Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

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Cardinal Bertone overrules Vatican CDF head on “Catholic” status of rebel Peru university

Hilary White, Rome Correspondent
Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

ROME, February 21, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In a highly unusual move, the Vatican curia’s highest official, the Cardinal Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone, has reportedly corrected the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in a dispute over a rebel Peruvian university. According to a report by La Stampa’s Vatican Insider magazine, Cardinal Bertone and a meeting of high-level Vatican officials have declared that a letter by Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller to Cardinal Juan Cipriani Thorne, the archbishop of Lima, Peru, is “null and void” and that Cardinal Cipriani’s actions against the former Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PCUP) were correct and within the precepts of Canon Law.

Vatican Insider reports that a controversy has flared within the Vatican over the actions taken by the Secretariat of State and Cardinal Cipriani against PCUP, whose theology department is known for opposing Catholic teaching on homosexuality and abortion.

The university received a papal decree dated July 11, 2012 from Cardinal Bertone withdrawing the titles “Pontifical” and “Catholic” and rescinding the licenses of the theology faculty to teach Catholic doctrine in the name of the Church. But the professors appealed to the CDF and Müller, who had been a student of Liberation Theology founder Gustavo Gutiérrez, a PCUP professor with whom Müller has had a long and close friendship.

The Vatican Insider says that Müller, an outsider to Vatican curial procedures, wrote a personal letter to Cardinal Cipriani reportedly without consulting his own staff in the CDF, bypassing the normal channels of the Peruvian nunciature. The letter, the text of which was published in part by the Peruvian press, told Cipriani that he had no right to revoke the university’s status. Müller demanded an explanation for the decision to not renew the licenses of theology professors. Müller had, moreover, told the university theology department to carry on teaching in the name of the Church, indicating that the issue is not yet closed in the Vatican.

Bertone reportedly responded to the letter by calling a meeting of high officials in the Vatican who rebuked Müller’s interference. Bertone said that Canon Law is clear that it is the prerogative of the local bishop to grant or revoke the teaching license of any individual or institution proposing to teach Catholic theology.

At the time of his appointment, Archbishop Müller was widely perceived to be sympathetic to theologians involved in Liberation Theology, a synthesis of Christian ideas and Marxism that was censured in the 1980s and ‘90s by then-Cardinal Ratzinger. Müller, a close collaborator with Ratzinger, came to Rome in July 2012 at Pope Benedict’s request from the archdiocese of Regensburg. His friendly relationship with PCUP is highlighted by his reception in 2008 of a doctorate honoris causa from the university.

The controversy comes at a time of extreme delicacy in the life of the Vatican, with scandal swirling around the unpopular Bertone, the pope resigning and a looming conclave that could change the entire curial landscape.

Müller’s sidestepping of the Secretariat of State, formally above the CDF in the Vatican’s hierarchy, and in defiance of a papally approved decree is a major breach of protocol. The rebuke from Bertone’s Secretariat of State to the CDF is being seen in Rome as a serious blow to the authority and prestige of the recently appointed Müller, and indirectly to Pope Benedict. It is being called another indicator of the state of near-chaos and rivalry that prevails in the Vatican.

The university administration and theology faculty has remained defiant, claiming the university has a right to the name Catholic, and say they have no plans to change it. A former PCUP rector, Salomon Lerner Febres wrote on January 13th in La República, that the decree is a “decision not in line with the spirit of the Gospel” aimed not at promoting Catholic doctrinal orthodoxy, but at suppressing Liberation Theology.

Cardinal Cipriani, the university’s Great Chancellor, issued the decree after months of talks between the archdiocese and Rome, but the problems date back decades. Founded in 1917, the Vatican says that since 1967 the university “has on various occasions unilaterally modified its statutes, seriously prejudicing the interests of the Church.”

The Vatican and the local Church have been trying to bring PUCP back into line with Catholic teaching since at least 1990 when Pope John Paul II promulgated the law on Catholic universities, the Apostolic Constitution “Ex Corde Ecclesiae”. As of today, the university still bills itself as the “Pontifical Catholic University of Peru”.

Andres Alvarez Beltramo wrote for Vatican Insider that the “very existence of the letter” was seen at the university as “an encouragement” for the rector Marcial Rubio and his collaborators, who have long refused the requests of Church officials to comply with the Vatican’s requests.

See previous LifeSiteNews reports:

Vatican gives ultimatum to wayward Catholic university: conform to Church law by April 8

Ultraliberal Catholic University and Vatican at an “impasse”

Pro-abortion university defiant in face of Vatican ruling stripping it of ‘Catholic’ name

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Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

Pelosi asked: Is unborn baby with human heart a ‘human being’? Responds: ‘I am a devout Catholic’

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By Dustin Siggins

Tell Nancy Pelosi: No, supporting abortion and gay 'marriage' is not Catholic. Sign the petition. Click here.

