Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Paralyzed Man Was Awake for 23 Years

A paralyzed Belgian man who spent the past 23 years incorrectly diagnosed as being in a vegetative state, was fully conscious and could hear everything around him the entire time. This certainly sheds a lot of light on the Terri Schiavo controversy.
For more, use these links:

Doctors Find Paralyzed Man Was Awake for 23 Years, Not in Vegetative State

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Call to Gratitude: Who Will Thank Our Heroes?

A Statement of the American TFP on the occasion of the SOA Watch protest

For nearly twenty years, a crowd has gathered at Fort Benning in mid-November to protest against the activities of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (formerly called the School of the Americas) and demand its closure.

The annual event is more than just a protest. It is a gathering of the scattered fringes of the religious, political and cultural left that use the event as a platform to push ideas that range from drug legalization to abortion or even women’s ordination. Leftist Maryknoll Father Roy Bourgeois leads this gathering which includes a large collection of socialists, liberation theology advocates and anarchists. It is no surprise that the 71-year-old priest automatically incurred excommunication for openly opposing Catholic Church doctrine. For nearly twenty years, both he and his protesters have resisted the U.S. Army’s efforts to “dialogue.”

They reject outright the Army’s unconditional offers to open its doors to any who wish to review the school’s operation.

Nearly twenty years of protest calls to mind another twenty-year milestone – the fall of the Berlin Wall. In light of this commemoration, we offer some considerations.

A Continued Danger
On the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, we might be tempted to think that the world’s great military dangers have passed. However, that is not the case. We still live in a world of violence and uncertainties. Our enemies are no longer concentrated behind an Iron Curtain but are scattered about the world in the form of radical groups and rogue nations all too willing to threaten the peace.

With the fall of the Berlin Wall, one would hope that at least the outdated Marxist ideas that caused so much misery all over the world would be consigned to the dustbin of history. However, that is not the case. Guerrilla groups in Latin America like Colombia’s FARC still cling to subversive Marxist ideas, causing violence and bloodshed. There is still Stalinist North Korea, poverty-stricken Cuba and communist China oppressing its people and trampling on human natural rights. There is Hugo Chavez's Venezuela exporting his Bolivarian socialist revolution across Latin America - including the building of a nuclear program.

Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, it would be hoped that the terrors of our age might also fall. However, that is not the case. Terror or the threat of terror lives as the tactic of choice among Islamic radicals who can be found in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan or Palestine. Iran's mullahs stand ready to develop nuclear arms. Suicide bombers strike terror into whole nations and put fear into the hearts of thousands who might become the next innocent victims.

Pacifists Do Not Keep the Peace
Now more than ever, we need the soldier to keep the peace.

We note, however, that it was not the pacifists that brought down the Berlin Wall. Theirs was a constant message of concession, “dialogue,” and defeat.

When the terrible wall came crashing down, these Marxists were nowhere to be found to condemn the massive misery that lay exposed in those communist countries. They did not renounce their adherence to this system which they fought so hard to impose upon the West.

We tend to forget that it was the soldier that helped bring about the fall of the Berlin Wall. The soldier took upon himself the thankless task of confronting evil by force of arms. It was the soldier that risked all to do his duty wherever he was called to go without hesitation or complaint. The American soldier and his counterparts all over the world stood down the communist threat in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

His services are no less needed in our days.

Thank the Heroes
Thus, we need to thank – not protest – these heroes who put their lives on the line. These heroes guarantee the peace. We live freely because they made the greatest of sacrifices – even that of life itself.

We remember Medal of Honor heroes like Specialist Ross A. McGinnis, trained at Fort Benning, who distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty when he threw himself upon a fragmentation grenade and saved four soldiers from certain serious injury or death in Iraq in December of 2006. We remember Navy Seal Michael Monsoor, who likewise unselfishly gave his life, in order to save his fellow Seals on September 29, 2006.

We can also remember heroes like the late Col. John W. Ripley whose heroism in Vietnam was legendary. These and so many more make up those legions of heroes that deserve not our scorn but our gratitude.

Where Will They Turn?
There are those who protest against the soldier. They see his role as one buttressing structures of oppression and power. They are ready to unfairly label those who still fight against Marxism as murderers and assassins. They turn a blind eye to a ruthless enemy who breaks all rules and conventions as Marxists have always done. They would deny defenseless populations the training and tools needed to defend themselves against this enemy.

