider says, “Today the Church of Rome finds herself in a similar situation of spiritual collapse, due to the spiritual torpor of a majority of the Shepherds of the Church, the excessive absorption of the Pope himself in temporal affairs, and his efforts to bring about the rebirth of a universal aspiration to a this-worldly and naturalistic fraternity.” 

In a new interview with The Remnant, Bishop Schneider says, “Pope Francis presents St. Francis as though he had been a supporter of the diversity of religions.” Rather, the auxiliary Bishop of Astana in Kazakhstan points out, St. Francis was all about converting people to the one true faith. In making his point, Bishop Schneider quotes Pope Pius XI’s description of St. Franics as a man who “set about personally and commanded his disciples to occupy themselves  before everything else  with the conversion of the heathen  to the Faith and Law of Christ.” (emphasis in the original) 

Rather than correct the religious relativism that plagued the Pope’s controversial Abu Dhabi statement, which falsely asserted that “the pluralism and the diversity of religions” was “willed by God in His wisdom,” the Pope, according to Bishop Schneider, “did not correct Abu Dhabi but solidified it.” 

“It would have been of great benefit had  Fratelli Tutti  pointed to the need for all men to believe in Jesus Christ, God and Man, in order to find the indispensable source of true fraternity and the key to solving the problems of temporal societies.”

Here are some other highlights of Bishop Schneider’s interview: 

  • The truth which Our Lord revealed, and His Church has unchangingly and constantly proclaimed, remains forever valid: “The chief duty of all men is to cling to religion in both its reaching and practice, not such religion as they may have a preference for, but the religion which God enjoins, and which certain and most clear marks show to be the only one true religion” (Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Immortale Dei, 4). 
  • Each Catholic and all the Shepherds of the Church, first and foremost the Pope, should burn with zeal and love for all those who, unfortunately, are only our brothers according to flesh and blood, that they might be born of God in the supernatural sonship in Christ, and truly become brothers in Christ. If Church leaders in our day are content with the brotherhood of flesh and blood, with “fratelli tutti” in flesh and blood, they are neglecting God’s commandment in the Gospel, i.e. the commandment to make the members of all nations and religions disciples of Christ, sons in the Only begotten Son of God, brothers in Christ, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and teaching them to observe all things whatsoever Christ has commanded (see Mt 25:19-20). Such zeal is, for a Christian soul, the deepest expression of love of neighbor: to love him as you love yourself. If your Divine sonship in Christ represents for you the greatest conceivable gift of God — which it truly is — then you lack the true love and charity for your neighbor if you do not burn with the desire to  communicate this gift to him, of course with delicacy and respect.  
  • The new encyclical aggravates the naturalism reigning in the Church today, which can be described as a lack of love for the Cross of Christ, for prayer, a lack of awareness of the grievousness of sin and the necessity of reparation. 
  • The similarities and overlap of the freemasonic idea of fraternity and the one proposed in Fratelli Tutti are striking. Substantially, Pope Francis presents a merely earthly and temporal fraternity of flesh and blood on the natural level. It is ultimately a fraternity based and born of the first Adam, and not of Christ, the new Adam.  
  • How needed and beneficial it would have been, for the whole of humanity, had Pope Francis proclaimed in this, his social encyclical, what all the Apostles, Church Fathers and Popes had done, declaring to men of all nations and religions this truth: “The greatest benefit and happiness is to accept Jesus Christ, God and man, the only Savior and to believe in Him.”  

Read below for the full interview:

Diane Montagna: Your Excellency, what are your general impressions of Pope Francis’s new encyclical, Fratelli Tutti?

Bishop Schneider: This new encyclical gives the general impression of being a long-winded instruction on the ethics of peaceful co-existence based on the key terms of “brotherhood” and “love” understood in a strongly temporal and highly political perspective, in order to “contribute to the rebirth of a universal aspiration to fraternity” (Fratelli Tutti, n. 8). Although the encyclical uses key passages of the Gospel, such as the parable of the Good Samaritan (see Luke 10:25-37) and the words of Christ in the Last Judgment, who identifies Himself with those in need as “the least of my brothers” (see Mt 25:40), it applies their meaning, nevertheless, in a more humanistic and this-worldly horizon. Seen as a whole, the encyclical lacks a clearly supernatural horizon; it lacks any reference to words such as “supernatural”, “Incarnation”, “Redeemer”, “Shepherd”, “evangelization”, “baptism”, “Divine sonship”, “Divine forgiveness of sins”, “salvific”, “eternity”, “heaven”, “immortal”, “Kingdom of God/Christ.”

