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NFL champ Harrison Butker makes a statement with pro-life necktie at White House visit
Posted on 06/6/2023 23:15 PM (CNA Daily News - US)
Boston, Mass., Jun 6, 2023 / 15:15 pm (CNA).
During the Kansas City Chiefs’ visit to the White House on Monday in celebration of their Super Bowl victory in February, the team’s kicker, Harrison Butker, made a statement in support of the unborn by wearing a custom-made necktie with a pro-life message.
Butker, a faithful Catholic, wore a tie that says “Vulnerari Praesidio,” a Latin phrase he says means “protect the most vulnerable.”
“I want to give the most vulnerable, the unborn, a voice at a place where every effort has been made to allow and normalize the tragic termination of their lives,” Butker said in a June 6 statement.
Butker is referring to the Biden administration’s aggressive pro-abortion stance, a position that has put Biden at odds with the U.S. bishops and members of his own faith.
“As a father who has experienced three miscarriages, my wife and I understand the hardships that come with losing a child. Every life is precious and should be valued whether outside or inside the womb,” he said.
The gray tie was created in conjunction with the pro-life advocacy group Live Action.
According to the organization, accompanying the tie on Butker’s suit is a gold pin of two tiny feet — the exact-size feet a 10-week-old baby would have.
BREAKING:— Live Action (@LiveAction) June 6, 2023
Chiefs Kicker @buttkicker7 stands for LIFE at the White House!
His Live Action-designed tie reads “PROTECT THE VULNERABLE” in Latin & is paired with a gold pin created with the reference photo and the exact size of a 10-week-old aborted baby’s feet. 🙏🏾
Biden gave a speech at the event praising the Super Bowl champions not only for their football skills but also for using their platforms for good.
“As much as these guys know about football, they know about life and how to use their platform to make a difference,” the president said in a speech celebrating the team’s victory.
In a statement to CNA on Tuesday, Live Action president Lila Rose said that “Live Action was proud to partner with NFL superstar and pro-life advocate Harrison Butker to create a necktie in honor of the preborn to wear while meeting President Biden at the White House.”
“President Biden is a professing Catholic who, as the most powerful man in the world, is responsible for leading the most pro-abortion administration in our history that has overseen a horrific death toll of 2,548 children every day lost to abortion,” she said.
“I call on President Biden to reject the extremism of the abortion lobby and to protect the vulnerable children of his nation,” Rose added.
Hundreds of thousands of unborn children are killed in the womb every year through abortion.
Butker kicked the Super Bowl-winning field goal for the Chiefs during his team’s stunning Feb. 12 Super Bowl victory against the Philadelphia Eagles.
In addition to his game-clinching kick, he captured media attention for his scapular, which made a timely appearance as it slipped out of his jersey while more than 100 million fans across the globe watched him line up for a 27-yard field goal attempt with 11 seconds left on the clock in a tie game.
“I think that was our Blessed Mother asking for the spotlight to be shown on her and reminding me that all the glory goes to God and to her,” Butker told CNA in March.
‘We have much to celebrate’: USCCB pro-life chair releases Dobbs anniversary statement
Posted on 06/6/2023 20:45 PM (CNA Daily News - US)
CNA Newsroom, Jun 6, 2023 / 12:45 pm (CNA).
Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington, Virginia, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, released a statement June 6 ahead of the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s June 24, 2022, decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade.
“We have much to celebrate,” Burbidge wrote. “By the grace of God, the nearly 50-year reign of national abortion on demand has been put to an end. Roe v. Wade — a seemingly insurmountable blight on our nation — is no more!”
Amid the time for celebration, however, “we are reminded that this is not the end, but the beginning of a critical new phase in our efforts to protect human life,” Burbidge said in the statement. “Despite this momentous legal victory, sobering and varied challenges lie ahead of us.”
Burbidge pointed out that in the last year, several states have passed legislation to protect unborn life while other states enacted “extreme abortion policies that leave children vulnerable to abortion, even until the moment of birth.”
“In this shifting political landscape, we persist confidently in our efforts to defend life,” he continued. “The work that lies ahead continues to be not just changing laws but also helping to change hearts, with steadfast faith in the power of God to do so.”
