Thursday, May 31, 2012

Treatise on True Devotion: A “Nuclear” Bomb That Does Not Destroy but Resurrects

Written by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
Providence decided to throw a “nuclear” bomb on the enemies of the Church. The havoc wreaked in Hiroshima and Nagasaki is only a minor fever compared to this bomb. The “nuclear bomb” of Catholicism has been ready to explode for two centuries now. When it does, we will understand the full meaning of the expression from Scripture, "Non est qui se abscondat a calore ejus" [no one can escape its heat].

This bomb has a very sweet name: It is called the Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin. In it, every word, every letter is a treasure. It is the book of the new times that are coming.

*     *     *

Eighteenth century painting kept in the Hospital of the Daughters of Wisdom in Rennes, France

 In his work, Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort expounds in what perfect slavery of the faithful to Our Lady consists. He shows the fundamental role of the Mother of God in the Mystical Body of Christ and in the spiritual life of every Christian. He teaches us to live our spiritual life in consonance with these truths. And he sets us in motion on the most sweet and absolutely marvelous and perfect path to unite us with the Blessed Mother so completely, as no piece of Christian literature has ever done.

By uniting the world to Our Lady, Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort says, this devotion will unite it with God. The day when men know, appreciate and live this devotion, Our Lady will reign in all hearts and the face of the earth will be renewed.

How? Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort clarified that his book would give rise to unrelenting opposition, would be calumniated, hidden and denied; that his doctrine would be defamed, covered up and persecuted; that it would automatically cause profound hostility in those who do not have the spirit of the Church. But that one day would come when men would finally understand his work. On that day chosen by God, the restoration of the Kingdom of Christ would be assured.

We repeat: this True Devotion is the real nuclear bomb which does not destroy but resurrects; the bomb that God has placed into the hands of the Church, foreseeing the bitter events of this century.

We confide incomparably more in Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort’s “nuclear” bomb and its power, than we fear the devastating action of all human forces. (adapted from Legionário, no. 689, Oct. 21,1945).

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Saint Joan of Arc -- Her Story

Statue of St. Joan of Arc in New Orleans, Louisiana

In French Jeanne d’Arc; by her contemporaries commonly known as la Pucelle (the Maid).
Born at Domremy in Champagne, probably on 6 January, 1412; died at Rouen, 30 May, 1431. The village of Domremy lay upon the confines of territory which recognized the suzerainty of the Duke of Burgundy, but in the protracted conflict between the Armagnacs (the party of Charles VII, King of France), on the one hand, and the Burgundians in alliance with the English, on the other, Domremy had always remained loyal to Charles.

Jacques d’Arc, Joan’s father, was a small peasant farmer, poor but not needy. Joan seems to have been the youngest of a family of five. She never learned to read or write but was skilled in sewing and spinning, and the popular idea that she spent the days of her childhood in the pastures, alone with the sheep and cattle, is quite unfounded. All the witnesses in the process of rehabilitation spoke of her as a singularly pious child, grave beyond her years, who often knelt in the church absorbed in prayer, and loved the poor tenderly.

Great attempts were made at Joan’s trial to connect her with some superstitious practices supposed to have been performed round a certain tree, popularly known as the “Fairy Tree” (l’Arbre des Dames), but the sincerity of her answers baffled her judges. She had sung and danced there with the other children, and had woven wreaths for Our Lady’s statue, but since she was twelve years old she had held aloof from such diversions.
Apparition of St. Michael Archangel and St. Catherine to St. Joan of Arc. Painting by Hermann Anton Stilke

It was at the age of thirteen and a half, in the summer of 1425, that Joan first became conscious of that manifestation, whose supernatural character it would now be rash to question, which she afterwards came to call her “voices” or her “counsel.” It was at first simply a voice, as if someone had spoken quite close to her, but it seems also clear that a blaze of light accompanied it, and that later on she clearly discerned in some way the appearance of those who spoke to her, recognizing them individually as St. Michael (who was accompanied by other angels), St. Margaret, St. Catherine, and others. Joan was always reluctant to speak of her voices. She said nothing about them to her confessor, and constantly refused, at her trial, to be inveigled into descriptions of the appearance of the saints and to explain how she recognized them. None the less, she told her judges: “I saw them with these very eyes, as well as I see you.”

Great efforts have been made by rationalistic historians, such as M. Anatole France, to explain these voices as the result of a condition of religious and hysterical exaltation which had been fostered in Joan by priestly influence, combined with certain prophecies current in the countryside of a maiden from the bois chesnu (oak wood), near which the Fairy Tree was situated, who was to save France by a miracle. But the baselessness of this analysis of the phenomena has been fully exposed by many non-Catholic writers. There is not a shadow of evidence to support this theory of priestly advisers coaching Joan in a part, but much which contradicts it. Moreover, unless we accuse the Maid of deliberate falsehood, which no one is prepared to do, it was the voices which created the state of patriotic exaltation, and not the exaltation which preceded the voices. Her evidence on these points is clear.

Although Joan never made any statement as to the date at which the voices revealed her mission, it seems certain that the call of God was only made known to her gradually. But by May, 1428, she no longer doubted that she was bidden to go to the help of the king, and the voices became insistent, urging her to present herself to Robert Baudricourt, who commanded for Charles VII in the neighbouring town of Vaucouleurs. This journey she eventually accomplished a month later, but Baudricourt, a rude and dissolute soldier, treated her and her mission with scant respect, saying to the cousin who accompanied her: “Take her home to her father and give her a good whipping.”
Charles VII, King of France
Meanwhile the military situation of King Charles and his supporters was growing more desperate. Orléans was invested (12 October, 1428), and by the close of the year complete defeat seemed imminent. Joan’s voices became urgent, and even threatening. It was in vain that she resisted, saying to them: “I am a poor girl; I do not know how to ride or fight.” The voices only reiterated: “It is God who commands it.” Yielding at last, she left Domremy in January, 1429, and again visited Vaucouleurs.

Baudricourt was still skeptical, but, as she stayed on in the town, her persistence gradually made an impression on him. On 17 February she announced a great defeat which had befallen the French arms outside Orléans (the Battle of the Herrings). As this statement was officially confirmed a few days later, her cause gained ground. Finally she was suffered to seek the king at Chinon, and she made her way there with a slender escort of three men-at-arms, she being attired, at her own request, in male costume — undoubtedly as a protection to her modesty in the rough life of the camp. She always slept fully dressed, and all those who were intimate with her declared that there was something about her which repressed every unseemly thought in her regard.

Painting by Sir John Gilbert

She reached Chinon on 6 March, and two days later was admitted into the presence of Charles VII. To test her, the king had disguised himself, but she at once saluted him without hesitation amidst a group of attendants. From the beginning a strong party at the court — La Trémoille, the royal favorite, foremost among them — opposed her as a crazy visionary, but a secret sign, communicated to her by her voices, which she made known to Charles, led the king, somewhat half-heartedly, to believe in her mission. What this sign was, Joan never revealed, but it is now most commonly believed that this “secret of the king” was a doubt Charles had conceived of the legitimacy of his birth, and which Joan had been supernaturally authorized to set at rest.

Letter written by St. Joan of Arc to the people of Riom, November 9, 1429.

