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November 12, 2018

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Cardinal Joseph Zen | Cardinal Pietro Parolin
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Cardinal Zen delivers new letter on China to Pope Francis: ‘Underground clerics have cried’

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

HONG KONG, November 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) ― Cardinal Joseph Zen has written a letter to Pope Francis detailing the sufferings of Catholics in China since the Vatican signed a deal with the communist government.

Cardinal Zen revealed that he flew to Rome at the end of October to deliver a seven-page letter to Pope Francis begging him to pay attention of the crisis engulfing the underground Catholic Church in China.

Zen, 86, wants to talk to the Pope again, but he told an Asian Catholic media website that “this may be the last time.”

On November 8, the Shanghai-born Cardinal told the Union of Catholic Asian News ( that “underground clerics have cried to him” since the Vatican signed a deal with China on the appointment of bishops.  

"They said officials have forced them to become open, to join the (schismatic) Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association and to obtain a priest's certificate with the reason that the pope has signed the Sino-Vatican provisional agreement," Cardinal Zen told the media group.

Because the agreement is not public, the legitimate Catholic clergy do not know what the Holy Father wants them to do.

"Some priests have escaped, and some have disappeared because they do not know what to do and are annoyed. The agreement is undisclosed, and they do not know if what officials say is true or not," Zen said.

Some of the clerics’ hardships enumerated in Zen’s letter are confiscated money, clerics’ relations being harassed by civil authorities, imprisonment, and even execution.

“But the Holy See does not support them and regards them as trouble, referring to them causing trouble and not supporting unity. This is what makes them most painful," said the Cardinal.

Zen also described his surprise that Pope Francis has said Chinese Catholics should be “prophets and sometimes criticize the government.”

“I feel very surprised that he does not understand the situation of the Chinese Church,” he said.

The redoubtable Cardinal has once again blamed Pope Francis’ advisers, chief among them his Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

“He is very experienced. He also sees China’s ugly face and knows they are not reasonable,” Zen said. “In fact, he does not trust the Chinese side. He only uses them to achieve the purpose of establishing diplomatic relations."

In addition to the current pontiff’s failure to grasp the gravity of the fate of Catholics in China, there has been a misinterpretation of letters Pope Benedict wrote about the Church in China during his own pontificate. Some believe Benedict called the underground church “abnormal,” but Zen insists this is not the case.

"Pope Benedict XVI was not talking about the abnormality of the underground church itself, but the situation in China is not normal. The government's intervention means that the Church cannot be pure and leads to abnormality, so the bishops, priests and faithful are going to the underground."

Government interference in the Church means that in order to keep the faith whole and entire, the Church must remain underground. However, part of that faith is the recognition of a reigning pontiff as the Vicar of Christ.

"Our bottom line is the pope,” Zen told  “We cannot attack him. If the pope is wrong this time, I hope he will admit the mistake; if he does not admit, I hope that the future pope will point out the mistake. But in the end, it is still the pope's final decision. If you don't follow, then there is no principle, so the mainland's brothers must not rebel."

Two of the signatories of a recent British letter in support of the underground Church told LifeSiteNews of their personal concern for Chinese Catholics.  

Catholic apologist Peter D. Williams said via email that the signatories hoped to “raise awareness of the dangers” of the Vatican treaty with the Chinese government and “register lay opposition to (it) in the public square.”

“Silence  implies consent, and therefore vocal (but rational and charitable) criticism is a necessity when the institutional Church engages in such actions.”

Kathy Sinnott, the organizer of Ireland’s pro-life “Rosary on the Coasts,” says she has been “deeply concerned” for many years about the persecution of Catholics in China faithful to Rome. In 2005, she visited China as a Member of European Parliament and voiced her concerns.

“I visited China as an MEP attending the WTO (World Trade Organization) Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong and had the privilege of attending daily Mass in an old Portuguese Church in Guangzhou,” Sinnott informed LifeSiteNews via email.  

“The priest told me that although they had reasonable freedom there (a western enclave), it was very different in many parts of the country where persecution was a reality,” she continued.

Sinnott brought up the issues with Chinese officials but was not reassured.

“They never answered and never let their smile droop but would just say ‘China has a harmonious plan,’” she recalled.

The former MEP believes that the Vatican agreement has further endangered faithful underground Catholics.

“In making the agreement with the Chinese government, (the Vatican has) not just betrayed the faithful Chinese Catholics but ... put them in even more danger,” she said.  

“At this stage, I can only continue to pray for the members of Mystical Body of Christ in China.”

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Destruction of China’s shrines shows that Vatican pact serves only Communists: human rights expert

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

FRONT ROYAL, Virginia, November 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) ― A well-known American advocate for human rights in China believes that the recent destruction of two Catholic shrines is evidence that the recent pact signed by China and the Holy See is hurting Chinese believers.

The shrines were named Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows, which was in the village of Dongergou, in China’s Shanxi province, and Our Lady of Bliss, or Our Lady of the Mountain, in the Guizhou province’s Anlong county. Popular with members of both China’s underground Catholic Church and the government-controlled Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, the shrines were destroyed weeks after the Vatican signed a private agreement with China’s Communist government.

Steven W. Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, told LifeSiteNews that this destruction indicates that the China-Vatican agreement only served the ends of the anti-Christian government.

“ ... The new Sino-Vatican Agreement is working out precisely the way that the Chinese Communist Party officials who approved it intended it to,” he said via email. “It distracted international attention from the ongoing persecution of the Church in China by appearing to give the imprimatur of the Vatican to the Catholic Patriotic Association.”

“All the while Catholics throughout China were being put under a new set of onerous regulations that restrict all activity to a few ‘authorized places of worship,’" he continued. “And the destruction of shrines and churches, and the arrest of ‘unregistered’ clergy, continues apace.”

Four underground Catholic priests of China’s Hebei province,  Fathers Su Guipeng, Zhao He,  Zhang Guilin, and Wang Zhong, are reportedly in police custody. Asia News wrote that the priests are now being “indoctrinated” in the religious policies of the government because they have refused to register with the Patriotic Association.

Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows shrine was ‘a beautiful example of inculturation’

Mosher, the author of Bully of Asia: Why China's Dream is the New Threat to World Order, told LifeSiteNews that he once visited Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows.

