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Pope Francis SHOCKS Catholics: OK to be gay

Liberal media attempts to capitalize on out of context statement on a far more serious issue addressed within the Roman Catholic Church

Seraphim Hanisch

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Pope Francis reportedly told a gay man that “God made you that way…” according to a report from the Spanish newspaper El Pais. This article, released on 21 May, 2018, covers the account of a man named Juan Carlos Cruz, who was victimized sexually by a Chilean Roman Catholic priest. Mr. Cruz got to not only speak with the Pope, but actually spent a week at the Pope’s residence in Santa Marta.

During that stay, the Pope showed amazingly kind pastoral care, but the ending statement, quoted in the article, has sent shockwaves across the Christian world, most notably that of the Roman Catholic faithful. The comment was shown as an answer to an interview, given here in question-and-answer format:

Q. Did you discuss your homosexuality and how you had to endure further suffering because of it?

A. Yes, we did. He had pretty much been told that I was a perverse being. I explained that I was not a saint, but that I am not a bad person, either. I try not to hurt anybody. He told me: “Juan Carlos, it doesn’t matter that you’re gay. God made you that way and that is the way He wants you to be, and I don’t mind. The Pope wants you this way too, and you have to be happy with who you are.

This statement was picked up by the Los Angeles Times under the headline “Pope’s reported comment to a gay man may indicate a new level of acceptance of homosexuality.”

Similarly, the pope’s comments were picked up and reported by other media outlets, including the Independent, the British tabloid the Sun, and Time Magazine as well, which cut to the heart of liberal hopes with its headline “Pope Francis Reportedly Told a Gay Man ‘God Made You Like This'”

Indeed over the time of the pontiff’s post as the head of the Roman Catholic Church, he has ruffled conservative feathers many a time with comments like this, as shown here in WorldNet Daily, (WND). One may remember the reported comment to an atheist friend, who then reported in a very subjective manner that the Pope claimed that there is no Hell, and that the souls of the unrighteous simply disappear into nothingness.

However, a further search of Pope Francis’ statements reveals something a little bit inconvenient to liberal activists whose prize achievement would be to have the Roman Catholic Church publicly normalize same-sex relationships.

This piece shows that such hopes may well be highly misplaced. This article was run by the Human Rights Campaign, which is actually the largest of George Soros’ associated groups that express this as their purpose:

Founded in 1980, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) “strives to end discrimination against LGBTQ people and realize a world … where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people are ensured equality and embraced as full members of society.” With more than 3 million members and supporters nationwide, it is the largest and most influential LGBTQ lobbying group in the United States, supporting political candidates and legislation that will advance the LGBTQ agenda. Historically, HRC has most vigorously championed the legalization of gay marriage, the expansion of “hate crime” laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected categories; the abrogation of the U.S. Military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy; and the passage of HIV/AIDS-related legislation.

However, their own piece reveals that Pope Francis is not really creating a sea change in the viewpoint of the Roman Catholic Church on homosexuality.

He does appear to be attempting to make an honest pastoral approach to people who are involved in this lifestyle. Additionally, he seems to be quite contrite about the matter of priestly sexual abuse such as exists in many places within the Roman Catholic Church.  This, in fact was the actual topic of the original El Pais news article, and the main focus had very little to do with the Pope’s attitude toward homosexuality.

That article concerned in depth the matter of a man who reported being sexually victimized by a priest named Fernando Kardima in Chile. Fr Kardima’s actions were allegedly known about by his bishop, Juan Barros, but Cruz’ complaints were never investigated, and the bishop allegedly blocked attempts to conduct an investigation into this charge. Initially, Pope Francis himself accused Mr. Cruz of slandering Bishop Barros without any proof.

This was a public accusation, too, so Mr. Cruz found himself having to stand up to the leader of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, a position that for him as a devout believer, was undoubtedly most distressing.

