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News

Minnesota Democrats propose bill to legalize euthanasia

This is the fourth time euthanasia legislation has surfaced in Minnesota since 2016, with the first three versions having failed.
Mon Feb 22, 2021 - 9:23 pm EST
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The Minnesota Capitol Building in St. Paul. Henryk Sadura / Shutterstock.com
David McLoone David McLoone Follow
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CONTACT YOUR MN State Legislators: Urge them to reject euthanasia! Click to contact MN State House Member or Senator, now.

ST. PAUL, Minnesota, February 22, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Last week, two Democrat lawmakers in Minnesota proposed a bill to the state Legislature that would allow terminally ill Minnesotans to “receive a prescription for medical aid in dying medication” if they are assessed as having six months or less to live.

The “End of Life Option Act,” S.F. 1352, was sponsored by Sens. Chris Eaton and John Marty, both members of the Democratic Party. If successful, their legislation would usher in an assisted suicide statute to the state of Minnesota, making it the ninth U.S. state to do so, as well as Washington, D.C.

The act demands that an attending physician “determine whether an individual has a terminal disease with a prognosis of six months or less and is mentally capable” before prescribing the lethal medication. It also stipulates that the physician ensures “that the individual’s request does not arise from coercion or undue influence” by simply “asking the individual about coercion and influence.”

In order to procure the “dying medication,” all a qualifying patient must do is “make one oral request and one written request to the attending health care provider and one oral request to the consulting health care provider.”

Scott Fischbach, executive director of Minnesota’s oldest and largest pro-life organization, Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MMCL), excoriated the proposal in a press statement, saying “Assisted suicide is a danger to all of us.”

“This legislation has gone nowhere in past years, and state lawmakers must firmly reject it again. Contrary to the assertions of activists trying to generate public support, legalizing assisted suicide would pose real risks to Minnesotans.”

Noting many of the dangers that arise from implementing assisted suicide legislation, the MMCL press release pointed to the lack of any safeguarding measures in place after the drug has been dispensed “to prevent pressure, coercion, or abuse,” adding that “no one is required to witness the death.”

Additionally, the pro-life organization made the observation that, in the past, states which already have so-called “Death with Dignity” legislation, like Oregon, have seen local health insurers “steer patients toward suicide rather than expensive life-extending treatment.”

They point to the example of Randy Stroup, a 53-year-old Oregon man who was suffering from prostate cancer. Given the high cost of chemotherapy and his lack of insurance, Stroup was forced to seek financial help, which he applied for through Oregon’s state-run health plan.

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Instead of offering Stroup assistance with his expensive cancer treatment, the health association sent him a letter offering to cover the cost of a physician-assisted suicide.

The bill proposed to the Minnesota Senate is based on Oregon’s assisted suicide legislation.

MMCL also raised concerns about the fact that the act does not include a provision for necessary psychiatric assessment prior to dispensing the drug to the patient, rather leaving the decision to evaluate a patient’s mental health with the prescribing doctor.

Looking to those states which already have similar legislation in place, the MMCL cited a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information into the “Prevalence of depression and anxiety in patients requesting physicians’ aid in dying” in Oregon. The authors concluded that “the current practice of the Death with Dignity Act may fail to protect some patients whose choices are influenced by depression from receiving a prescription for a lethal drug.”

The researchers urged that “increased vigilance and systematic examination for depression among patients who may access legalised aid in dying are needed” to protect mentally ill patients.

A final observation made by MMCL is that patients with prognoses of six months or less to live often outlive these predictions by many years, thus demonstrating the unreliability of an attending physician’s assessment of a qualifying patient, a key factor in the “attending provider responsibilities” subdivision of the proposed legislation.

“People who are at risk of suicide deserve our protection,” Fischbach said. “Those facing an adverse prognosis or the challenges of disability deserve our protection no less than physically healthy and able-bodied people. We all count.”

Minnesota legislators have attempted to have assisted suicide legalized in the state from around 2016. At that time, the proposal was withdrawn following the Senate hearing, which featured two hours of public testimony, including that of 17 physicians, nurses, attorneys, and members of the disability community who warned of the grave dangers assisted suicide poses to vulnerable members of society.

Since then, assisted suicide measures were floated and rejected a further three times in Minnesota before the latest iteration, S.F. 1352, was introduced.

In countries and states where euthanasia has been legal for decades, there has been a marked increase in the number of people electing to die by euthanasia. Antonia Tully, of the SPUC Lives Worth Living Campaign, said: “It is sad that people see death as the solution to their problems. But this is how people start to think once euthanasia has been legalized.”

Tully noted the enormous growth in number of people dying by euthanasia, between some three and ten times the amount in 2019 versus in 2002 in the Netherlands and Belgium, respectively, according to a Vienna-based bioethics institute.

“This is devastating data and each death is a tragedy. We know that in countries where assisted suicide is legal, many who ‘choose’ to die report that they want to avoid becoming a burden on family and carers,” Tully said. “Over a third of Canadians who were killed by assisted suicide in 2019 claimed that they feared being a burden on family, friends and caregivers if they continued to live.”

“There is a creeping culture of death spreading around the globe as euthanasia laws are passed in one country after another. During 2020, New Zealand, Spain and Portugal all passed bills to allow assisted suicide,” she observed.

“[We] must resist all attempts to normalize this dangerous practice and instead promote a society where each human life is valued and respected.”


  democratic party, euthanasia, minnesota

News

Facebook posts provide evidence of link between COVID vaccinations and deaths

Users of the social media platform have pointed to posts from people who received the vaccine and then perished.
Mon Feb 22, 2021 - 7:01 pm EST
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Children's Health Defense
Celeste McGovern Follow Celeste
By Celeste McGovern

 

LifeSiteNews has produced an extensive COVID-19 vaccines resources page.  View it here. 

February 22, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) -- Facebook users have identified people who posted having a COVID-19 vaccination and then dying within hours.

The most recent Facebook post of 39-year-old Brittany Hall Perez of Atlanta on January 12, for example, shows her wearing a mask while holding up a vaccination card with the slogan, “SAVE LIVES. Say Yes to COVID-19 vaccine,” and framing her photo. An obituary for Brittany Hall Perez of Owens Cross Roads, Alabama on Tribute Archive announced the death of the mother of two young girls on January 13, but does not say how she died.

Other Facebook users have pointed to the latest post of Julie Schlachter Splattstoesser, a 50-year-old from Grand Island, Nebraska, whose Facebook page features the motto “The love of a family is life's greatest blessing” and shows her most recent post on December 31, 2020 with her husband and a heart-shaped logo saying, “I GOT MY COVID-19 VACCINE!” 

An obituary in The Grand Island Independent states that Splattstoesser, the mother of five sons, died “unexpectedly” on December 31, 2020. She had been A Clinical Research Coordinator at CHI Health Cancer Treatment Center. 

A report (ID 0918518-1) from the government’s Vaccine Adverse Event Report System (VAERS) describes a 50-year-old Nebraska woman who died December 31, 2020, on the same day that she received a Moderna vaccine after suffering from “cardio-respiratory arrest.”

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A few deaths following vaccinations have been reported in the mainstream media. A celebrated 68-year-old Detroit news anchor died suddenly the day after she received a COVID-19 vaccine, CBS Detroit reported

Karen Hudson-Samuel, who had been a Detroit media celebrity for decades, was found dead at her home by her husband, though the cause of her death is still unknown.

 “We suspect it may have just been a stroke, but because of the normal side effects of the vaccine it may have masked that. Hopefully, we’ll know soon from the autopsy report,” her husband, Cliff Samuels, told the news outlet.

A man in his 70s collapsed 25 minutes after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at the Javits Center in New York, KVOA News reported. He died later in hospital and New York health officials said he did not have an allergic reaction. 

The Windsor Star reported that a woman’s death after the COVID-19 vaccination was being investigated but provided few details. 

As of February 12,  929 deaths, 616 life-threatening adverse events, 316 cases of permanent disability, and more than 5,000 hospitalizations and emergency room visits after COVID vaccinations were reported to VAERS, which is updated weekly. 

“VAERS reports alone cannot be used to determine if a vaccine caused or contributed to an adverse event or illness,” according to the CDC VAERS website. Rather, it is considered to be a tool for detecting “signals” or patterns of significant problems with vaccines. Any healthcare worker, vaccine manufacturer or member of the public can submit a report to VAERS, so interpretation is limited. 

Still, many VAERS reports give detailed pictures of adverse events that have occurred. For example, the 929 COVID-19 vaccination-associated reported deaths include information about the patient’s age, state and how long after vaccination their symptoms began as in the following samples:

  • A 58-year-old Washington woman took Pfizer’s first dose of COVID vaccine at about 9 a.m. on January 4 at the medical center where she worked as a housekeeper and one hour later began to complain of nausea and feeling like she was going to pass out. By 3 p.m. that day, she “appeared tired and lethargic,” according to a VAERS report, and about 4 p.m. she “went into cardiac arrest and was unable to be revived.”

  • A 56-year-old man who worked at an extended care community facility in Florida received a second dose of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine on January 12 and was found “unresponsive,” within one hour. He was pronounced “brain dead” the same day and died two days later.

  • A 58-year-old woman walked to her car 20 minutes after receiving the first Pfizer vaccine dose in the state of Virginia on January 30. According to a VAERS report, she was leaning out of her car saying that she couldn’t breathe and began vomiting. She was administered two epi-pens and an epinephrine gas but became unresponsive shortly after she was put in an ambulance, where a “large amount of fluid was suctioned from the patients lungs,” and she was pronounced dead at the emergency department.

  • A 23-year-old New York man received a first dose of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine on January 17. “Patient developed 104.4 temp approximately 48 hours after being given the vaccine. I treated him with antibiotics, IV fluids, cooling methods,” stated one report filed by a physician. “Unfortunately, he suffered a cardiac arrest on 1/21/21 in the early morning and expired.”

  • A 28-year-old New Jersey man was due for his second dose of Pfizer’s vaccine January 11 but was was found unresponsive at his workplace in the hospital. His pupils were “fixed and dilated,” according to a VAERS report, and attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.

  • A 33-year-old woman died on January 28 following her first dose of Pfizer’s vaccine. The report filed by a physician stated that “16 hours after receiving the vaccine (the) patient was found dead at her home.”

  • A 43-year-old man who received Moderna’s COVID vaccine on January 8 in New York died the following day.

  • A 43-year-old woman with no pre-existing medical conditions and no known medications died six hours after receiving Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on January 13, according to a VAERS report made by a pharmacist. “An autopsy was not performed. The cause of death was unknown, death unexplained. No follow-up attempts are possible. No further information is expected,” the report stated. 

  • A 48-year-old Tennessee woman experienced a temperature, nausea and vomiting after her first dose of Moderna’s COVID vaccine on January 30 and died February 1.

  • A 49-year-old Alabama woman had her first dose of Moderna’s vaccine on January 15 and died within hours after suffering a seizure and heart attack.

  • A 53-year-old California man who received an injection of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine on January 4 began to feel unwell immediately, according to one VAERS report. “He went right home and went to bed.” The man slept intermittently and began vomiting and developed trouble breathing. He was taken by ambulance to an urgent care facility, where became increasingly “agitated,” he continued vomiting and was dehydrated. The following morning, according to the VAERS report, “The patient stated that he couldn't breathe, and his mind was racing.” He died at 10:15 am on January 6 and, according to the VAERS report filed by his brother, “it was reported that none of the symptoms occurred until the patient received the vaccine.”

  • A 58-year-old Virginia pharmacist developed fatigue and shortness of breath hours after receiving Moderna’s second dose vaccine on January 21. He was hospitalized two days later as his condition worsened, but he repeatedly tested negative for COVID-19. He died on February 5.

  • A 52-year-old Hawaiian woman died two hours after receiving Moderna’s first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, after having a stroke. 

There are numerous reports of nursing home residents dying after COVID vaccinations. VAERS data descriptions of hundreds of cases of life-threatening and disabling illnesses include allergic shock reactions (anaphylaxis), paralysis, Guillain Barré Syndrome, sudden hearing loss, sudden blindness, seizures, strokes, and encephalitis. 


  cdc, covid-19 vaccine, deaths, moderna vaccine, pfizer, vaccines, vaers

News

Depression and drug abuse went through the roof during lockdowns: Canadian poll

‘Almost 1 out of 2 respondents with current mental health symptoms who consume cannabis report increased consumption.’
Mon Feb 22, 2021 - 5:04 pm EST
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Lockdown in Canada Shutterstock
Anthony Murdoch
By Anthony Murdoch

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February 22, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A new poll has shed light on the declining state of Canadians’ mental health due to COVID lockdowns, revealing that depression has skyrocketed and that drug use is also on the rise.

The poll, conducted by Leger and commissioned by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA), concludes that only two in five respondents said they had strong (very good/excellent) mental health.

The number of Canadians who have feelings of depression rose from two percent in March of 2020, to 14 percent in December of the same year. The poll concluded, “The pandemic is amplifying the close relationship between mental health and substance use.”

“Respondents with past and current substance use concerns report more mental health symptoms. Nearly 1 out of 2 respondents with past substance use disorders report moderately severe to severe depression symptoms since March 2020,” reads the summary of the report of the poll.