“My daughter, Hannah, and I visited the Marian Shrine in Dongergou in Shanxi province in 2009,” he said.

“The shrine sits — sat — on top of a hill not far from the Dongergou Church. The path up to the shrine was lined with the Stations of the Cross, which we made as we slowly prayed our way up to the top,” he continued.

“The main approach to the shrine was a wide boulevard, flanked on both sides by large statues of angels. The shrine itself, which was built long before the Communists came to power, was in the (Chinese) traditional style, with red pillars and a a green tile roof with uplifted eaves.”

Mosher said that although he and Hannah were there on a weekend, there was a steady stream of pilgrims.

“I was told by the parish priest that on Our Lady's feast days the crowd would be in the tens of thousands. And would come from all over northern China,” he recalled.

Mosher described the architecture of the shrine as “a beautiful example of what might be called architectural "enculturation," even "sinicization," which both the Vatican and China recently agreed was “appropriate and necessary.”

“But apparently it wasn't ’enculturated’ or ‘sinicized’ enough for the Communist Party leaders,” he added darkly. “It had to be razed to the ground.”    

The reason given for the destruction of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows was that it had too many statues. Mosher finds this excuse “laughable.”

“The landscape of China is littered with statues, mostly of Communist Party leaders like Mao Zedong and Xi Jinping,” he said.

"The problem was that these were statues of angels, of saints, and of the Blessed Mother herself. The bottom line is that the Communists hate any other religion than their own quasi-religious cult of Communism.”

But an alternative explanation is corruption and greed. Mosher suggested that local officials may have seen the nationwide crackdown on Catholics as an opportunity to seize this valuable land outside Shanxi’s capital city of Taiyuan and sell it to a local developer.

“Most of the proceeds would have wound up in their own pockets,” Mosher said.

‘This Pope, unlike his predecessors, clearly doesn't understand China’

The mysterious agreement between China and the Holy See has still not been made public. Mosher believes this is because the pact is a “huge embarrassment” to the Vatican diplomats who signed it.

“This Pope, unlike his predecessors, clearly doesn't understand China,” Mosher said. “He has approved a deal with the Chinese Communist party leaders that will result in what Cardinal Zen has said will be ‘the annihilation of the real Church in China.’”  

No lesser figure than Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, tried to convince Mosher in May that the deal was necessary to “avoid a schism in the Church.”

“This is of course true, although not in the sense that the good Cardinal meant it,” the human rights activist told LifeSiteNews.  

“There is, indeed, little chance of schism under the new agreement because once the real Church in China has been completely annihilated, the entire Church — its bishops, priests, laity, and properties — will be under the total and complete surveillance, control, and administration of the Party's United Front Department,” Mosher continued.

“Which will then, as it did under Xi Jinping's predecessor, the brutal Chairman Mao, seek to gradually strangle it out of existence.”

Xi Jinping is the de facto dictator of China, being the General Secretary of China’s Communist Party, the President of the People’s Republic, and the Chairman of the Central Military Commission. In short, most of the political power in China rests in Xi Jinping’s hands.

Mosher is very concerned for those Catholics who have already been arrested.

“Catholics aren’t being fed to the lions yet — at least as far as we know,” he said, “but what is happening to those arrested and thrown into China’s many ‘black jails’ — secret places of incarceration — may be just as bad.”


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Catholic Charities USA loses ‘significant’ donors in wake of sex abuse crisis

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By Lisa Bourne

November 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Catholic charitable organizations fear that the Church’s sexual abuse scandal is driving Catholics in the pews to close their wallets and forego support for their agencies.

Most of those contacted on the prospect by the U.S. Bishops’ Catholic News Service said it was too early to be certain of a definitive hit to their bottom line, but some are acting to reassure benefactors their contributions will not go to sex abuse settlement payouts and attorney fees.

“This concerns me deeply,” Dominican Sister Donna Markham told Catholic Charities USA donors in an October 31 letter addressing calls to hold back contributing to Catholic institutions. The charitable group has in the past been embroiled in controversy over issues related to abortion and contraception

READ: How Catholic charity is becoming an industry, and losing its mission

The Catholic Charities president and CEO told supporters in the letter that their donations do not fund the bishops or go to the dioceses.

“Anybody who is working in Catholic organizations right now is being hit by the fallout from the abuse crisis,” Markham said in the CNS report. “We have been faced with some of our significant donors saying, ‘No more money to Catholic Charities until the bishops straighten out this mess.'”

The impact won’t be known until after the holidays, Markham said, “But people are calling us daily saying, ‘Take me off your mailing list.'” 

Jesuit-run American magazine reported last week that many of its readers surveyed said they had decreased their financial contributions to the Church as a result of the sexual abuse crisis. 

“Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they had lowered the amount they gave to their bishop’s appeal,” the report said, “while 47 percent said they had reduced donations to their parishes.”

Donations to the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) have held steady in recent years, according to the CNS report, but the organization is continuing to emphasize its work in helping Christians in troubled areas of the world.

CNEWA has received letters from donors expressing anger over the bishops' failure to maintain moral authority over the church, Michael LaCivita, director of communications, for CNEWA, said.

The letters are "well thought out," with carefully crafted words to express the moral outrage of Catholics, but do not hold the organization responsible.

Some writers have conveyed concern though, that contributions could go to abuse legal settlements since bishops serve as the organization's trustees.

"People want answers and they want to have their anger heard," LaCivita said.

While fundraising has continued to meet annual goals at the Catholic University of America, the University has decided to put on hold a plan to build a residence for priests taking graduate level courses due to the crisis, CNS reported.

Because bishops were involved in raising money for the effort, University officials and bishops on the board of trustees felt it was best to postpone the project for future consideration, Scott Rembold, vice president for university advancement, said.

According to CNS, two organizations, Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities (FADICA), and the Leadership Roundtable, are offering expertise and suggestions to the bishops to address the anger and concern felt by Catholics.

FADICA has convened a working group to address the abuse scandal, and recommendations will be shared with the USCCB after the group convenes its annual meeting in February.

The Leadership Roundtable was established in 2005 following the initial break of the sex abuse crisis to offer lay expertise in best practices and accountability in the U.S. Church’s management, finances, communications and human resources development. 

More than 50 dioceses contacted the organization after release of the Pennsylvania grand jury report in August detailing sex abuse over 70 years in six of the state’s eight dioceses.

