Patrick Craine

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Pope taps strong pro-life bishop to replace heroic Bishop Bruskewitz in Lincoln, NE

Patrick Craine
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LINCOLN, Nebraska, September 14, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Pope Benedict XVI has appointed a strong pro-life bishop to succeed Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, who is considered by many as a hero in defense of Catholic orthodoxy and tradition amidst the upheavals in the Church in recent decades.

Bishop James Conley, auxiliary bishop of Denver since 2008, told a press conference in Lincoln today that he has admired the Lincoln diocese under Bruskewitz and has no intention of altering course. “I have held the Diocese of Lincoln in high esteem, it is rich with vocation, Catholic education and family life. I am not going to mess around with that,” he said, according to the Lincoln Journal-Star. “I plan to continue to build that up and encourage it.”

A convert from Presbyterianism who was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Wichita in 1985, Conley is known as a defender of the Church’s teachings on life and family and a proponent of traditional liturgy.

At the press conference, he called Bishop Bruskewitz a “true champion of the Catholic faith” and a “personal hero of mine for many years.”

Bruskewitz, who retires after 20 years in Lincoln, made national headlines in 1996 when he announced the excommunication of all Catholics who maintain membership in Planned Parenthood, as well as Masonic groups, the dissident Catholic group Call to Action, and the Society of St. Pius X.

In an interview with LifeSiteNews last year, the prelate insisted that Catholic politicians who support Planned Parenthood, in addition to those who support abortion, should be denied Communion in accord with Canon 915.

“In this diocese, the priests and everyone who distributes Holy Communion would be instructed not to give Holy Communion to such people,” he explained. Advocates for abortion or euthanasia are “placing themselves in a position where they are not to receive Holy Communion because they’ve defected from the Church’s faith,” he added.

In the same interview he insisted that the current cultural climate demands priests speak boldly about the Church’s teachings on homosexuality, and not use concerns about “prudence” as an excuse to avoid the topic. “Caution and prudence are important, but I don’t think they should be excuses for not properly speaking when speaking is necessary or extremely important pastorally,” he said.

He was one of around a dozen bishops who had dropped funding for the controversial Catholic Campaign for Human Development because of its sponsorships of groups that advocate activities contrary to Church teaching.

He has also been a notable opponent of “brain death” as a criterion for organ donation.

On the sex abuse crisis, Bishop Bruskewitz has been a leading advocate of top-to-bottom reform. At the U.S. Bishops’ famous Dallas meeting in 2002 where they adopted the “Dallas Charter”, he stood as a lone voice in opposition because the only people it did not hold accountable were the bishops themselves.

As a result, he refused to comply with annual audits of compliance with the bishops’ guidelines on sex-abuse programs, noting that many members of the board responsible for them were opponents of fundamental Church teachings on issues such as abortion and human cloning.

His refusal resulted in a call from the U.S. bishops’ Office of Child and Youth Protection that the other bishops issue a “strong fraternal correction” against him. This despite the fact that his diocese had one of the lowest rates of sex abuse by clergy in the nation, and other bishops were known to have protected abusive priests and paid off plaintiffs with exorbitant settlements rather than face trial.

In a 2002 interview with EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo, Bruskewitz attributed the abuse crisis in the Church to “dissent” on sexual morality.

Bishop Bruskewitz has also been revered by many as a strong advocate for a devout celebration of the liturgy, including the promotion of the Traditional Latin Mass, known also since 2007 as the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. Notably, thanks to the prelate, the Diocese of Lincoln is home to the American seminary of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, an order of priests dedicated to the celebration of the Extraordinary Form.

Under his leadership, Lincoln has remained the only diocese in America to reserve altar service to boys. It has also consistently had the highest number of seminarians per Catholics in the country. According to the diocesan website, they have 44 seminarians for 96,625 Catholics. For comparison, the Archdiocese of Boston - with about 1.8 million Catholics - listed 68 seminarians for the 2011-2012 year.

Bishop Conley, who served for a short time as Apostolic Administrator in Denver, worked in the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops before being appointed as Auxiliary Bishop of Denver under Archbishop Charles Chaput in 2008.

