Category Archives: Catholic Church

Pope decries gender ideology taught to children

From USA Today:

Pope Francis has lamented that children are being taught at school that gender can be a choice, adding that his predecessor, Benedict XVI has labeled current times "the epoch of sin against God the Creator."

Francis weighed in with his view on gender and what he said was that of the emeritus pontiff while meeting privately last week with bishops from Poland during his pilgrimage there. The Vatican released a transcript Tuesday of those closed-door remarks.

The pope said he wanted to conclude his remarks by reflecting on this: "We are living a moment of annihilation of man as image of God."

Francis said: "Today, in schools they are teaching this to children — to children! — that everyone can choose their gender."

Without specifying, he blamed this on textbooks supplied by "persons and institutions who donate money." The pope blamed what he called "ideological colonizing" backed by "very influential countries" which he didn’t identify.

One such "colonization" he said — "I’ll say it clearly with its first and last name — is gender."

Read more here.

US Bishops Committee Chairs Urge Support for FADA

Via the USCCB, the statement by Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage and Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, reads in part:

The definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman, universally held for centuries, has nothing to do with disrespect for others, nor does it depend on religious belief. Rather, it is based on truths about the human person that are understandable by reason. Faithful to its commitment to serve the best interests of society, the Catholic Church will continue to promote and protect the truth of marriage as foundational to the common good. The Church will also continue to stand for the ability of all to exercise their religious beliefs and moral convictions in public life without fear, and to witness to the truth.

We are pleased to support the First Amendment Defense Act, and we urge Congress to pass this important legislation.

Bravo to these faith leaders for standing up in support of this critical bill! Read their full statement here.

US Bishops Publish New Video on Marriage and Religious Freedom

ZENIT reports:

The U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage has released the next video in the series highlighting the unique meaning of marriage.

Entitled Made for Freedom, the newly released video features experts in various fields as well as personal stories illustrating the importance of marriage to society and the necessity for people to have the freedom to express their beliefs about marriage.

“Made for Freedom is designed to invite discussion about the importance of marriage and religious freedom in our society,” said Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the Subcommittee. “Now that the institution of marriage has been redefined in civil law, it is even more important for all members of the Church to witness to the truth about marriage in the public square. We must have courage and act with conviction, knowing that authentic marriage is a gift to be treasured.”


The first and second videos in the series are Made for Each Other and Made for Life, and there is a video in Spanish entitled El Matrimonio: hecho para el amor y la vida.

The video is a powerful statement on the state of the marriage debate and the relationship between marriage and religious freedom.


You can see the new video at the Subcommittee's website.


Italian Cardinal: New Civil Unions Law Threatens the Welfare of Families

Via Crux:

VATICAN CITY — In recognizing civil unions of heterosexual and homosexual couples, the Italian government has equated those unions to marriage, said the head of the Italian bishops’ conference.

While some supporters of the new law, which passed the legislature May 11, insisted the law did not recognize gay marriage, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa, president of the bishops’ conference, said the differences are only in the vocabulary used and in “easily circumvented legal devices.”

Read more here.

NOM's President Signs Statement Decrying Scandals At Catholic Universities Who Honor People Who Oppose Marriage and Life

Brian Brown, president of NOM, has joined with other Catholic and pro-family leaders to decry the scandal at Catholic universities who have honored or provided speaking platforms to public advocates of abortion and same-sex 'marriage.' The statement called on Catholic colleges and universities to "'consecrate [their selves] without reserve to the cause of truth' by teaching and upholding the sacred dignity of all human life and of the divinely ordered institution of marriage."

In recent months, Georgetown University, the University of Notre Dame and Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles have honored or provided prominent speaking platforms to notorious advocates of abortion and same-sex 'marriage.'

Last week, Loyola Marymount University awarded an honorary degree to former President Bill Clinton and allowed him to give the spring commencement address to its graduates. Clinton has become an outspoken advocate for gay 'marriage' and abortion and is the leading supporter of his wife Hillary's campaign for president, which is built on a foundation of supporting same-sex 'marriage' and abortion on demand.

