Jon Fidero

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An encouraging letter

Jon Fidero
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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
    LifeSiteNews.com



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    Prof. Robert Spaemann, a close friend of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, says Amoris Laetitia directly contradicts St. John Paul II’s teaching.
    Claire Chretien Claire Chretien

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    Pope’s exhortation is a ‘breach’ with Catholic Tradition: leading German philosopher

    Claire Chretien Claire Chretien

    April 28, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – A prominent Catholic philosopher and close friend of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said Thursday that Pope Francis’s exhortation Amoris Laetitia is a “breach” with Catholic tradition and directly contradicts the teachings of Pope St. John Paul II in his exhortation Familiaris Consortio.

    "If the pope is not willing to make a correction, it is up to another pontificate to officially put things back into order."

    Professor Robert Spaemann told the Catholic News Agency’s German branch that changing the Church’s sacramental practice would be “a breach with its essential anthropological and theological teaching on human marriage and sexuality.”

    “It is clear to every thinking person who knows the texts that are important in this context that [with Amoris Laetitia] there is a breach” with the Church’s Tradition, Spaemann said.

    The professor’s remarks were translated by Dr. Maike Hickson in an article at OnePeterFive.

    In Familiaris Consortio, Pope St. John Paul II upheld the Church’s longstanding approach to the question of admitting to the Sacraments remarried divorcees, by writing:

    …the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church's teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.

    Footnote 351 of Amoris Laetitia seemingly contradicts the above passage by asserting that in certain cases, integrating back into the Church the divorced and remarried and others in “irregular” situations “can include the help of the sacraments.”  The footnote then mentions both Confession and the Eucharist.

    Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Maria Santissima in Astana, Kazakhstan criticized Amoris Laetitia for its lack of clarity on the subject.  “Analyzing some of the affirmations of AL with an honest understanding, as they are in their own context, one finds that there is a difficulty in interpreting them according to the traditional doctrine of the Church,” wrote Schneider.

    Spaemann also condemned the exhortation’s seeming embrace of “situation ethics” as opposed to universal norms and its call to not judge people’s actions that directly contradict the Church’s sexual ethics.

    “When it comes to sexual relations which are in objective contradiction to the Christian order of life, I would like to know from the pope after which time period and under which conditions such an objectively sinful behavior becomes a conduct which is pleasing to God,” said Spaemann. 

    By turning “chaos into principle” with “one stroke of a pen,” Pope Francis is leading the Church “into the direction of schism,” Spaemann said—and he warned that such a schism would not be “at the periphery, but in the middle of the Church.” 

    Spaemann also warned that Amoris Laetitia may be used to bully faithful priests. He wrote:

    Each individual cardinal, as well as each bishop and each priest is now called to preserve in his field of authority the Catholic Sacramental Order and to confess it publicly. If the pope is not willing to make a correction, it is up to another pontificate to officially put things back into order.

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    The Institute for Family Health, a federally qualified health center, has been running an abortion facility in apparent violation of federal law.
    Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

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    Federally funded community health center may have illegally performed abortions: Report

    Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

    WASHINGTON, D.C., April 28, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – A federally qualified health center (FQHC) apparently performed abortions, although nearly all federal funds are forbidden from being used for that purpose, sources tell LifeSiteNews. Now, pro-life congressmen are demanding further investigations into the use of U.S. taxpayer funds to promote abortion-on-demand.

    The issue came to light when a federal inspector general's report found that six Americorps volunteers had been acting as "abortion doulas," giving emotional support to women who chose to have abortions.

    The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) allowed the volunteers – who received tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars – to support abortions that took place inside a New York abortion facility run by the Institute for Family Health (IFH).

    Americorps “volunteers” illegally supporting abortion at taxpayer expense is an ongoing problem. But there's more to the story.

    The IFH proudly advertises itself as a federally qualified health center (FQHC). Federal dollars are restricted from underwriting most abortion at FQHCs, in line with the Hyde Amendment. This does not hold true for the Affordable Care Act, conventionally known as ObamaCare.

    To ease qualms raised by pro-life Democrat Bart Stupak and others, on March 24, 2010, Barack Obama signed Executive Order 13535. It states that “the Hyde [Amendment] language shall apply to the authorization and appropriations of funds for Community Health Centers...I hereby direct the Secretary of HHS to ensure that program administrators and recipients of federal funds are aware of and comply with the limitations on abortion services imposed on CHCs by existing law.”

    Pro-life groups warned at the time that an executive order was insufficient to prevent taxpayer funding of abortion, and the law itself had to be amended – or defeated.

    Stupak, who voted for ObamaCare before retiring from Congress, later said he was “perplexed and disappointed” by President Obama's “double cross” during the law's implementation.

    Pro-life experts today say Congress must investigate whether the law is being violated and, if so, if the offense is isolated to IFH.

    "For years the Obama administration has claimed that the Affordable Care Act and federally-funded health centers do not subsidize abortion, and the president finally signed additional provisions, passed last year by Congress, to ensure that community health centers do not use federal funds to support abortion,” said Arina Grossu, the director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council. “Now we learn that CNCS is violating the law by helping women obtain abortions.”

