Media ‘derailed’ my message on gay civil unions: Vatican prelate
ROME, February 7, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Since Monday, the Catholic and pro-family internet has been abuzz with conflicting articles and blog posts about comments by a Vatican prelate who was reported to have supported legal structures recognizing same-sex partnerings. A story published by the U.S. bishops’ news service reported Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the head of the Pontifical Council for the Family, as saying, “While the Catholic Church opposes legal sanctions against homosexuality and favors legal protections for unmarried people living together, it must defend traditional marriage for the good of society.”
The story touched off a small firestorm in the secular media, with some claiming that the archbishop had contradicted previous statements from Pope Benedict XVI and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
But in a follow-up interview with Vatican Radio yesterday, Archbishop Paglia insisted that his remarks, which had been given off-the-cuff after a prepared statement, were taken out of context and that he had never intended to imply that the Church supports homosexual civil unions.
In her coverage on Monday, Cindy Wooden, a Rome correspondent for Catholic News Service, quoted Archbishop Paglia saying, “If a country outlawed homosexuality, I would work to overturn it.” Wooden noted that he believed “there are still ‘20 or 25 countries’ that define homosexuality as a crime."
Wooden reported Paglia calling for “greater efforts to ensure legal protection and inheritance rights for people who are living together, but not married,” and that “legal means must be found to guarantee rights and regulate inheritance.”
“But do not call it marriage,” the CNS article quoted the archbishop saying.
The report was followed within hours by stories from secular liberal news outlets, carrying headlines like this one from the Huffington Post: “Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia Says Vatican Should Do More To Support Gay Couples.” The Global Post said, “Vatican official opens to rights for gay unions”.
The reports even prompted a positive response from homosexualists in Italy. Franco Grillini, the head of Gaynet, an Italian homosexualist organization, said, “For the first time a senior prelate recognises that there should be rights also for gay couples and that there are many countries in the world where being gay is a crime.”
The ambiguity of the comments was highlighted, however, by the response from Aurelio Mancuso, head of Equality Italia, who said they could as easily be interpreted to mean “keeping the status quo, in other words an absence of rights.”
But in his interview Wednesday with Vatican Radio, Paglia said he was “very surprised at how some media reported” his statements, saying his intention had been “derailed.” “And it is certain that, when the train is derailed, it does not reach the station, it risks running off a cliff,” he added.
Paglia said it is worth considering whether existing laws, which in Italy do not include “civil partnerships,” are enough to grant all citizens sufficient protection from “unjust discrimination”. It is a matter, he said, of “individual rights,” as opposed to collective “gay rights.”
“This is far from the approval of certain perspectives,” he said.
Paglia added that he had been deeply moved by the pope’s discourses on both the value of marriage and the need to defend all persons, including homosexuals, from “malevolent and violent actions.”
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“I really hope that precious treasure, the heritage of humanity, which is the family, can be defended, supported and helped,” he said, “and woe to those who distort its meaning.”
Fr. Shenan Boquet, the president of Human Life International, issued a media release today thanking the archbishop for his clarification, saying it has relieved the widespread confusion created by the media reports.
Whatever the media may have implied, Fr. Boquet said, the archbishop has “simply affirmed the Church's long held defense of basic human dignity (which is a gift from God the Father as every person is made in His image), her defense of the unchangeable nature of marriage, and her desire that no one suffer unjust discrimination.”
Fr. Boquet cited the Catechism of the Catholic Church and a recent document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith showing that the Church has no established position on questions of inheritance law and has never opposed the claims of individuals to pass on their property to whomever they choose, or to allow visitors of their choice when in the hospital.
But this does not mean that the Church has or could ever condone legal changes creating “civil unions” between persons of the same sex. Rather it has said clearly that Catholics must oppose efforts to establish legal recognitions of any type of non-marital sexual relationships. To do so, Boquet said, would only create “confusion” over the true nature of marriage, “which is rightfully elevated and defended in almost every nation”.
“It makes perfect sense to protect marriage in law, just as it makes little sense to provide legal recognition to dissolvable, affection-based relationships between individuals,” he said.