Still, before Joan could be employed in military operations she was sent to Poitiers to be examined by a numerous committee of learned bishops and doctors. The examination was of the most searching and formal character. It is regrettable in the extreme that the minutes of the proceedings, to which Joan frequently appealed later on at her trial, have altogether perished. All that we know is that her ardent faith, simplicity, and honesty made a favorable impression. The theologians found nothing heretical in her claims to supernatural guidance, and, without pronouncing upon the reality of her mission, they thought that she might be safely employed and further tested.

Returning to Chinon, Joan made her preparations for the campaign. Instead of the sword the king offered her, she begged that search might be made for an ancient sword buried, as she averred, behind the altar in the chapel of Ste-Catherine-de-Fierbois. It was found in the very spot her voices indicated. There was made for her at the same time a standard bearing the words Jesus, Maria, with a picture of God the Father, and kneeling angels presenting a fleur-de-lis.

Statue of St. Joan of Arc with her banner in the Notre-Dame Reims Cathedral, France

But perhaps the most interesting fact connected with this early stage of her mission is a letter of one Sire de Rotslaer written from Lyons on 22 April, 1429, which was delivered at Brussels and duly registered, as the manuscript to this day attests, before any of the events referred to received their fulfillment. The Maid, he reports, said “that she would save Orléans and would compel the English to raise the siege, that she herself in a battle before Orléans would be wounded by a shaft but would not die of it, and that the King, in the course of the coming summer, would be crowned at Reims, together with other things which the King keeps secret.”

Before entering upon her campaign, Joan summoned the King of England to withdraw his troops from French soil. The English commanders were furious at the audacity of the demand, but Joan by a rapid movement entered Orléans on 30 April. Her presence there at once worked wonders. By 8 May the English forts which encircled the city had all been captured, and the siege raised, though on the 7th Joan was wounded in the breast by an arrow.

So far as the Maid went she wished to follow up these successes with all speed, partly from a sound warlike instinct, partly because her voices had already told her that she had only a year to last. But the king and his advisers, especially La Trémoille and the Archbishop of Reims, were slow to move. However, at Joan’s earnest entreaty a short campaign was begun upon the Loire, which, after a series of successes, ended on 18 June with a great victory at Patay, where the English reinforcements sent from Paris under Sir John Fastolf were completely routed. The way to Reims was now practically open, but the Maid had the greatest difficulty in persuading the commanders not to retire before Troyes, which was at first closed against them. They captured the town and then, still reluctantly, followed her to Reims, where, on Sunday, 17 July, 1429, Charles VII was solemnly crowned, the Maid standing by with her standard, for — as she explained — “as it had shared in the toil, it was just that it should share in the victory.”

Coronation of Charles VII with St. Joan of Arc by his side. Painting by E. Lenepveu.

The principal aim of Joan’s mission was thus attained, and some authorities assert that it was now her wish to return home, but that she was detained with the army against her will. The evidence is to some extent conflicting, and it is probable that Joan herself did not always speak in the same tone. Probably she saw clearly how much might have been done to bring about the speedy expulsion of the English from French soil, but on the other hand she was constantly oppressed by the apathy of the king and his advisers, and by the suicidal policy which snatched at every diplomatic bait thrown out by the Duke of Burgundy.

An abortive attempt on Paris was made at the end of August. Though St-Denis was occupied without opposition, the assault which was made on the city on 8 September was not seriously supported, and Joan, while heroically cheering on her men to fill the moat, was shot through the thigh with a bolt from a crossbow.

The Duc d’Alençon removed her almost by force, and the assault was abandoned. The reverse unquestionably impaired Joan’s prestige, and shortly afterwards, when, through Charles’ political counselors, a truce was signed with the Duke of Burgundy, she sadly laid down her arms upon the altar of St-Denis.

The inactivity of the following winter, mostly spent amid the worldliness and the jealousy of the Court, must have been a miserable experience for Joan. It may have been with the idea of consoling her that Charles, on 29 December, 1429, ennobled the Maid and all her family, who henceforward, from the lilies on their coat of arms, were known by the name of Du Lis. It was April before Joan was able to take the field again at the conclusion of the truce, and at Melun her voices made known to her that she would be taken prisoner before Midsummer Day. Neither was the fulfillment of this prediction long delayed. It seems that she had thrown herself into Compiègne on 24 May at sunrise to defend the town against Burgundian attack. In the evening she resolved to attempt a sortie, but her little troop of some five hundred encountered a much superior force.

Her followers were driven back and retired desperately fighting. By some mistake or panic of Guillaume de Flavy, who commanded in Compiègne, the drawbridge was raised while still many of those who had made the sortie remained outside, Joan amongst the number. She was pulled down from her horse and became the prisoner of a follower of John of Luxemburg. Guillaume de Flavy has been accused of deliberate treachery, but there seems no adequate reason to suppose this. He continued to hold Compiègne resolutely for his king, while Joan’s constant thought during the early months of her captivity was to escape and come to assist him in this task of defending the town.

On December 29, 1429, in praise of her great deeds, King Charles VII officially ennobled the d'Arc lineage in perpetuity by granting them the surname "du Lys". At the request of St. Joan of Arc, King Charles also remitted the taxes on the people of Domrémy, which was upheld until the French Revolution.

No words can adequately describe the disgraceful ingratitude and apathy of Charles and his advisers in leaving the Maid to her fate. If military force had not availed, they had prisoners like the Earl of Suffolk in their hands, for whom she could have been exchanged. Joan was sold by John of Luxembourg to the English for a sum which would amount to several hundred thousand dollars in modern money. There can be no doubt that the English, partly because they feared their prisoner with a superstitious terror, partly because they were ashamed of the dread which she inspired, were determined at all costs to take her life. They could not put her to death for having beaten them, but they could get her sentenced as a witch and a heretic.

Moreover, they had a tool ready to their hand in Pierre Cauchon, the Bishop of Beauvais, an unscrupulous and ambitious man who was the creature of the Burgundian party. A pretext for invoking his authority was found in the fact that Compiègne, where Joan was captured, lay in the Diocese of Beauvais. Still, as Beauvais was in the hands of the French, the trial took place at Rouen — the latter see being at that time vacant. This raised many points of technical legality which were summarily settled by the parties interested.

The Vicar of the Inquisition at first, upon some scruple of jurisdiction, refused to attend, but this difficulty was overcome before the trial ended. Throughout the trial Cauchon’s assessors consisted almost entirely of Frenchmen, for the most part theologians and doctors of the University of Paris. Preliminary meetings of the court took place in January, but it was only on 21 February, 1431, that Joan appeared for the first time before her judges. She was not allowed an advocate, and, though accused in an ecclesiastical court, she was throughout illegally confined in the Castle of Rouen, a secular prison, where she was guarded by dissolute English soldiers.

Joan bitterly complained of this. She asked to be in the church prison, where she would have had female attendants. It was undoubtedly for the better protection of her modesty under such conditions that she persisted in retaining her male attire. Before she had been handed over to the English, she had attempted to escape by desperately throwing herself from the window of the tower of Beaurevoir, an act of seeming presumption for which she was much browbeaten by her judges. This also served as a pretext for the harshness shown regarding her confinement at Rouen, where she was at first kept in an iron cage, chained by the neck, hands, and feet. On the other hand she was allowed no spiritual privileges — e.g. attendance at Mass — on account of the charge of heresy and the monstrous dress (difformitate habitus) she was wearing.

