Jon Fidero

An encouraging letter

Jon Fidero
Jon Fidero

I have spoken with many Canadian Catholic donors about their frustrations over the silence and dreadful weakness of most of their bishops on the pro-life and pro-family struggles. 

This is a serious situation that is of course not unique to Catholic leaders in Canada. We have frequently heard the same dismay about poor leadership expressed by Christians of other denominations and faithful Jews and in other western nations. 

As Rabbi Yehuda Levin proclaimed in a powerful Friday LifeSiteNews story, ultimately the responsibility for the decaying morality of modern society lies with religious leaders, who have not acted with sufficient vigor to counteract such trends.

But I want to share with you today a little bit of sunshine.  We must not despair, for there are many who still do stand in this fight and, because of them, the truth ultimately will prevail. 

We just received a letter sent to LifeSiteNews from a Canadian Catholic priest.  It should be encouraging for Catholics and non-Catholics alike. We regularly receive similar correspondence or comments from numerous other priests and from clergy of other denominations who are devoted LifeSiteNews readers.

The letter is published below with the priest’s name withheld:

  • “I have been looking for some worthy organizations to support financially, and have no doubt that LifeSiteNews is one of them.  I have just sent you my donation of $100 to show my support for your excellent ministry to the Church and to the world.

    As a priest, it would be a strong understatement to say that I am disappointed by the actions of my fellow brother in the Priesthood, Fr. Gravel. I wholeheartedly support LifeSiteNews in your fight for the Truth, and offer my donation in reparation for Fr. Gravel’s behaviour toward you.

    I promise to keep you in my prayers at the altar, as I ask Our Lord and Our Lady to bless your apostolate and make it bear much fruit.

    Unfortunately, many of today’s clergy have still not fully understood the enormous importance of your work, and of speaking the Truth to the world—even when that Truth is not “politically correct” or convenient to say. 

    I must say that it is faithful organizations and people like those at LifeSiteNews that bring the most joy to my Priesthood and to my priestly ministry.

    I fully applaud LifeSiteNews in their unabashed reporting of the Truth, and for their unconditional stance in favour of Life.  After all, didn’t Our Lord Himself say, “I am the Life”?

    I intend to contribute further to LifeSiteNews, as I am able.  For now, I offer my $100 donation as a small token of my immense gratitude and appreciation for all that you at LifeSiteNews do.

    - Anonymous
    Associate Pastor

  • Coupled with recent appointments of especially faithful and aware new bishops in Canada and the United States, it appears that the long and arduous task of turning the tide in North America is now finally underway.

    The recent development of all the US Catholic bishops together with Evangelical and other religious leaders boldly acting against the tyrannical Obamacare mandate is another sign that the Church is awakening from its long sleep.

    Maybe the young priest who sent this letter will one day be elevated into the ranks of that growing new breed of fearless, evangelizing bishops that are creating new hope. We will do whatever we can to help them restore a Culture of Life.

    Tomorrow is the last day of our Spring Campaign.  Right now we are $40,000 shy of our goal.

    We hope that more of our regular readers will find in us a “worthy organization to support financially,” as this priest has.  If you haven’t already, please donate today!

    Help LifeSiteNews continue its “unabashed reporting of the Truth,” and help continue to turn the tides.

    Jon Fidero
    Development and Fundraising

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    Today’s chuckle: Rubio, Fiorina and Carson pardon a Thanksgiving turkey

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    By Steve Jalsevac

    A little bit of humour now and then is a good thing.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all our American readers.

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    Building of the European Court of Human Rights.
    Lianne Laurence


    BREAKING: Europe’s top human rights court slaps down German ban on pro-life leafletting

    Lianne Laurence
    By Lianne Laurence

    STRASBOURG, France, November 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that a German regional court violated a pro-life activist’s freedom of expression when it barred him from leafleting in front of an abortion center.

    It further ruled the German court’s order that Klaus Gunter Annen not list the names of two abortion doctors on his website likewise violated the 64-year-old pro-life advocate’s right to freedom of expression.

    The court’s November 26 decision is “a real moral victory,” says Gregor Puppinck, director of the Strasbourg-based European Center for Law and Justice, which intervened in Annen’s case. “It really upholds the freedom of speech for pro-life activists in Europe.”

    Annen, a father of two from Weinam, a mid-sized city in the Rhine-Neckar triangle, has appealed to the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights at least two times before, Puppinck told LifeSiteNews.

    “This is the first time he made it,” he said, noting that this time around, Annen had support from the ECLJ and Alliance Defense Fund and the German Pro-life Federation (BVL). “I think he got more support, better arguments and so I think this helped.”

    The court also ordered the German government to pay Annen costs of 13,696.87 EUR, or 14,530 USD.

    Annen started distributing pamphlets outside a German abortion center ten years ago, ECLJ stated in a press release.

    His leaflets contained the names and addresses of the two abortionists at the center, declared they were doing “unlawful abortions,” and stated in smaller print that, “the abortions were allowed by the German legislators and were not subject to criminal liability.”

    Annen’s leaflets also stated that, “The murder of human beings in Auschwitz was unlawful, but the morally degraded NS State allowed the murder of innocent people and did not make it subject to criminal liability.” They referred to Annen’s website,, which listed a number of abortionists, including the two at the site he was leafleting.

    In 2007, a German regional court barred Annen from pamphleteering in the vicinity of the abortion center, and ordered him to drop the name of the two abortion doctors from his website.

