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PPGC clinic closures had nothing to do with those Medicaid fraud charges, sure

Jul.18, 2013 9:58 pm

Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast took the occasion of Texas Governor Rick Perry’s signing of a new omnibus pro-life law today to announce it was closing three of its 12 clinics. The reason, per Huffington Post:

Screen shot 2013-07-18 at 10.14.49 PM

The three clinics are located in Bryan, Huntsville and Lufkin, Texas. They are closing in response to a new package of a new package of abortion restrictions signed into law on Thursday and funding cuts to Texas’ Women’s Health Program that were passed by the Texas state legislature in 2011. Out of the three Planned Parenthood clinics that are closing, only the Bryan clinic performs abortions.

Planned Parenthood timed its notice to steal media attention away from pro-lifers, while also trying to put Texas legislators on the defensive. But was this really an attempt to erase dots between the shutdowns and PPGC’s problem with Medicaid fraud?

Most interesting is the former employees who have accused PPGC of Medicaid fraud worked at two of the closing clinics.

Karen Reynolds, who filed a lawsuit in 2011, worked at the Lufkin facility; and Abby Johnson, who filed a lawsuit in 2012, worked at the Bryan clinic.

The charges may or may not lead to prosecutions, but my first thought today was that subsequent attempts by PPGC to clean up its books resulted in such a noticeable loss of profits it had to shutter the doors at 1/4 of its centers, two of which were surely under added scrutiny.
I spoke with Abby Johnson this afternoon, who agreed the Medicaid fraud charges had something to do with the closures.

Read more on Jill Stanek’s blog.

Who Is Jill Stanek?
Jill Stanek is a nurse turned speaker, columnist and blogger, a national figure in the effort to protect both preborn and postborn innocent human life.

Read Jill’s full bio »

Eric Metaxas and Tim Keller helped lead Kirsten Powers to Christianity

July 18, 2013
New York City is not known as the mecca of Christianity, but nationally-known journalist Kirsten Powers who was not a believer discovered that God can use the influence of only two or three people among millions to change a person’s life, according to comments she made in an interview with Focus On The Family today, Thursday, July 17.

“The people I know around here (New York) don’t do daily Bible readings. This isn’t like the South,” she said.

With bestselling Christian author Eric Metaxas and respected pastor Tim Keller in the neighborhood there is always a chance a person in a secular environment can become a believer. In Kirsten’s case, it was a chance invitation from a friend of Eric Metaxas to her to attend a service at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, New York, that caused her to see the world in a whole different light.

Well-know pastor Tim Keller’s powerful sermons over a two-year period persuaded Kirsten that history and logic were powerful evidence that Jesus Christ is who He said He is. The daughter of atheist parents, she didn’t have a strong theological background and didn’t know what to do with her newfound faith.

Eric Metaxas was friends with the person who invited me to church, and Eric was very helpful in telling me what I needed to do next,” Powers said as she sought direction on her new pathway.
Metaxas, whose 7 Men is the latest in a long line of bestsellers, is sort of a Renaissance man these days as he divides his time between between writing Christian bestsellers, hosting the Socrates In The City events at the Union Club in Manhattan and following the Great Commission by spreading the gospel to people like Kirsten Powers.

Powers recently wrote a bombshell article in her USA Today Column in which she questioned her fellow national journalists for ignoring the alleged murder of seven babies by Pennsylvania abortion doctor Kermit Goselin while covering the Jodi Arias trial 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“Jodi Arias was accused of killing her boyfriend and the national media was all over that case. Yet we have this case where an abortion doctor allegedly murders seven babies and its ignored in the national news media,” Powers said in her interview with Focus On The Family.

Powers also said that Christians should act like Christians when they are talking to and about non-believers.

“My parents are both atheists and they are really good people. I think there’s a little bit too much of this hate the sin, but not the sinner attitude. I believe that hate sometimes spills over to the sinner as well which is unfortunate,” Powers said.

Read more here.

Anyone interested in receiving free updates of my future National Western Religions Articles may click on the subscribe link above this article. My readers may also follow my National Places and Faces and Wichita Falls Law Enforcement articles on Twitter, Google, Facebook and Examiner.com.