    “This blatant violation of federal law by CNCS and AmeriCorps demands that Congress investigate government-funded community health centers,” Grossu said. “It's time for this administration to stop foisting its radical abortion agenda on the American people and using their tax dollars to do so.” 

    Pro-life advocates have long said that there is no need to fund Planned Parenthood, because federal women's health dollars could be reappropriated to FQHCs, which do not perform abortion.

    There are 9,170 federally qualified health centers compared to about 700 Planned Parenthood facilities, according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute. FQHCs see 21.1 million patients a year, while Planned Parenthood saw 2.8 million people, the institute reported.

    The latest example of federal dollars being channeled to support abortion, the law notwithstanding, has undermined some confidence in the FQHCs.

    Rep. Diane Black, a pro-life Republican from Tennessee, said, “NACHC didn’t just break the rules; they broke trust with the American people. My constituents expect that federal funding given to our community health centers will be used to protect and enhance people’s lives, not to be a willing partner in their destruction.”

    At least two Congressional leaders – the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the chair of the House Health Subcommittee – have promised they will take action immediately.

    “Federal law demands that taxpayer dollars are never to be spent on abortion activities. Not one penny. Period. But a disturbing report from an independent watchdog reveals that was not the case with brazen pursuits by the National Association of Community Health Centers,” said Congressmen Fred Upton and Joseph Pitts of Pennsylvania, both Republicans. “The law was violated and this shameful failure of trust will not be tolerated.”



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    Abortion lobbyists demand Ted Cruz renounce pro-life leader Troy Newman

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    WICHITA, Kansas, April 28, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The nation's largest abortion providers, an abortion lobbying group, and an ultra-liberal political organization are demanding that Senator Ted Cruz cut ties with Operation Rescue President Troy Newman – something that only proves how effective he has been, Newman's organization says.

    Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and People for the American Way are asking Cruz to fire Newman as national co-chair of the “Pro-Lifers for Cruz” coalition, claiming that Newman supports violence.

    “Troy Newman’s history of violent rhetoric and harassment toward women’s health providers is truly beyond the pale,” the three say in a letter to Sen. Cruz, linking to quotations from his 2000 book, Their Blood Cries Out.

    “What Planned Parenthood and their cohorts call 'violent rhetoric' is really a discussion of Old Testament Bible verses taken out of context,” said Cheryl Sullenger of Operation Rescue and co-author of the book Their Blood Cries Out. The work establishes the sinful guilt of abortion before highlighting the mercy available in the New Testament for those who accept Jesus Christ, Sullenger said.

    The letter also cites a report from the National Abortion Federation stating that abortionists have experienced an increase in “hate speech and internet harassment” since the release of CMP's undercover videos of Planned Parenthood, “which Newman was a driving force behind.”

    “What they call 'harassment' is peaceful activism that is completely protected by the First Amendment,” Sullenger responded.

    Newman has consistently denounced criminal action and violence of any kind during his decades in the pro-life movement, Operation Rescue said of the allegations – many of which were circulated to prevent Newman from entering Australia last year.

    “Newman’s position on abortion-related violence is clear. He denounces violence against abortion providers as well as the violence perpetrated by the abortion cartel against innocent babies in the womb and their mothers,” Sullenger said.

    “Attacking the messenger is the only way they have to try to discredit the hefty volume of evidence against them. This most recent attack is all about manipulating the public’s perception against those who exposed Planned Parenthood in order to deflect attention from their own crimes.”

    But the three groups poured vitriolic scorn on Newman. Michael Keegan, president of People for the American Way, called Newman's role “completely unacceptable...No politician should be allowed to pander to violent anti-choice extremists without being called out.”

    NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue said, "Troy Newman is an anti-choice extremist and misogynist ideologue.”

    A Planned Parenthood executive said the choice proved Sen. Cruz and his vice presidential choice, Carly Fiorina, are unfit for office.

    “It is not surprising to see Ted Cruz embrace this type of violent extremism -- after all this is the same man who has told malicious lies about Planned Parenthood, would criminalize abortion, and tried to shut down the government” to defund Planned Parenthood, said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “This is what the Cruz-Fiorina ticket stands for."

    Sullenger dismissed their rhetoric as “a feeble attempt to hurt the presidential candidacy of Sen. Ted Cruz, who they know will seek to enforce the laws against them.”

    Cruz has repeatedly stated that, if he is elected president, he will defund Planned Parenthood – before prosecuting them.

    Their letter has led to a number of articles in the mainstream media, including Politico, the Huffington Post, and Glamour. The last publication, a feminist magazine aimed at young women, slammed Ted Cruz's choice of Carly Fiorina for vice president, telling its readers to “hold on to your uterus.”

    “Not one of these publications bothered to reach out to Newman or Operation Rescue’s staff for their response,” Sullenger said.

    This morning and afternoon, both sides of the abortion debate have used the Twitter hashtag #FireTroy to get their message across.

    Sen. Cruz has not responded to the call, but the letter implies that purging Newman from the campaign would not satisfy the pro-abortion coalition. “There are a number of coalition members whose records raise serious concerns,” they say.



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