Tuesday, July 31, 2018


Whatever happened to the 'unmaskings' probe?



July 30, 2018 - 08:15 AM EDT


Every day brings new stories about Russian interference in the 2016 election, whether Donald Trump played a role, and alleged abuses by our intelligence agencies.

One of the deepest, darkest, most important issues in the whole mess has to do with the massive number of "unmaskings" of U.S. citizens. It potentially opens a can of worms squirmier than many other issues.

To understand, it helps to begin with the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when U.S. intel agencies sought to expand their surveillance authority - for what seemed like all the right reasons. (For context, a week before 9/11, Robert Muellerhad become FBI director; a month earlier, James Clapper had been named head of the agency that supplies image intel to the CIA, and John Brennan recently had become CIA deputy executive director.)

'There's going to be a raid': A Chilean prosecutor forces Catholic Church to give up secrets

TUE JUL 31, 2018 / 8:44 AM EDT

Aislinn Laing and Cassandra Garrison

Archbishop of Santiago, Ricardo Ezzati attends his religious service at the Santiago cathedral, in Santiago, Chile, July 25, 2018.

Chilean prosecutor Emiliano Arias, who is leading an investigation against alleged sex abuse crimes by Roman Catholic priests, gestures during an interview with Reuters in Rancagua, Chile, July 18, 2018. Picture taken July 18, 2018.

(Reuters) - Two special envoys sent by Pope Francis to investigate a child sex abuse scandal in Chile were meeting priests and Church workers at a university in the Chilean capital last month when aides rushed into the room with an alarming development: police and prosecutors were about to start raiding Church offices.

The envoys were 90 minutes into a seminar on how to investigate allegations of sex abuse committed by fellow clergy following revelations that hundreds of children might have been molested. For decades, the Roman Catholic Church in Chile quietly investigated such allegations without alerting police, but it now stands accused, even by Pope Francis himself, of a cover-up that allowed abusers to operate with impunity.

One of the clergymen listening to the envoys was Jaime Ortiz de Lazcano, the legal adviser to Santiago's archbishop. The aides rushed to his side and told him, "'Father, go to the (Church offices) because there’s going to be a raid’," Ortiz later recounted.

Police and prosecutors were staging simultaneous raids on Church offices less than a mile away from the university and outside the capital, looking for evidence of sex crimes the Church had not reported to police.

The surprise sweeps, ordered by Emiliano Arias, a provincial prosecutor, marked the start of what experts who track sex crimes in the Roman Catholic Church say is one of the most aggressive investigations ever undertaken by a judicial authority anywhere in the world.

FISA documents reveal FBI collusion

Laura Hollis

Monday, July 30, 2018

Credit: Associated PressFILE - In this file July 7, 2016, photo then-FBI Director James Comey testifies before the House Oversight Committee to discuss Hillary Clinton's email investigation, at the Capitol in Washington.

Our media’s valiant efforts to distract us notwithstanding, information continues to seep out that underscores how badly a housecleaning is needed in Washington, D.C.

Last week saw the release of the applications used to obtain warrants from the FISA court to spy on Carter Page, an adviser to the Trump presidential campaign. Obtained by Judicial Watch, the 400-plus pages of (heavily redacted) documents support the conclusions earlier drawn by the House Intelligence Committee (and denounced by Democrats as hysteria): the FISA warrants were obtained through obfuscation and deceit.

As various commentators predicted would be proven, the bulk of the information that formed the basis for the FISA warrant applications was the “dossier” of allegations about Donald Trump’s activities in Russia. This dossier was provided to the FBI by British spy Christopher Steele. Steele was hired during the 2016 presidential campaign by opposition research firm Fusion GPS, who was paid by Hillary Clinton’s law firm Perkins Coie, who was paid by the Clinton campaign and the DNC. The allegations were scandalous and completely unverified, in violation of federal statutes and FISA court rules.

In other words, the FBI used oppo research paid for by the Democrats as justification for government spying on a political opponent and other Americans.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Where churches have become temples of cheese, fitness and eroticism

Posted 8:45 p.m. yesterday
Updated 9:17 a.m. today

By Dan Bilefsky, New York Times

MONTREAL — For generations, parishioners whispered their sins in the dark wooden confessional booths of Notre-Dame-du-Perpétuel-Secours, an imposing Roman Catholic church in Montreal. 7

But on a recent day, the edgy Quebec comedian Sugar Sammy was being filmed inside one of the booths, the latest intimate celebrity confessional on the talk show “Y’a du monde à messe,” or “The Church Is Packed.” 16

“I made a sex tape in order to be famous, because I thought it was the path to glory,” Sammy said with mock seriousness, as the camera zoomed in on his face, seen from behind a grill. “It didn’t work because no one watched it,” he continued. “I was the only person on the tape.” 21

A large audience gathered in the church roared with laughter. 5

The once-hallowed space, now illuminated with a giant pink chandelier, has been reinvented as the Théâtre Paradoxe at a cost of nearly $3 million in renovations. It is now host to, among other events, Led Zeppelin cover bands, Zumba lessons and fetish parties, as well as the talk show that Sammy appeared on. 13

And it is one of dozens of churches across Quebec that have been transformed — into university reading rooms, luxury condominiums, cheese emporiums and upmarket fitness centers. 6

At another event at the church, devoted to freewheeling dance, dozens of barefoot amateur dancers filled the space and undulated in a trancelike state in front of its former altar amid drums and chanting. Two men in tank tops clasped hands and twirled each other. A woman in blue juggled three white balls, putting one on her head. 4

Trump Blasts Twitter 'Shadow Banning' as 'Illegal,' Threatens Action

TSA surveillance program criticized for tracking American citizens

Jeff Sessions Announces New Religious Liberty Task Force | NBC News

Sunday, July 29, 2018

The World to Be Warned (RH1904/07/28) Escuela de Profecía Bíblica

From Ritz crackers to McDonald's salads, food recalls — and safety questions — are on the rise

Both the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture recalled food at increasing rates from 2012 to 2015.

Public health officials use microbiological technology to identify the source of the an outbreak.
New food safety laws have given the FDA more power to enforce recalls. 

Published 6 Hours Ago 



Frederic J. Brown | AFP | Getty Images
A man shops for vegetables beside Romaine lettuce stocked and for sale at a supermarket in Los Angeles.

U.S. food safety regulators are recalling about twice as many products as a decade ago, pulling Ritz crackers, Goldfish and Swiss rolls off grocery shelves just last week, McDonald's salads about two weeks ago and Kellogg's Honey Smacks last month.

Approximately one in six Americans get six every year from eating contaminated foods, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And as the number of recalls rises, so do questions about U.S. food safety.

Flower Foods, Mondelez and Pepperidge Farm — owned by Campbell Soup — recalled their crackers and other products last week after public health officials flagged a whey powder ingredient from a supplier that might be contaminated with salmonella.

The CDC blamed Kellogg's Honey Smacks for a salmonella outbreak that caused more than 100 people to become ill in 33 states in June. McDonald's was forced to pull salads from 3,000 restaurants in the Midwest after public health officials in Illinois and Iowa linked the restaurant chain to an outbreak of cyclosporiasis, which causes diarrhea and fever and has infected at least 286 people in 15 states so far, according to U.S. health officials.