With regard to “laws against homosexuality,” Boquet added, “in certain nations, we are not aware of any law against sexual orientation per se. Some nations have retained laws against homosexual acts and the Church has never opposed these laws nor sought their reversal.”
However, the Church does not concern itself with the morality of “orientation.”
“Being attracted to a those of the same sex is not in itself sinful,” Fr. Boquet said, “but is rather a disordered desire, that is to be responded to with the virtue of chastity.
“But she respects the right of any nation to elevate natural marriage as the most basic institution of any healthy society, which is thus worthy of legal recognition and protection.”
Please, enough with the cult of pop stars. Our kids need real heroes.
April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Two things happen each time a significant pop culture figure dies: Christians attempt to dredge up some moderately conservative or traditional thing that figure said at some point during his long career, and mainstream media attempts to convince a society thoroughly bored with such things that the person in question was a ground-breaking radical. The two most recent examples are the androgynous David Bowie—a cringe-worthy and possibly blasphemous video of him dropping to his knees during a rock performance and uttering the Lord’s Prayer circulated just following his death--and the pop star Prince.
I’ve had to suppress my gag reflexes many times as I saw my Facebook newsfeed fill up with memes sporting quotes from Prince about his faith and articles announcing that the musician who “embraced gender fluidity before his time,” according to Slate and “will always be a gay icon” according to The Atlantic, was against gay marriage. Sure, maybe he was. But only a Christian community so shell-shocked by the rapid spread of the rainbow blitzkrieg and the catastrophic erosion of religious liberty would find this remarkable. After all, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton said the same thing barely one election cycle ago. As one obituary celebrating Prince’s paradigm-smashing sexual performances written by Dodai Stewart put it:
Dig, if you will, a picture: The year is 1980. Many states still have sodomy laws. The radio is playing feel-good ear candy like Captain and Tennille and KC and the Sunshine Band. TV hits include the sunny, toothy blond shows Three’s Company and Happy Days. There’s no real word for “gender non-conforming.” But here’s what you see: A man. Clearly a man. Hairy, mostly naked body…a satiny bikini bottom. But those eyes. Rimmed in black, like a fantasy belly dancer. The full, pouty lips of a pin-up girl. Long hair. A tiny, svelte thing. Ethnically ambiguous, radiating lust. What is this? A man. Clearly a man. No. Not just a man. A Prince.
Right. So let’s not get too carried away, shall we? I know Christians are desperate to justify their addictions to the pop culture trash that did so much to sweep away Christian values in the first place and I know that latching on to the occasional stray conservative belief that may manifest itself in pop culture figures makes many feel as if perhaps we are not so weird and countercultural, but this bad habit we have of claiming these figures upon their passing is downright damaging.
After all, parents should be teaching their children about real heroes, titans of the faith who changed the world. Heroes of the early church who stood down tyrants, halted gladiatorial combat, and crusaded against injustice in a world where death was all the rage. These men and women were real rebels who stood for real values. If we want to point our children to people they should emulate, we should be handing them books like Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness by the brilliant writer Eric Metaxas rather than the pop albums Purple Rain or Lovesexy by Prince. If parents spend their time glorifying the predecessors of Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus instead of highlighting heroes like William Wilberforce, they can hardly be surprised when their children choose to emulate the former rather than the latter.
The mainstream media’s adulation of these pop stars is equally irritating. The unspoken truth of these obituaries is that the flamboyant antics of Prince and the rest of the so-called rebellious drag queens populating the rock n’ roll scene have been mainstream for a long time already. Want to see dozens of bizarre body piercings? Weird hairdos? Purple mohawks? Dudes with nail polish? Strange tattoos? Easy. Just go onto any university campus, or any public high school without a dress code. With headphones wedged firmly in their ear canals, they can pump the cleverly commercialized “counterculture” straight into their skulls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
More than that, some of these courageous rebels have actually sued their employers to ensure that they can let their establishment-smashing freak flag fly at work, too. An Edmonton woman with 22 visible body piercings complained that her employer was unfair because apparently she was being discriminated against “based on body modifications.” Yeah! The Man must be told, after all. And if he doesn’t agree, we will lawyer up. I wonder what the shrieking rebels of the early days would think about the snivelling children of the current grievance culture.
