Fr. Alphonse de Valk

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Ontario bishops’ response to Bill 13 passage not exactly a trumpet blast

Fr. Alphonse de Valk
By Fr. Alphonse de Valk
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TORONTO, Ontario, July 9, 2012 (Catholicinsight.com) - “We pray for our Bishops and the Church in Ontario and across Canada as they confront political pressure to override the teaching of the Catholic faith in our schools.” “We pray that all Catholics in Ontario will stand behind their Bishop and speak out against Bill 13 which is designed to undermine the teaching authority of the Catholic Church.”

These prayers of invocation (no. 4 and 5) were made available by the Toronto Archdiocesan Chancery Office to be read at parish Masses on Sunday, June 3, 2012, two days before the Liberals’ anti-bullying Bill 13 was passed in the Ontario legislature. Some pastors used them; many did not.

As I understand it, the passage of Bill 13 into law two days later, marks the end of Catholic education in Ontario. There is no further need to formally “defund” the Catholic school system; practically speaking, it is gone already.

Some may say that this is far too pessimistic a view. Perhaps, but the daily battle will come with the new school year in September. Those who side with the Premier, and they are many, including a host of Catholic teachers and trustees who have ignored or abandoned Catholic teaching on sexual morality, will see to that. The Law is now on their side.

Ontario’s Human Rights Commission has prepared its agents for three or more years to intervene and wear down opposing views and individuals. One student in a class, one teacher in a school suffices to make all others hesitate or omit stating the truth for fear of being deleted for ”discriminatory” conduct.

On June 5 Ontario’s Legislature passed Bill 13 with a vote of 65 to 36, Liberals and NDP against Conservatives, shortly before 12 o’ clock. MPP’s hugged one another, slapping one another on the shoulder in an atmosphere of jubilation. Only Premier Dalton McGuinty remained in his chair, looking gloomy.

Ostensibly about fighting bullying in schools, Bill 13 is much more than that. It is a product of the homosexual agenda which since the early nineteen seventies has tenaciously fought to have its lifestyle accepted, first by the general public, then recognized as a civil “right” by the judiciary under the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, and finally given “equality “in 2005 under Prime Minister Paul Martin, who even removed the definition of normal marriage between one man and one woman. Today it has triumphed in the schools.

From here on activists will seek to deform the consciences of toddlers and students. School materials have been in preparation for years. Barbara Hall, Commissar of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, holds that today her Commission overrides all other rights, including the Charter’s religious section.

On June 3, the Cardinal asked all Ontario Catholics to back their bishops. But the hierarchy of the Ontario English-Catholic Teachers’ union had deserted the Catholic position long since and is in full support of the government’s “gay agenda. It has publicly and privately repudiated the Church’s moral teaching. At this point, few teachers in the Catholic system may be willing to speak out on behalf of the Church’s teaching for fear of losing their job.

As for other Catholics coming on board with Cardinal Collins, it remains to be seen whether the average Catholic in the pew will show meaningful support. Over the last two years, the Ontario bishops themselves avoided helping parents’ associations while they themselves negotiated in secret. And for five decades Canadian bishops have refused to take action against Catholic politicians who publicly dissent on grave moral issues, even though Canon law demands they do.

On June 5 the Cardinal, on behalf of Ontario‘s bishops, issued a two paragraph statement about bullying, saying nothing about the real thrust of Bill 13. The first paragraph referred to the vote. The second read as follows:

“Recognizing that the Accepting Schools Act is now the law, Catholic partners will seek, as we have always done, in a way that is in accord with our faith, to foster safe and welcoming school communities. Bullying in any form, is unacceptable. At the core of our Catholic Christian beliefs is the command to welcome every person with love and respect.”

This is not exactly a trumpet blast calling the faithful to arms and stop the sexual orientation steamroller.

June 5 was also the feast day of Saint Boniface, the English monk and martyr, who became the “apostle of Germany” and gave his life for Christ, murdered by pagans in 754 A.D. As he reflected on his future, he wrote in fear and trembling, about how the ancient Church fathers carried out their duty. How could he do otherwise? “They all lived under emperors who were pagans: Clement, Cornelius and many others in the city of Rome, Cyprian at Carthage, Athanasius at Alexandria. They steered Christ’s ship…by teaching and defending her, by their labourers and sufferings, even to the shedding of blood.” He then added: “Let us be neither dogs that do not bark nor silent onlookers nor paid servants who run away before the wolf.”

Do we have barking dogs in Ontario?

This article is republished with permission from the July / August 2012 edition of Catholic Insight magazine.

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Christian clerk fights on as Sixth Circuit orders her to issue gay ‘marriage’ licenses

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By Dustin Siggins

ROWAN COUNTY, KY, August 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- A federal appeals court has ordered Christian clerk Kim Davis to provide same-sex “marriage” licenses, but she’s refusing to give in.