“Respondents with past and current mental health concerns report greater increases in substance use. Almost 1 out of 2 respondents with current mental health symptoms who consume cannabis report increased consumption.”

The poll was conducted between October and December of 2020, sampling a total of 4,009 people from across Canada. It found that only 40 percent of respondents reported strong mental health, compared to 67 percent before the lockdowns began.

The poll showed that 30 percent reported an increase in alcohol consumption during the lockdowns, with 40 percent of cannabis users saying their drug use went up as well.

The MHCC’s vice president of programs and priorities Ed Mantler said that “something is going on” with the mental health of Canadians. “That’s such a wide gap, it tells us that something is going on there. The fact that fewer Canadians feel their mental health is strong or excellent doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re experiencing a mental illness.”

“They may be experiencing sadness or anxiety that are completely normal reactions to what’s happening around us. But we do know that those who report severe symptoms of depression in particular have increased substantially.”

Despite authorities locking down many small businesses, kids’ sports, churches, and recreation facilities, governments nationwide kept liquor and cannabis stores open.

Virtually all of Canada is in a state of some sort of lockdown at the moment, the most severe in Quebec with a strict curfew in place, followed by Ontario, which recently announced that stay-at-home orders in the Toronto area would continue until at least March 8.

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Another poll conducted by Nova Scotia’s Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) also raised alarm bells as well to the state of Canadians mental health. It showed that a total of 40 percent of Canadians report that their overall mental health has taken a nosedive since the start of COVID-19.

As for the Leger poll, it also concluded that access for addicts to help services is “not keeping up with increasing need.”

“Only 22% of respondents with current mental health symptoms and 24% with current problematic substance use report access to treatment since March; about 1 in 5 of respondents who have received care report finding access difficult,” the poll noted.

In January, a Canadian doctor’s research showed that lockdowns have caused vastly more harm than good.

Dr. Ari Joffe concluded in a paper published titled, “COVID-19: Rethinking the Lockdown Groupthink,” that the collateral damage caused by COVID-19 lockdowns will cause more harm than the virus itself, and will also far outweigh any benefits that might have been incurred by keeping everyone at home.


  lockdowns, mental health

News

Francis accepts resignation of traditionalist African Cardinal Sarah

Various mainstream media sources interpreted the event as Francis removing a vocal opponent to his vision for the Catholic Church.
Mon Feb 22, 2021 - 5:03 pm EST
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Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Vaticans Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments
Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete
By Pete Baklinski

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ROME, February 22, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) –  Pope Francis unexpectedly accepted the resignation of Cardinal Robert Sarah as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments eight months after Sarah submitted his resignation, as is customary, on the occasion of his 75th birthday.

Last June, when the Cardinal submitted his resignation, he stated publicly at the time that he was “happy to continue my work within the Congregation for Divine Worship.” It is not unusual for a pope to let a cardinal serve a few years beyond his 75th birthday, as is the case with Cardinal Marc Ouellet, who at 76 still heads the Congregation for Bishops, and Cardinal Beniamino Stella, who at 79 still heads the Congregation for Clergy.

The Vatican Press Office announced Cardinal Sarah’s departure on Saturday without naming, as is usually the case, who will take his place.

“Today, the Pope accepted the resignation of my office as Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship after my seventy-fifth birthday,” tweeted the Cardinal.

“I am in God's hands. The only rock is Christ. We will meet again very soon in Rome and elsewhere,” he added.

Vatican observers may see some similarity between the Pope’s acceptance of Sarah’s resignation and the Pope’s 2017 acceptance of the resignation of traditional-minded Cardinal Gerhard Müller as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the end of his five-year term. With outspokenly orthodox Cardinal Raymond Burke being demoted by Pope Francis from the Vatican’s highest court in 2014, there are now three less traditionally-minded voices within the Curia. 

Sarah was born in Guinea in 1945. He was ordained a priest in 1969. Pope John Paul II appointed him Archbishop of Conakry 10 years later, when Sarah was 34. He was appointed secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in 2001. Nine years later, Benedict XVI appointed Sarah president of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum.” He was made a Cardinal in 2010. Pope Francis appointed Sarah Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in 2014.

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Various mainstream media sources interpreted the event as Francis removing a vocal opponent to his vision for the Catholic Church.

“In accepting Cardinal Sarah’s resignation, the pope has removed a subordinate out of step with his approach to liturgy, homosexuality and relations with the Muslim world,” wrote Francis Rocca in The Wall Street Journal.

NPR shared the Journal’s perspective.

“Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea as head of the Vatican's liturgy department, removing a conservative who was seen as an opponent of the pontiff's vision for the church,” reported NPR, adding later in its report, “By accepting the cardinal's resignation, Pope Francis ousted a proponent of more traditional Catholic liturgy.”

Even so-called Catholic media saw a similar significance to the Pope’s action. The Jesuit-run America magazine that carries articles by pro-LGBT priest James Martin said Sarah’s views “contrasted” with those of the Pope.

“A number of the cardinal’s public statements on the liturgy and other topics reflected a pre-Vatican II traditionalist outlook that at times openly contrasted with the direction given by Pope Francis, who is continuing to implement the teachings of the Second Vatican Council,” wrote Gerard O’Connell.

Cardinal Sarah has defended traditional Catholic practices, such as receiving Holy Communion kneeling and on the tongue and celebrating Mass facing the east (ad Orientem). He has warned that the Church is facing a “grave risk” of schism over morality. He has told priests that they cannot shy away from the “hard” teachings of the Church on abortion and homosexuality. He has rebuked Martin for misrepresenting the Church’s teaching on homosexuality, saying that same-sex attraction is “at odds with human nature” and same-sex relations are “gravely sinful and harmful to the well-being of those who partake in them." He has called Catholics to “revolt” against lies that attack traditional family values. 

In his 2017 book The Power of Silence, Sarah outlined what he saw as a crisis in the Church.

“The Church today is going through unprecedented exterior and interior trials. Something like an earthquake is seeking to demolish her doctrinal foundations and her centuries-old moral teachings,” he wrote.

He wrote that he opposes shepherds within the Church who no longer believe in the Bible and who depart from Catholic teaching and sacred tradition.

“I will untiringly denounce those who are unfaithful to the promise of their ordination. In order to make themselves known or to impose their personal views, both on the theological and the pastoral level, they speak again and again. These clerics repeat the same banal things. I could not affirm that God dwells within them,” he wrote. Sarah wrote that “Bishops that scatter the sheep that Jesus has entrusted to them will be judged mercilessly and severely by God.”

In a 2019 interview, however, Sarah said that it is not correct to say that he opposes the Pope.

“The truth is that many write not to bear witness to the truth, but to pit people against each other, to damage human relations. They don’t care about the truth. The truth is that those who oppose me to the Holy Father cannot present a single word of mine, a single phrase of mine, or a single attitude of mine to support their absurd, and I would say diabolical statements. The Devil divides, pits people against one another. The truth is that the Church is represented on earth by the Vicar of Christ, that is, the Pope. And whoever is against the Pope is ipso facto outside the Church,” he said.

While Sarah may not oppose the Pope, the Pope has certainly opposed the Cardinal.

In 2017, Pope Francis issued a public correction to Sarah over the cardinal’s attempt to interpret the Pope’s liturgy reform in an orthodox manner. Sarah had claimed in an article that the pope's directives on the Liturgy, titled Magnum Principium, did not allow bishops’ conferences, but the Vatican, to have the final word on Mass translations. He was simply reading the Pope’s directives through the lens of a 2001 instruction titled Liturgiam Authenticam. But the Pope told Sarah that those norms had been abrogated and that the Cardinal had misunderstood the Pope’s directives.

In 2016, the Vatican made it clear that it had rejected the Cardinal’s invitation to priests around the world to begin celebrating Mass facing the east (ad Orientem) during Lent the following year.

While Sarah has issued strong words defending traditional practices of the Church, he has nevertheless, as head of  the Congregation for Divine Worship, overseen the introduction of novel practices within the Church that would be unthinkable in previous generations. This includes overseeing in 2016 the “innovation,” at the request of Pope Francis, of allowing women to participate in the Holy Thursday ceremony of the washing of the feet. Until that point, the ceremony was reserved exclusively for men following the historical example of Christ, who washed his male apostles’ feet during the last supper prior to making them priests.

Last December, the Congregation for Divine Worship backed a decision of a U.S. priest to ban reception of Holy Communion on the tongue in his diocese on account of the coronavirus outbreak. The statement, from which Sarah’s signature was missing, contradicted a 2009 letter from the same Congregation regarding the same question in the midst of the H1N1 influenza pandemic. At that time, the Vatican under Pope Benedict wrote that Church law on the subject stipulates “each of the faithful always has the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue" and that this law may not be abrogated.

The Cardinal was the center of two significant controversies last year that may have complicated his relationship with Pope Francis.

Sarah found himself at the center of controversy last May after a historic appeal of Catholic prelates and lay leaders decrying the crackdown on basic freedoms over the coronavirus was published with the Cardinal being listed as one of the signers. Sarah claimed that he had withdrawn his signature at the last moment despite the appeal’s organizer, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, claiming that he had evidence to the contrary.

A few months earlier, Sarah found himself facing attack over his publication of a book co-authored with Pope Benedict that defended the male priesthood and priestly celibacy just months after the Church had concluded the Amazon Synod, which was viewed by many observers as setting the stage to an acceptance of female deacons and married priests.


  catholic, congregation for divine worship, pope francis, robert sarah

News

Pope requires reporters on his trip to Iraq to receive COVID vaccine

‘At present, despite vaccination, health regulations make it compulsory to undergo a PCR test before every international departure,’ according to the Vatican.
Mon Feb 22, 2021 - 4:38 pm EST
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Coronavirus vaccine in front of Vatican flag Shutterstock
Michael Haynes Michael Haynes Follow Michael
By Michael Haynes

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VATICAN CITY, February 22, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — The Vatican has ordered all journalists accompanying Pope Francis on his upcoming trip to Iraq to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to be allowed to join the Pope, despite outstanding moral and health concerns regarding the injections.

The visit, which will take place from March 5 to 8, will be the first international Apostolic Journey undertaken by Francis since his visit to Thailand and Japan in November 2019.

In a missive sent out from the Holy See Press Office to journalists looking to join the Pope on his trip to Iraq, mandatory vaccination was stipulated as a prerequisite for travel. Section 3 of the document contained the “Prescriptions and health advice,” repeating the stipulation that journalists must wear “personal protective equipment (surgical or FFP2/FFP3 type face mask) in every occasion in which there may be contact with at least one other person and a safe distance of at least one metre is not guaranteed.” (The full section is reproduced below.)

Going further than this, the Vatican decreed that in order for journalists to present themselves for the journey, “it is necessary to have undergone the vaccination against COVID-19 within the appropriate time.”

Should a journalist be unable to receive the vaccine in his home country, he is ordered to contact the Vatican and request a vaccination. Both doses of the vaccines would then be administered before the trip commences. Vaccine certificates are required as proof of the injection.

Furthermore, the vaccine mandate seems to extend not just to journalists who accompany the Pope on his flight, but to all those who “participate in the Apostolic Journey,” regardless of at what stage or how closely they join him.

All journalists have been told to comply with the relevant national mandates for COVID testing regarding air travel, regardless of having received both doses of the vaccine. “At present, despite vaccination, health regulations make it compulsory to undergo a PCR test before every international departure.” Should a member of the press test positive for COVID-19 at any stage, they would not be able to participate in any future part of the remaining trip.

If a press member was to test positive in Iraq, he would be subject to the period of “sanitary surveillance” in Iraq, covering his own costs for the quarantine and health precautions taken.

The decree, issued January 20, is ground-breaking in its kind, and signals the great faith and importance which Pope Francis appears to place in the abortion-tainted vaccines.

Nor does it stand alone, for in recent days further evidence emerged, revealing the extent to which the Vatican is enforcing vaccines.

The Vatican City State issued a decree in early February, calling the reception of the experimental vaccine a duty in maintaining the public health, and essentially threatened Vatican employees with the loss of their job, if they refused the vaccine. As LifeSite’s Jeanne Smits reported: “[T]he text also implies that workers who refuse the vaccine without ‘proven reasons of health’ and who are in a position to pose a risk to other ‘citizens, residents, workers and the work community’ may not receive another task and payment. In other words, they would lose their job and income.”

After the news caused strong backlash, the governor of the Vatican City State, Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, was forced to issue a response to his own directive.

He said that those who simply refused the experimental vaccine would be allowed “to find alternative solutions for the performance of work by the person concerned.” Smits described the “torturous” note as “damage control,” commenting that despite his note, the original decree “did not provide for anything of the sort. It only said that alternative tasks would be found for workers who ‘for proven reasons of health’ could not receive the jab.”

Francis himself has compared taking such COVID vaccines to a moral duty, stating: “I believe that, ethically, everyone should take the vaccine.” Along with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Francis was one of the first to receive the vaccine, when injections began in the Vatican in January.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has also issued a note, echoing liberal bishops around the world, stating that under limited circumstances, one may cooperate with the evil of abortion by taking the abortion-tainted COVID vaccines.

While the Pope, the Vatican, and Bertello are clearly very much in favor of using the experimental and abortion-tainted vaccines, moral questions remain.

