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(LifeSiteNews) – The prospect of professional, personal, and academic reprisals has left female swimmers “frightened” to speak out about the intrusion of biological male Lia Thomas in their competitions, according to the mother of one such swimmer, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The Post Millennial reports that the unidentified mother of an Ivy League, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) swimmer spoke to the conservative Independent Women’s Forum (IWF). She made the comments in reference to University of Pennsylvania swimmer William “Lia” Thomas, a man who recently “transitioned” to female yet retains male genitalia and reportedly remains heterosexual (despite self-identifying as lesbian), which has generated unease among his female teammates, particularly due to sharing lockers. 

His participation in female swim competitions has also caused unrest due to the fact that he quickly started dominating women’s swimming after switching from the men’s team, which was the focus of the mother’s comments.

“So the first time I heard about Lia Thomas, I was just glancing through the results of some of the early dual meets in the season and I thought, who is Lia Thomas? Why don’t I know this name?” she said. “The idea that there was an Ivy League swimmer that was capable of going 1:46 in the 200 free in a practice suit in a dual meet was shocking because that would have been someone I would have — that would have been on the radar.”

“Holy cow, we’re going to talk about a male swimmer — a full grown male — attempting to take down female icon records, and taking a spot on an Ivy team from one of the Penn swimmers, who have rightfully deserved it,” she continued. “And we’re talking about, this person’s gonna swim on every relay going forward at championship meets, is going to take the position of a woman on a travel team, is going to take a space in every finals.”

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By all accounts, Bishop Daniel Fernández Torres' diocese of Arecibo in Puerto Rico is flourishing because of his adherence to the perennial teachings of the Church.

But, without any formal proceedings, Bishop Fernández Torres has been summarily 'relieved' of his episcopal duties allegedly because he championed conscience rights in the face of a Church vaccine mandate in Puerto Rico.

Please SIGN this urgent petition to Pope Francis urging him to reinstate Bishop Fernández Torres now.

To be clear, COVID-19 is a serious disease, oftentimes with debilitating consequences, or worse, for those who contract it.

However, all coronavirus vaccines currently authorized for use in the U.S. and Puerto Rico have been tested on or produced with cell lines of aborted babies. And, the vaccines have been linked to serious side effects, while none has yet completed long-term testing.

Given the complexity of this issue, the Church has determined that getting vaccinated is a matter of personal discernment which each individual must make after informing his or her conscience.

As such, the Church teaches that there is no moral obligation to be vaccinated. Indeed, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the Church's teaching authority where faith and moral are concerned, issued a statement to that effect in December, 2020.

Specifically, the CDF's, “Note on the Morality of Using Some Anti-COVID-19 Vaccines,” of December 17, 2020, n. 5 states: “At the same time, practical reason makes evident that vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation and that, therefore, it must be voluntary.”

Therefore, it would appear that for simply restating the current teaching of the CDF and for opposing his brother bishops in Puerto Rico on this seminal matter of conscientious objection, Rome is now attempting to "cancel" Bishop Fernández Torres.

This is wrong, unfair and discriminatory!

And, Bishop Fernández Torres is hardly the first bishop to defend Church teaching on conscientious objection on the issue of mandatory vaccination. Both the Colorado and South Dakota bishops' conferences released similar statements, and like Bishop Fernández Torres, they also offered to validate religious exemptions for member of their flock who asked to be exempted from vaccination.

Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition to Pope Francis urging him to reinstate Bishop Fernández Torres.

For his part, Bishop Fernández Torres, 57, a staunch defender of life and family, protested his removal as "totally unjust" in a statement released Wednesday (3/9/2022).

The bishop, who led his diocese for nearly 12 years, noted that Pope Francis’ apostolic delegate to Puerto Rico verbally requested that he resign, but said that he refused to do so, as he "did not want to become an accomplice of a totally unjust action."

"No process has been made against me," Bishop Fernández Torres wrote, "nor have I been formally accused of anything, and simply one day the apostolic delegate verbally communicated to me that Rome was asking me to resign."

“A successor of the apostles is now being replaced without even undertaking what would be a due canonical process to remove a parish priest,” the bishop added.

“I was informed that I had committed no crime but that I supposedly ‘had not been obedient to the pope nor had I been in sufficient communion with my brother bishops of Puerto Rico,’” he said. “It was suggested to me that if I resigned from the diocese I would remain at the service of the Church in case at some time I was needed in some other position; an offer that in fact proves my innocence.”

Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition to Pope Francis urging him to reinstate Bishop Fernández Torres. Thank you!

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

'Pope Francis abruptly removes faithful bishop who opposed COVID vaccine mandates' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pope-francis-abruptly-removes-faithful-bishop-who-opposed-covid-vaccine-mandates/

'Puerto Rico bishop supports conscience objections to COVID vaccines, allows priests to sign exemptions' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/puerto-rico-bishop-supports-conscience-objections-to-covid-vaccines-allows-priests-to-sign-exemptions/

**Photo Credit: Diocese of Arecibo

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The mother explained that in the beginning, “the girls thought that ‘of course this isn’t right,’” and expected the schools to resolve the situation. But as time went on it not only became clear that universities had no intention of removing Thomas from female competitions, but “when their news started asking questions, the schools in each case across the Ivy League, pulled their swimmers aside and said, ‘you’re not allowed to talk about this.'”

“And they’re frightened. They’re frightened of losing friends. They’re frightened of being kicked off their teams. They’re frightened of being told by their universities that they’re transphobic and hateful,” she lamented. “I don’t want my daughter to have any repercussions based upon my desire to speak out for sex-based rights and representation for women. She deserves to have a college experience unmarred by this issue, and she deserves to have the time and ability to process what’s going on with her in her own way.”

Critics argue that indulging transgender athletes in this way undermines the original rational basis for having sex-specific athletics in the first place, thereby depriving female athletes of recognition and professional or academic opportunities. Scientific research affirms that physiology gives males distinct advantages in athletics, which hormone suppression does not suffice to cancel out.

In a paper published by the Journal of Medical Ethics, New Zealand researchers found that “healthy young men [do] not lose significant muscle mass (or power) when their circulating testosterone levels were reduced to (below International Olympic Committee guidelines) for 20 weeks,” and “indirect effects of testosterone” on factors such as bone structure, lung volume, and heart size “will not be altered by hormone therapy”; therefore, “the advantage to transwomen [biological men] afforded by the [International Olympic Committee] guidelines is an intolerable unfairness.” 

In an apparent sign of widespread disapproval of the new gender-fluid status quo, the Daily Mail notes that despite Thomas placing first in Thursday evening’s NCAA 500-yard freestyle final, the audience in attendance was reportedly much more enthused for actual female swimmer Emma Weyant, who placed second and was dubbed the “real winner” by the Mail and on social media.

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