Sunday, December 22, 2013

Gisella Barreto: „After coming to Medjugorje, I felt as if my world began to change”

Gisella Barreto: „After coming to Medjugorje, I felt as if my world began to change”

A pilgrim from Argentina, Gisella Barreto came to Medjugorje. Gisella is a very famous person in Argentina and in the other countries of Latin America as well. She won several times at the beauty contests, became TV hostess, and even though she lived in the world of glamour, none of that ever made her happy. She came to Medjugorje in 2010 as a result of her mother’s desire and that is when her world started to change. She does not work in media anymore, she does not live in the world of glamour, but she witnesses instead of that and teaches religion in schools and she said how only now she feels happy and blessed in her life after so many years. Gisella told us that she came here to thank Gospa in Medjugorje. She said that her mother was always a pillar of faith in their family and that she raised her four children in the faith. She had beautiful childhood but it all changed in the time of adolescence. That is when she was attracted to the world with all of its challenges. Gisella was very pretty and that is when she entered the world of glamour. She won at several contests and was a semi-finalist at the contest for Miss Argentina. “That life was seemingly nice and attractive, it was actually a true trap of the world. I always looked unhappy and my mom used to tell me to surrender all to God. She was in Medjugorje on three occasions and showed me Our Lady from Medjugorje and told me to thank Her for all. It was after that visit to Medjugorje that my life began to change. This is where I understood that it is not enough just to be a good person, but our soul needs to be filled with God. It was through the emptiness in the heart that the world starts to enter within us.”  


At a recent lecture, Francis Cardinal George of Chicago noted the importance of culture to Catholicism: that when our great religion has an ingrained place in local, regional, and national culture, customs, and ethnicity, it survives despite the efforts of governments to suppress or even extinguish it. He pointed out the example of Poland -- where Catholic ways remained vibrant no matter what the Communists tried to do. One could also cite Mexico and the image of Guadalupe. Culture, the cardinal told a group of us, is influenced on one side by faith (religions, moral teaching, spirituality) and on the other by secular society by way, among a number of means, of the laws it entrains (legalism). Once laws are passed, they influence how a culture views morality and soon religion. Here we see the danger of legislation that allows such things as abortion, prostitution, drug use, and homosexual marriage. They change the culture in a way that is frighteningly negative. It's important for Catholicism to adjust to cultures ("acculturate") at the same time that it does not compromise its teachings ("acculturate" also means to affect: we must adjust to cultures but also affect them). It wasn't exactly clear, at Cardinal George's lecture, how this can be done -- though the cardinal mentioned the role of a freedom in the Spirit that bequeaths to us the power to evangelize. He mentioned Pope Francis.
The solution, we deduce, must be supernatural.
It must be based in faith.
It's an urgent issue because in places like Canada and the United States, we are losing ground in the war of acculturation. There is the Utah judge who strikes down bans on homosexual wedlock. There is the Canadian legislation that basically legalizes prostitution.  There's same-sex marriage in New Mexico. There's the secularization of our Christian children at school and in front of the television and computer; in the public square, there is the removal of Christmas symbols. One can get no more religio-cultural than Christmas.
These things matter in the framework of "culture." If Christianity does not have a strong, noticeable cultural presence, it is in danger (Cardinal George noted) of suppression.
Thus the nervousness over homosexual "rights." We have arrived at the incredible cultural point, if we may expand upon some of the cardinal's points, where something that for centuries (actually, millennia) has been considered a grave sin against nature, was even illegal in the United States until a few short decades ago, is now nearly illegal to criticize. Everything, including our language, has been turned upside-down. There is the term "homophobia," which makes no more sense than the word "gay." Right is wrong and wrong is right. Sinners have become "victims." Few are afraid of homosexuals (phobic). They are afraid of the societal fruit. It is wrong to hate anyone. But words are being turned against those who follow Jesus. Suddenly, the righteous have become oppressors. Citing the Bible, meantime, verges on a "hate crime."
This is a very sobering point: quoting the Bible could be deemed as illegal, or at least culturally reprehensible, even if the large majority of the public agrees with a biblical point of view. As Cardinal George pointed out, only two to eight percent of the public has had a homosexual or bisexual experience, yet, if we may again expand on his remarks, adopting the tactics of the (legitimate) Civil Rights Movement, they have cowed governments, corporations, and the "opinion-makers." Recently, the controversy over a reality show star, Phil Robertson, of Duck Dynasty, has shown how swiftly the current secular zeitgeist will sweep away or attempt to sweep away even an overwhelmingly popular television personality who dares oppose homosexual behavior. We are yet to see how this will turn out; there certainly has been a backlash; will it finally be a last "straw" that causes us to awaken? Or is it another nail in the cultural coffin?
It is not to defend everything this gentleman said, but phenomenal is this thought: If the angels who saved Lot at Sodom were around today, they too would be ostracized for what they said. We are nearly to the point where, culturally, we'd "arrest" angels! Even without outright persecution, there are the results already. To see how secular society affects the faith takes only a glance at a recent Harris survey: belief in God fell from 82 percent in 2009 to 74 percent in 2012 (if the polling is accurate); the belief in miracles fell from 70 percent to 65 percent; belief in an afterlife fell from 69 percent to 64 percent; while belief in Darwin's theory of evolution rose from 42 percent to 47 percent. Nearly a quarter of Americans (23 percent) identify themselves as "not at all" religious.
What caused this sudden drop (the figures for belief had held steady from 2005 to 2009) is not clear; the "not-religious" White House surely has some effect, as do the tremendous pushes for things like gay marriage and the unpopularity, during that period, for various reasons, of Rome and mainstream Protestant denominations. Our Church has been intellectualized to such a point that it lost its ability to communicate with the masses. Evangelicals also are now missing some of their flavor. Are the young, who have taken to Pope Francis, showing indications that they will return? If so, what can we do to further that culturally?
One underused and potent tool: contacting the advertisers of shows that are anti-Catholic (see especially "comedian" Bill Maher), "heterophobic," or culturally oppressive. Another: communicating clearly to the pews, without theological circumlocution (straight talk, a bit like that "Duck" fellow). It is a war that -- urgently, at this juncture -- must be won. Cardinal George made famous remarks some years back on how, if current trends continue, a Cardinal in Chicago may be arrested in the not-so-distant future. A remark made rhetorically or prophetically, we're not sure. “I will die in bed, my successor will die in prison, and his successor will die as a martyr in the public square," the cardinal told a group of priests. "His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the Church has done so often in human history.”
-- Michael H. Brown