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Biologist Pamela Acker has previously detailed how the babies involved in the development and production of such vaccines, were still alive at the time their tissue was extracted. “The babies are still alive when the researchers start extracting the tissue; to the point where their heart is still beating, and they’re generally not given any anesthetic, because that would disrupt the cells that the researchers are trying to extract.”

Additionally, in a paper released on December 12, 2020, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, along with co-signers Cardinal Janis Pujats, Bishop Joseph Strickland, and Archbishops Tomash Peta and Jan Pawel Lenga, expressed their strong conviction that any use of a vaccine tainted with the “unspeakable crime” of abortion, under any circumstances, “cannot be acceptable for Catholics.”

The prelates pointed to the contradiction between Catholic doctrine, which teaches that abortion is “a grave moral evil that cries out to heaven for vengeance,” and the commonly found view that abortion-connected vaccines are permitted in “exceptional cases of ‘urgent need.’”

“To argue that such vaccines can be morally licit if there is no alternative is in itself contradictory and cannot be acceptable for Catholics,” the letter read.

Cardinal Raymond Burke, former Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, has previously spoken out against vaccines using aborted babies, saying “it must be clear that it is never morally justified to develop a vaccine through the use of the cell lines of aborted fetuses. The thought of the introduction of such a vaccine into one’s body is rightly abhorrent.”

In addition to the moral concerns about such vaccines, there are troubling questions regarding the physical safety of the injections, as numerous reports from around the globe are documenting unexpected deaths, shortly after people receive COVID-19 vaccines. Not only that, but a warning issued about Pfizer’s vaccine stipulated that pregnancy should be avoided for two months after the injection, and breastfeeding and pregnant women should not take it. The paper also revealed that there was no knowledge about what impact the injection could have upon fertility.

Full section of the Vatican decree to journalists accompanying the Pope on his trip to Iraq:

3.2 Due to the current pandemic situation, it will be necessary to wear personal protective equipment (surgical or FFP2/FFP3 type face mask) in every occasion in which there may be contact with at least one other person and a safe distance of at least one metre is not guaranteed.

3.3 Since some unforeseen situations beyond the control of the trip organization may make it difficult to respect the necessary measures of personal protection from COVID-19, especially with regard to social distancing, in order to participate in the Apostolic Journey of the Holy Father Francis in Iraq it is necessary to have undergone the vaccination against COVID- 19 within the appropriate time.

3.4 If the vaccination has already been provided for in time in their country of residence, journalists admitted to the Papal Flight must send a copy of the relevant vaccination certificate, certifying its effectiveness as of 1 March 2021, to [email protected].

3.5 If the vaccination is not provided for, or has not be administered in time, in their country of residence, journalists admitted to the Papal Flight must include a request to receive the vaccination in their letter of application to the Papal Flight.

3.6 For journalists admitted to the Papal Flight who request it, the vaccine will be administered according to a vaccination schedule which will be communicated at a later date. For organizational purposes only, the first vaccination will be administered in early February and the booster in the last week of the same month.

3.7 With regard to health prescriptions upon return to Italy or your country of residence (quarantine periods, communications to the relevant health authorities, etc.), please refer to the regulations in force at the time of return.

3.8 At present, despite vaccination, health regulations make it compulsory to undergo a PCR test before every international departure. In the unlikely event that the journalists admitted to the Papal Flight, although vaccinated, receive a positive result in the prescribed PCR tests before departure from Rome, they will not be able to participate in the trip and will have to bear the costs of the penalties for the hotel in Iraq and the air ticket. In the event of a positive result to the prescribed PCR tests prior to departure from Iraq, the journalists will not be admitted to the return flight and will have to face the periods of sanitary surveillance in the country, in accordance with the provisions made by the competent authorities, covering costs necessary for the stay and the sanitary expenses.


  abortion, catholic, coronavirus vaccine, covid-19, pope francis

News

Planned Parenthood touts killing at least 354k babies in 2019-2020 annual report

The abortion giant received over $618 million dollars in taxpayers’ money.
Mon Feb 22, 2021 - 3:18 pm EST
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Michael Haynes Michael Haynes Follow Michael
By Michael Haynes

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WASHINGTON, February 22, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Planned Parenthood’s newly released report documents the abortion giant killed at least 354,871 babies in the year 2019-2020, while receiving over $618 million dollars in taxpayers’ money.

The report documents the “patient care” provided by Planned Parenthood (PP) from October 1, 2018 until September 30, 2019, and presents the financial statistics for the year ending on June 30, 2020.

Planned Parenthood President Alexis McGill Johnson and Board Chair Aimee Cunningham state in their opening message, “We care about you, no matter what. No matter who you are, or where you live.”

Despite this claim, however, once again the number of abortions performed have increased from the previous year’s figure of 345,672 to 354,871, as have the number of contraceptive procedures, with a total of 2,565,910 performed in the latest figures. LiveAction reported that the abortion figures were the highest Planned Parenthood had ever reported.

Notwithstanding the rise in the number of abortions, contraceptive procedures, and pregnancy tests carried out, Planned Parenthood reported a fall in the number of people for whom they provided miscarriage care and offered adoption referrals. Only 2,110 people were given miscarriage care compared to the previous 2,236, and just 2,667 adoption referrals occurred compared to the previous 4,279. In addition, the number of “prenatal services” fell from 9,798 to 8,626. There is no explanation of what prenatal services actually entail.

LiveAction calculated that Planned Parenthood “commits 41 abortions for every one prenatal care service and 133 abortions for every adoption referral.”

According to the report, the abortion giant saw 2.4 million patients in the year, of which 321,001 were male.

The number of services related to cancer went up compared to the previous year, with a total of 598,852 “cancer screenings and prevention” services, compared to the previous number of 566,186.

However, when contrasted with figures from 2009 and 2010, a clear trend is visible in terms of the rise in number of abortions performed, and the accompanying decrease of cancer appointments. The 2009-2010 report documents 331,796 abortions, although it shows that the number of reported contraception-related services has fallen since then. In 2009 3,868,901 contraceptive “services” took place, while the number was 2,565,910 in the latest figures.

Cancer services have plummeted since 2009, with 1,830,811 cancer appointments recorded in 2009, contrasted to the less than 600,000 in the most recent report.

The 2009 report also records 1,029,821 pregnancy tests and 40,489 “pre-natal services,” showing a similar number of pregnancy tests to the latest figures, but a significant fall in “pre-natal services” over the past decade.

Planned Parenthood’s latest report also reveals the funding received by the organization, the majority of which stems from taxpayers. A total of over $618 million was categorized as “Government Health Services Reimbursements & Grants.” This sum accounted for 38% of the abortion provider’s revenue.

Out of the overall revenue of $1.6414 billion, $965.5 million was spent on “medical services,” $61.6 million on “sexuality education,” and $55.4 million spent on “public policy.” A further $50 million was used in “advocacy.”

This results in a profit of $69.7 million for Planned Parenthood, after deducting expenses from its revenue.

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In addition to these statistics, the abortion giant reported on the supporters of the group, noting that it held “24 supporter briefings and trainings,” and adding that it had close to “100 new and revamped campus chapters.”

Over 30,700 events took place with over 4,200 volunteers, and Planned Parenthood celebrated the fact it had reached 16 million “supporters,” twice the number it had in 2014.

In contrast to the previous year’s report, which pointed to the “risk” the pro-abortion Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade was facing, the latest document is full of optimism for advancing the killing of the unborn. “This year tested our promise to Planned Parenthood patients: that we would be here for them, no matter what,” the introduction declared.

Johnson and Cunningham pointed to difficulties people faced in aborting their children during COVID-19, but welcomed the promise of a “different” world, where “Planned Parenthood will be there on the other side — not just present, but leading.”

The pair also pointed to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, saying, “Now, champions for sexual and reproductive health are in the White House. We’re entering a new era where we can not only undo the damage of the last four years, but move policy, and collective imagination, forward.”

“This year, we’ve all seen fear. But we know hope. We know freedom. We know imagination.”

Planned Parenthood’s report drew some attention to the support the group gave to the violent Back Lives Matter riots. “Planned Parenthood stood alongside partners leading the fight for racial justice by supporting the call to #DefundThePolice and invest in community based solutions, education, and health care instead of militarizing police forces,” the report stated.

Catholic researcher and professor Michael New commented on the latest figures, pointing to the large reduction in non-abortion related services, and the steady increase of babies aborted: “Planned Parenthood prioritizes abortion — not women’s health.”


  abortion, contraceptives, planned parenthood

News

Social media alternative Gab briefly went offline after spam attack last week

Gab’s Twitter account is still inactive, but Twitter confirmed it did not take any action against it.
Mon Feb 22, 2021 - 2:20 pm EST
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Raymond Wolfe Follow
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February 22, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Gab, a social media alternative to Facebook and Twitter, was briefly taken down Friday evening after a scam attack affected multiple accounts, CEO Andrew Torba said.

Gab’s Twitter account, which went dark around the same time as the Gab site, remains inactive. Twitter has said that it did not take action against the account.

“At 6:09pm EST Gab became aware of several accounts that were posting bitcoin wallet spam and related content. At 6:25pm out of an abundance of caution we brought the site offline in order to immediately assess the situation, solve the problem, and get Gab back online as soon as possible,” a statement by Torba on Friday read.

“Because of our quick action zero bitcoin was sent to any of the addresses posted and the affected accounts have been secured,” the statement continued, adding that the company has “identified and patched a security vulnerability in our codebase.”

Gab confirmed that the issue impacted 12 accounts. A popular placeholder account for President Donald Trump may have been among them.

“Our community has been the target of state-level actors, both foreign and domestic, political activist groups and terrorists, and enemies of free speech from around the world for nearly five years,” Gab’s statement read.

Andrew Torba reported earlier this morning that a third bank cut ties with the company in less than a month. Google and Apple also have blacklisted the free speech, Christian-run social media platform and banned other apps developed by the company on all iOS and Android devices.

Gab nevertheless has grown rapidly since Big Tech unleashed an unprecedented purge of Republicans and conservatives, including President Trump and many of his top allies, following the Capitol protest on January 6. Torba has said that the site has garnered hundreds of millions of page views and tens of millions of new visitors since early January.

“Gab is scaling to serve tens of millions of people in the biggest mass exodus in internet history,” Torba said on Friday.

You can follow LifeSiteNews on Gab here.


  andrew torba, gab

News

Israel begins reopening economy with ‘green pass’ for the vaccinated

Holders of the ‘green pass’ are allowed entry to all reopened businesses, including holiday resorts, but still have to wear masks and practice social distancing.
Mon Feb 22, 2021 - 1:57 pm EST
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David McLoone David McLoone Follow
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JERUSALEM, Israel, February 22, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — The state of Israel has begun reopening parts of its economy to citizens who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 following a two-month lockdown and the recent release of a vaccine tracking app. Those who have not yet received the COVID vaccine, or who have refused to take the jab, will remain unable to access a number of venues and businesses.

On Sunday, shops, malls, and markets were opened to the general public, with the guidance that staying six feet apart and wearing face masks will be compulsory to enter such premises. Churches and synagogues were also given the green light to open, albeit with intense restrictions, such as limiting all gatherings to no more than ten people indoors, and twenty outdoors.

On top of this, gyms, hotels, and a number of other entertainment and leisure facilities in Israel are able to open their doors to trade, but only with those who can prove they have had two shots of the COVID-19 vaccine, or who have contracted and since recovered from COVID-19.

The borders will remain closed for now, with Israel’s airports not opening for another two weeks.

Individuals who have either received two doses of the abortion-tainted Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine or have recovered from the virus will have the special privilege of “green pass” status on the Israeli Health Ministry’s newly released health tracking app, giving holders entry to all reopened businesses, including holiday resorts.

The government promised that “green pass” holders would be “eligible for relaxed restrictions in destinations around the world.”

Israel’s minister for health, Yuli Edelstein, said on the release of the vaccine “passport” that “[g]etting vaccinated is a moral duty. It is part of our mutual responsibility.” He went further, declaring, “Whoever does not get vaccinated will be left behind.”

Echoing the words of his health minister, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu specifically urged those over 50 years of age to get the jab: “Go and get vaccinated! Not just for your health but for all of our health.”

“Our victory over the pandemic depends on you,” he added.

Despite being awarded the “green pass,” which requires renewal every six months, vaccine pass holders will still have to “wear a mask in public settings and practice social distancing, i.e., keeping 2 meters from people and follow restrictions on gathering.”

The Telegraph reported that one business owner, Oleg Ivanyukov, who runs a gym in Rishon Lezion, is not prepared to enforce the new “green pass” system, despite the government mandating implementation of the system to be allowed to reopen. Ivanyukov expressed his worry that such measures are discriminatory.

“I am not a cop or an inspector, so we will just ask them if they have been vaccinated,” he said. “I’m not going to ask to see the certificate, but if they have been vaccinated then they are welcome.”

There is some resistance to receiving the vaccine in Israel, too. Ofek Hacohen, manager of a vacation rentals business in Jerusalem, said that he “won’t get vaccinated,” the New York Times reported.

