John Westen

What Pope Francis could not mean regarding gay priests and what he actually said

John Westen
John Westen

The Pope’s remarks on the ‘gay lobby’ in response to a question on his return flight from Rio to Rome have sparked misleading coverage all over the world.  From a look at the headlines of the major mainstream news sources in America and from the television and radio coverage comes a very confusing take on what the Pope actually said.

Pope Francis says he won't 'judge' gay priests - USA Today

Pope Francis says he won't judge gay priests | Fox News

Pope Signals Openness to Gay Priests - WSJ.com

Pope Francis says he will not judge priests for being gay | World ... Guardian UK

Pope Shifts Church's Tone on Gay People - ABC News

Pope Francis on gays: "Who am I to judge?" - CBS News Pope Francis says he won't judge gays - World - CBC News

Pope Charts New Ground On Gay Priests And Women - Forbes

Pope Francis says gays should not be judged - latimes.com

And from an Israeli and a UK publication there was the following:

Pope digresses from document of predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, declaring that men with deep-rooted homosexual tendencies should not be priests - Haaretz.com

Pope Francis marks shift in attitude to gay Catholics on Brazil trip - Independent.co.uk

First off we need to look at what the Pope actually said, and in the context of the question asked.

He was asked a double question about how he would deal with “intimacy” of Bishop Ricca the prelate of the Vatican Bank and the whole issue of the ‘gay lobby.’

His full answer is posted at the bottom of this article but here are the key quotes being given erroneous interpretations in the mainstream media.
 

Distortion 1: Most media outlets are suggesting that Pope Francis is somehow saying there is nothing wrong with being gay

“If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him?” he asked, according to a Vatican Radio English translation of his remarks.

Understanding the Catholic teaching on homosexuality is necessary to understand the meaning of this phrase.

The Catholic faith teaches that all homosexual acts are presented in Sacred Scriptures as “acts of grave depravity”; that they are “intrinsically disordered” and that “under no circumstances can they be approved.” (Catechism 2357)

In another quote the Pope also said, according to Catholic News Serivce: “The problem isn't this (homosexual) orientation -- we must be like brothers and sisters.”

This quote cannot mean that the homosexual inclination is not any problem at all. The Catechism teaches that even the homosexual inclination is “objectively disordered” and is a “trial” for most who experience it.  (Catechism 2358)
 

Distortion 2: Since the context of the quote is in a discussion about a clergyman who is alleged to have been involved (as a priest) in a homosexual affair, the implication is that the Catholic Church is okay with gay priests.

Firstly, the Roman Catholic Church opposes any sexual activity by priests since they vow celibacy.

Secondly, especially after the horrors of the sex abuse crisis, which many have seen to be related to past tolerance of an active gay sub-culture within the Church, the Catholic Church has forbidden even those men with fixed homosexual inclinations from entering the seminary. In November 2005, the Congregation for Catholic Education released the "Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocation with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders."

The Instruction forbade admission to seminary to "those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture’."
 

Distortion 3: Never judge and never discriminate.  A few quotes from the Pope strung together would also leave a faulty impression without a knowledge of Catholic teaching on the matter. 

In addition to the ‘who am I to judge’ quote some media are translating one phrase of the Pope to say that there must be no discrimination against homosexual persons, and that they must be accepted.

The Catechism does say: They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. (Catechism 2358)

The Catechism is specific that “unjust” discrimination is to be avoided, but the Church also teaches specifically that there is proper discrimination to be applied when it comes to confronting homosexual actions and tendencies.

Firstly as noted above, the ban on homosexuals entering the priesthood is already discrimination, a proper discrimination.  Also in this 1992 Vatican document, the Catholic Church spells out other areas where such discrimination is needed, specifically in the areas of adoption, foster care, teaching, the military, and more.


And finally the most complete transcript of the full remarks of Pope Francis on the plane this morning returning from Rio comes from a couple of sources. (update: The Vatican has released a full transcript in Italian available here http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/speeches/2013/july/documents/papa-francesco_20130728_gmg-conferenza-stampa_it.html )

The first question was: Holiness, there was news published about the intimacy of Monsignor Ricci, how will you address this issue and how does His Holiness intend to address the whole issue of the "gay lobby"?

