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Cardinal Dolan Wall Street Journal interview is very big news

Steve Jalsevac

Yesterday’s report on Cardinal Dolan’s interview with the Wall Street Journal is historic and well worth cheering about. If you understand the culture wars, this is very big news.

There are many pro-life, pro-family leaders who have been suffering for decades while waiting, working and praying for this to finally start happening - because it has to happen.

Our catastrophic social/moral decline cannot be halted until our religious, especially Christian, leaders abandon their fears and negligence, clean house within and do their job, no matter how much they suffer for it. There is no other way. They have to imitate their master who showed the Way.

It is mainly the abandonment of religious belief and practice that got us where we are and it is the renewal of that belief and practice that will restore clear thinking, openness to heroic virtue and respect for the natural order of life. Everyone, Christian and non-Christian, will gain from this.

Today’s report on Martin Sheen’s infantile understanding of his Catholic faith is much more a story about the poor formation he received from his Church than about his own personal failings. Sheen is representative of millions of confused and lost, but well meaning, Christians suffering because of their ignorance.

Religion, especially authentic Christianity, can be a great power for good, confounding all other forces in the world. That is why Communists, Nazis, the de-populationists and all other anti-human ideologues all try to destroy real Christians and genuine Christian thought.

They fear Christianity, especially the Catholic Church, because they know its potential power. It is not of this world. It is based on a powerful love which the other forces do not possess. They can only manipulate, deceive and bludgeon people into conformity to their selfish goals.

That interview took guts on Cardinal Dolan’s part. This current head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops very publicly admitted what we have known for so long, but which so very few bishops have been willing to admit - the bishops have greatly failed to shepherd.

They have especially failed on teaching about the difficult moral issues - not just contraception - although as Pope Paul VI strongly made the now proven case in Humanae Vitae, widespread contraceptive use poisons every aspect related to human sexuality. Why? Because it denies and corrupts the real purpose of our sexual life.

Once that is denied and abandoned, eventually anything, and I do mean anything, goes. We are seeing it all around us and there are much more frightening things to come unless the brakes of faith are put on.

The Cardinal Archbishop of New York admitted that the Church has failed to teach the Catholic teaching on contraception. It therefore, he concludes, “forfeited the chance to be a coherent moral voice when it comes to one of the more burning issues of the day.” He is referring to the Obama mandate on all Catholic and other Christian institutions.

Yes, the Church has less moral authority these days because it has not been much of a spiritual, evangelizing Church anymore. Bishops have tended to be politicians with mitres, business managers, liberal social activists or just plain timid administrators.

Dolan told the interviewer, “I’m not afraid to admit that we have an internal catechetical challenge—a towering one—in convincing our own people of the moral beauty and coherence of what we teach. That’s a biggie,” he said. Yes it is, but he knows, as we all do, that with God anything is possible.

Now the Cardinal has to be convinced that he must also start to forcefully teach Catholics that they cannot vote for any politicians who accept the killing of children in their mother’s womb or who would vote for same-sex “marriage”. And we hope and pray that he will accept the need, out of charity, to finally start denying the sacraments to obstinately pro-abortion, pro-homosexual ‘marriage” Catholic politicians.

LifeSiteNews gets lots of heat for what is labelled as “criticizing bishops”. But you know, everything we report has a purpose, and it is never a negative purpose. Our reports on episcopal failings, as well as our reports on wonderful courage and action by clergy, such as these statements by Dolan, are all meant to help STRENGTHEN Catholic and other religious leaders. We need them. LifeSiteNews staff have zero interest in undermining and hurting religion. That would be counterproductive for the good of life and family.

The sheer “white hatred” (we are told) that we know some clergy have for LifeSiteNews is confounding. But then, in most of those particular cases there has to be something else involved, rather than what is publicly expressed as being the reasons for their animosity. It likely has to do with our defense of all genuine traditional sexual morality, especially regarding homosexuality. Not much else can explain such an irrational response to our reports which are very deliberately never angry or remotely hateful. We report the facts, and for some, that is too much.

Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop Chaput and the growing number of other bishops and orthodox Christian leaders who are experiencing a new awakening to their full call in today’s world (thank you President Obama) need lots of support, encouragement and prayers to stay the course. They are going to be hugely tempted to cave and compromise and not go even further than they already have. However, we want them to become saints, for their own good, and for ours. Let’s all help them to do just that.



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John-Henry Westen giving his speech upon receiving the John Cardinal O'Connor Award.

