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News

US and Brazil lead coalition affirming family, the right to life at inter-American summit

Quoting from the Social Charter of the Americas, a 2012 OAS document, the delegations also emphasized that 'the family is the natural and fundamental unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the state.'
Wed Oct 21, 2020 - 9:41 pm EST
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Paul Smeaton Paul Smeaton Follow Paul
By Paul Smeaton

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 21, 2020, (LifeSiteNews) – A joint statement from delegations of the U.S., Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, Paraguay, Colombia, Bolivia, Santa Lucia, and Venezuela (representatives of Juan Guaido, not the Maduro regime) told The Organization of American States (OAS) 2020 General Assembly today that “every human being has the right to life, liberty and the security of his person” and declared their commitment to defending “the sovereign right of nations to make their own laws related to the protection of life from the moment of conception.”

The OAS is a regional international organization, similar to the United Nations, which was founded in 1889 and at which all 35 independent states of the Americas are represented. This year its General Assembly was officially convened in Washington, D.C., albeit with attendees participating via web conference due to COVID-19.

Quoting from the Social Charter of the Americas, a 2012 OAS document, the delegations also emphasized that “the family is the natural and fundamental unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the state” and declared their commitment to working together to “protect the family as foundational to society and as a source of health, support, and care throughout the Americas.”

The delegations are expected to present the same joint statement tomorrow at the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, pre-sessional working group being convened in Geneva.

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The Trump administration has consistently worked to defend life and oppose abortion at the United Nations, from resisting pro-abortion agenda items and resolution language to affirming that abortion isn’t a human right and promoting abstinence education. Earlier this year, Trump announced that the U.S. would cut ties with the pro-abortion World Health Organization (WHO) due to its handling of the coronavirus crisis.

Strengthening the Family and the Rights of Women of All Ages 

(Presented by the Delegation of Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, Paraguay, Colombia, Bolivia, Santa Lucia, Venezuela (representatives of Juan Guaido, not the Maduro regime), and the United States of America; in the context of the 2020 OAS General Assembly)

AWARE OF the importance the OAS has placed onfamily as foundational to a healthy society; on gender equality for women and girls, and the full exercise of their human rights regardless of age, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, we

REAFFIRM that “every human being has the right to life, liberty and the security of his person;”[i]and that “all persons are equal before the law;”[ii]

EMPHASIZE that “the family is the natural and fundamental unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the state. “[iii]that  “all children have the right to special protection, care, and aid”[iv]

and that the family as an institution has functioned as a solid pillar on which to rely in confronting the pandemic and its consequences;

EMPHASIZE that “women and men enjoy the same status and have equal opportunities to realize their full human rights and their potential to contribute to political, economic, social, and cultural development and benefit from the results;”[v][vi]  the human rights of women are “inalienable, integral, and indivisible part of universal human rights[vii]and that “education ought to enable everyone to participate effectively in a democratic and pluralistic society and achieve a decent existence;”[viii]

EMPHASIZE that women and men have different health-care needs, and an equal right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health.

DECLARES our commitment to work together during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond:

  1. To ensure the full enjoyment of optimal health, human rights, and equal opportunity for women at all levels of political, economic, and public life.

  2. To protect the family as foundational to society and as a source of health, support, and care throughout the Americas.

  3. To defend the sovereign right of nations to make their own laws related to the protection of life from the moment of conception. To work in solidarity until these goals are fully accomplished.

 


[i] American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, Article I. 

[ii] American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, Chapter 1, Article 2

[iii] SOCIAL CHARTER OF THE AMERICAS, adopted at second plenary session, June 3, 2012

[iv] Chapter 1, AMERICAN DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS  AND DUTIES OF MAN https://www.cidh.oas.org/Basicos/English/Basic2.american%20Declaration.htm

[vi] INTER-AMERICAN PROGRAM ON THE PROMOTION OF WOMEN'S HUMAN RIGHTS AND GENDER EQUITY AND EQUALITY, Article II, as referenced in Preamble and Art. 3 of the Protocol of San Salvador https://www.oas.org/juridico/english/treaties/a-52.html

[vii] INTER-AMERICAN PROGRAM ON THE PROMOTION OF WOMEN'S HUMAN RIGHTS AND GENDER EQUITY AND EQUALITY, Article I, Background. https://www.oas.org/en/CIM/docs/PIA[EN].pdf

[viii] Art 13 of the Protocol of San Salvador


  abortion, natural marriage, natural rights, oas, right to life

News

Bp. Strickland: Attacks on Amy Coney Barrett ‘absolutely’ rooted in anti-Catholicism

Last night was not the first time Bishop Strickland expressed solidarity with Judge Barrett.
Wed Oct 21, 2020 - 8:17 pm EST
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LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

October 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — On The Bishop Strickland Show last night, Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas praised Judge Amy Coney Barrett for her devout Catholic faith while pointing out that attacks on her from the left are rooted in anti-Catholic sentiments. 

“Amy Coney Barrett is a devout, practicing Catholic. There are many other Catholics at the top of our political system, and they don’t complain about them, because they are not practicing Catholics[.] … [A] Catholic who is supporting abortion is not living according to how the Catholic Church teaches. 

“I think it’s very interesting,” His Excellency continued, “and very duplicitous, of people that are attacking Amy Coney Barrett because she’s a practicing Catholic  they’re going after Amy Coney Barrett because they’re afraid of the abortion issue and afraid of people waking up to the evil that it is.” 

You can watch the entire episode of last night’s Bishop Strickland Show below. His Excellency’s comments on Judge Barrett begin at the 10-minute mark. For access to all previous shows, click here. 

Last night was not the first time Bishop Strickland expressed solidarity with Judge Barrett. He also tweeted his support for her when it was first rumored that she was going to be nominated by President Trump to serve on the US Supreme Court.  

Bishop Strickland and host Terry Barber of Virgin Most Powerful Radio also discussed abortion and other topics related to the coronavirus. His Excellency said senior citizens have been “really mistreated” by governors and that they’ve been put into “deadly” situations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bishop Strickland Show airs LIVE every Tuesday at 9:00pm EST on LifeSite’s YouTube channel. Click here to subscribe so you can be reminded when new episodes are released every week. 


  amy coney barrett, anti-catholicism, bishop strickland, joseph strickland, judge amy coney barrett, judge barrett, the bishop strickland show

News

Coronavirus vaccine trial volunteer dies in Brazil

The volunteer was 28 years old and taking part in AstraZeneca's vaccine trial.
Wed Oct 21, 2020 - 6:16 pm EST
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Emily Mangiaracina Emily Mangiaracina Follow
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October 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Reuters reported today that a 28-year-old Brazilian volunteer in AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine trial died.

The Brazilian National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) is currently investigating “data received” on the vaccine trial volunteer’s death. While Anvisa declared that “data on clinical research volunteers must be kept confidential,” the Brazilian newspaper O Globo reported that the volunteer is a recently graduated doctor who “worked on the front line of combating COVID-19 in three hospitals in Rio de Janeiro.”

Reuters said that according to “a source familiar with the matter,” “the trial would have been suspended if the volunteer who died had received the COVID-19 vaccine, suggesting the person was part of the control group that was given a meningitis vaccine.”

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However, there are conflicting reports.

According to Leoleli Schwartz, writing for MedScape Medical News, a report in O Globo said the volunteer received a dose of the AZDI222 vaccine — the vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 — in late July.

It is unclear whether the volunteer received the COVID-19 vaccine or the placebo.

Reuters reported that according to CNN Brasil, the volunteer died from COVID-19 complications.

A spokesperson for the Federal University of São Paulo, which is helping coordinate Phase 3 clinical trials in Brazil, said, “It is up to an independent review board to decide whether trials will continue.”


  abortion, astrazeneca, brazil, coronavirus, modern medicine, vaccines

News

Young female pro-life singer assaulted after Vienna March for Life

Two pro-abortion protesters attacked pro-life singer Vero and stole her bike, prompting police intervention.
Wed Oct 21, 2020 - 5:57 pm EST
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Austrian singer Vero (left). Edward Prots Photography
Bethany Janzen
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VIENNA, October 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — After the March for Life on Saturday in Vienna, the musician who performed at the march was attacked by two girls, and her bike was stolen, prompting police intervention.  

Closing the March for Life, Vero, a young singer with blond dreadlocks and a guitar, led the 2,000-person crowd in a song: “We’re the Pro-Life Generation.”

The message was clear: we will stand for justice. We will stand for the smallest. We will stand for the women who are often alone and see no other way out. We will stay by you and fight for you.

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During the March, counter-demonstrators from multiple groups including Antifa attempted to stop the march by sitting in the street. However, the police adjusted the march route slightly and moved those blocking the march. Overall, the march took place peacefully because of heavy police presence.

After the March, Vero made her way to her bike. It was locked near where members of Antifa and the other counter demonstration groups were gathered. She’d hardly unlocked her bike before a girl dressed in black who was clearly a part of the counter-demonstrators ran over and grabbed hold of the bike. Surprised, Vero held on.

A second girl wearing sunglasses ran over, grabbing the bike with the other girl. “They pulled so hard,” Vero said. As the pulled, somebody kicked Vero in the shin.

“I realized that couldn’t hold the bike anymore and exclaimed, ‘Jesus, help!’” said Vero. One of the girls repeated what Vero had said, and the two assailants laughed. Then one of the girls got on Vero’s bike and rode off, the other one running beside her. They headed right into a police car, where the police were standing.

At first, the police didn’t know what had happened, thinking Vero belonged to Antifa and the left-wing counter-protesters. But as soon as the police realized what had happened, they quickly apprehended the girls. The attackers are currently in jail.  

At the police station, Vero showed the police her picture on a blog (linked to the event website counter-march). The police were surprised, but then they saw the connection between Vero’s attack and her pro-life beliefs.

“Sometimes people would come up to me and talk and then occasionally react aggressively, but I was never targeted directly with violence like this before,” Vero stated.

Vero believes that it is important to share what happened to her, not to incite fear, but to inspire others to have courage and spread the message that love is stronger than hate.

“I want to tell the girls who attacked me, I love you. I forgive you. I don’t hate you. I don’t want anything bad to happen to you. To all the counter-protesters, I want to say that we are here for you and love you. If you are ever in a crisis pregnancy, we’re here for you.”

Although surprised by the attack, Vero realizes that what happened to her — violent discrimination because of her beliefs — could have happened to anyone. Yet she remains undaunted and plans to continue to share the pro-life message: “I am not afraid. I know that Jesus is with me. Love always wins over fear.”

Vero draws courage from the thought of the babies whose lives are taken from them and the women who are pressured to abort by their partners or situations. “They’re the real ones who are being hurt. It’s up to us to stand up for them.”


  abortion, antifa, austria, march for life, vero, vienna

News

Pro-life students abused at 2020 ‘Women’s March,’ pregnant mom told to abort her daughter

‘My preborn daughter and I were repeatedly verbally attacked, especially when projecting her little quick heartbeat over a megaphone, a sweet innocent sound to us, but a threat to their denial of the preborn’s humanity.’
Wed Oct 21, 2020 - 5:38 pm EST
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Women's March pro-abortion protesters deface a Students for Life of America sign. YouTube
Michael Haynes Michael Haynes Follow
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WASHINGTON, D.C, October 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-abortion protestors verbally and physically abused pro-life activists publicly defending the rights of the unborn at the “Women’s March” on Saturday.  

Activists with Students for Life of America (SFLA) gathered in Washington on October 17 to give a voice to the unborn in front of the Women’s March. The students carried banners saying “Equal rights for all women,” wore t-shirts with their signature inscription “I am the pro-life generation,” and held signs with pictures of babies in utero with the words “She could be   as part of their She Could Be campaign 

In response to the peaceful demonstration, the Women’s March protestors threw water, sprayed paint, hurled verbal abuse, and physically attacked the Students for Life. One abortion activist dropped to the ground and “twerked” at the pro-lifers. 

The Women’s March participants directed much of their abuse at SFLA’s Lori Cascio, who is 38 1/2 weeks’ pregnant. Cascio was amplifying the heartbeat of her unborn child to the crowd, yet one protester scoffed, “Imagine using your child for political shit. If I was that child, I’d probably want to kill myself.” 

Cascio stated that she was giving witness to the fact that “my daughter is a real human  but her life matters too and this march, they’re not marching for preborn women, that’s why I’m here, and my daughter’s here, so that they have a voice as well.” 

Women’s March protestors had called on Cascio to abort her baby, to which she responded, “That’s disgusting; that’s not feminism.” 

In an email to SFLA supporters, Cascio wrote, “My preborn daughter and I were repeatedly verbally attacked, especially when projecting her little quick heartbeat over a megaphone, a sweet innocent sound to us, but a threat to their denial of the preborn’s humanity.” 