Vatican reporter John Allen gives this transcript of the Pope’s remarks:

 The Ricca Case

“I did what canon law requires, which is to conduct a preliminary investigation. We didn’t find anything to confirm the things he was accused of, there was nothing … I’d like to add that many times we seem to seek out the sins of somebody’s youth and publish them. We’re not talking about crimes, which are something else. The abuse of minors, for instance, is a crime. But one can sin and then convert, and the Lord both forgives and forgets. We don’t have the right to refuse to forget … it’s dangerous. The theology of sin is important. St. Peter committed one of the greatest sins, denying Christ, and yet they made him pope! Think about that.”

Gay Lobby

“There’s a lot of talk about the gay lobby, but I’ve never seen it on the Vatican ID card!”

“When I meet a gay person, I have to distinguish between their being gay and being part of a lobby. If they accept the Lord and have good will, who am I to judge them? They shouldn’t be marginalized. The tendency [to homosexuality] is not the problem … they’re our brothers.”


One final add on to the pope’s gay lobby remarks was provided by the BBC: “The problem is lobbying by this orientation, or lobbies of greedy people, political lobbies, Masonic lobbies, so many lobbies. This is the worse problem."

FREE pro-life and pro-family news.

Stay up-to-date on the issues you care about the most. Subscribe today. 

Select Your Edition:


Share this article

Advertisement
Featured Image
Lisa Bourne

Planned Parenthood claims database, website hacked by anti-abortion ‘extremists’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

July 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) - Planned Parenthood Federation of America says that its website had been hacked on Sunday by a group of “extremists” opposed to its agenda, who it said had enlisted some of the world’s foremost hackers for the job.

The hackers were able to penetrate into Planned Parenthood website databases, and have released names and email addresses of employees of the abortion provider. The hackers have reportedly said they have plans to decrypt and release internal Planned Parenthood emails soon as well.

“Today Planned Parenthood has notified the Department of Justice and separately the FBI that extremists who oppose Planned Parenthood’s mission and services have launched an attack on our information systems and have called on the world’s most sophisticated hackers to assist them in breaching our systems and threatening the privacy and safety of our staff members,” a Monday statement from Planned Parenthood Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens said.

Laguens called the alleged hack a “new low” in a report from Politico, and said Planned Parenthood was working with “top leaders in this field to manage these attacks.”

“Planned Parenthood is the most trusted women’s health care provider in this country, and anti-abortion extremists are willing to do anything to stop women from accessing the reproductive health care they are seeking,” Laguens said. “Extremists have broken laws, harassed our doctors and patients, produced hack videos, and now are claiming to have committed a gross invasion of privacy — one that, if true, could potentially put our staff members at risk.”

On a public website that included the login credentials of numerous Planned Parenthood employees, the hackers wrote that they are seeking, "to reclaim some sort of lulz for the years and thousands of dollars that Planned Parenthood have wasted and made harvesting your babies."

Planned Parenthood has landed under an intense spotlight since undercover videos surfaced recently showing top officials from the nation’s largest abortion provider discussing the sale of body parts harvest from babies aborted at their facilities. Those behind the undercover videos say that selling the body parts for profit is a violation of federal law.

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

In the first round of videos, high-level Planned Parenthood employees bartered for fetal remains and joked about being able to afford a luxury sports car from the proceeds of the transaction.

The latest video released today has a Planned Parenthood vice president selling the body parts of aborted children.

“I think a per-item thing works a little better,” the abortion doctor said of the deceased child in the video, while discussing pricing, “just because we can see how much we can get out of it.”

The controversy has also resulted in increased calls to defund the abortion chain, which receives millions of dollars in federal subsidies each year.

Planned Parenthood has tried to downplay the content of the videos and criticized the group behind them.

News of Planned Parenthood’s cyber breach was first reported by the internet news site The Daily Dot, which quoted the hackers saying the attack was politically motivated.