PALESTINE - ISRAEL In Bethlehem, nuns and Christians use rosary beads against gun-toting Israeli soldiers - Asia News

PALESTINE - ISRAEL In Bethlehem, nuns and Christians use rosary beads against gun-toting Israeli soldiers - Asia News,-nuns-and-Christians-use-rosary-beads-against-gun-toting-Israeli-soldiers-26275.html

Bethlehem (AsiaNews) - The Elizabettine Franciscan nuns at Bethlehem's Caritas Baby Hospital are promoting peace between Israeli and Palestinians by placing rosary beads in front of the West Bank Wall.
"This is our peaceful intifada," said Sister Donatella Lessio, head of quality care management and hospital staff training, and main promoter of the initiative. "Sometimes the soldiers are afraid of us and point their guns, but we respond by praying and placing our rosary beads in front of their weapons."
Ever since Israel began building its so-called security barrier in 2005, the nuns and scores of Palestinian Christians have taken part each Friday afternoon in this initiative. Through prayer, they want to express their opposition to Israel's military rigidities and Islamists' slogans of hatred.
Then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon ordered the wall's construction to stop terrorist attacks, but the net effect has been to isolate the Palestinian population from the rest of the world, forcing them to stand in long queues to go to work or reach relatives in the State of Israel.
Soldiers not only prevent the movement of medical drugs, humanitarian aid and any material useful for survival, but also prevent people outside the West Bank to know how bad the situation is in the territory. Israelis can only cross the wall only at their own risk.
In addition to limiting the movement of people and goods, the wall is an obstacle for Palestinian hospitals, which are forced to send patients to Israeli hospitals because of underfunding.
The Caritas Baby Hospital is only 200 metres from the barrier. Without the wall, ambulances could reach Jerusalem in a short drive. However, a special permit and a lot of red tape are required to cross. Often, ambulances have to wait hours even for urgent needs. Several children and newly born have died as a result. (S.C.)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