She wrote that she thought “it’s possible that we would’ve been physically attacked” had they not had bodyguards with them. 

The Women’s March website gave this description of the protest: “We’re holding socially distant actions across the country to send an unmistakable message about the fierce opposition to Trump and his agenda, including his attempt to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat.” 

The protestors were also demanding “open access to safe, legal, affordable abortion and birth control for all people, regardless of income, location or education.” 

One of the pro-life students said, “This is not a women’s march. This is an anti-Trump march; this is a pro-abortion march; this is an anti-Amy Coney Barrett march. In no way shape or form is this a women’s march. … They are here to promote abortion.” 

Another pro-life volunteer mentioned that “today at the women’s march I learned that this is not about women; it’s about women that they agree with. They don’t agree  with the pro-life generation  and they just want to silence us.” 

“We have seen vandalism, abuse: I was pushed, I was hit, I had my phone ripped out of my hand, I got spray painted,” declared one of the students. “But you know what, it proves that the pro-abortion side is not scared of violence and they love abortion.” 

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  abortion, amy coney barrett, anti-trump rally, donald trump, pro-abortion, pro-life generation, ruth bader ginsburg, students for life of america, violence, washington, d.c., women's march

News

WATCH: US bishop leads funeral service for aborted baby, calls for ‘overturn’ of Roe

The baby has now been laid to rest with the dignity she deserves as a child of God.
Wed Oct 21, 2020 - 5:28 pm EST
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Bishop Joseph Coffey (right) presides at the graveside service of Philomena Grace, Oct. 17, 2020, Towson, Maryland. Lawrence Grayson
Lawrence P. Grayson
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TOWSON, Maryland, October 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A U.S. Catholic bishop along with several priests held a funeral service in Maryland for a baby who was left in a restaurant's toilet after a botched abortion.

The baby, named Philomena Grace by a pro-life woman who secured the baby’s body from the state of Maryland’s Anatomy Board, had developed to a viable age within her mother’s womb when the mother decided in November 2019 that she did not want the child. The mother, according to a report by a detective who was assigned to the case, visited a Washington, D.C. abortionist who began the process of a 3-day medical abortion. Officials surmise that the woman was sent home and went into labor before the abortion could be completed, delivering the already dead baby, according to an autopsy, in a restaurant’s lavatory in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

Bishop Joseph Coffey, Fr. Edward Meeks, and Fr. William Kuchinsky concelebrated a funeral Mass for Philomena at Christ the King Catholic Church in Towson on October 17. Over 100 people attended. The baby was laid to rest with the dignity she deserves as a child of God.

The child’s brief life was tragic. On November 27, 2019, a restaurant employee entered the ladies' room for a scheduled cleaning and discovered a baby in the toilet. The police were called and the body taken to the state office of the chief medical examiner, where it was determined that the female baby was 25 weeks’ gestation. Marjorie (Missy) Smith, founder of the pro-life organization WAKEUP, learned of the sordid event and, knowing that the body would be disposed of, requested and was given permission to claim the child for burial.

Smith, having a strong devotion to St. Philomena, named the baby Philomena Grace. She, along with Jack Ames, director of Defend Life, became the spiritual godparents of the infant. They arranged for the care of the body during the several months of pandemic lockdown, the funeral and burial of the child.

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The remains of Philomena Grace being carried in a tiny wooden casket after an Oct. 17, 2020 funeral Mass with Bishop Joseph Coffey at Christ the King Catholic Church in Towson, Maryland. SOURCE: 4defendlife / Youtube

The child’s name was well chosen. Virtually nothing is known about baby Philomena’s parents, their situation, or even if she had siblings. Little is known about St. Philomena. There is no written historical record of her, and what is believed is due to a visionary in 1833.

In his homily, Bishop Coffey, auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese for the Military Services, spoke about the significance of the child’s name, Philomena Grace. The saint, whom the Church has designated the patron of babies and infants, is thought to be the daughter of a Christian Greek prince. When she was 13, in 304, Philomena accompanied her parents to the court of Emperor Diocletian who, captured by her beauty, desired her for his wife. She refused based on a vow of perpetual virginity she earlier had made to Our Lord.  The enraged emperor had her tortured and finally beheaded. Philomena was buried and forgotten for 1,500 years until her remains were discovered in a catacomb in 1802. Miracles soon occurred when relics of her remains were distributed, leading to her canonization.

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In addressing her second name, the bishop said, “Grace is the love and mercy given to us by God because God desires us to have it, not because of anything we have done to earn it. Grace is the favor, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to His call to become children of God, adopted sons, partakers of the Divine Nature in eternal life.”

The bishop also used the occasion to speak of the broader issue of life facing the nation: “We are trying to change a very unjust law that allows this to happen legally. Roe v. Wade must, and we hope and pray for those aborted babies, that it will be overturned and hopefully soon.”

He urged people to have hope, in spite of the small numbers of individuals who sometimes pray near abortion facilities. A reason that people pray there, he said, is that “when these babies die that day, they are not dying alone. We are there.” He continued, “We don’t know the circumstances of Philomena Grace’s birth mom … but we know that Philomena Grace was wanted by God.”

“We recommit ourselves to never grow weary. Like St. Paul, fight the good fight, run the race to the end. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone of us, but we have today, and today, thank God, we have the life, thank God, the gift of baby Philomena Grace.”

After the Mass, the child was carried to a Garden of Innocents adjacent to the church, where Fr. Meeks and the bishop conducted a graveside service.

Nov. 2, 2020 update: This report now gives a more accurate description of the abortion procedure the mother was likely undergoing. 


  abortion, ed meeks, edward meeks, funeral, joseph coffey, missy smith, roe v. wade

News

New ad hits Biden for supporting sex changes for 8-yr-olds: ‘What won’t he support?’

'In Joe Biden’s view, a child too young to go see an Avengers film can decide to have his or her body permanently altered through surgery and chemical injections,' commented Frank Cannon of the American Principles Project.
Wed Oct 21, 2020 - 5:17 pm EST
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Charles Robertson
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October 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A new ad from the American Principles Project PAC slams former vice president Joe Biden for his recent endorsement of transgender treatments for kids as young as eight. “Should eight-year-olds really be subjected to dangerous, life-altering medical procedures?” the ad asks. 

The ad comes in the wake of Joe Biden’s comments at a town hall:  

The idea that an eight-year-old child, or a ten-year-old child, decides, you know, “I decided I want to be transgender, that’s what I think I’d like to be, it’d make my life a lot easier.” There should be zero discrimination … I promise you, there is no reason to suggest that there should be any right denied your [transgender] daughter [sic]… that your other daughter has a right to be and do. 

The comments came in response to a question posed by Mieke Haeck, who introduced herself as having two daughters, an 8-year-old and a 10-year-old. The younger of the two is transgender and therefore is not actually her daughter, but her son.  

Frank Cannon, the president of APP, responded to Biden’s comments on October 15, saying, “In Joe Biden’s view, a child too young to go see an Avengers film can decide to have his or her body permanently altered through surgery and chemical injections. Second or third graders are too young to comprehend the basics of human sexuality, let alone make such irreversible decisions. To mutilate children in such a way is a form of child abuse, and Americans, by a huge margin, don’t believe children this young should undergo such procedures. 

The APP PAC ad urging Americans to vote against Biden points out that transgender surgeries, puberty-blocking drugs, and hormones cause permanent damage. The ad then asks, “If Joe Biden is willing to endorse sex changes for second graders, what won’t he support?”   

RELATED: 

Christians cannot support Joe Biden’s remarks in favor of ‘transgender’ mutilation 

Joe Biden: 8-year-olds should be able to decide they’re transgender … ’zero discrimination’ 


  2020 election, american principles project, joe biden, sex change, sex change regret, transgenderism

News

Trump admin intervenes on behalf of patients denied Sacraments at hospitals during COVID

Priests have been widely barred from gaining entrance to hospitals in order to administer the Sacraments, particularly those of the Last Rites, and women have been forced to give birth alone.
Wed Oct 21, 2020 - 4:41 pm EST
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Michael Haynes Michael Haynes Follow
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UNITED STATES, October 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Two hospitals have amended their policies to allow patients to receive visits from clergy as well as the sacraments, in a recent victory for the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). 

The HHS reports that the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division, part of the OCR, managed to effect changes in two separate hospitals, requiring them to ensure that patients could have access to the sacraments. 

In July of this year, a mother issued a complaint against MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center (MSMHC) claiming that they had violated her religious freedom. After having given birth alone “she was separated from her newborn child because she had tested positive for COVID-19 upon admission to the hospital.”  

The mother asked the hospital to allow a Catholic priest inside, in order to baptize her newborn son. However, her request was refused by the hospital, “due to a visitor exclusion policy adopted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

The OCR directed the hospital to a document drawn up by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which states that “Facilities must ensure patients have adequate and lawful access to chaplains or clergy in conformance with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.” 

As a result, the MSMHC changed its policy, allowing all patients to have access to “religious services from the religious leaders of their choice at any reasonable time, as long as the visit does not disrupt care.” 

A second case occurred in Virginia’s Mary Washington Healthcare (MWHC), which resulted in the Catholic Diocese of Arlington lodging a complaint with the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division. The diocese stated that the hospital had refused entrance to a priest who had been called to administer the Last Rites to a patient who was nearing the end of his life. The patient had also tested positive for COVID-19. 

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The hospital later reversed its decision, when it learnt about the complaint and allowed the priest to enter and administer the sacraments. 

Despite this permission, another occasion arose in the MWHC, in which a priest was asked by the family to visit a patient in intensive care, yet was refused. The hospital forbade entry except for “end-of-life situations.”   

Once again, the OCR intervened, and MWHC updated their policy to allow for clergy visitation to non-COVID patients. For patients with the virus, the hospital now allows clergy visits, but extra measures are in place, such as completing “infection prevention training,” wearing PPE, and signing “waiver acknowledging the risks of COVID-19 transmission.”  

If he has to visit a COVID-19 patient in an emergency, the visiting cleric must self-isolate for 14 days if he has not completed infection training. 

The news is very welcome, in the light of many hospitals and care facilities imposing stringent visiting policies during the recent months of corona tide. Priests have been widely barred from gaining entrance to hospitals in order to administer the Sacraments, particularly those of the Last Rites. 

Family visits to relatives in hospitals have been heavily curtailed, and widely banned during the height of COVID-19 lockdowns. Patients often ended dying on their own, without family with them in their last hours. 

Care homes also participated in the exclusion policy, with patients and residents forced to isolate in their rooms, devoid of all normal human contact. Even the gradual lifting of such bans has still resulted, in some cases, in visits being limited to one per week with a maximum of thirty minutes, with the visitor mostly hidden under protective clothing. 

In March, there was public outcry in New York City after a number of hospitals banned women from having anyone accompany them – even their husbands – during labor and delivery. The city government forced them to backtrack, but many hospitals around the U.S. (and around the world) still severely restrict who can be with a woman as she gives birthOther hospitals now routinely separate supposedly COVID-19 positive mothers from their newbornsa practice widely panned as traumatizing and inhumane.  


  coronavirus, hhs, office of civil rights, roger severino

News

Facebook insider: ‘Facebook is almost an arm of the Democratic Party’

Facebook employees discussed how they were 'shocked' and 'ashamed' by Facebook’s recent censorship to protect Biden
Wed Oct 21, 2020 - 3:59 pm EST
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Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

October 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Some Facebook employees are embarrassed by the company’s efforts to limit the spread of a bombshell New York Post report that highlighted evidence of alleged corruption involving Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden, according to comments and chat logs provided to the Post by a Facebook insider.

The ongoing debate over free speech on social media took on new urgency last week when Facebook and Twitter flagged a Post report about emails indicating that Hunter Biden introduced his father, then the Vice President of the United States, to Vadym Pozharskyi, a top adviser to the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma, less than a year before the elder Biden openly pressured the Ukrainian government to fire a prosecutor tasked with investigating the company. The emails, obtained from a discarded laptop owned by Hunter, also appear to detail how the Biden family made millions by selling meetings with the vice president around the world.

Twitter locked the Post’s account and temporarily forbade sharing the link to the report, while Facebook representative Andy Stone said the company would be “reducing its distribution on our platform.”

“Facebook is almost an arm of the Democratic Party — an arm of the far-left wing of the Democratic Party,” an unnamed Facebook insider told the Post in an interview published Monday. The platform’s staffers are “intentionally trying to swing people further to the left.”

The insider provided screenshots of conversation logs on the anonymous chat network Blind, which tech industry employees allegedly use to speak freely about their respective companies. “To gain access to the Facebook network on Blind, a user must sign up using his or her Facebook work e-mail address,” the report explains. “The posters, in other words, are verified Facebook employees (and ex-employees in a few cases).”

