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News

Bishop apologizes for invalid baptisms in his diocese, warns of more cases

The invalid baptism of one ‘priest’ had ‘horrible effects on the lives of those who thought that they were validly receiving sacraments.’
Mon Sep 21, 2020 - 9:14 pm EST
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Martin Bürger Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

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

FORT WORTH, Texas, September 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Following two instances in recent weeks of “priests” who found out they were never validly baptized in the first place – and therefore they were not validly ordained priests – Bishop Michael F. Olson of Fort Worth, Texas, has issued an apology to all Catholics for ministers deviating from the proper formula for baptism.

“It is possible that we will learn that this aberrant practice of changing the valid formula for Baptism may have occurred more often than we know right now,” Olson cautioned.

Father Zachary Boazman of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, discovered earlier this year that his “baptism,” conducted by Deacon Philip Webb in the Diocese of Fort Worth, was not a real baptism. Webb had used the words “We baptize you,” rendering the baptism invalid, instead of “I baptize you.”

Shortly after making this shocking discovery, Boazman was properly baptized, confirmed, and received Holy Communion. He was ordained both a deacon and a priest on the same day, September 12, to finally engage in parish ministry as a real priest.

The bishop of Fort Worth admitted that Boazman’s “invalid Baptism had horrible effects on the lives of those who thought that they were validly receiving sacraments administered by a man whom they thought to be a priest, and who thought himself to be a priest, but was in fact neither a priest nor even a Catholic.”

Due to the “positive and probable doubt” regarding all baptisms administered by Deacon Webb, Bishop Olson said anybody baptized (or thought to be baptized) by him needs to be conditionally baptized and conditionally confirmed.

The term “conditional” refers to the fact that it’s not a second baptism, but a first real baptism, in case the first “baptism” was actually invalid. However, a conditional baptism, if performed on a person who has already been validly baptized, doesn’t have any effect.

Bishop Olson offered some practical advice for Catholics confused about the validity of their baptisms, as well as restating the teaching of the Church on the sacraments.

“St. Thomas Aquinas consolingly reminds us that ‘God did not bind His power to the sacraments, so as to be unable to bestow sacramental effect without conferring the sacrament,’” he wrote. “Regarding Baptism specifically, the Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us (1257): ‘God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but He Himself is not bound by his sacraments.’ God is always giving us His Grace and He will never fail us even when we fail in our stewardship of the sacraments in their appropriate celebration.”

At the same time, “Christ instituted the sacraments as the ordinary way by which God gives us His sanctifying grace and has instructed us in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition in the stewardship of these treasures.”

Olson told Catholics to “presume the validity of your Baptism and the subsequent sacraments you have received unless you can establish positive and probable doubt in its validity. This means that one must have evidence (e.g., a video recording of the ceremony, an affidavit provided by an eyewitness, or the established fact of the regular and aberrant practice by a specific priest or deacon—as in the case of Deacon Webb) that his or her Baptism was not validly administered.”

If this is the case, the specific person needs to contact the parish priest, or the pastor of the parish where the baptism took place.

Olson said what all Catholics, not to mention deacons, priests, and bishops, should know, namely that baptism requires water, and the proper formula, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

“I apologize to all those whose lives have been adversely affected by the discovery that the sacraments they thought that they had received they, in fact, did not receive. Our priests and deacons stand ready with me to rectify these injustices to the best of our ability.”

“I recognize that the priests and deacons who committed these grave errors of judgment did so without malice and were even attempting to do good,” Olsen said. “Nevertheless, the Church requires of her ministers not just good intentions but also sufficient knowledge of what is expected and necessary in the administration of the sacraments. Let us always bear in mind that the People of God have a right to receive the sacraments in the form that the Church has prescribed them to be administered.”

Apart from Boazman, it was Father Matthew Hood who had a similar experience in the Archdiocese of Detroit, Michigan.

Hood had watched a video of his “baptism,” realizing it was invalid.

In order to rectify the situation, he was “baptized, confirmed and received the Eucharist on Aug. 9, ordained a transitional deacon on Aug. 15 and a priest on Aug. 17,” as reported by Detroit Catholic.

RELATED:

Reflections on the necessity for widespread access to conditional baptism


  baptism, baptismal records, catholic, fort worth

News

Head of German bishops: ‘I consider the female diaconate to be very legitimate’

Bishop Georg Bätzing presented arguments that could also be used to introduce female ‘priests’ or even ‘bishops.’
Mon Sep 21, 2020 - 7:36 pm EST
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Bishop Georg Bätzing of Limburg, Germany. Bistum Limburg / YouTube
Martin Bürger Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

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

LIMBURG, Germany, September 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The president of the German Bishops Conference said he considers “the female diaconate to be very legitimate.”

During an interview last week with Deutschlandfunk, a public radio station in Germany, Bishop Georg Bätzing of Limburg talked extensively about the role of women in the Church, not only signaling his openness to women “deacons” but presenting arguments that could also be used to introduce female “priests” or even “bishops.”

Bätzing said his position on female “ordination” “is very clear.”

“I became a priest,” he said, "and as a bishop I am bound in obedience to the teaching of the Church. Pope John Paul II made it clear in (Ordinatio Sacerdotalis): This is binding teaching of the Church. He at least wanted to make that clear.”

“There is also fundamental theological doubt as to whether this is already really binding. But in this respect for me it is a question of obedience. In discussions – and you can imagine that I am actually always asked about this – try to meet this obedience by presenting the arguments as they are called.”

Then Bätzing proceeded to question his “very clear” position. “But I also say to this, and I say this also to Rome and in Rome, that I notice, that in many cases, these arguments are not taken up anymore. And what is an argumentation, which cannot be understood or not accepted? In this respect, I say: for me the question is not closed, but it is there in the church as an open question and must be treated as such.”

The bishop said that traditionally, Catholics argued for an all-male priesthood by referring to the fact that the priest represents Christ’s relationship to the Church, thus reflecting “the relationship of a love between bride and bridegroom.”

Bätzing continued, “The question is crucial: How can this basic law, this watermark of the Church, be represented? Does it need a man for this, who then represents Christ the priest? Or can this also be done by a woman? This is certainly the case today in the completely different culture of discussion and social culture, where one can abstract from it, than it was in earlier times.”

He referred to Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

“This is related to baptism,” Bätzing said. “But can it end with this, with baptism? That is the question for me. The ‘Jews and Greeks’ already the apostles, the very early church had to clarify, in the question of the mission to the Gentiles and what is imposed on those who are not already Jews before they become Christians. In the Council of the Apostles, there were fierce arguments about this. The question has been clarified.”

“On the question of ‘slaves and free,’ it is not so long ago that we recognized the clear equality of all people within the Church,” he continued. “Then we had to laboriously accept again something that had emigrated from the Church and came to us through the Enlightenment and the demands of the revolution and the democracy movement.”

“I sometimes wonder whether we are not at this point today in the question of ‘male and female,’ to say: Here, Christian values have driven the social discussion so far and brought it so far that we as a Church must at some point also take up the issue and say: ‘Yes, there is no separation between male and female, because you are all one in Christ.’”

According to Bätzing, the sensus fidelium or sense of faith “plays a role in the development of teaching, alongside Scripture and Tradition and the Magisterium.”

This sense of faith, on the question of female “ordination,” “is not only present in women, but also in many men, that this is felt to be something unjust, that there is exclusion at this level of the sacramental for women. In this respect, I would say: I am not only a moderator, but I also make this my own.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes the sensus fidelium not as a vehicle to change Church teaching but as “this appreciation of the faith, aroused and sustained by the Spirit of truth,” whereby “the People of God, guided by the sacred teaching authority (Magisterium) … receives … the faith, once for all delivered to the saints … the People unfailingly adheres to this faith, penetrates it more deeply with right judgment, and applies it more fully in daily life.”

Bätzing made clear that he did not see the demand for female “ordination” in and of itself as an extreme position. 

“I said: access to all offices NOW, that is an extreme position, it is not to be expected. The question: ‘Can women be incorporated into these sacramental offices?’ – only a council will be able to answer that. Who else should have such authority?” (emphasis in original)


  catechism of the catholic church, diocese of limburg, georg batzing, john paul ii, magisterium, ordinatio sacerdotalis, women deacons, women's ordination

News

Subpoena demands logs of passengers on every Epstein flight for 30 years

Celebrities are beginning to ‘panic,’ according to British media.
Mon Sep 21, 2020 - 6:32 pm EST
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Jeffrey Epstein. ABC News / YouTube
Paul Smeaton Paul Smeaton Follow Paul
By Paul Smeaton

PETITION: Call for an additional Presidential Debate on Family Issues! Sign the petition here.

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, September 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The names of every passenger who traveled on aircraft belonging to deceased convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein could be revealed as the result of a subpoena by the Attorney General of the U.S. Virgin Islands, with UK media reporting that the move is “sparking panic” among Epstein’s celebrity friends.

“The Attorney General for the U.S. Virgin Islands, where Epstein had a home, has demanded logs for his four helicopters and three planes, from 1998 to his suicide last year,” the Mirror reported.

“Denise George has filed a lawsuit against Epstein’s estate, alleging 22 counts, including aggravated rape, child abuse and neglect, human trafficking, forced labour and prostitution.”

Epstein allegedly killed himself in his cell at New York’s Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in August 2019. The billionaire was being held on charges of trafficking underaged girls to be raped by himself and wealthy associates, in a high-profile case that was believed to implicate many prominent figures around the world.

Earlier this year, Ghislaine Maxwell, the woman accused of grooming and recruiting young girls for Epstein to prey upon, was arrested as part of a federal investigation into Epstein’s crimes that continues beyond his death. Maxwell continues to await trial after her arrest in July.

Last month, CNN reported that AG George “has filed subpoenas to serve Leon Black and his private equity firm Apollo Global Management, demanding financial documents and communications for the company and several other entities tied to Black in the civil case against Jeffrey Epstein's estate.”

Black is an American billionaire who “is currently listed as the chairman of The Museum of Modern Art and a trustee of Mt. Sinai Hospital, neither of which are mentioned in the subpoenas,” CNN reported at the time.


  apollo global management, child trafficking, denise george, ghislaine maxwell, jeffrey epstein, leon black, pedophiles, suicides, u.s. virgin islands

News

Will you help LifeSite fight and expose Big Tech censorship?

We have been experiencing a war-like ramp up of censorship by the Big Tech companies and their mainstream media allies in recent weeks.
Mon Sep 21, 2020 - 6:11 pm EST
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John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry
By John-Henry Westen

September 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Hopefully you saw my email last week announcing the launch of our fall fundraising campaign. We have been experiencing a war-like ramp up of censorship by the Big Tech companies and their mainstream media allies in recent weeks, especially against Christian, conservative, patriotic voices. That’s because we are exposing what they want to remain hidden from the public.  

And, they are determined that Trump and the Republicans MUST LOSE this time – no matter what it takes. This possible outcome will be disastrous, as the Biden-Harris administration is overwhelmingly against life, family, and faith.

I appeal to you today and stress how important it is that we receive your support, especially in these dramatic, revolutionary times.  

The stories and petitions that we publish clearly need to reach the public, without censorship, for many critical reasons. 

Recently, several LifeSite petitions went viral on social media and the internet, including one against mandatory vaccinations, and the other against mask mandates. Together, those petitions have received nearly 1,000,000 signatures!  

Yet, Facebook would not allow this information, which counters their narrative, to be freely spread. They actively censored the petition against mask-mandates, calling it “abusive” for some people, even though it was backed up with the best scientific and medical information.  

Later, Facebook restored the share link, calling their own decision “a mistake.” This incident illustrates that if people and organizations do not cower to the censors in Big Tech, truth will always prevail.  

This is exactly why we need your support to continue this important work.

With fear, censorship, and distrust rampant everywhere right now, remember that LifeSite is committed to bringing you stories that protect life, family, faith, and freedom – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

Our free news service comes at a cost and many readers have stepped up to support our efforts in this battle for our culture, for freedom, and for future generations. 

Today, we need our most committed supporters to give a gift of $50 to sustain our efforts to change the culture year-round. If you are able to give a gift today, please use this secure link: https://give.lifesitenews.com

Will you join them today and give a gift that will stop lies, defend truth in the face of censorship, and preserve the traditional principles of our culture, including the importance of freedom?  


  big tech censorship, campaign, fall 2020, fall fundraising campaign, frontlines 2020, fundraising, fundraising campaign

News

Applause as San Francisco archbishop denounces Mass restrictions

'They are mocking you,' Abp. Cordileone told Mass goers. 'And even worse, they are mocking God.'
Mon Sep 21, 2020 - 6:00 pm EST
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Abp. Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, Calif. Archdiocese of San Francisco / YouTube
Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug
By Doug Mainwaring

September 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — During his Sunday homily, San Francisco archbishop Salvatore Cordileone delivered a powerful message to the city’s politicians who have kept Catholic churches in lockdown, saying, “One person at a time inside of this great Cathedral to pray? What an insult. This is a mockery.”

“They are mocking you,” Cordileone told Mass goers. “And even worse, they are mocking God,” he declared.

Archbishop Cordileone slammed the city’s Mass restrictions at an outdoor Mass on the Plaza of San Francisco’s Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption, following Eucharistic Processions that had converged at the plaza before Mass.

“The highest law is love of God, and love of neighbor,” said Archbishop Cordileone. “And that law has to take precedence over human-made law of the state, when government would ask us to turn our backs on God, or on our neighbor in need.”

“Months ago, we submitted a safety plan to the city including masks and social distancing, just like indoor retail stores did. The city said yes to indoor retail, but we Catholics are still waiting to hear back. The city continues to place unrealistic and suffocating restrictions on our natural and constitutional right to worship,” said Cordileone, to the sustained applause of the faithful gathered. 

“This willful discrimination is affecting us all. And yes, it’s discrimination. There is simply no other word for it. We ask: Why can people shop at Nordstrom’s at 25% capacity but only one of you at a time is allowed to pray inside of this great cathedral, which is your cathedral? Is this equality?  No, there is no reason for this new rule except a desire to put Catholics — to put you — at the back of the line,” he said.

“For months I have pleaded with the city on your behalf, advocating for your need of the consolation of the Mass, and the consolation you derive from the practice of your faith and connection with your faith community. City Hall ignored us. City Hall ignored you. They didn’t deny it, but they simply ignored you. It has become clear to me that they just don’t care about you. To them, you are nothing. To them you don’t matter,” he stressed. “Let me repeat that: to City Hall, you don’t matter.”

Archbishop Cordileone was only warming up. 

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Archbishop Cordileone telling Mass goers to hold their applause:  “Wait, more is coming.” / Archdiocese of San Francisco Youtube screen shot

“Our city has abandoned God.”

“We know that when God is rejected by society, it only brings misery and despair,” continued the archbishop.

“Just look around our city. What has happened to our beloved city?” he asked. “San Francisco was once known as a place of great beauty and hospitality.”