“We've noticed quite a lot of attention has been diverted to a supposedly malicious organization known as Planned Parenthood,” the hackers reportedly said. “The actions of this 'federation' are not seen as right in the eyes of the public. So here we are, the social justice warriors, seeking to reclaim some sort of lulz for the years and thousands of dollars that Planned Parenthood have wasted and made harvesting your babies.”

Planned Parenthood Chief Information Officer Tom Subak told the Daily Dot just after the attack was discovered that the abortion provider was not aware of the breach beforehand, but that Planned Parenthood had good cyber security.

“We think we have really good security, especially on flagging suspicious behavior,” Subak said. “We have not [received any flags].”

The hackers had reportedly attempted to deface Planned Parenthood’s website or redirect it to their Twitter account, but said they could not because, according to the report, the website “backend is so terribly configured.”

The hackers included an SQL injection command, likely the specific technique used to attack the Planned Parenthood site, at the bottom of the hack’s post, saying, “I didn’t think people were this dumb.” 

Cyber security professionals told LifeSiteNews the attack is likely legitimate, but that it was not as sophisticated as Planned Parenthood claims, given the outdated version of the abortion behemoth’s webserver.

“Prevention is super easy in the realm of computer security,” said Dan Schaupner, a certified security professional and Chief Technology Officer for a Virginia cybersecurity consulting firm.

Based on the claims of the alleged attackers, Schaupner told LifeSiteNews, it appears that they compromised Planned Parenthood’s website, logged into administrator accounts, and obtained user accounts associated with Planned Parenthood, all possible by exploiting weaknesses associated with the outdated webserver.

Planned Parenthood’s management will probably suffer scrutiny from their board members and major funders, he said, and they risk experiencing extensive legal and cleanup costs resulting from the possibility of compromised client information.

Cyber security professional David Flynn checked some of the published employee emails and told LifeSiteNews they appear to be legitimate, but, he said, “interestingly not including the email for Chief Information Officer Tom Subak, who has reported to the news services that he hasn’t observed any intrusion signatures.”

Schaupner said it is likely that a “hacktivist” conducted the attack, quite possibly the ones that made the claim, and that this seems reasonable considering Planned Parenthood’s high profile.

“An alternate possibility is a politically motivated or unhappy insider,” he said, such as a Planned Parenthood employee or contractor.

Advertisement
Featured Image
Shutterstock.com
Carson Holloway

,

Same-sex ‘marriage’ and interracial marriage: not the same thing at all

Carson Holloway
By Carson Holloway

July 28, 2015 (ThePublicDiscourse) -- One of the same-sex marriage movement’s most potent polemical tools has been, and surely will continue to be, its equation of same-sex marriage with interracial marriage. On this telling, today’s opposition to same-sex marriage is akin to the opposition to interracial marriage mounted by yesterday’s racists and segregationists. If this assumption were granted, then the legal recognition of same-sex marriage would seem to realize a legitimate equality. A public—like our own—that had largely accepted this parity could at least acquiesce in such a step once it has been imposed by the Supreme Court.

Now the Supreme Court has actually taken such a step and in the course of doing so has given credence to the analogy between same-sex marriage and interracial marriage. This argument will be employed to discredit and demonize those who dissent, those who do not want to cooperate in a distortion of the meaning of marriage. Such dissenters, we will be told, are no different from and no better than the bigots of yesteryear who railed against mixed race marriages.

Racists who objected to interracial marriages were perfectly aware—and indeed fearful—of the fact that interracial marriages would be real marriages, that they could generate and nurture new human lives.

There is, however, no reason at all for the defenders of marriage to submit tamely to the fate that the left has planned for them. They have a right, and indeed a duty, to continue to defend marriage as a union between a man and a woman, with a view to correcting an error widespread in our country, and even with a view, someday, to securing a reversal of the Supreme Court’s decision. They also have a right and a duty to defend themselves from the left’s plans—already triumphantly announced—to use antidiscrimination law to force moral traditionalists to be complicit in unions that they cannot, in conscience, regard as true marriages. It is therefore necessary for the defenders of marriage to explode the bogus charge that their efforts have anything in common with past objections to interracial marriage.

