Monday, December 31, 2012

St. Fabiola of Rome

A Roman matron of rank, died in the year 399 or 400.


Painting by Jean-Jacques Henner
She was one of the company of noble Roman women who, under the influence of St. Jerome, gave up all earthly pleasures and devoted themselves to the practice of Christian asceticism and to charitable work. At the time of St. Jerome’s stay at Rome (382-84), Fabiola was not one of the ascetic circle which gathered around him. It was not until a later date that, upon the death of her second consort, she took the decisive step of entering upon a life of renunciation and labour for others.

Fabiola belonged to the patrician Roman family of the Fabia. She had been married to a man who led so vicious a life that to live with him was impossible. She obtained a divorce from him according to Roman law, and, contrary to the ordinances of the Church, she entered upon a second union before the death of her first husband. On the day before Easter, following the death of her second consort, she appeared before the gates of the Lateran basilica, dressed in penitential garb, and did penance in public for her sin, an act which made a great impression upon the Christian population of Rome. The pope received her formally again into full communion with the Church.


Fabiola now renounced all that the world had to offer her, and devoted her immense wealth to the needs of the poor and the sick. She erected a fine hospital at Rome, and waited on the inmates herself, not even shunning those afflicted with repulsive wounds and sores. Besides this she gave large sums to the churches and religious communities at Rome, and at other places in Italy. All her interests were centered on the needs of the Church and the care of the poor and suffering.


In 395, she went to Bethlehem, where she lived in the hospice of the convent directed by Paula and applied herself, under the direction of St. Jerome, with the greatest zeal to the study and contemplation of the Scriptures, and to ascetic exercises. An incursion of the Huns into the eastern provinces of the empire, and the quarrel which broke out between Jerome and Bishop John of Jerusalem respecting the teachings of Origen, made residence in Bethlehem unpleasant for her, and she returned to Rome. She remained, however, in correspondence with St. Jerome, who at her request wrote a treatise on the priesthood of Aaron and the priestly dress. At Rome, Fabiola united with the former senator Pammachius in carrying out a great charitable undertaking; together they erected a Porto a large hospice for pilgrims coming to Rome. Fabiola also continued her usual personal labours in aid of the poor and sick until her death. Her funeral was a wonderful manifestation of the gratitude and veneration with which she was regarded by the Roman populace.

St. Jerome wrote a eulogistic memoir of Fabiola in a letter to her relative Oceanus.
J.P. KIRSCH (1913 Catholic Encyclopedia)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Christmas Message: A Need for the Tranquility of Order

A 2012 Christmas Message: A Need for the Tranquility of Order
The year is closing and it is time to glance back at everything that happened during 2012. We can say that we are in the midst of generalized chaos that has gown a lot during this time not just in our country but also throughout the whole world.

In this moment, seemingly so void of peace, we should remember the angelic canticle which, through the designs of Providence, was heard by the shepherds on that first rustic and poetic Christmas night, when the angels sang: “Glory to God in the Highest and on earth, peace to men of good will.”

The angels came to bring peace and tranquility. However, it was not just any peace and tranquility. Saint Thomas of Aquinas teaches that, “Peace is the tranquility of order.” Where there is order, there is true peace. Where there is simply a lack of commotion, there is not peace, but merely hidden disorder, a simulated order, but not true peace.

For example, peace does not exist in cemeteries. In cemeteries, there is death, dissolving cadavers, and the transformation of men from what they were in life to dust and ashes. In cemeteries, there is immobility, sadness and silence, but it would be a stretch to say that there is peace.

Where, then, do we find peace on earth? We find it in very few places if we are able to find it at all. However, there is one place we will still find it. Peace exists in the churches where Catholic doctrine is still taught in its integrity, where the sacred rites are still performed in entire harmony with Catholic worship and doctrine; where people love and understand each other and feel the same way because they are all imbued with the Holy Ghost, Who is eminently the Spirit of Peace.

This peace which Our Lord Jesus Christ wanted to bring to Earth, He expressed in the following magnificent words: “Peace I leave with you: my peace I give unto you” (St. John 14:27). In other words, He gives His peace to men, the tranquility of His order. He left this gift for men in the world when He left the world and ascended into Heaven.

Now, let us return to the manger where we should consider Jesus Christ as the king of peace. We should remember that He is the descendent of the most kingly and excellent dynasty on earth. Other descendants of this dynasty are also gathered around the Infant Jesus under the humble form of a carpenter, his wife and their newborn Child.

Before the Magi Kings arrive, bringing their precious gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, God willed that the humble creatures would enter and be received with love. Not only the shepherds, but even the animals, for example the ox was invited to warm the newborn Child Jesus with their breath, as He warmed with His Love the group of shepherds who paid Him the first acts of adoration.

All this is peace; all this is order. We should be soldiers of peace and soldiers of order, those who fight for order — those who are truly the soldiers of Christ in the Reign of Christ.

There seems to be a contradiction in these affirmations: how can one be a soldier of peace when by definition, peace means an absence of fighting? How can one be a soldier of order if war, at first glance, seems like an immense disorder?

Peace exists when men are in order. It is the Peace of Christ in the Reign of Christ. But this peace does not only exist where there is no fight. There is also peace when one fights for order and against disorder.

