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Posted on 10/10/2019 18:45 PM (CNA Daily News - US)
South Bend, Ind., Oct 10, 2019 / 10:45 am (CNA).- More fetal remains were found in vehicles owned by the late Indiana abortionist Ulrich Klopfer on Wednesday, just weeks after the remains of more than 2,200 aborted babies were first discovered at his Illinois residence.
On Oct. 9, the Will County, Illinois, Sheriff’s Office discovered more fetal remains in vehicles owned by Klopfer, which were parked at an outdoor gated lot at a business property in Dolton, Illinois.
According to a release by the Indiana Attorney General’s office, investigators found eight cars belonging to Klopfer and discovered, in the trunk of one of the vehicles, five plastic bags and one box that contained fetal remains.
“The discovery of more fetal remains that Dr. Klopfer hoarded for his grotesque collection is just more reason we need to pass my Dignity for Aborted Children Act, which would ensure the remains of aborted children are given the proper burial and respect they deserve and horrible discoveries like this cannot be allowed to happen again,” Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) said in a statement provided to CNA.
Braun’s Dignity for Aborted Children Act has been cosponsored in the Senate by Sens. Todd Young (R-Ind.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
Klopfer had performed obstetrics, gynecological services, and surgical and medical abortions at clinics in Fort Wayne, Gary, and South Bend, Indiana. He was estimated to have aborted more than 30,000 children over a span of four decades.
His medical license was suspended by the state of Indiana in 2015 and indefinitely in 2016, after numerous complaints were issued against him. He admitted to performing abortions on two 13 year-old girls and did not report the cases to the state in a timely manner. His Fort Wayne clinic was reported by the state’s medical board to be “rundown,” and he charged adult patients extra for pain medication.
He also admitted to performing an abortion on a 10 year-old girl in Illinois, who had been raped by her uncle, while not reporting her case to the authorities.
On Sept. 3, Klopfer died, and on Sept. 12, local Will County, Illinois authorities were alerted by Klopfer’s family to the discovery of fetal remains at his Illinois residence. Authorities found medically-preserved fetal remains of 2,246 babies at his home, along with patient records.
The remains were reportedly stored in boxes dated 2000-2002, a period during which Klopfer owned and operated three abortion clinics in Indiana. Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend offered to have the fetal remains buried at a Catholic cemetery in his diocese.
Since then, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill (R) has announced that he is working with Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul (D) to investigate the matter.
“We grieve for the little ones denied their very humanity and with the mothers forced to relive the trauma endured at Klopfer’s hands, wondering if their child is among his collection of bodies,” Sue Swayze Liebel, state policy director for the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List and an Indiana native, stated. “All of Klopfer’s victims deserved so much better.”
Attorney General Hill said that “the protocol we have already set up for dealing with these disturbing circumstances” will apply to the newly-discovered remains, and that the office will work to make sure “that these unborn children receive a respectful final disposition here in Indiana.”
In addition to their legislation in the Senate, Indiana Senators Young and Braun have petitioned the office of U.S. Attorney General William Barr for assistance in the current multi-state investigation into Klopfer, along with 65 Members in the House.
The White House has also called for a “full investigation” into the situation.
Posted on 10/10/2019 11:10 AM (CNA Daily News - US)
Philadelphia, Pa., Oct 10, 2019 / 03:10 am (CNA).- Hundreds of African Catholics gathered last Sunday for an annual Mass in Philadelphia, blending cultures, languages, and attire from across the African continent.
The sixth annual African Family Heritage Mass was hosted Oct. 6 by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Mass and a celebratory banquet were held at St. Raymond of Penafort Church in northwest Philadelphia.
Sister Florence Enechukwu, a Missionary Sister of the Holy Rosary, founded the event in 2014. Father Christopher Walsh, the pastor at St. Raymond, was the main celebrant and homilist this year.
Walsh told CNA that the event gathered people representing 21 African countries.
“This is an opportunity for them to get together to worship...Different communities take different parts of the Mass and many different languages are used,” he said.