Burbidge called for “radical solidarity” with women facing unexpected or challenging pregnancies as well as compassion for those who suffer due to their participation in abortion. He also called for prayer.
“May all people of faith and good will work together to proclaim that human life is a precious gift from God; that each person who receives this gift has responsibilities toward God, self and others; and that society, through its laws and social institutions, must protect and nurture human life at every stage of its existence,” he concluded.
Pope Francis names two new auxiliary bishops for San Diego who immigrated to US as teens
Posted on 06/6/2023 18:34 PM (CNA Daily News - US)
Rome Newsroom, Jun 6, 2023 / 10:34 am (CNA).
Pope Francis on Tuesday appointed two new auxiliary bishops for San Diego who both immigrated to the U.S. as teenagers.
The Vatican announced on June 6 that Father Michael Pham, 56, and Father Felipe Pulido, 53, will be consecrated as bishops for the Diocese of San Diego.
Pham is San Diego’s current vicar general and escaped Vietnam in a refugee boat with his siblings when he was 13 years old.
“Being appointed auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of San Diego by our Holy Father, Pope Francis, is incredible and unfathomable news for me. I am so deeply honored,” Pham told CNA.
While growing up in South Vietnam in the 1970s, Pham noticed a Catholic priest in town who was very involved with his parishioners and kind to everyone. At 10 years old Pham thought: “I want to be like that.”
After the Vietnam War ended with the fall of Saigon, Pham and two of his siblings fled the country in July 1980 in a harrowing boat journey in the South China Sea with no food and little water.
“We were jammed in like sardines.There was barely room to sit down,” Pham recounted to the Mission Times Courier.
Pham and his siblings spent three months in a refugee camp in Malaysia before finding asylum in the United States as unaccompanied minors.
The siblings were hosted by a family in Minnesota until Pham’s father, who had aided the Americans during his service in the South Vietnamese army, also gained asylum in the U.S. and moved the family to San Diego.
Pham finished high school in San Diego and went on to earn a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering from San Diego State University. While working for a company that maintained databases for Boeing, he felt a call to the priesthood.
His father was strongly against him becoming a priest, but Pham’s call to his vocation became more intense and he applied to the seminary without his father’s approval.
“My parents soon realized that they couldn’t stop me from entering the seminary, and they finally accepted my request for their approval. I truly felt the hands of God working throughout the whole process for me to become a priest,” Pham said.
He enrolled in St. Francis Seminary and later studied at St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park, California, before he was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of San Diego in 1999 at the age of 32. Pham spent four years as the diocesan vocation director and has been the pastor of Good Shepherd Parish since 2016.
“It is truly a privilege and an honor to become a priest. And now, I am being called to serve the Church in a greater capacity as bishop. I don’t know what I have, but I hope and pray through the guidance of the Holy Spirit to give me wisdom, knowledge, and strength to take on this task that the pope has entrusted to me to serve God’s people,” Pham told CNA.
Pulido is the vicar for clergy and vocations director for the Diocese of Yakima, Washington. He was born in a small town in Mexico in the state of Michoacán and is the oldest of seven children.
At age 12 he entered a minor seminary in Mexico, where he studied through high school.
When he was 18, Pulido came to the U.S. with his parents and worked in the fields in Washington picking and packing fruit. He worked as a teacher assistant for three years at the Epic Migrant Head Start program before entering Mount Angel Seminary in Oregon in 1994 at the age of 24.
He spent time in Rome as a student at the Pontifical North American College and earned a degree in sacred theology with high honors at the Angelicum in Rome in 2000. Pulido also studied at the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family in Rome from 2001 to 2002 and was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Yakima in 2002.
Pulido has served as the pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Kennewick, Washington, since 2020.
“Father Pulido is the first priest of the Yakima Diocese named to be a bishop since its founding in 1951. We are all very proud of him,” Bishop Joseph J. Tyson of Yakima said after the appointment was announced.
As auxiliary bishops, Pham and Pulido will join Auxiliary Bishop Ramon Bejarano in assisting Cardinal Robert McElroy in his duties as bishop of San Diego. The Diocese of San Diego serves more than 1.3 million Catholics.
Oklahoma board approves first Catholic charter school in the country
Posted on 06/6/2023 00:50 AM (CNA Daily News - US)
Washington D.C., Jun 5, 2023 / 16:50 pm (CNA).