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 2, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- Top Democrat Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, won't say whether an unborn child with a “human heart” and a “human liver” is a human being.

Pelosi, who is the Minority Leader in the House, was asked a question about the issue by CNS News at a press conference last week. The conservative news outlet asked, "In reference to funding for Planned Parenthood: Is an unborn baby with a human heart and a human liver a human being?”

Pelosi stumbled over her answer, saying, “Why don't you take your ideological questions--I don't, I don't have—”

CNS then asked her, "If it's not a human being, what species is it?”

It was then that Pelosi got back on stride, swatting aside the question with her accustomed reference to her “devout” Catholic faith.

“No, listen, I want to say something to you,” she said. “I don't know who you are and you're welcome to be here, freedom of this press. I am a devout practicing Catholic, a mother of five children. When my baby was born, my fifth child, my oldest child was six years old. I think I know more about this subject than you, with all due respect.”

“So it's not a human being, then?” pressed CNS, to which Pelosi said, “And I do not intend to respond to your questions, which have no basis in what public policy is that we do here.”

Pelosi has long used her self-proclaimed status as a “devout” practicing Catholic to promote abortion.

In response to a reporter’s question a proposed ban on late-term abortion in 2013, Pelosi said that the issue of late-term abortion is "sacred ground" for her.

"As a practicing and respectful Catholic, this is sacred ground to me when we talk about this," Pelosi said. "This shouldn't have anything to do with politics."

In 2008, she was asked by then-Meet the Press host David Gregory about when life begins. Pelosi said that "as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue I have studied for a long time. And what I know is that over the centuries, the doctors of the Church have not been able to make that definition....We don't know."

The Church has always taught that unborn human life is to be protected, and that such life is created at the moment of conception.

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New video: Planned Parenthood abortionist jokes about harvesting baby’s brains, getting ‘intact’ head

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By Ben Johnson

I interviewed my friend, David Daleiden, about his important work exposing Planned Parenthood's baby body parts trade on the Glenn Beck Program. David urged Congress to hold Planned Parenthood accountable and to demand the full truth. He also released never-before-seen footage showing a Planned Parenthood abortionist callously discussing how to obtain an intact brain from aborted babies.

Posted by Lila Rose on Monday, October 5, 2015


Sign the petition to defund Planned Parenthood here

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 5, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) - In the newest video footage released by the Center for Medical Progress, a Planned Parenthood abortionist laughs as she discusses her hope of removing the intact "calvarium," or skull, of an unborn baby while preserving both lobes of the brain.

She also describes how she first dismembers babies up to twenty weeks gestation, including two twenty-week babies she said she aborted the week before.

Dr. Amna Dermish, an abortionist with Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, told undercover investigators she had never been able to remove the calivarium (skull) of an aborted child "intact," but she hopes to.

"Maybe next time," the investigator said.

"I know, right?" Dr. Dermish replied. "Well, this'll give me something to strive for."

Dermish, who performs abortions up to the 20-week legal limit in Austin, then described the method she used to collect fetal brain and skull specimens.

"If it’s a breech presentation [in which the baby is born feet first] I will remove the extremities first - the lower extremities - and then go for the spine," she began.

She then slides the baby down the birth canal until she can snip the spinal cord.

The buyer noted that intact organs fetch higher prices from potential buyers, who seek them for experimentation.

"I always try to keep the trunk intact," she said.

"I don't routinely convert to breech, but I will if I have to," she added.

Converting a child to the breech position is the first step of the partial birth abortion procedure. The procedure has been illegal since President Bush signed legislation in 2003 making it a federal felony punishable by two years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

According to CMP lead investigator David Daleiden, who debuted the video footage during an interview with Lila Rose on The Blaze TV, Dr. Dermish was trained by Planned Parenthood's senior director of medical services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola.

Dr. Nucatola was caught on the first CMP undercover video, discussing the side industry while eating a salad and drinking red wine during a business luncheon.

Between sips, she described an abortion process that legal experts believe is a partial birth abortion, violating federal law.

“The federal abortion ban is a law, and laws are up to interpretation,” Dr. Nucatola said on the undercover footage. “So, if I say on day one that I don't intend to do this, what ultimately happens doesn't matter.”

Daleiden told Rose he hoped that Congressional investigators would continue to pressure the organization about whether the abortion technique it uses violates federal law, as well as the $60-per-specimen fee the national organization has admitted some of its affiliates receive.

Trafficking in human body parts for "valuable consideration" is also a federal felony carrying a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

"That would be enough to construct a criminal case against Planned Parenthood," Daleiden said.