MarketWatch reported in late August that some Catholics were beginning to withhold their Church contributions until there is accountability from Church leaders.

Representatives of the Leadership Roundtable are telling dioceses that communication is crucial in responding to the sexual abuse scandal.

"Laypeople are looking for the Church to be responsive and repentant and say what has gone wrong,” Kim Smolik, Leadership Roundtable's CEO said. “They are looking for a plan forward, looking for the plan to be implemented and they are looking to be communicated with all along the way.”

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The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops meets in Baltimore on November 12, 2018 to discuss the ongoing sexual abuse crisis in the Church. Lisa Bourne / LifeSiteNews
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Lay group urges US bishops to ‘rid’ Catholic institutions of unchaste clergy

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By Pete Baklinski

November 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A group of Catholic laity is urging U.S. bishops gathered this week for a General Assembly in Maryland to "rid" the Church of clergy involved in "sexual misconduct with adults."

“No More Victims,” a group of laypeople located in the diocese of Lansing, MI, has prepared a 32-page document titled “What We the Laity are Reading that has Shaken us to the Core” concerning clergy sexual misconduct among adults. The group intends to hand out the document to bishops at the meeting that is taking place November 12-14 in Baltimore at the Waterfront Marriott.

The U.S. bishops are under intense moral pressure from pew-sitting Catholics and also legal mandate in some places to open their records and clean their houses. Laity are demanding accountability from the bishops.

The group states in an open letter (full letter below) to the bishops: "As you deal with the scandal of McCarrick and abuse committed by bishops, we urge you to include in your concerns, efforts to rid seminaries, dioceses and all Church institutions and structures of those who are involved in sexual misconduct with adults."

"We believe clergy sexual misconduct with adults is at the core of so many of the problems of the Church in the last many decades," the group adds.

The letter is signed by broadcaster and author Al Kresta, moral theologian Janet E. Smith, and accountant and director of No More Victims Jason Negri. The group also includes, among others, abuse-survivor and advocate Graham Lapp. 

"It is not just Archbishop McCarrick who is the problem or clergy who abuse minors, but also clergy who engaged in sexual misconduct with adults," the group stated in a press release. 

The group urged the bishops to do what "needs to be done" to "rebuild and purify" the Church.

"We know the tasks before you are truly of epic proportions and will affect the faith and salvation of many for decades to come. We are praying that what needs to be done to rebuild and purify the Church will be done. We know it will come at a great personal cost to many but have confidence that the graces the Holy Spirit will abundantly pour upon those who repent, convert, and follow the commandments of the Lord will make it a joy to share in our Savior’s cross."

News broke earlier today that the Vatican directed the U.S. bishops to hold off from voting on two measures during their meeting that aimed at addressing the sexual abuse crisis in the U.S. Church.

Note: Read No More Victims' document "What We the Laity are Reading that has Shaken us to the Core" here.


Dear Your Excellencies,

In the next few days, it is likely that many Catholics will be posting “open letters” to the bishops with advice on how to deal with the sexual abuse crisis. We are praying and wracking our brains, as we are sure you are.  

Our organization, No More Victims of the diocese of Lansing, MI, has put together a Reader, What We Laity Are Reading that has Shaken Us to the Core. It addresses a problem that has rarely been mentioned in any news releases from bishops: the problem of clerical sexual misconduct with adults. It includes excerpts from 22 articles published mostly within the last few months as well as additional resources.  

As you deal with the scandal of McCarrick and abuse committed by bishops, we urge you to include in your concerns, efforts to rid seminaries, dioceses and all Church institutions and structures of those who are involved in sexual misconduct with adults.  We believe clergy sexual misconduct with adults is at the core of so many of the problems of the Church in the last many decades.

We will be sending copies of the Reader to members of the media but we are embargoing them until the afternoon of Monday November 12. We are confident that the media will learn of this effort and “get ahead” of the issue and “manage” their response as much as possible. We wanted you to have advance notice to be prepared to answer any questions that may come from the media.

We know the tasks before you are truly of epic proportions and will affect the faith and salvation of many for decades to come. We are praying that what needs to be done to rebuild and purify the Church will be done. We know it will come at a great personal cost to many but have confidence that the graces the Holy Spirit will abundantly pour upon those who repent, convert, and follow the commandments of the Lord will make it a joy to share in our Savior’s cross.

Please consider us as loyal partners in the work of the Church.  We believe that for you to do your job you need to hear from devoted laity. The days of “pay, pray and obey” are over, and the relationship between the hierarchy and the laity is undergoing a transformation as well. We would like to stand with you through this crisis in your commitment to the Gospel which brings healing and calls us all to true holiness.

Attached is a copy of the Reader and of the press release.  A copy of the reader will also be available within the next 24 hours at

Oremus invicem.

Al Kresta, broadcaster and author

Janet E. Smith, moral theologian

Jason Negri, accountant and director of No More Victims

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Vatican’s own news website profiles pro-abortion ‘nun’ praising US midterm election results

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

VATICAN CITY, November 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Vatican’s news website has showcased an interview with a pro-abortion religious sister in its coverage of the recent U.S. elections. 

Sister Bernadette Reis of Vatican News Service interviewed Sister Simone Campbell, leader of the left-wing “Nuns on the Bus”, about the election of over 100 women to the House of Representatives. The interview appeared November 8 on the website.  Vatican News describes itself on its website as the “information system of the Holy See.”

Campbell, 73, has stated publicly that she believes abortion should remain legal, which both contradicts Church teaching and renders her a problematic subject for a  Vatican News Service interview in which she is portrayed favorably.

“Nuns on the Bus” is sponsored by NETWORK, a Catholic social justice lobby group of which Campbell is the executive director. According to the New York Times, “Nuns on the Bus” was founded as a “rebuke” to Pope Benedict XVI and the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) after the latter criticized both the radically feminist Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and NETWORK itself. 

A three-year investigation into the LCWR was stopped by Pope Francis in 2015

The group travels through the United States on a bus to bring attention to various social justice causes. Its most recent tour, called “On the Road to Mar-a-Lago”, included 54 events in 21 states over the course of 27 days. 

In the interview, Campbell voiced satisfaction that over 100 women have been elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Without mentioning any policies these women stood for, Campbell celebrated their sex, color, adherence to Islam, and choice of professions. 

