Pornography a Spiritual Disaster Society Must Face

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Pornography is a spiritual disaster, and the euphemisms of Sunday sermons aren’t getting at the problem.

It’s not a secret that we have a pornography problem.

By “we,” I mean American males, but also American Christian males. It’s also a problem for females, but not as big a problem, and I can’t speak to it very well, so I’m focusing on the male side of things.

If you need survey data to back up the claim that American males have a pornography problem, you haven’t been paying attention. Virtually every boy has seen pornography at least once. Most see it for the first time before the age of 15. Many develop a problem and have a hard time stopping. I know because I’m one of them.

People get hung up on whether this particular problem should be called an “addiction.” I don’t think that matters very much. In my book, if you have a habit that you can’t stop on your own, it’s an addiction. Not a very clinical definition, I know. So what? Call it what you want.

But whatever we call it, we need to be honest. A Christian euphemism for the problem is “impurity,” which is a catch-all term for any sin of a sexual nature. Adultery, fornication, pornography use, “looking upon women with lust” (à la President Carter) — all these and more fall under the label of “impurity.”

Since all euphemisms are dishonest by definition, to talk about pornography as impurity is to be dishonest.

*   *   *

When I say I am against impurity, I am, of course, against adultery, fornication, etc. But I am also against using the word “impurity” when we talk about these sins. Too often, we use it to avoid an uncomfortable conversation about what’s really going on.

What’s really going on is terrifying. People over the age of 30 or so (i.e., most pastors) have no firsthand experience with what young men today are up against. The turning point was 2005. Before 2005, you had to go out of your way to access pornography. You could go to old-fashioned, sketchy movie theaters or buy racy magazines, but to get pornography on your computer, you had to download files. Downloading files entailed the risk of viruses. And saving the file on your computer made it easier for someone else to find later. Many potential casual users were deterred by those risks.

Around 2005, the same year YouTube was founded, pornography tube sites began showing up. To borrow Pentagon jargon, it’s a totally different threat environment. When people don’t have to go out of their way to access pornography, pornography is going to get in more people’s way. Within seconds, you can watch any pornography you could possibly imagine, and when you close the browser tab, just clear the browser history and it’s gone. Nobody knows (except your Internet service provider). No file downloads, no malware.

If your idea of pornography is Playboy, we aren’t even having the same conversation. We’re so far beyond revealing pictures of models or famous actresses. However bad you think Internet pornography is, it’s worse than that, and the choices are endless. Inexhaustible supply, delivered immediately, no consequences.

So, yeah, I’ve watched it, and so has pretty much every other young male.

The church has been powerless to stop it. It feels like all we get are sermons on impurity. “Pornography” is always part of the speaker’s list of sins that fall under impurity, but that’s usually the only mention of the p-word.

There are biblical grounds to use “impurity” in this way. Paul writes of “sexual impurity” in Romans 1 and elsewhere. “Sexual immorality” is also a common catch-all, and in Ephesians 5, Paul writes that “there must not be even a hint” of it.

Although He doesn’t say “impurity,” Jesus has a totalizing view of sexual sin as well. In the Sermon on the Mount, He teaches that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

So when pastors and youth-group leaders lump together all sexual sins as “impurity,” they are following what Scripture teaches about sexual sin. They aren’t making a mistake of interpretation, but they are still making a mistake. All young men struggle with impurity. But the weight on each component of impurity is severely imbalanced.

Your average churchgoing young, single man in America isn’t sleeping around. He doesn’t even know how to hire a prostitute. He’s never been to a strip club. (He isn’t married, so he can’t be having an affair.) He probably has enough decency to not stare at women in public. He probably treats every woman he knows pretty respectfully.

But he probably watches pornography. He doesn’t have a problem with impurity. He has a problem with pornography.

Here’s an extreme example to illustrate the point. Let’s say that in the last month, a city has experienced one homicide, seven assaults, and 10,000 car thefts. In response, the mayor calls a press conference, and he tells reporters, “We have a crime problem, and we need to do more to fight it. I plan to work with the police chief to do X, Y, and Z to stop the crime wave in our city.”

The mayor isn’t wrong. A different car has been stolen every 4.32 minutes in his city for a month! But car owners are waiting to hear what he plans to do to stop car thefts specifically. Car theft is a crime, so the mayor is technically correct to say there’s a crime wave, and there was a homicide and seven assaults, too. But calling what happened in the last month in our imaginary city anything other than a car-theft wave is dishonest.

It’s the same with impurity. It’s dishonest to look at the specific problem of pornography use and conclude there’s a general problem with impurity. We need to teach from the starting point of the specific problem.

When teaching is framed around impurity, most men hear the list — adultery, fornication, prostitution, pornography — and think, “Hey, I’m only doing one of those; that’s pretty good!” That’s a reasonable thing to think when it’s framed that way. We’re all human; we all sin; if we avoid most sin, we’re doing okay. And we can always think of someone whose behavior is worse than ours to assure ourselves we’re doing okay.

That line of thinking is dangerous, however, and it has contributed to pornography’s proliferation. First, God does not call us to be okay. He calls us to be holy as He is holy, perfect as He is perfect.

Second, of course you haven’t done the first three. It’s really easy to not have sex with another person, especially when pornography is an available substitute. Patting yourself on the back for not hiring a prostitute — if you even knew how — is pretty pathetic.

By using “impurity” as a stand-in for what we all know the real problem is, pastors and youth-group leaders have unwittingly inflated young men’s views of themselves and made it easier to rationalize pornography use when temptations arise.

*   *   *

So, what should we do instead?

First, call it what it is. Give sermons on pornography. Be specific. Be honest.

Second, address it early. “Impurity” is a euphemism, but it’s not the worst one. The worst is “adult entertainment.” It’s terrible because it signals to children, “This is what adults do,” and what kid doesn’t want to be like an adult? But it’s also terrible because it’s antiquated. Given that most people see pornography for the first time before age 15, sometimes as early as 10, if you don’t talk to kids about it before they turn 18 because you think it’s inappropriate, you’ve missed your chance by years. Every middle-school ministry needs to address pornography directly and in some depth.

Third, we need to understand that pornography isn’t something that appeals only to losers or creeps. The cool kids at school use pornography, and they talk about it at the cool kids’ lunch table. It’s becoming so commonplace that people aren’t ashamed to talk about it with friends. Why would they be ashamed when they don’t think it’s wrong? Porn users aren’t a type or a subculture. Everyone is susceptible.

Finally, separate pornography from other sexual sins. We aren’t backpedaling on Scripture when we teach that anger is a different sin from murder, even though Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount that being angry at a brother or sister is like murder. Jesus is teaching that those sins have the same source in our hearts, not that they have the same consequences.

Imagine if every sermon associated anger with murder. Most people would be afraid to talk openly in church about the times when they felt angry, lest it make them seem like a murderer. A similar dynamic is at play with pornography. People don’t feel comfortable talking about it in church because they feel like it’s akin to admitting you’re an adulterer.

*   *   *

None of this is to deny that pornography is evil, sinful, and wrong. It disgusts God. It makes a mockery of the idea that our bodies are temples for the Holy Spirit. It feeds expectations that no real-life woman could ever — or should ever be expected to — meet. We should not lower God’s standards for sexual morality, and we should not take a more accommodating view of pornography use.

We should take a different approach to upholding the same standard. The approach we have taken has failed. Pornography is a spiritual disaster, much as an earthquake is a natural disaster, and the wreckage is all around us. After an earthquake, people learn from the calamity. They rebuild in different places. They use earthquake-resistant architecture so that the next one won’t do as much damage. They don’t ignore that an earthquake just happened, or instead ponder tornadoes, hurricanes, and volcanic eruptions.

