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LOS ANGELES, California, February 8, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis is to give a video address to the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, which has a long history of promoting and giving a platform to speakers who contradict Church teaching on abortion and LGBT issues.

The Los Angeles Religious Education Congress is now in its 65thyear, and due to COVID restrictions, will be taking place online from February 18-21. The normal in-person event is described as the largest annual event of its kind, and it is sponsored by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Announcing the news of Pope Francis’s address, Sister Rosalia Meza, the senior director of the Archdiocesan office for religious education, described it as a “great blessing.”

“Congress, be it virtual this year, is a time of encounter, a time to gather to celebrate and grow in our faith, bringing us closer to Christ and God’s loving mercy, but most importantly to take what we learn during these three days and take it back to our communities,” stated Sr. Meza. The Pope will deliver his address on the first day of the event.

The congress, which this year is held under the theme of “Proclaim the promise,” has a history of hosting speakers who dissent from Catholic Church teaching, particularly on matters pertaining to LGBT ideology and homosexuality. There are reports of Catholics protesting the event from as far back as 1994. In 2012 LifeSiteNews reported that speakers scheduled to speak at the event that year included had described radically pro-abortion former U.S. President Barack Obama as “pro-life,” had called for “public models of gay priests,” had opposed marriage protection legislation, and encouraged children to engage in “genital self-touch.”

Last year, the congress displayed the artwork of the William Hart McNichols, an openly homosexual former-Jesuit priest, who has previously painted a picture of the crucified Christ, with the sign “AIDS, homosexual, faggot, pervert, Sodomite,” on top of the cross. 

FatherJames Martin S.J, the celebrity priest who is one of the most prominent advocates for acceptance of homosexuality in the Church, continues his habit of many years by speaking at the conference. Whilst the Catholic Church teaches that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered” (CCC 2357), Martin has previously claimed that such teaching is not “authoritative.” Martin has even expressed the hope that homosexuals will be able to kiss in church, at the sign of peace in the Novus Ordo Mass.

Martin is to be joined by a number of lay and clerical speakers at the online event, including San Diego’s Bishop Robert McElroy who will give a keynote address entitled “What is Truth?”. McElroy recently declared it would be “destructive” for Catholic bishops to adhere to Catholic teaching and ban pro-abortion Joe Biden from receiving Holy Communion, decrying how abortion was being used as a “litmus test” for assessing Catholic politicians.

McElroy will also co-lead a workshop called the “Impact of Climate Change: New Alliance Between Science and Religion.” The workshop is based on the principle that “climate change is an existential threat,” and will draw on themes contained in Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si.

Father Gregory J Boyle, S.J. is also due to speak at the event, despite his description of the Church’s opposition to same-sex “marriage” as “demonizing people,” as well as attacking the Church for not ordaining women.  The Congress mentioned him specifically when listing the key speakers at the event.

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PETITION UPDATE (3/15/21) - 

Reports suggest that the U.S. Catholic Bishops' Conference (USCCB) is preparing a vote on what to do about pro-abortion Joe Biden (and, presumably, other abortion-promoting politicians) who continues to present himself (themselves) for Holy Communion.

Public excommunication would be a suitable response for Biden's obstinate, public and grave sin of scandalously promoting abortion.

Please continue to SIGN and SHARE this important petition.

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PETITION UPDATE (2/4/20)

Since Joe Biden was sworn-in on the 20th of January, he has wasted no time in signing Executive Orders to destroy the protections which former President Trump offered to the unborn and to the innocence and modesty of children of the United States.

In one executive order, Biden rescinded the Mexico City Policy prohibiting the federal government from spending taxpayer monies on abortion and the promotion of abortion.

And, in another executive order, Biden seeks to force girls' athletic programs, restrooms, and locker rooms to accept gender-confused males.

Since the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was shamefully silent throughout the presidential campaign on the pre-eminent issues of abortion and gender ideology, and what Biden vowed he would do as president, it is cold comfort that their pro-life office is now speaking up about this Administration's wilful disregard for human life and for God's design of human nature (i.e., two biological sexes).

