Fr. Shenan Boquet

The task before us post-election: bring Christ to the world

Fr. Shenan Boquet
By Fr. Shenan Boquet

November 14, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - With a few days’ perspective since the election, we can see things a bit more clearly. We should be honest about the situation for the pro-life community as we can best understand it.

The outcome of Tuesday’s election does not bode well for life and family — that is, for our most vulnerable brothers and sisters at the beginning and near the end of life; and for the natural, foundational institution of every society. That this administration has made it a priority to attack both is well known, as is their sustained assault on the freedom of religion. Just as sadly, judging by exit polls, many Catholics do not appear to be concerned about these facts, but have bought into some understanding of “justice” that allows for the wholesale destruction of unborn human beings, the erosion of fundamental liberties and the elevation of destructive and sinful conduct to the level of a human right.

On the surface, there is little cause for hope. But we don’t live just on the surface, do we? Was our hope placed in a candidate for president, or is it in Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life? The Glory of God is not diminished in the least by the darkness that a slim majority of our nation has unwittingly chosen. It will be obscured for sure, but that is where we come in.

As it always has been, we have to bring Christ to the world. Dead is the idea that we can live with a middling “go along to get along” kind of faith, and many of our more confused brothers and sisters are starting to wake up to this fact. We need to be there for them, and we need to get more serious as well.

It is fine to hope for an improved political and financial situation — we have to. We also have to as Christians act to bring these about with our votes and by making our case to family, friends and in public. But our hope, unless it was misplaced, was never in these mere transitory things.

Brothers and sisters, this is no time to put our tails between our legs and run in fear. Christians are not cowards. We have hope not because of a rosy political and economic outlook, but because the One who is Hope has promised to be with us, and has invited us to be with Him for all eternity. If we understand this basic truth of our faith, if we truly place our hope in Him, it takes on a whole different aspect of our lives. As Pope Benedict so beautifully put it in Spe Salvi, it becomes performative, that is, it changes everything and moves us toward greater virtue and trust in Him.

CLICK ‘LIKE’ IF YOU ARE PRO-LIFE!

We have seen this in the saints, haven’t we? One cannot read the lives of the saints and then look around at the truly precarious situation we find ourselves in and lose hope! This has happened before, and it will happen again. But we continue to fight.

For Human Life International and our supporters this means we continue to oppose the anti-life juggernaut that spends billions every year killing unborn children and trying to convince the world that children are an obstacle to progress. We work in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Africa who still love life and family enough to resist the seduction of the “reproductive health” salesmen, who tell us that “health” means no reproduction. We joyfully stand with Latin America, where faith is still recognized by most as essential to the identity of nations, communities and families. We pray that Europe might still recover its Christian soul and return to a culture of life, just as we pray and work to see that Asia turns back from its embrace of the culture of death and its more dynamic economies might also become genuinely pro-life societies. And here in the U.S. we have to be beacons of hope and light and show the world that not everyone here has given up on God and on freedom.

That is, we do what we have done, but with greater fervor, hope and joy! We must get better at making the case for life and family, but let our own faithful lives be the true argument. Let those who thought they could buy the infertility and loyalty of the world see in us a loving and courageous force that has no intention of standing down.

Let them ask, “Don’t these people ever give up?” while our lived “Of course not!” comes from joyful voices and an unchecked resolve to proclaim the Gospel of Life.

We are far from done, even if our desired political outcome is unrealized. If you are struggling with despair over the election, you need to refocus your hope where it should have been all along. This is an opportunity for all of us to get serious and get to work. We might even be grateful that the choice is that much clearer as we redouble our efforts to grow in holiness and to fight for life and family.

Father Shenan J. Boquet is the president of Human Life International.

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Lisa Bourne

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Pressure mounts as Catholic Relief Services fails to act on VP in gay ‘marriage’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne
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Rick Estridge, Catholic Relief Services' Vice President of Overseas Finance, is in a same-sex "marriage," public records show. Twitter

BALTIMORE, MD, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Nearly a week after news broke that a Catholic Relief Services vice president had contracted a homosexual “marriage” while also publicly promoting homosexuality on social media in conflict with Church teaching, the US Bishops international relief agency has taken no apparent steps to address the matter and is also not talking.

CRS Vice President of Overseas Finance Rick Estridge entered into a homosexual “marriage” in Maryland the same month in 2013 that he was promoted by CRS to vice president, public records show.

Despite repeated efforts at a response, CRS has not acknowledged LifeSiteNews’ inquiries during the week. And the agency told ChurchMilitant.com Thursday that no action had been taken beyond discussion of the situation and CRS would have no further comment.

"Nothing has changed,” CRS Senior Manager for Communications Tom said. “No further statement will be made."

LifeSiteNews first contacted CRS for a response prior to the April 20 release of the report and did not receive a reply, however Estridge’s Facebook and LinkeIn profiles were then removed just prior to the report’s release.

CRS also did not acknowledge LifeSiteNews’ follow-up inquiry later in the week.

“Having an executive who publicly celebrates a moral abomination shows the ineffectiveness of CRS' Catholic identity training,” Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn told LifeSiteNews. “How many others who hate Catholic moral teaching work at CRS?”

CRS did admit it was aware Estridge was in a “same-sex civil marriage” to Catholic News Agency (CNA) Monday afternoon, and confirmed he was VP of Overseas Finance and had been with CRS for 16 years.

“At this point we are in deliberations on this matter,” Price told CNA that day.