Our problem isn’t impurity. It’s pornography.

“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”





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Seminarian ousted after reporting his imposed spiritual director’s remarks about homosexuality | News

YONKERS, New York, July 7, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – An ex-seminarian has revealed that he was ousted from seminary after “resisting” a spiritual director who was not only imposed upon him in violation of canon law, but praised shamanism, appeared to praise homosexuality, and embraced heterodox ideas, such as the “ordination” of women.  

Robert, who wishes to keep his last name anonymous, told LifeSiteNews that his dismissal occurred soon after he expressed concerns that his appointed spiritual director was promoting homosexuality. 

Recordings taken during the time of Robert’s dismissal from St. Joseph’s Seminary Dunwoodie in the Diocese of Albany revealed that he was openly accused of  “a resistance to the formation process” and “distrust of the process.” He was also told that one of his issues was “an adherence” to what he “felt was orthodoxy compared to what the Church taught as orthodoxy.”   

Robert told LifeSiteNews that when he asked Monsignor Peter Vaccari, the seminary rector at the time, for an example of his resistance to formation, “the one he mentioned first as most serious was that I resisted the spiritual director, Father Christopher DeGiovine, the diocese appointed to me.” 

Robert explained regarding DeGiovine, “He is the priest who, during my second meeting with him, asked if I was a homosexual in response to my explanation of the supernatural and spiritual beauty of celibacy. On the third meeting, uninitiated by me, DeGiovine stated, ‘In the ancient pagan world homosexuals were regarded as closer to the divine.’ He then proceeded to praise shamanism before I cut him off and essentially indicated I was not interested in that topic.” 

Robert’s attempts to replace DeGiovine 

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Robert revealed that his supervisor, Father Rick Lesser, told him to set up a meeting with DeGiovine in June 2017. Later that month, Robert asked Father Anthony Ligato, Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Albany, if he had to meet with DeGiovine as a diocesan requirement.  

“Ligato evasively didn’t answer my question directly but said that all the people they wanted me to meet with on my pastoral year were [chosen] so I would have ‘exposure to the liberal church,’” Robert explained.  

On July 14th, 2017, the then-seminarian requested a meeting with Bishop Scharfenberger to discuss the issue of DeGiovine.

“Scharfenberger claimed he wasn’t aware of what was going on, promised to look into it, but did not rescind what Ligato/ Lesser were trying to pressure me to do. Without the bishop stepping in, I was forced to go to DeGiovine,” Robert stated. 

Robert again asked Ligato to replace DeGiovine as a spiritual director during a meeting, and Ligato told Robert he wanted him to meet with DeGiovine four times in order to “show good faith.” After his fourth meeting with DeGiovine, Robert emailed Ligato on February 3, 2018, asking to replace DeGiovine with another priest as spiritual director. Ligato finally acquiesced. 

The seminarian had also informed the rector about his concerns about DeGiovine during Vaccari’s visit on Oct 27, 2017. He also informed Father Richard Veras, Director of Pastoral Formation at Dunwoodie on Sept 15, 2017, and again in March 2018. He mentioned his concerns about DeGiovine to others in private as well. 

Forced spiritual director violates canon law 

Forcing a seminarian to see a spiritual director not of his own choosing, regardless of the spiritual director’s orthodoxy, is a canonical violation: Canon 246 §4. states in reference to seminarians that it is “recommended that each have a director of his spiritual life whom he has freely chosen and to whom he can confidently open his conscience.” 

In one of his sessions with Robert, DeGiovine agreed that they should be meeting only if Robert wanted him as a spiritual director. DeGiovine told Robert, “Here’s my dilemma. If you’re asking me to be your spiritual director, then that’s confidential, and that’s something you need to want to do. From my perspective, to mandate spiritual direction is a waste of your time and a waste of my time.” 

“According to DeGiovine, during the whole time this transpired the diocese never formally informed DeGiovine that they regarded him as my spiritual director,” Robert told LifeSiteNews. 

A recording of Robert’s exit conversation with Father Ligato, the Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Albany, reveals that DeGiovine had shared that Robert didn’t “open up” to him, even though he met with him.  

The very fact that DeGiovine revealed to another priest that Robert didn’t “open up” makes DeGiovine “complicit in violating spiritual direction,” said Robert.

“If I had ‘opened up’ it seems obvious he would have provided more detailed reports or other indications that he felt I should be rejected, which is a violation of spiritual direction,” he continued. 

He added: “Besides, every spiritual director and numerous priests I have spoken with have said this statement alone was a serious violation of the internal forum.”   

While Robert “did not mention DeGiovine’s promotion of homosexuality and how unsettling it was” to him “explicitly” to  Scharfenberger, Ligato, DeGiovine or Lesser, he did bring his concerns to the external faculty of the seminary after replacing DeGiovine. The decision to oust Robert from the seminary appears to have closely followed this event. 

Robert formally reports his concerns  

Robert recounted, “I had a meeting in October of 2018 at which I informed the entire external faculty of Dunwoodie of the homosexual statements of DeGiovine. It was at that meeting that I told [them] that DeGiovine had stated “in ancient pagan times homosexuals were regarded as closer to the divine,” and spoke of the “value of shamanism.” I also mentioned an earlier instance with DeGiovine when I spoke of the beauty of celibacy according to a Catholic understanding. It was at that point that Degiovine oddly questioned if I was a homosexual (which I am not).” 

Robert explained that November 27, 2018 is the date the seminary faculty discussed what he had said regarding his concerns about DeGiovine. This was confirmed by Ligato, who can be heard telling Robert in a recording of his dismissal discussion, “everything that occurred, occurred, as you know, on November 27th, on my visit, when they reported to me and gave me the evaluation.”  

In early December 2018, Robert was asked to leave. Vaccari, the seminary rector,  explained to Robert ”the considerations” he needed to make “about either withdrawal or resignation,” in the words of Ligato, who subsequently set up a meeting with Robert in mid-December 2018 to “discuss the reasons for the decisions that have been made.” 

Dunwoodie’s decision seemed to be a sudden reversal 

Robert pointed out that before he expressed his concerns about DeGiovine to the seminary external faculty, he had not heard of any reservations from seminary faculty about his ordination.

“The diocese claimed that they initially thought there were no problems with [me] moving ahead,” said Robert.

This claim is supported by written evaluations, including one that was made in summer 2018 by his supervisor, Father Lesser, only months before his dismissal. The evaluation reveals that Robert received much positive feedback from Lesser, including comments that are at odds with later claims that Robert had a “lack of Gospel joy” and that it was a “challenge” for him “to engage with other people.” 

Lesser wrote that Robert “appears to enjoy being with the parishioners in a good and healthy way, and they are equally happy to be around Robert,” and that “for good reasons, Robert is beloved by parishioners young and old. They see him as a dedicated and kind man.”  

Furthermore, Robert told LifeSiteNews that Ligato had “personally informed” him that he saw no objection to his ordination, and Robert even received an email in November of 2018 advising him to begin preparations for the diaconate.  

Director of Vocations admits forced spiritual direction 

It was during the mid-December meeting in which the “reasons” for Robert’s dismissal were discussed that Ligato confirmed that it was Lesser, Robert’s supervisor, who suggested the appointment of Fr. DeGiovine as a spiritual director. According to Ligato, DeGiovine was intended to “challenge” Robert. 

