Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

Convicted gay sex offender loses initial bid to muzzle pro-family website MassResistance

Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

July 18, 2012 ( - A convicted sex abuser who has filed a one million dollar suit against the pro-family group Mass Resistance suffered a setback last week when his motion for a preliminary injunction to silence the group was rejected by the presiding judge.

“Maine may not punish, through criminal sanction, an individual’s actions that are protected by the free speech clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution,” wrote District Judge Patricia G. Worth in her decision, signed on July 11.

Meanwhile, a police chief that Adam E. Flanders has repeatedly claimed supported his lawsuit and described his sex abuse charge as akin to “stealing a candy bar” has disputed Flanders’ account of events in a LifeSiteNews (LSN) interview. LSN has also learned that in addition to the sex abuse charge, Flanders has been convicted of assaulting a minor with whom he had a sexual relationship, as well as the boy’s father, with a knife.

Flanders, a Belfast, Maine homosexual who was convicted in 2008 of sexual abuse of a minor and sentenced to three months in jail, has been seeking to force Mass Resistance to remove from its website a copy of a letter Flanders wrote in 2007, accusing a local homosexual “youth group” of facilitating the sexual abuse and exploitation of minors. It also describes Flanders’ own relationships with minors in the group after he had turned 18.

The letter, which was sent to the Maine Christian Civic League and quoted in whole or in part by local newspapers, has been on the Mass Resistance website since 2007 as evidence of the destructive nature of homosexual “youth groups,” which Mass Resistance President Brian Camenker says often facilitate abusive contact between adults and minors.

Flanders’ campaign to remove the letter and all references to him on the Mass Resistance website has included a successful motion for a restraining order against Camenker, granted by the same Judge Worth in June of this year, although Camenker says that he has never seen nor met Flanders, and was not permitted by Worth to testify in his defense. Flanders has also filed suit against Camenker in Maine district court for $1 million for “defamation,” “harassment,” and “stalking” by means of the posts.

While acknowledging the restraining order that she had recently approved against Camenker, Worth was not willing to muzzle Mass Resistance, noting, “An individual’s right to free speech loses its protection when the speech uttered constitutes libel, a true threat, or fighting words,” adding the “Plaintiff has failed to demonstrate ... that the writings rise to the level of fighting words (inciting an immediate, violent reaction). or a. ‘true . ..threat.’”

Flanders claims in his suit that Camenker is exaggerating the seriousness of his sex abuse conviction, which is a class D misdemeanor in Maine, and writes in his complaint that Belfast Police Chief Michael McFadden has called it equivalent to “stealing a candy bar.” He also claims that he has protected minority status in Maine due to state anti-discrimination laws, implies that Camenker is guilty of “hate crimes” against homosexuals, and requests that “Defendants’ online conduct be limited, that the Defendant refrain from further harassment and stalking against individuals based on their sexual orientation…”

Flanders also successfully shut down the Mass Resistance website last month after threatening the organization’s web hosting service, according to Camenker, who has since found a new hosting service that is not intimidated by Flanders’ threats.

In addition to Mass Resistance, Flanders recently threatened Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH) with legal action for posting his letter and recounting Flanders’ actions against Mass Resistance. Flanders has also threatened LifeSiteNews with legal action if it does not remove a previous article written about the case and cease to write about the matter.

Belfast police chief distances himself from Flanders

In an interview with on Monday, Belfast Chief of Police Michael McFadden distanced himself from Flanders’ claim that he had said Flanders’ offense was no worse than “stealing a candy bar,” explaining that police often make such statements in an attempt to elicit a confession from a suspect.

Although he acknowledged that a recording that Flanders has of him making the statement is real, he added that “there could be a lot of things I said in that interview with him that were designed and are used by investigators nationwide to encourage people to talk about certain things. It might not be the way I feel, but it usually works in terms of getting people to confess to a criminal act.”

Asked if he regarded the actions of Flanders in the sex abuse case as morally equal to stealing a candy bar, McFadden answered: “Absolutely not, holy cow, no, but if I start my interview and say ‘what you’ve done is heinous, and horrible, and how could you?’ do you really think I’m going to get this person talking to me about it? No, of course, not. So you try and minimize these things as an investigator.”

McFadden also denied the claim made by Flanders in his suit that McFadden had said that he was “attempt[ing] to find some way to criminally charge Brian Camenker,” or that he had advised Flanders to sue, and noted that restraining orders such as the one imposed by Judge Worth don’t generally apply to people in other states.

“I can tell you that, I had a conversation with Adam Flanders, and if those are the things he quoted out of that conversation, not only has he taken what I said out of context, but he also misquoted me,” said McFadden, who also stated that “Adam Flanders is not a paid or unpaid spokesperson for the Belfast police department. He’s got no inside information.”

Although McFadden said his department has a strict policy of not verifying the existence or non-existence of investigations, he noted violations of restraining orders do not include activities in another state.

“You can’t have contact with someone long distance, unless you’re calling them on the phone I guess would be one way, emailing them, but you know if its happening in a different state, I don’t know that our protection orders would give us jurisdiction in another state, to curb the activity of someone in a different state,” he said, and affirmed that “to my knowledge there has been no violation of this particular [restraining] order” against Camenker.

