Patrick Trueman Named CEO of Morality in Media Former Chief of U.S. Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Prosecution gains new role in the fight against illegal pornography.

December 20, 2010

NEW YORK, (MetroCatholic) — The Board of Directors of Morality in Media has named Patrick A. Trueman as its new chief executive officer and a member of its board of directors. Trueman formerly served as Chief of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. in the presidential administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

For the past year, Trueman has been retained by Morality in Media as director of the War on Illegal Pornography, an ad hoc coalition of more than 50 state and national groups working together to have federal obscenity laws enforced once again by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Trueman is the founder of Pornography Harms, an integrated educational program that warns citizens and legislators alike of the harms of pornography consumption. The effort has three major online outreach arms: PornHarms.com, an academic and research-based educational site that hosts an extensive collection of peer-reviewed research on the harms of pornography; a Facebook page with 15,000 followers; and a YouTube channel on which are posted information, education, and interview videos that have been viewed more than 50,000 times. Pornography Harms has been supported by Morality in Media and now will be fully integrated into the organization.

“It is an honor for me to be part of Morality in Media, the oldest and one of the most effective organizations in the country fighting the scourge of pornography,” said Trueman who will work out of Washington, D.C. “This will strengthen the coalition’s War on Illegal Pornography,” he added. He joins Robert Peters, MIM’s long-time President and newly named General Counsel, on the staff. “Bob Peters and I have collaborated for years on legal briefs in prominent federal court cases and I have the greatest respect for his keen legal mind and exceptional writing abilities.”

“We have an untreated pandemic of harm from pornography in America today,” Trueman said. “Addiction, violence against women, and an increase divorce, sexual molestation, and sexual trafficking are all byproducts of pornography’s saturation within society.” “The failure of the U.S. Department of Justice to vigorously enforce federal obscenity laws has given a green light to the porn crime syndicates and harmed nearly every family in America,” Trueman noted. Federal laws prohibit distribution of hardcore, obscene pornography on the Internet, on cable/satellite and hotel/motel TV, through the mails, and in retail shops.

PRAYER IN SITUATIONS OF VIOLENCE, INTOLERANCE, SUFFERING

December 7, 2010

VATICAN CITY (VIS) - After praying the Angelus, Benedict XVI asked for prayer during this Advent season “for all the situations of violence, intolerance, and suffering in the world, so that the Coming of Jesus might bring consolation, reconciliation, and peace”.

“I am thinking,” the Pope said, “of the many difficult situations such as the continued attacks taking place in Iraq against Christians and Muslims, the confrontations in Egypt that have left dead and wounded, the victims of drug traffickers and criminals, as well as the hostages from Eritrea and other nationalities who have been taken in the Sinai desert. Respect for the rights of all is a requisite for civil coexistence. May this, our prayer to the Lord and our solidarity,” he concluded, “bring hope to those who are suffering”.

Bishops Commend House Resolution Seeking Protection for Religious Minorities in Iraq

November 30, 2010

WASHINGTON (MetroCatholic) — The U.S. bishops commended a resolution in the House of Representatives that condemns recent attacks on religious minorities in Iraq and calls for the U.S. government to work with the Iraqi government to protect these vulnerable groups.

In a November 29 letter to the sponsors of House Resolution 1725, Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany, New York, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on International Justice and Peace, and Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, co-adjutor archbishop of Los Angeles and chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, called for its immediate passage. 

The resolution was introduced November 18 by Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) and co-sponsored by Representatives Frank Wolf (R-VA), Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), Mark S. Kirk (R-IL), Gary C. Peters (D-MI), Joseph Pitts (R-PA), and Trent Franks (R-AZ),).

“Our conference welcomes this bipartisan resolution as a way to focus attention on the situation of the vulnerable religious communities in Iraq,” the bishops wrote.  “In particular,” they added, “we support the emphasis on developing a comprehensive plan to improve security for religious minorities and to increase their representation in the Government of Iraq and to include them in all aspects of Iraqi society.”