The Trial of Joan of Arc, Painting by Louis Boutet de Monvel

As regards the official record of the trial, which, so far as the Latin version goes, seems to be preserved entire, we may probably trust its accuracy in all that relates to the questions asked and the answers returned by the prisoner. These answers are in every way favourable to Joan. Her simplicity, piety, and good sense appear at every turn, despite the attempts of the judges to confuse her. They pressed her regarding her visions, but upon many points she refused to answer. Her attitude was always fearless, and, upon 1 March, Joan boldly announced that “within seven years’ space the English would have to forfeit a bigger prize than Orléans.” In point of fact Paris was lost to Henry VI on 12 November, 1437 — six years and eight months afterwards.

It was probably because the Maid’s answers perceptibly won sympathizers for her in a large assembly that Cauchon decided to conduct the rest of the inquiry before a small committee of judges in the prison itself. We may remark that the only matter in which any charge of prevarication can be reasonably urged against Joan’s replies occurs especially in this stage of the inquiry. Joan, pressed about the secret sign given to the king, declared that an angel brought him a golden crown, but on further questioning she seems to have grown confused and to have contradicted herself. Most authorities (like, e.g., M. Petit de Julleville and Mr. Andrew Lang) are agreed that she was trying to guard the king’s secret behind an allegory, she herself being the angel; but others — for instance P. Ayroles and Canon Dunand — insinuate that the accuracy of the procès-verbal cannot be trusted. On another point she was prejudiced by her lack of education.

The judges asked her to submit herself to “the Church Militant.” Joan clearly did not understand the phrase and, though willing and anxious to appeal to the pope, grew puzzled and confused. It was asserted later that Joan’s reluctance to pledge herself to a simple acceptance of the Church’s decisions was due to some insidious advice treacherously imparted to her to work her ruin. But the accounts of this alleged perfidy are contradictory and improbable.

St. Joan of Arc being led to her execution in Rouen. Painting by Isidore Patrois

The examinations terminated on 17 March. Seventy propositions were then drawn up, forming a very disorderly and unfair presentment of Joan’s “crimes,” but, after she had been permitted to hear and reply to these, another set of twelve were drafted, better arranged and less extravagantly worded. With this summary of her misdeeds before them, a large majority of the twenty-two judges who took part in the deliberations declared Joan’s visions and voices to be “false and diabolical,” and they decided that if she refused to retract she was to be handed over to the secular arm — which was the same as saying that she was to be burned.

Certain formal admonitions, at first private, and then public, were administered to the poor victim (18 April and 2 May), but she refused to make any submission which the judges could have considered satisfactory. On 9 May she was threatened with torture, but she still held firm. Meanwhile, the twelve propositions were submitted to the University of Paris, which, being extravagantly English in sympathy, denounced the Maid in violent terms. Strong in this approval, the judges, forty-seven in number, held a final deliberation, and forty-two reaffirmed that Joan ought to be declared heretical and handed over to the civil power, if she still refused to retract. Another admonition followed in the prison on 22 May, but Joan remained unshaken. The next day a stake was erected in the cemetery of St-Ouen, and in the presence of a great crowd she was solemnly admonished for the last time.

After a courageous protest against the preacher’s insulting reflections on her king, Charles VII, the accessories of the scene seem at last to have worked upon mind and body worn out by so many struggles.

Her courage for once failed her. She consented to sign some sort of retraction, but what the precise terms of that retraction were will never be known. In the official record of the process a form of retraction is in inserted which is most humiliating in every particular. It is a long document which would have taken half an hour to read. What was read aloud to Joan and was signed by her must have been something quite different, for five witnesses at the rehabilitation trial, including Jean Massieu, the official who had himself read it aloud, declared that it was only a matter of a few lines. Even so, the poor victim did not sign unconditionally, but plainly declared that she only retracted in so far as it was God’s will. However, in virtue of this concession, Joan was not then burned, but conducted back to prison.

Enveloped in flames, Joan cried out the name of Jesus six times before dying.

The English and Burgundians were furious, but Cauchon, it seems, placated them by saying, “We shall have her yet.” Undoubtedly her position would now, in case of a relapse, be worse than before, for no second retraction could save her from the flames. Moreover, as one of the points upon which she had been condemned was the wearing of male apparel, a resumption of that attire would alone constitute a relapse into heresy, and this within a few days happened, owing, it was afterwards alleged, to a trap deliberately laid by her jailers with the connivance of Cauchon. Joan, either to defend her modesty from outrage, or because her women’s garments were taken from her, or, perhaps, simply because she was weary of the struggle and was convinced that her enemies were determined to have her blood upon some pretext, once more put on the man’s dress which had been purposely left in her way.

The end now came soon. On 29 May a court of thirty-seven judges decided unanimously that the Maid must be treated as a relapsed heretic, and this sentence was actually carried out the next day (30 May, 1431) amid circumstances of intense pathos. She is said, when the judges visited her early in the morning, first to have charged Cauchon with the responsibility of her death, solemnly appealing from him to God, and afterwards to have declared that “her voices had deceived her.”

About this last speech a doubt must always be felt. We cannot be sure whether such words were ever used, and, even if they were, the meaning is not plain. She was, however, allowed to make her confession and to receive Communion. Her demeanor at the stake was such as to move even her bitter enemies to tears. She asked for a cross, which, after she had embraced it, was held up before her while she called continuously upon the name of Jesus. “Until the last,” said Manchon, the recorder at the trial, “she declared that her voices came from God and had not deceived her.” After death her ashes were thrown into the Seine.

The beatification of St. Joan of Arc

Twenty-four years later a revision of her trial, the procès de réhabilitation, was opened at Paris with the consent of the Holy See. The popular feeling was then very different, and, with but the rarest exceptions, all the witnesses were eager to render their tribute to the virtues and supernatural gifts of the Maid. The first trial had been conducted without reference to the pope, indeed it was carried out in defiance of St. Joan’s appeal to the head of the Church. Now an appellate court constituted by the pope, after long inquiry and examination of witnesses, reversed and annulled the sentence pronounced by a local tribunal under Cauchon’s presidency.

The illegality of the former proceedings was made clear, and it speaks well for the sincerity of this new inquiry that it could not be made without inflicting some degree of reproach upon both the King of France and the Church at large, seeing that so great an injustice had been done and had so long been suffered to continue unredressed. Even before the rehabilitation trial, keen observers, like Eneas Sylvius Piccolomini (afterwards Pope Pius II), though still in doubt as to her mission, had discerned something of the heavenly character of the Maid. In Shakespeare’s day she was still regarded in England as a witch in league with the fiends of hell, but a juster estimate had begun to prevail even in the pages of Speed’s “History of Great Britaine” (1611).

By the beginning of the nineteenth century the sympathy for her even in England was general. Such writers as Southey, Hallam, Sharon Turner, Carlyle, Landor, and, above all, De Quincey greeted the Maid with a tribute of respect which was not surpassed even in her own native land. Among her Catholic fellow-countrymen she had been regarded, even in her lifetime, as Divinely inspired.

At last the cause of her beatification was introduced upon occasion of an appeal addressed to the Holy See, in 1869, by Mgr Dupanloup, Bishop of Orléans, and, after passing through all its stages and being duly confirmed by the necessary miracles, the process ended in the decree being published by Pius X on 11 April, 1909. A Mass and Office of St. Joan, taken from the “Commune Virginum,” with “proper” prayers, have been approved by the Holy See for use in the Diocese of Orléans.