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In the chat, Facebook employees discussed how they were “shocked” and “ashamed” by Facebook’s latest actions.

“Why do people hate Facebook?” one person asked rhetorically. “Here is one reason. Freaking one sided decision. We didn’t have problems circulating leaked Trump tax or any other s*** surrounding Trump or covid.”

“Employees want Trump to lose,” another commenter said. “If that means rigging [the platform] against him, they don’t care.” Another warned, “We’re now begging to be regulated.”

The insider told the Post he sees no reason to expect Facebook to reform itself from within. 

“The whole thing is run by super-woke millennials and gen-Xers,” he explained. “This overwhelming majority of people make sure there’s no chance of breaking through the ideological barrier [...] if you’re left-wing, you can say what you want. But if you’re conservative — or even just apolitical — you have to go on this anonymous app” to express your views openly.

These are only the latest confirmations of Facebook’s left-wing internal culture. Two Facebook whistleblowers came forward this summer to attest that the platform aggressively discriminates against conservatives on a global scale for the purpose of influencing election outcomes.

One provided footage of content moderators openly discussing how they would like to delete “every Donald Trump post I see on the timeline” and “delete all Republicans ... for terrorism” if they so much as post a photo “wearing a MAGA hat.” The other described witnessing moderators “deleting on average 300 posts or actioning 300 posts a day” in a way “that just targeted conservatives or favored liberals,” with personnel equating Trump supporters with violent hate groups, while expressly making an exception for overtly-hateful posts by the moderators’ LGBT allies in the name of supporting so-called “pride” month.

The New York Post’s experience has renewed calls for the federal government to step in. Many have advocated modifications to the federal law that immunizes websites from liability for user content, while Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri has called on the Federal Elections Commission to investigate whether their suppression of the story, less than a month before the presidential election, qualifies as an illegal in-kind contribution to the Biden campaign.

The Justice Department filed a major antitrust lawsuit against Google this week, but internal divisions among Republicans have delayed plans to force the heads of Facebook and Twitter to explain themselves before the Senate Judiciary Committee.


  2020 election, big tech, censorship, facebook, hunter biden, joe biden, new york post, social media censorship

News

How my dad, Joe Scheilder, inspired me to be a pro-life activist

Eric Scheidler reflects on what it means to grow up with a pro-life leader as a father.
Wed Oct 21, 2020 - 2:39 pm EST
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Madeleine Jacob Madeleine Jacob Follow
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October 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – In today’s episode of The Van Maren Show, pro-life activist Eric Scheidler joins Jonathon to discuss the impact of the pro-life grassroots movements and how his father’s pro-life activism helped shaped his own passion for life.  

Eric Scheidler is the Executive Director of the Pro-Life Action League, a grassroots movement that focuses on “direct action.”

Eric is the son of Joe Scheidler, one of the greatest living pro-life leaders. He asks listeners to pray for his father, Joe, who is in poor health. 

Listen to the full interview here: 

He tells Jonathon that he was six years old when he went to his first pro-life rally and has been involved in the movement ever since.  

Eric has been aware of the great media bias toward pro-lifers since he was young. He read about his father, their family, and the events he attended in the news. He tells listeners that even back then he would read articles about events he attended with his father and often struggled to find a resemblance between the event he attended the article's representation of it. 

Eric continues to share stories and encouragement from his time in the pro-life movement. Specifically, Eric has focused on grassroots efforts to mobilize pro-lifers at the community level.  

“Our [Pro-Life Action League’s] focus is direct action. Putting regular people to work in their own communities,” Eric tells listeners.  

Eric shares one story of how his whole community came together to prayerfully protest a new Planned Parenthood building that had secretly gone up in their town.  

Eric discovered the clinic was being built after a contractor reached out to him and told him that there was a medical building being built with cameras, bulletproof drywall, and other adjustments that weren’t normal for a medical clinic.  

Through the Freedom of Information Act, Eric discovered that Planned Parenthood had lied to the city and others in their initial documents.  

Just a few days after discovering the medical building was going to be a Planned Parenthood, Eric organized a meeting at his church.  

Hundreds of people attended the meeting and within just a few days the entire community had filled the 40 Days for Life prayer schedule.  

This was just one of many examples and encouraging stories Eric has to share about the impact of the grassroots pro-life movement.  

Eric also shares how he organized defund Planned Parenthood rallies across the country shortly after Trump was elected. He was told that these rallies helped convince the president to remove Title X funding from Planned Parenthood.  

Eric sees a need for the “continuing transformation of people’s attitude and that’s a slow process.”  

Until the abortion rate decreases in America, it will be difficult for the large majority of people to fully support putting an end to abortion. With such a large number of abortions in the U.S., most everyone is connected to abortion in some way.  

“People are uncomfortable with it but they are willing to tolerate it because they just can’t think of their family member or their friend as an evil person who contributed to the murder of an innocent human being.” 

Eric sees the true exposure of abortion for what it is as an important form of education that can ultimately lead to a change of attitude toward abortion.  

He continues, “victim photography that makes people angry, but also makes it a lot harder for them to be okay with abortion, we have to get that out there more and more.” 


  eric scheidler, joe scheidler, jonathon van maren, pro-life action league, the van maren show

News

‘No one is saved alone’: Pope Francis calls on men to save each other

'Francis has substituted a horizontal, anthropological, one might even say psychological notion of salvation for the traditional meaning of salvation in Christianity' Dr. Peter Kwasniewski told LifeSiteNews.
Wed Oct 21, 2020 - 2:11 pm EST
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Dorothy Cummings McLean Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy
By Dorothy Cummings McLean

ROME, Italy, October 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Pope Francis spoke twice yesterday about the importance of saving fellow human beings and not seeking to be “saved alone.”

The context for his remarks against a selfish approach to salvation was yesterday’s International Meeting of Prayer for Peace, entitled “No one is saved alone: peace and fraternity.”The two halves of the event were simultaneous prayer services in various locations near Rome’s Piazza del Campidoglio, and then an interfaith ceremony within the piazza itself. 

Pope Francis presided first over the Christian prayer service in the Basilica of St. Mary of the Altar of Heaven (Basilica di Santa Maria in Ara Coeli). There he gave a homily in which he reflected on those who mocked the crucified Christ by saying “Save yourself!”

“At the supreme moment of His sufferings and love, many of those present cruelly taunted Him with the words: ‘Save yourself!’ (Mk 15:30)," the pontiff said to the Christian gathering.  

“This is a great temptation. It spares no one, including us Christians. The temptation to think only of saving ourselves and our own circle,” he continued. 

“To focus only on our own problems and interests, as if nothing else mattered. It is a very human instinct, but wrong. It was the final temptation of the crucified God.” 

Pope Francis stated also that “save” has a religious connotation, and that the scribes and pharisees who joined in the mockery thought that Jesus’ saving of others was useless as it seemed He could not save himself.

“The mocking tone of the accusation is garbed in religious language, twice using the verb to save,” the pontiff said. 

“But the ‘gospel’ of save yourself is not the Gospel of salvation. It is the falsest of the apocryphal gospels, making others carry the cross. Whereas the true Gospel bids us take up the cross of others.”

Pope Francis took up the theme of salvation again at the interfaith ceremony in the Piazza del Campidoglio, making it more clear he means an earthly, temporal salvation — peace, prosperity, security, and happiness brought about through fraternal cooperation — not eternal life. 

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“How do we find a way out of intransigent and festering conflicts? How do we untangle the knots so many armed struggles? How do we prevent conflicts? How do we inspire thoughts of peace in warlords and those who rely on the strength of arms?” he asked

“No people, no social group, can single-handedly achieve peace, prosperity, security and happiness. None," Francis continued and then quoted from his recent encyclical Fratelli tutti

“The lesson learned from the recent pandemic, if we wish to be honest, is ‘the awareness that we are a global community, all in the same boat, where one person’s problems are the problems of all. Once more we realized that no one is saved alone; we can only be saved together.’” 

The pontiff added that “fraternity” will help everyone understand that we can only be saved together, and concluded by saying that this salvation will come from temporal peace.

“For indeed, with God's help, it will be possible to build a world of peace, and thus, brothers and sisters, to be saved together,” Pope Francis said.

The ambiguity of the Italian phrases Francis employed is lost in translation. "Nessuno si salva da solo" can mean both “no one is saved alone" and "no one saves himself alone." “E possibile costruire un mondo di pace, e così, fratelli e sorelle, salvarci insieme" also suggests that we (ci) can together save ourselves by building the world of peace. 

In Fratelli tutti, the sentiment “No one is saved alone” expressed the pontiff’s beliefs in the interconnectedness of all humanity:  

... (A])worldwide tragedy like the Covid-19 pandemic momentarily revived the sense that we are a global community, all in the same boat, where one person’s problems are the problems of all. Once more we realized that no one is saved alone; we can only be saved together. As I said in those days, “the storm has exposed our vulnerability and uncovered those false and superfluous certainties around which we constructed our daily schedules, our projects, our habits and priorities … Amid this storm, the façade of those stereotypes with which we camouflaged our egos, always worrying about appearances, has fallen away, revealing once more the ineluctable and blessed awareness that we are part of one another, that we are brothers and sisters of one another.”

LifeSiteNews approached a number of theologians and philosophers for their opinon on what Pope Francis meant when he talked about salvation in the context of an interfaith celebration.

“Francis has substituted a horizontal, anthropological, one might even say psychological notion of ‘salvation’ for the traditional meaning of salvation in Christianity: the decisive intervention of God's grace in the life of sinful man, converting his heart and making him a 'new man,'” Dr. Peter Kwasniewski told LifeSiteNews via social media.

“This comes about by God's gracious pleasure and by the sacrifice of Christ, not by 'turning toward the other and welcoming him’ or ‘giving up selfish political ways’or whatever other horizontal descriptions the pope offers," he continued. 

“Our encounters in this life with ‘the other’ may very well be, and should be, occasions for God's grace to enter our lives and the lives of others, but the way the pope is speaking seems to equate salvation with this encounter and ‘common journey’ of human fraternity. The texts speak a lot about Christ and the Cross, but they do not speak about Christian soteriology or about the properly theological and spiritual meaning of salvation.”

Author John Zmirak addressed the studied ambiguity of the pontiff’s discourses, which he described as “a form of gaslighting.”

"Pope Francis's performances are episodes from 'The Objective Room' in C.S. Lewis’s apocalyptic novel That Hideous Strength," Zmirak told LifeSiteNews via social media.  

“They seem designed to break down our sense of normalcy, order, clarity and sanity – to make us despair of our God-given faculties of discernment, and collapse into a fideistic surrender to power,” Zmirak continued. 

“His power over the Church, the State’s power over us, and globalists’ power over our governments. We can do nothing alone, only as termites in the colony. We are not dignified images of God, but interchangeable cells in a collective.”

Religious leaders and representatives participating in the International Meeting of Prayer for Peace included Bartholomew I, the patriarch of Constantinople; Haïm Korsia, the Chief Rabbi of France; Mohamed Abdelsalam Abdellatif, a Muslim who serves as the Superior General of the interfaith Higher Committee of Human Fraternity; Zen Buddhist monk Shoten Minegishi, a Sikh representative named Karmaljit Singh Dillon; and a Hindu representative, Divya Punchayil Prashoban. 

The joint service included speeches from some of these assembled leaders and representatives, prefaced by a welcome from Andrea Riccardi, the founder of the Sant’Egidio Community, and a speech by the president of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella. After the speeches, a young women read aloud an “Appeal for Peace.” The representatives of different religions and nations lit a candelabra together and signed the Appeal for Peace. 


  church crisis, interfaith services, pope francis

News

Vatican to renew secret ‘sell-out’ deal with China’s communists

Cardinal Zen, the emeritus bishop of Hong Kong, has said that through the deal the Vatican is 'selling out the Catholic Church in China'
Wed Oct 21, 2020 - 2:00 pm EST
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Secretary of State of the Holy See Cardinal Pietro Parolin, June 17, 2016 Drop of Light / Shutterstock.com
Michael Haynes Michael Haynes Follow
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VATICAN CITY, October 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, has confirmed today that the controversial secret deal between the Vatican and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) allegedly regarding the appointment of Catholic bishops, will be renewed.

Reuters reports that Cardinal Parolin gave the news to reporters who asked him about the renewal of the deal: “Yes, I can anticipate to you that all will go well ... I’ll leave you with a positive signal.”

Whilst the official announcement is not due until tomorrow, Parolin stated that the actual decision had been reached “in the last few days.”

“As far as the accord is concerned, we are content. There are still many other problems but we never expected the accord to resolve all the problems.”