In 2011, he warned Catholics that the Girl scouts could make girls more receptive to the pro-abortion agenda because of their relationship with Planned Parenthood and their overall approach to sexuality.

In March of this year, while serving as Apostolic Administrator, he got Denver’s Theology on Tap booted from a local bar because of his strong denunciation of “atheocracy” and attacks on religious freedom in America.



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Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

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Please, enough with the cult of pop stars. Our kids need real heroes.

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Two things happen each time a significant pop culture figure dies: Christians attempt to dredge up some moderately conservative or traditional thing that figure said at some point during his long career, and mainstream media attempts to convince a society thoroughly bored with such things that the person in question was a ground-breaking radical. The two most recent examples are the androgynous David Bowie—a cringe-worthy and possibly blasphemous video of him dropping to his knees during a rock performance and uttering the Lord’s Prayer circulated just following his death--and the pop star Prince.

I’ve had to suppress my gag reflexes many times as I saw my Facebook newsfeed fill up with memes sporting quotes from Prince about his faith and articles announcing that the musician who “embraced gender fluidity before his time,” according to Slate and “will always be a gay icon” according to The Atlantic, was against gay marriage. Sure, maybe he was. But only a Christian community so shell-shocked by the rapid spread of the rainbow blitzkrieg and the catastrophic erosion of religious liberty would find this remarkable. After all, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton said the same thing barely one election cycle ago. As one obituary celebrating Prince’s paradigm-smashing sexual performances written by Dodai Stewart put it:

Dig, if you will, a picture: The year is 1980. Many states still have sodomy laws. The radio is playing feel-good ear candy like Captain and Tennille and KC and the Sunshine Band. TV hits include the sunny, toothy blond shows Three’s Company and Happy Days. There’s no real word for “gender non-conforming.” But here’s what you see: A man. Clearly a man. Hairy, mostly naked body…a satiny bikini bottom. But those eyes. Rimmed in black, like a fantasy belly dancer. The full, pouty lips of a pin-up girl. Long hair. A tiny, svelte thing. Ethnically ambiguous, radiating lust. What is this? A man. Clearly a man. No. Not just a man. A Prince.

Right. So let’s not get too carried away, shall we? I know Christians are desperate to justify their addictions to the pop culture trash that did so much to sweep away Christian values in the first place and I know that latching on to the occasional stray conservative belief that may manifest itself in pop culture figures makes many feel as if perhaps we are not so weird and countercultural, but this bad habit we have of claiming these figures upon their passing is downright damaging.

After all, parents should be teaching their children about real heroes, titans of the faith who changed the world. Heroes of the early church who stood down tyrants, halted gladiatorial combat, and crusaded against injustice in a world where death was all the rage. These men and women were real rebels who stood for real values. If we want to point our children to people they should emulate, we should be handing them books like Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness by the brilliant writer Eric Metaxas rather than the pop albums Purple Rain or Lovesexy by Prince. If parents spend their time glorifying the predecessors of Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus instead of highlighting heroes like William Wilberforce, they can hardly be surprised when their children choose to emulate the former rather than the latter.

The mainstream media’s adulation of these pop stars is equally irritating. The unspoken truth of these obituaries is that the flamboyant antics of Prince and the rest of the so-called rebellious drag queens populating the rock n’ roll scene have been mainstream for a long time already. Want to see dozens of bizarre body piercings? Weird hairdos? Purple mohawks? Dudes with nail polish? Strange tattoos? Easy. Just go onto any university campus, or any public high school without a dress code. With headphones wedged firmly in their ear canals, they can pump the cleverly commercialized “counterculture” straight into their skulls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

More than that, some of these courageous rebels have actually sued their employers to ensure that they can let their establishment-smashing freak flag fly at work, too. An Edmonton woman with 22 visible body piercings complained that her employer was unfair because apparently she was being discriminated against “based on body modifications.” Yeah! The Man must be told, after all. And if he doesn’t agree, we will lawyer up. I wonder what the shrieking rebels of the early days would think about the snivelling children of the current grievance culture.

So these days, the media’s eulogizing about aging culture warriors who went mainstream a long time ago rings a bit hollow. After all, most rock n’ roll stars these days look tame compared to what shows up in the children’s section at Pride Week. Freaky is normal now. Normal is radical. Welcome to 2016.