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The battle for life and family is raging and you have been summoned to the fight

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Editor's Note: This speech was given by LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief John-Henry Westen to members of Legatus on January 29, 2016 upon receiving the John Cardinal O'Connor Award.

February 2, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- Thank you Tom and all of Legatus for this incredible honor. I have often looked up to you Tom as a hero in the faith, so coming from you this means a great deal to me. This award, like so much in my life since my reversion to the Catholic faith in my early twenties is a testimony to the awesome generosity and mercy of God even to those who have abandoned Him.

You see, both Steve and I left the practice of faith in our youth. We were on the other side, even of the culture of life. He was a member of Zero Population Growth and I lived a life of hedonism. But God in His mercy brought us back to Himself and has since showered us with blessings, crosses too of course, but many blessings.

Jim Hughes and Steve Jalsevac have been mentors to me in the movement for life. In fact, they, like so many of the soldiers in the work for faith, life and family are the best people anyone could know.

What began as a humble tiny enterprise with a few recipients has grown into an international news service with 60 million page views from 30 million users last year alone. LifeSite, launched in 1997 by Campaign Life Coalition has since launched other organizations including the Rome Life Forum, Voice of the Family with SPUC, and just last September we began a Catholic Magazine called Faithful Insight. Copies of Faithful Insight are available here and we pray you will choose to subscribe to it and that it may be a blessing to you, your family and your friends.

For me none of this would be possible without my faithful wife Dianne.

  • she left her teaching career so she could home school our 8 children
  • she converted to the Catholic faith with our third child after the Bible convinced her of the truth of Christ’s True Presence in the Eucharist
  • she was open to life even after three miscarriages
  • she permits me to go and speak wherever I’m called all over the world and bears the long hours needed for this mission
  • she has never balked at the hardships that have come with it

I wasn’t kidding when I said I’ve been showered by blessings.

I had a saintly father who raised me, a mother who bore me and another mother who sacrificed herself to help raise me.

I have a heavenly Mother who through True Devotion showed me the way to Her Son. And an awesome God who nearly every day since my return to Him in 1993 has given Himself to me Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

What greater joy and blessing can there be anywhere than the life of Christ available even to the poorest of sinners?!!

Like Professor George said yesterday, there is no more comfortable Catholicism. In truth, there never has been. The devil has from the beginning of time gone about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. But in our day he seems to have been unleashed like never before in history.

58 million innocent American children have been killed in their mother’s wombs on American soil in the last 43 years. Where has there been a holocaust like this before?

Yet there is an even greater tragedy in the loss of countless souls. Our Lady of Fatima warned in the early 1900s that more souls go to hell for sins of impurity than for any other reason. At no other time in human history has there been the impurity we see in our world today.

Yesterday Professor George reminded us that life is very short even if we live 90 or 100 years. Compared to eternity, life is but a blip of time and yet in that tiny time we must decide for all eternity to take either the wide and easy way that leads to perdition or the narrow road, strewn with crosses that brings us to eternal life.

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

You are amazing people dear Legates.

Some of you were soldiers, you are all warriors.

Some of you are bankers, you are all wise investors.

There is no greater battle, there is no sounder investment.

We must fight the greatest enemy mankind will ever know.

We must secure the only treasure that will ever satisfy.

Rise up you warriors for the soul of America. The battle for life and family is raging and you have been summoned to the fight.

Never, be ashamed of the Gospel, said Professor George yesterday.

Or as Christ Himself put it in Mark 8:38 “For he that shall be ashamed of me, and of my words, in this adulterous and sinful generation: the Son of man also will be ashamed of him, when he shall come in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

And his promise in Matthew 10:32 “Every one therefore that shall confess me before men, I will also confess him before my Father who is in heaven.”

And later in Matthew 25:34: “Come ye blessed of my Father, possess the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”



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All black lives don’t matter: Congressional Black Caucus slams pro-life Congressman Sean Duffy

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January 14, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- Racism. It’s the go-to for liberals. Every institution of American life is touched by it according to the racialists. Well, almost every one. Somehow, the industry that kills, disproportionately, black human beings for a profit isn’t racist. It’s “reproductive justice”!

Enter Congressman Sean Duffy, a Republican from Wisconsin. On the House floor he gave a powerfully disturbing speech about the alarming levels of abortion in the black community and wondering why the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) has been silent.

But they haven’t been silent. They’ve been complicit.