In their letter, the bishops referenced the recent attack in Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad.
“The October 31 attack on worshippers in Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad that killed 58 and wounded 75 and the continuing violence against Christians are horrific reminders of the appalling lack of security that has condemned many in Iraq to live in fear,” the bishops said. The House resolution condemns the attack against Our Lady of Salvation Church.

The bishops also welcomed the resolution’s concern for Iraqi refugees and supported its call for measures to accelerate the review of their applications for resettlement and to improve conditions on the ground so that refugees may safely return to Iraq.

“We sincerely hope that H. Res. 1725 will be adopted quickly by the House of Representatives as we believe it will help improve security for all Iraqis, especially Christians and other vulnerable minorities,” the bishops said. “We hope it will contribute to the overall goal of achieving a “responsible transition” that will reduce further loss of life and address the refugee crisis in Iraq.”

Real Christians Say ‘No’ to Bullying and Homosexual Behavior

October 28, 2010

COLUMBUS, Ohio (MetroCatholic) — A coalition of pro-family leaders today urges Christian families to be faithful to biblical morality and discerning in the face of false and irresponsible accusations. Christianity and traditional values are not the cause of teen suicides, and attempts to link the two are deceptive and will ultimately harm children.

“Gay” activists nationwide are fueling an effort to indict traditional moral values as “guilty until proven innocent” in some bullying incidents involving teens. Their proposed solutions end up sexualizing teens at young ages into known high-risk behaviors and silencing concerned parents.

Now, the U.S. Department of Education seems to be joining the effort, setting the stage for implicating traditional morality as the cause of some cases of bullying, and using the force of federal government to force pro-homosexual, pro-”transgender” indoctrination programs onto local schools.

“Just say no” to these outrageous and unsubstantiated claims, said Buddy Smith, Executive Vice President, American Family Association (www.afa.net). “Bullying can be prevented without endorsing homosexual behavior. Activist adults essentially are saying that American parents who want their kids to avoid high risk homosexual sex acts and remain abstinent until traditional marriage, are harming kids. This is preposterous, and local parents and communities need to resist enforced political correctness.”

Authentic Christians will remember several key concepts from Scripture:

1. Homosexual behavior is always a sin, God’s plan for sexuality is male/female marriage, and God has not changed His mind about this (Genesis 19; Leviticus 18:22; Matthew 19:4-6; Romans 1:24-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

2. Jesus described marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and that humans were created male and female “from the beginning.” Gender change is a defiant and ungrateful sin against God’s direction and design (Matthew 19:4-6)

3. Violence against children is wrong. Jesus was very clear in his protection of children and also had harsh words for those who would forbid children from knowing His truth and love ( Luke 17:2; Luke 18: 15-16). “Gay” activists want to keep children from knowing, loving and following the real Jesus Christ. At the very least, schools must not interfere in the desires of parents to raise their own children to follow Christ and live out biblical morality.

4. School boards aid child corruption and insult faithful families when they allow “gay-straight alliances,” homosexual indoctrination programs, permission for use of opposite sex restrooms, and any of the other ridiculous demands of the “gay” lobby.

“None of this is related to the real issue of bullying,” said Linda Harvey, president of Mission America ( www.missionamerica.com), who has been monitoring the homosexual agenda directed to youth for fifteen years.” Any incidents of bullying and name-calling can be punished without forcing acceptance of offensive behaviors. Communities must not allow themselves to be manipulated into supporting pro-homosexual bullying prevention plans, and believers in Jesus Christ need to stand up against this corruption of youth.

“Traditional morality is not responsible for harassing speech. Are healthy nutrition programs or the First Lady’s anti-obesity initiative responsible for slurs and insults to overweight students? Of course not,” Harvey said. “Bullies act for a variety of reasons, and schools need to punish the behaviors, not become the thought police. Administrators who use good judgment will refuse to aid and abet false accusations.”