The state of Oklahoma approved the country’s first-ever religious charter school on Monday. The move will allow public funds to pay the tuition of children attending an online Catholic school run by the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City and the Diocese of Tulsa.
The Statewide Virtual Charter School Board voted 3-2 to approve St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School in a three-hour-long meeting. The “yes” votes included a new member who was appointed by Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt on Friday.
In a statement, the governor applauded the decision.
“This is a win for religious liberty and education freedom in our great state, and I am encouraged by these efforts to give parents more options when it comes to their child’s education,” Stitt said.
“Oklahomans support religious liberty for all and support an increasingly innovative educational system that expands choice,” the governor added. “Today, with the nation watching, our state showed that we will not stand for religious discrimination.”
Because charter schools are public schools funded by taxpayers, the decision to fund a religiously affiliated charter school is already coming under legal scrutiny. Republican Attorney General Gentner Drummond rebuked the board’s vote and said the action was unconstitutional.
“The approval of any publicly funded religious school is contrary to Oklahoma law and not in the best interest of taxpayers,” Drummond said. “It’s extremely disappointing that board members violated their oath in order to fund religious schools with our tax dollars. In doing so, these members have exposed themselves and the state to potential legal action that could be costly.”
State Superintendent Ryan Walters disagreed with the attorney general, stating that the move expands school choice.
“This decision reflects months of hard work and, more importantly, the will of the people of Oklahoma,” Walters said. “I encouraged the board to approve this monumental decision, and now the U.S.’s first religious charter school will be welcomed by my administration. I have fought for school choice in all forms and this further empowers parents. We will make sure every Oklahoma parent has the opportunity to decide what is best for their child.”
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that states cannot discriminate against religiously affiliated schools in its school voucher programs. However, the constitutionality of charter schools run by religious institutions has not yet come up.
Report: Twitter fails to block some child pornography
Posted on 06/6/2023 00:00 AM (CNA Daily News - US)
Denver, Colo., Jun 5, 2023 / 16:00 pm (CNA).
The social media website Twitter has apparently failed to block images of child sexual abuse, with researchers detecting several dozen known images of illegal pornographic material on the platform from March through May.
Though Twitter appeared to correct the problem, it imposed new fees for the use of an application to monitor the social media platform’s ability to block child pornography, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The Wall Street Journal’s report was based on research conducted by the Stanford Internet Observatory, which conducted a study of child protection issues across multiple social media platforms. It used a computer program to analyze a data set of about 100,000 Tweets from March 12 to May 20. The researchers found more than 40 images on Twitter flagged as CSAM (child sexual abuse material) in databases that companies use to screen content.
“This is one of the most basic things you can do to prevent CSAM online, and it did not seem to be working,” David Thiel, chief technologist at the Stanford Internet Observatory and report co-author, told the Wall Street Journal.
Thiel said it was “a surprise” to get any hits on “a small Twitter dataset.” Researchers used a digital signature analysis called PhotoDNA and their own software program to scan for the images and did not view the images themselves.
Twitter has previously said it uses PhotoDNA and other tools to detect CSAM, but it did not comment to the Wall Street Journal about whether it still uses PhotoDNA. The Stanford researchers said Twitter told them it has detected some false positives in CSAM databases that the platform’s operators manually filter out. Twitter said researchers might see false positives going forward.
The platform has touted its efforts to combat child sexual exploitation. It reported that it suspended about 404,000 accounts in the month of January for creating or engaging with material involving CSAM.
Research on Twitter involves access through an application programming interface (API). Twitter is now charging for this access, which could make analysis of Twitter unaffordable for researchers, the Wall Street Journal reported. The Stanford Internet Observatory has stopped using the enterprise-level API for Twitter because of the new costs.
The observatory, based at Stanford University, aims to study abuse of the internet in real time. Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter, in March accused the observatory of being a “propaganda machine” for its work on content moderation during the 2020 U.S. election.
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), which advocates against sexual abuse and the public harms of pornography, placed Twitter on its 2023 “Dirty Dozen” list. The list aims to spotlight major mainstream entities that facilitate, enable, or profit from sexual abuse and exploitation. The NCOSE Law Center is representing two plaintiffs whose abuser groomed the then-teenage boys into sending sexually explicit videos of themselves. Compilations of the illegal material were then posted and shared on Twitter.