The CBC, like every other black-led liberal “civil rights” group, is pro-abortion. The NAACP recently just lost a major free speech lawsuit, trying to sue The Radiance Foundation because we called them the “National Association for the Abortion of Colored People”. These groups actively partner with the nation’s largest abortion and aborted baby parts trafficking chain, Planned Parenthood. Last fall, the CBC sponsored a forum featuring the abortion giant. Keep in mind, abortion occurs up to 5 times more in the black community. In NYC, as Rep. Duffy alluded to, more black babies are aborted than born alive. For every 1,000 born alive, there are 1,180 are aborted. Where are all the cries that #BlackLivesMatter? Where are all the protests? Where are all the die-ins?

There are none. Because liberals don’t believe that all black lives matter. And the Congressional Black Caucus leads this hypocrisy.

The CBC says it’s the “conscience of the Congress”. This is a joke, right? This is the same body that accepted huge donations (over $250,000) annually from the tobacco industry even though the black community suffers higher rates of cancer. Despite health advocates decrying alcohol and tobacco companies disproportionately targeting urban areas with ads, the CBC had no problem taking this money. They even handed out free cigarettes at meetings.

The former chair of the CBC, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, was given an award by Planned Parenthood for his “tireless work on behalf of millions of women…who faced the most aggressive attacks on women’s health and rights in a generation.” The aggressive attacks are on the most defenseless among us…especially the unarmed black lives in the womb. Cleaver used to be prolife before he ran for national office, as we’ve highlighted in our TooManyAborted.com abortion awareness campaigns. He was an advisor to Missouri Citizens for Life. Cleaver is yet another liberal black leader trading principle for personal political power.

The current chairman, pro-abortion Congressman G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), was unsurprisingly endorsed by Planned Parenthood during election season. He’s repeatedly voted against defunding Planned Parenthood, even after the horrific videos from the Center for Medical Progress revealed the organizations depraved practice of harvesting aborted babies’ organs and bodies. Congressman Butterfield just endorsed the most radically pro-abortion candidate in the Presidential race, Hillary Clinton. The Planned Parenthood-endorsed candidate was given the abortion chain’s highest award—the Margaret Sanger award. In her acceptance speech, Clinton praised the anti-human Planned Parenthood founder, saying: “I admire Margaret Sanger enormously. Her courage, her tenacity, her vision.”

Her vision? You mean her vision to use birth control to eliminate defectives? This is how Sanger described birth control in Chapter 18 of her book Women And The New Race: “Birth control itself, often denounced as a violation of natural law, is nothing more or less than the facilitation of the process of weeding out the unfit, of preventing the birth of defectives or of those who will become defective.”

Those words just resound with equality, don’t they?

According to leftist Politico (which didn’t bother to post the video of the speech), Rep. Butterfield found Rep. Duffy’s honest words “disgusting”. What’s disgusting is the racist propaganda that so many liberal black organizations like the CBC peddle. Everyone is racistEverything is racist. Well, except the one industry that kills for a living.

In the end, the CBC, NAACP, National Action Network, Rainbow PU$H Coalition, and the National Urban League don’t believe that we’re all created equal. Their undying support for Planned Parenthood, the leading killer of our future generation, is beyond reprehensible. The CBC wants the House to vote on a resolution to condemn Congressman Duffy’s words. The condemnation should be for those who enable the violent social injustice of abortion while pretending that somehow, they–not the slaughtered millions–are the victims.



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How to survive what seems to be lots of bad news and stay sane and reasonably at peace

Steve Jalsevac Steve Jalsevac Follow Steve

December 17, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The most common question we are asked when we personally meet LifeSite readers is, “How do you keep doing what you do every day?” The question is asked emphatically, with marvel, and a strange look in the eye of the person making the comment. They might as well be asking, “Are you crazy or what?”

The obvious reason the question is asked is because they can’t see themselves enduring daily, month after month, year after year, the task of reporting on so many difficult and disturbing developments (even though we also report much good, inspiring news) and enduring all the flak that comes after the reports are published. The implication is that they would go crazy, or get totally stressed out or depressed.

From daily news subscribers, a frequent comment, which is often not a criticism, is that they can’t cope anymore with reading LifeSiteNews and they have to unsubscribe or not read the news at night before going to bed. For many, it is often too emotionally draining and anxiety producing.

We understand. However, interestingly enough, most of them seem to eventually come back because of the quality and importance of our reports. They find they can’t get such consistently reliable reports elsewhere on the issues they most care about.

Michael O’Brien, during his comments at the beginning of LifeSite’s 15th anniversary gala in Washington, D.C., stated about reading LifeSiteNews reports, “My temperament, being of the melancholic Irish sort … tends to say, (he then put his face down into his hands) ‘Oh, I don’t think I can read everything on LifeSite today’.”