Georgetown promoted an appearance late last month by Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, a woman who has presided over an organization that has killed 2.8 million babies through abortion during her tenure. Richards used her appearance on the Catholic campus to advocate for abortion, sterilization and contraception in contravention of the teachings of the Catholic church.

Notre Dame hosted a lecture by Texas state Senator Wendy Davis, a prominent abortion advocate, who used her appearance before students to defend her abortion of her own child. Later this week, the university will honor Vice President Joe Biden, who supports both abortion and same-sex 'marriage.'

The statement, signed by 28 pro-family and/or Catholic leaders, points out that appeals to "freedom of speech" and "academic freedom" do not justify "holding up opponents of known moral truths like marriage and life "as if falsehood and immorality are to be celebrated and not firmly rejected."

The full statement can be read here.

The Great Heart of Antonin Scalia

Many thanks to NOM friend Ed Whelan for passing along this beautiful piece by Jeffrey Tucker that gives us a glimpse of the heart of Antonin Scalia -- not as a jurist but as a human being. Tucker writes:

It was a spring afternoon some years ago, and he was attending church services, sitting in a back pew, holding his prayer book in his hands. The Mass had ended and most people had gone. He was still saying prayers, alone in the back pew.

He finally got up and began to walk out. There were no reporters, nobody watching. There was only a woman who had been attending the same services. She had no idea who he was. I was a bystander, and I’m certain he didn’t know I was there.

What was a bit unusual about this woman: she had lashing sores on her face and hands. They were open sores. There was some disease, and not just physically. She behaved strangely, a troubled person that you meet in large cities and quickly walk away from. A person to avoid and certainly never touch.

For whatever reason, she walked up to Justice Scalia, who was alone. He took her hands, though they were full of sores. She leaned in to say something, and she began to cry.

He held her face next to his, and she talked beneath her tears that were now streaming down his suit. He didn’t flinch. He didn’t try to get away. He just held her while she spoke. This lasted for perhaps more than 5 minutes. He closed his eyes while she spoke, gripping her back with his hand.

He didn’t recoil. He stood there with conviction. And love.

There were no cameras and no other onlookers besides myself, and he had no idea I was there.

Finally she was finished. What he said comforted her, and she gained composure. She pulled away, ready to go. He held her rough, sore-filled hands and had a few final words that I could not hear. He gave her some money.

And then she walked away.

And then he walked away, across the green grass, toward the Supreme Court building, alone. He was probably preparing for an afternoon of work.

You can read Jeffrey Tucker's entire article here.

Is the Trump Campaign Anti-Christian?

While presidential candidate Donald Trump has made a major push to attract the support of Christians, including speaking at Liberty University where he picked up the endorsement of its president, Jerry Falwell, Jr, Trump’s press spokesperson has been engaging in virulent anti-Christian, anti-Catholic rhetoric.

Trump spokesperson Katrina Piersen recently tweeted an insult to Catholics, mocking the Catholic Church’s theology that the church was founded by Jesus Christ. “I bet they believe that too. #sad.”

Her anti-Catholic rant drew a rebuke from The Catholic League, the nation’s largest Catholic civil rights organization, which demanded an apology from Piersen and a clarification from candidate Trump that he will not tolerate anti-Catholic rhetoric in his campaign.

This is not the first time that Piersen has gone after Christians. Even as her boss worked to curry favor with Christian leaders and groups as part of his efforts to win in Iowa and nationally, Trump’s spokesperson has made her disdain for Christians plain. The Daily Caller news organization has uncovered a string of anti-Christian tweets from Piersen. In one, she said “There are no such things as Christians. Just people who call themselves Christians.” She also claimed that Christians are, “First to name call and First to judge.” Later, she criticized all people of faith, not just Christians, as “religious types” who are “unable to handle the truth.” She also criticized “most religious people” as hypocrites who follow a practice of “Do as I say not what I do” and condemned Christians saying that it’s, “always the Christians that are married or too old to party that tell how [you]should be living your life. As if they were [saints].”

As of this writing, Donald Trump has not commented on whether he agrees with Katrina Piersen’s characterizations of Christians and Catholics, nor has he apologized to people of faith for her comments. Piersen remains his official campaign spokesperson.

