This edition of CF NEWS No.2288 posted at 12.06 pm on Sunday, July 7th, 2019



Professor Roberto de Mattei explains the crisis in the Church    VIDEO    read more >>>
New Viganò testimony: Vatican cover-up    read more >>>
Ecclesial Rabies in the Amazon
   read more >>>
Pope's letter to Germans open to many interpretations
   read more >>>


Aftermath    VIDEO    read more >>>


Organized Homosexuality celebrating erasure of women from UN   read more >>>


Who is Ursula von der Leyen, and why should she lead the EU?    read more >>>
How the first world war inspired the EU    read more >>>


Cardinal Zen in video pledging Hong Kong’s resistance to Chinese government    VIDEO    read more >>>


IRELAND Newspapers apologise for false sex scandal story    read more >>>
ITALY An inadvertent indictment    read more >>>
UK 10-year-old suspended for asking to be exempted from LGBT lesson
   VIDEO    read more >>>
UK Cardinal Nichols (briefly) acknowledges safeguarding criticism
   read more >>>
UK Ampleforth acting head stands down after damning report
   read more >>>
UK Government threatens Christian doctor's job for discussing faith with patients
   read more >>>
USA Bishops approval of the Pope's capital punishment ban
   read more >>>
USA Bishop promotes 'celebration of Pride' with prayer card, rainbow crucifix
   read more >>>
USA Pro-LGBT students demand tampons for men's bathrooms    read more >>>
   VIDEO    read more >>>
INTERNATIONAL gloria.tv.news
   VIDEO    read more >>>
INTERNATIONAL Some jihad headlines of the week
   read more >>>
INTERNATIONAL The World Over with Raymond Arroyo
   VIDEO    read more >>>


Newman to be canonised on October 13    read more >>>
A historic Catholic convert
   VIDEO    read more >>>


1970s Catholicism    VIDEO    read more >>>
100 years ago, G K Chesterton predicted our dark times
   read more >>>
Even McCarrick's investigators are covering things up
   read more >>>
The worst evil of Uniatism?
   read more >>>
A Young Priest explains his love for the Traditional Mass
   read more >>>
We shouldn’t be surprised the corporations have taken over Pride    read more >>>


Site of the day    VIDEO    read more >>>
Saint of the day
   read more >>>
Dies Irae
   VIDEO    read more >>>


St Thomas More    read more >>>



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Professor Roberto de Mattei explains the crisis in the Church

JOHN-HENRY WESTEN interviewed Professor de Mattei during his recent trip to Rome, where he was speaking at the 2019 Rome Life Forum, participating in the Rome March for Life, and emceeing the John Paul II Academy for Human Life and the Family's conference on brain death. 'A respectful resistance,' Professor de Mattei said, is what Catholics need to have at this time in Church history. Now 'is a time for speaking' and Catholics must have a 'militant spirit' and fight with prayer and example. They can't retreat into 'catacombism.' Professor de Mattei also spoke about the silent protest he organized in the centre of Rome in February of this year where 100 Catholics called attention to the crisis of paedophilia and homosexuality in the Church. This 'symbolic act,' he said, 'had a very strong impact.' In fact, he added, the history of the Church is filled with symbolic acts, like Luther's theses in Wittenberg but also the martyrdom of the saints, who gave a 'symbolic witness' to the truth. Professor de Mattei, who considers himself a disciple of Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, said there is a struggle today between two armies - one army is headed by the Blessed Virgin, the other by the devil.

'Mary always wins,' he said.



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New Viganò testimony: Vatican covered up allegations of sexual abuse of Pope’s altar boys ~ a scandal surpassing that of McCarrick?  

LifeSiteNews Editor’s Note: Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s interview with the Washington Post, published June 10, contained an answer that the Post decided to expurgate from the interview. This answer contained important information regarding unaddressed accusations of sex abuse against a high official of the Holy See, as well as the coverup of a former seminarian, now a priest, accused of the sexual abuse of pre-seminarian adolescents who acted as the Pope’s altar boys. The full text of Viganò’s unpublished answers to the Washington Post follows. The text has been slightly modified to include capitalizations normally used in English. The name of one individual has been removed by LifeSite because LifeSite was unable to find sufficient support for the accusation against him at this point.

Archbp. ViganoI.b. Do you see any signs that the Vatican, under Pope Francis, is taking proper steps to address the serious issues of abuse? If not, what is missing?

The signs I see are truly ominous. Not only is Pope Francis doing close to nothing to punish those who have committed abuse, he is doing absolutely nothing to expose and bring to justice those who have, for decades, facilitated and covered up the abusers. Just to cite one example: Cardinal Wuerl, who covered up the abuses of McCarrick and others for decades, and whose repeated and blatant lies have been made manifest to everyone who has been paying attention (for those who have not been paying attention, see here) had to resign in disgrace due to popular outrage. Yet, in accepting his resignation, Pope Francis praised him for his “nobility.” What credibility has the pope left after this kind of statement?

But such behavior is by no means the worst. Going back to the summit and its focus on the abuse of minors, I now wish to bring to your attention two recent and truly horrifying cases involving allegations of offenses against minors during Pope Francis’ tenure. The pope and many prelates in the Curia are well aware of these allegations, but in neither case was an open and thorough investigation permitted. An objective observer cannot help but suspect that horrible deeds are being covered up.

1. The first is said to have occurred inside the very walls of the Vatican, at the Pre-Seminary Pius X, which is located just a short walk from the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where Pope Francis lives. That seminary trains minors who serve as altar boys in St. Peter’s Basilica and at papal ceremonies.

One of the seminarians, Kamil Jarzembowski, a roommate of one of the victims, claims to have witnessed dozens of incidents of sexual aggression. Along with two other seminarians, he denounced the aggressor, first in person to his pre-seminary superiors, then in writing to cardinals, and finally in 2014, again in writing, to Pope Francis himself. One of the victims was a boy, allegedly abused for five consecutive years, starting at age 13. The alleged aggressor was a 21-year- old seminarian, Gabriele Martinelli.

That pre-seminary is under the responsibility of the diocese of Como, and is run by the Don Folci Association. A preliminary investigation was entrusted to the judicial vicar of Como, don Andrea Stabellini, who found elements of evidence that warranted further investigation. I received firsthand information indicating that his superiors prohibited his continuing the investigation. He can testify for himself, and I urge you to go and interview him. I pray that he will find the courage to share with you what he so courageously shared with me.

Along with the above, I learned how the authorities of the Holy See dealt with this case. After evidence was collected by Don Stabellini, the case was immediately covered up by the then-bishop of Como, Diego Coletti, together with Cardinal Angelo Comastri, Vicar General of Pope Francis for Vatican City. In addition, Cardinal Coccopalmerio, then president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, who was consulted by Don Stabellini, strongly admonished him to stop the investigation.

You might wonder how this horrible case was closed. The Bishop of Como removed Don Stabellini from the post of Judicial Vicar; the whistleblower, the seminarian Kamil Jarzembowski, was expelled from the seminary; the two fellow seminarians who had joined him in the denunciation left the seminary; and the alleged abuser, Gabriele Martinelli, was ordained priest in July 2017. All this happened within the Vatican walls, and not a word of it came out during the summit.

The summit was therefore terribly disappointing, for it is hypocrisy to condemn abuses against minors and claim to sympathize with the victims while refusing to face up to the facts honestly. A spiritual revitalization of the clergy is most urgent, but it will ultimately be ineffectual if there is no willingness to address the real problem.

2. The second case involves Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra, whom Pope Francis has chosen to be the new Substitute at the Secretariat of State, making him the third most powerful person in the curia. In doing so, the pope essentially ignored a terrifying dossier sent to him by a group of faithful from Maracaibo, entitled “¿Quién es verdaderamente Monseñor Edgar Robinson Peña Parra, Nuevo Sustituto de la Secretarîa de Estado del Vaticano?” (“Who really is Msgr. Edgar Robinson Peña Parra, the new Substitute at the Secretariat of State of the Vatican” - LifeSite) The dossier is signed by Dr. Enrique W. Lagunillas Machado, in the name of the “Grupo de Laicos de la Arquidiócesis de Maracaibo por una Iglesia y un Clero según el Corazón de Cristo” (“Group of Laity of the Archdiocese of Maracaibo for a Church and a Clergy in accordance with the Heart of Christ” – LifeSite). These faithful accused Peña Parra of terrible immorality, describing in detail his alleged crimes. This might even be a scandal surpassing that of McCarrick, and it must not be allowed to be covered by silence.