Stated plainly, Joe Biden is as bad as he said he would be, and the bishop, acting in unison (as the USCCB) have an obligation to the Lord (first) and to the faithful (second) to refuse Holy Communion to this grave public sinner.

With all due respect to these bishops, they diminish the Holy Eucharist and their high office, as well as cause grave scandal to the faithful, by dialoguing with a man who is promoting mass murder of the unborn against the constant teaching of the Church.

A man who continues to use the church as a backdrop for statements about how "Catholic/religious" he is, but, at the same time, is now doing everything in his power to protect the murder of the innocent, needs to publicly repent before dialogue can begin.

The bishops should not dialogue with or congratulate someone who has publicly betrayed the Church's teaching and who is leading others astray.

It's an embarrassment and a scandal for the bishops to continue to allow him to receive Holy Communion.

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition today!

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PETITION UPDATE (12/10/20)

Prior to the election on November 3, the U.S. bishops did not address Joe Biden’s anti-Catholic position regarding faith and morals as a unified body.

The USCCB, the organization to which every U.S. bishop belongs and which is staffed and led by bishops, remained disgracefully silent in the run-up to the election.

What were the bishops afraid of, losing their charitable tax status with the IRS, or being deprived of fat checks from the HHS (immigration programs) and USAID (foreign aid programs)?

Or, were they just too cowardly to clearly declare Christ's law to be above man's law and risk the ire of a Joe Biden as president?

Either way, the bishops’ lack of clarity in this regard is a terrible scandal in itself and probably greatly contributed to the possible election of a pro-abortion, anti-Catholic Catholic to the presidency.

Given the fact that exit polling shows Catholics split their vote 50-50 for Trump and Biden, even a slight deviation in the heavily-Catholic swing-states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania could have produced different results.

The bishops could have spoken out against Biden’s pro-abortion stance collectively, but, again, they were overwhelmingly and shamefully silent.

Because of this, they will be at least partly responsible for the policies advanced by a Biden administration, in the event that Biden is sworn into office.

However, the bishops can, even now, mitigate the damage done by their inaction by taking the following steps: 1) Speak with one voice, as the USCCB, and plainly condemn Biden's pro-abortion stance; 2) Publicly advise Biden not to present himself for Holy Communion because of his scandalous position on abortion and homosexual "marriage;" and, 3) Tell Biden to publicly repent of publicly promoting the wilfull murder of the preborn, sins against nature, and diminishing the natural family.

Thankfully, some individual bishops have spoken out forcefully on Biden's scandalous behavior, and his standing in the Church.

On November 9, Archbishop Strickland of Tyler, Texas tweeted: “A dark cloud has descended on this nation when the USCCB and Planned Parenthood speak in unison in support of a Biden-Harris administration that supports the slaughter of innocents by abortion for all 9 months of pregnancy.”

Additionally, Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver, Colorado and Archbishop Charles Chaput have both declared publicly that Joe Biden “should not receive Holy Communion."

But, to add insult to injury, Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington, D.C. has said that he will give Holy Communion to Biden because “it’s a matter of the responsibility that I have as the archbishop to be engaged and to be in dialogue with him, even in those areas where we obviously have some differences.”

And, Bishop W. Francis Malooly of Wilmington, Delaware and Bishop McElroy of San Diego also congratulated Biden in statements, but they have not indicated whether or not they would administer Holy Communion to him.

With all due respect to these bishops, they diminish the Holy Eucharist and their high office, as well as cause grave scandal to the faithful, by dialoguing with a man who is promoting mass murder of the unborn against the constant teaching of the Church.

A man who uses the church as a backdrop to make sickening political advertisements about how "Catholic/religious" he is, but, at the same time, says that he will do everything in his power to protect the murder of the innocent, needs to publicly repent before dialogue can begin.

The bishops should not dialogue with or congratulate someone who has publicly betrayed the Church's teaching and who is leading others astray.

It's an embarrassment and a scandal for the bishops to continue to allow him to receive Holy Communion.

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition today!

