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Todd Starnes.Liberty University / YouTube

November 9, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Former Fox News personality Todd Starnes revealed this morning that the channel — once the go-to news source for social conservatives — long ago banned any reporting defending religious liberty against LGBT ideology or reflecting negatively on LGBT activists. 

“In my final year at Fox News Channel, my editors told me that I could no longer write any columns defending religious liberty against the LGBT movement,” wrote Starnes in a Facebook posting

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PETITION: Ask Pope Francis to clarify and rectify scandalous remarks on homosexual civil unions
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Remarks attributed to Pope Francis (and, not denied by the Vatican) in support of homosexual civil unions have caused grave scandal to the faithful.

Please SIGN this urgent petition which asks Pope Francis to clarify and rectify these heterodox and scandalous remarks on homosexual civil unions, and which will be delivered both to the Vatican and to the Papal Nuncio of the United States (the Pope's official representative in the U.S.).

As the last guarantor of the Faith, the Pope should clarify and rectify these remarks, which go against the perennial teaching of the Church, even including the teaching of his living predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

"What we have to create is a law of civil coexistence [meaning civil union law, for homosexuals]...," Pope Francis is reported to have remarked, in what is arguably his clearest statement of public support for a practice morally prohibited by official Catholic Church teaching.

In fact, the Church has been crystal clear in Her opposition to homosexual unions.

Just in 2003, Pope Saint John Paul II approved a document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, titled 'Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions between Homosexual Persons' and written by Cardinal Ratzinger (now, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI), which concludes with the following:

"The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself."

It could not be more clear: the Church is calling people to repentance, not to be left to indulge in grave sin.

Since becoming public, several senior prelates as well as other notable Catholic figures have voiced their opposition to these remarks attributed to the Pontiff.

Cardinal Raymond Burke stated: "It is a source of deepest sadness and pressing pastoral concern that the private opinions reported with so much emphasis by the press and attributed to Pope Francis do not correspond to the constant teaching of the Church, as it is expressed in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition."

Cardinal Gerhard Müller commented: "Where there is tension between the plain and obvious Word of God and the infallible interpretation on the one hand, and private expressions of opinion even by the highest church authorities on the other, the principle always applies: in dubio pro DEO [When in doubt, be in favor of God]."

And, Catholic theologian and apologist Scott Hahn, without directly quoting Pope Francis, shared on Facebook the 'Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons,' published by the CDF in 1986, with the statement: "Holy Father, respectfully and humbly, I beg to differ... if that is indeed what you said. In any case, please clarify and rectify your statement, especially in view of the official teaching of our Lord through the magisterium of His Church."

But, the silence from the Vatican has been deafening, with no clarification forthcoming.

We must, therefore, ask the Pope for clarification in this serious matter.

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition which asks Pope Francis to clarify and rectify remarks attributed to him in support of homosexual civil unions.


'Cdl. Burke: Pope’s homosexual civil union remarks ‘contrary’ to Scripture, Tradition' -

'Cardinal says Catholics ‘can and should’ disagree with Pope’s ‘opinion’ on gay civil unions' -

'Archbishop Vigano, Bishops Tobin and Strickland respond to Pope’s approval of homosexual civil unions' -

'Pope’s comments on gay civil unions cause shockwaves around the world' -

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“They refused to publish any column that reflected negatively on LGBT activists,” said Starnes. “That’s when I figured my time at the Fox News Corner of the World was nearing an end.”

Fox News’s trend toward accepting homosexual romance and sexual activity as fully normal, and the move toward silencing social conservatives who object — the “gaying” of Fox News — has been clearly visible for anyone who cared to pay attention for quite some time. 

“It’s bad enough that Fox News supports same-sex marriage. Careful observers have been sounding the alarm on that for years,” said Peter Wolfgang, executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut. 

“But Todd Starnes’ post reveals more than just that,” Wolfgang told LifeSiteNews. “He has exposed the fact that when the LGBT agenda clashes with religious liberty, Fox News will side with the cultured despisers of our faith.”

“It is a betrayal of the viewers who built the network and made it the success it has been,” he said.

“Big Gay could never win in a democratic venue, which is why they went to the courts to impose their issues on all of us. And now, they work feverishly to silence dissenters,” Austin Ruse, author of the upcoming book No Finer Time to be a Faithful Catholic (Sophia Institute Press), told LifeSiteNews.

“I am shocked but not surprised that Fox News silenced Tod Starnes on this issue,” said Ruse. “After Obergefell other media outlets announced they would no longer allow dissenting voices in op-eds or letters to the editor. They say such views are tantamount to arguing for slavery. We must persevere, be brave, and daring. Speak truth always.” 

