Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

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“Gay mafia” blamed for Papal resignation in Cardinals’ report

Hilary White, Rome Correspondent
Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

ROME, February 22, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Italian and international media is consumed today by a story, of Machiavellian complexity, published in the daily La Repubblica, alleging that among the reasons for Pope Benedict’s shocking decision to resign was the existence of an entrenched “gay network” orchestrating “sexual encounters” and shady financial machinations within the Vatican. 

Despite their extraordinary nature, few are questioning the claim that a group of three specially appointed senior curial cardinals have presented a 300 page, two-volume document to Pope Benedict detailing the workings and sexual activities of a network of curial officials.

La Repubblica said the document is the result of an investigation, ordered by Pope Benedict, into the Vatileaks scandals that seized public attention in Italy for months in early 2012. The document was allegedly presented to the pope December 17 and remains under strict “papal secret,” locked away by Pope Benedict in his own safe.

The paper, that has not named its sources, says the report cites not only an active homosexual subculture in the Vatican, but factional “struggles for power and money”. The paper quotes “a man very close” to the document’s authors, who described its contents, saying, “Everything revolves around the non-observance of the sixth and seventh commandment,” the Biblical prohibitions against sexual impurity and theft.

The document is said to identify one of the major divides in the Vatican’s internal culture as one of “sexual orientation”. “For the first time the word ‘homosexuality’ has been used, read aloud from a written text, in the apartment of Ratzinger… For the first time, although in Latin, the word blackmail, ‘influentiam,’ was used with His Holiness. ‘Impropriam influentiam,’” La Repubblica’s Concita de Gregorio writes.

The three cardinals – the paper names Spanish cardinal Julian Herranz, Italian cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi and Slovak cardinal Josef Tomko – revealed “a lobby network” identified with the various religious congregations - including the Salesians of Don Bosco and Jesuits – and “geographical origin,” described as “a network united according to sexual orientation.”

The paper quotes Cardinal De Giorgi directly, speaking about the pope’s decision to step down for the good of the Church. He said the decision was made as “a gesture of strength, not weakness”.

“He did it for the good of the Church. He gave a strong message to everyone in the exercise of authority or power who are considered irreplaceable. The Church is made up of men. The Pope has seen the problems and dealt with them in a particularly unusual, far-sighted initiative. He took upon himself the cross, in fact. But not decreased; on the contrary,” De Giorgi said.

The document, the paper said, included “dozens and dozens of interviews with bishops, cardinals and lay people. In Italy and abroad. Dozens and dozens of reports, reread and signed by the interviewees.” These interviews started with standard quesionnaires and were followed by personal interviews, the findings of which were “checked and cross-checked”.

The document is remaining secret, and will be kept by Pope Benedict who will place it directly into the hands of the new pope following the conclave. La Repubblica reports that Benedict will also meet with the three cardinals on Thursday, the last day of his pontificate.

The paper is claiming that it was with the reception of this report that Pope Benedict decided, the week before Christmas, to resign. They cited the comments by Pope Benedict in his homily for Ash Wednesday in which he decried “divisions in the ecclesial body that disfigure the face of the Church.”

But not everyone is convinced. La Stampa’s Marco Tossati wrote today that, given Cardinal Ratzinger’s 25 years in the very office most concerned with the doctrinal orthodoxy and sexual behaviour of priests and bishops, “it does not seem very plausible” that he has only now, with the publication of a single report, “suddenly decided to leave the Throne of Peter”.

The allegations have apparently caught the Vatican’s communications offices by surprise in a time of almost unprecedented turmoil for the Church’s leadership. At a hastily assembled press conference, Father Federico Lombardi would say only, “Neither the cardinals’ commission nor I will make comments to confirm or deny the things that are said about this matter.”

“Let each one assume his or her own responsibilities. We shall not be following up on the observations that are made about this.”

It was made public by the Vatican in March last year that Pope Benedict had appointed a commission of cardinals to investigate the so-called Vatileaks scandal. The investigation was carried out on two levels, with Vatican magistrates pursuing a criminal investigation and the Secretariat of State a more in-depth investigation into administrative corruption.