Davis, a Democrat, says that her Christian beliefs will not allow her to issue licenses for same-sex “marriages.” Despite pressure from Democrat Gov. Steve Beshear, a lawsuit from the ACLU, and two federal court rulings, Davis has refused to issue any licenses while the matter is still working its way through the courts.

However, the Sixth District Court of Appeals said Davis must issue the licenses.

While critics say Davis must follow the law as a public employee, she says the First Amendment protects her decision even as a government worker. In addition to being sued by the ACLU, she has pro-actively taken her case to court.

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Beshear told all government employees that "you can continue to have your own personal beliefs, but, you’re also taking an oath to fulfill the duties prescribed by law, and if you are at that point to where your personal convictions tell you that you simply cannot fulfill your duties that you were elected to do, then obviously an honorable course to take is to resign and let someone else step in who feels that they can fulfill those duties.”

The initial court decision against Davis was stayed 10 days ago. Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver, whose organization represents Davis, told CNN that they might appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and are hoping the high court would issue a stay of the Sixth Circuit ruling in the interim.

A poll of Kentucky voters that was released last month found that 50 percent of the state backs natural marriage, while only 37 percent supported its redefinition. 

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Steve Weatherbe

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Christians at Duke U refuse to read lesbian porn novel assignment

Steve Weatherbe
By Steve Weatherbe

DURHAM, NC, August 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- Christian freshmen at Duke University are refusing to read an assigned graphic novel depicting masturbation and homosexual intercourse. The university says the assignment was optional and won’t discipline the holdouts.

Brian Grasso emerged as the spokesperson for the dissenters after he posted his decision on the Class of 2019’s closed Facebook page. Opponents have done their best to mock and deride the holdouts as ignoramuses who don’t belong at Duke, but Grasso has addressed all their jibes, first to Duke’s student paper and then in an op-ed in the Washington Post, intelligently and engagingly.

The book at issue is Fun Home, a fictional depiction by lesbian artist Alison Bechdel of growing up with a homosexual, suicidal dad and discovering sex with other girls. “After researching the book’s content and reading a portion of it, I chose to opt out of the assignment,” Grasso told Post readers, explaining he was not opposed to learning about homosexuality any more than he would be with the ideas of “Freud, Marx or Darwin,” though he might find them immoral too.

“But in the Bible,” he went on, “Jesus forbids his followers from exposing themselves to anything pornographic. ‘But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart,’ he says in Matthew 5:28-29. ‘If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away.’” He then cited St. Paul to support his argument.

Grasso knew Christians would be in the minority at Duke, he admitted, but what surprised him was that Duke would blithely assign something so obviously offensive to this minority. “Duke did not seem to have people like me in mind. It was like Duke didn’t know we existed, which surprises me.”

But Patrick Reilly, the president of the Cardinal Newman Society, an organization devoted to promoting American Catholic orthodoxy at Catholic universities, isn’t surprised. “American society has been moving away from Christian values or even neutrality, especially at secular institutions but even at Catholic and other Christian schools,” Reilly told LifeSiteNews. He urged Catholic and other Christian parents and high school students to choose their universities carefully.

Other freshmen have supported Grasso: Bianca d’Souza said the novel’s ideas were important but the salacious content unnecessary and offensive. Jeffrey Wubbenhorst wrote, “”The nature of ‘Fun Home’ means that the content that I might have consented to read in print now violates my conscience due to its pornographic content.”

But others from the class of 2019 responded, “Reading the book will allow you to open your mind to a new perspective and to examine a way of life and thinking with which you are unfamiliar.”

In the same vein students wrote the Duke student newspaper Chronicle, mocking the dissenters with references to a Dr. Seuss children’s book. “Mermaid Warrior,” for example, wrote, “I’m sure there are people who think Cat in the Hat sends bad messages. That’s a big problem I have with complaints like these, ‘I shouldn’t be expected to read stuff I disagree with!’ It’s like, guess what, there’s no way to find something that everyone will agree with.”

But Grasso makes clear his issue isn’t with disagreeable ideas at all. “I think there is an important distinction between images and written words. If the book explored the same themes without sexual images or erotic language, I would have read it. But viewing pictures of sexual acts, regardless of the genders of the people involved, conflict with the inherent sacredness of sex. My beliefs extend to pop culture and even Renaissance art depicting sex.”

Inevitably, Duke itself weighed in. The book was selected for summer reading by the freshman class, explained Duke’s vice president or public affairs, Michael Schoenfeld, “because it is a unique and moving book that transcends genres and explores issues that students are likely to confront.”

