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News

BREAKING: Judge denies gov’t request to close Canadian church that has defied coronavirus rules

'We thank God this morning that the judge ruled, at least until May 13th, that the doors would remain open and that there will be no fines issued,' pastor Henry Hildebrandt said.
Fri Apr 30, 2021 - 7:43 pm EST
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Church of God pastor Henry Hildebrandt YouTube screenshot
Anthony Murdoch
By Anthony Murdoch

CONTACT YOUR MP AND MPP: Ask them to advocate for church-going charges to be dropped! Click to contact your MP and MPP now.

AYLMER, Ontario, April 30, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – A Canadian church will for now at least not have its doors closed to its faithful by police and health officials after a judge today denied an Ontario Attorney General’s request to shut the church doors because it has stayed open contrary to draconian COVID-19 health rules. 

Pastor Henry Hildebrandt of the Church of God located in Aylmer, Ontario, announced the news in a YouTube message posted today. 

“God still is on his throne and prayer and fasting does move his arm. We thank God this morning that the judge ruled, at least until May 13th, that the doors would remain open and that there will be no fines issued,” said Hildebrandt. 

“Whatever it takes, God will help us. God is the supreme judge, and what God does, what God allows is, well, it will be the best for his kingdom. May God help us decide if you would pray, especially for May 13th, when this matter will be before the judge again, so that it would be ruled according to what God wants it to be. God bless you. And thank you so very much again for your support and your prayers.” 

This past Wednesday, Hildebrandt shared a letter dated April 27 from Ontario Attorney General Doug Downey’s office to the Honourable Mr. Justice Bruce G. Thomas, Regional Senior Justice of the Southwest Region in Ontario. 

In the letter, Downey’s office asked the courts to close the Church of God doors because it has been violating the Ontario Reopening Act

The Attorney General in the letter sought at a “subsequent sanctions hearing, fines and an order directing the sheriff to lock the doors of the Respondent church until no gathering size limits apply to the church under the Reopening Ontario Act.”

The letter was also copied to Hildebrandt’s lawyers at the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF), who are working the case. 

The JCCF told LifeSiteNews that they will have more to say about today’s ruling soon. 

In his video message today, Hildebrandt said they woke this morning with “heavy hearts” expecting bad news, but thanked “God this morning for answering prayer.”

Hildebrandt thanked his legal team and JCCF lawyer Lisa Bildy, saying she spoke in defense of the church with “very strong words.”
“So we are very thankful, very thankful," he said. "And thank you for your support and your prayers, the many, many messages you sent. God bless you for that. Please keep on praying that the Lord will help us. It is my utmost desire to preach the gospel, the good news, and bring sinners to Christ in a critical time like we're living in right now.”

According to an Aylmer Express report, Justice Thomas also found today in contempt the Church of God (Restoration) as a corporation, Hildebrandt, and Peter Wall – who works as an assistant pastor and church director at the church – because they defied a February court injunction on the church. 

“I urge the parties to step back from the heated conflict,” said Justice Thomas, according to the Aylmer Express

At the packed Sunday, April 25 service, Hildebrandt said he was “very ashamed of many, many pastors in this land” for being “noodlebacks” in going along with COVID-19 restrictions limiting church size. 

Independent MP Derek Sloan and Independent Ontario MPP Randy Hillier both attended the service at the Church of God and spoke briefly from the pulpit. The pair have been charged by Aylmer Police for attending. 

Both Sloan and Hillier noted on social media that they were pleased the judge denied the government’s request to close the Church of God doors. 

Ontario Premier Doug Ford on April 16 introduced extended “stay at home orders” that placed a 10-person limit on church service attendance size, closed playgrounds, implemented provincial border checks, and gave police the power to stop anyone outside his or her home without cause.

After public backlash, the Ford government walked back some of its coronavirus rules less than a day later. Playgrounds were allowed to stay open, and police had to have “reason to suspect that you are participating in an organized public event or social gathering” in order to question people. 


  aylmer church of god, covid-19 lockdowns, derek sloan, doug ford, henry hildebrandt, justice centre for constitutional freedoms, ontario attorney general, ontario reopening act, randy hillier

News

Florida passes ban on transgenders in women’s sports, Gov. DeSantis says he’ll sign

The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act had been proclaimed dead by foes last week after being shelved by Senate Republicans with just days left in the legislative session.
Fri Apr 30, 2021 - 6:50 pm EST
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Appearing at a town hall meeting in Orlando on Thursday, April 29, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he would sign the Fairness in Women's Sports Act.
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CONTACT GOVERNOR DESANTIS: Sign Sports Fairness into law! Click to contact Governor DeSantis now.

TALLAHASSEE, Florida, April 30, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – The Florida legislature passed a bill prohibiting gender-confused males from playing on women’s sports teams in an unexpected vote on Wednesday. 

The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act had been proclaimed dead by opponents last week after being shelved by Senate Republicans with just days left in the legislative session, which ended today. 

House lawmakers had approved a similar act by a 37-vote margin earlier this month, though Republican Sen. Kelli Stargel, lead sponsor of the Senate version, postponed a hearing for the bill in the upper chamber. Sen. Stargel, who originally sought to allow some “transitioning” males to compete on women’s teams, claimed that the bill was dropped due to other priorities. The last scheduled meeting of the committee tasked to hear the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act was Tuesday.

Senate leaders nevertheless revived the measure by adding it as an amendment to another bill about charter schools that passed both chambers on Wednesday night. 

The charter school bill, SB 1028, mandates that sports teams sponsored by public schools and colleges be based on biological sex. “Athletic teams or sports designated for females, women, or girls may not be open to students of the male sex,” it reads. Students affected by violations of the bill can sue for damages. 

“For purposes of this section, a statement of a student’s biological sex on the student’s official birth certificate is considered to have correctly stated the student’s biological sex at birth if the statement was filed at or near the time of the student’s birth,” SB 1028 states. 

The original sports bill passed by the House applied to elementary schools and authorized medical verification of a student’s sex in certain cases, though those provisions were dropped in SB 1028. The final version of the charter school bill was approved by House lawmakers 79-37 and by the Senate 23-16 on Wednesday. 

LifeSiteNews had launched a campaign to revive support for the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act before the passage of SB 1028.

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has said that he plans to sign the bill into law. At a town hall meeting in Orlando last night, the governor told reporters, “We’re going to protect our girls.” “And we want to have opportunities for our girls. They deserve an even playing field,” he said. 

Gender-confused males substantially outperform women and girls in athletic competitions, regardless of long-term cross-sex hormone use, numerous studies have shown. A study earlier this year found that the strength advantage of men “transitioning” to a feminized appearance “is only minimally reduced when testosterone is suppressed.”  

“These data significantly undermine the delivery of fairness and safety presumed by the criteria set out in transgender inclusion policies,” the study authors reported. The NCAA continues to allow men to compete against women after just one year of cross-sex hormone application, putting female athletes’ basic safety and careers on the line. 

Florida would be the eighth and largest state to approve popular women’s and girls’ sports protections this year, which have been attacked by the NCAA and major corporations. The Sunshine State previously has had some of the most liberal athletic policies in the nation.

Montana also is poised to enact new protections

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  fairness in women's sports act, florida, florida senate, gender-confused men, kelli stargel, ron desantis, transgenders

News

Biden campaign and California government colluded to censor election speech, docs reveal

Judicial Watch uncovered in public records that Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube agreed to numerous government requests to remove content.
Fri Apr 30, 2021 - 4:56 pm EST
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Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

LifeSiteNews has been permanently banned on YouTube. Click HERE to sign up to receive emails when we add to our video library.

April 30, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – The Biden campaign coordinated with California officials to get social media platforms to censor conservative speech pertaining to the 2020 presidential election, according to documents obtained by watchdog group Judicial Watch.

Judicial Watch explained that it filed a public records request with the state in response to a December 2020 report the secretary of state’s office as well as the Office of Election Cybersecurity had “monitored and tracked social media posts, decided if they were misinformation, stored the posts in an internal database coded by threat level, and on 31 different occasions requested posts be removed.”

The 544 pages of material it received revealed that one of the bases for these “requests” were “misinformation briefings” submitted to state officials by SKDK, whose top client last year was the presidential campaign of current President Joe Biden. The documents contain numerous examples of officials with Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube agreeing to remove content at the request of the government.

Among the targets of these requests was content created by Judicial Watch, including a video detailing vulnerabilities such as voting by mail and ballot harvesting. California officials asked YouTube to remove the video on September 24, and YouTube removed it on September 27.

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Another highlight of the documents is an email exchange in which Press Secretary Sam Mahood says of an inquiry about the state’s censorship requests from CalMatters reporter Fred Brewster, “I am not necessarily comfortable with his line of questions and the additional doors that this will open.”

“These new documents suggest a conspiracy against the First Amendment rights of Americans by the California Secretary of State, the Biden campaign operation, and Big Tech,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton declared. “These documents blow up the big lie that Big Tech censorship is ‘private’ – as the documents show collusion between a whole group of government officials in multiple states to suppress speech about election controversies.”

