Hilary White

Widespread abortion in Kazakhstan comes from Marxism and Western hedonism, Bishop says

Hilary White
Hilary White
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ROME, November 21, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – After a childhood spent under the Soviet regime, Bishop Athanasius Schneider knows better than most where abortion, homosexual activism, and the rest of the woes of the Western world have come from.

In this month’s edition of Notizie ProLife Bishop Schneider, who was born in Tokmok, Kirghiz SSR in the Soviet Union, frankly identified widespread abortion with “atheist and materialistic Marxist ideology,” pointing to this as the cause of the high rates of abortion in the former Soviet state of Kazakhstan.

“As we know,” he said, “the Soviet Union was the the first state in the history of humanity that legalized the killing of unborn children, the logical result of Marxism and materialism,” he told Notizie ProLife’s editor Antonio Brandi. “But speaking with women who have had an abortion, you can nevertheless find a deep remorse of conscience. What is clear [from this] is the demonstration of the truth: you can’t suppress or kill the natural law, which God the creator has inscribed in human nature itself.”

As auxiliary bishop of the tiny archdiocese of Maria Santissima in Astana, Kazakhstan, a place most people have never heard of, Bishop Schneider is acquiring a disproportionate repuration as a defender of the rights of Christians around the world under threat from a radicalised Islam on one hand, and the growth of what Pope Benedict XVI called an increasingly “aggressive secularism” on the other.

He called the attempts by EU institutions to force member states to accept abortion, “evidence of the existence of anti-democratic structures” left over from the totalitarian ideologies of the 20th century. “We see a real danger of loss of full sovereignty of European countries, the national, cultural, moral and religious values of the European peoples,” he said. “There is a danger of losing all of these human and spiritual riches that the Christian faith has produced on the European continent during 2,000 years.”

He urged Christians “to defend against a new totalitarian system that imposes a single ideological social model, marginalizing the real social and human values of natural law and of the Christian faith.”

“We live in a time of course hostile to everything that is linked with God and his revelation in Christ and his Holy Church.”

Interviewed during one of his frequent trips to Rome earlier this month, Bishop Schneider spoke of an “all-encompassing ideology” that “has stifled the voice of conscience in the souls of many people who continue to practice abortion in former Soviet countries in a frightening way, as a simple means of contraception.”

He warned that Kazakhstan needed steadfastly to maintain its sovereignty in order to keep its people’s dedication to the Natural Law, and “independence from ideological pressure” favoring the “ideology of ‘gender’” that has become such a feature of the European Union and the United Nations.

He is, however, hopeful that the pressure from the West will not triumph, saying that among “the peoples of the East, Natural Law on sex and marriage between man and woman is so deeply rooted that the homosexualist ideology will not have a real or substantial chance, unless the State impose a dictatorship with violence or with threats of new types of the concentration camps, ‘the gulag’.”

Kazakhstan, a small former Soviet satellite state wedged between the Caspian Sea, the southern border of Russia and the extreme western end of China, is home to an array of ethnicities and religious groups, but is predominantly Islamic (70.2 percent). The next-largest minority group is Russian who are mostly Orthodox, with a small number of Ukranians and Germans; of these, only a tiny fraction are Catholics (Russian Orthodox 23.9 percent, “other Christian” 2.3 percent).

“Kazakhstan is not formally a Muslim country, but, as they say, a secular country,” Bishop Schneider said. “The Muslim region religion hasn’t the force required to influence a change from a materialistic inheritance so deeply rooted in society.”

He confirmed that abortion is often available in his country “on demand” and is recommended by doctors based on “pseudo-scientific pretences” and “with threats.”

“All this is a mirror of materialistic mentality of the past and the new hedonistic mentality imported from the West,” he said.

He called the pro-life and family movement in his country small but effective, saying what is important “is that you save a life …since before the eyes of God one soul is like an entire world”.

Bishop Schneider’s reputation as a champion of the Church’s liturgical traditions was established by his book, Dominus est, (“This is the Lord”) defending the traditional manner of receiving Holy Communion at Mass – that is, with the communicant kneeling and the host placed directly on the tongue. Since its publication in 2008, the book has acquired what might be described as a “cult” following, having been translated from the original Italian into English, German, Estonian, Lithuanian, Polish, Hungarian, and Chinese.

His reputation for outspokenness on doctrinal orthodoxy was equally well established in 2010 when, at a theological conference in Rome, he said the Church needs “a new Syllabus,” to correct what he called the erroneous interpretations of the Second Vatican Council.

“There is need for a new Syllabus,” he said, “this time directed not so much against errors coming from outside the Church, but against errors spread within the Church on the part of those who maintain a thesis of discontinuity and rupture with its doctrinal, liturgical, and pastoral application. Such a Syllabus would consist of two parts: a part marking errors and a positive part with propositions of doctrinal clarification, completion, and precision.”

The reference was to a famous document, usually called the “Syllabus of Errors,” condemning the “errors of Modernism,” published by Pope Pius IX in 1864, that has been widely reviled as “authoritarian” by the “progressive” wing of modern theologians and prelates.  

Bishop Schneider lamented that “many Catholics in Europe are shy and doubtful about [defending] life and often do not have the courage to take a stand.”

“The abortion issue is first and foremost a matter of natural law, inscribed by God in the soul of every man: ‘killing is wrong’ and even worse is killing an innocent person.” This law is included by God in the 10 Commandments, and no believers may have “the slightest doubt about the immorality of any kind of abortion.”

“Unfortunately the spirit of this world, the spirit of doctrinal and moral relativism is also entered in the sphere of the life of the Church and in the life of Catholics,” he said.

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But he also cautioned against despair, saying that the current situation “also provides a privileged means to boldly confess God’s law and the Catholic faith.”

“This time reveals more clearly that we are here on earth the ‘Church Militant’. We are all called, each in his place, and according to his ability to be a ‘miles Christi,’ [soldier of Christ] a ‘confessor Christi,’ and this is to be a true disciple of Christ.”

“We are increasingly living with the belief that Christ is the only winner, and we belong to the winner’s party,” he added.

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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
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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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