Some facts have already been published in the media, notably in the Italian weekly L’Espresso. I will now add facts known by the Secretariat of State in the Vatican since 2002, which I learned when I served as the Delegate for Pontifical Representations.

• In January 2000, Maracaibo journalist Gastón Guisandes López made serious accusations against some priests from the diocese of Maracaibo, including Msgr. Peña Parra, involving sexual abuse of minors and other possibly criminal activity.

• In 2001, Gastón Guisandes López twice asked to be received by the apostolic nuncio (the Pope’s ambassador) in Venezuela, archbishop André Dupuy, to discuss these matters, but the archbishop inexplicably refused to receive him. He did, however, report to the Secretariat of State that the journalist had accused Msgr. Peña Parra of two very serious crimes, describing the circumstances.

+ First, Edgar Peña Parra was accused of having seduced, on September 24, 1990, two minor seminarians from the parish of San Pablo, who were to enter the Major Seminary of Maracaibo that same year. The event is said to have taken place in the Church of Nuestra Señora del Rosario, where the Rev. José Severeyn was parish priest. Rev. Severeyn was later removed from the parish by the then archbishop Msgr. Roa Pérez. The case was reported to the police by the parents of the two young men and was dealt with by the then-rector of the major seminary, Rev. Enrique Pérez, and by the then spiritual director, Rev. Emilio Melchor. Rev. Pérez, when questioned by the Secretariat of State, confirmed in writing the episode of September 24, 1990. I have seen these documents with my own eyes.

+ Second, Edgar Peña Parra was allegedly involved, together with [NAME REMOVED], in the death of two people, a doctor and a certain Jairo Pérez, which took place in August 1992, on the island of San Carlos in Lake Maracaibo. They were killed by an electric discharge, and it is not clear whether or not the deaths were accidental. This same accusation is also contained in the aforementioned dossier sent by a group of lay people from Maracaibo, with the additional detail that the two corpses were found naked, with evidence of macabre homosexual lewd encounters. These accusations are, to say the least, extremely grave. Yet not only was Peña Parra not required to face them, he was allowed to continue in the diplomatic service of the Holy See.

• These two accusations were reported to the Secretariat of State in 2002 by the then apostolic nuncio in Venezuela, archbishop André Dupuy. The relevant documentation, if it has not been destroyed, can be found both in the archives of the diplomatic personnel of the Secretariat of State where I held the position of Delegate for the Pontifical Representations, and in the archives of the apostolic nunciature in Venezuela, where the following archbishops have served as nuncios since: Giacinto Berloco, from 2005 to 2009; Pietro Parolin, from 2009 to 2013; and Aldo Giordano, from 2013 to the present. They all had access to the documents reporting these accusations against the future Substitute, as did the cardinals Secretaries of State Sodano, Bertone, and Parolin and the Substitutes Sandri, Filoni, and Becciu.

• Particularly egregious is the behavior of Cardinal Parolin who, as Secretary of State, did not oppose the recent appointment of Peña Parra as Substitute, making him his closest collaborator. Even more: years earlier, in January 2011, as apostolic nuncio in Caracas, Parolin did not oppose the appointment of Peña Parra as archbishop and apostolic nuncio to Pakistan. Before such important appointments, a rigorous informative process is made to verify the suitability of the candidate, so these accusations were surely brought to the attention of Cardinal Parolin.

Furthermore, Cardinal Parolin knows the names of a number of priests in the Curia who are sexually unchaste, violating the laws of God that they solemnly committed themselves to teach and practice, and he continues to look the other way.

If Cardinal Parolin’s responsibilities are grave, even more so are those of Pope Francis for having chosen for an extremely important position in the Church a man accused of such serious crimes, without first insisting on an open and thorough investigation. There is one more scandalous aspect to this horrific story. Peña Parra is closely connected with Honduras, and more precisely with Cardinal Maradiaga and Bishop Juan José Pineda. Between 2003 and 2007, Peña Parra served in the nunciature in Tegucigalpa, and while there he was very close to Juan José Pineda, who in 2005 was ordained auxiliary bishop of Tegucigalpa, becoming the right-hand man of Cardinal Maradiaga. Juan José Pineda resigned from his post of auxiliary bishop in July 2018, without any reason given to the faithful of Tegucicalpa. Pope Francis has not released the results of the report that the Apostolic Visitor, the Argentine bishop Alcides Casaretto, delivered directly and only to him more than a year ago. How can one interpret Pope Francis’ firm decision not to talk about or answer any question about this matter except as a cover up of the facts and protection of a homosexual network? Such decisions reveal a terrible truth: rather than allowing open and serious investigations of those accused of grave offenses against the Church, the pope is allowing the Church herself to suffer.

Coming back to your question. You ask me if I see any signs that the Vatican, under Pope Francis, is taking proper steps to address the serious issues of abuse. My answer is simple: Pope Francis himself is covering up abuse right now, as he did for McCarrick. I say this with great sorrow. When King David pronounced the greedy rich man in Nathan’s parable worthy of death, the prophet told him bluntly, “You are the man” (2 Sam 12:1-7). I had hoped my testimony might be received like Nathan’s, but it was instead received like that of Micaiah (1Kings 22:15-27). I pray that this will change.





















Ecclesial Rabies in the Amazon

C FerraraCHRISTOPHER A. FERRARA writes for Fatima Perspectives ~ The 'vision' that Jorge Mario Bergoglio is determined to impose upon the Church as Pope Francis increasingly reveals itself as more than a mere debacle. The coming synod on the Amazon, whose theme is the supposedly admirable 'Face of the Amazon,' threatens not only the integrity of the Faith but revealed religion itself as it proposes nothing less than the approval of pagan idolatry and superstition.

If someone wanted to parody this pontificate, one would be hard-pressed to exceed this preposterous synod, which illustrates the truth of what someone (I have long since forgotten who) once said about our time: that satire has become impossible because the absurdities that surround us are already incapable of enlargement.

An article at the Remnant website, which first appeared on the website of The Freedoms Project reminds us of just how ghastly an absurdity is involved in romanticizing the degraded condition of 'indigenous peoples' of the Amazon region in the jungles of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guyana, Guyana, Perú, Venezuela and Surinam. The true 'face of the Amazon' has these features:

• Infanticide: [quoting study] 'around twenty tribal groups out of Brazil's three hundred practise infanticide, and it's estimated that aroundone hundred children are killed each year…. Thus twins, disabled or sick children were killed (and are still being killed) after birth. And if a mother dies in childbirth, her child will almost certainly be killed.'

• Suicide: 'In Brazil's Zuruahá tribe 'some parents whose children have been marked by the community for infanticide prefer to commit suicide, rather than see the children killed…. The philosophy of the Zuruahá says that there are only two paths for human existence: the first, via suicide by poisoning, called kunaha, which leads to heaven for those who take the poison (…). Their rites, chants and prayers relate to and are aimed towards this true existence. The second path leads to death through old age; this is a path that today is considered arduous…''

• Cannibalism: 'One of the most shocking customs found in the Amazon is ritual cannibalism. This has been documented as being practised by the Yanomami and Wari' tribes… '[T]he Wari' tribe of Brazil, ate the flesh of both their own dead tribesmen and of their enemies, even into the late twentieth century. Endocannibalsim - the eating of insiders, was seen as a type of funerary rite, proving that the deceased had actually passed from the earth….'

• Drug Use: ''[T]he use of drugs in spiritual healing rituals is common,' including 'the culture's hallucenogenic drug, ayahuasca… In several tragic cases, tourists have murdered friends and associates while under the influence of ayahuasca. [quoting study] 'The use of ayahuasca is widespread and represents the basis of traditional medicine practice for at least 75 different indigenous tribes across the Lower and Upper Amazon….''

Even if, as the article notes, only a few tribes engage in these evil practices, 'the problem lies in the philosophy employed by these peoples to justify their actions, and the fact that the Instrumentum Laboris exhorts Catholics to adopt those philosophies.' Moreover, the Yanomamis, 'besides their habits of killing their offspring and eating their enemies, are also extremely resistant to evangelisation. In 53 years of missionary presence, there have been no baptisms.'