While the rise in high-profile food recalls in recent years may be worrisome, it doesn't necessarily mean that U.S. food safety is declining, according to federal safety and foodborne illness specialists.

Companies have been getting more aggressive in issuing voluntary recalls while physicians and public health officials are getting better at reporting and tracing the origins of contamination, they said.

"We're better at figuring these outbreaks out," said Bill Marler, an attorney specializing in food safety issues. "Public health has been cut back but not so much that it can't do good surveillance." 

Ex Jesuit's Book Reveals True Agenda

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Welcome to the Quiet Skies

Did you scan the boarding area from afar?

Have a cold, penetrating stare?

Sleep on the plane? Use the bathroom? Talk to others?

This is just some of the information that federal air marshals collect on thousands of regular US citizens under a secret, domestic surveillance program.

Welcome to the Quiet Skies

By Jana Winter

July 28, 2018

Federal air marshals have begun following ordinary US citizens not suspected of a crime or on any terrorist watch list and collecting extensive information about their movements and behavior under a new domestic surveillance program that is drawing criticism from within the agency.

The previously undisclosed program, called “Quiet Skies,” specifically targets travelers who “are not under investigation by any agency and are not in the Terrorist Screening Data Base,” according to a Transportation Security Administration bulletin in March.

The internal bulletin describes the program’s goal as thwarting threats to commercial aircraft “posed by unknown or partially known terrorists,” and gives the agency broad discretion over which air travelers to focus on and how closely they are tracked.

The Right Arm pt 5: Water-Pastor Bill Hughes

3 key takeaways from this week's first-of-its-kind State Department religious freedom event


Published: July 28, 2018 9:47 am

Manuel Balce Ceneta, AP
Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, wave following a speech by Pence at the close of a three-day conference on religious freedom at the State Department in Washington, Thursday, July 26, 2018, as the Trump administration comes under criticism for strict refugee and migration policies that have sharply reduced America's intake of people fleeing persecution over their beliefs. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) 

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SALT LAKE CITY — The State Department succeeded in bringing together a diverse group of government and religious leaders for three days this week in a first-of-its-kind religious freedom gathering. But that's just the beginning of addressing religious persecution around the globe, participants said.

"There are tremendous threats to religious freedom coming in the future," said Emilie Kao, who directs the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation. "Solidarity is really important."

However, unity will be unsustainable if members of the Trump administration continue to praise authoritarian regimes or anti-Muslim activists, some observers said. Moving forward, government leaders will need to show that they understand what it means to guarantee religious freedom for all.

"It makes it hard to take them seriously when they both undermine religious freedom here at home and when they are ignoring so many other disastrous human-rights abuses," said Michael Fuchs, a former deputy secretary of state, to Politico.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has already announced plans to turn the recent gathering into an annual event. Here are some additional takeaways from the first Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom:

Manuel Balce Ceneta, AP
Archbishop Demetrios of America, right, from Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, attends the first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom at the State Department in Washington, Thursday, July 26, 2018, attended by Vice President Mike Pence and hosted by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) 

1. The Trump administration is taking religious freedom activism to a new level.

The ministerial consisted of three days of official events and dozens of side events, which were attended by survivors of religious violence, clergy members, government officials, diplomats and leaders of social service organizations. Speakers highlighted major threats to religious freedom, shared success stories and created goals to guide future work.

What impressed some participants is that top U.S. officials seemed deeply invested in the success of the gathering.

"At every event, there were senior U.S. government leaders and State Department officials," said Brian Grim, president of the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation.

Are We in the Faith?

I would not miss being present at these early morning meetings; for here I meet my Saviour, and am strengthened and refreshed. Since I first took my seat in the cars to come on this journey East, I have enjoyed sweet peace in God. My soul has feasted on the love of Christ. While on the cars, I have been almost constantly sending up silent prayers to God, and my communion with him has been sweet. As I have read the Holy Scriptures, the gems of truth have shone with such lustre, and the beauty and harmony of truth has so impressed me, that I could not forbear praising God. At times, in contemplating heavenly things, my heart has been filled with a rapturous joy and love that is very precious, but that no words can describe. I love Jesus, I love his law; I want to be like Jesus, that I may reflect his image perfectly. I want to lie low at the foot of the cross, that I may be nothing, and Christ may be all in all.

I want to see far more done in the way of presenting the truth than has hitherto been accomplished. Let us lay hold of the Arm of power. God has promised, and he will verify his word. He will work with us, and make our labor fruitful, when we seek him with the whole heart.

Dear brethren, “examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith.” Many present may immediately respond, “Why, yes; I am in the faith, I believe every point of the truth.” But do you practice what you believe? Are you at peace with God and with your brethren? Can you pray with sincerity, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors?” or are you estranged from your brother, because you suppose he has injured you? Are there no heartburnings among you? Is there no bitterness in your hearts, no envying, no jealousy, no evil surmising, no misjudging of your brethren? Is there no emulation, no desire for special favor and honors, no wish to have the supremacy? These feelings do exist to a greater or less degree among brethren.

Some of you seem to be earnestly struggling for forgiveness of sins, for freedom in God. Do you deserve the pardon that you are seeking? No, you do not; nevertheless, it is given you. And do you withhold from your brethren the forgiveness and affection of which you do not think them worthy? Would you have God deal thus with you? Deal with your brethren as you wish God to deal with you. If we expect our prayers for forgiveness to be heard, we must offer them in a forgiving spirit. We must forgive others in the same manner and to the same extent that we ourselves hope to be forgiven. The hard-heartedness that professed Christians manifest toward one another is not Christ-like, but savors of the Satanic. We must every one of us open our hearts wide to the love of Jesus, and encourage pity and affection for our brethren. 

Many are filled with self-importance and esteem themselves above their brethren. Such should let self die; let the carnal mind be crucified. If you have enmity, suspicion, envy, and jealousy in your hearts, you have a work to do to make these things right. Confess your sins; come into harmony with your brethren. Speak well of them. Throw out no unfavorable hints, no suggestions that will awaken distrust in the minds of others. Guard their reputation as sacredly as you would have them guard yours; love them as you would be loved of Jesus. Work for their interest, instead of seeking to tear them down that you may build yourself upon their ruins. It is Satan's work to injure the brethren, and he loves to have you help him in it. But disappoint him; do not let him triumph over you. 

The World Against God 's People - July 28, Maranatha

What The Health (Documentary)

Racim and Hate Outside the West (esp: South Africa)

US prelate McCarrick resigns from College of Cardinals

By FRANCES D'EMILIO | Associated Press

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis has accepted U.S. prelate Theodore McCarrick's offer to resign from the College of Cardinals following allegations of sexual abuse, including one involving an 11-year-old boy, and ordered him to conduct a "life of prayer and penance" in a home to be designated by the pontiff until a church trial is held, the Vatican said Saturday.

Francis acted swiftly after receiving McCarrick's letter of resignation Friday evening, after recent weeks have brought a spate of allegations that the 88-year-old prelate in the course of his distinguished clerical career had sexually abused both boys and adult seminarians. The revelations posed a test to the pontiff's recently declared resolve to battle what he called a "culture of cover-up" of similar abuse in the Catholic's church's hierarchy.

