Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
How much is the life of an American soldier worth? When does a soldier become expendable? Those are the questions we need to ask in the coming days.
A wounded soldier in Afghanistan will find himself airlifted half way around the world for treatment within hours. In this, we see the admirable care and great value given to American lives.
However, such solicitude on the battleground is not shown off the battlefield. It seems there are times where the American solider becomes expendable.
Of course, we are referring to the raging debate over the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy inside the military. Everything is centered on a December 1 report which the military will release analyzing the impact of the repeal on the Armed Forces.
The results of this “analysis” can be guessed. It seems almost senseless to go through the trouble to release it. Everything seems to indicate that it will discuss how to repeal, not if we should repeal, the ban on homosexuality in the military. It will conclude that inclusion of open homosexuals in the military will not have significant adverse effects. It will conclude that the soldier is expendable. He can be used for social experiments. He can be penalized for the religious values he holds. He can be deprived of the very freedom for which he fights.
|A joint Color Guard posts the colors during a Veterans Day ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington, Virginia. |
DOD photo by Cherie Cullen.
The findings will be completely politically correct because a higher command than the Joint Chiefs of Staff has decreed that the American soldier is expendable.
Judges, liberal pundits and legislators are all clamoring for the repeal with an urgency that defies the imagination. A single judge assumes almost dictatorial powers. Advocates cannot even wait for the December 1 “study” to validate their opinions. They must have the repeal now even if it appears to be rammed down the throats of the American people…even if it means making the American solider expendable.
One might argue that it has not been proven that the entry of open homosexuals (which also includes bisexuals and the “transgendered”) into the military would make soldiers expendable. That is not the point right now. It is proven the advocates of repeal simply do not care to know one way or the other. They cannot even wait for a report to rubberstamp a decision that has already been made.
At the same time, there is no doubt that it will affect the military. That military profession that demands decisiveness in action must now open its doors to the ambiguous bisexual and “transgendered” soldier. There are reports that higher military authorities have already informed officers that they must accept the decision or be labeled bigots and face expulsion. Added to the stress of combat, our soldiers will soon be forced to take extreme care to avoid any act, gesture or comment that might be construed to be “discrimatory” toward the new privileged class of homosexuals who will enter the military ready to report any “bigotry.” Chaplains face major problems since they must deal with the sin of homosexual acts. The service generals have all expressed major reservations about the move and its effect on morale.
All of this to accommodate a tiny sliver of a minute minority that demands entry into the military. All of this treats honor, tradition, and distinctions between virtue and vice; truth and error; good and evil, so inherent to the military condition, as if they are irrelevant.
Even the more practical matter of the danger of introducing into the battlefield a major category of men who cannot donate blood because of the risks of disease does not move repeal advocates.
|Soldiers of the 61st Calvary Regiment, U.S. Army patrol the Towr Gahr Pass, Nangarhar province, Afghanistan. |
U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Matson.
No life is threatened by keeping the ban. As long as one soldier feels threatened by the climate created by repealing the ban, as long as one life might be at risk by tainted blood, as long as the soldier maintains a sense of honor, we should keep the ban.
Indeed we must ask: When does a soldier become expendable?
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Calling it a “pastoral problem” that “affects all of us,” Archbishop Broglio appealed to bishops across the U.S. to consider sending more priests to help serve in the military.Approximately one fourth of active duty personnel – 400,000 people – and their immediate families are Catholic, he said. At present, these Catholics “are served by only 275 priests in a territory that covers the globe,” the archbishop noted. “Those numbers will shrink in the coming years.”
To read the whole story, click here
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
|Written by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira|
November 17 is the Feast of Saint Gregory
Indeed, his works were many. He moved a huge boulder that was in his way preventing the building of a church. He dried out a pond that was a cause of discord between two brothers. In order to stop the River Lycus from its frequent and damaging floods, Gregory planted his staff at a safe point near the river bank. He then prayed that the river would never rise past the staff. The staff took root, grew into a large tree, and the river never flooded past it again. He drove out the demons from idols and people ... and a great many more miracles.
On this feast of Saint Gregory the Wonderworker, Dom Guéranger writes: "Gregory was born in New Caesarea around 213. He was a disciple of Origen and became bishop of his hometown. For his doctrine and holiness, and also for the number and brilliance of the extraordinary miracles that he performed, he was called the 'Wonderworker.'"