Everyone laughed. We all understood only too well. That was three and a half years ago.

Although I admit it is indeed increasingly stressful and often seems humanly impossible to do this unique work for God, there are reasons why most of us have been able to persevere and reasons why a good number of our readers are able to continue reading and using our reports.

Let me tell you the how and why.


"Would it help?"

Highly recommended is seeing the recent movie, Bridge of Spies. Tom Hanks plays the role of the American lawyer assigned to defend a Russian spy caught in this true, cold war drama. A number of times in the movie the spy responds to questions about circumstances threatening him by stating an exceptionally wise phrase.

At their first meeting, the lawyer asks the spy why he does not seem to be upset that he will likely be executed after the trial. The calm Russian responds in a sincerely questioning manner – “would it help?”

Bling! The light went on in many viewers' brains. Yes, what help would it have been for him to get all fearful and anxious? It would achieve nothing and only harm him. Great anxiety would prevent him from thinking clearly and living the best that he can with the time left to him.

So I often ask myself now when I get anxious and upset (and unfortunately I still do), “would it help?” Amazingly, every single time, the obvious answer is, no, it does not help at all. It is self-defeating to respond to difficulties with those draining emotions that hurt me and those around me.

In our home, some of us have recently been saying that phrase to each other, reminding ourselves of its wisdom. Among staff, some of us are reminding ourselves of the same.

Our current fundraising campaign is going badly so far. “Would it help” if we got all stressed out and fearful. Nope. Not at all. We need our wits about us, not choking fears and anxiety, to finds ways to hopefully resolve this dilemma. However, we do have to relate our concerns to our readers so they will understand the situation we are currently in. Then we leave it up to them and God.


The need for a daily prayer life

But let’s get deeper into what has maintained us for all the years of LifeSite’s existence.

First of all, we have learned that we must all pray. In the past couple of years LifeSite staff have been praying more than ever. We also often ask others to pray for us. Prayer calms the mind and opens the heart and mind to inspiration.

Every morning we start the day with a staff prayer conference call. Without the sustenance of that on-going relationship with God, we could never survive this daily grind of confronting many of the world’s greatest evils head on.

Prayer helps us to realize that the outcome of all of our work is ultimately always up to God, and not our skills and efforts.

We are not in charge. Failure and success are not terms we should often use. We just have to be certain that we are always faithful and that we are doing our best. The battle on the issues we focus on is God’s battle, not ours. But, we are nevertheless obliged to put our whole heart and soul into this special work on the most important issues in the world.

Michael O’Brien, in his talk last March in Fort Worth, Texas, summed up this crucial lesson up when he stated,

“The deeper work that God does in all of us, regardless of our circumstances in life, is to take us to a more profound level of dependence on him. It can lead us to a condition of spiritual childhood, to become very little and trusting in God's hands, to do our part and to let him do the rest.”

He went on,

“We cannot measure — this we must keep in mind always — we cannot measure what the success or failure of our efforts is. It is not our task to measure them. That is God's business.”

I have found over the years that those who often have the most difficulty enduring pro-life, pro-family work are professionals, or control types, who are used to getting good results from usual business planning and precise efforts implementing those plans. In their professional practice this has most often achieved good results. They were usually in control.

However, in this work, many of the techniques of the business or professional world just don’t work the same. We are opposed by Powers and Principalities that manifest themselves in many ways, such as unexplainable equipment and Internet failures, sudden sickness among staff and their families, service provider breakdowns, serious miscommunications and much more. We have experienced some days and even weeks that defy any rational explanation.

We are also daily confronted with deceptions, outright lies, manipulations and shocking corruption or weakness of influential persons and institutions, including clergy at all levels, law enforcement, court and legislative authorities. This causes the professional control persons severe bewilderment. They usually don’t last long and sometimes not even a few weeks. 

But they do last if they have a strong spiritual life. Then one learns to accept wherever things take him/her and to go with God's inspirations and plans, rather than on our own, humanly limited strategies.
 

Learning to trust "absolutely"

Now let’s go to another significant and necessary understanding of how to cope with developments or personal failings that could cause fear, anxiety and inner meltdown.

In his book, the Second Greatest Story Ever Told, Fr. Michael E. Gaitley writes,

“the sin of Adam was necessary” to bring us our “great”, “glorious” redeemer, Jesus Christ. “The sin is called ‘O happy fault’. And its evil is ‘destroyed completely’ by the Savior. This is the wonder of wonders of Divine Mercy. It has the power not only to bring good out of evil but an even greater good….Truly, as St. Paul says, ‘where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.’ (Rom 5:24)

This is absolutely crucial - ‘where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.’