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – July 19, 2013

Talking about the “things that matter most” on July 19

4:00 – Sisters in Crisis Revisited: From Unraveling to Reform and Renewal
Fifty years ago, nearly 200,000 religious sisters worked in Catholic schools, hospitals and other institutions throughout the United States. American Catholics honored these women of faith who founded and built these flourishing works of mercy. Then came the ideological shifts and moral upheavals of the 1960s, and ever since, most women’s orders in the United States have been in a state of crisis. Using the archival records of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and other prominent groups of sisters, journalist and author Ann Careyshows how feminist activists unraveled American women s religious communities from their leadership positions in national organizations and large congregations. She also explains the recent and necessary interventions by the Vatican. 

5:00 – Encyclopedia of U.S. Catholic History
Catholics have always played a critical role in the forward progress of the United States in every area of our society – science, industry, philosophy, business, medicine, entertainment, and even politics. Matthew Bunson’s Encyclopedia of the American Catholic Churchis a valuable and unique reference guide. And is the first ever handy, accessible, affordable, and unbiased reference to American Catholicism. With over 2,000 entries from A to Z, you’ll be amazed by the depth and breadth of information that will illustrate the Church’s contribution to each state in the Union. Plus you’ll be able to research your own special interests, such as the history of your own diocese. This is the most thorough treatment of American Catholic history you’ll find! Matthew joins us.

Jihad Story of the Day: "Allah is my lawyer"

Georgia: Muslim accused of murder tells judge that Allah is her lawyer and would seek vengeance if judge didn’t release her

Robert Spencer
I look forward to Allah’s opening statement. I wonder if he will be tough during jury selection. Anyway, once again we see a Muslim believing herself to be above the law of the land, and not subject to its laws, in line with basic Muslim beliefs about owing allegiance only to the umma, and not to any earthly authority, particularly an Infidel one. “Murder suspect: Allah will take vengeance on judge,” from WYFF.com, July 18.
DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. —A Georgia woman accused in her neighbor’s stabbing death appeared in court, threatened a judge and demanded to be released from jail.

Sahara Tabriz Fakhir, 32, is charged with murder in the death of Jerry Wheeler, 66. Fakhir appeared in court Thursday morning.

When a judge asked if Fakhir planned to get an attorney, she said Allah was representing her and would seek vengeance if the judge didn’t release her from jail. 

Wheeler, who owned an auto shop, was found dead June 19 when his son came to check on him. Authorities have not disclosed a motive in the homicide.

Jail records show Fakhir is being held without bond on a murder charge. She is charged with giving a false name, birthdate or address.

Mainstream Media Utterly Incompetent When Reporting on Church

Once again the mainstream media has demonstrated in a big way the they are just completely devoid of any ability to report on the Church. Apparently “The Vatican” and Pope Francis have announced that if you follow the Pope’s Twitter feed you will go straight to heaven – “do not pass go, do not collect $200.” Of course this is ridiculous on its face, but does anyone try to get the facts straight – of course not. Why would we try to get it right when that may get in the way of a sexy headline. Here is just a sampling of the headlines.

Twitter Might Get You Into Heaven a Little Faster, Vatican Reveals
ABC News

Pope Francis: Vatican’s Twitter Followers Can Now Spend Less Time in Purgatory

Vatican: Shorten Time in Purgatory By Following Pope on Twitter
CBS News

Pope Francis Offers Catholic Forgiveness for Their Sins on Twitter During World Youth Day
UK Daily Express

Pope to Grant Plenary Indulgences by Twitter
Des Moines Register

And my favorite:
Follow the Church on Twitter…Or Burn In Purgatory
Huffington Post


Read this from the Register for the REAL story.

National Catholic Register

LINCOLN, Neb. — In contrast with media reports of “time off of purgatory” for Pope Francis’ Twitter followers, a canon lawyer explained that indulgences are a way that the Church encourages Christians to prayer.

“Because the Church has the spiritual authority that Christ has given it, the Church can invite us to particularly sanctifying moments and particularly sanctifying opportunities,” JD Flynn, special assistant to Bishop James Conley of Lincoln, Neb., explained to CNA July 18.

