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Matthew Gifford
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For those who would like an alternative to Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, he recommended American Heritage Girls, Little Flowers’ Girls Clubs, the Federation of North American Explorers, Columbian Squires, Trail Life USA, and Fraternus. He also encouraged prayer for “the strengthening of the moral foundations of our society, especially those institutions that provide formation to youth.”
Denver, Colo., Apr 26, 2017 / 03:04 pm (CNA).- Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver has announced that parishes in his diocese may continue to charter Boy Scout troops, as long as they follow requirements to ensure that Catholic identity and teaching are upheld. In his latest column in the Denver Catholic, the archbishop said that individual pastors may continue allowing their parishes to charter a scouting troop, as long as they meet the guidelines laid out by the archdiocese’s code of conduct. Leaders and members should support the Catholic Church and her teachings; refrain from approving or engaging in conduct that contradicts Catholic doctrine or morals; and promote and respect the dignity of the human person and human sexuality according to natural law and Catholic teaching. The archbishop’s column came in response to the Boy Scouts of America’s decision in January to allow transgender scouts – biological girls who identify as boys – as well as the organization’s decisions in 2013 and 2015 to allow openly gay members and leaders, respectively. “These decisions are social experiments that are rationalized away without accounting for the impact on the clear majority of boys who do not have gender dysphoria or same-sex attraction,” the archbishop said. “Indeed, it is not hard to see that there will be lasting consequences for current and future generations of American boys as they try to understand their own sexuality in their formative years.” Despite these unfortunate decisions, he said, the Boy Scouts insist that they will allow Church-sponsored troops to operate in accordance with their faith and will defend these troops if lawsuits arise. Archbishop Aquila recognized that “the core elements of Boy Scouting remain praiseworthy,” and that many men for more than a century have received meaningful formation from the organization. And since non-Catholic members and leaders who accept the troops’ Catholic character can also participate, parish troops are a chance to witness and evangelize. After consulting with leaders of diocesan troops, he said that he had made the decision to continuing allowing both Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, while calling for all parish-sponsored troops to “reinforce their commitment to forming boys and girls into virtuous Christian young adults.” For those who would like an alternative to Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, he recommended American Heritage Girls, Little Flowers’ Girls Clubs, the Federation of North American Explorers, Columbian Squires, Trail Life USA, and Fraternus. He also encouraged prayer for “the strengthening of the moral foundations of our society, especially those institutions that provide formation to youth.” The Denver archbishop’s decision echoes that of several other bishops in responding to the Boy Scouts of America. When the Boy Scouts first admitted openly gay members in 2013, the Diocese of Lincoln said that it would continue allowing parish-chartered troops, but would continue to evaluate the situation. After the July 2015 decision to allow openly gay leaders, Bishop Richard F. Stika of Knoxville announced that his diocese would continue to charter scouting troops but would carefully monitor them to ensure that no ideology contrary to the Catholic faith was present. Similarly, Bishop Daniel Conlon of Joliet, Illinois said that his diocese would continue to charter scouting troops, but stressed the need to be vigilant in upholding Catholic values. Bishop Robert Guglielmone of Charleston, S.C., who serves as the episcopal liaison for the National Catholic Committee on Scouting told CNA that the committee was “cautiously optimistic” that Catholic organizations could still be involved with Boy Scouts, but said that great care was needed. After the January announcement this year, the Archdiocese of St. Louis said that it would remain in dialogue with the Boy Scouts, but noted its concern that “the latest in a troubling pattern of behavior” by the organization suggested that it is “becoming increasingly incompatible with our Catholic values.” The National Catholic Committee on Scouting has stressed on several occasions that according to the charter rules under which the Boy Scouts operate, “A Catholic parish can establish a membership guideline that follows Catholic teaching.” The Diocese of Phoenix and the Archdiocese of New Orleans have also voiced an intention to maintain Catholic troops that present models of Church teaching. One prelate, Bishop David Kagan of Bismarck, North Dakota, said that his diocese would disaffiliate from the Boy Scouts after their 2015 decision to allow openly gay leaders.   In his column, Archbishop Aquila stressed Catholic principles of committing to “the dignity of the human person, the understanding of man and woman as made for each other, the virtue of chastity and the protection of children, especially from different forms of abuse, which includes enabling and/or encouraging gender dysphoria.” He recognized the importance of not leading others – especially children – into scandal, and reiterated that “discussions about sexual attraction, orientation, and lifestyle choices have no place in scouting” but should be addressed by parents instead.  