Even in Heaven, there was a great fight between Saint Michael and the faithful angels on one side and Satan and the unfaithful angels on the other. This fight was so intense that the Scriptures tell us: “And there was a great battle in Heaven.” At the very moment this battle was taking place, peace did not cease to reign in Heaven because the good angels were on God’s side and they fought for God to expel the unworthy demons from Heaven.

This was a fight of health against sickness, life against revolted death, good against rebellious evil. This fight did not disturb order, because it was a fight of that which should exist, against that which should not exist. Thus, at the very moment of the fight, there was order.

In the contemporary world we can be likewise be factors of peace to the degree that we peacefully and legally fight against the bad angels and those factors of disorder that afflict our society. In this fight, there is peace because it is a fight of the agents of peace against the agents of war and of the agents of good against the agents of evil. This is true peace.

Friday, December 21, 2012

What is Meant by an Inorganic Society?


By Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira *

What would an inorganic society be like?

It would resemble a machine. That is to say, all its parts would be moved by the will of a single external and centralized agent much in the way a person turns on a machine. The obedience of each of its parts to this agent would be absolutely blind and impersonal. The form and task of each part (and of the whole) would be susceptible to any modifications deemed advisable by technicians according to their own theoretical conceptions of things.

How would this be done in society? Through absolute socialism. In fact, the socialist State disregards the family and other intermediary social groups. Socialists can imagine no other means of action than governing through a vast bureaucracy where each part naturally act as slaves, obeying the directives of a centralized power. Moving exclusively under these directives, each government office acts as control points in an immense power grid covering the whole country through whose wires the central bureaucracy sends electric currents into circulation when and as it pleases.



This manner of organizing society is rigid. To build this grid, a theoretician conceives beforehand all the parts of this machine-State. A decree or law brings it into existence. This machine will then exist precisely as the law or decree prescribes until some other law or decree rules otherwise. Nothing could be more rigid, and yet nothing could be more changeable. All that is needed is a new law and this whole mechanism becomes an entirely different one, leaving no trace or vestige of what it once was. Like molten metal cast into a new mold, it retains no trace of its former shape.

This is a brief description of an inorganic society.

For more such commentary, go to the Return to Order website

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Newtown: A Generation of Monsters

Written by John Horvat II
A Generation of Monsters
Everyone can agree that the horrific massacre of innocent grade-school children in Newtown, Conn. was truly monstrous. It was an event that defies the imagination to conceive how someone might do something so cruel and inhuman. Worse yet, this is not an isolated incident. Similar cases are occurring with greater frequency, prompting many to ask what is to be done.

While many will admit that all these shootings are monstrous, few will call these gunmen what they are — monsters. The descriptions that the media circulate generally describe these young men as quiet loners, misunderstood students, misfits, mentally disturbed individuals or other such labels that somehow imply a profound mystery deep inside their souls that we really cannot understand.


Yet there is no mystery. Why not call a spade, a spade? The dictionary defines a monster as “one who deviates from normal or acceptable behavior or character; a person of unnatural or extreme wickedness or cruelty.” These individuals no longer felt constrained to behave normally. 


Perhaps the real reason we experience difficulty in calling these murderers monsters is because it somehow implicates the nightmarish course our American way of life as a whole has taken. When our pursuit of happiness is based on the false premise of complete freedom to do as one pleases, there are no limits to the fantasies that can be entertained. There are no social norms that have to be respected. The moral order has broken down. The reason why these individuals acted the way they did is they simply accepted no restraints and took this false premise of doing anything they want to its logical consequences in the monstrous, abnormal and bizarre.

Moreover, they were raised that way. These are not individuals living in abject poverty. In fact, they were pampered with everything they wanted. These are the spoiled children of a frenetic society without restraint. They were spared every effort or suffering. They were not taught order, responsibility and duty. They were not told “No” at the right times.

We find absent in their lives all the elements that contribute to the mental stability of youth. Nearly all of these young men are the result of broken families, divorce and shattered lives, which we must admit contributed to their mental instability. They did not have the warmth and security of a healthy family to support them and aid them in their journey through life. They rejected the moral compass of religion to guide them in their purposeless lives.

Worst of all, they live and immerse themselves in our general culture that glorifies violence, sexualizes everything and relativizes the sense of right and wrong. They surrounded themselves with movies, video games and entertainment that are full of brutality, vulgarity and sensuality. They believe the purpose of life is the instant gratification of their desires. They lived in the shadows of bizarre sub-cultures.

And yet we wonder why we have these gunmen? Perhaps we might better ponder why we have so few. Among the youth of our days, there is a volatile subset of individuals that we have raised as monsters. They live among us and defy all possibility of detection. They are like ticking bombs ready to detonate with extraordinary cruelty when their lives break down.

The question remains as to what measures might be taken to resolve the problem of this lost generation of monsters. There are already cries for better security, more control on firearms and more federal funding for social programs. However, none of these “solutions” address the problem of how to stop raising monsters.

Where are the calls for stronger families? These young men needed strong father figures together with compassionate and principled mothers. Will no one condemn our culture of violence, sex and death? Will no one dare to teach the duty, restraint and discipline children crave and need for their formation? When will we see role models for these young men to inspire them to moral behavior or heroism? Should we not teach our youth about religion, morals and God’s law instead of moral relativism? Such politically incorrect calls for reform will probably not be heeded, and yet they are urgently needed.