Citing the technology news blog site TechDirt, the NCOSE said: “Most experts agree that Musk’s actions since purchasing Twitter have so far served to make the crime of child sexual exploitation worse.”
Carmelite nuns file new theft and defamation charges against Fort Worth Bishop Olson
Posted on 06/5/2023 23:30 PM (CNA Daily News - US)
Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jun 5, 2023 / 15:30 pm (CNA).
Carmelite nuns of the Monastery of the Most Holy Trinity in Arlington, Texas, filed new theft and defamation charges Friday against Bishop Michael Olson of Fort Worth.
The nuns’ new charges were filed in a district court for Tarrant County, Texas, the day after Olson dismissed the monastery’s prioress, Reverend Mother Teresa Agnes Gerlach, from religious life on the grounds that she had a sexual affair with an unnamed priest.
In a Thursday decree, Olson announced he had found Gerlach, prioress of the Monastery of the Most Holy Trinity in Arlington, “guilty of having violated the sixth commandment of the Decalogue and her vow of chastity with a priest from outside the Diocese of Fort Worth.”
The new charges levied by the monastery are in addition to a lawsuit filed on May 3 that seeks $1 million in civil damages and asks the court to block the bishop’s and the diocese’s access to any records obtained by confiscating the reverend mother’s property.
“Bishop Olson forced the Reverend Mother to turn over her computer, iPad, and cellular phone to him personally,” the charge states.
Though the physical property has since been returned, the nuns allege that the diocese made digital copies of the information containing “private correspondence, private documents, extensive medical records,” and financial information, “including but not limited to donor lists.”
“This is the private property of the Plaintiffs, none of which is relevant or related to the canonical investigation, which according to the Defendants has now been concluded,” the suit says.
Additionally, the nuns claim that Olson and the diocese defamed Gerlach by voluntarily publishing “patently false and defamatory” statements about the prioress on the diocesan website.
In turn, the diocese is arguing that the dispute is an ecclesiastical matter and should not be heard in a civil court.
The civil hearing on the case is set for June 23.
Although Olson has concluded his ecclesiastical investigation and the diocese alleges that Gerlach admitted to the misconduct, the monastery’s attorney Matthew Bobo emphatically denies that claim.
According to Bobo, Gerlach, 43, was under the influence of pain medication related to a surgery when she is alleged to have admitted to the affair and “has not admitted to any grave misconduct that would warrant his extreme and emotionally damaging measures.”
Per Olson’s decree, Gerlach has 30 days to appeal her dismissal to the Vatican’s Dicastery for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of the Apostolic Life.
Bobo has said that Gerlach intends to appeal the decision.
Who flew migrants to California and dropped them off at Diocese of Sacramento offices?
Posted on 06/5/2023 23:00 PM (CNA Daily News - US)
Boston, Mass., Jun 5, 2023 / 15:00 pm (CNA).
California’s governor and attorney general are accusing the state of Florida of “kidnapping” a group of 16 South American migrants in Texas, flying them to Sacramento, and dropping them off in front of the Diocese of Sacramento’s headquarters.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta said the migrants were brought by private plane and had “no prior arrangement in place.”
The news comes amid a heated national debate over border security and immigration as hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants, many of whom are unaccompanied children, have crossed America’s southern border in the past year alone.
It’s unclear if the migrants, who are reportedly from Colombia and Venezuela, are asylum seekers. CNA asked California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office on Monday but did not immediately receive a response.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office has not responded to CNA’s inquiry about the accusation.
Bonta said in a Saturday statement that the 16 migrants “were in possession of documentation purporting to be from the government of the state of Florida.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, the migrants’ documentation says that the Florida Division of Emergency Management arranged the flight, Bonta told the outlet. The documents also say that the flight was a part of a Florida program to relocate migrants in Texas to other states, Bonta added.
Catholics and organizations partnered with the Diocese of Sacramento to offer services and resources to the migrants, according to Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto.
“Within each of the 16 migrants transported to Sacramento on Friday we recognize the humble presence of Jesus, and we hear his call to stand by them,” Soto said.