“I’m really very excited,” Campbell said. “We follow at the federal level, so I’m most aware of the members of Congress, and that in our House of Representatives there’s going to be over 100 women, which is a historic high. And that’s from both parties, Democrat and Republican.”

Campbell observed that 40% of these female representatives are “women of color”, and that two of them are Muslims “which is also exciting.”

“But the other piece that really stirs us is that there’s a wide variety of women in Congress, including teachers, small business owners, women who have been involved in women’s rights issues but also some lawyers who come from a family law perspective,” she said. 

Campbell believes that her group’s lobbying efforts helped determine the election results. 

“I think we helped,” she said. “We did 12 lobby visits while we did our big bus trip, and of the 12, 8 members of Congress were defeated.” 

Campbell suggested that this meant they had been replaced by people more interested in the needs of the family, healthcare, and a better tax policy.  

Among the defeated candidates for House of Representatives were several pro-lifers, however. They include Yvette Herrell of New Mexico, Wendy Rogers of Arizona, and Maria Elvira Salazar of Florida. Herrell, who has not yet conceded, has been the Republican member of the New Mexico House of Representatives since 2011. 

The Vatican’s reporter expressed her satisfaction with the apparent influence of  “Nuns on the Bus” on the American elections.  

“I think that this very positive outcome can only be an encouragement for the future,” Reis told Campbell. “I [was] very grateful when I saw the tour starting again.” 

Campbell has not hidden her pro-abortion talking points.

In a 2016 interview with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!, Campbell said that some who claim to be pro-life are “really only pro-birth.”

“I think, looking at the abortion issue, that is so divisive in our nation, which—well, is attempting to be divisive in our nation—the thing that we need to face is that women choose abortion often, or most often, because they don’t have economic options,” she said. 

“And I think the shock of our nation is that … some claim to be pro-life, but they’re really only pro-birth. They don’t do what’s necessary to support women in carrying a baby to term, in providing paid child—paid family leave, in providing maternity leave or, you know, parental leave, providing reasonable-cost child care. I mean, the litany goes on and on,” she continued.  

“If we were really serious about being pro-life, we wouldn’t look just at birth. From my perspective, I don’t think it’s a good policy to outlaw abortion. I think, rather, let’s focus on economic development for women and economic opportunity. That’s what really makes the change.”

Campbell has also strongly suggested that some women in the USA have to have abortions so as to be able to feed their other children.

"The challenge is, for women striving to care for their families, the urgent necessity of being able to feed children means that you’re going to make tough choices sometimes," she said. 

“I don’t think it’s a good choice. I think our society is failing our families. And that’s what we have to work on.”

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Papal nuncio tells US bishops to tackle ‘clericalism’, does not mention homosexuality

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By Doug Mainwaring

BALTIMORE, Md., November 12, 2018, (LifeSiteNews) – The Vatican Ambassador to the United States highlighted the problem of “clericalism” while failing to mention homosexuality during comments about the sex abuse crisis at the currently running general assembly of US bishops taking place in Baltimore. 

Archbishop Christophe Pierre’s comments came on the heels of USCCB President Cardinal Daniel DiNardo’ surprise announcement that the Vatican had scuttled the bishops’ plans to adopt national standards for episcopal accountability aimed at creating an efficient and reliable means of dealing with priests and prelates who engage in sexual misconduct. 

While issuing a heartfelt plea for reform in order to “rebuild trust with the people of God,” Pierre assiduously avoided using the term homosexuality and instead concluded his remarks by zeroing in on “clericalism” as the pressing issue facing the Catholic Church.   

The Archbishop’s remarks, in conjunction with the Vatican’s derailing of the U.S. bishops' plan to get a grip on clergy sexual abuse comes as a blow to the bishops' ability to deal with the crisis.

By the end of the morning session, the term ‘homosexuality’ had not been uttered once, leaving the crisis undefined, amorphous, and perhaps, unsolvable.

“The problems faced by the Church today are compounded by a clericalism which can affect both clergy and laity and which erodes communion,” said Pierre.  

“Our Holy Father has spoken of the ills of clericalism from the first days of his pontificate,” he continued. “It is an illness, and it must be treated as such.”

But the illness of homosexuality plaguing the priesthood was left undiagnosed. 

Reactions came swiftly on social media:

“I am hoping the US bishops are fed up with Vatican interference in their work,” said Janet E. Smith, noted Catholic author and professor of moral theology at the Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan.  “And I hope they remember that they are the stewards of their own diocese and don't need permission of the USCCB or the Vatican to do what they are supposed to do -- provide a moral and faithful priesthood to their flock.”

“CLERICALISM: Papal Nuncio Christophe Pierre says the problems of today are compounded by clericalism,” tweeted EWTN’s Jason Calvi. “‘It's for the people of God that we and our priests have been ordained.’”

“True: the Rainbow Flag is also known worldwide as the ‘Clericalism Pride Flag,’” responded Rorate Caeli.

 “I can't imagine a more incompetent response at this particular moment,” said Jim Russell who writes for Catholic World Report on marriage, family, and sexuality.  “It's as though various levels of authority are simply scrambling to shift blame and control the narrative. No clericalism here, folks.”

“And it's not #Clericalism but #Homoclericalism,” said Julie Krezmien.  “As long as ‘not married,’ sodomy acceptable. That is what they & the Vatican pundits are trying to protect; homosexuality acts. Until this reality is discussed publicly? No moral authority left.”

“Just listening to ‘Papal nuncio’ before taking off to work. IT is sickening his words of complete denial of the evil past, & worst PRESENT, began Terri Medina in a pair of tweets.  “The world is against us” & just keep going my short summary of what I am hearing.Even if they think we R deaf, blind & dumb.”

She added, “listening to Papal Nuncio to USA still don’t WANT to get it! Do they think we are deaf, blind & dumb? Hearing him makes me  sick. You got to listen by yourselves. ‘The world against us’ in denial of the ‘massive massive’ crisis.

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Vatican tells US bishops to delay voting on plan to address sex abuse crisis

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By Lisa Bourne

BALTIMORE, Maryland, November 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Vatican has directed the United States bishops to hold off on voting on two measures during their currently-running Baltimore meeting that aim to address the sexual abuse crisis in the U.S. Church.