The deal allegedly recognizes the state-approved church and allows the Chinese Communist Party to appoint the bishops. The Pope apparently maintains a veto power although in practice it is the CCP  who have control. It also allegedly allows for the removal of legitimate bishops to be replaced by CCP approved bishops. The actual precise terms of the deal, however, remain a closely guarded secret.

Cardinal Zen, the emeritus bishop of Hong Kong, said that through the deal “the Vatican is selling out the Catholic Church in China.”

Cardinal Parolin recently stated that the deal had been initially approved in a draft form by Pope Benedict XVI. However, Cardinal Zen swiftly responded and called the comments “a series of lies.”

Catholic lawyers and professors released an open letter to the Pope at the time of the original deal, warning him that it would cause the faithful “confusion and pain, and schism would be created in the Church in China.”

They urged the Pope to “Please rethink the current agreement, and stop making an irreversible and regrettable mistake.”

U.S Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, warned recently that “The Vatican endangers its moral authority, should it renew the deal.” He linked to an article he penned on the subject, in which he stated that “it’s clear that the Sino-Vatican agreement has not shielded Catholics from the Party’s depredations.”


  catholic, chinese communist party, joseph zen, pietro parolin, pope francis, vatican deal with china

News

Trump admin promises nursing homes free COVID vaccine once developed

The U.S. government is partnering with CVS and Walgreens to quickly vaccinate residents of long-term care homes. No vaccine has been approved by the FDA yet. 
Wed Oct 21, 2020 - 1:32 pm EST
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Charles Robertson
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FORT MYERS, Florida, October 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. government will partner with CVS and Walgreens to “deliver” a free COVID-19 vaccine to the elderly in nursing homes, despite no coronavirus vaccine having yet been approved by Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

This partnership is part of the U.S. government’s “Operation Warp Speed.” President Trump has repeatedly said the military will distribute the vaccine. 

According to the U. S. Department of Defense’s news release, the partnership between the government and the pharmacies is aimed at quickly and efficiently providing vaccinations for residents of long-term care homes. 

“Today I’m thrilled to announce we have just finalized a partnership with CVS and Walgreens…to immediately deliver the vaccine directly to nursing homes at no cost to our seniors,” the president said. “Once you have those vaccines, these are very effective, once you have those vaccines, you can open the doors and say ‘Here I am!’” he continued. 

 

The goal of Operation Warp Speed is to begin delivery of a vaccine by January 2021. The government’s program has been criticized by John Paul II Medical Research Institute founder, Dr. Alan Moy, as being too rushed to offer a safe, reliable, and ethical vaccine. In an August 26 article for LifeSiteNews, he wrote that the initiative “is placing all of its financial resources towards vaccine approaches that lack a track record of success.” He also expressed concern that animal trials are not required for vaccines developed under the program, noting that in previous preclinical studies, “some animals developed a more serious pneumonia with SARS vaccines when subsequently challenged with a live SARS virus than in non-vaccinated animals. 

Further, the four vaccines funded through Operation Warp Speed that are currently furthest along in clinical trials make use of cell lines derived from aborted babies at some stage of their development and testing. AstraZeneca and Janssen Research, a division of Johnson & Johnson, both used aborted fetal cells in all stages of their vaccine’s development. Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccine has used them in confirmatory lab tests. Together, these four companies have received about $7 billion from Operation Warp Speed funding. 

Recently, Janssen research suspended its phase 3 trials due to “a serious medical complication in one of its participants, while AstraZeneca has resumed trials after pausing its trials when a participant fell ill.  

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In addition to the noting the unethical use of aborted fetal tissue of the front-running vaccines, Moy expressed scepticism about their potential efficacy, especially for the old and immunocompromised. He emphasized that they are they are not designed to provide long-term immunity, and that patients will likely have to receive boosters. “If boosters are required, adenovirus-based vaccines, like those sponsored by Janssen and AstraZeneca, cannot be re-administered because prior exposure to the adenovirus vaccine will elicit an immune rejection against the vaccine, thereby deeming it ineffective,” he wrote. 

RELATED: 

Why rushing a COVID vaccine will likely fail to provide a safe and effective immunity 

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

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


  coronavirus, coronavirus vaccine, nursing homes, president trump

News

Fr. Altman’s ‘You cannot be Catholic and be a Democrat’ video now available in Spanish

The priest’s bold and much-needed message is now easily accessible for America’s Latino population.
Wed Oct 21, 2020 - 12:57 pm EST
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Victoria Gisondi Follow
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October 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The famous video of Fr. James Altman of La Crosse, Wisconsin, which has reached over one million views to date, is now available in Spanish, thanks to Rebecca Brannon and Alpha News. 

The priest’s bold and much-needed message is now easily accessible for America’s Latino population. Pew Research Center states that 68% of Hispanic voters identify as Democrats or lean Democratic. It further reports that while two-thirds of Catholic registered voters are White, a quarter are Hispanic, according to data collected in 2018 and 2019.

In Fr. Altman’s short video the priest exhorts the faithful against voting for a pro-abortion party. 

“Here’s a memo to clueless baptized Catholics out there. You cannot be Catholic and be a Democrat. Period,” Fr. Altman says. 

“Their party platform is absolutely against everything the Catholic Church teaches...Repent of your support of that party and its platform or face the fires of hell. Yes, Virginia, there is a hell.”

Bishop William Callahan, Fr. Altman’s bishop, responded to the priest’s video by issuing a statement of his own in a formal letter from the Diocese of La Crosse. 

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“It is not only the underlying truth that needs to be evaluated but also the manner of delivery and the tone of his message...canonical penalties are not far away if my attempts at fraternal correction do not work,” Bishop Callahan said.

Fr. Altman’s message came with a sting for at least half of White American Catholics. When it comes to party affiliation, U.S. Catholics are split almost down the middle, according to Pew Research Center. With the translation of the video, Altman’s crucial message will spread further.

When it comes to abortion Hispanics are culturally and avidly pro-family and pro-life. Yet there seems to be a disconnect when it comes to following that conviction through politically.  Hopefully Fr. Altman’s videos will help connect the dots between faith and politics for many Latino voters in the U.S. before election day in November.


  2020 election, james altman, latinos

News

Toronto doctors: Lockdowns more harmful than COVID for young people

'In fact, the risk of dying of COVID for the young is hundreds of times less than dying of other things,' including the conditions caused by the policy response to the virus, they state.
Wed Oct 21, 2020 - 12:28 pm EST
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Patrick Delaney Patrick Delaney Follow
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TORONTO, ON, October 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Four female Canadian physicians have added their voices to thousands of medical professionals who oppose the prevailing COVID-19 response policies in the west and across the globe. 

The authors, who identify themselves as mothers, daughters, and physicians who care for coronavirus patients, suggest in an op-ed in the Toronto Sun, that government policies apparently intended to mitigate the dangerous effects of this virus are actually “causing irreparable harm, including more deaths, to our children.”

 

In an environment where “many schools are not providing full-time service,” and “almost all universities are offering only online classes,” these physicians write, “it is with increasing distress that we have watched Canadian decision-makers de-prioritize the legitimate needs of our youth.”

With a tone of maternal care they emphasize that they are writing “out of love and to remind everybody” of their responsibility to create “a society that values the health of all, and especially … of the young,” whom as parents, they “have pledged” their “lives to raise and protect.”

Focusing on the data, the physicians affirm “that the young are not at risk from COVID-19.” As an example, they offer that “influenza claimed the lives of 10 children in Canada under the age of 10 during the 2018-19 flu season. In comparison, COVID-19 has been associated with two deaths under the age of 20 and nine deaths among those between 20 and 29. Further, it’s not clear how many of those deaths were due to COVID, rather than due to another cause with COVID as an incidental finding.”

“In fact, the risk of dying of COVID for the young is hundreds of times less than dying of other things,” including the conditions caused by the policy response to the virus, they state.

With the “increased distress associated with loss of social structure and educational opportunity,” the physicians point out that the number of suicides and opioid overdoses, just to cite two examples, are “predicted to substantially increase.” 

“Even a 1% increase in suicide would mean 40 more deaths in young people, which is four times more than COVID has claimed,” they state. 

“In June 2020 more young Canadians died in one month alone from opioid overdoses than in the entire province of B.C. (British Columba) from COVID-19,” they continue.

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The physicians further point out that lockdown policies have resulted in the inability of many to access medical care, as well as other consequences, such as growths in “anxiety and depression” due to “isolation” and “economic distress.”

While in Canada, “around 80% of COVID-19 deaths have occurred in nursing homes,” the authors reject the argument that imposed restrictions on the young are necessary to prevent infections from percolating “to the elderly, causing deaths.” Such situations can be easily avoided, they say, “by improving care in nursing homes, ensuring people avoid visiting the elderly when sick, and ensuring that those caring for them have sufficient security that they are not incentivized to come to work while ill.”

 “There is no reason that we can’t ensure our children have what they need while also providing excellent care for our elders,” they conclude. 

Instead they propose that “we do both by ensuring adequate funding for elder care and carefully considering how important it is to ensure the mental, physical and emotional health” of young people.

These physicians join a growing consensus of medical and public health scientists and practitioners who are speaking out against the predominant approaches in COVID-19 response policies. Tens of thousands of such professionals have signed the Great Barrington Declaration which was released earlier this month.

The Declaration expresses “grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies” and recommends an approach they refer to as “Focused Protection.”

Like our four physicians above, “Focused Protection,” emphasizes vigilance in protecting the vulnerable, especially the elderly, and calls for allowing “those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus … while better protecting those who are at highest risk.”

The declaration stresses that lockdown policies are, among other things, producing “worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health.” The declaration goes on to say that it is “a grave injustice” to keep kids out of school, because for them, “COVID-19 is less dangerous than many other harms, including influenza.” 

RELATED: 

Suicide deaths higher than COVID-19 deaths amid lockdown, CDC chief warns 

Deaths by drug overdoses nearly double in Ohio county thanks to coronavirus lockdown

9,000 medical professionals criticize lockdowns, argue for ‘focused protection’ and return to normal life 

Closing schools hindered herd immunity, could lead to more COVID deaths overall: new study


  canada, coronavirus, coronavirus restrictions, great barrington declaration, toronto

Opinion

17 reasons why the Left hates the Catholic faith

The radical movement's agenda includes communist ideals and goals opposed to traditional Church teaching about God, society, and human nature. 
Wed Oct 21, 2020 - 6:42 pm EST
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John Horvat II
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October 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – As leftist activism and violence increaseAmericanmust understand that the leftist agenda represents not just a political movement but a worldview contrary to that of the Catholic faithWherever the left has dominated, a radical hatred toward the faith and those who belong to it is displayed  

However, until the left is in control, this anti-Catholic hatred is kept in check and hidden. Leftist propaganda couches itself in terms that seek sympathy and not raise alarm. This deception makes it even more dangerous.  

The left’s hostility toward religion manifests itself in many ways, whether it be the Antifa militants burning Bibles or the religious left that dresses up its Marxist ideas in religious terms. In an attempt to legitimize their call for violent revolution, for example, so-called liberation theologians propose a Christian version of class struggle.     

Today, the leftist movement is radicalizing by proposing an agenda with new communist ideals and goals opposed to traditional Church teaching about God, society, and human nature. The left now incorporates postmodern thought into its twisted body of doctrine. Communistoday goes beyond the Soviet state capitalism of old and embraces gender theory and identity politicsso contrary to the Church’s teaching on creation.   

This leftist vision threatens American and its love for freedom. The faithful need to be fully aware of the extent of this hatred, to fight effectively against the left’s nefarious agenda.  

There are many reasons why the left hates the Catholic faithThe following list of 17 reasons serves as an introduction to understanding the scope of the fight between these two opposing worldviews:  

  1. The left hates the notion of a transcendent and personal God. These attributes are the opposite of its gnostic and egalitarian visionSince the left hates all superiority, it considers an almighty and loving God oppressive. Instead, the left identifies with Satan, the devil, an inferior, created beinga damned angel, and the supposed victim of the Creator’s eternal justice and thus one who is “oppressed, “disenfranchised,” “discriminated,” and “marginalized to the peripheries.”   

  1. The left hates the Church’s moral lawwhich is based on natural law  a set of objective societal norms, valid for all times, places and peoples. The left teaches that morality is relative  “If it feels good, do it!” was the hippie rallying cry  and promotes its own set of evolving norms on everything that favors its revolution. 

  1. The left hates the Church’s concept of the family as society’s basic unit, founded on the sacrament of marriage and the transmitter from one generation to another of morality, religion, tradition and property. The left sees the family as an oppressive institution that must be destroyed, mutilated and defamed. 

  1. The left hates the institution of marriage defined as the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others, open to children and responsible for their education. The left hates marriage because it reinforces moralityThe left favors free love and sexual deviation.  