While laudably affirming that “Christ shed his blood for each of us and that no one is beyond the scope of his universal love” (n. 85), the encyclical then regrettably reduces the meaning of supernatural redemption to the nebulous and secular perspective of a “universal communion.” It reads: “For Christian thought and for the action of the Church, the primacy given to relationship, to the encounter with the sacred mystery of the other, to universal communion with the entire human family, [arises] as a vocation of all” (n. 277). The primacy, however, in all human relationships, should be given to the encounter with Jesus Christ, the God-Man, and with the Holy Trinity, through sanctifying grace and the gift of the supernatural virtue of love. Pope Francis rightly states in Fratelli Tutti, n. 85: “If we go to the ultimate source of that love which is the very life of the triune God, we encounter in the community of the three divine Persons the origin and perfect model of all life in society.” Elsewhere, he says: “Others drink from other sources. For us the wellspring of human dignity and fraternity is in the Gospel of Jesus Christ” (n. 277). However, perfect human dignity and fraternity for all human beings can only have one source, and that is Jesus Christ, since it is only through the Incarnate Son of God that human dignity has been restored even more admirably than it was created (Order of Mass, Prayer at the Offertory). It would have been of great benefit had Fratelli Tutti pointed to the need for all men to believe in Jesus Christ, God and Man, in order to find the indispensable source of true fraternity and the key to solving the problems of temporal societies.

Pope Francis opens the new encyclical by noting that its title, “Fratelli Tutti,” is taken from the ‘Admonitions’ of St. Francis, which were addressed to his fellow friars. You have said in your book Christus Vincit that St. Francis inspired you to follow Christ in the religious life. In your view, is Pope Francis’s use of these texts faithful to St. Francis’s meaning?

Bishop Schneider: Pope Francis here uses the expression “Fratelli Tutti” (all Brothers) in a way that is clearly different from St. Francis. For St. Francis, “all brothers” are those who follow and imitate Christ, i.e. all Christians, and certainly not simply all men, and even less so the adherents of non-Christian religions. We can see this in looking at the fuller context from which these words are taken;

Let us all, brothers, consider the Good Shepherd who to save His sheep bore the suffering of the Cross. The sheep of the Lord followed Him in tribulation and persecution and shame, in hunger and thirst, in infirmity and temptations and in all other ways; 1 and for these things they have received everlasting life from the Lord. Wherefore it is a great shame for us, the servants of God, that, whereas the Saints have practiced works, we should expect to receive honor and glory for reading and preaching the same” (Admonitions, 6).

Indeed, St. Francis did not “smooth over the faults of any, but smite them, nor flattered the life of sinners, but rather aimed at it with stern reproofs. Unto great and small alike he spoke with the same firm spirit” (Legenda Maior, 12, 8) Pope Francis presents St. Francis as though he had been a supporter of the diversity of religions. The scope of St. Francis’s visit to Sultan Malik-el-Kamil in Egypt, however, was not to show “his openness of heart, which knew no bounds and transcended differences of religion” (Fratelli Tutti, n. 3). Rather, its precise aim was to preach to the Sultan the Gospel of Jesus Christ. One must regret that Pope Francis reduces St. Francis in Fratelli Tutti to a man who “sought to embrace everyone” and as an example of “a humble and fraternal ‘subjection’ to those who did not share his faith” (n. 3). St. Bonaventure attests in the Legenda Maior that St. Francis explicitly preached the Gospel to the Sultan, inviting him and his entire people to convert to Christ, writing: “With such firmness of mind, with such courage of soul, and with such fervor of spirit he preached unto the Sultan God Three and One and the Savior of all, Jesus Christ” (Legenda Maior, 9, 8). Furthermore, while St. Francis was preaching the Gospel to the Sultan, he sent five friars to preach the Gospel to the Muslims in Spain and Morocco. When St. Francis heard the news of their martyrdom, he cried out: “Now I can truly say I have five brothers” (Analecta Franciscana, III, 596).

The entire Catholic tradition has always presented St. Francis as an apostolic and truly missionary saint. Pope Pius XI wrote: “St. Francis was a man who was truly Catholic and apostolic, in the same admirable fashion that he had attended to the reformation of the faithful, so likewise set about personally and commanded his disciples to occupy themselves before everything else with the conversion of the heathen to the Faith and Law of Christ.” (Encyclical Rite Expiatis, 37)

What do you see as the strengths or positive elements of this new encyclical?