Asked how he would respond to the government introducing mandatory vaccination legislation, he said, “I’ll surely participate in demonstrations. I believe I won’t be alone. I can survive without going to the theatre, to soccer matches or to a restaurant. It’s annoying but what can I do?”

Edelstein warned, “We will close the economy just as fast as were [sic] are now opening” if there will be repeated violations of the new vaccine “passport” scheme.

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Some shopkeepers in the country, however, already use electronic thermometers at the doorway to their premises, as a way to deter customers who might have some symptoms of COVID-19 from entering.

The Israeli government is keen to see the implementation of the “green pass” system, and has vowed that falsifying a vaccination passport in order to gain access to places only open to pass holders will be considered a criminal offence.

At the same time as the vaccine “passport” is being rolled out, legislation is being considered that would give employers the right to refuse unvaccinated people entry into the workplace. It would also mandate that school teachers receive the jab, Edelstein confirmed, according to a report by The Jerusalem Post.

Edelstein is also proposing a bill that would allow the government to identify unvaccinated individuals to local authorities.


  benjamin netanyahu, green pass, israel, vaccine passport, yuli edelstein

News

Supreme Court declines to hear Trump lawsuit on Pennsylvania ignoring election deadline

The decision suggests the election being over renders the issue 'moot' and disregards the ramifications of electoral rule changes for future elections.
Mon Feb 22, 2021 - 12:31 pm EST
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Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

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WASHINGTON, D.C., February 22, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected thee Trump campaign’s challenge to last-minute changes in Pennsylvania, suggesting the election being over renders the issue “moot” and disregarding the ramifications of such rule changes for future elections.

At issue was the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to allow election officials to count mail ballots that arrived up to three days after Election Day 2020. The U.S. Supreme Court voted 4-4 on whether to issue a stay of that ruling, falling short of the majority needed to block it.

“The Pennsylvania Constitution requires in-person voting, except in narrow and defined circumstances,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) argued in December. “Late last year, the Pennsylvania Legislature passed a law that purported to allow universal mail-in voting, notwithstanding the Pennsylvania Constitution’s express prohibition. This appeal argues that Pennsylvania cannot change the rules in the middle of the game.”

Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch were the only dissenters from the decision. Because only four votes are necessary to grant a writ of certiorari, either of former President Donald Trump’s other appointees to the nation’s highest court, Brett Kavanaugh or Amy Coney Barrett, would have been enough to make the Court hear the case.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s “decision to rewrite the rules seems to have affected too few ballots to change the outcome of any federal election. But that may not be the case in the future,” Thomas wrote. “These cases provide us with an ideal opportunity to address just what authority nonlegislative officials have to set election rules, and to do so well before the next election cycle. The refusal to do so is inexplicable.”

Last year’s dramatic expansion of mail voting “impedes postelection judicial review because litigation about mail-in ballots is substantially more complicated,” he explained. “For one thing, as election administrators have long agreed, the risk of fraud is ‘vastly more prevalent’ for mail-in ballots … The reason is simple: ‘[A]bsentee voting replaces the oversight that exists at polling places with something akin to an honor system.’ … Heather Gerken, now dean of Yale Law School, explained … that absentee voting allows for ‘simpler and more effective alternatives to commit fraud’ on a larger scale, such as stealing absentee ballots or stuffing a ballot box, which explains ‘why all the evidence of stolen elections involves absentee ballots and the like.’ The same article states that ‘[v]oting by mail is now common enough and problematic enough that election experts say there have been multiple elections in which no one can say with confidence which candidate was the deserved winner.’”

“One wonders what this Court waits for,” Thomas concluded. “We failed to settle this dispute before the election, and thus provide clear rules. Now we again fail to provide clear rules for future elections. The decision to leave election law hidden beneath a shroud of doubt is baffling. By doing nothing, we invite further confusion and erosion of voter confidence. Our fellow citizens deserve better and expect more of us.”

“Now, the election is over, and there is no reason for refusing to decide the important question that these cases pose,” Alito agreed in his own dissenting opinion. “Some respondents contend that the completion of the 2020 election rendered these cases moot and that they do not fall within the mootness exception for cases that present questions that are ‘capable of repetition’ but would otherwise evade review.”

“That argument fails,” he explained, because the issue in the case “is surely capable of repetition in future elections” and “it would be surprising if parties who are unhappy with the legislature’s rules do not invoke this decision and ask the state courts to substitute rules that they find more advantageous”; because “the suggestion that we are unlikely to see a recurrence of the exact circumstances we saw this fall misunderstands the applicable legal standard”; and because “it is highly speculative to forecast that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will not find that conditions at the time of a future federal election [i.e., COVID-19 and its related restrictions] are materially similar to those last fall.”

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Monday’s decision means that any hope of reforming state election rules to alleviate fraud concerns in time for the 2022 midterm elections or 2024 presidential election now rests entirely with whatever Republican-controlled state legislatures can be pushed to take action.


  2020 presidential election, amy coney barrett, brett kavanaugh, clarence thomas, donald trump, election integrity, judicial nominees, mail voting, mail-in ballots, pennsylvania, pennsylvania supreme court, samuel alito, supreme court, vote by mail, vote fraud

News

China is buying up British schools to teach positive view of Chinese politics

An investigation by conservative British tabloid Daily Mail discovered increasing influence of China on British education and its institutions.
Mon Feb 22, 2021 - 12:12 pm EST
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Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
By Jeanne Smits

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February 22, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — An increasing number of expensive independent schools in the U.K. have been bought by Chinese investors whose objectives are far from being merely economic, according to an investigation by conservative British tabloid Daily Mail.

While the trend has been visible over the last four years, with seventeen deals being put through by Chinese companies, many of them linked to high-ranking Communist Party officials, it is expected that further “hundreds” of schools are presently being targeted, as many face a substantial shrinkage of their revenue due to COVID-19 restrictions, including lockdown. According to the Daily Mail, the new Chinese owners are in some cases using their position to foster a positive view of Chinese politics and commercial initiatives.

Fall of assets was caused by a decrease in enrollments, but also in fees, as children remained at home because of lockdowns, bringing down the amounts charged for boarding and on-the-spot tuition: 20 percent less for day-pupils and up to 35 percent less for boarders. At the same time, tuition expenditures could not be slashed because the schools needed to continue giving classes to “online pupils” and to welcome children of key workers who could not follow school from home.

Bringing schools onto the market is a corollary of the fact that they can be “for profit” companies with high tuition and boarding fees seeking the patronage of the wealthy and powerful. They are often designed to cater to the offspring of an actual or perceived elite, both British and from abroad, offering their academic excellence to help pupils achieve enrollment in the most desirable universities in the U.K. and in the U.S.

This means that the kind of education they give will ultimately express itself in the private or public careers in which their students hope to succeed – leaving their mark on the world inhabited by lesser mortals.

The Mail on Sunday’s latest edition — the Sunday edition of the Daily Mail — began its story with a dire warning: “The British schools selling out to Beijing: Not only are private institutions being bought by Chinese firms but some are giving communist-approved lessons that are a threat to free speech.”

It added that “experts anticipate a ‘feeding frenzy’ as firms, including some run by high-ranking members of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, seek to expand their influence over Britain’s education system.” The newspaper’s investigation revealed that “nine of the 17 schools” already under Chinese control “are owned by firms whose founders or bosses are among China’s most senior Communist Party members.”

One of the key companies buying up schools in Great Britain is Bright Scholar, which acquired Bournemouth Collegiate School, St Michael’s School in Llanelli, Carmarthanshire, and Bosworth Independent College in Northampton in 2018 and 2019. Its owner is Yang Huiyan, the richest woman in Asia with a reported net worth of almost 30 billion dollars, and heiress of the business founded by her father, Yang Guoqiang, a member of the Communist Party’s highest-ranking advisory council, revealed the Mail.

Bright Scholar is one of the largest “education providers” in China and is also listed on the New York Stock Exchange; its aim is “to educate the future leaders of China as well as the future backbone of Chinese society.”

A Financial Times story in 2019 showed that the group was already gaining revenue from its international acquisitions and that these are also aimed at offering foreign students, many of which come from China, a better chance of entering the best universities in the U.K. and the U.S. Its schools in China are operated in full concord with the communist authorities and the mandated teaching curriculum.

Two further independent schools, Bedstone College (the equivalent of an American high school) in Shropshire and Ipswich High School (where famous author Enid Blyton was educated) are now owned by Chinese Wanda Group, the Daily Mail notes. Wanda was founded by Wang Jianlin, a former People’s Liberation Army soldier whose fortune is estimated at some $15 billion. He is a member of China’s senior Communist Party advisory council.

Other communist party officials quoted by the Daily Mail include senior members on the board of China First Capital Group (CFCG), whichs owns Kingsley School in Devon and Heathfield Knoll School in Worcestershire. CFCG specialized in the automotive parts business until 2014, when it expanded its main activities to financial services.

Two years later, the Group “continued to diversify its business, with a mission of ‘Finance Empowers Education, Education Lights Up Future’ and to establish a trinitarians [sic] interactive business mode, which capitalised educational investment as base and both educational management service and educational financial service as cradles. The Group aspires to become ‘a globally influential financial services group focusing on education,’” to quote its own company overview.

This overall Chinese influence on British education is set to grow as schools in England face financial difficulties linked to lockdown and hyper-rich Chinese groups have the wherewithal to help them bridge the gap to better times.

It should not be forgotten that lockdowns as a response to COVID-19 “originated on the order of Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, and were propagated into global policy by the World Health Organization with little analysis or logic,” according to a noteworthy analysis by a group of lawyers and politicians who believe that “China tricked the world into committing economic suicide.”

The Daily Mail does not hesitate to claim that British schools owned by Chinese groups “are using educational tools for teaching children a ‘whitewashed view of China.’”

The Ray Education Group, which bought the Adcote School for Girls near Shrewsbury in England and the Myddelton College in Wales in 2018, has plans to use its British schools to expand to other countries as part of Communist China’s president Xi Jinping “Belt and Road Initiative” to boost China’s global economic and political influence. Calling the groups’ schools a “brand,” Ray Education’s chief executive James Hu, secretary of the Communist Party’s Hongkou district committee, called the Adcote acquisition part of its “global campus plan.” Ray’s website makes clear that the group is “relying on British brand schools and responding to the Belt and Road call to target expansion in Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, Thailand, South Africa, Nigeria and other countries.”

The Belt and Road initiative aims at creating terrestrial and maritime routes linking China with the rest of the Eurasian continent to promote exports and Chinese influence right into the heart of Western Europe, as well as East Africa and Australia, to “enhance regional connectivity and embrace a brighter future” with China at the heart of a new international trade network: a super-regional unified market stretching from Ireland to Australia and East-Africa to Vladivostok.

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The network of China-owned schools will add to the already existing, openly (communist) Sinophile “Confucius Institutes.”

LifeSite columnist Steven Mosher told EWTN that China “has set up ‘about a thousand’ schools across the USA, called ‘Confucius Institutes,’ which teach American students the Chinese government’s take on Chinese history and culture,” noted Dorothy Cummings McLean last December.

Confucius Institutes are at present under scrutiny in the United Kingdom and other Western countries because of claims that their educational resources are used as propaganda for Communist China.

The Mail on Sunday concluded its story about British schools being bought by Chinese capital with an op-ed by Nigel Farage, head of the anti-lockdown Brexit Party.

Calling for action on the part of the British government at a time when “the integrity of the education of thousands of British children [is] at stake,” he wrote:

The world is being taken over by stealth by the Chinese Communist Party. Under a neo-colonial project, President Xi Jinping hopes to achieve global economic domination via massive international investments.

It extends way beyond buying up mineral assets or Western telecommunication systems. There’s a cultural dimension that reeks of propaganda and indoctrination.

Not content with financing some British universities, we now learn that Chinese companies directly linked to the highest ranks of the Communist Party have serious financial interests in our schools …

The Government must wake up to the dangers and act quickly.

The Mail on Sunday published the results of a similar investigation last December, following a leak of 1.95 million (out of a total of 92 million) CCP member identities showing that faithful Chinese Communist Party members have “massively infiltrated” major British and European countries, including AstraZeneca, producer of one of the COVID-19 vaccines, Rolls Royce, HSBC, Jaguar and Land Rover, and that others are working in British consulates, universities and large companies.

While it is true that Communist party membership — with its requirement of secrecy and loyalty to the CCP — is a prerequisite for any kind of professional success or access to public employment in China, the Mail underscored that it is impossible to believe that at least some of these people are not involved in espionage for China.


  china, chinese communist party, chinese influence

News

France considers slowing vaccine rollout for hospital staff, with many unable to work following jab

In the university hospital of Brest in Brittany, during the first week of the vaccine rollout, 20 to 25 percent of the recipients of the vaccine had to stop work because of influenza symptoms including bad headaches, high fever and sore muscles
Mon Feb 22, 2021 - 11:46 am EST
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Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
By Jeanne Smits

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Analysis

February 22, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – The AstraZeneca experimental COVID-19 vaccine currently being given to health workers in France has caused so many side-effects that the French vaccination task force (Conseil d’orientation de la stratégie vaccinalehas recommended “a staggering of the vaccination schedule for people working in the same care unit” as well as “the systematic intake of paracetamol just before the injection and in the two following days.”