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Nancy Flanders


He used to be an abortionist; now, he fights to save the lives of the preborn

Nancy Flanders
By Nancy Flanders

October 5, 2015 (LiveActionNews) -- In 1976, Dr. Anthony Levatino, an OB/GYN, graduated from medical school and was, without a doubt, pro-abortion. He strongly supported abortion “rights” and believed abortion was a decision to be made between a woman and her doctor.

“A lot of people identify themselves as pro-life or pro-choice, but for so many people, it doesn’t really touch them personally; it doesn’t impact their lives in the way that I wish it would. If nothing more than in the voting booth, if nowhere else,” said Levatino in a speech for the Pro-Life Action League. “But when you’re an obstetrician / gynecologist and you say I’m pro-choice – well, that becomes rather a more personal thing because you’re the one who does the abortions and you have to make the decision of whether you’ll do that or not.”

Levatino learned how to do first and second trimester abortions. Thirty to forty years ago, second trimester abortions were done by saline injection, which was dangerous.

"For the first time in my life, after all those years, all those abortions, I really looked, I mean I really looked at that pile of goo on the side of the table that used to be somebody’s son or daughter and that’s all I could see."

At that same time, Levatino and his wife were struggling with fertility problems and were considering adoption. They knew however, how difficult it was to adopt a newborn.

“It was the first time that I had any doubts about what I was doing because I knew very well that part of the reason why it’s difficult to find children to adopt were that doctors like me were killing them in abortions,” said Levatino.

Finally, in 1978, the couple adopted their daughter, Heather. Right after the adoption, they discovered they were expecting a baby, and their son was born just 10 months later.

Levatino describes a “perfectly happy” life at this time and says that despite those first qualms about abortion, he went right back to work performing them.

In 1981, after graduating from his residency, Levatino joined an OB/GYN practice which also offered abortions as a service. Saline infusion was the most common method for second trimester abortions at the time, but it ran the risk of babies born alive. The procedures were also expensive, difficult, and required the mother to go through labor. Levatino and his partners trained themselves to perform the D&E abortion procedure, which is used today.

In his speech, he describes what it’s like to perform the now routine procedure:

You take an instrument like this called a sopher clamp and you basically – the surgery is that you literally tear a child to pieces. The suction is only for the fluid. The rest of it is literally dismembering a child piece by piece with an abortion instrument […] absolutely gut-wrenching procedure.

Over the next four years, Levatino would perform 1,200 abortions, over 100 of them D&E, second trimester abortions.

But then everything changed. On a beautiful day in June of 1984, the family was at home enjoying time with friends when Levatino heard tires squeal. The children were in the street and Heather had been hit by a car.

“She was a mess,” he explained. “And we did everything we possibly could. But she ultimately died, literally in our arms, on the way to the hospital that evening.”

After a while, Levatino had to return to work. And one day, his first D&E since the accident was on his schedule. He wasn’t really thinking about it or concerned. To him, it was going to be a routine procedure he had done many times before. Only it wasn’t.

“I started that abortion and I took that sopher clamp and I literally ripped out an arm or a leg and I just stared at it in the clamp. And I got sick,” he explained. “But you know something, when you start an abortion you can’t stop. If you don’t get all the pieces – and you literally stack them up on the side of the table […] your patient is going to come back infected, bleeding or dead. So I soldiered on and I finished that abortion.”

But by the time the abortion was complete, Levatino was beginning to feel a change of heart:

For the first time in my life, after all those years, all those abortions, I really looked, I mean I really looked at that pile of goo on the side of the table that used to be somebody’s son or daughter and that’s all I could see. I couldn’t see what a great doctor I was being. I didn’t see how I helped this woman in her crisis. I didn’t see the 600 dollars cash I had just made in 15 minutes. All I could see was somebody’s son or daughter. And after losing my daughter this was looking very, very different to me.

Levatino stopped performing second trimester abortions but continued to provide first trimester abortions for the next few months.

“Everybody puts doctors on a pedestal and we’re all supposed to be so smart but we’re no different than anybody else,” he said.

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He realized that killing a baby at 20 weeks gestation was exactly the same as killing one at nine weeks gestation or even two weeks gestation. He understood that it doesn’t matter how big or small the baby is, it’s a human life. He has not done an abortion since February 1985 and says there is no chance he will ever perform one again.

Adamant that he would never join the pro-life movement because of the media’s portrayal of pro-lifers as crazy, he was eventually invited to a pro-life potluck dinner where he met people who he realized were intelligent volunteers who spent their time defending preborn humans.

After that, Levatino began speaking out against abortion specifically with young people, graphically describing for them what an abortion really is.

Levatino has also testified before Congress, asking our government to end legal abortion.

Reprinted with permission from Live Action News

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