The result of the criminal investigation was the discovery that the pope’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, had stolen private papers related to internal matters. Some of these were passed to journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, who later released a best-selling book detailing scandals and infighting within the Vatican.

Gabriele’s trial was made public and he was found guilty, held in an Italian prison for a short period and then personally pardoned by Pope Benedict. While this had appeared to be the end of the affair according to the newspapers, questions have not stopped circulating about the story behind the headlines.

It is widely believed in Italy that Gabriele, who was convicted by the Vatican’s court of illegal possession of documents of a head of state, had been chosen as a scapegoat and that the background of corruption had remained untouched. Gabriele stated that he stole the documents to protect Pope Benedict and fight an entrenched culture of “evil and corruption” among the Vatican’s hierarchy.

During his trial, Gabriele told the court, “What really shocked me was when I sat down for lunch with the Holy Father and sometimes the pope asked about things that he should have been informed on. It was then that I became firmly convinced of how easy it was to manipulate a person with such enormous powers.” He told Nuzzi in an interview that he was acting with “around 20 other people” in the Vatican, but later denied that he had been helped by anyone to remove the documents.

Certainly faithful Catholics fighting the homosexualist movement both within and without the Church have known for decades that a powerful homosexual subculture among some clergy and bishops took hold of the temporal affairs of the Church in the 1960s and after.

In his 2002 book “Goodbye Good Men,” US author and investigator Michael Rose described in detail the machinations of what came to be called the “lavender mafia” in the Catholic Church in the US. It documented the results of the changes made in the period immediately following the close of the Second Vatican Council in the practices of the Catholic institutions, particularly in seminaries and academia.

Rose and many others have pointed out that during this period, many of the seminaries abandoned their former rigor in screening prospective priests, allowing large numbers of morally unstable men to be put on track to ordination. This period also coincides closely with the time during which the great majority of the complaints of sexual abuse are recorded, nearly all by male clerics against adolescent boys and young men. At the same time, the hierarchy of the Church largely ceased emphasising the Church’s teachings on sexuality and the family.

Related LifeSiteNews story:

Cardinal Martini and the false theology promoting homosexuality

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Newsbusters Staff

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Disney ABC embraces X-rated anti-Christian bigot Dan Savage in new prime time show

Newsbusters Staff
By

March 30, 2015 (NewsBusters.org) -- Media Research Center (MRC) and Family Research Council (FRC) are launching a joint national campaign to educate the public about a Disney ABC sitcom pilot based on the life of bigoted activist Dan Savage. MRC and FRC contacted Ben Sherwood, president of Disney/ABC Television Group, more than two weeks ago urging him to put a stop to this atrocity but received no response. [Read the full letter]

A perusal of Dan Savage’s work reveals a career built on advocating violence — even murder — and spewing hatred against people of faith. Savage has spared no one with whom he disagrees from his vitriolic hate speech. Despite his extremism, vulgarity, and unabashed encouragement of dangerous sexual practices, Disney ABC is moving forward with this show, disgustingly titled “Family of the Year.”

Media Research Center President Brent Bozell reacts:

“Disney ABC’s decision to effectively advance Dan Savage’s calls for violence against conservatives and his extremist attacks against people of faith, particularly evangelicals and Catholics, is appalling and outrageous. If hate speech were a crime, this man would be charged with a felony. Disney ABC giving Dan Savage a platform for his anti-religious bigotry is mind-boggling and their silence is deafening.

“By creating a pilot based on the life of this hatemonger and bringing him on as a producer, Disney ABC is sending a signal that they endorse Dan Savage’s wish that a man be murdered. He has stated, ‘Carl Romanelli should be dragged behind a pickup truck until there’s nothing left but the rope.’ ABC knows this. We told them explicitly.

“If the production of ‘Family of the Year’ is allowed to continue, not just Christians but all people of goodwill can only surmise that the company Walt Disney created is endorsing violence.”

