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November 21, 2019


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Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta. Diocese of Orán
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Argentine prosecutor asks for help to arrest Pope Francis-promoted bishop accused of sex abuse

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

ORÁN, Argentina, November 21, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― A prosecutor in Argentina has asked for international assistance in apprehending suspected sex offender Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta, who is believed to be residing in the Casa Santa Marta, the modern hotel in Rome in which Pope Francis also lives. 

María Soledad Filtrín Cuezzo is the prosecutor of sexual crimes for the northwestern Argentine city of San Ramón de la Nueva Orán. She has resorted to asking for foreign help because Zanchetta has not responded to telephone calls or emails sent to the number and address provided by his defense team. The bishop emeritus of the diocese of Nueva Orán, Zanchetta has been charged with the sexual assault of two seminiarians.

Named bishop of the diocese of Nueva Orán in July 2013 by Pope Francis, Zanchetta resigned in August 2017 citing health reasons. However, in December 2017, Pope Francis appointed the retired bishop the “Assessor” to the Administration of the Apostolic See. Catholic News Agency reported that this was “a position specially created” for Zanchetta. 

In January 2019, the Vatican Press Office revealed that accusations of sexual misconduct had been made against Zanchetta over recent months. Pope Francis told media in May that the bishop emeritus was being investigated by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. His canonical trial began that month.

The Vatican insisted that it didn’t know until 2018 that allegations of sexual misconduct had been made against him. However, warnings of Zanchetta’s “strange behavior” were first made in 2015 when photos of young men engaging in homosexual sex and “naked selfies” of Zanchetta were found on the bishop’s cell phone. 

According to El Tribuno, Chancellor Secretory Luis Amancio Díaz discovered the pictures after Zanchetta asked him to copy a folder of photos from the phone in order to post several of them on the diocesan Facebook page. This incident was reported indirectly to the Vatican by the former vicar general of the diocese of Nueva Orán, Fr. Juan José Manzano. 

“It was an alarm that we made to the Holy See via some friendly bishops,” he said. 

“The nunciature didn’t intervene directly, but the Holy Father summoned Zanchetta and he justified himself saying that his cellphone had been hacked, and that there were people who were out to damage the image of the Pope.”

Fr. Juan José Manzano told the Associated Press that Zanchetta was like “a spiritual child of the Holy Father.”

El Tribuno also reported that a total of three priests, including two vicar generals and one episcopal vicar, had complained multiple times of “economic mismanagement, abuse of power, and sexual abuse of seminarians.”

A civil investigation into Zanchetta’s conduct began in February 2019. On June 10, Zanchetta was formally charged with sexual assault by civil authorities in Nueva Orán, and he was forbidden to leave Argentina. However, on August 28, despite the protests of prosecutor Cuezzo, his travel ban was lifted and he flew to Rome. Zanchetta had been allowed to leave Argentina because he had a document saying he had a position in Vatican City. In reality, Zanchetto had been suspended from his job since January. 

According to CNA, Cuezzo said she had had to ask the apostolic nuncio to Argentina for help in getting Zanchetta to appear in court for his hearings.  

On November 7, Nueva Orá’s Economic Crime Unit raided the diocese’s offices. The bishop emeritus is also now being accused of fraud, embezzling diocesan charity funds, and selling church property.

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Media tout questionable study claiming abortion doesn’t increase suicide attempts

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By Calvin Freiburger

November 21, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — A new study has caught the attention of the mainstream media for its conclusion that having an abortion does not increase a woman’s likelihood of attempting suicide, but a prominent pro-life researcher says the evidence indicates otherwise.

On Tuesday, The Lancet published a study by a team of University of Maryland researchers who reviewed abortion and self-harm data from over half a million women in Denmark. 

“We found that women who had abortions had a higher risk of non-fatal suicide attempts compared with women who did not have an abortion,” it concluded. “However, because the increased risk was the same both the year before and after the abortion, it is not attributable to the abortion. Thus, policies based on the notion that abortion increases women’s risk of suicide attempts are misinformed.”

Commenting on the study to The Daily Mail, Dr. Jenneke van Ditzhuijzen of the University of Amsterdam suggested that the suicide attempts could be attributed not to the abortion itself, but to other factors linked with unwanted pregnancy, such as domestic violence or relationship stability. “This does not mean that having an abortion is an indication that women are going through a difficult time, or that the symptoms of mental disorders are attributable to the abortion,” she claimed, “but rather that some women are at an elevated risk of multiple adversities at a certain period in their life, which could include an unwanted pregnancy and abortion.”

However, Catholic University of America visiting professor and Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) scholar Dr. Michael New informs LifeSiteNews that the study’s conclusions are limited by certain methodological shortcomings, and the study itself is inconsistent with a body of evidence from other studies.

New first notes that the study analyzes suicide attempts rather than actual suicides and that some of the “attempts” it counts were actually cases of self-harm without an intention to die.

“Furthermore, the study only analyzes women over 18,” he continues. “It does not analyze multiple suicide attempts (it only considers the first) and it does not analyze how multiple abortions might have impacted suicide attempts. Finally,  it only looks at first trimester abortions — it does not analyze how late term abortions would impact suicide attempts.”

New goes on to note that numerous prior studies have found a link between abortion and increased suicide risk, including a 2019 study of Italian women, a 1996 study out of Finland, and a 2012 study of California Medicaid recipients, which found that women who aborted were 154% more likely to commit suicide than women who gave birth.

“The 2011 meta-study that was authored by Priscilla Coleman and published in the British Journal of Psychiatry identified 5 studies that analyzed how abortion impacts the risk of suicide,” New writes. “All 5 studies found that abortion increased the risk of suicide. In four of the five studies the increase reached conventional standards of statistical significance.”

By the same token, he adds, pro-life laws that discourage women from aborting their children help save mothers’ lives in addition to babies’.

“In 2012 the journal Economic Inquiry published a study by Joseph Sabia and Daniel Reese which found very solid evidence that pro-life parental involvement laws in the United States reduce the suicide rate for teen females,” New says.

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Christian wedding photographer sues to restore right not to shoot same-sex ‘weddings’

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By Calvin Freiburger

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky, November 21, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — A Southern Baptist wedding photographer in Kentucky has filed a lawsuit against a Louisville ordinance that she says violates her religious liberty by forcing her to lend her services to same-sex “wedding” ceremonies.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is representing Chelsey Nelson, who owns a photography studio in Louisville, in her lawsuit against the city’s Fairness Ordinance, which states that businesses cannot deny a customer “full and equal” enjoyment of goods, services, privileges, advantages, or public accommodations on the basis of various attributes, including sexual orientation. It also forbids businesses from publishing communications suggesting such “discrimination.”

According to ADF, this means that Nelson not only must photograph same-sex “weddings,” but that she cannot publicly explain why she wants to only photograph monogamous male-female unions.

The complaint notes that forcing her business to serve homosexual unions is hardly necessary to ensure they can find willing photographers, as an online directory lists lists 91 other photographers in Louisville and 314 photographers statewide who advertise their willingness to do so.

Nobody has yet attempted to enforce the ordinance against Nelson, yet she has filed this pre-enforcement challenge in anticipation of future efforts, just as religious business owners have successfully done in Arizona and the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Because marriage is so important to me, I’m careful to photograph and blog about each of these solemn ceremonies in a way that reflects my views of marriage,” Nelson explained Thursday in an op-ed at the Louisville Courier-Journal. “This means I wouldn’t be the best person to photograph every wedding.” She added that her business is willing to serve anyone but cannot serve every wedding and also refuses heterosexual weddings with trivial themes, such as Halloween or zombies.

“My highest aim in life is to honor God, and that informs everything I do, business included,” she continued. “When I look back on my life when I’m older, I want to be able to say that I stayed true to this goal — that I ran the race and finished well.”

“Artists shouldn’t be censored, fined, or forced out of business simply for disagreeing with the government’s preferred views,” ADF senior counsel Kate Anderson said. “No matter one’s views on marriage, we all lose when bureaucrats can force citizens to participate in religious ceremonies they oppose or to speak messages they disagree with. On countless other topics, photographers and other artists can freely choose the stories they tell. Chelsey simply asks for the same freedom.”

Area CBS affiliate WLKY reports that the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office has declined to respond to the lawsuit, as it doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

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Pro-life pediatrician Gádor Joya. Contando Estrelas / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
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Feminists call doctor who offers abortion-bound women ultrasounds ‘cruel,’ ‘inhumane’

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By Martin Barillas

MADRID, November 21, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — A pediatrician in Spain, who also serves in a local city assembly, is being criticized by leftists because of what they said is the “cruel” practice of the female doctor offering free ultrasound imagery to pregnant women seeking abortions.

Dr. Gádor Joya, who represents the center-right Vox party in Madrid’s local legislative assembly, has been providing the means for expectant mothers to see their developing babies in utero. Waiting outside an abortion facility in the Spanish capital, Dr. Joya offered ultrasound images on November 15 from a van called the “Life Ambulance Project.”

Giving mothers the ultrasounds, free of charge, has riled abortion advocates who claim that Joya’s services are both “cruel” and “inhumane.”

Dr. Joya affirmed at a health committee hearing earlier this month, according to Spanish newspaper El País,  that she and other physicians have been providing the ultrasounds to expectant mothers. “Precisely because I have been doing this,” she said, “I know what has been hidden from these women. Most of them, when they receive the information and hear the heartbeat, decide to go forward with their pregnancies.”

In a social media post, Dr. Joya wrote: “What I am proudest of as a doctor is having helped many women to become mothers when they were on the point of aborting. Yes, I have worked for a project aimed at defending the right to life and dignity of all human beings. And I will continue doing it wherever I am.”

In a 2016 promotional video for the Life Ambulance Project, Dr. Gádor said that more than 300 babies die as a result of abortion every day in Spain. On the video, pro-life gynecologist Dr. Sonsoles Alonso said she explains to women: “First, we try to humanize the child they have inside. Second, we get them to understand that once they pass through the doors of [abortion provider] Dator, they will be ending the life within them and its heartbeat.” As Dr. Joya observes, Dr. Alonso shows an expectant mother a real-time image of her baby in the womb.

Pro-lifers in Spain have denounced what they call strong-arm tactics used by local governments and pro-abortion campaigners to silence pro-life dissent and sidewalk counselors. In September, 62 organizations joined the Pro-Rights Platform to demand that offering assistance to women outside abortion centers be declared a crime. Spanish pro-lifers argue that, unlike abortion practitioners, they themselves gain nothing from dissuading women from abortion and offering them assistance.

Legal protections for unborn babies are minimal in Spain. Since 2010, for instance, abortion for unborn babies within the first trimester of gestation is available on demand. Also, girls under 18 years of age are allowed to have an abortion with parental consent. Abortion has been legal in Spain since 1985. The Dator facility was the first abortion provider to be authorized by the Spanish government, and it is where Dr. Joya frequently goes to offer ultrasounds and other help in Madrid.

In a video that Joya shared on social media, a young mother, who avoided an abortion because of help and counsel she received, made an emotional appeal for similar help to women facing an unplanned pregnancy. Standing in front of Dr. Gádor’s van, the young woman said that “no woman wants” an abortion. Identified as “Angelica,” she called on the Spanish government to help women in her situation. She said she was grateful to pro-life campaigners for convincing her to avoid abortion and added that she now has a three-year-old son.

According to the U.K.-based Independent, feminist Cecilia Gomez dubbed Dr. Gádor’s efforts “immoral.” Gomez said, “This is purely just an attempt to intimidate them into not having an abortion. Their tactics are cruel and inhumane. They might think abortion is inhumane but what they are putting those women through — stuffing them into the van — is inhumane.”