In the case of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, the protesters ignore the fact that the overwhelming majority of its graduates have committed no crime, unless it is a crime to keep their countries safe and free. They are prepared to amplify any alleged crime of a soldier to gigantic proportions while reducing to nothing the blatant abuses of Marxists in countries like Cuba, China, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.

We ask those who protest: When the fury of the terrorists turns upon them, who will they appeal to? When their freedom is taken away with the same disregard as Colombia’s FARC guerrillas take the freedom of their innocent hostages, where will they turn? When their right to protest is met with bullets and tanks like that of Tiananmen Square, who will be there to defend them?

They will turn to the soldier who defends even those who calumniate him.

A Call to Gratitude
The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) calls upon the public to thank the heroes.

Let us thank them for standing up to the Soviet menace that lurked behind the Berlin Wall that fell twenty years ago. Let us thank those who still fight and keep our nation safe and help other nations do likewise.

Let us, of course, censure any abuses, but let us also be consistent and condemn the systemic and widespread abuses that have come from Castro’s Cuba, the FARC guerillas and other leftist movements that still uphold the outdated and iniquitous Marxist ideologies that built the infamous Berlin Wall.

As Americans, let us be proud of our heroes as they continue to fight and train others to defend their nations against those who threaten the peace.

May God protect them and their families in their daily battles around the world.

November 18, 2009

The American TFP

“The grandeur of a nation can be measured by the esteem
and admiration it has for its military.” – Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

St. Louis University Professor Comments on the Crusades

Some time ago, the TFP's Crusade Magazine did an interview with accomplished medieval historian Professor Thomas Madden of St. Louis University, to dispel some common myths concerning the Crusades. We feel his comments are still very timely. The text of this interview is transcribed below.

1. Some authors contend the Crusades were wars of aggression against a peaceful Muslim world. What is your position in this matter?

It is difficult to see how anyone familiar with the sources could make such a claim. The original goal of the First Crusade, as it was annunciated in the papal call as well as numerous crusader charters, was to respond to Muslim aggression against Christians in the East and to restore those lands taken by Muslims to their Christian owners.

2. Many adversaries of the Crusades claim that, although Crusaders wore crosses and religious symbols, their only goal was to gain riches and territories. What is your opinion on the matter?

This is a fairly old-fashioned view, now largely rejected by scholars. It was based on a Victorian experience with colonialism that has no relationship at all to the medieval Crusades. We now know that crusading was almost never profitable. Crusaders often impoverished themselves and their families in order to pay for their expeditions. Whatever booty they received (and the Crusades were notoriously bad for plunder) was more than offset by their expenses. The vast majority of Crusaders had no interest in remaining in the East, but rather fulfilled their vows and returned home as soon as they were able.

During the interview, Prof. Madden declared: "I have no doubt that had there been no Crusades at all that western Europe would have been conquered by Muslims in much same fashion as southeastern Europe was."

3. Some accuse the Crusades of being a sort of medieval colonialism disguised in religious trappings. Is this true and could you comment on this?

Colonialism, if it is to have any meaning at all, requires certain things: most importantly a mother country that funds and directs the colonial expansion, a colonial government linked to a home government, and policy of colonization or exploitation in the colony. The Crusades had none of these things. No mother country supported the Crusades. Rather they were funded and undertaken by individuals across Christendom for the benefit of their souls and their co-religionists overseas. The governments in the Crusaders States were independent, with no direct ties to any European countries. And the Europeans had no policy of colonization or exploitation in the East. Rather, the overriding purpose of the Kingdom of Jerusalem was to safeguard the Holy Places and the lives of Christian pilgrims coming to visit them.

4. Is the following thesis historically defensible: Although the West lost political control over the Holy Land and the near East after the seventh and last Crusade, the effort Christians made from the eleventh to the thirteenth centuries broke the impetus of the Muslim offensive against Europe and thus prevented the European continent from becoming Islamic back in medieval times.

No, on several counts. The Seventh Crusade was by no means the last Crusade. They continued well into the sixteenth century. The famous Battle of Lepanto in 1571 was a Crusade. Catholics did lose the mainland, but they held onto Cyprus and Rhodes for centuries. I believe it is fair to say, however, that the Crusades did slow the advance of Muslim Empires – namely the Ottoman Empire – into Europe just long enough to allow Europeans to effectively defend themselves. I have no doubt that had there been no Crusades at all that western Europe would have been conquered by Muslims in much same fashion as southeastern Europe was.