Juan Carlos Cruz, a victim of priestly sexual abuse, speaking at the headquarters of the Foundation of Trust in Chile, January 2018. (c) Sebastian Utreras

However, the story does not end there. The Pope reconsidered the story and investigated it, and found that Juan Carlos Cruz was in fact telling the truth about the abuse he withstood. The Pope’s subsequent action was to invite Cruz to spend a week at the Pope’s own residence in Santa Marta, and while Cruz was there, the Pope apologized to him for not believing his story. From Cruz’ own account:

Cruz: The first thing [the Pope] told me was ‘I want to apologize to you, in the name of the Pope and the Church, for everything that you have been through. I apologize personally, because I caused this situation that has given you so much pain in the last few months.’ And I replied that it is not good for him to be surrounded by pernicious influences like the Nuncio, or Cardinal Errazuriz, who feeds him disinformation. And then he’s got bishops who work like a real mafia, concealing and minimizing everything. The Pope was shocked. I told him that these men had sunk his own image in Chile, and that is why there are so few people going to Mass. He said that he enjoyed going to Chile but that he had seen strange things there. He seemed hurt for having been to Chile with such poor information, and that’s why I believe him.

El Pais: Did you talk about the abuse?

Cruz: Yes, in great detail. I cried, and he looked very pained. He put his hand on my shoulder and said ‘Go ahead and cry, child.’

El Pais: Did you tell him that you are still a believer?

Cruz: Yes, of course. He had been told that I did not have the faith, that I was an enemy of the Church. I told him that this made me very angry, because I still believe and I still love the Church, and I believe that this can change. ‘My faith is tremendously important to me, Your Holiness,’ I said. I think it is horrible that they’re trying to destroy even that. ‘That is tremendously evil,’ he replied. I explained that I want to be a good person, and I cannot stand to think that what was done to me is being done to thousands of people by other bishops elsewhere in the world, and this has got to end. I told him that he already has a good reputation for being an approachable man. ‘You could have a spectacular papacy if you grab the bull by the horns and get tough on the issue of abuse, and send out the message that the Pope is no longer going to tolerate this,’ I said. And he replied: ‘Help me ensure that the Holy Spirit will guide me so I know what to do.’

This is a MUCH different story than the point about the homosexuality comment. And while the article ends with the exchange quoted at the beginning, one may begin to understand that what happened here is probably less an issue of squishy theology and more of an issue of pastoral care to someone who really needed it.

The mainstream liberal press ignored all of this and tried to use the situation to capitalize on their own agenda, and in this they attempted to use a pastoral statement and make something more out of it than it perhaps was intended to be.

To be sure, Pope Francis has been quite solid on the matter of what constitutes a real family. A mother and father are required, not a same sex couple. While the Pope has been far more inclusive in his discussion of the matter of homosexual people being in the Roman Church, his pastoral care does not go to the place where he negates or changes the Church’s position on “gender theory” – for the Church, this idea is nonsense, and Francis has said as much.

If there is anything to be perhaps criticized, it might simply be the notion that was quoted that “God made you that way”, which is theologically untrue. However, the ancient Church understood and grappled with the issue of homosexuality even more than the modern day Christian Church does.

For Juan Carlos Cruz, at that moment the point in life was probably not to address his homosexuality – it was to make right the wrong that had been done him by those with authority in the Roman Catholic Church. However, Pope Francis’ own words also say that the lifestyle is indeed sinful, though the inclination to that lifestyle is not, which is something the Church has always taught. For example, Pope Francis has publicly made these statements: 

Let’s think of the nuclear arms, of the possibility to annihilate in a few instants a very high number of human beings. Let’s think also of genetic manipulation, of the manipulation of life, or of the gender theory, that does not recognize the order of creation.”

“The family is threatened by growing efforts on the part of some to redefine the very institution of marriage, by relativism, by the culture of the ephemeral, by a lack of openness to life.”

“[…] I wish to express my appreciation to the entire Slovak church, encouraging everyone to continue their efforts in defense of the family, the vital cell of society.”

The Pope has not changed the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church here. He may have been very soft about the matter in this particular case because in this moment, the pastoral thing to do was not to go after homosexuality. But the efforts of the liberal media to reshape society and destroy Christian values certainly appears to have gotten a kick forward by a statement that was easily taken out of context.

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EXPLOSIVE: Michael Cohen sentencing memo exposes serial liar with nothing to offer Mueller (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 38.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a quick look at the Michael Cohen sentencing memo which paints the picture of a man who was not as close to Trump as he made it out to be…a serial liar and cheat who leveraged his thin connections to the Trump organization for money and fame.

It was Cohen himself who proudly labelled himself as Trump’s “fixer”. The sentencing memo hints at the fact that even Mueller finds no value to Cohen in relation to the ongoing Trump-Russia witch hunt investigation.