Meanwhile, the public is threatened by this generation of poor monsters that we raised and who now live undetected among us. It should surprise no one that law-biding citizens seek to arm themselves as a protection against this threat that is turning even a trip to the supermarket into a dangerous adventure.

We need to address the real issues. We need a return to a moral order. If not, nothing will be resolved and we will be condemned to see this tragedy repeat itself. Indeed, the pain of this latest tragedy will gradually fade. All we will hear are new calls for gun control as we wait for the next monster to appear.
 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What Suits Teach Us About Markets

Written by John Horvat


In the book, Return to Order, there is a chapter on standardization and how it favors the advance of frenetic intemperance in economy. Standardized goods, we claim, lead to the standardized masses. It destroys the human element that gives warmth, life and meaning to economy.

In theory, such affirmations are detached and abstract. The best way to understand standardization is with real life examples.

An article on custom-made suits in the September 4, 2012 issue of The New York Times Magazine is a perfect example of the point we make.

Author Adam Davidson comments on how the art of making a tailored suit is fast disappearing. Those who still wear suits today simply do not realize what was once involved. We are so used to picking something off the rack that it hardly occurs to us that buying a suit was something special.

And yet it used to be a personal experience. The made-to-measure or the more labor intensive “bespoke” suit used to be the standard, not the exception. The tailor was an artisan not a manufacturer. Davidson describes how the bespoke suit called on the tailor to create a unique pattern, cut a chosen fabric and construct a suit that fit perfectly the client and his preferences. Every aspect of the suit’s design was customized from the width of the lapel to the size and number of pockets. No two suits were the same. Davidson asked a custom tailor what makes a bespoke suit so unique. He replied: “It’s the result of skills that only a trained hand can perform. Modern technology cannot create anything comparable.”

While the bespoke suit may be a work of art, the nature of the business does not allow for huge profit margins. There is no economy of scale, since the costs of producing each suit is just about the same whether it be one or fifty. Because of the small volume, marketing is usually limited to reputation and customer loyalty. A person can make a good living at the trade but he cannot strike it rich and still maintain quality. “The only way to make money in the perfectionist craftsperson industry,” Davidson concludes, “it seems, is to stop being a perfectionist craftsperson.”

Only a few decades ago, there were thousands of traditional tailors plying their trade. There were also thousands of clothing factories that produced made-to-measure suits using quality-tailoring skills. The result was a comfortable, durable and attractive suit at affordable prices. Now, Davidson states, there are only a few dozen such tailors left in the United States catering to the high-end market. Likewise, there are only a handful of quality clothing factories left standing. In their place are cheap mass-produced suits, often made by the millions in China, which have flooded our markets.

What is really lamentable is the loss of tailoring skills more than the actual suit itself. We cannot expect everyone to be able to buy expensive bespoke suits that can now cost as much as $4,000. We would rather see a return to the same skills, artisan spirit and quality work that once governed the whole price range of suits, from inexpensive to very expensive.

There is no doubt that standardized suits may be cheaper, but our point is that something very important has been lost in the process. Lost is that taste for quality that enriches and spreads throughout the culture. Gone is that personal interaction with the customer that helped determine fashion and established clothier traditions. Now it is the international fashion houses that dictate what will be in fashion for the whole world. We are left with cold impersonal clothing markets dominated by mass-marketing techniques and mass-produced items with a general decline in quality, especially as one descends down the product line.

Some might object that the demise of the tailored suit is merely the result of the inevitable march of market forces. Nostalgic consumers should stop living in the past and accept the tailored suit’s standardization as part of this “progress.”

We would reply that these trends are not the result of orderly markets but of a disorder we call frenetic intemperance. Those infected with this disorder seek to free themselves of all market restraints and engage in any and all risky practices in a frenetic rush for ever greater volume and profits. This often ends in failure since not all have the resources to compete in such aggressive environments.

Much more than market forces, frenetic intemperance has changed and undermined the tailoring landscape. For those who stay in the tailoring trade, for example, there is the constant temptation to sacrifice quality and reputation and expand production to make more and easier money.

Davidson notes how modern clothiers often begin small and established a strong brand reputation based on a tailoring tradition, and then roll out on all sorts of cheaper mass-produced branded products like fragrances to become billion dollar businesses. There are also those willing to adulterate their own strong reputation by branding their names and selling them out to bigger concerns. Others are encouraged to abandon their tailoring skills and outsource, mechanize and cheapen their production by moving overseas. Everything is geared to disregard quality tailoring and engage in a frenetic search for expansion.

Ultimately, what we see in the case of the tailor is a clash of cultures. In the culture of frenetic intemperance, there is the rush for increasing standardization and centralization of production. By its massive scale, such production leads to a diminishing of quality and embellishment. It also leads to the standardized consumption and the glut of markets. Sometimes, as in the case of some “designer” goods, these products are even more expensive that tailor-made goods. We feel such production impoverishes a culture and, by its intemperance, carries within it seeds of self-destruction.