McCarrick has been removed from public ministry since June 20, pending a full investigation into allegations he fondled a teenager over 40 years ago in New York City. A man, who was 11 at the time of the first alleged instance of abuse, says a sexually abusive relationship continued for two more decades. McCarrick has denied the initial allegation.

The prelate rose steadily up the U.S. Church's ranks, from auxiliary bishop in New York City, to bishop in Metuchen, N.J., to archbishop of Newark, N.J., and then to Archbishop of Washington, D.C., the nation's capital, the city where the papal ambassador to the United States is based.

While most of the scandals involving pedophile clergy have involved rank-and-file priests, some cases involved bishops, and there are a few involving cardinals, including a current case in Australia of one of Pope Francis' closest advisers, Cardinal George Pell.

In the case of Scottish Cardinal Keith O'Brien, accused by former seminarians in 2013 of sexual misconduct, Francis only accepted his resignation after the Vatican's top abuse prosecutor conducted a full investigation, two years after the first revelations came out.

But Saturday's announcement by the Holy See said that Francis was taking action, by isolating McCarrick and ordering his penance even before "accusations made against him are examined in a regular canonical trial." In addition, Francis, "ordered his suspension from the exercise of any public ministry," indicating he was approving the measure already in effect since last month.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Asks Pope Francis to Help Release Grand Jury Report

Pennsylvania Capitol Building (Shutterstock.com) 

Jul. 26, 2018

The publication of the 800-page report detailing the handling sexual abuse by the five Pennsylvania dioceses has been blocked by legal challenges. 

Catholic News Agency/EWTN News

HARRISBURG, Pa— The Pennsylvania Attorney General has appealed to Pope Francis for help in publishing a report on clerical sexual abuse in that state.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro requested the pope’s help in a July 25 letter published Thursday by the Philadelphia Enquirer.

The 800-page report is the result of a two-year grand jury investigation, led by Shapiro, into the handling of sexual abuse cases by five Pennsylvania dioceses – Altoona-Johnstown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, and Pittsburgh. It was originally scheduled for public release at the end of June this year, but legal challenges by individuals named in the report, including some priests, have delayed publication.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered that the report’s release be delayed while it considered arguments that some named in the report had not been granted due process by the investigation and would have their reputations unfairly damaged.

In a letter to Pope Francis, dated 25 July, Shapiro recalled meeting the pope at an event during the 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.

“I am a great admirer of you and your work – especially your commitment to fighting for the defenseless,” Shapiro writes, saying that they met at a reception at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, after which Francis went on to meet with victims of sexual abuse, to whom he expressed his sadness and apologies.

“You went on to express remorse that the Church failed to hear and believe [victims] for so long but that now you, the Holy Father, ‘hears and believes [them].’ You pledged to follow the path of truth wherever it my lead.”

Shapiro wrote that he has reason to believe “at least two leaders of the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania” are behind the legal challenges delaying the grand jury report’s release.

While conceding that these unnamed “leaders” are not acting directly to block the report, Shapiro suggested that they are encouraging those who are.

The letter concluded with a “respectful request” that Pope Francis instruct Church leaders in the state – presumably the bishops – to abandon their “destructive efforts to silence the survivors [of abuse].”

Earlier this week, Bishop Lawrence Persico, of the Diocese of Erie, told local media that he had seen the report and that its contents were “graphic,” “detailed,” and “sobering.” He also said that accounts of how abuse allegations were handled in previous decades would be unacceptable today.

Bishop Persico also addressed the legal challenges delaying the release of the report, saying he did not know who was behind them but that he was in favor of publication.

“I know I did not [block publication],” he said. “I’ve been calling from the very beginning that the grand jury report be released so it can be a voice for the victims. I’m not sure who all is behind this.”

Pope Francis has underscored the need for victims to be heard. In a letter to the Chilean bishops, following the national sexual abuse crisis in that country, he wrote “one of our main faults and omissions [is] not knowing how to listen to victims.”

In that instance, the pope included himself among those who had not listened, and promised to do better.

CORRECTION: This story initially included Philadelphia among the dioceses involved in the grand jury report. Philadelphia is not a subject of this investigation.

Pope’s Message for International Conference of Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church in Sarajevo

‘You yourselves will learn ever better how to be faithful to the word of God which challenges us in history, and to show solidarity with the world, which you are not called to judge but rather to offer new paths, accompany journeys, bind hurts and shore up weakness’

July 27, 2018 13:18

Here is a Vatican translation of the message Pope Francis sent for the opening of the III International Conference of Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church held in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, July 26-29, 2018 on theme “A Critical Time for Bridge-Building: Catholic Theological Ethics Today”:


Dear Brothers and Sisters!

I greet all you taking part in this, your third worldwide conference on theological ethics. It takes place in Sarajevo, a city of great symbolic value for the journey of reconciliation and peacemaking after the horrors of a recent war that brought so much suffering to the people of that region.

Sarajevo is a city of bridges. Your meeting is inspired by this dominant motif, which warns of the need to build, in an environment of tension and division, new paths of closeness between peoples, cultures, religions, visions of life and political orientations. I have appreciated this effort of yours from the beginning, when the members of your planning committee visited me in the Vatican last March.

The theme of your meeting is one to which I myself have often called attention: the need to build bridges, not walls. I keep repeating this in the lively hope that people everywhere will pay attention to this need that is increasingly acknowledged, albeit at times resisted by fear and forms of regression. Without renouncing prudence, we are called to recognize every sign and mobilize all our energy in order to remove the walls of division and to build bridges of fraternity everywhere in the world.

The three focal points of your meeting intersect along this journey of bridge building in a critical time like our own. You have given a central place to the ecological challenge, since certain of its aspects can create grave imbalances not only in terms of the relationship between man and nature, but also between generations and peoples. This challenge – as it emerges from the Encyclical Laudato Si’ – is not simply one of many, but the broader backdrop for an understanding of both ecological ethics and social ethics. For this reason, your concern for the issue of migrants and refugees is very serious and provokes a metanoia that can foster ethical and theological reflection, even before inspiring suitable pastoral attitudes and responsible and carefully planned political policies.

Remarks by Vice President Pence at Ministerial To Advance Religious Freedom

Photo (Courtesy) https://www.dailywire.com/news/33676/mike-pence-religious-freedom-top-priority-trump-paul-bois

Remarks by Vice President Pence at Ministerial To Advance Religious Freedom

Law & Justice

Issued on: July 26, 2018

Harry S. Truman Building

Washington, D.C.

10:17 A.M. EDT

Thank you, Secretary Pompeo. To the Secretary, to Ambassador Brownback, to Administrator Green, Director Mulvaney, to the representatives of more than 80 nations gathered here, and especially to the survivors of religious persecution who honor us by their presence here today: It is my great honor to address this first ever, and first annual, Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. (Applause.)

And I bring greetings from a champion of religious freedom, at home and abroad. I bring greetings this morning, and gratitude for all the efforts represented here, from the 45th President of the United States of America, President Donald Trump. (Applause.)

As President Trump has said on many occasions, the United States of America is a “nation of faith,” and religious freedom is a top priority of this administration.