Bishop Schneider: One of the most luminous and theologically sound passages in Fratelli Tutti is the following affirmation by Pope Francis: “If we go to the ultimate source of that love which is the very life of the triune God, we encounter in the community of the three divine Persons the origin and perfect model of all life in society” (n. 85). This affirmation is a true light in the midst of the narrow naturalistic horizon, religious relativism and deficient supernatural perspective of this encyclical. Another important element is Pope Francis’s rejection of any endeavor to build a society against the plan of God. He writes: “The attempt to build a tower (Tower of Babel)… was a misguided attempt, born of pride and ambition, to create a unity other than that willed by God in his providential plan for the nations (cf. Gen 11:1-9)” (n. 144). Equally significant are the following statements, which reflect the teaching of Pope Benedict XVI: “Without truth, emotion lacks relational and social content” (n. 184); “Charity needs the light of the truth that we constantly seek. ‘That light is both the light of reason and the light of faith (Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate)’ and does not admit any form of relativism” (n. 185). Pope Francis also recalls the importance of ever-valid objective truths, based on human nature according to God’s plan in creation, affirming that there are “fundamental truths always to be upheld, … they transcend our concrete situations and remain non-negotiable, … in themselves, they are held to be enduring by virtue of their inherent meaning” (n. 211), and that “there is no need, then, to oppose the interests of society, consensus and the reality of objective truth” (n 212).

Furthermore, Fratelli Tutti warns against a false universalism and the virus of a radical individualism (see n. 100). In this regard, Pope Francis writes: “One model of globalization in fact consciously aims at a one-dimensional uniformity and seeks to eliminate all differences and traditions in a superficial quest for unity… If a certain kind of globalization claims to make everyone uniform, to level everyone out, that globalization destroys the rich gifts and uniqueness of each person and each people” (n. 100). The following statements in Fratelli Tutti also aim to protect the right of nations to their own identity and traditions: “There can be no openness between peoples except on the basis of love for one’s own land, one’s own people, one’s own cultural roots” (n. 143); “I can welcome others who are different… only if I am firmly rooted in my own people and culture” (n. 143); and “the common good likewise requires that we protect and love our native land” (n. 143). Fratelli Tutti also rightly speaks of “the right to private property and its social meaning” (n. 123).

Pope Francis raises his voice against an inhuman society, which accepts only the strong and the healthy and despises and eliminates those who are ill and weak. He writes: “People have this right even if they are unproductive or were born with or developed limitations. This does not detract from their great dignity as human persons, a dignity based not on circumstances but on the intrinsic worth of their being. Unless this basic principle is upheld, there will be no future either for fraternity or for the survival of humanity” (n. 107). Also praiseworthy are the following important affirmations of Pope Francis in Fratelli Tutti: “It should be acknowledged that ‘among the most important causes of the crises of the modern world are a desensitized human conscience, a distancing from religious values and the prevailing individualism accompanied by materialistic philosophies that deify the human person and introduce worldly and material values in place of supreme and transcendental principles’” (n. 275); and “Good and evil no longer exist in themselves; there is only a calculus of benefits and burdens. As a result of the displacement of moral reasoning, the law is no longer seen as reflecting a fundamental notion of justice but as mirroring notions currently in vogue. Breakdown ensues: Everything is ‘leveled down’ by a superficial bartered consensus. In the end, the law of the strongest prevails” (n. 210).

Pope Francis has presented Fratelli Tutti as a reflection on the Abu Dhabi document, which he signed with the Grand Imam el-Tayeb in February 2019. You have openly voiced concern about that document, specifically its statement that the “diversity of religions” is “willed by God.” Has this new encyclical assuaged or deepened those concerns?

Bishop Schneider: Fratelli Tutti devotes an entire chapter to the theme, “Religions at the service of fraternity in our world” (ch. 8). The title itself already reveals a certain kind of religious relativism. Religions are seen here as a means of natural fraternity. Hence, one is led to understand religion as a means to promote naturalism. This is contrary to the essence of Christianity, which is the one true and only truly supernatural religion. Christian Faith cannot be put indiscriminately on the same level with other religions; that would be a betrayal of the Gospel. The affirmation that, “From our faith experience… we, the believers of the different religions, know that our witness to God benefits our societies” (n. 274) promotes religious relativism, since the concept of “God” is surely different among the various religions. There are also some religions in which evil spirits are worshipped. One cannot put the concept of God in the Christian religion on the same level as a religion which practices idolatry. Holy Scripture says that “all the gods of the nations are demons” (Psalm 96:5), and St. Paul teaches that “the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God” (1 Cor 10:20). According to Divine Revelation and the constant teaching of the Church, the concept of “faith” means the following:

Since man is a being wholly dependent upon God, as upon his Creator and Lord, and created reason is completely subject to uncreated truth, we are bound to yield to God, by faith in His revelation, the full obedience of our intelligence and will. The Catholic Church professes that this faith, which is the beginning of man’s salvation, is a supernatural virtue, whereby, inspired and assisted by the grace of God, we believe that the things which He has revealed are true. … Therefore, without faith no one has ever attained justification, nor will anyone obtain eternal life” (First Vatican Council, Dei Filius, ch. 3).