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) President Cardinal Daniel DiNardo informed the bishops of the request at the opening of the USCCB Fall General Assembly Monday in Baltimore. The meeting has been highly anticipated with the bishops’ plan to address the latest developments in the sex abuse scandal as a full body for the first time since the early days of the crisis in 2002.  

“At the insistence of the Holy See we will not be voting on the two actions items in our documentation regarding the abuse crisis,” DiNardo said. “That is the standards of accountability for bishops and the special commission for receiving complaints against bishops.”

“The Holy See has asked that we delay voting on these so that our deliberations can inform and be informed by the global meeting of the conference presidents that the Holy Father has called for February 2019.

Pope Francis had summoned the presidents of all of the Catholic Church’s national bishops' conferences in September to talk about the abuse crisis.

DiNardo apologized for the last minute change for the meeting, explaining that he himself only learned late Sunday of the Holy See request. 

“I’m sorry for the late notice,” he said pointedly, “but in fact this was conveyed to me late yesterday afternoon.” 

DiNardo as USCCB president had committed in August to the Conference addressing the abuse scandal, part of which included a request for the Vatican to intervene since bishops canonically cannot sanction or reprimand each other. After USCCB leadership’s request for an apostolic visitation was rebuffed, the Conference’s Administrative Committee released an action plan in September for investigating the Archbishop McCarrick abuse allegations and to augment bishop accountability. 

News of the Vatican’s eleventh-hour curveball to the US Bishops met swiftly with negative reaction on social media from Catholics.

“The Vatican has pulled the rug out from under an already reeling episcopacy in the US with this demand that they not vote on even a toothless Code of Conduct for Bishops,” EWTN News Managing Editor Raymond Arroyo said. “Now they are starting a day of prayer. "We'll need it!" One bishop wrote me.”

First Things Editor Matthew Schmitz invoked the final document of the recently concluded Youth Synod, which contained the inserted concept of synodality – generally a decentralization of the Church and its magisterium away from the papacy to local churches – though it had not been widely discussed at the Synod gathering

“Synodality” is not a workable principle for the Catholic Church in the twenty-first century,” Schmitz tweeted. “Not even its advocates are able to put it into practice.”

Canonist Ed Peters pointed out that despite the Holy See’s move, bishops could individually propose provisions for dealing with the sexual abuse crisis and other bishops were free to follow them.

“While Rome has (needlessly but not illegally per Canon 455) forbidden US bishops from adopting NATIONAL standards for episcopal accountability,” Peters stated, “nothing prevents individual bishops from presenting PERSONAL provisions for same, whereupon other bishops might choose to copy them.”

“I am hoping the US bishops are fed up with Vatican interference in their work,” noted theologian Janet Smith said on Facebook. “And I hope they remember that they are the stewards of their own diocese and don't need permission of the USCCB or the Vatican to do what they are supposed to do -- provide a moral and faithful priesthood to their flock.”

DiNardo continued to the gathering of bishops, “Although I am disappointed that we will not be taking these actions tomorrow in terms of a vote, I remain hopeful that this additional consultation will ultimately improve our response to the crisis we face.”

The last-minute direction from the Vatican to delay voting on the sex abuse agenda items left the Galveston-Houston’s cardinal archbishop explaining that a revised agenda for the bishops' meeting would be forthcoming the following day, as the bishops were set to convene for the remainder of Monday for a day of prayer focused on the abuse crisis.

The last-minute change was the latest for the bishops’ assembly, with the day of prayer preceding the business part of their meeting, and the bishops’ Mass moved from the Baltimore Basilica to on-site at the hotel where the meeting was being held.

“Brothers, I am sure that you have concerns about this latest development, as I do myself,” DiNardo said of the Holy See’s direction. 

Rather than addressing those concerns at the moment, DiNardo called for them to be taken to prayer, to ensure that the Holy Spirit would be present in the discussions going forward in the meeting.

Chicago Cardinal Blasé Cupich spoke from the floor as DiNardo made the announcement, another departure from normal process, to recommend the Conference continue to scheduled discussions on the two items. Cupich also suggested that given the urgency of the matter, the bishops not leave further discussion for the next General Assembly in June, and rather call a special session in March.

This would be a logistic headache, Cupich said, “But it is something that we cannot delay, there’s an urgency here.”

The agenda items that were kyboshed were Standards of Episcopal Conduct and establishment of a Special Commission for Review of Complaints Against Bishops for Violations of those episcopal standards. 

Catholic continue to express anger and issue calls for accountability in the Church’s sexual abuse scandal months after allegations emerged in June that former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick had abused at least two minors and preyed upon seminarians and young priests for years, and the August release of the Pennsylvania grand jury report details seven decades of abuse in six of that state’s eight dioceses. 

Attorney’s general in all 50 states have begun investigating the handling of sexual abuse allegations in dioceses under their purview.

The US Bishops meeting continues through Wednesday. A coalition of Catholic lay groups plans an alternate prayer and protest rally adjacent to the bishops’ meeting site Tuesday and Wednesday.

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Mgsr. Charles Pope on EWTN, Nov. 8, 2018. EWTN / Youtube screen grab
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Priest on EWTN: Church won’t link sex abuse crisis to homosexuality over fear of gay lobby

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By Lisa Bourne

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Catholic Church’s sex abuse crisis is about the culture of homosexuality in the priesthood, Mgsr. Charles Pope told EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo on the World Over program Thursday night (Nov. 8). 

It’s also about the bishops’ failure to impart the Church’s moral teaching, he said, and is not rooted in clericalism

“We have to be clear, I think, that this is about homosexuality,” Pope stated, adding that that is “a big culture of that in the priesthood.”

“It’s also about not preaching and teaching moral teachings of the Church, not insisting upon them, allowing for dissent to go unchecked,” Pope said. “I think again it comes back to teaching, governing and sanctifying.”

The blogger and priest of the Archdiocese of Washington had broached these three duties conferred upon bishops and priests in his recent National Catholic Register column in which he implored the bishops of the U.S. to restore order in the Church. Arroyo brought Pope on to the program to discuss the content of the column and to discuss the abuse crisis as the U.S. Bishops’ meeting approaches November 12-14.

There are some in the Church, some of the bishops who claim based upon data that homosexuality is in no way involved in the abuse crisis, Arroyo said, that this is child predation, this is pedophilia. 