McFadden says that he has received “threatening emails here at the police department, and very unflattering emails” in response to his perceived support of Flanders in his actions against Camenker, which he attributed to Camenker’s statements about him on his website, adding that “I don’t think those statements are fair or accurate.”  He said he was not taking sides in the dispute between Flanders and Camenker.

Flanders’ extensive criminal record revealed

LifeSiteNews has also learned that Flanders has a long list of convictions for which he expresses little remorse, and is seeking to erase from his record as he finishes a degree in biology.

In addition to his 2007 conviction for sexual abuse of a minor, which earned him a three-month jail sentence and put him on the state’s sex offender registry for ten years, Flanders was also convicted of assaulting one of the boys with whom he had had a sexual relationship at the youth club exposed in his letter, as well as the boy’s father, in 2008.  Flanders assaulted both victims with a knife, although the severity of their wounds is not clear.

According to the Bangor Daily News, Flanders was convicted on a host of counts related to the case, including “two counts aggravated assault, jail five years, all but nine months suspended each count, probation three years; two counts criminal threatening with dangerous weapon, jail nine months each count; protective order from harassment violation, jail 90 days; two counts violating condition of release, jail 90 days each count; tampering with witness, informant, juror or victim, jail two years six months, suspended, probation three years; two counts violating condition of release, jail two years six months each count, suspended.”

In toto, Flanders received over twelve years of jail time, all of which apparently was suspended except for nine months, of which he says on his blog that he only served part due to good behavior.

The Daily News also reports that Flanders was convicted again in late 2011 on two counts of violating the terms of his release and sentenced to yet another two-and-a-half-years in jail, which was also suspended in favor of probation.

Flanders claims that his convictions were due to the withholding of exculpatory evidence and says on his weblog that he is appealing the convictions. He refused to talk to LifeSiteNews when an interview was requested of him, and instead threatened LifeSiteNews with legal action, in a “CEASE AND DESIST notice to refrain from further publications about me.” He also indicated that he had contacted LifeSiteNews’ s Internet service provider in an apparent attempt to shut down its website.

“I demand that you remove the current publication about me,” wrote Flanders. “I will pursue litigation if you do not remove the offending material and/or continue to publish material about me. You are in violation of your web host’s Terms of Use and I have already been in touch with them concerning this matter and they are currently investigating your organization’s harassment and defamation. They indicated that your contract will likely be terminated and your website be removed in its entirety due to your violations.” has been advised by legal counsel that nothing that LifeSiteNews has written regarding Flanders is actionable under American defamation law.

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Today’s chuckle: Rubio, Fiorina and Carson pardon a Thanksgiving turkey

Steve Jalsevac Steve Jalsevac Follow Steve
By Steve Jalsevac

A little bit of humour now and then is a good thing.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our American readers.

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Building of the European Court of Human Rights.
Lianne Laurence


BREAKING: Europe’s top human rights court slaps down German ban on pro-life leafletting

Lianne Laurence
By Lianne Laurence

STRASBOURG, France, November 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that a German regional court violated a pro-life activist’s freedom of expression when it barred him from leafleting in front of an abortion center.

It further ruled the German court’s order that Klaus Gunter Annen not list the names of two abortion doctors on his website likewise violated the 64-year-old pro-life advocate’s right to freedom of expression.

The court’s November 26 decision is “a real moral victory,” says Gregor Puppinck, director of the Strasbourg-based European Center for Law and Justice, which intervened in Annen’s case. “It really upholds the freedom of speech for pro-life activists in Europe.”

Annen, a father of two from Weinam, a mid-sized city in the Rhine-Neckar triangle, has appealed to the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights at least two times before, Puppinck told LifeSiteNews.

“This is the first time he made it,” he said, noting that this time around, Annen had support from the ECLJ and Alliance Defense Fund and the German Pro-life Federation (BVL). “I think he got more support, better arguments and so I think this helped.”

The court also ordered the German government to pay Annen costs of 13,696.87 EUR, or 14,530 USD.

Annen started distributing pamphlets outside a German abortion center ten years ago, ECLJ stated in a press release.

His leaflets contained the names and addresses of the two abortionists at the center, declared they were doing “unlawful abortions,” and stated in smaller print that, “the abortions were allowed by the German legislators and were not subject to criminal liability.”

Annen’s leaflets also stated that, “The murder of human beings in Auschwitz was unlawful, but the morally degraded NS State allowed the murder of innocent people and did not make it subject to criminal liability.” They referred to Annen’s website,, which listed a number of abortionists, including the two at the site he was leafleting.

In 2007, a German regional court barred Annen from pamphleteering in the vicinity of the abortion center, and ordered him to drop the name of the two abortion doctors from his website.

But the European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that the German courts had "failed to strike a fair balance between [Annen’s] right to freedom of expression and the doctor’s personality rights.”

The Court stated that, “there can be no doubt as to the acute sensitivity of the moral and ethical issues raised by the question of abortion or as to the importance of the public interest at stake.”

