SPOTLIGHT THE BIGOT’S SUB-PLOT IN A DODGY PAEDO-MOVIE
by Bill Donohue, Editor of Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights.
The movie “Spotlight” is bound to spark more conversation about the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. Unfortunately, much of what the American public knows about this issue is derived from the popular culture, something this film will only abet. Therefore, the time is ripe to revisit what the actual data on this subject reveals.
When the Boston Globe sent the nation reeling in 2002 with revelations of priestly sexual abuse, and the attendant cover-up, Catholics were outraged by the level of betrayal. This certainly included the Catholic League. The scandal cannot be denied. What is being denied, however, is the existence of another scandal—the relentless effort to keep the abuse crisis alive, and the deliberate refusal to come to grips with its origins. Both scandals deserve our attention.
Myth: The Scandal Never Ended
When interviewed about the scandal in 2002 by the New York Times, I said, “I am not the church’s water boy. I am not here to defend the indefensible.” In the Catholic League’s 2002 Annual Report, I even defended the media. “The Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, and the New York Times covered the story with professionalism,” I wrote.
Scandal II was external, the result of indefensible cherry-picking of old cases by rapacious lawyers and vindictive victims’ groups. They were aided and abetted by activists, the media, and Hollywood.
A decade later things had changed. In the Catholic League’s 2011 Annual Report, I offered a critical assessment of the media. “In a nutshell,” I said, “what changed was this: in 2011, unlike what happened in 2002, virtually all the stories were about accusations against priests dating back decades, sometimes as long as a half-century ago. Keep in mind that not only were most of the priests old and infirm, many were dead; thus, only one side of the story could be told. Adding to our anger was the fact that no other institution, religious or secular, was being targeted for old allegations.”
It became clear that by 2011 we were dealing with two scandals, not one. Scandal I was internal—the church-driven scandal. This was the result of indefensible decisions by the clergy: predatory priests and their enabling bishops. Scandal II was external, the result of indefensible cherry-picking of old cases by rapacious lawyers and vindictive victims’ groups. They were aided and abetted by activists, the media, and Hollywood.
AMERICANS are waking up to a journalist who almost single handedly has taken on the suffocating anti-Christian and anti-Faith media fanatics. Bill Donohue’s Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights has not only kept the spotlight on the bigots of broadcasting but has also exposed the ease by which organisations whose main objective is to destroy religion can bully small organisations out of existence by mounting vexatious legal actions funded by secretive wealthy “foundations” . In most other nations judges would make this impossible by identifying and throwing out mischievous (vexatious) attempts to misuse the law. The most glaring cases recently have been the Obama encouraged legal onslaught on the world famous Little Sisters of the Poor who operate in the most deprived and poverty stricken communities. Obama’s shame has been exposed in the success by which the poor nuns are being harried in the courts because they refuse to betray their Christian morals and consciences by engaging in the aborting of babies.
Here is a recent selection of Donohue’s exposes
It is so fitting that the least friendly administration to religion in history would invite a collection of pro-abortion nuns, Catholic gay activists, assorted dissidents and religious rebels to attend Pope Francis’ visit to the White House September 23.
These include gay Catholic blogger Aaron Ledesma; Catholic gay activist and Church critic Nicholas Coppola; and Sister Jeannine Gramick, co-founder of the Catholic dissident group New Ways Ministry, who in 1999 was barred by the Vatican from working in ministry to homosexuals. Coppola and Gramick were both invited by GLAAD, which says the White House invited it and LGBT leaders to attend.
Vivien Taylor, who identifies as transgender, not only scored an invite, but was told to bring some friends. He is—including members of Dignity, a Catholic dissident group, and other “transgender and intersex people.”
Also attending is Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, who left his wife of 14 years for his male partner, then last year “divorced” that partner.
Also on hand will be Sister Simone Campbell. She is the leader of the “Nuns on the Bus” who actively campaigned for Obamacare with its blatant pro-abortion provisions. We doubt an invitation is on the way to the Little Sisters of the Poor, the nuns being targeted by the administration for remaining true to their Catholic faith and refusing to comply with the pro-abortion mandate. We don’t expect to see them there.
Catholic-baiting is nothing new in Washington. Back in 1994, the Clinton administration’s own Ambassador to the Vatican, Ray Flynn, wrote that he was “embarrassed” by the “ugly anti-Catholic bias that is shown by prominent members of Congress and the administration.”
President Obama, however, has taken it to a new level. From inviting an aggressively anti-religious atheist organization to the White House; to trying to force Catholics, like the Little Sisters, to violate Catholic moral teaching; and now, to this attempt to exploit a papal visit to promote an agenda that is offensive to faithful Catholics, he has shown a religious intolerance that is mind-boggling.