5. The Fourth Crusade is one of the most maligned of the Crusades. This is the Crusade you have studied in depth. Could you comment on some of the myths about the Fourth Crusade?

The biggest myth is that the Crusade was purposely diverted from its original goal – either by Pope Innocent III or Doge Enrico Dandolo – in order to conquer Constantinople. In fact, on several occasions the pope forbade the crusaders to go to Constantinople and once they were there, forbade them to attack the city. It is also not true that the Crusaders were led to Constantinople by a hatred of the Greeks or an envy of their empire. Instead, they came to Constantinople at the invitation of a Greek claimant to the throne, who promised to help them on their Crusade. The Crusaders only attacked Constantinople after their Greek friend double-crossed them, refusing to pay their reward or to join the Crusade. Even then, they only initiated hostilities when the Greeks murdered their former friend and ordered the Crusaders to leave immediately without reward, support, or even food. The Fourth Crusade is a tragedy, but it is one in which the Greeks and Latins both played important parts.

Attacks on Rosary for Life in Toulouse

This is an impressive video of young pro-lifer activists praying in the public square in Toulouse, France. They hold a banner which says "Abortion is murder." The counter-protesters are shouting obscenities and throwing eggs at the Catholics praying the rosary.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Tale of an Ungrateful City

Written by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
(Orginally published on May 10, 1970 in the Folha de S. Paulo )

Scene: A small town having all of the conventional characteristics of a small town: a central public square leading to a graceful church with stained-glass windows, a tower, bells, and a clock; across from the church, a water fountain; then, the homes, modest but comfortable; nearby, adjacent to one narrow street, an elementary school; then, more narrow streets, all of them blending into the peaceful green pastures at a distance; and not so far away, a dark forest, from which wild boars and packs of wolves come out with a certain frequency.

First character: A teacher, who instructs with angelic tenderness and patience. She is tall, alert, modest, and unpretentious.

Second character: A young shepherdess, who leaves early every morning to take her sheep to pasture. She is youthful, pure, loving, and at ease with isolation and prayer.

He has a hard job indeed, consisting of long journeys and tiring vigils.
Third character: The hunter. He is not an inexperienced amateur, but a modest public servant, who is called from time to time to recruit the most courageous men in the small town and lead them into the dark forest to combat the voracious animals. It is a hard job indeed, consisting of long journeys and tiring vigils. He is between 20 and 30 years old, strong and powerful, a leader made for the job. His hair is thick and bushy; his walk, firm and heavy; his handshake, strong, enabling one to feel the calluses on his fingers. Early in the morning, one may see him coming back from a hunt, frequently carrying upon his shoulders a dead animal, still dripping warm blood. He is jovial and dedicated, and ever since he accepted the job, not a single wolf has come into the town, nor has a wild boar destroyed the crops. When he crosses the central public square, the comments that are made about him are not all identical. Some find him agreeable, appreciating his happy and youthful courage and his frank and masculine outlook. But others resent him. His presence in town makes them uncomfortable, especially when he recalls some of the unpleasant dangers he faces in the forest. The coldness with which he hunts, corners, wounds, and then kills animals blurs the vision of these persons, making it difficult for them to perceive the kindness of his soul. To see him happily carrying the blood-dripping body of an animal in the exercise of his brave profession, raises in the minds of some of his fellow residents the impression that he might be capable of spilling the blood of anything, even a human being. To sum the whole matter up, to some he appears to be the personification of masculinity, dedication, and talent; to others, he is a hideous image of fighting, violence, and war.

Fourth character: The grandfather. He looks his role, having a long white beard, deep clear eyes, and shaky and bony hands. He is a little deaf.

Fifth character: A retired businessman. He is between 50 and 60 years old, a little too fat, with beady eyes which move constantly. He is always changing the tone of his voice. At times it is serene; at other times, harsh; and at other times, almost whispering. He has traveled many places, analyzed many things, and become a little rich. He is the boss of the town, having solid contacts in all of the neighboring towns and villages. Through his hands pass all of the significant decisions, and everyone goes to him for advice about serious matters. By being in contact with him, everyone learns what is happening outside of the village and region.

Setting: A bar, small and crowded, where a subject of conversation has been established, and ideas about it are passing from one table to the next.

Theme: Everyone is talking about the main events of the year, and the conversation leads to the question of who is the most popular person in town?

