Reflection for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle B

Image result for first shall be last mark

FIRST READING            Wisdom 2:12, 17-20

The wicked say:  Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us; he sets himself against our doings, reproaches us for transgressions of the law and charges us with violations of our training.  Let us see whether his words be true; let us find out what will happen to him.  For if the just one be the son of God, God will defend him and deliver him from the hand of his foes.  With revilement and torture let us put the just one to the test that we may have proof of his gentleness and try his patience.  Let us condemn him to a shameful death; for according to his own words, God will take care of him.

SECOND READING                  James 3:16-4:3

Beloved:  Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice.  But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without inconstancy or insincerity.  And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for those who cultivate peace.  Where do the wars and where do the conflicts among you come from?  Is it not from your passions that make war within your members?  You covet but do not possess.  You kill and envy but you cannot obtain; you fight and wage war.  You do not possess because you do not ask.  You ask but do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

GOSPEL                Mark 9:30-37

Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee, but he did not wish anyone to know about it.  He was teaching his disciples and telling them, “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men and they will kill him, and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.”  But they did not understand the saying, and they were afraid to question him.  They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house, he began to ask them, “What were you arguing about on the way?”  But they remained silent.  They had been discussing among themselves on the way who was the greatest.  Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”  Taking a child, he placed it in the their midst, and putting his arms around it, he said to them, “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.”

My sisters and brothers in Christ,

Today the Gospel repeats part of what we heard last week because it is so important:  “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men and they will kill him, and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.”

At the heart of our Catholic faith is the belief that Jesus is both God and man, that Jesus was born for our salvation, that Jesus died for us and that Jesus rose from the dead.  Always we are invited to know Jesus personally through the Scriptures and through the Jewish and Christian traditions that have come down to us and which we accept as revelation.

It is no easier today that it was in the time of Jesus to believe these truths of faith.  We must meet the living Jesus before we can truly commit ourselves to Him.  We should not think that those who were alive when Jesus was had it any easier than we do.  They also found it difficult to believe that Jesus was God and that he rose from the dead after being put to death.

We come to meet Jesus personally in the Scriptures, by reading them and meditating on them.  We come to meet Jesus personally when we meet the Christian community, the Church.  We come to meet Jesus personally when we meet a believing Christian who is able to give a living witness to the Lord.

The first reading today is from the Book of Wisdom.  It also gives us a methodology:  start persecuting Christians and see what happens to their faith.  Start persecuting good people and see if God will come to save them.  This is pretty strong medicine but it is also part of what convinced the early believers.  When the civil society put itself against believers, some gave up their faith, but many were able to stand firm and to die for their faith.  The challenge for us today is this:  Am I willing to die for my belief in Jesus as Lord, as God and as the one who gives Himself to us in word, in sacrament and in His Church.

The Church is always a mess because it is a Church of sinners.  As is clear in every age, even the leaders in the Church are sinners, some worse than others.  Yet that same Church proclaims Jesus as God, as Lord, as Redeemer.  That same Church proclaims Jesus who died as Risen.

The second reading today is from the Letter of James.  It explains, in some way, the results of our sinfulness:  “Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice.”  In reality, it says that wherever sin is present there is disorder and every foul practice.  The challenge for all of us is to continue to fight our sinfulness.

The Gospel tells us again that Jesus Himself proclaimed that he would be put to death and rise, but that His followers could not yet understand what those words could mean.  Only when Jesus had died did some of His followers remember and begin to reflect.

We are His followers today.  Do we forget His words?  Yes, just as did His early followers.  There will be trials and tribulations and evils, but Jesus has promised to be with us and to be with His Church until the end of the world.  Let us continue to live our faith because Jesus is Lord.

Your brother in the Lord,

Abbot Philip

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Jesus Chose Mary for Himself

Saturday has always been the day the Church dedicates in a special way to the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is in honour of Mary’s day of prayerful waiting between the Crucifixion of her Divine Son on Good Friday, and His Glorious Resurrection on Easter Sunday. At Fatima Mary requested we should make the Five First Saturdays Devotion in reparation for the sins of blasphemy and ingratitude committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Madonna and Child, Bernardino Luini, 1522-1525

There is nothing more touching in the Gospel than the way God treats his reconciled enemies — that is, converted sinners. He is not content to wipe away the stain of their sins. It is easy for his infinite goodness to prevent our sins from hurting us; he also wants them to profit us. He bring forth so much good from them that we are constrained to bless our faults and to cry out with the Church, “O happy fault! O felix culpa!” His graces struggle against our sins for the mastery, and it pleases him, as St. Paul said, that his “grace abound” in excess of our malice (cf. Rom. 5:20).