The scripture readings at the Mass were proclaimed in Swahili and English; the prayers of the faithful were read by representatives of Malawi, Tanzania, Eritrea, and Democratic Republic of the Congo, Catholic Philly reported.
Prior to the Mass, a Liberian choir sang “Let Us Come to Jesus My Friend.” During Mass, songs were sung by Kenyan, Francophone, and Nigerian Igbo choirs.
While some participants are part of vibrant communities in their hometowns, Walsh said, “there were also people there who drove down from areas further away in Pennsylvania who don't get to connect. They're from Africa, but they don't get a chance to connect with the larger African community.”
The priest noted that cultural practices are often tied closely to the dissemination of faith.
“The Church has always had an appreciation for culture, and in many cases, the African culture in which these folks grew up is the culture that passed on the faith to them,” he said. “Being able to celebrate in their own liturgical style with their own liturgical music, praying to God in their own language, is important.”
The event, which is hosted at a different parish every year, was held at St. Raymond’s this year because of the parish’s refugee ministry. The parish has sponsored 10 African refugees, hailing from Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Tanzania.
Walsh told CNA that the parish works with several agencies to support the refugees. The parish is able to provide clothes and pay a portion of their rent for a few months, in addition to helping them find work and obtain documentation and diplomas.
Participants at the Mass came from Togo, Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Liberia, Congo, and the Ivory Coast, among other countries. They wore traditional African clothing from their respective countries.
Many attendees wore clothing featuring black and white images of their favorite saint atop their clothing. Emmanuel Okoro, coordinator for the Igbo Catholic Community at St. Cyprian Parish, said the event is joyfully anticipated by the African communities in the area.
“Many of us are wearing a patron saint,” Okoro told Catholic Philly. “I chose to wear the outfit with St. John Paul II. I have a special devotion to him. Many of those here are from throughout the Philadelphia Archdiocese and Camden. You will see that many of us are wearing different saints,” she told the Catholic Philly.
After Mass, a buffet was offered with a variety of traditional African dishes from different regions.
“It is part of the culture to make sure everyone comes together. Many of these groups worship together as a group,” said Samuel Abu, coordinator for the archdiocese’s Refugee Resettlement Program.
“Under Archbishop Charles Chaput we have the opportunity to pray together and gather to serve God,” he told Catholic Philly. “We have apostolates throughout the archdiocese. The African Catholic community is always increasing because now we have first, second and third generations of families. This Mass made it possible to bring them together.”
Posted on 10/10/2019 08:35 AM (CNA Daily News - US)
New York City, N.Y., Oct 10, 2019 / 12:35 am (CNA).- Violence against women remains a global concern for the Vatican, an official told members of the United Nations this week, stressing that society must “advance and defend all the rights derived from the inalienable human dignity of every woman and girl.”
Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Holy See's Permanent Observer to the UN, on Monday sent an address to the UN General Assembly’s third committee that highlighted the “unique and irreplaceable” role of women in the world.
“While significant progress has been made in increasing the participation of women in social, political, economic and cultural life, and in ending violence against women and girls, much remains to be achieved,” Auza said.
He cited a report from the UN Secretary-General and said migrant women in particular, including many female migrant workers, are at risk of labor exploitation, human trafficking, and also face broader social exclusion. He said this remains a deep concern of the Holy See.
“These women deserve to be welcomed, protected, and integrated within our communities with dignity. They also deserve full and equal recognition before the law, including through access to the justice system,” Auza said.
“These women courageously leave their land and communities, often in the most difficult circumstances, to provide for their family and to assure their children of a better future. It is necessary, therefore, to adopt specific measures to protect and assist women migrant workers and to recognize their precious contribution to society.”
Auza also mentioned the “heinous” practice of trafficking of newborn babies, as well as forced surrogacy. He called for “effective legislation and enforcement to prevent trafficking in persons and limit impunity as much as possible.”