A Specious Analogy

There is an important distinction between the motives of the opponents of interracial marriage and those of the opponents of same-sex marriage: There never was, nor could there have been, a movement in America that opposed interracial marriage as an attack on the meaning of marriage. Put another way, the racists and segregationists of the past did not—unlike today’s opponents of same-sex marriage—present themselves as defenders of the integrity of marriage itself. On the contrary, racists who objected to interracial marriages were perfectly aware—and indeed fearful—of the fact that interracial marriages would be real marriages, that they could generate and nurture new human lives.

Everyone knew, for example, that a black man and a white woman, or a white man and a black woman, could generate mixed-race children. This had happened for centuries. Indeed, it was a common law liberty. This is why anti-miscegenation laws did not merely decline to recognize interracial marriages but actually sought to punish them. The people who wrote those laws knew that such unions really were marriages, that they would by their nature tend to achieve the ends of marriage: the generation and rearing of new members of the human race. Interracial marriages had to be deterred not because the racist thought marriages across the races were impossible, but rather precisely because he knew they were possible.

Viewed in this light, the defenders of traditional marriage and the opponents of interracial marriage are animated not just by different but by actually opposite motives. The former object to same-sex marriage because they know such a union could not be a marriage: a union that is in principle capable of the generation of human life. The latter objected to interracial marriages precisely because they knew that they could function as marriages thus understood.

Unlike today’s defenders of marriage, then, the opponents of interracial marriage were not at all interested in defending the integrity of marriage as it had always been understood. They were interested, instead, in something completely different and totally unrelated: the preservation of racial purity and the maintenance of white supremacy. This is why there was never a significant American movement against, and only against, interracial marriage.

Objections to mixed race marriages were part of a larger movement to keep blacks in a socially and politically inferior position—to defend segregation in education and in all public services, as well as effectively to deprive blacks of the right to vote. In contrast, the defenders of traditional marriage have no such aims. Those who contend that marriage must be understood as a union between a man and a woman have no agenda to set up separate public schools for gays, much less to disenfranchise them.

The general accuracy of the sketch above, moreover, is not undermined by the existence of isolated counterexamples. Perhaps some imaginative racists did frame their objections as the claim that interracial marriage was a threat to the integrity of the institution of marriage. First, for the reasons just noted, it would be impossible to make any rational argument to that effect; one can’t plausibly claim that the purpose of marriage is undermined when the spouses are of different races. But second, the existence of such outliers would do nothing to change the overall character of the anti-civil rights movement, which was a movement, again, not to defend marriage but to keep blacks in a socially and politically subordinate position.

By the same token, some anti-gay bigots today may oppose same-sex marriage on the grounds that the law should in general seek to harass and humiliate gays. Such objectionable arguments, however, cannot reasonably or justly discredit the efforts of serious and sincere defenders of marriage. That such people are not motivated by a desire to disparage gays can be seen by the fact that they tend to understand their definition of marriage as having various other implications regarding, for instance, divorce and non-marital sex.

Infertility and Contraception

Nevertheless, the most zealous proponents of same-sex marriage will insist on the justice of the analogy: Opposition to same-sex marriage is just as irrational and bigoted as opposition to interracial marriage. In both cases, the opposition depends on trying to make something essential to marriage that is in reality non-essential; moreover, they charge, in other contexts the proponents of traditional marriage even agree that the feature in question is non-essential. So they are being inconsistent in this case, which is often a sign of ill will.

The proposed feature, of course, is the orientation of the marital union to generating and nurturing children—to procreation. Do not many heterosexual marriages in fact fail to produce children, as a result of spousal infertility or personal choice? And few deny that such unions are in fact marriages.

This argument is utterly unpersuasive. First of all, even if it were impossible to ground the meaning of marriage in its relation to bearing and rearing children, it would not follow that those who have not yet accepted the Court’s new definition are like the bigots who invented race-based requirements for marriage. To show that defenders of marriage are similarly bigoted, it’s not sufficient to show that they’re wrong; they could simply be defending a false belief, and not all false beliefs are defended in service of distasteful prejudice.