Hence, adherents of non-Christians religions do not have the gift of the supernatural virtue of faith and thus cannot be called “believers” in the proper sense of this word. Non-Christians do not accept Divine Revelation given through Jesus Christ. Hence, their knowledge of God and their religious practice are only an expression of the light of natural reason, and not of faith. The infallible Magisterium of the Church teaches this, declaring:

The Catholic Church, with one consent, has also ever held and does hold that there is a two-fold order of knowledge, distinct both in principle and also in object; in principle, because our knowledge, in the one, is by natural reason, and, in the other, is by Divine faith; in object, because, besides those things to which natural reason can attain, there are proposed, for our belief, mysteries hidden in God, which, unless Divinely-revealed, cannot be known. … If anyone shall say that Divine faith is not distinguished from natural knowledge of God and of moral truths, and therefore that it is not requisite for Divine faith that revealed truth be believed because of the authority of God Who reveals it; let him be anathema” (ibid., ch. 4 and can. 3 de fide).

Christians are not simply “travelling companions” along with adherents of false religions — religions which God forbids (Fratelli Tutti, n. 274). Memorable in this regard is the following theologically precise affirmation of Pope Paul VI: “Our Christian religion effectively establishes with God an authentic and living relationship which the other religions do not succeed in doing, even though they have, as it were, their arms stretched out towards heaven” (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, n. 53).

Several expressions in Fratelli Tutti convey substantially the same religious relativism set forth in the Abu Dhabi Document, which states that “the pluralism and the diversity of religions, color, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom.” Fratelli Tutti did not correct Abu Dhabi but solidified it. The truth which Our Lord revealed, and His Church has unchangingly and constantly proclaimed, remains forever valid: “The chief duty of all men is to cling to religion in both its reaching and practice, not such religion as they may have a preference for, but the religion which God enjoins, and which certain and most clear marks show to be the only one true religion” (Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Immortale Dei, 4).

The following infallible teaching of the Church in the Dogmatic Constitution, Dei Filius, of the First Vatican Council, rejects the fallible teaching on the “diversity of religions” expressed in the Abu Dhabi Document and in Fratelli Tutti: “There is no parity between the condition of those who have adhered to the Catholic truth by the heavenly gift of faith, and the condition of those who, led by human opinions, follow a false religion” (ch. 3); and “If anyone shall say that the condition of the faithful, and of those who have not yet attained to the only true faith, is on a par, let him be anathema” (ibid., can. 6 de fide).

We know of two kinds of fraternity: that of blood, in Adam and Eve, and that of grace, in Jesus Christ, through the Church and sacraments. What “new vision” (n. 6) of fraternity does Pope Francis propose in this encyclical? And as a bishop and Successor to the Apostles, can you encourage the faithful to aspire to the vision of fraternity that Pope Francis sets forth in this encyclical?

Bishop Schneider: True fraternity, as pleases God, is fraternity in and through Christ, the Incarnate Son of God. Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) rightly delimited the Christian concept of fraternity, when he said: “‘One is your master, but you are all brothers’ (Mt ​​23:8). With this word of the Lord the relationship between Christians is determined as a relationship of brothers and sisters as a new brotherhood of the spirit, opposed to the natural brotherhood, which arises from the blood relationship” (Die Christliche Brüderlichkeit, München 1960, 13). Indispensable is the recognition of the difference between a fraternity based on nature, i.e. the bond of blood, and fraternity based on Divine election and Revelation: “While God is the Father of the world’s peoples only through creation, he is Israel’s Father moreover by election” (ibid., 20).

From the beginning, Christians knew the essential difference between mere natural brotherhood and brotherhood through baptism. St. John Chrysostom said: “For what is it which makes brotherhood? The washing of regeneration and being enabled, therefore, to call God our Father” (Homily 25 on Hebrews, 7). In a similar vein, St. Augustine wrote: “Then will they cease to be our brethren, when they shall cease to say, ‘Our Father.’ For the pagans we do not call brethren according to the Scripture and the ecclesiastical mode of speaking” (En. In Ps. 32, 2, 29).

