Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

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Hidden camera: Doctor in hospital with Catholic ties urges Down syndrome test, abortion

Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
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BARCELONA, November 1, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Footage from a hidden video camera leaked to LifeSiteNews.com shows a doctor at a historically Catholic Barcelona hospital recommending a Down syndrome test to a pregnant woman so that she can abort the child if the result is positive.

The video was taken at the Santa Creu i Sant Pau Hospital, which is partially administered by the Archdiocese of Barcelona, in September, and shows a meeting between hospital staff and a pregnant woman who is accompanied by her brother and a friend. During the meeting the woman is informed that a test has indicated that she has a high risk of carrying a Down syndrome baby.

The doctor overseeing the case recommends that she be given a placental biopsy to verify the presence of Down syndrome, so that she can obtain a legal “interruption of pregnancy” should the baby turn out to have the disability.

Although he notes that the test itself will cause miscarriage in 1-2 percent of cases, the doctor encourages the woman to have the test done quickly, warning that “if we pass 21 or 22 weeks the law places many obstacles in the way of interrupting the pregnancy, unless there is a very grave abnormality.”

“If, for example, it has Down syndrome and we pass 22 weeks of pregnancy, we can have problems for, if you don’t want to continue the pregnancy, for doing a legal interruption of pregnancy,” the doctor adds.

(Click “like” if you want to end abortion! )

When the woman expresses doubt about doing the test, the doctor turns to her brother, asking: “You, if you were to have a child with Down syndrome, would you want to continue with the pregnancy?” in an apparent attempt to enlist him in favor of the test.

“Yes,” the brother answers, and the woman agrees.

After verifying that the woman doesn’t want to kill her unborn child, even if the baby has Down syndrome, the doctor states that “it doesn’t make much sense to do the test, because the test isn’t useful for anything except for deciding if you’re going to continue the pregnancy or not, if some abnormality is shown.”

The video also provides verification of what Barcelona priest Fr. Custodio Ballester, the St. Andrew’s Cross Association, and other pro-life activists have long alleged: that abortions continue to be done at the hospital.

When the woman asks if she could “get rid of the baby” at the Sant Pau Hospital itself, the doctor acknowledges that abortions are performed there in “extremely serious” cases, but “the law does permit you to do it, depending on what problems you have. If you can’t do it here, then at another location.”

The doctor’s statements are consonant with continuing reports that the Sant Pau Hospital is performing eugenic abortions on infants who suffer a malformation in the womb.

After the Spanish media revealed public records indicating that abortions were taking place in the Sant Pau Hospital and other Barcelona-area hospitals affiliated with the Catholic Church, the Archdiocese of Barcelona stonewalled inquiries for months, then claimed through an anonymous spokesman that no such abortions had taken place. The Archdiocese then claimed that an order had been given not to perform abortions, although the hospital itself has admitted that it is continuing to do them in some cases.

The video was taken by members of the Immaculate Conception of Hospitalet parish, whose pastor is Fr. Custodio Ballester, a leading critic of the archdiocese’s collaboration with abortionist hospitals in Barcelona.

Fr. Custodio Ballester denounces the “collaborationism” of the Archdiocese of Barcelona

Fr. Ballester told LifeSiteNews.com that “the pertinacity with which abortions are practiced - above all eugenic ones - is evident,” and denounced the claim that the presence of priests from the archdiocese on the board of the hospital was curbing such abuses as a “delusion.”

“Participating in the government of a hospital and making one’s self an accomplice of a certain number of abortions with the hope that in this way—with our presence—they won’t carry out a greater number, is collaborationism pure and simple,” he wrote in an e-mail to LifeSiteNews.

“The scandal of diocesan participation in those hospitals is not repaired with complicit silence nor with a comfortable collaborationism, with some pretty declarations of condemnation once a year, but rather with resistance: with public, valiant, and risky testimony of those who believe that the life of man is sacred,” Ballester stated.