Questions about the integrity of the 2020 election were quickly branded beyond the pale by Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media and Big Tech, citing the fact that the Trump campaign’s legal challenges consistently failed in court, despite the fact that many were dismissed over process issues without ever reviewing the cases on the merits. Both before and after the election, the world’s largest information platforms have taken it upon themselves to act as arbiters of election “misinformation,” prompting states like Florida to pursue legislation to better protect free speech online.


  big tech, california, censorship, democrats, free speech, joe biden, judicial watch, social media bias

News

After FBI raid, Giuliani slams ‘extraordinary’ politically selective search of his apartment

The FBI confiscated computers and cell phones from Giuliani’s office and apartment Wednesday, ostensibly part of a criminal investigation into whether Giuliani illegally lobbied the Trump administration on behalf of Ukrainian officials.
Fri Apr 30, 2021 - 3:39 pm EST
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Rudy Giuliani in a Nov. 18, 2020 video explaining how American votes were tallied in foreign countries in the 2020 presidential election. Rudy Giuliani / Youtube screen grab
Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

April 30, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — FBI agents showed no interest in evidence of Hunter Biden’s crimes during their “extraordinary” search of Rudy Giuliani’s home, the former New York Mayor and Trump attorney told Fox News host Tucker Carlson in an interview Thursday.

The FBI confiscated computers and cell phones from Giuliani’s office and apartment Wednesday, ostensibly part of a criminal investigation into whether Giuliani illegally lobbied the Trump administration on behalf of Ukrainian officials. 

Giuliani told Carlson he was “woken by a loud ‘bang’ at 6 a.m. Wednesday” and being greeted by seven FBI agents at his door with a search warrant. “I looked at the warrant, and I said, ‘You know, this is extraordinary because I offered to give these to the government and talk it over with them for two years.” He added that the agents seemed “apologetic” and conducted themselves “very professional and very gentlemanly.”

“The search warrant is on one single failure to file for representing a Ukrainian national or official that I never represented,” Giuliani said. “I never represented a Ukrainian national or official before the United States government. I’ve declined it several times. I’ve had contracts in countries like Ukraine. In the contract is a clause that says I will not engage in lobbying or foreign representation. I don’t do it because I felt it would be too compromising.”

The former mayor noted that the agents were uninterested in three hard drives containing data from presidential son Hunter Biden’s infamously-discarded computer that Giuliani had in his possession.

“I said, ‘Are you sure you don’t want them?’ I mean the warrant required them to take it,” he recalled. “And they said, ‘No, no, no.’ One last time, I said, ‘Don’t you think you should take it?’ And they said, ‘No.’” They were “completely content to rely on my word that these were Hunter Biden’s hard drives. I mean, they could have been Donald Trump’s. They could have been Vladimir Putin’s. They could have been anybody’s.”

“But they relied on me, the man who had to be raided in the morning, because — I’m going to destroy the evidence? I’ve known about this for two years, Tucker,” Giuliani said. “I could have destroyed the evidence. The evidence is exculpatory. It proves the president and I and all of us are innocent. They are the ones who are committing — it’s like projection. They are committing the crimes.”

Ukraine became a major subject in U.S. politics when former President Donald Trump requested that the country’s president help investigate foreign interference in the 2016 presidential election, as well as then-Vice President Joe Biden’s role in the ouster of a prosecutor who had been investigating his son’s business dealings in the country. The propriety of that request was the subject of the first failed attempt to impeach Trump.

Carlson also addressed the situation with a monologue on his show, arguing that it’s only the latest example of how federal agencies under President Joe Biden “haven’t hesitated to use the force of law to punish their political opponents.”

Giuliani’s offense, Carlson said, was “being Trump’s lawyer — that, and having the gall to try to learn more about what exactly Joe Biden and his son were doing in Ukraine several years ago. The Justice Department announced today that asking too many questions about Biden’s dealings in Ukraine is now a crime. They called it something else, but that’s what Giuliani did.”


  democrats, department of justice, fbi, joe biden, political persecution, rudy giuliani, tucker carlson

News

Canadian pastor who chased away police, health inspectors served with warrant, could be jailed

Last Saturday’s visit was the second time this month Calgary Police and Alberta Health Services (AHS) officials have come to Pawlowski’s church on an unannounced coronavirus health visit during worship services.
Fri Apr 30, 2021 - 3:24 pm EST
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Pastor Artur Pawlowski Artur Pawlowski TV / YouTube
Anthony Murdoch
By Anthony Murdoch

CALGARY, Alberta, April 30, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A Canadian Pastor who twice told police and health inspectors, whom he called “Gestapo Nazis,” to get out his church on unannounced COVID-19 visits was served with a warrant which allows government officials to do “anything necessary” to arrest him or anyone else “at the property” should officials not be allowed to inspect the church.

Pastor Artur Pawlowski of The Cave of Adullam church located in Calgary, Alberta, was served with a warrant signed by a judge giving Calgary police and Alberta Health Services (AHS) public health officials virtually unfettered access to his church, even during religious services.

“The Respondent, Artur Pawlowski, together with any other person at the property … to grant access to any Executive Officer (as defined in the Act) in order for him or her to attend at the Property without notice, during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., to allow the Executive Officer to exercise his or her powers under sections 59 of the Act,” reads the warrant which was signed April 23.

“Upon there being reasonable grounds to believe that the Respondent, Artur Pawlowski or any other person has breached any terms of the Court’s Order, any member of Law Enforcement is authorized to forthwith arrest that person, restrain him or her and bring him or her at the earliest possible time before a Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench.” 

Section 59 of the Alberta Public Health Act reads: “59(1) An executive officer may inspect any public place for the purpose of determining the presence of a nuisance or determining whether this Act and the regulations are being complied with.”

The warrant goes on to state that if it comes to making an actual arrest of an individual under the “order,” police are “authorized to do anything necessary to carry out the arrest, including the use of as much reasonable force as may be necessary to make the arrest and without warrant to enter any place where on reasonable grounds Law Enforcement believes that the offending person may be found.”

Pawlowski is a well-known street preacher in Calgary and is renowned for feeding the homeless. He has been running Calgary-based Street Church Ministries for over 20 years and has been a vocal opponent to coronavirus lockdowns.

Last Saturday’s visit was the second time this month Calgary Police and Alberta Health Services (AHS) officials have come to Pawlowski’s church on an unannounced coronavirus health visit during worship services.

As a result of the warrant, Rebel News started a website called SaveArtur.com, vowing to help pay for Pawlowski’s legal fees and “do everything we can to Save Pastor Artur.”

Section 176(2) of the “Criminal Code of Canada” bans interrupting or disturbing a religious service. However, according to Rebel News, the warrant issued to Pawlowski and his ministries appears to nullify this section.

Pawlowski fled communist Poland as a youth with his family. He recently told LifeSiteNews that the continued police presence at his church gives him bad memories of growing up behind the Iron Curtain.

He said that while he doesn’t mind talking with authorities, it should not be done during worship services, which he says “intimidates” his parishioners. “You want to come and visit the church — fine, I have no problem letting them in to inspect the place, but not during worship, during the church time, and they heard that from me many times,” said Pawlowski.

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The province of Alberta’s COVID health rules enacted under United Conservative Party (UCP) Premier Jason Kenney has capped church attendance size to 15 percent and mandated mask wearing and physical distancing.

Many Alberta churches have resisted the measures, notably Pastor James Coates of Grace Life Church in Spruce Grove, Alberta. He was jailed for over a month for defying COVID-related orders.


  alberta health services, artur pawlowski, coronavirus restrictions, lockdowns, religious freedom, religious liberty

News

LifeSite joins Brighteon, the free-speech alternative to YouTube

Brighteon was started in 2018 by health freedom activist Mike Adams, founder of Natural News.
Fri Apr 30, 2021 - 2:31 pm EST
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LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

April 30, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — LifeSite is excited to announce that we are officially on Brighteon, a free-speech alternative platform to Big Tech’s YouTube. Brighteon was started in 2018 by health freedom activist Mike Adams, founder of Natural News. Be sure to subscribe to our channel and watch all our video content by clicking here.

LifeSite recently hosted our hugely succesful virtual conference Unmasking COVID-19: Vaccines, Mandates, and Global Health on Brighteon. We look forward to sharing the truth to all our new viewers on this platform through our podcasts, shows, and videos. You can continue to watch content such as select episodes of The John-Henry Westen Show, pro-life stories, inspiring and informative interviews, and so much more.

LifeSite was banned from YouTube in February for speaking the truth on abortion-tainted vaccines. Every single video was removed from there. Ever since our permanent suspension from Big Tech companies like YouTube and Twitter, we have been streaming our videos and sharing information on alternative sites such as Rumble, Telegram, and Gab.

We are now pleased to join the powerful platform Brighteon to continue fighting the battle against censorship and for the resoration of the culture. We also want to give a huge thank you to Brighteon’s Mike Adams for his support of LifeSiteNews.

Besides coming directly to our site and subscribing to email alerts, you can bypass the Big Tech censors and watch our life, family, faith, and freedom news on these alternative sites:


  big tech, big tech censorship, brighteon, censorship, mike adams, social media, social media censorship, video platforms, youtube, youtube ban

News

Project management company Basecamp says it will focus on software, not politics

As a private company, ‘[w]e don’t have to solve deep social problems, chime in publicly whenever the world requests our opinion on the major issues of the day, or get behind one movement or another with time or treasure.’
Fri Apr 30, 2021 - 2:22 pm EST
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Basecamp Shutterstock
David McLoone David McLoone Follow
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CHICAGO, April 30, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — American web-based software company Basecamp, known for its Basecamp project management tool, is standing up against the ever-encroaching “woke” tyranny by refusing to let the politics of the day determine how they do business: “It’s become too much. It’s a major distraction.”

In a statement entitled “Changes at Basecamp,” CEO and co-founder Jason Fried explained to employees that the company is adopting a zero-tolerance policy on “societal and political discussions” within the company Basecamp account.

“Today’s social and political waters are especially choppy. Sensitivities are at 11, and every discussion remotely related to politics, advocacy, or society at large quickly spins away from pleasant,” Fried recognized before stating that “we’re done with it.”