Certainly, their view is not obviously wrong and can be believed without malicious ulterior motive. Marriage was instituted in all cultures primarily with a view to making sure that the father would remain connected with and take care of the woman he had impregnated, for the sake of whatever children she would bear. In view of these facts, which are evident to all, it is ridiculous to maintain that the traditional definition of marriage was somehow devised with the intention of excluding or discriminating against gays.

But defenders of marriage need not concede that the possibility of infertility and contraception undermine their definition of marriage. To insist that they have, and to insist accordingly that there is just no important difference between an interracial and a same-sex marriage, is to overlook another perfectly obvious fact: While heterosexual unions may in some cases fail to generate children, homosexual relationships are absolutely incapable of generating children.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

What, then, of those heterosexual marriages that do not generate children, either through natural infertility or deliberate choice? The defender of traditional marriage contends that such instances of infertility are accidents that in some cases prevent marriage from fulfilling its aims. They are not essential characteristics on the basis of which we should define marriage. Homosexual unions, on the other hand, are essentially infertile.

Now, proponents of same-sex marriage may reject this distinction between nature and accident—although this rejection is something that would have to be defended, for plausibly the distinction does have legitimate application in the biological realm. The important point here, however, is that the further pretense that those who find this distinction relevant are motivated by aims similar to those of America’s past racists, is entirely unwarranted.

One doesn’t have to be motivated by animus to see a point in enshrining such distinctions in law. Social institutions are commonly legally defined on the basis of what usually happens and not what is exceptional. Thus the law has traditionally defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman because that kind of union ordinarily yields children. From a legal perspective, even if infertile couples couldn’t marry, it might not be in the state’s interest to check whether a given couple is infertile. Positive laws cannot cover all cases and should not impose a greater burden in enforcement than they can expect to achieve.

On the other hand, same-sex couples are essentially incapable of procreating, and everyone can see this. Therefore, the defender of marriage can plausibly claim that—since marriage is a public and visible institution—licensing same-sex marriages undermines the public understanding of marriage in a way that licensing infertile marriages does not. No aspect of this position needs to be motivated by bigotry toward gays and lesbians in the way that any defense of anti-miscegenation laws must be motivated by bigotry toward blacks.

Those who believe marriage is properly understood as a union of a man and a woman should continue to press their case without being deterred by spurious charges that they are the intellectual descendants of racists. And those who disagree with them should meet them honestly on the field of rational argument without resorting to such groundless slanders.

Carson Holloway is currently a visiting fellow in American political thought in the B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics at the Heritage Foundation.

Reprinted with permission from The Witherspoon Institute.

Share this article

Advertisement
Featured Image
Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

BREAKING: Shock Planned Parenthood video catches affiliate vice president selling aborted baby parts

Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben
By Ben Johnson

Urgent: Sign the petition demanding that Congress investigate and defund Planned Parenthood here

LOS ANGELES, July 28 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Allegations that Planned Parenthood harvests and sells aborted babies' organs and tissue for a profit have been bolstered with the release of a third undercover video released this morning, showing another of the organization's top leaders appearing to admit to an illegal profit motive.

The latest exposé also features the heartrending testimony of a former clinician who picked through mounds of aborted fetal tissue to find the parts fit for sale, as well as graphic footage of an investigator sorting through an aborted baby's kidneys and brain tissue, examining to see if they meet his standards for purchase.

In the third installment, the Center for Medical Progress covertly videotaped a conversation with Vice President and Medical Director of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (PPRM) Dr. Savita Ginde. PPRM, which is based in Denver, oversees abortion facilities in Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Wyoming.

As an undercover filmmaker, who posed as a buyer from a human biologics firm, discusses pricing, the doctor seems to say she is interested in maximizing the abortion facility's revenue by being paid for each individual body part.

“I think a per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it,” Dr. Ginde says of the aborted baby.

After the investigator sifts through and identifies several fetal parts, which he says would net Planned Parenthood $200 to $300 compensation, a medical assistant jokes, “Five stars.”

