John Westen

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Same-sex “marriage” advocate Gregory Baum lauded by Canadian Catholic media

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TORONTO, 22 October, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Liberal Catholic press-people have recently touted a man some call Canada’s leading dissenter since the 1960s - former Catholic priest Gregory Baum - because of his role as an expert, or peritus, to the Canadian bishops at Vatican II.  Baum, an advocate of homosexual ‘marriage’ and sex outside of marriage and contraception, was lauded by Fr. Thomas Rosica of Salt and Light TV, Michael Swan of the Catholic Register and also given free reign in the pages of the Scarboro Foreign Missions magazine.

Had he merely publicly rejected Catholicism, Baum would not have been as grave a danger to the Church and especially its moral teachings.

Despite the automatic excommunication he incurred for marrying an ex-nun while still a priest, Baum continued to speak lovingly of Jesus and the Gospels as he repudiated many of the principles of faith and morals revealed by Christ and in Sacred Scripture.  One of the tools of repudiation was the dissenting Catholic New Times newspaper co-founded by Baum and other dissenters in 1976 and eventually prohibited from one diocese after another.

Such two-facedness led one of Baum’s contemporaries, canon lawyer Monsignor Vincent Foy, to consider Baum as having “done more than any person to harm the Church in Canada…” In an article sent into LifeSiteNews late last week, Foy recalls other concerning aspects of Baum’s history and even makes claims about “His Marxist background and activities”.

On his regular “Witness” program on Salt and Light TV, Fr. Rosica begins the October 7 interview by lauding Baum. “Professor Gregory Baum, it’s a great joy for us to have you on set with us for Witness on Salt and Light Television,” says Rosica.  (See trancript of entire interview here)

Although Fr. Rosica notes, “Gregory we’ve known each other for a long time…,” the Salt and Light CEO fails to mention Baum’s decades-long dissent from the teachings of the Church.  Fr. Rosica astonishingly goes on to state, “I’ve certainly admired very much your theology, your writings but also your love of the Church, your love of Christ, and you helped to keep alive not only the spirit of the Second Vatican council, but also the authentic teaching of the Council … you remain a faithful, deeply devoted Catholic, love Jesus, the Church, the Eucharist.”

During the interview, Fr. Rosica also sets up a dichotomy between what he calls those like Baum, who in his terms engage in “great theological search”, and those he calls “crusaders of orthodoxy.”

Fr. Rosica sees in those orthodox, the “pseudo-orthodoxy” who “are among the most unhappy and sad and angry that I’ve ever met.” In contrast he concludes the intimate television interview, saying to Baum, “Gregory, I want to thank you, You have been for me and continue to be a real model of hope - Gaudium et Spes - joy and hope.”

In his October 7 column in the Catholic Register, associate editor Michael Swan turns uncritically to Baum for comment on Vatican Council II, without ever noting his dissent, in two separate articles, The Church’s past weaved into the future and Canadian influence unmistakable at Vatican II.

Swan’s failure however is mitigated in the Register by a column by Fr. Raymond de Souza, wherein it is noted that Baum is a dissenter. Fr. de Souza’s corrective reads:

The presence of Gregory Baum, the former priest who at one time had a rewarding career proposing that the Church was wrong on just about every issue in which her teaching clashed with secular culture, set off alarm bells for those easily alarmed. He too was a peritus at the council. But at nearly 90 years old, Baum is a lion no longer. More than a theological force, he is now of principal interest as a relic of a time when the future of the Church was going to be an abrupt break with her past. Baum and his companions thought that Vatican II meant a new Church, adapted to the times and taking its lead from the ambient culture. The idea that the ambient culture of the late 1960s and 1970s was a special repository of wisdom was just one fatal flaw in that scheme.

The danger in touting Baum uncritically can be seen when he was given free reign in the Jan - Feb, 2012 edition of Scarboro Foreign Missions magazine. In the article he criticizes the Catholic Church for its failure in the kind of ‘dialogue’ he believes it should have - namely one that encourages the dissenting positions he embraces. Baum wrote:

In 1968 Paul VI published the encyclical Humanae Vitae condemning all forms of artificial birth control without an antecedent dialogue with the bishops and their people. In subsequent years, the Vatican controlled the world synod of bishops: its agenda and its final report were produced by the Roman Curia. Soon the bishops’ conferences were deprived of their teaching authority, and diocesan bishops were told to control the diocesan synod, determine their agenda and demand that people obey the present Vatican teaching. In the 1990s Catholics holding a position in the Church’s organization, including bishops, had to take an oath of fidelity to papal teaching, abolishing dialogue on this high level. The sad consequence of this opposition to dialogue has been the loss of the Church’s authority. Empirical research has shown that most church-going Catholics do not follow the papal teaching on sexual ethics. While Catholics have great respect for their hierarchical superiors, they do not necessarily follow their teaching.

Baum goes on to express his “great disappointment.”  In conclusion he presents his vision of the Church void of her moral teachings as the hope for the future - a future he says was wanted by Jesus Himself. “Faith in the Gospel continues to produce vital movements in the Church, groups of Catholics committed to social justice, protecting the environment, practicing meditation, developing theological insights, working for peace, serving the weak and the sick, supporting community development - and in doing so, welcoming God’s kingdom coming into the world,” says Baum.

However, as LifeSiteNews Canadian Bureau Chief Patrick Craine notes in his opinion piece today, “The truth is that all of the Church’s work in the social sphere is rooted in her moral outlook.”

Craine concludes: “The division facing the Church … is not “pro-life” vs. “social justice,” or unborn rights vs. the dignity of the poor. It’s a division between those Catholics who embrace the Magisterium and those who do not, between those who would have the world conform to Christ and those who would have Christ conform to the world, between those who would cling to the Cross amidst the blistering storm of the age and those who prefer to go along for the ride.”



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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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