“You shouldn’t have to wonder if staying out of it means you’re complicit, or wading into it means you’re a target. These are difficult enough waters to navigate in life, but significantly more so at work.”

Fried reminded staff that, as a private company, “We don’t have to solve deep social problems, chime in publicly whenever the world requests our opinion on the major issues of the day, or get behind one movement or another with time or treasure.”

While acknowledging the significance of political issues, whatever they may be, “they’re not our topics at work — they’re not what we collectively do here,” he said.

Instead, the entrepreneur asserted that Basecamp makes “project management, team communication, and email software,” and is “not a social impact company.”

“Our impact is contained to what we do and how we do it,” Fried said.

Fried’s colleague and co-founder David Heinemeier Hansson offered support to Fried’s announcement, clarifying the intent behind keeping the company politically uninvolved.

“Basecamp should be a place where employees can come to work with colleagues of all backgrounds and political convictions without having to deal with heavy political or societal debates unconnected to that work,” Heinemeier said. “There are many places to be involved, exposed, and engaged in those conversations” he continued, adding, “Basecamp shouldn’t be one of those places.”

“By trying to have the debates around such incredibly sensitive societal politics inside the company, we’re setting ourselves up for strife … Therefore, we’re asking everyone, including Jason and me, to refrain from using our company Basecamp or HEY to discuss societal politics at work effective immediately.”

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Basecamp’s new standard contrasts starkly with the direction taken by a great many private enterprises, particularly within the technology sector to which they belong.

Big Tech companies such as Apple, Google, Amazon, Twitter, and Facebook all publicly supported the far-left political movement Black Lives Matter (BLM) in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

For example, the companies launched purges against individuals and businesses that disagreed with their particular brand of politics, with Amazon removing social media app Parler from its web hosting service and both Apple and Google removing the app from their respective app stores, effectively eliminating the company’s reach in what appeared to be a coordinated shutdown.

Financial institutions, too, have voiced their support for the riotous Black Lives Matter movement, including American Express and Commerce Bank. Ironically, both banks condemned scenes of violence at the Capitol on January 6, characterizing the events as “subversive” to the “peaceful transition of power.” Commerce Bank said it “condemns violence in any form,” but commissioned an artist to paint pro-BLM messages on the boards of the plywood covering the shattered windows of a St. Louis branch that had been attacked by BLM rioters the previous summer.


  basecamp, wokeism

News

Head of Scottish bishops issues rare rebuke of Irish gov’t. over ‘unjust’ worship ban

‘Recent developments that penalize the celebration of Holy Mass have been disturbing not only to the Irish bishops’ conference but also to the bishops of Scotland.’
Fri Apr 30, 2021 - 1:05 pm EST
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Bishop Hugh Gilbert Diocese of Aberdeen / YouTube
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ABERDEEN, U.K., April 30, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Several months into the Irish government’s public worship ban, the president of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland has rebuked penalizations as “extreme and unnecessary.”

Bishop Hugh Gilbert of Aberdeen condemned restrictions unveiled in Ireland two weeks ago in a statement published on behalf of the Scottish bishops on Wednesday. The bishop called the new rules, which criminalize attendance of public Mass, “disturbing” to the bishops of Scotland.

“Recent developments that penalize the celebration of Holy Mass have been disturbing not only to the Irish bishops’ conference but also to the bishops of Scotland,” Bp. Gilbert, who presides over the diocese of Aberdeen, said. “We all recognize the need for restrictions to protect the common good of all people in a pandemic but to enact legislation that criminalizes those who gather to celebrate Holy Mass is indeed extreme and unjust.”

The Catholic News Agency noted that the statement is “a rare intervention by a bishops’ conference on matters in a neighboring country.”

The statutory instrument 171 of 2021, authorized by Health Minister Stephen Donnelly on April 12, prohibits religious services except for funerals and weddings and mandates that priests “lead worship or services remotely.” Violators could face up to six months in jail.

“We consider the publication of this statutory instrument, together with associated penal provisions, to be provocative and formally enacting a potential infringement of religious freedom and of constitutional rights,” Archbishop Martin, the primate of Ireland, said after the restrictions were announced.

He added that the “draconian” instrument was promulgated in a “clandestine manner without notice or consultation” and that the Irish bishops did not know about the law until it was publicly revealed. The move was particularly disappointing given “reassurances of the [prime minister] to Church leaders only three days ago that he understood the importance of faith and worship to the people of Ireland,” Abp. Martin said.

The primate emphasized that the bishops had “consistently impressed on government that people of faith value highly their spiritual well-being and consider the public practice of their faith as essential — something which has not been sufficiently recognised in statute.”

The Irish government has deployed notably extreme measures throughout the COVID-19 crisis, often in collaboration with certain prelates. Public Mass has been suspended in the nation since last year.

“I must speak out to represent the voices of a very large cohort of people who are growing increasingly weary of being unable to attend Mass and whose spiritual and mental wellbeing is being eroded,” Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan of Waterford and Lismore said even before the implementation of additional anti-Mass measures earlier this month. “Their patience is wearing thin. They are frustrated and feel unrepresented and discriminated against.”

“It is very difficult to explain to people why they are banned from public worship bearing in mind also that Ireland is one of the tiny few countries in Europe where public worship is not allowed,” he said.

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Catholics in neighboring Scotland resumed Mass in March, following a major legal victory. Highly restricted public masses have been celebrated in England throughout the ongoing, nation-wide lockdown that has triggered massive protests.

Studies repeatedly have shown that lockdowns, which were pioneered by the Chinese Communist government, do not significantly stop the spread of COVID-19. Stay-at-home orders and forced business and school closures have coincided with surging overdose deaths and child suicide attempts and may contribute to over 100,000 non-virus deaths in the U.K. alone.


  catholic, coronavirus restrictions, hugh gilbert, ireland, lockdowns

News

Cardinal Pell: German bishops’ duty is to ‘uphold the teachings of the Church’

‘I think that there is a percentage of the German church which seems to be resolutely heading in the wrong direction.’
Fri Apr 30, 2021 - 12:33 pm EST
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Cardinal George Pell EWTN / YouTube
Michael Haynes Michael Haynes Follow Michael
By Michael Haynes

VATICAN CITY, April 30, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — In a newly released interview, Australian Cardinal George Pell has issued a warning to dissident German clergy, describing their opposition to the perennial teaching of the Church as “ominous,” and stating that it is the “duty of the German bishops to uphold the teachings of Scripture” and the Church.

Cardinal Pell, now aged 79, sat down with EWTN’s Colm Flynn to discuss the second volume of his prison journal. The wide ranging interview, aired on April 27, covered Pell’s 405 days in prison after having been unjustly convicted of child sexual abuse, as well as issues in the Catholic Church today.

One of those prominent topics was the state of the Church in Germany, described by the former prefect of the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy as “ominous.”

He mentioned “two basic positions,” one of which takes its guidance from Scripture and the Catholic Church, whereas the other is an “alternative Christian point of view,” in which “the last word comes from modern understandings of the Scriptures.”

“I think that there is a percentage of the German church which seems to be resolutely heading in the wrong direction. By that, I mean it is quite clear that a liberalized Christianity, whether it is a liberalized Catholicism or Protestantism, in a generation or so merges into agnosticism.”

His comments come as large parts of the church in Germany have reacted angrily to the recent reiteration of Catholic doctrine, when the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) responded in the negative to a question about whether the Church had “the power to give the blessing to unions of persons of the same sex.”

Since then, a number of bishops and hundreds of priests have expressed their “disappointment” at the document. Among those opposing the CDF are German prelates including Bishop Georg Bätzing, who chairs the German Bishops’ Conference; Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck, bishop of Essen; and Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schönborn.

This dissent has been supported by the head of the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, Cardinal Kevin Farrell, who signaled a way around the recent Vatican document banning the blessing of same-sex unions.

However, Cardinal Pell issued a clear reminder of the responsibility of Catholic bishops, as well as the limits to their power, noting that ultimately, they are the protectors of Catholic doctrine: “Of course the duty of the German bishops is to uphold the teachings of Scripture, to uphold the teachings of the Church. We stand under those teachings.”

“They’ve got no power to change them, none of us do. What is important is what is in the word of God, what is in the apostolic tradition.”

He offered the opinion that the German church would avoid committing to separating from Rome, suggesting that “I don’t think they will cross the rubicon, but we’ll see. You never know.”

“The really important issue for the Church is: Do we teach publicly what Christ taught? Now some of those teachings are quite unpopular: forgiveness; people with no rights like the unborn; people at the bottom of the pile.”

He defended his own teaching of doctrine, mentioning that a bishop is required to teach the truth, no matter the unpopular reception: “As a church leader, should you speak up on issues where you know you’re not going to get the popular vote, where you know most of the people are against you. Basically, we have an obligation to keep presenting the teachings of Christ and the teachings of the Catholic Church.”

“And our society will be deeply diminished to the extent it moves radically away from the Christian teachings on love and service and forgiveness, and we can already see that in society in the changes that are taking place. We’re often concentrating on the losses to the Church in the decline of practice, and the departure of believers — that’s certainly true. But it has big consequences for society generally, especially when a majority of the people had been Christian.”

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Pell’s warning is already being proved true, as just days ago, over 550 priests in Germany announced that they would defy the Vatican and hold a special day on which to offer blessings for same-sex couples. A much-hyped blessing service for same-sex couples entitled “Love wins, blessing service for lovers” is now planned for May 10, with more than 50 Catholic parishes so far signing up to offer such a blessing.