But then, the Instrumentum Laboris is pervaded by the theme that pagan spirituality has merits and that a program of Christian conversion, including its cultural manifestations, would constitute 'colonialism' that compromises the admirable 'cosmovision' of the Amazonian tribes to which the Church must adapt herself in that region.

Madness is the only word for this synod. And madness is what best describes the 'diabolical disorientation' of Church leaders to which Sister Lucia at Fatima referred repeatedly in her correspondence. We seem to be witnessing the late stages of a kind of ecclesial rabies, a word derived precisely from the Latin for 'madness.'

Our Lady of Fatima, intercede for us!

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Pope's letter to Germans on 'synodal path' is open to many interpretations

M HicksonMAIKE HICKSON writes for LifeSiteNews ~ On the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, the German Bishops' Conference published a 19-page letter written by Pope Francis, in which he touches upon matters such as evangelization, synodality, and conversion in light of the German 'synodal path' as it is currently being set up. The letter is not addressed to the German bishops, as is usually the case, but to the 'pilgrim people of God in Germany.'

However, since Pope Francis wrote in a more general manner and chose not to mention any specific topics of the new 'synodal path' - such as the questioning of priestly celibacy and of the Church's teaching on sexuality - the different camps in Germany all interpret his letter in a way pleasing to them.

For example, Cardinal Reinhard Marx - the head of the German bishops - and his lay counterpart, Professor Thomas Sternberg - the head of the German lay organization Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK) - both welcomed this papal letter, thanked the Pope for his 'encouraging words,' and state that they, 'as bishops and lay representatives,' feel 'invited to continue the process that we have started.' They agree with Pope Francis that such a 'synodal path' should not concentrate 'on structures,' but, rather, on 'a spiritual orientation.' Pope Francis, they continue, invites us 'to a new form of listening to one another, so that we, as part of the Universal Church, serve the Faith with all our creativity, spirituality, and passion.'

However, for Cardinal Rainer Woelki (Cologne) and General Vicar Michael Fuchs (Regensburg), the papal letter is clearly a sign that the 'synodal path' as planned cannot be continued. Cardinal Woelki, in his June 29 statement, points out that the Pope has spoken of the 'crisis of faith' in Germany and of the 'primacy of evangelization.' For Woelki, this means that 'we have to be a missionary Church' and that the Church should not 'adapt to the Zeitgeist,' in the papal words. Cardinal Woelki thus expresses his gratitude to Pope Francis.

General Vicar Fuchs, in his own lengthy statement, points out that 'the situation is dramatic' and says, 'certainly, after this letter of the Pope, there cannot be a 'let's keep going' concerning the 'synodal process.'' Fuchs believes that the 'the direction and the intensity' of the demands that have been expressed in light of the upcoming 'synodal path must have urged the Holy Father to write this letter.' The prelate stresses that Pope Francis pointed in his letter to the loss of faith in Germany.

Fuchs goes on to say that the Pope warned against a 'fragmentation' and instructed German Catholics to be attentive to unity with the Universal Church. Indeed, Pope Francis repeatedly mentions the words 'Sensus Ecclesiae' and insists that it is important to avoid polarization and fragmentation. Fuchs also quotes Francis as saying that 'the particular churches live in and from the Universal Church and would weaken themselves, spoil, and die, should they be separated from the Universal Church.' The 'community with the whole body of the Church,' the Pope continues, 'needs to be kept alive and effective.'

Pope Francis, in his letter, also warns against a sort of 'gnosticism,' which makes people believe that they are 'more advanced,' pretending 'to go beyond the 'ecclesial we.''

Comments Fuchs: 'Obviously, it did not remain hidden from Pope Francis that some demands of the initiators of 'synodal path' . . . go beyond, or do not take sufficiently into account, the foundations of the Catholic faith - as they are valid worldwide.'

With reference to this papal letter, General Vicar Fuchs asks himself: 'Have we in Germany, therefore, lost the primacy of evangelization … the joy of faith?'

Thus, for him this papal letter calls upon German Catholics to come up with a 'completely new concept of such a [synodal] process that is to be oriented toward evangelization and spiritual renewal.' This 'synodal process,' therefore, should not 'adapt,' but, rather, concentrate 'on God.'

Joachim Frank - a German Catholic journalist who is sympathetic with some of the reform plans of the German bishops - says that the new papal letter 'gives free' the 'synodal path' as approved by the German bishops in February 2019, just adding some 'signposts.' In another article, he comments that 'the recipients deal with the papal letter to the German Catholics like with a bag of jelly beans.' He means with it, that everybody picks out the parts of the letter that are pleasing to him.

What is striking to Frank is that the 'contested topics' such as 'sexual abuse, sexual morality, female ordination, [and] celibacy' are not even mentioned in the text.

'On the other hand,' Frank continues, 'Francis once more argues like the conservatives in the Church.'

Bishop Franz-Josef Bode, the vice president of the German Bishops' Conference and a leading voice in the progressivist camp, shows himself relieved. He stated: 'First of all, he [Pope Francis] is in favor of the synodal path. That was for me the relief. Nothing is being withdrawn here. That is to say, that we can move forward, that we can go on a path.' The journalist who reports these words, Tilmann Kleinjung, entitled his article: 'A papal letter with many interpretations.'

In a similar manner, the German Catholic journalist and commentator Peter Winnemöller asks: '[Are there] several letters from Pope Francis?'

One theologian, who spoke with LifeSiteNews under condition of anonymity, said that the Pope's letter is 'written in a way that everybody can accept it.'

'Alfredo Peron,' he continues, 'who is himself also known for trying to embrace contradictory positions, would like it very much.' However, adds the theologian, 'the fact of the letter itself is surprising and thus might more benefit Catholic forces who wish to set limits to the 'synodal path.' In this respect, the letter is to be welcoming, even if it unfortunately does not make any concrete comments on any of the questions of content.'

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PROFESSOR JANET SMITH from Sacred Heart Major Seminary discusses the aftermath of Pope Paul VI's prophetic encyclical, Humanae Vitae.



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Cardinal Joseph appears in video pledging Hong Kong’s resistance to Chinese government

“THIShas is a video announcement of the march that took place on June 9th to protest the new extradition law that the Hong Kong Legislative Council has been told (by Communist China) to pass,” Steve Mosher explained to LifeSiteNews by email.



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UN logo


Organized Homosexuality celebrating erasure of women from UN and international human rights

AUSTIN RUSE writes for C-Fam ~ We just got word that Organized Homosexuality is celebrating the erasure of women from UN and international human rights.

In a document that will become a hard law treaty and under pressure from radical homosexuality, the International Legal Commission has removed the definition of gender that is quite good; 'men and women in the context of society.'

'Men and women in the context of society' was the definition that governments agreed to when the International Criminal Court was created twenty years ago.

'Men and women in the context of society' allows for no transgender or gender queer nonsense. It means what it means.

So, the sexual left has tried to water it down or eliminate it ever since.

What would happen if they succeed? Women would be removed from international law as a category of protection.

This is what the radical gender agenda has been all along. It is really about gay men invading the spaces we have carved out for our mothers and our sisters.

Homosexual men want to take that away, not all of them, but the ones in power at places like the anti-Christian Human Rights Campaign that has long threatened C-Fam for speaking up for the family, and the unborn.

C-Fam is at the centre of this fight that will culminate in the coming weeks at UN headquarters.

This is not the only fight our five-man army is fighting almost constantly this summer.

• We just finished a humanitarian resolution where we fought hard to get 'reproductive health' taken out of that document because 'reproductive health' means abortion.

• As you read this we are in an intense negotiation on so-called 'universal health care' where radicals are also pushing abortion.

• The High-Level Political Forum begins in a few days that I consider to be the most dangerous meeting of the year.

And now comes this fight for our mothers and our sisters and our daughters, the attempt by homosexual men to erase them from international law.

C-Fam is small, but we are powerful.

The Guardian newspaper claims we are at the centre of UN negotiations.

• Reuters news agency says the same thing.

We are only five people working as hard as we can at the highest levels of the UN and in Washington DC.

