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Vatican says Catholic Church can’t bless same-sex marriage: God ‘cannot bless sin’


Reported By Emily Wood, Christian Post Contributor 

Saints Peter and Paul Church is a Roman Catholic Church in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood, directly across from Washington Square. | Getty Images

The Vatican released a statement Monday announcing that churches have no power to bless same-sex marriage since God “cannot bless sin,” which clarifies Pope Francis’ stance on same-sex unions.

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a formal response to a question about whether Catholic churches have the power to bless same-sex unions. The question comes when “plans and proposals for blessings of unions of persons of the same sex are being advanced” in some “ecclesial contexts.”

“… It is not licit to impart a blessing on relationships, or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage …,” the Vatican statement reads.

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

In a Monday interview with The Christian Post, Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, which claims to be the nation’s largest Catholic civil rights organization, said the statement was “very much” welcomed because it removed doubt about the Vatican’s position on this topic.

“This [decision] finishes it,” Donohue said. “There’s nothing left to discuss. It’s non-negotiable. The Vatican left nothing on the table with these people pushing this agenda. It made it very clear that the Church can bless homosexuals as individuals, but it will never ever bless homosexual unions, never mind gay marriage.”

Same-sex marriage can’t be considered lawful in the Church because there are no grounds to consider it “even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family,” the statement written by Cardinal Luis Ladaria, a Spanish Jesuit, shared.

The Vatican’s statement comes after Pope Francis said during a documentary interview last October that he believes civil union laws should be created to legally cover same-sex couples in the civil sphere.

“Homosexual people have a right to be in a family. They are children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable over it,” the pope said.

Donohue said this was an awkwardly-phrased statement by the pope. But while some Catholics have urged Pope Francis to bless gay marriage in the past, the statement released today settles his position on same-sex unions.

Donohue said the statement came from the top doctrinal office of the Catholic Church and would not be released without receiving the Pope’s blessing.

“I was actually struck by the fact that it was so definitive,” Donohue said. “They really slammed the door shut on this issue. And I think it’s welcome because some Catholics and non-Catholics say, ‘Well, where is the Church on this issue? It seems to be bending toward their way.’ And now, I think this will put an end to it. And if people who are Catholic don’t like it, well, they are going to have to change their status then.”

In its statement, the Vatican said that the unlawful blessing of same-sex unions is not “a form of unjust discrimination, but rather a reminder of the truth of the liturgical rite and of the very nature of the sacramentals, as the Church understands them.”

The Vatican’s response said the Christian community and pastors should “welcome with respect and sensitivity persons with homosexual inclination” and find appropriate ways to “proclaim to them the Gospel in its fullness.”

“But [God] does not and cannot bless sin: he blesses sinful man, so that he may recognize that he is part of his plan of love and allow himself to be changed by him. He in fact ‘takes us as we are, but never leaves us as we are,’” the statement added.

The Catholic Church’s stance goes beyond gay marriage since it will not bless any union against God’s design of marriage, Donohue concluded.

“We can take it a step further,” he shared. “The Church will never bless cohabitation. This is not just with homosexuals. There are guys and gals who live together outside of marriage, and the Church does not recognize that. This is not strictly about homosexuals, although they are the ones who are pushing for it, obviously. But it would apply to any union that is outside of [licit marriage].”

Church Leaders Who Cancel Christmas Services Are Clinging To Government Lies, Not Christ


Church Leaders Who Cancel Christmas Services Are Clinging To Government Lies, Not Christ

The Supreme Court’s ruling last Wednesday against discriminatory targeting of religious groups with COVID-19 restrictions marked a significant victory in the ongoing battle to preserve religious liberty. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, hostile stakeholders in public office have assaulted the first freedom through superciliously labeling religious services “nonessential.” Christians in much of the country now find themselves in the demeaning and intolerable position of being allowed to worship only in the manner and on terms dictated by politically motivated governors.