The vaccine was developed by Oxford University together with the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca by cultivating the weakened SARS-CoV-2 virus in the HEK-293 cell line derived from the kidney of an aborted baby. According to the Oxford Vaccine Centre, these weakened viruses “are purified several times to remove the cell culture material,” adding that “this makes it unlikely that any human material remains in the final vaccine.” “Unlikely”, it is worth noting, does not mean “impossible.”

The French restrictions on the AstraZeneca jab follow a series of undesirable incidents registered in several hospitals in different parts of the country where personnel were being massively inoculated from the start of the campaign on February 5. These were so numerous that the hospitals were finding themselves facing personnel shortages in ICU and COVID-19 units. In one hospital, half of the physiotherapists were on sick leave at the same time after having received the vaccine.

In the most western town of France, the university hospital of Brest in Brittany was particularly hard hit. During the first week of the campaign between 20 to 25 percent of the recipients of the vaccine had to stop work because of influenza symptoms including bad headaches, high fever and sore muscles. The hospital authorities subsequently took the decision to stop vaccinations.

Similar scenarios played out in other hospitals in Brittany and have been documented by the local media in towns such as Quimper and Morlaix. In the town of Vannes 18 percent of the vaccinated health workers were reportedly compelled to take sick leave after receiving a vaccine.

In Normandy, the hospital of Saint-Lô suspended vaccinations on February 11 after ten of the fifty or so employees vaccinated on February 10 presented symptoms of fever and nausea. By that date 10, 000 shots had been delivered to health workers and 149 “pharmacovigilance declarations” had been filed. The mRNA Pfizer and Moderna experimental vaccines that are being used for elderly people have not led to such declarations, although several reports suggest that their administration has been followed by COVID-19 contaminations and deaths in care homes.

In the Dordogne, near Bordeaux, hospital workers no longer want to get the AstraZeneca jab according to local media, since the “Hygiene and Security Committee” of the hospital of Périgueux reported that a “considerable number” – between 50 and 70 percent – of those who received it “experienced very heavy side effects,” as compared with a “tolerance level” of about 10 percent.

By February 16, no less than 363 adverse events – high intensity “pseudo-influenza syndromes” in most cases – had officially been reported in France among health workers aged 50 and under (with an average age of 31) following reception of the AstraZeneca shot. This did not prevent sanitary authorities in France from proclaiming that the frequent side-effects do not “call into question the risk/benefit ratio of the vaccine.”

This is remarkable, considering that the risk of falling ill following a SARS-CoV-2 contamination is very small at that age, while the vaccine – that boasts a mere 62 to 70 percent “efficiency rate,” – is apparently causing real symptoms bad enough to prevent work in about one in five of the young people who have received the shot.

It is not clear whether the AstraZeneca jab actually prevents contagion, as it appears that the virus has been found present in people who had received it during trials.

In France, the AstraZeneca vaccine is only administered to people under 65, as beyond that age there is currently no data proving its efficiency.  The shot is at present recommended only for health workers and people aged between 50 and 65 with comorbidities making them vulnerable to a severe form of COVID-19.

Interestingly, France appears to be the only European country where the AstraZeneca vaccine is causing such an extent of illness among health workers.

According to a pro-vaccine researcher specializing in immuno-oncology, Dr. Eric Billy, the situation is linked to the age of the people being vaccinated. While the mRNA shots are being given to the elderly aged over 75 and health workers over 50, the median age of those who get the AstraZeneca shots is 34.

“The older a person is, the slower the immune system’s response to the vaccine, so by default, older people develop fewer side effects from the vaccine because their immune system reacts too weakly,” explained Eric Billy. Inversely, he said, younger people have a “very reactive immune system, and it’s rather reassuring that there are these kinds of side effects, it shows that there is an immune response.” If the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, for example, were in turn administered to much younger people than at present, the side effects would also probably be more intense than those currently seen, he argued: “It’s not as if 10 percent of vaccinations were followed by hospitalization.” He simply recommended staggering administration of the vaccine in order to avoid practical issues.

The question that he did not answer is the one regarding the giving of vaccines to people over 75 with weakened immune systems. Is this useful? Can it be dangerous?

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Another specialist interviewed by a mainstream television station, BFMTV, reacted to the news by suggesting that the AstraZeneca shot should not be used for health workers at all. Dr. Jérôme Marty, president of the French Union for Liberty in Medicine, stated that it would be better to “keep it for young, healthy people who are at a small risk” of developing a severe form of COVID.

One wonders why it would be useful to vaccinate this category of healthy, low risk individuals at all, given Marty’s subsequent remarks. 

“If a caregiver is vaccinated with this vaccine, it will not prevent the caregiver from transmitting the disease to the patient,” Dr. Marty said. “Very often in health care institutions, the disease is transmitted through the caregivers, this is called a nosocomial infection, and this vaccine doesn’t reduce contagiousness, or only slightly. It is therefore not the most effective vaccine for this purpose.”

The AstraZeneca shot is also reportedly inefficient as regards the South-African variant of COVID-19, so much so that it has been banned in South Africa but also by the French authorities in the eastern “département” of Moselle where this variant is predominant.

Another interesting point was raised by Dr. Alain Fischer, a senior advisor to the French government on vaccines, following the multiple side-effects registered in Saint-Lô, Normandy. Downplaying the importance of these events, he said that the stronger immune system of young people was probably to blame, but added that symptoms after the shot could be linked to the fact that they had “already had COVID.”

The head of the emergency unit of the Avicenne Hospital in the suburbs of Paris, Frédéric Adnet, told the mainstream television news station LCI that the most probable hypothesis explaining the wave of debilitating side-effects among French caregivers is that they had contracted COVID during previous weeks.

“When we vaccinate people who have had the disease, there can be some rather explosive reactions,” said Adnet. “As they already have antibodies, and therefore immunity, the body thinks it is infected again and reacts violently. Our hypothesis is that we observe this type of reaction in people who are vaccinated too soon after the end of the disease.”

This again raises questions as to the safety of giving the shot to people who have already developed immunity to the disease and who are exposed to it not as they would normally be via outside infection but through an intramuscular shot, short-circuiting the ordinary barriers and defenses of the body.

In France, the official recommendation is that people who have had COVID-19 during the last three months should not receive any anti-COVID-19 vaccine or experimental shot.

Adnet believes this should be taken more seriously, asking: “Shouldn’t systematic serology be carried out on caregivers who are vaccinated to find out whether they have not contracted the disease asymptomatically?”

Meanwhile, there is little enthusiasm for the AstraZeneca vaccine in France. The government has bought 550,000 doses of which only half have found takers among general practitioners, and pre-ordered a total of 44 million shots, whose recommended usage in France involves two jabs nine to twelve weeks apart.

Last Wednesday, days before the first doses will reach the offices of those family doctors’ who have ordered them for their patients over the age of 50 (less than 30,000 general practitioners out of a total of 101,000), the General Health Office (DGS) recommended that patients who receive the AstraZeneca vaccine be placed under observation for at least 15 minutes in order to screen for possible adverse reactions.

The same mistrust is visible in hospitals. “There’s nobody around. We have 100 doses, we’ve registered between 15 and 20 people” deplored Benjamin Davido, vaccine referent at the Garches hospital near Paris last Friday.

Side effects and less efficiency than that presented by Pfizer and Moderna for their experimental mRNA shots are the reasons put forward. Before the vaccination campaign started, health minister Olivier Véran stated that people would have not be able to choose which of the experimental COVID-19 vaccines they would take, but rather would have to take the one provided by the health services.

LifeSiteNews has produced an extensive COVID-19 vaccines resources page.  View it here.


  coronavirus vaccine, france

News

Evidence seems to indicate ‘algorithm manipulation’ in the 2020 election

absentee vote results for Republicans and Democrats appear to ‘track one another’ in several counties.
Mon Feb 22, 2021 - 10:49 am EST
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February 22, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Statistical experts say they’ve found patterns in 2020 election data that suggest “algorithm manipulation” may have affected absentee votes in multiple states.

The findings were initially cited in reports of swing state voting patterns compiled by John Droz, a physicist and founder of Alliance for Wise Energy Decision in North Carolina. Droz described the reports to LifeSiteNews as the work of “a team of statistical experts (PhDs) who expressed an interest to working on this topic of national importance, for free.”

In an analysis of Michigan’s 2020 results, two statisticians working with Droz, Dr. William M. Briggs and Thomas Davis, found that absentee vote results for Republicans and Democrats appear to “track one another” in several counties.

Briggs, a former professor at Cornell Medical School, and Davis, an IT entrepreneur and former Michigan State University professor, say that the findings indicate fraud. They confirmed to LifeSite that courts may never have seen the data.

The two experts’ analysis, titled “Irrational MI Absentee Ballots Findings,” features graphs of vote totals for Democrats and Republicans in recent presidential elections based on state data.

Brigg and Davis said that while Michigan’s high level of absentee voting among Democrats in 2020 didn’t raise suspicions, patterns at the precinct level did, with suspicious correlations between the percentages of votes for either major party that were cast by absentee or mail-in ballots.

They pointed to Ingham County, citing Ingham’s 2016 absentee vote data as an example of “what normal results should look like.”

Image
Michigan 2020 Voting Analysis Report / screenshot

The blue line in the graph above shows the percentage of all Democrat votes, in this case for Hillary Clinton, that were cast via absentee ballots in Ingham County precincts. The red line, in turn, indicates the percentage of all Republican (Trump) votes from absentee ballots in the same precints.

“Note the irregularities that occur: some precincts are higher for [Republicans] some are higher for [Democrats],” they said. “More importantly, the difference between the two [Republican minus Democrat] varies widely — from plus to minus. In other words: neither the red line nor the blue line has a discernable pattern.”

Unlike the 2016 data, the results from the 2020 election do evidence a “discernable pattern,” Briggs and Davis said, calling the comparison between the results “dramatic.”

Image
Michigan 2020 Voting Analysis Report / screenshot

“Not surprisingly, the percentage of Democratic absentee voters exceeds the percentage of Republican absentee voters in every precinct. What is remarkable (and unbelievable) is that these two independent variables appear to track one another,” the two experts said.

“There is no apparent legitimate explanation for the two absentee lines to be tracking each other like that — other than it being due to a computer algorithm,” they continued.

Graphs of election data from Michigan’s Macomb and Oakland counties included in the report show the same pattern. Briggs and Davis flagged a total of ten Michigan counties as problematic, although many jurisdictions didn’t post relevant data, they said.

A widespread anomaly

Michigan was far from the only state affected by suspicious correlations in absentee vote results in 2020, Davis told LifeSiteNews. In a report provided to LifeSite, he outlined similar issues in dozens of counties across twenty states, including nearly all battleground states.

Image
Report by Thomas Davis / screenshot
Image
Report by Thomas Davis / screenshot

“From a statistical perspective these are independent variables — which have no relationship with one another,” Davis said of the respective absentee vote results for Democrats and Republicans. “Yet, the graphical representation of these values in many cases reveals a clear pattern, even to a casual observer.”

“That the same type of pattern is seen across such a wide variety of locations is truly remarkable,” he continued. “Algorithmic manipulation of absentee votes remains a plausible explanation.”

Image
Report by Thomas Davis / screenshot
Image
Report by Thomas Davis / screenshot

Davis mentioned that he is not aware of any of these findings having been seen in court. “Although the snake graphs clearly represent a statistical anomaly worthy of further investigation,” they didn’t garner much traction in the frenzied weeks following the election,” he said.

“Many people dismissed them out of hand because the blue line riding above the red line is consistent with the narrative, ‘Dems pushed absentee voting; Reps encouraged in-person voting,’” he added. “And, while this may be true, the fact that the two lines follow the same contour — revealing a statistical correlation — got overlooked,” Davis said.

In the Michigan report, Briggs and Davis called for a hand recount or forensic audit in the impacted counties. Michigan, like many states identified in election fraud complaints, has yet to conduct a full recount or audit of 2020 votes.

Tracking” vote gains

Among the counties flagged by Droz’s team was Pennsylvania’s Allegheny County, which encompasses the city of Pittsburgh and has been at the center of numerous election integrity lawsuits. Allegheny, a stronghold for Democrats, helped push Biden over the top in the Keystone State last year, with over 50,000 apparently new Democratic voters.

An affidavit signed in December by Davis and other statisticians that was provided to LifeSite attests to the same pattern as in Ingham. The declaration points to an anomalous “40-50% advantage almost uniformly above the Republican absentee vote percentage” for Democrats in the county.

Moreover, the experts flagged Allegheny not only for suspicious vote totals, but also for correlated time data of absentee vote tabulation across hundreds of precincts. A Pennsylvania election analysis organized by John Droz reported that increases in the amounts of votes gained by each candidate showed “bizarre” conformity during Allegheny’s vote counting process.

“While there are many timestamps, any selection of those timestamps — whether using many or a few — show perfect lockstep updates,” the report reads. “This holds perfectly true for all three candidates, with no timestamp breaking the mold.”

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Pennsylvania 2020 Voter Analysis Report / screenshot

“The results of the Allegheny time-series incremental absentee votes defy reality in a perfectly synchronous fashion — with all 1,300 precincts and candidates marching perfectly in time toward their eventual total of 340,000 absentee votes,” it continues.