We need your help right now to protect the women and girls we love.



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EU flag


Who is Ursula von der Leyen, and why should she lead the EU?
Being the mother of seven children is a good start for a dying continent

U v d  LeydenCAROLYN MOYNIHAN, Deputy Editor of MercatorNet, writes
Germany’s best-known citizen is, no doubt, it’s federal Chancellor, Angela Merkel, a Christian Democrat who has held the job since 2005. But it is another German woman who is grabbing headlines at the moment: Ursula von der Leyen, currently minister of defence in Mrs Merkel’s government, but nominated this week to be the new president of the European Union Commission.

The EU commission president heads the executive branch, sets the policy agenda and controls a cabinet of commissioners. This is the top job in EU and Mrs von der Leyen (pron, “lie-in”) would be the first woman – and the first German in more than 60 years – to hold it.

However, many voices, especially in Germany, have been raised against her having it. She has been accused of mismanagement and misspending in her current portfolio (defence is considered the graveyard of political careers), of a “reclusive and defensive management style” and unethical conduct regarding suppliers and consultants. Some think she is simply not up to the job.

But then, is anyone up to the job of leading a Europe that is fading away for lack of the will to reproduce itself? And, anyway, was the incumbent John-Claude Juncker all that capable or scandal-free?

In fact, from the point of view of ordinary mortals, Ursula has a few things going for her.

* First up, she is a mother, and of seven children – a quality that none of her predecessors could boast. (And she is Lutheran, not Catholic.) In a Germany where fertility has been as low as 1.4 children per woman in recent times, and is still well below replacement except among immigrant women, a large family is counter-cultural not to mention patriotic. The von der Leyens may belong to a privileged class and be able to afford domestic help, but not many in their social rank want to share their privileges with a troop of children.

* As family minister for several years (and a doctor by her initial profession) she set about making motherhood and fatherhood easier to combine with employment. Deutsche Welle notes that “she sent clear signals to the political establishment in Berlin. For example, she initiated a parental assistance program (‘Elterngeld’) and oversaw a nationwide expansion of childcare by providing substantial financial support from the German government.” She supports gender equity in the workforce.

Before leaving the subject of family, one is obliged to award her a minus point. According to Politico: “She campaigned for equal marriage for LGBT couples (which Germany legalised in 2017) and drew the ire of her conservative party colleagues after calling for LGBT couples to be permitted to adopt, saying: ‘I know of no study that says that children who grow up with [same-sex parents] fare differently than children who grow up in heterosexual marriages.’” Sorry, Ursula, you have not done your homework here. See ground-breaking study by Mark Regnerus and meta-analyses by Walter R. Schumm and Thomas Schofield, among others.

* For those who value the European Union, her commitment to the European project will count. Politico again: “Born in Brussels where her father [Ernst Albrecht] was “one of the first pan-European civil servants, she speaks fluent French and English, and built up a profile in the early years of her career with a bold commitment to a ‘United States of Europe, modelled on federal states like Switzerland, Germany or the US’.” That might scare others.

* Also: “Many German commentators note the progress made under her current cabinet brief, defence integration. Her diplomatic effort in organising the 2016 Nato mission in the Aegean Sea in response to the refugee and migrant crisis required support from both Greece and Turkey, and is said to have won her admirers in Brussels.”

* And this may be a plus point for some: the Greens don’t like her, perhaps because she has no profile on climate change.

Von der Leyen is one among five people nominated for the top five EU jobs, and they have yet to be confirmed by a vote in the EU Parliament. A couple of the others are regarded as problematic too, but not Christine Lagarde, who has been head of the International Monetary Fund since 2011 and is set to head the European Central Bank.

Lagarde has the advantage of never being a defence minister during her political career in France; she has had finance and trade. And she has handled the IMF well enough to be given two terms. Her domestic circumstances seem not quite as edifying as von der Leyen’s, but as a health-conscious vegetarian who rarely drinks alcohol, and whose hobbies include regular trips to the gym, cycling, and swimming, she is a great role model for a self-indulgent and unhealthy world.

Europe’s troubles, however, go beyond diet and exercise, and much deeper than financial stability or even climate change. Their source is the thinning and breaking of family life through delayed marriage, cohabitation, divorce, too few children – and the consequent eclipse of the meaning of sex. Behind that again is the resentment against Europe’s traditional faith and against – as we see in the rhetoric of environmental catastrophe – humanity itself.

Compared with these fundamental cracks in European culture it’s unlikely that any of the top brass in the EU can do more than put a finger in the dyke. But at least Mrs von der Leyen, her family and her faith are reminders of what can really unite and revitalise Europe. Let’s hope she realises that herself.

[MercatorNet] 2288.EU1



















How the first world war inspired the EU
The journalistnChristopher Booker has died at the age of 81. R.I.P. In 2014, he wrote in The Spectator about how the first world war inspired the EU, and why its supporters won’t tell you:

C BookerAMONG the millions of words which will be expended over the next four years on the first world war, very few will be devoted to explaining one of its greatest legacies of all, the effects of which continue to dominate our politics to this day. One of the best-kept secrets of the European Union is that the core idea which gave rise to it owed its genesis not to the second world war, as is generally supposed, but to the Great War a quarter of a century earlier. It was around that time that the man who can be described as ‘the Father of Europe’ was first inspired to the detailed vision which only after 1945 was he finally in a position to launch on its way.

More than a decade ago, when I was working with my colleague Dr Richard North on a history of ‘the European project’, nothing surprised us more than how completely historians had failed to uncover the real story of that project’s origins. Furthermore, this was not merely of historical interest. The missing piece of the jigsaw gives us such a crucial insight into the core idea which was to create and shape the European Union that the failure of David Cameron and our present-day politicians to take it on board makes much of what they are today all saying about Britain’s relations with ‘Europe’ just empty fluff.

The story began just after the outbreak of war in 1914, when two young men were appointed to organise the shipping between North America and Europe of food and vital war materials. One was a now forgotten British civil servant called Arthur Salter; the other was the Frenchman Jean Monnet, a former salesman for his family’s brandy firm. By 1917 they were so frustrated by the difficulty of hiring ships from all the international interests involved that they had a radical idea. What was needed, they agreed, was a body armed with ‘supranational’ powers to requisition the ships, overriding the wishes of their owners or any national government.

In 1919 these two men became senior officials in the new League of Nations: Monnet was deputy secretary general, Salter in charge of German reparations. They were inspired by the way they and their colleagues were expected to forget national loyalties in working for a higher international cause. But as the 1920s progressed, they again became frustrated by what they, like so many, saw as the League’s central flaw. Every nation had a veto — an expression, as Monnet saw it, of that ‘national egoism’ which had caused the war and might yet bring about another.

By the decade’s end, when the League, without the USA, had become largely a European concern, Salter had developed their ideas in a new direction. He proposed in a book published in 1931, The United States of Europe, that the League’s four core institutions — its ruling secretariat, a council of ministers, a parliamentary assembly and a court of justice — should be turned into a ‘government of Europe’, run though its secretariat by technocrats like himself, above all national loyalties. This body must be given ‘supranational’ powers, eliminating national vetoes. And the first step towards this new government should be to set up a ‘customs union’, providing it with so much revenue from tariffs that it would reduce national governments ‘to the status of municipal assemblies’.

Scarcely had Salter outlined his grand design, intended to avert another European war, than Hitler’s rise to power made it irrelevant. But in 1939 Salter and Monnet were reunited in London. Monnet had now become a very effective behind-the-scenes political operator — it was he who, just before the fall of France in 1940, talked Churchill into that quixotic proposal for a political union between France and Britain — and he used the succession of influential positions he held through the war to push their idea to men such as Paul-Henri Spaak, Belgium’s prime minister in exile. In Algiers, in 1943, he put it to Harold Macmillan that the first step towards a ‘federal Europe’ should be a ‘supranational’ authority to run the industries key to waging war, steel and coal.

