Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

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EU family roundup: Criticize homosexuality in Sweden and go to jail?: No problem for European court

Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

Criticize homosexuality in Sweden and go to jail: No problem for European rights court

Anyone challenging the homosexualist agenda in public in Sweden can be sent to prison, and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that this does not constitute any violation of rights. In 2004, the Swedish government charged a group of pamphleteers with “agitation against a national or ethnic group,” a crime that carries a maximum penalty of 2 years in prison.

The four men were convicted in 2006 by the District Court, which ruling was overturned on appeal but later upheld by the Supreme Court in a narrow 5-3 decision.

The four appealed to the ECHR, which ruled on February 9th that their application was “manifestly ill-founded”. The court said that the conviction constituted no violation of Article 10 (Freedom of Expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights. It was a “legitimate and proportional interference” with the applicants’ rights of freedom of expression and was necessary for the protection of the “reputation and rights of others”.

The case started in 2004 when the four activists distributed about 100 pamphlets at a secondary school expressing objections to the widespread acceptance of homosexual activity.

The pamphlets read: “Homosexual Propaganda. In the course of a few decades society has swung from rejection of homosexuality and other sexual deviances to embracing this deviant sexual proclivity. Your anti-Swedish teachers know very well that homosexuality has a morally destructive effect on the substance of society and will willingly try to put it forward as something normal and good.”

The pamphlets encouraged readers to respond to homosexualist propaganda by pointing out the connection between the spread of HIV/AIDS and increasing homosexual activity by infected persons, and that homosexualist lobby groups are attempting to “play down” their support of pedophilia.

The four activists, Tor Fredrik Vejdeland, Mattias Harlin, Björn Täng and Niklas Lundström, denied in court that they had intended to express contempt for homosexuals, instead saying that their purpose was to “start a debate about the lack of objectivity in the education in Swedish schools.”

The Swedish Supreme Court acknowledged the applicants’ right to express their ideas, but found the statements had been “unnecessarily offensive.” The majority ruling particularly noted that the pupils at the school had not had the possibility to refuse the leaflets, which had been left in lockers.

The judges said that the purpose of supplying the pupils with arguments for a debate “could have been achieved without offensive statements to homosexuals as a group.”

Ultimately, the first three applicants were given suspended sentences combined with fines ranging from approximately 200 to 2,000 Euros and the fourth applicant was sentenced to probation.

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Leading European homosexualist “NGO” directly funded by the EU/Dutch govt’ and George Soros

This week, a British MEP, Godfrey Bloom, a member of the euro-skeptic United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), has demanded to know why an ostensibly independent NGO, the International Gay and Lesbian Association (ILGA-Europe), receives as much as 2/3 of its operating budget directly from the European Commission. Bloom said that the group receives a total of 70 per cent of its funding from taxpayer sources - either from the EU or from the Dutch government.

Bloom pointed to IGLA’s published figures for 2011 that said 67.7 per cent of its €1,824,000 budget, (€1,252,600) came from grants from the European Commission. Another €50,000 was granted by the Dutch Government. Of the remaining €521,400 of its budget the group received a total of €402,400 from three individuals: George Soros, Sigrid Rausing and an anonymous donor.

The group issued a statement on their blog saying, “ILGA-Europe’s member organisations pay their membership to ILGA (World) directly.” Individual membership fees, the group said, “are used by the world association to support LGBTI organisations in other regions of the world.” European human rights lawyer J.C. von Krempach, writing on the ‘blog Turtle Bay and Beyond, pointed out that this means the group is, essentially, a government organization being funded by the European Commission to lobby for changes to the European Commission.

For some years, the group was denied NGO status at the UN because of their connection to groups that promote pedophilia but this was eventually overruled by the combined lobbying of some European countries. In addition, the UN rules say that an NGO, a “non-governmental organisation,” must by definition not be funded by governments.

Austin Ruse, of the Catholic Family and Human Right Institute, wrote that there is a great deal of “bad blood” at the UN over European countries pushing the homosexualist agenda. “European nations are forcing extremist homosexual groups upon the UN NGO Committee,” Ruse said.

“Other governments,” including the US and the UK, “have taken up the cause of making homosexual activity a human right enforced by international law.”