Pro-abortion Gomez theorized that Spanish pro-life activists have followed the example of the pro-life movement in the U.S. She said the Vox party’s pro-life stance is retrograde. She added, “They want to take us back into a time when women did not have a choice about abortions.” A spokesperson for the pro-abortion British Pregnancy Advisory Service told The Independent that it is “misguided and profoundly insulting” that offering ultrasounds can dissuade women from abortion.

Mónica García, who represents the leftist Más Madrid party on the city assembly, predictably expressed astonishment that colleague Dr. Joya was assisting pregnant women outside the Dator abortion center. During a committee hearing, García said, “What we could not have imagined is that there would be people performing ultrasounds on the street. It’s extremely serious.” During the meeting, García questioned Dr. Joya’s stated goal of helping women, saying: “To dissuade or to torture them? Because [Joya] says that many women decide not to have an abortion when they hear the heartbeat. How many women is that? And what happens to them? What is the psychological and emotional cost for these women?”

The Vox party’s national leader, Santiago Abascal, has called abortion an example of a “culture of death” that he intends to replace with a “culture of life” should his party gain a majority. His party, for example, has pledged to end tax-payer funded abortions. The party, which was founded in 2013 on a pro-life platform, doubled its representation in the national parliament to 52 this year, giving evidence of a growing wave of populist pro-life sentiment.

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Harry Miller, founder of Fair Cop. Christian Concern / YouTube
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UK ex-cop, investigated for questioning transgenderism, sues cops over ‘hate speech’ policy

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

LONDON, November 21, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― A father of four has taken England’s police association and his own local police force to court after he was investigated by them for “hate speech” because he posted comments to social media questioning the LGBT claim that a man could become female through hormones and surgery.

Harry Miller, 54, a former police officer from Lincoln, is the founder of “Fair Cop”, an organization devoted to ensuring that British police respect free speech. He was in the Westminster High Court today, the second day of a Judicial Review into the use of transgender-influenced “guidance” — i.e. guidelines, by the College of Policing and Humberside Police.

According to Lincolnshire Live, Miller’s lawyer, Ian Wise QC, said yesterday that his client is “deeply concerned” about proposed reforms to the law on gender recognition and had used Twitter to “engage in debate about transgender issues.”

Wise argued that Humberside Police, using the College of Policing’s guidance, had tried to “dissuade” Miller from expressing his opinion on the topic in future. This, Wise said, was  “contrary to his fundamental right to freedom of expression.”

The lawyer added that Miller “has never expressed hatred towards the transgender community, or sought to incite such hatred in others, and has simply questioned (at times provocatively and using humour) the belief that trans women are women and should be treated as such for all purposes.”

However, Jonathan Auburn, the lawyer for the College of Policing, argued that it was “not beyond reason that a transgender person reading [Miller’s] messages would consider them to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender.”

Auburn also maintained that the guidance regarding hate incidents is lawful and does not violate Miller’s freedom of expression.

Mr Justice Julian Knowles is now taking time to consider his decision and hopes to hand down a judgment before Christmas.

Miller was contacted by a “community cohesion officer” this January after someone made a complaint to police about messages Miller had posted or shared on Twitter that were critical of transgender ideology.

The complaint was marked down as a “hate incident,” which is now permanently on record.

“The reason that we went to court was because I discovered that, one, I had been defamed without any evidence and, two, that this ‘hate incident’ was now a fixed instance in the records of Humberside Police,” Miller told legal advocacy group Christian Concern.

“The thing about the hate incident is that the College of Police guidelines say that no evidence is required. None. So if a third party perceives it as being hateful, it’s hateful, that’s it.”

According to Lincolnshire Live, the guidance on “hate incidents” defines them as "any non-crime incident which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender."

In his presentation to Christian Concern, Miller observed that there is then nothing the person accused of ‘hate’ can do to expunge the record of the non-crime. He noted that when he looked at the police’s incident report, it said “CRIME REPORT in big letters” and listed the “offence” as “hate.” Miller is concerned that potential employers of people who are accused of ‘hate incidents’ will find the records while doing an advanced police check, see the words “crime”, “offence”, and “hate” and treat the potential employees as if they actually had a criminal record. 

“What’s happened here is [that] the College of Policing and the police forces in England and Wales have adopted guidance as if it were law,” he said.

“And if you ask for the underpinning law to their guidance, they simply give you the guidance because they conflate law with guidance,” Miller continued.

“We’re saying that’s not right, in particular the paragraphs that require no evidence...The perception-based reporting that does not require any evidence whatsoever — that bit has to go.”

Miller says the 30 tweets that got him into hot water were mostly remarks or questions casting doubt on trangender ideology, such as whether a rape committed by a man who identified as a woman would be recorded as a male or female crime.

Although Miller had not used his surname or mentioned his workplace on Twitter, the complainant told Humberside Police where the plant and machinery dealer worked and included in his complaint a concern that the business was an “unsafe environment” for transgender people. Miller’s managing director informed Miller that the police had contacted them.

When Miller spoke to Police Constable (PC) Mansoor Gul, the community cohesion officer cited Miller’s tweets. Gul mentioned in particular a verse Miller had retweeted that cast doubt on the idea that a man could become a woman through breast implants and genital surgery. Gul then shared with Miller what he had been told in a transgender training lesson.

“I’ve been on a course and what you need to understand is that you can have a fetus with a female brain that grows male body parts and that’s what transgender person is,” Miller said Gul told him.

When PC Gul admitted that none of the tweets were criminal, Miller asked him why he had phoned him. He says that Gul replied, “I need to check your thinking.”

Gul denies having said, “I need to check your thinking”, but Miller says that this “misrepresentation” is irrelevant.

“We found a standing order from Humberside Police that requires Humberside Police to check people’s belief systems,” he explained to Christian Concern.

Meanwhile, PC Gul stated that although Miller had not committed a crime, his tweets would be recorded as a “hate incident.”

PC Gul confirmed with the Daily Telegraph that he had had a twenty-minute conversation with Miller and had indeed made the remark about the female-brained fetus, something he had learned “on a training course run by a transgender person last summer.”

The Humberside community cohesion officer added: “Although none of the tweets were criminal, I said to Mr Miller that the limerick [sic] is the kind of thing that upsets the transgender community. I warned him that if it escalates we will have to take further action. If someone comes forward and says: ‘I’m the victim of a hate incident and it’s really upsetting me’, then we have to investigate”.

Miller told LifeSiteNews yesterday that the College of Policing had been “captured” by LGBT advocacy group Stonewall. He said also that the online and offline stalking and harassment of CitizenGO U.K.’s Caroline Farrow was “absolutely shocking.”

Farrow, too, has been contacted by police over her thoughts on the transgender issue. A transgender activist complained to law enforcement because Farrrow allegedly “misgendered” her son, a boy who underwent so-called “sex change” surgery at the age of 16. Susie Green, the CEO of transgender advocacy group Mermaids, later dropped the complaint.

However, Farrow discovered this Tuesday at London’s Gatwick airport that, although she has no criminal record and has never even been arrested, her pre-approval for entering the USA had been cancelled. No explanation was offered.

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French public retirement home rejects nun because she wears religious habit

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By Martin Barillas

PARIS, November 21, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) -- An elderly nun in France was denied a place in a public retirement facility because she refused to doff her religious habit in order to please local authorities.

The 70-year-old nun was compelled to find private lodgings in Vesoul, a town in the region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté of northeastern France. After leaving her convent at Drôme, a city in southern France in October 2018, and waiting nine months for a place in public housing in her home prefecture of Haute-Saone, her request was finally accepted, but with a catch. 

Authorities informed her in July that she would not be able to live in the housing operated by the city’s Centre Communal d'Action Sociale (CCAS) unless she refrained from wearing her religious habit and veil. She was told by Claudine Delaitres of CCAS: "With due respect for secularism (laïcité), any ostentatious sign of belonging to a religious community cannot be accepted in order to ensure the serenity of all. Indeed, religion is a private affair and must remain so." 

The nun was told that in the place of her habit and veil she was welcome to wear a discreet cross. 

Because she had worn her habit throughout her adult life, the nun refused to comply with the demands and was thus denied an apartment by CCAS. Although the residents at the CCAS facility live in apartments, they take their meals in a communal dining room. According to the Vienna-based Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe (OIDACE), after living in a religious community for decades, the nun is living alone in an apartment where she must shop, cook, and eat alone.

The president of CCAS in Vesoul refused comment when contacted by the media, claiming the details of the case are “classified.” The official said the religious sister did not want to accept the rules for housing, “which are the same for everyone,” and was accordingly refused a place. 

In a church bulletin, local parish priest Fr. Florent Belin expressed surprise that the local authorities would draw the line at the nun’s religious habit, noting that their secularism had not yet been cited so as to prevent him from regularly celebrating Mass at the apartments in question.

Writing that the nun had been refused a place at the residence because of her religious habit, Fr. Belin continued, “When the press tells us about a Muslim woman who is asked to remove her veil because she is in a public space, everyone shouts in outrage (calling it Islamophobia)! Our nun, on the other hand, had to resign herself to finding another apartment. What is secularism? It is to give everyone the possibility to be able to live his faith without hurting anyone." 

According to fellow parishioners, the elderly nun felt rejected by the community after the experience. The priest added, in a reference to the hijab worn by Muslim women, "I do not think that the veil of a nun can harm, because is not the sign of a submission, but of a consecration."  The Arabic word “islam” can be understood to mean submission. Fr. Belin asked whether the authorities’ decision was rooted in “Christianophobia.”

In an email response to LifeSiteNews, Ellen Fantini of OIDACE wrote, "In the end, it seems that the city's mayor apologized for the ‘error in judgment,’ but that was little consolation for the elderly nun who was forced to choose between living in a retirement community without her religious habit or living alone in an apartment for the first time in her adult life. What I don't know is why those were her only two options."

Vesoul’s mayor, Alain Chrétien, called the CCAS decision "an error in judgment." In a Nov. 19 statement he shared on social media, he wrote that it was to his “astonishment” that the septuagenarian nun was not given lodgings at the public retirement home. He wrote the internal regulations of the residences should not have denied access to housing.

“The obligation of neutrality applies to public servants and to residents who wish to enjoy their freedom of conscience,” he wrote, while promising to find lodgings for the nun at the retirement home.

A history of conflict

The principle of French laïcité can be traced as far back as the country’s revolution in the late 1700s when the monarchy was beheaded. As radicals took power in Paris, Catholics who refused to recognize the superiority of the atheist state over the Church were persecuted and killed, as in the case of Catholics of the Vendee region, who were slaughtered by the new Republican army in 1793.

While laïcité was originally the French equivalent of the term laity (anyone who is not clergy), the significance changed to mean keeping religion separate from all branches of government. This meant a prohibition on having a state religion, as well as for the government to endorse any religious position, including atheism.

Laïcité can be translated variously as secularism, secularity, laicity, or laicism.

France did not fully separate church and state, however, until the passage of a law on the separation of the Churches and the State in 1905, which prohibited state funding of religion. The term, however, has never been defined in law, even though the word appeared explicitly in the 1946 Constitution of the 4th Republic. All religious buildings in France, which were mostly Catholic churches, became the property of the city councils. While city councils are bound to maintain the buildings, they are barred from subsidizing the religious groups using them. 

In 2011, the use of face coverings in public was banned by law in France, affecting Muslim women who adhered to the practice of their faith and culture. The law followed a 2010 bank robbery that was carried out by perpetrators who were totally covered in Muslim burqa, an enveloping garment worn by some Muslim women. In 2005, all visible displays of religion by students in public schools (including hijab, crosses and crucifixes, and kippah) were banned by law.