There are many opinions. Some say it is the beautiful young shepherdess. When she leaves with her flock, she appears to be going out to meet her enchanted prince, so graceful and delicate is she.

When she returns slightly tired, she draws sympathy from all, as she symbolizes in a charming way the hardships of the pastoral work in which the residents of the region are engaged.

Others choose the teacher. To them, she represents learning, wisdom, culture, the wonderful goods of the spirit, and the opening of new opportunities for future generations. She is more than an agent of economic production; she is a factor of human edification. To them, she is a shepherdess of children, which should be worth more than to be the shepherdess of sheep. They recall the tenderness with which she conducts the children toward the central public square, to lead them in prayer, with the sound of the bells announcing the end of the activities of the day. They also recall the way she leads, afterwards, the children in play, around the fountain, singing and skipping, before taking them back to their homes.

Nobody knows with certainty whom to choose. There is not a person who fails to appreciate both of them. But soon the leaders of two trends of thought begin to appear, seeking the answer to a higher problem. Which is worth more: the prosperity symbolized by the one, or the knowledge symbolized by the other? And from another point of view, which deserves the greater honor: the grace of the shepherdess, or the sweet seriousness of the teacher? These are universal problems, problems of all times, which for this very reason arouse great interest.
When the shepherdess leaves with her flock, she appears to be going out to meet her enchanted prince, so graceful and delicate is she.

During a lull in the discussion, the voice of the grandfather is heard: "What about heroism? It too has its merit. It is a merit which we must take into consideration if we are going to be fair. We are talking about merits, aren't we? As you all know, I was a soldier. I could feel the wonder of the wind that lifted our enthusiasm in the hours of combat. We fought hard so that the normal life of labor, prayer, study, and rest might continue: the shepherds leading their sheep to pasture, the teachers instructing their pupils, the wives preparing their homes for their husbands returning from work, and the churches raising prayers for the glory of God in the highest of heavens and for peace on earth to men of good will. We fought so that the principles of justice and charity, upon which the whole Christian order is based, would not be violated by an aggressor and enemy. Our souls became enlarged proportionately to the ideal for which we were fighting. Our temper became stronger than steel, and our courage greater than the wild boar or the voracious wolf. We would go forth happily to fight, to wound, and to kill, knowing that we might be wounded and even die. The ideal was everything.

Oh, how wonderful was that ideal, how beautiful the fight in its sacred grandeur."

The old man was standing up now. His deep voice could be heard in the silence of the room. No one imagined that such a frail figure could monopolize the attention of the participants in the room as he did. Then, the old man, becoming tired, sat down. His last words: "I propose that you go beyond the teacher and the shepherdess, and also consider if there is a place for the name of our hunter of wild beasts. Couldn't there be a place of honor for someone who is a hero?"

There was emotion and a certain uneasiness among the listeners. They recalled that some days ago the parish priest made a sermon in which he spoke about these words of Our Lord: "Greater love has no man than he lay down his life for his friend."

* * *

The debate continued, and the parties were still divided. But now everyone was either for or against the heroic guardian. Those who were against him no longer cared whether the shepherdess or the teacher won first place. All that they wanted now was to keep the guardian from getting the place of honor. But there were others who were convinced that it was indispensable to honor the hero.

As was usual in that small town, when the time arrived to make the important decision, the businessman took the floor. Everyone turned toward him, and, little by little, that ever-changing voice began to be heard. He touched everyone's heart when he enthusiastically praised the mission of the shepherdess. They were all convinced when he spoke about the importance of culture. And at last, as if pronouncing the final verdict, addressing himself to the old man, he said he respected him, but the days of fighting were gone. The world would one day proceed and indeed had already begun to fuse all religions, all races, and all peoples. Intelligent men could have nothing but horror for the spilling of blood. The fact that someone, upon being hired, had accepted the mission of killing wild animals, was a sad necessity, but to place fighting and the pre tense of heroism on the same level with culture and economic production was an anachronism. The businessman concluded by proposing the removal of the name of the slayer from the list, but at the same time asked all to show their esteem for the old man by giving him a hand.

Everyone clapped his hands. Only a few appeared unhappy.

It was late, and they decided to leave.

The next morning no one saw the hunter at the square. They didn't see him any time after that either. He had decided to move to other lands, far away, to become rich doing something less dangerous. And the small town forgot about the incident.

Next year the number of wild boars and voracious wolves increased a little. The year after that, their number increased still more. In the third year, the number of farms decreased. Some children had been made orphans and some families had become poor.