The Left's View Of "Balance" is Badly Imbalanced

The Los Angeles Times, a bastion of liberal ideology and a longtime supporter of redefining marriage, ended 2015 with an editorial that shows how badly skewed the mainstream media has become on marriage and the homosexual agenda.

The Times writes about a disturbing court case out of Massachusetts where a judge ruled that a Catholic high school (Fontbonne Academy) acted illegally when it withdrew an employment offer to a man who was in a homosexual 'marriage' because he could not properly represent Catholic identity and teaching. Prior to offering the man a position as a food director, the high school explained to the applicant that it expected all employees to be "ministers of the mission" and the man assured the school officials he agreed. After receiving the job offer, later that day he completed an employment form disclosing for the first time that he had entered a homosexual 'marriage.' Upon learning of this, the school promptly withdrew the offer because his 'marriage' was incompatible with the teachings of the Catholic Church. The man sued and shortly before Christmas, Judge Douglas Wilkins ruled that the school must comply with "sexual orientation discrimination" laws notwithstanding its religious mission.

The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts rightly condemned this court decision as a "full frontal assault on religious liberty," one that would "compel Catholic institutions to hire those who reject and despise Catholic teaching, fatally impairing the constitutionally protected right of those institutions to carry on their mission."

How did the LA Times react to the ruling? They said it was "balanced" and a "model for the nation." In the Times' skewed vision of the new world order, church-run schools should be able to hire clergy and religion teachers that uphold their religious beliefs - but that's it. Other staff, presumably including administrators and teachers, should not be required to model the church's religious beliefs. They went on to call on Congress to enact employment protections for homosexuals that embodied this "balanced approach."

The extreme position taken by Judge Wilkins and praised by the LA Times is representative of the endemic efforts of the media and elite to force an embrace of same-sex 'marriage' on every individual and group in the nation regardless of their deeply-held, often religious, views. In this new orthodoxy, it's not enough that same-sex couples can get 'married.' Every single person and group is expected to salute and endorse the act. Every baker, florist, photographer and similar professional must participate if asked. And every religion must accept it except in very narrow circumstances.

Of course, this new orthodoxy does not comport with the constitution, nor is it representative of the views of the American people.

This case serves as an important reminder why it is essential that states and Congress pass the First Amendment Defense Act to protect individuals, organizations and churches from discrimination for living out their views of marriage in the public square.

LifeSiteNews has the story. Here's the press release from the Catholic Action League, and the LA Times' editorial is here.

Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Says Pope Francis Told Her to 'Stay Strong'

As reported by AP, Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis says that she had a private meeting with Pope Francis during his visit to the United States. Davis, who was jailed for refusing to issue same-sex "marriage" licenses because of her religious beliefs, says that Pope Francis thanked her for her courage and urged her to “stay strong.” A New York Times article, reported that the exchange was done via an arranged, private meeting, which a Vatican spokesperson has now confirmed.

The AP story via US News is as follows:


Image via ABC News/Getty Images

A Kentucky clerk who went to jail for defying a federal court's orders to issue same-sex marriage licenses says she met briefly with the pope during his historic visit to the United States.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, didn't deny the encounter took place but said Wednesday in Rome that he had no comment on the topic.

Rowan County clerk Kim Davis and her husband met privately with Pope Francis on Thursday afternoon at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C., for less than 15 minutes, said her lawyer, Mat Staver.

"It was really very humbling to even think that he would want to meet me or know me," Davis said in an interview with ABC.

Davis, an Apostolic Christian, spent five days in jail earlier this month for defying a federal court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. In a telephone interview late Tuesday, Staver would not say who initiated the meeting with the pope or how it came to be, though he did say that Vatican officials had inquired about Davis' situation while she was in jail. He declined to name them.

"He told me before he left, he said 'stay strong.' That was a great encouragement," Davis said of the pope during the ABC interview. "Just knowing that the pope is on track with what we're doing and agreeing, you know, it kind of validates everything."

She didn't say in the interview whether she had a private audience with the pope or she was part of larger crowd.

