Patrick Craine

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Don’t let anyone tell you Pope Francis opposes the pro-life movement

Patrick Craine
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Is Pope Francis asking Catholics to bow out of the culture war?

The liberal elite and Catholic Left want us to think the Pope opposes the pro-life and pro-family movement. But, while he’s certainly made some confusing remarks, his own words and actions make it clear that he firmly supports our cause.

On Saturday, Pope Francis received the Dignitatis Humanae Institute and praised their efforts. DHI is a think tank that advances respect for human dignity in the public square.

The Pope’s support for DHI is significant because of the organization’s staunch stand on the life issue. In particular, they take a position that is oddly controversial in the Church today: namely, that Her ministers ought to deny Communion to openly pro-abortion Catholic politicians in accordance with canon law. To do any less would be “false charity,” the organization stated in October.

Pope Francis made his stance on abortion abundantly clear in his recent apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, in which he condemns abortion as a violation that “cries out in vengeance to God” and insists Church teaching can never change. The unborn today, he says, are “the most defenceless and innocent among us” and are deserving of “particular love and concern.”

Pope Francis here singles out abortion, I would suggest, in a manner comparable to Bl. John Paul II in Evangelium Vitae. In that 1995 encyclical, the late Pope said that while attacks on life such as war, violence, and poverty are grave, abortion is “more sinister” and represents “another category of attack.”

We oughtn’t forget too that Pope Francis was the first Pope to join a March for Life.

Of course, as I mentioned, some of the Pope’s comments have caused a lot of confusion, particularly his suggestion that we shouldn’t be “obsessed” with issues like abortion, contraception, or same-sex “marriage”. These comments – which seem divorced, at least, from the experience in much of North America and Europe, where these issues are raised shockingly little – have given fodder to liberals outside the Church who oppose Her voice in the public square, and to those within the Church who want to wield that voice for their own pet causes.

I’m sure we’ve all heard the stories by now: A Catholic organization ends its annual fundraiser for the local pro-life group. A priest defends his praise for a pro-abortion politician. A bishop proclaims it’s necessary for a Catholic agency to fund pro-abortion groups, so long as the money goes to other projects. All justified by appealing to the Pope.

Across the Western world, Pope Francis has become the Great Vindication for Catholics who want to cave in to the demands of the world.

Michael Sean Winters, a blogger at the National Catholic Reporter, for one, has been wielding Pope Francis like a weapon against strong cultural voices like Cardinal Raymond Burke, Archbishop Charles Chaput, and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.

Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Wash., cited the Pope as an indictment of “culture warriors” in an interview with the New York Times at the USCCB meeting last month. “Pope Francis doesn’t want cultural warriors, he doesn’t want ideologues,” the bishop claimed. “That’s the new paradigm for us, and it’s making many of us think.”

Bishop Cupich has taken the Pope’s words as a call for retreat from the most crucial moral, cultural, and political battles of the day. But there’s just no evidence indicating that that’s what the Pope is asking us to do.

To suggest otherwise just makes no sense. If he truly believes that abortion “cries out in vengeance to God,” then how could he possibly ask us to stand by idly while such an act is committed tens of millions of times across the globe every year?

He simply isn’t. In fact, in 2005, while he was a Cardinal in Buenos Aires, the future Pope urged his congregants to promote the Gospel of life even if they “set traps to deliver you to the courts and to have you killed.”

So, while he tells us not to become “obsessed” in our cultural battles, keep in mind that the Pope himself has said we should fight the culture war vigorously, even to the point of death.



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Vatican’s ‘climate change’ light show skipped the most endangered species of all – the unborn child

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

December 8, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – I just watched the rather spectacular light show at the Vatican featuring some of the most dazzling graphics imaginable broadcast onto the façade and dome of St. Peter’s Basilica.  It’s hard to criticize something with so much artistry and beauty. It was a parade of the most endangered species and habitats on the planet in bright color and an impressive sound track to accompany it.

One of the big problems, of course, is that it’s an inappropriate venue for such a show. Just as you wouldn’t store coloring books in the tabernacle or use a chalice to drink your coffee, the façade of a Church consecrated to the worship of God is not the place for a – albeit beautiful – work of political advocacy.

Even if we ignore the difficulty of mixing the sacred with the profane and we turn to the message itself, how could the Catholic Church countenance a display of the world’s endangered animals and habitats and fail to include the most endangered of all – the unborn child?  The habitat of the womb, which was revered as a sacred place of nourishment and care, has become one of the most deadly places on the planet. Wanton dismemberment of innocent human beings takes place by the tens of millions around the globe each year.

