Thaddeus Baklinski

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New production company aims to bring culture of life to the music video genre

Thaddeus Baklinski

ROME, May 2, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - An international team of professionals who are passionate about music and motivated by a desire to promote the culture of life have successfully launched a new music video production initiative that will offer a positive message of faith, joy and hope to youth, by producing videos to entertain and inspire the next generations.

In an interview with LifeSiteNews, video production director and Music Visions founder Manuel de Teffé explained the inspiration behind the initiative.

“We chose this field because music video is by far the most popular content on the Internet. Of YouTube’s global top 20 most watched content of all time, in all categories, 16 are music videos. We are talking about more than four billion viewers,” de Teffé said.

“The social impact of music video via YouTube and other channels is undeniable and yet sadly today’s music video culture no longer respects the dignity of the human person,” de Teffé observed.

“Hundreds of millions of young people spend the most formative years of their lives watching music videos which often promote an openly destructive lifestyle.”

Music Visions’ initiative will also give a springboard to young pro-life artists who are eager to share their message and music but are excluded by the mainstream entertainment industry, which disparages a culture of life message.

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“We know that there many extremely talented artists forgotten by the mainstream simply because of a lack of a well produced music video, so Music Visions would like to change that, to give visibility to these artists trying to make the internet a better place via well crafted music videos,” de Teffé said.

Music Visions marked its official debut with the release of “Beside You,” a music video celebrating the joy of motherhood.

“We feel that the first music video of the series had to celebrate life. Particularly motherhood,” de Teffé told LifeSiteNews.

“We wanted to hint at a universal story: when a baby is not expected the news generates a sense of amazement ... if the baby arrives out of wedlock the surprise is double and strange thoughts occur. Some men flee and some women get desperate.

“What is more, society does not help at all. It’s a battle between good and evil. Well, in this video we simply wanted to portray this battle allowing the good to win. The storyline is pretty basic, with some twists.”

Filmed in Rome, and written and performed by Mario Maneri, “Beside You” is directed by Manuel de Teffé and features Giulia Perelli and Gian Marco Tavani.  Watch it here.

De Teffé gave LifeSiteNews a peek at videos currently in production, that include “Brand New Day” featuring English singer Roseanna, that deals with a teenager who, when her teenage love story falls apart, feels the need to go back to her family and start a brand new day: a feminine version of the “Prodigal son.”

“God’s plan” by Irish singer Derek Ryan, is a beautiful ballad on marriage according to God’s plan.

“We also made a contemporary version of the super classic ‘Amazing grace,’ sung by American recording artist Angelina,” de Teffé says. This video is set in the boxing world with a prizefighter as the protagonist..

Asked about criticisms of Music Visions’ work promoting the culture of life from those within the entertainment industry, de Teffé said the group not only welcomes criticisms but sees them as a “providential measure.”

“I need criticisms,” de Teffé remarked. “And I’m not being ironic whatsoever. I have come to the conclusion that criticisms are really a providential measure.

“So, even if we produce a masterpiece, there will be always a part of our audience unable to appreciate it. And guess what, it’s ok ... if everyone liked the outcome of every action of ours ... in the long run we would develop an unbearable kind of pride, we would feel like gods. So, I healthily welcome criticisms and I do listen to them.”

De Teffé said that Music Visions is looking for talented artists with as yet unreleased songs, for sponsors who understand the importance of this cultural challenge, and for broadcasters interested in taking a chance on something bold and new.

“We are receiving many songs from international artists and now we have to study our next moves,” de Teffé explained.

“So we still keep inviting artists to get in touch with Music Visions and send us songs. But they must have patience, it’s a new project and it needs sponsorship.”

Music Visions was initially made possible with the cooperation of the Catholic Radio and Television Network and the sponsorship of Aid to the Church in Need.

“These organizations saw in the project the potential to present the Culture of Life through the new communications channels in which young people today find their values,” de Teffé pointed out.

“As a father of one daughter,” de Teffé concluded, “I just feel the need to participate in the creation of an environment where my children can have the alternative to watch and enjoy music videos with normal artists and real stories of joy, hope and faith.

“It’s as simple as that.”

Watch Music Visions’ premier music video “Beside You” here.

For more information visit Music Visions’ website.



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‘Little miracles’: Mom gives birth to naturally-conceived quintuplets after refusing ‘selective reduction’

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An ultrasound of the five different compartments, each with its own baby, inside Kim's womb.

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. 



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UN rights chief tells Catholic countries to legalize abortion over Zika virus: bishops and cardinal react

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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.



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Hillary’s litmus test for Supreme Court picks: They must ‘preserve Roe v. Wade’

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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.

There have been over 58,000,000 abortions since the 1973 court ruling legalizing abortion in all 50 states, according to National Right to Life.

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.



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