Return to Order discusses a second culture that is not ruled by frenetic intemperance. It represents a market that is naturally tempered by human values and institutions. Our proposal does not concretely suggest that all should go around in custom-made suits. All we are saying is that the tailor represents something of these values that are missing from our culture. When someone buys the tailor’s suit, he also buys reputation, tradition, quality, durability and value. When an economy is imbued with these values at all price levels, it enriches a culture and serves as the basis of a stable and thriving social order. These values that temper an economy are those which we want to return.

This clash of cultures is what Return to Order is all about.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Photos from Marvelous TFP Christmas Open House


Here are some photos of yesterday’s marvelous Christmas Open House at TFP-America Needs Fatima.  Every year, more and more people attend.  See the beautiful atmosphere:
mag_6866
Saint Nicholas was a great hit.
mag_6878
A Christmas theater skit by the boys from Saint Louis de Montfort Academy.
mag_6897
The place was lit up and merry.
mag_6909
The band played live Christmas music.
mag_6912
The nativity scene was very colorful.
mag_6868
Home made goodies were in the dining hall.

One of the participants wrote this about his expectation to attend the TFP Open House:
“If I can go into a marvelous ambiance, be among well-dressed people with good manners, have intelligent conversation, listen to live (non-synthesized) music, eat some smoked salmon, etc., I will be a happy man.

“Even if it happens only once or twice a year, the potency of the conviviality, good cheer, and Faith enriches my life for the year. It funds, sustains, and empowers me.

“You can have rock stars, actors, celebrities, talk show hosts, gurus, and the rest of the pop culture. I highly recommend this. This is not snobbery. (That is what happens with pseudo-elites like the present administration, its minions, celebrity-supporters, and media attain power.)

“As the fencing instructor here, I can tell you that this is a microcosmic, organic society and hierarchy that works, and to be part of it is to feel fulfilled. Downton Abbey hints at it.  But this is real.  This works.  It is marvelous.”

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Great Benefits of Suffering

Written by Saint Claude de La Colombiere
The Great Benefits of Suffering
When I see a Christian grief-stricken at the trials God sends him I say to myself, “Here is a man who is grieved at his own happiness. He is asking God to be delivered from something he ought to be thanking Him for.”

I am quite sure that nothing more advantageous could happen to him than what causes him so much grief. I have a hundred unanswerable reasons for saying so. But if I could read into the future and see the happy outcome of his present misfortune, how greatly strengthened I would be in my judgment! If we could discover the designs of Providence it is certain we would ardently long for the “evils” we are now so unwilling to suffer. We would rush forward to accept them with the utmost gratitude if we had a little faith and realized how much God loves us and has our interests at heart.

What profit can come to me from this illness that ties me down and obliges me to give up all the good I was doing, you may ask. What advantage can I expect from this ruin of my life that leaves me desperate and hopeless? It is true that sudden great misfortune may appear to overwhelm you and not allow you the opportunity of profiting by it. But wait a while and you will see that by it God is preparing you to receive the greatest marks of His favor. But for this accident you would not have perhaps become any less good than you are, but you would not have become holy.

Isn’t it true that, since you have been trying to lead a good Christian life, there has been something you have been unwilling to surrender to God? Some worldly ambition, some pride in your attainments, some indulgence of the body, some blameworthy habit, some company that is the occasion of sin for you? It was only this final step that prevented you from attaining the perfect freedom of the love of God. It wasn’t really very much, but you could not bring yourself to make this last sacrifice. It wasn’t very much, but there is nothing harder for a Christian than to break the last tie that binds him to the world or to his own self. He knows he ought to do it, and until he does it there is something wrong with his life. But the very thought of the remedy terrifies him, for the malady has taken such a hold on him that it cannot be cured without the help of a serious and painful operation. So it was necessary to take you unawares, to cut deep into the flesh with a skillful hand when you were least expecting it and remove the ulcer concealed within, or otherwise you would never be well.

The misfortune that has befallen you will soon do what all your exercises of piety would never have been able to do.


Adapted from The Secret of Peace and Happiness by Saint Claude de La Colombiere and Jean Baptiste de Saint Jure, (Staten Island, N.Y., St. Paul Publications, 1961), p. 111.
 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

French Govt Threatens to Disband Catholic Pro-family Activists for Violating 'Secularism' | LifeSiteNews.com

PARIS, December 14, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) - The French government will use a new proposed “Observatory of Secularism” to monitor and perhaps “dissolve” organizations such as Institut Civitas, a Catholic activist group opposing the government’s proposed homosexual “marriage” law, according to Reuters.

Reuters’ Religion Editor Tom Heneghan reports that France’s Interior Minister Manuel Valls announced the policy at a Meeting on Secularism organized by socialist members of France’s National Assembly, the country’s lower legislative house, on Tuesday. 
Reuters is the only news agency known to LifeSiteNews.com to have reported on the statements, which were left unmentioned in the French press.

For more, see below:

French govt threatens to disband Catholic pro-family activists for violating 'secularism' | LifeSiteNews.com

Saturday, December 15, 2012

NEETs, A Youth Without Futures

Written by Gary J. Isbell NEETs, A Youth Without Future
NEET is a term coined by the United Kingdom government that describes youth between the ages 16 through 24 who are “Not in Education, Employment, or Training.” It refers to 19 million young people throughout the seventeen-country Eurozone. This sad statistic is only a segment of the total unemployed. Failing economies and entitlement mentalities fostered by Euro-Socialism, are now bearing the undesirable fruits of NEETs.