Each Catholic and all the Shepherds of the Church, first and foremost the Pope, should burn with zeal and love for all those who, unfortunately, are only our brothers according to flesh and blood, that they might be born of God in the supernatural sonship in Christ, and truly become brothers in Christ. If Church leaders in our day are content with the brotherhood of flesh and blood, with “fratelli tutti” in flesh and blood, they are neglecting God’s commandment in the Gospel, i.e. the commandment to make the members of all nations and religions disciples of Christ, sons in the Only begotten Son of God, brothers in Christ, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and teaching them to observe all things whatsoever Christ has commanded (see Mt 25:19-20). Such zeal is, for a Christian soul, the deepest expression of love of neighbor: to love him as you love yourself. If your Divine sonship in Christ represents for you the greatest conceivable gift of God — which it truly is — then you lack the true love and charity for your neighbor if you do not burn with the desire to  communicate this gift to him, of course with delicacy and respect. Not to know Christ, not to have the Divine gift of the supernatural Catholic Faith, and not to be baptized, means that one is not truly illumined, that one does not possess the true life of the soul. It means remaining in the darkness and the shadow of death, as the Gospel says (see Lk 1:79; Mt 4:16; Jn 9:1-41).

In the ancient Church, Baptism was fittingly called “illumination” (photismós) and regeneration (anagénnesis). St. Augustine highlights the essential difference between the mortal life given through flesh and blood and the eternal life given through baptism: “We have found other parents, God our Father, and the Church our Mother, by whom we are born unto life eternal. Let us then consider whose children we have begun to be” (Sermo 57 ad competentes, 2). What a narrow, merely earthly and impoverished temporal perspective the following statement of Fratelli tutti reveals: “Let us dream, then, as a single human family, as fellow travelers sharing the same flesh, as children of the same earth which is our common home, each of us bringing the richness of his or her beliefs and convictions, each of us with his or her own voice, brothers and sisters all” (n. 8). A fraternity of blood, a fraternity limited to the here and now, which is perishable, a fraternity limited to peaceful co-existence in kindness, implies an extraordinary spiritual poverty, a deficient life, a deficient happiness, since in such a perspective the most important thing in the entire world and in all of human history is lacking, namely Christ, the Incarnate God, the Only Begotten and Eternal Son of God, the brother, friend and bridegroom of the soul of all those who are reborn in God.

How urgent it is that the Vicar of Christ in our day again proclaim to the entire world the words of his predecessor, John Paul II: “All of you who are still seeking God, all of you who already have the inestimable good fortune to believe, and also you who are tormented by doubt: please listen once again, to the words uttered by Simon Peter. In those words is the faith of the Church. In those same words is the new truth, indeed, the ultimate and definitive truth about man: the son of the living God — ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’” (Homily for the Inauguration of his Pontificate, 22 October 1978) How courageous, how apostolic, how magnificent it would be, if these words had resounded also in Fratelli Tutti!  

You’ve often said that the Church today lacks a supernatural perspective. How does this new encyclical remedy or exacerbate this problem?

The encyclical Fratelli Tutti unfortunately exacerbates the decades-old crisis of the weakening of the supernatural perspective in the life of the Church, with the consequent excessive embrace of temporal realities, and the still worse tendency to interpret even the spiritual and theological realities in a naturalistic and rationalistic manner. This means diluting the Gospel, i.e. revealed truths, into a naturalistic humanism — enclosing one’s perspective on the life of the Church into the narrow horizon of this-worldly realities. It means transforming the true Gospel, which is the Gospel of eternal life, into a new, falsified Gospel of temporal and corporeal life.

The current tendency to naturalism, and the lack of the supernatural in the life of the Church, corresponds to what St. Paul said: “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable” (1 Cor. 15:19). Regarding its content and intellectual horizon, the encyclical Fratelli Tutti can be summed up in these words: “our citizenship is on earth.” The new encyclical aggravates the naturalism reigning in the Church today, which can be described as a lack of love for the Cross of Christ, for prayer, a lack of awareness of the grievousness of sin and the necessity of reparation.  To some extent, Fratelli Tutti is at odds with what St. Paul wrote at the beginning of the Church: “Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil 3:20). Memorable are the words of the first social encyclical of the Magisterium, Rerum Novarum, where Pope Leo XIII teaches that the Church must always look on even temporal realities with a supernatural perspective. He writes:

The things of earth cannot be understood or valued aright without taking into consideration the life to come, the life that will know no death. Exclude the idea of futurity, and forthwith the very notion of what is good and right would perish; nay, the whole scheme of the universe would become a dark and unfathomable mystery. The great truth which we learn from nature herself is also the grand Christian dogma on which religion rests as on its foundation - that, when we have given up this present life, then shall we really begin to live. God has not created us for the perishable and transitory things of earth, but for things heavenly and everlasting; He has given us this world as a place of exile, and not as our abiding place. As for riches and the other things which men call good and desirable, whether we have them in abundance, or are lacking in them-so far as eternal happiness is concerned - it makes no difference; the only important thing is to use them aright. Jesus Christ, when He redeemed us with plentiful redemption, took not away the pains and sorrows which in such large proportion are woven together in the web of our mortal life. He transformed them into motives of virtue and occasions of merit; and no man can hope for eternal reward unless he follows in the blood-stained footprints of his Savior” (n. 21).