From a horrific rape, a priceless ‘diamond in the rough’: Monica’s story

From a horrific rape, a priceless ‘diamond in the rough’: Monica’s story

WOODBURN, Indiana, November 8, 2013 ( – The 17-year-old woman had been terrorized, humiliated and crushed by what had happened to her. She had been raped. Now, to make matters worse, she was pregnant. Her mother had forced her to visit a back alley abortionist, to solve “the problem.” But at the last moment, Sandy decided not to go through with the illegal procedure. The year was 1972.
Two weeks later, Sandy’s father suddenly died. Her entire world had now completely come crashing down upon her. All she wanted was her life back. All she could wonder was what was to become of her and the little new life beginning to stir inside her…
Last month something remarkable happened to Monica Kelsey, 40, that confirmed to her that no life, no matter how it came to be, is a mistake: She found a diamond in a field of plowed dirt. 
Monica had been abandoned by her raped birthmother, Sandy, at a hospital two hours after being born and was soon adopted. She grew up completely unaware of her turbulent beginnings. It was only three years ago that she connected with her birthmother and heard the true account of her life for the first time. 
“When I found my birthmother she said to me: ‘It’s amazing how something so beautiful has come out of something so horrible,’” Monica said in an interview with 
When Sandy unexpectedly passed away this past March, Monica connected with relatives at the funeral who had not even known of her existence. “I prayed for a relationship with my birth family,” Monica said.  “When I finally found them, no one knew about me. I was literally the family secret.” 
Monica decided to travel from her home in Indiana to Arkansas last month to explore her roots. She wanted to experience for herself the sights and sounds that had been a part of her birthmother’s life.
During her stay, Monica and a few of her newly discovered relatives decided to try their luck treasure hunting at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas, the only diamond-producing site in the world where the public can find real diamonds and keep them. 
Geologists believe that a volcano brought the diamonds to the surface about 100 million years ago. Diamonds form deep in the earth at extremely high temperatures and pressures. Less than one percent of the 150,000 visitors to the park each year find a diamond. 
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After two hours of poking about the 37 acres of plowed eroded volcanic surface at the park, the group, with wet clothes and dirty shoes, decided to call it a day. But as Monica went to pick up her bucket and join her newfound family, she noticed something on the ground glimmering in the sunlight. Stooping to pick it up, she knew immediately what she had found: a yellow diamond. 
“It’s amazing how I found this shining sparkling diamond in a field of dirt,” she said. 
Park staff confirmed the find. The diamond, the 400th found that year, weighed just over half a carat (56 points).
For Monica, finding the diamond was filled with the deepest significance. It suddenly dawned on her that she, conceived in the horrible act of rape, was really her birthmother’s “diamond in the rough”. 
“I did correlate finding this diamond as a kind of sign that my life [despite its rough beginnings] is still shining, that the sparkle is still there,” she said. “God took my birthmother's deepest pain and turned it into the most precious of jewels.” 
“I just praise God that my birthmother was strong enough to walk out of the abortion clinic,” she said. 
Monica, a firefighter and medic who is married with three children, has become a public advocate for children conceived in rape after first learning of her beginnings. 
She said that she used to be against abortion “except in the case of rape” - that is, until she “became educated.” Now she will tell anyone who will listen that her life “isn’t any different than your life simply because of the way I was conceived.” 
Monica will gently tell people that “abortion has never fixed a rape, it never has and it never will.” 
“Abortion just adds more trauma to rape and makes the child a victim as well, but unfortunately by the mother’s own hands,” she said. 
Monica believes that women who become pregnant by rape should think about the new life flourishing inside them as their own “diamond in the rough.”
“There is a diamond in this pregnancy that will shine later on, you just have to let it grow,” she said. “Girls today don’t give themselves enough credit about how strong they can be.” 
Monica plans to make a necklace with her diamond, leaving it uncut. She will wear it in memory of her birthmother’s sacrifice to give her the greatest gifts of all, life and her adoptive family. 
“She is my hero, she truly is.”
Monica says she has nothing but gratitude for the choices her raped mother made.
“Life is sacred. Life is precious. Life is a gift. Thank you, Lord, for my birthmother.”
Follow Monica’s pro-life work on her website and on her Facebook page