In the years after 1946, having been placed in charge of France’s economy by President de Gaulle, Monnet watched scornfully the efforts being made to set up an ‘intergovernmental’ Council of Europe, which he predicted would be rendered as impotent as the League of Nations by the same fatal flaw, the national veto. In 1950, when France was faced by the US with a deadline to come up with a plan for international control of Germany’s renascent coal and steel industries, Monnet saw his moment to strike. He put in the hands of France’s foreign minister, Robert Schumann, a proposal for a ‘European Coal and Steel Community’: a plan seemingly so visionary that within two years this body, representing six nations including France and Germany, was set up with Monnet himself at its head. He was surrounded by those four core institutions borrowed from the League of Nations: his own secretariat, a council of ministers, an assembly and a court. Opening the assembly in 1952, Monnet told the delegates, ‘You are the first government of Europe.’

Monnet then, however, overreached himself. Not only did he and Spaak propose a ‘European Defence Community’; Spaak went even further, wanting to go straight to a ‘European Political Community’, for which in 1953 a ‘Constitution for Europe’ was being actively discussed. But in 1954 all these heady plans were brought to nought by the French Assembly, prompting Monnet in 1955 to resign from his Coal and Steel post. It was this rebuff which led him to work from behind the scenes, with his now powerful friend Spaak, for a new strategy. Realising they were not going to get their ‘United States of Europe’ in one fell swoop, they would have to build it up gradually over many years — and, crucially, without ever revealing openly what was their ultimate goal. This was why they would begin with just that ‘customs union’ suggested by Salter: a ‘Common Market’.

Thus it was in 1957 that those original six nations signed the Treaty of Rome. But at its heart were the same four institutions, headed by a secretariat now called the ‘European Commission’. This treaty represented the constitution for a form of government far more ambitious than anything needed to run a trading arrangement: dedicated, in its opening words, to work for an ‘ever closer union’ between its members until they reached that ultimate goal: a ‘United States of Europe’.

However carefully this was concealed, the aim, right from the start, was step by step to pass ever more powers to the centre, eliminating national vetoes — until their Commission, run by unelected officials, could come fully into the open as the supranational ‘government of Europe’. There was no principle more sacred to the ‘European construction’, as it was called in Brussels, than the acquis communautaire: the unshakeable rule that once powers were acquired by the centre they could never be given back. And thus, over the next 60 years, did the long-dreamed-of ‘United States of Europe’ gradually take shape, extending its powers, treaty by treaty, over ever more areas of government, embracing ever more of the countries of Europe, in a way which back in 1957 would have seemed unimaginable.

All this had grown directly out of that core idea envisaged by Monnet and Salter in the 1920s. Having failed in its original purpose to avert any repetition of the first world war, it had only been revived when the world had been through such a geopolitical earthquake that the new division of Europe between Nato and the Soviet empire made it irrelevant.

But no one continued to have more influence over the shaping of ‘Europe’ than Monnet, the man who as early as 1960 first suggested that there would be no more effective way of welding the peoples of Europe together than giving them a single currency. It was also he who, even as late as 1972, suggested setting up the ‘European Council’, those regular meetings between the elected heads of government which were only formalised as an ‘institution of the Union’ in the Lisbon Treaty in 2008.

But why has all this suddenly become of more urgent relevance to us all than ever before? It is because so little of it has been properly understood by British politicians, including Mr Cameron, that almost nothing they are now saying about a referendum on ‘Europe’ bears any relation to reality. When they talk about the need for the EU to be ‘reformed’ and ‘Britain winning back powers from Brussels’, they have no real idea of how this defies the EU’s most sacred rule, the acquis communautaire; which is why, when José-Manuel Barroso is asked whether Mr Cameron will be given powers back, he merely snorts. Those politicians who talk about returning the EU to little more than the trading arrangement we joined in 1973 haven’t begun to grasp that the Common Market was only ever intended as a first step towards a fully fledged ‘government of Europe’.

Most alarming of all is that, just when our own politicians are still talking about the need for a new treaty ‘to win back powers’, they seem quite oblivious that senior figures in Brussels are talking about a major new treaty of their own, one designed to take the EU yet another major step towards that ultimate goal. When the Commission’s vice-president, Viviane Reding, declares that May’s European elections will give voters the chance to support ‘a United States of Europe’, what she explicitly has in mind is that same destination Monnet and Salter were talking about 80 years ago. And the reason why our politicians still seem unable to recognise this lies in that crucial decision taken by Spaak and Monnet 60 years ago — that they could only achieve their ultimate goal by concealing for as long as possible the reality of what they were after. That is why, when Richard North and I were for the first time able to put all this story together, we called our book The Great Deception. But now that even senior officials in Brussels feel free to talk openly about wanting to build a ‘United States of Europe’, we really do need at last to wake up to the reality of what we are up against. We are facing the endgame. The time for deception — and self-deception — is over

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IRELAND Newspapers apologise to former seminarian for false sex-scandal story

RON BENAVIDES reports for the Catholic Herald ~ Three Irish newspapers have apologised to a former seminarian for publishing a story that falsely accused him of being a part of a fabricated sex scandal at the Irish College in Rome.

The Irish Examiner, The Irish Times, and The Echo all issued formal apologies, acknowledging there was no truth in the matter, saying the article was 'false and should not have been published.'

In May 2018, the three papers published stories alleging Conor Gannon, a seminarian at the time, had been expelled or suspended from the Irish College in Rome after being found in bed with another seminarian.

Gannon filed a libel lawsuit against the publications, who now acknowledge 'there was no truth in and no basis for' the claims.

Damages are expected to be paid to Gannon by the newspapers, as settled in High Court.

The Irish Catholic reports that The Irish Times refused to take down the story until recently, unlike other media outlets which did so shortly after it was revealed to be false.

A source close to one of the two accused told The Irish Catholic that 'All he wanted was a simple correction of the record, that he left the Irish College in Rome of his own accord and was not kicked out or found to have been involved in some sexual activity with another seminarian. But the rector Msgr Ciaran O'Carroll refused.'

The source said 'The young man gave four years of his life to the seminary and was hung out to dry, the Archbishop did a Pontius Pilate,' claiming that Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin did not help clear the names of the two men falsely accused.

The Irish Catholic reported in May 2018 that the two men were reprimanded for excessive alcohol consumption and chose to leave the seminary, contrary to reports of their expulsion due to a sex scandal.

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ITALY An inadvertent indictment
CHRISTOPHER A. FERRARA writes for Fatima Perspectives ~
An editorial in the New York Times, “How the Catholic Church Lost Italy to the Far Right,” inadvertently reveals the debacle that is the current pontificate.

Sub-headlined “Pope Francis’ retreat from culture-war politics has left a void that politicians have been all too eager to fill,” the op-ed piece, by the Italian journalist Mattia Ferraresi, laments that while Italy’s deputy prime minister, Matteo Salvini, “is a dubious poster child for Catholicism” because he is divorced and “has two children by two women and is in a relationship with a third,” nevertheless he has succeeded in “reinventing himself as Italy’s Catholic-in-chief.”

And what horrible things this unworthy Catholic has said, which Ferraresi quotes with alarm:

“Personally, I entrust Italy, my life and your lives to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who I’m sure will lead us to victory… I defend our history and the existence of Catholic schools… If I believe in God, and if I even ask for Mary’s protection, does that bother anybody?…”

And then Ferraresi’s inadvertently revealing assessment of Francis: “It bothers the Pope, for one.”

Yes, it does bother Francis that a politician, for all his sins — and whatever happened to “Who am I to judge? — has invoked Catholicism, God and the Blessed Virgin in advancing the policies that got him elected: “Italians first,” a ban on illegal immigration that is nothing but human trafficking, and popular pushback against EU tyranny.

Horror of horrors, Salvini “kissed the rosary during a news conference. A few days later, in a magazine interview, he expanded on his devotion to the Virgin Mary and announced his wish to walk the Way of Saint James, a popular pilgrimage route, one day.” The Catholic Church, noted Ferraresi, “has reacted furiously to Mr. Salvini’s politicization of religious symbols.”

Is he kidding? Nobody has politicized the Virgin Mary and the Catholic religion more than Francis. For example, he has shamelessly likened Mary and Joseph’s obedience to the Roman census in making their journey to Bethlehem to the illegal mass migration of Muslim males into Italy, who have no intention of returning home as the Holy Family did. And it was he who dared to turn the Way of the Cross on Good Friday into a direct attack on “the ‘hardened hearts’ of anti-immigration politicians” who persecute “those who find doors closed because of fear and hearts hardened by political calculations…”

Ferraresi argues that it is possible that “millions of Catholics are voting for Mr. Salvini…. because he is filling a vacuum in Italian politics left by the church’s own retreat, under Francis, from political debate.”