The retired businessman complained: "How can one live in such a place?" And he moved away.

As for the small town, it continued to decay and to die.

* * *

What should this story be called? What title should be given to this article?

"Peace, Culture, and Heroism?" Or maybe, "Ungratefulness and Punishment?" I don't know. Maybe we could call it, "The Crime of the Villianous Demagogue." Another idea, "The Hawks and the Doves;" perhaps this would be the best.

The reader may choose for himself.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bishop Tobin's Public Letter to Rep. Kennedy

We reproduce with permission the following courageous letter from Bishop Tobin. The text comes from www.LifeSiteNews.com.

Dear Congressman Kennedy:

“The fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.” (Congressman Patrick Kennedy)

Since our recent correspondence has been rather public, I hope you don’t mind if I share a few reflections about your practice of the faith in this public forum. I usually wouldn’t do that – that is speak about someone’s faith in a public setting – but in our well-documented exchange of letters about health care and abortion, it has emerged as an issue. I also share these words publicly with the thought that they might be instructive to

other Catholics, including those in prominent positions of leadership.

For the moment I’d like to set aside the discussion of health care reform, as important and relevant as it is, and focus on one statement contained in your letter of October 29, 2009, in which you write, “The fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.” That sentence certainly caught my attention and deserves a public response, lest it go unchallenged and lead others to believe it’s true. And it raises an important question: What does it mean to be a Catholic?

“The fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.” Well, in fact, Congressman, in a way it does. Although I wouldn’t choose those particular words, when someone rejects the teachings of the Church, especially on a grave matter, a life-and-death issue like abortion, it certainly does diminish their ecclesial communion, their unity with the Church. This principle is based on the Sacred Scripture and Tradition of the Church and is made more explicit in recent documents.

For example, the “Code of Canon Law” says, “Lay persons are bound by an obligation and possess the right to acquire a knowledge of Christian doctrine adapted to their capacity and condition so that they can live in accord with that doctrine.” (Canon 229, #1)

The “Catechism of the Catholic Church” says this: “Mindful of Christ’s words to his apostles, ‘He who hears you, hears me,’ the faithful receive with docility the teaching and directives that their pastors give them in different forms.” (#87)

Or consider this statement of the Church: “It would be a mistake

to confuse the proper autonomy exercised by Catholics in political life with the claim of a principle that prescinds from the moral and social teaching of the Church.” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 2002)

There’s lots of canonical and theological verbiage there, Congressman, but what it means is that if you don’t accept the teachings of the Church your communion with the Church is flawed, or in your own words, makes you “less of a Catholic.”

But let’s get down to a more practical question; let’s approach it thisway: What does it mean, really, to be a Catholic? After all, being a Catholic has to mean something, right?

Well, in simple terms – and here I refer only to those more visible, structural elements of Church membership – being a Catholic means that you’re part of a faith community that possesses a clearly defined authority and doctrine, obligations and expectations. It means that you believe and accept the teachings of the Church, especially on essential matters of faith and morals; that you belong to a local Catholic community, a parish; that you attend Mass on Sundays and receive the sacraments regularly; that you support the Church, personally, publicly, spiritually and financially.

Congressman, I’m not sure whether or not you fulfill the basic requirements of being a Catholic, so let me ask: Do you accept the teachings of the Church on essential matters of faith and morals, including our stance on abortion? Do you belong to a local Catholic community, a parish? Do you attend Mass on Sundays and receive the sacraments regularly? Do you support the Church, personally, publicly, spiritually and financially?

In your letter you say that you “embrace your faith.” Terrific. But if you don’t fulfill the basic requirements of membership, what is it exactly that makes you a Catholic? Your baptism as an infant? Your family ties? Your cultural heritage?

Your letter also says that your faith “acknowledges the existence of an imperfect humanity.” Absolutely true. But in confronting your rejection of the Church’s teaching, we’re not dealing just with “an imperfect humanity” – as we do when we wrestle with sins such as anger, pride, greed, impurity or dishonesty. We all struggle with those things, and often fail.

Your rejection of the Church’s teaching on abortion falls into a different category – it’s a deliberate and obstinate act of the will; a conscious decision that you’ve re-affirmed on many occasions. Sorry, you can’t chalk it up to an “imperfect humanity.” Your position is unacceptable to the Church and scandalous to many of our members. It absolutely diminishes your communion with the Church.