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TCDSB trustee Mike Del Grande (left) explaining his amendment to the code of conduct while Daniel Di Giorgio (right) objects.
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LGBT activists pushing to oust Catholic school trustee who voted against gender ideology

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By Lianne Laurence

TORONTO, November 21, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — LGBTQ activists and other board constituents are lobbying to oust a Catholic trustee for warning that adding “gender identity” and “gender expression” to the Toronto Catholic School Board’s code of conduct could have far-reaching consequences.

But supporters of Mike Del Grande say he is being pilloried for defending Catholic teaching and telling the truth, albeit in a wryly unusual way.

They also suggest the campaign against the veteran trustee is an attempt by rivals to prevent Del Grande from becoming chair of the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB), which has more than 90,000 students and is one of the largest Catholic school boards in Canada.

After months of bitter debate, Del Grande, Theresa Lubinski, Garry Tanuan, and Nancy Crawford voted November 7 against adding the terms “gender identity, gender expression, family status and marital status” as prohibited grounds for discrimination in the Toronto Catholic District School Board’s code of conduct. 

Eight trustees led by chair Maria Rizzo voted for the policy change, and a TCDSB report produced for the meeting stated the archdiocese approved the terms, provided these were interpreted through a “Catholic lens.”

Critics of the change argued that it endorses the spurious gender ideology in violation of Catholic teaching, and will harm students.

Proponents insisted that the board had to add the four terms because the province had directed it to align its code of conduct with the provincial and Ontario Human Rights Code, and that not doing so would exclude and harm LGBTQ individuals.

But Del Grande is under fire now for an amendment he proposed at the end of the marathon meeting to illustrate that adding the terms is the beginning of a “slippery slope.”

“This is as slippery as it’s going to get,” he said, before reading a list of categories sexual identities that the board should add to the motion, which included bestiality, transvestitism, and pedophilia.

Del Grande was interrupted in his recitation by trustee Daniel Di Giorgio, who asked the director to rule the amendment out of order. 

“Jesus loves all these people,” Del Grande retorted.

“All these poor people are children of God created in the image of God and they need to be recognized,” he said. “The point that I wanted to make was that you wanted to add four terms, and my concern is that why stop at the four terms because it doesn’t cover everybody.”

Del Grande’s amendment also noted polyandry, polygamy and group marriage could be included as categories of different families.

Director of Education Rory McCuckin ruled the amendment out of order because the categories “are contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada,” but nevertheless, enraged parent Nicole Richard, godmother to a “transgender” TCDSB student, launched a petition last week asking the board to “remove” Del Grande as Ward 7 trustee, the CBC reported.

Rizzo also opined that Del Grande should be investigated.

"As the chair of the board, I expect our members to be civil, and to not liken our LGBTQ community to bestiality and polygamy and all sorts of other things,” she said.

But trustees Crawford and Tanuan say that’s completely missing the point.

Del Grande’s amendment “was illustrative” and not meant to adopted, Crawford told LifeSiteNews. 

“He was saying that once you open the door to an ideology which is against Catholic Church teachings, such as gender ideology, then you're further at risk for being asked to accept other ideologies,” she said.

“We are going to be continually over time be asked to accept new developments and new movements within our society that may or may not be in line with the teachings of the Catholic Church,” added Crawford.

“And as a Catholic school board, we want to support the teachings of the Catholic Church.”

Calls to remove Del Grande over his amendment are “crazy,” Tanuan said. 

“The point was to prove a point through hyperbole, we know that.”

Del Grande was trying to show the consequences of accepting gender ideology, which is not supported by the Church.

“What is important is that we are in keeping with Catholic teaching, authentic Catholic teachings,” Tanuan told LifeSiteNews. 

Del Grande himself told CBC that his amendment was “hyperbolic” and described it at the meeting as a “Howard Moscoe thing.” 

That was a reference to long-term city councillor infamous for brash and ribald outspokenness, and with whom Del Grande served during much of his 11 years as a city councillor, three as budget chief for Mayor Rob Ford, a position Del Grande resigned from in January 2013 over what he called the city’s “emotional” free spending.

Almost two years later, Del Grande forsook city politics and his lucrative $105,000 annual salary to run for the $18,000-a-year position as Catholic trustee, an elected office he also held from 1997 to 2003. 

“He sacrificed himself,” Tanuan said, adding that Del Grande would be a solid candidate for chair, a position trustees vote on next week, and which is being contested by Markus de Dominico.

“That’s probably why they are against him,” Tuanan told LifeSiteNews.

Del Grande has “the heart of a servant,” said Jack Fonseca, director of political operations for Campaign Life Coalition, Canada’s largest pro-life, pro-family lobbying group, which mobilized supporters to oppose the change to the code of conduct.

He is also “a humble man who doesn’t boast about his own accomplishments, so let me share with you that he was personally responsible for building St. Aidan’s Parish in Scarborough,” Fonseca said.

With Del Grande’s “serious financial acumen that nobody else comes even close to possessing” and “commitment to providing an authentically Catholic, faith-filled education to our families, it’s obvious he’s the perfect choice for chair,” Fonseca said.

Contact TCDBS trustees to express support for Del Grande, Lubinski, Crawford and Tanuan voting against gender ideology:

Joseph Martino
Ward 1: Etobicoke
Phone: 416-512-3401
Fax: 416-512-3214
E-Mail: [email protected]
Markus de Domenico

Ward 2: Etobicoke
Phone: 416-512-3402
Fax: 416-512-3214
E-Mail: [email protected]

Ida Li Preti
Ward 3: North York

Phone: 416-512-3403
Phone: 416-222-8282 Ext.2660
Fax: 416-512-3214
E-Mail: [email protected]

Teresa Lubinski
Ward 4: Parkdale-High Park, Etobicoke-Lakeshore
Phone: 416-512-3404
Fax: 416-512-3214
E-Mail: [email protected]

Maria Rizzo
Ward 5: North York

Phone: 416-512-3405
Fax: 416-512-3214
E-Mail: [email protected]

Frank D'Amico, CD
Ward 6: York
Phone: 416-512-3406
Fax: 416-512-3214
E-Mail: [email protected]

Michael Del Grande
Ward 7: Scarborough/ North York

Phone: 416-512-3407
Fax: 416-512-3214
E-Mail: [email protected]

Garry Tanuan
Ward 8: Scarborough

Phone: 416-512-3408
Fax: 416-512-3214
E-Mail: [email protected]

Norm Di Pasquale
Ward 9: Toronto

Phone: 416-512-3409
Fax: 416-512-3214
E-Mail: [email protected]

Daniel Di Giorgio
Ward 10: Toronto
Phone: 416-512-3410
Fax: 416-512-3214
E-Mail: [email protected]

Angela Kennedy
Ward 11: East York/Toronto

Phone: 416-512-3411
Fax: 416-512-3214
E-Mail: [email protected]

Nancy Crawford
Ward 12: Scarborough

Phone: 416-512-3412
Fax: 416-512-3214
E-Mail: [email protected]

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Democrats declare abortion a ‘human right,’ renew calls to codify Roe in latest debate

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By Calvin Freiburger

ATLANTA, Georgia, November 21, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Democrat candidates gathered Wednesday evening for another presidential primary debate, during which they again stressed to left-wing voters that they would work to block states from implementing their own pro-life reforms.

The candidates, all of whom have already endorsed virtually unlimited abortion at taxpayers’ expense, were asked to respond to recent abortion developments at the state level, from heartbeat abortion bans like the one in Georgia to pro-life Democrat John Bel Edwards winning reelection to the governorship of Louisiana.

“I believe that abortion rights are human rights,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts declared. “I believe that they are also economic rights. And protecting the right of a woman to be able to make decisions about her own body is fundamentally what we do and what we stand for as a Democratic Party.”

She went on to argue that banning abortion would “fall hard on poor women” because the rich can travel to states or countries where abortion remains legal, and invoked the spectre of girls pregnant after having “been molested by an uncle” (without mentioning that men raping underage girls rely on abortion to eliminate the evidence of their abuse).

The moderator pressed Warren on whether there was room for pro-life Democrats such as Bel Edwards in the party, to which she simply said that she was “not here to try to drive anyone out of this party.”

“We should codify Roe v. Wade into law,” answerd Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. She went on to tie heartbeat bills to President Donald Trump’s quickly retracted 2016 comments that there should be “some form of punishment” for women who abort (in fact, heartbeat bills only punish abortionists).

She also declared that she “just can’t wait to stand across from Donald Trump and say this to him: ‘You know what? The people are with us.’ Over 70 percent of the people support Roe v. Wade. Over 90 percent of the people support funding for Planned Parenthood and making sure that women can get the health care they need.” In fact, a range of polls consistently show that a majority of Americans would ban most abortions.

Self-described socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont used his 30 seconds to declare that now is the time “where the men of this country must stand with the women...and I get very tired, very tired of hearing the hypocrisy from conservatives who say, ‘Get the government off our backs, we want small government.’ Well, if you want to get the government out of the backs of the American people, then understand that it is women who control their own bodies, not politicians.”

Though a common pro-abortion talking point (and one the Libertarian Party reaffirmed last night), it relies on a fundamental distortion of limited-government philosophy, under which the core function of government is to protect individual rights, with protecting the right to life against violence chief among them. 

Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey used his answer to frame abortion as a “voter suppression issue,” blaming the Georgia heartbeat law’s enactment partly on the false claim that Democrat Stacey Abrams had the state’s gubernatorial election stolen from her. “This gets back to the issue about making sure we are fighting every single day, that whoever is the nominee, they can overcome the attempts to suppress the votes, particularly of low-income and minority voters and particularly in the black communities we saw here in Georgia,” Booker said.

Former Vice President Joe Biden currently leads the Democrat field in RealClearPolitics’ polling average at 29.8%, followed by Warren at 19.3%, Sanders at 18.5%, and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 7.8%.

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Seán Wright

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US Naval Academy grants Satanists ‘study space’

Seán Wright
By

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland, November 21, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The United States Naval Academy (USNA) has granted a room for midshipmen associated with the Satanic Temple to conduct “Satanic services” and to study “Satanic philosophy,” according to a leaked email.

USNA spokesperson Cmdr. Alana Garas subsequently claimed that this internal email – which all midshipmen received – was sent prematurely, and that the group of midshipmen were requesting only a “study group” space. Nonetheless, “services” are mentioned twice in the email. 

“This email was sent without the review and approval of the Naval Academy’s command chaplain, as required by command policy,” Garas said. “It did not represent the U.S. Naval Academy’s Command Religious Program.”

“The notion that members of The Satanic Temple within the Naval Academy could be denied the right to hold services because we are nontheistic and/or politically active has absolutely no credible basis in law or common sense,” said Satanic Temple spokesman Lucien Greaves. “The Satanic Temple is no more a political cause than the Catholic Church or Southern Baptists.”

“Midshipmen have the right to assemble to discuss their beliefs as they choose, but, to be clear, in accordance with Department of Defense policy, military members will not engage in partisan political activities, and will avoid the inference that their activities may appear to imply [Defense Department] approval or endorsement of a political cause,” Garas told Fox News.

“Should the religious liberty of [our] members within the [Naval] academy ever be impeded,” the satanists will pursue litigation, Greaves told Fox. 

Although the Satanic Temple claims that its beliefs are based around seven tenets and a collection of natural virtues, a key focus of the group is using the mantle of “religious liberty” to advocate for abortion and other left-wing causes, even claiming abortion advocacy can be a form of worship.