So these days, the media’s eulogizing about aging culture warriors who went mainstream a long time ago rings a bit hollow. After all, most rock n’ roll stars these days look tame compared to what shows up in the children’s section at Pride Week. Freaky is normal now. Normal is radical. Welcome to 2016.
When Christians are posting nostalgic tributes to the rebels who helped inoculate their children against the radical views of Christianity in the first place, you know that the victories of the counterculture are complete and Stockholm syndrome has set in.
Target boycott climbs to over 1 million
April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Over 1 million people have signed a pledge to boycott Target over its new policy allowing men to access women’s bathrooms.
The American Family Association’s Boycott Target petition gained traction immediately, reaching the one million mark in only nine days.
“Corporate America must stop bullying people who disagree with the radical left agenda to remake society into their progressive image,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “#BoycottTarget has resonated with Americans. Target’s harmful policy poses a danger to women and children; nearly everyone has a mother, wife, daughter or friend who is put in jeopardy by this policy. Predators and voyeurs would take advantage of the policy to prey on those who are vulnerable. And it’s clear now that over one million customers agree.”
Target defended its policy in a statement saying that it believes everyone “deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally” and earlier this week, a Target spokeswoman defended the policy as “inclusive.”
The AFA said that unisex bathrooms are a common-sense alternative to allowing men unfettered access to women’s bathrooms.
“Target should keep separate facilities for men and women, but for the trans community and for those who simply like using the bathroom alone, a single occupancy unisex option should be provided,” the petition says.
The AFA warned that Target’s new policy benefits sexual predators and poses a danger to women and children.
“With Target publicly boasting that men can enter women's bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go?” the petition asked.
There have been numerous instances of predatory men accessing women’s bathrooms and intimate facilities in the wake of “transgender” bathroom policies allowing them to do so.
“We want to make it very clear that AFA does not believe the transgender community poses this danger to the wider public,” said Wildmon. “Rather, this misguided and reckless policy provides a possible gateway for predators who are out there.”
Amazing new video captures the flash of light the moment life begins
CHICAGO, April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Life begins with a spark – literally.
Researchers at Northwestern University have documented the striking event in a new video that accompanies a study published this week.
At the moment of conception, the egg releases massive amounts of zinc, which creates a spark that can be seen with the aid of a microscope.
“It was remarkable,” said Teresa Woodruff, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University's medical school. “To see the zinc radiate out in a burst from each human egg was breathtaking.”
The research team had noted the zinc sparks before in mice eggs but had never observed the process in human beings.
“All of biology starts at the time of fertilization,” Woodruff said, “yet we know next to nothing about the events that occur in the human.”
One of the researchers, Northwestern chemistry professor Thomas O'Halloran, explained the science behind the process in 2014.
“The egg first has to stockpile zinc and then must release some of the zinc to successfully navigate maturation, fertilization and the start of embryogenesis,” he said. “On cue, at the time of fertilization, we see the egg release thousands of packages, each dumping a million zinc atoms, and then it's quiet.”
“Each egg has four or five of these periodic sparks,” O'Halloran said. “It is beautiful to see, orchestrated much like a symphony.”
Since the amount of zinc in an egg correlates with successful implantation and birth, the Northwestern researchers are highlighting that their research may be used to assist in vitro fertilization.
But that raises concerns given the grave moral issues with IVF, which involves creating numerous embryos that are either killed or frozen. Moral theologians also emphasize that IVF is an injustice even for the children who are born as a result, as they are created in a lab rather than in the union of man and woman.
The study may have far-reaching consequences the research team did not intend, such as strengthening public belief in the longstanding scientific consensus that life begins at the moment of conception/fertilization.
Many of those who saw the Northwestern video said it testifies to the beauty of life and the shallow lies that buttress the argument of abortion-on-demand.
“I saw this, and I was blown away by it,” said Rush Limbaugh on his nationally syndicated radio program Thursday afternoon. “For anybody in the mainstream media to openly admit that life begins at conception” defies arguments that an unborn child is only “tissue mass.”
Researchers released a separate video of the zinc spark taking place in a mammalian egg more than a year ago:
The paper, which is entitled “The Zinc Spark is an Inorganic Signature of Human Egg Activation,” was published by Scientific Reports on April 26.