What? Francis has been meddling in politics almost since the day he was elected, but only to promote the issues that interest him: open borders, “ecological conversion” and wealth redistribution in capitalist economies — with never a word of criticism for socialist and communist dictators who live in luxury while the people they lord it over struggle to survive and practice religion.

Moreover, what Ferraresi himself observes — the “eagerness of Francis’ church to chastise politicians who refer to Christianity” — is itself a venture into politics. A venture that, Ferraresi himself admits, “represents a sharp break with the policies of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, who attempted to keep the church’s views relevant in societies, including Italy, that have grown increasingly secular. Under these popes, spokesmen for the church criticized civil unions and same-sex marriage both in Italy and abroad, and campaigned against procedures like in vitro fertilization.”

Even more tellingly, Ferraresi notes that “Pope Francis has embraced a new model. In a speech to the Italian church in 2015, he called for the end of the so-called bishop-pilots, clerical shepherds who seek to direct the political choices of their flock. Francis exhorted church leaders to limit their action to the pastoral dimension.” But, as he himself deduces, this does not mean a retreat from politics as such but only, as “some critics” have protested, “a different sort of politics” according to which “Francis’ church didn’t dismiss the bishop-pilots, but rather ordered them to subtly pilot the Catholic people in a different, more progressive direction.”

Indeed, the political meddling of Francis the leftist progressive — not his retreat from politics — was probably instrumental in the rise of Salvini and his League Party in the first place.

Still more tellingly, Ferraresi admits that “[t]he Francis model has received support among some within the church — Father Antonio Spadaro, editor of the Jesuit magazine La Civiltà Cattolica, for instance, launched the idea of a synod for the Italian church to reimagine the relationship between the church and politics — as well as disparagement from Francis critics like Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, who in a phone interview said ‘the process of de-Christianization of our societies demands the courage to proclaim the truth. I like the politicians who openly say they are Christians better than those who disparage Christianity.’”

In other words, pro-homosexual propagandists like Spadaro love the “Francis model” of political action, but as for orthodox Catholics, not so much.

Indeed, Ferraresi goes on to say, “for some believers, the Francis model has simply been disorienting. The Vatican is now sending ambiguous messages on issues that were considered crucial only a few years ago. Many Catholic voters complain the church is not vocal enough in condemning abortion and L.G.B.T. rights, and upholding Italy’s Christian identity, while it emphasizes immigration, social justice and environmental issues.”

The net takeaway from this confused piece is that Francis is in fact deeply involved in politics and that his involvement is perceived by millions of Italian voters as contrary to the interests of the Church, her members, and whatever little is left of Christian civilization in Italy. Which is why, given the debacle of this pontificate, even a divorced Catholic with two children born out of wedlock has emerged as “Italy’s Catholic-in-chief.”

But who is Francis to judge?

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UNITED KINGDOM 10-year-old suspended for asking to be exempted from LGBT lesson

DOUG MAINWARING reports for LifeSiteNews ~ A 10-year-old who was suspended from school for a week after asking her teacher permission to be excused from participating in a 'Pride Month' LGBT lesson has gone on the record to explain the real dangers of the invasion of LGBT ideology in her school.

'Before anybody knew what LGBT meant, everybody knew what gender they were,' explained Kaysey, who, along with her classmate, Farrell, was suspended from the Heavers Farmer Primary School, located in Croydon, South London.

'But now people are confused,' continued the precocious 10-year-old, 'and they're saying that they're bisexual and trans because they're confused.'

'Before this happened, they were completely confident of who they were but now they're not,' she added.

'It's really affecting other kids,' explained Kaysey, 'because now they're losing confidence in [them]selves and looking at [them]selves and asking, 'Why am I this person? Why can't I be someone else?''

'Before all this happened, people knew who they were,' said Kaysey. 'School children are now facing the choice of what gender they are by the age of four.'

Susan Papas, the head of Heavers Farmer Primary School, Croydon, South London, who banned the children from the school for five days for alleged anti-LGBT comments, has been reported to the local authorities for what amounts to an unlawful act.

Christian Concern, an advocacy group seeking to restore the United Kingdom to the Christian faith, recounts the incident that led to the two students' suspension:

'On June 20, Farrell, sitting next to his friend Kaysey in class, asked his year 5 class teacher, 'Sir, please may I not take part in this lesson?' when the teacher handed out LGBT material for colouring. The teacher refused permission saying that the LGBT lesson was part of the curriculum.

'After class, the form teacher is said to have accused Farrell of using 'homophobic language' for allegedly saying, 'LGBT sucks and LGBT's dumb,' which the child denies.

'Farrell, who was sitting with female pupil Kasey says he is a Christian and told a 'visitor teacher' he did not 'accept LGBT' because of his religion.

'The teacher asked the two children, 'Do you want them to die? We said no,' Farrell replied. If, however, they went back to their countries, they would be punished for being gay, Farrell told the teacher.

'The teacher asked Farrell where he was from. Farrell said he was of 'African Jamaican' heritage, and because there 'everybody is Christian and Catholic, so they don't accept LGBT.'

'Later, Ms Papas shouted at the two children in front of the class, according to Kaysey. 'How dare you? You are a disappointment to the school,' Papas told the two children outside the classroom.

'Papas then put the children in different rooms and asked Kasey [sic]: 'How dare you say that you want to kill LGBT people?' Kasey [sic] replied: 'I didn't say kill.' Papas then shouted at her and said, 'Yes, you did, and don't lie.'

'Kaysey, a pentecostal Christian, says she was kept in detention for five hours from 10am to 3pm.

'Kaysey's and Farrell's version of the story, which differs widely from what their teacher and the head of their school alleged, has been corroborated by their classmates.



'This is why parents are beginning to see the dangers of the imposition of the new sexual and gender ideology that does not permit dissent even from innocent ten year old children,' said Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, which is aiding the two students and their families in this matter.

'This incident highlights again just how aggressive and intolerant the LGBT agenda can be,' continued Williams. 'An ideology that has to resort to such heavy-handed tactics to force ten-year-old children to accept something that instinctively they do not, only highlights how life-crushing that ideology is.'

'Here we see the fragility of this whole sexual agenda imposed on our children and unable to withstand the challenge of innocent ten year old children,' noted Williams.

'When bullies know that right is not on their side they resort to coercion and intimidation. That is exactly what is being played out in Heavers Farm Primary School,' Williams added.

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UNITED KINGDOM Cardinal Nichols (briefly) acknowledges safeguarding criticism

CARA BENTLEY reports for Premier Christian Radio ~ The leader of Roman Catholics in England and Wales has referred to the abuse inquiry into the Catholic church but swiftly moved on to celebrate priests.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols celebrated a National Mass of thanksgiving and renewal for priests at Westminster Cathedral on Friday lunchtime, welcoming everyone and then saying:

'In recent days, in the IICSA Report and in the media, there has been sharp criticism of our work of Safeguarding in the Catholic Church, and of aspects of my ministry in Birmingham. I acknowledge this, of course.

'Yet this not the time nor place for those matters. Rather today is about you, my brother priests, about your faithfulness, your steadfast generosity, your ministry of healing, your endurance, not least under the burden of the grievous damage done to innocent victims by just a very few of our brother priests. I thank you for your faithfulness, your generosity, your perseverance. I thank you, as do each of us bishops, and the people of your parishes. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!'

He then moved on and did not refer to the topic again in his homily.

In June, Cardinal Vincent Nicholls was criticised in the report from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse for putting the reputation of the Church before welfare of children.

He was the Archbishop of Birmingham between 2000 and 2009, the Archdiocese which was looked into thoroughly.

Once example of Cardinal Nichols' behaviour was that the report found he was 'misplaced and missed the point' when he criticised the BBC in 2003 for tracking down and approaching James Robinson, one of the abusive priests, around the silver jubilee of the Pope. At the time, he criticised the broadcaster and accused them of anti-Catholic bias.

James Robinson was moved to a different parish when allegations were made against him and was then helped to flee to the US to avoid persecution for years, where journalists tracked him down.