“While there have been various advances in formulating adequate legal instruments to investigate, prosecute and punish traffickers, in unlocking the financial chains, understanding the connection to other forms of organized crime and corruption, and fostering cooperation at and across borders, concrete measures and effective sanctions remain often limited,” he said.
September 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the UN’s Fourth World Conference on Women and the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, parts of which the Vatican spoke out strongly against, including efforts to expand abortion as a means of population control.
Auza quoted Pope St. John Paul II, who wrote in 1995 to the Secretary-General of the Fourth World Conference on Women.
“There will never be justice, including equality, development and peace, for women or for men, unless there is an unfailing determination to respect, protect, love and serve life— every human life, at every stage and in every situation,” Pope John Paul II wrote.
“The Holy See insists on equality in dignity between men and women and on equal respect at all stages of their lives...This remains an utmost priority and focus of the Holy See,” Auza added.
Posted on 10/10/2019 01:00 AM (CNA Daily News - US)
Washington D.C., Oct 9, 2019 / 05:00 pm (CNA).- The Little Sisters of the Poor have filed a petition requesting that the Supreme Court affirm the religious exemption protecting them from having to comply with the HHS Contraceptive Mandate of the Affordable Care Act.
The renewed petition comes after several states, including Pennsylvania and California, sued the Little Sisters of the Poor in response to an exemption granted to them in 2017 after their last appearance before the Supreme Court.
“The states are arguing that even though there’s injunctions in the mandate in the Little Sisters’ case in this country, it violated the law for the federal government to issue a religious exemption,” Diana Verm, senior counsel with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, told CNA. Becket is providing legal counsel for the Little Sisters of the Poor.
“The Little Sisters just want to go back to serving the elderly poor,” said Verm. “If the Supreme Court rules in their favor, they’ll be able to do so.”
The Little Sisters of the Poor are a Catholic religious order dedicated to the care of the elderly poor in addition to their vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.
When the HHS Contraceptive Mandate was announced in 2011, the Sisters were told that they would not be grandfathered in and would have to provide contraception to there employees through their insurance plan, in violation of their religious faith. Despite being a religious order, the Little Sisters of the Poor did not qualify as a religious employer as they serve and employ people of all faiths.
In 2013, the order first filed suit against the Department of Health and Human Services, claiming that the mandate was a violation of their religious freedom. They were granted an emergency injunction at the end of that year that prevented them from having to pay thousands of dollars in fines for not complying with the mandate.
Three years later, the Supreme Court sided with the Little Sisters, and ordered the government to come up with a solution that would appease all sides. In 2017, this solution came in the form of a new rule from the Department of Health and Human Services that exempted religious non-profits from the mandate.
Verm noted that throughout the six-year legal process, not a single person has been presented as being unable to obtain contraception due to working for a religious employer under the exemption. In its own suit against the Sisters, Pennsylvania has admitted that there are many other ways for a woman to get contraception aside from their employer.
Presently, an injunction granted by a Colorado court protects the religious order from the mandate, and preserves the exemption for religious-based nonprofits.
If the Little Sisters of the Poor do not win this court case, Verm said, they would have to pay thousands of dollars in fines to the government.
“That would be crippling,” she said.
Posted on 10/10/2019 00:00 AM (CNA Daily News - US)
Washington D.C., Oct 9, 2019 / 04:00 pm (CNA).- Advocates for children, parents, and women’s rights all spoke out against growing threats of the sexualization of children at a summit on Wednesday.
Panelists at the event, hosted by the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 9, addressed three areas—culture, education, and healthcare—where children are threatened by exposure to violent pornography, efforts to normalize sex prostitution, and a push to encourage them to question and alter their gender.
Parents are now “told that puberty-blocking drugs and cross-sex hormones may be the only way to prevent their child from committing suicide,” said Ryan Anderson, the William E. Simon senior research fellow at Heritage and moderator of the summit’s panel on healthcare.