HERBERT THURSTON (Catholic Encyclopedia)

Photo of the Canonization of St. Joan of Arc on May 16, 1920.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

VIDEO: March for Life in Reading Draws Hundreds


Hundreds of pro-lifers spent their Sunday afternoon on May 20 attending the second annual March for Life in Reading, Pennsylvania.  The TFP Holy Choir of Angels Band provided rousing patriotic music for the two-mile trek as marchers made their way through the streets of Reading to their final destination, Holy Rosary Catholic Church.

Before the march even hit the pavement, several speakers exhorted those gathered to fight abortion as well as the HHS contraception mandate that especially targets Catholic individuals and institutions.

The sending forth speech was given by Fr. Paul Rothemel who gave his blessing. During this final address, a group of children gathered around the podium to take up crosses representing the millions of surgical abortions performed in America since Roe v. Wade.

The march passed by the Planned Parenthood center where some of those millions of abortions are performed on a regular basis.  It was a symbolic gesture, an act of reparation for the innocent lives lost to the horrors of abortion and the nihilistic culture from which it was spawned.  May Our Lady present our prayer before the throne of God and hasten the day when abortion will finally be made unthinkable in America.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Is It Never Licit to Judge Others?

 Written by Luiz Sérgio Solimeo
  In today’s ambience of philosophical and moral relativism in which we live, whenever we criticize objectively immoral actions or behaviors such as abortion, homosexual acts, adultery, and so forth, we often hear someone citing the words of the Divine Saviour, “Judge not.”[1]

The Absurdity of Not Judging
Yet a literal and out of context interpretation of these words leads to an absurd conclusion. For if we could not judge the actions of others, that would be tantamount to denying that moral principles can be applied in practice, even though they must be accepted in theory. The final consequence is that morality would be rendered meaningless as a standard to guide human actions. That leads to the most complete subjectivism — a free for all in which everyone does what he fancies.

That also causes people to completely lose their moral sense; and it is perhaps one of the causes of the amorality of our present age.

Since religious people become insecure facing the “judge not” argument of the Gospel, let us examine more closely what it actually means.

Does the Gospel Forbid Judging?
Judging others is condemned in a part of the Sermon on the Mount in which Jesus teaches us how to proceed in order to attain perfection. After dealing with the Beatitudes and condemning murder, adultery, perjury, and commanding us to love our neighbor and avoid ostentation, Our Lord deals with judging others.

He forbids judging others unfairly and maliciously, as this will turn against us: “Judge not, that you may not be judged, for with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again.”[2]
Moses with tablets of the Ten Commandments
Moses throws down the tables of God’s commandments for “this people hath sinned a heinous sin.” Exod. 32:31

It would be hypocritical to condemn others for faults in which we ourselves incur, without first seeking to eliminate them in our own behavior: “And why seest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye; and seest not the beam that is in thy own eye? Or how sayest thou to thy brother: Let me cast the mote out of thy eye; and behold a beam is in thy own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam in thy own eye, and then shalt thou see to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”[3]

Objectively Immoral Actions Should be Condemned
When it comes to secondary defects or ambiguous actions that lend themselves to various interpretations, we must be ready to avoid interpreting them negatively as much as possible. However, when faced with actions clearly contrary to the principles of morals, or scandalous actions, we must not fail to make a strict moral judgment.

This is what Saint Augustine explains when he analyzes this passage of the Gospel: “I suppose the command here to be no other than that we should always put the best interpretation on such actions as seem doubtful with what mind they were done. But concerning such as cannot be done with good purpose, as adulteries, blasphemies, and the like, He permits us to judge; but of indifferent actions which admit of being done with either good or bad purpose, it is rash to judge, but especially so to condemn.”[4]

And in another sermon the saint presents another aspect of the question saying: “Concerning those things, then, which are known to God, unknown to us, we judge our neighbors at our peril. Of these the Lord hath said, ‘Judge not, that you may not be judged.’ But concerning things which are open and public evils, we may and must judge and rebuke, but still with charity and love, hating not the man, but the sin, detesting not the vicious man but the vice, the disease more than the sick man.
Christ Casting Out the Money-Changers, Carl Heinrich BLOCH
Jesus going to the temple saw they had made it a den of thieves, and He “cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers.” Matt. 21:12
For unless the open adulterer, thief, habitual drunkard, traitor, or proud man were judged and punished, in them would be fulfilled what the blessed martyr Cyprian hath said, ‘He who soothes a sinner with flattering words provides fuel for his sin.’”[5]

Judge According to the Truth
The Gospel precept is not, therefore, that we abstain from judging and condemning those acts that are objectively bad, but that we do it according to the rule given by the Savior Himself: “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge just judgment.”[6]

Therefore, those who quote the Savior’s words in order to impose a state of complete amorality in which no one would judge anyone, and accept, in practice, the worst moral outrages in an attitude of complete subjectivism and moral relativism, are simply wrong.
1.Matt. 7:1
2.Matt. 7:2
3.Matt. 7:3-5
4.De Sermone Domini in Monte secundum Matthaeum. ii, 18
5.Sermo 202 de Tempore
6.John 7:24

Friday, May 25, 2012

Our Lady of China

In 1900 the village of Tong Lu near Peiping was attacked by about ten thousand rioters during the Boxer Rebellion. In their rage they started to shoot skyward where a woman dressed in white had appeared, but her apparition did not fade. The crazed mob was put to flight at the appearance of a strange horseman.

Father Wu, a Chinese priest, admitted having prayed to Mary for help. A church was built on the site, honoring a picture of Mary and the Christ Child which was placed over the main altar. During the progress of the Red Revolution, the people had the treasured painting copied, and when the Chinese Communists destroyed the Tong Lu church the copy was burned. But the original picture known as Our Lady of China had been hidden and is now thought to be in the possession of some faithful priests living in disguise.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Video: Going to Georgetown

Introducing pro-abortion HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to Georgetown’s graduating class of 2012, the Dean of the Georgetown Public Policy Institute (GPPI) said: “She works every day to improve access to health care for our nation’s children...”

However, the dean ignored the truth: Sebelius promotes pro-abortion policies that turn the womb into the most dangerous place for unborn children to live in America.

On May 18, as Georgetown University prepared to honor the chief architect of the Obamacare contraception mandate, TFP Student Action volunteers were kicking into gear for a prayerful protest at America’s oldest Catholic university.

Shortly before 10:00 AM, we set up our campaign on the public sidewalk outside the Healy Gates, where we were joined by several other pro-life leaders and activists.

Hoisting aloft the American flag, the TFP standard, and a banner reading: “Sebelius persecutes the Church, yet Georgetown welcomes her. Faithful Catholics protest,” we braced for the expectedly polarized response of passers-by. We were not disappointed.
TFP Leads Protest of Pro-Abortion Kathleen Sebelius at Georgetown
TFP Leads Protest of pro-abortion HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at Georgetown University.

“Thank you for your respectful approach,” said a graduation goer. “You make the Catholic Church look good.”