An indulgence is defined as the remission of the temporal punishment — the required atonement by which an individual makes reparation — due to sins that have already been forgiven.

The Vatican announced July 9 that Pope Francis had mandated that the faithful can receive indulgences through participation in World Youth Day.

A plenary indulgence is offered once a day to those who “devoutly participate in the sacred rites and exercise of devotion” taking place as part of World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro from July 22 to 29. The announcement was made June 24 by decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Vatican office dealing with indulgences and confession.

Plenary indulgences are also offered to those who cannot attend the event yet who “participate in spirit in the sacred functions,” provided they follow the rites and exercises by television, radio, or “always with the proper devotion, through the new means of social communication.”

Some mainstream media outlets proclaimed Twitter followers were getting out of purgatory.

Flynn, who holds a licentiate in canon law from Catholic University of America, explained that “a better way to say it would be that the Vatican recognizes that the more time we spend in prayer, the less time we spend in purgatory.”

Allowing indulgences to those who follow World Youth Day through “the new means of social communication,” is “really an invitation to spend time in prayer with the pilgrims of World Youth Day,” he said.

“And because of the Church’s authority, that prayer comes with the special graces of an indulgence.”
Indulgences are based on the Church’s “special recognition … that certain activities, and activities especially at certain times, can be particularly sanctifying,” Flynn said.

Continue reading this article here.

Texas Governor Rick Perry Signs Bill Banning Late-Term Abortions

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 7/18/13 10:51 AM

Governor Rick Perry of Texas today signed the ban on late-term abortions into law at a bill signing ceremony. The signing came after weeks of debate in the state legislature and passage of the bill despite an unruly pro-abortion mob.

“Today’s signing builds on our continued commitment to protecting life for more than a decade. This is an important day for those who support life and the health of women in Texas,” Perry said. “Signing HB2 further solidifies the foundation on which the culture of in Texas is built.”
“HB2 brings improvements to the quality of care women receive,” Perry added. “HB2 protects unborn babies after the fifth month of pregnancy.”requires a doctor providing abortions to secure admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, and lastly, requires a doctor to personally administer the abortion-inducing drugs to the patient.

After a day filled with pro-abortion threats, pro-life people hiding in secure areas of the capitol fearing for their safety and protestors disrupting the Senate proceedings, democracy finally prevailed. Members of the state Senate approved the bill to ban late-term abortions on a 19-11 margin on second reading. The chamber then approved the bill in third reading by the same 19-11 vote.

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement today in support of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s signing: “Governor Rick Perry and the Texas legislature have done what they were elected to do, that is, safeguard the well-being of Texans. The new law Governor Perry signs today will advance the protection of women from the unscrupulous practices of abortionists, and the protection of children from the deadly weapons of those same abortionists. Those who were so vociferous in their opposition to this law are on the wrong side of morality and of history,” he told LifeNews.

He added: “We at Priests for Life will continue to expose the horrors committed by Texas abortionists like Douglas Karpen. This law will make that task much easier.”

Leading pro-life activists from Texas Right to Life and former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson attended the ceremony and tweeted pictures from it.

Click on LifeNews to see the tweeted pictures and read more.

Defend Marriage By Strengthening your Own!

Abazia di MontecassinoWe all know that marriage is under attack in the country and our world. One of the best ways to stand up for marriage is by living out that sacrament to the best of your ability! My husband – Deacon Dominick Pastore and I, along with Fr. Leo Patalinghug, are leading a 10 day Retreat for Couples to Rome, the Amalfi Coast, …

Sorry, retweeting the Pope won’t get you out of hell

07:45 PM ET
By the Rev. James Martin, SJ, special to CNN

(CNN) –Here were the tantalizingly weird headlines: “Follow pope online, get to heaven sooner – Facebook likes don’t count.” “Cut your time in purgatory by following pope on Twitter.” And, worst of all, from Slate: “Pope now offering indulgences in exchange for Twitter followers.”

Similar headlines popped up on more than 190 news sources on Wednesday.