On one of the recordings shared with LifeSiteNews, Robert can be heard telling Ligato during the meeting, “Canonically they have to give us access to a spiritual director of free choosing. I was told that that’s not permitted.” 

Ligato responded, “That was a miscommunication. You always had the ability to use your own spiritual director, aside from the one I was also asking you to use.” 

“So I was allowed to use two?” asked Robert. 

“Yeah.” 

“Would I have to use one that wasn’t of my choosing?”  

“Right. And the reason for that, Robert, is that I wanted to challenge you.”  

“Where did that come from? You made the decision?” 

“Myself, Fr. Lesser. Fr. Lesser made the recommendation. I said ok, let’s see how this works out. … I wanted to see how you would interact with him. With someone who was going to be totally contrary.” 

Robert pointed out, “Well, the relationship with spiritual direction involves revelation of soul.” 

“Could you open up to anybody who you don’t agree with?” asked Ligato. 

Robert soon went on to say, “I couldn’t understand how canonically my rights [could be] violated. And revelation of soul is something different from counseling, and to require – and this isn’t me, this is what I was told at seminary basically and even [by] my other spiritual directors at the seminary – that no one can require revelation of soul – .” 

Ligato interrupted Robert to say, “Well, I couldn’t require it, could I? Because you didn’t do it. You did meet with him, but you didn’t open yourself up to him, so I couldn’t require you to do that, I can’t make you do anything that you don’t want to do. But that has always been a problem with your formation.”  

Robert commented to LifeSiteNews, “Note how despite all their accusations of me, they never once accuse me of lying, distorting the events, etc. Instead I am accused of resisting what was being done. If I had lied they would have called me out very quickly.” 

DeGiovine’s heterodoxy: symptom of a bigger problem 

The public record reveals that flagrant rejection of Catholic teaching is promoted not only by DeGiovine, but by other influential priests in the Diocese of Albany. More subtle signs of heterodoxy are shown by the bishop himself. 

DeGiovine has been publicly reported to hold heterodox stances on the priesthood, going so far as to propose women’s ordination as a solution to a priest shortage. 

A May 2004 issue of Ad Majoriem Dei Gloriam, a newsletter issued by Roman Catholic Faithful, Inc, reported, “In 1989, Fr. Christopher DeGiovine, then director of vocations for the Diocese, in an interview in The Evangelist said that the priest shortage would not be solved until women are ordained, priests are allowed to marry, or an optional five-or-ten year commitment is allowed for men who think they might want to be priests.” 

A Times Union report from 2013 confirmed that this was still DeGiovine’s stance, stating that “Fr. DeGiovine, who has long supported the ordination of women, pointed to historical studies which have determined women have served as deacons, raising this as a possible role that could develop.”  DeGiovine also said, “We have a long way to go to address the role of women in the Church.” 

DeGiovine showed contempt for the belief that priesthood is a “higher calling” in a conversation with Robert during what was supposed to be one of their “spiritual direction” sessions. 

“We say it’s about serving people…but then we ordain, and not only do we ordain, but we say ‘You’re special. You’re extra special. You’re not like any of those other people.’ And even in a degraded form, we say it’s the ‘higher calling’,” DeGiovine can be heard saying in a recording shared with LifeSiteNews. 

“I’m talking about a degraded form of the theology, which I see more and more among priests,” DeGiovine continued.

“A desire to be separate from. I think clothing does that. One way we do it is we dress differently,” he continued, signaling his rejection of clerical dress. 

Far from rejecting the idea of priesthood as a higher calling, the Catholic Church esteems all forms of consecrated life as higher than the married state. Pope John Paul II wrote in the apostolic exhortation Vita Consecrata, “As a way of showing forth the Church’s holiness, it is to be recognized that the consecrated life, which mirrors Christ’s own way of life, has an objective superiority.”  

Pope Pius XII’s encyclical Sacras Virginitas states that the “doctrine of the excellence of virginity and of celibacy and of their superiority over the married state was…revealed by our divine Redeemer and by the Apostle of the Gentiles; so too, it was solemnly defined as a dogma of divine faith by the holy Council of Trent, and explained in the same way by all the holy Fathers and doctors of the Church.” 

Chaplaincy program suppresses Christianity, encourages bisexual porn  

That DeGiovine is only one symptom of a pervasive doctrinal problem at Dunwoodie is powerfully illustrated by Robert’s revelations about the seminary’s chaplaincy program, called Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). 

Robert revealed that the director of the required CPE program at Albany Medical Center, Harlan Ratmeyer, encouraged him to “set aside” his Catholic beliefs not only among his co-chaplain peers, but while ministering to the sick at hospitals. 

According to Robert, one instance of Ratmeyer’s suppression of Christianity occurred when he told a Baptist co-chaplain that he couldn’t use Jesus as a theme for his morning “mediation service” because it wasn’t “universal enough for the other chaplains.” 

However, under Ratmeyer’s supervision, Robert and his CPE co-chaplains of different faith denominations were made to listen to a “bi-sexual” explicit pornographic “poem” from a co-chaplain who identified as “transgender.”  

Robert’s CPE evaluation said that this individual, who was “in transition,” “ignited strong reactions” after sharing what Ratmeyer described as “a reading that opened us to the struggles and issues one in transition faces.”  

A transcript of the “poem” reveals, however, that it is not about the “struggles” of transition, but about sexual reasons why the writer has “always wanted to be both man and woman.” 

In a recording shared with LifeSite News, and in which a few of the co-chaplains can be heard expressing their concerns about the “poem,” Ratmeyer can be heard saying, “However, when we’re working with families, patients, we have to set aside our doctrinal convictions, beliefs, and be present to that person in their context; is not the time to give witness to [indiscernible].” 

According to Ratmeyer, the reaction of the chaplains to this pornographic writing should have been one of “curiosity” and “reverence.” He wrote in Robert’s evaluation, commenting on the reaction of Robert and other chaplains to the reading, “It seemed difficult for these peers to approach the incident with curiosity and reverence, such as we would expect from ourselves in patient care.” 

Robert characterized the CPE program as “literally pagan/liberal indoctrination,” and said it “promoted Buddhism, the Enneagram, New Age practices, called God a female, promoted LGBT propaganda, etc. Anything and everything was acceptable except Christianity.” 

The rainbow-checkered past of Fr. Mark Reamer 

Robert further revealed that another priest of the Diocese of Albany, who was assigned by Bishop Scharfenberger to be a “mentor” for newly ordained priests as well as a high school chaplain, has gone so far as to publicly endorse homosexuality during a “gay pride” event. 

During his time as pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Raleigh, Father Mark Reamer gave an opening invocation at the “OutRaleigh” LGBT pride event, which featured a “grand finale” drag show, as the festival archives reveal. 

The Franciscan Friars of the Holy Province website shared that Reamer was “among more than a half-dozen religious leaders who welcomed participants to the inaugural OutRaleigh festival, a celebration of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.” 

A May 18, 2011 post from the blog of his former Raleigh parish related that Reamer said in his speech during the May 14 festival, “The Catholic Church’s pastoral message is one of acceptance of self within the divinely revealed truth about the dignity and destiny of human persons.” The blog post went on to note that “[p]articipants had the opportunity to learn firsthand about St. Francis GLBT Ministry by coming to a table set up at the festival, and that “[t]his year will mark the year that the ministry has been the sole Catholic parish presence at Pride.” 

Raleigh’s St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church has an ongoing “LGBTQ+” ministry which promotes in various ways the idea that being “gay” is something positively willed by God. For example, one of their past retreat flyers reads, “Different by Design,” and one of their pamphlets reads “Christian by Choice, GLBT by God’s Design.” 