“Looking at the percent share of each candidate per timestamp the ratio nearly perfectly fixed all throughout November 4th and 5th,” the report adds. “The % gain starts deviating slightly by November 7th, but not much.”

“Checking if this is some kind of bizarre anomaly only at an aggregate level, we checked into the precinct level data,” it reads, noting that “one would not expect [Allegheny precincts] to update at roughly the same rate as each other.”

However, “sure enough, they do track with each other,” the report found.

Image
Pennsylvania 2020 Voter Analysis Report / screenshot

“Precincts 1-254 are shown each marching toward their eventual 100% take of absentees, with very few leaving the pack to complete early or start late,” according to the analysis. “Other graphs have some variance, but the overall picture is consistent across time and candidate.”

Droz’s team analyzed data from Edison, a research firm that provides exit-polling data to major news outlets, and compared the information to public datasets, according to the December affidavit. Courts may not have seen these findings either, a source close to the Droz team told LifeSite.

Lack of judicial interest in evidence brought by Republicans in the aftermath of the election hasn’t been unusual, as Droz and his associates also have said. According to a list of over 80 court decisions put together by the group, only 27% of election lawsuits filed by Republicans and other groups were fully adjudicated on merits.

The list includes decisions like one by the Wisconsin Supreme Court that dismissed a Trump campaign lawsuit though the court did not hear the case. Several other courts rejected suits on the grounds that Republicans or the president lacked legal standing or failed on other technical counts, while other judges determined the opposite, some ultimately ruling in favor of Trump or the GOP.

“At this point we’re all tired of the dishonest assertion that there was no 2020 Presidential vote fraud, malfeasance or other irregularities/illegalities, supposedly because ‘the courts dismissed those claims as unfounded, wildly exaggerated, etc.,’” Droz said to LifeSite. “[T]hat is simply not true,” he said.


  2020 election, election integrity, john droz, thomas davis, william briggs

News

Alberta Premier who jailed Christian pastor claims he is protecting ‘fundamental freedoms of religion’

'Alberta’s government will always respect and protect the fundamental freedoms of religion and worship, period,' Premier Jason Kenney recently claimed
Mon Feb 22, 2021 - 9:24 am EST
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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney (right) Bing Wen / Shutterstock.com
Anthony Murdoch
By Anthony Murdoch

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EDMONTON, Alberta, February 22, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has released a statement regarding the jailing of Grace Life Church’s (Grace Life) Pastor James Coates, saying his imprisonment is “unfortunate,” but that Coates had “flagrantly” violated COVID rules.  

“I know how important faith is to many people’s lives. So I want to be absolutely clear: Alberta’s government will always respect and protect the fundamental freedoms of religion and worship, period,” wrote Kenney in a post on his Facebook page Thursday. 

“Unlike other jurisdictions, Alberta has sought to do this in a way that constitutes a minimal impairment of freedom of worship. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of almost all congregations to worship in a careful way that protects vulnerable lives, one or two congregations have chosen flagrantly to violate all public health guidelines. In doing so, they are risking viral transmission that could cost vulnerable lives.”

According to the legal team representing Coates and Grace Life however, Coates was - despite claims from Kenney - “jailed” for holding a church service. 

“For the first time ever, Alberta has arrested and incarcerated a Christian minister for the ‘crime’ of holding a church service,” reads a portion of a letter addressed to Kenney regarding Coates from Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) President John Carpay.

The JCCF letter addressed to Kenney demands that COVID orders he scrapped, and that Coates be released at once. 

“The Charter envisions a ‘free and democratic’ society. Under your permissive watch, Dr. Hinshaw has been permitted to turn Alberta into a police state where neither freedom nor democracy are apparent. It is past time for the Alberta legislature to review all of Dr. Hinshaw' s Orders. And it is far past time for your government to cease its religious persecution,” wrote Carpay in his letter to Kenney. 

“We are calling for the immediate release of Pastor Coates, and the rescission of Dr. Hinshaw' s tyrannical orders against Alberta's churches. We hope you will no longer continue to hide behind the decisions of others, and, instead, fulfill your duty to uphold the fundamental freedoms of Albertans.”

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Kenney’s statement also claimed via wordsmithing that there is no “restriction on preaching” in Alberta and that to suggest so is “completely false.” He also noted that under Alberta law, “no one has been or will be fined or sanctioned for preaching.” 

Coates and Grace Life Church, located in Spruce Grove, Alberta, are being represented by the JCCF. 

On Sunday, February 14, Coates held a church service for his congregation, which was in violation of a January 29 order by Alberta Health Services (AHS), which had demanded that the church doors shut.

Coates was notified last week by the RCMP that they planned to arrest him for defying the COVID-19 shutdown order and asked him to turn himself in. Coates complied, and was jailed for ministering to his congregation

He is currently awaiting trial, after refusing to agree to bail conditions that he agree not to hold more church services that violate COVID-19 government restrictions.

The AHS order came about because of multiple visits by health authorities to the church over the previous weeks and months. The visits, according to AHS, showed that the church had been repeatedly violating the provincial rules forcing people to wear masks and stay away from each other along with strictures regarding building capacity.

Coates has been charged with contravening the orders put in place by Alberta’s chief medical officer of health (CMOH), Dr. Deena Hinshaw, and with “breaching an undertaking, even though he did not agree to the undertaking” according to the Parkland RCMP. 

While the charges against Coates may not be technically be directly due to the physical action of preaching to his congregation, they stem from the fact that his violation of the COVID health rules occurred during a church service (which usually includes preaching), which limit congregation size and mandate masks. 

Grace Life, which can hold nearly 400 congregants, is located close to Alberta’s capital city of Edmonton. Under the current Alberta COVID rules, churches and other places of worship can operate at no more than 15 percent of the capacity allowed by the building fire code. Masks are mandatory, as are the sanitation of hands and keeping away from other people.

In December, Coates received a $1200 fine for allegedly holding a service at more than the allowed capacity.

Kenney’s letter claimed that “anybody in Alberta can preach their faith and, and religious communities are encouraged to gather in congregational worship within the safe guidelines laid out by Alberta Health.”

Grace Life has said that the frequent inspections by AHS officials could be “a potential criminal offense, pursuant to section 176(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada,” which bans the interrupting or disturbing of a religious worship service.

Kenney, who is a Catholic, said that on Ash Wednesday, he joined “many fellow believers at an Edmonton Church to participate in Ash Wednesday observances,” noting at the “great care” taken by “volunteers and clergy” to ensure health guidelines were being followed.

“As a Christian, I call on fellow believers to be guided by the principle of the sanctity of human life in how we act during this pandemic. COVID-19 has claimed millions of lives around the world, including the lives of more than 1800 Albertans, despite extraordinary efforts to limit viral spread,” said Kenney. 

Kenney then went on to note that “vast majority of those whose lives have been threatened or lost are amongst the most vulnerable, such as the very elderly and frail.” 

“That is why we have put in place capacity limits and masking requirements for congregational worship, particularly given several viral outbreaks that occurred last year.” 

Carpay directly challenged Kenney to ensure that Albertan’s Charter rights are respected. He wrote to Kenney stating that Coates and his congregation “have a constitutional right to assemble for worship in accordance with the dictates of their conscience and religion,” without government setting what rules should be followed.

“That is their obligation to God, and they are going to continue to obey their conscience and religious convictions when Dr. Hinshaw' s orders come into conflict with the requirements of their God,” stated Carpay in his letter to Kenney.  

“We remind you, since it is apparent that you need a reminder: the Constitution is the supreme law in Canada, not the Orders of Dr. Hinshaw.” 

LifeSiteNews sent inquiries to the office of Alberta’s Catholic premier, Jason Kenney, as well as the Alberta Ministry of Health on Thursday, asking why the government has allowed Coates to be placed in jail for holding a church service. As of press time Friday, there has been no response to either inquiry.

Contact:

Premier of Alberta Jason Kenney

Office of the Premier
307 Legislature Building
10800 - 97 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta  T5K 2B6

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 780-427-2251

To contact your local MLA, visit the link below.:

https://www.assembly.ab.ca/members/members-of-the-legislative-assembly


  alberta, james coates, jason kenney, justice centre for constitutional freedoms, lockdowns

News

LifeSite extends Unmasking COVID-19 Conference replays

If you haven't had a chance to view all five segments, you still have time!
Mon Feb 22, 2021 - 9:23 am EST
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By LifeSiteNews staff

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February 22, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — We’re excited to announce the video replay for Unmasking COVID-19: Vaccines, Mandates, and Global Health will be available all week and into next weekend.

Due to the extreme popularity of the conference and the vital nature of the information provided by the speakers, we have extended the video replay availability to allow the maximum number of people to view all five information-packed segments.

We have received numerous emails from people stating they were on the fence about getting the COVID-19 vaccine. After hearing from the experts, they have completely decided against receiving the shot.

If you haven’t had a chance to view all five talks, head to our registration page. Once you input your name and email, you will be taken directly to the video replays — for free!

Be sure to scroll down on the conference page to get to all five of the talks.

Discussion 1: Topics include the dangers of the COVID-19 vaccines, mask mandates, and Big Pharma’s influence in politics.

Discussion 2: Topics include bodily health, cures for the coronavirus, and the psychological affects of COVID lockdowns.

Discussion 3: Topics include hydroxycloroquine (HCQ) and alternative treatments to the coronavirus, aborted fetal cell use in vaccines, family life and children during COVID.

Discussion 4: Topics include religious liberty, lockdown laws, free speech, and censorship issues.

Discussion 5: Topics include the moral aspects of the COVID vaccine, the political impact of the virus, and aborted fetal cells used in the COVID vaccines.

We would also strongly encourage you to share this information with your friends and family. It is vital that everyone know and understand the truth about the COVID-19 vaccine, the harm of masks, and the nefarious nature of lockdowns.

To access the talks, simply input your name and email on this page: https://www.lifesitenews.com/unmasking-vaccines/


  covid-19 vaccine, globalism, lockdowns, social distancing, unmasking vaccines conference, unmasking vaccines: ethics, mandates, and global health, vaccines

News

Major US pro-family group MassResistance suddenly dropped by bank

MassResistance, a major American pro-family organization, has helped to stop numerous radical pro-LBGT state bills in recent years.
Mon Feb 22, 2021 - 8:10 am EST
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February 22, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — MassResistance, a major American pro-family organization, was suddenly dropped by their bank earlier this month, leaving them unable to process donations for more than a week, the group said.

In a statement released last week, MassResistance reported that it suddenly discovered that their credit card processing had been shut down on February 8. “For nine harrowing days we worked to deal with this,” the group said, while online payments to them were declined or delayed.

“The bank had abruptly decided that it didn’t want to deal with a pro-family conservative organization,” they added. 

MassResistance, a major American pro-family organization, has helped to stop numerous radical pro-LBGT state bills in recent years. In 2019, the group notably mobilized successful parent-driven pushback against a “comprehensive sex-ed” bill in Washington that would have mandated graphic, anti-family sex-ed for all public-school children in the state.

After previously being targeted by the Southern Poverty Law Center for “hate,” MassResistance has been blacklisted for years by Amazon, a major web hosting company, and even some pro-LGBT “conservatives.”

“We all know about the vicious efforts by Big Tech, Corporate America, and the Left that have erupted to silence and destroy conservatives – usually called the ‘cancel culture.’ The financial industry has been particularly aggressive,” MassResistance said. 

They noted that Bank of America was found to have combed through customers’ data at the U.S. government’s request after the January 6 Capitol protest, leading to the interrogation of an innocent Trump supporter. Major banks and other financial services have “debanked” the former U.S. president, despite previously backing the exorbitantly violentBlack Lives Matter movement. 

The anti-conservative corporate purge also has been accompanied by multi-million dollar funding campaigns for LGBT causes, including to promote anti-family ideology to kids. 

“The corporate culture in the financial industry is very poisonous. They give hundreds of millions of dollars to Black Lives Matter/Antifa organizations as well as anti-family LGBT groups and Planned Parenthood,” MassResistance noted. 

The pro-family group reportedly joined a new bank on Tuesday, thanking their “Christian-run” merchant service provider, Cornerstone Payment Services, for sticking with them and managing the shift.

“Pro-family and conservative groups may be tempted to use ‘easy’ solutions like Pay-Pal, Stripe, and Square – but these are horrible anti-family companies that will eventually de-platform you,” MassResistance said.

Other Christian leaders have made renewed calls for conservative resistance to far-left corporate agendas, like Gab CEO Andrew Torba who has pushed for a “silent seccesion” to build a “Christian economy.”

“At this point we have no choice but to ‘build our own’ everything. That starts by supporting those who are already building and share our values. It’s not about simply building our own social networking platforms anymore, it’s about building our own Christian economy,” Torba said.

“In totalitarian countries such as Nazi Germany, the USSR, and Communist China, the ‘cancel culture’ was always the first step before death camps,” MassResistance warned. 

“The people who decide to fire you or destroy your business because of your beliefs actually want to destroy you personally. Normal people don’t do this to others,” they said.


  anti-conservative bias, bank of america, massresistance

News

UK group launches trial to test experimental COVID-19 vaccine on children as young as six

The threat of a COVID-19 infection remains essentially irrelevant to school-aged children due to their 99.997% survival rate
Mon Feb 22, 2021 - 7:30 am EST
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OXFORD, England, February 22, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Oxford University’s Vaccine Group is recruiting children from the age of 6 to participate in an experimental COVID-19 vaccine trial, despite young children facing almost no danger from the virus.