Liberty. Fraternity. Equality. These three themes run through “Fratelli Tutti.” Should Catholics be concerned that a Pope has taken up the motto of the French Revolution in his latest encyclical?

In themselves, the three concepts “Liberty, Fraternity, Equality” have a Christian meaning and have been misused by the Freemasonic French Revolution. Regarding the concept of “liberty,” Holy Scripture teaches that true liberty is freedom from the greatest slavery, i.e. slavery to the devil and sin, and ignorance of divine truths: “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (Jn 8:32); “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (Jn 8:36). The freedom that Jesus Christ gives is a gift of His redeeming work: “The creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Rom 8:21). The freedom that God bestows is a supernatural gift of the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Truth: “The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Cor 3:17). True fraternity is not the brotherhood of those born of blood, the flesh and the will of the old Adam, but rather the fraternity of those born of God (see Jn 1:13) who are brothers in Christ, the new Adam (see Rom 5:14). These are “those whom he foreknew, and he also predestined them to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers” (Rom 8:29). 

The Christian concept of true “equality” means that all sinners equally stand in need of salvation in Christ: “There is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:22-23). All the baptized have the same objective dignity as adopted sons of God: “In Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:26.28). Therefore, “strip yourselves of the old man with his deeds and put on the new, him who is renewed unto knowledge, according to the image of him that created him. Where there is neither Gentile nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian nor Scythian, slave nor free. But Christ is all, and in all” (Col 3:9-11). All men will also equally stand before the judgment of God, since “no creature is hidden from God’s sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Heb 4:13). And “whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. There is no partiality with God” (Eph 6:8.9).

The distorted meaning of the concept of liberty and equality introduced by the National Assembly of the French Revolution was immediately condemned by Pope Pius VI. In condemning it, the Church’s magisterium simultaneously provided the true meaning of liberty and equality. Pius VI wrote:

The National Assembly establishes as a right of man in society this absolute liberty that not only insures the right to be indifferent to religious opinions, but also grants full license to freely think, speak, write and even print whatever one wishes on religious matters – even the most disordered imaginings. It is a monstrous right, which the Assembly claims, however, results from equality and the natural liberties of all men. But what could be more unwise than to establish among men this equality and this uncontrolled liberty, which stifles all reason, the most precious gift nature gave to man, the one that distinguishes him from animals? After creating man in a place filled with delectable things, didn’t God threaten him with death should he eat the fruit of the tree of good and evil? And with this first prohibition didn’t He establish limits to his liberty? When, after man disobeyed the command and thereby incurred guilt, didn’t God impose new obligations on him through Moses? And even though he left to man’s free will the choice between good and evil, didn’t God provide him with precepts and commandments that could save him ‘if he would observe them’? Where then, is this liberty of thinking and acting that the Assembly grants to man in society as an indisputable natural right? Is this invented right not contrary to the right of the Supreme Creator to whom we owe our existence and all that we have? Can we ignore the fact that man was not created for himself alone, but to be helpful to his neighbor?” (Brief Quod Aliquantum, March 10, 1791).

In his monumental encyclical on Freemasonry, Humanum Genus, Pope Leo XIII explained the true Christian meaning of “liberty, fraternity and equality,” as realized in the Third Order of St. Francis, thereby explicitly rejecting the Freemasonic distorted meaning. Leo XIII wrote:

Amongst the many benefits to be expected from the Third Order of St. Francis will be the great benefit of drawing the minds of men to liberty, fraternity, and equality of right; not such as the Freemasons absurdly imagine, but such as Jesus Christ obtained for the human race and St. Francis aspired to: the liberty, We mean, of sons of God, through which we may be free from slavery to Satan or to our passions, both of them most wicked masters; the fraternity whose origin is in God, the common Creator and Father of all; the equality which, founded on justice and charity, does not take away all distinctions among men, but, out of the varieties of life, of duties, and of pursuits, forms that union and that harmony which naturally tend to the benefit and dignity of society” (n. 34).

It is regrettable that Pope Francis used this central ideological motto of Freemasonry even as a subtitle in one chapter of Fratelli Tutti (see nn.103-105), without presenting the needed clarification and distinction to avoid any misunderstandings and instrumentalizations.