Cordileone said that now, when people think of San Francisco, they think of rampant homelessness and sprawling tent cities, drug-dealing and “shooting up in broad daylight,” and human feces on the streets. 

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“Our city has abandoned God,” he declared to the thunderous approval of the crowd. 

Our Blessed Lord is openly mocked to the gleeful friends of the cultural elites. The sacred symbol of the religious habit is blasphemed with the glowing approval of those who profess mutual respect and tolerance for others who are different while they openly discriminate against us.

This, my dear brothers and sisters, is godlessness. Sheer godlessness.  

What do we people of faith do when faced with sheer godlessness?

He continued:

We have patiently been putting up with unjust treatment long enough. And now it is time to come together to witness to our faith and to the primacy of God and to tell City Hall, “No more.”

Cordileone, who had consecrated the archdiocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, stressed that all must “live the consecration” by “praying the rosary daily, and as a family at least once a week” and by “spending at least one hour a week in Adoration of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament” and “by fasting on Fridays and by frequently availing yourselves of the Sacrament of Penance.”

“I never expected that the most basic religious freedom, the right to worship — protected so robustly in our Constitution’s First Amendment — would be unjustly repressed by an American government,” Cordileone proclaimed in a Washington Post op-ed last week.

“But that is exactly what is happening in San Francisco. For months now, the city has limited worship services to just 12 people outdoors,” said Cordileone. “Worship inside our own churches is banned. The city recently announced it will now allow 50 for outdoor worship, with a goal of permitting indoor services up to a maximum of 25 people by Oct. 1 — less than 1 percent of the capacity of San Francisco’s St. Mary’s Cathedral.”

“And it is not just San Francisco. According to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, six states with a combined population of 67 million Americans single out religious worship for unfavorable treatment compared to similar secular activities: California, New Jersey, Maine, Virginia, Connecticut and Nevada,” he continued. “When government asserts authority over the Church’s very right to worship, it crosses a line. Our fundamental rights do not come from the state. As the authors of our Declaration of Independence put it, they are ‘self-evident’ — that is, they come from God.”

“All we are seeking is access to worship in our own churches, following reasonable safety protocols — the same freedoms now extended to customers of nail salons, massage services and gyms,” he concluded. “It’s only fair; it’s only compassionate; and, unlike with these other activities, it’s what the First Amendment demands.”

To support Archbishop Cordileone’s call for the reopening of Catholic Masses, xign the petition here.

Respectfully contact:

Mayor London Breed
1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl,
San Francisco CA 94102

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 415-554-5977


  archdiocese of san francisco, catholic, coronavirus, freedom of religion, lockdown, salvatore cordileone

News

New Fr. Altman video quotes Fulton Sheen, Pius X: Liberal Catholics are wolves in sheep’s clothing

Father James Altman, the priest behind the viral video about how Catholics can’t be Democrats, said he received ‘incomprehensible thanks’ from the laity for his first video.
Mon Sep 21, 2020 - 5:55 pm EST
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Fr. James Altman in his Aug. 30, 2020 video 'You cannot be Catholic & a Democrat. Period.' Alpha News MN / Youtube
Dorothy Cummings McLean Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy
By Dorothy Cummings McLean

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

LA CROSSE, Wisconsin, September 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) ― The priest who warned Catholics that they could go to hell for supporting the Democratic Party has doubled down by telling his detractors that they’ll face the saints one day. 

“Anyone can, however erroneously, complain about my manner, tone, or ‘divisiveness’ in the video, but good luck,” Father James Altman said in a new video released yesterday morning. 

“Good luck when you get to the gates of heaven because Cardinal St. John Henry Newman is going to be there. Pope St. Pius X is going to be there. Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen is going to be there. They’ll be standing at the gates.”

The priest had quoted these three saints earlier in his new sermon. Altman says his detractors will also find Cardinal Robert Sarah and Pope Benedict XVI, whom the priest referenced in his first video, behind them or there first. Either way, Altman promises his critics will be schooled. 

“You’ll get crushed in a sandwich of truth,” he said. 

Entitled “Liberal Catholics are Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing,” Altman’s short video has already been viewed over 65,000 times. His first video with Minnesota-based Alpha News, “You Cannot Be a Democrat & a Catholic. Period.” has been seen more than 825,000 times. 

In his new homily, Altman took on left-leaning Catholics by reading Pope St. Pius X’s warning to his priests: 

Let priests take care not to accept from the liberal any ideas which, under the mask of good, pretend to reconcile justice with iniquity. Liberal Catholics are wolves in sheep’s clothing. The priest must unveil to the people their perfidious plot, their iniquitous design. You will be called papist, clerical, retrograde, intolerant, but pay no heed to the derision and mockery of the wicked. Have courage; you must never yield, nor is there any need to yield. You must go into the attack whole-heartedly, not in secret but in public, not behind barred doors, but in the open, in the view of all.

Altman’s first video, which explained why faithful Catholic cannot vote for the Democratic Party, attracted thanks and praise from Catholics all over the world, the priest revealed in his follow-up address. 

“It was so beautiful: It was like opening up the proverbial floodgates,” he said. 

“I even have friends in Borneo now.” 

Altman received testimonies from Catholics saying his words had confirmed them in their faith or brought them back to the faith. They were, he said, “starving for someone to finally speak up and speak the truth.” 

The priest called his August 30 homily, which took the Democrats to task for their support for abortion extremism, a “no brainer” and merely a “presentation of faith and morals” that is “the purview of Holy Mother Church.” He read Cardinal St. John Henry Newman’s statement that “the great tragedy of the Church is the ignorance of the laity” and remarked that the situation has gotten worse. Meanwhile, he often hears that the laity are poorly catechized, he said, but then “if someone even tries ― ! Well, as we’ve seen, all hell breaks loose.” 

Altman was referring to the controversy that has been raging since his first video appeared, which he connected with the current assault on free speech called “cancel culture.” After Altman’s first video, he revealed that his ordinary,  La Crosse Bishop William P. Callahan, had asked him to stop live-streaming Masses. The priest also revealed that he had received “vile and despicable” comments, letters, emails, and phone calls after Fr. James Martin urged his followers to complain.  

Callahan also said Altman may face “canonical penalties.”

In Altman’s view, leftists have proved Archbishop Charles Chaput’s avowal that “evil preaches tolerance until it is dominant. Then it seeks to silence the good.” The current rioting, arson, and “cancel culture” are attempts to impose an “oppressive and socialist attitude” through bullying, Altman believes.

“We’re witnessing it now in the opposition to the video,” Altman said.

Altman argued that the video is not “divisive” and that the division is real. What his video does, he believes, is mention the “elephant” in the middle of the room. Moreover, he has not only the right, thanks to the American Constitution, but the duty to speak to moral issues in the public sphere. 

“Trey Trainor, head of the FEC (Federal Election Commission), said recently that pastors have a duty to properly form the conscience of their families,” Altman said. 

“That’s what I was doing. I hope that’s what everybody would do.”

Moreover, the FEC chief said that any church could endorse a specific candidate or a specific political party, the priest noted. 

“So we can and should present moral theology in the context of the public sphere,” he concluded, then quoting Archbishop Sheen’s famous maxim that “A religion that does not interfere with the secular order will soon discover that the secular order will not refrain from interfering with it.”

Altman continued to cite Sheen, who used robust language, including “hatred” for sin, e.g. “Charity is the infusion of the spirit of God which makes us love the beautiful and hate the morally ugly.” 

The priest also pointed out that priests should not lead people to presume upon God’s forgiveness by quoting Cardinal Robert Sarah’s warning: “Do not deceive people with the word of mercy because God forgives sins only if we repent of them.”

Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas first expressed his support for the fiery homilist on September 5. 

“As the Bishop of Tyler I endorse Fr. Altman’s statement in this video,” Strickland tweeted regarding the controversial August 30 address. 

“My shame is that it has taken me so long. Thank you Fr Altman for your COURAGE. If you love Jesus & His Church & this nation … please HEED THIS MESSAGE.”

Hundreds of other Catholics also made a public show of support for Altman when they gathered for a Rosary rally in La Crosse on September 15. One participant called the priest a modern-day St. John the Baptist. 

Contact information for respectful communication:

Bishop William P. Callahan
Diocese of La Crosse
3710 East Avenue South
P.O. Box 4004
La Crosse, WI   54602-4004
Tel: (608)788-7700 

Debbie Brannon
Assistant to Bishop Callahan
[email protected]


  benedict xvi, catholic, charles chaput, democratic party, diocese of la crosse, federal election commission fec, fulton sheen, james altman, john henry newman, joseph strickland, liberal catholics, pius x, robert sarah, william callahan

News

Stillbirths spiking across the world due to COVID-19 lockdowns

Attempts to protect women from the coronavirus has led to women cancelling routine appointments and failure to monitor potential health complications.
Mon Sep 21, 2020 - 5:25 pm EST
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shutterstock.com
Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

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

September 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Suspension and delay of non-coronavirus medical care has caused stillbirths to spike across several nations, according to several studies, including one published recently in The Lancet.

The Lancet study found that stillbirths in Nepal rose from 14 per 1,000 births pre-lockdown to 21 per 1,000 births over the span of two months, Nature reported. The study’s authors further noted that the full extent of the impact remains unknown, as the lockdowns also caused a spike in pregnant women choosing to give birth outside of hospitals.

“Nepal has made significant progress in the last 20 years in health outcomes for women and their babies, but the last few months have deaccelerated that progress,” said study leader Ashish K.C. of Sweden’s Uppsala University. She specifically attributed the issue to cancellations of routine appointments that would have identified complications early enough to treat.

Stillbirth spikes have also been reported by hospitals in India and London as well, Nature added. Doctors at St George’s, University of London report that stillbirths at St. George’s Hospital have almost quadrupled compared to last year.

“What we’ve done is cause an unintended spike in stillbirth while trying to protect (pregnant women) from COVID-19,” midwifery specialist Jane Warland of the University of South Australia in Adelaide told Nature. For instance, “women with hypertension aren’t being managed as they normally would, and undetected hypertension is a risk factor for stillbirth.”

These are only the latest concerns raised over the public health toll of the lockdowns, which were originally sold on the justification of conserving hospital supplies and capacity for coronavirus patients.

In July, a comparative analysis of ten nations conducted by the conservative Heritage Foundation found that the most restrictive lockdowns were not more effective at saving lives than more targeted policies tailored for those most at risk.

In May, a group of 500 doctors warned President Donald Trump that it was “impossible to overstate the short, medium, and long-term harm to people’s health with a continued shutdown (...) The millions of casualties of a continued shutdown will be hiding in plain sight, but they will be called alcoholism, homelessness, suicide, heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure.”


  coronavirus, covid-19, lancet, lockdowns, public health, stillbirth

News

Fauci calls for strengthening WHO, ‘rebuilding infrastructure of human existence’

A 'global biosafety cooperation' should be improved 'by strengthening the United Nations and its agencies, particularly the World Health Organization,' Fauci and one of his colleagues argued.
Mon Sep 21, 2020 - 4:28 pm EST
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Dr. Anthony Fauci. Weill Cornell Medicine / YouTube
Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

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

September 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Combating future infectious diseases such as COVID-19 will require “rebuilding the infrastructures of human existence,” including greater submission to international authority, controversial coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci wrote recently in a prominent medical journal.

“Living in greater harmony with nature will require changes in human behavior as well as other radical changes that may take decades to achieve: rebuilding the infrastructures of human existence, from cities to homes to workplaces, to water and sewer systems, to recreational and gatherings venues,” Fauci and National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases scientific senior adviser David Morens wrote in the September 3 edition of Cell

“In such a transformation we will need to prioritize changes in those human behaviors that constitute risks for the emergence of infectious diseases,” Fauci and Morens continued. “Chief among them are reducing crowding at home, work, and in public places as well as minimizing environmental perturbations such as deforestation, intense urbanization, and intensive animal farming. Equally important are ending global poverty, improving sanitation and hygiene, and reducing unsafe exposure to animals, so that humans and potential human pathogens have limited opportunities for contact.”

The duo also suggested that “global biosafety cooperation” should be improved “by strengthening the United Nations and its agencies, particularly the World Health Organization” (among other measures).

“Fauci and Morens’s prescription should give every lover of liberty and national sovereignty great pause,” responded the Discovery Institute’s Wesley Smith. “At the very least, the gargantuan task would require unprecedented and intrusive government regulations and the transferring of policy control from the national to international level—nothing less than an international technocratic and authoritarian supra-governing system—with the power to direct how we interact with each other as family, friends, and in community.”

Fauci’s critics also find his advice alarming in light of the WHO’s various statements legitimizing the false claims coming out of the Chinese government in the early days of the outbreak, which downplayed the gravity of the outbreak and covered up the Communist regime’s mishandling of it.

Fauci’s own record on the outbreak is similarly contentious. In February he said there was “absolutely no reason whatsoever to wear a mask” in the United States; by July he was suggesting that Americans wear not only masks but goggles and face shields. Critics have also faulted him for floating the idea of requiring Americans to carry “certificates” documenting their immunity to COVID-19 and suggesting that handshaking should be abolished but sex with strangers remains alright if “you’re willing to take a risk.”

Contact information for respectful communication:

President Donald Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
WhiteHouse.gov/contact


  anthony fauci, coronavirus, covid-19, david morens, public health, united nations, world health organization

News

BREAKING: Trump to speak at National Catholic Prayer Breakfast on Wednesday

The event is online this year.
Mon Sep 21, 2020 - 3:30 pm EST
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Paul Smeaton Paul Smeaton Follow Paul
By Paul Smeaton

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

WASHINGTON D.C., September 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — President Donald J. Trump will address the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast (NCPB) in Washington D.C., this Wednesday, September 23. 

The NCPB hasn’t formally announced Trump as their speaker, but a Politico reporter and the advocacy group CatholicVote shared the news on Twitter today.

“A fitting recognition of the President’s and Catholics’ shared commitment to the defense of human life, the dignity of workers, and the freedom to practice our faith,” CatholicVote tweeted in response to the news.

The breakfast, which this year is taking place online, is a fixture in the Washington, D.C. annual event calendar.

“Each year, over 1,500 people gather in our nation’s capital to pray for our country,” the NCPB website reads.

Vice President Mike Pence, who was raised Catholic but is now evangelical, spoke at the NCPB in 2017.

Earlier this year Trump became the first U.S. president to attend the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. and is considered by many veteran pro-life activists to be the most pro-life president in history.

In a proclamation issued prior to the march, Trump declared January 22, the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision imposing abortion on demand across the country, to be “National Sanctity of Human Life Day.”

“Every person — the born and unborn, the poor, the downcast, the disabled, the infirm, and the elderly — has inherent value,” Trump stated and said that the U.S. “proudly and strongly reaffirms our commitment to protect the precious gift of life at every stage, from conception to natural death.”