“We have a new COVID-19 study open for recruitment. If your child is aged 6-17 years and in good health they may be eligible to participate,” the group tweeted earlier this month.

The study seeks to assess the safety and effectiveness of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine (also known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 ), and enroll 300 children to participate. Up to 240 kids will be injected with the experimental COVID-19 vaccination while the rest will receive as a control group, a licensed vaccine for Meningitis B (MenB, Bexsero).

British mental health ethicist and academic, Niall McCrae condemned the encouragement of parents to enter their children in a COVID-19 vaccine trial as “very wrong,” Church Militant reports.

“Children should not be lab rats for the benefit of Big Pharma and the Great Reset. I would go as far as saying this is tantamount to child abuse,” Dr. McCrae warned.

“Vaccinating children against coronaviruses is unjustifiable, given the minimal risk of infection and transmission,” The King’s College lecturer continued. “I sat on a National Health Service (NHS) ethics committee for 11 years, and I'm very worried about the apparent disregard for established scientific and ethical standards to serve the COVID regime.” 

Established scientific and ethical standards with regards to experimentation on humans, can be found in the Nuremburg Code of 1947, which came about as a result of the post-World War II trials and convictions of Nazi doctors who had conducted deadly experiments, without the subjects’ consent, on prisoners of war. 

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The Nuremberg Code’s first principle provides the strict conditions for establishing voluntary consent, including that the subject “should have legal capacity to give consent,” along with “sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved.” In addition, such consent “may not be delegated to another with impunity.”

Thus, McCrae urged parents to understand “that they will be held responsible, not only the pharma company, for any serious harm caused by this experiment” on their child.

The sixth principle of the Code affirms that the “The degree of risk to be taken should never exceed that determined by the humanitarian importance of the problem to be solved by the experiment.”

Given that the threat of a COVID-19 infection remains essentially “irrelevant” to school-aged children due to their 99.997% survival rate, McCrae notes that subjecting them to any dangers from an experimental vaccine remains “unjustifiable.” 

Other moral concerns derive from the fact that the development of the AstraZeneca experimental vaccine used the HEK-293 cell line made from fetal cells harvested from the kidney tissue of a baby girl who was aborted in the Netherlands in 1972. 

As confirmed by the Vatican’s recent “Note on the morality of using some anti-Covid-19 vaccines,” at the very least, to consider the use of such a morally tainted vaccine, there must first be a “grave danger” which no one has alleged is the case for children.


  astrazeneca, coronavirus vaccine, covid-19, hek-293, oxford vaccine group

Opinion

How the Biden administration is politicizing the military

Defense readiness is clearly not a priority for the new defense secretary.
Mon Feb 22, 2021 - 9:30 pm EST
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James S. Corum
By James Corum

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February 22, 2021 (American Thinker) — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has made it absolutely clear that the U.S. military’s top priority is not facing external threats, such as the Chinese or Iran’s aggressive strategy in the Middle East or foreign terrorist groups.  Instead, Austin sees the main threat as coming from within the U.S. military.  In his confirmation hearings, Austin said that he would make it his priority to combat racism and extremism in the United States military. Once confirmed as defense secretary, he ordered a two-month stand-down of the American military in order to examine the problems of extremism among military personnel.

National defense is supposed to be a bipartisan endeavor, yet never before has a defense secretary made such overt moves to politicize the military.  Austin’s order to remove all Trump appointees to the 42 Defense Department advisory boards is unprecedented and downright stupid. I have some experience with advisory boards in a military organization and find them very useful. Advisory boards are a second set of eyes from outside the organization to review policies, planning or course curricula and offer suggestions. Often outside advisors spot a problem your organization overlooked or offer good ideas for better policy implementation. And it’s useful to have a diversity of ideas for policy review. But cutting off all input from anyone connected to Trump (representing 74 million voters) and accepting advice only from Biden loyalists will ensure only party line thinking will be allowed in the military. Two notable defense secretaries were famous for not listening to advice or tolerating debate on policy as they insisted it was “their way or the highway” in defense decisions. Those secretaries were Robert McNamara and Donald Rumsfeld, and both led our armed forces into military disaster. Lloyd Austin seems bent on choosing the worst defense secretaries in our history as his leadership models.

Defense readiness is clearly not a priority for Austin. The deployment of thousands of National Guard troops to Washington, which will last until March, will cost the Defense Budget $483 million. This is an awful lot of money to spend on pure political theater against a nonexistent threat.  Yet withdrawing $483 million from the military’s operations and training budget means that in this next year many National Guard unit exercises will be either cut or cancelled completely.  Note that higher unit training is a requirement for maintaining unit efficiency and readiness.  So, we can expect a major downturn in our military capabilities.

An especially troublesome feature of Austin’s focus on extremism is the preference of the military and the FBI to employ the ultra-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as their authority on extremism. According to the SPLC, numerous groups that hold traditional views on Christian faith, or which lobby on political issues, are classified as extremist.  For example, the SPLC describes the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which has a large membership and lobbies for more restrictive immigration policies, as extremist. Yet, according to the latest Rasmussen polls, a strong majority of Americans favors more restrictions on immigration.

Conservative Christian groups such as the Family Research Council, the Ruth Institute, and the Alliance Defending Freedom are listed as extremists.  Yet such groups simply adhere to mainstream, 2,000-year-old Christian doctrines concerning human sexuality.   Consequently, they oppose gay marriage, argue there are two, not 52, sexes, and oppose homosexual ideology from within the Christian tradition.  All the aforementioned groups are completely peaceful, do not advocate violence, and operate within the American democratic system.  The positions they hold may be unpopular with the Biden administration, but they represent the core beliefs of tens of millions of Americans including all social classes and millions of minority voters as well.

A very disturbing new tendency is the call by some Democrat leaders to investigate the personal civilian lives of members of the Reserve Forces and National Guard. Ever since the founding of the modern Reserve/National Guard system at the turn of the twentieth century, the relationship between the part-time citizen-soldier and the military has been carefully regulated by the Constitution, by law, and by tradition.  It allows for a part-time citizen-soldier to maintain a civilian life separate from life in uniform -- including civilian involvement in politics.  National Guard and Reserve members of all services have full freedom to run for political office, to make statements, and propose policies in their civilian political lives without either sanction or punishment from the military.  It is when they put on the uniform and serve on active duty that they are no longer politicians and must conform to the military regulations and act in a fully apolitical manner.  In fact, this system has worked very effectively for over a century. 

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Take the example of Senator Barry Goldwater in his election campaign against Lyndon Johnson in 1964.  Senator Goldwater, in his campaign literature and speeches, made an issue of President Johnson’s business relationship with Texas con man and big-time crook Billie Sol Estes, and his very close relationship with the incredibly sleazy Robert Gene “Bobby” Baker, who served under Johnson as Secretary of the U.S. Senate.  Goldwater’s charges of Johnson’s corruption (and Johnson was a very corrupt politician) were fair and fully within the tradition of United States politics. However, Barry Goldwater was, at the time he ran for president, also a major general in the Air Force Reserve.  Goldwater, who had the very tough and dangerous duty of serving as an Army Air Forces transport pilot over the Himalayas to China during World War II, had moved up through the Air Force ranks by merit.  He had thousands of flight hours and was by all accounts an exceptionally capable pilot and a competent unit commander.  Yet, in the American tradition of the citizen-soldier, when he put on his uniform and carried out his military duties, he left politics behind, as was right and proper.  In 1964, despite the heated nature of the election, it would have been unthinkable for the military to have punished or sanctioned Senator Goldwater in his military status for making strong statements against the president as a politician. 

But will that tradition of the citizen-soldier, currently allowed under law and the Constitution, be allowed to continue under Secretary Austin? The current use of the FBI to examine the civilian lives and social media of 25,000 mobilized National Guardsmen, and the call by Democrats to likewise investigate the social media and civilian life of prospective military recruits, sends the dangerous signal that one’s political life as a citizen is likely to be cancelled in Lloyd Austin’s Defense Department.  

Austin’s steps to politicize the military to a degree never seen before means a culture war on the conservative half of America. That might make Austin extremely popular with Biden, but it will make recruitment and retention for the armed forces pretty difficult. The U.S. military comes disproportionately from the politically/socially conservative states (especially the South) where the military is respected. If Austin bans conservatives from the military under the SPLC definition of “extremism” and takes away the constitutional rights of citizen soldiers in the Reserve and Guard, he’ll never get enough recruits from the liberal states.

James S. Corum PhD is a military historian, author and co-author of 14 books, and is a retired lieutenant colonel in the US Army Reserve.

Published with permission from the American Thinker.


  american thinker, joe biden, lloyd austin, secretary of defense, united states military

Opinion

Abp. Viganò: ‘Fratelli tutti’ means acceptance of everything…except being Catholic

Curiously, ecumenical openness, the synodal path and the pachamama do not prevent the showing of intolerance towards Catholics whose only fault is that that they do not want to apostatize from the Faith.
Mon Feb 22, 2021 - 3:05 pm EST
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Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò
By

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following was originally written on February 3.

February 22, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — While nations that were once Catholic introduce laws that promote abortion and euthanasia, gender theory and sodomitical “marriages;” while in the United States a legitimately elected President is seen to be usurped in the White House by a corrupt, depraved, and pro-abortion “President” placed in power by a gigantic fraud to the sycophantic applause of Bergoglio and progressive bishops; while the world population is held hostage by plotters and conspirators who profit from the psycho-pandemic and the imposition of ineffective and dangerous pseudo-vaccines, the solicitude of Francis is focused on catechesis, in a monologue staged on January 30 for the selected audience of the National Catechetical Office of the Italian Bishops’ Conference [CEI]. The show was presented on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Catechetical Office, “an indispensable instrument for catechetical renewal after the Second Vatican Council.”

In this monologue, written in all probability by some grey functionary of the CEI in an outline form and then developed off the cuff thanks to the improvisation in which the August orator excels, all the words that are dear to the followers of the conciliar church are used: first and foremost the word “kerygma” that every good modernist can never omit in his homilies, despite the fact he is almost always ignorant of the meaning of the Greek term, which with all probability he does not even know how to decline without stumbling on accents and endings. Obviously the ignorance of those who repeat the refrain of Vatican II is the instrumentum regni ever since the clergy were forced to set aside Catholic doctrine in order to privilege the creative approach of the new way. Certainly, using the word announcement instead of kerygma would trivialize the speeches of the initiates, and also reveal the contemptuous intolerance of this elite caste towards the majority who stubbornly cling to the forbidden post-Tridentine notionism.

It is no coincidence that the innovators detest with all their strength the Catechism of Saint Pius X, which in the brevity and clarity of its questions and answers does not leave any margins for the catechist’s creativity. The catechist should be – but for sixty years no longer has been – the one who transmits that which he has received, not an elusive “personal recollection” of salvation history that from time to time chooses which truths to transmit and which ones to leave aside in order not to offend his listeners.

In the merciful Bergoglian church, the heir of the post-conciliar church (which are both variants of a spirit that that no longer has anything Catholic about it), it is licit to discuss, contest, and reject any dogma, any truth of the Faith, any magisterial document, and any papal pronunciation prior to 1958. Since, according to the words of Francis, one can be “brothers and sisters of everyone, independently of faith.” Any believer can clearly understand the very grave implications of the present pseudo-magisterium, which brazenly contradicts the constant teaching of Sacred Scripture, the Divine Tradition, and the apostolic Magisterium. However, the naive victim of decades of conciliar reprogramming of Catholics could believe that, in this composite babel of heretics, protesters, and those given over to vice, there remains at least some space for those who are orthodox, devoted subjects of the Roman Pontiff, and virtuous.

All brothers, independently of faith? This principle of tolerant and indistinct acceptance knows no limits... except for actually being Catholic. In fact, we read in the monologue given by Bergoglio in the Sala Clementina on January 30:

This is magisterium: the Council is the magisterium of the Church. Either you are with the Church and therefore you follow the Council, and if you do not follow the Council or you interpret it in your own way, as you wish, you are not with the Church. We must be demanding and strict on this point. The Council should not be negotiated in order to have more of these... No, the Council as it is. And this problem that we are experiencing, of selectivity with respect to the Council, has been repeated throughout history with other Councils.

May the reader have the goodness not to dwell on the uncertain prose of our orator, who in his “off the cuff” improvisation combines doctrinal chaos with the slaughter of syntax. The message of the speech to catechists precipitates the merciful words of Fratelli tutti into contradiction, forcing a necessary change of the title of the “encyclical” letter to: “All Brothers, with the exception of Catholics.” And if it is very true and acceptable that the Councils of the Catholic Church are part of the Magisterium, the same cannot be said for the only “council” of the new church, which – as I have stated many times – constitutes the most colossal deception that was ever carried out by the Shepherds of the Lord’s flock; a deception – repetita juvant – which occurred in the moment in which a clique of conspiring experts decided to use the instruments of ecclesiastical governance – authority, magisterial acts, papal discourses, documents of the Congregations, texts of the Liturgy – with a purpose opposed to that which the Divine Founder established when he instituted the Holy Church. In so doing, the subjects were forced to adhere to a new religion, ever more blatantly anti-Catholic and ultimately antichristic, usurping the sacred Authority of the old, despised and deprecated pre-conciliar religion.