You have spoken extensively about how popes throughout the centuries, including Pope Francis (Address to young people in Turin, 15 June 2015), have condemned Freemasonry. Do you see any similarities or overlap between the freemasonic idea of fraternity and the one proposed in this new encyclical?

Bishop Schneider: In a statement to the media, the Grand Lodge of Spain expressed its satisfaction with Pope Francis’s latest encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, declaring that the Pope has adopted the Freemasonic concept of fraternity and driven the Catholic Church away from her former positions. Their statement reads:

300 years ago saw the birth of Modern Freemasonry. The great principle of this initiatory school has not changed in three centuries: the construction of a universal brotherhood where human beings call each other brothers beyond their specific creeds, their ideologies, the color of their skin, their social extraction, their language, their culture or their nationality. This fraternal dream collided with religious fundamentalism which, in the case of the Catholic Church, led to harsh texts condemning the tolerance of Freemasonry in the 19th century. Pope Francis’s latest encyclical demonstrates how far the current Catholic Church is from its former positions. In Fratelli Tutti, the Pope embraces the Universal Fraternity, the great principle of Modern Freemasonry.”

The similarities and overlap of the freemasonic idea of fraternity and the one proposed in Fratelli Tutti are striking. Substantially, Pope Francis presents a merely earthly and temporal fraternity of flesh and blood on the natural level. It is ultimately a fraternity based and born of the first Adam, and not of Christ, the new Adam. This perspective is formulated in the following statements in Fratelli Tutti: “it is my desire to contribute to the rebirth of a universal aspiration to fraternity” (n. 8); and “the ever-increasing number of interconnections and communications in today’s world makes us powerfully aware of the unity and common destiny of the nations. In the dynamics of history, and in the diversity of ethnic groups, societies and cultures, we see the seeds of a vocation to form a community composed of brothers and sisters who accept and care for one another” (n. 96).

A universal and merely naturalistic fraternity based on the bonds of blood and nature is the core of the theory and praxis of Freemasonry. A famous French freemason, the Marquis de La Tierce, wrote in his introduction to the translation of Anderson’s First Constitutions of the Freemasons, that universal fraternity means “a universal religion, on which all men agree. It consists in being good, sincere, modest and people of honor, by whatever denomination or particular belief that one can be distinguished” (see Revue d’Histoire Moderne et Contemporaine 1997/44-2, 197). According to La Tierce, the goal of Freemasonry consists in allowing individuals of all nations to enter into a single fraternity (see Histoire de Franc-maçons contenant les obligations et statuts de la très vénérable confraternité de la Maçonnerie, 1847, I, 159). The same author very explicitly wrote that: “It is to revive and spread these essential maxims taken from the nature of man, that our society was first established” (see ibid., 158).

Pope Leo XIII pointed precisely to naturalism as the central characteristic of Freemasonry, since they pursue as their goal “the substitution of a new state of things in accordance with their ideas, of which the foundations and laws shall be drawn from mere naturalism” (Encyclical Humanum Genus, 10). This is the main dogma of Freemasonry: “There is only one religion, only one true, only one natural, the religion of humanity” (see Henri Delassus, La Conjuration Antichretienne, Lille 1910, tome 3, p. 816). From the religious and spiritual point of view, naturalism is one of the greatest temptations and deceits with which Satan leads men away from the Kingdom of Christ, the kingdom of grace, and the supernatural life. Without proclaiming the rights of God, the rights of Christ the King over all men and nations, the rights of men, social welfare, justice and peace will lack a solid guarantee. Pope Leo XIII rightly affirmed:

The world has heard enough of the so-called ‘rights of man.’ Let it hear something of the rights of God. May God look down in mercy upon this world, which has indeed sinned much, but which has also suffered much in expiation! And, embracing in His loving-kindness all races and classes of mankind, may He remember His own words: ‘I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to Myself’ (Jn 12:32)” (Encyclical Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus, 13).

Fratelli Tutti offers a critique of politics, of both liberalism and populism, and includes numerous anti-Trump tropes. Do you think this a political document timed for the November US presidential elections?

I think that Pope Francis would do well to follow the example of the Apostles and the great tradition of the Church in not proposing concrete and transitory political and economic models. Pope John Paul II rightly said: “The Church does not propose economic and political systems or programs,” and “the Church offers her first contribution to the solution of the urgent problem of development when she proclaims the truth about Christ, about herself and about man” (Encyclical Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 41). Pope Leo XIII taught that “Catholics, like any citizen, are free to prefer one form of government to another (see Encyclical Immortale Dei). We find the same teaching in the documents of the Second Vatican Council: “The Church, by reason of her role and competence, is not identified in any way with the political community nor bound to any political system” (Gaudium et Spes, 76).