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Via Axios

Special counsel Robert Mueller and federal prosecutors in New York have each submitted sentencing memos for President Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen, after Cohen pleaded guilty in two different cases related to his work for Trump and the Trump Organization.

The big picture: The Southern District of New York recommended Cohen serve a range of 51 to 63 months for four crimes — “willful tax evasion, making false statements to a financial institution, illegal campaign contributions, and making false statements to Congress.” Mueller, meanwhile, did not take a position on the length of Cohen’s statement, but said he has made substantial efforts to assist the investigation.

Southern District of New York

Mueller investigation

Michael J. Stern, a federal prosecutor with the Justice Department for 25 years in Detroit and Los Angeles noted via USA Today

In support of their request that he serve no time in prison, Cohen’s attorneys offered a series of testimonials from friends who described the private Michael Cohen as a “truly caring” man with a “huge heart” who is not only “an upstanding, honorable, salt of the earth man” but also a “selfless caretaker.”

The choirboy portrayed by Cohen’s lawyers stands in sharp opposition to Cohen’s public persona as Trump’s legal bulldog, who once threatened a reporter with: “What I’m going to do to you is going to be f—ing disgusting. Do you understand me?”

Prosecutors focused their sentencing memo on Cohen as Mr. Hyde. Not only did they detail Cohen’s illegal activities, which include millions of dollars of fraud, they also recognized the public damage that stemmed from his political crimes — describing Cohen as “a man who knowingly sought to undermine core institutions of our democracy.”

Rebuffing efforts by Cohen’s attorneys to recast him as a good guy who made a few small mistakes, prosecutors cited texts, statements of witnesses, recordings, documents and other evidence that proved Cohen got ahead by employing a “pattern of deception that permeated his professional life.” The prosecutors attributed Cohen’s crimes to “personal greed,” an effort to “increase his power and influence,” and a desire to maintain his “opulent lifestyle.”

Perhaps the most damning reveal in the U.S. Attorney’s sentencing memo is that Cohen refused to fully cooperate. That’s despite his public relations campaign to convince us that he is a new man who will cooperate with any law enforcement authority, at any time, at any place.

As a former federal prosecutor who handled hundreds of plea deals like Cohen’s, I can say it is extremely rare for any credit to be recommended when a defendant decides not to sign a full cooperation deal. The only reason for a refusal would be to hide information. The prosecutors said as much in their sentencing memo: Cohen refused “to be debriefed on other uncharged criminal conduct, if any, in his past,” and “further declined” to discuss “other areas of investigative interest.”

 

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Canada to Pay Heavy Price for Trudeau’s Groupie Role in US Banditry Against China

Trudeau would had to have known about the impending plot to snatch Huawei CFO Wanzhou and moreover that he personally signed off on it.

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Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


You do have to wonder about the political savvy of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government. The furious fallout from China over the arrest of a senior telecoms executive is going to do severe damage to Canadian national interests.

Trudeau’s fawning over American demands is already rebounding very badly for Canada’s economy and its international image.

The Canadian arrest – on behalf of Washington – of Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Chinese telecom giant Huawei, seems a blatant case of the Americans acting politically and vindictively. If the Americans are seen to be acting like bandits, then the Canadians are their flunkies.

Wanzhou was detained on December 1 by Canadian federal police as she was boarding a commercial airliner in Vancouver. She was reportedly handcuffed and led away in a humiliating manner which has shocked the Chinese government, media and public.

The business executive has since been released on a $7.4 million bail bond, pending further legal proceedings. She is effectively being kept under house arrest in Canada with electronic ankle tagging.

To add insult to injury, it is not even clear what Wanzhou is being prosecuted for. The US authorities have claimed that she is guilty of breaching American sanctions against Iran by conducting telecoms business with Tehran. It is presumed that the Canadians arrested Wanzhou at the request of the Americans. But so far a US extradition warrant has not been filed. That could take months. In the meantime, the Chinese businesswoman will be living under curfew, her freedom denied.

Canadian legal expert Christopher Black says there is no juridical case for Wanzhou’s detention. The issue of US sanctions on Iran is irrelevant and has no grounds in international law. It is simply the Americans applying their questionable national laws on a third party. Black contends that Canada has therefore no obligation whatsoever to impose those US laws regarding Iran in its territory, especially given that Ottawa and Beijing have their own separate bilateral diplomatic relations.