While this was described by Bishop Bätzing as an unhelpful event, which would not be “a way forward,” he re-affirmed his commitment to the German Synodal Path, saying that the members of the Synodal Path had been conducting discussions for some time “about the way in which the Church’s sexual morality, also regarding homosexuality, can be further developed with viable arguments — on the basis of fundamental truths of faith and morals, progressive theological reflection, and likewise in openness to more recent results of the human sciences and the life situations of people today. This also includes an appropriate discussion of the question of blessing services. In the present situation, the Synodal Path is a central place to discuss the topic of successful relationships in a comprehensive way.”

Cardinal Pell’s unequivocal warning to the German prelates on the matter of adherence to Catholic doctrine is supported by Cardinal Raymond Burke. The American prelate, formerly prefect of the Apostolic Signatura for six years, made his comments to EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo last month.

Referring to the widespread tone of rejection to the CDF’s decision, Cardinal Burke mentioned that it was symptomatic of the influence of the pro–homosexual agenda within the Catholic Church: “The blowback is simply an expression of a worldliness, a mundanity, which has entered into the Church by which the aggressive homosexual agenda is now dominating even in certain ecclesial circles and even among certain bishops.”

As for the ban itself, Burke noted how it was a repetition of Church teaching on the matter: “It simply states what the Church has always taught and practiced with regard to same-sex attraction and when it leads then to acts which are intrinsically disordered, not according to God’s plan.”


  catholic, george pell, german bishops, homosexuality

News

Arizona school board walks out on angry parents, who then end mask mandate

‘Children have the right to breathe! Unmask our kids!’
Fri Apr 30, 2021 - 11:56 am EST
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Mask with Arizona state flag Shutterstock
David McLoone David McLoone Follow
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VAIL, Arizona, April 30, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A school board walked out before a scheduled meeting Tuesday after a large number of parents protested the board’s requirement for children to wear masks in school. The parents responded by electing a new board and immediately rescinding the mask order.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) overturned the state-wide mask mandate for schools on April 19, announcing on Twitter, “Teachers, families and students have acted responsibly to mitigate the spread of the virus and protect one another, and our school leaders are ready to decide if masks should be required on their campuses.”

Ducey’s executive order removed the governmental requirement for school children to wear masks but left the decision to impose or relax the mandate to the districts themselves.

The Vail School Board decided to maintain the mask mandate until at least the end of the current semester, claiming that “about 90 percent of parents support the mask mandate for their kids,” but scheduled a meeting to discuss options moving forward. Before the meeting was to be held, around 100 parents from the district arrived outside the building to voice their protest to keeping their children masked while in school, some bringing placards that read “unmask the kids.”

Shortly before commencing the meeting, the board cancelled, citing “safety concerns.” Incensed by the board’s cowardice, parents began gathering inside the building, demanding to speak with the board. At this point the board called the police who ordered the parents to leave the building.

Some parents were visibly upset by the police presence, with one crying “as long as my child is at risk of death I’m not leaving. You are killing our children.” Another can be seen holding a sign that reads, “Children have the right to breathe! Unmask our kids!”

“We have bills in the constitution of Arizona that give us parental rights, they are inalienable rights. They [the board] do not have the right to take them away and yet this state and this board has taken it [sic] away from us and they have the audacity to leave when we come here as peaceful parents to talk to them,” cell-phone footage captured one parent complaining to the sheriff. “Bullcrap!” she added.

Another parent told local reporters that whether or not their child should wear a mask is part of “my rights as a parent and they [the board] don’t get to decide how I raise them and what I believe is true and factual. It’s disgusting what’s being done and I don’t agree with it. I don’t. When you look at the flu, it also causes death. It also hurts people.”

Shortly after the authorities arrived, the board walked out, leaving the crowd of parents without meeting. Following the board’s abandonment, the gathered parents held an impromptu election, nominating and confirming five new board members on the spot.

Video footage documented the entire election process, which the cameraman claimed was based on Robert’s Rules of Order, a widely used manual of parliamentary procedure, taking a mere three minutes to complete.

The newly elected board swiftly called a meeting to discuss the matter of mandating masks in their school district. One of the members, known only as Anastasia, announced a motion “that the entire Vail School District be free of mask policy and it will be optional to all teachers and students alike, with no fear of retribution.”

After being seconded by another parent-turned-board-member, Tiffany Sanders, the motion went to a vote, passing unanimously.

Not wishing to waste the opportunity to consolidate their power, the ad-hoc board proposed a motion that the “Vail School District has no rights to do any medical interventions on any child,” again passing the proposal unanimously.

There is dispute over whether or not the new board has the power to effect the remission of mask rules or if the old board remains in power. As things stand, Vail district administrators are sending a notification to all parents, ensuring them that a mask mandate is still in effect.

RELATED:

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Study shows how masks are harming children

Forcing little kids to wear masks is cruel, nonsensical, and crazy

Masks ‘don’t work,’ are damaging health and are being used to control population: Doctors panel

This video shows just how ineffective masks are


  arizona, mask mandates, public schools, school board

News

Ireland to allow public worship for the first time in almost five months

While public religious services may resume on May 10, they have been prohibited since December 26, 2020.
Fri Apr 30, 2021 - 11:08 am EST
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St. Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh, Ireland Shutterstock
Michael Haynes Michael Haynes Follow Michael
By Michael Haynes

DUBLIN, Ireland, April 30, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Ireland’s Prime Minister Micheál Martin announced that Ireland’s churches will be permitted to re-open for public worship from May 10, following nearly five consecutive months of forced church closures, with police actively enforcing the unconstitutional ban on the Mass.

Speaking to the nation on Thursday, Martin announced the latest measures in the very gradual lifting of the severe lockdown.

Worship is currently still forbidden, and has been so since December 26, 2020, following the start of the current national restrictions on December 24. Thus, churches are only open for private prayer, as well as small funerals and weddings.

However, there are still are number of restrictions which will be placed upon the Church by the state even after this date of May 10. A government website explains that “it is advised that other religious ceremonies such as Communions and Confirmations should not take place at this time.” Furthermore, an attendance limit of 50 is to be placed on all weddings and funerals.

Some confusion exists about the exact limits on numbers allowed in the churches, however. In his address, Martin announced that “religious services can resume with a limit of 50 people attending,” yet the government website mentions this number only in reference to funerals and weddings.

The lightening of restrictions on public worship is accompanied by an easing of venues the government considers of a similar nature to churches, with outdoor retail commencing on May 10, and indoor retail starting a week later on May 17.

Galleries, libraries, museums, and “other cultural attractions,” are also set to open on May 10.

In light of this recent news, LifeSiteNews contacted Catholic Arena, which has been widely reporting on the current state of the Church in Ireland. A spokesman for the organization noted the manner in which the state still controlled the Church, despite allowing worship once more:

Although this is a welcome announcement, it still places a limit on 50 which means many smaller rural churches can be full to capacity and larger churches which can fit hundreds will not be. There is also the upsetting news that First Communions and Confirmations have been delayed in the Archdiocese of Dublin. The fact that the Irish media have embarked upon a blitz of negative campaigning against Catholic education in the past few days tells us that the hostility of the Irish establishment towards the Catholic faith shows no sign of letting up and there are still important battles to be fought.

Anti-Catholic Ireland and COVID-19

Currently, formerly Catholic Ireland has the distinction of being the only country in Europe where Mass is strictly banned. Indeed, since the onset of COVID-related restrictions in March 2020, Ireland has been without Mass for the majority of the 12-month period.

This is despite freedom of worship being expressly protected in Article 44 of the Irish Constitution, which holds, “The State acknowledges that the homage of public worship is due to Almighty God. It shall hold His Name in reverence, and shall respect and honour religion. Freedom of conscience and the free profession and practice of religion are, subject to public order and morality, guaranteed to every citizen.”

It also states: “The State shall not impose any disabilities or make any discrimination on the ground of religious profession, belief or status.”

Yet the past year has seen the Irish government ignore this constitutional protection, even beginning a new era of soft persecution.

In October it implemented a law threatening priests with a €2,500 fine or a six-month jail sentence for saying Mass. This was despite a large number of stores and services being allowed to remain open for business.

Since October, reporting on the effect of this law on Ireland’s Catholic population increased. Fr. P.J. Hughes became a prime example of the state’s unofficial persecution of the Church, as he faced multiple visits from the police, fines, and threats of jail. In the face of this warning from the police, and a lack of support from his bishop, Hughes responded that he was ready to face jail if necessary, adding, “I do not accept the negative message of our leaders who are telling us to stay away from Jesus.”

Since then, members of the laity all across Ireland have been regularly praying in public, in order that the restrictions on worship might be eased and bishops would stand up for the rights of the Church. On St. Patrick’s day this year, a number of Irish Catholics gathered in the capital city of Dublin, as well as other locations, holding a procession with a statue of Mary, and praying the rosary.

Police were in attendance, after having promised to establish a “ring of steel” of law enforcement around the city, and initially handed out fines to those more than 5 km from their homes.

However, upon the arrival of a statute of Our Lady of Fatima to the procession, a “miraculous” change took place, as police stopped taking down names and addresses and instead backed off and “escorted the procession to our destination.”

As reported by Catholic Arena, the Irish faithful have since been holding rosary rallies each Sunday, gathering outside the closed doors of their churches while awaiting the resumption of public worship once more.

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In a bizarre move, the Irish government recently took their restrictions on the sacraments even further, explicitly banning by law the administration of the sacraments. Thus, even though an individual could meet a priest outside for a social visit, the sacrament of confession similarly held outside would be illegal.