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits Congress from making any law “respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” 

This is widely interpreted as preventing governmental favoritism towards any one religion and preventing government persecution of any religion, but groups like the Satanic Temple claim that its current application favors “an arbitrary elite.” They seek to use the First Amendment and the 1964 Civil Rights Act to change this by expanding “religious exemptions and legal protections” beyond the typical religious groups, so as to either forcibly widen the range of people who can benefit from these privileges, or to end these privileges altogether, they explain on their website.

The Satanic Temple began as a political organization aiming to reduce the presence of religion in the public sphere, but has subsequently claimed that their “deeply held beliefs,” “narrative structure,” and use of symbols and practices make them a church.

It was recognized as a church by the U.S. government in April 2019 and enjoys the same tax-exempt status and access to public spaces as other recognized state-defined churches. The Satanic Temple says it officially rejects belief in both Satan and the supernatural, seeing Satan as “a symbol of the Eternal Rebel in opposition to arbitrary authority.” Its activities include promoting after-school Satan clubs for children.

The group’s “Religious Reproductive Rights” campaign aims to undermine pro-life laws by claiming they violate the freedom of religion. In 2015 they sued the state of Missouri over restrictions on abortion, claiming that “the question of when life begins is absolutely a religious opinion,” and that informed consent laws violated their religious liberty to obtain immediate abortions. In 2019 they began further proceedings on the same issue. 

The organization has also attracted attention through several high profile black masses – blasphemous rituals that typically involve the desecration of a consecrated host, which the Catholic Church teaches is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ – and their statue of Baphomet outside the Arkansas capitol building in protest to an installation of the Ten Commandments.

It’s unclear how many midshipmen are involved in the satanic group at the Naval Academy.

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Street preacher and rally organizer David Lynn speaks from a makeshift stage at Yonge-Dundas Square, Yonge Street behind him, telling Christians to “Stop being afraid!" Lianne Laurence / LifeSiteNews
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Toronto calls preaching to homosexuals ‘hate activity,’ evicts Christians from city facility

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By Lianne Laurence

TORONTO, November 21, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Pastor David Lynn is scrambling to find a home in downtown Toronto for his congregation after the city abruptly kicked his missionary church out of a municipal recreation center for alleged “hate activity.”

The founder of Christ’s Forgiveness Ministries received an email October 10 from Aydin Sarrafzadeh, manager of aquatics, “immediately” revoking his permit at the Pam McConnell Aquatic Centre.

“It has ... come to our attention that most recently you have been involved in activities that are in violation of the City’s Hate Activity policy,” Sarrafzadeh wrote.

“Please be advised that you are not permitted to book space at any City of Toronto facility.”

Being summarily evicted from a center he’s used for over a year isn’t Lynn’s only problem. The charismatic pastor was arrested June 4 after an LGBT crowd mobbed him as he preached at Church and Wellesley, in the heart of Toronto’s “gay” village, and released after a night behind bars on bail conditions barring him from “Pride” events and the homosexual district.

Lynn was ultimately charged with disturbing the peace and mischief, although police initially said they were looking into a “hate speech” charge.

“I didn’t say anything derogatory,” he told LifeSiteNews.

“I basically said, ‘God loves you, God’s calling you, there’s hope for you’. I got arrested on allegations of hate speech, but there was clearly no hate speech. And so they came up with this bogus charge of disturbing the peace.”

Despite rallies, court dates, 30,000 people signing a Citizen Go petition on his behalf, and $50,000 in legal bills, the charges stuck, and a five-day trial is set for July-August 2020.

Lynn then decided to hold a “freedom rally” on September 28 at the southern part of Church Street to mobilize the Christian community.

“I just don’t feel it’s right that anyone should get arrested for exercising their freedom of speech in any part of Toronto on a public sidewalk,” he said.

Things got intense after lesbian councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam and LGBTQ activist 519 Community Centre organized a counter-rally, which Mayor John Tory promoted and attended.

Tory told CTV News he couldn’t legally stop Lynn’s event, but wanted to show he was against it.

“When there is a threat, when there are people our promoting division and polarization and stigmatization against the LGBTQ community or anybody else, I think it’s my job to stand up and say no, that’s not the way we live here, that’s not what we’re about in Toronto,” Tory said.

But Lynn has a vastly different view of what took place.

“They literally brought out about 200 police officers, SWAT team, everything,” he told LifeSiteNews.

His group “prayed, we looked at ourselves introspectively as a Christian community[.] ... And then we were going to peacefully walk up Church Street, just singing praise unto the Lord,” Lynn said.

But “we were blocked” by the Toronto Police, SWAT, and Antifa in a seven-hour standoff.

Moreover, “all the media just wrote me off as bad,” Lynn observed. “They just painted this picture that I’m this hate speech guy[.] … We said over and over, we love the LGBT community, this is not targeted at them.”

Ten days later, Lynn got the email from Sarrafzadeh.

He called up the aquatics manager to ask how he had violated the hate activity policy, and Sarrafzadeh referred to the rally, Lynn said.

“If our rally was hateful, then why wasn’t I arrested? And I mean, I was in my rights to have a rally and it’s a freedom of speech rally,” he said.

Nor did the matter stay there.

Councillor Wong-Tam tabled a motion October 29 for a review of booking rules for Toronto’s facilities that asks that “LGBTQ+ stakeholders” be consulted.

She referred to Lynn’s rally when arguing for the motion, as well the fury over Canadian feminist Meghan Murphy, who is critical of gender ideology, speaking at a public library.

Council approved the motion to review by a 20-to-1 vote, and is expected to consider the revised booking policies in January.

Lynn, however, has launched a petition against motion as “blatant in your face discrimination.”

“We are being discriminated against. We’re being bullied. We’re being told we’re not welcome,” he says in a video exhorting Christians to wake up.

“That should bother you,” adds Lynn. “I shouldn’t have to sit at the back of the bus because I’m a Christian.”

Nor should he have to hold his church services “in the park outside in the cold,” as he did for three weeks after the eviction, until finding a temporary refuge near Yonge and Dundas.

His interim landlords are “not certain that they’re going to give us long-term rental, so we have until the end of the month,” Lynn said. “We don’t even know what to do. We don’t have a permanent place.”

He is now determined to buy a facility for his church in Toronto’s downtown core, but in one of the most brutally expensive real-estate markets in Canada, as Lynn notes on his website, that will take a miracle.

Ironically, when Christ’s Forgiveness Ministries operated out of Pam McConnell, “we actually have many members of the LGBT community visit frequently and come looking for help from our ministry,” he told LifeSiteNews.

“We’ve never had any problems.”

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Rachel Campos-Duffy in a Nov. 19, 2019 interview with Ainsley Earhardt of Fox & Friends. foxnews.com / video screen grab
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National Down syndrome abortion ban ‘really great to see,’ Fox News’ Rachel Campos-Duffy says

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By Calvin Freiburger

November 21, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Recently introduced national legislation to ban abortions sought specifically due to a child’s Down syndrome diagnosis would be a major step forward for society, according to Fox News personality Rachel Campos-Duffy.

In October, Oklahoma Republican Sens. James Lankford and James Inhofe introduced the Down Syndrome Discrimination by Abortion Prohibition Act, which would make it illegal to perform an abortion “with the knowledge that a pregnant woman is seeking an abortion, in whole or in part, on the basis of” her belief that the child has or may have Down syndrome and would require abortionists to ask whether Down syndrome is related to their decision. 

Offending abortionists would be subject to a fine and/or up to five years in prison under the law, and abortion facilities associated with them would lose federal funding.

In a recent interview with Ainsley Earhardt of Fox & Friends, Campos-Duffy, who is also the wife of former GOP rep. Sean Duffy and new mother to a baby girl with Down syndrome, said it was “really great to see” the bill introduced.

“We talk so much about tolerance and acceptance in this culture,” she said. “That has to extend to people with special needs like my baby. Our baby has already, in only two months, made our family better and stronger[.] ... I think there's a lot to be learned and we’re literally exterminating them.”

Down syndrome, or Trisomy 21, is a genetic disorder typically associated with physical growth delays, distinct facial traits, and often intellectual disability. Despite these challenges, a 2011 study published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics found that 99% of people with Down syndrome described themselves as “happy,” and only 4% of parents with children with Down’s expressed regret about having their children.

Yet it is common practice around the world to abort preborn children specifically because of a Down’s diagnosis. The pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute estimates that abortion reduces the Down’s community in the United States by 30%. It has been estimated that 90% of babies in Great Britain to receive a Down syndrome diagnosis are aborted, 65% in Norway, virtually 100% in Iceland, and 95% in Spain.

“Iceland is being robbed of ever seeing what a Down syndrome child looks like and can bring into the world, which is certainly a lot of joy,” Campos-Duffy lamented. “And frankly, my daughter has every right to live as any other child does.”

Several Down syndrome abortion bans have been enacted at the state level, and Campos-Duffy expressed optimism about the ban’s chances at the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Some really great news is that Clarence Thomas has said ... we have not yet established whether the constitutional right currently that we have for abortion in this country extends to what he calls eugenic abortions. Which is exactly what this is,” she said. “It is targeting children simply because they have one more chromosome than other people.”

Lankford’s and Inhofe’s bill cannot become law unless President Donald Trump wins re-election next year and Republicans retake the House of Representatives. If the GOP retains its Senate majority, passage will also likely require changing the current filibuster rules that require a 60-vote threshold for passing most legislation, which has stymied other pro-life bills despite majority support.

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James Younger savejames.com
LifeSiteNews staff

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LifeSite joins legal action after being blocked from court in child ‘gender transition’ case

LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

DALLAS, Texas, November 21, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – LifeSiteNews and another independent news agency filed legal action against the judge who locked them out of the James Younger trial ruling

LifeSiteNews and The Texan have filed a joint Writ of Mandamus requesting Judge Kim Cooks allow media access to her courtroom for all future hearings for this case and that she remove the “unconstitutional” gag order placed on Jeffrey Younger, the father who objected to his seven-year-old son, James, being “transitioned” to a girl.

LifeSiteNews and The Texan “seek emergency action to prevent further infringement, requesting mandamus to require Judge Cooks to respect Relators’ freedom of the press, lift the trial court’s illegal, unnoticed, and unsupportable order preventing disfavored media coverage, and to lift the trial court’s gag order of Mr. Younger.”

On October 24, 2019, LifeSiteNews, The Texan, and other independent news agencies were locked out of Judge Kim Cooks’ courtroom for her final ruling on the contentious custody battle while other media were allowed in. The only reason the case eventually gained national media attention was because of coverage from LifeSiteNews and The Texan.

Mr. Jeffrey Younger was fighting to prevent his ex-wife Dr. Anne Georgulas from subjecting James to a gender “transition.” Dr. Georgulas had enrolled James in school as a girl since kindergarten and medical records indicate she planned to seek a medical “transition” for him as early as next year. 

The battle sparked a public outcry after a jury ruled against Mr. Younger’s request for sole managing conservator. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called for an investigation into the situation, as did other conservative leaders.

Prior to the jury ruling, no mainstream media reported on the trial. Only LifeSiteNews and The Texan were present for the entire trial. A Russian reporter was present for the first part of the trial, but not for its entirety. At no point during the trial were any of the reporters asked for credentials.

On October 24, however, close to 75 people were waiting in the foyer to listen to Judge Cooks read her ruling on the case. At the appointed time, the bailiffs opened the doors and allowed only media members with a hard card press pass to enter the courtroom. 

Despite showing other credentials, business cards, news pieces, drivers’ licenses, and other forms of identification, independent media was denied access. A personal friend of Judge Cooks, Cydney Walker, was allowed into the courtroom without a press pass. 