Since the earliest days of our nation, America has stood for religious freedom. Our earliest settlers left their homes to set sail for a New World, where they could practice their faith without fear of persecution. Our forebears carved protections for religion into the founding charters and their early laws.

And after this great nation secured our independence, the American Founders enshrined religious freedom as the first freedom in the Constitution of the United States. And America has always, and will always, lead the world by our example.

As our first President, George Washington, wrote in his famous letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, he said, and I quote, “The United States of America [has] given to mankind…a policy worthy of imitation,” for here, as he said, “to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.” We “require only that they who live under [our] protection should demean themselves as good citizens.”

And in the long history of this nation, religious freedom has been our first freedom. But as our Founders knew, this precious liberty is endowed not by government, but by our Creator. And we believe that it belongs not just to the American people, but to all people so endowed. (Applause.)

The right to believe or not believe is the most fundamental of freedoms. When religious liberty is denied or destroyed, we know that other freedoms — freedom of speech, of press, assembly, and even democratic institutions themselves — are imperiled.

That’s why the United States of America stands for religious freedom yesterday, today, and always. We do this because it is right. But we also do this because religious freedom is in the interest of the peace and security of the world. 

Catholic and Conservative: A Conversation with Ramesh Ponnuru

25 May 2016


Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, the venerable magazine of conservative politics founded by William F. Buckley, Jr., in 1955.

Ponnuru grew up in Kansas City and graduated summa cum laude from Princeton’s history department. He has published articles in numerous newspapers including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Newsday, and the New York Post. He has also written for First Things, Policy Review, The Weekly Standard, The New Republic, Reason, and other publications.

He is a regular guest on television programs, including CNN’s "Inside Politics," NBC’s "The McLaughlin Group," MSNBC’s "Buchanan & Press" and "Donahue," CNBC’s "Kudlow & Cramer," PBS’s "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," CSPAN’s "Washington Journal," Comedy Central’s "Politically Incorrect," Fox News, and NPR’s "Morning Edition."

Ponnuru lives in Washington D.C. with his wife April, a policy adviser to the Majority Whip in the U.S. House of Representatives.

IgnatiusInsight.com spoke with Ponnuru about his recent conversion to Catholicism, the current state of politics in the United States, and the upcoming presidential election.

IgnatiusInsight.com: You recently entered the Catholic Church. What was your religious background and what led you to become Catholic? Were you surprised by anything as you journeyed toward becoming Catholic?

Ponnuru: My father is Hindu, my mother Lutheran. I was raised without much religious instruction, except that of example. The process by which the Church drew me to her was long. It would be presumptuous for me to say that I myself entirely understood how the Holy Spirit worked here. To summarize the intellectual aspect of the process: I first came to see that many of the virtues the Church inculcates were good for people, and then to see that they were good for people because this was the way we were meant to live--and so forth until I saw that I now believed the Church’s claims for itself to be true.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Jesuit Tools Unleash Messianic Judaism - Bob Trefz

Purification of God’s people

Hebrews 4 - Alexander Scourby

Happy Sabbath

WATCH LIVE: Longest lunar eclipse of the century

Prince Charles says he was 'deceived' by bishop jailed for sexual abuse

Heir to throne says he was unaware Peter Ball admitted guilt two decades earlier in 1993

Staff Reporter
Friday 20 July 2018 13:20

The Independent Online

Peter Ball was jailed for 32 months in 2015 for sexually abusing 18 young men over 30 years. ( Getty Images )

The Prince of Wales remained close friends with a disgraced bishop for more than 20 years because he did not realise that the clergyman had admitted sexual abusing a teenager, according to his statement to a public inquiry.

Prince Charles admits he kept in contact with Peter Ball and even gave him "small gifts of money" after the clergyman accepted a police caution for gross indecency in 1993.

He says he only became aware of the truth when the former Bishop of Gloucester was jailed for 32 months at the Old Bailey in 2015 for sexual offences against 18 young men.

In his written statement to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, reported by The Times, the prince said he had been deceived by Ball, who said he was being persecuted by someone with a grudge.

Read more
Child sexual abuse in the church
Disgraced sex abuse bishop 'exploited ties to Prince Charles'

Prince Charles said: 'I was certainly not aware at the time of the significance or impact of the caution.

'I was not aware until recently that a caution in fact carries an acceptance of guilt.”

The inquiry is investigating whether prominent figures in the establishment attempted to interfere in the criminal justice process after Ball was accused of sexual offences.

It will hear from former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, who was found to have delayed a "proper investigation" into Ball's crimes for two decades by failing to pass information to police.

Reverend Graham Sawyer, who was abused by Ball as a teenager and waived his right to anonymity, and retired judge Lord Anthony Lloyd of Berwick, a former member of the House of Lords, will also give evidence. 

Heather Cook, ex-bishop convicted of fatally striking bicyclist with car in Baltimore, applies for work release

Former Episcopal Bishop Heather Cook, who is serving a sentence for manslaughter and other charges in the death of a Baltimore bicyclist, has applied for a work release program. (Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun)

Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs

Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun

July 26, 2018  10:10 AM

Heather E. Cook, the former Episcopal bishop serving a prison sentence for fatally striking a bicyclist with her car while drunk in 2014 in Baltimore, has applied for a work release program.
Cook’s application is under review, according to a prisons spokesman and a letter sent to the victim’s family and shared with The Baltimore Sun.

The prison system’s Victim Service Unit said in the July 19 letter to the family of Thomas Palermo that placement of Cook “is to begin within the next several weeks.”

But Gerard Shields, a spokesman for the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, said in an email that “there is no set time on when she would be approved or begin working” and he does not know why the letter gave that time frame.

Shields said the department’s review “is not a quick process” and that Cook is first undergoing a medical examination “to determine if she can work.”

Alisa Rock, a sister of Palermo’s wife, said in an email to The Sun that she opposes Cook’s application for work release. She said that by applying, Cook “once again attempts to limit the consequences of her actions.”

“I had hoped that, one day, Cook would truly grasp the enormity of the loss that her reckless behavior caused for us and our community,” Rock said. “It’s clear through these repeated requests designed to minimize her sentence that this has not been the case.”

Cook applied for home detention in May, but was denied, Shields said. The Maryland Parole Commission last year rejected Cook's first request for parole, with its chairman saying Cook "took no responsibility" for her actions and displayed a "lack of remorse."

Irish sex abuse survivors say Francis should admit to Vatican's cover-up

Jul 25, 2018
by Joshua J. McElwee

A man looks at a statue of the crucifixion of Christ in Ventry, Ireland. (CNS photo/Clodagh Kilcoyne, Reuters)

Several prominent Irish clergy sexual abuse survivors are calling on Pope Francis to use his upcoming visit to their country at the end of August to admit to the Vatican's role for decades in helping cover-up abuse cases on the island.

Noting that the pontiff publicly decried a "culture of abuse and cover-up" in the Chilean Catholic Church in a letter to the people of that country in May, the Irish survivors say they are owed a similar admission about how the church sought to silence them and fellow victims.

"It would be very right if he said the same sort of things here in Ireland, because the situation in Ireland was no different than the situation in Chile," said Marie Collins, an Irish survivor and former member of Francis' clergy abuse commission.