One man, entering the gate to attend his daughter’s graduation, commented:“I am with you guys on this; I just cannot understand why a Catholic school would invite someone like this.” Others were less positive: “You’re ruining this graduation. Why did you choose to come today?” to which we responded: “We didn’t choose the day; Georgetown did when it invited Sebelius.”

In response to our sign reading, “Georgetown: You can’t be Catholic and pro-abortion,” one man proclaimed: “Why are you guys even here? Catholic is just a name!” Sadly, it seems that Georgetown would agree. In contrast with this attitude, the assembled pro-life supporters joined together in the recitation of the rosary in reparation for the grave scandal underway at Georgetown.

Between rosaries, we also chanted slogans. “Catholic Fidelity: YES! — Pro-abortion Sebelius: NO!” and “Keep America strong, defend innocent life!”

The TFP protest was covered by several news outlets including CNN, Fox News and The Washington Post.

After a campaign of several hours, complete with debates, interviews, and more importantly, the recitation of the rosary, we departed, ready to continue defending Catholic moral teaching in the ongoing battle for the soul of America.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

May 24 – Our Lady Help of Christians Commemorates Pope's Liberation from Prison

This commemoration was introduced in the liturgical calendar by decree of Pope Pius VII on September 16, 1815, in thanksgiving for his happy return to Rome after a long and painful captivity in Savona and France due to Napoleon’s tyrannical power.

By order of Napoleon, Pius VII was arrested, 5 July, 1808, and detained a prisoner for three years at Savona, and then at Fontainebleau. In January, 1814, after the battle of Leipzig, he was brought back to Savona and set free, 17 March, on the eve of the feast of Our Lady of Mercy, the Patroness of Savona.

The journey to Rome was a veritable triumphal march. The pontiff, attributing the victory of the Church after so much agony and distress to the Blessed Virgin, visited many of her sanctuaries on the way and crowned her images (e.g. the “Madonna del Monte” at Cesena, “della Misericordia” at Treja, “della Colonne” and “della Tempestà” at Tolentino). The people crowded the streets to catch a glimpse of the venerable pontiff who had so bravely withstood the threats of Napoleon. He entered Rome, 24 May, 1814, and was enthusiastically welcomed.  (McCaffrey, “History of the Catholic Church in the Nineteenth Cent.”, 1909, I, 52).

The invocation “Help of the Christians” is very old, having been included in the Litany of Loreto by Pope Saint Pius V in 1571, as a token of gratitude to the Most Holy Virgin, by virtue of Christendom’s’ victory in the famous battle of Lepanto.

*      *      *

During five years of captivity, Pius VII appealed continuously to Our Lady under the invocation of “Help of Christians”. From 1809 to 1812, the Pontiff remained imprisoned in the Italian city of Savona, then making a vow to crown an image of the Mother of Mercy existing there, should he obtain his freedom.

In 1812, the Pope was taken to Paris, remaining a prisoner in Fontainebleau, where he suffered enormous sufferings and humiliations inflicted by the French tyrant.

But in the course of time, events began providentially to overturn the fortunes of the despot.
In 1814, weakened by losses suffered in several fronts and pressured by public opinion, Napoleon permitted his august prisoner to return to Rome. The Supreme Pontiff took advantage of the journey to honor in a special way the Mother of God, crowning her image in Ancona under the invocation of Queen of All Saints.

And, fulfilling the vow that he made when still prisoner in Savona, he adorned the forehead of the image of the Mother of Mercy with a golden frond as he passed by that city.

The journey continued amid glorious manifestations of reverence on the part of the populace in all the localities where Pius VII passed. And on May 24, he made a triumphant entrance in Rome, being received by the population at large.

As the carriage that transported the Supreme Pontiff advanced with difficulty amid the crowd along the Flavian way, a group of faithful, under the tumultuous applauses of the people, withdrew the horses and went on to pull the vehicle up to the Vatican Basilica.

Pius VII, attributing this great victory of the Church over the Revolution to the powerful intercession of Mary Most Holy, wanted to show his gratitude by means of establishing a feast day of universal scope dedicated to this beautiful Marian invocation.
*      *      *
Such invocation took a new turn in the Catholic world due to the action of one of the greatest saints of modern times: Saint John Bosco, founder of the Society of Saint Francis of Sales (Salesians) and of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.

The companions of Saint John Bosco noticed that, from 1860, he began to invoke the Most Holy Virgin under the title of Mary Help of Christians, Maria Auxilium Christianorum.

In December of 1862, the Saint made a resolution to build a church dedicated to that invocation. And he declared, on that occasion: “To the Virgin Most Holy whom we desire to honor with the title of ‘Help of Christians’; the times we are in are so sad that we truly need the Most Holy Virgin to help us in preserving and defending the Christian Faith as in Lepanto, as in Vienna, as in Savona and Rome…. and it will be the mother church of our future Society and the center from where all our works will radiate in behalf of the youth”.

Six years after, on May 21, 1868, the magnificent Church of Mary Help of Christians was solemnly consecrated in Turin by the Archbishop of the city. The dream of Saint Bosco became a reality and since then, that devotion spread specially all over the Catholic world owing, in great measure, to the action of the Salesian Congregation.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Typical New Priest: 31-year-old Cradle Catholic, From Large Family, Prays Rosary

The typical member of the ordination class of 2012 is a 31-year cradle Catholic who prayed the Rosary and took part in Eucharistic adoration before entering seminary, according to a survey of 304 of the 487 men slated to be ordained to the priesthood in the United States this year. The survey was conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate.
Among the survey’s findings:

  • the median age of ordinands is 31; the mean age, 35
  • the typical diocesan ordinand lived in his diocese for 16 years before entering seminary, though 12% had lived in their diocese for less than a year 
  • See more by clicking here

Friday, May 18, 2012

Holy Shroud: New Evidence of Authenticity

Written by Cid Alencastro
After five years of studies and research on the Holy Shroud, a scientific body of the highest competence concludes that Science, even the most advanced, is unable to produce anything like it. It is impossible to imitate or falsify it.

The Holy Shroud of Our Lord Jesus Christ is certainly the most precious and venerated relic throughout Christendom. Having gone through all kinds of vicissitudes and disasters throughout history, even a fire that was quickly put out, it is currently in the cathedral of Turin, Italy, where it is exposed to the faithful from time to time.

It is the linen cloth that wrapped the sacred body of the Saviour, buried in the tomb where it remained for three days, after which He resurrected. Divine Providence miraculously wanted the figure of Our Lord to remain indelibly printed in the fabric in a way completely inexplicable to humans. It was the way God the Father found to bequeath to men the printed photograph of His Divine Son.

Always Present in Church Life

The Holy Shroud fed the faith and piety of the early Christians in Jerusalem, sustained the martyrs and the persecuted in the catacombs, inspired the expansion of Catholics across the vast Roman Empire, entranced men of the Middle Ages and, in particular, sparked the zeal of Crusaders. In later times, of religious decadence, the Holy Shroud was still a light strenghthening the fidelity of the faithful and a hope of forgiveness for all mankind.

Thus we come to present times, when many atheists, heretics and decadent Catholics see the considerable development of science as sounding a death knell for veneration of the Holy Shroud, which in their view no longer has any mission to accomplish. It would now be thoroughly studied by science, which would prove that it is merely a human-made piece of clothing, perhaps even a forgery made ​​in the Middle Ages.