“It’s time that extremists stop exploiting tragedy to push a selfish political agenda,” said J. Matt Barber, Director of Cultural Affairs of Liberty Counsel (www.lc.org). “Liberal pressure groups have been shameless. They use talk of ‘bullying’ as a Trojan Horse to silence traditional values. Yes, anti-bullying policies are appropriate and necessary, but we a need broad, comprehensive anti-bullying strategy; not legislation rooted in segregation and discrimination, which singles out one special interest group for preferred treatment over others. Ironically, this unseemly political push actually amounts to ‘Bull Connor bullying’ on the part of homosexual activists.”

Traditional values always help families and students, not the opposite, as extremists are trying to claim.

These pro-family leaders have signed on to this statement:
Buddy Smith, Executive Vice President, American Family Association
Phil Burress, President, Citizens for Community Values
Mathew D. Staver, Founder and Chairman, Liberty Counsel
Peter LaBarbera, President, Americans for Truth
Gary Glenn, President, American Family Association of Michigan
Diane Gramley, President, American Family Association of Pennsylvania
Micah Clark, American Family Association of Indiana
J. Matt Barber, Director of Cultural Affairs, Liberty Counsel
Rena Lindevaldson, Associate Director, Liberty Center for Law & Policy
Matt C. Abbott, Catholic columnist,RenewAmerica.com

APPEAL FOR PEACE IN INDIA, PAKISTAN AND AFGHANISTAN

September 15, 2010

VATICAN CITY, 15 SEP 2010 (VIS) - At the end of his general audience this morning, the Pope pronounced the following appeal: “With great concern I am following the events that have taken place recently in southern Asia, especially in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. I pray for the victims and ask that respect for religious freedom and the logic of reconciliation and peace may prevail over hatred and violence”.

Man Arrested After Threatening to Gun Down Pro-life Activists at Late-Term Abortion Clinic

September 1, 2010

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M (MetroCatholic) — A man was arrested Saturday, August 28, outside Southwestern Women’s Options, a late-term abortion clinic operated by Curtis Boyd in Albuquerque, New Mexico, after he threatened to shoot two pro-life women who were offering help to abortion-bound women.

The unidentified man and his wife were escorting their daughter into the abortion clinic when the wife and daughter walked over to the pro-life women to discuss alternatives to abortion. The man became angry and ushered his family members toward the clinic.

“When we come out, I’m going to put a bullet in your head if you talk to her,” the man told the pro-life women, whose identities are being withheld for their security.

Witnesses said that the man then lifted his shirt to show the women a dark object that was partially tucked into his trousers. The women recognized the object as a gun and called the police.

“The police responded appropriately and took him away in handcuffs,” said former Operation Rescue intern Bud Shaver, who arrived on the scene in time to witness the arrest and the clearing of the clinic by police.

“They cleared Boyd’s clinic to search for the gun SWAT style. Everyone, including staff, had to come out with their hands up.”

The area was cordoned off and the clinic was closed to patients for nearly two hours while police conducted their investigation.

It is currently unknown if a gun was recovered by police or what charges were brought against the man.

Death threats against pro-lifers have been viewed with greater concern in the wake of the shooting death of activist Jim Pouillon of Owosso, Michigan, who was gunned down last year as he held a pro-life sign outside a local high school. The killer admitted that he murdered Pouillon because he did not agree with his public abortion protests.

Shaver told Operation Rescue that he has been threatened a number of times since he has been in Albuquerque, but the police never responded in the way they did on Saturday.

“We are thankful that no one was injured and that the police took appropriate action,” said Newman. “Violence against pro-lifers has become something that we have to guard against every day. Those who reach out to women in front of abortion clinics should not be afraid to continue to do so, but should always have security and an awareness of their surroundings in mind.”

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About Operation Rescue®
Operation Rescue is one of the leading pro-life Christian activist organizations in the nation and has become a strong voice for the pro-life movement in America. Operation Rescue is now headquartered in a former abortion clinic that it bought and closed in 2006. From there, Operation Rescue launches its innovative new strategies across the nation, exposing and closing abortion clinics through peaceful, legal means. Its activities are on the cutting edge of the abortion issue, taking direct action to stop abortion and ultimately restore legal personhood to the pre-born in obedience to biblical mandates.