After the ruling, LifeSiteNews asked Ms. Walker how she was able to enter the courtroom without a press pass. Ms. Walker informed LifeSiteNews that Judge Cooks had texted her asking her to come. She showed the text to the bailiff and was allowed entry without a press pass.

The Writ of Mandamus argues that Judge Cooks violated “freedom of press as guaranteed by the Constitution of the State of Texas and the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.” The filing questions the legality of the institution of an arbitrary restraint for media entrance to the courtroom. 

Additionally, the writ of mandamus argues that the gag order placed on Mr. Younger is unconstitutional. 

The filing highlights the lack of “imminent and irreparable harm” to the children needed to legally justify a gag order. Judge Cooks’ ruling states the gag order was implemented “due to serious concern for the protection and welfare of the children.” 

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Leila Marie Lawler Likemotherlikedaughter.org

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Grandmother reveals importance of ‘prayer altar’ in every Catholic home

By Maike Hickson

November 21, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — A Catholic grandmother highlighted the importance of a Catholic family praying together and making a dedicated “prayer altar” in their home in order to raise godly children who remain faithful to the Lord during these times of crisis within the Catholic Church. 

Leila Marie Lawler, an American mother of seven and grandmother of 15 and author of The Little Oratory: A Beginner’s Guide to Praying in the Home, told LifeSiteNews (read full interview below) that God created the family as the first and best school where children learn how to love God. 

“The Church has always reaffirmed the realities of human development, that each child is formed in the bosom of the family. It is God’s plan for man that he learn to love Him in the home, as a child, under the affectionate care of his parents,” she said. 

Lawler said parents especially teach children about loving God by praying in the home in a spot that is dedicated for this purpose. 

“Prayer, of course, is simply life in Christ. In our book, The Little Oratory, we try to answer the question, ‘What now?’ asked by the person who has awakened to the need to have this life,” she said. 

“We try to help orient the reader to the traditional custom of a little oratory; that prayer table, icon corner, or home altar so beloved by Christians in all times and places, but sadly fallen away today,” she added.

The Little Oratory, published by Sophia Institute Press in 2014, has been praised by renowned Catholics such as Scott Hahn, Thomas Howard, Joseph Pearce, Stratford Caldecott, and Peter Kwasniewski as a must-have book for parents who are serious about building up a genuine Catholic culture in their home. 

When asked about the most practical way to establish a culture of prayer in the family, Lawler said carving out a dedicated spot in the home for displaying religious items such as icons, a crucifix, a Bible, and candles is crucial. 

“The most practical step, as I say, is to establish a prayer altar in the home, and this can be very simple — a crucifix on the wall with a little shelf beneath that holds a candle and a statue of Our Lady on one side and St. Joseph on the other. It can be a tray on the kitchen table with a standing crucifix and a little vase of flowers in May. Some have room for a chapel in the home; most put their beloved sacred objects on the mantel or corner cupboard somewhere in the heart of their home,” she said. 

Lawler noted that Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan laid out a survival plan for Catholic families in 2016 that included the importance of prayer in the home. 

Bishop Schneider said that to survive in a heretical wasteland, Catholic parents must especially pray with their children daily, such as litanies and the rosary. 

Parents need to rise up to the responsibility of creating an environment within the home where children can flourish spiritually, Schneider said. 

“I think this is today the main task for families: To establish a culture of domestic churches,” he said. 

Lawler said Schneider’s comments were “heartening.”

“I thought he offered exactly the bracing tonic parents need to face their responsibilities — especially when he firmly rejected exposing children to moral dangers they certainly will encounter in our world today,” she said. 

“Bishop Schneider really understands that we are in a crisis in the Church today. Every day there is something new to disturb our peace, and most of us are most demoralized by the thought that the attacks are coming from within the Church,” she added later in the interview. 

“What I love about Bishop Schneider’s answer is that it cuts to the heart of what our struggle will always be: personal sanctity — meaning a real prayer life with Jesus Christ — and devotion to our actual, day to day duties. For parents, the primary duty is to raise and educate our children, especially in the faith. This is only in small part a matter of direct instruction. Mostly, it is a very simple matter of living our own prayer life with them, in union with the Church in her Liturgical Year, which comprises and transmits all the truth, goodness, and beauty of our faith,” she added.

***

Leila Marie Lawler interview with LifeSiteNews

LifeSiteNews: In Bishop Schneider’s “12 steps to surviving as a Catholic family in a heretical wasteland,” he pointed out quite emphatically that the family must pray together. You have written a book on this topic of prayer in the home, along with David Clayton, whose icons grace the volume. What did you think of Bishop Schneider’s comments?

Leila Marie Lawler: I loved everything he said. How heartening to hear him declare that it was a privilege to live in difficult times, when even access to the Mass was restricted. We so seldom hear this kind of truly supernatural encouragement. His experience of life under an oppressive regime gave real weight to his advice.  

I thought he offered exactly the bracing tonic parents need to face their responsibilities — especially when he firmly rejected exposing children to moral dangers they certainly will encounter in our world today.

The Church has always reaffirmed the realities of human development, that each child is formed in the bosom of the family. It is God’s plan for man that he learn to love Him in the home, as a child, under the affectionate care of his parents. We are waiting too long if we leave spiritual development and the acquisition of a prayer life to some later date, when perhaps “experts” step in and offer some program that will save the day. By then it is too late for the deep formation in a confident, child-like relationship with God. In fact, children can become deformed when exposed to “ministries” designed for this purpose. We can see the results of abdication in this area all around us.

What are the benefits of praying as a family, have you seen families flourish when they started to pray more together?

Prayer, of course, is simply life in Christ. In our book, The Little Oratory, we try to answer the question, “What now?” asked by the person who has awakened to the need to have this life. The array of possibilities is bewildering — novenas, devotions, movements — how to decide? And the same is true for families. Do we pray the rosary? Do we observe all the saints’ feasts?

We try to help orient the reader to the traditional custom of a little oratory; that prayer table, icon corner, or home altar so beloved by Christians in all times and places, but sadly fallen away today. By means of this little oratory, life along with the Liturgical Year (called by Pius XII “Christ himself”) becomes possible to organize. 

Connecting our prayer to the Liturgy of the Church in her seasons and hours simplifies it and also gives us the assurance that we won’t miss out on anything! Living the Liturgical Year is the perfect “curriculum” for parents to follow, as it is suited to all ages and abilities. It begins organically at Advent and continues throughout the year, every year! We can always begin again, and we always have the opportunity for profound encounter. Even the most intellectually gifted theologian still kneels at the Christmas creche; even the youngest child can experience the wonder of the Trinity at Pentecost. 

The best way is not to present any part of this prayer life as “activities for the children,” but as our own expression of faith, in which we gradually include them as they grow.

What are your practical ideas on how to establish more of a culture of prayer in the family?

The most practical step, as I say, is to establish a prayer altar in the home, and this can be very simple — a crucifix on the wall with a little shelf beneath that holds a candle and a statue of Our Lady on one side and St. Joseph on the other. It can be a tray on the kitchen table with a standing crucifix and a little vase of flowers in May. Some have room for a chapel in the home; most put their beloved sacred objects on the mantel or corner cupboard somewhere in the heart of their home. 

We describe in detail in the book how to go about doing this, and even provide beautifully printed icons, made by David Clayton, that are in the back and can be detached and framed. 

The little oratory becomes the organizing principle of the family’s prayer life, and we describe how in the book, going into the Liturgical seasons and how they manifest in the little oratory, and so on. Most of all, this place in the home isn’t so much a matter of doing but of simply radiating, by means of humble beauty, the truth of the faith of those who dwell there. 

This radiance of truth has a profound effect on children and indeed on all who enter the home, visitors or family members. The organization I speak of isn’t just for the actual prayers said there, but within the hearts of the family. Somehow, the room where the icon corner is becomes tidier; the family begins to pray their Grace before their meals; the father comes to see the importance of leading the rosary; the mother is more attentive to the children’s catechism (if only to answer the questions! “Why do we have an icon of that saint?” “Why is Jesus on the Cross?”).

I have had many readers tell me that their life together has indeed flourished when they reclaimed this simple and ancient practice of a little oratory, for family prayer.

Bishop Schneider mentioned making a sacrifice to attend Mass, even if it is far away from home. How does that relate to prayer in the home?

When we make the decision to orient our home with an icon corner or little altar, as Christian families have done from antiquity, it helps us to see that the home is indeed “a domestic Church.” Why? Because the husband and wife are united in a sacrament, marriage, and this sacrament (like all of them) depends on and derives from the pre-eminent one, the Eucharist. So the home really is sacred in a way that another building is not. It is the place where this life together in Christ is lived — even above and beyond what was promised by Our Lord when He said that “when two or more are gathered in my name, I will be there.” 

When we live in the home with the realization that “the kingdom of God is among you,” the Holy Spirit himself excites in us a longing to unite with the sacrifice of the Mass. If we leave Mass on Sundays with the sense of “well, that’s over now for the week,” we and our children will be very unlikely to have a strong faith — and yet, what are we to do? We can’t spend all week in the church! 

No, we take what we have been given at church and we bring it to the world, renewing the flame of Christ’s life in us alive every day in the home. We do this by means of vocal prayers, and certain ones suggest themselves, such as grace before meals, morning offering, night prayers, and rosary. We also do this in our other activities — our interactions with each other, conversations, enjoyments, meals, work, and yes, even disagreements and sufferings, which are opportunities to forgive and love even more.

You speak of difficulties. Isn’t it hard to pray together as a family?

It can be hard! We are hampered by lack of experience in many cases, and by human nature! In the book we have a whole chapter devoted to helping the reader overcome the problems, including getting small children to say the rosary and what to do when one spouse isn’t Catholic or isn’t motivated. In all, I’d say that people have found that the book helps them by being fairly thorough but also by a realistic understanding of the challenges. Many have told me that they were anxious at first, but then found that the book made everything seem much more doable.

Why do you think Bishop Schneider made such a point of the importance of praying as a family?

Bishop Schneider really understands that we are in a crisis in the Church today. Every day there is something new to disturb our peace, and most of us are most demoralized by the thought that the attacks are coming from within the Church.

For me, a convert, my way through difficulties in knowing how to respond to all the upheavals of life truly fell into place when I made a simple little oratory in our home. I think it will help others follow the good bishop’s advice as well! We wrote the book because we each longed for such a book in our own journey in faith; until we did, it really didn’t exist.

Every day I get asked, “What should my attitude really be in this crisis? How can I make it through? There’s so little I can really do.” What I love about Bishop Schneider’s answer is that it cuts to the heart of what our struggle will always be: personal sanctity — meaning a real prayer life with Jesus Christ — and devotion to our actual, day to day duties. For parents, the primary duty is to raise and educate our children, especially in the faith. This is only in small part a matter of direct instruction. Mostly, it is a very simple matter of living our own prayer life with them, in union with the Church in her Liturgical Year, which comprises and transmits all the truth, goodness, and beauty of our faith. 

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Pope Francis greets Grand Imam Ahmed Al-Tayeb at Vatican, Nov. 15, 2019. Photo courtesy of Vatican Media
Diane Montagna Diane Montagna Follow Diane

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Abp Viganò decries Pope-approved plan to build ‘Abrahamic’ religious site with Muslims, Jews

Diane Montagna Diane Montagna Follow Diane
By Diane Montagna
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Night-time aerial view of the “House of the Abrahamic Family,” planned for construction in Abu Dhabi.

ROME, November 21, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Invoking the blasphemous Tower of Babel, whose builders sought to attain to heaven by their own power, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has denounced plans approved by Pope Francis to erect a monument to “Human Fraternity” uniting Islam, Judaism and Catholicism, calling it “a Babelesque enterprise, designed by the enemies of God.”  