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/us-bishops-concerned-about-pro-abortion-biden-previously-hailed-him-as-second-catholic-president

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/abp-aquila-backs-call-for-pro-abortion-catholic-joe-biden-to-be-denied-holy-communion?utm_source=top_news&utm_campaign=standard

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/former-philly-archbishop-biden-not-in-full-communion-with-the-catholic-church

https://www.thesoutherncross.org/news/bishop-mcelroy-offers-prayers-and-congratulations-to-president-elect-biden/

https://www.ncronline.org/news/politics/us-catholics-weigh-mixed-reaction-biden-win

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PETITION UPDATE (9/29/20)

Cardinal Raymond Burke has stated that Democratic candidate Joe Biden should not receive Holy Communion because of his support for abortion.

In an interview for Thomas McKenna's Catholic Action for Faith and Family podcast, Cardinal Burke states the following (starting around 5:00):

First of all, I would tell him [Biden] not to approach to receive Holy Communion, out of charity toward him, because that would be a sacrilege and endanger the salvation of his own soul.

But, also, he should not approach to receive Holy Communion because he gives scandal to everyone, because if someone says, 'I'm a devout Catholic," and, at the same time is promoting abortion, it gives the impression to others that it's acceptable for a Catholic to be in favor of abortion.

Of course, it's absolutely not acceptable, and never has been, and never will be.

We give thanks for Cardinal Burke's frankness and clarity. And, we call on every U.S. Catholic bishop to follow Cardinal Burke's lead and call out Joe Biden for his bloody-minded hypocrisy on the issue of abortion.

To reiterate: You cannot be a Catholic and support abortion.

Thank you for continuing to sign this urgent petition.

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PETITION UPDATE (8/17/20)

The Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden, keeps claiming to be Catholic but has said he will do everything in his power to support abortion.

And, with his pick of California Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, Biden has just cemented abortion into the Democrats' 2020 presidential ticket.

Indeed, Harris is vehemently pro-abortion.

During her time as attorney general of California, Harris played a key role in defending Planned Parenthood over its sale of aborted baby parts (which violated multiple federal laws, according to undercover video of abortion industry personnel).

And, last year, Harris unveiled a plan to essentially force pro-life states to seek permission from the federal government before pro-life laws can take effect.

Additionally, Harris has dangerous views on religious liberty and freedom of speech.

Harris displayed anti-Catholic bigotry in the confirmation hearings of Judge Brian Buescher. Harris cited his membership in the “all-male society” the Knights of Columbus and its stances against abortion and same-sex “marriage” as grounds for rejecting Buescher for a federal district court in Nebraska.

And, David Daleiden, head of the pro-life investigative group Center for Medical Progress, wrote that from his firsthand experience, he considers Harris the “greatest threat to First Amendment civil rights our country has ever seen.”

Joe Biden has seriously erred by taking on Kamala Harris as his running mate, further distancing himself from the truths of the Catholic Faith, especially that every life is sacred from conception till natural death.

Please CLICK HERE to read an article which details one U.S. bishop's warning about the Biden-Harris ticket.

And, please continue to SIGN and SHARE this petition.

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Of course, these two things are incompatible: you cannot be Catholic and pro-abortion.

And, a "Catholic" politician's responsibility in this regard is absolute: On pain of serious sin, he or she can never promote abortion because abortion is the wilful murder of innocent preborn human beings, and also because doing so causes grave scandal to the Church and the faithful.

Please SIGN this urgent petition asking the bishops of the United States to refuse to give Holy Communion to Joe Biden until he publicly repents from his scandalous promotion of abortion.

Biden recently promised to “codify Roe v. Wade” as president, adding, "my Justice Department will do everything in its power to stop the rash of state laws that so blatantly violate a woman’s protected, constitutional right to choose."

And, since starting his latest run for the presidency, Biden also flip-flopped against the Hyde Amendment, saying that he would allow federal funds to be spent on abortion - a position he claimed to be against for more than 40 years.

In short, Joe Biden will do everything in his power to enable and defend the wilful murder of innocent preborn human beings.

