Peter Baklinski

Don’t curse the darkness

Peter Baklinski
Peter Baklinski

Sometimes it may seem that we at LifeSiteNews are simply cataloging the demise of all that is noble, sacred, lovable, and true in Western civilization.

But the truth is, not all our stories are so bleak. Far from it.

In fact, we deliberately strive every single day to bring to you stories that highlight that not all is lost, that there are tons of amazing people who are making a difference, helping in a thousand different ways to turn the tide in this desperate fight against the culture of death.

Take for instance the story of Tony Maas, CEO of JTM Food Group. He and his brothers deliver great-tasting prepackaged meals with a pro-life flair. On the rear panel of their semitrailers, they display a “prodigious image of a beautiful smiling baby with the words ‘Life, what a beautiful choice.’”

The reaction to this story was overwhelming:

  • “Nice to see the good guys once in a while. Thank you.”
  • “Just look at those trucks. Wow, that’s America and it makes me feel good.”
  • “A great post to read before going to bed. Awesome!”
  • This story literally went viral on social media overnight with thousands of people rejoicing in this message of hope.

    The truth is, we at LifeSiteNews want to bring our readers even more of these types of stories (We call them “Culture of Life” stories). The problem is that they often involve pretty intensive research and in-depth interviews, and we don’t have the manpower to follow up on even a fraction of the amazing news tips we receive!

    Please help us publish more of these kinds of stories!

    We at LifeSiteNews know that there are a lot of terrible things happening in the world against life and family, and that it’s our job to report them. But we don’t report these for their own sake, but so that people will be armed with the knowledge needed to take a stand and defend what is true and good.

    Our Culture of Life stories are written so that we will never lose sight of what is true and good in the midst of so much error and falsehood.

    Another example is our recent story of two babies who shared one heart and who momentarily “brought heaven to earth” for their parents.

    Parents’ Luci and Chris Klare were in the presence of their precious daughters for only 46 minutes, but in that time, they discovered that their whole universe suddenly revolved around “treasuring the fragile gift of their tiny children.”

    Many in their situation might have made a much different ‘choice’ which would have resulted in a very different, very tragic ending to the story of these precious little girls.

    Here are some of the reactions to the story:

  • “This is one of the most amazing pro-life articles I’ve ever read. Just Beautiful.”
  • “This story deeply touched me, and as I type, the tears are pouring down my face. So beautiful in its love and faith.”
  • “Tears are all I can offer…tears of sadness that this special couple lost their precious girls, mingled with tears of joy that they gave life to their special children with one heart.”

  • As many LSN readers literally wept their way through the story, they learned from conjoined twins Hope and Grace about the beauty of each and every life, that no life is second-class, dispensable, or futile, and that if you have love, you have everything that matters.

    We at LifeSiteNews love and cherish the entire spectrum of human life, from young life in a mother’s womb to elderly life in a manner or hospital. That is why we bring you so many abortion related stories and so many euthanasia related stories.

    Ultimately, it’s our love for life that inspires us to bring you so many Culture of Life stories.

    When I write these stories, I keep in my heart the old Eastern adage: “It’s better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.”

    With each Culture of Life story LifeSiteNews publishes, we are lighting a bright beautiful candle that pierces the darkness and dispels the gloom.

    It is our hope that these stories will ignite the spirit of our readers and that they will not be afraid to let their own lights shine.

    But we cannot continue to light these candles without your financial gift today.

    Will you help us to dispel the darkness?

    Join us today with your financial gift that will help cast your light upon the earth.

    Pete Baklinski


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    Steve Jalsevac Steve Jalsevac Follow Steve

    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

    , ,

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

    Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete
    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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