In any case, what the real issue is about is the Americans using legal mechanisms to intimidate and beat up commercial rivals. For months now, Washington has made it clear that it is targeting Chinese telecoms rivals as commercial competitors in a strategic sector. US claims about China using telecoms for “spying” and “infiltrating” American national security are bogus propaganda ruses to undermine these commercial rivals through foul means.

It also seems clear from US President Donald Trump’s unsubtle comments this week to Reuters, saying he would “personally intervene” in the Meng case “if it helped trade talks with China”, that the Huawei executive is being dangled like a bargaining chip. It was a tacit admission by Trump that the Americans really don’t have a legal case against her.

Canada’s foreign minister Chrystia Freeland bounced into damage limitation mode following Trump’s thuggish comments. She said that the case should not be “politicized” and that the legal proceedings should not be tampered with. How ironic is that?

The whole affair has been politicized from the very beginning. Meng’s arrest, or as Christopher Black calls it “hostage-taking”, is driven by Washington’s agenda of harassment against China for commercial reasons, under a legal pretext purportedly about Iranian sanctions.

When Trump revealed the cynical expediency of him “helping to free Wanzhou”, then the Canadians realized they were also being exposed for the flunkies that they are for American banditry. That’s why Freeland was obliged to quickly adopt the fastidious pretense of legal probity.

Canadian premier Justin Trudeau has claimed that he wasn’t aware of the American request for Wanzhou’s detention. Trudeau is being pseudo. For such a high-profile infringement against a senior Chinese business leader, Ottawa must have been fully briefed by the Americans. Christopher Black, the legal expert, believes that Trudeau would had to have known about the impending plot to snatch Wanzhou and moreover that he personally signed off on it.

What Trudeau and his government intended to get out of performing this sordid role for American thuggery is far from clear. Maybe after being verbally mauled by Trump as “weak and dishonest” at the G7 summit earlier this year, in June, Trudeau decided it was best to roll over and be a good little puppy for the Americans in their dirty deed against China.

But already it has since emerged that Canada is going to pay a very heavy price indeed for such dubious service to Washington. Beijing has warned that it will take retaliation against both Washington and Ottawa. And it is Ottawa that is more vulnerable to severe repercussions.

This week saw two Canadian citizens, one a former diplomat, detained in China on spying charges.

Canadian business analysts are also warning that Beijing can inflict harsh economic penalties on Ottawa. An incensed Chinese public have begun boycotting Canadian exports and sensitive Canadian investments in China are now at risk from being blocked by Beijing. A proposed free trade deal that was being negotiated between Ottawa and Beijing now looks dead in the water.

And if Trudeau’s government caves in to the excruciating economic pressure brought to bear by Beijing and then abides by China’s demand to immediately release Meng Wanzhou, Ottawa will look like a pathetic, gutless lackey to Washington. Canada’s reputation of being a liberal, independent state will be shredded. Even then the Chinese are unlikely to forget Trudeau’s treachery.

With comic irony, there’s a cringemaking personal dimension to this unseemly saga.

During the 197os when Trudeau’s mother Margaret was a thirty-something socialite heading for divorce from his father, then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, she was often in the gossip media for indiscretions at nightclubs. Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards claims in his autobiography that Margaret Trudeau was a groupie for the band, having flings with Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood. Her racy escapades and louche lifestyle brought shame to many Canadians.

Poor Margaret Trudeau later wound up divorced, disgraced, financially broke and scraping a living from scribbling tell-all books.

Justin, her eldest son, is finding out that being a groupie for Washington’s banditry is also bringing disrepute for him and his country.

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US Commits To “Indefinite” Occupation Of Syria; Controls Region The Size Of Croatia

Raqqa is beginning to look more and more like Baghdad circa 2005.

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Via Zerohedge


“We don’t want the Americans. It’s occupation” — a Syrian resident in US-controlled Raqqa told Stars and Stripes military newspaper. This as the Washington Post noted this week that “U.S. troops will now stay in Syria indefinitely, controlling a third of the country and facing peril on many fronts.”