At the time of his death, he asked how many infidels were left in his diocese of New Caesarea and was told there were only seventeen. Giving thanks, he said: This is the same number of believers in the beginning of my episcopate.
He wrote several works which, along with his miracles, illuminated the faithful of the Church of God. He also had the spirit of prophecy, and foretold the future. He died between 270 and 275.
As we can see, he was a great saint. Let us examine a little the nature of his miracles so that we might understand something of his mission. It is interesting to see that among the great variety of saints, Providence endows most saints with the power to work miracles. However, only some specific saints work many miracles.
There is a profound reason for this. The miracles wrought by the same person to a greater or lesser degree indicate the intensity of God’s extraordinary intervention. Because it is already unlikely for a person to work one miracle, but it is even more unlikely that he will work many. Of course, all miracles give more glory to God.
Here is a man who seems to have been chosen to show that the great gift of miracles of the Old Testament as well as that of the early Church, are still maintained in the third century in which he lived. What is interesting about his miracles is that none of them can be “explained” by experts as miracles caused by suggestion or illusion.
It is understandable that a madman might say that a cure at Lourdes is wrought by the power of suggestion. However, one cannot say the same thing about a huge boulder. No boulder moves through power of suggestion. No one can saw that a lake dried up of its own accord.
Someone might say: No! He simply deceived the people who saw those things.
However, illusions do not last a lifetime. A boulder that is here and suddenly moves over there cannot be the impression of the people who are watching. When the power of suggestion wears off, we must ask: Where is the boulder? Is it back in place? The lake was wet. When those who had the impression that it dried up lose that impression, will the lake be wet again. Yet that is not what happened. The lake was dry for good.
The instant growth of a tree in the riverbed from the staff thrust into the water was not just an illusion. After the illusion was gone, the people should have seen the stick again but they continued to see the tree.
They saw a tree growing to the point of changing the course of the river. These are categorical, undeniable miracles. The Church works miracles, and Providence has given Her the gift of miracles to show that the Church is divine. Was it only for this reason? No, it was not.
The reasons why this saint asked for those miracles show that Providence has other purposes in making miracles. Take for example the huge boulder that was moved to make way for the building of a church. We see that this huge miracle was done for something that was not extremely important in itself. Usually when a place is not suited for building, we build somewhere else. A boulder hindering the construction of a church is not a hopelessly insurmountable problem. Providence gave Saint Gregory the grace to work this miracle which was not an urgent matter to show how God is truly a father to us and how maternal Providence can be.
That is to say miracles do not happen only when we are in anguish, facing the greatest tragedies. God is our father and Our Lady is our mother. They give us huge graces with a magnificent liberality even when we are not in the highest affliction. These miracles show us how we need to ask even for things that are not very important. We must ask a lot, ask insistently. These requests will be granted.
The proof is this huge miracle worked just to simplify matters so that the building of a church would be easier. As for the other miracle, two brothers were fighting over a pond, so he dried it up. It is a miracle, a kind of mischievous punishment on these brothers. It is as if he was saying: you are tearing each other apart over the possession of this pond. I will dry it up so it belongs to no one. It was basically a little family squabble. He could probably have solved the problem by giving the brothers a good scolding. It is a little domestic quarrel that was not a great tragedy. However, he wrought a miracle to solve the problem.
The third miracle was to prevent the flooding of a river. Throughout history, rivers have flooded. Man would continue all the same, if the river continued to overflow.
What is the great lesson of these miracles? It is that if God heeds the request of a saint for these trifles, we also can be heeded when we ask for much more important things. He who can do much, can also do less. In this case, it is a more extraordinary miracle when and because it is worked over a trifle than when worked for something more important.
For the needs of our spiritual life, how many boulders need to be removed, how many ponds need to be dried, how many floods that overspill need to be remedied? How confidently we must therefore turn to Our Lady, asking her for these favors!
Someone might object: "Dr. Plinio, I wish it were as you say, but the point is that I am not Saint Gregory the Miracle Worker. He is a saint, and he could obtain it." I say: He is in heaven and today is his feast day. Let us ask him today, he will make an even greater miracle. Let us ask him for this grace: That when asking for heavenly things we may act with this holy freedom, I would almost say with this holy candor of asking for great miracles for our small things.