DeSantis made headlines last year for a similar political maneuver in which his state sent two planes carrying migrant asylum seekers in Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, in what a spokesperson for the governor told Fox News Digital was “part of the state’s relocation program to transport illegal immigrants to sanctuary destinations.”
Massachusetts is not a sanctuary state — a term typically referring to a local government’s refusal to work with federal immigration enforcement officials to deport illegal immigrants — but it does have several municipalities branding themselves as sanctuaries for migrants, although Martha’s Vineyard is not one of them, according to the Boston Herald.
The Florida governor, who is now running for president of the United States, received both heated criticism and support from public figures and legislators at the time.
An activist organization called Lawyers for Civil Rights is leading a lawsuit on behalf of the Venezuelan migrants against the Republican governor for the Martha’s Vineyard move.
DeSantis is being sued in Massachusetts federal court for allegedly violating the migrants’ Fourth Amendment rights, 14th Amendment rights, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, according to The Hill.
A spokeswoman for DeSantis said at the time that the migrants were homeless and voluntarily accepted the flight to Martha’s Vineyard through a consent form, according to The Hill.
The case is still pending.
Although Massachusetts is not a sanctuary state, California is.
In a tweet on Monday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom called DeSantis a “small, pathetic man” adding “Kidnapping charges? Read the following.” Attached to the tweet is a photo of a California statute that includes a definition of kidnapping.
.@RonDeSantis you small, pathetic man.— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) June 5, 2023
This isn't Martha's Vineyard.
Read the following. https://t.co/kvuxe8Fb6F pic.twitter.com/KyE1lJiIYo
Newsom said in a statement on Saturday that he and Bonta met with the migrants in Sacramento and added that they were “transported from Texas to New Mexico before being flown by private chartered jet to Sacramento and dumped on the doorstep of a local church without any advance warning.”
The California governor said that he was working with local authorities to take care of the migrants and ensure that they “get to their intended destination as they pursue their immigration cases.”
Newsom said that he and the state’s Department of Justice are investigating who orchestrated the trip and whether the organizers broke any laws, “including kidnapping.”
Bonta said in a statement of his own that “state-sanctioned kidnapping is not a public policy choice, it is immoral and disgusting.”
Bishop Soto said that after the migrants were dropped off at the diocese, “The urgency to respond was heard by Catholics and people of goodwill.”
“We are thankful to our partner organizations who took up the holy work of hospitality, dedicating their time and resources to ensure that every migrant did not feel alone and abandoned,” he said.
Texas becomes 18th state to ban sex changes for kids
Posted on 06/5/2023 22:20 PM (CNA Daily News - US)
Washington D.C., Jun 5, 2023 / 14:20 pm (CNA).
Texas became the 18th state in the country to prohibit doctors from performing sex changes on children after Gov. Greg Abbott signed legislation banning such procedures on Friday, June 2.
Under the new law, which will go into effect Sept. 1, neither physicians nor health care providers can perform surgeries on a minor’s genitals or breasts to facilitate a gender transition. The law also prohibits the prescription of puberty blockers, testosterone, or estrogen when used for the purpose of a gender transition.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas and other groups have vowed to fight the legislation in court.
“Abbott can’t stop trans youth from thriving in Texas — and we’ll take him to court to make sure of it,” the ACLU of Texas said in a statement on Twitter. “We are doing everything in our power to preserve access to this life-saving, evidence-based health care.”
Rep. Tom Oliverson, R-Cypress, the primary sponsor of the bill and a medical doctor, said the bill was written to withstand legal challenges.
“Children in Texas are officially protected from harmful, experimental medical and surgical treatments for gender dysphoria,” Oliverson said on Twitter. “Thank you for signing SB14 [Gov. Greg Abbott]. We knew there would be court challenges. SB14 was written with that in mind and will prevail.”
The surgeries on minors prohibited under the new law include castration, vasectomies, the removal of the uterus, the removal of ovaries, the removal of the penis, or any other procedure that would sterilize the child. The new law will also prohibit the removal of healthy female breasts or any otherwise healthy and non-diseased body part or tissue.
Per the legislation, doctors cannot prescribe puberty blockers or any drug that is intended to stop or delay the normal process of puberty. It also prohibits prescriptions of testosterone or estrogen at levels higher than what would normally be present in the child at his or her age.