"I think it's an opportunity with the pope coming to Ireland to be open and very clear in ... saying something about it, because that really hasn't happened," Collins said in a July NCR interview.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Katy Perry Calls Pope Francis A ‘Rebel For Jesus’

07/18/2018 06:00 pm ET

The pop star told Vogue Australia she admired Francis’ humility, compassion and love of animals.

By Carol Kuruvilla

Pope Francis has apparently left quite an impression on pop star Katy Perry.

The American singer-songwriter, who met the pope in April, told Vogue Australia that she’s a “big fan” of Francis.

“It’s a combination of compassion, humility, sternness and refusal,” Perry said in a wide-ranging interview published Wednesday. “He is rebel ― a rebel for Jesus.”

Perry said she appreciated the pope’s love of animals, and that he took the name of her favorite saint, Francis of Assisi. She also said she admires that he sticks to his vow of poverty, even at the Vatican.


ANDREAS SOLARO via Getty Images Pope Francis waves to the crowd during the Sunday Angelus prayer at the Vatican on July 15.

The pope is indeed known for his simple lifestyle. He has opted to live at a Vatican City guesthouse instead of the much grander papal apartments at the Apostolic Palace, and he’s known for popping out to local shops in Rome to buy his own shoes and eyeglasses.

“He is bringing the Church back to humility and connecting with people,” Perry said. “He’s very humble and not frivolous.”

Perry briefly met Francis at the Vatican while she was in town for a health conference in April. She was chosen to speak at the international meeting about the benefits of Transcendental Meditation, a technique she credits with helping her gain control over her anxiety and stress. 

Trump makes statement from White House Rose Garden

Pompeo testifies on North Korea, Russia / 7/25/2018

Pompeo hearing gets heated over what Trump told Putin

Liberty of Conscience Threatened


Could the civil and religions freedom that
America stands for be quickly eroding away?

Illustration © Pacific Press Publ. Assoc.

Romanism is now regarded by Protestants with far greater favor than in former years. In those countries where Catholicism is not in the ascendancy, and the papists are taking a conciliatory course in order to gain influence, there is an increasing indifference concerning the doctrines that separate the reformed churches from the papal hierarchy; the opinion is gaining ground that, after all, we do not differ so widely upon vital points as has been supposed, and that a little concession on our part will bring us into a better understanding with Rome. The time was when Protestants placed a high value upon the liberty of conscience which had been so dearly purchased. They taught their children to abhor popery and held that to seek harmony with Rome would be disloyalty to God. But how widely different are the sentiments now expressed!

The defenders of the papacy declare that the church has been maligned, and the Protestant world are inclined to accept the statement. Many urge that it is unjust to judge the church of today by the abominations and absurdities that marked her reign during the centuries of ignorance and darkness. They excuse her horrible cruelty as the result of the barbarism of the times and plead that the influence of modern civilization has changed her sentiments. [564]

Have these persons forgotten the claim of infallibility put forth for eight hundred years by this haughty power? So far from being relinquished, this claim was affirmed in the nineteenth century with greater positiveness than ever before. As Rome asserts that the "church never erred; nor will it, according to the Scriptures, ever err" (John L. von Mosheim, Institutes of Ecclesiastical History, book 3, century II, part 2, chapter 2, section 9, note 17), how can she renounce the principles which governed her course in past ages?

The papal church will never relinquish her claim to infallibility. All that she has done in her persecution of those who reject her dogmas she holds to be right; and would she not repeat the same acts, should the opportunity be presented? Let the restraints now imposed by secular governments be removed and Rome be reinstated in her former power, and there would speedily be a revival of her tyranny and persecution.

A well-known writer speaks thus of the attitude of the papal hierarchy as regards freedom of conscience, and of the perils which especially threaten the United States from the success of her policy:

"There are many who are disposed to attribute any fear of Roman Catholicism in the United States to bigotry or childishness. Such see nothing in the character and attitude of Romanism that is hostile to our free institutions, or find nothing portentous in its growth. Let us, then, first compare some of the fundamental principles of our government with those of the Catholic Church.

"The Constitution of the United States guarantees liberty of conscience. Nothing is dearer or more fundamental. Pope Pius IX, in his Encyclical Letter of August 15, 1854, said: `The absurd and erroneous doctrines or ravings in defense of liberty of conscience are a most pestilential error—a pest, of all others, most to be dreaded in a state.' The same pope, in his Encyclical Letter of December 8, 1864, anathematized `those who assert the liberty of conscience and of religious [565] worship,' also 'all such as maintain that the church may not employ force.' 

Top cardinal demands Vatican get tough with bishops on sex abuse

WED JUL 25, 2018 / 8:40 AM EDT

Philip Pullella

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Cardinal Sean Patrick
 O'Malley arrives for a seminar at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy, March 23, 2017.

FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis speaks at the St. Nicholas Basilica in Bari, southern Italy, July 7, 2018.


(Reuters) - A leading Roman Catholic cardinal and key adviser to Pope Francis called on Tuesday for the Vatican to "swiftly and decisively" adopt strict policies for cases of sexual abuse involving bishops and top clergy.

Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston issued the appeal with the Church in the United States still reeling from allegations that another cardinal was involved in abuse of minors and sexual improprieties with adult seminarians years ago.

O'Malley said he was "deeply troubled" by the case of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and that it and others "raise up the fact that when charges are brought regarding a bishop or a cardinal, a major gap still exists in the Church’s policies on sexual conduct and sexual abuse".

His forceful statement also comes as the Vatican has been hit by a major scandal that has engulfed the Church in Chile.

Last month, the Vatican ordered McCarrick, 88, the retired archbishop of Washington, D.C., to cease public ministry after finding that allegations he sexually abused a teenager almost 50 years ago were credible..

Ministerial To Advance Religious Freedom


Courtesy Video

U.S. Department of State

Ministerial To Advance Religious Freedom – Remarks by Deputy Secretary John Sullivan, followed by remarks by a Survivor of Religious Persecution


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Mike Pompeo to State, Church Leaders:Give Pope Central Role & Sunday,A T...

Persecution of Andrew Brunson, John Cao Shared at Religious Freedom Ministerial

(UPDATED) First day of US State Department’s unprecedented event also includes discussion of Nineveh Plains aid between Greta Van Susteren, Mark Burnett, and Johnnie Moore.


JULY 24, 2018 10:50 AM

Image: Morgan Lee
Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom
Your daily news briefing from the editors of CT:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The first victim of religious persecution to share their story today at the US State Department’s first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom couldn’t share it in person.

Chinese pastor John Cao is currently serving a 7-year prison sentence, a punishment handed to him from the Chinese government after he helped build 16 schools for the Wa people, an impoverished minority group in Myanmar.

Cao’s wife, Jamie Powell, shared her husband’s story to a room full of dozens of religious civil society leaders from around the world.

“Spreading education wasn’t just the side goal of my husband,” said Powell. “It was his call from God. Education was the vehicle with which to enable freedom from poverty and moral wrongs.”

Her husband began to be harassed by the Chinese government when he built schools in Guizhou and Yunnan, two provinces in southwestern China. Surveillance and questioning by officials persisted, despite Cao eventually turning the schools over to the government.

