New Belgian archbishop faces legal threats over AIDS remarks
BRUSSELS, December 10, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The new archbishop of Brussels, Andre-Joseph Leonard, is being targeted by homosexualist groups, and has been condemned by the country’s prime minister, after he said that AIDS is a consequence of risky sexual behavior, including homosexual sexual activity.
Homosexualist groups have accused Archbishop Leonard of “homophobia,” after he pointed out in a book released in October that “AIDS at the beginning multiplied through sexual behaviour with all sorts of partners or else through anal rather than vaginal sexual rapports.”
“When you mistreat the environment it ends up mistreating us in turn,” he continued. “And when you mistreat human love, perhaps it winds up taking vengeance.”
“All I’m saying is that sometimes there are consequences linked to our actions. I believe this is a totally decent, honourable and respectable stance.”
A lawyer acting on behalf of a homosexualist lobby group has filed a formal complaint against Leonard for “homophobic statements” and “violating an anti-discrimination law.”
Yves Leterme, Belgium’s nominally Catholic prime minister, is among those who have condemned Leonard in the ensuing furor. Recently a man ran up to the archbishop during a service at the Brussels cathedral and shoved a cherry pie in his face, apparently in connection with the controversy.
Following the massive media uproar over the bishop’s comments, the archdiocese published a letter on November 5, in which Leonard clarified that he had never intended to say that homosexuals themselves were “abnormal” and denied that he had implied that AIDS was a divine or human punishment. He compared active homosexuals with people who continue to smoke despite seeing clear health warnings on cigarette packages
He reiterated his belief that AIDS “could possibly be considered … a sort of intrinsic justice,” but he stressed that he meant that the emergence of AIDS was a natural consequence of “risky sexual behavior.”
On homosexuality, Archbishop Leonard said, “There is in the homosexual tendency and practice an orientation that is not coherent with the objective logic of sexuality.”
The fallout from the archbishop’s comments has included the abrupt resignation of his media spokesman, Juergen Mettepenningen, who described the bishop as a “loose cannon” in a press statement. He told an interviewer that Belgian Catholics need to be “encouraged,” right now: “If they see that their leader is only busy trying to convince people about topics like AIDS and homosexuality, then people aren’t receiving the respect they want from the archbishop.”
Leonard’s fellow bishops are also distancing themselves from him, with some actively searching for their own spokesman to represent their views separately, a practice that had been discontinued under Cardinal Danneels, the New York Times reports.
A group of academics at the notoriously liberal Catholic University of Louvain are circulating a petition calling for Leonard’s resignation from his post as the university’s chancellor, saying his remarks had brought “shame on the university.”
In addition to his orthodox Catholic views on sexual morality, Archbishop Leonard is well known for his defense of human life before birth. He was a speaker at the first ever March for Life in Brussels http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive/ldn/2010/mar/10032404 this year.
It is widely recognized that Leonard was chosen by Pope Benedict XVI as the new head of the Belgian Catholic Church, during a period of crisis, because of his forthright adherence to Catholic orthodoxy. He has been charged by the pope with the task of cleaning up the ultra-liberal Belgian Church, which http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/belgian-bishops-ignored-parents-on-grossly-sexually-explicit-catholic-catec has been hit hard by homosexual abuse scandals.
Leonard is well known to be the most “traditional” Catholic bishop in Belgium, with 35 of Belgium’s 71 current seminarians coming from his former diocese of Namur.
Leonard took office amid a scandal that broke out on the retirement of his predecessor Cardinal Godfried Danneels who is still being investigated http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cardinal-danneels-questioned-today-in-connection-with-abuse-cover-ups by civil authorities for his involvement in the cover-up of decades of homosexual abuse by a colleague, the former bishop of Bruges, Roger Vangheluwe. Danneel’s was considered one of Europe’s leading “liberals” in the episcopate, and he had openly supported the goals of the homosexualist movement.