  1. The left hates the Church teaching that private property is just and necessary for society's good orderIt sees property as a source of inequality and tries to undermine and limit it in every way possible. The left’s ideal is to confiscate all private property, making it State- or collective-owned, because “the earth belongs to everyone.” 

  1. The left hates the Church’s hierarchical nature. It hates the Christ-established division between a Teaching Church  the pope, bishops and priests which teaches, governs, and sanctifies the faithful  and the Learning Church, the faithful, which allows itself to be taught, governed, and sanctified by the clergyInstead of seeing in this division the path to Heaven, the left sees a class of oppressors to be crushed and another of oppressed in need of liberation. Thus, the left likes to promote class struggle inside the Church.    

  1. The left hates the Church’s charity, which seeks to harmonize societyuniting all in the love of God and neighbor. The left, however, wants class struggle and strifeIt espouses hatred and violence as the natural means to change society. 

  1. The left hates the Catholic teaching on sin because it affirms the existence of a higher law and a God who deserves to be obeyed. Moreover, it hates the Church teaching that people are responsible for their acts and that these have consequenceswhich can be eternal damnation and punishmentThus, the left denies free will and individual responsibility. It ascribes all blame for evil to social structures that must be overthrown.    

  1. The left hates the Church’s love of the poor, which seeks to alleviate the sufferings of the unfortunate instead of inciting them to revolt against those who have more. The left hates the gratitude, which the Church teaches the poor must have toward those who help themIt sees this gratitude as humiliating and oppressive.  

  1. The left hates the concept of the immortal soul that makes each human being uniquely endowed with God-given dignity. The left says the soul is a myth and treats people as mere biological matter to be used and abused in its revolutionary processes. Leftist regimes support abortion, for example. 

  1. The left hates the notion of grace, whereby a person participates in God’s uncreated divine life and becomes capable of supernatural acts. The left’s egalitarian philosophy hates dependency, especially dependency on God and supernatural life. 

  1. The left hates liturgy whereby individuals render official worship and praise to God through the Church with all Her ritesceremoniesprayers and sacraments.  It hates this recognition of God’s infinite superiority, which it considers oppressive. It desires a god on equal terms with humanity and a “democratic” people’s Church without priesthood or liturgy.   

  1. The left hates the Church’s proclamation of the Truth and Her office as its guardian. All is relative and evolving for the left, and therefore, objective and immutable truth does not exist. 

  1. The left hates beauty. Wherever the left dominates, one finds ugliness enshrined in its buildings, art and culture. This is because leftists deny the metaphysical foundations of beauty and embrace stark and utilitarian materialism.  

  1. The left hates the Church teaching on human nature, sanctification and identity. Thus, there is constant attempt to re-engineer human nature and create the new socialist man. Leftists try to deconstruct identity, gender and being. The left embraces fantasies disconnected from reality.   

  1. The left hates the notion of Christian order guided and inspired by Church teaching and God’s higher law. Such an order instills terror in the leftist soul, which rebels against any attempt to order society according to principles and rules suited to human nature. The left hates discipline and effort, even when they lead to happiness. Its society is liberal, anarchical and disordered, oriented by a vision of the universe that sees everything as the chaos of matter in constant motion. Such a perspective leads to despair. 

  1. The left hates reality as embraced by the Church and its Thomist philosophy. The most radical schools of the left see reality as an oppressive structure or social construct. The left subscribes to idealistic philosophies, drugs and deconstruction” as the means to deny reality and embrace utopianism and nihilism. 

The above list is not complete. Given that the leftist worldview encompasses every field of human action where the Church has influence, many more hatreds could be identified. Likewise, not all leftists embrace equally the hatreds listed above. The drift leftward is a process that adapts to individual characteristics. However, all leftists tend in the direction of these hatreds of the Catholic faith.   

The radical left now so active in America will take these hatreds to an extreme. They seek to make these hatreds the norms by which their brave new world will operate. Their use of violence, riots and vandalism give a glimpse into this world. The symbolic display of guillotines at protests and during residential area terror marches points to anti-Christian, anti-Western hatreds never seen before in America.  

The left is not a political movement or a political party. It is a philosophical-religious worldview that expresses itself socially, economically, politicallyscientifically, artistically, educationally and culturallyThus, to be fully efficacious, opposition to the left and its programs must be based on the solid understanding that its worldview is diametrically opposed to that of the Catholic faith  

John Horvat II is a scholar, researcher, educator, international speaker, and author of the book Return to Order, as well as the author of hundreds of published articles. He lives in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania, where he is the vice president of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property 

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  antifa, catholic, communists, family, leftists, marxism, morality, natural law, political party, private property

Opinion

Archbishop Viganò responds to new film in which Pope endorses homosexual civil unions

'One does not have to be a theologian or a moral expert to know that such statements are totally heterodox and constitute a very serious cause of scandal for the faithful.'
Wed Oct 21, 2020 - 3:32 pm EST
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Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò
By

ROME, October 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The Vatican News website [1] has reported the news that today at the Rome Film Festival a documentary film will be screened called Francesco made by director Evgeny Afineevsky.

This documentary – according to what has been reported by Catholic News Agency[2] and America Magazine[3] – makes public several pronouncements of Jorge Mario Bergoglio on the topic of homosexuality. Among the various statements, these two are particularly disconcerting:

“Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it.”

“What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that.”

One does not have to be a theologian or a moral expert to know that such statements are totally heterodox and constitute a very serious cause of scandal for the faithful.

But pay careful attention: these words simply constitute the umpteenth provocation by which the “ultra-progressive” part of the Hierarchy wants to artfully provoke a schism, as it has already tried to do with the Post-Synodal Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, the modification of doctrine on the death penalty, the Pan-Amazon Synod and the filthy Pachamama, and the Abu Dhabi Declaration which has now been reaffirmed and aggravated by the Encyclical Fratelli Tutti.

It appears that Bergoglio is impudently trying to “raise the stakes” in a crescendo of heretical affirmations, in such a way that it will force the healthy part of the Church – which includes bishops, clergy, and faithful – to accuse him of heresy, in order to declare that healthy part of the Church schismatic and “the enemy of the Pope.”

Jorge Mario Bergoglio is trying to force some Cardinals and Bishops to separate themselves from communion with him, obtaining as a result not his own deposition for heresy but rather the expulsion of Catholics who want to remain faithful to the perennial Magisterium of the Church. This trap would have the purpose – in the presumed intentions of Bergoglio and his “magic circle” – of consolidating his own power within a church that would only nominally be “Catholic” but in reality would be heretical and schismatic.

This deception draws on the support of the globalist élite, the mainstream media and the LGBT lobby, to which many clergy, bishops, and cardinals are no strangers. Furthermore, let us not forget that in many nations there are laws in force which criminally punish anyone who considers sodomy reprehensible and sinful or who does not approve of the legitimization of homosexual “matrimony” – even if they do so on the basis of their Creed. A pronouncement by the bishops against Bergoglio on a question like homosexuality could potentially lead civil authority to prosecute them criminally, with the approval of the Vatican.

Bergoglio would thus have on his side not only the “deep church” represented by rebels like Father James Martin, S.J., and those who promote the German “Synodal Path,” but also the “deep state.” It is not surprising that in the documentary there is also an endorsement of the Democratic candidate in the upcoming American presidential election, along with a disconcerting condemnation of the policy of the Trump Administration, which is accused of separating families that want to enter the United States illegally, while the reality is that the President is confronting human trafficking and the trafficking of minors.

Thus, while conservative American bishops are forbidden from intervening in the political debate in support of President Trump, the Vatican allows itself to casually interfere in the elections in favor of his Democratic adversary, in union with the censorship by social and news media of the very serious accusations against the Biden family.

As Catholics, we are called to side with those who defend life, the natural family, and national sovereignty. We thought that we had the Vicar of Christ at our side. We painfully acknowledge that, in this epochal clash, he who ought to be guiding the Barque of Peter has chosen to side with the Enemy, in order to sink it. Recalling the courage of the Holy Pontiffs in defending the integrity of the Faith and promoting the salvation of souls, one can only observe: Quantum mutatus ab illis! [4]

+ Carlo Maria Viganò, Archbishop

[1] https://www.vaticannews.va/it/papa/news/2020-10/papa-francesco-film-documentario-festival-cinema-roma.html

[2] https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-francis-calls-for-civil-union-law-for-same-sex-couples-in-shift-from-vatican-stance-12462

[3] https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2020/10/21/pope-francis-gay-civil-union-documentary

[4] “How changed from what they once were!” – cf. Virgil’s Aeneid: “Quantum mutatus ab illo!


  carlo maria viganò, catholic, homosexuality, pope francis

Blogs

Social conservatives can’t let GOP become the party of ‘gay family values’

President Trump and his advisers have made the calculation that courting moderate, pro-LGBT voters won’t hurt them in the slightest with his Evangelical and pro-life base. They’re right.
Wed Oct 21, 2020 - 6:32 pm EST
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Stephen Kokx Stephen Kokx Follow Stephen
By Stephen Kokx

October 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — In case you missed it, Ric Grenell, the former acting director of National Intelligence, gave an outstanding speech at the Republican National Convention last month.

It was a historic broadside against the Deep State and internationalists who’ve been in power for pretty much the last 40 years. I’m sure their blood was boiling as they watched it.

Just days before Grenell, a homosexual, delivered his remarks, he made a video declaring Donald Trump the “most pro-gay president in American history.”

President Trump retweeted the video, stating that it was his “great honor” to receive the title.

The Trump administration has walked a fine line the past several years with its social conservative base and the LGBT community. No one can deny that President Trump is quite possibly the most pro-life president we’ve ever had. He’s also admirably defended the religious liberty of the Little Sisters of the Poor and others. He’s to be praised for those efforts. But, and this is a big but, he has said nothing against the abomination that is same-sex “marriage.” In fact, he’s for it.

In 2016, before assuming office, Trump told 60 Minutes he’s “fine” with gay unions. “It’s irrelevant because it was already settled. It’s law. It was settled in the Supreme Court. I mean, it’s done,” he said.

It’s hard to say that if any other Republican had been elected in 2016, they’d be expressing opposition to gay “marriage.” The party has simply given up on it after Obergefell v. Hodges was handed down by the Supreme Court in 2015. I can see a President Ben Carson calling out homosexual unions, but a President Jeb Bush? Or even a President Cruz? I doubt it.

Sadly, it seems that the country, and even religious conservatives, have moved on from same-sex “marriage,” even though we all know that God surely hasn’t and will no doubt exert His vengeance on us at some point for allowing the scourge of sodomy to continue.

Politically speaking, President Trump and his advisers have made the calculation that courting moderate, pro-LGBT voters won’t hurt them in the slightest with his Evangelical and pro-life base. They’re right. Trump has delivered all and then some to those two voting blocs. There’s no way they wouldn’t turn out for him because of Grenell’s short little video.

In my own district here in Michigan, moderate Republican Peter Meijer was endorsed by Grenell just this week. He even sent out a tweet claiming that the GOP “has become a party that celebrates diversity and inclusion.” 

The Trump-led GOP seems to want to allow social conservatives to get rewarded with laws that restrict abortion and uphold religious liberty. Meanwhile, homosexuality will no longer be viewed or treated as an abnormality. Whether this arrangement can be sustained over the long run remains to be seen.

Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA, has taken a leading role in encouraging young people to take a more laissez-faire view toward homosexuality. He has frequently tweeted and often “liked” other tweets that normalize the gay agenda.

Others, like pro-abortion Fox News feminist Tomi Lahren, have also expressed support for LGBT “rights” on libertarian grounds. Donald Trump Jr. — the president’s heir apparent — has previously said he’s “totally for” gay “marriage.”

But some Christians aren’t having it — and are fighting back.

Dave Reilly, a devout traditional Catholic who lives and works in Indiana, confronted Kirk at one of his rallies in 2019.“How does anal sex help us win the culture war? … Why are you promoting it?” he bravely asked in front of hundreds of other attendees.

Kirk was caught flat-footed but eventually said, “Like, I don’t care what two consenting adults do ... and your hyper-focus on it is kinda ... weird.”

Apparently, Kirk has never read the part of the Bible that says men lying with other men is an abomination and that sin makes nations miserable.

Rob Smith, the gay black man who was co-hosting the event with Kirk, was also on stage. He didn’t have a good answer to Riley’s question either, opting to throw a temper tantrum and hurl empty LGBT talking points back in his face.

The altercation didn’t end there. Popular Twitter personality Benny Johnson, who works for Kirk, slammed Reilly for his remarks, scurrilously claiming that his question was “homophobic.”

Social conservatives are going to see more of these sorts of baseless attacks on Biblical marriage if they let moderates like Meijer and Kirk and gay men like Grenell run the show.

