Catholic Relief Services gave over $13 million to pro-abortion group in 2012
BALTIMORE, July 10, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – As the U.S. Bishops’ development agency was taking heat last summer for handing out over $5 million to the abortion-supporting group CARE, they were in the midst of giving a total of $13.8 million in grants to the same pro-abortion group during 2012, according to its recently-published IRS filings.
While CARE claims it “does not fund, support or perform abortions,” in 2009 its president and CEO, Helene Gayle, appeared before a Senate committee to urge the funding of abortions abroad by overturning the Mexico City Policy. CARE also heavily distributes contraceptives, including the abortifacient “emergency contraception,” as part of its development efforts. Moreover, it partners with the illegal-abortion practitioner Marie Stopes International (page 4).
Susan Yoshihara of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) told LifeSiteNews last year that Gayle “is an avid advocate for an international human right to abortion-on-demand.”
Since LifeSiteNews’ coverage of CARE last summer, CARE issued a commitment at the Gates Foundation’s London Summit on Family Planning in which they pledged to put “reproductive rights” at the center of their work in the area of maternal health and to make “family planning” a priority in emergency services. Of the $13.8 million CRS gave to CARE in 2012, nearly $9 million was dedicated to “emergency services.”
According to the 990s, CRS gave CARE three separate grants in 2012: $4,752,008 for “agriculture”; $8,894,703 for “emergency”; and $233,432 for “welfare”.
Pro-life leaders react
Catholic pro-life leaders decried the news, saying it’s a scandal that a Church agency would support a group working against the Church’s efforts to promote a culture of life.
“Our pro-life educational and advocacy work is severely hampered, to the detriment of untold numbers of our brothers and sisters in the developing world, when groups like CARE can say that they enjoy a good working relationship with the Catholic Church,” said Fr. Shenan Boquet, president of Human Life International. He said this is the case “even if behind the scenes one finds that no Catholic money goes directly to their anti-life projects.”
“The scandal is that it appears to some that the Church supports CARE's entire program,” he added.
Judie Brown, president of American Life League, said 2012 appears to be CRS’ worst year yet for funding of immoral groups.
“CRS is bringing a scandal on the Church. They need to stop calling themselves Catholic because what they’re doing is in direct contradiction to the moral teachings of the Church,” she said. “And I finally want to encourage anybody who has ever given a thin dime to Catholic Relief Services to ask for a refund and never give them another penny.”
Catholic Relief Services responds
Asked for a response, CRS director of communications John Rivera told LifeSiteNews that their grants “save, protect and transform lives” and are given in accordance with policies “reviewed and approved” by their board of directors, which is led by members of the U.S. episcopate.
“We have careful guidelines and processes to ensure that our work to care for the poor around the world is consistent with Catholic teaching and provides a strong and faithful witness of Christ’s love for those in greatest need. This includes our work with partners,” said Rivera.
“We mitigate the risk of scandal by ensuring that our Catholic identity is very clear in the way we present ourselves, including on the home page of our web site, which has a section that responds to questions about our partnerships like those raised by Lifesite News,” he added.
‘Scandal would be unavoidable’
After our initial story on CARE last summer, CRS immediately decried the coverage and strongly implied that the $5.3 million grant to CARE had been endorsed by Dr. John Haas, president of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, who is a highly-respected, orthodox moral theologian and advisor to the bishops.
In an interview with Dr. Haas, however, LifeSiteNews learned that he had expressed concern that the grant would cause “unavoidable” scandal because of CARE’s strident and public pro-abortion and pro-contraception positions.
After CRS insisted that they wanted to continue their long-term funding relationship with CARE, Haas said, he advised them that the only way to do so was to publicly chastise the organization.
In a follow-up statement to clarify the issues, Haas indicated that he had judged the grant to be morally acceptable because, in his view, the funds were not fungible – federal law prohibits them from being used in a general pool.
He then added a caveat, however. “Even if cooperation with an evildoer to achieve some great good were morally legitimate,” he wrote, “it still could not be done if the action of the Catholic would lead others to believe that the Catholic Church were indifferent to the evil, such as, for example, contraception.”
“In this case, the NCBC was gravely concerned about the risk of scandal that could arise from a Catholic agency cooperating with an organization that consistently took such strong public positions at odds with the Catholic Church, such as advocating contraception and abortion,” he added.
Working with the devil
Judie Brown of American Life League said CRS has adopted a “lesser of two evils” argument.