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Burden of Friendship

The Burden of Friendship

The Raising of Lazarus 1675 Luca Giordano
I have a friend, Adrian, whom I have known for nearly thirty years. He and his family of eleven children and some grandchildren live in our state’s capital, Sydney, more than five hundred kilometers away, so we do not see as much of each other as we would like.
A few weeks back he called to tell me he had just been diagnosed with an advanced, lethal cancer.
His prognosis is bad and the best the oncologists can offer him is a chance at palliative treatment for a year or so at the best. He is a very experienced doctor and he knows the survival chances better than most. But Adrian is also a devout Catholic, so his phone call, aside from telling my wife and I about his condition was an emphatic plea for prayers. Not just a few prayers did he ask for, but for constant prayer and for acts of mortification and frequent daily Masses to be offered for a possible cure, or at least a slowing of the cancer’s inexorable grip on his body. He specifically insisted, as only a friend can, that I devote at least one Rosary a day to a cure for his condition.
I offered my heartfelt support for him and his family and promised to offer prayers and my Mass intentions for him. The call ended with an exchange of mobile phone numbers and a promise to update our email contact. Instantly my text message chimed and it was Adrian confirming that we were able to text each other directly. This was followed, almost immediately, by an email which dropped into my inbox, outlining a full account of his diagnosis, the dreadful prognosis and a heartfelt thank you for agreeing to devote a daily Rosary to him. He finished with these words:
Good to talk to you both, and great to have your assurance of daily prayers, especially the Rosary, which I believe to the most powerful prayer to the most potent Intercessor, our Most Holy Mother. While from a medical perspective, my prognosis is extremely grim, we know that our Lord is not bound to, nor restricted by medical statistics. He can do anything! I even say to friends and family, they don’t have to pray for a cure (even though He could easily do that) but, more importantly, that I can cope with what he decides to send me, i.e. to do His Will cheerfully and without bitterness or complaint.
The Required Spiritual Sweat
Who could not but be deeply affected by the intensity of his eloquent desire to communicate his needs and his earnest thanks?  So insistent was he with all his old Sydney acquaintances that he even had the members of a Sydney Synagogue praying for him. Surely, I thought, if he can devote such energy to communicating his spiritual needs to friends like me I had better live up to his expectations and pray and offer up mortifications for him. I was mindful of a quote from St. Augustine who suggests that if we want God to go out of his way to answer a pressing need we had better put in some genuine spiritual sweat in return.
This is the burden of friendship; the understanding that my friend needs my every effort of prayer and penance. If he is to survive by a miracle of God’s benevolent love, then his many friends must give, in full, their spiritual all. We, his cohort of friends, must enthusiastically take on a particularspiritual burden which binds us to him, and to each other, by our promises of prayer and penance. Each day, we must honor our promises.
In case we are tempted to forget, Adrian regales us with constant email entreaties; “Keep smiling and praying, thanks. You may never know what comfort, joy and consolation friends like you are at these trying times. I ask the Good Lord and His most Holy Mother to keep all of you near their hearts.”
There’s something touching about his candor; and underlying this is the knowledge that he suffers every day. His life, his troubles, his ups and downs have become our burdens too. Yet friendship with Adrian is never without its humor. My wife and I visited Sydney to see him recently. My first wry comment to him, after a warm embrace, was, “Thanks Adrian—thanks heaps for burdening us with all these extra prayers and mortifications. We always knew that friendship with you would be costly.”
For hours we laughed and exchanged that kind of catch-up information that only true friends can share. I told him how, when out cycling, I would come to a corner which faced up a steep rocky hill down which was blowing a gale of a headwind and I would wish I could take an easier route. Instead, I would ruefully turn into the wind and start pedaling, saying to myself, “I’ll offer this up for Adrian.” I told him I have him to thank for all my aching muscles and bones.
He gets it. He knows we may joke about what we are doing for him. But what underlies all the humor and good banter is the belief that only by the prayer and sacrifice of his friends and family will he prevail over his affliction, if it is to be God’s will.
We discussed the Church which is so dear to our hearts; we rejoiced in our new Pope and assured each other that he would prove to be God’s answer to today’s problems. Despite Adrian’s situation we still ribbed each other affectionately and gales of laughter accompanied almost ever comment.
Afterwards he couldn’t wait to email to announce, in humility and joy, one more of the many graces which have flowed from his illness.
You guessed how thrilled we were to have you here this morning!  But, how much more thrilling to see the response of our daughter. She just was overwhelmed and exclaimed, “Where have these people been all my life?” She has been away from the Faith for many years, often put off by “overly pious Catholics, rigid, humorless etc ” … I am sure you know what type I mean, even within our own family circle. Perhaps even dear old Dad has been a bit so, to some extent … when, whammo! Here you come to our rescue and to help us yet again, thanks.
Similar spiritual blessing have flowed through his entire family and friends; among those who have remained steadfast in their faith and those who have returned to the Faith and devotion to the Rosary.
Prayers of desperation
Neither Adrian’s family nor mine are strangers to prayers of anguish—those “from the core” gut-wrenching cries of desperation that only God can answer. They are prayers, not for oneself, but for another; for a helpless child, a friend, a colleague. These are the kind of prayers which are the only recourse when the outlook is so bleak that only an act of God can possibly make things right. These prayers are a necessary prelude to the miracles wrought by the prayer of desperation; when things have reached a point where only a direct intervention from God can save a life.
It was just such a situation that had bound our two families together more than twenty years earlier.
Some twenty three years ago our oldest son had been injured in a near-fatal car crash. Ironically, we had been on the way home from weekday Mass which we traditionally celebrated with each child on the Monday after their First Holy Communion. As a boy of seven, his vulnerable body had borne the full impact of a car hurtling into his side of the car at an uncontrolled intersection. He suffered a cardiac arrest at the scene—his lifeless body still strapped into his seat.