It’s up to grassroots Christians to ensure that Republican politicians in the future will reverse homosexual “marriage” the same way they’ve successfully forced them to take up the cause of overturning legal abortion.

If religious Americans are simply content with getting pro-life laws, so be it. In truth, they need to strive for much more. If they don’t, the realignment currency underway on the political right will continue to push for the acceptance and normalization of homosexual behavior in the United States and across the world.


  2020 election, donald trump, homosexuality, lgbt tyranny, republican party

Blogs

Archbishop Vigano, Bishops Tobin and Strickland respond to Pope’s approval of homosexual civil unions

Speaking of homosexual civil unions, the Pope said, “What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that.”
Wed Oct 21, 2020 - 5:37 pm EST
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John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry
By John-Henry Westen

October 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – In a new film that will premier in North America Sunday but premiered in Rome today, Pope Francis has made his most clear statements contradicting Catholic Church teaching by calling for homosexual civil unions to be legalized. Speaking of homosexual civil unions, he said, “What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that.” LifeSite immediately reached out to several bishops and cardinals for comment and thus far Archbishop Vigano has replied with an extensive analysis of the situation. In addition, U.S. bishops Joseph Strickland and Thomas Tobin have commented.

It is not the first time Pope Francis has contravened Church teaching in the matter of homosexuality, but it is one of his clearest statements contravening established Church teaching. In 2003, in a document by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) and approved and ordered published by Pope St. John Paul II, the Church issued specific guidance on the need to reject homosexual civil union proposals. The document, called “Considerations regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons,” states that “all Catholics are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions.”

WATCH:

Catholic News Agency reported that the film includes the “story of the pontiff encouraging two Italian men in a same-sex relationship to raise their children in their parish church.” Speaking of his pastoral approach in an interview with filmmaker Evgeny Afineevsky, the Pope said, “Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it.”

Bishop Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island released a statement saying: 

The Holy Father’s apparent support for the recognition of civil unions for same-sex couples needs to be clarified. The Pope’s statement clearly contradicts what has been the long-standing teaching of the Church about same-sex unions. The Church cannot support the acceptance of objectively immoral relationships. Individuals with same-sex attraction are beloved children of God and must have their personal human rights and civil rights recognized and protected by law. However, the legalization of their civil unions, which seek to simulate holy matrimony, is not admissible.

Bishop Strickland of Tyler, Texas tweeted, “From the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith June 3, 2003.....Considerations Regarding Proposals To Give Legal Recognition To Unions Between Homosexual Persons” 

But Archbishop Vigano provided a full analysis available on LifeSiteNews that he released after I spoke with him earlier today by phone.

“One does not have to be a theologian or a moral expert to know that such statements are totally heterodox and constitute a very serious cause of scandal for the faithful,” he said. “But pay careful attention: these words simply constitute the umpteenth provocation by which the ‘ultra-progressive’ part of the hierarchy wants to artfully provoke a schism, as it has already tried to do.”

He says the Pope is trying to “raise the stakes” in a crescendo of heretical affirmations, in such a way that it will force the healthy part of the Church – which includes bishops, clergy, and faithful – to accuse him of heresy, in order to declare that healthy part of the Church schismatic and “the enemy of the Pope.”

He warned that fighting the Pope on this matter could land some Church leaders in trouble with the law, since he says, “in many nations there are laws in force which criminally punish anyone who considers sodomy reprehensible and sinful or who does not approve of the legitimization of homosexual ‘matrimony’ – even if they do so on the basis of their Creed.”

Pope Francis would thus have on his side not only the “deep church” … but also the “deep state.” 

As Catholics, he says, “we are called to side with those who defend life, the natural family, and national sovereignty. We thought that we had the Vicar of Christ at our side. We painfully acknowledge that, in this epochal clash, he who ought to be guiding the Barque of Peter has chosen to side with the Enemy, in order to sink it.” 


Blogs

Pope Francis’s ‘Brotherhood’ encyclical leaves Chinese Catholics in the dust

If we are 'All Brothers' — as the Pope tells us — then what about our Chinese brothers?
Wed Oct 21, 2020 - 5:35 pm EST
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Steven Mosher Steven Mosher Follow Steven
By Steven Mosher

October 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — I find Pope Francis long on generalities and short on specifics, especially where China is concerned. 

He speaks eloquently about the need to defend everyone’s religious freedom in his new encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, saying this principle “must not be forgotten in the journey towards fraternity and peace.”

And yet at the same time, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican secretary of state, has just signaled that the deal with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will be renewed, even though that deal has not improved religious freedom in that country, for Catholics or for anyone else. Indeed, many outside observers — including yours truly — believe that the Sino-Vatican Agreement has actually provided cover to the CCP for its ongoing assault on the religious freedom of all believers in China — Catholic, Protestant, and Muslim.

What is happening in Xi Jinping’s China today is nothing short of a second Cultural Revolution. This, like the first, involves a vicious attack on religious believers of all stripes.

It is not merely the members of the Underground Church whose churches are being destroyed and defaced and whose priests are being imprisoned and tortured. The parishioners and clergy of the Patriotic Church, which answers directly to the CCP, are also suffering intense persecution. The idea that the state-run church would be a safe haven for Catholics in China, which some in the Vatican initially subscribed to, has proved to be a mirage.

Since the signing of the agreement, all religious activity in China has been put under the direct control of the officially atheistic CCP. New rules have been promulgated, the gist of which is to require the clergy and staff of the Patriotic Church to serve the CCP first and God second. They must report every Mass held, and every penny collected, to the authorities. They must ensure that no minors are allowed in the church and use only the Party-approved translation of the Bible in their services, all the while being subjected to constant surveillance by the state.

As the walls have closed in on believers in China, the Holy Father has never offered a single public criticism of the mistreatment of the suffering Church there. And the renewal of the agreement, apparently imminent, is taking place without any indication that the Vatican has demanded, or that the CCP has made, any concessions to Catholic concerns at all. No jailed Catholics have been released from prison that we know of; no strictures on religious activity have been relaxed; and, most importantly, no new bishops have been appointed to China’s dozens of empty sees. 

More than two years after the signing of the original agreement, no one outside the Vatican has ever been allowed to see exactly what it says. This secrecy has put faithful Catholics in China, in particular, at tremendous risk of being deceived by the authorities. It has left the CCP free to misrepresent the terms of the agreement (whatever they are) in order to coerce believers into compliance on the grounds that “the Vatican says you must obey us.” There is reason to believe they are doing just that.

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I am afraid that the Church in Hong Kong will be the next to suffer persecution. It was that fear that drove 88-year-old Cardinal Joseph Zen of that city to travel to Rome two months ago in the hope of meeting with the Holy Father. The Holy Father could not find time to meet with this outspoken critic of the CCP about the future of Hong Kong’s hundreds of thousands of Catholics.

Had Pope Francis agreed to a meeting, he would have learned from Cardinal Zen how the CCP has torn up the Sino-British Joint Declaration and is in the process of obliterating the liberties Hong Kong has long enjoyed. Perhaps he would have had second thoughts about renewing an agreement with a regime that has broken virtually every international agreement it has ever signed. 

The Pope himself writes in Fratelli Tutti, “Forgiveness does not entail allowing oppressors to keep trampling on their own dignity and that of others, or letting criminals continue their wrongdoing. Those who suffer injustice have to defend strenuously their own rights. … If a criminal has harmed me or a loved one, no one can forbid me from demanding justice.”

I pray that the Pope comes to understand that the CCP is not simply a left-wing political party — a variation on the kind of political organization he is familiar with from Latin America. It is, rather, a transnational criminal organization that practices the kind of race-based national socialism not seen on Planet Earth since the heyday of the Third Reich. It is “trampling on the dignity” of the Chinese people, especially those of religious faith, on a daily basis. 

I am sure that the Pope opposes the injustices being suffered by believers in China, and he certainly has the moral authority to make a difference if he were to speak out openly and forcefully against these. But so far he has not done so.

Pope Francis does continue the practice, begun by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007, of celebrating a Day of Prayer for the Church in China every May 24. This year, Pope Francis assured Chinese Catholics of the prayers of the universal Church, saying: 

Dearest Catholic brothers and sisters in China, I wish to assure you that the universal Church, of which you are an integral part, shares your hopes and supports you in your trials. She accompanies you with prayer for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit, so that the light and beauty of the Gospel might shine in you as the power of God for the salvation of those who believe. … [I pray that you] might be strong in faith and steadfast in fraternal union, joyful witnesses, promoters of charity and hope, and good citizens.

The Church in China is indeed undergoing trials — trials that have perhaps been intensified, not mitigated, by the signing of the ill considered Sino-Vatican Agreement. And the CCP will not be placated, as the Pope seems to believe, if Catholics merely comport themselves as “good citizens.”

In the view of the Chinese Communist Party, Catholics can never be “good citizens.” Nor can anyone whose primary loyalty is to something other than the Party … such as God. 

Steven W. Mosher is the President of the Population Research Institute and the author of Bully of Asia: Why China’s Dream Is the New Threat to World Order.


  catholic, china, fratelli tutti, pope francis, religious freedom, sino-vatican agreement

Blogs

Hollywood has a brilliant plan to normalize abortion, and it’s working

'Humor is a powerful weapon, and now abortion activists are attempting to utilize it in the same way comedy was used to desensitize us to the sinfulness of a wide range of behaviors'
Wed Oct 21, 2020 - 3:47 pm EST
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Jonathon Van Maren Jonathon Van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon Van Maren

October 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – It will surprise nobody to learn that I’m not one of those folks who thinks that every subject is fair game for comedy. Not everything is funny, and more importantly, some things should not be mocked. That goes especially for mocking God (blasphemy), which is the norm in entertainment these days, but also includes subjects that are simply inappropriate topics for humor.

Conservatives have gotten far too comfortable with making a joke about everything in response to the fact that progressives have gotten so uptight. Back in the day, after all, it was lefties getting in trouble for being crude or mocking religion. These days, it’s comedians daring to blaspheme the LGBT community. It is inevitable that societies end up having blasphemy laws, and those laws tell us who has the power and what we worship.

This brings me to a subject that, for obvious reasons, I find to be no laughing matter: Abortion. For some time now, the entertainment industry has been attempting to make feticide funny. Earlier this fall, for example, HBO released Unpregnant, a slapstick road trip comedy about two girls who head off across the U.S. to a state without parental consent laws to procure an abortion. Three head off on a road trip; one is killed, two return, making it a success. In between, much hilarity ensues. If abortion is funny, after all, how can it also be a brutal act of violence that shreds the tiny body of a little human being? The answer, of course, is that it can’t. And that’s the entire point.

I’m ashamed of the fact that it took me as long as it did to realize the extent to which Hollywood and TV comedies and sitcoms contributed to the mainstreaming of behavior that once, not so very long ago, our culture recognized as “sinful” (a word that is, ironically, now considered something of a “sin” in and of itself—and one of the last ones left, too.) The simple fact is that when you make sin funny, you make it impossible to take seriously. If a lovable playboy on a sitcom — think Friends, How I Met Your Mother, Will & Grace, The Big Bang Theory, you name it — gets into various peccadillos while whoring around, then suddenly fornication is no longer a sin that threatens your soul. Instead, it is funny. And it is very difficult to find fornication hilarious on Saturday night around the TV or the laptop and then a deadly serious sin for which Christ died on Sunday morning.

The same has been true for porn use (a ubiquitous punchline in TV sitcoms.) If porn addiction is funny, how can it also be the soul-poisoning participation in the systematic degradation and often assault of women? It can’t, of course. The same is true for the normalization of “alternative” lifestyles and conditioning audiences to accept the redefinition of marriage. An entire documentary series, Visible: Out on Television, tracked the way the artists of the entertainment industry reshaped the views of the culture with one of the most powerful storytelling tools in the history of humanity. If the entertainment industry can get you laughing at things that God hates, it has, in effect, already won a huge victory. You might still call sin “sin.” But because they can make you think it’s funny, they know you cannot take it as seriously.

According to Variety, that’s what a new film by Sacha Baron Cohen is attempting to do with the abortion debate. A follow-up to his juvenile 2006 mockumentary, it apparently contains a scene in which the Borat character’s daughter accidentally swallows a plastic baby on a cupcake. They head to a crisis pregnancy center and inform a pastor there that she has a baby inside her that needs to be taken out. Obviously, the pastor believes they are requesting abortion, and tells them that “When you take it out, you end that life. It is a living, breathing life that God has created.” Of course, it’s actually a toy. So it isn’t really breathing, and the pastor who cares about babies not getting dismembered is obviously a moron. Get it? Then, Borat informs the pastor that he’s the one responsible for the baby in his daughter, because incest is also apparently hilarious. Of course, if Borat had tried that in a Planned Parenthood clinic, he’d likely have been offered an abortion, no questions asked. The abortion industry knows the needs of its clientele: A sin to cover up sin while they make a killing.