As president, Trump has reinstated and expanded the ban on foreign aid to abortion-involved groups (including International Planned Parenthood Federation), banned groups that commit or refer abortions from Title X family planning funds, overturned Obama-era regulations that barred states from defunding Planned Parenthood, and issued rules protecting Americans from being forced to subsidize abortion in government-mandated health insurance plans.

The president has also forcefully denounced abortion, calling attention to Democrats’ opposition to anti-infanticide legislation and calling on Congress to send him a ban on late-term abortion to sign. Most of his judicial nominees have pleased pro-lifers as well.

In addition, the administration has consistently worked to defend life and oppose abortion at the United Nations, from resisting pro-abortion agenda items and resolution language to affirming that abortion isn’t a human right and promoting abstinence education

Also speaking at the the prayer breakfast will be Los Angeles Bishop Robert Barron and U.S. Attorney General William Barr. Barr, who is a Catholic, is due to receive the “Christifideles Laici” award at the event.


  abortion, catholic, national catholic prayer breakfast, president trump

News

Did a doctor perform mass hysterectomies on detained immigrant women?

A lawsuit claims numerous women had their uteruses removed, but the Department of Homeland Security says 'there is nothing to support the allegations … in the medical records.'
Mon Sep 21, 2020 - 12:35 pm EST
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Martin Bürger Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

PETITION: Ask Treasury Secretary Mnuchin to eliminate tax deductions for abortions! Sign the petition here.

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) at this point has found no evidence supporting allegations of a doctor unnecessarily removing the uteruses of women in custody at a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility in Georgia.

“In our initial review of the paper documents available, there is nothing to support the allegations related to hysterectomies in the medical records,” a DHS spokesperson told LifeSiteNews on Sunday.

The spokesperson also referred to a report by the Associated Press (AP), according to which “the lawyer who filed the complaint indicated that the allegation related to hysterectomies is speculative and was submitted to get us to investigate it.”

The article emphasized the AP was unable to find “evidence of mass hysterectomies as alleged in a widely shared complaint filed by a nurse at the detention center.” 

Priyanka Bhatt, one of the lawyers who helped file the nurse’s lawsuit, “said she never spoke to any women who had hysterectomies.” She also admitted “she included the hysterectomy allegations because she wanted to trigger an investigation to determine if they were true.”

Nevertheless, after reviewing medical records for four women and conducting interviews with lawyers, the AP found support for “growing allegations” that the doctor in question performed “surgeries and other procedures on detained immigrants that they never sought or didn’t fully understand.”

“Although some procedures could be justified based on problems documented in the records,” the AP continued, “the women’s lack of consent or knowledge raises serious legal and ethical issues, lawyers and medical experts said.”

Dr. Mahendra Amin, a gynecologist, had treated “at least eight women detained at Irwin County Detention Center [ICDC] since 2017, including one hysterectomy, said Andrew Free, an immigration and civil rights lawyer working with other attorneys to investigate medical treatment at the jail. Doctors are helping the lawyers examine new records and more women are coming forward to report their treatment by Amin, Free said.”

The DHS spokesperson emphasized in a statement to LifeSiteNews that its investigation into the allegations is still ongoing. “Our document review continues to be absolutely sure of the situation at the facility in question,” the spokesperson wrote.

Last Tuesday, The Intercept first reported on the complaint filed by human rights group Project South.

“Several immigrant women have reported to Project South their concerns about how many women have received a hysterectomy while detained at ICDC,” the complaint stated. “One woman told Project South in 2019 that Irwin sends many women to see a particular gynecologist outside the facility but that some women did not trust him. She also stated that ‘a lot of women here go through a hysterectomy’ at ICDC.”

“More recently, a detained immigrant told Project South that she talked to five different women detained at ICDC between October and December 2019 who had a hysterectomy done. When she talked to them about the surgery, the women “reacted confused when explaining why they had one done.” 

“The woman told Project South that it was as though the women were ‘trying to tell themselves it’s going to be OK.’ She further said: ‘When I met all these women who had had surgeries, I thought this was like an experimental concentration camp. It was like they’re experimenting with our bodies.’”

As reported by The Daily Caller on Thursday, Dr. Mahendra Amin was in trouble with the law a number of years ago, settling a lawsuit for $520,000.

“Amin had been accused of orchestrating a scheme at Irwin County Hospital (ICH) in Georgia, which he was a part-owner of, in which unnecessary procedures were administered on patients to bolster federal Medicare and Medicaid payments to the hospital, according to the indictment,” the article recounted.

Several top Democrats have commented on the allegations.

“If true, the appalling conditions described in the whistleblower complaint — including allegations of mass hysterectomies being performed on vulnerable immigrant women — are a staggering abuse of human rights,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

Congressman Bennie Thompson, the Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, directly attacked the Trump administration. “We cannot allow the Trump administration’s horrific anti-immigrant policies to continue to threaten the general health and wellness of migrants in government care or of the personnel working at these facilities,” he said.

In 2014, the California State Auditor released a report which showed that of the 144 prison inmates “who underwent tubal ligations from fiscal years 2005-06 to 2012-13, auditors found nearly one-third were performed without lawful consent.” 

“In some cases, physicians falsified the consent forms,” USA Today reported. The audit found “that all women receiving tubal ligations had been incarcerated at least once before, indicating that they were repeat offenders,” seeming to suggest they were targeted.

Forced sterilization in California prisons was the subject of a Human Rights Watch film released earlier this year.

Beginning in 1932, what is now known as the infamous Tuskegee Study or Tuskegee Experiment was a “40-year experiment run by Public Health Service officials followed 600 rural black men in Alabama with syphilis over the course of their lives, refusing to tell patients their diagnosis, refusing to treat them for the debilitating disease, and actively denying some of them treatment,” The Atlantic summarized.

According to the National Library of Medicine:

A study by the U.S. General Accounting Office [found] that 4 of the 12 Indian Health Service regions sterilized 3,406 American Indian women without their permission between 1973 and 1976. The GAO [found] that 36 women under age 21 were sterilized during this period despite a court-ordered moratorium on sterilizations of women younger than 21.

Two years earlier, an independent study by Dr. Connie Pinkerton-Uri, Choctaw/Cherokee, found that one in four American Indian women had been sterilized without her consent. PInkerton-Uri’s research indicated that the Indian Health Service had “singled out full-blooded Indian women for sterilization procedures.”


  forced sterilization, hysterectomy, ice, immigration

News

Join our daily worldwide rosary HERE

LifeSite's rosary for September 21, 2020.
Mon Sep 21, 2020 - 10:47 am EST
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Claire Chretien
Claire Chretien

September 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – In response to the crisis unfolding in our world and in the Church, LifeSite is offering Catholics throughout the world a chance to be united daily in prayer, in the Our Lady of Fatima Rosary Crusade.

Catholics from all over the world—from Israel, Uganda, Italy, France, Germany, Ireland, Pakistan, Singapore, the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, the United Kingdom, the U.S., Canada, Brazil, and other countries—are gathering daily to pray the rosary, led by Father Anthony Pillari, J.C.L., an American priest currently studying in Italy.

Our goal is, by means of this daily rosary and by embracing and living out the message given by the Virgin Mary at Fatima, the triumph of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart.

To help obtain that goal, Bishop Athanasius Schneider graciously composed the following prayer for this worldwide rosary crusade:

O Immaculate Heart of Mary, you are the holy Mother of God and our tender Mother. Look upon the distress in which the Church and the whole of humanity are living because of the spread of materialism and the persecution of the Church. In Fatima you warned against these errors, as you spoke about the errors of Russia. You are the Mediatrix of all graces. Implore your Divine Son to grant this special grace for the Pope: that he might consecrate Russia to your Immaculate Heart, so that Russia will be converted, a period of peace will be granted to the world, and your Immaculate Heart will triumph, through an authentic renewal of the Church in the splendor of the purity of the Catholic Faith, of the sacredness of Divine worship and of the holiness of the Christian life. O Queen of the holy Rosary and our sweet Mother, turn your merciful eyes to us and graciously hear this our trusting prayer. Amen.

+ Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of the archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana


To learn more about the urgency of responding to Our Lady’s message at Fatima, and about what you can do, please read Cardinal Burke’s 2017 address at the Rome Life Forum (https://voiceofthefamily.com/full-text-cardinal-burkes-historic-call-for-consecration-of-russia/).

As St. Padre Pio once said, “The rosary is the weapon for these times.” Through prayer, God can shape history, change the world, and bring about a great time of renewal and peace for the Church and for the world, through the triumph of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart. Join us today!

If you would like to follow along with the prayers said during this rosary, you can access them via this PDF. This document also includes a brief F.A.Q. pertaining to the daily rosary on LifeSite led by Fr. Pillari.

One of the prayers Fr. Pillari will also be saying for special protection is the following:

"O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee; crush the plans of the enemy under your heel, and obtain from your Divine Son an election according to His Holy Will.” 

For the last 27 days of the 54-day novena, add: “we thank you for obtaining this grace.”

 

You can send your prayer requests and intentions via the contact form found here https://www.lifesitenews.com/rosary

 

  anthony pillari, catholic, coronavirus, rosary

News

‘APOCALYPSE NOW’: America braces for bitter Supreme Court confirmation fight weeks before election

'The pro-life grassroots have full confidence that President Trump, Leader McConnell, Chairman Graham, and every pro-life senator will move swiftly to fill this vacancy.'
Mon Sep 21, 2020 - 9:03 am EST
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Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire
By Claire Chretien

ANALYSIS

September 20, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on September 18 has raised the stakes of the 2020 presidential election even higher than they were before, with just weeks to go before election day.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already promised that the U.S. Senate will vote on President Donald Trump’s nominee. 

If the Senate does indeed vote, this will be the third Supreme Court vacancy President Donald Trump will fill – or attempt to fill – during his first term. 

Commenting on the widely-viewed video footage of leftists banging on the doors of the Supreme Court before Justice Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in, “It was madness in Washington,” Fox News host Laura Ingraham said on her show The Ingraham Angle Friday night. Quipping that summer 2020 has been a “summer of love” filled with riots and civil unrest, she then grimly said, “I don’t know what the ‘fall of love’ is going to look like.”

During a rally in North Carolina on September 19, Trump said his nominee will be a woman. Ginsburg was the second woman to be nominated to the high court.

Amy Coney Barrett is often the first name pro-lifers bring up in the context of Trump’s next Supreme Court appointment, but she is far from the only possibility. Barrett, a Catholic mother of seven, became famous when Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) interrogated her about her Catholic faith during her confirmation hearing for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017. 

“The dogma lives loudly within you,” Feinstein told Barrett, who at the time was a University of Notre Dame law professor.

On September 9, Trump released another list of people he’d consider nominating to the high court. Among them are pro-life Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Josh Hawley (R-MO), and Tom Cotton (R-AR), although it’s unlikely any of them will be nominated. 

Hawley tweeted Saturday morning that he will only vote to confirm Supreme Court nominees “who understand and acknowledge that Roe [v. Wade] was wrongly decided.”

In addition to Barrett, two female possibilities are Allison Jones Rushing and Barbara Lagoa. The former, who is evangelical, previously interned for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and now sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. The latter was the first Hispanic woman to be appointed as a Justice on the Supreme Court of Florida.

Rushing’s connection to ADF and her youth – she’s in her late 30s, a full 10 years younger than Barrett – make her a stalwart social conservative candidate. Lagoa is in her 50s, and does not seem to have much of a record on abortion, but her nomination could galvanize the swing voters of Florida to turn out for Trump once again.

Also on Trump’s new list of possible nominees is Sarah Pitlyk. Pitlyk, a Catholic, was part of the defense team for Center for Medical Progress head David Daleiden in Planned Parenthood’s case against him for exposing the abortion giant’s sale of organs from aborted babies. 

It is worth noting that Catholic Supreme Court justices, with the exceptions of Clarence Thomas and the late Antonin Scalia, are far from guaranteed to rule on or express in their dissents support for the side of unborn children and natural law.

Retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, a Catholic, infamously paved the way for legal recognition of homosexual unions, ultimately as “marriages.” 

Obama appointee Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who always sides with the court’s liberal wing, including on abortion, homosexuality, and transgenderism, is a non-practicing Catholic. 

Justices John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh are also Catholic. The former sided with the abortion lobby in June Medical Services v. Russo this past summer and upheld pro-abortion, pro-contraception Obamacare. Although Kavanaugh dissented from Bostock v. Clayton County, which wrote transgenderism into 1964 civil rights law, he nevertheless praised its outcome, saying he merely disagreed with the court’s reasoning in getting there.

Justice Neil Gorsuch was also “raised Catholic,” according to CNN – and therefore presumably baptized Catholic – yet he authored the Court’s opinion in Bostock v. Clayton County

Three Republican senators whose votes will be crucial are Mitt Romney, who has become increasingly anti-Trump and liberal during his time in the Senate, and pro-abortion Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).

Also of note: Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) – Joe Biden’s running mate – is on the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is a key member of the Judiciary Committee. As of press time he has not yet shared his thoughts on the timing of a vote on a nominee, instead tweeting about finding a dead bird in his front yard.

Politico reported:

Several Senate Republicans in competitive elections — McSally and Sen. Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, both of whom were appointed to their seats — immediately called for the Senate to vote on Trump’s nominee to the court. Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina joined them on Saturday, saying in a statement that he will support a Trump nominee. Other senators released statements praising Ginsburg’s life and service to the country, but did not say where they stood on replacing her prior to the presidential inauguration next January.

Supreme Court must ‘reckon with its own sins against human rights’

Pro-life and conservative leaders expressed their condolences to Ginsburg’s family and emphasized the significance of this moment in American history.  

“May God have mercy on her soul,” said John-Henry Westen, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of LifeSiteNews. “Justice Ginsburg was known for her friendship with the late Justice Antonin Scalia, a pro-life Catholic who attended the Traditional Latin Mass. We hope that his faith had an impact on her later in her life, and that she repented of her pro-abortion activism at the end.”

Penny Nance, CEO and president of Concerned Women for America (CWA), commented, “CWA women pray for God’s comfort over Justice Ginsburg’s family. We appreciate her role as a trailblazer for women, even as we disagreed with her judicial philosophy. May she rest in peace.”

Nance continued, “At the same time, our happy warrior women are battle-tested and know what to expect from the left on this issue. They understand what is at stake when it comes to the U.S. Supreme Court, and we are ready to withstand the left’s radical attacks on any nominee. If there is one thing we learned from what they did to Justice Brett Kavanaugh, it is that it doesn’t matter who the nominee is, nor his or her record. What matters to the radical left is that it is President Donald Trump’s nominee. Not even truth mattered to them with the nomination of Kavanaugh.”

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said this is a “turning point.”

“We offer our sincere condolences to Justice Ginsburg’s children, grandchildren, extended family, friends, and colleagues,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of the Susan B. Anthony List. “This is a turning point for the nation in the fight to protect its most vulnerable, the unborn. The pro-life grassroots have full confidence that President Trump, Leader McConnell, Chairman Graham, and every pro-life senator will move swiftly to fill this vacancy.”

Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, said Ginsburg’s death underscores just how important the U.S. Supreme Court is. “The pro-life movement has been waiting since 1973 to reverse the callous and intellectually bankrupt decisions found in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. Those two infamous cases have made the deaths of more than 60 million baby boys and baby girls possible and allowed a predatory abortion industry to end life through all [nine] months of pregnancy.” 

Live Action president and founder Lila Rose said the Supreme Court must “reckon with its own sins against human rights.”

“Like Dredd Scott, Plessy v. Ferguson, and Korematsu, Roe v. Wade casts a dark shadow on America's justice system, which enshrines equal protection under the law for all people,” said Rose. “It is time for the Court to uphold the rights and dignity of preborn children guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. Because when the right to life is disregarded, all other constitutional rights fall prey to the abuses of arbitrary power and tyranny.”

Rose added:

As our President and Senate now look to the great responsibility of swiftly confirming a new justice, we the people must insist the Supreme Court uphold the principle of equal protection under the law guaranteed by the 14th Amendment, which declares that no person shall be deprived of life without due process. For nearly 50 years, the Supreme Court has twisted the U.S. Constitution to permit the lawless killing of 60 million children in the womb. Every day in our nation, 2,363 children with a beautiful future ahead are poisoned, dismembered, and suctioned to death by abortion. This is the greatest injustice of our day. It is time to end the bloodshed. We urge President Trump to ensure the next Supreme Court justice acknowledges that all human beings have the right to life - no matter their race, sex, age, size, or dependency status.

Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue, said:

Now, this is a moment we have been waiting for since the first state decriminalized abortion in 1968. This is the moment that President Trump’s decision can shift the Court away from its current pro-abortion bent. With this nominee, he can literally save millions of innocent lives throughout future generations and restore a respect for human life that has been deteriorating in our culture. It is likely the most important decision he will make as [p]resident.

Operation Rescue calls on President Trump to act quickly to select a pro-life nominee with an unshakable commitment to our founding principles.

We call on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to hold hearings on that nomination at the earliest possible moment – preferably before the November election.

We also call on Senate Republicans to put aside differences and unite behind President Trump’s nominee for the sake of our country and our posterity.

Elections have consequences, and the fact that President Trump has every legal right to appoint a Supreme Court nominee at any point during his term, whether it is an election year or not, is enshrined in law. Any delay is simply not acceptable.

‘Burn it down,’ ‘pack the courts’ 

The pro-abortion left used similarly strong language in their statements on the death of Ginsburg Ginsburg, a pro-abortion feminist icon, but suggested that a possible “apocalypse” is here. “APOCALYPSE NOW,” the Huffington Post’s masthead blared on September 19, with an image of a coat hanger, a reference to the “backalley abortion” myth that before abortion on demand was imposed on America, unborn humans were killed via coat hangers.

Image

Alexis McGill Johnson, president of the country’s largest abortion business Planned Parenthood, said, “this is not an understatement: The fate of our rights, our freedoms, our health care, our bodies, our lives, and our country depend on what happens over the coming months.”

Johnson also said, “To be very clear, it would be an absolute slap in the face to the millions of Americans who honor and cherish Justice Ginsburg’s legacy if President Trump and Mitch McConnell were to replace her with someone who would undo her life’s work and take away the rights and freedoms for which she fought so hard,” as if it would be unthinkable for Ginsburg’s seat to be occupied by anyone other than a pro-abortion feminist.

“We must fight like hell to prevent Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump, and Senate Republicans from stealing yet another Supreme Court seat,” said Illyse Hogue, president of NARAL. “They have been chomping at the bit waiting for this moment, and their end goal ― to end the legal right to abortion in this country ― flies in the face of the values of a vast majority of Americans: that politicians have no place in personal decisions about pregnancy.”

As has been the case during ongoing Black Lives Matter protests and high-profile liberal events, leftists once again ignored their much-touted “social distancing” guidelines Friday night to gather on the steps of the Supreme Court, singing John Lennon’s “Imagine” and placing flowers on the steps.

If their public statements about the confirmation process are to be believed, though, they do not plan to remain peaceful for long.

The Daily Wire reported that on Friday, “After a number of speeches and an impromptu memorial, protesters called up the location of Mitch McConnell’s D.C. home and marched over.”

People also gathered at the Supreme Court on Saturday night, taking a more political tone.

Some on the left have began calling for a “revolution,” “court packing,” and to “burn it down” (language warning for one of the following tweets): 


  2020 election, 2020 presidential election, abortion, allison jones rushing, amy coney barrett, catholic, confirmation hearings, homosexuality, kamala harris, planned parenthood, president trump, ruth bader ginsburg, supreme court

News

Trump admin moves to close abortion funding loopholes overseas

These additional steps to ensure that taxpayer dollars don't go to foreign abortions will likely not take effect unless the president wins a second term.
Mon Sep 21, 2020 - 6:00 am EST
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Stephen Maturen / Getty Images
Lisa Correnti
By Lisa Correnti

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 21, 2020 (C-Fam) — The Trump administration is taking additional steps to ensure foreign organizations that perform or promote abortion as a method of family planning do not receive U.S. taxpayer funding.

Last week the U.S. State Department proposed a new rule that further expands so-called Mexico City Policy to federal government contractors and subcontractors. Currently the policy, which blocks U.S. funding to abortion-promoting groups overseas, is limited to foreign organizations receiving global health assistance grants.

Under the new rule, federal contractors would also be prohibited from performing or promoting abortion, even with funds from other sources. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates the impact to be significant, as 40% of global health funding to foreign organizations goes through government contracts.

U.S. registered contractors remain exempt. However, they are required to apply the policy to all foreign-based subcontractors. In addition to prohibiting the direct performing of abortion the policy also restricts lobbying to change abortion laws and conducting public information campaigns about abortion as a method of family planning.

Mexico City Policy (referred now as Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance) was first instituted in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan. It has been instituted by all Republican presidents and rescinded by every Democrat. Before the Trump administration, it applied only to family planning funding totaling approximately $600 million annually. Trump expanded it to the entire global health budget.

Under President Obama international family planning services were integrated with HIV/AIDs programs. Now eligible for HIV/AIDs funding, this allowed abortion groups to supplement their budgets with an additional $6 billion annually.

President Trump put an end to this when he expanded Mexico City Policy from just family planning to the entire global health budget, restricting nearly $9 billion annually.

In March 2019, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced plans to eliminate additional loopholes, what he referred to as “backdoor funding schemes” whereby foreign organizations bound by restrictions could give money to other organizations that conducted abortion activities.

Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) provided additional information on this broader restriction — foreign organizations receiving U.S. global health assistance cannot provide any funding, including non-U.S. funds to a foreign organization involved in abortion activities.

In January Republican lawmakers penned a letter to Secretary Pompeo asking for even further expansion. Specifically, the letter was critical of U.S. organizations involved in overseas abortion activities yet exempt from the policy. Lawmakers cited incidents of U.S. organizations restructuring their foreign affiliates so they could continue abortion activities. The letter also noted concern that U.S. groups were integrating U.S. global health programs with their overseas abortion programs.

Population Services International (PSI), known for the distribution of medical abortion pills in Africa, received $123 million in U.S. global assistance in 2018. PSI noted they would open “branch offices” under their U.S. NGO whereby they could provide services.

Abortion and LGBT groups have been strong critics of the expanded policy, claiming vulnerable populations have suffered due to the closing of clinics and disruption in healthcare delivery, especially where health programs have been integrated.

Yet a government report released last month examined the impact of the expanded policy on healthcare service delivery and found minimal disruption. U.S. agencies found near universal compliance, with just eight of 1,340 prime grant recipients and 47 sub-recipients rejecting funding awards.

The proposed rule requires a 60-day comment period before it can be implemented and is not expected to take effect unless President Trump receives a second term.

Published with permission from C-Fam.


  2020 presidential election, abortion, donald trump, mexico city policy, protecting life in global health assistance

Opinion

Ruth Bader Ginsburg zealously defended partial-birth abortion multiple times

Two Supreme Court decisions in particular show how dedicated Ginsburg was to preserving the practice.
Mon Sep 21, 2020 - 9:14 pm EST
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Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Sarah Silbiger / Getty Images
Terence P. Jeffrey
By Terence Jeffrey

September 21, 2020 (CNS News) — Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who defended what she argued was a constitutional “right” to partial-birth abortion, passed away on Friday night. She was 87 years old.

In the 2000 case of Stenberg vs. Carhart and the 2007 case of Gonzales vs. Carhart, Ginsburg made clear her view that the U.S. Constitution protected a “right” to abortion (as the court had ruled in the 1973 case of Roe vs. Wade and the 1992 case of Planned Parenthood vs. Casey) and that this right extended to the practice of partial-birth abortion.

The 2000 case of Stenberg vs. Carhart focused on a Nebraska state law that outlawed partial-birth abortions. At the time, there were also 29 other states that banned partial-birth abortions.

The court ruled 5-4 in Stenberg that Nebraska’s partial birth abortion law was unconstitutional. The five-justice majority included Justices Stephen Breyer, John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O’Connor, David Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Chief Justice William Rehnquist dissented as did Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas.

In his dissenting opinion in Stenberg, Justice Thomas described the partial-birth abortion procedure which the court’s majority declared a constitutional right.

Justice Thomas wrote:

Although there are variations, it is generally performed as follows: After dilating the cervix, the physician will grab the fetus by its feet and pull the fetal body out of the uterus into the vaginal cavity. At this stage of development, the head is the largest part of the body. Assuming the physician has performed the dilation procedure correctly, the head will be held inside the uterus by the women’s cervix. While the fetus is stuck in this position, dangling partly out of the woman’s body, and just a few inches from a completed birth, the physician uses an instrument such as a pair of scissors to tear or perforate the skull. The physician will then either crush the skull or will use a vacuum to remove the brain and other intracranial contents from the fetal skull, collapse the fetus’ head, and pull the fetus from the uterus.

In her own opinion, concurring in the court’s decision to throw out the Nebraska law banning partial-birth abortion, Justice Ginsburg cited Parenthood vs. Casey and said that the partial-birth abortion ban “violates the Constitution.”

“A state regulation that ‘has the purpose or effect of placing a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus’ violates the Constitution,” Ginsburg wrote in her Stenberg opinion.

Seven years later, in the case of Gonzales vs. Carhart, the court reviewed a federal ban on partial-birth abortion. This time the court ruled 5-4 in favor of the partial-birth abortion ban. Justice Ginsburg wrote the dissent in which Justices Stevens, Souter and Breyer joined.

In this dissent, Ginsburg argued that it was “irrational” to ban partial-birth abortion.

“In sum,” wrote Ginsburg, “the notion that the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act furthers any legitimate governmental interest is, quite simply, irrational.”

She then argued that the court’s opinion upholding the partial-birth abortion ban was part of an “effort to chip away” at the “right” to abortion.

“The Court’s defense of the statute provides no saving explanation,” wrote Ginsburg. “In candor, the Act, and the Court’s defense of it, cannot be understood as anything other than an effort to chip away at a right declared again and again by this court — and with increasing comprehension of its centrality to women’s lives.”

Published with permission from CNS News.


  abortion, cns news, partial-birth abortion, planned parenthood v. casey, ruth bader ginsburg, supreme court

Opinion

Here’s how state governments can help women choose alternatives to abortion

Real Alternatives is paving the way.
Mon Sep 21, 2020 - 8:57 pm EST
Featured Image
fizkes / Shutterstock.com
Kim Hayes
By Kim Hayes

September 21, 2020 (Pregnancy Help News) — If you are providing life-saving services to families in need and are not getting taxpayer funding, why not? 

Real Alternatives recently celebrated 25 years of serving 322,813 clients through 1,888,825 client visits in Pennsylvania. As the statewide administrator for Pennsylvania’s Pregnancy and Parenting Support Program, Real Alternatives assisted those 300-thousand-plus Pennsylvania residents via public funding. 

Real Alternatives uses a network of 29 service providers with 86 pregnancy support centers, maternity homes and other pregnancy help sites in 33 counties, Heartbeat International affiliates among them, with 234 caring and compassionate trained counselors to provide free pregnancy support and parenting education services to women and families in Pennsylvania. 

Kevin Bagatta is president and CEO of Real Alternatives, which has extended their operations into Indiana and Michigan. Thirteen other states have started taxpayer-funded operations with Real Alternatives’ assistance.

“When explaining the program to government officials from other states,” Bagatta said, “I’ll often ask them, ‘Do you know what they call a positive approach to the most controversial issue of our time? They call it a solution!’”

Vice President Mike Pence has supported Real Alternatives starting in 2014 as governor of Indiana, directing the state’s Department of Health to contract with them to start and operate a $1-million program modeled after Pennsylvania’s. 

“For more than two decades, Real Alternatives has empowered women for life by providing positive, life-affirming pregnancy and parenting support services to women and families in need. I am grateful to all the men and women who have dedicated their time and talent through the Real Alternatives network,” Pence wrote in 2018 congratulating the organization.

In the Real Alternatives model (which could be duplicated in all 50 states) the state hires the organization to administer a statewide program that promotes childbirth rather than abortion. The PA group was the first Alternatives to Abortion Program to receive state and then federal funding. The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is the federally funded portion.

“After the pregnancy, especially with young people, that unplanned pregnancy, or unexpected pregnancy can become a crisis parenting situation,” Bagatta said. “We’ll be there with them for that time to make sure they are ready and are providing good parenting and good nurturing and are being taken care of during that first year of life.”

Real Alternatives is the only statewide faith-based program funded in Pennsylvania. At $7.263 million per year ($6.263 million state and $1 million TANF) taxpayers are empowering women to choose life and have the resources to thrive. 

Real Alternatives’ goal is to provide life-affirming alternatives to abortion services throughout the nation. Therefore, Bagatta seeks to share the information with any pro-life organizations serving women and families in need. 

Measurable outcomes of the program include the increase of women who choose life rather than abortion — among those served by Real Alternatives, 60% of abortion-minded clients and 89% abortion-pressured clients choose life.

Image

As Real Alternatives’ network of programs thrive, there are increases in measured outcomes of physical and emotional support, knowledge of adoption, parenting skills, reproductive health due to STD education, and the modification of risky lifestyle behavior through abstinence education. 

The Pregnancy and Parenting Support Program gets results for taxpayers’ investment, as health and Medicaid costs are lowered due to high rates of pre-natal and pediatric care, and immunization.

As Real Alternatives recently celebrated 25 years, national growth of their programs was highlighted at the organization’s banquet. 

For six years Real Alternatives partnered with Texas Pregnancy Care Network (TPCN). In 2012, TPCN assumed sole administration of their program.

Among the award winners at the 25th Anniversary celebration was Mike Turzai, the former speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. He has been an avid supporter of Real Alternatives.