Respecting authorities’ claims about an unknown disease made sense early in the outbreak, but now after better scientific information shows many initial fears are false. Yet politicians refuse to come clean while ignoring their own rules forbidding us from fulfilling our Christian duties. So it is time for us once again to assert that church is the most essential activity, period. Instead of valiantly fighting in the vanguard, however, many religious leaders have quickly retreated.

It is one thing for a church leader to prayerfully consider the individual needs of his church, striving to maintain unity among members in disagreements, protecting the health of the vulnerable, and offering stability amid uncertainty. It is quite another for shepherds to forsake the assembling of their flocks and enable the propaganda that congregating freely to worship God is selfish and “could kill grandma.” This unbiblical stance also overlooks the hypocrites in public office and the media who don’t even play by their own silly rules and ignore the data, for much lesser purposes than the health of our souls.

Many such religious leaders are neglecting the soul-saving mission of the church. The notion that being a good Christian requires indefinite cessation of communal worship — and for Catholics, the suspension of the sacraments — to prevent the spread of illness is a falsehood that has confused the faithful and undermined religious freedom.

Supreme Court Upholds Religious Liberty

In the case brought by the Orthodox Jewish group Agudath Israel of America and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, New York, against Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the Supreme Court held that “the restrictions at issue here, by effectively barring many from attending religious services, strike at the very heart of the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty.” In a concurring opinion, Justice Neil Gorsuch posed a pertinent rhetorical question: “Who knew that public health would so perfectly align with secular convenience?”

Gorsuch held that “the only explanation for treating religious places differently seems to be a judgment that what happens there just isn’t as ‘essential’ as what happens in secular spaces.” He warned that “in too many places, for far too long, our first freedom has fallen on deaf ears.”

For several months now, elected officials and many church leaders around the country have flagrantly ignored religious liberty. States such as California, Oregon, and Washington have witnessed a new wave of post-election crackdowns on religious services. In San Diego County, churches are currently prohibited from holding indoor services. Meanwhile, a San Diego court just issued a temporary order exempting coronavirus restrictions from applying to a strip club, ruling that such entertainment constitutes “constitutionally protected speech.”

In Oregon, new restrictions limit faith-based gatherings to a maximum of 25 people regardless of church size but allow businesses to continue operating at a reduced percentage of their total capacity. Archbishop of Portland Alexander Sample rightly argued that allowing a measly 25 worshipers in a cathedral that can seat 1,000 isn’t data-driven and doesn’t make sense.

The Church Is Essential

expressed concern back in May about politicians labeling religious services “nonessential” and allowing the state to determine on what terms churches can hold services. At that time, Washington bishops effectively thumbed their noses at President Trump for declaring that state governments should allow houses of worship to reopen.

The bishops instead hitched their wagon to Gov. Jay Inslee’s rogue horse. Hence six months down the road, Inslee again targeted Washington churches as part of his latest round of arbitrary fiats. Church capacity is reduced to 25 percent, and congregational and choral singing is prohibited.

Meanwhile, the very authorities who tut-tut and wag fingers clearly don’t adhere to or believe in the merits of their own nonsense rules. Sanctimonious public officeholders have lectured us about keeping business closed, taking unemployment on the chin, staying home, and wearing masks while they visit salons, attend private dinners, and jet off out of state for holidays with family. The duplicity of notorious mask shamers such as CNN’s Chris Cuomo and White House correspondents Kaitlan Collins and Jonathan Karl has similarly been on display.

The hypocrisy is not limited to the secular sphere. Pope Francis condemned peaceful lockdown protests despite the World Health Organization’s warning against using lockdowns as the primary means of controlling the virus. Francis believes that closing churches, businesses, and schools, and forcing people out of work are all “necessary for people’s protection.” He has even canceled public celebration of Christmas liturgies at the Vatican.

Yet Francis didn’t appear particularly worried about Wuhan virus transmission when, free from any semblance of social distancing and masks, he enjoyed a cozy chat about poverty and social justice with a group of handsomely paid NBA players and fellow pals of the Chinese Communist Party. Evidently, on protecting the freedom to assemble, to provide for one’s family, and even to freely worship, government-imposed restrictions are non-negotiable, but when it’s about racial and economic politics, the holy grail of neo-Marxists, lockdowns are a suggestion only.