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Planned Parenthood investigators reject 'bogus' felony charges: San Francisco, Calif., Mar 29, 2017 / 04:07 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The undercover journalists whose work appeared to implicate Planned Parenthood officials in the illegal sale of unborn baby body parts now face 15 felony charges in California, but one insists the allegations are phony. David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress characterized the allegations as “bogus charges from Planned Parenthood’s political cronies.” “The public knows the real criminals are Planned Parenthood and their business partners like StemExpress and DV Biologics – currently being prosecuted in California – who have harvested and sold aborted baby body parts for profit for years in direct violation of state and federal law,” he said March 28. California Attorney General Xavier Beccerra has charged that Daleiden and his co-investigator Sandra Merritt filmed 14 people without their consent in Los Angeles, Pasadena, San Francisco and El Dorado. The two are also charged with conspiracy to invade privacy. Beccerra said his office “will not tolerate the criminal recording of confidential conversations.” “The right to privacy is a cornerstone of California’s Constitution, and a right that is foundational in a free democratic society,” he said Tuesday. Data from the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit, nonpartisan funding watchdog, appear to show that Beccerra has received several minor donations from Planned Parenthood, totally some $6,000 in the last 20 years. In the current case, court papers claim the undercover investigators’ surreptitious recording of officials involved in Planned Parenthood and other sections of the abortion industry were illegal. An affidavit filed in San Francisco Superior Court justified the conspiracy charges on the grounds the investigators used pseudonyms, fake California drivers’ licenses, and a front medical research company, Biomax Procurement Services, in order to secure a booth at the National Abortion Federation’s 2014 conference in San Francisco. Daleiden compared the California charges to Texas charges that had been filed against him and dismissed in June 2016, including a charge he had used a fake California driver’s license to access a Texas Planned Parenthood building. “They tried the same collusion with corrupt officials in Houston, Texas and failed: both the charges and the district attorney were thrown out,” he said. The Center for Medical Progress videos gave great momentum to efforts to end state and federal taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood, which receives about half a billion dollars in federal funds annually, about 40 percent of its operating budget. While this money is forbidden by law from funding abortions, critics charge that these rules may not always be followed, and that any federal funding frees up other money for abortions. In January 2017, the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives Select Investigative Panel investigating fetal tissue procurement released its report declaring that there are abuses and possible criminal violations in the area. The procurement of fetal tissue for profit is illegal. Although a dozen states opened investigations into the organizations involved, they did not find legally admissible evidence of wrongdoing. Backers of Planned Parenthood have charged that the videos were deceptively edited, a charge Daleiden has strongly contested, releasing the full videos to support his claim. Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Mary Alice Carter said that the California charges show “the only people who broke the law are those behind the fraudulent tapes.” Carter denied that Planned Parenthood has done anything wrong. Vicki Saporta of the National Abortion Federation charged that the videos resulted in a “flood of hate speech, threats and violence” to abortion providers. Daleiden, however, defended his work. “We look forward to showing the entire world what is on our yet-unreleased video tapes of Planned Parenthood’s criminal baby body parts enterprise, in vindication of the First Amendment rights of all,” he said Tuesday. On March 29, the Center for Medical Progress released its latest video, which involved Dr. DeShawn Taylor, a past medical director of Planned Parenthood who served as an abortion provider at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles. The video appeared to show Taylor saying her facility's treatment of babies who show “signs of life” after an abortion depended on “who’s in the room.” The release of the investigation’s first video took place in July 2015. It and subsequent videos have drawn a massive response from Planned Parenthood and its allies. A 2015 grant listing from the Open Societies Foundation, published after a foundations’ computer system was hacked, found a planned $7-8 million campaign to respond to the videos. The Hewlett Foundation and the Democracy Alliance were named as other partners in the campaign.  

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My OG Pebble has been unable to load apps and watchfaces the past couple days, giving the "No Internet Connection" message despite notifications working fine. Is there a problem with the Pebble app store?

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Seems about as obvious as could be. #familylivesmatter ... As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live. -JPII


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“We hold that Catholic teaching respects the true dignity of the human person and is conducive to happiness,” said hundreds of Catholic scholars in a Sept. 20 document.

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So, the Big Question is, why? Why is the left hostile toward Western civilization?
After decades of considering this question, I have concluded the answer is this: standards.
The left hates standards -- moral standards, artistic standards, cultural standards. The West is built on all three, and it has excelled in all three.
Why does the left hate standards? It hates standards because when there are standards, there is judgment. And leftists don't want to be judged.
Thus, Michelangelo is no better than any contemporary artist, and Rembrandt is no greater than any non-Western artist.
So, too, street graffiti -- which is essentially the defacing of public and private property, and thus serves to undermine civilization -- is "art."

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Please join the Pope in praying for families this month 
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