According to Massimiliano Mascherini from the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, “The figures on increasing youth unemployment are shocking. But in the calculations, we generally only count the young people who are ready to work and who want to work. There is also an enormous group which is so demotivated that they are turning away from the labor market.”[1] He goes on the say that this group has little faith in their fellow man and social institutions. They are politically and socially isolated and consequently, prone to end up in crime.

This generation has no hope in the future and no motivation to change their state in life or the current moral crisis. They see no solutions offered by politicians or have no hope in the present financial climate. One must ask what produced this degree of apathy and cynicism in such a large portion of today’s youth? The answer is simpler than one might think: the loss of integral morality coupled with a life imbued with erroneous socialistic ideas. Why make any effort if the government is willing to provide subsidies? This produces an entitlement generation that is fast becoming the new barbarians.

Europe has been playing a fiscal shell game by implementing socialist “reforms” that incur deficit spending obliging those who will work to subsidize those who will not, while passing on the prodigious debt to future generations. Currently the U.S. is suffering an unacceptable 16.8 percent youth unemployment that pales in comparison to the European Union’s average of 22.7 percent, with Italy at 34.5, Spain at 53 and Greece at a staggering 55 percent. Any child can understand the perils of deficit spending. The problem with the socialists is that sooner or later they run out of other people’s money.

So, what will the NEETs of today leave as a legacy for future generations?

The riots in the UK in August of 2011 are a prime example of the worst element in the NEETs. They do nothing, own nothing, have nothing to lose and are open to participate in violent and chaotic behavior stimulated by agents of agitation.

Many of the UK rioters attempted to give a moral explanation for what they saw as justifiable looting. “I only looted shops that I knew were like major consumer brands, stuff that was like industries, businesses, like big businesses, like international businesses that are just raping the world anyway,” said a Battersea resident who looted in Clapham.[2] A 19-year-old who stole from a JD Sports shop argued: “JD is also selling Nike stuff. Nike blatantly commits world crimes against people in factories, sweatshops, so they’re getting their comeuppance now. It’s karma so I just hit those shops, I didn’t hit any small town businesses that affect our local economy.”[3] Since when do international businesses have no effect on a local economy? NEET logic 101.

Justify as they might, the root of the problem is much deeper. Europe is now realizing the sordid effects of their departure from the origins of the very blessings that brought about the civilization that is being destroyed. Europe has been pursuing the false utopia promised by the liberal proponents of socialism and has one of two choices. Either plummet headlong into the abyss of anarchy, chaos and despair as a result of failed socialistic promises, or return to the framework of order that created Christian civilization when the four Gospels were applied to social life.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December 13 – The Birthday of a Great Catholic Counter-Revolutionary

(December 13, 1908—October 3, 1995)
Plinio Correa de Oliveira was born today, in the year 1908.

His life of the service of Holy Mother Church and Christian Civilization can be summed up in his own words:

"When still very young, I marveled at the ruins of Christendom, Gave them my heart, Turned my back on all I could expect, And made of that past full of blessings, My future."


With these words taken from an address made by the Brazilian jurist and eminent conservative thinker Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Professor Roberto de Mattei commences his biography of one of the twentieth century's most remarkable Catholic men of action. Dr. Corrêa de Oliveira's life spanned the period from 1908 to 1995, and it was as a man of faith that he confronted the harrowing events of the past century.

Roberto de Mattei's work, The Crusader of the Twentieth Century, is the first full-length biography of the life and times of Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, univeristy professor, journalist and man of action.  This book can be found here:

http://store.tfp.org/products/The-Crusader-of-the-20th-Century.html

A more popular version of his life story can be found here:
http://store.tfp.org/products/Plinio.html

In his preface to this work, the late Cardinal Alfons Maria Stickler, Librarian and Archivist of the Vatican wrote : " With the integrity of his life as an authentic Catholic, Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira offers us a confirmation of the Church's continuing fecundity. The difficulties of these times for true Catholics are, in fact, occasions to influence history by affirming perennial Christian principles. Such was the case with this eminent Brazilian thinker, who demonstrated it boldly maintaining, in an age of totalitarianism of every stripe and colour, his unshakeable faith in the fundamental teachings and institutions of the Church."

Prof. De Mattei's interesting book does not claim to produce a complete biography of Dr. Corrêa de Oliveira nor does it claim to expound the collection of his doctrinal corpus, but merely proposes to offer the reader an introduction that will make it possible to formulate a judgment of this great personage, loved and opposed with the same passion.

It must be added that a rapid perusal of this work clearly demonstrates that it was carried out in an objective and scientific spirit, through a scrupulous control of the documents, which include the nineteen books published by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira and the more than 2,500 articles and essays he wrote in the journals O Legionario, Catolicismo as well as in Brazil's largest daily, namely Folha de Sao Paulo.

Roberto de Mattei commences by describing Brazilian society at beginning of the twentieth century, and in particular the lifestyle and customs in Sao Paulo, where Corrêa de Oliveira was born on December 13, 1908. His father Dr. Joao Paulo Corrêa de Oliveira and his mother, Dona Lucilia Ribeiro dos Santos, both had distinguished lineages. In 1919, Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira entered the Jesuit Colegio Sao Luiz, where the traditional ruling class of Sao Paulo was educated. Precociously finishing his secondary studies in 1925, he enrolled in the Law School of the University of Sao Paulo, where he founded, together with a small group of young Marian Congregation members, the University Catholic Action (AUC).