What actually happened was precisely the opposite. Attracted by the originality of that mysterious tissue, leading scientists from different countries, representing the most diverse branches of science have focused on the Holy Shroud to study and interpret it with the most sophisticated devices that science has ever been able to invent, and have applied the latest knowledge and leading-edge techniques. The result was quite surprising to detractors of the Holy Shroud: it was proven that the figure printed on it has no natural explanation whatsoever.

Moreover, the studies have shown that the Shroud originated in Palestine in the first century; that the figure depicted in it coincides with the description of the Gospels; and that science is wholly unable to explain how it was printed on the linen.

The Carbon 14 Hoax

There was one exception in 1987, when Anastasio Cardinal Ballestrero, then Archbishop of Turin, summoned some specialists in the Carbon 14 dating method, who concluded, against all that  science had proved up until then, that the Shroud was a forgery produced in medieval times.

After a small outbreak of the “forgery” news in the media, many scientists went on to study the Shroud -- an object of continuing fascination to science -- and showed that the Carbon 14 method had been erroneously applied by  the specialists of Cardinal Ballestrero and proved nothing.

The scientists also sought to obtain the “raw data” from the laboratories that performed the Carbon 14 test in order to have the necessary evidence in hand, but got nothing from them despite repeated requests. That alone casts a heavy doubt on the whole scientific authenticity of the forgery claim.

One would say that Our Lord worked the miracle of the Shroud for our times, as only now, with the huge body of knowledge available, it is scientifically possible to prove its authenticity.

A New and Important Confirmation

A new and portentous confirmation has now come in, from Italy. The Italian government’s highly respected scientific agency, the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) published in late 2011 a report covering the five years of tests (2005-2010) carried out on the Shroud to ascertain “how such a particular image was printed on the linen screen of the Shroud of Turin.”[1]

In this report, ENEA scientists Di Lazzaro, Murra, Santoni, Nichelatti and Baldacchini  “deny with great fair play, almost in passing, but very categorically, the hypothesis that the Shroud might be the work of a medieval forger.”

The report notes: “The double image (front and back) of a scourged and crucified man, barely visible on the linen cloth of the Shroud of Turin has many physical and chemical characteristics that are so particular that the staining which is identical in all its facets, would be impossible to obtain today in a laboratory, as discussed in numerous articles listed in the references.   This inability to repeat (and therefore falsify) the image on the Shroud makes it impossible to formulate a reliable hypothesis on how the impression was made.”

“In fact, today Science is still not able to explain how the body image was formed on the Shroud.  As a partial justification, Scientists complain that it is impossible to take direct measurements on the Shroud cloth.... until now all attempts to reproduce an image on linen with the same characteristics have failed.”

We spare the reader the many complex scientific data presented by ENEA scientists. Those interested can find them on the link below.[2]

A Divinely Suave and Severe Gaze
Facing something as sacred as the Holy Shroud, we should close with a note which is not one of a scientist (however respectable and very important), but of a man of faith. We find it in this commentary by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, contemplating the image of Our Lord imprinted on the Shroud:

“Through it we can have a glimpse of how His gaze was divinely soft and affable, how His words and the tone of His voice were supremely affable. This is a result of the coexistence of all virtues, all perfections, in all grades that could fit in His human nature as a reflection of the divine nature joined to the former through the hypostatic union.

“Moreover, note the severity of His expression. Our Lord died the victim of a heinous crime. The worst of all crimes, the crime of deicide, produced and operated by the greatest torment ever heard of in history.

“Looking at this physiognomy, you see how He stands as a Judge before his tormentors. And how He manifests a rejection, a censure, a disagreement, and a condemnation to those who killed Him. It is as if He is saying, ‘I am the Law, I am the Judge, and I am the Victim! And I judge in these three capacities, the crime that has been perpetrated against Me.’ This is truly divine, majestic and awesome.” [3]

[1] Marco Tosati, "The Shroud Is Not a Fake” Vatican Insider, Dec. 15, 2011
[2] The ENEA Report can be read in its integrity at :

[3] Lecture to TFP members and volunteers on March 10, 1973 (without revision by the author).

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Reflections on the Ascension


Reflections on the AscensionWritten by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

Upon entering Jerusalem, we recall that here rested Our Lord Jesus Christ in a closed sepulcher, penetrated by neither air nor light, His Sacred Body disfigured by wounds. Wrapped in the Holy Shroud, Our Lord lies in utter darkness, reduced to isolated inertia and death. In the seeming hopelessness of the sepulcher, the triumph of the synagogue appears complete.

After two days, a ray of light penetrates the darkness, and then another, and yet another, as the angels manifested their presence. The heavy stone that guards the sepulcher cannot keep these pure spirits from entering. The angelic choir gathers and fills the empty silence with Heaven’s songs.

Suddenly, the sacred body stirs, as Our Lord raises Himself from the slab on which He lies and from death itself. He had been in limbo, where He consoled the just with the Good News that the hour of their redemption was at hand. We may well imagine their joy and adoration as they welcomed their Redeemer!

As His Divine soul reanimates His mortal body, each wound shines with the sun’s brilliance. Christ’s crown of thorns is now a crown of light. Our Lord commands the stone to depart, and the sun streams in, dispelling the tomb’s darkness as the Son vanquishes the despair of death in His eternal triumph.

Someone approaches. She is running. It is Mary Magdalen, and she is still weeping. Finding the sepulcher open with its stone rolled away and not a Roman guard in sight, she does not know what to think.

Seeing a man whom she mistakes for a gardener, she asks, “Where is Jesus?” He answers with a single word: “Mary.” The scales fall from her eyes, and she responds,
“Rabboni!” which means “Master.” However, Our Lord, whose glorious body can move faster than any rocket, is no longer there. He is in the Cenacle, where Mary Most Holy has retired to weep for her Son in the semi-darkness. Suddenly, Christ enters radiantly. She is not mistaken as Mary Magdalen was for she is His mother after all.

Let us recall Jesus’ last gaze at His Mother from the Cross’ infinite height. She is the last person He sees before He closes His eyes in death. It is a look of love that the world has never known— the love of God for His Holy Mother. Imagine then the first glance exchanged between Mother and Son after the Resurrection, as the deepest sadness becomes the greatest joy! In an instant, He returns to Mary Magdalen, for glorified, He is no longer limited to time and space.

He appears here and there, speaking first with this disciple, then with that disciple. Only at the Final Judgment will we know all those to whom Christ spoke, giving courage and counsel, as He prepared His Church for the battles to come.

The hour of Ascension is at hand. Jesus walks to the Mount of Olives accompanied by His mother and the Apostles. Theirs is not a simple farewell. They hang on each word of His teaching with rapt attention. If Our Lord’s Transfiguration on Mount Tabor had left the Apostles awestruck, we can imagine how He must appear at the moment of His Ascension. As Jesus speaks, His body gradually begins to rise. He knows that He is rising to Heaven, but it is so natural, so proper and so normal for Him to ascend that at first, His Apostles might see it as simply another example of His glorification. However, at a certain moment, He is so high that they realize, “He is leaving us now!” And thus, the Risen Lord ascends into the glory of Heaven.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Talk About Bullying: Pro-homosexual Teacher Bullies Catholic Student

The latest video released by the Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance reports how Daniel Glowacki, a 16-year-old junior at Howell High School in Michigan, was persecuted for refusing to go along with the homosexual agenda in class.