“But the data suggests something very different, actually,” he queried Msgr. Pope. “Why the inability to acknowledge what is so apparent in the data?”

“There is a climate of fear and of course it’s created, I think, by our culture that you can’t say anything that’s even in any way negative or untoward towards those with same-sex attraction,” Pope replied. “And I think that, again, we have to say we’re all prone to sin, and we have to get over that fear.” 

Pope said that the link between the sex abuse crisis and homosexuality is "very clear" and called it "strange" for anyone to say "this has nothing to do with homosexuality in the priesthood.”

“It does. And it’s very clearly backed up statistically,” he said. 

Pope said he hoped the bishops would look carefully at the recent study of the issue from Father Paul Sullins with the Ruth Institute.

He further urged the bishops, “To be very careful about the seminary and who we admit and to be very clear about the nature of the problem.” 

“Not just this, but all sins across the board, we’ve got to get back in the business of calling sin by its name,” he said.

Arroyo asked Pope what he would tell the bishops they should do if he were advising them.

Along with speaking clearly, Pope recommended getting back in the business of teaching about sexual morality. 

“We don’t want to offend, we don’t want to upset anybody,” said Pope. “Well, we have to be willing.” 

“Jesus offended a few people,” he continued. “He didn’t [end] up on a cross by just saying nice platitudes.” 

Msgr. Pope spoke of the need to also get back to issuing sanctions in the Church when needed, and without explicitly naming pro-LGBT Jesuit priest James Martin, gave him as an example.

“We have to get back in the business of speaking clearly and teaching clearly, and then also, we have to discipline in the Church,” Pope told Arroyo. “Whatever happened to sanctions? Nobody seems to ever be sanctioned.” 

“I won’t mention his name but there’s a renegade priest who runs around talking the LGBTQI agenda with no reference to repentance,” Pope said. “There’s no discipline, nobody reins him in.”   

Bad teaching across the board over the last 40-50 years has infected the mentality of everyone, clergy and lay people alike, the Msgr. added.

Arroyo asked whether Pope Francis’ adopted position of silence on sex abuse questions - particularly on McCarrick issue and the Vigano charges - is hurting the Church.

“It is,” said Msgr. Pope. “And it very gravely hurts God’s people.” 

Pope explained that Francis has actually been vocal about the issues in insulting those who request accountability, stressing the awkwardness of having to state such things about a pope.

“He really hasn’t been silent, that’s the problem,” Monsignor said. “He refers to people who disagree and want investigations as monsters, accusers, a pack of wild dogs.” 

“I mean, these are things he said,” he added of the pontiff. “And there’s what I would call weaponized ambiguity. He uses very ambiguous terms about things, and he leaves the faithful guessing.” 

“At some point we have to say, Holy Father, we’re your children,” said Pope. “Take spiritual care, respect us, love us, listen to us.”

Such criticism is out of care and love for the Church, he told Arroyo, and love for sex abuse victims and the good people of God.

Questioned about the repeated attempts by some churchmen to fault clericalism for the sex abuse crisis, Pope dismissed this.

The pope and Chicago Cardinal Blasé Cupich have attempted to lay blame for the Church’s sexual abuse scandal on clericalism, typically understood as undue deference to clergy. This theory has been disputed by at least one prominent cardinal and drawn criticism from a noted psychiatrist and others in the Church.

“No,” Msgr. Pope said. “There’s abuse of power, there’s clericalism, but at the end of the day, this is basically a sexual issue.” 

“Priests who abuse are guilty of sacrilege,” said Pope. “They’re also guilty of spiritual incest, and, as I say, in many cases it’s homosexual predation as well.” 

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Man wanting courts to make him 20 years younger highlights absurdity of transgender claim

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By Dr. Michael Brown

November 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) –  You knew it had to happen sooner or later. After all, if a biological, chromosomal male who identifies as "female" can have his birth certificate changed to female, why can’t a 69-year-old man who feels like he’s 49 have his age legally changed?

Why is one biological reality – namely, sex – changeable, while another biological reality – namely, age – not changeable? And haven’t we heard for years that age is just a number? Why not change the number, especially when numbers do matter when it comes to age?

After all, there is the age when you can drive or drink or marry or vote. Then there’s the age when you get pension for retirement. Why not adjust the age to correspond with how you feel? Isn’t this only “logical,” given the social climate of the day?

As I pointed out in 2016, if perception is substituted for reality, there is no end to the social madness that follows.

You do not just have a man being named Woman of the Year.

You do not just have a white woman who identifies as black.

You have a father of 7 who identifies as a 6-year-old girl.

You have a man who identifies as a dog named “Boomer.”

You have a young lady who believes she is a cat trapped in a woman’s body.

You have a man who has his ears removed because he identifies as a parrot.

You have a man who changed his identity to female but who has now had “her ears and nose REMOVED to transform into a 'dragon lady' with scales, a forked tongue and a horned skull.”

And now, you have a man who not only identifies as 20 years younger but who wants the court to change his age so he won’t have to “lie” on social media about his age. Why not?

As reported in the Telegraph, “Emile Ratelband, 69, argues that if transgender people are allowed to change sex, he should be allowed to change his date of birth because doctors said he has the body of a 45-year-old.”

In his own words, “I have done a check-up and what does it show? My biological age is 45 years.

“When I'm 69, I am limited. If I'm 49, then I can buy a new house, drive a different car. I can take up more work.

“When I'm on Tinder and it say I'm 69, I don't get an answer. When I'm 49, with the face I have, I will be in a luxurious position.”

And what did the judge have to say?

“The judge expressed some skepticism but also noted that changing the sex on a birth certificate, as transgender people have the right to do, once was impossible and is now allowed.”

Precisely so!

As NPR explains, “Transgender people around the world have fought long legal battles for the right to change their birth certificates to match their gender identity. Where that is permitted, the legal requirements vary; in the Netherlands, transgender people need a statement from an expert affirming that they have a ‘permanent conviction’ that their gender does not match what is on their birth certificates, and that they understand the repercussions of their decision.”

Ratelband, already the father of 7 but wanting to have more children through surrogate mothers, appears to have a “permanent conviction” to the point that, “he told the court he would be happy to delay his pension benefits for 20 years, as a logical extension of his age change.”

So, why not?