How they plan to prevent Americans from meeting Pope Francis.
Poll after poll shows that Pope Francis is universally popular these days, with millions of Americans—of all religions or no religion—clamoring for an opportunity to welcome him when he arrives on our shores next week. Two groups—the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) and Americans United for Separation of Church and State—are predictably unhappy about that, and doing all they can to limit the public’s access to the pope.
Americans United is unhappy that the city of Cape May, New Jersey is planning to broadcast the pope’s September 27 Mass from nearby Philadelphia at the Cape May Convention Hall. The city, which has waived charges at the Convention Center for other non-profit events, organized this one in conjunction with the Cape May Ministerium, a group of clergy representing different denominations. “It’s a great opportunity for the city of Cape May to showcase itself,” and to “make that available to people who can’t attend in person,” said Cape May’s attorney. No matter, says Americans United; they’ll sue if the event takes place.
FFRF got similarly exercised about New York City’s giveaway of tickets to see Pope Francis in Central Park September 25. This, the group said, made New York City appear “to be endorsing Pope Francis’ sectarian religious message.”
FFRF is also in high dudgeon over Pope Francis’ scheduled meeting with inmates at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Philadelphia September 27. As prisons are “public-supported,” the group complained, the pope should not have been invited to meet with inmates; nor should inmates have been permitted to hand carve a chair to present to the pontiff, even though they volunteered to do so.
Freedom From Religion is an apt name for this group. Obviously they care nothing for the Freedom of Religion of those who are incarcerated.
Bill Donohue spotlights flawed journalism of the New York Times
“We can all recognize that abortion in many ways represents a sad, even tragic choice in many, many women.” Those are the words of Hillary Clinton. Which is why she must be as dumbfounded as I am to read the op-ed by Jill Filipovic boasting how abortion brings about “positive feelings of relief or happiness.” You can just hear it said, “Break out the booze—my baby is dead.”
Filipovic is an unemployed writer who provides not a single shred of evidence to support her delirious conclusion. When I submit op-ed ads to the New York Times, I am routinely asked to provide proof for my contentions. I’m fine with that—I always have the data. Then why was this piece printed when the author simply asserts that “research shows” women are happy following an abortion?
In 2011, the British Journal of Psychiatry published “the largest quantitative estimate of mental health risks associated with abortion available in the world literature.” It measured anxiety, depression, alcohol use, marijuana use, and suicidal behavior. It found that “the overall experience of abortion led to a staggering 81% increased risk of mental health problems across all the variables.” Studies done in the U.S., Finland, Denmark, and Canada have come to similar conclusions.
In addition to these five mental health problems, post-abortion syndromes include such emotions as guilt, feelings of numbness, avoidance of children or pregnant women, inability to bond with present or future children, eating disorders, fear of infertility, and nightmares. There is no post-abortion syndrome called elation. And they all remember the anniversary of the aborted child’s due date, or the date of the abortion.
Project Rachel was founded as a Catholic ministry to reach out to women who have had an abortion. Filipovic ought to talk to these women. She would learn that “breaking out the booze” only occurs when post-abortive women opt to self-medicate.
Video evidence has just been released exposing the shocking involvement of Planned Parenthood in marketing body parts harvested from babies in abortion clinics. In a report from the Center for Medical Progress, responsible for obtaining the video evidence, the world’s foremost pro-abortion organisation is actually accused of arranging to have organs and other parts of a baby cut to order. They pass orders to surgeons in the abortion trade with detailed instructions. Officials of affiliated groups are also accused of being inculcated in the harvesting and marketing baby body parts.
Calls have been made to legislators worldwide for investigations into local and national Planned Parenthood affiliates.
National and state legislators in the United States were the first to react to the shocking videos, which are a part of a series entitled “Human Capital” by The Center for Medical Progress. The videos reveal Planned Parenthood abortionists negotiating the sale of fetal organs and tissue, even discussing how they use partial-birth abortion methods to keep the organs intact. They are speaking to actors posing as buyers for a human biologics company interested in purchasing baby body parts.
In the first video, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, a senior director of medical services for Planned Parenthood, explained the practice- which is prohibited by federal law- and calmly described which body parts are in “highest demand” while sharing a meal with two individuals she believed were prospective buyers. She cavalierly related the process whereby she chooses which section of the unborn baby’s body to “crush” during the abortion procedure depending on which body part she wants to harvest intact.
Another video exposes Planned Parenthood medical director Mary Gatter explaining how they bypass the laws on tissue collection to keep the baby intact. “I wouldn’t object to asking Ian, who’s our surgeon who does the cases, to use an IPAS [manual vacuum aspirator] at that gestational age in order to increase the odds that he’s going to get an intact specimen,” said Gatter. Federal law stipulates there can be no adjustment to the timing or method of abortion done for the purpose of fetal tissue collection. She also expressed the desire for a “less crunchy” abortion method.