‘Little miracles’: Mom gives birth to naturally-conceived quintuplets after refusing ‘selective reduction’
AUSTRALIA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- A 26-year-old Australian mom has given birth to five healthy babies, all conceived naturally, after refusing the doctor’s advice that she must abort three of them in order to give the remaining two a better chance at life.
“After my initial ultrasound I was told I could consider the selection method to give 2 babies the best chance in life,” wrote mom Kim Tucci in a Facebook post last September.
“I watched a YouTube video on the procedure and I cried. I could never do that! Was I selfish for not giving two the chance of 100% survival? All I knew is that I already love them and that every heart beat I heard I connect with them more. For me life starts when a heart starts beating and all I know for sure is that I will do whatever it takes to bring them into this world healthy,” she wrote.
Last Thursday Kim and her husband Vaughn welcomed the five new members into their family — one boy and four girls —increasing the number of their children from 3 to 8. The babies were born at 30 weeks, 10 weeks early, due to insufficient space in Kim’s womb. They weighed on average about 2.5 pounds.
The quintuplets’ story began last March, after Kim and Vaughn had been trying for six months to conceive just one more child for their family. Due to health complications, Kim wondered if she would ever become a mother again.
After what she thought was an extra long cycle, she decided to take a pregnancy test.
“I was feeling tired and a little nauseated and thought I would take a pregnancy test just to get the ‘what if’ out of my head. To my shock and utter excitement it was positive,” she wrote on a Facebook post.
The parents got the shock of their lives when doctors confirmed in an ultrasound examination that there was not one baby, but five.
“After a long wait for the ultrasound we finally went in. The sonographer told me there were multiple gestational sacks, but she could only see a heart beat in two. I was so excited! Twins!”
“I was moved to another machine for a clearer view and had the head doctor come in and double check the findings. She started to count, one, two, three, four, five. Did i hear that correctly? Five? My legs start to shake uncontrollably and all i can do is laugh. The sonographer then told me the term for five is ‘quintuplets,’” Kim wrote.
Even though Kim began to feel stretched to the limit with all those human lives growing inside her, she chose to focus on her babies, and not herself, referring to them as “my five little miracles.”
“It's getting harder as each day passes to push through the pain, every part of my body aches and sleeping is becoming very painful. No amount of pillows are helping support my back and belly. Sometimes I get so upset that I just want to throw my hands up and give in.”
“Sometimes my pelvis becomes so stiff I can barely walk and my hips feel like they are grinding away constantly. I'm finding it hard to eat as I basically have no room left in my stomach, and the way it is positioned it's pushed all the way back with the babies leaning against it.”
“My skin on my belly is so stretched its painful and hot to touch. It literally feels like I have hives! No amount of cream helps relieve the discomfort. I have a lot of stretch marks now. Dealing with such a huge change in my body is hard.”
“Is it all worth it? Yes!!!! I will keep pushing through,” she wrote in one Facebook post days before the babies were born.
The newborns' names are Keith, Ali, Penelope, Tiffany, and Beatrix. They were born at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Subiaco, Western Australia. Mother and babies are reported to be doing well.
UN rights chief tells Catholic countries to legalize abortion over Zika virus: bishops and cardinal react
GENEVA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- The United Nations, following the lead of international abortion activists, is now urging Latin American countries hit by the mosquito-borne Zika virus to lift restrictions on abortion for pregnant women who have contacted the virus and whose pre-born children may be at risk for birth defects, including having smaller than normal heads.
The UN human rights office said today that it is not enough for South American countries to urge women to postpone pregnancy without also offering them abortion as a final solution.
“How can they ask these women not to become pregnant, but not offer… the possibility to stop their pregnancies?” UN spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly told reporters.
UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said that governments should make available contraception and abortion services.
“Laws and policies that restrict (women’s) access to these services must be urgently reviewed in line with human rights obligations in order to ensure the right to health for all in practice,” he said.