Archbishop Chaput: Violence in movies only appropriate when it ‘teaches us not to be violent’

August 16, 2010

Denver, Colo. (CNA) — At a recent film event in Denver that explored the topic of violence in movies, Archbishop Charles Chaput weighed in on the issue, telling CNA that he believes violence to be appropriate in film only if it’s the kind “that teaches us not to be violent.”

Along with a local film critic and actor, the Denver archbishop discussed the theme of violence in motion pictures at an event on August 12 titled, “Blood on Our Hands: Morality and Violence in Movies.” The discussion, held on the campus of the University of Colorado at Denver, was part of the Colorado Cinema Salon, a new program presented by the Denver Film Society and hosted by renowned film critic Robert Denerstein.

The event opened with a 10 minute reel of graphically violent scenes from movies such as Psycho, Scarface, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Hostel, The Silence of the Lambs, Saving Private Ryan and The Godfather.

After the gruesome montage, Denerstein initiated a panel discussion between himself, Archbishop Chaput and local actor Donnie L. Betts. The three addressed topics such as whether or not violence in films affects behavior in American society, whether or not there are different types of violence in film and what, if any, is justifiable. The panelists also fielded numerous questions and comments from a well-attended and diverse audience, which included young and old alike of various backgrounds.

CNA caught up with Archbishop Chaput following the event, who explained the significance behind his decision in taking time from his schedule and attending a relatively small, independent film seminar.

“I chose to participate because I think that it’s important for the Church to be involved in the culture and in the broader society and I think movies are hugely influential,” the Denver prelate said.

“So I jumped at the opportunity to speak, just so the Church would have a face here,” he added, “but also to meet the community that gathers for this kind of discussion because I think it has a huge impact on our culture and I think it’s important for them to know that the Church is both interested and aware of what’s going on.”

CNA then asked Archbishop Chaput if violence is ever contextually appropriate in film or if it is gratuitous in all instances.

“I think the only kind of violence that’s good in movies is the violence that teaches us not to be violent,” he underscored. “I think sometimes that graphic violence can demonstrate how damaging violence is.”

War movies, for instance, “really teach us that war is always horrible and always to be avoided,” he noted.

Archbishop Chaput then cited the example of an earlier clip shown from the movie The Godfather, where scenes that show a mob boss attending a baptism and repeating the vows are juxtaposed with images of the mob boss’ enemies being ruthlessly killed at his behest.

“The Godfather violence demonstrates hypocrisy and how people can say one thing and lead entirely different lives,” the archbishop said. “When you’re confronted with that in such a graphic way, it makes you look at the hypocrisy in your own life.”

The prelate added a caveat, however, saying that violence in film “always has to be the kind of violence that educates us on the ugliness and damage” of violence in real life.

Archbishop Chaput also spoke on his own love of film and earlier aspirations as a young boy to be a stunt man when he grew up. He then commented on the gifting and potential influence for the good those in the movie industry have.

To “those who are involved,” in the industry, he noted,  “I congratulate them and bless them and I hope that they really will use their talents to make sure that film is transformative of society in a good way.”

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Pro-Abortion Groups Protesting Freedom Rides

July 21, 2010

WASHINGTON (MetroCatholic) — Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, announced today that various pro-abortion groups in the Atlanta area are protesting the Freedom Rides, which will arrive in Atlanta on Saturday to pray at the tomb of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“These groups accuse us of lying and distorting historical facts,” Fr. Frank said, “but the Freedom Rides intend to show the nation the truth about abortion. Abortionist Martin Haskell has said under oath, describing the abortion procedure, ‘The skull is brought out in fragments rather than as a unified piece.’ Do these pro-abortion fanatics really expect us to believe that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would want that kind of violence legally protected?”

Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., declared, “I have no doubt that if they were alive, my uncle Martin and my father A.D. would be with us on these Freedom Rides for the unborn.”

The pro-abortion groups have sought to deny the pro-life groups the use of the King Center, and plan to have their own counter-demonstration.