The ban only applies when the surgery or the drugs are intended to facilitate a gender transition and includes exceptions for medically necessary procedures. The law also includes exceptions for children who are born with a genetic sex development disorder and children who do not have a normal sex chromosome structure for the male or female sex.
If a child is already receiving gender transition drugs, the doctor is not required to immediately halt the prescription if it could endanger the child’s health. Rather, the doctor will be allowed to wean the child off of the drugs in a safe and medically appropriate manner.
Medical practitioners who violate the law will have their medical licenses revoked. The law also gives the attorney general’s office the authority to step in and prevent violations if they are occurring.
The law further prohibits any public money from being used directly or indirectly to pay for these procedures or provide these drugs to minors. It also prohibits Medicaid reimbursements for such procedures and drugs for children.
Several states that have imposed similar restrictions have been taken to court over their rules, and some are still fighting lawsuits in court.
At the same time, a handful of other states, including Minnesota, Maryland, and California, have passed bills to ensure a legal right for minors to access these medical procedures.
Hong Kong police arrest dozens at memorials for victims of Tiananmen Square massacre
Posted on 06/5/2023 21:50 PM (CNA Daily News - US)
Washington D.C., Jun 5, 2023 / 13:50 pm (CNA).
Hong Kong police apprehended almost two dozen citizens for “seditious” activity on the 34th anniversary of the Chinese communist government’s massacre of citizens at Tiananmen Square, according to the Hong Kong Free Press.
The Hong Kong Free Press reported that 11 men and 12 women, ages 20 to 74, were detained in an apparent crackdown on Tiananmen Square memorials over the weekend in Hong Kong.
According to a statement released Saturday by the Hong Kong Police Force, four individuals were arrested and four detained for “displaying protest items loaded with seditious wordings, chanting, and committing unlawful acts.”
The arrests were made near Hong Kong’s Victoria Park in Causeway Bay, where highly attended Tiananmen Square memorials have been held in years past.
The memorials recall how on June 4, 1989, the Chinese government quashed a weekslong protest of Chinese citizens by opening fire and sending tanks into Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China’s capital city. There is no official count, but death toll estimates of the massacre range from 200 to 10,000.
Tiananmen Square memorials have long been illegal in mainland China, but the crackdown in Hong Kong is a more recent development.
As a special administrative region of the Chinese government, Hong Kong formerly enjoyed relative autonomy until the Chinese Communist Party began ramping up its control of the region in recent years.
A 2019 Tiananmen Square candlelight memorial in Victoria Park, Hong Kong, drew more than 100,000 participants, according to the Guardian.
In 2020, Hong Kong passed a national security law that has been used to arrest hundreds of protestors and activists and to crack down on the press, according to the BBC.
The following year a famous statue depicting the victims of the Tiananmen Square massacre known as the “Pillar of Shame” was removed from the University of Hong Kong by officials.
This year, a section of the park where the memorial commemoration has been held was used as a festival ground while the rest of the park was closed off for “maintenance.” According to the Hong Kong Free Press, the festival is being organized by “pro-Beijing groups.”
Video footage taken Sunday shows an elderly woman holding up flowers and a man holding a copy of a play about the Tiananmen Square massacre being escorted away by police.
The woman has been identified by the Hong Kong Free Press as Alexandra Wong, 67, a Hong Kong pro-democracy activist also known as “Grandmother Wong.”
Activist Alexandra Wong, who’s also known as “Grandma Wong”, is also taken away by the police as she holds flowers high up in the air to mourn the victims of the China’s 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown. pic.twitter.com/FiKhvhSZAR— Jessie Pang (@JessiePang0125) June 4, 2023
Others detained include prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy leaders Tsui Hong-kwong, Leo Tan, and Chan Po-ying.
Also among those apprehended was Lau Ka-yee, a Hong Kong citizen who formerly attended college and graduate school in Taiwan.
The National Taiwan University Graduate Students Association condemned Ka-yee’s detention, saying she had been “arbitrarily” denied her right to peacefully protest.
In response, the Hong Kong Security Bureau strongly denied the Taiwanese association’s claims, accusing it of “disregarding the facts,” “confusing right and wrong,” and “smearing the lawful actions of the police.”