The report said 'Whilst Archbishop Nichol's response to the broadcasting of 'Kenyon confronts' did acknowledge the damage done to those who had been abused, it focused overwhelmingly on the tactics employed by the programme makers and the Popes silver jubilee. This response was misplaced and missed the point. The focus should have been on recognising the harm caused to the complainants and victims. Instead the Archbishop's reaction led many to think that Church was still more concerned with protecting itself than the protection of children'.

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UNITED KINGDOM Ampleforth's acting head stands down after damning report

THE CATHOLIC HERALD reports ~ The acting director of Ampleforth College, Deirdre Rowe, is stepping down after just ten months in her current role.

A highly critical inspection report found that the prestigious Catholic private school continues not to meet standards for safeguarding and leadership, and faces problems in the areas of behaviour, bullying, and complaints.

The school has educated some of England's most noteworthy Catholics, including actors Rupert Everett and James Norton, and writer Lord Fellowes, who created Downton Abbey. Ampleforth's former abbot, Basil Hume, was appointed Archbishop of Westminster in 1976.

The Department for Education called for an unannounced Progress Monitoring Visit in May to check on the status of issues found in a November visit to the college.

The Tablet reports that Ampleforth was found to not have implemented safeguarding policies effectively by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI).

'It does not identify the different responses required for behavioural concerns and safeguarding concerns, particularly with reference to bullying and peer-on-peer abuse and the potential danger stemming from the misuse of internet messaging,' the report said.

Ampleforth also was found not to have implemented reforms to its leadership and management previously recommended to them in earlier reports.

'Incidents involving the physical abuse of pupils are not always recognised as a potential bullying or safeguarding concerns, and at times have been recorded only as poor behaviour,' the report said. 'In addition, appropriate referrals to the police or to the local safeguarding authorities are not always made in a timely manner.'

The report made note of a December 2018 incident in which a 'serious safeguarding issue arose' when 'the school's leadership took advice from the Interim Director of Safeguarding who advised immediate referral to the police and North Yorkshire Safeguarding Children Board (NYSCB). This advice was not followed and it was not referred to the police until 3 January 2019 and even later to the NYSCB.'

The school's decision, the ISI found, 'put a child at risk.'

The report also found that 'Serious incidents of peer-on-peer abuse are not always treated according to the safeguarding policy or the required procedures followed' and that a cause for concern was that 'the welfare of the victim is not always prioritised.'

The school was found to have violated its own complaints policy when it failed to communicate with a parent in the appropriate response time the policy established.

The report found that 'Members of the senior leadership team within the college do not demonstrate good skills and knowledge and have not always fulfilled their responsibilities effectively since the previous inspection in November 2018, and thus do not consistently promote the well-being of pupils.'

In a comment to The Tablet, an Ampleforth spokesperson said: 'We have recognised that a small number of incidents, where our robust policies have not been followed, have led to the judgement from the inspectors that we have not yet met all of the required standards. Each incident has been, or is being, investigated and addressed with the authorities and the students and parents involved.'

Deirdre Rowe was appointed in August 2018 due to her background in child protection. She previously served for five years as the College's Designated Safeguarding Lead.

Rowe will continue to serve until the next acting head takes office.

Ampleforth is expected to have four headteachers in one year after the naming of a new acting head who will start by September 2019 and a permanent head expected to be announced by the end of the year.

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UNITED KINGDOM Government threatens Christian doctor's job as he speaks of faith with his patients

DOROTHY CUMMINGS McLEAN reports for LifeSiteNews ~ A Christian doctor is under investigation and may lose his job because he incorporates prayer into his practise and discusses religious beliefs with some of his patients.

Dr. Richard Scott, 58, is a general practitioner at the Bethsaida Medical Centre in Margate, Kent. According to the U.K.'s Daily Telegraph, he is being investigated by England's National Health Service (NHS) because of allegations that he made a patient uncomfortable by praying. Meanwhile, the General Medical Council (GMC) is also involved in an investigation into the Christian doctor, which means he is in danger of losing his license.

A complaint was lodged with the GMC in May by the National Secular Society (NSS) on the 'highly vulnerable' patient's behalf. According to the secularist organization, they were informed of the alleged incident by someone who claimed to be an 'acquaintance' of the patient. Steven Evans, the chief executive of the NSS, told the Sunday Times he did not know the patient's identity.

Scott told the Sunday Times he was shocked that instead of having 'a chat or gentle discussion' with him first, the GMC had started a 'fitness to practise inquiry.' The G.P. also said he always asks patients' permission to talk about faith and only after the standard medical discussion.

The doctor has incorporated spirituality in his medical practice for over 20 years, but the controversy around his open Christanity dates back to 2012. Then it was alleged, by a 'psychologically troubled' 24-year-old man, that in 2010, Scott had told him that he could be cured only if he turned 'to Jesus.'

According to the Daily Telegraph, a lawyer for the GMC, Andrew Hurst, said Scott told the man that 'he did have a cure, which would cure him for good. His one and only hope of recovery was through Jesus.'

'If he did not turn to Jesus and hand him his suffering he would suffer for the rest of his life,' Hurst continued.

The patient also alleged that the doctor mentioned the devil, 'belittled' his non-Christian religion, and said he would be damned to hell - i.e., 'unless he turned to Jesus he would eternally suffer.'

Scott denied the allegations, which the patient refused to make in person. The doctor said he had merely given the patient the opportunity to chat about the role religious faith could play in helping with his problems.

The Christian doctor has always been vocal about the role faith can play in medical care and has presented his ideas on the subject in print and on BBC Radio. In the 2012 hearing, transcripts of the radio shows were prepared and provided by the National Secular Society, adding weight to Scott's suggestion that the CMA has an anti-Christian bias.

This year, Scott told the Sunday Times he believes that the NSS is out to get him.

'The NSS is obviously gunning for me - and would like me to lose my job because they don't like me,' he said.

'Well, to be honest I don't like them but I am not gunning for them to lose their jobs. They think I am irresponsible and dangerous and I would say the same about them.'

The Telegraph mentioned that Scott cited the World Health Organization, which cites spiritual well-being as part of health, and 'scientific evidence that faith benefits health.'

In 2013, Scott wrote an article for The Pulse, an online news magazine for doctors, in which he described his working day. It began with a chat and prayers with a prayer buddy and included encouraging a recovering drug addict 'to live the life he signed up for when he was baptised in our church.' He gave £10 to a mentally ill man whose electricity has been cut off and obtains permission from a heartbroken patient to pray for her.

However, Scott also wrote ambiguously of agreeing with his wife, who is also his medical partner, to help a drug addict who is 19 weeks pregnant and doesn't have enough money for an abortion. It is unclear what form this help would take.

LifeSiteNews attempted to contact Dr. Scott by phone but was informed by his medical center that he is on leave until July 15.

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UNITED STATES Bishops approval of the Pope's capital punishment ban

There have even been bishops so impatient with the subtleties that make theology logical that they have turned two thousand years of Christianity upside down by announcing that the death penalty is absolutely immoral.

FATHER GEORGE W. RUTLER writes for Crisis Magazine / Catholic Education Resource Center ~ Sæva indignatio. Few writers in the history of English letters could express 'savage indignation' at human folly as did Jonathan Swift who wrote those words for his own epitaph. Our times give ample opportunity to empathize with him, and that is never more so than when clerics get together in large numbers.

Bishops have many daunting responsibilities and, if they are reasonable, they are not fleet of foot to beat a path to synods and conferences and plenary sessions and other impositions on their august office. Their patience in such meetings is exemplary, and so lesser souls should be patient with them when they sometimes fail to match up to Athanasius or Borromeo.

At the U.S. bishops' General Assembly that took place June 11-14 in Baltimore, there were many items to discuss, chief of which was a protocol on how to handle prurient offenders, which passed under the lumbering title 'Directives for the Implementation of the Provisions of Vos estis lux mundi Concerning Bishops and their Equivalents.' Vos estis lux mundi is the papal motu proprio issued on May 9, 2019, which prescribed procedures for holding bishops and religious superiors accountable for handling cases of sex abuse. Working within the framework of the Church's hierarchical constitution, it retains bishops as their own regulators, while acknowledging that their failures in the past have cost the Church billions of dollars in fines and punitive damages.