Miraculously, a witness asked how she could help. I begged her to call a priest. Such was the pastoral dedication of our parish priest of the time that even she, a non-Catholic, knew exactly who to call—dear old Father Plunkett. He was at the scene in minutes to administer the Sacrament of the Sick and anoint my dead son. At the same time a quick-thinking off-duty paramedic appeared and attempted to revive him. Mercifully, a faint heart beat began to flicker and he began to breathe again; ever so shallowly. He was clinging to life by the grace of a sacrament.
Our child’s massive head injury had resulted in the severing of all the links between the two hemispheres of the brain. Until that time no one had ever survived such an injury. He remained deeply comatose and near to death and had to be airlifted urgently to the Sydney’s Children’s Hospital.
We had known Adrian and his wife casually through previous visits to Sydney for various Catholic association meetings. So, being very alone in the big city hospital with our dying child, we contacted them to tell them the dreadful news of his injury. He and his wife reached out to us with prayers and concern and visited us in the Intensive Care Unit frequently. Without hesitation Adrian’s entire family took up the burden of friendship. They made our children welcome in their home when they made the long drive to Sydney to visit the hospital; they drove us around in their car, provided countless meals and provided unrelenting and enthusiastic support. Their prayers and concern exceeded any ordinary bond of friendship. They held us close and prayed with us in our pain. They experienced with us the lows and highs which every parent experiences when a child is near death. Like us, they would cling to any vestige of hope, no matter how frail and plunge towards despondency when the doctors delivered even more bad news.
As a doctor, Adrian knew full well that our child was in imminent danger of death. Yet he would reassure us on many occasions, “Don’t believe everything the doctors are telling you. They don’t know everything; they have been wrong in their diagnosis before, and they will be again.” His unshakeable faith seemed like the only pillar of certainty we could cling too as our hearts sank with every bit of bad news the doctors brought us. They were convinced our son would die as the massive pressures building inside his skull began to strangle the blood supply to his brain.
As with most head injuries, the danger days are the ones that follow the accident, as the bruised brain begins to swell inside its bony cavity. This creates cripplingly high brain pressures which are recorded on an ever-climbing graph on the ICU monitors. Ultimately, if unchecked, these pressures bear down on the brain stem, cutting off all vital blood and oxygen supply, resulting in death. The pressures being recorded were so high that the specialists believed there was no brain activity at all.
I can remember asking my wife, “Is it possible that God has already decided to cure our son and that right now He is testing our faith and resolve?”
A Once-only Deal with God
It was at this moment that I formulated a plan to enter into a deal with God which can only ever be made once. In my misery I begged God to cure my son. I pleaded that if He cured my son I would commit every unattended prayer of my life—past and future—to that one intention; of begging Him for the miracle needed to save my son, and of thanking Him if He answered my prayer.
By unattended prayer I was thinking specifically about all those prayers that I have said or was yet to say in my life that might not have any particular purpose or intention—those decades of the Rosary said whilst out jogging, or during long trips—all those prayers that were not specifically dedicated to some intention or other.
I don’t know if you are like me, but often I find myself praying—just because I can. I suspect that many of us pray this way at times. Whilst these prayers may have no specific object, they are nonetheless efficacious in that they give God the glory He is due and they serve to nourish the personal relationship we have with Jesus Christ. These prayers are not mere time-fillers, yet, paradoxically, they are nevertheless almost autonomic. They are said with a trusting heart, but they do not focus on any one particular need or intention. They sustain the daily conversation with God. These unattended prayers are simple, unadorned expressions of our need to communicate with our Maker. We say them because we can—and because we feel we should—yet they have no more specific purpose or intention attached to them. As such, I believe these prayers are latent with untapped potency. If they have not been dedicated to a particular cause then their full potential is yet to be released.
It is these prayers that I have irrevocably given to God for my entire life, for one intention only—my child’s life. My promise to God, made twenty three years ago does not mean that future prayers areall directed to this end—only the unattended ones. Accordingly, I am always cognizant of the gravity of the deal I made with God on that fateful day. I will never underrate the power or the efficacy of the covenant I entered into with my Maker. Neither one of the parties to that deal has, or will ever, let the other one off the hook; nor would we want to.
The best prognosis for our son had been that he would remain comatose on a ventilator and would inevitably die. We had seen other children with lesser injuries die in the ICU, so we had no earthly reason to believe that our son would be any different.
Yet, God kept His end of the deal. He wrought a miracle that even an agnostic neurosurgeon and medical staff had to acknowledge. Over the next three months our son began to recover – ever so slowly. By God’s miraculous help he conquered milestones that had previously been insurmountable barriers to survival. His eyes opened (even though it seemed for a while that the curtains were open but no-one was home). He began to respond to stimuli, to smile, and to begin to breathe for himself. Miracle of miracles, he began to speak in a slurred whisper, to answer, even to joke.
The long road ahead, over many more months and years, involved intensive physiotherapy to re-learn to hold things, to write, to eat and finally, to walk. Today he lives a completely normal life, with but a few permanent reminders of his injury. He lives with us, works in the family business and is devoted to his brothers and sisters.
They were not my prayers alone that prevailed, but the prayers of so many family and friends also. Their number and intensity are known only to God, but for them we are eternally grateful.
All these years later, Adrian’s illness has forced me to re live those prayers of desolation and to write for the first time about my once-only promise to God. Again I am reminded of the immense, incalculable power of prayer.
Each day, as I slide behind the steering wheel, there are my Rosary beads, lying loosely beside me on the passenger’s seat; a silent reminder of Adrian’s need and of the sweet burden of friendship.
Editor’s note: The image above entitled “The Raising of Lazarus” was painted by Luca Giordano in 1675.
Tagged as: FaithfriendshipmiraclesPrayer