Speaking to LifeSite at the time, Anthony Murphy, founder of the Lumen Fidei Institute and the Catholic Voice newspaper, criticized those responsible for the change in law as “not people of faith.” Consequently, he said, the new law “cannot be obeyed because it is totalitarian in nature and comes from a bullying State which has now overreached itself. The only way to deal with bullies is to tackle them head on and I would encourage faithful clergy and laity to form networks and continue with the public celebration of the sacraments.”

The current plight of Irish Catholics, due in a large extent to the surrender of the bishops early last spring, attracted the attention of Bishop Athanasius Schneider, who recently wrote an impassioned letter of support:

From all my heart I support your noble campaign to get people to pray the Rosary outside their churches in the hope of a return to the Mass. May there be formed a great living rosary chain across Ireland to win [against] the tyrannic suppression of the public Catholic worship. It is almost for everyone evident that such a draconic and systematic suppression of the Holy Mass exceeds the mere health safety. I send the blessing and my encouragement to all who participate in the Rosary campaign for a return to the Mass.

Bishop Schneider pointed to the example of the Irish martyrs during the times of persecution, holding them as an example for today: “In former times during the hard Penal times, the Irish Catholics left a heroic example of the loyalty to the Catholic Mass, being the Hill Mass celebrated all over Ireland clandestinely, especially on rocks, called the Mass rocks.”


  coronavirus restrictions, ireland, lockdowns, micheál martin, public worship

News

Oregon relaxes mask mandate for sports following high school runner collapsing

Runner Maggie Williams collapsed just as she was approaching the finish line, crashing to the ground as she struggled to breathe through the mask she was obliged to wear.
Fri Apr 30, 2021 - 10:13 am EST
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Runner Maggie Williams falling to the ground NewsChannel 21 / YouTube
David McLoone David McLoone Follow
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BEND, Oregon, April 30, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has walked back its mask mandate for outdoor sports competitions after a high school track athlete, forced to wear a mask while running, collapsed just before crossing the finish line.

800 meter runner Maggie Williams, a student at Summit High School, collapsed just as she was approaching the finish line, crashing to the ground as she struggled to breathe through the cloth mask she was obliged to wear per state rules at the time.

Despite competing outdoors in the fresh air and engaging in strenuous activity, the OHA required athletes to wear face coverings. Williams explained she “was pushing so hard and everything went blurry and I just fell,” according to a Breitbart report. “But luckily I fell at the right spot and crossed the line with my head [when the time is taken],” she added, maintaining a sense of humor after the incident.

Williams’ coach, Dave Turnbull, expressed deep concerns with masking athletes at the time of Williams’ fall, which he said resulted from “complete oxygen debt.”

“This is what I am worried about, and I said this at the beginning of the season. You get a kid running the 800 with a mask on, it is actually dangerous. They don’t get the oxygen that they need. This rule needs to change.”

Turnbull subsequently petitioned the OHA to change their ruling and safeguard the health of his athletes, sending the department images of Williams “hitting the ground” because of the mask.

“I warned them of this in a meeting over a month ago. Respiration requirements in events from 400 [meters] to 3K are far too high for masks,” Turnbull explained. “Moreover, carbon dioxide isn’t fully removed from the mask upon inhalation. The very reason we wear the masks to protect others is now a liability for the athlete when they increase respiration to the levels these athletes need.”

Turnbull questioned the sources used by the OHA to construct their guidance, asking the department to “[l]ook at the science of COVID transmission outside. It has been non-existent. Why are track athletes still required to run in a mask? What metrics are you following?”

About a week later, the OHA announced that new guidelines “will allow people to take off face coverings when competing in non-contact sports outdoors and maintaining at least 6 feet of distance from others and the other virus protective protocols.” They added that masks will still be required during training and before and after competitions.

A report entitled “Mask Mandates Do Not Save Lives,” published by American Thinker in March, draws attention to the statistics of deaths reportedly caused by COVID-19 — according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) data — and compares the deaths in U.S. states which have mask mandates with those that did not impose them.

Representing the figures as COVID-19 deaths per 10,000 people in each state, the average deaths for states with a mask mandate (40 states in total) was 13 deaths per 10,000 population. The states with no mask mandate (the remaining 10 states) averaged 12.6 deaths per 10,000 population. While people in the latter category were not required to don face coverings, they were free to do so.

Already, mask mandates can be seen to not only not provide any extra protection but, per the CDC’s own data, there is reason to believe that masks may pose their own health risk.

Compounding this concern are the data from states which imposed face mask rules earliest, under the impression that “a greater length of time under the rule of mask has been an effective way of assuring low death rates.”

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The American Thinker reported that, on average, the ten earliest states to adopt masking rules registered a slightly higher number of deaths than the forty-state average, coming in at 13.3 deaths per 10,000 population. This is, again, compared to an average of 12.6 deaths per 10,000 population among the states which imposed no mask mandate, suggesting that face masks do not prevent deaths.

In a follow-up article, author Spike Hampson noted that seven more states decided to relax mask requirements towards the end of March. Data from March 24–31 shows that those 17 states without mask mandates vastly outperformed the 33 states with mandates, regarding transmission of the virus.

According to Hampson, the 33 pro-mask states recorded “21.0 daily new cases per 100,000 people,” whereas in the “17 mask voluntary states [there were] 14.2 daily new cases per 100,000 people.”


  dave turnbull, maggie williams, mask mandates, oregon

News

Catholic university in New York commits to promoting LGBT ideology on campus

St. John’s University is led by Fr. Brian J. Shanley, O.P., who has a chequered past in Catholic academic institutions.
Fri Apr 30, 2021 - 9:58 am EST
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St. John's University St. John's University / Facebook
Michael Haynes Michael Haynes Follow Michael
By Michael Haynes

NEW YORK, April 30, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — The Dominican priest and president of the Catholic St. John’s University in New York City has committed the school to furthering and promoting LGBT ideology, stating that more must be done to include LGBT individuals, and saying the university policies must reflect this goal.

Fr. Brian J. Shanley, O.P., issued an internal memo — obtained by LifeSiteNews — in which he decried the recent findings of a report by “The Transgender Training Institute” (TTTI), which stated that “it is not currently possible to say that SJU is a community that is open and welcoming for LGBTQ+ students, staff and faculty.”

The report called on the university to take a “stronger, more vocal stance in support of LGBTQ+ people through both words and aligned actions.”

Writing internally to the university in response to the report, Fr. Shanley wrote that he was “disheartened to learn about the many negative experiences of our LGBTQ+ students, employees, and alumni: a lack of support, neglect, ignorance, bias, and prejudice.”

“It is clear, both from the climate survey and my own observations, that much work needs to be done to transform St. John’s into a place that is equitable and inclusive for LGBTQ+ people.”

“As the new president of St. John’s, I want everyone to know that I embrace the LGBTQ+ members of our community and that I am committed to leadership that will help to create a climate that realizes our mission to love and respect every individual as made in the image and likeness of God.”

Shanley added that LGBT individuals had “enriched our community in many ways,” mentioning that they had made “contributions” to the university for “generations,” doing so “nearly always without proper recognition and at great personal risk. We must all work together to create a campus that is more inclusive, respectful, affirming, and loving.”

The radical transformation of the campus which Fr. Shanley looks to implement would be expressed in new “practices, policies, and norms.”

Shanley proudly referenced how St. John’s was the first university to commit to a statement from a pro-homosexual advocacy group, which affirmed LGBT youth by telling them that “God is on your side.” Yet despite this, Shanley stated that the university needed to improve in its commitment to LGBT ideology, referencing a “culture of silence” when it came to “affirmation of LGBTQ+ community members.”

The TTTI also mentioned such a culture of silence: “[S]ilence translates into a campus where LGBTQ+ people are welcomed as members of the SJU community, but not necessarily embraced as LGBTQ+ people.” Shanley wrote that “it is a culture I am actively working to disrupt.”

The Catholic Church teaches that homosexual acts are one of the four sins that cry to heaven for justice. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered’. They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.” (CCC 2357)

The Catholic Church further teaches that the homosexual inclination is also “objectively disordered,” since God created sexual attraction for the purpose of drawing a man and a woman together to become husband and wife in marriage. In other words, the Catholic Churches teaches that God does not make anyone a homosexual.

Fr. Shanley, appointed president of the university in late 2020, revealed himself to be aware of the Catholic teaching regarding homosexuality, commenting that “some of the tenets of Catholic moral teaching create challenges for making LGBTQ+ people feel fully included and embraced.”

He described this Catholic doctrine as “a difficult and painful reality,” which was a detriment to “greater understanding and connection in our community.”

Potential pro-LGBT changes

The TTTI made a number of recommendations for the university, in order to become more in line with LGBT ideology. Among them were proposals for LGBT-specific Masses; pro-LGBT events, such as pride days; prioritizing “inviting LGBTQ+ speakers to campus”; increasing the number of “all gender bathrooms.”

The TTTI also recommended to use pronouns which align with the sex of which a student claims to be a member; provide “HR benefits” for “married” same-sex couples, including medical transitioning; begin a mandatory first-year seminar which would provide “LGBTQ+101 content, as well as content that is anti-racist, anti-ableist.”

Not only this, but the TTTI asked the university to perform actions which would seem to set the university in direct conflict with Catholic teaching on some matters.

Some such instances were the recommendations to “voice condemnation or solidarity when public news events of LGBTQ+ people intersect with the Catholic Church,” and “send messages to the university keeping the community abreast of the issue and offer support in affirming identities, highlight the mission of the university in affirming human dignity of LGBTQ+ peoples, and stress the message of inclusion embodied on campus.”