“They would say that giving money to CARE for specific purposes having nothing whatsoever to do with the population control that CARE is involved in is a sensible position,” she said, “even though everybody knows that there is no way that Catholic Relief Services can ever prove that that money that they give to CARE is not used specifically for population control.”
Rather than work with groups like CARE, she said, “please put Catholics on the ground so that you don’t have to work with the devil.”
“Their reasoning is so weak. In all of these countries where CARE is, there are Catholics there. There are bishops in those countries,” she said. “If you ask a bishop about what CARE is doing in the country where they represent Catholics, they tell you, especially in the Third World, we don’t want condom marketing. They don’t want birth control marketing among Catholics. So why isn’t CRS going to those bishops? Why aren’t they giving money to those dioceses in Third World instead of giving them to CARE? There’s no excuse for what they’re doing.”
Please, enough with the cult of pop stars. Our kids need real heroes.
April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Two things happen each time a significant pop culture figure dies: Christians attempt to dredge up some moderately conservative or traditional thing that figure said at some point during his long career, and mainstream media attempts to convince a society thoroughly bored with such things that the person in question was a ground-breaking radical. The two most recent examples are the androgynous David Bowie—a cringe-worthy and possibly blasphemous video of him dropping to his knees during a rock performance and uttering the Lord’s Prayer circulated just following his death--and the pop star Prince.
I’ve had to suppress my gag reflexes many times as I saw my Facebook newsfeed fill up with memes sporting quotes from Prince about his faith and articles announcing that the musician who “embraced gender fluidity before his time,” according to Slate and “will always be a gay icon” according to The Atlantic, was against gay marriage. Sure, maybe he was. But only a Christian community so shell-shocked by the rapid spread of the rainbow blitzkrieg and the catastrophic erosion of religious liberty would find this remarkable. After all, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton said the same thing barely one election cycle ago. As one obituary celebrating Prince’s paradigm-smashing sexual performances written by Dodai Stewart put it:
Dig, if you will, a picture: The year is 1980. Many states still have sodomy laws. The radio is playing feel-good ear candy like Captain and Tennille and KC and the Sunshine Band. TV hits include the sunny, toothy blond shows Three’s Company and Happy Days. There’s no real word for “gender non-conforming.” But here’s what you see: A man. Clearly a man. Hairy, mostly naked body…a satiny bikini bottom. But those eyes. Rimmed in black, like a fantasy belly dancer. The full, pouty lips of a pin-up girl. Long hair. A tiny, svelte thing. Ethnically ambiguous, radiating lust. What is this? A man. Clearly a man. No. Not just a man. A Prince.
Right. So let’s not get too carried away, shall we? I know Christians are desperate to justify their addictions to the pop culture trash that did so much to sweep away Christian values in the first place and I know that latching on to the occasional stray conservative belief that may manifest itself in pop culture figures makes many feel as if perhaps we are not so weird and countercultural, but this bad habit we have of claiming these figures upon their passing is downright damaging.
After all, parents should be teaching their children about real heroes, titans of the faith who changed the world. Heroes of the early church who stood down tyrants, halted gladiatorial combat, and crusaded against injustice in a world where death was all the rage. These men and women were real rebels who stood for real values. If we want to point our children to people they should emulate, we should be handing them books like Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness by the brilliant writer Eric Metaxas rather than the pop albums Purple Rain or Lovesexy by Prince. If parents spend their time glorifying the predecessors of Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus instead of highlighting heroes like William Wilberforce, they can hardly be surprised when their children choose to emulate the former rather than the latter.
The mainstream media’s adulation of these pop stars is equally irritating. The unspoken truth of these obituaries is that the flamboyant antics of Prince and the rest of the so-called rebellious drag queens populating the rock n’ roll scene have been mainstream for a long time already. Want to see dozens of bizarre body piercings? Weird hairdos? Purple mohawks? Dudes with nail polish? Strange tattoos? Easy. Just go onto any university campus, or any public high school without a dress code. With headphones wedged firmly in their ear canals, they can pump the cleverly commercialized “counterculture” straight into their skulls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
More than that, some of these courageous rebels have actually sued their employers to ensure that they can let their establishment-smashing freak flag fly at work, too. An Edmonton woman with 22 visible body piercings complained that her employer was unfair because apparently she was being discriminated against “based on body modifications.” Yeah! The Man must be told, after all. And if he doesn’t agree, we will lawyer up. I wonder what the shrieking rebels of the early days would think about the snivelling children of the current grievance culture.