Thursday, December 12, 2013

U.S. Catholic bishop calls Mandela’s support of abortion ‘shameful’, black leaders concur

U.S. Catholic bishop calls Mandela’s support of abortion ‘shameful’, black leaders concur

December 9, 2013 ( - While much of the world, including many religious leaders, are praising the late Nelson Mandela without reserve, at least one U.S. bishop has tempered his praise by calling to mind the former South African leader’s record on abortion. 
“There is part of President Mandela’s legacy, however, that is not at all praiseworthy, namely his shameful promotion of abortion in South Africa,” said Providence, RI Bishop Thomas Tobin in a statement published yesterday. 
Tobin observes that “there is much to admire in Mandela’s long life and public service, particularly his personal courage and his stalwart defense of human rights.” However, the Rhode Island bishop notes that, “In 1996 Mandela promoted and signed into law the ‘Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Bill’ that, according to the New York Times, ‘replaced one of the world’s toughest abortion laws with one of the most liberal.’” 
“While we pray for the peaceful repose of President Mandela’s immortal soul and the forgiveness of his sins, we can only regret that his noble defense of human dignity did not include the youngest members of our human family, unborn children,” said Tobin.
Tobin’s remarks come in the wake of statements offering unqualified praise for Mandela in statements from Pope Francis and New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan. 
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Following Mandela’s death Thursday, pro-life leaders urged Christian leaders to take caution in issuing blanket praise for the South African President due to his promotion of abortion, same-sex ‘marriage’ and communism.
Dr. Day Gardner, President of the National Black Pro-Life Union concurred with Bishop Tobin’s sentiments.  “It is really very sad,” Gardner told, “that Nelson Mandela was blind to the suffering of the smallest of his own people.”  She added, “He had such a triumphant life fighting for civil rights, yet he failed to see unborn children as significant.”  
Gardner and other leaders at the National Black Pro-life Union have worked tirelessly to have black civil rights leaders recognize the plight of unborn black children who are targeted by the abortion industry far more than children of other races. 
According to official statistics, nearly a million unborn children have been killed in South Africa since President Mandela signed legislation in 1996 permitting abortion on demand two years after taking office. Same-sex ‘marriage’ was legalized in 2006, with Mandela having supported it long before its passage.
Another African-American pro-life leader Ryan Bomberger told that he has seen time and again “how people move from being oppressed to becoming the oppressor.”  He asked, “How can you condemn the evil of apartheid and turn around and deem another group to be less than human?”
Bomberger has targeted African American civil rights leaders, and other liberal black leaders with the stark message that they should “Wake up! Your future is dying.” Like Mandela, many of these black leaders “partner with the most racist, eugenicist, killing organizations in the world,” he said.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Legion of Mary kicked off Irish campus for promoting chastity apostolate