This latter suggestion was made in specific reference to the recent declaration by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, reiterating the Church’s teaching which bans blessings for same-sex couples.

In the internal memo, Fr. Shanley wrote that he would be asking the “senior management team, other campus leaders, and the Strategic Planning Committee to give careful attention to the Transgender Training Institute’s Climate Assessment.”

The various recommendations, as well as additional ones stemming from “ongoing community feedback,” would be “taken seriously,” he stated. “I am confident that our strategic plan will be responsive to the concerns highlighted in the climate survey.”

LifeSiteNews contacted the university about the matter, inquiring whether Fr. Shanley was concerned that his promotion of LGBT ideology placed him in opposition to the Church’s teaching on the matter, and if his actions could encourage students in a lifestyle condemned by the Church.

A spokesman for the university replied: “At St. John’s University, we embrace all members of the University community without exception in all that we do, and Fr. Shanley’s statements on the matters that you raise speak for themselves and the University.”

A constant tone for his presidency

The news comes just hours after LifeSiteNews reported on how Fr. Shanley was mandating COVID-19 injections for all on-campus students this fall. Citing the “expanded availability” of the injections, Shanley ordered that students must not only be injected, but provide proof of the event, in order to attend the university.

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Some exceptions would be provided for those who could provide “proof of a documented medical condition,” or who did not have the injection “due to religious beliefs.”

St. John’s, which proclaims its Vincentian “compassion and zeal for service,” could face backlash based on violation of human rights under the new policy. Since the COVID injections have so far only received emergency use authorization, they are as yet only experimental, and forcing individuals to partake of experimental medicine is a violation of the Nuremberg Code, which came to be as a result of the atrocities seen in World War II.

However, the latest two developments at St. John’s are no surprise, as Fr. Shanley 2255

In 2016, as president of Providence College, he verbally attacked then-Professor Anthony Esolen, who had criticized what he described as the college’s surrender to the “the Totalitarian Diversity Cult.” Shanley rebuffed Esolen by saying that both he and the college “understand and value diversity in a very different sense from him.”

That same year, Shanley invited “Rhode Island’s most notorious abortionist” to take part in a political panel discussion at the college.

Indeed, two years later, Fr. Shanley made headlines for initially refusing to condemn a gay-rape cartoon in Providence College, which threatened a pro-family, pro-marriage student. Michael Smalanskas had put up a poster on the college notice board, defending the Catholic teaching about marriage, but was subsequently placed under the protection of campus police, after being threatened by fellow students, and a cartoon depicting his forcible homosexual rape was placed in his dormitory bathroom.

After nearly a month, following the intervention of the local bishop and a petition by the laity, Fr. Shanley intervened to condemn the threats made against Smalanskas.


  brian shanley, catholic, gender, homosexuality, st. john's university

News

France to reopen society partially, with sanitary passports in place

The sanitary pass is a QR code proving that a person has been vaccinated, has a recent negative COVID-19 test, or has antibodies proving that he or she has already had the illness.
Fri Apr 30, 2021 - 9:50 am EST
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Mask mandate in France Shutterstock
Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
By Jeanne Smits

PARIS, France, April 30, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — French President Emmanuel Macron announced this Thursday that from May 2 until June 30, France will slowly be returning back to “normal,” following its third lockdown during the month of April. “Together, these following weeks, we are going to build the way that will take us back to normal life,” he announced on Twitter. However, by June 9, a sanitary pass will be required in order to join certain large events, making France the first European country to have institutionalized something that is very much like a vaccine passport. The “new normal” will still be considering every citizen as a potentially contaminating agent.

Macron announced the new measures in an interview with the regional press on Thursday evening, at a point in time when deaths attributed to the coronavirus have remained more or less stable at about 300 per day, in a population of 67 million, while at the same time there is no excess mortality compared to previous years.

Cases of positive tests have also remained stable since mid-March until April 20 and have been declining since then, which would suggest that the lockdown, curfew and closure of schools since late March did not play a significant role.

While the situation seems not to have changed much, Macron announced that as of May 3, inter-regional travel will again be allowed in France and self-authorizations will no longer be required when moving beyond 10 kilometers from one’s home. Schools will also open partially. Two weeks later, on May 19, the national curfew will be set at 9 p.m. instead of 7 p.m., and so-called non-essential shops will be allowed to reopen at last in a framework of stringent sanitary rules. Restaurants and bars are to remain closed until June 9, only terraces being allowed to receive the public with a maximum of 6 persons per table between May 19 and June 9.

On June 9, exhibitions and commercial fairs may open with up to 5,000 visitors, and these events will be the first to require a valid sanitary pass: a QR code proving that a person has been vaccinated, has a recent negative COVID-19 test, or has antibodies proving that he or she has already had the illness. The same will apply for tourists entering France. The curfew will move up to 11 p.m.

On June 30, the curfew will finally be lifted, all events wutg more than 1,000 people either outdoors or indoors will require the sanitary pass, which will in fact be stepped up as the sanitary situation supposedly improves. “Barrier gestures” — this theoretically includes masking — and social distancing will also be maintained beyond June 30.

By that date, the French government hopes that tourists from the European Union will have obtained their own “green sanitary pass” that would allow free movement throughout the EU.

This very precise schedule must not be taken for granted. Should the incidence rate of infection rise suddenly, or if intensive care units are too full, or if the incidence rate reaches 400 positive tests per population of 100,000 within seven days, “emergency brakes” will be applied with new closures and new restrictions, keeping all the citizens on their toes waiting for the government to give a bit of slack.

To summarize: A few restrictions are being lifted, probably too late for many a small neighborhood shop, and for many of the small bars and restaurants not belonging to national or international networks that form the social fabric of towns and villages. But the intrusions into people’s private lives are not on its way to be dismantled: Instead, tracking and monitoring of citizens according to the sanitary situation will become more and more frequent.

For the time being at least, vaccination as such is not an obligation, even though in practice pressure is being put on many old people and people working in the health services or the military to get the shot. Also, for the time being, the sanitary pass in its smartphone or printed version will only be required for large gatherings, not for entering “everyday places” such as restaurants, theaters, and the like, nor for “visiting friends,” as Macron put it.

The question remains: Have there been discussions in government circles regarding a sanitary pass for all social contact beyond the immediate family?

Many in France have underscored that Macron, who will be up for re-election in in the spring of 2022, can hardly take the risk of not opening up the country in view of the summer months: The French would not forgive him if they were deprived of their vacations. The approach of using sanitary passports can also be at least partly attributed to electoral concerns, but of course there’s no guarantee that stricter rules won’t apply when voting is over.

This has been prepared for a long time. At the European level, an EU vaccine passport was already on the table months before the COVID-19 crisis. In France, a government-run smartphone app which allows to trace “contact cases” was set up last year, with very little success. It was later replaced by “TousAntiCovid,” which was slightly more successful, also offering an online self-authorization form to move around during lockdown, with all one’s data neatly collected in a place accessible to the authorities. Since Tuesday, the app can provide the QR code proving vaccination or negative tests.

Having pioneered this surveillance material, France played a large role at the EU level to promote the sanitary pass. Earlier this week, European commissioner Thierry Breton, who hails from France, met with French government officials to streamline operations.

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And on this Thursday, the European Parliament approved a “European COVID-19 certificate” allowing freedom of movement within the EU. The pass was approved with 540 to 119 votes (and 31 abstentions). Once again, and thankfully, it will not be a full-fledged vaccination certificate but a document proving either vaccination or negativity. Such a pass would theoretically prohibit member states from imposing quarantines on travelers with a valid certificate, but a number of member states want to safeguard their capacity to impose such measures which belong to their sovereign competence.

The European Commission has said it is doing all it can to implement the new certificate, and has made clear that talks are underway with the United States in order to adopt similar reciprocal procedures.


  coronavirus restrictions, emmanuel macron, france, lockdowns, vaccine passports

News

Ireland bill would ban Catholic teaching, counseling for same-sex attraction, priest warns

The plain language of the bill ‘could easily be construed to include conversations in pastoral settings, homilies, catechesis of children or adults, or even the advice given to a person in confession.’
Fri Apr 30, 2021 - 9:46 am EST
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Raymond Wolfe Follow
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April 30, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Ireland is preparing a sweeping ban on so-called “conversion therapy” regarding people dealing with same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria, effectively criminalizing Catholic teaching and religious practices, a priest is warning.

Speaking with the Catholic News Agency (CNA), Fr. Phillip Bochanski, executive director of Courage International, raised concerns about legislation in the Irish Senate that seeks to ban “any practice” defined as “conversion therapy.”

The proposed bill, which has garnered almost 20 co-sponsors, targets “any practice or treatment by any person” designed to change sexual orientation or gender identity.

Bochanski, whose apostolate ministers to Catholics suffering from same-sex attraction around the world, said the Irish bill would “restrict the freedom, and often the willingness, of pastoral ministers and other people of faith and good will to speak, in public or one-on-one, about what the Word of God has to say on issues of sexual morality, attraction and identity.”

“Whether by accident or intentionally, the plain language of the bill –– ‘any practice’ –– could easily be construed to include conversations in pastoral settings, homilies, catechesis of children or adults, or even the advice given to a person in confession, if these present the Church’s teaching about sexual attraction, sexual identity, and chastity,” Bochanski said.

“Rather than restricting itself to protecting people from harmful treatment that would clearly be considered professional malpractice or even assault, it defines ‘conversion therapy’ to encompass ‘any practice or treatment by any person’ that addresses a person’s experience of same-sex attraction or gender identity discordance, unless it affirms that person’s identity as LGBTQ,” he continued.

