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CCCB Plenary Presenter Advocated Obama as the ‘Pro-Life Candidate,’ Was Criticized by His Bishop

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By Patrick B. Craine

TOLEDO, Ohio, September 30, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The presenter at next month's plenary assembly of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), Dr. Richard Gaillardetz, argued during last year's U.S. election cycle, to the dismay of his bishop, that notoriously pro-abortion President Barack Obama was the "pro-life candidate" in last year's election, because of his social policy regarding poverty and healthcare.

In addition, in response to LSN's first story on Gaillardetz, the professor of Catholic studies at the University of Toledo who is scheduled to speak to the Canadian bishops on the topic of the priesthood, has insisted that he does not in fact support women's ordination, but merely questions the authoritative status of the teaching.

Dr. Gaillardetz, who sat on Obama's National Catholic Advisory Council during his presidential campaign, published an op-ed column in the Toledo Blade last September entitled 'Who really is the pro-life candidate?'.

"I have come to believe that the true 'pro-life' candidate is not the one who champions opposition to Roe v. Wade but lacks any substantive plan that will actually reduce abortions," he writes.  "The true 'pro-life' candidate is the one who is supporting social policies proven to reduce abortions, policies that would extend substantial financial and health-care assistance to poor families facing unplanned pregnancies."

He points out what he considers to be "practical problems" that could result from laws against abortion.  After emphasizing the "dim prospects" of a court reversal of Roe v. Wade, he writes, "This is to say nothing of the practical problems associated with legal enforcement of anti-abortion laws (are we really prepared to throw poor unwed mothers into jail?) or the fact that illegal and unsafe abortions would almost certainly continue (thereby extending the tragedy by putting many more women at risk)."

"There is a pro-life candidate out there," he concludes, "and it turns out he's a Democrat!"

Bishop of Toledo Leonard P. Blair responded to Dr. Gaillardetz's article in the same newspaper a week later, criticizing him for departing from the Catholic position articulated by the U.S. Bishops.  "Lest Mr. Gaillardetz's teaching position and self-identification as a Catholic create any misunderstandings," he writes, "it should be pointed out that his opinions regarding the issue of abortion, and Roe vs. Wade in particular, do not reflect the clear and consistent moral position of the United States Catholic bishops."

Referring to the battle against slavery in the U.S., the bishop says, "Our nation was not content with simply reducing the number of slaves or easing their condition. It was the very institution of slavery that was morally abhorrent and incompatible with the principles on which our nation was founded."

He points to the "morally flawed thinking" engendered by Roe v. Wade, which "effectively rendered the definition of human personhood flexible and negotiable," and "has also implicitly excluded unborn children from human status."

He then goes on to quote from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' 2002 statement on the 30th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which stated, "Roe vs. Wade cannot stand as the law of this great nation. ... We are committed, no matter how long it may take, no matter the sacrifices required, to bringing about a reversal of this tragic Supreme Court decision. ...  Roe vs. Wade must be reversed."

In a clear reference to Obama, the bishop indicates that "some lawmakers would reverse [the gains made in the enactment of hundreds of pro-life laws] and boost the abortion rate by invalidating all such laws, through extreme measures such as the proposed 'Freedom of Choice Act' in Congress."

"No one supporting such legislation can claim in good faith to be working to reduce abortions," he says.  "The failure to protect and defend life in its most vulnerable stages renders suspect any claims to the 'rightness' of positions in other matters affecting the poorest and least powerful of the human community."

LSN reported earlier this week on Dr. Gaillardetz's dissent from Church teaching, highlighting his support for women's ordination in light of his invitation to address the CCCB on the topic of the priesthood.

The following morning, however, he responded to LSN's original request for comment by calling the story "a blatantly irresponsible piece based on an unofficial and unreliable source," and accused LSN of not "seeking [his] perspective." 

However, the primary claims made in the story regarding Gaillardetz's dissent from Church teaching were gathered directly from two of his own articles, which were cited and are available freely on the internet.

In his response, Gaillardetz objected in particular to the allegation that he had advocated women's ordination.  "I have NEVER written that I support women's ordination," he said.

While the professor had originally insisted on a second story to clarify his positions, when LSN assured him that we would clarify and correct any problems in a follow-up story, he refused to be interviewed.

Gaillardetz also denied that LSN had contacted him prior to publishing the first story. However, after LSN pointed out the discrepancy, given that the initial request from LSN to which he responded was time-stamped before the story's publication, he corrected his statement and indicated, rather, that LSN had not waited long enough for a response.

The original allegation that Gaillardetz advocated women's ordination was supported by the fact that he has three articles posted to a website advocating women's ordination, and, based on a line from the page for the relevant article, 'Infallibility and the Ordination of Women', he has allowed that website to use his article for the promotion of women's ordination.  The page states: "here re-published on http://www.womenpriests.org/ with permission from the author and the editor of Louvain Studies."

Nevertheless, rather than supporting women's ordination, according to Gaillardetz, he, in fact, merely questions the infallibility of John Paul II's 'definitive' teaching on the issue.  "Out of the seven books and 100 articles I have written," he said, "I have published exactly one article on the topic, and in that article I addressed the very technical question of the appeal to the infallility [sic] of the ordinary universal magisterium to this particular teaching."


See Gaillardetz's Toledo Blade article here.

See Bishop Blair's response here.

See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:

Canadian Bishops' Plenary to be Addressed on the Priesthood by Women Priests Advocate 

Commentary: Obama Aide - Not Our Goal to Reduce Abortions 

Think Obama's Plans Will Reduce Abortion? "This is Delusional" Says Princeton Prof 

Exposing the 'Abortion Reduction' Scam 



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Please, enough with the cult of pop stars. Our kids need real heroes.

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

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

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien

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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News,

Amazing new video captures the flash of light the moment life begins

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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.



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