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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Brazilian bishops point to defense of life, marriage and peace ahead of elections

July 21, 2010

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (CNA) — Bishops from the eastern region of Brazil in the state of Rio de Janeiro urged the faithful this week to vote in the October elections for those candidates who defend life from conception to natural death, the family and freedom of education.

In a recent statement encouraging the faithful to carefully discern the candidates for the general elections, the bishops said, “The first criteria for voting for a candidate is the defense of the dignity of the human person and of life in all of its manifestations, from conception to natural death.  We vehemently reject all forms of violence, as well as any kind of abortion, the exploitation of minors in the marketplace, euthanasia and any form of genetic manipulation.”

“The second criterion is the defense of the family, where the person grows up and reaches fulfillment.  For this reason you must elect those candidates who provide concrete incentives for the development of the family according to God’s plan.  That is, (candidates) who oppose same-sex marriage, adoption by homosexuals and the legalization of prostitution, drugs and the trafficking of women.

A third criterion is “the freedom of education through which parents have the right to educate their children according to the vision of life they deem most appropriate.” This includes working for quality in public schools and defending the right of private schools to exist in accord with the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion, “which was recently recognized in the accords between Brazil and the Holy See.”

After noting that the fourth and fifth criteria refer respectively to solidarity and the principle of subsidiarity, the bishops emphasized that voters should elect candidates who promote a culture of peace and are willing to confront the widespread violence in the country.

Political life, the bishops stressed, is one way of bringing the Gospel into daily life in order to build “a just, fraternal and equitable society.”  Politicians who act in this way will restore hope and faith to those who have become cynical and skeptical of government and government leaders, they said.

“This is a great opportunity that Catholics and all people of good will must not lose,” the bishops advised.

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RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, THE PATH TO PEACE

July 13, 2010

VATICAN CITY (VIS) - “Religious freedom, the path to peace” is the theme chosen by Pope Benedict XVI for the celebration of the 2011 World Day of Peace.

“The World Day of Peace”, reads a communique on the subject released today, “will therefore be dedicated to the theme of religious freedom. It is well known that in many parts of the world there are various forms of restriction or denial of religious freedom, from discrimination and marginalisation based on religion, to acts of violence against religious minorities”.

“Religious freedom is authentically realised when it is experienced as the coherent search for truth and for the truth about man. This approach to religious freedom offers us a fundamental criterion for discerning the phenomenon of religion and its expressions. It necessarily rejects the ‘religiosity’ of fundamentalism, and the manipulation of truth and of the truth about man. Since such distortions are opposed to the dignity of man and to the search for truth, they cannot be considered as religious freedom”.

The communique recalls words Benedict XVI’s pronounced before the United Nations General Assembly in 2008: “Human rights, of course, must include the right to religious freedom, understood as the expression of a dimension that is at once individual and communitarian - a vision that brings out the unity of the person while clearly distinguishing between the dimension of the citizen and that of the believer”.

The text continues: “Today there are many areas of the world in which forms of restrictions and limitations to religious freedom persist, both where communities of believers are a minority, and where communities of believers are not a minority, and where more sophisticated forms of discrimination and marginalisation exist, on the cultural level and in the spheres of public, civil and political activity. ‘It is inconceivable’, as Benedict XVI remarked, ‘that believers should have to suppress a part of themselves - their faith - in order to be active citizens. It should never be necessary to deny God in order to enjoy one’s rights. The rights associated with religion are all the more in need of protection if they are considered to clash with a prevailing secular ideology or with majority religious positions of an exclusive nature’”.

The communique concludes by highlighting how “man cannot be fragmented, and separated from what he believes, because that in which he believes has an impact on his life and on his person. ‘Refusal to recognise the contribution to society that is rooted in the religious dimension and in the quest for the Absolute - by its nature, expressing communion between persons - would effectively privilege an individualistic approach, and would fragment the unity of the person’. It is for this reason that: ‘Religious Freedom is the Path to Peace’”.

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