That posture was familiar to Holly O'Donnell, a phlebotomist and former procurement specialist at StemExpress LLC, the company whose promotional materials promise Planned Parenthood “a financial benefit to your clinic” for selling fetal tissue.

In a jarring interview, O'Donnell remembers learning that was part of her work routine.

“I thought I was going to be just drawing blood, not procuring tissue from aborted fetuses,” O'Donnell said.

But on her first day on the job in 2012, she remembers someone emptying a bottle of blood into a strainer, then placing its contents onto a plate.

Her trainer began pulling aborted babies' body parts out of the mass of tissue. "She said, 'OK, this is a head. This is an arm. This is a leg,'" O'Donnell remembers.

Then the trainer asked her if she could identify the body parts.

"I took the tweezers. I put them in the dish. I remember grabbing the leg...and the moment I picked it up I just feel like deaths and pain...shoot up through my body,” O'Donnell says. “I blacked out, basically."

She says she had to be revived with smelling salts.

Another worker tried to reassure her, saying, "Don't worry. It still happens to a bunch of us. Some of us don't ever get over it"

"I remember leaving that day [thinking] like, what have I gotten myself into?" O'Donnell admits.

In time, she found that the business owners “weren't looking for any compassionate individual at all. They were just looking for someone who could get as much money, as many samples" as possible. "They wanted someone who could get the numbers up."

She said the main nurse from Planned Parenthood was always concerned that StemExpress procure the specimens they sought – not because of concern of medical research, but because the facilities were compensated for it.

“For whatever we could procure, they would get a certain percentage,” she says. “The main nurse was always trying to make sure we got our specimens. No one else really cared, but the main nurse did because she knew that Planned Parenthood was getting compensated.”

"If you can somehow procure a brain or a heart, you're going to get more money," she adds.

"It's a pretty sick company."

The 11-minute-long video – entitled “Human Capital, Episode1” – and the fact that the video ends by showing Dr. Deborach Nucatola (from the first video) saying, “I think this is definitely to be continued,” imply that additional undercover footage along the same lines is forthcoming.

David Daleiden told LifeSiteNews that the release of new investigative material, gathered over the course of 30 months, could stretch out over weeks or months. 

The first video showed Dr. Deborach Nucatola, who oversees medical practices for all national Planned Parenthood offices, discussing organ harvesting while eating a salad and drinking red wine during a business luncheon. She appears to discuss performing partial birth abortions, which have been illegal since 2003.

The second, released last Tuesday, shows the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s for-profit Medical Directors’ Council, Dr. Mary Gatter, seeming to haggle over the price of fetal tissue and joking that, in exchange for selling fetal body parts, "I want a Lamborghini." 

“Planned Parenthood’s sale of aborted baby parts is an offensive and horrifying reality that is widespread enough for many people to be available to give first-person testimony about it,” said David Daleiden, the lead investigator. “CMP’s investigative journalism work will continue to surface more compelling eyewitness accounts and primary source evidence of Planned Parenthood’s trafficking and selling baby parts for profit. There should be  an immediate moratorium on Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding while Congress and the states determine the full extent of the organization’s lawbreaking.”

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards has apologized for the "tone" of the first video but denies any laws have been broken.

It is a federal felony to sell human organs or tissue for "valuable consideration," or to make a profit from such a sale. Richards says the facilities merely break even, and Planned Parenthood has said its work in human organ sales is a "humanitarian undertaking."

“There is no doubt, based on evidence in this video, that Planned Parenthood financially profits from the illegal sale of aborted baby body parts,” said Troy Newman, the president of Operation Rescue, who also serves on the board of the Center for Medical Progress and advised Daleiden during the investigation. "When Planned Parenthood’s head, Cecile Richards, denies this, she is brazenly attempting to deceive the American people. We need to immediately defund Planned Parenthood and hold them criminally accountable for their horrific conduct that clearly runs afoul of the law and violates every sense of human decency.”

Advertisement

Customize your experience.

Login with Facebook