After all, the Denver Post reported this week that, “Colorado residents who do not identify as male or female will be allowed to choose X as the symbol to represent their gender on their driver’s licenses when an emergency rule goes into effect this month.”

And a letter signed by 1,600 scientists made clear that, when it comes to biological sex, scientific fact must give way to perceptions and feelings.

So, not only do these scientists strangely claim that “There are no genetic tests that can unambiguously determine gender, or even sex.”

But they also state that “even if such tests existed, it would be unconscionable to use the pretext of science to enact policies that overrule the lived experience of people’s own gender identities.”

Put another way, who cares about science – about verifiable facts and data – when you have feelings and perceptions?

Since I radically changed my diet in August, 2014, I have literally felt that I am getting younger every year. It’s really quite remarkable.

I believe my predicted life expectancy has increased dramatically as well, which makes me feel younger still.

But the reality is that I was born in 1955, and the only way to change my legal age is to change my birth certificate, which means tampering with reality.

It’s the same with changing one’s biological and chromosomal sex. (As always, I’m not referring here to the difficult and sometimes ambiguous situation in which intersex individuals find themselves. I’m referring to indisputable biological and chromosomal cases.)

To change one’s sex (or age) is to change reality. No amount of compassion for a struggling man or woman merits tampering with that.

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Archbishop Robert Zollitsch
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Clerical sex-abuse cover-up accusations hit German Bishops’ Conference ex-president

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By Maike Hickson

November 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Bishop Stephan Burger, the Archbishop of Freiburg, Germany has now publicly criticized his predecessor and the former President of the German Bishops' Conference, Robert Zollitsch, for his covering up the misdeeds of a priest who abused at least 60 boys.

After meeting with members of the parish of the abuser priest, Archbishop Burger says that Zollitsch should speak with them and apologize to them in person. Upon request from LifeSiteNews, Burger's press office added the information that Zollitsch seems to have covered up for several other abuser priests.

“I have to assume that important things have passed over his [Zollitsch's] desk,” stated Archbishop Burger in an interview with the German television channel SWR last week. “Things were not correctly handled,” he added with reference to his predecessor. Burger spoke here concretely about the case of a Catholic parish in Oberharmersbach.

Father B. abused at least 60 children over the course of more than twenty years, from 1967 until 1991, as the pastor of St. Gallus in Oberharmersbach, Germany. Some of the victims – who were altar boys – were more than 400 times sexually abused. When in 1991, another priest learned about the sexual misbehavior of Father B., Father B. was sent into an early retirement with the instruction to stay away from children. He withdrew quietly from his parish, with the knowledge of then-Father Zollitsch who was at the time the head of the diocesan personnel office and thus responsible for the dealing with such cases. (He was to become the Archbishop of Freiburg only in 2003, and remained there until his retirement in 2013.)

However, since Zollitsch did not inform the parish, nor the state authorities, of the crimes this priest had committed – the priest threatened to kill himself if his offenses would become known – the uninformed parishioners of Oberharmersbach continued to send their sons to Father B. for visits in his retirement place. As has been confirmed, even after his retirement, this priest continued to abuse boys for more years.

When, in 1995, one of the abuse victims finally went to the police, Father B., as threatened, did take his own life. However, Archbishop Zollitsch first claimed only to have known about his misdeeds in 1995, something he later had to recant and correct. But still, in 1995, he wrote a letter in which he advised the recipients to keep the story unknown. As it became known already in 2010, the priest who had discovered the abuse of his nephew by Father B. had then met, in 1992, in person with Father Zollitsch who himself did not act upon the revelations. The uncle of the abuse victim commented in 2010, saying “I think things were simply covered up. One wanted to avoid a scandal, sacrificing those who are the weakest.” Today, Zollitsch is not available to the media for comment.

Even after the scandal became more widely known in 2010 – Archbishop Zollitsch finally came to acknowledge some of his mistakes and made a general apology without ever visiting with the abuse victims – Archbishop Burger now says that the case of Oberharmersbach has never been “researched and analyzed in detail.” He also now says that “in the past, personnel files of purported offenders have been manipulated.” He now thinks that Zollitsch should once more apologize to the parishioners of that town. In a recent 8 November interview, Archbishop Burger, after visiting the St. Gallus parish, said about his conversation with members of the parish: “Thereby I realized that it would be important for many of the concerned persons to hear once more a word from the retired Archbishop Zollitsch. That he would show that he, too, had made mistakes.”

However, when asked about the fact that the current pastor of that parish, Father Bonaventura Gerner, called upon Burger to forbid Zollitsch any public appearances, Burger stated that he may continue to give talks and celebrate public Masses. “He is free to do that,” the current archbishop said.

LifeSiteNews reached out last week to the press office of Archbishop Burger, asking to learn more about Archbishop emeritus Zollitsch, for example whether he had been involved in the cover-up of other abuse cases. (One well-placed source in Germany spoke with LifeSiteNews on condition of anonymity and told us that Zollitsch, as bishop, has moved several abusing priests into other parishes without making public the misdeeds of these priests.)

The press office responded, saying that “Archbishop Zollitsch himself has already admitted that, in his own tenure as head of the diocesan personnel office, there had been wrong decisions made when dealing with clerical abuse which today would be assessed as cover-ups. The cases in Oberharmersbach were from their extent certainly the gravest ones. However, there are further indications that, also on other occasions, cover-ups have taken place. This needs to be further examined.” The diocesan press speaker, Mrs. Lisa Maria Pelsker, also pointed to a newly established commission (consisting of internal and external counselors) which advises the archdiocese with regard to measures and strategies concerning abuse. This commission might very well ask for a “thorough examination of the whole procedure with regard to transfer [of priests] and cover-up. A more thorough answer could therefore only be given at a later date,” she added.

LifeSiteNews also asked about the responsibility of Archbishop Oskar Saier – under whom Zollitsch worked as the head of the personnel office. Saier was the archbishop of Freiburg from 1978 until 2002, and he died in 2008. Mrs. Pelsker responded, saying that the cover-up of the abuses by Father B. clearly took place “under the responsibility of Archbishop Saier.” However, the archdiocese does not know whether he “had been informed about such incidents.”