ChurchMilitant.com also reported that according to its sources, it was a well-known fact at CRS headquarters in Baltimore that Estridge was in a homosexual “marriage.” 

“There is no way CRS didn't know one of its executives entered into a mock-marriage until we broke the story,” Hichborn said. “The implication is clear; CRS top brass had no problem with having an executive so deliberately flouting Catholic moral teaching.”

“The big question is,” Hichborn continued, “what other morally repugnant matters is CRS comfortable with?”

While the wait continues for the Bishops’ relief organization to address the matter, those behind the report and other critics of prior instances of CRS involvement in programs and groups that violate Church principles continue to call for a thorough and independent review of the agency programs and personnel.

“How long should it take to call an employee into your office, tell him that his behavior is incompatible with the mission of the organization, and ask for his resignation?” asked Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher. “About thirty minutes, I would say.”

“The Catholic identity of CRS is at stake,” Hichborn stated. “If CRS does nothing, then there is no way faithful Catholics can trust the integrity of CRS's programs or desire to make its Catholicity preeminent.” 

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Thousands of marriage activists gathered in D.C. June 19, 2014 for the 2nd March for Marriage. Dustin Siggins / LifeSiteNews.com
The Editors

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Watch the March for Marriage online—only at LifeSiteNews

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- At noon on Saturday, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and dozens of cosponsors, coalition partners, and speakers will launch the third annual March for Marriage. Thousands of people are expected to take place in this important event to show the support real marriage has among the American people.

As the sole media sponsor of the March, LifeSiteNews is proud to exclusively livestream the March. Click here to see the rally at noon Eastern Time near the U.S. Capitol, and the March to the Supreme Court at 1:00 Eastern Time.

And don't forget to pray that God's Will is done on Tuesday, when the Supreme Court hears arguments about marriage!

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Hillary Clinton: ‘Religious beliefs’ against abortion ‘have to be changed’

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By Ben Johnson

NEW YORK CITY, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Speaking to an influential gathering in New York City on Thursday, Hillary Clinton declared that “religious beliefs” that condemn "reproductive rights," “have to be changed.”

“Yes, we've cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health,” Hillary told the Women in the World Summit yesterday.

Liberal politicians use “reproductive health” as a blanket term that includes abortion. However, Hillary's reference echoes National Organization for Women (NOW) president Terry O’Neill's op-ed from last May that called abortion “an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality.”

The Democratic presidential hopeful added that governments should throw the power of state coercion behind the effort to redefine traditional religious dogmas.

“Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources, and political will,” she said. “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

The line received rousing applause at the feminist conference, hosted in Manhattan's Lincoln Center by Tina Brown.

She also cited religious-based objections to the HHS mandate, funding Planned Parenthood, and the homosexual and transgender agenda as obstacles that the government must defeat.

“America moves ahead when all women are guaranteed the right to make their own health care choices, not when those choices are taken away by an employer like Hobby Lobby,” she said. The Supreme Court ruled last year that closely held corporations had the right to opt out of the provision of ObamaCare requiring them to provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization to employees with no co-pay – a mandate that violates the teachings of the Catholic Church and other Christian bodies.

Clinton lamented that “there are those who offer themselves as leaders...who would defund the country's leading provider of family planning,” Planned Parenthood, “and want to let health insurance companies once again charge women just because of our gender.”

“We move forward when gay and transgender women are embraced...not fired from good jobs because of who they love or who they are,” she added.

It is not the first time the former first lady had said that liberal social policies should displace religious views. In a December 2011 speech in Geneva, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said perhaps the “most challenging issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens.” These objections, she said, are “not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation.”

While opinions on homosexuality are “still evolving,” in time “we came to learn that no [religious] practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us.”

Her views, if outside the American political mainstream, have been supported by the United Nations. The UN Population Fund stated in its 2012 annual report that religious objections to abortion-inducing drugs had to be overcome. According to the UNFPA report, “‘duty-bearers’ (governments and others)” have a responsibility to assure that all forms of contraception – including sterilization and abortion-inducing ‘emergency contraception’ – are viewed as acceptable – “But if they are not acceptable for cultural, religious or other reasons, they will not be used.”

Two years later, the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child instructed the Vatican last February that the Catholic Church should amend canon law “relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services may be permitted.”

At Thursday's speech, Hillary called the legal, state-enforced implementation of feminist politics “the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” which must be accomplished “not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.”

“These are not just women's fights. These have to be America's fights and the world's fights,” she said. “There's still much to be done in our own country, much more to be done around the world, but I'm confident and optimistic that if we get to work, we will get it done together.”

American critics called Clinton's suggestion that a nation founded upon freedom of religion begin using state force to change religious practices unprecedented.

“Never before have we seen a presidential candidate be this bold about directly confronting the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion,” said Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.

“In one sense, this shows just how extreme the pro-abortion caucus actually is,” Ed Morrissey writes at HotAir.com. “Running for president on the basis of promising to use the power of government to change 'deep seated cultural codes [and] religious beliefs' might be the most honest progressive slogan in history.”

He hoped that, now that she had called for governments to change religious doctrines, “voters will now see the real Hillary Clinton, the one who dismisses their faith just the same as Obama did, and this time publicly rather than in a private fundraiser.”

Donohue asked Hillary “to take the next step and tell us exactly what she plans to do about delivering on her pledge. Not only would practicing Catholics like to know, so would Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and all those who value life from conception to natural death.”

You may watch Hillary's speech below.

Her comments on religion begin at approximately 9:00. 

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