Davis was in Washington for the Values Voter Summit, where the Family Research Council, which opposes same-sex marriage, presented her with an award for defying the federal judge. While in Washington, the longtime Democrat said she was switching to the Republican party because she felt abandoned by Democrats in her fight against same-sex marriage.

Pope Francis did not focus on the divisive debate over same-sex marriage during his visit last week. As he left the country, he told reporters who inquired that he did not know Davis' case in detail, but he defended conscientious objection as a human right.

"It is a right. And if a person does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right," Francis said.

Pope Francis Supports ‘Conscientious Objection' to Issuing Marriage Licenses for Same-sex Couples

As reported by Religious News Service, Pope Francis supported allowing government officials to excuse themselves from issuing same-sex ‘marriage’ licenses, if it violates their religious beliefs. The Holy Father even said such officials have a “human right” to refuse to discharge a duty that contradicts their religious conscience. Religious News Service has the story:

(Image via The Catholic Sun/CNS photo/Stefano Spaziani)

(Image via The Catholic Sun/CNS photo/Stefano Spaziani)

Pope Francis said on Monday government officials have a “human right” to refuse to discharge a duty, such as issuing marriage licenses to homosexuals, if they feel it violates their conscience.

. . .

On the flight back to Rome, he was asked if he supported individuals, including government officials, who refuse to abide by some laws, such as issuing marriage licences to gays.

“Conscientious objection must enter into every juridical structure because it is a right,” Francis said.

Earlier this month a city official in the U.S. state of Kentucky, Kim Davis, went to jail because she refused to issue a marriage licence to a gay couple following a Supreme Court decision to make homosexual marriage legal.

Davis’s case has taken on national significance in the 2016 presidential campaign, with one Republican contender, Mike Huckabee, holding rallies in favour of Davis, a Apostolic Christian, who has since joined the Republican party.

“I can’t have in mind all cases that can exist about conscientious objection but, yes, I can say that conscientious objection is a right that is a part of every human right,” he said, speaking in Italian.

“And if someone does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right,” he added.

Francis said conscientious objection had to be respected in legal structures. “Otherwise we would end up in a situation where we select what is a right, saying: ‘This right has merit, this one does not.'”

The Pope Is At Odds With Liberals, Too – Just Don’t Expect The Media To Report It

Pope Francis makes a historic visit to the United States this week, with stops in Washington DC, New York and Philadelphia on the schedule. His whirlwind schedule has him giving a reported 16 public speeches while he’s here. The liberal mainstream media is abuzz at the prospects of him advancing positions embraced by the left – including climate change and how he sees global capitalism negatively impacting the poor.

But Pope Francis also has many positions that will make the left squirm, including his staunch opposition to abortion and same-sex ‘marriage.’ As this article from The Daily Signal makes clear, the difference is the media will heavily report the Pope’s comments on climate change and other leftist perspectives, but are likely not to report his comments about abortion and marriage. NOM will work to make sure the Pope’s pro-family message is heard.

From The Daily Signal:

Image via CTVNews/AP/Andrew Medichini

Image via CTVNews/AP/Andrew Medichini

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., made headlines for his decision to avoid Francis’ address to Congress because, “if the Pope plans to spend the majority of his time advocating for flawed climate change policies, then I will not attend,” as he wrote for Townhall.

But Democrats like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid might also find Francis’ speech uncomfortable.

That’s because even if the focus of Francis’ speech is on climate change, he doesn’t talk about climate change the same way President Barack Obama or other liberal politicians might. In his encyclical on the environment released earlier this year, “Laudato Si,” Francis connected concerns about creation to concerns about the value of human life.

. . .

Francis has also consistently upheld traditional marriage. In a radio address in 2014, Francis said, “[T]he complementarity of man and woman … is at the root of marriage and family.”

“One day after the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges—the outcome of which may dictate the future of same-sex marriage in the United States—Pope Francis on Wednesday publicly affirmed his stance on so-called traditional marriage between men and women,” reported Newsweek in April.

Image via STLToday/Mark Jelavich

Image via STLToday/Mark Jelavich

“Jesus teaches us that the masterpiece of society is the family: a man and a woman who love each other! This is the masterpiece!” Francis said in St. Peter’s Square at the time.

