Patrick Craine

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Nine of 10 miss Trudeau’s talk: God intervened when the bishop would not

Patrick Craine
Patrick Craine

SUDBURY, Ontario, December 21, 2012, ( – Pro-abortion Liberal leadership hopeful Justin Trudeau “surprised” students and staff at a Sudbury Catholic high school on Friday morning by showing up for his address despite weather-induced bus cancellations. But most of the students did not return the favor.

The school board had announced that the talk at St. Charles College would be cancelled if the weather was poor, so Trudeau was not expected after buses were cancelled Friday morning. But the school board says he made an “impromptu” visit and then agreed to offer his talk in the amphitheatre.

The school says they had originally expected around 1,000 students, but in the end there were only about 100 attendees, including staff.

Despite the weather, local Catholics showed up early Friday morning to protest, but left after the school principal and other staff members told them the event was cancelled.

“God is good. He spared 900 Catholic youth from being potentially influenced by Justin’s immoral views in support of abortion and homosexual marriage,” said Kevin Murphy, a Catholic ratepayer and one of the protesters who stood outside the board office and St. Charles College for four days. 

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Suresh Dominic, a spokesperson for Campaign Life Catholics, a division of Campaign Life Coalition, who helped organize the protests, added, “We continue to disapprove of the board’s decision to allow Justin to speak at the school, but we are thankful for the weather that limited Justin’s exposure to only 100 people.”

Despite pro-life opposition, the event went ahead on the urging of Bishop Jean-Louis Plouffe who said it was “important” and would inspire students.

Trudeau “is not estranged from the Church in any way,” he told the school board in a statement, adding that “in many ways he can be a source of inspiration to the youth.”

But Teresa Pierre, president of Parents as First Educators, said in a press release that the bishop’s stance is inexplicable.

“How can we tell our children that they must obey the church’s teachings on marriage and the family when the church itself lionizes and brings into its schools people such as Justin Trudeau who publicly criticize those teachings?” she asked.

Pierre noted that Pope Benedict XVI has insisted politicians who support the “alleged right to abortion” should be denied Communion, and that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has a policy forbidding Catholic institutions to grant these politicians a platform.

“The Canadian hierarchy is bound by the teachings of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (s. 2287) not to give scandal to the faithful,” she said. “For the bishops not to insist - as the U.S. church has done - that pro-choice politicians not be supported by church institutions and organizations has disheartened and scandalized residents of Sudbury and the wider church in Ontario.” has been unable to get comment on the Trudeau event from the Sudbury Catholic District School Board after numerous attempts. School board chair Barry MacDonald told LifeSiteNews on Tuesday he was “not interested” in speaking to LifeSiteNews.

They have claimed there was no risk of scandal to the teens, because Trudeau would be focusing his remarks on youth leadership and so would not address points on which he opposes Church teaching.

But Murphy says “that’s ludicrous.” “There’s widespread public knowledge of Justin’s opposition to these Catholic teachings, so giving him a platform, regardless of the topic, can be interpreted by kids to mean that the Board is supportive of all that Justin stands for,” he explained.

Trudeau threw his hat into the federal Liberal leadership race in October and immediately assumed the role of presumed frontrunner. Five other candidates have officially registered so far. The leader will be picked April 14th.

The 40-year-old son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau has focused much of his campaign rhetoric on the need to engage youth. For years, he has built up a coalition of youth as a frequent speaker at schools, including Catholic schools across Ontario.

The Montreal MP complained to media in 2011 after Tory MP Dean Del Mastro questioned why he was so frequently invited to Catholic schools even though he openly opposes the Church’s teachings.

Trudeau said he was “surprisingly upset” that someone would accuse him of being a “bad Catholic.” “My own personal faith is an extremely important part of who I am and the values that I try to lead with,” he told the Canadian press at the time.

However, he admitted in 2009 that while he is a Catholic, he holds “political positions on gay marriage and on abortion that don’t at all resemble those of the Catholic Church.” 

Earlier this year, Trudeau said he would support Quebec’s separation from Canada if Parliament moved to restrict abortion or same-sex “marriage.”