STORY: Vatican, World Bank partner to launch Year of Mercy with St. Peter’s ‘climate change’ light show

But those endangered lives, and that habitat, does not fit within the agenda of the Vatican’s partners in the climate change push.  The World Bank, the major financial backer of the venture, is actually on the other side, pushing for the extinction of the right to life for unborn children and to make the habitat of the womb forever hostile to the inviolable protection for God’s children being knit together in the wombs of their mothers.

As the Year of Mercy launches with this show, it makes me wonder if we’re testing God’s mercy rather than celebrating it.



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Watch for yourself: Video of Pope Francis’ remarks on condoms

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

December 2, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – LifeSiteNews’ publication of a news story detailing Pope Francis’ statements on the plane returning from Africa on November 30 has caused much reaction. I will admit it’s hard to believe the pope actually said what he did. I had the same reaction when I saw his comments to the Lutheran Church in Rome about communion. I would have found it hard to believe if I couldn’t watch the video myself.

Some reaction to our coverage suggested that we used faulty translation and did not put the Pope’s words into context. Therefore we’ve put together the video of the Pope’s remarks on the plane about condoms with the official Vatican English translations (Vatican Information Service) at the bottom of the video. In those instances where the Vatican omitted translation we’ve supplied the missing words.

Therefore you can see for yourself what the pope said, in the context given by the Vatican. We stand by our earlier coverage.

STORY: Pope Francis attacks ‘fundamentalist’ Catholics, dismisses condom ban as unimportant

The Vatican’s own rendition says, “A South African correspondent commented on the devastation caused by AIDS in Africa, where the epidemic continues, and where prevention is still the key. He asked the Pope whether or not it was time to change the Church's position on the use of condoms.”

Here is the full text of the Pope’s response as rendered by the Vatican Information Service:

The question seems to me to be too narrow, or rather a partial question. Yes, it is one of the methods; the morality of the Church finds itself before a perplexity: it is the fifth or the sixth commandment, defending life, or that the sexual relationship must be open to life? … This questions makes me think about what they did to Jesus once. 'Tell me Master, is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?'. It is obligatory to heal! … But malnutrition, the exploitation of people, slave labour, the lack of drinking water: these are the problems. Let us not ask if we can use this sticking plaster or another for a small wound. The great wound is social injustice, the injustice of the environment, the injustice that I have mentioned such as exploitation and malnutrition. … I do not like to make reference to such specific cases when people die for lack of water or hunger, because of their habitat. … When everyone has been healed, when there are no longer these tragic diseases caused by mankind, either by social injustice or to earn more money. … Then we can ask the question, 'is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?'. Why do they continue the production and trafficking of weapons? Wars are the greatest cause of mortality. … I would say, do not think about whether or not it is lawful to heal on the Sabbath. I would like to say to humanity: ensure justice, and when everyone is healed, when there is no more injustice in this world, we can talk about the Sabbath.

Please see the video for the full remarks:



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VIDEO: Pope says ‘fundamentalist’ Catholics do ‘great harm’ which ‘must be combated’

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

December 2, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- LifeSiteNews’ publication of a news story detailing the Pope Francis’ statements on the plane returning from Africa on November 30 has caused much reaction. I will admit it’s hard to believe the pope actually said what he did. I had the same reaction when I saw his comments to the Lutheran Church in Rome about Communion. I would have found it hard to believe if I couldn’t watch the video myself.

Some reaction to our coverage suggested that we used faulty translation and did not put the pope’s words into context. Therefore we’ve put together the video of the pope’s remarks on the plane about fundamentalist Catholics with the official Vatican English translations (Vatican Information Service) at the bottom of the video. In those instances where the Vatican omitted translation we’ve supplied the missing words.

Therefore you can see for yourself what the pope said, in the context given by the Vatican. We stand by our earlier coverage.

The Vatican’s own rendition says, “A French journalist asked whether, faced with the danger of fundamentalism, religious leaders should intervene in the political arena.”  As part of his response, according to the Vatican, the pope said, “Fundamentalism is a sickness that we find in all religions.” He added, “Among Catholics there are many, not a few, many, who believe to hold the absolute truth and they go ahead by harming others with slander and defamation, and they do great harm…  And it must be combated.”

Please see the video for the full remarks:



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