One of the listed reading resources for the group is a book called “Spiritual Direction and the Gay Person,” which declines to comment on the morality of homosexual acts. It states, “Homosexuality is one of God’s most significant gifts to humanity” and “Some directors may sense that when that person is homosexual that God is present in a homosexual way. Such an attitude is the bottom line for authentic work with gays and lesbians. Nothing less can be expected of the director.” 

Robert added that a retreat Reamer offered at Dunwoodie “had homosexual musical productions for meditations,” including one taken from the musical Rent, which involves several characters in homosexual relationships. 

Albany bishop complicit in LGBT heterodoxy 

It is notable that Bishop Scharfenberger, who has headed the Diocese of Albany since 2014, has publicly supported “LGBTQ identity” and made public statements that could be construed as approval of homosexual acts.  

A Jan. 11, 2020 Times Union report shared that in 2017, Scharfenberger attended “safe space” training with “about 20 other people” in the Diocese of Albany. He did this “in an effort to be sensitive to the needs of the LGBTQ community,” according to Scharfenberger’s communications director, Mary DeTurris Poust. 

Robert said that “safe space training” seminars “teach people to use proper pronouns” when referring to gender-confused individuals. At their core, such seminars teach attendees to affirm the “queer” identities of others, including gender-confused individuals. 

“The fact that the bishop not only personally attended an event of this nature but that he also brought other chancery employees to it is deeply troubling. The troubling thing for me personally is also that the bishop decided to secretly attend this event around the time I was forced to go to DeGiovine,” he stated. 

The Times Union report also quoted Scharfenberger as saying, “I know priests who are gay, and they’re great. It’s never wrong to love another person. Never.” 

Robert noted, “It is interesting he doesn’t make any qualifications about celibacy. This statement of Scharfenberger’s is problematic because either he approves of homosexual behavior/acts, or he equates temptations with sin. In addition to that, he permanently brands them with the object of their temptation which seeks to draw them away from God.” 

Homosexual seminary subculture 

Despite Vatican prohibitions on ordaining homosexual men, there have been numerous reports from across the world of rampant homosexuality in seminaries, as well as reports of expulsions of seminarians for being orthodox or heterosexual. 

For example, in 2018, 48 seminarians wrote a letter to their formators complaining of an “epidemic” of homosexuality at the Tegucigalpa major seminary in Honduras. The National Catholic Register reported that they wrote “of their fear of being expelled or dismissed as gossipers by their formators for complaining about homosexuality.” 

During the same year, Father David Marsden, S.C.J., shared an open letter he had written to the bishops of England, Scotland and Wales, saying he’d been terminated from his position at the leading English seminary for trying to uphold the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality. 

Father Dariusz Oko, a priest who became world-famous in 2013 for his essay on clerical homosexuality, “With the Pope Against Homoheresy“, told LifeSiteNews in a 2018 interview that the revelations about Cardinal Theodore McCarrick represent only “the tip of the iceberg” of homosexual misconduct among the clergy. 

“According to reliable estimates, it is estimated that about 30 to 40 per cent of priests and 40 to 50 per cent of bishops in the USA have homosexual inclinations,” said Oko. 

Stephen Brady, who has been active in uncovering abuse and corruption in the Catholic Church in the United States for over two decades, noted in a March interview, “In many cases from what I’m hearing, they’re weeding out orthodox young men in the seminaries. They’re only taking in the effeminate or the homosexual types.” 

LifeSiteNews reached out to St. Joseph’s Seminary for comment. Fr. Richard Veras stated “I don’t think so” when asked if he or anyone at the seminary would like to comment on Robert’s expulsion. LifeSiteNews has also left a message for the current rector and is awaiting a response.



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Bishop Schneider: ‘We are living in a spiritual battle between truth and lies’ | News

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PARIS, France, July 5, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – During a recent trip to France, where he ordained two priests and two deacons for the traditional Latin Mass at the Institute of the Good Shepherd, Bishop Athanasius Schneider gave a large number of talks and interviews about his book of conversations with Diane Montagna, Christus Vincit, last year translated into French. Bishop Schneider, who is the auxiliary bishop of Nur Soltan, the capital of Kazakhstan, is known for his outspokenness and his steadfastness in defending the traditional beliefs and doctrines of the Church. Answering the questions of Gabrielle Cluzel of the French independent web media, “Boulevard Voltaire,” he stated very clearly that Islam is a false religion, saying: 

We are living in a spiritual battle between truth and lies. Between the true religion, which is only the Catholic faith, which was revealed by God and given to all men, and the other religions, and in a special way Islam, which is a very strong religion, politically tooalso. The clergy must be very honest, to say that there are intrinsic dangers in this religion: the element of physical violence, intolerance, discrimination against people considered as non-Muslims, second class citizens.

In contrast with the pro-migration narrative of so many French bishops, Schneider warned that the political trend in welcoming ever more Muslim migrants into France and Europe – a situation he called the “de facto islamization of France and now of Europe” –   means that this transformation is only a matter of time. 

Calling for the “true apostolic missionary zeal” in the face of Islam, Bishop Schneider said: “We have to offer our brothers and sisters who are Muslim citizens the happiness of hearing the truth of the Catholic faith too.” 

Gabrielle Cluzel asked Bishop Schneider about the religious state of France and the coronavirus crisis in particular. The bishop emphasized that France, despite its secularism derived from the French Revolution, still impressed him with its public mobilization for the right to public worship during the COVID lockdowns, when hundreds of faithful of all ages joined prayerful demonstrations to protest against “arbitrary measures” on the part of the secularist government. 

Referring to the COVID crisis, Bishop Schneider called it the manifestation of a “new religion”: “the religion of the body, or the religion of bodily health only, with all its forms of fear, intimidation, panic…” He added: “A large part of the population has allowed itself to be intimidated because it had already lived in the midst of a vision of the body only, not of spirituality, not of the vision that there is still an eternal life, that there is still the immortality of the soul. It was a demonstration of the state of our society, completely materialistic and living a new religion.” 

Here below is LifeSite’s full translation of Bishop Schneider’s interview with Gabrielle Cluzel on “Boulevard Voltaire.” 

Gabrielle Cluzel : I would like us to talk about France since your frequent travels allow you to make comparisons and put things in perspective. What would you say about French Catholics? 

Bishop Schneider : I was impressed during the lockdown by the example of French Catholics when they protested in a peaceful way against these arbitrary measures, the prohibition of worship. We saw many Catholics in various places in France praying the rosary in public, on the sidewalk, on their knees, with young people, children. I don’t know of any other example in Europe of this very strong way of expressing fidelity to worship, to Sunday Mass during the lockdown. Even if [they did not turn out] in large numbers, it was still a very impressive example. I think that French Catholics have the heritage of the martyrs of the persecution of the Church that took place during the French Revolution, and then the example of the fidelity of the Catholics of the Vendée, and of the saints who are today known and best loved throughout the world, the French saints: the Curé d’Ars, St. Therese of the Child Jesus… The devotion to the Sacred Heart began in France with Saint Marguerite-Marie Alacoque at Paray-le-Monial, and then the Eucharistic devotion was promoted in a very strong way by Saint Pierre-Julien Eymard, a French saint.  There are also the missionary congregations, very meritorious, from France: the mission to Africa, in a particular way, was founded by French missionaries. I think that Catholic France has been a gift to the whole Church with its great treasure of spirituality, of saints. Now we can observe that there are communities in France, however small, that try to keep this faith, this fidelity of the Catholic faith, and to transmit this faith to the younger generations. This is a sign of hope. 