“Every single human being is beautiful. Everybody is capable and will contribute to this world,” Turzai stated, addressing the Real Alternatives banquet. “And everybody wants to feel the love of their family, friends and another human being. You are not only providing that love, protection and care during the pregnancy, but you are doing it after the pregnancy.”

Another award winner was former Governor of Pennsylvania, Mark Schweiker, who had increased funding of Real Alternatives with $1 million of TANF funds. These funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for alternative to abortion services programs were the result of U.S. Senator Rick Santorum pushing for the approval of TANF for such services.

Schweiker stated, “Real Alternatives steers women into the reassuring hand of service providers and away from fear and uncertainty.”

The Real Alternatives model demonstrates real potential for other states. Bagatta is eager to talk with any organization interested in knowing more.

“With the financial resources provided by taxpayers,” stated Bagatta, “the pregnancy support centers, Catholic Charities, maternity homes, and adoption agencies can hire more counselors and open more centers thereby compassionately serving more women in unexpected pregnancies and lower abortions!”

As studies have demonstrated, abortion-minded and abortion-vulnerable women need at least one person in their lives to empower them to choose life with confidence. 

Bagatta points out this is the driving force of the Real Alternatives program. 

“The real alternative to abortion is another person,” said Bagatta. “Connecting a woman with that one voice (counselor, pregnancy help center or other resource) is a dual empowering force for life. First for her own and for her baby.”

Accountability in billing for actual, specific services performed for women in need and the extensive tracking of funds is part of Real Alternatives’ history and is a vital aspect of working with government funded programing.

All billed services occur as a one-on-one service to women in need.

Any savings in administrative costs, which Bagatta’s team keeps as low as possible, are redirected toward advertising. This increases traffic to Real Alternatives’ website where women utilize the zip code specific referral system to locate local services. 

Bagatta eagerly looks forward to the overturn of Roe vs Wade decision, but noted, “Even when that happens, we will still need to continue this work to support women who need help.” 

For now he looks forward to hearing from more states eager to utilize this opportunity for taxpayer funded pro-life programs, stating, “The vision is for the citizens of every state to see their taxpayer dollars to be used to help at risk women, empowering them so they do not need to choose abortion.” 

Note from the editor of Pregnancy Help News: Heartbeat International manages Pregnancy Help News.

Published with permission from Pregnancy Help News.


  abortion, culture of life, good news, pregnancy help news, real alternatives, taxpayer money

Opinion

Catholics lamenting the declining Faith must work to bring it back

If we would see the blossoms of spring, that means working the soil and spreading manure in the autumn.
Mon Sep 21, 2020 - 8:47 pm EST
Featured Image
alicja neumiler / Shutterstock.com
Stephen P. White
By Stephen White

September 21, 2020 (The Catholic Thing) — When Pope John Paul II announced a Great Jubilee to mark the dawn of the third Christian millennium, he spoke boldly of a “new springtime of Christian life.” The Jubilee promised to be a crowning moment in a pontificate filled with great achievements. The pope had begun his pontificate by exhorting the Church to “Be not afraid!” He finished the Great Jubilee on a similar theme, echoing the Lord’s command to his disciples: Duc in altum! Put out into the deep! The Great Jubilee came to a close on the Feast of the Epiphany, 2001.

Those were heady days.

On January 6, 2002 — exactly one year after the Great Jubilee concluded — the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team ran a story about a serial child molester who also happened to be a Catholic priest: Fr. John Geoghan. The archdiocese, it turned out, knew of his crimes. Nevertheless, Geoghan was shuffled from parish to parish, leaving a trail of broken lives in his wake. The Long Lent, to use Fr. Richard John Neuhaus’s phrase, had begun. In a way, it is still going on.

Meanwhile, we don’t hear very much about a new springtime anymore.

I have been thinking about this juxtaposition lately — the hope of the Great Jubilee and the humiliation of the abuse crisis — in part because of the podcast I have been helping produce for The Catholic Project at Catholic University. But also because a sense of decline has become the hallmark of so much of our common life, not just in the Church but in our careening politics and our vulgar culture. What was supposed to be a new springtime has, two decades on, taken on a Narnian quality: always winter and never Christmas.

Narratives of decline are not hard to find these days. Lots of people seem to think things are getting worse, and want to be reassured that they’re not the only ones who think so. This sense of decline also explains, in part, the appeal of restorationist currents in our politics. (“MAGA” is nothing if not a restorationist slogan.) The pandemic, in case you needed reminding, has exacerbated all these trends.

As a metaphor for the state of our world, this pandemic is almost too obvious. The Church — the world — seems to be holding its breath, waiting for what comes next, not knowing quite what to say for fear of making things worse, yet also afraid of remaining silent. Not knowing whether to struggle against a slow suffocation or to remain docile and calm, and to endure whatever will come.

Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, the Archbishop of Luxembourg, recently mused that the coronavirus pandemic may accelerate the secularization of Europe by a decade. He is worried that many Catholics, at least in his native Luxembourg, have remained in the Church for “cultural” reasons, and that the Church closures during the pandemic have weakened that already tenuous connection.

There are similar concerns here in the United States. In Milwaukee, Archbishop Jerome Listecki recently announced that he was lifting the general dispensation from Sunday obligation for his local churches. Beginning last weekend, Catholics in his archdiocese are expected to fulfill their obligation to attend Mass. It makes sense that, while a bishop might not know what the “new normal” will look like after the pandemic subsides, he will want to do everything he can to make sure Catholics go to Mass.

Of course, most Catholics in the United States couldn’t be bothered to go to Sunday Mass before the pandemic hit. Mass attendance — like Catholic marriages, baptisms, belief in the Real Presence, and so on — is just one more metric that shows the Church declining, slowly but steadily over decades.

The political irrelevance of Catholicism is another sign of the Church’s waning impact on our common life. I say “political irrelevance,” not because the Church doesn’t have something to say about politics or because votes from Catholics don’t matter to politicians — it does and they do — but because the truths of the Faith have so manifestly little to do with how so many millions of Catholics vote.

It is one thing to lament that things are the way they are. As it happens, many things today are lamentable. But disappointment that things have not turned out the way one had hoped — the way they were “supposed” to turn out — can also breed resentment. And our culture, our politics, and our Church are filled with just such resentment.

It may be easy to compare the gloomy world of today to a brighter world as we remember it, and think that we would be better off the way we were. But it is worth remembering that the height of prestige and influence for the Catholic Church in the United States — before the post-Conciliar silly season, when Catholics were unified socially and politically and Masses were as full as the Catholic schools and seminaries — coincided with the decades of greatest institutional rot and corruption.

St. Francis de Sales wrote that, in the spiritual life, we ought to be seeking the God of consolations, not the consolations of God. I think we American Catholics have grown accustomed to seeking the fruits of a healthy Church (and lamenting their absence) — plentiful vocations, widespread devotion among the faithful, solid marriages and families, flourishing ministries to the poor — while taking little care for the spiritual work that makes the Church blossom in the first place.

If we would see the blossoms of spring, that means working the soil and spreading manure in the autumn.

“Be not afraid.” “Put out into the deep.” These are not words for people who have made it safely home. These are not words for a people entering a time of comfort and consolation. But these are words for a people strengthened by faith and willing to count all else as loss. They are, in short, words for our time.

And they are words that will lead us toward spring...no matter how long the winter.

Published with permission from The Catholic Thing.


  catholic, john paul ii, sex abuse crisis, vatican ii

Opinion

With Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, America’s soul will be defined over abortion

There are two Americas, and one of them has just lost a warrior and an icon. Now the real war begins.
Mon Sep 21, 2020 - 7:33 pm EST
Featured Image
Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Eugene Gologursky / Getty Images for Berggruen Institute
Jonathon Van Maren Jonathon Van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon Van Maren

September 21, 2020 (The Bridgehead) — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an icon of the American Left, died of complications from pancreatic cancer on September 18, 2020 at the age of 87. Her passing was met with a wave of mourning from those who saw her as a titan of the Sexual Revolution. Hundreds gathered for a vigil in front of the Supreme Court, a mob marched on Mitch McConnell’s house, and social media exploded with grief and rage. Progressives who normally despise religion were suddenly overwhelmed with mystical superstition and called on those who are dedicated to legal abortion to “fight like she’s watching” and to “honor her dying wish” — which, apparently, was that her Supreme Court seat not be filled until the election is over.

I despise the tendency of some to greet the passing of prominent figures with cruelty and hatred. I thought it was grotesque when it was done to John McCain, George H.W. Bush, and Billy Graham, and grave-dancing in this case is just as repulsive (although, for the record, I have not seen a single pro-life or pro-family leader doing so). First and foremost, the death of any prestigious person at a high age should remind us that death is coming for all of us, no matter how old we get or how much power we wield. Like the vast majority of those commenting on Ginsburg’s death, I did not know her as a person and thus cannot pretend to grieve (I only saw her once, at a distance). But she has entered eternity, and that is a solemn and awful thought.

I also do not think we need to engage in false pretences as we examine her legacy. Some conservatives (including several pro-life figures) are taking cordiality too far by claiming that she was “an American legend” and that her alleged good intentions make her an admirable person. This is nonsense. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a seminal American figure, yes — but in the same way that Margaret Mead, Alfred Kinsey, Margaret Sanger, Gloria Steinem, and other soldiers of the Sexual Revolution are. Ginsburg was, first and foremost, the staunch defender of a bloody abortion regime that has thus far accumulated a kill count of over 60 million pre-born children. She did so in an era in which we have the unprecedented power of observing the development of human beings in the womb. She knew better.

She voted to strike down a law banning partial-birth abortions in Nebraska, claiming that a “state regulation that ‘has the purpose or effect of placing a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus’ violates the Constitution.” (Partial-birth abortions involve delivering the body of the baby, keeping the head in the birth canal, cutting the skull open, and sucking the brains out.) She was a staunch defender of Roe v. Wade. She was an advocate of redefining reality according to the recently-invented ideology of trans activists. She began marrying same-sex couples prior to Obergefell v. Hodges, and made it clear that she was one of the LGBT movement’s staunchest allies in their quest to redefine America. The weakest members of American society — the pre-born — were threatened by her presence on the Court. The powerful elites had a reliable friend.

Now, of course, there are the politics. The meltdown began the night she died, and many are openly threatening civil war if Donald Trump attempts to fill the vacant seat prior to the election. Planned Parenthood called her a “revolutionary,” promised to “continue the work,” while NARAL stated that “everything is at stake.” Democratic senators spoke at the Supreme Court vigil, promising to fight a confirmation with everything they’ve got. Celebrity Beau Willimon declared that “[w]e’re shutting this country down if Trump and McConnell try to ram through an appointment before the election.” Reza Aslan tweeted out Mitch McConnell’s statement that a Trump nominee would get a Senate vote with the threat “Over our dead bodies. Literally.” In case anyone missed the point: “If they even TRY to replace RBG we burn the entire f------ thing down.”  Samantha Bee called it “the fight of our f------ lives.”

After the vile smearing of Brett Kavanaugh, none of this surprising. The sheer desperation on the Left is because abortion is their sacrament, and with Ginsburg’s passing, one of the abortion industry’s greatest defenders is gone. To put it bluntly: These people do not want to live in a nation that does not allow them to kill their babies. That may sound harsh, but it is true. Those are the stakes. That is where the rage is coming from. That is what is “at stake.” That “thing” that they are threatening to burn down? That’s the country. Some abortion activists are calling this a battle “for the soul of America,” and they’re right. But what they don’t seem to realize is that their threats are upping the ante. Moderate commentators like Meghan McCain have already noted that if you’re willing to threaten civil war to get your way, you’ve already signaled that conversation is impossible. Do we actually think that if Trump gets re-elected that they’ll accept his nominee then? This isn’t about RBG. This is about abortion. Again. The Left will ensure that this fight will make the Kavanaugh confirmation look like a campfire.

Several conservatives (including some, like Charles Camosy, whom I very much respect) are calling on the GOP to delay the nomination in order to bring the temperature in the country down. I understand the argument, but I wonder if we’re beyond that. This is no longer a battle between opposing sides that can agree to disagree. When it comes to the destruction of human life in the womb, the subjectivizing of gender, the redefinition of our fundamental, millennia-old institutions: This is about the very nature of reality, and who has the power to determine what sort of country everyone lives in. It is true that many GOP senators stated, while keeping Scalia’s seat open, that they would not vote on a SCOTUS nominee during an election year. It is also true that the Democrats’ treatment of Kavanaugh changed everything (as Lindsey Graham has already stated). They accused a good family man of being a gang rapist and engaged in character assassination without conscience. There is no doubt that the Democrats would absolutely attempt to fill the seat if they were in the same position.

As one pundit recently put it, the Right plays by rules invented by the Left, and the Left plays by no rules at all. Many of us observed, during the Kavanaugh hearings, that something in the country seemed to snap. The Democrats played every hand they had, and now their demands that decorum be observed because they want to win mean absolutely nothing. The Republicans are also trapped by events. As Eric Erickson observed, the GOP is stuck with two options: “If the GOP does not advance a nominee, the GOP burns. If the GOP confirms a nominee, the nation burns.” McConnell may not have the votes; the Democrats are threatening to expand the Supreme Court; we know that if they retake power, they will utilize every opportunity for brutal revenge. But the die may be cast, anyway. As Rod Dreher put it:

As a conservative and a Christian, I am all in for what McConnell proposes. I have said in this space before that as the country moves left, I believe the federal courts are going to be the last line of defense for religious liberty and the things for which social conservatives care most. The radicalization of the Democratic Party has deepened my conviction on this point. Thinking about the country, though, I cannot see how doing this before the election serves the common good. But: do we really have a common good anymore?

We all know the answer to that: We do not. There are two Americas, and one of them has just lost a warrior and an icon. One America believes in the founding ideals of the nation, the other believes America’s Founding was rotten to the core. One America believes in the republic as she was envisioned, the other believes that everything must be dismantled and torn down to bring about an entirely new nation based on an entirely new ideology. The Left warns that the credibility of the Supreme Court is at stake. But they care about the Supreme Court only as a tool to accomplish their agenda. It is ludicrous to believe that they would accept the validity of a pro-life Supreme Court — they do not accept the validity of the very concept of religious liberty now, despite the fact that the Court has consistently upheld it. Revolutionaries allow institutions to exist as long as they are useful — and then, as many progressives are openly saying, they burn them down. And why are we surprised that men and women who do not flinch at tearing apart babies would not flinch when it comes to butchering the Constitution?

There is some poetic justice that it is abortion that threatens the very stability of the world’s greatest superpower. If one believes in Divine justice, one must also tremble at the thought of God’s judgment on 60 million dead babies. America is coming apart at the seams, and the right to kill children is at the very root of it all. The Huffington Post ran a headline announcing the threat to abortion rights reading, in all capitals, “APOCALYPSE NOW.” Both sides recognize that this is a battle for the soul of America. But the two Americas have a very different idea of what constitutes Darkness and what constitutes Light. I suspect we will soon see Ginsburg’s followers in the streets, their faces lit by the flames they will use to fight for their right to utilize violence against the youngest and weakest members of the American family.