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It’s not stodgy or prudish to say that none of that is actually funny. I’ve seen what babies look like in dumpsters behind abortion clinics, and I promise you that if you saw what I saw, you wouldn’t think it was funny, either. Humor is a powerful weapon, and now abortion activists are attempting to utilize it in the same way comedy was used to desensitize us to the sinfulness of a wide range of behaviors. If they can make us think that abortion is a bucket of laughs, then perhaps they can distract us from the fact that it is actually a bucket of dead babies. Some things are deadly serious, and they are serious because they have the potential to be deadly. Sin is like that. It is poison. And when we chortle about it, we can be assured that laughter is not, in fact, the best medicine.

Jonathon’s new podcast, The Van Maren Show, is dedicated to telling the stories of the pro-life and pro-family movement. In his latest episode, he interviews Dr. Michael New, a research scholar,  who discusses how a Democratic Presidency impacts abortion rates, and what would happen if Joe Biden was able to repeal the Hyde Amendment.

You can subscribe here and listen to the episode below: 


  abortion, comedy, hollywood

Blogs

Pope Francis calls for homosexual civil unions, bashes Trump in new film

Speaking of homosexual civil unions, the Pope said: 'What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that'
Wed Oct 21, 2020 - 1:18 pm EST
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Pope Francis June 25, 2016 GYG Studio / Shutterstock.com
John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry
By John-Henry Westen

ROME, October 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – In perfect time to affect the U.S. presidential election, a new film will premier in North America on Sunday that represents in dramatic fashion Pope Francis’s attack on President Trump as “not a Christian” for the President’s building of the border wall. In the documentary, which premiered in Rome today, Pope Francis has made his most clear statements contradicting Catholic Church teaching by calling for homosexual civil unions to be legalized. Speaking of homosexual civil unions, he said “What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that.”

The film Francesco is a fawning and dramatic treatment of Pope Francis, painting the pontiff as a liberator of humanity pushing on many of the hot-button issues dear to the Democrat left.

It is not the first time Pope Francis has contravened Church teaching in the matter of homosexuality, but it is one of his clearest statements contravening established Church teaching. In 2003, in a document by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) and approved and ordered published by Pope St. John Paul II, the Church issued specific guidance on the need to reject homosexual civil union proposals. The document called “Considerations regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons,” states that “all Catholics are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions.”

The Catholic Church teaches, moreover, that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered” and that respect for homosexuals “cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions.”

Catholic News Agency reported that the film includes the “story of the pontiff encouraging two Italian men in a same-sex relationship to raise their children in their parish church.” Speaking of his pastoral approach in an interview with filmmaker Evgeny Afineevsky, the Pope said, “Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it.”

LifeSite has contacted the Vatican Press Office and several Cardinals for comment but has not yet received responses.

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While some may be surprised to see Pope Francis advocating for homosexual civil unions when such a position contradicts perennial Church teaching, the Pope’s move comes as no surprise to those who have closely followed him on this issue:

  • Pope Francis has promoted the notoriously pro-homosexual Jesuit Fr. James Martin – who was made a Vatican consultant during this pontificate and a speaker at the World Meeting of Families in Ireland and met with him personally in an audience. Fr. Martin has stated that Pope Francis has gone out of his way to appoint “gay-friendly” bishops and cardinals in the Catholic Church.
  • In July 2018, Pope Francis sent a three-page letter “blessing” and endorsing a Catholic ethics conference co-organized by Jesuit Father James Keenan, a public promoter of same-sex “marriage.” The conference featured many feminist and pro-LGBT speakers.
  • In March 2018, a French priest announced in a televised interview that Pope Francis approved of his blessing of homosexual couples.
  • In February, one of the Pope’s top nine advisor cardinals suggested that spiritual encouragement of homosexual couples should be undertaken and blessings for homosexual couples should not be ruled out.
  • In a book-length interview in September 2017, Pope Francis signaled support for legal recognition of same-sex civil unions. “Let us call things by their names,” he said. “Matrimony is between a man and a woman. This is the precise term. Let us call the same-sex union a ‘civil union.’”
  • On October 2, 2016, Pope Francis referred to a woman who underwent a sex-change operation as a “man.” He referred to her as having “married” another woman and admitted to inviting them to and receiving them at the Vatican in 2015, describing the couple as “happy.” Clarifying his use of pronouns, the pope said, “He that was her but is he.”
  • Despite the avalanche of evidence of harm to the Church from the Pope’s “who am I to judge” remark on his first plane interview in 2013, he repeated the line in June 2016 while misrepresenting the Catechism on homosexuality.
  • In 2014, Pope Francis appointed Bishop Blase Cupich as Archbishop of Chicago despite his reputation for telling priests not to join 40 Days for Life. After he demonstrated his dissent from Catholic teaching on homosexuality, saying homosexual couples should be given Holy Communion, Cupich was, nevertheless, named a cardinal.
  • When the United States nuncio had pro-family hero Kim Davis meet with Pope Francis at the nunciature during his USA papal visit, Davis was refused permission to take photos of the meeting. When the media asked the Vatican about the meeting they first refused to confirm it, and after some time said that “the only real audience granted by the Pope at the nunciature (embassy) was with one of his former students and his family.” The Pope’s former student, Yayo Grassi, was there with his sister, mother, and his homosexual partner. They took not only photos but also video in which Pope Francis can be seen embracing Grassi and his homosexual partner.
  • In May 2014, Pope Francis concelebrated Mass with and kissed the hand of a leading homosexual activist priest campaigning for changes in the Church’s teaching on homosexuality.
  • Cardinal Godfried Danneels, the archbishop emeritus of Brussels, was a personal appointment by Pope Francis to the Synods of Bishops on the family in 2014 and 2015. In addition to wearing rainbow liturgical vestments and being caught on tape concealing clergy homosexual sex abuse, Danneels said in 2013 of the passage of gay “marriage”: “I think it’s a positive development that states are free to open up civil marriage for gays if they want.”

In a now-famous 2016 in-flight press conference, Pope Francis showed his willingness to engage in political interference in the U.S. electoral process by commenting during the Presidential primaries that Trump was “not a Christian” because he was for building the border wall. In that same in-flight press conference in 2016, the Pope was asked to comment on same-sex union legislation going on in Italy, to which he replied, “The Pope doesn’t get mixed up in Italian politics … the pope is for everybody and he can’t insert himself in the specific internal politics of a country.”


  catholic, civil unions, homosexuality, pope francis

Blogs

Our preemie baby died in our arms hours after birth. Here’s how we fought to respect her life until the end

There was a moral minefield we had to navigate to respect Crescentia’s life
Wed Oct 21, 2020 - 1:11 pm EST
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Heather and Charles Robertson hold their daughter Crescentia Anastasia
Charles Robertson
By

October 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – On the feast of St. Joseph in the year 2016, my wife and I held our baby for the last time. She had been born that morning by caesarian section and immediately placed on ventilation. We only saw her a few times that day in the NICU. My wife nearly passed out the first time we had gone down there after the c-section, so she was not with me when Crescentia was baptized and confirmed by the hospital chaplain.

We knew the little one was not likely to survive. My wife was only at 24 weeks gestation when she went into labor after having spent 3 weeks in the hospital due to preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM) at 21 weeks. Those 3 weeks, the doctors told us, were crucial for our baby’s lung development. Amniotic fluid plays a crucial role in this development, and our baby was in short supply.

Early in the afternoon of that day dedicated to the patron saint of a happy death, our daughter began to suffer complications. She was given palliative sedation and removed from the ventilator, dying in our arms within minutes. We buried her a few days later, on the Wednesday of the most sorrowful Holy Week we have ever experienced. We were consoled that our Crescentia Anastasia was increasing to everlasting life (which is the meaning of the name).

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Crescentia Anastasia Robertson

I often recall this sorrowful time in my life not only as a bereaved father, but also as a philosopher who has specialized in bioethics. I recall that despite my extensive academic formation in Catholic bioethics, I didn’t know how to evaluate the options the doctors presented to us in the first days of our hospital stay. The anxiety, sadness, and desire for the ordeal just to be over were very intense, and quite ruled out calm reflection.

As it turns out, some of the things we were being advised were contrary to sound principles of Catholic bioethics. This was not surprising, since the hospital was not a Catholic one. But this kind of situation can arise even in that context. So, I write this piece for other parents who — God forbid! — may find themselves in a similar situation, discussing only a couple of moral issues they may encounter.

Principle of double effect

The first moral issue that faces women who experience PPROM is responding to the almost reflexive offer of some health care providers to induce labor. This option is attractive, as it ends the suffering both mother and father experience in this kind of situation. It is not, however, always called for.

In fact, unless there is a serious infection of the woman’s mucous membranes that demands their immediate removal, inducing labor in a PPROM situation is the same thing as a procured abortion. In the case of a serious infection, inducing labor is the means employed to remove the diseased organ of the woman, with the foreseen result that the child will perish. In other words, it is an action with two effects, one of which is good, the other of which is evil.

There are several conditions that need to be met to justify such an action (principle of double effect).

First, the act we plan to do must be good or indifferent in itself.

Once this condition is satisfied (in this case, removal of an infected organ threatening the woman’s life), we can move on to the second: the good we hope to achieve cannot be brought about by means of the evil effect. In this case, a change is introduced into the woman’s body, causing the uterine contractions by means of which the membranes will be expelled. The death of the child follows on this as well, but the child’s death is not the cause of the expulsion of the membranes; the uterine contractions are.

The third condition that now needs to be met is that the good to be achieved is proportionate to the evil effect. In general, moralists judge the good of saving the mother’s life proportionate to the evil of the death of her child.  So, it would be licit, but not necessarily obligatory, to have recourse to early induction of labor in this kind of situation.

However, my wife and I were not facing this kind of situation. Yes, her membranes had ruptured, but there was no infection present. Induction of labor was not medically indicated. The only effect of inducing labor at that point would the expulsion and death of our lovely daughter.

So, on the third day of our hospital stay, these considerations came to mind, and I was able to articulate to myself, to the nurses, and to the doctors why we would not be accepting their offer to alleviate our suffering by aborting our child.

Ordinary and extraordinary means to save a life

This stability of mind came just in time to hear more bad news. There was too little amniotic fluid for our little girl’s lungs to develop properly. They would do what they could, but the prognosis was bleak. It was time now to talk about ordinary and extraordinary lifesaving means, as well as palliative care.

While a person is obliged to make use of ordinary means to keep himself (or others) alive, it is morally licit to decline extraordinary means. What makes a means extraordinary or “disproportionate”? The Ethical and Religious Directives of the U.S. bishops say that “[d]isproportionate means are those that in the patient’s judgment do not offer a reasonable hope of benefit or entail an excessive burden, or impose excessive expense on the family or the community.”

Our daughter was likely to have very weak and brittle lungs when she was born. The NICU team explained clearly to us what they would do to help our baby survive, but that in their experience, “heroic” treatment usually ended up bursting the lungs of little preemies, who would then die in greater pain than if left untreated.

We determined that we would stop short of such treatment, recognizing that how they were using the term “heroic” is what Catholic theologians mean by extraordinary or disproportionate treatment.

We determined that if treatment proceeded to that point, we would ensure our baby’s comfort by means of palliative care. The palliative care doctor we consulted with was professional and compassionate, and expressed appreciation at our witness to the value of our baby’s life.

During those first days of inner turmoil, I really could not think straight. I had been completing my doctoral dissertation on the ethics of embryo adoption and embryo rescue that year, and yet I found myself at a loss when confronting a personal crisis.

I remember that at some point I decided to look on the website of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, many of whose materials I was using in my research, to see if I could clarify my mind.

It was an article by Fr. Tad Pacholczyk that pulled me back to myself. His series of articles on issues in bioethics is a great resource for those who find themselves in difficult medical circumstances. I was finally able to thank him in person for his work a year later; he was the external reader for my dissertation defense.

When asked how many children I have, I still find myself hesitating between saying eight or nine. We just welcomed our eighth (or ninth) child into the world at the end of September.

While I still find it uncomfortable to write about this difficult event in my family’s life, I hope that it provides someone, somewhere, with a bit more clarity if they are offered an easy way out of a distressing medical situation. Suffering is not easy, but it is a part of life, and is a test of how much conviction we have in giving witness to its value.


  culture of life, preemie, preemies, principle of double effect, pro-life witness

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New book gives insight into the heart and faith of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, shows us his tears

Dr. Robert Moynihan was able to visit Archbishop Viganò in an undisclosed location for several days. From that visit came this thought-provoking new book.
Wed Oct 21, 2020 - 12:19 pm EST
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Maike Hickson Maike Hickson Follow Maike
By Maike Hickson

Editor’s note: LifeSite readers can receive 10% off Dr. Robert Moynihan’s new book, Finding Viganò, by clicking this link and using the code LSN10.