G. C. : It is true that we are lacking hope a little because, without being a catastrophist, if I do a brief review of the situation in France, there are dozens of churches that have burned down in the last few years, destroyed either by malice or by negligence. But the facts are there: there are desecrations, thefts of religious goods. There are more than a thousand anti-religious acts recorded per year in France, and Catholicism is the most attacked religion. You remember that Father Hamel had his throat cut in his church; there are faithful in Nice who were assassinated by Islamists in their basilica. In another vein, there are Catholic priests who were insulted and maltreated while processioning to Montmartre; the Mass was forbidden during the COVID lockdown, and priests and faithful were denounced as bad citizens because they did not observe the rules to the letter… You yourself experienced in your childhood what it means to be persecuted in your faith and not to be able to practice it. Do you think that this could happen in France in the short or medium term? Or should we not give in to pessimism? 

Bishop Schneider: These phenomena that you have described are already signs [of persecution], but at the same time I think that Catholics in France must not let themselves be intimidated. You must have a spirit of courage and of public witness, and of defense of the rights of Catholics, of the faithful. You have to have associations, including with all people of good will, to protect the fundamental rights of Christians in the public space. Perhaps there will come a time when Catholics will be isolated, discriminated against. I don’t think it will be a direct, bloody persecution, as was the case during the French Revolution. I think there is a possibility that Catholics will be isolated, discriminated against in public life and in their professional life, because of their fidelity to the faith. I have in mind the possibility of this subtle, cunning form of persecution. 

G.C.: I must point out that our readers are sometimes quite critical of the clergy because our readers are sometimes more cultural than worshiping CatholicsThey are not always practicing Catholics, but they are people who are attached to the Christian roots of France. And in their comments, they sometimes judge the Catholic Church to be not very comprehensible, or even to be ineffectual, in the face of the massive and visible rise of Islam in our country. It is as if a certain vision of charity and inter-religious dialogue paralyzed them. What do you think of this? Is there not a spiritual battle to be waged by the Church? 

Bishop Schneider: Of course, we must have a realistic vision because we are living in a spiritual battle between truth and lies, between the true religion, which is only the Catholic faith, which was revealed by God and given to all men, and the other religions – and in a special way Islam, which is a very strong religion: politically too. The clergy must be very honest, must say that there are intrinsic dangers in this religion: the element of physical violence, intolerance, discrimination against people considered non-Muslims, second class citizens. But this has always been the case in Muslim countries where we can observe the same thing. We must dialogue with Islam, of course, but with honesty, sincerity. And it must be said that our European culture, marked by Christianity or the very strong Catholic faith, should be preserved in our society. The de facto Islamization of France and now of Europe, we can observe it by the promotion of migrants through politics. Thus, the numerical presence of Islam is still increasing. It is only a question of time. At the same time, we can observe this phenomenon: a great part of the clergy, of the episcopate, does not possess missionary zeal, the true apostolic missionary zeal, to preach the Gospel, the Catholic faith, to our society and also to Islam. We have to offer our brothers and sisters who are Muslim citizens the happiness of hearing the truth of the Catholic faith too. 

G.C.: The French sometimes have the feeling that Catholicism and with it the civilization it has shaped are in the process of fading away, of tiptoeing away. Is this inexorable or do you think there is reason to hope? You have given us some signs, but what is your reply to those who say that ultimately this exit from Catholicism and Western civilization is just the unavoidable course of history? 

Bishop Schneider: We have been able to observe this process since the French Revolution. The beginning was there: the destruction of Christian civilization, and at all levels of society the appearance of the so-called secular or religion-free spirit. And now we have the fruits of this process of two centuries of secularization. Nevertheless, I think that we can join our efforts to re-establish, little by little, the values of Christian culture: the values of the family, of morality, of the defense of life and of the presence of God in the midst of society. 

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G.C.: Should the reaction we have seen in this health crisis, this wind of fear, disproportionate to the seriousness of a crisis that no one denies but that is not comparable to the Black Death, be linked to the loss of spirituality? Will it leave its mark? 

Bishop Schneider: We live in a society, I would say, which has a new religion, and this new religion can be called the religion of the body, or the religion of bodily health only, with all its forms of fear, intimidation, panic… A large part of the population has allowed itself to be intimidated because it had already lived in the midst of a vision of the body only, not of spirituality, not of the vision that there is still an eternal life, that there is still the immortality of the soul. It was a demonstration of the state of our society, completely materialistic, and living a new religion. 

G.C.: We are witnessing in France a very strong rise of violence. There is a fragmentation of society. There is no more common destiny; moreover, people do not go out to vote any more. Isn’t this ultimately a sign of the decline of the Church as a social moderator, and does not the Church also have a mission to rebuild all this? 

Bishop Schneider: I think that the Church has [as her] principal mission to preach the divine truths: the revelation, the salvation of the soul, eternal salvation. This is the first mission of the Church. We can observe this behavior towards the political election: people have no more interest for the common good, for society. It is an expression, a demonstration of selfishness that is the consequence of materialism. We have to re-establish the interest for the common good for all and also a spiritual vision of man, of human life that is not only material – and it is the task of the Church to proclaim that there is still another life. Not only the material, bodily life, health. There is another life, the life of the soul, the life with God, the supernatural life, the eternal life. And this is the task of the Church. I think that at present the clergy, the hierarchy, has failed in its duty to preach very clearly this vision of immortal life, of supernatural life, of eternal life. 

G.C.: Conservative Catholics are often criticized for always saying that it was better in the old days, as the Latin aphorism goes. Even Pope Francis recently warned Christians against preachers urging a return to past traditions in response to current crises. But, after all, wasn’t it better in the old days? 

Bishop Schneider: I think that society despises the past, the wisdom, the experience of the past, of our ancestors, that we have all received at the outset: our life and our culture. And so it is our task to pass on whatever we have received that is good and valuable. This is the exact nature of the crisis: the fact that the spirit of this secularized, secularist society has despised the fundamental values of Christian culture, and it is because of this contempt for tradition, for the past, that we have to a great extent the present crisis, which is spiritual and cultural as well. That’s why I think that this action that you mentioned doesn’t work, on the contrary. You have seen it in your own family: every family transmits to the children the experience of all the good things that this family, or the mother, or the father, must transmit. But the main, fundamental, indispensable value that every family should transmit is the faith, the Catholic faith that we have received. Each generation cannot invent it anew, but must transmit it. It is the most precious treasure. And only on the basis of this Catholic faith can we re-establish, reconstruct a social life worthy of man with a worthy culture that brings us true happiness, also, possibly, here on earth – where it is always a limited, fragile happiness – but always to guide us towards eternal and perpetual happiness. 



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Meghan McCain: Pro-abortion Biden endangers his soul, does ‘grave spiritual harm’ | News

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June 22, 2021 (NewsBusters) –Meghan McCain is back from vacation and she’s making her presence felt on The View. The lone conservative voice on the ABC talk show, Monday, unloaded on Joe Biden, lecturing that the President is potentially imperiling his very soul, doing “grave spiritual harm” to himself by aggressively promoting abortion. While the liberal hosts parroted rote talking points about the possibility of Biden being denied communion by the Catholic Church, McCain shocked with her bluntness. 

Brushing aside the cliches of the left, McCain mocked the Democrat’s “personal” opposition to abortion: “For someone who claims to be pro-life, I don’t understand this argument. It’s like saying, ‘I’m personally opposed to murder, but if you want to murder a little bit, it’s fine because it’s not my problem.’ It doesn’t register with me. I don’t get it, so it’s ultimately up to the Church, but he’s walking a very fine line here.” 