Published with permission from The Bridgehead.


  2020 presidential election, abortion, ruth bader ginsburg, supreme court

Opinion

To a Catholic who says, ‘I could never vote for Trump.’

If Trump loses the election, the abortion holocaust will greatly increase in the U.S. and worldwide.
Mon Sep 21, 2020 - 6:17 pm EST
Featured Image
Melissa Sue Gerrits / Getty Images
Dan Zeidler
By Dan Zeidler

September 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — I grew up a happy Democrat in a blue-collar union family. I was told and believed that the Democrats tried to help the “little guy.” But it’s been a long time since I voted for a Democrat. I did not leave the Democratic Party. The party left me. The clearest sign that there is no room for me in the Democratic Party is the Party’s radical enthusiasm for promoting the “legal” killing of children — roughly a million babies slaughtered per year thanks to Democratic policies and the actions of Democratic public officials.

If you are a believing, practicing Catholic who truly accepts the Church’s teaching that condemns abortion as an “unspeakable crime” (per Vatican II), or if you are a Christian of another denomination or any person of goodwill who understands the moral depravity of abortion, please read the comments below.

* * *

Many Americans have a negative opinion of President Donald Trump. They reject his person and at least some of his policies.

But most people do not know that the policies of the Trump administration to protect the lives of the unborn and their mothers make Trump the most effective president in the battle against abortion — far more effective than any other U.S. president in history.

Whether one likes Trump or not, that is the truth.

It can’t be denied. A look at the actual record of the Trump administration is enlightening

These policies, which he has implemented for the protection of women and their unborn children, are enormously popular among Catholics and others whose well formed consciences lead them to reject abortion as “an unspeakable crime.”

As important, or more important, than his anti-abortion policies are his judicial appointments. To date, over 200 federal judges nominated by Trump have already been confirmed by the Senate for lifetime appointments. These judges are overwhelmingly likely to restore our constitutional order and reject abortion as a supposed “constitutional right.”

The significance of this for the future of the country is enormous.

There is much hope that tens of millions of children’s lives can be saved in the future, and their mothers spared the agony that abortion brings them.

If one day in the future the dictatorship of abortion in the U.S. comes to an end because of court action, it will be because of the appointments President Trump has made and has pledged to continue to make in the future.

Those who fully understand the destruction that abortion has inflicted on this nation thank God for these actions President Trump has taken.

And all knowledgeable people — whether “pro-lifers” or “pro-abortionists” — recognize Trump’s absolutely key role in this regard.

There is no debate on this point.

If it weren’t for Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton — a committed radical pro-abortionist — she would have further propagated the culture of death through her anti-life policies and her lifetime federal judicial appointments.

Now radical abortion proponents Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are leading the Democrats in support of abortion up to birth for any “reason” or no reason. This is a crime against humanity!

And the Democrats want us, as taxpayers, to pay for these killings.

Even worse, they want to export abortion killings all over the world.

One need not be a fan of Trump’s sometimes crude manners and tweets, or of some of his policies, to understand that we are living in a time now of hope instead of suffering under the draconian baby-killing policies of Democrats.

Trump has surrounded himself with many excellent policy advisers and key appointees in the administration who are committed to implementing policies protective of the unborn and their mothers, both nationally and internationally.

It cannot be denied that we have been given an opportunity to stop the fanaticism of the Democrats, who want to take us deeper and deeper into the abyss.

Serious Catholics who recognize that abortion is an absolutely “pre-eminent” issue in politics will never vote for or support the candidates of the pro-abortion Democratic Party.

Until the Democrats return to their true humanitarian and commonsense roots, which they abandoned decades ago, they will continue to be the baby slaughter party.

If there is a dislike of Trump for X reason, okay, but let’s not forget what will happen to the precious unborn if the Democrats gain control of the country.

And heaven help the unborn babies around the world, because President Trump’s current U.S. international pro-life policies will be overturned by the Democrats to allow full promotion and funding for abortion, and further undermine pro-life legislation in other countries if Trump is not re-elected.  

Trump may not be a saint, but his policies regarding abortion and his judicial appointments are key to stopping the radical abortionists in the U.S. and worldwide.

If someone is not going to vote for Trump because he is not a saint, whom will that person vote for? For Biden and Harris, who are committed to facilitating the “legal” massacre of millions of babies and the destruction of motherhood and our society?

And if Catholics and others who truly hate abortion vote for a third-party candidate or just do not vote at all in the presidential race because they can’t stomach Trump, the effect will be devastating, increasing the likelihood of a pro-abortion Democratic victory.

If Trump loses the election, the abortion holocaust will greatly increase in the U.S. and worldwide. 

That is too horrible to contemplate!


  2020 presidential election, abortion, catholic, donald trump

Opinion

Viganò: How is it that the Bible and all Church documents can be questioned except Vatican II?

We are beginning to question a taboo that, for almost sixty years, has prevented any theological, sociological, and historical criticism of the Council.
Mon Sep 21, 2020 - 12:21 pm EST
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Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò
By

September 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Peter Kwasniewski’s recent commentary, titled “Why Viganò’s critique of the Council must be taken seriously”, impressed me greatly. It appeared (here) on One Peter Five, on June 29, and is one of the articles on which I have been meaning to comment: I do so now, with gratitude to the author and publisher for the opportunity they have given me.

First, it seems to me that I can agree with practically all of what Kwasniewski has written: his analysis of the facts is extremely clear and polished and reflects my thoughts exactly. What I am particularly pleased about is that “ever since Archbishop Viganò’s June 9 letter and his subsequent writing on the subject, people have been discussing what it might mean to ‘annul’ the Second Vatican Council”.

I find it interesting that we are beginning to question a taboo that, for almost sixty years, has prevented any theological, sociological and historical criticism of the Council. This is particularly interesting given that Vatican II is regarded as untouchable, but this does not apply – according to its supporters – to any other magisterial document or to Sacred Scripture. We have read endless addresses in which the defenders of the Council have defined the Canons of Trent, the Syllabus of Errors of Blessed Pius IX, the encyclical Pascendi of St. Pius X, and Humanae Vitae and Ordinatio Sacerdotalis of Paul VI as “outdated.” The change to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, whereby the doctrine on the legitimacy of the death penalty was modified in the name of a “changed understanding” of the Gospel, shows that for the Innovators there is no dogma, no immutable principle that can be immune from revision or cancellation: the only exception is the Vatican II, which by its nature – ex se, theologians would say – enjoys that charism of infallibility and inerrancy that is denied to the entire depositum fidei.

I have already expressed my opinion on the hermeneutic of continuity theorized by Benedict XVI, and constantly taken up by the defenders of Vatican II, who – certainly in good faith – seek to offer a reading of the Council that is harmonious with Tradition. It seems to me that the arguments in favor of the hermeneutical criterion, proposed for the first time in 2005[1], are limited to a merely theoretical analysis of the problem, obstinately leaving aside the reality of what has been happening before our eyes for decades. This analysis starts from a valid and acceptable postulate, but in this concrete case it presupposes a premise that is not necessarily true.

The postulate is that all the acts of the Magisterium are to be read and interpreted in the light of the entire magisterial corpus, because of the analogia fidei[2] [analogy of faith], which is somehow also expressed in the hermeneutic of continuity. Yet this postulate assumes that the text we are going to analyze is a specific act of the Magisterium, with its degree of authority clearly expressed in the canonical forms envisaged. And this is precisely where the deception lies, this is where the trap is set. For the Innovators maliciously managed to put the label “Sacrosanct Ecumenical Council” on their ideological manifesto, just as, at a local level, the Jansenists who maneuvered the Synod of Pistoia had managed to cloak with authority their heretical theses, which were later condemned by Pius VI.[3]

On the one hand, Catholics look at the form of the Council and consider its acts to be an expression of the Magisterium. Consequently, they seek to read its substance, which is clearly ambiguous or even erroneous, in keeping with the analogy of faith, out of that love and veneration that all Catholics have towards Holy Mother Church. They cannot comprehend that the Pastors have been so naïve as to impose on them an adulteration of the Faith, but at the same time they understand the rupture with Tradition and try to explain this contradiction.

The modernist, on the other hand, looks at the substance of the revolutionary message he means to convey, and in order to endow it with an authoritativeness that it does not and should not have, he “magisterializes” it through the form of the Council, by having it published in the form of official acts. He knows well that he is forcing it, but he uses the authority of the Church – which under normal conditions he despises and rejects – to make it practically impossible to condemn those errors, which have been ratified by no less than the majority of the Synod Fathers. The instrumental use of authority for purposes opposed to those that legitimize it is a cunning ploy: on the one hand, it guarantees a sort of immunity, a “canonical shield” for doctrines that are heterodox or close to heresy; on the other hand, it allows sanctions to be imposed on those who denounce these deviations, by virtue of a formal respect for canonical norms. In the civil sphere, this way of proceeding is typical of dictatorships. If this has also happened within the Church, it is because the accomplices of this coup d’état have no supernatural sense, they fear neither God nor eternal damnation, and consider themselves partisans of progress invested with a prophetic role that legitimizes them in all their wickedness, just as Communism’s mass exterminations are carried out by party officials convinced of promoting the cause of the proletariat.

In the first case, the analysis of the Council documents in the light of Tradition clashes with the observation that they have been formulated in such a way as to make clear the subversive intent of their drafters. This inevitably leads to the impossibility of interpreting them in a Catholic sense, without weakening the whole doctrinal corpus. In the second case, the awareness that doctrinal novelty that was being slipped into the acts of the Council made it necessary to formulate them in a deliberately ambiguous manner, precisely because it was only in making people believe that they were consistent with the Church’s perennial Magisterium that they could be adopted by the authoritative assembly that had to “clear” and circulate them.

It ought to be highlighted that the mere fact of having to look for a hermeneutical criterion to interpret the Council’s acts demonstrates the difference between Vatican II and any other Ecumenical Council, whose canons do not give rise to any sort of misunderstanding. An unclear passage from Sacred Scripture or from the Holy Fathers can be the object of a hermeneutic, but certainly not an act of the Magisterium, whose task is precisely to dispel any lack of clarity. Yet both conservatives and progressives find themselves unwittingly in agreement in recognizing a kind of dichotomy between what a Council is and what that Council – i.e. Vatican II – is; between the doctrine of all Councils and the doctrine set forth or implied in that Council.

Archbishop Guido Pozzo, in a recent commentary in which he quotes Benedict XVI, rightly states that “a Council is such only if it remains in the furrow of Tradition and it must be read in the light of the whole Tradition.”[4] But this statement, which is irreproachable from a theological point of view, does not necessarily lead us to consider Vatican II as Catholic, but rather to ask ourselves whether it, by not remaining in the furrow of Tradition and not being able to be read in the light of the whole Tradition, without upsetting the mens that wanted it, can actually be defined as such. This question certainly cannot be met with an impartial answer in those who proudly profess to be its supporters, defenders and creators. And I am obviously not talking about the rightful defense of the Catholic Magisterium, but only of Vatican II as the “first council” of a “new church” claiming to take the place of the Catholic Church, which is hastily dismissed as a preconciliar.

There is also another aspect that, in my view, should not be overlooked; namely, that the hermeneutical criterion – seen in the context of a serious and scientific criticism of a text – cannot disregard the concept that the text means to express. Indeed, it is not possible to impose a Catholic interpretation on a proposition that, in itself, is manifestly heretical or close to heresy, simply because it is included in a text that has been declared magisterial. Lumen Gentium’s proposition: “But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Muslims, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind” (LG, 16) cannot be interpreted in a Catholic way – firstly, because the god of Mohammed is not one and triune, and secondly because Islam condemns as blasphemous the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity in Our Lord Jesus Christ, true God and true Man. To affirm that “the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator” and that “in the first place amongst these there are the Muslims” blatantly contradicts Catholic doctrine, which professes that the Catholic Church is the one and only ark of salvation. The salvation eventually attained by heretics, and by pagans even more so, always and only comes from the inexhaustible treasure of Our Lord’s Redemption, which is safeguarded by the Church. While belonging to any other religion is an impediment to the pursuit of eternal beatitude. Those who are saved, are saved because of at least an implicit desire to belong to the Church, and despite their adherence to a false religion – never by virtue of it. For what good it contains does not belong to it, but has been usurped; while the error it contains is what makes it intrinsically false, since the admixture of errors and truth more easily deceives its followers.

It isn’t possible to change reality to make it correspond to an ideal schema. If the evidence shows that some propositions contained in the Council documents (and similarly, in the acts of Bergoglio’s magisterium) are heterodox, and if doctrine teaches us that the acts of the Magisterium do not contain error, the conclusion is not that those propositions are not erroneous, but that they cannot be part of the Magisterium. Period.

Hermeneutics serve to clarify the meaning of a phrase that is obscure or that appears to contradict doctrine, not to correct it substantially ex post. This way of proceeding would not provide a simple key to reading the Magisterial texts, but would constitute a corrective intervention, and therefore the admission that, in that specific proposition of that specific Magisterial document, an error has been stated which must be corrected. And one would need to explain not only why that error was not avoided from the beginning, but also whether the Synod Fathers who approved that error, and the Pope who promulgated it, intended to use their apostolic authority to ratify a heresy, or whether they would rather avail themselves of the implicit authority deriving from their role as Pastors to endorse it, without calling the Paraclete into question.

Archbishop Pozzo admits: “The reason why the Council has been received with difficulty therefore lies in the fact that there has been a struggle between two hermeneutics or interpretations of the Council, which indeed have coexisted in opposition to one another.” But with these words, he confirms that the Catholic choice to adopt the hermeneutic of continuity goes hand in hand with the novel choice to resort to the hermeneutic of rupture, in an arbitrariness that demonstrates the prevailing confusion and – what is even more serious – the imbalance of the forces at play, in favor of one or the other thesis. “The hermeneutic of discontinuity risks ending in a rupture between the pre-conciliar and post-conciliar Church and presupposes that the texts of the Council as such are not the true expression of the Council, but the result of a compromise”, Archbishop Pozzo writes. But this is exactly the reality, and denying it does not resolve the problem in the slightest but rather exacerbates it, by refusing to acknowledge the existence of cancer even when it has very clearly reached its metastasis.

Archbishop Pozzo’s affirmation that the concept of religious freedom expressed in Dignitatis humanae does not contradict Pius IX’s Syllabus of Error[5] demonstrates that the Council document is in itself deliberately ambiguous. If its drafters had wished to avoid such ambiguity, it would have been sufficient to reference the propositions of the Syllabus in a footnote; but this would never have been accepted by the progressives, who were able to slip in a doctrinal change precisely on the basis of the absence of references to the earlier Magisterium. And it doesn’t seem that the interventions of the post-conciliar Popes – and their own participation, even in sacris, in non-Catholic or even pagan ceremonies – have ever, or in any way, corrected the error propagated in line with the heterodox interpretation of Dignitatis humanae. Upon closer examination, the same method was adopted in the drafting of Amoris laetitia, in which the Church’s discipline in matters of adultery and concubinage was formulated in such a way that it could theoretically be interpreted in a Catholic sense, while in fact it was accepted in the one and obvious heretical sense they wanted to disseminate. So much so, that the interpretive key that Bergoglio and his exegetes wanted to use, on the issue of Communion for divorcees, has become the authentic interpretation in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis[6].