Like the “forever war” in Afghanistan, will we be having the same discussion over the indefinite occupation of Syria stretching two decades from now? A new unusually frank assessment in Stars and Stripes bluntly lays out the basic facts concerning the White House decision to “stay the course” until the war’s close:

That decision puts U.S. troops in overall control, perhaps indefinitely, of an area comprising nearly a third of Syria, a vast expanse of mostly desert terrain roughly the size of Louisiana.

The Pentagon does not say how many troops are there. Officially, they number 503, but earlier this year an official let slip that the true number may be closer to 4,000

A prior New Yorker piece described the US-occupied area east of the Euphrates as “an area about the size of Croatia.” With no Congressional vote, no public debate, and not even so much as an official presidential address to the nation, the United States is settling in for another endless occupation of sovereign foreign soil while relying on the now very familiar post-911 AUMF fig leaf of “legality”.

Like the American public and even some Pentagon officials of late have been pointing out for years regarding Afghanistan, do US forces on the ground even know what the mission is? The mission may be undefined and remain ambiguously to “counter Iran”, yet the dangers and potential for major loss in blood and treasure loom larger than ever.

According to Stars and Stripes the dangerous cross-section of powder keg conflicts and geopolitical players means “a new war” is on the horizon:

The new mission raises new questions, about the role they will play and whether their presence will risk becoming a magnet for regional conflict and insurgency.

The area is surrounded by powers hostile both to the U.S. presence and the aspirations of the Kurds, who are governing the majority-Arab area in pursuit of a leftist ideology formulated by an imprisoned Turkish Kurdish leader. Signs that the Islamic State is starting to regroup and rumblings of discontent within the Arab community point to the threat of an insurgency.

Without the presence of U.S. troops, these dangers would almost certainly ignite a new war right away, said Ilham Ahmed, a senior official with the Self-Administration of North and East Syria, as the self-styled government of the area is called.

“They have to stay. If they leave and there isn’t a solution for Syria, it will be catastrophic,” she said.

But staying also heralds risk, and already the challenges are starting to mount.
So a US-backed local politician says the US can’t leave or there will be war, while American defense officials simultaneously recognize they are occupying the very center of an impending insurgency from hell — all of which fits the textbook definition of quagmire perfectly.

The New Yorker: “The United States has built a dozen or more bases from Manbij to Al-Hasakah, including four airfields, and American-backed forces now control all of Syria east of the Euphrates, an area about the size of Croatia.”

But in September the White House announced a realignment of its official priorities in Syria, namely to act “as a bulwark against Iran’s expanding influence.” This means the continued potential and likelihood of war with Syria, Iran, and Russia in the region is ever present, per Stripes:

Syrian government troops and Iranian proxy fighters are to the south and west. They have threatened to take the area back by force, in pursuit of President Bashar Assad’s pledge to bring all of Syria under government control.

Already signs of an Iraq-style insurgency targeting US forces in eastern Syria are beginning to emerge.

In Raqqa, the largest Syrian city at the heart of US occupation and reconstruction efforts, the Stripes report finds the following:

The anger on the streets is palpable. Some residents are openly hostile to foreign visitors, which is rare in other towns and cities freed from Islamic State control in Syria and Iraq. Even those who support the presence of the U.S. military and the SDF say they are resentful that the United States and its partners in the anti-ISIS coalition that bombed the city aren’t helping to rebuild.

And many appear not to support their new rulers.

We don’t want the Americans. It’s occupation,” said one man, a tailor, who didn’t want to give his name because he feared the consequences of speaking his mind. “I don’t know why they had to use such a huge number of weapons and destroy the city. Yes, ISIS was here, but we paid the price. They have a responsibility.”

Recent reports out of the Pentagon suggests defense officials simply want to throw more money into US efforts in Syria, which are further focused on training and supplying the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (or Kurdish/YPG-dominated SDF), which threatens confrontation with Turkey as its forces continue making preparations for a planned attack on Kurdish enclaves in Syria this week.

Meanwhile, Raqqa is beginning to look more and more like Baghdad circa 2005:

Everyone says the streets are not safe now. Recent months have seen an uptick in assassinations and kidnappings, mostly targeting members of the security forces or people who work with the local council. But some critics of the authorities have been gunned down, too, and at night there are abductions and robberies.

As America settles in for yet another endless and “indefinite” occupation of a Middle East country, perhaps all that remains is for the president to land on an aircraft carrier with “Mission Accomplished” banners flying overhead?

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