Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

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Vatican archbishop: attacks on Church’s life, family, other teachings betray ‘pogrom sentiment’

Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

ROME, February 4, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In recent comments to the German newspaper Die Welt, Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller has said that recent “targeted campaigns to discredit” the Catholic Church remind him of a “pogrom sentiment.” The remarks by Müller, the head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, have enraged liberal Catholics, German politicians and garnered criticism from some Jewish groups.

Church teachings on the impossibility of ordaining women, homosexuality and priestly celibacy have come under increasing attack in North America and Europe media, the archbishop said earlier in the interview.

In response to a subsequent question about Cardinal George's famous remark that his successor may end up in prison for defending the faith, Archbiship Müller said, "campaigns which are specifically targeted at discrediting the Catholic Church in the U.S. and Europe have led to clerics in some sectors being publicly insulted in a vulgar way."

“An artificially created fury is growing here which sometimes reminds one of a pogrom sentiment,” he said, adding that such attacks “recall the struggles of totalitarian ideologies against Christianity.”

Leftist politicians and media were less than impressed with Müller statements.

German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper, “Comparisons with the Holocaust are tasteless when it comes to divergent opinions in our society about current issues such as the role of marriage, family and registered life partnerships.”

Claudia Roth of the far-left Green party called Müller’s statement “utterly unacceptable and dangerously forgetful of history”. Roth called it the utterances of “Vatican’s chief ideologist,” and said it sounded as though the “Catholic Church wants to beam back to the Middle Ages.”

Alois Glück, president of the Zentralkomitee der deutschen Katholiken (Central Committee of German Catholics) distanced himself from the comments, saying that although there were some “aggressive tones towards the Church and religious people” this is “thankfully not the general climate”. Glück complained instead of a “process of alienation” between Church leaders like Müller and their flocks for which a “self-critical reflection is necessary”. 

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Müller, before his appointment to the Vatican’s number three spot, was the head of the Regensburg diocese where he was widely depicted as a “hardline” conservative, despite his long-time sympathy for the Liberation Theologians of the 1970s. In the Die Welt interview, Müller said that though it is positive for bishops to be in discussion with laypeople about the nature of Church doctrine, the idea that the laity can demand that the Church change its teaching is beyond the pale. 

The Church, he said, “cannot accept relationships between people of the same sex in a way that means they will be treated as marriage.”

On priestly celibacy, a hot topic for the ultra-liberal German Catholic Church, the issue is closed, he added. “Priestly celibacy is the example and words of Jesus and found in the spiritual experience of the Latin Church, a particular expression.” Rumblings within the Catholic Church in Germany to change this practice, he said, come from misunderstandings of sexuality common to the times.

He also decried the growing notion of a “German Church” understood as separate and independent from Rome. He spoke instead of the Catholic Church in Germany, saying that it suffers not from “Roman centralism” but the fact that “we have too little unity.”

“The Church does not suffer from centralization, but the fact that the centrifugal forces are too strong.”

In a previous interview last year, Müller said that being Catholic at a “reduced price” was not possible, but one had to accept Catholic teaching in its entirety. People cannot create their own Church, “according to taste and in respect to the zeitgeist.”

Josef Schuster, vice president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, responded to the comments, saying that Müller does not know what a “pogrom” means. The archbishop, he said, as one of the highest dignitaries of the Catholic Church,  “would be well advised to immediately correct his statement publicly”.

But Jerusalem Rabbi David Rosen, the international director of the American Jewish Committee for Interreligious Affairs, has countered that the comments have been interpreted “maliciously”.

“Is no comparison with the atrocities of the Holocaust ever appropriate?” asked Rosen.

“It is also clear to any reasonable person,” he added, “It is also clear to any reasonable person who rereads the words of Archbishop Müller, however, that such a comparison was not his intention. Refer to the interview, this can only be the result of malicious intent.”

Müller made his comments in response to a growing movement among the “Boomer” generation of extreme-left clergy in Germany, Austria and elsewhere. Groups of clergy and laity have formed in Germany, Austria and Ireland who have publicly declared themselves independent of the Catholic Church’s authority and denied certain key doctrines regarding the nature of the priesthood and the Church.

However, in June last year, one of the Church’s most prominent prelates, the Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Schönborn, who had been ordered by Rome to bring Austrian group into line, told the Austrian Priests’ Initiative that they will not be required to renounce their anti-Catholic work.

The Initiative had issued a public letter titled, “A Call to Disobedience,” that demanded the Church change her teachings on priestly celibacy and homosexuality, and had been the subject of a direct papal rebuke from the pulpit of St. Peter’s Basilica. Schönborn sympathetically heard their grievances, even bringing a letter from the group to give to the pope personally, and told them they must renounce only the letter’s use of the word “disobedience.”

“You can easily remain a member of the Priests Initiative,” the cardinal’s spokesman said. “You must only distance yourself from the ‘Call to Disobedience’ in an appropriate way.”



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

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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

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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

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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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