Ireland’s pro-LGBT Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman also has tasked officials with determining ways to ban the practice, CNA reported. The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth already has prepared a paper on prohibiting conversion therapy and is working with the Department of Health to bring forward new proposals.

Bochanski noted that supporters of the bans often use varying definitions of “conversion therapy.” In public discussions, they “typically focus on stories of horrible treatment carried out by individuals and groups … with little or no psychological training or expertise,” he said.

However, the bills are frequently presented to lawmakers as means of “regulating medical doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists, and others in the healing professions,” the priest added.

“People seek the help of such professionals for various motives: to better understand and meet their emotional and relational needs; to find healing for wounds of trauma, abuse or neglect; and to overcome bad habits of anger, greed, lust or intemperance,” Fr. Bochanski said. “But unless the counselor affirms that such experiences are natural, inborn and perfectly healthy, their discussions with their patients or clients are often considered ‘conversion therapy.’”

Studies and psychological experts have attested to the success of therapies to treat same-sex attraction and gender dysphoria. “Of the patients I oversaw who sought to change their orientation, hundreds were successful,” Dr. Nicholas Cummings, the former president of the American Psychological Association (APA), has said.

Identity change among people who describe themselves as LGBT is highly common. Around half of those who choose non-heterosexual identifiers switch to another label later in life, most commonly to “completely heterosexual,” a major study found in 2016. Conversion rates of gender-confused individuals are even higher, at up to 98% for adolescent boys, according to the APA.

CNA pointed out that it is not clear what kind of “conversion therapy” actually has existed in Ireland. The Irish Department for Equality has admitted that it does not know the prevalence of the practice on the island, CNA said.

Plans to prohibit “conversion therapy” nevertheless have moved forward in Northern Ireland, as well. Last week, the Northern Irish Assembly passed a resolution calling for the criminalization of “conversion therapy” “in all its forms.” The assembly rejected an amendment that would have exempted “legitimate religious activities” like pastoral support and prayer.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has vowed to ban “conversion therapy” across the U.K., though the nation’s high court banned “gender transition” procedures for all minors last year.

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Proposals nearly identical to those introduced in Ireland have cropped up in other countries in recent months, including in Canada, Australia, and Puerto Rico. In an interview with LifeSiteNews in March, Bishop Daniel Fernández Torres of Arecibo, Puerto Rico, condemned a bill that would ban “any effort” to change sexual orientation or homosexual behavior as “abuse.”

“What will happen if the child wants to go to school with a uniform of the sex different from his own?” he asked. “Will the school be prosecuted for institutional abuse for making this ‘effort’ to be consistent with the school rules when treating a child according to his biological sex?”

“What will happen to a father who goes with his children to church, where they receive the teachings of the Catechism on the natural family and God’s creation? Will he be considered a child abuser for that?” the bishop added.


  conversion therapy, conversion therapy bans, gender dysphoria, ireland, phillip bochanski, reparative therapy, same-sex attraction

Opinion

Has Wikipedia banned LifeSite articles as a reference source?

Who is this 'community' that determines such bans, and what evidence did they use to determine that their 1.7 billion unique visitors per month should be protected from the dangers of LifeSiteNews? 
Fri Apr 30, 2021 - 1:11 pm EST
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RL Martin
By

LifeSiteNews has been permanently banned on YouTube. Click HERE to sign up to receive emails when we add to our video library.

April 30, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – The other day, I added LifeSiteNews to an article on Wikipedia about people and groups who have been suspended by YouTube (YouTube suspensions). When I attempted to add a link to LifeSiteNews, I got an error message stating that I was adding a link to a “deprecated source, generally considered unreliable after discussion by the community.”  

I published my changes without the link but did so grudgingly. Who is this “community” that determines such things, and what evidence did they use to determine that their 1.7 billion unique visitors per month should be protected from the dangers of LifeSiteNews? 

You can read the discussion the community had here.  

My take on their discussion is that the Wikipedia “community” trusts so-called “fact-checking” sites like snopes.com blindly while ignoring the bias of such sites. For instance, the largely derogatory LifeSiteNews Wikipedia page shares an article from Snopes that slanderously states LifeSiteNews is a “known purveyor of misleading information.” 

In this article, Snopes discusses an article by LifeSiteNews about Georgia ACLU employee Maya Dillard Smith, who, the article alleges, retired from the ACLU after her daughters were disturbed by transgenders in their bathrooms. Snopes does not say the article was false or even misleading. It just calls the article “unproven.” Evidently, fact-checking sites can now merely label something as unproven and feel justified in calling an organization a “purveyor of misleading information.” The truth is always misleading if you are determined to go down the wrong path!

Another “fact-checking” website called “Media Bias” claims that LifeSiteNews is a “questionable source.” They rate LifeSiteNews as far-right “for story selection that always favors evangelical Christianity”! If they had bothered to open the LifeSiteNews website, they would know it presents more of a Catholic worldview than an evangelical Protestant one.

It’s a shame that fact-checkers know so little about Christianity but yet they are the ones who presume to tell their readers what is true and what’s a lie. “Media Bias” also rates LifeSiteNews as “questionable based on the promotion of conspiracy theories, pseudoscience, and many failed fact checks.” All five of their so-called failed “fact checks” can be dismantled if only given the chance, but there’s no room for rebuttal or defense. For instance, one of them is another Snopes article about LifeNews, NOT LifeSiteNews. Apparently, fact checkers can be as sloppy as they want and the Wikipedia community will trust them before they trust LifeSiteNews.  

The founder of Wikipedia, Larry Sanger, left the organization years ago, calling it “Broken beyond repair.” 

He has also criticized Wikipedia for what he perceives as a leftist and liberal ideological bias in its articles,” his own Wikipedia page says. 

After my experience trying to edit the Wikipedia articles about LifeSiteNews, I think Mr. Sanger must be right. 

Wikipedia talks a nice game about being a charitable, unbiased organization. But it’s worth noting that the website’s budget is now $126 million and its list of benefactors includes the likes of the Johnson & Johnson Matching Gifts Program, Pfizer Foundation Matching Gifts Program, and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Perhaps that, more than anything else, helps explain why the “community” has been deprecating links to LifeSiteNews. 

Readers interested in becoming Wikipedia editors can learn about the process here, here, and here.

RL Martin blogs at rlmartinwrites.com.


  censorship, wikipedia

Blogs

Ellen Page claims to be celebrating being transgender, but her eyes tell a very different story

When Page sat down with Oprah Winfrey, it was not just for one of the intimate interviews the TV host is famous for. It was a power move calculated for maximum effect.
Fri Apr 30, 2021 - 1:44 pm EST
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Ellen Page in 2021 and in 2009 YouTube screenshot / Shutterstock
Jonathon Van Maren Jonathon Van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon Van Maren

April 30, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — In 2015, 17 million people watched Diane Sawyer interview Bruce Jenner about his decision to come out as Caitlyn. It was a TV event, heralded by many as a crucial tipping point in the battle for transgender media visibility. Cultural lightyears have elapsed since then — most media outlets covered the interview as a discussion with Bruce Jenner and referred to the former Olympian as he.

Six years on, referring to Ellen Page as “she” in the wake of her interview with Oprah about her transition to “Elliot Page” would be considered a hate crime in many quarters. “Deadnaming” now gets you unpersoned on social media.

Jenner broke the way; Page is using her celebrity status to consolidate transgender gains and push back against those seeking to stem the tide. “Coming out” is not just self-expression in an era where constructing the self is everything — it is the use of weaponized personal testimony to gin up empathy for a political agenda.

When Page sat down with Winfrey, it was not just for one of the intimate interviews the TV host is famous for. It was, much like Winfrey’s interview with Harry and Meghan, a power move calculated for maximum effect.

Going public with the details of her physical transition, Page told Winfrey, was important to her. Page famously posted a letter to social media explaining her decision, and she did this not just for personal reasons, but for political ones. “I was expressing this to people in my life much before posting that letter, and telling people for the first time, and knowing I wanted a moment to become comfortable in myself and to be able to get to that point,” the 34-year-old actress said.

“For me, in this time we’re in right now and especially with this horrible backlash we’re seeing towards trans people, particularly trans youth, it really felt imperative to do so.”

By “backlash,” Page is referring to legislation put forward or passed in many states to ensure that biological males identifying as female cannot participate in girls’ sports events. In states where this is occurring, biological males are cleaning house and taking home awards once designated for females. Resistance to this cultural sea change is now being reliably referred to as a “backlash,” as if those declining to accept the near-instantaneous restructuring of society are the aggressors in this culture war.

“With this platform I have, the privilege that I have, and knowing the pain and the difficulties and the struggles I’ve faced in my life — let alone what so many other people are facing — it absolutely felt just crucial and important for me to share that,” Page told Winfrey.

She referred to protections for girls in sports as “attacks,” as well: “Looking at the attacks against trans kids right now and the rhetoric, I can’t imagine what it feels like on top of everything else, and I just want kids to know that they’re loved and I’m going to continue to do what I can to help this society shift how it treats transgender people.”

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As I noted when Page ended up on the cover of TIME last month, despite her consistent assurances that having her breasts surgically removed and the rest of her physical transition have made her ecstatically happy, she appears desperately sad. She told Winfrey about her tears of joy, but one wonders, watching this lost celebrity with her vulnerable face, if those were just tears.

This entire story — which I suspect is nowhere near over — is painful to watch and painful to hear. Page claims to be celebrating, but her eyes tell a very different story. To those trumpeting her transition, of course, her happiness is irrelevant.