Godfrey Bloom asked the European Commissioners, “Given the proportion of its own contribution to financing ILGA-Europe, does the Commission believe that ILGA-Europe can be described as a ‘non-governmental organization’ or as part of ‘civil society’?”

Bloom continued, “How does the Commission view the influence that wealthy individuals may exert over the NGOs they are subsidising? Is there a risk that persons such as George Soros could ‘buy’ themselves one or more NGOs that are economically dependent on their donations? How does the Commission view the impact of this particular type of ‘philanthropy’ on democracy?”

He pointed to the request by ILGA for an additional 1 million Euros spread over three years from the EU-funded EuropeAid, and asked how the Commission intends to reply to the request.

Bloom pointed out that among the requirements for NGOs that seek accreditation to obtain consultative status at the UN is that “the major portion of the organisation’s funds should be derived from contributions from national affiliates, individual members, or other non-governmental components.”

He asked if the European Commission had similar rules and if so, whether they believed ILGA had met the requirements. Ruse said that the revelations will likely prompt a re-evaluation of the group’s NGO status at the UN.

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English Catholic bishop urges MPs to resist Tory “gay marriage” proposals

The Catholic bishop of Shrewsbury in northwestern England has urged MPs to resist the efforts of the coalition government and Prime Minister David Cameron to impose “gay marriage.” Bishop Mark Davies said “politicians of Christian conscience” must protect the “God-given meaning of marriage for the sake of all generations to come.”

Bishop Davies delivered the comments in a homily during the diocese’s annual celebration of marriage, at St Wilfrid’s Church in Northwich, Cheshire, on Saturday, the Daily Telegraph reports. He criticized the idea that “progress” always means a “continuous shifting” away from society’s Christian foundations. He called the proposal to allow homosexual partnerings to be called marriage a “seismic shift in the foundations of our society.”

The comments follow the news that more than 100 Conservative MPs could vote against the proposal that will overturn the legal definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman. The government announced it would be opening a “public consultation” in March, not on whether there was acceptance of the idea, but only on the legal mechanisms for it to be implemented.

Bishop Davies said, “We face a mindset which sees progress only as a continuous shifting of our society further and further from its foundations until we have nothing left for family and society to be founded upon than changing, political fashions of thought.

“By attempting to redefine marriage for society, politicians will find they have not only undermined the institution of marriage but obscured its identity for generations to come.

“For politicians of Christian conscience this will be a moment to resist the leadership of their own political parties together with every parliamentarian who recognises the Judeo-Christian foundations on which our society rests.

“Our voices must now be raised as clearly as they can be, in order to proclaim the God-given meaning of marriage not only for the sake of this generation, but for the sake of all generations to come.”

 



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Prof. Robert Spaemann, a close friend of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, says Amoris Laetitia directly contradicts St. John Paul II’s teaching.
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Pope’s exhortation is a ‘breach’ with Catholic Tradition: leading German philosopher

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien

April 28, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – A prominent Catholic philosopher and close friend of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said Thursday that Pope Francis’s exhortation Amoris Laetitia is a “breach” with Catholic tradition and directly contradicts the teachings of Pope St. John Paul II in his exhortation Familiaris Consortio.

"If the pope is not willing to make a correction, it is up to another pontificate to officially put things back into order."

Professor Robert Spaemann told the Catholic News Agency’s German branch that changing the Church’s sacramental practice would be “a breach with its essential anthropological and theological teaching on human marriage and sexuality.”

“It is clear to every thinking person who knows the texts that are important in this context that [with Amoris Laetitia] there is a breach” with the Church’s Tradition, Spaemann said.

The professor’s remarks were translated by Dr. Maike Hickson in an article at OnePeterFive.

In Familiaris Consortio, Pope St. John Paul II upheld the Church’s longstanding approach to the question of admitting to the Sacraments remarried divorcees, by writing:

…the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church's teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.

Footnote 351 of Amoris Laetitia seemingly contradicts the above passage by asserting that in certain cases, integrating back into the Church the divorced and remarried and others in “irregular” situations “can include the help of the sacraments.”  The footnote then mentions both Confession and the Eucharist.

Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Maria Santissima in Astana, Kazakhstan criticized Amoris Laetitia for its lack of clarity on the subject.  “Analyzing some of the affirmations of AL with an honest understanding, as they are in their own context, one finds that there is a difficulty in interpreting them according to the traditional doctrine of the Church,” wrote Schneider.

Spaemann also condemned the exhortation’s seeming embrace of “situation ethics” as opposed to universal norms and its call to not judge people’s actions that directly contradict the Church’s sexual ethics.

“When it comes to sexual relations which are in objective contradiction to the Christian order of life, I would like to know from the pope after which time period and under which conditions such an objectively sinful behavior becomes a conduct which is pleasing to God,” said Spaemann. 

By turning “chaos into principle” with “one stroke of a pen,” Pope Francis is leading the Church “into the direction of schism,” Spaemann said—and he warned that such a schism would not be “at the periphery, but in the middle of the Church.” 

Spaemann also warned that Amoris Laetitia may be used to bully faithful priests. He wrote:

Each individual cardinal, as well as each bishop and each priest is now called to preserve in his field of authority the Catholic Sacramental Order and to confess it publicly. If the pope is not willing to make a correction, it is up to another pontificate to officially put things back into order.

RELATED

Famed German Catholic philosopher makes waves for criticizing Pope Francis’ ‘autocratic’ style



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The Institute for Family Health, a federally qualified health center, has been running an abortion facility in apparent violation of federal law.
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Federally funded community health center may have illegally performed abortions: Report

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 28, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – A federally qualified health center (FQHC) apparently performed abortions, although nearly all federal funds are forbidden from being used for that purpose, sources tell LifeSiteNews. Now, pro-life congressmen are demanding further investigations into the use of U.S. taxpayer funds to promote abortion-on-demand.

The issue came to light when a federal inspector general's report found that six Americorps volunteers had been acting as "abortion doulas," giving emotional support to women who chose to have abortions.

The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) allowed the volunteers – who received tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars – to support abortions that took place inside a New York abortion facility run by the Institute for Family Health (IFH).

Americorps “volunteers” illegally supporting abortion at taxpayer expense is an ongoing problem. But there's more to the story.

The IFH proudly advertises itself as a federally qualified health center (FQHC). Federal dollars are restricted from underwriting most abortion at FQHCs, in line with the Hyde Amendment. This does not hold true for the Affordable Care Act, conventionally known as ObamaCare.

To ease qualms raised by pro-life Democrat Bart Stupak and others, on March 24, 2010, Barack Obama signed Executive Order 13535. It states that “the Hyde [Amendment] language shall apply to the authorization and appropriations of funds for Community Health Centers...I hereby direct the Secretary of HHS to ensure that program administrators and recipients of federal funds are aware of and comply with the limitations on abortion services imposed on CHCs by existing law.”

Pro-life groups warned at the time that an executive order was insufficient to prevent taxpayer funding of abortion, and the law itself had to be amended – or defeated.

Stupak, who voted for ObamaCare before retiring from Congress, later said he was “perplexed and disappointed” by President Obama's “double cross” during the law's implementation.

Pro-life experts today say Congress must investigate whether the law is being violated and, if so, if the offense is isolated to IFH.

"For years the Obama administration has claimed that the Affordable Care Act and federally-funded health centers do not subsidize abortion, and the president finally signed additional provisions, passed last year by Congress, to ensure that community health centers do not use federal funds to support abortion,” said Arina Grossu, the director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council. “Now we learn that CNCS is violating the law by helping women obtain abortions.”

“This blatant violation of federal law by CNCS and AmeriCorps demands that Congress investigate government-funded community health centers,” Grossu said. “It's time for this administration to stop foisting its radical abortion agenda on the American people and using their tax dollars to do so.” 

Pro-life advocates have long said that there is no need to fund Planned Parenthood, because federal women's health dollars could be reappropriated to FQHCs, which do not perform abortion.

There are 9,170 federally qualified health centers compared to about 700 Planned Parenthood facilities, according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute. FQHCs see 21.1 million patients a year, while Planned Parenthood saw 2.8 million people, the institute reported.

The latest example of federal dollars being channeled to support abortion, the law notwithstanding, has undermined some confidence in the FQHCs.