So, this should not be a hard decision for our U.S. bishops. In fact, in another circumstance, it was already done by an Illinois bishop.

Indeed, Bishop Paprocki, of Springfield, Illinois, invoked Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law to withdraw Holy Communion from two Illinois state politicians who had worked to enact radical new abortion legislation in 2019.

Canon 915 states: "Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion."

Of course, no-one, least of all the bishops, wants anyone to be deprived of Holy Communion.

A politician who publicly and obstinately advocates for the murder of innocent preborn babies puts himself out-of-communion with the Church and her teaching. 

Pro-abortion politicians should not think that they can advocate for the murder of the unborn and receive the Body of Christ at the same time. This would be to defile the Eucharist while giving scandal to the faithful.

Depriving politicians of Holy Communion is not just meant to prevent scandal; it is also designed to bring a grave public sinner to repentance. In this way, such an action is meant to be for the good of their souls, too.

Thank you for SIGNING this urgent petition which calls on the U.S. Catholic bishops to refuse to admit Joe Biden to Holy Communion until he publicly repents from his scandalous promotion of abortion.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Joe Biden: I support abortion ‘under any circumstance’ - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/joe-biden-i-support-abortion-under-any-circumstance

Catholic priest denies Joe Biden Holy Communion for pro-abortion stance - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/catholic-priest-denies-joe-biden-holy-communion-for-pro-abortion-stance

Cardinal McCarrick and the Concealing of Rome’s Position on Denying Communion  - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cardinal-mccarrick-and-the-concealing-of-romes-position-on-denying-communio

**Photo Credit: Joshua Roberts / Getty Images

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Los Angeles auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron joins the list of speakers favorable to LGBT ideology, having also recently described Martin as a “winsome guide to all those who want to deepen their friendship with the Lord.” 

By speaking at the event, and thus signalling his support for its pro-LGBT history and current prominent pro-LGBT speakers, Pope Francis would not be acting without precedent. Only a few months ago, Francis made possibly his clearest contravention of Church teaching to date, by calling for the legal recognition of homosexual civil unions. In 2003, in a document by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) and approved and ordered published by Pope St. John Paul II, the Church issued specific guidance on the need to reject homosexual civil union proposals. The document called “Considerations regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons,”states that “all Catholics are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions.”

The Pope’s statement came on top of a number of previous comments, highlighting his support for LGBT ideology and same-sex unions. A few weeks prior to his call for same-sex civil unions, he told a group of Italian parents, who hold their children to be LGBT, that “God loves your children as they are.”

LifeSiteNews contacted Sr. Meza, asking about Fr. Martin’s appearance despite his opposition to Church teaching, and what role the Pope’s address would play in approving the actions of Martin and others, who deviate from Church teaching. No response was received at time of publishing.  

Commenting on the news of Pope Francis’ address to the LA Congress, prominent U.K. Catholic commentator Deacon Nick Donnelly stated: “The LA Congress has a history of promoting dissent from the doctrines of the Faith; especially by giving a platform to LGBT activists who publicly repudiate Church teaching on the immorality of homosexual sex.” 

“Pope Francis has a real opportunity in his online appearance to address and correct this scandal. It would give hope to faithful parents, teachers and clergy who have had to endure this annual assault against the Faith for decades. However tragically for the US Church, this pope has professed himself unable to judge on such matters.”

“Under his pontificate emboldened clergy, such as Fr. James Martin SJ and Bishop McElroy, have sunk to new depths of subversion against the dignity of human sexuality safeguarded by natural law and divine revelation,” Donnelly continued.

“I fear that instead of a chastened LA Congress we will witness it descending into even more extreme defiance of God and His Church. This will have very dangerous consequences for the children subjected to this corrupted vision of Catholic education,” he concluded.

To register respectful concerns about the Congress: 

Contact information:

Most Reverend José H. Gomez
Office of the Archbishop of Los Angeles
3424 Wilshire Boulevard, 5th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90010-2241
Phone: (213) 637-7534
FAX: (213) 637-6510
[email protected]

Office of Media Relations
(213) 637-7215
(213) 216-8395
[email protected]

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