Congressman Kennedy, I write these words not to embarrass you or to judge the state of your conscience or soul. That’s ultimately between you and God. But your description of your relationship with the Church is now a matter of public record, and it needs to be challenged. I invite you, as your bishop and brother in Christ, to enter into a sincere process of discernment, conversion and repentance. It’s not too late for you to repair your relationship with the Church, redeem your public image, and emerge as an authentic “profile in courage,” especially by defending the sanctity of human life for all people, including unborn children. And if I can ever be of assistance as you travel the road of faith, I would be honored and happy to do so.

Sincerely yours,

Thomas J. Tobin

Bishop of Providence

Monday, November 9, 2009

Saint John Fisher: Catholic Hero Amid Softness

st_john_fisherWritten by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

Saint John Fisher was a martyr, cardinal and bishop of Rochester, England. Henry VIII ordered him beheaded out of hatred for both the Catholic faith and the primacy of the Roman Pontiff in the sixteenth century.

He was entirely isolated due to the general apostasy of the Catholic Church in England. We can draw parallels with the apostasies caused by modernism since history repeats itself. A great process of apathy, lukewarmness and indifference always prepares the Catholic masses for the greatest of apostasies.

The attitude of Saint John Fisher, who was a companion of Saint Thomas More in martyrdom, appears all the more laudable as he was entirely isolated in his time. Indeed, there was a general apostasy from the Catholic Church in England; and one of the most horrific aspects of the Protestant revolt there was precisely the indolence and ease with which the bulk of English Catholics went over to Protestantism.

In other words, out of mere political interest, career advancement or personal convenience, many Catholics infamously switched religions and did so with total normality and without traumas or problems of conscience. This proves that the religious structure of England was rotten at the time, a rottenness that had already been present in the time of Saint Thomas Becket.

The fact that Saint John Fisher was killed and that the movement he led was defeated, led to a crisis which placed the Anglican Church in the hands of the Henry VIII. Thus, it made a pact with the softness and advantages ogiven by the world. It accepted secularization. Having been prepared beforehand by a long process of decadence, the Church in England fell when it entered into schism with the Pope.

Not all the Church fell. There were some martyrs who were exceptions. Actually, they were a little more numerous than commonly reported. In addition to Saint Thomas More and Saint John Fisher, there were other martyrs, such as the Carthusian fathers beheaded by order of the king. Even so, the number of martyrs was very small.

We can draw some conclusions from all these facts. We need to see that these processes start considerably beforehand, and how successive treasons prepare great catastrophes. A few centuries separate Saint Thomas Becket and Henry VIII, and yet a putrefaction process had begun already at the time of Saint Thomas Becket which prepared the Church to fall as a whole. When the occasion of temptation finally arrived, all were dragged down completely.

This is something similar to the contemporary crisis in the Church. In other words, before moderism appeared, there was a “molding” process which formed Catholic opinions that came from the inertia in face of the erroneous doctrines of the French Revolution. There was an adhesion without reservation to democratic ideas that were impregnated with the spirit of Rousseau. There was an adhesion to the idea of separation of Church and State; a slothful and short-sightedness in light of the growing modern atmosphere that gradually invaded society.

This gradually gave rise to apathy, doctrinal indifference and sympathy for all kinds of errors. This state of affairs naturally prepared a highly combustible environment that would explode when the first flame of moderism would arise. We can see how history repeats itself and the great processes of apathy, lukewarmness and indifference prepare the Catholic masses for the greatest apostasies.

At the same time, we see a beautiful note of sanctity that remains in the Church despite this sadness and betrayal. Martyrs are still found in the Church. It is still in the Church that we find men with admirable character who are willing to suffer anything rather than give in to the adversary. There are souls who are willing to risk their own lives and property in order to remain faithful to true tradition and ecclesiastical continuity.

Thus, even when putrefaction invades Catholic circles, the sanctity of the Church produces fruits; exceptional and marvelous fruits that cannot be found elsewhere. At the same time the Church is betrayed and denied, She emits memorable flashes of light that prove Her Divine Origin. There can be seen a continuous affirmation of the Holy Ghost’s assistance to the Church, and this appears to be the most opportune lesson that we can draw from the martyrdom of Saint John Fisher.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

When 500 Scotish Catholics Protest Blasphemy, People Take Notice

The following report comes from TFP supporter Mr. Neil McKay in Scotland who organized a very successful rally-protest:

Following the horrendous public defacement of the bible, organized by Glasgow city arts council, a further and worse abomination was planned for 3-5 November at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow city centre - entitled ‘Jesus Queen of Heaven’ in which Jesus was portrayed as a woman and a transvestite, and a paper mache crucifix was made from torn up pieces of the Bible.