Legion of Mary kicked off Irish campus for promoting chastity apostolate

GALWAY, Ireland, December 6, 2013 ( – A student group associated with a popular Catholic lay apostolate has apologized for distributing literature from the Courage Community, an international Catholic organization that assists those who wish to leave the homosexual lifestyle.
The Legion of Mary, founded in Dublin in the early 20th century to help women escape prostitution, was “suspended” by the student’s union when they distributed the leaflets at The National University of Ireland, Galway.
The flyers, posted to bulletin boards around the campus, challenged homosexual readers to “move beyond the confine of the homosexual label to a more complete identity in Christ." They enjoined students to “develop an interior life of chastity, which is the universal call to all Christians."
In perhaps an unconscious irony, the student union issued a statement citing the university’s dedication to a “pluralist ethos” as the motivation for shutting the Catholic initiative down.
The decision came, they said, after a review of the Legion’s action in light of the university’s “code of conduct and policies governing harassment and Irish and European equality law." Immediately after the decision the group, which had been granted “temporary” status on campus, was excised from the student union’s website.
Societies Chairperson at the University, Patrick O’Flaherty, told media that they had received about 70 complaints from people upset by the flyers.
The campus Legion of Mary group issued a statement following the suspension saying “it was not their intention to offend or upset any person or group of people."
This was followed by a brief statement, published by the Irish Times, from the parent group of the Legion of Mary in Dublin who said they “knew nothing” about the initiative or the Courage Community, adding they have had no contact with the group at NUI Galway.
The Times also published a statement from Fr. Sean McHugh, communications officer with the Catholic diocese of Galway who said that although the call to “live a chaste life” is “part of Christian teaching,” the poster’s slogan, “I’m a child of God. Don’t call me gay!” was “offensive."
Padraig Reidy, a senior writer and researcher for the Index on Censorship, a free speech group, said in the UK’s Daily Telegraph that the university has failed a basic “test of freedom of speech."
The point is not whether anyone agrees or disagrees with what the Legion wanted to offer students, Reidy said. “The issue at stake here is that they have peacefully put forward their views, without threat or abuse, and have still been punished.”
The Courage Community, he noted, has nothing to do with “gay conversion therapy." Instead, the flyers’ message, “while it may not be supported by the majority of Irish Catholics, is hardly extreme."
“It’s in fact a straight-down-the-line Catholic position” to offer assistance to people seeking to live a chaste, Christian life. Instead, the university, in a regional stronghold of Catholicism, in a majority Catholic country, had “banned” the possibility of a specifically Catholic approach to homosexuality.
“We are in a curious position,” Reidy wrote, “where a non-violent, non-intimidatory message from an orthodox Catholic position has been banned from a university campus. Without a trace of irony, the university claims that it is ‘committed to protecting the liberty and equality of all students.'”

Feminists attack Argentina cathedral

Exclusive: ‘Diabolic’: Men attacked by feminist, pro-abort mob while defending cathedral speak up

Buenos Aires, December 9, 2013 ( – Several members of a group of men who were violently attacked and sexually molested by a mob of feminists while protecting a cathedral last month in Argentina have described their experiences to in exclusive interviews.
The attack, a video of which has drawn over 250,000 views by LSN readers, took place in San Juan, Argentina, following the Women’s National Encounter held there this year. As LSN has previously reported, such attacks against Catholic churches are becoming standard practice by feminists.
Oscar Campillay and Roberto Gómez were just two of the men defending the cathedral against the attack, which took place on November 24.
Campillay, a father of 8 children, told that he felt that there "was something twisted and inhuman there, almost diabolic, that made one shudder.” 
“The attack on our bodies was the least of things,” he continued. “One can only remain in astounded horror seeing what a creature, a child of God, a woman destined to wonderful things, can become when choosing personal degradation, egoism and death against her own nature.”
The women, many of them topless, spray-painted the men’s crotches and faces and swastikas on their chests and foreheads, using markers to paint their faces with Hitler-like moustaches. They also performed obscene sexual acts in front of them and pushed their breasts onto their faces, all the while shouting “get your rosaries out of our ovaries.” (Note: Some of the most graphic content has been removed from the video embedded in this article. Uncensored footage is available here. Viewer discretion strongly advised.) 
Campillay described how before the arrival of the feminists all the men, kneeling down before a priest, had said a prayer of exorcism. “I think all of us had an expectant emotion for defending the House of God,” he said. “But then, during the two hours the assault lasted, the sensation was that of pity for these women.”
“Our prayers rose for the conversion of their souls and so that these sins would not be imputed upon them,” he explained. “We held onto Mary through the Holy Rosary, which never ceased to be prayed.”
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He shared how “there was a moment in which a girl whose face was covered stood in front of me. I decided to look into her eyes without ceasing to pray, while she assaulted me.”
“There was an instant in which our eyes met and we each held our gaze firmly. Suddenly she became calm and quiet; slowly she uncovered her face and looked at me, and withdrew in silence away from the crowd,” he said.
Gómez, also a father of 8, told us how “praying the Rosary, which in reality was a continued Hail Mary,” gave him the strength to not respond back with the same violence.
“I was always praying for the conversion of the souls of the people I had in front of me,” he said, adding that he believes this peaceful manifestation “showed that our faith is alive.”
The attack on the Cathedral of San Juan took place as part of the National Women’s Encounter, which annually brings together Argentinean feminists who support “women’s rights” and has been going on for the past 28 years.
Campillay told LSN how “we Christians have been following the development of these encounters with concern, since approximately a decade ago they have been reoriented towards ultra-feminist positions and covered with expressions of religious intolerance.”
“These attacks to Cathedrals and temples have unfortunately become an intrinsic part of the organization of these events,” he said.
However, the event’s organizers, Rosita Collado and Perla Werner, have not taken responsibility for these attacks. They told the press: “We organized an event and it went really well, nothing was out of control.”
“The incident in the Cathedral is a social phenomena; I ask anybody here to explain to us what to do to avoid any problems with 20,000 women present,” said Collado.
“It is not our obligation to control the streets,” added Werner.
Adrián Cuevas, Minister of the San Juan government, admitted to the local press that there was an “anarchist group,” of around 1000 women that “have the characteristics of savages and behave themselves like piranhas.”
He said the police did not intervene “so as to not to have to lament any rubber bullet and tear gas victims,” and added that “we must achieve their expulsion.”
Gómez told LSN that the police simply stood by and watched “how they were beating and insulting us, spitting at us.”
“We asked them to please defend us but they told us that they had orders not to act,” he explained.
When LSN contacted the San Juan police, they simply said “they could not respond” as to why they did not intervene.
“It is of public knowledge that sponsoring and logistics are provided by the national government through its social ministries,” said Campillay.
“In a certain way, being attacked and persecuted will become an inseparable part of our Christian identity,” he continued, adding that he had considered it a “privilege” to defend the Cathedral.
“May God allow us to be present for the next encounter,” he said. “The city of Salta awaits us.” 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Gay blood donations: political correctness can kill