Sorry, retweeting the pope won't get you out of hell

Ha ha. Is the Catholic Church offering time off in hell– or purgatory, depending on the website – just for checking your Twitter feed every few hours? Is the church really that dumb? And here I thought Pope Francis was cool, or as Esquire recently termed him, “awesome.”

This is (another) case of how the media misunderstands and misreports a story from “The Vatican.”

Here’s how it seemed to have happened.

On June 24, the Apostolic Penitentiary (the Vatican office that deals with matters concerning sin,) issued a document that said the faithful who attend the upcoming World Youth Day in Brazil would receive a “plenary indulgence” for their efforts during pilgrimage.

That’s a traditional Catholic term for the full remission of the “temporal punishment” in the afterlife due to sin. The theological idea is that by doing good works on earth, or by engaging in pious practices like a pilgrimage, you can help “work off” some of the temporal punishments that may await you after death.

But just from checking Twitter every few hours? Let’s leave aside the very complicated theology of the plenary indulgence for a moment, and see how this story got out of hand…

Read more at CNN’s Belief Blog.

James Martin is a Jesuit priest, editor at large at America magazine and author of “The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything.” He tweets, but won’t promise to get you out of purgatory, at @JamesMartinSJ .

Gay Agenda Suffers Big Loss in Europe‏

Countries Reject Declaration of Homosexual Rights at OSCE  

The Interpreter: Lowy Institute for International Policy

Written by Stefano Gennarini, J.D.

ISTANBUL, July 19 (C-FAM) Homosexual groups were dealt a humiliating blow at the end of last month by the world’s largest regional security organization.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation of Europe (OSCE) shot down a resolution recognizing a controversial declaration on homosexuality by a vote of 24 to 3. Even countries that are usually friendly to homosexual groups deserted them.

The non-binding declaration, known as the Yogyakarta Principles, declares comprehensive special new rights for individuals who identify as lesbian, homosexual, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). The 29 principles were prepared in 2006 by activists, academics and former unelected officials of international bodies.

Proponents insist the principles are authoritative interpretations of existing international law, and have asked international organizations to endorse them. They have had varying success, mostly with unelected officials. Getting the OSCE on board would have been a significant victory for homosexual groups and their international friends because representatives at OSCE meetings tend to be elected officials.

Belgium was confident the resolution could pass. The Council of Europe, with almost the same countries as the OSCE, recognized some of the principles in a 2010 resolution. But the initiative turned into a nightmare when even countries that usually side for LGBT rights refused to support it. Chief among its opponents, and surprisingly to many, was the United States.

Only three of the twelve original co-sponsors of the resolution maintained their support after the resolution was discussed. When it came up for debate, the atmosphere in the room suddenly became tense.

Read more here.

An Explosion of Light from Rio’s New Cathedral Will Greet WYD Pilgrims

By Kathy Schiffer
Ave Maria Radio

As World Youth Day pilgrims descend upon the city of Rio de Janeiro, I thought you’d enjoy a peek at the city’s great cathedrals.

First the old one:  The Old Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro is dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel of the Ancient See.
The Old Cathedral, located in the Praça XV square in downtown Rio, is one of the most important historical buildings in the city.  It served as the diocesan See from 1808 until 1976, and was also used in the 19th century as the Imperial Chapel by the Portuguese royal family and the Brazilian imperial family.
And now, the new one: The Cathedral of St. Sebastian of Rio de Janeiro was built between 1964 and 1979. The modern, conical structure has a standing-room capacity of 20,000 people.
Designer Edgar Fonceca was inspired by the Mayan pyramid on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. At its base, the pyramid is square; but it narrows as it rises toward the sky, forming a plateau at the top. Unlike the pyramids of the Maya, Rio’s Cathedral is circular and tapered, symbolizing the proximity of the people to God, and reminiscent of a bishop’s mitre.
The interior of the Cathedral features a vast Greek cross hovering above the main altar, suspended by six steel cables.
The cathedral’s four rectilinear stained glass windows soar 210 feet from floor to ceiling. They represent the four “marks” of the Church: One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic.
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