Against this backdrop, Christians should be prepared for the usual suspects in public office and the press, facilitated by an array of religious leaders, to crack down on Christmas celebrations. We will no doubt hear more of the “we do this not out of fear but out of love” mantra. Given, however, that the survival rate is 94.6 percent for those 70 years and older and between 99.5-99.997 percent for those 69 and younger, rapid breakthroughs in therapeutics have been announced, three reportedly effective vaccines are on the way, and government authorities are flouting their own restrictions, the “love thy neighbor” lecture is becoming as tedious as it is false.

Christians Need Church to Obey God’s Commands

The Gospels tell us the greatest commandment is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind. We cannot fulfill the second greatest commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves if that love is not solidly founded in an encounter with God. This means gathering with the faithful in sung praise and thanksgiving, as we read in Psalms and was the custom from the earliest church, as well as explicitly commanded in scripture.

The Greek word for church, “ekklesia,” comes from the Old Testament and originally referred to the assembly of the people of Israel. When St. Paul first used the term, he intended it as the new community of believers in Christ. This “ekklesia” is not a human association borne of common interests and beliefs but a summoning by God himself.

For Catholics, the encounter with God is achieved even more profoundly through the sacrament of the Eucharist. Jesus is literally and wholly present — body and blood, soul and divinity — under the appearances of consecrated bread and wine. Whatever way you look at it, religious services are essential, and church leaders should say so.

Religious leaders must get their priorities straight. No doubt, pastors are genuinely concerned for the health of the most vulnerable in their communities and trying to accommodate the confusion and fears of their congregants. Some must feel their hands are tied by unsupportive leadership. Still others, I suspect, find themselves effectively cornered by congregants whose political indoctrination runs deeper than their catechesis.

Nevertheless, the role of preachers is to win souls for Christ, not to protect us or themselves from physical infirmity. St. Paul urges a return to God through Christ and cautions against domination by earthly pleasures and preoccupations. In other words, if, as St. Ambrose of Milan taught, we have a wound to heal, Christ is the doctor; if we are parched by fever, he is the spring; if we fear death, he is life; and if we are in darkness, he is light.

After a dismal year, and in sober anticipation of Joe Biden’s threatened “dark winter,” it is more important than ever for Christians to unite in praise of the Light that shines in the darkness and which the darkness has never put out. We should demand that our religious leaders mark the Nativity with fitting pomp and ceremony and refuse to support churches whose pastors spread or cower behind the lie that the celebration of Christmas is nonessential.

ABOUT TYHE AUTHOR:
Carina Benton is a native Australian living in Washington state. She is a practicing Catholic and has taught for many years in Catholic and Christian schools. She is a mother of two young children.
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2 Million Sign Petition Protesting Netflix’s ‘Gay Jesus’ Christmas Special


Reported by David Ng | 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/entertainment/2019/12/17/2-million-sign-petition-protesting-netflix-gay-jesus-christmas-special/

gay jesus / Netflix via IMDB

An online petition protesting a Netflix Christmas special that portrays Jesus Christ as a gay man has reached two million signatures, putting pressure on the streamer to pull the show.

The First Temptation of Christ depicts a thirty-ish Jesus bringing his boyfriend home to meet Mary and Joseph. The Portuguese-language special, which debuted worldwide on Netflix earlier this month, comes from the Brazilian comedy group Porta dos Fundos (literally, “Back Door”).

The petition is demanding that Netflix retract the 46-minute show and that its makers be held responsible for committing a “crime” against the faith.

Netflix is facing mounting criticism over the show. The Catholic bishop of Tyler, Texas, has called the streamer blasphemous over its release of the Christmas special.

“Respect is the last thing they are thinking about, every Christian should denounce this film, it is blasphemy against the Son of God who suffered & died even for all who deny that He is Lord of the Universe,” said Bishop Joseph Strickland in a tweet Sunday.