On graduating in law from that institution, Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira proposed and helped organize the Catholic Electoral League (LEC) in 1932, when elections were called for Brazil's Constitutional Convention. With the LEC's support, he was elected to the national Congress as the country's youngest representative at the age of 24, and served as one of the leaders of the Catholic congressional bloc.

Professor De Mattei goes on to describe how, at the end of his congressional term, Dr. Corrêa de Oliveira dedicated himself to university teaching, and was offered the Chair of the History of Civilization at the University College of the University of Sao Paulo Law School and, subsequently the chair of Modern and Contemporary History in the Pontifical Catholic University of Sao Paulo. In 1933, he was appointed editor of O Legionario, that rapidly became the semi-official weekly organ of the Archdiocese of Sao Paulo.

Under his direction, this newspaper became renowned for its simultaneous active anti-Nazi and anti-communist stances. In 1940, the now Professor Corrêa de Oliveira was appointed President of the Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Action by the Archbishop of Sao Paulo, Cardinal Jose Gaspar de Afonseca e Silva. In 1943, in this capacity, he published his first book, In Defense of Catholic Action, a keen analysis of the fist stages of the progressivist and leftist infiltration into the lay Catholic movement, as well as a denunciation of the deleterious action being exercised upon Brazil by the French philosopher Jacques Maritain.

The work was endorsed and applauded by the Vatican, which sent Professor Corrêa de Oliveira an official letter of approbation in the name of Pope Pius XII in 1949, but not before he suffered a storm of calumnies, culminating with his removal from leadership positions among the Catholic laity, and, finally, with the loss of one of his main forums, O Legionario.

Undeterred, he launched the cultural monthly Catolicismo in 1951. Between that year and 1959, with comprehensive essays in Catolicismo, he cast the doctrinal foundations of what was to be his masterpiece : Revolution and Counter-Revolution. Published in April, 1959, Revolution and Counter-Revolution proposes the concept of Christian civilization as a remedy for contemporary political, social and moral ills, showing how medieval society conformed harmoniously to the natural order laid down by God Himself when He created the Universe. The work led to the establishment of Brazil's first anti-communist civic organization of Catholic inspiration, namely the Brazilian Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP), which became known nationally for its many public stands against socialist-inspired confiscatory "agrarian reforms" as well as against divorce and the corruption of morals in Brazil.

Under his leadership, the Brazilian "TFP" - as it became known - collected 1.6 million signatures in a petition addressed to Pope Paul VI requesting measures against leftist infiltration in Catholic circles. With the so-called aggiornamento of the Catholic Church in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira maintained his steadfastness in traditional Catholic doctrine and maintained a vigorous stance against the twin errors of socialism and communism.

His 1963 essay, The Church and the Communist State : The Impossible Coexistence, was acclaimed in a letter by the Vatican's Sacred Congregation for Seminaries and Universities, describing the work as a "most faithful echo of all the Documents of the Supreme Magisterium of the Church."

His counter-revolutionary ideals spread across Latin and North America as well as across Europe, and 23 national, albeit autonomous, TFP organizations came into existence. In 1981, he denounced French President Francois Mitterand's platform of self-managing socialism in an expose carried in magazines and newspapers in 52 countries, with some 33.5 million copies circulating internationally.

In 1990, Professor Corrêa de Oliveira inspired an international "Pro Lituania Libera" petition campaign demanding Lithuania's independence from the then crumbling Soviet Bloc; 5.2 million signatures were delivered to Mikhail Gorbachev at the Kremlin that year. Five years later, on October 3, Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira surrendered his soul to God, comforted by a Papal Blessing.

Prof. De Mattei vivdly describes these and several other events in Dr. Corrêa de Oliveira's life, amply demonstrating that this Brazilian gentleman's line of thought falls squarely within the school of those authors as Joseph de Maistre, Louis de Bonald, Juan Donoso Cortes and Henri Delassus. "Whether we like it or not" Professor Corrêa de Oliveira once wrote, " we are all writing our biography. And on the day of judgement the book will be opened and read."

The models of men such as Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira who wrote their own biographies in the "lived Christianity" of their existence can also contribute to direct our lives and our future. This is certainly the main fruit of Roberto De Mattei's work dedicated to the life of Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira.

Monday, December 10, 2012

College Students Discuss Dangers of Socialism

 Written by Thomas Schneider
On Monday, December 3, TFP Student Action volunteers visited Millersville University in Pennsylvania with the American flag, their trademark TFP standard, red capes, and fliers.
This time, the issue was socialism and TFP members distributed a punchy flier that outlines the top ten threats that socialism poses to America, 10 Reasons to Reject Socialism.
The handout was well received by approximately 800 students. "I can give you more than just ten reasons," quipped one passerby.
Although most people took the flier with interest, some were vocal about their dissenting opinion. One woman, for example, took the flyer and ripped it in half. Throwing it in the air, she said: “I’m a socialist!” This type of behavior shocked several students who hurried over: “Hey, that’s not right!" they said, "can we have a copy of your flier?”
Millersville University
Joseph Jordan (right) distributes 10 Reasons to Reject Socialism.