While a US green card holder who moved to the states to attend Alliance Seminary in Nyack, New York, Cao nevertheless kept his Chinese citizenship to continue missions work in his homeland, World reported last year.

'Theybies': Letting Children Decide Their Gender

'Theybies': Letting Children Decide Their Gender

July 24, 2018


With Budd Mishkin

Is your baby a boy or a girl? Maybe, it’s a “theyby.” We’ll look at raising children without a gender designation.

Alex Morris, contributing editor to New York Magazine. (@AlexMorrisNY)

Nate Sharpe, father raising twin theybies, Zyler and Kadyn.

Lise Eliot, professor of neuroscience at the Chicago Medical School. Author of "Pink Brain, Blue Brain: How Small Differences Grow Into Troublesome Gaps — And What We Can Do About It." (@Lise_Eliot)

Eugene Beresin, executive director of The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds, child and adolescent psychiatrist. (@GeneBeresinMD)
From The Reading List

NBC News: "'Boy or girl?' Parents raising 'theybies' let kids decide" — "Three-year-old twins Zyler and Kadyn Sharpe scurried around the boys and girls clothing racks of a narrow consignment store filled with toys. Zyler, wearing rainbow leggings, scrutinized a pair of hot-pink-and-purple sneakers. Kadyn, in a T-Rex shirt, fixated on a musical cube that flashed colorful lights. At a glance, the only discernible difference between these fraternal twins is their hair — Zyler’s is brown and Kadyn’s is blond.

"Is Zyler a boy or a girl? How about Kadyn? That’s a question their parents, Nate and Julia Sharpe, say only the twins can decide. The Cambridge, Mass., couple represent a small group of parents raising “theybies” — children being brought up without gender designation from birth. A Facebook community for these parents currently claims about 220 members across the U.S."

Monday, July 23, 2018

Nicaragua Clergy, Siding With Protesters, Becomes ‘Terrible Enemy’ of Ortega

Msgr. Silvio José Báez, with microphone, and Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, left of him, addressed residents of Masaya, Nicaragua, last month. “An authentic pastor of the Catholic Church will never side with the executioners,” Monsignor Báez said.CreditMarvin Recinos/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

By Elisabeth Malkin and Frances Robles
July 22, 2018

Leer en español

MANAGUA, Nicaragua — Nicaragua’s senior Catholic clergy linked arms and pressed through a hostile, pro-government crowd screaming “murderers.” As they reached the basilica with a dozen people trapped inside, some of the mob burst in behind them.

In the scuffle, somebody slashed Managua’s auxiliary bishop, Msgr. Silvio José Báez, in the arm and ripped the insignia from his cassock. Eventually, the shoving ended and the clerics brought out the group — paramedics and Franciscan missionaries who had sought safety from the crowd.

Monsignor Báez brushed off the assault.

“What the people are going through is much more serious,” he said to reporters accompanying the clerics.

The Roman Catholic Church is on the front lines of an escalating conflict between the increasingly authoritarian government of President Daniel Ortega and the broad-based opposition that wants him gone. In a country where the church has often been immersed in politics, priests are both witnesses and players in the crisis that has racked the nation for the past three months and claimed almost 300 lives.

“We continue to be pastors, and an authentic pastor of the Catholic Church will never side with the executioners,” said Monsignor Báez. “He will always be with the victims.”

In the first days of the upheaval, Mr. Ortega appealed to the bishops to act as mediators in talks with the opposition, an alliance of disparate groups including students, business associations and farmers’ organizations. But as the government intensified its crackdown on the opposition, Mr. Ortega has stopped treating the bishops as neutral arbiters, unleashing attacks by his followers on priests and on churches.

Social justice is built into the Catholic school curriculum

Chaz Muth

Jul 22, 2018


Presentation Academy students stand arm in arm on the sidewalk in downtown Louisville, Ky., after walking out of class March 14 to call attention to gun violence. These Catholic school students were among thousands around the nation who participated in a National School Walkout. (Credit: CNS photo/Marnie McAllister, The Record.)

WASHINGTON, D.C. - At many Catholic schools, social justice might not be an assigned class, but it is part of the fabric of what they do throughout the school year from helping those in need to speaking up on social issues.

And in the past few years during various protests around the country, Catholic school students have raised their voices or called attention to issues of racism, gun violence, care for refugees or the unborn.

This past year was no exception. After the school shooting Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, several Catholic schools across the country sponsored awareness programs for students or provided time for prayer, reflection and action to curb gun violence during the nationwide student-sponsored event called National School Walkout. And weeks after that, Catholic school students also participated in the March for Our Lives events protesting gun violence in Washington and other locations.

Mercy High School in San Francisco observed 17 minutes of silence a month after the Florida school shooting and the student body president, Mogan Hildula, said she was confident her generation could make a difference to stop the violence.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Thai boys rescued from cave to be ordained in Buddhist ceremony

The "Wild Boars" are enjoying their first few days home after being discharged from hospital and speaking to the media about their harrowing ordeal inside the Tham Luang cave near the Myanmar border.

Updated:July 22, 2018, 7:35 PM IST 

Coach Ekkapol Janthawong and members of the rescued soccer team attend a Buddhist ceremony that is believed to extend the lives of its attendees as well as ridding them of dangers and misfortunes in Mae Sai district, Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand. (Image: AP)

Mae Sai (Thailand): Most members of the Thai youth football team rescued from a flooded cave will have their heads shaved, don robes and be ordained in a Buddhist ceremony this week, officials said Sunday.

The "Wild Boars" are enjoying their first few days home after being discharged from hospital and speaking to the media about their harrowing ordeal inside the Tham Luang cave near the Myanmar border.

The 12 boys, aged 11 to 16, and their coach went into the cave complex on June 23 after practice and were trapped by floods from monsoon rains.

They survived on water dripping from rocks for nine days before being found emaciated on a muddy ledge by rescue divers, who helped extract the team a week later in a risky mission.

All made a speedy and surprising recovery after a week in hospital, and on their first day out they prayed for good fortune in a traditional ceremony and mourned a former Thai navy SEAL who died during the rescue efforts.

Now they will go a step further and spend time living in a monastery before returning to normal life, a common practice in Buddhist-majority countries like Thailand.

"They will ordain for nine days," Prachon Pratsakul, the Chaing Rai governor, told reporters in a briefing at the Mae Sai district office.

"There will be about 11 boys ordained as novices and one ordained as a monk which is Coach Ek," he said, referring to Ekkapol Chantawong, who has already been in the monkhood and was said to have helped keep the boys calm inside the cave.

Praphun Khomjoi, Chiang Rai's Buddhist office chief, said that the "Wild Boars" will have their heads shaved on July 24 and attend a robe ceremony the next day.

They will then stay in different monasteries until leaving August 4.

One of the children, Adul Sam-on, will not join them as he is Christian, the governor said.

Authorities have told media to give the teammates time to adjust to their lives but interest in the story remains high, with production houses looking to make a Hollywood-style film on the saga.

The story is readymade for the screen, with a bold rescue operation that entailed sedating and moving the boys out of the cave through treacherous passageways. 

G20 warns that trade tensions are hindering worldwide growth

At a finance ministers' summit, the group issued a statement calling for dialogue over economy-killing trade disputes. The US reportedly tried to woo the EU and Japan for leverage over China.