In a June 5 statement, the bureau said it “strongly opposes the unfounded and false accusations made by the National Taiwan University Graduate Students Association against the police’s law enforcement actions on June 4.”
“Hong Kong residents enjoy the rights and freedoms under the Basic Law, the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance, and other relevant laws,” the bureau added. “However, members of the public must abide by the law, not affect social order, and maintain national security when exercising these freedoms.”
The U.S. and European Union consulates in Hong Kong marked the anniversary by placing candles in their windows.
In memory. pic.twitter.com/mJMKDCo2vE— US Con HK & Macau (@USAinHKMacau) June 4, 2023
The U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong issued a statement June 3, saying: “Tomorrow, we observe the 34th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre. On June 4, 1989, the Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) sent tanks into Tiananmen Square to brutally repress peaceful Chinese pro-democracy protesters and bystanders alike.”
“The victims’ bravery will not be forgotten and continues to inspire advocates for these principles around the world,” the statement continued. “The United States will continue advocating for people’s human rights and fundamental freedoms in China and around the world.”
‘National Celebrate Life Day’ rally in Washington, DC, announced for anniversary of Roe reversal
Posted on 06/5/2023 21:20 PM (CNA Daily News - US)
Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jun 5, 2023 / 13:20 pm (CNA).
Leading pro-life organizations will hold a “National Celebrate Life Day” rally and gala in Washington, D.C., on June 24, the first anniversary of the reversal of Roe v. Wade.
Students for Life of America (SFLA) announced the event in an April press release.
The rally will be held on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall from 10:30 a.m. to noon and will be co-hosted by SFLA, 40 Days for Life, Live Action, and Pro-Life Partners Foundation.
SFLA President Kristan Hawkins said in the release that the first anniversary of the Dobbs v. Jackson Supreme Court decision marks “both the celebration of a battle won and a moment to rally the troops for our new opportunities.”
“We are no longer hampered by the 1973 Roe decision in light of the 2022 Dobbs ruling,” Hawkins said. “With Roe gone, we can reaffirm the obvious: Our nation was built on the hope of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all of us, including those not yet born.”
Tina Whittington, SFLA’s executive vice president, told CNA that the rally will be “laying out a vision of where to go next in the pro-life movement: achieving national protection for preborn Americans under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.”
“We are fighting for protections for life in law at the state and federal level,” Whittington said, adding that “as long as Planned Parenthood is funded through our federal government and pro-abortionists fight for life-ending bills in Congress, there’s a fight to be had in Washington.”
Whittington pointed out that although the 14th Amendment guarantees that no state can deprive any person of life, liberty, or equal protection under the law, abortion denies those rights to unborn children across America.
According to Whittington, thousands are planning to attend the event, which is expected to have a joyful, celebratory atmosphere marking the first full year since the decision that ended Roe v. Wade.
“Our celebration is a reflection of a momentous day in history,” Whittington said. “We celebrate the fact that half of all states prevent abortions after 12 weeks one year after Roe’s reversal, but we’re just getting started and far more can be done at the federal level to protect innocent lives from the violence of abortion.”
Shawn Carney, president of 40 Days for Life, told CNA that because the 2022 Dobbs decision occurred on the feast of the Sacred Heart, the event will hold a special significance for Catholics.
“This event is the epitome of how Catholics in America can make history if we trust God, go to work at the grassroots, and unapologetically share the Church’s beautiful teachings on the dignity of the human person,” Carney said.
Carney added that many Catholics have been especially motivated “to charter buses to D.C. to celebrate this ruling in the midst of so much current bigotry toward Catholics we have seen from the media, corporations, and even our DOJ.”
According to Carney the rally “is not a reflection on the past” but rather “a future resolve to end abortion in our nation now that Roe has fallen.”
“Pro-life Americans don’t want to see this historic day pass without celebrating what many thought they would never live to see,” Carney said. “This event is a positive celebration of the Dobbs decision and a firm resolution to end abortion across America.”
The rally will feature some of the country’s leading Catholic pro-life voices as speakers, including Live Action President Lila Rose, Daily Wire podcaster Michael Knowles, SFLA president Hawkins, and others.
A ticketed National Celebrate Life Day gala will also be held in conjunction with the rally on the evening of June 24 at the Renaissance Washington, D.C.
For more information on both the rally and gala, click here.