Liberals are good at tolerating anyone who agrees with them. Those who don’t, however, often find themselves on the receiving end of epithets, name-calling, personal attacks, or even physical abuse, as documented by the TFP Student Action video, Attacked by Tolerance. Excluding isolated liberal outbursts, Millersville students showed genuine interest and could be seen reading the TFP flier while walking from one side of the campus to another.

The campaign was highly educational.

It alerted hundreds of students about the socialist measures currently chipping away at American freedom. The discussion is no longer abstract, but in the daily news: Obamacare, attempts to do away with moral values, efforts to disrupt the institution of the family, abortion, and the insistence on redefining traditional marriage as the lifelong union between one man and one woman.
At this critical moment in history, it is our prayer that more young Americans will stand up and defend what is right, and oppose what is wrong.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Why Aren’t We Calling it the ‘Royal Fetus’? | LifeSiteNews.com


December 7, 2012 (DennyBurk.com) - As you have probably already heard, Kate Middleton is pregnant. Her offspring will be third in line for the British throne. The media have been abuzz with the news. In fact, I would say that they have been downright obsessive about it.

With all this coverage, I just have one question. Why is it that I have yet to hear or read anyone refer to her unborn child as the “royal fetus”? Oh, I’m sure someone has used the term “fetus,” but it seems to me that the preferred term is “royal baby” or “child,” even though the Duchess of Cambridge is in the very early stages of pregnancy (e.g., NY Times, Washington Post, ABC News, CNN).
Could it be that we reserve the terms “baby” and “child” for unborn babies that are wanted and prefer the term “fetus” for unborn babies that are not? This is not an unwanted pregnancy but a wanted pregnancy. And the feeling is shared not only by the royal parents but by almost every person in the English speaking world. Since this is to be a royal birth to one of the most glamorous couples on the planet, almost every person on said planet is in eager expectation of this baby.

 For more, click below.

Why aren’t we calling it the ‘royal fetus’? | LifeSiteNews.com

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Definition of Order - Return to Order

Written by Russel Kirk*

“Order” is the principle and the process by which peace and harmony of society are maintained. It is the arrangement of rights and duties in a state to ensure that a people will have just leaders, loyal citizens, and public tranquility. 

It implies the obedience of a nation to the laws of God, and the obedience of individuals to just authority. Without order, justice rarely can be enforced, and freedom cannot be maintained (Russell Kirk, The American Cause, Gleaves Whitney, ed., ISI Books, Wilmington, Delaware, 2002, p. 51).

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

"Liberty, Equality, Homosexuality?"

Written by Luiz Sérgio Solimeo 


The French Revolution of 1789 was based on the ideological philosophy of the Enlightenment summarized in the famous trilogy, “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.” By imposing full equality on society, the advocates of this philosophy sought to bring about complete freedom and an idyllic brotherhood among men.

The Guillotine’s “Fraternity”
As is well known, the immediate effects of that equality were the execution of King Louis XVI, his sister Princess Elizabeth and Queen Marie Antoinette; thousands of nobles were guillotined; clergy were persecuted and massacred or had to go underground. The peasants of the Vendee who rose up in defense of altar and throne suffered a veritable genocide and their region was devastated by General Turreau’s “infernal columns.”[1]

The period of Terror imposed by French revolutionaries in the name of equality was emulated in later times, as can be seen in the genocides carried out by the Nazis and by Communists in Russia, China and Cambodia. For Khmer Rouge revolutionaries, to be an intellectual or even looking like one by wearing glasses was reason enough to kill you.[2]

Absolute Equality Destroys Liberty
Absolute equality destroys freedom and prevents fraternity because it is a utopia; an ideological myth that runs counter to human nature.

Although men are equal in their essence, they are unequal in their accidents, such as talent, willpower, intelligence, etc. Liberty and fraternity are only possible when there is mutual respect, which in turn requires recognizing of these accidental differences. The only way to impose this utopian equality is through a fierce dictatorship.

After the French Revolution came the secular and egalitarian world of our days; and communism was the result of taking the principles espoused in 1789 to their ultimate consequences. Indeed, if all inequality is bad, then why accept economic inequalities?[3]

Lenin made a meaningful comparison between the French and the Communist Revolutions: “The French revolution is called great because it … was an effective revolution which, after overthrowing the royalists, completely crushed them. And we shall do the same thing with the capitalist gentlemen; … their ‘freedom’ must be abolished, or curtailed. This will help to emancipate labor from the yoke of capital.”[4]

From the French Revolution to the Cultural Revolution
But when equality from the French Revolution trilogy is taken to its final consequences it goes beyond socio-political and economic egalitarianism and tends to destroy even inequality between sexes, serving as a basis for homosexual ideology.[5]

Large demonstrations against homosexual “marriage”—gathering more than 200,000 people—were held in France on November 17 and 18. We can see that the homosexual movement clearly sees their role in the cultural war. One of the most revealing banners in a homosexual counter-demonstration proclaimed “Liberty, Equality, Homosexuality,” making the logical connection between the principles of the French Revolution and the homosexual ideology.[6]

Such an adaptation of the French Revolution motto does not appear to be a sporadic event; it can be found on homosexual sites in France, Canada and Poland as well as in articles dealing with homosexuality.[7] A photograph of a homosexual parade in Paris shows the same motto tattooed on the arm of a demonstrator.[8]

Socialism, Homosexuality and Violence
It is no wonder that socialist governments support the homosexual agenda, as is now the case in France where the Hollande Administration is seeking to impose homosexual “marriage.”

