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US Bishops asked to Fire Chief Film Critic over Glowing Reviews for “Brokeback” and “Compass”

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By John-Henry Westen

WASHINGTON, DC, December 3, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Bishops of the United States are being asked to fire the chief movie reviewer for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).  Harry Forbes, the Director of the USCCB Office for Film and Broadcasting, has reignited scandal by praising the film "The Golden Compass" which is based on an anti-Catholic novel.

Forbes caused similar controversy two years ago when he issued a glowing review in the name of the USCCB for the homosexual propaganda film "Brokeback Mountain".

Pete Vere, who has a written book on the author of The Golden Compass, spoke with LifeSiteNews.com about the USCCB review.  "Several bishops have spoken to me about this review and they are horrified at what has been done in their name," Vere told LifeSiteNews.com.  "Certainly the USCCB has to revisit its rules for issuing movie reviews."  Vere’s book co-authored by Sandra Miesel, Pied Piper of Atheism: Philip Pullman and Children’s Fantasy, is to be released by Ignatius Press before Christmas.

Fr. Tom Euteneuer, the President of Human Life International, has called on the US Bishops to fire Forbes and his subordinate John Mulderig who co-authored the review of The Golden Compass.  The HLI leader was incredulous that the USCCB review could recommend the film for children despite the fact that it admits the film has "occult elements" and carries a "sprit of rebellion". 

"The fact that these gentlemen could recommend this movie to children is just abhorrent to me. I really do believe these guys should be fired," Fr. Euteneuer told LifeSiteNews.com.  "Whatever happened to rejecting Satan and all his empty work and empty promises."

The USCCB review notes the great artistry of the film, but such is no reason to approve of it warned Fr. Euteneuer who has taken part in exorcisms.  "St. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 11 that the devil comes dressed as an angel of light.  And this is very clearly what is happening.  They have taken an atheistic work and dressed it up as something good for kids."

Noting Forbes’ former scandalous positive review of Brokeback Mountain, Fr. Euteneuer said, "The fact (the USCCB) didn’t fire him at that time is what leads to this kind of thing.  When you don’t rebuke irresponsibility in using an office to spread errors then it leads to more irresponsibility."

In a rare move, the US Catholic League last week publicly slammed the USCCB Golden Compass review in exclusive comments to LifeSiteNews.com (see: http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/nov/07113001.html )

Vere told LifeSiteNews.com that as a canon lawyer he has concerns about the USCCB’s positive review of The Golden Compass. "I recognize that the faithful turn to their bishops for guidance on issues affecting Catholic faith and morals. By giving The Golden Compass a positive review, it could appear to most Catholics that the U.S. bishops see nothing to be concerned about in Pullman’s work," he said.

"This certainly is not the case, which is why Sandra Miesel and I have documented several of our concerns in Pied Piper of Atheism (AtheismForChildren.com). Ignatius Press is set to release this short book before Christmas. The book chronicles a number of ways in which Pullman’s work, which is being marketed to children and young people, attacks the Church, undermines faith in God and promotes atheism. How else does one describe a book in which two twelve-year-olds set out to overthrow God before re-enacting the fall of Adam as a good thing?"

"As Catholic faithful we must alert our bishop and other good bishops as to what Forbes and Mulderig have written in name of the USCCB," says Vere in an upcoming column for The Wanderer. "Be respectful, but state our concerns bluntly, ask these bishops to investigate what happened, and why it happened. Demand that the bishops take appropriate corrective action. Demand that future movies are reviewed within the context of the good of souls - which in our canonical and theological tradition is the supreme law - and not merely on their artistic merit."

Vere suggests that this "should be clearly explained to Forbes, Mulderig, and other USCCB movie reviewers" and "If they choose not to abide by it, then the bishops have a moral duty to provide the faithful with reviewers who will."

The USCCB review is already causing damage by enticing Catholic audiences to see the movie.  Fiction writer and popular blogger Amy Welbourn reports that the ad agency for New Line Cinema which has released the film, is using the Forbes’ review to promote the film via full-page ads in diocesan newspapers.

One key line in the ad agency’s pitch to diocesan newspaper editors: "We’ve spoken extensively about this film with Harry Forbes, Director of the USCCB’s Office of Film and Broadcasting."

To respectfully contact individual US Bishops:
http://www.usccb.org/bishops.shtml

The book ‘Pied Piper of Atheism: Philip Pullman and Children’s Fantasy’ by Pete Vere and Sandra Miesel is available here:
http://www.AtheismForChildren.com



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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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