He has since spoken numerous times on the family, regularly preaching on marriage and children, and he has often referred to marriage as being between a man and a woman.

In fact, in a speech last week, Francis, while warning about the temptation to place profits ahead of morality, stressed the fact that marriage was between a man and a woman (emphasis the Vatican’s):

The current transition in civilization seems to be marked by the long-lasting effects of a society governed by economic technocracy. This subordination of ethics to the logic of profit commands substantial resources and the widespread support of the media. In this context, a new covenant between man and woman has become not only necessary, but crucial for emancipating humanity from the colonization of money. This covenant should once again guide politics, the economy and civil coexistence! It decides the habitability of the earth, the transmission of love for life, the bonds of memory and hope.

In this covenant, the familial-conjugal union of man and woman is the generative grammar, the “golden knot,” we might say. The faith draws it from the wisdom of the creation of God, who has entrusted to the family, not the care of intimacy as an end in itself, but rather the exciting project of making the world “domestic.” At the beginning there was the family, at the root of this world culture that saves us … saves us from many, many attacks, from so much destruction, from so many “colonizations,” like that of money or of the ideologies that threaten so much of the world. The family is the basis of our defense!

Despite what the media may report, Pope Francis defends the unborn's right to life, and the true definition of marriage: the exclusive union between one man and one woman.

Obama's Guest List is an Insult to Pope Francis

While the world watches the events of Pope Francis’s visit to the US unfold, many are expressing outrage and disgust at President Obama’s brazen attempts to surround Pope Francis with controversial—frankly anti-catholic—leaders, to include “a pro-abortion nun, an openly homosexual Episcopal bishop, and gay activist Catholics.” The Vatican is among those who have voiced objections to President Obama’s choice of guests, contending that the guest list selection surrounds the Pope with figures who are openly hostile to Catholic Doctrine.

As we might expect, President Obama seems to be manipulating Pope Francis’s visit in an attempt to further erode the judo-christian values upon which America was founded. By placing Pope Francis in the midst of such controversial figures, President Obama is creating opportunities for the media to misrepresent the Pope and his opinions to the mainstream. LifeSiteNews has the story:

Image via Christian Post/Reuters

Image via Christian Post/Reuters

The Wall Street Journal reports that an unnamed senior Vatican official said the Holy See fears that any photos of Pope Francis at next Wednesday’s White House welcoming ceremony with Obama’s guests that openly flout Church teaching could be taken as support for their actions.

Among the Obama administration invites are dissenting, activist Catholic nun Sister Simone Campbell, openly homosexual retired Episcopal bishop Gene Robinson, a transgender woman and a homosexual Catholic blogger.

Sister Campbell is executive director of the social justice group NETWORK and pro-abortion leader of the "Nuns on the Bus" campaign. She is seen as having undermined the U.S. Bishops’ concern over Obamacare’s abortion component when the controversial health care takeover was being debated five-and-a-half years ago.

Her Network organization, widely regarded as having radical feminist leanings, was investigated by the Vatican over the group’s refusal to observe Catholic teaching on abortion, human sexuality and women’s ordination. The investigation concluded earlier this year, resulting in minimal repercussions for the group.

Robinson, who “divorced” his homosexual partner last year, and is a senior fellow for the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, has been invited to religious events in the past by Obama, leading a prayer at the president’s 2009 inauguration and taking part in the 2014 National Prayer Breakfast.

Also invited are Mateo Williamson, a biological woman who identifies as a man and a former co-chair of the Transgender Caucus for the pro-homosexual activist group Dignity USA; and Aaron Ledesma, author of the blog “The Gay Catholic.”

The invitation organizer for the White House papal event is Vivian Taylor, executive director of the national LGBT advocacy arm of the Episcopal Church, and a biological male.

The unease caused by the guest list demonstrates Catholic concerns, including that of many bishops, the WSJ report said, that the Obama administration is using Pope Francis’s visit to underplay its differences with the Church on controversial issues such as homosexual “marriage,” abortion and the Obamacare contraception Mandate.

