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With Adoption of Second Disabled Child Jim Caviezel Makes Good on Pro-Life Convictions

LifeSiteNews.com
LifeSiteNews.com

By Hilary White

April 29, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Jim Caviezel, the star of the blockbuster film The Passion of the Christ, told an interviewer that he had been challenged by a friend who was not pro-life to live up to his professed pro-life convictions and adopt a disabled child. The friend told Caviezel that if he did that, then he would change to the pro-life position. When Caviezel and his wife, Kerri, went to China to adopt not one, but eventually two orphans suffering from brain tumours, the friend reneged on the deal. Caviezel, however, said, "It didn’t matter to me because the joy that we had from (Bo) - he’s like our own."

The couple’s first child, Bo, had been abandoned on a train, grew up in an orphanage until he was five and was diagnosed with a brain tumour. The Caviezels nursed Bo through his surgeries and he remains today at the centre of the family.

"We took the harder road," the actor said. "That is what faith is to me; it’s action. It’s the Samaritan. It’s not the one who says he is; it’s the one who does - and does without bringing attention to himself. I’m saying this because I want to encourage other people."

Handsome and a compelling actor, Jim Caviezel has taken leading roles in a number of mainstream feature films - The Thin Red Line and the Count of Monte Christo being the best known. But it is his role as the suffering Jesus in the Passion of the Christ that he has become best known for.

Caviezel spoke to an interviewer with the Christophers, a Christian leadership organization that runs the Christopher Closeup radio, television and internet features. He spoke of the impact of his faith on his career and of the effect on others that his playing the part of Christ has had.

About the adoption of his children, Caviezel was frank about his feelings, saying the challenge "completely terrified" him at first. "Yes, you do feel fear, you do feel scared but you have no idea the blessings that you have coming to you if you just take a chance on faith."

When the Caviezels went to adopt their second child, they were first offered a healthy baby girl, but a five-year-old girl with a brain tumour from the Guangzhou region of China also needed a home. The Caviezels reasoned that a healthy baby would be more likely to be adopted by another family and that the child with the tumour had a greater need for a home.

Caviezel’s optimism and self-confidence showed early in his acting career, when many people in Hollywood told him to change his surname, "because no one will be able to pronounce it." He responded, "Well, you’ve learned to say Schwarzenegger." He was also told that as a devoutly believing Catholic he should be prepared to keep his beliefs quiet. But it was his openness about his faith that attracted the attention of Mel Gibson and led him to offer Caviezel the role of Christ.

Asked about the challenges of being a publicly Catholic figure in Hollywood, Caviezel responded, "It’s part of the cross you take up when you choose to believe in Him…we all have this desire to want to be liked…but what we should be asking God is the desire for humility."

The strength of Christian faith, he said, is "in just giving it up and saying I’m going to be a servant of Jesus Christ, and my Father in heaven."

"We were not awarded any Oscars for the Passion, but do you think that’s the important thing for God? Certainly if we received ten Oscars, it would not bring any more peace into the world."

"When the world looks at us, in complete and utter dismay, and asks why would you choose to suffer like this? But in that, that’s where the great strength is when God starts to work," he said.

Caviezel spoke of the people who approached him after the release of the film and told him about its effects on their lives. "Even people who never knew Christ, who were secularized, said, ‘Jim, I finally got what Christianity is,’ and that gave me great hope and great joy."

As a serious actor, he said, being associated with the role of Christ has its burdens. "When I walk down the street, I can always see them mouthing. They don’t mouth my name, they don’t say ‘That’s Jim Caviezel’; they say, ‘That’s Jesus’. I can’t take my face off…I wear my face everywhere, and when people look, they go, ‘There’s Jesus’."

But he joked, "I always tell them I’m still the Count of Monte Christo."
 
  Caviezel has provided the voice part, in English, for Christ in the audio dramatization of the New Testament, "The Word of Promise", by Thomas Nelson publishers.

Caviezel said, "When you live in holiness, when you really try to stop sinning, you become braver. You become more courageous, you become a man of your word. You become a man of conviction that you’re not willing to sell out and you’re really a true knight in shining armour."

Read related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:

Star Studded Bible Story Project with Jim Caviezel as Christ Co-Produced by EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/jan/07011809.html

Passion of the Christ Star Jim Caviezel Explains Opposition to Embryo Research
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2006/nov/06110604.html

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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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