Rep. Diane Black, a pro-life Republican from Tennessee, said, “NACHC didn’t just break the rules; they broke trust with the American people. My constituents expect that federal funding given to our community health centers will be used to protect and enhance people’s lives, not to be a willing partner in their destruction.”

At least two Congressional leaders – the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the chair of the House Health Subcommittee – have promised they will take action immediately.

“Federal law demands that taxpayer dollars are never to be spent on abortion activities. Not one penny. Period. But a disturbing report from an independent watchdog reveals that was not the case with brazen pursuits by the National Association of Community Health Centers,” said Congressmen Fred Upton and Joseph Pitts of Pennsylvania, both Republicans. “The law was violated and this shameful failure of trust will not be tolerated.”



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Abortion lobbyists demand Ted Cruz renounce pro-life leader Troy Newman

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WICHITA, Kansas, April 28, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The nation's largest abortion providers, an abortion lobbying group, and an ultra-liberal political organization are demanding that Senator Ted Cruz cut ties with Operation Rescue President Troy Newman – something that only proves how effective he has been, Newman's organization says.

Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and People for the American Way are asking Cruz to fire Newman as national co-chair of the “Pro-Lifers for Cruz” coalition, claiming that Newman supports violence.

“Troy Newman’s history of violent rhetoric and harassment toward women’s health providers is truly beyond the pale,” the three say in a letter to Sen. Cruz, linking to quotations from his 2000 book, Their Blood Cries Out.

“What Planned Parenthood and their cohorts call 'violent rhetoric' is really a discussion of Old Testament Bible verses taken out of context,” said Cheryl Sullenger of Operation Rescue and co-author of the book Their Blood Cries Out. The work establishes the sinful guilt of abortion before highlighting the mercy available in the New Testament for those who accept Jesus Christ, Sullenger said.

The letter also cites a report from the National Abortion Federation stating that abortionists have experienced an increase in “hate speech and internet harassment” since the release of CMP's undercover videos of Planned Parenthood, “which Newman was a driving force behind.”

“What they call 'harassment' is peaceful activism that is completely protected by the First Amendment,” Sullenger responded.

Newman has consistently denounced criminal action and violence of any kind during his decades in the pro-life movement, Operation Rescue said of the allegations – many of which were circulated to prevent Newman from entering Australia last year.

“Newman’s position on abortion-related violence is clear. He denounces violence against abortion providers as well as the violence perpetrated by the abortion cartel against innocent babies in the womb and their mothers,” Sullenger said.

“Attacking the messenger is the only way they have to try to discredit the hefty volume of evidence against them. This most recent attack is all about manipulating the public’s perception against those who exposed Planned Parenthood in order to deflect attention from their own crimes.”

But the three groups poured vitriolic scorn on Newman. Michael Keegan, president of People for the American Way, called Newman's role “completely unacceptable...No politician should be allowed to pander to violent anti-choice extremists without being called out.”

NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue said, "Troy Newman is an anti-choice extremist and misogynist ideologue.”

A Planned Parenthood executive said the choice proved Sen. Cruz and his vice presidential choice, Carly Fiorina, are unfit for office.

“It is not surprising to see Ted Cruz embrace this type of violent extremism -- after all this is the same man who has told malicious lies about Planned Parenthood, would criminalize abortion, and tried to shut down the government” to defund Planned Parenthood, said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “This is what the Cruz-Fiorina ticket stands for."

Sullenger dismissed their rhetoric as “a feeble attempt to hurt the presidential candidacy of Sen. Ted Cruz, who they know will seek to enforce the laws against them.”

Cruz has repeatedly stated that, if he is elected president, he will defund Planned Parenthood – before prosecuting them.

Their letter has led to a number of articles in the mainstream media, including Politico, the Huffington Post, and Glamour. The last publication, a feminist magazine aimed at young women, slammed Ted Cruz's choice of Carly Fiorina for vice president, telling its readers to “hold on to your uterus.”

“Not one of these publications bothered to reach out to Newman or Operation Rescue’s staff for their response,” Sullenger said.

This morning and afternoon, both sides of the abortion debate have used the Twitter hashtag #FireTroy to get their message across.

Sen. Cruz has not responded to the call, but the letter implies that purging Newman from the campaign would not satisfy the pro-abortion coalition. “There are a number of coalition members whose records raise serious concerns,” they say.



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