The “House of the Abrahamic Family” (pictured below) will house a mosque, a synagogue, and a church symbolically united on one foundation. 

In a Nov. 19 article published by Italian journalist Aldo Maria Valli on Duc in Altum, Archbishop Viganò writes: “In the garden of Abu-Dhabi the Temple of the World Syncretic Neo-Religion is about to arise with its anti-Christic dogmas. Not even the most hopeful of the Freemasons would have imagined so much!"

The “House of Abraham” project was presented to Pope Francis at the Vatican on November 15, during an audience with the Grand Imam Ahmed Al-Tayeb, Sheik of Al-Azhar (main photo), members of the Abu Dhabi goverment, and representatives of the Higher Committee for achieving the goals contained in the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, signed last August.

***

Here below is an English translation of the article by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, published with the kind permission of Aldo Maria Valli.

“To our Venerable Brethren … in peace and communion with the Apostolic See, Health and Apostolic Benediction. Never perhaps in the past have we seen, as we see in these our own times, the minds of men so occupied by the desire both of strengthening and of extending to the common welfare of human society that fraternal relationship which binds and unites us together… it is easily understood … why many desire that the various nations, inspired by this universal brotherhood.”

This is how the Supreme Pontiff Pius XI expressed himself in the opening of his 1928 encyclical Mortalium animos, signed on the day of the Epiphany, when the Church remembers three wise Magi from the East, leading an endless processional caravan guided by a shining star that appeared in the firmament, when on earth the Son of God came in the flesh, the Only Savior, the center of the cosmos and of history.

Ninety-one years later, on Friday 15 November 2019 — as reported by Vatican News — Pope Francis received in audience the Grand Imam Ahmed Al-Tayeb, accompanied by various personalities and representatives of the University of Al-Azhar and the Higher Committee, all inspired by the desire to give form and concreteness to the contents of the Document on the Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, sealed last August in the wake of the historic Emirate Declaration, and signed by the Pontiff and the Imam during the Year of Fraternity.

With regard to the aforementioned Document, His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, as representative of the United Arab Emirates, had previously declared (Vatican News, 21 September 2019) that “in a world in which there are so many things that divide, the Emirates are committed to unite. Like a beacon of light, they wish to bring light into a dark world, bringing to light this document, the most important one signed in recent times”; as if to say that “the Light of the East” that has dawned upon us from on high like the Sun (Lk 1:78) is now eclipsed by a new “Luminous Lighthouse.”

The talks of the Vatican meeting were cordial, with words and expressive gestures of an already well-established friendship: let us remember that this is the sixth meeting between the Pontiff and the Great Imam. The Latin American warmth has thus prevailed over the long and rigid “frost” between the Apostolic See and that of the highest body of Sunni Islam. The meeting also offered the opportunity to present to the Pontiff a unique project whose concept has been presented through plans and 3D reconstructions.

Sir David Adjaye Obe is the creator of this architectural project, which will rise in the opulent and extravagant Abu Dhabi. It is the House of the Abrahamic Family, a sort of New Tent of Universal Brotherhood that evokes that other Tent of Reception in which the Old Testament Patriarch hosted three mysterious Angels (cf. Gen 18), the prefiguration of the Trinitarian God who was fully revealed to the legitimate Abrahamic posterity through faith in Jesus Christ.

Abrahamic Family House is therefore the name of this structure that will house a synagogue, a mosque and a church, naturally dedicated to the Poverello [St. Francis of Assisi].

Sir David’s project envisages the three different places of worship united by unique foundations and placed inside a garden, evoking a New Eden, a Gnostic and Masonic re-edition of the paradise of the First Creation.

As explained to Pope Bergoglio, this “structure ... will serve as a place of individual worship, but also for dialogue and interreligious exchange.” In fact, a fourth building is also planned, the headquarters of the Centre for Studies and Research on the Human Fraternity, whose objective, which is inferred from the Abu Dhabi document, will be to “make the three religions known.” The ceremonies for the presentation of the Human Fraternity Award will also take place here. 

The building of the House of the Abrahamic Family appears like a Babelesque enterprise, designed by the enemies of God, of the Catholic Church and of the only true religion capable of saving man and the whole created from destruction, both present as well as eternal and definitive. The foundations of this “House,” destined to give way and crumble, precisely where, at the hands of the same builders, the Only Corner Stone is incredibly about to be removed: Jesus Christ, Savior and Lord, on whom stands the House of God. “Therefore,” warns the Apostle Paul, “let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (1 Cor 3:10)

In the garden of Abu-Dhabi, the Temple of the World Syncretic Neo-Religion is about to arise with its anti-Christic dogmas. Not even the most hopeful of the Freemasons would have imagined so much!

Pope Bergoglio is thus proceeding to a further implementation of the apostasy of Abu Dhabi, the fruit of the pantheistic and agnostic neo-modernism that tyrannizes the Roman Church, germinated from the Council document Nostra aetate. We are forced to recognize it: the poisonous fruits of the “springtime of the Council” are before the eyes of anyone who no longer lets himself be blinded by the prevailing Lie.

Pius XI had alerted us and warned us. But the teachings that preceded Vatican II were thrown to the winds as intolerant and obsolete. The comparison between the pre-conciliar Magisterium and the new teachings of Nostra aetateand Dignitatis humanae — to cite only those —  shows a terrible discontinuity, which we must note, and which urgently needs to be amended as soon as possible. Adjuvant deo...

Let us listen to the words of the Supreme Pontiff Pius XI, when the Popes used to speak the language of Truth, chiseled with fire in diamond:

“For which reason conventions, meetings and addresses are frequently arranged by these persons, at which a large number of listeners are present, and at which all without distinction are invited to join in the discussion, both infidels of every kind, and Christians, even those who have unhappily fallen away from Christ or who with obstinacy and pertinacity deny His divine nature and mission. Certainly such attempts can nowise be approved by Catholics, founded as they are on that false opinion which considers all religions to be more or less good and praiseworthy, since they all in different ways manifest and signify that sense which is inborn in us all, and by which we are led to God and to the obedient acknowledgment of His rule. Not only are those who hold this opinion in error and deceived, but also in distorting the idea of true religion they reject it, and little by little, turn aside to naturalism and atheism, as it is called; from which it clearly follows that one who supports those who hold these theories and attempt to realize them, is altogether abandoning the divinely revealed religion … 

During the lapse of centuries, the mystical Spouse of Christ has never been contaminated, nor can she ever in the future be contaminated, as Cyprian bears witness: "The Bride of Christ cannot be made false to her Spouse: she is incorrupt and modest. She knows but one dwelling, she guards the sanctity of the nuptial chamber chastely and modestly” (Mortalium animos).

“Today more than ever … the Church needs strong and coherent doctrines. Amid the dissolution… the compromises become more and more sterile, and each of them takes away a shred of truth… Show yourself then… who you are in the end, convinced Catholics…! There is a grace tied to the full and integral confession of faith. This confession, the Apostle tells us, is the salvation of those who make it, and experience shows that it is also the salvation of those who understand it.” (Dom Prosper-Louis-Pascal Guéranger, The Christian Meaning of History).

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI recently broke his silence by making public his sorrowful plea for the Church in this troubled hour of its history: “Even today our faith is threatened by reductive changes to which worldly fashions would like to subject it, in order to take away its greatness. Lord, help us in this our time to be and to remain true Catholics — to live and die in the greatness of Your truth and in Your divinity. Give us always courageous bishops who may guide us to unity in faith and with the saints of all times, and who show us how fittingly to act in the service of reconciliation, to which our episcopate is called in a special way. Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us!”

Carlo Maria Viganò

Translation by Diane Montagna of LifeSiteNews.

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Alithea Williams

Opinion ,

China’s horrific abortion regime is worse than anyone can imagine. Here’s proof

Alithea Williams
By

November 21, 2019 (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) — For something that has been rightly called "the greatest bioethical atrocity on the globe", China's horrific coercive birth control policy has never got the kind of attention or condemnation it deserves. While I've always had a reasonable grasp of the situation, most of my knowledge comes from pro-life circles — it never seems to be a big media topic.

That's why One Child Nation, a documentary by Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang (currently available on BBC iplayer) feels so ground-breaking. Including interviews with Chinese officials, family planning workers and Nanfu's own family, the documentary pulls back the curtain of propaganda, secrecy and indifference that has hidden the unspeakable crimes of the one child policy from the world.

"Women Tied Up Like Pigs"

It does not flinch from revealing the brutal horrors of forced sterilisations and abortions. While individual stories of women being tortured this way have filtered through to the West, Nanfu's investigations makes it clear that this was happening on an industrial scale. The midwife in her own village, who delivered her and every other baby there, said: "In those days, women were abducted by Government officials, tied up and dragged to us like pigs".

The numbers from this one village mean the numbers across China are almost incomprehensible. When asked how many babies she had delivered, the midwife said she didn't know, "but I did between 50,000 and 60,000 sterilisations and abortions. I counted this out of guilt because I aborted and killed babies. Many I induced alive and killed. My hands trembled doing it. But I had no choice, it was the Government's policy."

Another family planning official talked about babies being aborted up to the end of pregnancy. "Many of the foetuses aborted were eight or nine months along. When they were aborted they were still alive."

"Policy Is Policy"

The midwife is Nanfu's village is tortured by what she did. She now exclusively treats patients with infertility because "I want to atone for my sins, for all the abortions and killings I did…Some would say it wasn't my fault because it was my job, but I was the one who killed, I was the executioner. I killed those babies, didn't I?"

Disturbingly, however, the other official, despite having equally horrific experiences, said she would do the whole thing again, laughing nervously as she recalled a pregnant woman who was so distraught that she tore off her clothes and ran away. "During abortions, women would cry, curse, fight, go insane…Those memories…I had to put the national interest above my personal feelings."

The scale of the brainwashing, illustrated by comments like this, was one of the most eye-opening aspects of the programme. Even those who had suffered horrendously from the policy still seemed to accept that it was necessary. Practically everyone interviewed seemed to have the attitude that destroying people's homes for refusing sterilisation "might be cruel, but policy is policy". In the sense that the brutality was imposed by a coercive regime, people did not have a choice — but they also sought to absolve themselves of any responsibility. One of the most disturbing interviews was Nanfu's lovely, smiling mother, describing how she "helped" her brother abandon his baby girl so that he could try again for a boy. The baby was left at the meat market, where after two days of no-one taking her in, she died, covered in mosquito bites.

In addition to trauma of forced abortions and sterilisations, the documentary looks at the irreparable damage caused to families of babies being confiscated and taken to orphanages to be adopted abroad. It says something about the horrors exposed in the programme that when you're hearing about a baby being ripped away from their family to be adopted in America, you think "well, at least she doesn't have to grow up in China".

Some Questions Left Unexplored

There were some flaws in the programme. While the consequences of the birth control policy on women and families were brought out in stark detail, not enough was done to challenge the assumption that controlling the population was necessary, or to illustrate the wider societal consequences. And while it was mentioned that China now allows couples to have two children, the fact that this is still fundamentally coercive and unjustifiable was not gone into. The evidence that families are still persecuted for exceeding the state-sanctioned number of children (well explored in this BBC article) was not mentioned.

Also, the China Family Planning Association, the state-run body responsible for ensuring the policy's implementation, is a member of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the world's largest pro-abortion organisation (see section 27 of SPUC's 2005 submission to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee). The UK government and other Western governments give millions of pounds annually to IPPF. It's a very great pity that the programme did not touch on the guilt of so many countries and institutions in the Western world which are also responsible for the atrocities described.

Swapping One Set Of Propaganda For Another?