After touting its artistic value and noting that a Broadway adaptation won the Best Musical award for 2015, he noted that the book was not a requirement and there would be no examination or grading. He expressed the hope that Duke’s 1,750 freshmen would arrive with open minds willing to “explore new ideas.”

But for all that, Schoenfeld did not explore the issues raised by Grasso: morality, pornography and the sexualization of relations.

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John Jalsevac John Jalsevac Follow John

Aborted babies’ hands too disturbing? Solution: chop them off before shipping the bodies

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By John Jalsevac
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August 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) - As if we needed more evidence that many of those in the abortion industry know perfectly well what they are doing, along comes the latest undercover video from the Center for Medical Progress (CMP).

The video includes disturbing undercover footage of a conversation with Cate Dyer, the CEO of StemExpress, a biomedical firm that acquires the bodies of aborted babies from Planned Parenthood clinics.

During that conversation Dyer infamously jokes with an undercover investigator about the need to warn lab techs ahead of time when a fully “intact” aborted baby's cadaver is being shipped to them.

But there it is: that hand, in all of its beauty, and its horror. Beautiful, as every hand is beautiful. Horrific, in that it is attached to a dismembered arm, yanked out of its socket, and swimming in a pool of the baby’s intestines and other body parts, to be bartered over and sold. 

“If you have intact cases, which we’ve done a lot, we sometimes ship those back to our lab in its entirety,” she says. "Tell the lab it's coming, so they don't open the box and" scream. "Their lab techs freak out and have meltdowns."

"Academic labs cannot fly like that, they are just not capable," Dyer adds condescendingly. "It's almost like they don't want to know where it comes from. I can see that."

But don’t worry, Dyer makes it clear she knows exactly where fetal tissue comes from, and isn't bothered in the least.  However, she agrees with a joke made by the undercover investigator, that if you’re going to be shipping the intact body of an aborted baby, it would be best to always make sure that the “eyes are closed.”

But surely the saddest part of the conversation comes when Dyer reveals how some of those squeamish lab techs manage to get around their natural repugnance at receiving little, perfectly-formed babies’ bodies in the mail, which they will then slice and dice – all in the name of “medical progress,” of course.

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She says that she often receives instructions from scientists who experiment on aborted babies that, "We need limbs, but no hands and feet need to be attached."

A curious request, no? But then again, there is something especially pesky about those tiny hands and feet, isn’t there?

Human hands are, after all, a true marvel of nature – so far surpassing in dexterity the appendages of any other mammal, the unparalleled tools that have enabled human beings to build empires, create art of breathtaking beauty, and to express themselves in myriad different ways. So marvelous, in fact, that Isaac Newton is reported to have said, “In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God’s existence.”

Not only are hands and feet useful, but they knit human beings together in intimacy: lovers will hold or squeeze their beloved's hands, and friends will soothe their friends in time of sorrow by taking their hands. And then there is the case of new parents, who will go into raptures over the hands and feet of their newborn babies, and speak, using the foolish language of love, of wanting to “eat” them. Mothers will shower their newborn babies’ feet with kisses, and tickle them, and will study and fall in love with every dimple, every crease.

Perhaps that is why so many people found the fifth (or was it the sixth? I’m losing track of the horrors) video so disturbing: that footage inside the lab, when the man behind the camera uses his tweezers to delicately lift up a dismembered arm, with the hand still attached.

That arm, it is true, would not have been half so disturbing, were it not for the hand. But there it is: that hand, in all of its beauty, and its horror. Beautiful, as every hand is beautiful. Horrific, in that it is attached to a dismembered arm, yanked out of its socket, and swimming in a pool of the baby’s intestines and other body parts, to be bartered over and sold. 

Before this, we have heard the lab techs on camera identifying the baby as a twin, at about 20-weeks gestation. In other words, a baby on the very verge of viability.

But no mother will gaze in raptures at those hands and those feet. Instead, Planned Parenthood will discuss how much they can “get” for each "specimen." And perhaps Cate Dyer will instruct her staff to cut off the hands or the feet before shipping the limbs to those too-tender-hearted lab techs who might “freak out” and “have a meltdown” at being forced to see too much of the truth.

But what does it say about us, and our politicians, that the videos with those pesky hands and feet are out there circulating, watched by millions, and yet we are not “freaking out” or having any meltdowns?

Instead, our politicians are dismissing the video as being "highly edited," as if David Daleiden of CMP is a CGI wizard who can conjure up dismembered limbs at will, and even though even Planned Parenthood has never denied the existence of those dismembered arms and legs, but has only implausibly denied that they are illegally "profiting" from the sale of the appendages - as if illegally profiting from the sale is somehow worse than the fact that they have dismembered the babies in the first place. 

If the dismembered hands and feet aren't enough to awaken our consciences, and to force our politicians to stop the massacre, what will be? I fear the answer to that question. 

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