That means, stated ECLJ, that “freedom of expression in regard to abortion shall enjoy a full protection.”

ECLJ stated that the court noted Annen’s leaflets “made clear that the abortions performed in the clinic were not subject to criminal liability. Therefore, the statement that ‘unlawful abortions’ were being performed in the clinic was correct from a legal point of view.”

As for the Holocaust reference, the court stated that, “the applicant did not – at least not explicitly – equate abortion with the Holocaust.”  Rather, the reference was “a way of creating awareness of the more general fact that law might diverge from morality.”

The November 26 decision “is a quite good level of protection of freedom of speech for pro-life people,” observed Puppinck.

First, the European Court of Human Rights has permitted leafleting “in the direct proximate vicinity of the clinic, so there is no issue of zoning,” he told LifeSiteNews. “And second, the leaflets were mentioning the names of the doctors, and moreover, were mentioning the issue of the Holocaust, which made them quite strong leaflets.”

“And the court protected that.”

Annen has persevered in his pro-life awareness campaign through the years despite the restraints on his freedom.

“He did continue, and he did adapt,” Puppinck told LifeSiteNews. “He kept his freedom of speech as much as he could, but he continued to be sanctioned by the German authorities, and each time he went to the court of human rights. And this time, he won.”

ECLJ’s statement notes that “any party” has three months to appeal the November 26 decision.

However, as it stands, the European Court of Human Rights’s ruling affects “all the national courts,” noted Puppinck, and these will now “have to protect freedom of speech, recognize the freedom of speech for pro-lifers.”

“In the past, the courts have not always been very supportive of the freedom of speech of pro-life,” he said, so the ruling is “significant.”

As for Annen’s pro-life ministry, Pubbinck added: “He can continue to go and do, and I’m sure that he does, because he always did.”  

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A vibrant church in Africa. Pierre-Yves Babelon /
Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

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‘Soft racism’: German Bishops’ website attributes African Catholics’ strong faith to simplemindedness

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By Pete Baklinski

GERMANY, November 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) --  The only reason the Catholic Church is growing in Africa is because the people have a “rather low level” of education and accept “simple answers to difficult questions” involving marriage and sexuality, posited an article on the official website of the German Bishops' Conference posted yesterday. The article targeted particularly Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea, the Vatican's prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and ardent defender of Catholic tradition.

First Things blogger Leroy Huizenga, who translated a portion of the article, criticized the article's view as “soft racism.”

In his article, titled “The Romantic, Poor Church,” editor Björn Odendahl writes: 

So also in Africa. Of course the Church is growing there. It grows because the people are socially dependent and often have nothing else but their faith. It grows because the educational situation there is on average at a rather low level and the people accept simple answers to difficult questions (of faith) [sic]. Answers like those that Cardinal Sarah of Guinea provides. And even the growing number of priests is a result not only of missionary power but also a result of the fact that the priesthood is one of the few possibilities for social security on the dark continent.

Huizenga said that such an article has no place on a bishops’ conference website. 

“We all know that the German Bishops' Conference is one of the most progressive in the world. But it nevertheless beggars belief that such a statement would appear on the Conference's official website, with its lazy slander of African Christians and priests as poor and uneducated (Odendahl might as well have added ‘easy to command’) and its gratuitous swipe at Cardinal Sarah,” he wrote. 

“Natürlich progressives could never be guilty of such a sin and crime, but these words sure do suggest soft racism, the racism of elite white Western paternalism,” he added. 

African prelates have gained a solid reputation for being strong defenders of Catholic sexual morality because of their unwavering orthodox input into the recently concluded Synod on the Family in Rome. 

At one point during the Synod, Cardinal Robert Sarah urged Catholic leaders to recognize as the greatest modern enemies of the family what he called the twin “demonic” “apocalyptic beasts” of “the idolatry of Western freedom” and “Islamic fundamentalism.”

STORY: Cardinal Danneels warns African bishops to avoid ‘triumphalism’

“What Nazi-Fascism and Communism were in the 20th century, Western homosexual and abortion ideologies and Islamic fanaticism are today,” he said during his speech at the Synod last month. 

But African prelates’ adherence to orthodoxy has earned them enemies, especially from the camp of Western prelates bent on forming the Catholic Church in their own image and likeness, not according to Scripture, tradition, and the teaching magisterium of the Church. 

During last year’s Synod, German Cardinal Walter Kasper went as far as stating that the voice of African Catholics in the area of Church teaching on homosexuality should simply be dismissed.

African cardinals “should not tell us too much what we have to do,” he said in an October 2014 interview with ZENIT, adding that African countries are "very different, especially about gays.” 

Earlier this month Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels, instead of praising Africa for its vibrant and flourishing Catholicism, said that African prelates will one day have to look to Europe to get what he called “useful tips” on how to deal with “secularization” and “individualism.” 

The statement was criticized by one pro-family advocate as “patronizing of the worst kind” in light of the facts that numerous European churches are practically empty, vocations to the priesthood and religious life are stagnant, and the Catholic faith in Europe, especially in Belgium, is overall in decline.

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