At the same time, the anarchic-feminist FEMEN, which is one of the most extreme movements of international socialism, recently demonstrated in support of homosexual “marriage” in France.

FEMEN’s provocative topless women activists who wear nun’s veils on their heads and sport blasphemous and obscene slogans written on their bodies, launched forth against families and children who were peacefully demonstrating in defense of traditional marriage and attacked them with tear gas.[9]

Although pictures and video footage clearly show the anarchists attacking demonstrators, who tried to stop and steer them away from the crowd, much of the French media turned reality on its head by presenting the semi-naked women as victims of the Catholic demonstrators. The socialist government was quick to condemn the Civitas Institute, which organized one of the demonstrations, threatening it with closure.[10]

Anarchic Sexual Movement
The FEMEN revolutionary movement originated in the Ukraine and has now spread to many countries. On its site it defines itself in the following manner:

“FEMEN – is the new Amazons, capable of undermining the foundations of the patriarchal world by their intellect, sex, agility, make disorder, bring neurosis and panic to the men’s world.

FEMEN – is an ideology of SEXTREMISM. FEMEN - is a new ideology of the women's sexual protest presented by extreme topless campaigns of direct action.

FEMEN – is sextremism serving to protect women's rights, democracy watchdogs attacking patriarchy, in all its forms: the dictatorship, the church, the sex industry.

The End of the Revolutionary Process
Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira analyzes the historical process that has been destroying Christian Civilization using the Protestant Revolt and the French and Communist Revolutions in his essay Revolution and Counter Revolution.

He called them “The Three Revolutions,” which led to a “Fourth Revolution” represented by today’s Cultural War, which is undoubtedly spearheaded by the homosexual movement that denies natural law.[11]

At this final phase of the revolutionary process, the struggle has widened from the socio-political and economic sphere to the destruction of natural law. Allied with the homosexual movement, socialists seek to impose a state of affairs completely opposed to the dictates of natural morals, natural law and Christian law and to the true freedom of the children of God (Romans 8:21).

A Clash of Certainties
This struggle is above all one of ideas and a clash of certainties. It is a confrontation between revolutionary hatred against social hierarchy, morals and God on the one hand, and on the other, an intrepid proclamation of the truths of the faith, morals and the natural law by fearless Catholics ready to give their lives in defense of those truths.

In such a great struggle, we need the help of God’s grace through the intercession of the Blessed Mother more than ever. Her guiding hand will lead this struggle to the final victory even if we must go through tunnels of uncertainty and apparent defeat.

Let us remain always confident in Our Lady’s promise at Fatima, that finally her Immaculate Heart will triumph.




[1] Cf. Francois Furet-Mona Ozouf,A Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution, Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1989.
[3] For a general view of this topic, cf. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Revolution and Counter Revolution, http://www.tfp.org/tfp-home/books/revolution-and-counter-revolution.html.
[4] V. I. Lenin, First All-Russia Congress on Adult Education, May 6-19, 1919, http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1919/may/06.htm.
[5] Cf. TFP Committee on American Issues, Defending A Higher Law – Why We Must Resist Same-sex Marriage and the Homosexual Movement, Chapter 3, Tradition, Family, Property, Spring Grove, Penn, 2004.
[6] Over 100,000 French protesters rally against gay marriage, adoption (PHOTOS), http://rt.com/news/france-gay-marriage-protest-955/.
[9] Cf. Cavan Sieczkowski
Topless 'Nuns' From Activist Group Femen Allegedly Attacked By Anti-Gay Catholic Protesters In Paris (NSFW VIDEO) The Huffington Post, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/19/topless-nuns-anti-gay-catholic-protesters-paris-femen_n_2158033.html;
Topless Femen members clash with anti-gay marriage protestors, http://www.euronews.com/2012/11/18/topless-femen-members-clash-with-anti-gay-marriage-protestors/;
Civitas porte plainte contre les Femen et dénonce la disinformation, http://www.itinerarium.fr/civitas-porte-plainte-contre-les-femen-et-denonce-la-desinformation/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Itinerarium+%28Itinerarium%29.
[11] Cf. note
 

Monday, December 3, 2012

MCCONCHIE: Pro-Life Victories in 2012 - Washington Times

As 2012 draws to a close, it is that time of year when we take stock of what we’ve accomplished and look ahead to the future. For pro-life Americans, the victories are numerous, and despite the November election, the outlook is bright.

In 2010, we saw more than 20 state legislative chambers flip control and become more receptive to pro-life legislation. Additionally, 19 pro-life governors were elected, 11 of whom won seats previously held by abortion supporters. All four pro-life female gubernatorial candidates won their races and outnumber pro-abortion female governors 2-1.

Those electoral successes led to huge gains in new pro-life laws.

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/nov/29/pro-life-victories-in-2012/#ixzz2E0VMnY8B
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter


MCCONCHIE: Pro-life victories in 2012 - Washington Times