Daniel’s economics teacher, Jay McDowell, queried his students about their position regarding homosexuality.  As a Catholic, Daniel responded that he followed Church teaching on the issue.
Daniel Glowacki
God bless
Daniel Glowacki.
According to the interview, the pro-homosexual teacher had a fit. “He said we lost our right to free speech when we stepped inside his classroom,” said Daniel Glowacki. “I’ve never really been yelled at by a teacher like that before, so when he started yelling at me, I was just kind of in shock.”

The Thomas More Law Center is representing the boy in a lawsuit against the local school district and the offending teacher. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

"Catholic" Pelosi: ‘My Religion Compels me’ to Support Same-sex ‘Marriage’

by Kathleen Gilbert

WASHINGTON, May 11, 2012 ( - House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has again placed her Catholic religion in the midst of her politics, this time saying that her faith is the reason for her support for redefining marriage.

A reporter asked the former Speaker on Thursday to explain her support for gay “marriage” while still professing the Catholic faith.
“My religion has, compels me - and I love it for it - to be against discrimination of any kind in our country, and I consider this a form of discrimination. I think it’s unconstitutional on top of that,” she answered. Pelosi went on to praise President Obama for declaring support for the new marriage definition on Wednesday.
“So I think that yesterday was a great day for America because the president in a very personal, as well as presidential way, made history, and hopefully this will bring people together on the issue,” Pelosi said.
In announcing his support for same-sex “marriage,” President Obama had also invoked his Christian faith, saying that his support is based upon Jesus and the “Golden Rule.”
In 2004 Obama had cited his Christian faith as the reason he opposed redefining marriage. I’m a Christian. I do believe that tradition and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman,” Obama had said at that time.
Pelosi has previously used her Catholic faith to justify strongly supporting legalized abortion, and even for the HHS mandate forcing religious groups to pay for birth control, which is being vigorously opposed by Catholic bishops and faithful across the country.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, had called Obama’s “evolution” on the marriage question this week “deeply saddening” and reaffirmed Catholic Church teaching that such social engineering is bound to harm both society and especially its most vulnerable members: children.
“The Catholic Bishops stand ready to affirm every positive measure taken by the President and the Administration to strengthen marriage and the family. However, we cannot be silent in the face of words or actions that would undermine the institution of marriage, the very cornerstone of our society. The people of this country, especially our children, deserve better,” said Dolan in a statement.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Mother with Daughter

Written by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
  The word family indicates a plurality of persons. There is another word, one of special significance, that indicates just one person: Mother.

     A mother is the quintessence of a family, for she is the quintessence of love, the quintessence of affection and, therefore, the quintessence of goodness and mercy.

     It is in contact with its mother that a child begins to understand untiring goodness, begins to understand inexhaustible grace, consideration, and love, as well as that form of affection which disposes the mother to find no tedium in being with her child. To carry her child in her arms, to play with her child, to allow her child to run freely back and forth, to be interrupted countless times during the day with little questions and toys — this is life’s joy for a good mother.

     Someone who in the first stages of life experienced the joy of having a good mother understands that life on earth can be very difficult. But as long as he remembers his mother, he will retain the paradisiacal remembrance of his infancy. And retaining this remembrance, the person maintains hope in the Celestial Paradise, where the Good Mother will welcome us.

The preceding article is taken from an informal lecture Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira gave on the feast of Our Lady Help of Christians, May 24, 1995. It has been translated and adapted for publication without his revision. –Ed.

See also:

Considerations About Mothers
     by Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty

Friday, May 11, 2012

TFP Campaign Makes Front Page of USA Today

Imagine our surprise to find young 18 year-old TFP member Zachariah Long on the front page of USA Today yesterday. The article on same-sex "marriage" shows the two sides of the debate. Representing traditional marriage is the TFP during one of its many campaigns in Maryland. The sign he holds says "Honk for Traditional Marriage."

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Month of Mary

Written by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

During the month of May – the month of Mary – we feel a special protection of Our Lady that extends to all the faithful; we feel a special joy that shines and illuminates our hearts expressing the universal certainty of Catholics that the indispensable patronage of our heavenly mother becomes even more tender, more loving and more full of visible mercy and exorable condescendence during her month of May.

Even after the month of May passes, a remnant of this remains if we have profited from those thirty-one days especially consecrated to Our Lady. We are left with an increased devotion, a keener confidence and, so to speak, such an increased intimacy with Our Lady that in all the vicissitudes of life we will know how to petition her with respectful insistence, hope in her with invincible confidence and thank her with humble tenderness for all the good she does us.

Our Lady is the Queen of Heaven and Earth and, at the same time, our mother. We enter the month of May with this conviction, and it becomes more deeply rooted in us when we leave it, strengthening our faith and increasing our fortitude. May teaches us to love Mary Most Holy for the glory she rightly possesses and for all that she represents in the plans of Divine Providence. It also teaches us to be more constant in our filial union with Mary.

Children are never more sure of the loving vigilance of their mothers than when they suffer. All of mankind suffers today; all peoples suffer, and in every conceivable way.

Windstorms of impiety and skepticism sweep through minds, and crazy whirlwinds of all types of messianism devastate them. Nebulous, confused and rash ideas filter into every milieu and mislead not only the wretched and the lukewarm, but sometimes even those of whom greater constancy in the Faith is expected.

Those who are tenaciously faithful to the fulfillment of duty suffer from all the adversity they meet by their fidelity to the Law of Christ. Yet those who transgress the Law also suffer, for without Christ every pleasure is nothing but bitterness, and every joy is a lie.

Hearts suffer, torn by the revolutionary psychological war, which is so intense in our days. Bodies suffer, impoverished by work, undermined by malady, overwhelmed by necessities of every kind.

The contemporary world could be likened to the time when Our Lord was born in Bethlehem: Its tortured mouth opens with a loud and agonizing groan, the groan of the evildoers who live far removed from God and the groan of the just who live tormented by the evildoers.

The more somber circumstances become and the more excruciating sundry pains grow, the more we should ask Our Lady to put an end to so much suffering, not merely for our own relief, but for the greater benefit of our souls. Sacred theology says that Our Lady’s prayers anticipated the moment of the world’s redemption by the Messias. At this anguished moment in history then, let us turn our eyes to Our Lady with confidence, asking her to hasten the great moment we all await, when a new Pentecost will kindle beacons of light and hope in this darkness and restore the kingdom of Our Lord Jesus Christ on earth.

We should be like Daniel, whom Holy Scripture describes as the “desideriorum vir,” that is, a man full of great desires. Let us desire many great things for the glory of God. Let us always ask Our Lady for everything. And let us, above all, ask her for that which the Sacred Liturgy beseeches of God: “Emitte Spiritum tuum et creabuntur, et renovabis faciem terrae” (Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created; and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth). We should ask, through the mediation of Our Lady, that God once again send us the Holy Ghost with the plenitude of His gifts so that His kingdom may be created anew and be purified by a renewal of the face of the earth. In the Divine Comedy, Dante wrote that praying without the patronage of Our Lady is like wanting to fly without wings. Let us then confide to Our Lady this heartfelt yearning and desire. The hands of Mary will be for our prayer a pair of pure wings that will carry it with certainty to the throne of God.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Why Can’t Evolution Evolve?