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins reacts:

“Does ABC really want to produce a pilot show based on a vile bully like Dan Savage?  Do Dan Savage’s over-the top-obscenity, intimidation of teenagers and even violent rhetoric reflect the values of Disney?  Partnering with Dan Savage and endorsing his x-rated message will be abandoning the wholesome values that have attracted millions of families to Walt Disney.”

Dan Savage has made numerous comments about conservatives, evangelicals, and Catholics that offend basic standards of decency. They include:

  • Proclaiming that he sometimes thinks about “f****ing the shit out of” Senator Rick Santorum

  • Calling for Christians at a high school conference to “ignore the bull**** in the Bible”

  • Saying that “the only thing that stands between my d*** and Brad Pitt’s mouth is a piece of paper” when expressing his feelings on Pope Benedict’s opposition to gay marriage

  • Promoting marital infidelity

  • Saying “Carl Romanelli should be dragged behind a pickup truck until there’s nothing left but the rope.”

  • Telling Bill Maher that he wished Republicans “were all f***ing dead”

  • Telling Dr. Ben Carson to “suck my d***. Name the time and place and I’ll bring my d*** and a camera crew and you can s*** me off and win the argument.”

Reprinted with permission from Newsbusters

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Jacqueline Harvey

Ending the end-of-life impasse: Texas is poised to ban doctor-imposed death by starvation

Jacqueline Harvey
By Jacqueline Harvey

AUSTIN, Texas, March 30, 2015 (TexasInsider.org)  After five consecutive sessions of bitter battles over end-of-life bills, the Texas Legislature is finally poised to pass the first reform to the Texas Advance Directives Act (TADA) in 12 years. An issue that created uncanny adversaries out of natural allies, and equally odd bedfellows, has finally found common ground in H.B. 3074 by State Rep. Drew Springer.  

H.B. 3074 simply prohibits doctor-imposed euthanasia by starvation and dehydration.

Since H.B. 3074 includes only those provisions and language that all major organizations are on record as having deemed acceptable in previous legislative sessions, there is finally hope of ending the end-of-life impasse in the Texas Capitol.

Many would be surprised to learn that Texas law allows physicians to forcibly remove a feeding tube against the will of the patient and their family. In fact, there is a greater legal penalty for failing to feed or water an animal than for a hospital to deny a human being food and water through a tube.

This is because there is no penalty whatsoever for a healthcare provider who wishes to deny artificially-administered nutrition and hydration (AANH). According to Texas Health and Safety Code, “every living dumb creature” is legally entitled access to suitable food and water.

Denying an animal food and water, like in this January case in San Antonio, is punishable by civil fines up to $10,000 and criminal penalties up to two years in jail per offense. Yet Texas law allows health care providers to forcibly deny food and water from human beings – what they would not be able to legally do to their housecat. And healthcare providers are immune from civil and criminal penalties for denial of food and water to human beings as long as they follow the current statutory process which is sorely lacking in safeguards.

Therefore, while it is surprising that Texas has the only state law that explicitly mentions food and water delivered artificially for the purpose of completely permitting its forced denial (the other six states mention AANH explicitly for the opposite purpose, to limit or prohibit its refusal), it is not at all surprising that the issue of protecting a patient’s right to food and water is perhaps the one point of consensus across all major stakeholders.

H.B. 3074 is the first TADA reform bill to include only this provision that is agreed upon across all major players in previous legislative sessions.

There are irreconcilable ideological differences between two major right-to-life organizations that should supposedly be like-minded: Texas Alliance for Life and Texas Right to Life. Each faction (along with their respective allies) have previously sponsored broad and ambitious bills to either preserve but reform the current law (Texas Alliance for Life’s position) or overturn it altogether as Texas Right to Life aims to do.

Prior to H.B. 3074, bills filed by major advocacy organizations have often included AANH, but also a host of other provisions that were so contentious and unacceptable to other organizations that each bill ultimately died, and this mutually-agreed-upon and vital reform always died along with it.