This brought to mind the poet Juvenal-a match for Jonathan Swift when it comes to savage indignation-when he asked in his Satires: 'Who will guard the guards?' Swift and Juvenal together at a conference of bishops would have provided lively commentary, and for that matter so would have Samuel Johnson. Dr. Johnson loathed Swift, probably because they were so alike in their instinct for righteous irritation, expressed in colorful ways in part perhaps because Swift was aggravated by an equilibrium disorder called Meniere's disease while Johnson almost certainly had Tourette syndrome. Juvenal's apostrophe, Quis ipsos custodes custodiet?, concerned the problem of randy guards guarding sex offenders. He proposed replacing them with eunuchs, not a practical solution today even with the current trend of 'sex reassignment surgery.'

The saeve idignatio emerging from the Baltimore meeting, however, was not the response to the Vos estis document. After all, that issue has been a muddle for a long while. Rather, a more astonishing matter, though little noted by the multitude, was the Assembly's handling of the controversial issue of capital punishment. Indeed, the bishops were informed that they were not to discuss the doctrine itself, but were only to consider the translation of a papal revision of the Catechism on the matter, specifically paragraph 2267. In 1992, John Paul II had revised this section, problematically inserting a prudential opinion discouraging lethal executions. But he also allowed: 'Assuming that the guilty party's identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.' Supposedly, the latest revision exalts mercy at the expense of justice, neglectful of what the newly elected John Paul II said in a general audience in 1978: 'There is no love without justice.' Until the present day's climate of disdain for doctrine, 'mercy and truth are met together' (Psalm 85:10), but, in the new dialectic, mercy has devoured truth altogether.

While John Paul's revision text maintained the authentic teaching and the legitimacy of such punishment, the inclusion of a prudential opinion in a catechetical exposition of established doctrine opened the way for abuse, as this writer among others predicted. Now this has happened in a blatant way, and it is all the more confusing for its inarticulateness. Specifically, the new section calls capital punishment 'inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person.' Not for the first time in recent years, this woolgathering has opened a real can of worms. 'Inadmissible' is not a theological term, and use of it without explanation is contentious. As a legal term, 'inadmissible' means that it is not relevant to the case. In other words, capital punishment is to be treated as no longer relevant to justice, thus dismissing the magisterial structures based on natural law and Scripture. The cavalier treatment of natural law and Scriptural evidence makes prospects for maintaining all moral doctrine fragile and all moral praxis subjective.

Aware of the monumental dangers of this, a group of prelates published a 'Declaration of the Truths Relating to Some of the Most Common Errors in the Life of the Church of Our Time' which included a relevant point (n. 28):

'In accordance with Holy Scripture and the constant tradition of the ordinary and universal Magisterium, the Church did not err in teaching that the civil power may lawfully exercise capital punishment on malefactors where this is truly necessary to preserve the existence or just order of societies (cf. Gen. 9:6; John 19:11; Rom. 13:1-7; Innocent III, Professio fidei Waldensibuspraescripta; Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent, p. III, 5, n. 4; Pius XII, Address to Catholic jurists on December 5, 1954).

There have even been bishops so impatient with the subtleties that make theology logical that they have turned two thousand years of Christianity upside down by announcing that the death penalty is absolutely immoral. This epistemological novocaine contradicts an advisory of Cardinal Ratzinger in 1992: 'If a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment ... he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion.'

One supposes that the use of the term 'inadmissible,' clumsy as it is, is an attempt to shy from being explicit and even heretical on the matter. The canon lawyer Edward Peters wrote that 'declaring the death penalty as immoral per se puts one at risk of asserting something that many qualified scholars argue powerfully is opposed to infallible Church teaching, and possibly even to contradicting something divinely revealed. The real possibility of so offending the truth should, I think, trigger more respectful caution by those in positions of authority when speaking on these matters.'

When the proposed revision of the Catechism's section on the death penalty was introduced at the Baltimore assembly, one perceptive bishop asked what 'inadmissible' means. The bishop selected to present the text said that the proposed draft provided 'a context and justification for the development of this teaching on the dignity of the human person, but also emphasizes the continuity of Catholic teaching on the topic.' Here at work is George Orwell's doublethink which mitigates cognitive dissonance by proposing two contradictory statements as mutually complimentary. Thus, doublethink claims with a straight face that to declare the death penalty inadmissible is identical to the Church's uninterrupted magisterium which maintained that capital punishment is admissible and even sometimes necessary. In 2019 as in 1984, anyone who can make dissonance mellifluous by using a condescending facility of expression is considered an intellectual beacon, even when his intelligence is merely above average where average is modest. And this is because, as Erasmus wrote in his Adagia, 'in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.' Our Lord warned that there is a peril in following disseminators of cognitive dissonance: 'Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch' (Matt. 15:14).

Sadly, things got worse. For when pressed on the specific point of what 'inadmissible' means as used in the proposed text, the responding bishop said: 'To my mind, the pope maintains and our version imitates a certain, if you want, eloquent ambiguity on that point.' Eloquent ambiguity. No bishop asked for further explanation and a silence fell on the room, like the silence when the sons of Noah covered their father's nakedness, but this time the shame was rhetorical. It was this writer's pleasure to have been a priest for William F. Buckley, who, like Newman's gentleman, was 'merciful to the absurd.' But had anyone described confused and potentially heretical thought as 'eloquent ambiguity,' Bill would have replied, as he did indeed do to a guest on his Firing Line television program: 'I won't insult your intelligence by suggesting that you really believe what you just said.' To that we might add that executing a man is swifter and more humane than torturing him with clichés and hanging him with a frayed syllogism.

There is a time and place for ambiguity when it is an exercise of temperate expression. The ancient Greeks even had a deity or daimon, Sophrosyne, who represented a strength of character exemplified by discretion, circumspection, and restraint, according to Socrates in Plato's Charmedes. But such venerable shrewdness is not the cynicism that cajoles bureaucrats into calculation for the sake of obfuscation and servile ambition. Significantly, when Sophrosyne escaped Pandora's box, she retreated to Mount Olympus, leaving the human race, including its clergymen, bereft of her guidance. 'Sophrosyne,' meaning moral sanity or restraint, was for Stoics like Zeno one of the four chief virtues and it remains a cardinal virtue for Christians. It is far different from ambiguity in the sense of obfuscation. That 'uncertain trumpet' helps explain why 50 percent of millennial Catholics have left the Church, leaving it 'unprepared for battle' (1 Cor. 14:8).

If 'inadmissible' does not mean something essentially different from what has already been said magisterially about capital punishment, why is it necessary to revise the Catechism to include it? Secondly, if the word 'inadmissible' is deliberately ambiguous, why does it belong in a catechism whose purpose is to eschew ambiguity? After all, in a catechism, ambiguity is even more problematic than a prudential opinion. Thirdly, how can ambiguity be eloquent since the etymology of eloquence means 'forcefully expressive' and 'revelatory' and is thus the opposite of verbal camouflage?

Only the angels of light know what would happen if assemblies of bishops spoke like the Lord 'with authority and not as the scribes' (Mark 1:22). Or suppose the bishops operated on the dominical principle: 'But let your speech be yea, yea: no, no: and that which is over and above these, is of evil' (Matt. 5:37). An incapacity for indignation at calculated ambiguity is the consequence of a bureaucratic culture which melds ayes and nays into maybes. At the Baltimore assembly, the bishops approved the eloquently ambiguous statement by a vote of 194 for and 8 against, with 3 abstentions. Perhaps they were thinking like Nancy Pelosi, who said of the Affordable Care Act: 'We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.' Years from now, whether the Church will have risen from its present slough of despondency to a shining new eminence, or lie battered in a heap of broken basilicas and quivering banalities, the wonderful question will be: 'How was it that, at a meeting in 2019, almost all of the American bishops voted for something without knowing what it means?'

[Crisis / CERC] 2288.11



















UNITED STATES Sanctification of Sodomy ~ Bishop promotes "celebration of Pride" with prayer card, rainbow crucifix

DOUG MAINWARING reports for LifeSiteNews ~ Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky, has issued a 'prayer' card that celebrates homosexual 'pride' and includes an image of a crucifix with rainbow colors coming from it. The card, distributed last