“I always say, if at a certain point, I believe that Canada was really the Canada of Stephen Harper – that we were going against abortion, and we were going against gay marriage, and we were going backwards in 10,000 different ways – maybe I would think about wanting to make Quebec a country,” he told Radio-Canada in February.

In June, he called the Catholic Church’s opposition to gay-straight alliances “repulsive” in a talk to high school students.

Steve Jalsevac Steve Jalsevac Follow Steve

Today’s chuckle: Rubio, Fiorina and Carson pardon a Thanksgiving turkey

Steve Jalsevac Steve Jalsevac Follow Steve
By Steve Jalsevac

A little bit of humour now and then is a good thing.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our American readers.

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Building of the European Court of Human Rights.
Lianne Laurence


BREAKING: Europe’s top human rights court slaps down German ban on pro-life leafletting

Lianne Laurence
By Lianne Laurence

STRASBOURG, France, November 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that a German regional court violated a pro-life activist’s freedom of expression when it barred him from leafleting in front of an abortion center.

It further ruled the German court’s order that Klaus Gunter Annen not list the names of two abortion doctors on his website likewise violated the 64-year-old pro-life advocate’s right to freedom of expression.

The court’s November 26 decision is “a real moral victory,” says Gregor Puppinck, director of the Strasbourg-based European Center for Law and Justice, which intervened in Annen’s case. “It really upholds the freedom of speech for pro-life activists in Europe.”

Annen, a father of two from Weinam, a mid-sized city in the Rhine-Neckar triangle, has appealed to the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights at least two times before, Puppinck told LifeSiteNews.

“This is the first time he made it,” he said, noting that this time around, Annen had support from the ECLJ and Alliance Defense Fund and the German Pro-life Federation (BVL). “I think he got more support, better arguments and so I think this helped.”

The court also ordered the German government to pay Annen costs of 13,696.87 EUR, or 14,530 USD.

Annen started distributing pamphlets outside a German abortion center ten years ago, ECLJ stated in a press release.

His leaflets contained the names and addresses of the two abortionists at the center, declared they were doing “unlawful abortions,” and stated in smaller print that, “the abortions were allowed by the German legislators and were not subject to criminal liability.”

Annen’s leaflets also stated that, “The murder of human beings in Auschwitz was unlawful, but the morally degraded NS State allowed the murder of innocent people and did not make it subject to criminal liability.” They referred to Annen’s website,, which listed a number of abortionists, including the two at the site he was leafleting.

In 2007, a German regional court barred Annen from pamphleteering in the vicinity of the abortion center, and ordered him to drop the name of the two abortion doctors from his website.

But the European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that the German courts had "failed to strike a fair balance between [Annen’s] right to freedom of expression and the doctor’s personality rights.”

The Court stated that, “there can be no doubt as to the acute sensitivity of the moral and ethical issues raised by the question of abortion or as to the importance of the public interest at stake.”

That means, stated ECLJ, that “freedom of expression in regard to abortion shall enjoy a full protection.”

ECLJ stated that the court noted Annen’s leaflets “made clear that the abortions performed in the clinic were not subject to criminal liability. Therefore, the statement that ‘unlawful abortions’ were being performed in the clinic was correct from a legal point of view.”

As for the Holocaust reference, the court stated that, “the applicant did not – at least not explicitly – equate abortion with the Holocaust.”  Rather, the reference was “a way of creating awareness of the more general fact that law might diverge from morality.”

The November 26 decision “is a quite good level of protection of freedom of speech for pro-life people,” observed Puppinck.

First, the European Court of Human Rights has permitted leafleting “in the direct proximate vicinity of the clinic, so there is no issue of zoning,” he told LifeSiteNews. “And second, the leaflets were mentioning the names of the doctors, and moreover, were mentioning the issue of the Holocaust, which made them quite strong leaflets.”

“And the court protected that.”

Annen has persevered in his pro-life awareness campaign through the years despite the restraints on his freedom.