The token conservative then seemed to suggest Biden could be in spiritual danger: “All of these issues are life and death for Catholics, for devout Christians, and he’s going to have to ultimately talk to his creator when the time comes as we all do, and reconcile his politics with his — with his personal faith, and I believe that he’s doing grave spiritual harm to himself and harm to this country.”  

Liberal host Sara Haines echoed Hostin, insisting that “the sacrament is such an individual choice.” 

I absolutely believe if you honor the democracy and the state of our country, you cannot have religion going into government and government going into religion. You have to keep those two lanes separate. I think the big problem here is that the church is politicizing communion which is a very sacred practice. The sacrament is such an individual choice when you go into your church. 

Liberal co-host Whoopi Goldberg marveled, “I’ve never thought of America as being a religious country. I always thought of America being the country of religious freedom.” 

Meghan McCain and her mother Cindy have been close friends of the Biden family. So her strident objections to Biden’s strong support of abortion are even more notable. The rest of the media should pay attention. 

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The uncensored airing of conservative thought on The View was sponsored by CarFax and Carvana. Click on the link to let them know you’d like to see more of that. 

A partial transcript is below.

The View
6/21/2021

11:04 AM ET 

SUNNY HOSTIN: It is a political issue, and we all know that there must be a separation between church and state, and I just don’t understand how this has come about, Whoopi, and as you mentioned, we have heard the deafening silence from the Catholic church on issues of immigration, on issues of the death penalty, on issues across the board. I mean, when you really look at Catholic doctrine, why when the Attorney General Barr was pushing the death penalty, he’s Catholic, which is also just uniformly opposed according to Catholic doctrine. Why was he not, you know – not permitted to receive communion? …

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Meghan, were you surprised at these bishops coming forward like this? 

MEGHAN MCCAIN: It’s not unprecedented. It happened to Andrew Cuomo as well when he came out vociferously for abortion, and he would have his Communion taken away. So it’s not unprecedented. When comes to the separation of church and state, the onus is on the government, not the Church. They will try to impede every possible way they can and influence every way they can. Everybody’s spiritual journey and relationship with God is their own personal journey, and I don’t try to proselytize my spiritual journey on other people’s. If you’re a devout Catholic, abortion is a cardinal sin that can do deep spiritual harm to you, and President Biden had been supportive of the Hyde Amendment up until 2019 when he decided to run for president, and the Hyde Amendment means the government would provide federal funding for abortion, or wouldn’t, and now he is for it. And he has shown in this upcoming budget that he is for it. 

I think that sort of has been the threshold. I remember when it happened having a conversation with a friend of mine who was close to him saying, “For me this is a deep paradigm shift for how I view President Biden,” because if he is for the federal funding of abortion, and I know the women on this show disagree with me, but as far as I’m concerned, abortion is murder, and that means the government funding of killing of the unborn, and we have to as pro-lifers fight for the lives of the unborn, and that is a doctrine as old as the Catholic church itself. So he has to choose – his official stance by the way is he’s politically — personally opposed to abortion, but doesn’t feel he has the right to impose this view on the rest of the country. 

And it just – for someone who claims to be pro-life, I don’t understand this argument. It’s like saying, “I’m personally opposed to murder, but if you want to murder a little bit, it’s fine because it’s not my problem.” It doesn’t register with me. I don’t get it, so it’s ultimately up to the church, but he’s walking a very fine line here, and ultimately, all of these issues are life and death for Catholics, for devout Christians, and he’s going to have to ultimately talk to his creator when the time comes as we all do, and reconcile his politics with his — with his personal faith, and I believe that he’s doing grave spiritual harm to himself and harm to this country.          

GOLDBERG: Okay. Sara, should Biden’s political policy on reproductive rights be used against him by his church? 

SARA HAINES: Absolutely not, and I think the issue here is the reason people are so politically mobilized by this issue is that everyone – not everyone, but the two sides disagree on the first premise of when life starts which means if people all saw it as murder, no one would be pro-choice. They don’t see it as murder. They see it as there’s a science here, and that’s a deep issue to get into. But my point being that I absolutely believe if you honor the democracy and the state of our country, you cannot have religion going into government and government going into religion. You have to keep those two lanes separate. I think the big problem here is that the church is politicizing communion which is a very sacred practice. The sacrament is such an individual choice when you go into your church. …

GOLDBERG: Yeah, and we’ll talk more about this when we come back, but I’ve never thought of America as being a religious country. I always thought of America being the country of religious freedom. We’ll be right back.

Reprinted with permission by NewsBusters



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Biden is doing spiritual damage to himself and this country by supporting abortion – HotAir

Not a perspective we hear often on mainstream American television. I’m glad someone’s around to provide it.

Biden’s views on abortion are newly germane because of the measure passed last week by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops authorizing a statement to clarify that Catholic leaders have a special duty to “witness the faith” if they receive communion. That’s a nudge to Biden to shape up on abortion or to stop accepting the Eucharist at mass. The fascinating backdrop to that move, though, is how the Conference has gone right politically at a moment when the Vatican, under Francis’s leadership, has gone left. This NYT piece about the tensions between the two has a whiff of schism about it:

The divergence of the conservative American church from Francis’ agenda is now so apparent as to become unremarkable, and Vatican officials and experts said Saturday that the pope’s silence [about the Conference’s measure] also underlined just how unsurprising the American vote, made public on Friday, was to the Vatican.

The deeply conservative American bishops conference has already flouted a remarkably explicit letter from the Vatican in May urging it to avoid the vote. It has disregarded years of the pope’s pleas to de-emphasize culture war issues and expand the scope of its mission to climate change, migration and poverty.

“White Catholics are increasingly Republican: About six in 10 registered white Catholic voters are now Republican, compared with four in 10 in 2008, according to the Pew Research Center,” the Times noted in another story about the standoff between Rome and the U.S. Catholic leadership. Go figure that as white Catholics have become more conservative, possibly in reaction to Francis’s relative liberalism, so too has the mostly white conference of bishops. In the end, Francis will get his way here and Biden will continue to receive communion regardless of what statement the bishops eventually issue. That’s because Biden’s own bishop in D.C., who gets to decide, says he’ll permit the president to go on participating. In addition, the bishops would need to support the statement they’re drafting *unanimously* for it to carry any authority. If they fall short but manage to gather two-thirds support then the measure would have authority only if Francis himself also supports it.

Which isn’t going to happen. The Pope’s not going to tell the president of the United States not to receive the Eucharist. But the bishops sure could put him on the spot by getting two-thirds and forcing him to take a position on the matter.

How sure are we, though, that American Catholics support the bishops on denying communion to Biden? Pew polled the issue in March and got this result:

Only 29 percent in favor. Even Catholic Republicans are nearly evenly split, a sign of squeamishness about telling the second Catholic president in American history that he can’t participate in the sacrament. The obvious reply to the lack of public support is to say that it doesn’t matter what rank-and-file Catholics think; the Church is a hierarchy and the bishops make the rules, subject to the Pope’s approval. But there’s no Church in practice if no one’s in the pews for mass. If the Conference signals to pro-choice Catholics that they can’t receive the Eucharist and those people stop attending, the Church will begin to look more like evangelical Christianity over time, essentially an adjunct of a single political party.

Maybe that’s for the best. Let the Catholics who don’t want to follow the Church’s doctrinal teachings go. But institutions as a rule tend not to seek their own diminution. Who’s going to pay the bills?