U.S. Vatican Ambassador Ken Hackett, named by Obama to his post in June 2014, said last month that Pope Francis and Obama are not going to waste time discussing any differences they may have. Rather, they will choose to focus on issues where they see eye-to-eye.

According to Hackett these areas are poverty, religious freedom, concern for persecuted Christians and minorities, and peace.

“Then climate, of course,” Hackett said.

“We agree to differ on things like gay marriage,” he said, “but really there are not a lot of other such issues.”

Orthodox Anglican Media Outlet Says ‘Obama out to shame and humiliate Christians, the Pope and the Church'

As part of his historic visit to the United States, during which he will canonize Fr. Junipero Serra and address the World Meeting of Families, Pope Francis will also attend a White House dinner organized by President Obama. As head of state of the Vatican, diplomatic protocol would hold that friends and allies of the Catholic Church and prominent American Catholics be on the guest list. And while some of those types of individuals have been invited, President Obama has gone out of his way to shove the LGBT agenda in Pope Francis’ face. He’s invited the openly gay-Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson who “married” his same-sex partner several years ago.

According to the website Virtue Online, which bills itself as the voice for global orthodox Anglicanism, Robinson, “has almost single-handedly brought the Anglican Communion down to its knees as it teeters on the edge of implosion.” In addition to Robinson, Obama has invited numerous gay, lesbian and transgender activists. One of the activists was reportedly told by the While House to ‘invite several friends.’ From the story:

Image via ABC News/Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo

Image via ABC News/Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo

Obama's form of in-your-face diplomatic protocol includes trotting out every form of sexual deviant and parading them before Pope Francis. It's enough to embarrass the gentle humble Pontiff.

The Pope was being compassionate with his comment concerning his priests, who are struggling with a homosexual orientation, when he commented, "Who am I to judge?" However, he stands pat on the Catholic Church's firm doctrine and teaching on homosexual practice, pro-life, and traditional marriage issues, as well as an all-male priesthood.

CNS News describes some of the known invitees on the guest list as "several gay and transgender persons, a controversial nun, a radical preacher, and a gay Episcopal bishop."

The gay Episcopal bishop is none other than Bishop Vicky Gene Robinson (IX New Hampshire-retired). As the first openly gay and partnered man to be consecrated a bishop in Christendom, he has almost single-handedly brought the Anglican Communion down to its knees as it teeters on the edge of implosion.

The referenced "several gay and transgender persons" include: Vivian Taylor, a transgendered "woman" who was executive director of Integrity-USA and involved with TransEpiscopal. Obama her/him to Pope Francis' formal Sept. 23 televised White House Arrival Ceremony. S/he was told to bring five friends.

"I was told I could bring several friends with me," Taylor said, noting that s/he was "glad we can bring some LGBT representation to the event."

Taylor is looking forward to meeting the Pope, "I'm very happy to meet my brother in Christ, Pope Francis."

The five representative LGBT friends Taylor invited are Nicole Santamaria, the Secretary of Asociacion Colectivo Alejandria an Hispanic LGBT advocacy group; Marcia Garber a member of Dignity-USA and the mother of a transgendered child; Mateo Williamson, a cross-dressing transgender Catholic and the former co-chairman of Transgender Caucus for Dignity-USA; the Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers, an LGBT advocate, liberal Episcopal theologian, the director of Mission & Reconciliation at General Theological Seminary and chaplain to the Episcopal House of Bishops (reports are that Canon Spellers will be unable to attend the Pope's soiree because she didn't RSVP in time); and the Rev. Cameron Partridge, a transgendered Episcopal priest who preached at the Washington National Cathedral.

. . .

Obama is very gay-friendly and a champion of gay rights. There is also much speculation as to whether Obama is actually a Bible-believing Evangelical, a progressive Christian, or a closet Muslim. When the recent Supreme Court marriage equality ruling came down, making same-sex marriage the law of the land, he bathed the White House in Gay Pride rainbow colors in celebration of the earth-shattering event. Many God-fearing Christians were horrified at the spectacle. Chances are the President will not light up the White House in papal yellow and white to honor his diplomatic guest from the Vatican City-State.