The priest also noted that “In the last conversation I had with the Cardinal, he told me that they had assured him that they were not doing abortions. This was denied by the new manager of the hospital, who said that they do ‘medical abortions.’”

“The archdiocese hasn’t denied the information yet and we [pro-lifers] are very indignant,” he added.

Contact information:

Ldo. Sergi Gordo Rodríguez (Secretario General y Canciller)
Arzobispado de Barcelona
Calle del Obispo 5, Barcelona 08002
Telephone: (011) (34) 93.270.10.10
Fax: (011) (34) 93.270.13.03
Click here to e-mail.
(Enter name in the first field, e-mail address in the second, subject in the third, and text in the fourth.  Click “Enviar” to send.)

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Lisa Bourne

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Pressure mounts as Catholic Relief Services fails to act on VP in gay ‘marriage’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne
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Rick Estridge, Catholic Relief Services' Vice President of Overseas Finance, is in a same-sex "marriage," public records show. Twitter

BALTIMORE, MD, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Nearly a week after news broke that a Catholic Relief Services vice president had contracted a homosexual “marriage” while also publicly promoting homosexuality on social media in conflict with Church teaching, the US Bishops international relief agency has taken no apparent steps to address the matter and is also not talking.

CRS Vice President of Overseas Finance Rick Estridge entered into a homosexual “marriage” in Maryland the same month in 2013 that he was promoted by CRS to vice president, public records show.

Despite repeated efforts at a response, CRS has not acknowledged LifeSiteNews’ inquiries during the week. And the agency told ChurchMilitant.com Thursday that no action had been taken beyond discussion of the situation and CRS would have no further comment.

"Nothing has changed,” CRS Senior Manager for Communications Tom said. “No further statement will be made."

LifeSiteNews first contacted CRS for a response prior to the April 20 release of the report and did not receive a reply, however Estridge’s Facebook and LinkeIn profiles were then removed just prior to the report’s release.

CRS also did not acknowledge LifeSiteNews’ follow-up inquiry later in the week.

“Having an executive who publicly celebrates a moral abomination shows the ineffectiveness of CRS' Catholic identity training,” Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn told LifeSiteNews. “How many others who hate Catholic moral teaching work at CRS?”

CRS did admit it was aware Estridge was in a “same-sex civil marriage” to Catholic News Agency (CNA) Monday afternoon, and confirmed he was VP of Overseas Finance and had been with CRS for 16 years.

“At this point we are in deliberations on this matter,” Price told CNA that day.

ChurchMilitant.com also reported that according to its sources, it was a well-known fact at CRS headquarters in Baltimore that Estridge was in a homosexual “marriage.” 

“There is no way CRS didn't know one of its executives entered into a mock-marriage until we broke the story,” Hichborn said. “The implication is clear; CRS top brass had no problem with having an executive so deliberately flouting Catholic moral teaching.”

“The big question is,” Hichborn continued, “what other morally repugnant matters is CRS comfortable with?”

While the wait continues for the Bishops’ relief organization to address the matter, those behind the report and other critics of prior instances of CRS involvement in programs and groups that violate Church principles continue to call for a thorough and independent review of the agency programs and personnel.

“How long should it take to call an employee into your office, tell him that his behavior is incompatible with the mission of the organization, and ask for his resignation?” asked Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher. “About thirty minutes, I would say.”

“The Catholic identity of CRS is at stake,” Hichborn stated. “If CRS does nothing, then there is no way faithful Catholics can trust the integrity of CRS's programs or desire to make its Catholicity preeminent.” 

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Thousands of marriage activists gathered in D.C. June 19, 2014 for the 2nd March for Marriage. Dustin Siggins / LifeSiteNews.com
The Editors

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Watch the March for Marriage online—only at LifeSiteNews

The Editors
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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- At noon on Saturday, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and dozens of cosponsors, coalition partners, and speakers will launch the third annual March for Marriage. Thousands of people are expected to take place in this important event to show the support real marriage has among the American people.