Another recent poll, this time from Gallup, found that a new record high number of Americans believes abortion is morally acceptable. Forty-seven percent say so versus 46 percent who say it’s morally wrong, the first time in 20 years of polling that the former has outpolled the latter. Republican opinion has been steady over those 20 years; it’s Democrats and especially independents who have driven the shift.

I don’t know how to explain that recent spike among independents except possibly as a reaction to Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation and the sudden likelihood that abortion might be made illegal. There may be some indies who have no firm views on abortion but feel drawn to provide a counterweight to whichever party’s in power and at risk of “overreach.” Independents might have swung around to the status quo on Roe once Barrett was put in a position to end it. Speaking of which, Gallup also found that 58 percent oppose overturning Roe, in line with opinion over the past 30 years. Nearly the same share oppose banning abortions after the 18th week of pregnancy.

Here’s McCain. In lieu of an exit question, read this amazing story about the world’s most premature baby. He was born after 21 weeks and could fit in the palm of his parents’ hands. Doctors gave him no chance of survival. He just turned one and is doing fine.





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McCain UNLOADS: Pro-Abortion Biden Endangers His Soul, Does ‘Grave Spiritual Harm’

Meghan McCain is back from vacation and she’s making her presence felt on The View. The lone conservative voice on the ABC talk show, Monday, unloaded on Joe Biden, lecturing that the President is potentially imperiling his very soul, doing “grave spiritual harm” to himself by aggressively promoting abortion. While the liberal hosts parroted rote talking points about the possibility of Biden being denied communion by the Catholic Church, McCain shocked with her bluntness. 

Brushing aside the cliches of the left, McCain mocked the Democrat’s “personal” opposition to abortion: “For someone who claims to be pro-life, I don’t understand this argument. It’s like saying, ‘I’m personally opposed to murder, but if you want to murder a little bit, it’s fine because it’s not my problem.’ It doesn’t register with me. I don’t get it, so it’s ultimately up to the church, but he’s walking a very fine line here.” 

The token conservative then seemed to suggest Biden could be in spiritual danger: “All of these issues are life and death for Catholics, for devout Christians, and he’s going to have to ultimately talk to his creator when the time comes as we all do, and reconcile his politics with his — with his personal faith, and I believe that he’s doing grave spiritual harm to himself and harm to this country.” 

 

 

Liberal co-host Sunny Hostin attacked Catholics who want Biden denied communion by saying, “We all know that there must be a separation between church and state.” McCain dismissed, “When comes to the separation of church and state, the onus is on the government, not the church. They will try to impede every possible way they can and influence every way they can.”

Liberal host Sara Haines echoed Hostin, insisting that “the sacrament is such an individual choice.” 

I absolutely believe if you honor the democracy and the state of our country, you cannot have religion going into government and government going into religion. You have to keep those two lanes separate. I think the big problem here is that the church is politicizing communion which is a very sacred practice. The sacrament is such an individual choice when you go into your church. 

Liberal co-host Whoopi Goldberg marveled, “I’ve never thought of America as being a religious country. I always thought of America being the country of religious freedom.” 

Meghan McCain and her mother Cindy have been close friends of the Biden family. So her strident objections to Biden’s strong support of abortion are even more notable. The rest of the media should pay attention. 

The uncensored airing of conservative thought on The View was sponsored by CarFax and Carvana. Click on the link to let them know you’d like to see more of that. 

A partial transcript is below. Click “expand” to read more. 

The View
6/21/2021

11:04 AM ET 

SUNNY HOSTIN: It is a political issue, and we all know that there must be a separation between church and state, and I just don’t understand how this has come about, Whoopi, and as you mentioned, we have heard the deafening silence from the Catholic church on issues of immigration, on issues of the death penalty, on issues across the board. I mean, when you really look at Catholic doctrine, why when the Attorney General Barr was pushing the death penalty, he’s Catholic, which is also just uniformly opposed according to Catholic doctrine. Why was he not, you know — not permitted to receive communion? 

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Meghan, were you surprised at these bishops coming forward like this? 

MEGHAN MCCAIN: It’s not unprecedented. It happened to Andrew Cuomo as well when he came out vociferously for abortion, and he would have his communion taken away. So it’s not unprecedented. When comes to the separation of church and state, the onus is on the government, not the church. They will try to impede every possible way they can and influence every way they can. Everybody’s spiritual journey and relationship with God is their own personal journey, and I don’t try to proselytize my spiritual journey on other people’s. If you’re a devout Catholic, abortion is a cardinal sin that can do deep spiritual harm to you, and President Biden had been supportive of the Hyde Amendment up until 2019 when he decided to run for president, and the Hyde Amendment means the government would provide federal funding for abortion, or wouldn’t, and now he is for it. And he has shown in this upcoming budget that he is for it. 

I think that sort of has been the threshold. I remember when it happened having a conversation with a friend of mine who was close to him saying, For me this is a deep paradigm shift for how I view President Biden,” because if he is for the federal funding of abortion, and I know the women on this show disagree with me, but as far as I’m concerned, abortion is murder, and that means the government funding of killing of the unborn, and we have to as pro-lifers fight for the lives of the unborn, and that is a doctrine as old as the Catholic church itself. So he has to choose — his official stance by the way is he’s politically — personally opposed to abortion, but doesn’t feel he has the right to impose this view on the rest of the country. 

And it just — for someone who claims to be pro-life, I don’t understand this argument. It’s like saying, “I’m personally opposed to murder, but if you want to murder a little bit, it’s fine because it’s not my problem.” It doesn’t register with me. I don’t get it, so it’s ultimately up to the church, but he’s walking a very fine line here, and ultimately, all of these issues are life and death for Catholics, for devout Christians, and he’s going to have to ultimately talk to his creator when the time comes as we all do, and reconcile his politics with his — with his personal faith, and I believe that he’s doing grave spiritual harm to himself and harm to this country. 
                                            

GOLDBERG: Okay. Sara, should Biden’s political policy on reproductive rights be used against him by his church? 

SARA HAINES: Absolutely not, and I think the issue here is the reason people are so politically mobilized by this issue is that everyone — not everyone, but the two sides disagree on the first premise of when life starts which means if people all saw it as murder, no one would be pro-choice. They don’t see it as murder. They see it as there’s a science here, and that’s a deep issue to get into. But my point being that I absolutely believe if you honor the democracy and the state of our country, you cannot have religion going into government and government going into religion. You have to keep those two lanes separate. I think the big problem here is that the church is politicizing communion which is a very sacred practice. The sacrament is such an individual choice when you go into your church. 

GOLDBERG: Yeah, and we’ll talk more about this when we come back, but I’ve never thought of America as being a religious country. I always thought of America being the country of religious freedom. We’ll be right back.



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Trump spiritual adviser Paula White says believers need to pray, push back against Biden admin

Trump spiritual adviser Pastor Paula White during an interview with Dr. Gina Loudon criticized the Biden administration and said that believers need to both pray and push back. 

She said that the president “proudly proclaims his Catholic upbringing, but even the Catholic Church is now beginning to push back on Biden and his policies because they’re totally out of alignment with our faith.”

White described what’s occurring during the current administration as “extremely dangerous and quite opposite of what we did under President Trump.”



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Abortion issue is a ‘spiritual battle’ about the ‘nature of reality,’ conservative leader tells pro-life youth | News

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OTTAWA, Canada, May 17, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Speaking at the Canadian National March for Life Youth Conference, Joseph Backholm described how the issue of abortion has been transformed into a political one, when in fact it is part of a “spiritual battle,” and based on opposition to a Biblical world view.