The US House of Representatives moved quickly following the public uproar over the videos with Speak John Boehner calling for hearings on the grisly abortion practices stating:
“Nothing is more precious than life, especially an unborn child. When anyone diminishes an unborn child, we are all hurt, irreversibly so. When an organization monetizes an unborn child – and with the cavalier attitude portrayed in this horrific video – we must all act. As a start, I have asked our relevant committees to look into this matter. I am also calling on President Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell to denounce, and stop, these gruesome practices.”
The House Judiciary and Energy and Commerce Committees each launched investigations into Planned Parenthood and its actions. 135 Members of Congress signed a letter to US Attorney General Loretta Lynch demanding the Department of Justice (DOJ) investigate Planned Parenthood in the sale of baby body parts. “The harvesting of human fetal body parts for sale is an activity, which shocks the conscience. Moreover, the tragic ethical considerations, potential for criminal violations, and involvement of taxpayer subsidies raise issues of great public importance,” the letter stated. It also cites the law the abhorrent practice violates, 42 U.S.C§289g-2, which states, “it shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly acquire, receive, or otherwise transfer any human fetal tissue for valuable consideration if the transfer affects interstate commerce“, violators of which can be “imprisoned for not more than 10 years.”
Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Constitution Subcommittee Chairman Trent Franks (R-AZ) sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch calling for the Justice Department to investigate non-compliance by Planned Parenthood with the Partial Birth Abortion Ban based on comments made by Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Nucatola who in the video explained how she changes the position of the baby to ensure that the head presents last, as in partial birth abortion.
Dr. Nucatola explained how she and other abortionists define the Partial Birth Abortion Ban: “…the federal abortion ban is a law and laws are up to interpretation. So there are some people who interpret it as intent. So if I say on Day One, I do not intend to do this, what ultimately happens doesn’t matter. Because I didn’t intend to do this on Day One so I’m complying with the law.”
Questions on the selling of aborted baby body parts have extended to the European Parliamentwhere concerns are growing about the role of the larger International Planned Parenthood Federation’s European Network. MEP Miroslav Mikolásik filed an inquiry asking if the European Commission is aware of the investigations being conducted in the U.S. regarding the involvement of Planned Parenthood abortion clinics in the illegal trafficking of aborted baby parts and whether or not the Commission will suspend funding to the Planned Parenthood network until U.S authorities have completed their investigations.
In the Republic of Ireland, Independent TD Mattie McGrath called on the Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) to distance itself from its affiliation with International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) after the videos revealed the broad illegal practice of the sale of the organs of aborted children for profit in the U.S.
TD McGrath stated,
“The video that has emerged in recent day’s highlights some of the more grotesque ethical and legal nightmares associated with the abortion industry. Here we have the Senior Medical Director of the largest abortion provider in the world casually trading in human body parts with no sense of the horrific nature of her comments.
The IFPA which is a member of Planned Parenthood International must immediately condemn these actions and make it explicitly clear that it does not support the manipulation of abortion procedures for the purposes of maximising monetary profit by trading in human body parts. I am also calling on the Minister for Health to immediately clarify the exact position of the IFPA on this issue since it has been on the receiving end of millions in State funding over the last number of years.”
Senator Rand Paul has introduced a bill to defund Planned Parenthood, S.1861, which has been fast tracked in Senate by a procedural move called “Rule 14”, which will allow the bill to bypass the Committee process and go straight to a full vote on the Senate floor. The Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015, was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep Diane Black to defund Planned Parenthood for one year while it is investigated. Additionally, nine states have now begun investigations into Planned Parenthood, including Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, and Texas.
Outrage in the U.S. is not limited to the Republican Party. U.S. Democratic Senator Tim Kaine was asked about the videos and noted that multiple investigations were already underway because of the video, stating, “You have my commitment that it will be gotten to the bottom of. I know that there’s a lot of organization. The House has started an investigation of it. I don’t know if the Senate has, but the Senate might. And I also understand that there’s investigations at state levels about this. So there are multiple efforts already underway to dig into it.”
The videos are the product of a 3-year investigative study of Planned Parenthood. David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress said they plan to release more videos over the next couple months, totaling about twelve, revealing more shocking footage of Planned Parenthood’s illegal activities. “Planned Parenthood’s criminal conspiracy to make money off of aborted baby parts reaches to the very highest levels of their organization. Elected officials must listen to the public outcry for Planned Parenthood to be held accountable to the law and for our tax dollars to stop underwriting this barbaric abortion business,” declared Daleiden.