But Brazil’s bishops strongly asserted yesterday that efforts should be made to eradicate the virus, not the people who may be infected by it.
The disease is “no justification whatsoever to promote abortion,” they said in a statement, adding that it is not morally acceptable to promote abortion “in the cases of microcephaly, as, unfortunately, some groups are proposing to the Supreme Federal Court, in a total lack of respect for the gift of life.”
Honduras Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga has also come out strongly against the notion of “therapeutic abortions” as a response to the problem. Unlike Brazil where abortion is legal in the case of rape or health of the mother, abortion remains entirely illegal in Honduras.
“We should never talk about ‘therapeutic’ abortion,” the cardinal said in a homily at a February 3 Mass in Suyap. “Therapeutic abortion doesn’t exist. Therapeutic means curing, and abortion cures nothing. It takes innocent lives,” he said.
While the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an international public health emergency February 1 on account of concerns over the virus, critics have pointed out, however, that not one death as resulted from the virus. Even on WHO’s own website the virus is described in mild terms.
“It causes mild fever and rash. Other symptoms include muscle pain, joint pain, headache, pain behind the eyes and conjunctivitis. Zika virus disease is usually mild, with symptoms lasting only a few days,” the website states. “To date, there have been no reported deaths associated with Zika virus,” it added.
Critics suspect that the crisis is being manipulated to advance an anti-human agenda on the pre-born.
“Is Zika, actually, a hideous virus that threatens to spread uncontrollably across the world creating an army of disabled children with tiny heads and low IQ’s? Or might this be a willful misinterpretation of the scarce data to manipulate public opinion and legislatures?” wrote pro-life critic Mei-Li Garcia earlier this week.
“It becomes very clear that the publicity surrounding this story has a very little to do with medicine and a lot to do with a convenient crisis that is being used by those pushing for the legalization of abortion around the world,” she wrote.
Hillary’s litmus test for Supreme Court picks: They must ‘preserve Roe v. Wade’
DERRY, NH, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - Hillary Clinton has a litmus test for Supreme Court nominees - several, in fact. At a Democratic event on Wednesday, Clinton unveiled her criteria in selecting a judge for the nation's highest court.
“I do have a litmus test, I have a bunch of litmus tests," she said.
"We’ve got to make sure to preserve Roe v. Wade, not let it be nibbled away or repealed,” she said.
That echoes her recent call to arms speech before Planned Parenthood last month, when she stated that taxpayers must fund abortion-on-demand in order to uphold the "right" of choice.
“We have to preserve marriage equality,” Clinton said, referring to last summer's Obergefell v. Hodges case, a 5-4 ruling that redefined marriage nationwide. “We have to go further to end discrimination against the LGBT community."
Her views differentiate her from the Republican front runners. Ted Cruz has called the court's marriage ruling "fundamentally illegitimate," and Donald Trump told Fox News Sunday this week that he would "be very strong on putting certain judges on the bench that I think maybe could change things." Marco Rubio has said he won't "concede" the issue to the one-vote majority.
All Republican presidential hopefuls say they are pro-life and will defund Planned Parenthood.
Her husband, Bill Clinton, raised the makeup of the Supreme Court early last month in New Hampshire, saying it receives "almost no attention" as a campaign issue.
On Wednesday, Hillary said "the next president could get as many as three appointments. It’s one of the many reasons why we can’t turn the White House over to the Republicans again.”
Clinton said her judicial appointees must also reverse the Citizens United ruling on campaign finance and oppose a recent decision striking down a portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. In 2013's Shelby County v. Holder, justices struck down Section 4(b) of the act, which said that certain states and jurisdictions had to obtain permission from the federal government before changing their voting laws.
At one time, most politicians frowned upon any "litmus test" for judicial nominees, emphasizing the independence of the third branch of government. "I don't believe in litmus tests," Jeb Bush told Chuck Todd last November.
But with the rise of an activist judiciary in the middle of the 20th century, constitutionalists have sought to rein in the power of the bench.