As the sole media sponsor of the March, LifeSiteNews is proud to exclusively livestream the March. Click here to see the rally at noon Eastern Time near the U.S. Capitol, and the March to the Supreme Court at 1:00 Eastern Time.

And don't forget to pray that God's Will is done on Tuesday, when the Supreme Court hears arguments about marriage!

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Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

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Hillary Clinton: ‘Religious beliefs’ against abortion ‘have to be changed’

Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben
By Ben Johnson

NEW YORK CITY, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Speaking to an influential gathering in New York City on Thursday, Hillary Clinton declared that “religious beliefs” that condemn "reproductive rights," “have to be changed.”

“Yes, we've cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health,” Hillary told the Women in the World Summit yesterday.

Liberal politicians use “reproductive health” as a blanket term that includes abortion. However, Hillary's reference echoes National Organization for Women (NOW) president Terry O’Neill's op-ed from last May that called abortion “an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality.”

The Democratic presidential hopeful added that governments should throw the power of state coercion behind the effort to redefine traditional religious dogmas.

“Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources, and political will,” she said. “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

The line received rousing applause at the feminist conference, hosted in Manhattan's Lincoln Center by Tina Brown.

She also cited religious-based objections to the HHS mandate, funding Planned Parenthood, and the homosexual and transgender agenda as obstacles that the government must defeat.

“America moves ahead when all women are guaranteed the right to make their own health care choices, not when those choices are taken away by an employer like Hobby Lobby,” she said. The Supreme Court ruled last year that closely held corporations had the right to opt out of the provision of ObamaCare requiring them to provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization to employees with no co-pay – a mandate that violates the teachings of the Catholic Church and other Christian bodies.

Clinton lamented that “there are those who offer themselves as leaders...who would defund the country's leading provider of family planning,” Planned Parenthood, “and want to let health insurance companies once again charge women just because of our gender.”

“We move forward when gay and transgender women are embraced...not fired from good jobs because of who they love or who they are,” she added.

It is not the first time the former first lady had said that liberal social policies should displace religious views. In a December 2011 speech in Geneva, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said perhaps the “most challenging issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens.” These objections, she said, are “not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation.”

While opinions on homosexuality are “still evolving,” in time “we came to learn that no [religious] practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us.”

Her views, if outside the American political mainstream, have been supported by the United Nations. The UN Population Fund stated in its 2012 annual report that religious objections to abortion-inducing drugs had to be overcome. According to the UNFPA report, “‘duty-bearers’ (governments and others)” have a responsibility to assure that all forms of contraception – including sterilization and abortion-inducing ‘emergency contraception’ – are viewed as acceptable – “But if they are not acceptable for cultural, religious or other reasons, they will not be used.”

Two years later, the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child instructed the Vatican last February that the Catholic Church should amend canon law “relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services may be permitted.”

At Thursday's speech, Hillary called the legal, state-enforced implementation of feminist politics “the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” which must be accomplished “not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.”

“These are not just women's fights. These have to be America's fights and the world's fights,” she said. “There's still much to be done in our own country, much more to be done around the world, but I'm confident and optimistic that if we get to work, we will get it done together.”

American critics called Clinton's suggestion that a nation founded upon freedom of religion begin using state force to change religious practices unprecedented.

“Never before have we seen a presidential candidate be this bold about directly confronting the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion,” said Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.

“In one sense, this shows just how extreme the pro-abortion caucus actually is,” Ed Morrissey writes at HotAir.com. “Running for president on the basis of promising to use the power of government to change 'deep seated cultural codes [and] religious beliefs' might be the most honest progressive slogan in history.”

He hoped that, now that she had called for governments to change religious doctrines, “voters will now see the real Hillary Clinton, the one who dismisses their faith just the same as Obama did, and this time publicly rather than in a private fundraiser.”

Donohue asked Hillary “to take the next step and tell us exactly what she plans to do about delivering on her pledge. Not only would practicing Catholics like to know, so would Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and all those who value life from conception to natural death.”

You may watch Hillary's speech below.

Her comments on religion begin at approximately 9:00. 

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