    But the European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that the German courts had "failed to strike a fair balance between [Annen’s] right to freedom of expression and the doctor’s personality rights.”

    The Court stated that, “there can be no doubt as to the acute sensitivity of the moral and ethical issues raised by the question of abortion or as to the importance of the public interest at stake.”

    That means, stated ECLJ, that “freedom of expression in regard to abortion shall enjoy a full protection.”

    ECLJ stated that the court noted Annen’s leaflets “made clear that the abortions performed in the clinic were not subject to criminal liability. Therefore, the statement that ‘unlawful abortions’ were being performed in the clinic was correct from a legal point of view.”

    As for the Holocaust reference, the court stated that, “the applicant did not – at least not explicitly – equate abortion with the Holocaust.”  Rather, the reference was “a way of creating awareness of the more general fact that law might diverge from morality.”

    The November 26 decision “is a quite good level of protection of freedom of speech for pro-life people,” observed Puppinck.

    First, the European Court of Human Rights has permitted leafleting “in the direct proximate vicinity of the clinic, so there is no issue of zoning,” he told LifeSiteNews. “And second, the leaflets were mentioning the names of the doctors, and moreover, were mentioning the issue of the Holocaust, which made them quite strong leaflets.”

    “And the court protected that.”

    Annen has persevered in his pro-life awareness campaign through the years despite the restraints on his freedom.

    “He did continue, and he did adapt,” Puppinck told LifeSiteNews. “He kept his freedom of speech as much as he could, but he continued to be sanctioned by the German authorities, and each time he went to the court of human rights. And this time, he won.”

    ECLJ’s statement notes that “any party” has three months to appeal the November 26 decision.

    However, as it stands, the European Court of Human Rights’s ruling affects “all the national courts,” noted Puppinck, and these will now “have to protect freedom of speech, recognize the freedom of speech for pro-lifers.”

    “In the past, the courts have not always been very supportive of the freedom of speech of pro-life,” he said, so the ruling is “significant.”

    As for Annen’s pro-life ministry, Pubbinck added: “He can continue to go and do, and I’m sure that he does, because he always did.”  

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    A vibrant church in Africa. Pierre-Yves Babelon /
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    , ,

    ‘Soft racism’: German Bishops’ website attributes African Catholics’ strong faith to simplemindedness

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    By Pete Baklinski

    GERMANY, November 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) --  The only reason the Catholic Church is growing in Africa is because the people have a “rather low level” of education and accept “simple answers to difficult questions” involving marriage and sexuality, posited an article on the official website of the German Bishops' Conference posted yesterday. The article targeted particularly Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea, the Vatican's prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and ardent defender of Catholic tradition.

    First Things blogger Leroy Huizenga, who translated a portion of the article, criticized the article's view as “soft racism.”

    In his article, titled “The Romantic, Poor Church,” editor Björn Odendahl writes: 

    So also in Africa. Of course the Church is growing there. It grows because the people are socially dependent and often have nothing else but their faith. It grows because the educational situation there is on average at a rather low level and the people accept simple answers to difficult questions (of faith) [sic]. Answers like those that Cardinal Sarah of Guinea provides. And even the growing number of priests is a result not only of missionary power but also a result of the fact that the priesthood is one of the few possibilities for social security on the dark continent.

    Huizenga said that such an article has no place on a bishops’ conference website. 

    “We all know that the German Bishops' Conference is one of the most progressive in the world. But it nevertheless beggars belief that such a statement would appear on the Conference's official website, with its lazy slander of African Christians and priests as poor and uneducated (Odendahl might as well have added ‘easy to command’) and its gratuitous swipe at Cardinal Sarah,” he wrote. 

    “Natürlich progressives could never be guilty of such a sin and crime, but these words sure do suggest soft racism, the racism of elite white Western paternalism,” he added. 

    African prelates have gained a solid reputation for being strong defenders of Catholic sexual morality because of their unwavering orthodox input into the recently concluded Synod on the Family in Rome. 

    At one point during the Synod, Cardinal Robert Sarah urged Catholic leaders to recognize as the greatest modern enemies of the family what he called the twin “demonic” “apocalyptic beasts” of “the idolatry of Western freedom” and “Islamic fundamentalism.”

    STORY: Cardinal Danneels warns African bishops to avoid ‘triumphalism’

    “What Nazi-Fascism and Communism were in the 20th century, Western homosexual and abortion ideologies and Islamic fanaticism are today,” he said during his speech at the Synod last month. 

    But African prelates’ adherence to orthodoxy has earned them enemies, especially from the camp of Western prelates bent on forming the Catholic Church in their own image and likeness, not according to Scripture, tradition, and the teaching magisterium of the Church. 

    During last year’s Synod, German Cardinal Walter Kasper went as far as stating that the voice of African Catholics in the area of Church teaching on homosexuality should simply be dismissed.

    African cardinals “should not tell us too much what we have to do,” he said in an October 2014 interview with ZENIT, adding that African countries are "very different, especially about gays.” 

    Earlier this month Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels, instead of praising Africa for its vibrant and flourishing Catholicism, said that African prelates will one day have to look to Europe to get what he called “useful tips” on how to deal with “secularization” and “individualism.” 

    The statement was criticized by one pro-family advocate as “patronizing of the worst kind” in light of the facts that numerous European churches are practically empty, vocations to the priesthood and religious life are stagnant, and the Catholic faith in Europe, especially in Belgium, is overall in decline.

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