Strickland later said that he had cancelled his Netflix subscription.

“Dear America Podcast” host Graham Allen also condemned the show, saying: “Jesus isn’t some ‘woke’ culture experiment for you to convince young people that biblical teachings are ‘debatable’?!”

Netflix offers a wide array of progressive and left-leaning content, including shows from its high-profile production deal with former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama.

Former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice currently sits on Netflix’s board of directors.

Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos is a close friend of the Obamas’ and was an active fundraiser for the former president’s campaign.

The First Temptation of Christ also portrays the Virgin Mary as a marijuana smoker. Netflix backed the comedy group’s last religious send up, The Last Hangover, which satirized the last supper. Fábio Porchat, the star of the Netflix Christmas comedy special told Variety that the backlash to the film is “homophobic.”

The online petition is seeking a total of 3 million signatures.

Follow David Ng on Twitter @HeyItsDavidNg. Have a tip? Contact me at dng@breitbart.com

Bombshell: WaPo Issues Nathan Phillips Correction, Says Never Served in Vietnam


Reported By Ben Marquis | January 22, 2019 at 5:13pm

After an incident involving Covington Catholic High School students following Friday’s March for Life in Washington D.C., an Native American activist and black supremacist protesters became emblematic of “fake news” complaints that have been lodged against the establishment media for decades.

Starting with a short snippet of video featuring the Native American activist — identified as Omaha tribe elder and Marine Corps veteran Nathan Phillips — banging a drum and chanting while locked in a standoff with a smiling young teen wearing a red MAGA hat, the media ran wild with accusations of racism and harassment against the elder by the students who had purportedly approached and surrounded him in an intimidating display of white privilege and social oppression.

Except, having rushed to judgment without waiting for all of the facts, much of the media was forced to walk back their initial reports by Sunday after other, longer videos emerged that painted an entirely different picture. It was the boys who had been harassed by the black supremacists and approached by Phillips, not the other way around, as had been implied at first.

The media had sought to demonize the students and portray Phillips as a victim, and countless outlets — including The Washington Post — reported that the abuse from the boys was extra terrible in light of the fact that Phillips was a combat veteran of the Vietnam War.  Except, the media has had to walk back that claim as well, as it has now been revealed that Phillips never served in Vietnam, though it is still maintained that he served as a Marine during the same time period.

The Washington Post issued a correction on Tuesday about Phillips to the hit piece against the MAGA hat-wearing boys that was first posted on Sunday morning. That correction reads: “Earlier versions of this story incorrectly said that Native American activist Nathan Phillips fought in the Vietnam War. Phillips served in the U.S. Marines from 1972 to 1976 but was never deployed to Vietnam.”

This is yet another huge factual error within the larger array of mistakes in the story that the media got wrong at first glance. It doesn’t appear that Phillips ever specifically described himself as a combat veteran — though he certainly remains fair game for criticism for his distorted version of events in several interviews following the incident. Yet, despite Phillips having never specifically said he was a combat veteran of the Vietnam era, that was most definitely insinuated — both implicitly and explicitly by some — in countless reports and tweets from media outlets and reporters.

CNN transcripts from their interview with Nathan Phillips say that he said he was a Vietnam War veteran, but the video interview shows him saying he is a “Vietnam times veteran.”

The folks over at a veteran-focused blog known as This Ain’t Hell took a closer look at the circumstances surrounding the media’s portrayal of the self-described “Vietnam times veteran.”

Without Phillips’ military service records to verify — that have been requested — the blog nevertheless proceeded to display several screenshots of media chyrons and tweets announcing Phillips as a war vet, again clearly implying that he had served in the conflict.

The blog further dug into several interviews of Phillips and even looked into old media accounts of Phillips from prior incidents over the years and found no evidence that he had ever described himself as a combat veteran, but did find several instances where potentially “over-zealous” reporters had assigned that specific honor to him.