The aim of Vatican II’s public defenders has turned out to be the struggle of Sisyphus: as soon as they succeed, by a thousand efforts and a thousand distinctions, in formulating a seemingly reasonable solution that doesn’t directly touch their little idol, immediately their words are repudiated by opposing statements from a progressive theologian, a German Prelate, or Francis himself. And so, the conciliar boulder rolls back down the hill again, where gravity attracts to its natural resting place.

It is obvious that, for a Catholic, a Council is ipso facto of such authority and importance that he spontaneously accepts its teachings with filial devotion. But it is equally obvious that the authority of a Council, of the Fathers who approve its decrees, and of the Popes who promulgate them, does not make the acceptance of documents that are in blatant contradiction with the Magisterium, or at least weaken it, any less problematic. And if this problem continues to persist after sixty years revealing a perfect consistency with the deliberate will of the Innovators who prepared its documents and influenced its proponents we must ask ourselves what is the obex, the insurmountable obstacle, that forces us, against all reasonableness, to forcibly consider Catholic what is not, in the name of a criterion that applies only and exclusively to what is certainly Catholic.

One needs to keep clearly in mind that the analogia fidei applies precisely to the truths of Faith, and not to error, since the harmonious unity of the Truth in all its articulations cannot seek coherence with what is opposed to it. If a conciliar text formulates a heretical concept, or one close to heresy, there is no hermeneutical criterion that can make it orthodox simply because that text belongs to the Acts of a Council. We all know what deceptions and skillful maneuvers have been put in place by ultra-progressive consultors and theologians, with the complicity of the modernist wing of the Council Fathers. And we also know with what complicity John XXIII and Paul VI approved these coups de main (surprise attacks) in violation of the norms which they themselves approved.

The central vice therefore lies in having fraudulently led the Council Fathers to approve ambiguous texts – which they considered Catholic enough to deserve the placet – and then using that same ambiguity to get them to say exactly what the Innovators wanted. Those texts cannot today be changed in their substance to make them orthodox or clearer: they must simply be rejected – according to the forms that the supreme Authority of the Church shall judge appropriate in due course – since they are vitiated by a malicious intention. And it will also have to be determined whether an anomalous and disastrous event such as Vatican II can still merit the title of Ecumenical Council, once its heterogeneity compared to previous councils is universally recognized. A heterogeneity so evident that it requires the use of a hermeneutic, something that no other Council has ever needed.  

It should be noted that this mechanism, inaugurated by Vatican II, has seen a recrudescence, an acceleration, indeed an unprecedented upsurge with Bergoglio, who deliberately resorts to imprecise expressions, cunningly formulated without precise theological language, with the same intention of dismantling, piece by piece, what remains of doctrine, in the name of applying the Council. It’s true that, in Bergoglio, heresy and heterogeneity with respect to the Magisterium are blatant and almost shameless; but it is equally true that the Abu Dhabi Declaration would not have been conceivable without the premise of Lumen gentium.

Rightly, Dr. Peter Kwasniewski states: “It is the mixture, the jumble, of great, good, indifferent, bad, generic, ambiguous, problematic, erroneous, all of it at enormous length, that makes Vatican II uniquely deserving of repudiation.” The voice of the Church, which is the voice of Christ, is instead crystal clear and unambiguous, and cannot mislead those who rely on its authority! “This is why the last council is absolutely irrecoverable. If the project of modernization has resulted in a massive loss of Catholic identity, even of basic doctrinal competence and morals, the way forward is to pay one’s last respects to the great symbol of that project and see it buried.

I wish to conclude by reiterating a fact which, in my view, is very indicative: if the same commitment that Pastors have exerted for decades in defending Vatican II and the “conciliar church” had been used to reaffirm and defend the entirety of Catholic doctrine, or even only to promote knowledge of the Catechism of St Pius X among the faithful, the situation of the ecclesial would be radically different. But it is also true that faithful formed in fidelity to doctrine would have reacted with pitchforks to the adulterations of the Innovators and their protectors. Perhaps the ignorance of God’s people was intended, precisely so that Catholics would be unaware of the fraud and betrayal perpetrated against them, just as the ideological prejudice that weighs on the Tridentine Rite serves only to prevent it from being compared with the aberrations of the reformed ceremonies.

The cancellation of the past and of Tradition, the denial of roots, the delegitimization of dissent, the abuse of authority and the apparent respect for rules: are not these the recurring elements of all dictatorships?

+ Carlo Maria Viganò, Archbishop

September 21, 2020
St. Mathew, apostle and evangelist

Official translation from the Italian by Diane Montagna


[1]http://www.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/it/speeches/2005/december/documents/hf_ben_xvi_spe_20051222_roman-curia.html

[2] CCC, n. 114: “By ‘analogy of faith’ we mean the coherence of the truths of faith among themselves and within the whole plan of Revelation.”

[3] It’s interesting to note that, even in that case, of the 85 synodal theses condemned by the Bull Auctorem fidei, only 7 were totally heretical, while the others were defined as “schismatic, erroneous, subversive of the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, false, reckless, temerarious, capricious, insulting the Church and its authority, leading to contempt for the Sacraments and the practices of Holy Church, offensive to the piety of the faithful, disturbing the order of the various churches, the ecclesiastical ministry, and the peace of souls; in contrast to the Tridentine decrees, offensive to the veneration due to the Mother of God, the rights of the General Councils.”

[4]https://www.aldomariavalli.it/2020/09/10/concilio-vaticano-ii-rinnovamento-e-continuita-un-contributo-di-monsignor-pozzo/

[5]At the same time, however, Vatican II in Dignitatis humanae reconfirms that the only true religion exists in the Catholic and apostolic Church, to which the Lord Jesus entrusts the mission of communicating it to all men (DH, n.1), and thereby denies relativism and religious indifferentism, also condemned by the Syllabus of Pius IX.”

[6] https://lanuovabq.it/it/lettera-del-papa-ai-vescovi-argentini-pubblicata-sugli-acta


  carlo maria viganò, catholic, vatican ii

Opinion

New sci-fi book envisions 21st-century America where abortion is illegal

Memories of Lasting Shadows is a science fiction morality tale with unsettling present implications.
Mon Sep 21, 2020 - 10:36 am EST
Featured Image
Sarah Silbiger / Getty Images
Andrew E. Harrod
By

September 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Various commentators have prophesied that future generations will view modern mass acceptance of abortion with the same horror expressed toward other past legalized crimes against humanity like slavery. Michael Gryboski intriguingly examines such a possible future history in his new book, Memories of Lasting Shadows, a science fiction morality tale with unsettling present implications.

Drawing upon his own journalistic background, the skilled writer Gryboski sets his reporter protagonist, Roberta Sheridan, in a late 21st-century pro-life America. His interrelated character stories in Washington, D.C. give life to an envisioned society where killing the unborn has become anathema. The law protects babies even in the most difficult pregnancies, like those resulting from rape or presenting severe fetal abnormalities. Thankfully, modern medicine’s blessings cure the latter.

A national Remembrance Day marks the Supreme Court having overturned, decades before, its January 22, 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that imposed unlimited abortion upon America. This memorial signifies the political consensus against abortion that encompasses even the most liberal politicians.

Gryboski’s characters experience the history of abortion much as real-life Americans today are agonizing over a conflicted race-relations past of slavery, Civil War secession, and segregation.  Washington, D.C.’s Norma McCorvey Memorial Museum, named in honor of the pro-life convert who had been Roe’s original plaintiff, documents America’s abortion history in its full gruesomeness. The museum offers two tour options, one modified for sensitive children and another for adults that explicitly details brutal abortion procedures.

Similar to today’s American struggles over the Confederacy’s legacy in public spaces, Gryboski’s future historical reckoning with abortion entails name changes. Clara Grant, a political activist who regrets her past legal abortion following a casual sexual encounter, lobbies to change the name of Barack Obama Elementary School in New Jersey. For her, this pro-abortion “baby-killer” no more deserves as America’s first black president public honor than Roger Taney, the first Catholic Supreme Court justice, who wrote the infamously racist, pro-slavery 1857 Dred Scott decision.

Others in Gryboski’s sci-fi history want to obliterate any record of their past involvement with abortion. For past workers in abortion facilities who want to create new lives without any repercussions from a disgraceful past, the hacker Linda Harrison has been a godsend with her Ultralord virus that wiped out digital records throughout the world. Imprisoned in a special solitary confinement facility without internet access after Ultralord collapsed the economy, Harrison explains to Sheridan how Harrison often receives letters from former abortionists thanking her for Ultralord.

Ultralord particularly benefited Edgar Hood, a notorious abortionist known as the “American Mengele,” after Josef Mengele, the notorious Nazi doctor at the Third Reich’s Auschwitz death camp. Following Germany’s 1945 defeat in World War II, this war criminal escaped to a new life in Latin America — first Argentina (where he committed abortions), then Brazil. Similarly, the California abortion facility–operator Hood, a practitioner of grisly late-term abortions, disappeared after abortion became illegal in America. 

Yet Michael Chan, the founder of the Drudge Report–like website Chan Worldwide News, thinks he has found Hood. Chan, promising another scoop, provides the impetus for Gryboski’s plot, as the “citizen journalist” Chan enlists the legacy media reporter Sheridan to help uncover Hood. Chan reveals his plan to Sheridan at the McCorvey Museum after the pair watched a documentary about how National Guard deployments had aided in enforcing new pro-life laws amid riots in some cities like Los Angeles.

This reprise of America’s 1960s urban upheavals indicates how Gryboski’s futuristic tale invokes historical injustices like slavery, segregation, and genocide to awaken consciences in present-day America. He fast-forwards in order to place today’s society before the inevitable bar of historical judgment. Like his fictional medical personnel, who use increasingly sophisticated technology to save, not destroy, fetal life, he calls upon readers to react with horror at abortion’s foundation of lies.

Similar to the original Star Trek series, Gryboski finds in science fiction a new perspective to examine the controversies of today.  Freed from present prejudices, characters from another time can separate moral truth from falsehood. Like Sheridan and others who share Gryboski’s Christian faith in his envisioned unsecular modernity, they judge abortion by eternal, objective standards.


  abortion, culture of life, fiction, michael gryboski, science fiction

Opinion

To protect your marriage, cut back on idealism

Many want their marriage to be ideal, and if there is any ordeal, they want a new deal. That's a recipe for disaster.
Mon Sep 21, 2020 - 6:00 am EST
Featured Image
Ollyy / Shutterstock.com
Msgr. Charles Pope Msgr. Charles Pope
By Msgr. Charles Pope

September 21, 2020 (Community in Mission) — Those who seek to strengthen Holy Matrimony and stem the tide of failed marriages propose many remedies, among them better catechesis, improved marriage preparation, and greater emphasis on the sacrament in sermons. All of these are fine ideas and necessary steps, but let’s also ponder a deep but often unexplored root of the trouble with marriage today: idealism or unrealistic expectations.

Although we live in cynical times, many people still hold a highly idealistic view of marriage: that it should be romantic, joyful, loving, and happy all the time. It is an ideal rooted in the dreamy wishes of romantic longing, but an ideal nonetheless. Amor omnia vincit! (Love conquers all!) Surely, we will live happily ever after the way every story says!

Here’s the problem: Many want their marriage to be ideal, and if there is any ordeal, they want a new deal. Yes, many are wandering about thinking, “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for,” to borrow from a U2 song.

There is no such thing as an ideal marriage, only real marriage. Two sinners have been married. A man and a woman with fallen natures, living in a fallen world that is governed by a fallen angel, have entered into the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. Like the graces of any Sacrament, those of Holy Matrimony are necessary not because things are wonderful, but because they are oftentimes difficult. Marriage is meant to sanctify. Like baptism, it offers graces that unfold gradually. The graces unfold to the degree that, and at the speed with which, the couple cooperates with God’s work.

It takes a lifetime of joy and challenge, tenderness and tension, difficulty and growth, in order for a husband and wife to summon each other to the holiness that God gives. Some of God’s gifts come in strange packages. Struggles and irritations are often opportunities to grow and to learn what forgiveness, patience, and suffering are all about. These are precious things to learn and to grow in. Frankly, if we don’t learn to forgive we are going to go to Hell (see Mt 6:14-15). Even the best marriages have tension; without tension there is no change.

This may not describe the ideal, happily-ever-after marriage, but it describes the real one: full of joy, love, hope, and tenderness, but also sorrow, anger, stress, and disappointment.

Cultural expectations — Our notion of an ideal (happy, fulfilling, blissful) marriage is also seen through the lens of our culture which has gotten very good at supplying comfort: air conditioning, medicines, indoor plumbing and electricity, nearly instant communication, vast numbers of consumer products that are reasonably affordable, etc. This all creates the expectation that everything should be comfortable and everything should be just the way I want it. There is also in our culture an impatience and need for instant gratification culture that that comes from an efficient economy: “Rush shipping,” “Have it delivered today!” “Buy it with one click,” and “Download now.” If the ideal marriage is not evident very soon, the disappointments and resentments along with impatience come very quickly.

There is a saying that “unrealistic expectations are premeditated resentments.” How quickly unrealistic notions of the picture-perfect marriage are dashed on the shoals of reality.

Somewhere, not only in the Church’s marriage preparation programs but also in our work of assisting personal formation, we need to teach that unrealistic expectations are ultimately destructive. Our ideals are not the problem per se; but we must become more sober about our conception of these ideals through the lens of expected comfort in everything and instant gratification. Growth takes time. Life moves through stages. Marriage is hard, but so is life. Cutting and running from the imperfect marriage — as some do rather quickly today — is not the solution. Sure enough, one imperfect marriage leads to another and perhaps yet another.

In the past, even the relatively recent past, people tended to stick things out, to work through some differences while agreeing to live with others. We would do well to regain something of this appreciation that earthly life is a mixed bag, that there are going to be challenges. Marriage is no different. Though we may idealize it, we should be aware that we are setting ourselves up for resentment and disappointment if we don’t balance it with the understanding that marriage is hard because life is hard.

Clearly there are many other problems that contribute to today’s high rate of divorce, but an overlooked root is the expectation of an ideal marriage. Yes, many want their marriage to be ideal, and if there is any ordeal, they want a new deal. (We would do well to remember that in a world full of adults behaving like this, it is the children who really get a raw deal.) This is a deeper and less discussed cultural root of our divorce problem, a deep wound of which we should become more aware.