Gay blood donations: political correctness can kill

By Bryan Fischer
Follow me on Twitter: @BryanJFischer, on Facebook at "Focal Point"

Under pressure from demanding homosexual activists, the FDA is once again considering lifting the ban on homosexual blood donations. Males have, in the interest of public health, been banned from donating blood if they have had sex even one solitary time with another male since 1977.

This is not a matter of bigotry, it's a matter of health. It's not bigotry, it's medical science. It's not bigotry, it's compassion, compassion for innocent Americans like hemophiliacs who could get a death sentence through blood given by a sexually deviant donor.

The homosexual lobby, however, is relentless, and have been since the days of Sodom and Gomorrah when homosexuals tried to beat down Lot's door to get at his male guests. And with blood donations, these merchants of death have tightened the window: they pressed the FDA in 2010, and got turned down. They pressed the FDA two years later in 2012, and got turned down again. And now they're back just one year later hoping that political correctness will trump common sense.

Homosexual activists simply wear down and outlast the defenders of classic moral values and thus are able to impose their own twisted morality on the rest of us.

And that terminal weakness is what they are counting on to get their way with the FDA and put the health of the entire American population at risk.

Men who have sex with men are rightly classified by the FDA as belonging to the highest-risk blood donor category, in the same category with IV drug abusers and prostitutes. And there they should remain.

To lift the ban is to play Russian roulette with the health of the American people, and would be a grossly irresponsible thing for the FDA to do. Just this past week, the Japanese media reported on a man who has been diagnosed with HIV with the mode of transmission being a blood transfusion. Putting Americans at such risk is simply a socially, morally and politically irresponsible and unethical thing to do.

In NBC's story on the controversy, the network at least had the journalistic integrity to report, according to the Centers for Disease Control (not a part of the vast right-wing conspiracy), that 63 percent of new HIV infections occur among men who have sex with men.

In fact, as gay activist Matt Foreman has said, "We cannot deny that HIV is a gay disease."

The CDC is also reporting that 62% of men who know they are HIV positive, know they are carriers of what the CDC says is a potentially lethal virus, are having unprotected anal sex, which is the highest risk behavior for transmission of HIV. This number is up from 55% in 2005 and 57% in 2008. In other words, the problem, the danger, the risk, is getting greater and not less by the day.

ABC News reported today that, according the Journal of Infectious Diseases, researchers have discovered a new strain of HIV which moves victims to full-blown AIDS status twice as fast as existing strains do. This is not a time to grow careless or lax.

Advocates argue that improved screening procedures make the ban unnecessary. If so, then why is no consideration being given to lifting the ban on IV drug users and prostitutes and people who have lived in a foreign country which has mad cow disease? For the obvious reason: such donations pose an unacceptable risk, screening procedures or no, to public health.

A few years ago, Harvard professor Harvey Mansfield said, "You can tell who is in charge of a society by noticing who is allowed to get angry and for what cause."

Since nobody has a constitutional right to contaminate the nation's blood supply, here's hoping that the FDA will let the bullies and bigots of Big Gay know that sound public health is in charge here, not the yammering and demanding voices of sexual abnormality.

(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)

© Bryan Fischer