On top of that, the blog also looked closely at his age — reported to be 64 — and compared that to the actual timeline of the Vietnam War. Phillips would have turned 18 right around the tail-end of the war in 1972/73, so there is only an exceptionally small window with little margin for error to account for his having graduated from high school, enlisting in the Marines, as well as graduating from basic training and additional training schools prior to being immediately shipped off to the war zone, were he to have actually served in the war.

Again, without his actual service records to provide verification, there is really no way to know for sure, but odds are Phillips served in the Marines during what is called the Vietnam era — which officially ended in 1975 — without having served in the combat zone.

To be sure, we here at Conservative Tribune are not knocking Phillips for his military service. Indeed, we commend him for his service and sacrifice to the nation, regardless of whether he served overseas or at home, during a time of war or peace.

Instead, we are throwing a sharp elbow in the direction of the mainstream media — especially The Washington Post — and all of the reporters who perpetuated the implication that he was a Vietnam War veteran who had actually fought in the war, which appears to have not been the case at all.

This was a story made huge by the media in large part because it was deceptively framed to fit the preconceived notions of liberals by portraying a Native American activist as an oppressed victim and a bunch of white, MAGA hat-wearing Catholic school boys as privileged aggressors, which was pretty much the opposite of what actually happened. The media should be ashamed of themselves, and minor corrections and half-hearted apologies aren’t going to cut it in making things right this time.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Writer and researcher. Constitutional conservatarian with a strong focus on protecting the Second and First Amendments.

Pope Francis: There Is No Hell


Reported By Randy DeSoto | March 29, 2018 at 11:35am

URL of the original posting site: https://www.westernjournal.com/pope-francis-there-is-no-hell/

Pope Francis reportedly proclaimed that hell does not exist and that condemned souls disappear when they die, in a pronouncement that runs contrary to 2000 years of Christian teaching. The pope is said to have made the statement to his longtime atheist friend Eugenio Scalfari, publisher of La Repubblica, CNS News reported.

In an article in the Italian paper titled “The Pope: It is an honor to be called a revolutionary,” Scalfari is quoted asking the pontiff, “You have never spoken to me about the souls who died in sin and will go to hell to suffer it for eternity. You have however spoken to me of good souls, admitted to the contemplation of God. But what about bad souls? Where are they punished?”

The Pope responded, “They are not punished, those who repent obtain the forgiveness of God and enter the rank of souls who contemplate him, but those who do not repent and cannot therefore be forgiven disappear. There is no hell, there is the disappearance of sinful souls.”

The Catholic leader’s view does not square with the Bible’s multiple affirmations of the existence of hell.

The late evangelist Billy Graham wrote on the subject, “It might surprise you to learn that the person in the Bible who spoke the most about hell’s reality was Jesus.”

Graham continued: “He repeatedly warned us not to take it lightly: ‘Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell’ (Matthew 10:28).”

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The Christian Broadcasting Network in a piece entitled “Is Hell A Real Place?” pointed out that the Bible described hell as a place of torment, darkness and fire. Jesus said some will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8:12).”

The Apostle Paul wrote that those who don’t know Jesus “shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power (2 Thessalonians 1:8-10).”

The Book of Revelation, written by the Apostle John, records one day all those who go to hell will face a final judgement.

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Chapter 20, verses 13-15, read: “The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”

Christ said to Peter, Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it (Matthew 16:17-18).”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church holds to the reality of hell, as well.

“The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, ‘eternal fire.’ The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs,” it reads.

The document further states: “The affirmations of Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Church on the subject of hell are a call to the responsibility incumbent upon man to make use of his freedom in view of his eternal destiny.”

The Vatican released a statement in response to Scalfari’s article denying the writer directly quoted the pope, but not the substance of his reported claim that hell does not exist.

“The Holy Father Francis recently received the founder of the newspaper La Repubblica in a private meeting on the occasion of Easter, without giving any interview,” the statement reads.

It continues: “What is reported by the author in today’s article is the result of his reconstruction, in which the textual words pronounced by the Pope are not quoted. No quotation of the aforementioned article must therefore be considered a faithful transcription of the words of the Holy Father.”

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