Backholm is the Senior Fellow for Biblical Worldview and Strategic Engagement at the Family Research Council based in Washington, D.C., where he combines extensive legal, political, and policy experience with a love for the way Biblical truth cultivates human flourishing.

Addressing the live-streamed Youth Conference following the 2021 National March for Life in Canada, he outlined the manner in which abortion has been portrayed as a political conflict, when in fact it is a religious matter, which has its roots in adherence, or rejection, of God’s word in the Bible.

When political issues aren’t political issues

Backholm noted that the political label is the reason it is often hard to get religious bodies to engage in matters of abortion, homosexuality, or gender ideology. But, he argued, the conflict is in fact not about politics, but about reality itself, and is based upon conflicting worldviews. 

He pointed to the Bible, mentioning that the book of Genesis shows what God intended the world to be in its perfect form. “Male and female He created them” read the opening chapters.

But there is no extra explanation about the relation between being male and the possibilities of feeling female, or being female but identifying as male, as transgender ideology proposes. There is simply the definition of male and female.

Scripture also adds that God gave a directive to be fruitful and multiply, as well as to rule and subdue the earth. This is yet another divine command which is rejected by the abortion advocates, explained Backholm, as they call for contraception and the use of condoms in order to “save the planet.”

The argument of “my body, my choice” is commonly used in defence of the abortion position, yet Backholm suggested that the catchphrase was also underlying the LGBT arguments in defense of same-sex relations, gender ideology and transgenderism, assisted suicide, and prostitution.

Backholm argued that underlying all these issues is the belief that one is allowed to act in whatever manner will make a person happy, and hence the mantra of “my body, my choice” in all such matters, not just abortion. 

All these issues are referred to as political issues. However, politics is a “process” not an “issue,” commented Backholm. Politics has become a place where we debate competing views of reality, he explained. In the political realm the Biblical world view is placed in opposition to the secular world view.

St. Paul’s epistle to the Galatians calls men to walk in the fruits of the Holy Spirit, but warns that humanity can easily fall into being ruled by the “deeds of the flesh,” instead of adhering to the rule of God. 

Yet, if secular culture’s claims about reality are true and “my body, my choice” is indeed the best way to live, then the world should be a widely happy place. On the other hand, if the Bible is indeed true, and God is in charge instead of man, then all of the “rebellions” against the law of God would lead only to “pain.”

Backholm said that the goal should not be merely to have a theoretical Biblical view, but to live according to this plan of God, having a worldview built upon the divinely created reality. 

Differing world views

Backholm said that views about the world depend greatly upon individual assumptions, of which the most prominent are on the subjects of “origin, meaning, morality, and destiny.” 

Each of these issues are interconnected and inform each other, causing us to ask questions such as: “Where did I come from? Does my life matter – why? How do I know what is right and wrong? What happens when I die?” 

“The things I say I believe about each of these things will have a dramatic impact,” Backholm stated. 

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Pro-life cause ultimately a spiritual battle

Yet, the danger of not basing oneself in Scripture is seemingly great, as Backholm noted that the number of Christians is declining, and not even all of those who profess to be Christian hold a Biblical worldview. 

They object to the Biblical stance on moral issues such as abortion, thinking that “it’s mean to be Christian,” having mistaken religious discussions for political ones. 

A key factor in life, Backholm stated, is doing the “right thing” despite one’s personal opinion or fear about the matter. 

“We are ultimately engaged in a spiritual battle and we have been from the beginning. It’s not surprising and don’t be scared of it. We’re in a spiritual war, you’re ultimately not arguing with a Republican or a Democrat about a political issue. These are conflicts over the nature of reality.”

If our positions are not in conjunction with what we profess, then Backholm stated that we have to “fix” them, “because we have to make sure that God is the foundation of what we believe.”

“We are in a spiritual war over truth, about the nature of reality,” he declared. “All of these political debates are just a reflection of that ultimate question.”



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German Police Ransack the Home of Judge After He Agrees with Evidence In Court that Children Are “Endangered in Their Mental, Physical and Spiritual Well-being by the Obligation to Wear Face Masks”




German Police Ransack the Home of Judge After He Agrees with Evidence In Court that Children Are “Endangered in Their Mental, Physical and Spiritual Well-being by the Obligation to Wear Face Masks”



















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Austrian bishop condones sodomy: Active homosexuals have a ‘spiritual home’ in Catholic Church | News

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INNSBRUCK, Austria, March 19, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – An Austrian Catholic bishop, reacting negatively to the Vatican’s rejection this week of blessings for homosexual couples, stated that the Church must welcome and provide a spiritual home for active homosexuals.

“As a church, we would like to offer all people who are gay, lesbian, or insecure about their sexuality a welcome and a spiritual home in the church – and not only at the point when they are celibate,” said Bishop Hermann Glettler of the Austrian Diocese of Innsbruck in a March 15 interview with Kathpress.

Glettler said that accepting active homosexuals in the Church “requires even more openness, a willingness to get to know each other and to approach one another.”

The Catholic Church, however, basing itself on Sacred Scripture, teaches that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”

“They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved,” states the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

St. Paul in one of his letters warns the Corinthians that “homosexuals” along with others such as “idolaters” and “adulterers” will “not inherit the kingdom of God.”

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The Catholic Church furthermore teaches that the homosexual inclination is also “objectively disordered” since God created sexual attraction for the purpose of drawing a man and a woman together to become husband and wife in marriage.

The Church calls all baptized persons, including those with same-sex attraction, to chastity.

Pro-LGBT Jesuit priest Fr. James Martin tweeted Glettler’s comment specifically about the Church welcoming active homosexuals. 

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The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) announced Monday that the Catholic Church cannot bless homosexual relationships since God “does not and cannot bless sin.” A question to the CDF about whether or not the Church has the “power to give the blessing to unions of persons of the same sex” was answered in the “negative” by the congregation’s prefect, Luis Cardinal Ladaria Ferrer. The congregation’s statement was assented to by Pope Francis.

The Congregation stated that it is “not licit to impart a blessing on relationships, or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage (i.e., outside the indissoluble union of a man and a woman open in itself to the transmission of life), as is the case of the unions between persons of the same sex.”

“The presence in such relationships of positive elements, which are in themselves to be valued and appreciated, cannot justify these relationships and render them legitimate objects of an ecclesial blessing, since the positive elements exist within the context of a union not ordered to the Creator’s plan,” the statement read.

Pro-homosexual Catholic bishops and priests reacted with sadness, disappointment, and even shame over the statement. Some went as far as stating publicly that they will defy the teaching and continue blessing homosexual couples.

A group of about 350 priests in Austria organized by Pastor Helmut Schüller stated in a “Call to Disobedience 2.0″ that they will “continue to bless same-sex couples.” The group stated that it “vehemently protests against the assumption that same-sex loving couples are not part of the divine plan. Here the attempt is made to undermine the reality of creation with dogmatizing presumptions.”

In his interview with Kathpress, Bishop Glettler, who is responsible for marriage and family in the country’s conference of bishops, called the CDF statement a “disappointment for all who have hoped for a clearer sign of acceptance of homosexual couples.”

Glettler has a history of opposing Catholic teaching. He said last year that the Church’s doctrine that women cannot be ordained as priests is an “inequality” that is “difficult to justify.” In 2019, he hosted seminars for divorced and “remarried” couples living in adultery in which he allowed the couples to receive Holy Communion and a “celebration of reconciliation and of blessing.” 

In 2019, the bishop allowed a “Jesus clock” made from an upside-down corpus with broken arms to be installed in a church.





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