Most disappointingly, Nanfu, who now lives in the US, concluded the documentary by saying: "I am struck by the irony that I moved from a country where women are forced to abort to one where the right to abortion is restricted. On the surface, they may seem like opposites, but both are about taking away women's control of their own bodies."

Given that she had just shown us eighty minutes of babies being aborted at full term and left on rubbish dumps, women being held down and forcibly sterilised, and a father crying because he was forced to abandon his baby because his own mother threatened to kill her, comparing this with laws intended to protect unborn babies in America seems ignorant at best and grossly offensive at worst. Nanfu was very candid that she had been taken in by the Communist Government's propaganda as a child. It seems a shame that she can't recognise that she is now under the influence of another ideology.

Published with permission by Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.

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Pope Francis greets Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta. El Tribuno
Phil Lawler

Opinion ,

Bishop Zanchetta’s case destroys Pope Francis’s credibility on sex abuse

Phil Lawler
By Phil Lawler

November 21, 2019 (CatholicCulture.org) — Did you think the McCarrick case hurt Pope Francis' reputation as a reformer? The Zanchetta case is far more damaging.

In January I wrote that the prosecution of Bishop Gustavo Oscar Zanchetta was potentially "a fatal blow to the Pope's reputation as a reformer," since it was Pope Francis — clearly, unequivocally, personally — who promoted and protected the Argentine prelate. Now a prosecutor in Argentina has issued an international appeal for Zanchetta's arrest, fearing that the troubled bishop may drop out of sight to avoid prosecution — if he hasn't done so already. So the question is whether the Pope is, even now, sheltering an accused bishop from prosecution.

A quick recap of the story to date:

  • In July 2013, Pope Francis appointed Zanchetta as Bishop of Oran, Argentina. This was one of the new Pope's first appointments, and in this case he was not merely ratifying someone else's choice. The Pope, as former Archbishop of Buenos Aires, was well acquainted with Zanchetta, who had served on the staff of the Argentinean bishops' conference in Argentina.
  • Barely four years later, in August 2017, Bishop Zanchetta resigned, citing health reasons, at the age of 53. At the time — and to this date — he has shown no signs of ill health. Vatican officials said that he had been encouraged to resign because of his deficiencies as an administrator.
  • A few months later, Pope Francis brought Zanchetta to Rome as "assessor" at the Administration for the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA), the agency at the center of recent financial scandals. Even at first glance the appointment was remarkable: why was a new position created, at an agency already in the spotlight, for a bishop with questionable administrative skills?
  • Then last December, El Tribuno reported that Zanchetta had been charged with sexual abuse. According to the Argentine newspaper, the charge dated back to 2015, and would explain his removal from the Oran diocese. The Vatican claimed that the charges had only recently come to light. But a former vicar-general of Oran confirmed that reports had been sent to Rome in 2015 and again in 2016.
  • In May of this year, Pope Francis told reporters that he had been persuaded Bishop Zanchetta was innocent — that incriminating photos had been faked, and that hackers had stored gay porn on the bishop's cell phone.
  • In June, prosecutors in Argentina, not so willing to accept the bishop's excuses, brought criminal charges against Zanchetta. He was allowed to return to Rome, on the promise that he would return to face trial, because Vatican officials certified that he was employed there — although by this time he was suspended from his post at APSA.

And now the prosecutor in Argentina wonders whether Bishop Zanchetta will come home to face trial. She had argued against allowing the bishop to travel to Rome, noting that "there is no extradition agreement with the Holy See." Now the accused bishop is not responding to legal notices, she reports.

If you can concoct an innocent explanation for the facts detailed above — a hypothesis that corresponds with the Pope's frequent protestations that he is determined to stop clerical abuse — please let me know. I can't.

Published with permission from CatholicCulture.org.

People standing in front of their church supporting gay people in a gay pride march
Shutterstock, Satori
David W. Virtue, DD

Opinion , , , , ,

Progressive pansexualist ‘Christians’ have declared war on orthodox believers

David W. Virtue, DD
By David W. Virtue ,DD

November 21, 2019 (VirtueOnline) – It should be obvious by now that progressive pansexual "Christians" have only one goal - to destroy traditional Christianity and the churches that support it, declare they have won, and wave the rainbow flag of victory.

While they have never started or built churches, they have spent decades infiltrating and taking over orthodox parishes and turning them in the name of inclusion. Then they watch as the churches slowly wither and die.

This was the plan all along. Having their sexuality not merely approved but accepted and controlling the sexual agenda of the church was always their objective. Total capitulation and control.

The greatest threat to free speech and the free exercise of religion is the homosexual (and transgender) agenda. Nothing else comes even remotely close, said distinguished legal scholar and political philosopher Robert George of Princeton University.

In 2009, homosexuals said, 'how is my marriage going to hurt you? We just want marriage equality." In 2019, this is what they said, 'we want the tax-exempt status of the churches, charities, and colleges revoked for your failure to change your views on gay marriage.'

Having twisted and distorted churches in the West, they are now turning their sexual guns on the Global South. Episcopal Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has made that clear on more than one occasion. And western churches have the money to manipulate and do just that.

Do it subtly of course. Invite vulnerable African bishops like the bishop from Central Tanganyika Bishop Dickson Chilongani, who was a guest of the Diocese of New York bishops. He had been invited to the house of bishops' gabfest in Minneapolis to let him see how inclusive and wonderful everybody is and how everybody gets along. Ironically, they didn't. There was chaos and bitterness over whether many of the bishops would attend Lambeth next year if they couldn't bring their homosexual spouses.

Interestingly, the Tanzania Anglican province is thoroughly orthodox and its bishops will not be attending the Lambeth Conference next year in Canterbury.

In other efforts to try and influence Global South, bishops hold small group communion gabfests put on and paid for by TEC, invite a dozen African bishops, help them see the light about how the West had changed its thinking about human sexuality and invite them to think of homosexuals in their own country. Keep scripture as far away as possiblem but have some aggrieved homosexuals on hand to tell their stories. Always a winning strategy.

The turning point in The Episcopal Church was, of course, the consecration of Gene Robinson to the episcopacy, the flight of more than 100,000 orthodox Episcopalians out of TEC and the formation of the Anglican Church in North America.

"For too long, many Americans have misunderstood the goals of the LGBT community, particularly its activist leaders. The majority of Americans thought this movement was about winning acceptance and tolerance of gay Americans, something few people found objectionable. But that was never the goal. It was only an intermediary step. The goal was always about forcing Americans to celebrate and bow before the full and ever-expanding LGBT agenda while detaching America from its Judeo-Christian heritage and moral framework. The destruction of Christianity in society is the goal," wrote Fletch Daniels at American Thinker.

The Stonewall Riots were the opening secular salvos whose propaganda tactics were later adopted by church leaders like Louie Crew, who persuaded bishops like Spong and then the vast majority of bishops to go along. Resolution after resolution at one General Convention after another, first affirming fornication, then sodomy and then finally homosexual marriage has been their end goal. Victory was assured.

Opposition is not an option; it will not be tolerated. Just ask Bishop Bill Love of Albany. I recall Pittsburgh Bishop Bob Duncan being found guilty, thrown out of TEC and then forced to face a trial under Katharine Jefferts Schori, where he was again found guilty.

Homosuperiority was to be achieved by meticulously following the propaganda manifesto entitled After The Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays In The 90s, by neuropsychiatrist Marshall Kirk and communications consultant Hunter Madsen, wrote James parker at Mercatornet.net

And secular homosuperiority has now totally replaced scripture as authoritative for the mainline denominations who see themselves in the vanguard of change, inviting God to change His mind for them. The inconvenient truth of scripture be damned.

It is not surprising that on the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots that some Episcopalians found themselves rejoicing that it gave them the push they needed to come out.

And out they have. Even though the number of homosexual and lesbian laity, clergy and bishops is only two percent of all Episcopalians, they have cried, bleated, whined, cajoled, and when their voices were finally heard, they took over the church, blasting opposition with cries of hate and homophobia at anyone who defied their behavior.

And in The Episcopal Church. the last orthodox bishop, William Love of Albany has dared to defy GC resolution B012 on homosexual marriage, He will face an ecclesiastical trial and certain ecclesiastical death. For his "sin" of defiance, he will be tossed out of the Church in an act of exclusion that only progressives can do in the name of their god who changes with the times.

The real haters we have come to realize are homosexuals and lesbians and anybody who thwarts their sexual ambition for total conformity. Recently, presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke said, if elected, that if churches will not perform same sex marriages, they should lose their tax-exempt status. Not a single democratic candidate stood up against him. Not one. Mercifully he has withdrawn from the campaign for presidency.

We are now threatened by Democrats with federal "civil rights" legislation for "gender identity" and "sexual orientation" that will secure all these abominations and more. Joe Biden has said that passage of the so-called "Equality Act" (aka Get-the-Homophobic-and-Transphobic-Bigots Act) would be his no. 1 priority as president. And he is the Democratic Party's moderate voice, writes culture watcher, Robert A.J. Gagnon.

We are in a do or die moment. We may yet see the persecution of Christians on a scale we have never seen before in this country. As Cardinal Francis George said; "I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history."

If you want the raw truth about how it all started and where The Episcopal Church has gone and is going too, please consider buying my book The Seduction of the Episcopal Church. For a tax-deductible donation of $100.00 I will send you an autographed copy of my book. This book represents over a quarter century of listening, watching and writing on a Church in free fall. Your donation will allow me to send copies of the book to Global South archbishops and bishops. You can use PayPal to make a donation here: https://virtueonline.org/support.html

This article was originally published on VirtueOnline.org and is published on LifeSite with permission of the author.

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Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò at the Rome Life Forum on May 18, 2018. Steve Jalsevac / LifeSiteNews
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò

Opinion

Abp Vigano: Pope is subjecting Church to ‘powerful forces’ that want world government

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò
By

November 21, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – For twenty centuries, the Catholic Church has professed faith in Jesus Christ, the only Savior, which has come down to us intact, as she received it from the Apostles and Fathers of the Church at the price of the blood of the Martyrs, and by the witness of the Confessors of the faith and of innumerable Saints of every people and language. This faith has been handed down by parents to their children, by priests and religious; it has been spread by zealous missionaries to every continent in the world, under the guidance of the successors of the Apostle Peter who have guaranteed the unity of Christ’s Bride by confirming the brethren in the faith.

For almost seven years now, the successor of the Prince of the Apostles, who was entrusted with the mandate Christ conferred on Peter after his profession of faith — “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt 16:18) — has abdicated his ministry to confirm the brethren in the faith. Pope Francis has never confirmed anyone. We painfully acknowledge how divisive and destructive his ministry has been.

With the declaration he signed in Abu Dhabi, in which he states that “The pluralism and the diversity of religions, color, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom,” and by his constant deviant condemnations of so-called “proselytism,” Francis has not only mortified every missionary impulse but has indeed rejected the mandate given by Christ to all the Apostles: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Mt 28:18-20).

The strategy of the current pontiff is camouflaged by deceit and lies, and concealed by silence, when it is discovered in his deviant intentions what great confusion among the faithful, while they are astutely praised by the enemies of the Church.

The Synod on the Amazon is also part of a much larger and hidden design. It is nothing but an element, albeit a disruptive one, of a vast project, developed under the aegis of the United Nations and supported by the great financial and Masonic powers. How can we explain that the Pachamama idol is already present, through a UN initiative, in texts designed for the ideological indoctrination of children?