Her story is a loaded gun that can be aimed at those who dare to say that double mastectomies on physically healthy women is bad medicine. Page will serve their purpose before she crashes and burns.


  ellen page, gender ideology, oprah winfrey, transgenderism

Blogs

This account of ‘selective reduction’ abortion is one of the most chilling you’ll ever read

'Perhaps the fetus would register the cessation of the heartbeat in the neighboring sac, the stilling of the fluttery movements. Could the proximity of decaying fetal tissue infuse my womb with the specter of death?'
Fri Apr 30, 2021 - 1:42 pm EST
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shutterstock.com
Jonathon Van Maren Jonathon Van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon Van Maren

April 30, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – In 2016, the Washington Post covered the story of Brittneyrose Torres, a woman serving as a surrogate mother. Her womb was being rented to gestate triplets, for which she was being paid up to $30,000. There had been twins originally, but one embryo had split. The biological parents asked her to “eliminate the female, citing medical concerns.” A doctor told Torres there was nothing wrong with the unborn little girl, and an acrimonious battle ensued.

Such fights have become more common. Parents have offered surrogate mothers thousands of dollars to abort “imperfect” children and have actually sued mothers who refused (this did not happen in Torres’ case). Some doctors sell their services creating human life; others sell their services ending human life. Increasingly, human beings brought into this world in a petri dish are at risk of leaving it through the bloody suction hose of an abortionist’s aspirator.

Perhaps the most horrifying example of this is a 2013 essay in Elle magazine by Bettina Paige titled “Would you get a selective reduction?” A “selective reduction” is the banal term used to describe killing a twin; it is also referred to as a “plus one, minus one pregnancy.” Paige pursued in-vitro fertilization (IVF); she and her husband ended up expecting twins. This is when her husband stepped in. “Bettina, we can’t handle twins,” he said, as if one of their twins did not already exist. “I told you when you started all this that I didn’t want twins.”

Paige was under no illusions about what this meant. She’d known “selective reduction” had been a “contingency plan,” but hadn’t thought they’d ever use it. “Now,” she wrote, “I was horrified at the idea of terminating one of the fetuses growing inside me by injecting potassium chloride into his or her heart.” She knew that they were not talking about “reducing” twins—they were talking about killing one of them:

With my son, I'd witnessed the step-by-step progress from blip to eight-pound, two-ounce boy, marveling at the increasingly recognizable sonogram images, poring over the weekly e-mail announcements from a pregnancy website: Your baby now has fingernails, your baby is now the size of a lemon, a banana, a melon. ... And while I strongly believed in women's right to have an abortion, the unlucky fetus destined for elimination wasn't merely an abstract potential life, or an accident. He or she was the product of my love for my husband, a life we'd made together on purpose. This fetus had an identity, not least as someone's twin. "Selective reduction" was Orwellian; I knew I was ending what could be a life.

I also worried that the surviving child would be scarred by the loss. Perhaps the fetus would register the cessation of the heartbeat in the neighboring sac, the stilling of the fluttery movements. Could the proximity of decaying fetal tissue infuse my womb with the specter of death? If the chosen one ended up with mental illness or autism, would I always blame myself for having a reduction? All this may seem melodramatic, but I've heard about identical twins holding hands in utero; I've seen the secret language and private reality shared between even fraternal twins.

Despite all this—as well as “dreams with shadowy predators”—Paige hunted for a predator willing to perform the procedure, as this was too much even for many doctors willing to commit other feticides. Her husband was relentless in demanding that she kill one of the children. “But neither of us even likes our brothers and sisters that much,” he told his wife. His coldblooded regard for his siblings, it turned out, meant depriving one of his children of her twin.

Paige is one of those writers who believes that sharing her emotional turmoil over this horrifying decision can create empathy that excuses what she is doing. When she “watched the two little sacs on the sonogram darken and grow, develop heartbeats and vaguely human outlines,” she asked the doctor to turn the screen away because she didn’t want to “get attached.” Her doctor told her that he wouldn’t do a reduction, and that getting one would mean a 10% chance of losing both twins. She convinced herself that despite all that, it was the best thing to do.

After all, what would twins mean? No career advancement. Less money. More expenses. Complicated naptimes. She probably couldn’t work. But Paige knew all of those excuses were just that—excuses. “Wasn’t sacrifice part of what being a parent was all about? Was it more accurate to say that we didn’t want to handle twins, rather than we couldn’t?” Yes. But at the end of the day, “my husband and I fought over sharing the responsibilities of one child.” Her husband even got religious about it, telling her that the twins “weren’t part of God’s plan…They were the product of artificial insemination.”

She hid the decision from friends and family at first. Despite hoping there would be something wrong with one of them, she found out that “both my babies were healthy.” She and her husband got her mom to babysit their toddler while they went to abort his sibling. Reading Paige’s account, it is hard to understand why she decided to record it:

Our doctor told us that she'd take into account any gender preference if the CVS determined that both babies were equally healthy. Now as she examined the ultrasound, she asked whether gender mattered to us. “Well, we have a boy at home, so I guess we'd prefer a girl,” I said, realizing with a start that since she gave us a choice, I must be carrying a boy and a girl, and I'd just chosen to terminate a boy. I had a vision of what our son's brother might have looked like—the same dimples, slender back, and full lips. I felt a rush of nausea, as if I was eliminating a bit of him, too—or at least his DNA.

What I couldn't foresee, lying there on the table, was how guilty I'd feel watching my son struggle with having to share his mother with only one sibling: the girl I'd give birth to seven months later…The doctor spoke quietly to the ultrasound technician, instructing her to shift the wand this way and that. “I'm inserting the needle now,” she said. “You'll feel a pinch.” My husband moved to the head of the bed, just as he had during our son's birth. I stared up at him as he closed his eyes and his lips started to move in silent prayer.

“Selective reduction” abortions are one of the most chilling examples of humans playing God. Paige’s twins were brought into existence by a doctor—and a doctor killed one of them when his parents decided that another little boy would be too much. Created and killed by doctors, with the briefest of lifespans in between. It is the commodification of human life on a grand scale, and it is an indictment of our civilization.

Bettina Paige’s little boy—the one who might have had dimples, a slender back, and full lips—died at the end of a doctor’s needle, inches away from his sister. His sister was wanted. He was not. His father wanted him dead; his mother acquiesced. His short life should be remembered not as an example of why “selective reduction” is so difficult for the parents, but as a morality tale showcasing what happens when a truly sick culture gets a terminal diagnosis.


  abortion, bettina paige, in vitro fertilization, ivf, selective reduction

Blogs

‘Fertility is not a disease’: How a medical miracle changed this doctor’s stance on contraception

Dr. Michelle Cretella says that even though she always maintained her Catholic faith, she did disagree with the Church's teaching on contraception.
Fri Apr 30, 2021 - 12:15 pm EST
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John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry
By John-Henry Westen

April 30, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — In this episode of The John-Henry Westen Show, I speak with Dr. Michelle Cretella, the executive director of the pro-life and pro-family American College of Pediatricians. She recounts an incredible miracle story she underwent when she had brain cancer, and how her health struggles changed her perspective on contraception.

Dr. Cretella tells me that even though she always maintained her Catholic faith throughout, she did disagree with the Church’s teaching on contraception. Despite this, she was still very “dedicated to doing all I could to save babies from abortion and … to help women have alternatives to abortion.”

Dr. Cretella describes how in 2001, after waking up from sleep at night with terribly painful headaches, she was diagnosed with a tumor in her brain. The cancer was glioblastoma multiforme, a common and deadly brain tumor. Her husband immediately informed their church prayer group about this.

Throughout her experience, Dr. Cretella and her family continued to pray and rely on God for help. Between the diagnosis and the surgery, she was able to go to a parish mission where they were holding confessions. She says that the priest who headed the mission reminded and spoke about how “mortal sins … need to be confessed.”

Cretella mentions that when the priest spoke the words “artificial contraception,” she began to believe in the Church’s stance on the issue without fully understanding it. She states that “every argument in favor of contraception” she had heard and trusted in was all lies. She then promised God she would never use and promote it again.

A few days later, after the surgery, medical doctors discovered that the tumor was in fact a juvenile parasitic astrocytoma that’s “typically present in children.” It was therefore cured through surgey alone, and she was discharged a few days later cancer-free.

Ever since that experience, Dr. Cretella has refused to prescribe any contraception, and says that “fertility is not a disease.” Lastly, in our interview she calls on doctors and scientists to put a Christian worldview in science and medicine. “Sometimes you must first believe in order to understand, and that’s what I have learned in my life.”

The John-Henry Westen Show is available by video on the show’s YouTube channel and right here on my LifeSite blog.

It is also available in audio format on platforms such as SpotifySoundcloud, and ACast. We are awaiting approval for iTunes and Google Play as well. To subscribe to the audio version on various channels, visit the ACast webpage here.

We’ve created a special email list for the show so that we can notify you every week when we post a new episode. Please sign up now by clicking here. You can also subscribe to the YouTube channel, and you’ll be notified by YouTube when there is new content.

You can send me feedback, or ideas for show topics by emailing [email protected].

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  american college of pediatricians, catholic, church teaching, contraception, john-henry westen, john-henry westen show, michelle cretella, miracle story, the john-henry westen show

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Episodes Fri Apr 30, 2021 - 1:29 pm EST

‘Fertility is not a disease’: How a medical miracle changed this doctor’s stance on contraception

By John-Henry Westen   Follow John-Henry
By John-Henry Westen

In this episode of The John Henry Westen Show, Dr. Michelle Cretella, executive director of the pro-life and pro-family American College of Pediatricians, recounts an incredible miracle story she underwent when she had brain cancer, and how her health struggles changed her perspective on contraception.