When Christians are posting nostalgic tributes to the rebels who helped inoculate their children against the radical views of Christianity in the first place, you know that the victories of the counterculture are complete and Stockholm syndrome has set in.



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Target boycott climbs to over 1 million

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien

April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Over 1 million people have signed a pledge to boycott Target over its new policy allowing men to access women’s bathrooms. 

The American Family Association’s Boycott Target petition gained traction immediately, reaching the one million mark in only nine days.

“Corporate America must stop bullying people who disagree with the radical left agenda to remake society into their progressive image,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “#BoycottTarget has resonated with Americans.  Target’s harmful policy poses a danger to women and children; nearly everyone has a mother, wife, daughter or friend who is put in jeopardy by this policy.  Predators and voyeurs would take advantage of the policy to prey on those who are vulnerable.  And it’s clear now that over one million customers agree.”

Target defended its policy in a statement saying that it believes everyone “deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally” and earlier this week, a Target spokeswoman defended the policy as “inclusive.” 

The AFA said that unisex bathrooms are a common-sense alternative to allowing men unfettered access to women’s bathrooms.

“Target should keep separate facilities for men and women, but for the trans community and for those who simply like using the bathroom alone, a single occupancy unisex option should be provided,” the petition says. 

The AFA warned that Target’s new policy benefits sexual predators and poses a danger to women and children. 

“With Target publicly boasting that men can enter women's bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go?” the petition asked. 

There have been numerous instances of predatory men accessing women’s bathrooms and intimate facilities in the wake of “transgender” bathroom policies allowing them to do so. 

“We want to make it very clear that AFA does not believe the transgender community poses this danger to the wider public,” said Wildmon. “Rather, this misguided and reckless policy provides a possible gateway for predators who are out there.”



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Amazing new video captures the flash of light the moment life begins

Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

CHICAGO, April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Life begins with a spark – literally.

Researchers at Northwestern University have documented the striking event in a new video that accompanies a study published this week.

At the moment of conception, the egg releases massive amounts of zinc, which creates a spark that can be seen with the aid of a microscope.

“It was remarkable,” said Teresa Woodruff, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University's medical school. “To see the zinc radiate out in a burst from each human egg was breathtaking.”

The research team had noted the zinc sparks before in mice eggs but had never observed the process in human beings.

“All of biology starts at the time of fertilization,” Woodruff said, “yet we know next to nothing about the events that occur in the human.”

One of the researchers, Northwestern chemistry professor Thomas O'Halloran, explained the science behind the process in 2014.

“The egg first has to stockpile zinc and then must release some of the zinc to successfully navigate maturation, fertilization and the start of embryogenesis,” he said. “On cue, at the time of fertilization, we see the egg release thousands of packages, each dumping a million zinc atoms, and then it's quiet.”

“Each egg has four or five of these periodic sparks,” O'Halloran said. “It is beautiful to see, orchestrated much like a symphony.”

Since the amount of zinc in an egg correlates with successful implantation and birth, the Northwestern researchers are highlighting that their research may be used to assist in vitro fertilization.

But that raises concerns given the grave moral issues with IVF, which involves creating numerous embryos that are either killed or frozen. Moral theologians also emphasize that IVF is an injustice even for the children who are born as a result, as they are created in a lab rather than in the union of man and woman.

The study may have far-reaching consequences the research team did not intend, such as strengthening public belief in the longstanding scientific consensus that life begins at the moment of conception/fertilization.

Many of those who saw the Northwestern video said it testifies to the beauty of life and the shallow lies that buttress the argument of abortion-on-demand.

“I saw this, and I was blown away by it,” said Rush Limbaugh on his nationally syndicated radio program Thursday afternoon. “For anybody in the mainstream media to openly admit that life begins at conception” defies arguments that an unborn child is only “tissue mass.”

Researchers released a separate video of the zinc spark taking place in a mammalian egg more than a year ago:

The paper, which is entitled “The Zinc Spark is an Inorganic Signature of Human Egg Activation,” was published by Scientific Reports on April 26.



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