A fantastic symbol of its demographic decline. At the beginning of this month the Reiwa era of Japan began. On that day Emperor Naruhitobecame the 126th Japanese monarch as he took over the throne from his father, Emperor Akihito, who had abdicated the day before. The role of Japanese emperor is almost entirely ceremonial and symbolic. But in one way at least the current royal family is perfectly apposite for the nation Emperor Naruhito ceremonially rules over. As the New York Times reported, the ceremony on May 1 in which the new emperor was invested with the sacred sword, jewels and seals that signify his right to sit on the throne, illustrated a clear problem that the imperial family has: it is shrinking and ageing. Just like Japan’s wider population. Aside from the new Emperor, the ceremony included all adult male heirs. All two of them. Emperor Naruhito’s uncle was there, Prince Hitachi, who is 83 years old and in a wheelchair. But never fear, Naruhito’s brother is also there: Prince Akishino a sprightly 53. (The Emperor is 59.) Absent was the only other male heir, Naruhito’s nephew, the 12 year old Prince Hisahito. So there are a total of three male heirs to the throne. And one of those heirs is from the generation than the current emperor. The trouble is twofold. First, the successionRead more

High Court of the United Kingdom has decreed that social services cannot remove a four-year-old boy who identifies as a girl from a couple who have let “him” transition after sending the child to school in a girl’s uniform. The unnamed council had argued that the anonymous couple had “acted in a precipitate manner in relation to perceived gender dysphoria”. It withdrew its case in the face of glowing reports from experts about the couple’s parenting skills. However, the couple demanded a public judgment be delivered so that there would be no “cloud of suspicion hanging over them”. This is thought to be the first time a judge has sanctioned gender transitioning at such a young age. Mr Justice Williams praised the couple as “attuned and careful” parents who were dedicated to the welfare of their children. Gender specialists told the judge that the child, who was named “H” in court records, behaved in a way “consistent with a diagnosis of gender dysphoria”. This expert advice “provided clinical justification” for the couple’s approach to H’s gender identity. In the judge’s opinion, “H” clearly identified as a girl and seemed to be “a content, alert and socially engaged little girl”. No doubt this couple are good parents — if being good parents consists of dutifully following the current “trans” orthodoxy that saysRead more

Eleven children are growing up in the Kim family. At the beginning of their married life, Fr. Alexei and Irina Kim moved from the city to the country, looked after the house and raised their children without helpers. A series of different trials befell them, but the Lord always miraculously lent a helping hand to them. Alexei Kim, forty-five, is the rector of the Church of the Kazan icon of the Mother of God in the village of Verkhnee Sancheleevo of the Stavropolsky Deanery of the Diocese of Samara. Irina, forty-two, graduated from the School of Icon Painting at the Moscow Theological Academy. They have been married for twenty years. Their children: Maria, nineteen, a fourth-year student of Samara State Medical University (Department of Medicine); Seraphim, seventeen, an eleventh grader of the Orthodox school attached to the Church of the Kazan icon in the village of Verkhnee Sancheleevo; Alexander, fifteen, an eighth grader; Mikhail, fourteen, an eighth grader; Anastasia, fourteen, an eighth grader; Anna, twelve, a sixth grader; Ivan, ten, a fourth grader; Anastasius, seven, a first grader; Alexei, five; Daria, three; Christina, two. Archpriest Alexei and Irina Kim     Fr. Alexei narrates: As my studies at the Moscow Theological Seminary were nearing an end and my ordination approached, I thought of seeking a helpmate. My father-confessor told me to read theRead more

(LifeSiteNews) – Nothing irritates progressive commentators quite so much as watching nations reject the failed experiment of the Sexual Revolution. Despite the fact that the so-called sexual liberty we enjoy in the West has ravaged families, spawned a rarely-reported on epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases, and gutted the institution of marriage—all while failing utterly to deliver on the happiness that was promised—it makes progressives nervous when political leaders glance at the rotten fruit and decide that they would prefer to work at building something quite different. For example, the conscious rejection of libertine sexual values by a growing number of Eastern European countries is a repudiation that makes progressives feel enormously threatened. One recent example would be Russia’s decision to block the smut monopolies PornHub and YouPorn, the world’s largest providers of free pornography. PornHub alone manages to infect untold numbers of people annually, with over half a million years worth of pornography being consumed on its sites during the year 2016 alone. Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (the Roskomnadzor in Russian), which is in charge of monitoring the internet, responded to previously issued court decisions by blocking the sites earlier this month. (The same agency also briefly blocked PornHub in September of 2015.) Predictably, Twitter promptly exploded with outrage. In 2019, the right to consume massive amountsRead more