So these days, the media’s eulogizing about aging culture warriors who went mainstream a long time ago rings a bit hollow. After all, most rock n’ roll stars these days look tame compared to what shows up in the children’s section at Pride Week. Freaky is normal now. Normal is radical. Welcome to 2016.
When Christians are posting nostalgic tributes to the rebels who helped inoculate their children against the radical views of Christianity in the first place, you know that the victories of the counterculture are complete and Stockholm syndrome has set in.
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Target boycott climbs to over 1 million
April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Over 1 million people have signed a pledge to boycott Target over its new policy allowing men to access women’s bathrooms.
The American Family Association’s Boycott Target petition gained traction immediately, reaching the one million mark in only nine days.
“Corporate America must stop bullying people who disagree with the radical left agenda to remake society into their progressive image,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “#BoycottTarget has resonated with Americans. Target’s harmful policy poses a danger to women and children; nearly everyone has a mother, wife, daughter or friend who is put in jeopardy by this policy. Predators and voyeurs would take advantage of the policy to prey on those who are vulnerable. And it’s clear now that over one million customers agree.”
Target defended its policy in a statement saying that it believes everyone “deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally” and earlier this week, a Target spokeswoman defended the policy as “inclusive.”
The AFA said that unisex bathrooms are a common-sense alternative to allowing men unfettered access to women’s bathrooms.
“Target should keep separate facilities for men and women, but for the trans community and for those who simply like using the bathroom alone, a single occupancy unisex option should be provided,” the petition says.
The AFA warned that Target’s new policy benefits sexual predators and poses a danger to women and children.
“With Target publicly boasting that men can enter women's bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go?” the petition asked.
There have been numerous instances of predatory men accessing women’s bathrooms and intimate facilities in the wake of “transgender” bathroom policies allowing them to do so.
“We want to make it very clear that AFA does not believe the transgender community poses this danger to the wider public,” said Wildmon. “Rather, this misguided and reckless policy provides a possible gateway for predators who are out there.”
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Amazing new video captures the flash of light the moment life begins
CHICAGO, April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Life begins with a spark – literally.
Researchers at Northwestern University have documented the striking event in a new video that accompanies a study published this week.
At the moment of conception, the egg releases massive amounts of zinc, which creates a spark that can be seen with the aid of a microscope.
“It was remarkable,” said Teresa Woodruff, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University's medical school. “To see the zinc radiate out in a burst from each human egg was breathtaking.”
The research team had noted the zinc sparks before in mice eggs but had never observed the process in human beings.
“All of biology starts at the time of fertilization,” Woodruff said, “yet we know next to nothing about the events that occur in the human.”
One of the researchers, Northwestern chemistry professor Thomas O'Halloran, explained the science behind the process in 2014.
“The egg first has to stockpile zinc and then must release some of the zinc to successfully navigate maturation, fertilization and the start of embryogenesis,” he said. “On cue, at the time of fertilization, we see the egg release thousands of packages, each dumping a million zinc atoms, and then it's quiet.”
“Each egg has four or five of these periodic sparks,” O'Halloran said. “It is beautiful to see, orchestrated much like a symphony.”
Since the amount of zinc in an egg correlates with successful implantation and birth, the Northwestern researchers are highlighting that their research may be used to assist in vitro fertilization.
But that raises concerns given the grave moral issues with IVF, which involves creating numerous embryos that are either killed or frozen. Moral theologians also emphasize that IVF is an injustice even for the children who are born as a result, as they are created in a lab rather than in the union of man and woman.
The study may have far-reaching consequences the research team did not intend, such as strengthening public belief in the longstanding scientific consensus that life begins at the moment of conception/fertilization.
Many of those who saw the Northwestern video said it testifies to the beauty of life and the shallow lies that buttress the argument of abortion-on-demand.
“I saw this, and I was blown away by it,” said Rush Limbaugh on his nationally syndicated radio program Thursday afternoon. “For anybody in the mainstream media to openly admit that life begins at conception” defies arguments that an unborn child is only “tissue mass.”
Researchers released a separate video of the zinc spark taking place in a mammalian egg more than a year ago:
The paper, which is entitled “The Zinc Spark is an Inorganic Signature of Human Egg Activation,” was published by Scientific Reports on April 26.