The Holy Family Apostolate decided something had to be done.

We put an ad in the Scottish Catholics Observer headed ‘Catholics of Scotland- Action needed,’ inviting Catholics to attend a Rosary of Reparation outside the theatre on opening night.

We were several phone calls from people saying they were happy to attend, and some who said that, while they couldn’t attend personally, they would be organizing rosaries and/or a mass and benediction for around the time we would be at the theatre. Judging by the phone calls, we estimated that around 50 to 100 people would be attending.

We were delayed in getting to the venue due to traffic problems. After parking the car 2 streets away, we hurried to the venue with Neil and Alexander Mc Kay carrying a half-size statue of Our Lady of Fatima on their shoulders.

On turning the corner into the street, we were greeted with the bellow of 500 Catholics loudly praying the Rosary at the top of their voices. Some protestants were singing their songs nearby, but this only made the Catholics pray all the louder.

Few theatre goers dared traverse the gauntlet of militant Catholics who lined the path to the entrance. They chose another entrance through the back of the theatre cafe. Our Lady was like a guard at the theatre entrance. Our Lady, Queen of Heaven holding her true position against the abdominal play ‘Jesus Queen of Heaven.’ Everyone was focused on her, praying and singing with their candles lit.

Our banner read ‘United in Prayer, we beg pardon for the insults to your Holy Name, Lord.' Other people brought their own banners.

The STV (Scottish Television) cameras were there and journalists for the Daily Mail, Daily Express, and the Scottish Catholic Observer.

We contacted the police - who were truly amazing and very happy to help. Two officers said afterwards that they were pleased with the way things turned out, and that they were there more to protect us than to manage the crowd, as they had not expected any trouble from us.

We have just seen the newspaper article (‘Hundreds protest at sex swap Jesus play,’ Scottish Daily Mail, pg 13 November 4) The article says ‘Christians’ protests, but the non-Catholics contingent was very small.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Traditional Marriage Wins Big in Maine!

by Kathleen Gilbert

AUGUSTA, Maine, November 4, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Maine voters handed true marriage supporters a major victory Tuesday night after rejecting a same-sex "marriage" law that the state government approved six months ago.

Though signed by Democratic Gov. John Baldacci, the law never went into effect, and remained in limbo after the success of the ballot initiative calling for a people's vote.

Same-sex "marriage" has now lost in all 31 states in which the question has been put to a popular vote. It is the second time citizens have rejected same-sex "marriage" even after its legalization: one year ago today, 52% of California voters also upheld traditional marriage, striking down an activist state Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual "marriage" in May.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Duke Paul Speaks on Tradition in St. Louis

Duke Paul of Oldenburg sp
oke to a crowd of 80 people at the St. Francis De Sales parish hall in St. Louis on October 31. His talk was "The Importance of Tradition” People came from all over the city and as far away as Kansas to hear him speak.

Duke Paul, a descendant of Queen Victoria, is a member of the German TFP and is active in many of its campaigns.

The Duke spoke about how the modern world wrongly classifies a good person as one who never makes others suffer. Now since effort causes suffering, only he who does not ask others for effort is good.

"Christian civilization and tradition modeled the peoples of the West in accordance with the principle that effort is the
essential condition for the dignity, decorum, good order and productivity of life. If good is to abolish effort in all fields, doesn't this implicitly deprive life of the values which make it worth living? Doesn't this deformed "goodness," become the worst deed one can do?"

The speaker also showed how tradition cannot be a dead tradition. In fact he stated that tradition is the sum of the past plus a present that is akin to it. Today should not be the denial of yesterday, but rather its harmonious continuation.

"Our Christian tradition is an incomparable value that must rule the present. It acts, for example, so that equality may not be understood as the sweeping away of the elites and as an apotheosis of vulgarity; so that liberty may not serve as a pretext for chaos and depravity; so that dynamism does not become frenzy; so that technology does not enslave man. In a word, it aims to prevent progress from becoming inhuman, unbearable, and hateful."

After the talk, there was a reception where all had the opportunity to speak with Duke Paul. Following the reception there was Benediction in the beautiful Gothic church of St. Francis de Sales.