This article originally appeared at the Archdiocese of Washington’s website. It is published here with the author’s permission.


  archdiocese of washington, catholic, idealism, marriage

Opinion

10 sins of the tongue to watch out for, and how to avoid them

Self-mastery in speech is among the rarer gifts.
Mon Sep 21, 2020 - 6:00 am EST
Featured Image
Syda Productions / Shutterstock.com
Msgr. Charles Pope Msgr. Charles Pope
By Msgr. Charles Pope

September 21, 2020 (Community in Mission) — In the pastoral guide of St. Gregory the Great, the opening line reads: “A spiritual guide should be silent when discretion requires and speak when words are of service.”

This is not easy. Indeed, self-mastery in speech is among the rarer gifts and usually comes later in life!

Some of the most common sins we commit are related to speech: gossip, idle chatter, lies, exaggerations, harsh attacks, and uncharitable remarks. With our tongue we can spread hatred, incite fear and maliciousness, spread misinformation, cause temptation, discourage, teach error, and ruin reputations. With a gift capable of bringing such good, we can surely cause great harm!

The Book of James says this:

We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what he says is perfect, able to keep his whole body in check. When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, and thus we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts.

Consider how a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be (James 3:2-18).

Yes, though by God’s grace one may conquer many sins, those associated with speech are usually among the last to be overcome. It almost seems as if there is a separate, baser part of our brain that controls our speech. We can be halfway through saying something before we even realize how stupid and sinful we are being. Scripture speaks very artistically of the sinful tongue. Here is a list of ten sins of the tongue from James Melton [1]. Although the list is his, the commentary is mine. Beware of these!

  1. The Lying Tongue — speaking false things with the intention to mislead

The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy (Proverbs 12:22).

  1. The Flattering Tongue — exaggerating the good qualities of others in order to ingratiate ourselves to them, a form of lying

May the Lord silence all flattering lips and every boastful tongue (Psalm 12:4).

  1. The Proud Tongue — There is a saying that a proud tongue comes with two closed ears. The proud tongue is boastful and overly certain of what it says. Those of proud tongue are not easily corrected and do not qualify or distinguish their remarks as they should.

Those who say, By our tongues we will prevail; our own lips will defend us—who can lord it over us? (Psalm 12:5) are condemned.

  1. The Overused Tongue — saying far too much, especially concerning things about which we know little

… a fool’s voice [comes] along with a multitude of words (Ecclesiastes 5:2).

  1. The Swift Tongue — speaking before we should, before we even have all of the information

Be not rash with your mouth, and let not your heart be hasty to utter anything before God (Ecclesiastes 5:1).

Everyone should be swift to hear and slow to speak (James 1:19).

  1. The Backbiting Tongue — talking about others behind their backs, the secretive injuring of a person’s good name. Calumny is outright lying about another person. Detraction is calling unnecessary attention to the faults of others so as to harm their reputations.

As surely as a north wind brings rain, so a gossiping tongue causes anger (Proverbs 25:23).

  1. The Tale-bearing Tongue — spreading unnecessary (often hurtful) information about others. Tale-bearers spread personal information about others that should not be shared.

He that goes about as a tale-bearer reveals secrets, therefore keep no company with one who opens his lips (Proverbs 20:19).

Thou shalt not go up and down as a tale-bearer among thy people (Leviticus 19:16).

  1. The Cursing Tongue — wishing that harm come to others, usually that they be damned

He loved to pronounce a curse—may it come back on him. He found no pleasure in blessing—may it be far from him (Psalm 109:17).

  1. The Piercing Tongue — speaking with unnecessary harshness and severity

Proclaim the message; persist in it in season and out of season; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching (2 Timothy 4:2).

Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity (1 Tim 5:1-2).

  1. The Silent Tongue — not speaking up when we ought to warn people of sin, call them to the Kingdom, and announce the Truth of Jesus Christ. In our age, the triumph of evil and bad behavior has been assisted by our silence as a Christian people. Prophets are to speak God’s Word.

Israel’s watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark (Isaiah 56:10).

So our speech is riddled with what it should not have and devoid of what it should. How wretched indeed is our condition! Well, James did say, Anyone who is never at fault in what he says is perfect!

There are many cautions to be guided by when it comes to speech. Here is another list of Scripture passages concerning speech, most of them taken from the Wisdom Tradition. Read and heed!

  • Be swift to hear, but slow to answer. If you have the knowledge, answer your neighbor; if not, put your hand over your mouth. Honor and dishonor through talking! A man’s tongue can be his downfall. Be not called a detractor; use not your tongue for calumny (Sirach 5:13-16).
  • He who repeats an evil report has no sense. Never repeat gossip, and you will not be reviled. … Let anything you hear die within you; be assured it will not make you burst. But when a fool hears something, he is in labor, like a woman giving birth to a child. … Like an arrow lodged in a man’s thigh is gossip in the breast of a fool … every story you must not believe … who has not sinned with his tongue? (Sirach 19:5-14 varia)
  • Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. … Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. … Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore fear God (Eccles 5:1-6).
  • In the end, people appreciate honest criticism far more than flattery (Proverbs 28:23 NLT).
  • Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses (Prov 27:6).
  • He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity (Prov 21:23).
  • He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin (Prov 13:3).
  • A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much (Prov 20:19).
  • A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who pours out lies will perish (Prov 19:9).
  • A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who pours out lies will not go free (Prov 19:5).
  • A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered. Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue (Prov 17:27-28).
  • When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise (Prov 10:19).
  • Fools’ words get them into constant quarrels; they are asking for a beating (Prov 18:6).
  • Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife; quarrels and insults are ended (Prov 22:10).
  • The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful. A prudent man keeps his knowledge to himself, but the heart of fools blurts out folly (Prov 12:22-23).
  • The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly (Prov 15:2).
  • The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit (Prov 15:4).
  • A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions (Prov 18:2).
  • Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing (Prov 12:18).
  • A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue. A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret (Prov 11:12-13).
  • The lips of the righteous know what is fitting, but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse (Prov 10:32).
  • The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil (Prov 15:28).
  • The prudent man does not make a show of his knowledge, but fools broadcast their foolishness (Prov 12:23).
  • Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips (Psalm 141:3).
  • Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies (Psalm 34:13).

Help me, Lord. Keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth! Put your Word in my heart so that when I do speak, it’s really you speaking.

This article originally appeared at the Archdiocese of Washington’s website. It is published here with the author’s permission.


  catholic, sin

Blogs

27 doctors to German bishops: ‘No medical reasons for a ban of Communion on the tongue’

When opening one's mouth, one tends to breathe in, rather than out, so that the dispersion of droplets is unlikely.
Mon Sep 21, 2020 - 8:50 pm EST
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Maike Hickson Maike Hickson Follow Maike
By Maike Hickson

PETITION: Urge U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference to defend Catholic heritage and statues! Sign the petition here.

September 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A group of German medical doctors has written a statement to the German Bishops' Conference in which they say that there are “no medical reasons for a ban of Communion on the tongue,” according to a press release obtained by LifeSiteNews.

The document is written by “physicians from different regions and with different medical specialties,” one of the organizers of the document told LifeSite. The initiative was taken, according to the speaker who wishes to remain anonymous, “because we in Germany thought that, after the lifting of the ban on Communion on the tongue in Austria, this would be allowed again after a short delay also in our country. But since this was not even the case after weeks, we started this initiative.”

In June, 21 Austrian doctors quoted the professional opinion of Professor Filippo Maria Boscia, the president of the Association of Catholic Doctors of Italy who stated in May that “Communion on the tongue is safer than hand Communion.” 

In light of the coronavirus crisis, the German bishops banned Communion on the tongue. That ban is still in effect. Thus, faithful are forced to receive Holy Communion on the hand. The German bishops will have their annual fall assembly September 22 to 24, for which this new statement has been prepared.

The German Catholic newspaper Die Tagespost, which first reported on this new initiative on September 17, explains more in detail what the arguments of this group of medical doctors are. 

According to this newspaper, the medical doctors rely, among others, on the work of the Munich virologist Michael Roggendorf who works in the field of coronavirus crisis intervention.

According to these physicians, the hands of communicants in the churches are also carriers of viruses and bacteria since they touch the pews when sitting and kneeling. Therefore, the reception of Holy Communion in the hand “cannot be regarded as a safe [hygienic] alternative,” states the Tagespost report. 

If during the distribution of Holy Communion, the priest should touch one of the communicants' tongues, he can disinfect his hands. In addition, when opening one's mouth, one tends to breathe in, rather than out, so that the dispersion of droplets is not so probable. Thus, the report explains, Communion on the tongue is safer than Communion on the hand, also since the kneeling position for Communion on the tongue creates a safer distance between the priest and the communicants.

Further summing up the arguments of the 27 medical doctors in favor of Communion on the tongue, the Tagespost report says that the traditional rite of Holy Mass includes a strict procedure of the cleansing of the hands which is part of the Mass. That is to say, the cleanliness of the priest does not depend upon his own whims, but is, instead, part of the rite of the Mass. Only the priest is allowed to touch the chalice and the paten and ciborium. In addition, the priest celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass is not even touching anything anymore with his thumb and pointer – which remain pressed upon each other – after consecration, thus keeping these two fingers especially clean.

Furthermore, the medical doctors also point out that Switzerland never put a ban on Communion on the tongue and never experienced a spike in infections due to the practice of Communion on the tongue.

With regard to other illnesses, such as the flu and meningococcal infections, the doctors state that there is a low risk of infection.

As a September 19 press release of the group of medical doctors states, the German Bishops Conference will decide during their upcoming fall assembly whether to “lift the ban on Communion on the tongue.” With it, they follow their colleagues in Austria, who had had a similar initiative already on the Feast of Corpus Christi, in June of this year and in the wake of which the “Austrian Bishops' Conference has lifted the ban on Communion on the tongue.”

These German physicians hope that “with their intervention, there will be an end to the conflict of conscience among many faithful and priests and the canoncially ordinary form of reception of Communion will no longer be denied.”

According to the press release, other doctors have already now joined the original group of signatories.

This group of doctors asks why the German bishops do not join the Austrian and the Swiss bishops who permit Communion on the tongue and conclude their press release with the words: “Why should the German bishops exit this community [of the German-speaking realm] and take a Sonderweg [an exceptional, independent path]?”

The pro-family organization Voice of the Family, together with LifeSiteNews, hosted an online conference in July stressing the importance of receiving Holy Communion worthily, that is: kneeling and on the tongue. One of its speakers, LifeSite contributor Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, insisted that a bishop oversteps his authority in denying Catholics the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue. “Many bishops are abusing their authority right now because … they’re supposed to uphold Canon Law and Canon Law is really clear that the faithful have the right to receive communion on the tongue. That's it,” he stated. 


  catholic, communion on the tongue, coronavirus, germany, holy communion

Blogs

Catholic bishops are pushing anti-Catholic sex education for British kids

Shocking sex ed curricula will before long be enforced on schools under our bishops’ authority.
Mon Sep 21, 2020 - 10:30 am EST
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Cdl. Vincent Nichols, archbishop of Westminster, U.K. Jack Taylor / Getty Images
By Dr. Joseph Shaw

September 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Two weeks ago, on the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary, I knelt with two others in front of Westminster Cathedral, the magnificent Byzantine-style mother church of the premier diocese of England and Wales, and the seat of Britain’s only cardinal, Vincent Nichols. We prayed the rosary together for our bishops. We had already written to them: we, and supporters or our three organizations, which have come together for this cause — the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, Catholic Man UK, and the Latin Mass Society, of which I am the chairman — and we received formulaic responses from most of them, telling us that everything will be fine.

But it is already not fine, and we can all read for ourselves the legislation and official guidance, which will before long be enforced on schools under our bishops’ authority, which will make things even less fine. For this legislation is imposing a program of “Personal, Health, and Sex Education” (PHSE) that demands that choosing not to kill the child in the womb is just one acceptable option among others, and that Christian marriage is just one lifestyle choice alongside same-sex unions and every other possibility. We know from the lesson plans, produced not only by the government, but by the bishops’ own agency, the Catholic Education Service, that children in schools claiming to be Catholic and funded in part by Catholic offertory collections are already bullying, browbeating, and shaming children who dare to give voice to their instinctive regard for natural marriage. This approach will be rolled out and enforced with greater and greater rigor when the new legislation comes into force next year, after a delay caused by the coronavirus.

It is time for Catholic parents to wake up to the problem. I set out some concerns about this back in 2009: things have become immeasurably worse since then. They have worsened, indeed, even since a deplorable 2017 document was published by the Catholic Education Service, which was roundly criticized. The details of the new law and its implications are given in this helpful document by the SPUC.

Some schools will manage this problem better than others, and parental interest and involvement have the potential to make an important difference. But even the best schools are going to be hamstrung by the new rules. With Catholic schools, the buck stops with the bishops. Why have the bishops been so reluctant even to talk about the issue — even to alert Catholic parents about the problem and engage their support in putting a Catholic point of view to the government?

I can’t probe the hearts of the bishops, but a few things are clear. One is that they have surrounded themselves with functionaries who support the sex education agenda, who have contributed to a consensus in the Catholic education establishment that the people opposing this agenda are extremists.

Another is that the bishops do not like being drawn into public controversies. It would be tempting to think that this is because they’d like to see themselves as establishment figures like Anglican bishops, who wield influence behind the scenes but are publicly friendly to everyone. However, Anglican bishops are often quite happy to jump into public controversies. Over certain issues, they have arguably even made fools of themselves in doing so, but at any rate, they aren’t setting an example of political neutrality.

Perhaps the most important factor is that this is an issue on which the weight of the establishment and elite opinion is very firmly against Catholic principles. When some Muslims in Birmingham began to protest about sex education, the criticism they received was like nothing I have seen before. After an extraordinarily one-sided debate in the House of Commons, John Bercow, then speaker of the House, who is supposed to keep the order of debate, decided to break precedent in order to make his own contribution, so strongly did he feel that all the other condemnations of the Birmingham parents would be incomplete without his own.

On the strength of experience, we cannot appease bigots and homophobes; we have to confront them and defeat them. My strong sense is that there is unity across the House in that conviction.

In the meantime, their local Labor Party M.P., who had supported them, ended up condemning them.

The reason for this is that what started out as a program to stop teenage girls getting pregnant has turned into a program to stamp out “homophobia,” a concept being given wider and wider meaning. It is today far from clear that to quote the Bible or the Catechism on the subject of homosexual sex acts in public in the U.K. would even be lawful. In the USA, Cardinal Tobin, for his part, has described the Catechism’s language as “very unfortunate.”

This is not the situation one would wish for in beginning a campaign of opposition to government policy. Perhaps the bishops regret not being more assertive about the issue twenty or more years ago. But our children are going to school now, and we lay people don’t have the option to pretend the issue isn’t there and wait for better times.


  catholic bishops of england and wales, child abuse, education, propaganda, sex education, united kingdom, vincent nichols