October 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Dr. Robert Moynihan is one of the few people who has been able to meet with Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò in person since the archbishop first published his Theodore McCarrick testimony in August 2018 and went into hiding. With the help of his interviews with the prelate over the course of several days, the U.S. journalist, editor of Inside the Vatican, and Vatican expert has been able to give us glimpses into the reasons why Viganò published his McCarrick testimony, his private and hidden life, his suffering, and his faith.

As he describes in his upcoming book, Finding Viganò: In Search of the Man Whose Testimony Shook the Church and the World (TAN Books), Dr. Moynihan was able to visit Viganò in an undisclosed location for several days at the end of July 2019 — that is, nearly one year since the Italian prelate went into hiding. As it turns out, Viganò had then already changed his locations several times. However, the prelate seems calm and supported by his intense life of prayer, which includes daily Mass, praying the full rosary every day, and adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. He is also aided by his family members and friends, who stay in close touch with him.

As the archbishop told Moynihan, he went into hiding not to avoid being indicted by the Vatican — he said he was willing to be questioned about everything he has written — but, rather, because “some friends” had advised him that it might be “prudent” to do so. Viganò has followed the advice of his friends who might be more concerned about his physical safety, thus effectively living the life of a hermit. Only once, on January 18 of this year, he appeared in public when praying in Munich together with the Acies ordinata group against the German bishops’ synodal path of laxly liberalizing the Church.

As Moynihan writes, Archbishop Viganò “is, arguably, one of the loneliest men in the world.” But, as Viganò told the journalist during their interviews, he does not regret his decision to make public the names of those in the Vatican, to include Pope Francis, who knew of disgraced former cardinal McCarrick’s sexual abuse and did not take the steps necessary to stop him from harming many generations of young men and seminarians. He said he does not regret having asked the Pope to resign. “Having clearly covered for McCarrick,” he told Moynihan, “it was only right that he first did what he asked the Chilean bishops to do.” Then asked whether he regrets having published his report, Viganò answered, “No. It was something I had to do.” He added, “I think that I have been a witness to the truth.” Viganò also explained that “my conscience is telling me to protect the Church. I see that the devil has been entering into the Church, on the top of it, and so that I have to stand up.”

On August 25, 2018, the retired Italian prelate, who had then been relieved for two years from his last post as the papal nuncio to the United States in Washington, D.C., published his now famous report accusing Pope Francis of ignoring Pope Benedict XVI’s earlier restrictions on then-cardinal McCarrick on account of McCarrick’s preying upon and abuse of seminarians. Viganò revealed that he had informed Pope Francis about the misdeeds of McCarrick and about Benedict’s sanctions against him and said that, since Francis ignored these warnings and even actively sought the official assistance of McCarrick, the Pope should resign. He had then also revealed the many names of prelates — among them Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, and Cardinal Angelo Sodano — who knew of the accusations but did not work for a just correction and healing of the situation.

Ever since that moment, Viganò has gained the trust of many Catholics in the world as one of the few prelates who put truth above any expedient and earthly considerations such as being able to be respected among members of the Vatican. He sacrificed most of his earthly comforts and honors for the defense of the young, who had to face sexual abuse from those who were called to be the representatives of Christ on Earth. Viganò stands for a program of reform of the Church that is not based on empty words, but that aims at removing those aspects from the life of the Church that weaken the Church’s voice and witness. Among these obstacles, he names some erroneous doctrines that crept into the Church at the Second Vatican Council and its aftermath, an attitude of laxity toward sin and moral depravity, and other forms of corruption in fields such as finances.

That is to say: to many, Archbishop Viganò appears to be a prophet of our modern times, in the midst of a grave and manifold Church crisis. It is here that Moynihan’s book will help us appreciate this clergyman even more, since this U.S. journalist has set out to understand the archbishop’s life and work, his motives and his faith, his loves and his resistances.

Moynihan himself appreciates Viganò’s attempt to break up a “culture of cover-up” and a “brotherhood of silence,” as he writes, “that has for decades grown like a clinging vine around the heart of the Church, even in the Vatican, or perhaps better, especially in the Vatican.” This “culture of silence,” he adds, which often is defended with a supposed concern not to scandalize “the faith of the little ones,” “has become so harmful to our once-glorious and holy Church that the healing light of truth ... has become hidden.” This healing light of truth pertains to the “truth about the sexual sins of the hierarchy,” as well as the “deviations from the saving doctrines of our faith.”

As Viganò keeps on insisting, the doctrinal and the moral corruption in the Church go hand in hand. For example, the prelate stated in September of this year: “Moral corruption and doctrinal deviation are intrinsically linked and, to effectively heal these wounds in the body of the Church, it is imperative to act on both fronts. If this dutiful intervention does not take place, the Bishops and the leaders of the Church will answer to God for betraying their duty as pastors.”

But how is Viganò to be considered as a man, as a human being? “He was a man of simple tastes,” Moynihan tells us about his visit with him, “hospitable, a man who prayed the daily holy office (the daily prayers prescribes by the Church to be said by the priests) and nourished a profound devotion for the Holy Rosary, of which he prays and celebrates all the Mysteries daily.” He was a man closely following Church news. In some ways he was an “emotional man, a man of profound joys and sorrows, a man who was sometimes nostalgic, sometimes seemingly deeply wounded due to perceived injustices.” The U.S. journalist continues by describing Viganò’s excellent memory; his courageous attitude; his generosity; and most of all, his being a man completely devoted to the Catholic Church.

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As a matter of poignant fact, on a few occasions during these interviews, Archbishop Viganò shed tears of sorrow, for example when describing how he confronted McCarrick with his sins when first meeting him in the nunciature in Washington, D.C.: “I knew about him [and his sins],” Viganò told Moynihan, “but I treated him with charity all the time.” Here adds Moynihan: “Viganò, recalling McCarrick, begins to choke up and break into tears.” The archbishop continued: “I confronted him the first time in the nunciature after I was named to that post. I said: ‘You have done that!’ And he, just speaking with very low voice, said, ‘I may have made a mistake. Sometimes I slept in the same bed as a seminarian, as a priest, etc., etc.’”

When Moynihan asked Viganò about his “love of the Church,” the archbishop once more wept: “Well I mean it was all my life. Well, I mean I was living for that.”

Here we see a prelate who has given his whole life to the Church, and now he must suffer for her, and under her. Love does such things, and love proves itself most ardently by suffering under the beloved, and for the beloved, just as Our Lord did.

Viganò makes us also understand where his love for his beloved Church comes from. As Moynihan puts it, “his boyhood was marked by a continuing contact with the Christian tradition of Milan, weaving his daily life into twenty centuries of tradition.” Born in 1941 and being one of nine children, Viganò’s childhood took place in pre-conciliar times. Or, as Viganò himself said: “Our whole life was imbued with the liturgical life of the Church and with the memory of the Church’s history in Milan going back to St. Ambrose.” When he was a youth, he studied with the Jesuits in town. His family practiced many acts of charity by visiting widows who had lost their husbands in World War II, and, as such, to bring them some money and food. By the time of his First Holy Communion, Viganò knew he had a vocation to the priesthood, just as did one of his older brothers. He was greatly inspired by one young priest, Giulio Giacometti, who worked at Viganò’s elementary school, and then also by the Milanese cardinal, Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster, who has now been proclaimed blessed. “These two men,” writes Moynihan, “influenced the young Viganò from a very early age to decide that he should become a priest.”

Our Lady was always present in his life, too. One of the archbishop’s first memories was “on the breast of my mother, probably when I was around two years old, bringing me down into refuge during the bombardment [of Milan], and there was a little image of Our Lady with the light.” “And so we were starting to pray the Rosary,” Viganò continued. “I have this deep emotional memory of Mary. This marks a presence in my life all along. I remember that we would pray every evening after dinner, all together.” And he remembered his father keeping the sleepy children awake, “reminding them that it was beautiful to be praying together to Our Lady, to our Mother.”

Of his own father, Viganò said that he was “a very kind father.” It was “terrible for me,” he explained, when he suddenly died at the age of sixty-three, possibly due to medical malpractice. Viganò was twenty years old. As Moynihan writes: “Viganò seemed moved emotionally by the memory of his father’s death. ‘My father, certainly, to say the truth, was central to my life,’ he continued. ‘We were raised to tell everything to our mother and father.’”

From 1973 on, Viganò was called into the diplomatic service of the Vatican, and he was to remain there for the rest of his life, thus giving him nearly fifty years of experience and insight into the life and the workings of the Vatican and of the Church as a whole. He was devoted to the popes and served them each with a full and open heart. It seems that among the popes, the closest bond existed between him and Pope John Paul II, who once, after seeing him in his post in Nigeria, noted: “Monsignor Viganò looks tired. He should go back to Rome with me.” The Pope soon called him back, in 1998, and made him the delegate for pontifical representations, the personnel chief of the pope. John Paul II had also personally consecrated Viganò as a bishop in 1992. For twelve years, Viganò remained in this position of personnel chief for the entire Roman Curia, as well as for all of the Vatican diplomats. Under Pope Benedict XVI, Viganò was first called to run the Vatican City State — and tried to clear out financial corruptions there — and was then sent to Washington, D.C., with a providential mission that seems to continue until today. In surveying the archbishop’s vast experience and varied exposure, Moynihan assesses that what this archbishop has to say “may be as informed as what anyone in the world may have to say on the subject.”

In a sense, Viganò's role in helping to fight corruption in the Church intensified under the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI, and that is also when the rumors and anonymous emails about him started to circulate. Starting in 2010, these initiatives against him later led, in 2012, to Vatileaks. He was accused of creating an atmosphere of “conflict” among the staff and employees, while he himself wrote to Pope Benedict, asking him to protect him so that he could continue his work of cleansing the Vatican finances. “The Vatileaks affair was about me,” he told Moynihan. Unfortunately, as in other cases, Pope Benedict decided to let Viganò go, sending him to Washington, D.C., rather than keeping him in Rome and supporting him there in his work.

As to Pope Francis, Archbishop Viganò told Moynihan that he trusted him completely at the beginning, saying, “I was very confidant and very straightforward. I opened my heart” when speaking with him about McCarrick and the sanctions placed on him by Benedict. He was only later to realize that Pope Francis ignored this information and even denied that Viganò had told of him these grave things. (At least he claimed he did not remember it.) Now the archbishop has no hesitation to say that Francis “is lying” and that Francis “is destroying the Church,” as he told Moynihan.

The archbishop believes that there are parallels between the time of Our Lord and His possibly impending Second Coming. Just as the Sanhedrin were so corrupt that they condemned Jesus Christ, so, too, the Holy See is corrupt today. Viganò approvingly quoted to Moynihan a prominent convert from Judaism who once told him: “Now the corruption of the Holy See is very great, as was the corruption at that time, now as then.” “So this is a sign for me as a former Jew that the time is very near for the second coming of Jesus,” as the convert had concluded.

Let us end this book review with some hopeful words from Archbishop Viganò.

Speaking about his work, he told Moynihan that “we must be clear in our minds, but we cannot continue to hide the facts,” and thus “we must recognize that there is a project of the devil to destroy the Church. The watchwords are a ‘new Church’ for a ‘new humanism.’ No more Jesus Christ, no more cross, no more confession and forgiveness of sins. We must fight against this project. Yes, we must fight for the faith. With God’s help, with confidence, without pride.”

“I am speaking what I see and telling the truth,” he told the U.S. journalist at some point. “I cannot any longer stay silent. I am going too fast, yes, but the situation is moving very fast.” But in the midst of this struggle, Viganò insisted, “Pope Francis should be converted by the Holy Spirit. And then he should turn, as Peter turned, and confirm his brothers, of whom I am only one.”

Finally, Viganò turns his hopeful eyes to Our Lady. He told Moynihan that “I still understand more and more that our time is now the time of the Mother. This is the time of the Mother of the Church.” He added: “My hope is with Our Lady, she will lead the Church in the battle against the devil. A time will come very soon. This is my feeling ... Our Lady will crush and defeat the devil.”


  carlo maria vigano, catholic, pope francis, robert moynihan, sex abuse crisis, theodore mccarrick

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Episodes Wed Oct 21, 2020 - 8:48 pm EST

Mother Miriam reminds Christians of our call to witness to others.

By Mother Miriam
By

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Watch this episode of Mother Miriam's Live originally aired on 10.21.2020. Mother Miriam reminds us that we are called to be witnesses to Christ’s love. We are selfish if we know the truth and don’t share that truth with others. She also reminds us that martyrdom means to witness.

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