Archbishop Zollitsch is known for his progressive views, and he was close to another former President of the German Bishops' Conference, Cardinal Karl Lehman. Zollitsch had succeeded him in 2008 and remained the head of the German bishops until 2014. As such, he introduced in 2013 a sort of “test balloon” after the election of Pope Francis and thereby introduced some guidelines in his own Freiburg diocese allowing some “remarried” divorcees to receive Holy Communion. He only later said that the guidelines were published prematurely, but then added that they “go in the right direction.”

In 2008, Zollitsch gave an interview to the German magazine Der Spiegel, in which he made it clear that he does not oppose civil same-sex partnerships. “But when there are people with such a tendency [homosexuality], then the state can establish certain rules for them,” he then also explained.

In that same Spiegel interview, Archbishop Zollitsch also admitted that he himself would be open for the idea to abolish priestly celibacy, but added that this would be a “revolution” in the Church which would meet with much resistance.

Note: Follow LifeSite's new Catholic twitter account to stay up to date on all Church-related news. Click here: @LSNCatholic

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Canadian man claiming to be ‘female’ sues 16 women for refusing to wax his genitals

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By Jonathon van Maren

November 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Back in May, I wrote about the biological man claiming to be a woman who has sued a spa in Windsor after a female employee declined to service him following his request for a Brazilian wax. The “transgender woman” was furious, claiming that his genitals are irrelevant to his gender, and that this Muslim woman should have absolutely no problem handling his penis, seeing that in his point of view, it was a female penis. 

Then in August, another fellow got in on the game. A transgender “woman” began calling spas in British Columbia, asking that they give him a “Manzillian” wax, and then taking careful note of those who refused. He then filed 16 human rights complaints against sixteen women who refused to handle his penis, claiming that he had been discriminated against. In fact, he claimed that having these women refuse to wax his genitals “really got to me…it hurts.”

Identifying himself only as J.Y., the claims of discrimination and bullying are ironic considering what this fellow is doing to actual women. One of the estheticians, a single mom who works out of her home, already paid J.Y. $2,500 to withdraw his complaint so she could simply get on with her life. Two and a half grand, it turns out, is the amount of money that a single mom, seeing her livelihood threatened, has to pay to a man for not touching his genitals. 

It gets worse. According to John Carpay of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, many lawyers are terrified to touch transgender discrimination cases for fear of being accused of transphobia, thus making it very difficult for the women being targeted to find any legal representation and increasing the temptation to simply settle. To fight these attack to the hearing stage, Carpay noted, would cost each of these women over $20,000. 

In fact, Carpay noted that one of the women that JCCF is now representing “had been turned down by 26 different lawyers and law firms. All of which cited lack of expertise in human rights proceedings, or fear of offending the transgender lobby, or both.” He has publicly stated that JCCF will represent the other women without charge, as well, but thus far the Human Rights Tribunal has refused to inform them of this fact. As always, with the human rights complaints it is the process that is the punishment.

A biological male taking women to court for refusing to touch his penis on the grounds that this is discrimination against trans women is some serious next-level gaslighting. It is difficult to fully discern J.Y.’s intent in this specific case—it could be money, since he stands to make a nice chunk of cash if he is to win his cases, or simply attempting to use the force of the state to bludgeon biological women into accepting him as a “woman” and forcing them to agree that his genitals are female genitals, regardless of the fact that they quite literally are not. 

It is genuinely surprising that there is not more outrage over this. I understand that many people have shifted into a “live and let live” mode simply due to the fact that they can’t keep up with the ever-evolving acronyms of new genders and fluid sexualities, but the idea that a person with a penis could actually force women to pay him money for refusing to handle it seems grotesque, insane, and vicious beyond measure. Surely a plurality of Canadians finds this behavior repulsive—and surely they would be willing to stand up for these bullied women. 

I certainly hope so, because if that is not the case, we are in much worse shape than I thought.

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3,000 Catholics expected at rally challenging US Bishops on sex abuse cover-up

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

BALTIMORE, Maryland, November 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) ― Approximately 3,000 lay Catholics are registered to attend the “Silence Stops Now” rally scheduled to take place outside this year's U.S. Bishops conference.

The rally will begin at 12:30 p.m. ET at Baltimore’s MECU Pavilion, a short distance from the hotel in which the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will have their meeting. The Catholics gathered will be demonstrating for an end to the culture of sexual license and cover-up in the American clergy that has led to the ongoing clerical sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church.

LifeSiteNews spoke to Beverly Stevens, editor of Regina Magazine, who has publicized the event, on the eve of the rally.   

LSN: Beverly, what is your role in tomorrow’s protest?

Stevens: Regina Magazine has been advertising the rally on social media. I have been advising some of the organizers and helping raise funds to defray the considerable costs to small apostolates.

LSN: How many do you think will turn out?

Stevens: About 3,000 have officially signed up. Not sure how many will attend.

LSN: What do you think of reports that the USCCB told police that demonstrators might be violent?

Stevens: I was approached by the Baltimore police myself. They were told that there would be 'blood on the walls' and wanted to know what we had planned. I asked them who told them that and they wouldn't say exactly.

LSN: Were you shocked?

Stevens: I laughed and said it was silly. I told them that these were ordinary faithful Catholics with rosaries and strollers. (They) wanted to know if we were 'law abiding.’ I laughed again and said, 'We are the people who want the bishops to abide by the laws and turn sex abusers in to law enforcement.'

LSN: Why did the police contact you?

Stevens: One of the other apostolates referred them to me. We have law enforcement and military in our family so I understand their concerns.

LSN: How many apostolates are involved in tomorrow’s protest?

Stevens: All that information is (on the “Silence Stops Now” website).

LSN: What do you hope for from the event?

Stevens: Well, now that Francis has forbidden the bishops from addressing the sex abuse crisis, they won't be passing any resolutions.

My hope is that the laity comes away with a deeper understanding of the depth and pervasiveness of this (abuse of the faithful). That we see that the Church is being bled white by a criminal clerical group that is deeply embedded, and that they will destroy the Church we inherited from our forebears if we continue to blindly support them. I also hope that Catholics in other countries are inspired by us, and that they begin to understand their responsibility for the Church locally.

LSN: I wonder what the great pioneering American bishops would think of all this?

Stevens: You mean the ones who braved all kinds of adversity to bring the Faith to America, starting in Baltimore?

LSN: Yes, “Dagger John” of New York and others.

Stevens: I think they are praying that the rot gets cleansed from the Church they fought so hard to build.

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