Moreover, he receives reconciled sinners with so much love that the most perfect innocence would seem to have grounds for complaint, or at least for jealousy. One of his sheep wanders off, and all those who remain seem much less dear to him than the one gone astray; his mercy is more tender toward the prodigal son than toward the elder brother who had always been faithful.

If this is the case, then should we say that repentant sinners are more worthy than those who have not sinned, or justice reestablished is preferable to innocence preserved? No, we must not doubt that innocence is always best.

Although we appreciate health more when it is newly restored, we do not fail to value a strong constitution over the benefit of returning health. And although it is true that our hearts are moved by the unlooked-for gift of a fine day in winter, we do not fail to prefer the constant clemency of a milder season. So, if we may regard the Savior’s sentiments through a human lens, he may more tenderly caress newly converted sinners — his new conquests — but he loves the just with greater ardor, for they are his old friends.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is holiness itself, and although he is pleased to see at his feet the sinner who has returned to the path of righteousness, he nevertheless loves with a stronger love the innocent one who has never strayed. The innocent one approaches nearer to him and imitates him more perfectly, and so he honors him with a closer familiarity. However much beauty his eyes may see in the tears of a penitent, it can never equal the chaste attraction of an ever-faithful holiness. These are the sentiments of Jesus according to his divine nature, but he took on other ones for the love of us when he became our Savior. God prefers the innocent, but, let us rejoice: the merciful Savior came to seek out the guilty. He lives only for sinners, because it is to sinners that he was sent.

Listen to how he explains his mission: “I came not to call the righteous” (Matt. 9:13), because, even though they may be the most worthy of my affection, my commission does not extend to them. As Savior, I must seek those who are lost; as Physician, those who are ill; as Redeemer, those who are captives. In this, he is like a physician: as a man, he is more pleased to live among the healthy, but as a physician he prefers to care for the sick. And so this good Doctor, as Son of God prefers the innocent, but as Savior seeks out the guilty. Here is the mystery illuminated by a holy and evangelical doctrine. It is full of consolation for sinners such as we are, but it also honors the holy and perpetual innocence of Mary.

For if it is true that the Son of God loves innocence so well, could it be that he would find none at all upon the earth? Shall he not have the satisfaction of seeing someone like unto himself, or who at least approaches his purity from afar? Must Jesus, the Innocent One, be always among sinners, without ever having the consolation of meeting an unstained soul? And who would that be, if not his holy Mother? Yes, let this merciful Savior, who has taken upon himself all of our guilt, spend his life running after sinners; let him go and seek them in every corner of Palestine; but let him find in his own home and under his own roof what will satisfy his eyes with the steady and lasting beauty of incorruptible holiness!

It is true that this charitable Savior does not cast off sinners, and far from sending them away from his presence, he does not disdain to call them the most honored members of his kingdom. He set the leadership of his flock in the hands of Peter, who denied him; he placed at the head of his Evangelists Matthew, who was a tax collector; he made the first of his preachers Paul, who had persecuted him. These are not innocent men; these are converted sinners whom he raised to the highest ranks. Yet you should not therefore believe that he would choose his holy Mother from the same lot. There must be a great difference between her and the others. What will that difference be?

He chose Peter, Matthew, and Paul for us, but he chose Mary for himself. For us: “whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas . . . all are yours” (cf. 1 Cor. 3:22); for himself: “My beloved is mine,” and I am hers (cf. Song of Sol. 2:16). Those whom he called for others, he drew forth from sin, so that they might the better proclaim his mercy. His plan was to give hope to those souls beaten down by sin. Who could more effectively preach divine mercy than those who were themselves its illustrious examples? Who else could have said with greater effect, “The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,” than a St. Paul, who was able to add, “[a]nd I am the foremost of sinners” (1 Tim. 1:15)?

Yet if he treated in this way those whom he called for the sake of us sinners, we must not think that he did the same for the dear creature, the extraordinary creature, the unique and privileged creature whom he made for himself, whom he chose to be his Mother. In his apostles and ministers, he brought about what would be most useful for the salvation of all, but in his holy Mother, he did what was sweetest, most glorious, and most satisfying for himself, and, consequently, he made Mary to be innocent. “My beloved is mine,” and I am hers. The gift of innocence could not be distributed with prodigality among fallen men, but it is no excess for him to give it to his Mother, and it would have been ungenerous to have withheld it.