The G20 finance ministers issued a warning on Sunday that "heightened trade and geopolitical tensions" were serious risks to global prosperity. The group of finance chiefs and central bankers from around the world published the communique at the end of a two-day summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

They emphasized "the need to step up dialogue and actions to mitigate risks and enhance confidence."

Although the statement did not mention the United States by name, the escalating conflict between it and China, the world's two largest economies, has resulted in $34 billion worth of tariffs on each other's goods.

On Friday, US President Donald Trump threatened to implement even more tariffs if Beijing does not agree to major changes in certain policies such as those for joint ventures – it is notoriously difficult for foreign companies and investors to gain a foothold in China.

US tries to woo EU, Japan with free trade offers

US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said that he did not have substantive talks with his Chinese counterpart at the meeting. He added that if China wanted to "negotiate meaningful changes," he was available.

The US has angered not only China but its allies in Europe by imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum. Trump has said he is also considering adding a new tariff on automotive parts, which would hit the EU and Japan particularly hard.

In retaliation, Europe has placed tariffs on US goods such as blue jeans, motorcycles and bourbon.

Canada's Finance Minister Bill Morneau said that Mnuchin had expressed a desire throughout the meeting to "drop all tariffs, non-tariff barriers and subsidies." Morneau cautioned however, that such a feat, while an "aspirational target," might be difficult to pull off in real life.

Mnuchin reportedly used the meeting to try and smooth tensions with the EU and Japan by offering free trade deals, hoping to get leverage over China.

es/se (AFP, Reuters)

Pope appeals for end of migrant shipwrecks, prays for dead


11 hrs ago 


© The Associated Press Paramedics carry a person rescued from a boat that capsized off Cyprus' northern coastline, as he is brought to a hospital in Silifke, near the city of Mersin, southern Turkey, late Wednesday, July 18, 2018. A boat carrying about 150 migrants capsized off the northern coast of Cyprus on Wednesday, with the search continuing and some 105 people rescued so far according to the Turkish coast guard. (Mustafa Ercan/DHA-Depo Photos via AP) 

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has lamented the latest migrant deaths in shipwrecks of smugglers' boats and entreated nations to act swiftly to prevent more tragedies.

Francis in his traditional Sunday appearance to faithful in St. Peter's Square expressed sorrow over recent deaths in the Mediterranean Sea and assured victims' loved ones of his prayers.

He called on "the international community to act decisively and quickly so similar tragedies aren't repeated" and said the "safety, respect of rights and the dignity of all must be guaranteed."

Far fewer migrants have arrived in Italy this year compared to the same period in 2017, but U.N. refugee officials say recent crossings have been deadlier.

With Italy's new populist government and Malta not allowing aid groups' boats to dock, rescued migrants lately have been stranded at sea for days.

Vatican suspends Chilean deacon accused of child abuse

Pope Francis (pictured) in May accepted the resignation of five Chilean bishops amid accusations of abuse. Photo: AFP

21 July 2018
12:19 CEST+02:00

The Vatican dismissed a Chilean deacon over sexual abuse accusations in central Chile, the archdiocese of the city of Rancagua said Friday, amid a widespread abuse scandal gripping the country's Catholic Church.
Luis Rubio was arrested for improper conduct and sexual abuse of minors when he was in charge of a Las Cabras school in 2013.

A year later, the archdiocese of Rancagua dismissed him from his duties while an investigation was underway, with the results sent to the Vatican, which has now expelled him.

Rubio's case was brought to the forefront in May when a television report revealed an alleged network of sexual abuse carried out by a group of religious figures collectively known as "The Family."

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Strict Protestants go to court to have Alkmaar Sunday dance party banned

Society July 20, 2018

One of Alkmaar’s several churches. Photo: By Txllxt via Wikimedia Commons

A group of strict Protestants who believe Sunday should be a day of rest are going to court on Friday to have a festival in the centre of Alkmaar banned.

The Vereniging Zondagsrust is using legislation dating from 1815 to make its case to halt the outdoor dance party, due to be held on Sunday August 26.

The legislation, which was amended in 1953, states that there must be no noise nuisance close to churches before 13.00 on Sunday or any public entertainment nearby, unless local councils rule otherwise.

But it also stops local councils in strict Protestant communities from banning sports events on Sundays.

 Councils are allowed to deviate from the rules, but must properly support their arguments, association lawyer Laus Vogelaar told local paper Noordhollands Dagblad.

And, he says, the town council has failed to mention the legislation when granting the licence for the event. Sunday as a day of rest is being increasingly undermined, he says, adding ‘it is right that the courts take a look at it’.

The Alkmaar resident who initiated the legal action told local website Alkmaar Centraal he hoped the courts would realise the importance of having a day of rest to city centre residents.

The previous coalition government had planned to remove the law from the statute books but the new coalition, which includes two Christian parties, decided to leave it unchallenged.


Revelations of US cardinal sex abuse will force pope’s hand




VATICAN CITY (AP) — Revelations that one of the most respected U.S. cardinals allegedly sexually abused both boys and adult seminarians have raised questions about who in the Catholic Church hierarchy knew — and what Pope Francis is going to do about it.

If the accusations against Cardinal Theodore McCarrick bear out — including a new case reported Friday involving an 11-year-old boy — will Francis revoke his title as cardinal? Sanction him to a lifetime of penance and prayer? Or even defrock him, the expected sanction if McCarrick were a mere priest?

And will Francis, who has already denounced a “culture of cover-up” in the church, take the investigation all the way to the top, where it will inevitably lead? McCarrick’s alleged sexual misdeeds with adults were reportedly brought to the Vatican’s attention years ago.

The matter is now on the desk of the pope, who has already spent the better part of 2018 dealing with a spiraling child sex abuse, adult gay priest sex and cover-up scandal in Chile that was so vast the entire bishops’ conference offered to resign in May.

And on Friday, Francis accepted the resignation of the Honduran deputy to Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, who is one of Francis’ top advisers. Auxiliary Bishop Juan José Pineda Fasquelle, 57, was accused of sexual misconduct with seminarians and lavish spending on his lovers that was so obvious to Honduras’ poverty-wracked faithful that Maradiaga is now under pressure to reveal what he knew of Pineda’s misdeeds and why he tolerated a sexually active gay bishop in his ranks.

The McCarrick scandal poses the same questions. It was apparently an open secret in some U.S. church circles that “Uncle Ted” invited seminarians to his beach house, and into his bed.

While such an abuse of power may have been quietly tolerated for decades, it doesn’t fly in the #MeToo era. And there has been a deafening silence from McCarrick’s brother bishops about what they might have known and when.

Fraternal solidarity is common among clerics, but some observers point to it as possible evidence of the so-called “gay lobby” or “lavender mafia” at work. These euphemisms — frequently denounced as politically incorrect displays of homophobia in the church — are used by some to describe a perceived protection and promotion network of gay Catholic clergy.