In early 2015, Bret Baier pulled out of a speech he was scheduled to deliver at the Legatus Summit, a gathering of Catholic business leaders, at the request of the Fox News Channel executives.

Baier was among three high-profile speakers to withdraw from the event after the homosexual activist group “Good As You” campaigned against Legatus, calling it a “very anti-gay organization of Catholics.” The other two were actor Gary Sinise and Molson Coors board chairman Peter Coors.

In reality, Fox News and Baier were reacting against the presence of another man slated to speak at the conference, Paul Darrow, a lifelong gay man and former international male model who converted to Catholicism, now lives a chaste life, and is a member of the Courage apostolate.

By pulling out of the event, Fox and Baier delivered a loud and clear message that they favor sodomy for gays over and above chastity.

“I am a lifelong Mass-attending Catholic — I’m a lector at my parish. I consider myself to be in line with my Church on most things,” Baier wrote. “This isn’t about me.”

“[D]escribing homosexuality as a ‘disorder’ and talking about ways to ‘cure’ people from it — does not seem to line up with the loving, accepting Church that I know,” Baier said. “Nor does it match up with how Pope Francis has talked about the issue recently.”

Yet sometimes — not all — the pope’s utterances about being gay don’t match up with the Church’s teaching and pastoral wisdom and, in fact, sharply challenge both. 

When Fox News political analyst Guy Benson announced his “engagement” to a man Twitter in 2018, Bret Baier tweeted back:

Other Fox News personalities, including Jonah Goldberg, also offered congratulations to Benson, as did folks at The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Examiner, and National Review.

In so doing, they reveal they are not true conservatives, and that the Catholics among them are not fully dedicated to Catholic teaching. They have a soft spot for romantic sodomy.

Our conservative urban elites — once reliable brethren and fellow travelers — have drifted into libertarianism in order to more comfortably accommodate their sophisticated secular values.

Libertarian, pro-LGBT views pretty much fully saturate Fox nowadays. The infiltration began long ago.

As far back as 2002, former Fox News heavyweight Bill O’Reilly said in an interview with gay-oriented The Advocate that he “couldn't care less, to tell you the truth. … You want to get married? Knock yourself out. Go to Vegas; have a good time.” Asked if he would oppose homosexual “marriage” if it were legalized, O’Reilly said, “If you can get that changed, I’m not going to jump up and down and say I think it’s wrong, because I don’t.”

Elsewhere, he explained, “I take a libertarian position on issues like gay marriage.”

O’Reilly, like Baier, is Catholic, yet LGBT ideology has lived more loudly in him, too,  than his Catholic faith.

The Fox News talent stable — past and present — remains packed with pro-gay libertarians (and some admittedly are self-proclaimed liberals) who often enjoy, at least for a time, reputations as conservatives: Margaret Hoover, Megyn Kelly, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Jamie Colby, Chris Wallace, Kelly Wright, and even Fox & Friends weatherman Rick Reichmuth. Conservative favorites Greg Gutfeld and Tucker Carlson have also expressed their support for sodomy.

Of all the Fox News Channel programming, The Five has had the highest density of pro-gay sentiment among its regulars: former host Eric Bolling, Dana Perino, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Greg Gutfeld, and Geraldo Rivera.

Lesbian Tammy Bruce has filled in for Tucker Carlson on his show. Perhaps ironically, Bruce has been more circumspect about same-sex “marriage” and the heavy-handed suppression of religious liberty of Christian conscientious objectors than some of her Catholic colleagues at Fox.

In addition to Benson and Bruce, there are others leading active gay lifestyles at Fox News.

Amy Walter, national editor of The Cook Political Report, who has often been part of Baier’s Special Report panel, has been “married” to a woman since 2013.

Shepard Smith, who officially came out in a speech at his alma mater a few years ago, said being gay is “not a thing. I go to work. I manage a lot of people. I cover the news. I deal with holy hell around me. I go home to the man I’m in love with.” His longtime “boyfriend,” a former production assistant on his show, was less than half the middle-aged network anchor’s age when they began dating.

Smith’s homosexuality was long known to his associates, and his pro-LGBT attitudes occasionally leapt out at viewers in editorial comments long before his “coming out.”

When Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who in 2015 was famously jailed for refusing to issue same-sex “marriage” licenses, Smith quipped, “Haters gonna hate.”

In 2012, Smith ridiculed “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” calling it a “National Day of Intolerance.”

Fox News presents itself as “Fair and Balanced,” except when it comes to reporting on religious liberty and LGBT issues.

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Doug Mainwaring is a journalist for LifeSiteNews, an author, and a marriage, family and children's rights activist.  He has testified before the United States Congress and state legislative bodies, originated and co-authored amicus briefs for the United States Supreme Court, and has been a guest on numerous TV and radio programs.  Doug and his family live in the Washington, DC suburbs.