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Pro-life candidate elected to Congress by six votes

CNA Staff, Dec 1, 2020 / 10:00 am (CNA).- In one of the last results in the 2020 election to be called, another pro-life female candidate won election to the House of Representatives in Iowa’s 2nd district race certified on Monday.

Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks eked out victory over Democratic candidate Rita Hart by the narrowest of margins in the state’s southeast district, winning by only six votes as the election results were certified on Monday: 196,964 to 196,958.

Miller-Meeks’ victory marked took the Republicans’ net gains in the House to ten seats, narrowing the Democratic majority and raising hopes of stalling a slate of pro-abortion legislative priorities. She is the 18th new woman backed by the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List (SBA Lits) to be elected to the House this cycle.

“The exponential growth of pro-life women in the House is reflective of the fact that life has gone from being viewed as a political problem to a winning issue,” said SBA List president Marjorie Dannenfelser on Monday.

With 11 pro-life women incumbents returning, Dannenfelser noted that 29 women identifying as pro-life will serve in the House come January, and will be “a brick wall against the radical pro-abortion agenda” that includes repealing the Hyde Amendment.

In an election where Democrats won the White House and gained at least one seat in the Senate, the party lost ground in the House while still maintaining control of the chamber. While Speaker Nancy Pelosi had suggested House Democrats could see double-digit gains in the elections, the reverse has proven to be the case.

SBA List-endorsed women were responsible for ten of eleven seats lost by Democrats. Another race in upstate New York’s 22nd district has yet to be called; as of Tuesday morning, Republican candidate Claudia Tenney held only a 12-vote lead over Democratic incumbent Rep. Anthony Brindisi, with votes yet to be certified, according to WBNG.

Speaker Pelosi has said she plans to scrap the Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal tax dollars from funding abortions, next year. With a reduced majority in the House, it remains to be seen if she will be able to follow through on that promise. Democrats have also talked about passing the Equality Act, which would recognize sexual orientation and so-called gender identity as protected legal classes, and could expand abortions.

However, Republicans currently hold 50 seats in the Senate with two races going to a January runoff. If they win just one of those seats, they will maintain control of the chamber and could possibly nullify attempts to repeal the Hyde Amendment or pass the Equality Act.

SBA List has already announced a $4.1 million effort to elect the two Republican candidates in Georgia, aiming to reach one million voters through door-knocking, phone calls, digital ads, and voter mail.

Father George Rutler accused of sexual assault, denies allegation

Denver Newsroom, Dec 1, 2020 / 04:00 am (CNA).-  

A well-known New York City priest is maintaining his innocence amid an investigation into an allegation that he sexually assaulted a female security guard earlier this month.

Father George Rutler, pastor of the Church of St. Michael in Manhattan, on Nov. 20 voluntarily stepped aside from his pastoral duties, while prosecutors are investigating the allegations, the Archdiocese of New York told CNA.

Ashley Gonzalez, a 22-year-old security guard with MG Security Services, went public Nov. 26 with an allegation that Rutler forcibly groped her, after she had allegedly seen the priest, late at night, watching homosexual pornography on an office computer in the church rectory.

Rutler is the author of over 30 books and is a well-known public speaker and television commentator on EWTN.  He has also been a frequent contributor to the National Catholic Register. The archdiocese told News12 there have been no other allegations raised against Rutler in the past.

Gonzalez hired Manuel Gomez, a private detective and founder of Black Ops Private Investigators, to help her file a police report following the alleged incident.

Gomez told CNA that the alleged victim's family was familiar with work he had done on a previous case, and that family members had recommended that Gonzalez contact him before contacting police.

The alleged incident happened around 1:20am Nov. 4, Gomez said. He said Gonzalez contacted him at 2:45am asking for help, and that he helped her to file a police report that morning.

The alleged incident took place during Gonzalez’s second night on the job, Gomez said.

According to Gonzalez, Rutler had offered that she could sit in his office when she was not actively doing her rounds. Gonzalez had finished her first set of rounds at around 1:15am and was sitting in the office texting her mother when Rutler entered the office and greeted Gonzalez.

He then sat down at the computer and checked the ongoing General Election results, Gonzalez alleges, before beginning to watch a homosexual pornographic video. Gonzalez said she filmed Rutler with her cellphone as he did so.

In the video obtained by CNA, a bald-headed man— fully clothed and wearing a grey or black sweater or long sleeve shirt— can be seen from behind sitting at a desk in an office decorated with religious photographs and holy cards, watching a video depicting lewd homosexual acts on a desktop computer. CNA could not verify the identity of the man, whom Gonzales claims is Rutler.

Gonzalez alleges that as she tried to exit the office, Rutler stood and slammed the door shut, breaking one of her fingernails. She alleges that he then grabbed her chest before she escaped the office.

Gonzalez sent a text message to her mother telling her that she felt unsafe and claiming that she had “almost” been raped.

In a Nov. 20 letter to his parish, Rutler denied that he “improperly touched” Gonzalez, but said he has offered to “step aside at this moment from my duties” while authorities conduct their investigation.

He urged his parishioners to “ignore any misleading accounts should they appear in the media” and asked for prayers.

Joseph Zwilling, spokesman for the New York archdiocese, told CNA that Rutler’s case is in the hands of the district attorney, and that Cardinal Dolan does not plan to open an archdiocesan investigation while the DA’s investigation is ongoing.

Zwilling reiterated that Rutler had “voluntarily stepped away from his duties as pastor.”  He said the archdiocese is “fully cooperating” with the district attorney’s office in its investigation.

The priest has apparently curtailed all public activity.

A spokesman for the Manhattan District Attorney’s office told CNA that the office does not confirm whether investigations exist, and declined to comment.

Gomez said he hopes Rutler will soon be brought into the DA's office for questioning, and added that he has forwarded all the evidence he has collected on Rutler's alleged misconduct, including the video allegedly taken by Gonzalez, to the archdiocese.

CNA attempted to contact Father Rutler at the Church of St. Michael to discuss the allegations, but did not receive a response.

A convert from Anglicanism, Rutler was appointed a Missionary of Mercy by Pope Francis in 2016.

 

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