Your Excellency, are there any final thoughts you wish to add?

Seen as a whole, Fratelli Tutti gives the sad impression that, at the price of a universal aspiration to fraternity for world peace and living together (seen as being good and sincere), the proclamation of the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as the only Savior and King of all humankind and nations was sacrificed. How needed and beneficial it would have been, for the whole of humanity, had Pope Francis proclaimed in this, his social encyclical, what all the Apostles, Church Fathers and Popes had done, declaring to men of all nations and religions this truth: “The greatest benefit and happiness is to accept Jesus Christ, God and man, the only Savior and to believe in Him.” A new social encyclical today should also echo these words of the Church’s first social encyclical, Rerum Novarum:

Civil society was renovated in every part by Christian institutions; of this beneficent transformation Jesus Christ was at once the first cause and the final end; as from Him all came, so to Him was all to be brought back. For, when the human race, by the light of the Gospel message, came to know the grand mystery of the Incarnation of the Word and the redemption of man, at once the life of Jesus Christ, God and Man, pervaded every race and nation, and interpenetrated them with His faith, His precepts, and His laws. And if human society is to be healed now, in no other way can it be healed save by a return to Christian life and Christian institutions. Hence, to fall away from its primal constitution implies disease; to go back to it, recovery” (n. 27).  

This teaching echoes the entire Catholic tradition, dating back as early as St. Augustine, who wrote:

Let those who say that the doctrine of Christ is incompatible with the State’s well-being, give us an army composed of soldiers such as the doctrine of Christ requires them to be; let them give us such subjects, such husbands and wives, such parents and children, such masters and servants, such kings, such judges — in fine, even such taxpayers and tax-gatherers, as the Christian religion has taught that men should be, and then let them dare to say that it is adverse to the State’s well-being; yea, rather, let them no longer hesitate to confess that this doctrine, if it were obeyed, would be the salvation of the commonwealth” (Ep. 138 ad Marcellinum, 2, 15).

The encyclical Fratelli Tutti represents a merely human emergency solution, and limits mankind to the horizon of a universal aspiration to a naturalistic fraternity. Such a solution will not have lasting healing effects, since it is not built upon the explicit proclamation of Jesus Christ as the Incarnate God and the only way to salvation. The Church, even in her social teaching, has to build up the House of God, which is the Kingdom of Jesus Christ in the mystery of His Church and His Social Kingship. It is not the Church’s mission to build up a “new humanity” on the naturalistic level (see Fratelli Tutti, n. 127), or “to work for the advancement of humanity and of universal fraternity” (Fratelli Tutti, n. 276), or to build up a “new world” for temporal justice and peace (see Fratelli Tutti, n. 278). To a certain extent, one can apply to Fratelli Tutti these words of Holy Scripture: “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain” (Psalm 126:1). Full of true prophetic power and relevance to the current situation of the Church and the world are the following words of the Servant of God, the Italian priest don Dolindo Ruotolo (+1970), in his letter to Pope Pius XI:

The most serious evils threaten the church and the world. These evils are not averted by human emergency solutions, but solely with the divine life of Jesus in us. A great battle begins between good and evil, between order and disorder, between truth and error, between the Church and apostasy. The priests groan under the desolation of an inertial life, the religious have become poor in holy life. The shepherds, the bishops, are sleepy. They drag themselves on and have no strength to animate their flock, which is scattered” (Letter from December 23, 1924).

St. Francis once famously prayed in the chapel of San Damiano, in Assisi, and heard Christ tell him from the crucifix to “repair my Church, which is falling into ruin” (see Legenda maior 2, 1). St. Bonaventure attests that Pope Innocent III, “in a dream saw, as he recounted, the Lateran Basilica about to fall, when a little poor man, of mean stature and humble aspect, propped it with his own back, and thus saved it from falling. ‘Verily,’ he says, ‘he it is that by his work and teaching shall sustain the Church of Christ’ (Legenda maior 3, 10). Today the Church of Rome finds herself in a similar situation of spiritual collapse, due to the spiritual torpor of a majority of the Shepherds of the Church, the excessive absorption of the Pope himself in temporal affairs, and his efforts to bring about the rebirth of a universal aspiration to a this-worldly and naturalistic fraternity (Fratelli Tutti, n. 8).

May the Lord grant, through the intercession of St. Francis, that Pope Francis might come to offer an example to all bishops, by once again vigorously proclaiming these words of Our Lord: “For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul?” (Mk 8:36), and by repeating with St. Hilary of Poitiers: “Non accepting Christ, is the greatest danger for the world! [quid mundo tam periculosum, quam non recepisse Christum!]” (In Mt 18).


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