You cannot imagine how much one actually receives by acting in this way. This is the encouragement that the life of this saint should give us.
There is an insistence in the story of his life that he cast out demons. He did this in two kinds of places: idols and people. The idea that idols have demons that must be expelled is hardly an ecumenical idea, for if all religions are good, there are no demons in any idol.
However, I take this opportunity to say that the ancient Church Fathers said there were demons in idols, and many times there were. Thus we should be aware of the fact that it is very normal for demons to exist also in non-Catholic churches. When one passes in front of a non-Catholic church, a Protestant church, mosque or schismatic churches, we should remember this point. We should pray an ejaculation to our Guardian Angel. No one knows the danger that these dens of heresy pose. This practice is very good because it defends our soul against the devil, and instills a real sense of objectivity with regard to wrong churches and heresy. It is an attitude more necessary than ever.
In the end, the victory of this saint is non-ecumenical. When he asks how many heretics are there in New Caesarea, they answer seventeen. He manifests his joy: “When I began my bishop’s tenure the faithful were seventeen.” The situation had been turned completely around. It was his nunc dimittis. His work was done, it was consecrated, and he died giving his diocese to God.
The preceding text is taken from an informal lecture Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira gave on November 17, 1965. It has been translated and adapted for publication without his revision. –Ed.
Monday, November 15, 2010
|The Rosary—as spiritual weapon against evil—has a very long and precious history. In twelfth and thirteenth century France, a group of heretics known as the Albigensians was destroying the minds of the Catholic laity with its erroneous ideas. The Albigensians’ teachings encouraged suicide, many times by self-induced starvation, because they believed that the body was an intrinsic evil and that the soul must be liberated from matter at all costs. However, as history often shows, Providence raises up great Saints in times of dire crises. This time it was no different. Saint Dominic, born of noble lineage, received the Rosary from Our Lady in the year 1214. Our Lady gave Saint Dominic the Rosary as a weapon to combat the awful Albigensian heresy.|
The Rosary as we know it today took some time to develop. After Saint Dominic died in the year 1221, the Rosary was almost immediately forgotten. However, in 1464 Our Lord, Our Lady, and Saint Dominic appeared to Blessed Alan de la Roche, a Dominican friar, after which he preached the Rosary until his death in 1475. This tremendous apostolate by Blessed Alan de la Roche, through the direct intercession of Our Lady, made the Rosary a widespread devotion. The fifteen mysteries as we know them came about through the many confraternities founded after Blessed Alan de la Roche’s preaching, and were formalized with Pope Saint Pius V’s encyclical, Consueverunt.
The Battle of Lepanto was a crucial conflict between the Christians and the Ottoman Turks, one of the greatest naval battles of all time. The Christian lands around Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean were constantly getting sacked by Muslim pirates, and Imperial warships were ravaging the land. At this point in time, Pope Saint Pius V saw it appropriate to raise a Crusade against these heathen Muslims. After raising a Crusade, he asked every non-combatant across the whole Christian world to pray the Rosary.
After World War II, Austria was divided between four countries: America, France, the United Kingdom, and Russia. At the time, Russia was still communist. The section of Austria controlled by the communists was the richest, and included the city of Vienna. The Viennese were subject to the all the atrocities and tyrannies of communism. However, in 1946, Fr. Petrus Pavlicek, after making a pilgrimage to Mariazell, the principle Marian shrine in Austria, was told by an interior voice: “Do as I say and there will be peace.”
Between May 13 and October 13, 1917, Our Lady appeared to three shepherd children, Jacinta, Lucia, and Francisco, at the Cova de Iria, near Fatima, Portugal. During six visits, Our Lady communicated to them a secret which had three parts. The first part was a vision of Hell. During this vision, Sister Lucia said numerous souls fell into Hell like “snowflakes.”
Friday, November 12, 2010
Accordingly, heneforth there will only be New Year, the 1st of May, the National Holiday on the 21st of July, the Armistice of 11th of November, and Christmas, the 25th of December will be days off.
