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Bishop: Catholic Adoption Agencies Could Be Evicted for Defying Church Teaching on Homosexual Adopti

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By Hilary White

LANCASTER, UK, October 7, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A Catholic adoption agency in northwest England will face possible eviction from diocesan properties if its trustees do not reconsider a decision to comply with government demands to place children with homosexual partners. Bishop Patrick O’Donohue, head of the diocese of Lancaster, has warned Catholic Caring Services that it may not be as easy as they think to secularise their activities.

In a second vote, the trustees of Catholic Caring Services approved an "open policy" under which it will accept homosexual and lesbian partnerships for consideration.

Bishop O’Donohue wrote in a letter to trustees, "It is abundantly clear to me that you are adamant in your pursuit of an Open Policy, at variance with the Church’s teaching. As your Bishop, I cannot give permission to an agency of the Catholic Church to act in opposition to her teaching."

The bishop said that he has received legal advice that under British law, a registered charity established for a religious purpose and subject to the scrutiny of the Charities Commission, does not have the legal right arbitrarily to change its constituted religious nature and purpose.   

"Catholic Caring Services," he wrote, "is a Catholic Charity and was established with Catholic money provided to it in the belief that Catholic Caring Services Trustees would use that money in accordance with Catholic teaching." The bishop asserts that the trustees are obliged to investigate "all possible means" to act in accordance with Catholic doctrine as well as in accordance with the law of the land.

Should they fail to attempt to retain their religious purpose, he said, the diocese would withdraw all funding, and, most crucially, conduct a review of the terms of leases on properties to determine "whether there is any potential breach of the terms of occupation." Currently Catholic Caring Services leases three properties from the diocese, one of which is a residential therapeutic children’s home in Preston, Lancashire that has accommodation for eight difficult to place children with emotional, behavioural difficulties, and with learning and physical disabilities.

Legal counsel and experts in adoption have advised the diocese that there are several possible legal routes that would allow both compliance with the law and adherence to Catholic teaching. One such means is Regulation 18 of the Sexual Orientation Regulations (SORs) that says, "Nothing in these regulations shall make it unlawful for a person to provide benefits only to persons of a particular sexual orientation" if acting "in pursuance of a charitable instrument." Together with a clause in the Equality Act that prohibits public authorities from discriminating against religious bodies, Regulation 18 would protect the agency, but only if it were to act in complete accordance with Catholic teaching.

These regulations, the dioceses’ lawyers have said, could be interpreted and defended as a means by which Catholic adoption agencies could restrict consideration for adoption to heterosexual couples. The bishop points out in his letter that the Church is as entitled as "any other group of citizens to use the law, to take advantage of exemptions within the law and if necessary to argue with public officials about their interpretation of the law."

"It is worth noting," he added, "that most advances for ‘Gay Rights’ were won because Homosexual groups were prepared to use Human Rights laws to argue their cause."

The first line in the legal documents establishing the agency as a registered charity, says that Catholic Caring Services exists "[t]o further the general charitable works of the Roman Catholic Church." The lawyer for the diocese of Lancaster suggested adding to these documents wording that would prohibit the agency from engaging "in any activity which it knows, or reasonably believes, is contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church," and that the final decision on what these teachings are will lie with the bishop of Lancaster.

Bishop O’Donohue wrote, "It is unthinkable, indeed heart-breaking, that Catholic Caring Services, so linked to the Catholic Church since its inception, would abandon its position and capitulate to recent same-sex adoption legislation."

Bishop O’Donohue reiterated the Catholic teaching on the nature and purpose of marriage and said that given these, "we believe that same-sex partnerships do not provide the essential characteristics necessary for the well being and development of the child."

"I remain convinced that the best interests of children are served when they live with and are brought up by a married couple."

Several Catholic adoption agencies, all of which are charitable institutions governed by the same Charities Commission rules, have chosen to sever their association with the Catholic Church and comply with the government’s insistence that homosexual partners be considered on equal terms as married couples.     

In June this year, the Catholic Children’s Society of the three southern dioceses of Southwark, Arundel and Brighton, and Portsmouth announced that they would be complying with the SORs, saying they feared crippling lawsuits. The Society reported to be considering a simple change of name to the ‘Cabrini Children’s Society" and told LifeSiteNews.com that it expects to continue receiving funding from Catholic parishes and schools. A spokesman said, "We are a social care agency, not a ministry of the Catholic Church."

"We are making a stand to safeguard children and we’ve had to make certain concessions to do that," she said. The organization insisted they will be maintaining a "Catholic ethos" but failed to define this, saying only that the Society will continue to work within the framework of "fundamental Catholic values."

Read related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:

Bishop of Lancaster Proposes Catholic Solution to Catholic Adoption Agency Crisis
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/jun/08060210.html

UK Catholic Church Agency to Cease Adoption Work as Government Forces Homosexual Adoption
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/jul/07072706.html

Another UK Catholic Adoption Agency Opts for Secularisation
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/sep/08092305.html

Catholic Adoption Agency Drops Association with Catholic Church to Comply with Homosexual Adoption Law
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/jun/08062608.html



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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.
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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.

RELATED

Famed German Catholic philosopher makes waves for criticizing Pope Francis’ ‘autocratic’ style



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

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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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