Fr, .Gaitley qualifies this however, in stating,

“Of course, as St. Paul explains, this does not mean that we “continue in sin that grace can abound.” By no means! But it does reveal an amazing secret of Divine Mercy, something that proves God’s ways are not our ways. After all, how, in human terms, can loss be gain? Yet in the realm of Divine Mercy, it can be so.…if we repent and trust in the power of God’s mercy, then nothing is lost when he brings an even greater good out of our evil.”

“Our evil” might simply be not trusting in God for everything.

Recently, we have been reporting especially alarming developments about Planned Parenthood, the Obama administration’s assault on religious freedom and conscience rights, the advance of euthanasia, hateful, oppressive actions by gay rights activists and an alarming rise in influence of the anti-people, freedom threatening climate change movement.

Most disturbing of all to our readers is the increased confusion and high level efforts to change traditions and seemingly even doctrines related to core moral beliefs in the Catholic Church.

The temptation to discouragement is now greater than at any time that I can recall since we started LifeSite.

Remember, ‘where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.’ That is, no matter how dark things seem and maybe are, the reality is that the power of God’s grace is ALWAYS greater. He is always in total control.

The defeat of evil is always certain, although in the interim we may have to endure great hardships and suffering while God’s plan of creating great good from these trials continues and eventually concludes. We can be certain that there is such a plan for everything that happens, and that our prayers and fidelity in life are heard by God and can have an effective role in limiting the suffering and advancing the good.

Evil is not only eventually defeated, but the end result is that God takes that evil and transforms it into an even greater good than before the evil occurred. That is, the greater the evil is, the greater will be the later miracles of God’s grace in response. We know that. We are sure of that. This pattern has been occurring throughout history.

Michael O’Brien reminds us,

“It was a very important lesson for me, looking back in hindsight, to see that we must never lose hope, and that if we are given a particular grace or calling, we must be willing to persist through, at times, very dark waters, understanding that there will come temptation for false relief from trials.” 

The temptation of lukewarmness

There is another temptation I have too often seen people give in to. That is, in response to disturbing developments, many take the road of generally ignoring the evils or trials sent to them, ridiculing or reviling the messengers and rejecting their obligations. They turn to a comfortable, don’t rock the boat and don’t upset my life response of looking after themselves. It is a great temptation, and a deadly one – this lukewarmness, if not cold-heartedness.

O’Brien explains,

“Some temptations are obvious. But there will come an alternative kind of temptation—to simply pursue a good life, a good faithful Catholic life, but to leave unfulfilled the particular calling and path that God has given you. Technically, no sins have been committed, but something is lost, some fruitfulness for souls is lost to the world.

Our task is to be faithful to the inspirations, guided by reason and discernment always, but at the core is going forth in the face of the culture of death, in a dark time, with the light of Christ within us, in Christian hope. That willingness, the Lord can work with. That, the Lord can make fruitful, if we would only trust. I'm not talking about feelings of trust. Feelings of trust come and go. But the choice to trust, to put one step in front of another, as we cross the desert of the modern age. There, in the desert, many surprises await us. Scripture says the Lord is a God of surprises. And he certainly has been so in my life. 

Anyway, I could go on and on and on. I would say, above all else, we must trust in the Lord in all circumstances. Trust in him absolutely.”

Remember, “would it help?”, and "trust in Him absolutely."

This is how we survive at LifeSite, stay reasonably sane and how we continue to grow to be able to endure exposure to even greater disturbances with a relatively peaceful disposition. Mind you, it is an up and down process for most of us. I have good and bad days, but the growth in the good, the ability to endure what was previously unendurable and to still laugh and enjoy life and family continues and is a wonder.

It is a wonder of God’s grace. He gives what we need, if we continue to always ask and then trust.

Nothing is worth losing our peace for an extended time. “Would it help?”

It is useless to be down on ourselves for our natural, human weaknesses or personal failings as long as we are making our best efforts. “Would it help?”

There are also other things that we should do such as regular exercise, quiet down times, getting out into nature and time for just plain enjoyment with others.

I hope that this article will prove to have been helpful to those who have read it and help them to continue to be able to receive the useful knowledge and other benefits provided through LifeSite reporting.

The purpose of LifeSite is to change the culture, especially through those who are empowered by the information in our reports.

We research, write and publish the stories. Our readers are the ones who actually cause the culture changes to happen. And they have been amazing in doing so.



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