“He did continue, and he did adapt,” Puppinck told LifeSiteNews. “He kept his freedom of speech as much as he could, but he continued to be sanctioned by the German authorities, and each time he went to the court of human rights. And this time, he won.”

ECLJ’s statement notes that “any party” has three months to appeal the November 26 decision.

However, as it stands, the European Court of Human Rights’s ruling affects “all the national courts,” noted Puppinck, and these will now “have to protect freedom of speech, recognize the freedom of speech for pro-lifers.”

“In the past, the courts have not always been very supportive of the freedom of speech of pro-life,” he said, so the ruling is “significant.”

As for Annen’s pro-life ministry, Pubbinck added: “He can continue to go and do, and I’m sure that he does, because he always did.”  

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A vibrant church in Africa. Pierre-Yves Babelon /
Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

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‘Soft racism’: German Bishops’ website attributes African Catholics’ strong faith to simplemindedness

Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete
By Pete Baklinski

GERMANY, November 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) --  The only reason the Catholic Church is growing in Africa is because the people have a “rather low level” of education and accept “simple answers to difficult questions” involving marriage and sexuality, posited an article on the official website of the German Bishops' Conference posted yesterday. The article targeted particularly Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea, the Vatican's prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and ardent defender of Catholic tradition.

First Things blogger Leroy Huizenga, who translated a portion of the article, criticized the article's view as “soft racism.”

In his article, titled “The Romantic, Poor Church,” editor Björn Odendahl writes: 

So also in Africa. Of course the Church is growing there. It grows because the people are socially dependent and often have nothing else but their faith. It grows because the educational situation there is on average at a rather low level and the people accept simple answers to difficult questions (of faith) [sic]. Answers like those that Cardinal Sarah of Guinea provides. And even the growing number of priests is a result not only of missionary power but also a result of the fact that the priesthood is one of the few possibilities for social security on the dark continent.

Huizenga said that such an article has no place on a bishops’ conference website. 

“We all know that the German Bishops' Conference is one of the most progressive in the world. But it nevertheless beggars belief that such a statement would appear on the Conference's official website, with its lazy slander of African Christians and priests as poor and uneducated (Odendahl might as well have added ‘easy to command’) and its gratuitous swipe at Cardinal Sarah,” he wrote. 

“Natürlich progressives could never be guilty of such a sin and crime, but these words sure do suggest soft racism, the racism of elite white Western paternalism,” he added. 

African prelates have gained a solid reputation for being strong defenders of Catholic sexual morality because of their unwavering orthodox input into the recently concluded Synod on the Family in Rome. 

At one point during the Synod, Cardinal Robert Sarah urged Catholic leaders to recognize as the greatest modern enemies of the family what he called the twin “demonic” “apocalyptic beasts” of “the idolatry of Western freedom” and “Islamic fundamentalism.”

STORY: Cardinal Danneels warns African bishops to avoid ‘triumphalism’

“What Nazi-Fascism and Communism were in the 20th century, Western homosexual and abortion ideologies and Islamic fanaticism are today,” he said during his speech at the Synod last month. 

But African prelates’ adherence to orthodoxy has earned them enemies, especially from the camp of Western prelates bent on forming the Catholic Church in their own image and likeness, not according to Scripture, tradition, and the teaching magisterium of the Church. 

During last year’s Synod, German Cardinal Walter Kasper went as far as stating that the voice of African Catholics in the area of Church teaching on homosexuality should simply be dismissed.

African cardinals “should not tell us too much what we have to do,” he said in an October 2014 interview with ZENIT, adding that African countries are "very different, especially about gays.” 

Earlier this month Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels, instead of praising Africa for its vibrant and flourishing Catholicism, said that African prelates will one day have to look to Europe to get what he called “useful tips” on how to deal with “secularization” and “individualism.” 

The statement was criticized by one pro-family advocate as “patronizing of the worst kind” in light of the facts that numerous European churches are practically empty, vocations to the priesthood and religious life are stagnant, and the Catholic faith in Europe, especially in Belgium, is overall in decline.

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