Everything stands and fits together: a false science founded on an alleged catastrophic warming of the earth which is chiefly caused by man; an integral ecology which places at the center of creation not man created in the image and likeness of God, and called to share divine life in a blessed eternity with his Creator, but the Mother Earth “divinity,” i.e. the Pachamama, from which man is drawn and to which he must return. From this standpoint, therefore, even idolatry is willed by God, and Pope Francis celebrates it before the world, profaning the most sacred place in Christian Rome — the basilica built on the tomb of the Apostle Peter.

During the recent Synod, a grave sacrilegious act was consummated through the inaugural celebration held in the Vatican Gardens and the appearance of the Pachamama in San Peter’s and Santa Maria in Traspontina. The worship of the living and true God, revealed and manifested in Jesus Christ, whom the Catholic Church adores and professes, has been contaminated by clearly idolatrous and syncretistic elements.

Idolatry, or its simulation, represents the most serious attack perpetrated against the Divine Majesty. The martyrs shed their blood and paid for their resistance of idolatry with the supreme gift of their lives. Those same martyrs who have drenched and consecrated the earth of ancient pagan Rome, have seen their glorious memory profaned by the celebrations of the Pachamama.

The Scriptures of the Old Testament teach us that idolatry is shamelessness and prostitution, it is the profanation of the nuptial covenant that God has entered into with his people.

St. Paul, for his part, warns the first Christians of Corinth: “What do I imply then … that an idol is anything? No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be partners with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?” (1 Cor 10:19-22).

The Catholic Church, instead of being vigilant and denouncing the threats which menace her and darken the horizon of the entire human family, is lending itself to serve as a sounding board for a utopian and anti-Christic ideology, in a frightening subjection to the powerful forces that dominate the world scene and are actively promoting vast processes aimed at the establishment of a World Government.

Faced with such a scenario, in which the very survival of the Catholic Church is seriously threatened; in the face of so many reprehensible actions and statements by the Supreme Pontiff, one hundred scholars have drafted a Declaration asking “respectfully for Pope Francis to publicly and without ambiguity to repent and to repair these outrages.” I felt it was my duty to unite my own voice to theirs. In similar fashion, all bishops and cardinals of the Catholic Church should feel obliged to “address a fraternal correction to Pope Francis for these scandals.”

“O God, who in the grace of adoption has called us to become children of light, let us no longer be enveloped by the darkness of error but grant us to remain always in your truth, so as to illumine the night of the world” (From today’s Ambrosian liturgy).

Come, Lord Jesus! Manifest your sovereign royalty over your Church and the world! Reject not the plea of ​​your Bride, and do not disappoint her expectation. And when you do not grant what we ask of you, let us wait for it with faithful perseverance and penitent love.

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Transgender ballerina Sophie Rebecca UK Instagram screenshot
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Why are there no celebrated trans ballerinas or gymnasts? Easy: They are males.

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By Doug Mainwaring
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Royal Academy of Dance transgender ballet student Sophie Rebecca UK Instagram screenshot

November 21, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Where are the graceful transgender ballerinas dominating the world of ballet in the same way that trans “women” are crushing real women in sports?  

We haven’t heard about them because there are none. 

And why do we hear about “trans women” — men who present themselves as females — competing and winning against actual females in cycling, track, rugby, and boxing but not in gymnastics? So far, there are no men claiming to be females competing with women on the uneven parallel bars, balance beam, vault, and floor exercises.  

Have you noticed that men who identify as women compete only in sports in which men also historically compete? Why is that?  

It’s because male DNA permeates every single cell in their bodies, rendering them utterly incapable of competing as real women.  

No matter the degree to which female hormones have deformed them, or how much “reassignment” surgery has mutilated them, their bodies remain male, incapable of competing in sports which require a female body — a real female body, not a Dr. Frankenstein-created version of one.     

Men who pretend to be women can’t perform and excel in sports that belong solely to women so apparently they’re not even trying. Doing so would shatter the fragile illusion that men can be women.

As one young man who aspires to be a ballerina recently admitted, “I really was surprised to see that pointe [dance performed on the tips of one’s toes] wasn’t as easy and graceful as other girls made it.”  

No wonder. Leotards, tutu, and preferred pronouns notwithstanding, he’s a guy.

And here’s a short video of an Englishman who in 2017 was the first openly transgender ballet student to pass the Royal Academy of Dance exams. At 6’ 3” tall, he towers over the young women with whom he practices.  

His teacher, Lynne Reucroft-Croome, told the UK’s Daily Mail that she could not easily see a day when transgender dancers would perform professionally. “Ballet dancers are a bit like racehorses. They have a specific size, shape, height of legs, flexibility.”

Exactly. Despite their pontificating, accusations, and claims of discrimination, men don’t qualify as women. Acquiescence to political correctness and social justice in exchange for the realities of nature and science is a miserable, foolish, impoverishing trade.  

The increasing presence of gender dysphoric males in female sports, competitions, and dance is not about fairness to transgenders: It’s about affirming the fantasy lives of the gender confused at the expense of all girls and women.  

It’s way too much of the transgender political forces to ask of half the human race. But they’re not only asking it, they’re demanding compliance with their unhinged vain conceits.     

The complete absence of “trans women” from professional ballet and gymnastics competitions is a loud admission that males are not and can never become females, delivering a clear signal that all males should pull out of all girls’ and women’s sports.  

And while they’re at it, they should permanently exile themselves from girls’ and women’s bath and locker rooms as well.

Transgenders crossing sexual boundaries in sports was a “woke” deception from the start, meant to further cloud the clear, immutable truth about the complementarity of man and woman.  

It’s time for this dangerous, grandiose pretension to come to an end. 

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Singing Gregorian chant
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Why chant will never die, but will rise again as Church recovers sacredness of her worship

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By Dr. Peter Kwasniewski

November 21, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Few documents have had so lasting an impact on the cultivation of sacred music as did Pius X’s motu proprio Tra le Sollecitudini, promulgated on November 22, 1903, the Feast of St. Cecilia, patroness of musicians.

The pope’s purpose in writing this motu proprio was to set in motion a general reform of sacred music in the life of the Church. His notion of reform was never to jettison the past and usher in novelties (as would appear to be the notion entertained by many Catholics over the last fifty years), but rather to return resolutely to the wellsprings of Tradition and to let the rushing flow of that clean water clear away the debris that had gathered in decadent periods.

By decadent, Pius X did not have in mind the Middle Ages, the glorious era of Christendom, which postwar liturgists generally regarded as a falling away from the homely simplicity of early Christians. As Pius XII was to state 44 years later in Mediator Dei, the Holy Spirit stirs up liturgical developments in each age as further ways to sanctify the people of God. These developments stand in a continuous line, so that what comes about in a later century builds upon and elaborates what is already present in nucleo. For example, the switch from a kind of Communion in the hand in ancient times — not the way it is practiced today, as Bishop Schneider carefully shows in Dominus Est and Christus Vincit — to Communion on the tongue was an organic development that flowed out of the very reverence and adoration toward the Eucharist that had already been present and was growing under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

Corruptions are also possible, when a new feature or practice contradicts the letter or spirit of what is already in place. Thus, to take up the same example, the reintroduction of Communion in the hand was a clear corruption, not a development or a restoration. More to the point, the introduction of ornately operatic styles of music into the Mass during the classical and romantic periods was a corruption because it turned the liturgy into a concert and detracted from its otherworldly orientation. This was the view of St. Pius X: though doubtless an admirer of the music of Haydn, Mozart, and Italian composers on its own terms, he judged their style poorly suited to the temple of God and the holy mysteries enacted therein. As Tra le Sollecitudini explains, God had already generously provided an intensely contemplative music for the liturgy of the Roman Rite — namely, Gregorian chant, a music that grew up organically with this rite, has always adorned it, and sets the tone of all sacred music fit for use in the temple of God.

Pius X’s teaching decisively shaped the subsequent Magisterium, from his successors Pius XI and Pius XII through the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium down to Benedict XVI’s apostolic exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis. In all of these documents we find an unqualified recognition of the primacy of Gregorian chant for the Roman rite, even though there is also a welcoming of musical compositions in other styles, as long as they harmonize with the liturgical action — which, unfortunately, cannot be said to be true for most of what passes for “church music” nowadays, as I have discussed in other articles here and elsewhere.

The noble vision of Pius X is not unrealistic or unachievable. Throughout the first half of the twentieth century and well into the 1960s, schools all over the world were teaching children to sing chant, priests chanted the High Mass (even if Low Mass was more popular), and religious communities chanted their Divine Office. Chant was such a prominent marker of Catholicism that Hollywood could instantly create “Catholic atmosphere” with a few seconds of chant. It may come as a surprise to know that Thomas Merton, who became so controversial later for his political involvement and interreligious activities, was staunchly opposed to the abandonment of Latin and chant. As he wrote in 1964 to Dom Ignace Gillet, abbot general of the Cistercians of the Strict Observance:

This is what I think about the Latin and the chant: they are masterpieces, which offer us an irreplaceable monastic and Christian experience. They have a force, an energy, a depth without equal. All the proposed English offices are very much impoverished in comparison — besides, it is not at all impossible to make such things [Latin and chant] understood and appreciated. Generally I succeed quite well in this, in the novitiate, with some exceptions, naturally, who did not understand well. But I must add something more serious. As you know, I have many friends in the world who are artists, poets, authors, editors, etc. Now they are well able to appreciate our chant and even our Latin. But they are all, without exception, scandalized and grieved when I tell them that probably this Office, this Mass will no longer be here in ten years. And that is the worst. The monks cannot understand this treasure they possess, and they throw it out to look for something else, when secular people, who for the most part are not even Christians, are able to love this incomparable art.

The difficulty rather came from a false notion of “updating” or modernization — the view, which grew slowly in influence and finally dominated the liturgical reform and its implementation, that older prayer forms and modes of art are foreign to modern people, alienating, excessively demanding, a temptation to elitism and escapism. But such a negative judgment does not appear to have been common among most Catholics, who did not ask for their cultural heritage to be taken away from them, nor is it the experience of Catholics today who rediscover these things and appreciate their beauty and appropriateness, like the thoughtful “secular people” Merton talks about.

Life reminds us again and again of the truth of Chesterton’s quip: “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.” If the great man will permit me to adapt his statement: The Gregorian ideal for liturgical music has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left aside. Yet even here, one may question just how difficult it is. Yes, the Propers (changing chants for particular Sundays or feasts) are quite challenging and require a trained schola. But the Ordinary of the Mass — the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei — and the common responses can be and often are sung with gusto by everyone, including little children who unself-consciously deliver what they have received by ear. In working as a choir director with youth for 30 years, and as one who has taught chant or worked with those who have taught chant to every category of people, I know the reality: it has been found unwanted, and therefore left untried. Whenever it is wanted, it flourishes to the benefit of all.

Gregorian chant has never been more available for those who seek it. All the old liturgical books of chant have been republished; all the Solesmes books for the Ordinary Form are still in print; new resources like The Parish Book of Chant are plentiful; most chants can be listened to online or printed off at one click; free tutorials can guide self-study, and well attended workshops happen year in, year out. This great treasure of liturgical music will not go away; it will rise again from the ashes, as the Church recovers the sacredness of her worship.

Although there are hopeful signs that Catholic liturgical music, after decades of lucrative secularization and horizontal banality, is beginning to experience a true renewal in continuity with the Church’s tradition, the way the music is done at most parishes indicates that we are still far from a universal implementation of the sound principles of St. Pius X. The primary characteristic of modernity, according to many scholars, is its “deep pluralism,” and that mentality seems to obtain among Catholics in their liturgical worship: “all we like sheep have gone astray, every one to his own way.” May the combined prayers of St. Cecilia and St. Pius X move us to venerate once again “the musical icon of Roman Catholicism” (Joseph Swain), for the glory of God and the sanctification of souls.

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