Latest research shows that fewer than four percent of Americans identify themselves as being LGBT, while more than 70 percent of Americans consider themselves Christians. Of that number, more than 25 percent are Roman Catholics with Episcopalians and Anglicans making up about 1.5 percent of American Christians. The remaining almost 75 percent of the American Christian population is spread between the Evangelicals, Mainline Protestants, Pentecostals, and other Christian believers -- Amish ... Quakers ... Holiness ... Reformed...

Fr. Dwight Longenecker, a former Anglican priest who swam the Tiber and is now a Pastoral Provision Roman Catholic priest in South Carolina, pinioned on his blog Standing on my Head: "There will be thousands at this 'audience' with Pope Francis and it's doubtful that Gene Robinson will be in the line up to meet Pope Francis personally, but I wouldn't be at all surprised to see him maneuvered into place for a photo with the Pope which will the mainstream media will then publish with the caption, 'Pope Francis and Gay Bishop: Who Am I to Judge?'"

The Next Target in the Same-sex Marriage War

Now that the Supreme Court has failed the American people and are forcing states to accept same-sex marriage, what is the next target of same-sex marriage proponents? Dominic Lynch has the answer: after Obergefell, churches are next.

ThinkstockPhotos-122468669Chief Justice Roberts's Obergefell dissent lays the stakes on the table:

Today's decision, for example, creates serious questions about religious liberty. Many good and decent people oppose same-sex marriage as a tenet of faith, and their freedom to exercise religion is -- unlike the right imagined by the majority -- actually spelled out in the Constitution. Respect for sincere religious conviction has led voters and legislators in every State that has adopted same-sex marriage democratically to include accommodations for religious practice. The majority's decision imposing same-sex marriage cannot, of course, create any such accommodations. The majority graciously suggests that religious believers may continue to "advocate" and "teach" their views of marriage. The First Amendment guarantees, however, the freedom to "exercise" religion. Ominously, that is not a word the majority uses.

How do we get from "marriage equality" to churches forced into performing weddings that violate their teachings? Lawsuits.

Imagine a same sex couple who consider themselves deeply Catholic want to get married at the Catholic church of their choice. They approach the pastor and he declines to officiate the wedding or be a party to it. The spurned couple might then file a non-discrimination lawsuit against the pastor and his parish making the simple argument that because same-sex marriage is a right protected under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, a parish cannot discriminate in who it weds and who it doesn't.

The religious liberty protections of the First Amendment can only hold up so long when put under the scrutiny that drove Burwell. Play some mental gymnastics a la Roberts and suddenly a centuries-old protection of religious liberty fades away. "Prohibiting" could be construed to mean "Congress can't prohibit except when..." And "free exercise" could take a similar meaning: "Churches can practice their faith freely except when..." It's not a far stretch to suggest this can happen. If Burwell happened, this can happen.

Advocates of same sex marriage have avoided discussing religious liberty protections outside of some editorials that scoff at the idea that the free exercise of religion would ever be threatened by the gay marriage movement. Ultimately, our society is one step away from the previously unthinkable stage of government-coerced marriages in churches.

Unless Congress, governors, and state legislatures act immediately, government-coerced weddings are a matter of when, not if.

Pope Francis: Children Need a Mom and a Dad

Last Sunday, June 14, 2015, Pope Francis stressed the importance of children having both a mom and a dad, further emphasizing that marriage can only take place between a man and a woman:

ThinkstockPhotos-154331985Addressing around 25,000 followers from the Diocese of Rome, the pope said the differences between men and women are fundamental and “an integral part of being human.”

The pontiff likened a long-lasting marriage to a good wine, in which a husband and wife make the most of their gender differences.

“They’re not scared of the differences!” the pope said. “What great richness this diversity is, a diversity which becomes complementary, but also reciprocal. It binds them, one to the other.”

Heterosexual marriages not only ensured couples’ happiness, the pontiff said, but were deemed essential for good parenting.

“Children mature seeing their father and mother like this; their identity matures being confronted with the love their father and mother have, confronted with this difference,” Francis said.

Full article is available via Religion News Service