2011 & 2013 Legislative Sessions present prime example

This 2011 media report shows the clear consensus on need for legislation to simply address the need to protect patients’ rights to food and water:

“Hughes [bill sponsor for Texas Right to Life] has widespread support for one of his bill’s goals: making food and water a necessary part of treatment and not something that can be discontinued, unless providing it would harm the patient.”

Nonetheless, in 2013, both organizations and their allies filed complicated, contentious opposing bills, both of which would have protected a patient’s right to food and water but each bill also included provisions the rival group saw as contrary to their goals. Both bills were ultimately defeated and neither group was able to achieve protections for patients at risk of forced starvation and dehydration – a mutual goal that could have been met through a third, narrow bill like H.B. 3074.

H.B. 3074 finally focuses on what unites the organizations involved rather than what divides them, since these differences have resulted in a 12 year standoff with no progress whatsoever.

H.B. 3074 is progress that is pre-negotiated and pre-approved.

It is not a fertile springboard for negotiations on an area of mutual agreement. Rather it is the culmination of years of previous negotiations on bills that all came too late, either due to the complexnature of rival bills, the controversy involved, or even both.

On the contrary, H.B. 3074 is not just simply an area of agreement; moreover, it is has already been negotiated. It should not be stymied by disagreements on language, since Texas Alliance for Life and Texas Right to Life (along with their allies) were able to agree on language in 2007 with C.S.S.B. 439. C.S.S.B. 439 reads that, unlike the status quo that places no legal conditions on when food and water may be withdrawn, it would be permitted for those in a terminal condition if,

“reasonable medical evidence indicates the provision of artificial nutrition and hydration may hasten the patient’s death or seriously exacerbate other major medical problems and the risk of serious medical pain or discomfort that cannot be alleviated based on reasonable medical judgment outweighs the benefit of continued artificial nutrition and hydration.”

This language is strikingly similar to H.B. 3074 which states, “except that artificially administered nutrition and hydration must be provided unless, based on reasonable medical judgment, providingartificially administered nutrition and hydration would:

  1. Hasten the patient’s death;
  2. Seriously exacerbate other major medical problems not outweighed by the benefit of the provision of the treatment;
  3. Result in substantial irremediable physical pain, suffering, or discomfort not outweighed by the benefit of the provision of the treatment;
  4. Be medically ineffective; or
  5. Be contrary to the patient’s clearly stated desire not to receive artificially administered nutrition or hydration.”

With minimal exceptions (the explicit mention of the word terminal, the issue of medical effectiveness and the patient’s right to refuse), the language is virtually identical, and in 2007 Texas Right to Life affirmed this language as clarifying that “ANH can only be withdrawn if the risk of providing ANH is greater than the benefit of continuing it.”

Texas Right to Life would support the language in H.B. 3074 that already has Texas Alliance for Life’s endorsement. Any reconciliation on the minor differences in language would therefore be minimal and could be made by either side, but ultimately, both sides and their allies would gain a huge victory – the first victory in 12 years on this vital issue.

It seems that the Texas Advance Directive Act, even among its sympathizers, has something for everyone to oppose.

The passage of H.B. 3074 and the legal restoration of rights to feeding tubes for Texas patients will not begin to satisfy critics of the Texas Advance Directives Act who desire much greater changes to the law and will assuredly continue to pursue them. H.B. 3074 in no way marks the end for healthcare reform, but perhaps a shift from the belief that anything short of sweeping changes is an endorsement of the status quo.

Rather, we can look at H.B. 3074 as breaking a barrier and indicating larger changes are possible.

And if nothing else, by passing H.B. 3074 introduced by State Rep. Drew Springer, we afford human beings in Texas the same legal access to food and water that we give to our horses. What is cruel to do to an animal remains legal to do to humans in Texas if organizations continue to insist on the whole of their agenda rather than agreeing to smaller bills like H.B. 3074.

The question is, can twelve years of bad blood and bickering be set aside for even this most noble of causes?

Reprinted from TexasInsider.org with the author's permission. 

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Only 3 Days Left!

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But though we have made great strides in the past few days, we still need many more donations if we are going to have any hope of making it all the way by April 1st.

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