Turkey Linked To Salmonella Outbreak Across 26 States

A Man of Opportunity

NEHEMIAH, one of the Hebrew exiles, occupied a position of influence and honor in the Persian court. As cupbearer to the king he was admitted freely to the royal presence. By virtue of his position, and because of his abilities and fidelity, he had become the monarch's friend and counselor. The recipient of royal favor, however, though surrounded by pomp and splendor, did not forget his God nor his people. With deepest interest his heart turned toward Jerusalem; his hopes and joys were bound up with her prosperity. Through this man, prepared by his residence in the Persian court for the work to which he was to be called, God purposed to bring blessing to His people in the land of their fathers.

By messengers from Judea the Hebrew patriot learned that days of trial had come to Jerusalem, the chosen city. The returned exiles were suffering affliction and reproach. The temple and portions of the city had been rebuilt; but the work of restoration was hindered, the temple services were disturbed, and the people kept in constant alarm by the fact that the walls of the city were still largely in ruins.

Overwhelmed with sorrow, Nehemiah could neither eat nor drink; he "wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted." In his grief he turned to the divine Helper. "I . . . prayed," he said, "before the God of heaven." Faithfully he made confession of his sins and the sins of his people. He pleaded that God would maintain the cause of Israel, restore their courage and strength, and help them to build up the waste places of Judah.

As Nehemiah prayed, his faith and courage grew strong. His mouth was filled with holy arguments. He pointed to the dishonor that would be cast upon God, if His people, now that they had returned to Him, should be left in weakness and oppression; and he urged the Lord to bring to pass His promise: "If ye turn unto Me, and keep My Commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set My name there." See Deuteronomy 4:29-31. This promise had been given to Israel through Moses before they had entered Canaan, and during the centuries it had stood unchanged. God's people had now returned to Him in penitence and faith, and His promise would not fail.

Nehemiah had often poured out his soul in behalf of his people. But now as he prayed a holy purpose formed in his mind. He resolved that if he could obtain the consent of the king, and the necessary aid in procuring implements and material, he would himself undertake the task of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem and restoring Israel's national strength. And he asked the Lord to grant him favor in the sight of the king, that this plan might be carried out. "Prosper, I pray Thee, Thy servant this day," he entreated, "and grant him mercy in the sight of this man." 

Maranatha July 21 Sights of a Supernatural Character

A Catholic World Cup 2018. Putin,Pope,Trump on Same Team w/ 999 & 666;Dr...


The Unholy Alliance Between George Soros and Pope Francis

Special Report

The Unholy Alliance Between George Soros and Pope Francis

George Neumayr

May 3, 2017, 9:34 am

An excerpt from George Neumayr’s new book, “The Political Pope.”

The election of a liberal Jesuit to the papacy thrilled Democrats in the United States, whose unholy alliance with the Catholic left goes back many decades. Barack Obama, one of the pope’s most prominent supporters, has long been a beneficiary of that alliance. The faculty at Jesuit Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., ranked as one of the top donors to his campaign.

In a grim irony, Obama, whose presidency substantially eroded religious freedom in America, rose to power not in spite of the Catholic Church but because of it. The archdiocese of Chicago helped bankroll his radicalism in the 1980s. As he recounts in his memoirs, he began his work as a community organizer in the rectory rooms of Holy Rosary parish on Chicago’s South Side. The Alinskyite organization for which he worked — the Developing Communities Project — received tens of thousands of dollars from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.

Obama was close to the late Chicago Cardinal Joseph Bernardin. A proponent of the “Seamless Garment” movement within the Catholic Church in the 1980s, a movement that downplayed abortion and emphasized political liberalism, Bernardin was drawn to the socialism and relativism of the liberal elite. He was so “gay-friendly” that he requested that the “Windy City Gay Chorus” perform at his funeral. He embodied Obama’s conception of a “good” bishop and one can see in his admixture of left-wing politics and relativistic nonjudgmental theology a foreshadowing of the rise of Pope Francis.

Cardinal Bernardin put pressure on his priests to work with Obama and even paid for Obama’s plane fare out to a 1980 training session in Los Angeles organized by Saul Alinsky’s Industrial Areas Foundation. The conference was held at a Catholic college in Southern California, Mount St. Mary’s, which has long been associated with Alinsky’s group.

This alliance between the Catholic left and the Democratic left explains the honorary degree Obama received from Notre Dame in 2009, even as he plotted to persecute the Church under Obamacare’s contraceptive and abortifacient mandate. Notre Dame’s former president, Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, who supported honoring Obama, had been close to Monsignor John Egan, the socialist who started the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and sat on Saul Alinsky’s Industrial Areas Foundation board.

The unholy alliance also explains how the Democratic Party, despite its support for abortion and gay marriage, won a majority of the Catholic vote in Obama’s two presidential elections. At the 2012 Democratic convention in Charlotte, nuns such as Sister Simone Campbell shared the stage with abortion activists from Planned Parenthood. A liberal dean of a Catholic university, Sister Marguerite Kloos, even got caught in an act of voter fraud that year, forging the signature of a deceased nun on a ballot. As Thomas Pauken writes in The Thirty Years War, “the radicalization of elements of the Catholic clergy turned out to be one of Saul Alinsky’s most significant accomplishments.”

The election of Pope Francis was seen by Alinskyite activists as a dream come true. “I think that Pope Francis is quite an inspiring figure,” Al Gore said at UC Berkeley in early 2015. The former vice president turned radical environmental activist called Pope Francis a “phenomenon” and laughed at his liberalism: “Is the pope Catholic?” Gore said that he is so “inspiring to me” that “I could become a Catholic.”

Leftists frequently turn up at the Vatican, often invited by one of Pope Francis’s closest advisers, the socialist Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga. Before the pope’s visit to the U.S., a group of left-wing activists and officials from unions and organizations such as the SEIU and PICO (an Alinskyite group founded by the liberal Jesuit Father John Baumann) descended on the Vatican to confer with curial officials about the trip. Around the same time, over 90 members of the U.S. Congress sent Pope Francis a letter, urging him to focus upon politically liberal themes. The leader of this group was Rosa DeLauro, a Catholic who supports abortion rights.

In 2016, it was revealed through disclosures by WikiLeaks that the billionaire socialist George Soros bankrolled much of this lobbying. He spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in an attempt to shape the pope’s visit to the U.S. According to the leaked documents, Soros’s Open Society Foundation sought to create a “critical mass” of American bishops and lay Catholics supportive of the pope’s priorities. The documents made special mention of Maradiaga, a champion of PICO, as a useful ally for ensuring that the pope’s speeches in the U.S. pushed socialism

Here's what free speech and religious freedom have in common

Kelsey Dallas@kelsey_dallas

Published: July 19, 2018 10:00 pm
Updated: 17 hours

Andrew Harnik, AP
Anti-abortion demonstrators cheer during a rally outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, March 20, 2018, as the Supreme Court hears arguments in a free speech fight over California's attempt to regulate anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

SALT LAKE CITY — The First Amendment's free speech clause was once best known for protecting civil rights activists and anti-war protesters. But today, it's playing a growing role in cases affecting conservative religious Americans.

Two of the most notable religion cases before the Supreme Court last term hinged on free speech claims. In National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, the justices considered whether pregnancy centers that oppose abortion rights should be forced to share information about abortion access. In Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, a Christian baker described his wedding cakes as a form of speech, asking to be protected from having to express support for same-sex marriage by selling a cake to an LGBT couple.