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We therefore find ourselves in the grotesque situation of hearing the denial of the Most Holy Trinity, the divinity of Jesus Christ, the doctrine of Suffrages for the dead, the purposes of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, Transubstantiation, and the perpetual Virginity of Mary Most Holy without incurring any canonical sanction (if this were not the case, almost all the consultors of Vatican II and the present Roman Curia would already have been excommunicated); but “if you do not follow the Council or you interpret it in your own way, as you wish, you are not with the Church.” Bergoglio’s gloss on this demanding condemnation of any criticism of the Council leaves us truly incredulous:

It makes me think of a group of bishops who left after Vatican I, a group of lay people, groups, to continue the “true doctrine” that was not that of Vatican I: “We are the true Catholics.” Today they ordain women.

It should be noted that “a group of bishops, a group of lay people, groups” that refused to adhere to the infallibly defined doctrine of the First Vatican Ecumenical Council were immediately condemned and excommunicated, while today they would be welcomed with open arms “regardless of faith,” and that the Popes who at that time condemned the Old Catholics would today condemn Vatican II and would be accused by Bergoglio of “not being with the Church.” On the other hand, the lectresses and acolytesses of recent invention are not a prelude to anything else except the place of “Today they ordain women” where those who abandon the teaching of Christ invariably end up.

Curiously, ecumenical openness, the synodal path and the pachamama do not prevent the showing of intolerance towards Catholics whose only fault is that that they do not want to apostatize from the Faith. And yet, when Bergoglio speaks of “no concession to those who try to present a catechesis that does not agree with the Magisterium of the Church,” he disavows himself and the alleged primacy of the pastoral over doctrine that is theorized in Amoris Lætitia as the conquest of those who build bridges and not walls, to use an expression dear to the courtiers of Santa Marta. 

So from now on we could update the incipit of the Athanasian Creed: Quicumque vult salvus esse, ante omnia opus est, ut teneat Modernistarum hæresim. 

+ Carlo Maria Viganò, Archbishop

February 3, 2021

Sancti Blasii Episcopi et Martyris

Official translation


  carlo maria viganò, crisis in the church

Opinion

Respected Catholic author: Rome without a Pope - Jorge Mario Bergoglio is there, but not Peter

Bergoglio, who does not like to present himself as the successor of the prince of the Apostles, and who has put the title 'Vicar of Christ' into the background in the Annuario Pontificio, implicitly separates himself from the authority that Our Lord has conferred on Peter and his successors.
Mon Feb 22, 2021 - 2:14 pm EST
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Aldo Maria Valli
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Editor’s note: The following opinion piece was penned by famed Italian Catholic journalist Aldo Maria Valli. For over fifty years Valli has been covering the Church from a Catholic perspective. He is known for his moving coverage of the final years and days of the papacy of Pope St. John Paul II. This piece does not necessarily reflect the views of LifeSiteNews.

February 22, 2021 (Stilum Curiae) – Rome is without a pope. The thesis that I intend to support can be summarized in these five words. When I say Rome, I am not referring only to the city of which the pope is the bishop. When I say Rome, I mean the world; I mean the present reality.

The pope, although physically present, in reality is not there, because he does not do what the pope does. He is there, but he does not perform his duty as successor of Peter and vicar of Christ. Jorge Mario Bergoglio is there; Peter is not.

Who is the pope? The definitions, depending on whether one wants to highlight the historical, theological, or pastoral aspect, may be different. But, essentially, the pope is the successor of Peter. And what tasks were assigned by Jesus to the apostle Peter? One the one hand, “Feed my sheep” (Jn 21:17); on the other hand, “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Mt 16:19).

This is what a pope should do. But today, there is no one who carries out this task. “And you, once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers in the faith” (Lk 22:32). So says Jesus to Peter. But today Peter does not shepherd his sheep and he does not strengthen them in the faith. Why? Someone answers: Because Bergoglio does not speak about God, only about migrants, ecology, the economy, and social questions. But this is not so. Actually, Bergoglio does speak about God, but what emerges from the whole of his preaching is a God who is not the God of the Bible but an adulterated God, a God, I would say, who is weakened, or better still, adapted. Adapted to what? To man and his demand to be justified in living as if sin did not exist.

Bergoglio has certainly placed social themes at the center of his teaching and, with sporadic exceptions, appears prey to the same obsessions of the dominating culture of the politically correct, but I believe that this is not the profound reason why Rome is without a pope. In wanting to highlight social themes, it is possible to have an authentically Christian and Catholic perspective. The question, with Bergoglio, is another one: it is that his theological perspective is deviated. And this is for a very specific reason: because the God of whom Bergoglio speaks is not one who forgives but rather one who removes all blame.

In Amoris Laetitia we read: “The Church must accompany with attention and care the weakest of her children” (Ch. 8, para. 291). I’m sorry, but that’s not how it is. The Church must convert sinners.

Once again in Amoris Laetitia, we read that “the Church does not disregard the constructive elements in those situations which do not yet or no longer correspond to her teaching on marriage(para. 314). I’m sorry, but those words are ambiguous. In situations that do not correspond to her teaching, there will also be “constructive elements” (but in what sense?); however, the mission of the Church is not to give validity to such elements but rather to convert souls to divine love, to which one adheres by observing the commandments.

In Amoris Laetitia we also read: “Yet conscience can do more than recognize that a given situation does not correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel. It can also recognize with sincerity and honesty what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God, and come to see with a certain moral security that it is what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits, while yet not fully the objective ideal” (para. 303). Once again there is ambiguity. First: there is not an “overall demand” of the Gospel, to which one can more or less adhere. There is simply the Gospel with its very specific contents; there are the commandments with their clarity. Second: God never – I repeat, never – can ask someone to live in sin. Third: no one can claim to have “a certain moral security” about “what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits.” These muddled expressions have only one meaning: legitimizing moral relativism and playing games with the divine commandments.

This God committed more than anything else to freeing man from blame, this God in search of mitigating circumstances, this God who refrains from commanding and prefers to understand, this God who “is close to us like a mother singing a lullaby,” this God who is not a judge but who is “closeness,” this God who speaks of human “frailty” and not of sin, this God bent on the logic of pastoral accompaniment” is a caricature of the God of the Bible. Because God, the God of the Bible, is so patient, but not lax; he is so loving, but not permissive; he is so considerate, but not accommodating. In a word, he is a Father in the fullest and most authentic sense of the term.

The perspective assumed by Bergoglio appears instead to be that of the world, which often does not reject the idea of God entirely, but rejects the characteristics of God that are less in tune with the permissiveness that is rampant. The world does not want a true father, loving in the measure in which he is also judging, but rather it wants a buddy; or better still, a fellow traveler who lets things go and says, “Who am I to judge?”

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On other occasions I have written that with Bergoglio a vision triumphs that overturns the real one: it is the vision which says that God has no rights, only duties. He does not have the right to receive worship worthy of him, nor to not be mocked, but he does have the duty to forgive. According to this vision, the reverse is true for man: man does not have any duties, but only rights. He has the right to be forgiven but not the duty to convert. As if there could be a duty for God to forgive and a right of man to be forgiven.

This is why Bergoglio, portrayed as the pope of mercy, seems to me to be the least merciful pope that one could imagine. In fact, he neglects the first and fundamental form of mercy that belongs to him and to him alone: preaching the divine law and, in so doing, pointing out to human creatures, from the height of his supreme authority, the way that leads to salvation and eternal life.

If Bergoglio has devised a “god” of this sort – which I intentionally indicate with a lower-case “g” because it is not the One and Triune God whom we adore – it is because for Bergoglio there is no fault for which man must ask forgiveness, neither personal nor collective, neither original nor actual. But if there is no fault, then there is also no Redemption; and without the need for Redemption the Incarnation makes no sense, much less the saving work of the one Ark of salvation which is the Holy Church. One wonders if that “god” is not rather the simia Dei – the ape of God – Satan, who pushes us towards damnation at the exact moment when he denies that the sins and vices with which he tempts us can kill our soul and condemn us to the eternal loss of the Supreme Good.

Rome is therefore without a pope. But while in Guido Morselli’s dystopian novel entitled Roma senza papa it was physically so, since the fictional pope went to live in Zagarolo, today Rome is without a pope in a much more profound and radical way.

I can already hear the objection: But how can you say that Rome is without a pope when Francis is everywhere? He is on TV and in the newspapers. He has been on the cover of TimeNewsweek,Rolling Stone, and even Forbes and Vanity Fair. He is on websites and in countless books. He has been interviewed by everyone, even by Gazzetta dello sport [translator’s note: the Italian daily sports newspaper that is the most widely read newspaper of any kind in Italy]. Perhaps never before has a pope been so present and so popular. I respond: that’s all true, but he is Bergoglio; he is not Peter.

It is certainly not forbidden for the vicar of Christ to concern himself with the things of the world. Quite the contrary. The Christian faith is an incarnate faith, and the God of the Christians is God who becomes man, who becomes history; thus Christianity shuns the excesses of spiritualism. But it is one thing to be in the world, and it is quite another to become like the world. By speaking as the world speaks and reasoning as the world reasons, Bergoglio has made Peter evaporate and put himself in the foreground.

I repeat: the world, our world born from the revolution of ’68, does not want a true father. The world prefers a companion. The teaching of a father, if he is a true father, is laborious, because it points out the way of freedom in responsibility. It is much more convenient to just have someone next to you who simply keeps you company, without pointing anything out. And this is just what Bergoglio does: he shows a “god” who is not a father but a companion. It is no coincidence that Bergoglio’s “church of going out” likes the verb “accompany” – just like all modernism. It is a church that is a companion on the road, that justifies everything (by means of a distorted concept of discernment) and, in the end, relativizes everything.

Jesus is quite explicit in this matter. “Woe, when all men speak well of you” (Lk 6:26). “Blessed are you when men hate you and when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man” (Lk 6:22).

Every now and then a rumor surfaces that says that Bergoglio is also thinking of resigning, just like Benedict XVI. I believe that he has nothing like this in mind, but the problem is something else. The problem is that Bergoglio has become de facto the protagonist of a process of resignation from Peter’s duties.

I have already written elsewhere that Bergoglio has now become the chaplain of the United Nations, and I believe that this choice is of unprecedented gravity. However, even more serious than his adherence to the agenda of the UN and what is politically correct is that he has given up speaking to us about the God of the Bible and that the God at the center of his preaching is a God who clears people of blame, not a God who forgives.

The crisis of the father figure and the crisis of the papacy go hand in hand. Just as the father, rejected and dismantled, was transformed into a generic companion without any claim to the right to point out the way, in the same way the pope stopped being the bearer and interpreter of the objective divine law and preferred to become a simple companion.

In this way, Peter evaporated just when we most needed him to show us God as an all-around Father: a loving Father: not because he is neutral, but because he is judging; a merciful Father: not because he is permissive, but because he is committed to showing the way to the true good; a compassionate Father: not because he is relativist but because he is eager to show the way to salvation.

I observe that the protagonism in which the Bergoglian ego indulges is not a novelty, but goes back in large part to the new conciliar anthropocentric formulation, beginning with which popes, bishops, and clerics placed themselves before their sacred ministry, their own will before that of the Church, their own opinions before Catholic orthodoxy, and their own liturgical extravagances before the sacrality of the rite.

This personalization of the papacy has become explicit ever since the Vicar of Christ, wanting to present himself as “one like us,” renounced the use of the plural humilitatis with which he demonstrated that he was speaking not in a personal capacity but together with all his predecessors and the same Holy Spirit. Let’s think about it: that sacred “We” which made Pius IX tremble in proclaiming the dogma of the Immaculate Conception as well as Saint Pius X in condemning modernism, could never have been used to support the idolatrous cult of the Pachamama, nor to formulate the ambiguity of Amoris Laetitia or the indifferentism of Fratelli Tutti.

Concerning the process of personalization of the papacy (to which the advent and development of mass media gave an important contribution), we must recall that there was a time in which, at least up to and including Pius XII, it did not matter much to the faithful who was the pope, because in any case they knew that whoever he was he would always teach the same doctrine and condemn the same errors. In applauding the pope they applauded not so much the one who was on the holy throne at that moment but rather the papacy, the sacred regality of the Vicar of Christ, the voice of the Supreme Pastor, Jesus Christ.

Bergoglio, who does not like to present himself as the successor of the prince of the Apostles, and who has put the title “Vicar of Christ” into the background in the Annuario Pontificio, implicitly separates himself from the authority that Our Lord has conferred on Peter and his successors. And this is not a mere canonical question. It is a reality whose consequences are very serious for the papacy.

When will Peter return? How long will Rome remain without a pope? It is useless to ask. The designs of God are mysterious. We can only pray to the heavenly Father, saying: “Your will be done, not ours. And have mercy on us sinners.”

First published on February 20, 2021, at radioromalibera.org 

English translation published at Stilum Curiae


  crisis in the church, jorge mario bergoglio, papacy, pope francis