Seventeen states have “passed laws banning medical professionals from helping a child to identify with their own body,” he added. And in all 50 states, doctors can prescribe testosterone for girls and estrogen for boys, and perform mastectomies on girls.
These procedures are being performed on children whose brains will not be fully developed until their mid-20s, Dr. Joseph Zenga, past president of the American Academy of Pediatricians noted, while observing that anti-smoking campaigns were predicated upon this fact.
“The brain does not mature until the mid-20s,” Dr. Joseph Zenga, past president of the American Academy of Pediatricians, stated on Wednesday. “This is malpractice as well as child abuse,” he said. “We are committing uncontrolled experiments on our children.”
The summit comes just months after the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education released a document in June denouncing gender theory, titled “Male and Female He Created Them.” The document upheld the Church’s teaching on the natural sexual differences between men and women and human nature.
In his 2015 encyclical Laudato Si, Pope Francis wrote of the importance of accepting one’s body as a gift from God, rather than seeking to fundamentally change it.
“The acceptance of our bodies as God’s gift is vital for welcoming and accepting the entire world as a gift from the Father and our common home, whereas thinking that we enjoy absolute power over our own bodies turns, often subtly, into thinking that we enjoy absolute power over creation,” Pope Francis wrote.
Dr. Zenga also criticized gender theory as having “no basis in science.”
“There is no science that says you can be any gender you can want to be,” he said, yet doctors are now encouraging children to embrace their gender confusion—and they are being told they cannot counsel children against a sex change.
“Boys will always be boys, and girls will always be girls,” he said.
The Vatican also responded to gender theories in “Male and Female He Created Them,” saying that they teach “that one’s gender ends up being viewed as more important than being of male or female sex.”
This, in effect, creates “a cultural and ideological revolution driven by relativism, and secondarily a juridical revolution, since such beliefs claim specific rights for the individual and across society.”
Walt Heyer, a “detransitioner” and founder of SexChangeRegret.com, said he’s received inquiries from people anywhere from several days after their gender-transition surgery to 32 years after surgery, expressing their regret and asking him for help. “People today in the hundreds, in the thousands, regret having been caught up in this madness,” he said.
Children are also threatened by the increasing availability—and graphic nature—of pornography, said Haley Halverson of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCSE).
“It is no longer a question of if children will be exposed to pornography; it is a question of when,” Halverson said on Wednesday. Children may either first be exposed through their friends, through using Google for school projects, or even playing age-appropriate video games, she said.
While “not everyone who is exposed has the same response,” she said, “for many, repeat exposure leads to a myriad of harms on adolescent development, relationships, and even sexual function.” There have been 40 peer-reviewed studies since 2011 revealing that porn harms a child’s brain structure and development, she said.
The violent nature of pornography also teaches impressionable young minds “that ‘no’ means ‘yes,’ and that violence is sexy,” Halverson said. Children also feel the need to “act out” the media they have received, and there is a “rising crisis of children who are sexually abusing other children.”
The NCSE has authored resolutions that have passed in 15 states calling pornography a public health crisis. In 2016, the Republican National Committee platform adopted at the convention also called pornography a “public health crisis.”
There is also a new push in the U.S. to normalize and decriminalize sex trafficking, panel experts warned.
Decriminalization would include the exploiters of women, Halverson said, pimps, sex traffickers and buyers, and “would lead to an exponential boom” in commercial sexual exploitation.
Natasha Chart, a board member of the Women’s Liberation Front, described how she was almost caught up in the sex trade at 17 years old, and added that young women are vulnerable to being ensnared in an exploitative industry—but if they are desensitized to abusive sex through violent pornography, they may not have the awareness to say no.
“Are they going to have that fear if they’ve been watching violent porn since 2011?” she asked.
Yet some progressive non-profits have been working to normalize commercial sexual exploitation. One media guide that Chart referenced recommends usage of the terms “involved in the sex trade” or “trading sex” or “sex worker.”
People are now saying it’s “feminism to whitewash the commercial sexual exploitation of children,” she said.