Why Can't Evolution Evolve
  Written by John Horvat II

Tennessee is once again in the news over a recent law on evolution. This time around, the pro-evolution forces are in full retreat. A full 87 years after the Scopes trail, the new law gives teachers broad new rights to call into question evolutionary theory and teach alternative scientific explanation favoring creation.

Of course, the new law has the evolutionists in an uproar at the very prospect that some one would dare to doubt Darwin’s infallibility. They blame the backwardness of fundamentalists for refusing to budge on this issue. They see the whole debate as a second Scopes trail with a population that just does not seem to understand the difference between science and religion.

However, it is not the creation side that has refused to budge. Rather, the evolutionists are stuck in the past. They are in a position that has changed little in the 87 years since Scopes. They still refer to the same monkey-ape-man chart that they always presented to students. The Big Bang has changed little over the years. The same soupy mix of chemicals still magically produces life hundreds of million of years ago, far from the verifying eye of any scientists.

In other words, evolution has “evolved” little since Darwin despite the fact that science has advanced enormously. Undoubtedly there are scientific developments in the field of evolutionary theory. However, the same general narrative is repeated over and over. The same missing links remain missing. Evolution is like some mammoth creature frozen in time. Nothing seems to change…or convince.

If there is a side to the debate where things are changing, it is that of those favoring creation. These advocates have gone way beyond Genesis and present scientific arguments to justify their positions. They present peer-reviewed studies of qualified professors and academics who point out the scientific weaknesses of evolution theory. They are constantly coming up with new scientific ways of presenting the case for creation ranging from creation science to the very attractive intelligent design. Their positions are not frozen in the unverifiable past but use every possible field of modern science to support their positions. Ironically, the creation advocates have learned to adapt, “evolve,”…and convince. They are not afraid to question evolution’s non-evolving assumptions.

Not only has the evolutionary theory remained frozen, but their anti-creation rhetoric also seems to be stuck in time.

Evolutionary zealots will not debate on the field of science because they simply declare that any arguments outside of evolutionary are not scientific. Such worn-out slogans are hardly original and certainly not scientific.

The evolution advocates still circulate the slogan that states who adopt laws like those of Tennessee risk becoming the laughing stock of the nation – as if public opinion can determine what constitutes science. Despite the fact that as many 15 percent of biology teachers have broke ranks and now teach the scientific case for creation science in high school (and another cautious 60 percent staying away from the subject of evolution), the evolutionists still parrot the slogan that educators not legislators should determine school curriculums. These and other slogans all dance around the issue, they never enter into the merits of the scientific arguments presented by accredited professors and academics. They merely decree that evolution – frozen on the monkey to man chart – shall be taught to all without any questions.

Perhaps it is time to cut evolution free. Why can’t evolution simply be allowed to evolve on a level playing field? Why can’t evolution be allowed to die a natural death or evolve into something more convincing?

Monday, May 7, 2012

One of the Few, the Proud… and the Youngest

Mark Delfino standing guard outside the room of 12 year old Cody Green.

One of the Few, the Proud and the Youngest
by: Norman Fulkerson
The citizens of Flora, Indiana said their final farewells to Cody Green, a proud United States Marine, on May 5, 2012. News of his death sent shockwaves through the blogosphere. He was simply too young to die. While he bravely faced death on three separate occasions –and never lost his cheerful spirit– the final engagement with an intransigent enemy proved fatal.

His adversary was not a member of the Taliban, as you are probably thinking, it was leukemia. While the disease might have taken his life, it did not rob him of his cheerful attitude and generous spirit. There is something else about Cody which makes his story all the more moving. He was only 12 years old at the time of his death and is most likely the youngest Marine, even if only an honorary one, that has ever existed.

Cody was first diagnosed in 2001 with Acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a form of cancer that appears most often in children. He was two months shy of his second birthday at the time. Over the next eleven years he would endure aggressive treatment which, on three separate occasions, sent this fast growing cancer into remission. Each time it came charging back until March 2, 2012 when he was admitted into Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, Indiana.

His online obituary describes him as a person who, although very young, had an indomitable and upbeat spirit. He never asked “Why Me,” and “fought the illness with grace and humility”. It also pointed out how he never complained about his treatment and always thanked the nurses who cared for him.

This solicitude for others was also shown towards his mother Tracy. In August of 2011 she was seriously injured at the Indiana State Fair grounds when a freak storm whipped up and toppled a concert stage, killing seven people. In spite of the fact that he was fighting a life and death struggle, Cody was always more concerned about his mother after the injuries she sustained that day. Her well being came first and this included the times where chemotherapy caused young Cody severe nausea and vomiting. Forgetful of self he would apologize to her for holding the bucket.

Cody Green dressed as a Boys Scout.

This care for his mother is what led him to keep meticulous track of his numerous medications and when to take them. He did not want her to worry. This selfless attitude was consistent with the way he lived his life. He was always the kid to look out for the welfare for others before thinking about himself.

The story of his courageous battle with cancer eventually caught the attention of a local Marine named Mark Dolfino. He found Cody’s style of bravery identical to that of the Marines and arranged for the young man to be named an honorary member of “the few, the proud.” Along with this distinction he was given his own Marine Aviator Wings.

On the evening of Friday, April 28th Cody’s lifelong fight was finally coming to an end. It was then that Mark Dolfino decided to go one step further and gave Cody something no other kid in America will ever receive.

Attired in his full dress blue uniform Mark Dolfino took his post outside the dying young man’s room and remained there, on guard, the entire night. He would only bend from his rigid position of attention long enough to salute Cody’s mother whenever she would enter or leave the room. The boy passed away the next morning under the watchful guard of a United States Marine who took the motto Semper Fidelis one step further.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Gonzaga University to Honor Pro-Abortion Advocate Desmond Tutu

Desmond Tutu
Anti-life advocate,
Desmond Tutu.
Pro-abortionist presented to Catholic students as
a “moral icon”

The notorious pro-abortion Anglican cleric, Desmond Tutu, has been invited to deliver a keynote address at Gonzaga University’s Senior Commencement ceremony on May 13.

Please sign your respectful protest here
Gonzaga president Thayne McCulloh, who plans to give the anti-life figure an honorary Doctor of Laws degree, shockingly claims that “He is certainly among the most prominent moral icons of our time.” (see link)

The decision, however, has upset Catholic students and alumni.  After all, Tutu has consistently opposed the perennial moral teachings of the Catholic Church, particularly regarding the right to life.  As a supporter of abortion, same-sex “marriage,” and socialist policies, Tutu is clearly not qualified to speak at a Catholic university, much less receive honors and accolades.

His continued support for abortion alone is enough to cause grave scandal. In fact, according to, he supports Marie Stopes International, one of the world’s largest abortion providers.  Laws that protect the unborn, he said, are “immoral” in some cases.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ 2004 directive, states: “Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles” or give “awards, honors or platforms” to such individuals.

Will Gonzaga University reverse its poor decision and disinvite Tutu, or will it throw its Catholic identity out the window in exchange for a fleeting moment of political correctness?

Please sign your respectful protest here
Contact information:

Gonzaga University
Dr. Thayne M. McCulloh, D.Phil., President
502 East Boone Avenue
Spokane, WA 99258-0102
Phone: (509) 313-6102