Eastermonday, Pentecostmonday [Whitmonday was also a holiday in Ireland till recently], Christ's Ascension, Assumption and All Saints Day will be removed from the calendar. The "Work Group" proposes, depending on confession, that an employee can take two additional workdays free.
New additions will be International Women's Day on 8. March, the 21st of March as the International Day Against Racism and the 21st of May as the World Day of Cultural Diversity.
Among other proposals of the "Work Group" was also to permit the wearing of religious symbols such as the Islamic head covering in school for higher forms [grades]. The teacher's preference, however, should determine whether it is allowed at all.
The Belgian Minister for equal opportunity, Joelle Milquet of the Liberal-Christians Democrats of Wallonia, annaounced, that she wants to reinforce the battle against discrimination. Cultural Diversity is anchored in the heritage of Belgium, she said according to reports from "Le Soir".
Thursday, November 11, 2010
by Hilary White
DUBLIN, November 9, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Funding for ethical stem cell research is hampered by a shallow “cult of celebrity” in scientific research that is fed by media hype, says a leading researcher in adult stem cells.
Dr. Colin McGuckin, who was the first to synthesize living and functioning human liver tissue from adult stem cells, was speaking at a conference held by the leading Irish pro-life group Youth Defence. His topic was the medical and ethical advantages of research using “somatic” cells (those taken from the patient’s own body) and stem cells derived from stored umbilical cord blood.
“History shows that the last hundred years in medicine will be some of the most embarrassing in the history of human development because the cult of celebrity affected every part of humanity,” said McGuckin. “Being famous seems to be the only route forward for doing anything useful in life to most children.”
According to McGuckin this cult of celebrity, driven by hopes of miraculous cures and media recognition, has even taken over funding practices for scientific research – and this is especially true when it comes to stem cell research.
“When we were at university people told us that if you want to be a good scientist you have to come up with a novel thought and it will be peer-reviewed by all your peers, and you will try to do the right thing for humanity if you’re going to do medical research. It used to be that you’d be peer-reviewed and the best proposal for a fund would go forward and get the money.”
But that has changed in recent years, he said.
“The whole world has moved toward a celebrity culture. Now if you’re pitted for a Nobel Prize, you’re going to get any fund you can think of. And it doesn’t matter whether it’s rubbish work or not; no one is going to dare to reject it.”
Media-generated controversy gets attention, he continued, and this presents a huge problem for those doing non-controversial, but immensely beneficial work with adult or umbilical cord blood cells.
“People aren’t talking about cord blood because it’s not controversial,” he said. “Consequently, it does not make headlines and therefore researchers who want to use the cells from cord blood do not receive funding.”
“It’s a vicious circle. If cord blood were controversial people would be talking about it seriously at government level. But because people aren’t writing in and giving their ministers a hard time, no one [in government] is talking about it.”
Dr. McGuckin has been working in the field of stem cell biology since 1988 and has become one of the world’s most sought-after experts in stem cell biology, tissue engineering, transplantation sciences and cancer treatment.
Even so, he described his own funding since the global financial crisis as “terrible.” He is the director of the Cell Therapy Research Institute in Lyon, France, one of the world’s largest adult stem cell centres. He recently moved his research work to France from Britain, saying that U.K. universities and funding agencies continually prioritize embryonic stem cell research.
“After the financial crisis it was awful. It is the cult of celebrity, and even if you make liver cells, you’re only a celebrity for ten minutes then they’re giving [funding] to the next person.”
In reference to possible solutions to the problem, the doctor said: “People have to write in. They have to raise their voices. It’s no good saying ‘I don’t like embryonic stem cell research if you don’t have something alternative to offer. Negativity never wins anything.”
Dr. McGuckin predicts that groups, universities and individual researchers will push for embryonic stem cell research for at least another ten years. “But ten years from now we won’t be any further on in terms of clinical treatments.”
“People will still want embryonic stem cells as treatments. They won’t be cures, but they will be heralded as cures. In the meantime the only way we can fight back is to show that adult stem cells at the same time has gone from where it is now, 100,000 bone marrow treatments, 20,000 cord blood treatments, and in ten year’s time it will be a million.”
Dr. McGuckin said he was baffled as to why there is a push by the Irish government for embryonic stem cell research, which is being “dumped” by researchers around the world in favor of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.
Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute told LSN that in her view the Irish government’s movement towards embryo research, despite the fact that it is fast becoming obsolete, cannot simply be attributed to ignorance.
“When we look at the evidence presented in how Irish government ministers have voted in the EU and how they have appointed various groups to do research, it’s apparent that a certain ideology is driving government policy - and that ideology doesn’t favor protecting life from conception,” she said.
“The current Minister for Health, [Mary Harney,] for example, has given millions to abortion referral agencies, and has called for 11-year olds to be given the morning-after-pill. It would actually buck the trend if the Department of Health then wanted to protect the embryo.
“That’s why it’s so crucial for the pro-life majority to speak up and make the government listen and ensure human life is protected from the cradle to the grave,” she added.
Friday, November 5, 2010
|The final banquet Sunday evening.|
There was much to celebrate at this conference which one of the largest in recent history. Most of the participants had been part of the 5,963 Public Square Rosary Rallies held nationwide on October 16, 2010. There were also many new friends and supporters who became familiar with the TFP and its programs. Especially noteworthy were delegations from Scotland and Hawaii.
The Conference program also included the launching of two books. The first was the book, The Christian Institution of the Family: A Dynamic Force to Regenerate Society, written and promoted by the TFP in the United Kingdom. Mr. Richard Lyon presented a brief summary and application of how to use the book to defend the family.
The second book was simply titled Plinio: A Man for Our Times written by TFP supporter Andrea Phillips. This biography of Prof. Plinio gives an easy-to-understand summary of the life and works of this noted Catholic thinker and man of action. Launching the book was the most distinguished guest-speaker of the conference, Prince Bertrand of Orleans-Braganza. The prince delivered the Sunday closing banquet speaking of his own relationship with Prof. Correa de Oliveira and an evaluation of his great victories.
Leadership, a Timely Theme
|All the talks were based from the perspective of the book Revolution and Counter-revolution.|
Mr. Norman Fulkerson delivered a talk titled “The Ordering Principle: Sovereignty and Vital Flux,” which developed the idea as to the origins of true leadership. Luiz Solimeo, senior researcher for the American TFP, presented a talk on temperance and prudence as necessary virtues. Mr. Nelson Fragelli used the example of Saint Nuno Alvares Pereira as an example of leadership for today’s society. Dr. Joseph Thomas dealt with the subject of character strengths and virtues from the perspective of military leadership.
Conviviality and Blessings
However, while the talks were the important centerpiece to the Conference, many were also drawn by the chance to get together with others of similar mind and heart. Our Lady’s blessings upon the event were quite evident by a great conviviality in which there never seemed to be enough time to converse. Even those who were attending the first time felt part of a great family of souls united together in a great crusade for a Christian civilization.
All the activities were held at the TFP center in Spring Grove, Penn. where the brisk yet refreshing weather and autumn foliage provided an excellent backdrop for the event. The decoration, flowers and medieval-style tent added a festive and joyful tone to the conference. There was time for coffee breaks, discussions or even tours of the property and its buildings. Students from the TFP-staffed St. Louis de Montfort Academy were politely helping out everywhere making sure things ran smoothly.
|Father Jonathan Romanoski celebrated the Mass.|
Thursday, November 4, 2010
|By TFP Student Action|
|November 01, 2010|
A special thanks to
TFP Student Action is glad to announce that the Boston College Law School – a Catholic institution – has apparently removed Planned Parenthood from its web site, where it was listed under pro bono organizations.
“The requested URL was not found on this server” is the message that now pops up on the computer screen when access to the Planned Parenthood link is attempted.
The listing was pulled after the TFP launched a peaceful online protest, which generated over 7,100 emails, personal letters and phone calls urging the president of Boston College, Fr. William Leahy, S.J., to remove the mention of Planned Parenthood.
|Sign up here |
to defend the
TFP Student Action is grateful to everyone who participated in this effort, especially the brave pro-life students at Boston College who defend the unborn.
May God bless and reward all of you!
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Such rallies are often used by those who wish to push a liberal agenda upon the Church. By politicizing the abuse issue, these activists hope to promote changes like the acceptance of married priests and women "priests."
Yesterday, the dissident Catholic newspaper reported that a grand total of 60 protesters showed up near St. Peter's Square.