No, my Savior will not do that. We see already shining forth from the newborn Mary the innocence of Jesus Christ, as a crown upon her head. Let us honor this new ray that her Son has caused to break forth upon her. “[T]he night is far gone, the day is at hand” (Rom. 13:12). Jesus will soon bring about that day by his blessed presence. O happy day, O cloudless day, O day that the innocence of the divine Jesus will make so serene and pure: when will you come to light up the world? He comes; let us rejoice. You already see the dawn breaking in the birth of the holy Virgin. Let us run with joy to see the first light of this new day. We will see shining the sweet light of an unstained purity.

We must not persuade ourselves that to distinguish Mary from Jesus we must take away her innocence and leave it to her Son alone. To tell the morning from midday, there is no need to fill the air with storms or cover the sky with clouds: it suffices that the rays of the morn­ing sun should be weaker and their light less brilliant. To distinguish Mary from Jesus, there is no need to put sin into the mix. It suffices that her innocence be a weaker light. That light belongs to Jesus by right, but to Mary by privilege; to Jesus by nature, to Mary by grace and fa­vor. We honor the source in Jesus, and in Mary a flowing forth from the source. What should console us is that this flowing forth of innocence shines for the benefit of us poor sinners. Innocence normally reproaches the guilty for their evil lives and seems to pronounce condemnation upon them. Yet it is not so with Mary. Her innocence is favorable to us. And why? Because it is only a flowing forth of the innocence of the Savior Jesus. The innocence of Jesus is the life and salvation of sinners, and so the innocence of the Blessed Virgin serves to obtain pardon for sinners. Let us look upon this holy and innocent creature as the sure support for our misery and go and wash our sins in the bright light of her incorruptible purity.


This article is adapted from a chapter in Meditations on Mary by Christopher O. Blum and Bishop Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet which is available at Sophia Institute Press.


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Fr Murray on aspects of The Present Crisis

Let libs tremble and clutch their pearls upon their fainting couches.

My good friend Fr. Gerald Murray was interviewed by Raymond Arroyo last night on The World Over.

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In Viganò, Veritas

By Elizabeth Yore at OnePeterFive:

And so he spoke. Knowing the personal risks of truth-telling in the Church of Bergoglio, Archbishop Viganò stepped off the ledge without a safety net, confident that the truth would provide a soft landing in eternity.

No one should doubt the validity of his allegations. They ring true, confirmed by eyewitnesses, validated by his integrity and credibility, grounded in the facts, and boldly asserted in spite of dire personal consequences.

These are the markings of a white martyr.

Reeling from the powerful aftershocks of the Viganò testimony, Francis chose stone-cold silence. He uttered nine callous words: “I will not say a single word on this.”

Catholic priests, bishops, and laity are outraged over the pope’s snub of these scandalous allegations. It leaves the Church faithful with only one conclusion: Francis’s stance mimics the famous Latin legal maxim Qui tacet consentit, meaning Silence gives consent.

For decades, Bergoglio operated as the impenetrable stonewaller. He infamously ignored all complaints of clerical sex abuse in Buenos Aires, waiting out the victims until they gave up in defeat and exhaustion. After five years as pope, and twelve years as cardinal-archbishop of Buenos Aires, Bergoglio the Merciful ignores the plaintive pleas and petitions of sex abuse victims and reserves his papal mercy for the perpetrators. His tactics worked to dispirit and discourage victims with his silence and disengagement.

Not surprisingly, Bergoglio famously told his pal, Rabbi Skorka, that he never saw a case of clerical sex abuse in his archdiocese of Buenos Aires. Ignore them, and they will eventually go away.

The papal bully won’t acknowledge the complaints, but he never remains silent. He waits to strike at the opportune moment, when he is in control. Then he pounces. He hurls insults when no one can challenge or question him.

The Bergoglio bully examples abound.

In May of 2015, in St. Peter’s Square, Francis lashed out at Chileans who were protesting his scandalous Bishop Barros appointment. Bergoglio caustically labeled the small group of Chilean Catholics “stupid” and walked away, surrounded by his Vatican Secret Service. Following his papal visit to Chile, the bully Bergoglio had the temerity to call the sex abuse victims of the Barros cover-up “slanderers.”

Francis stalled, scoffed, and balked for three long years by supporting Bishop Barros despite an avalanche of protests from Chilean laity and clerics. An inopportune photograph of evidence of Barros’s guilt surfaced in the media. Francis was thus cornered and capitulated. He was caught in a lie, confronted with evidence that he knew of the victims’ allegations surrounding Barros’s cover-up for over three years.

Francis used his kiss-and-make up session with the Barros victims as a media opportunity to promote homosexuality by stating to Juan Carlos Cruz, the gay victim, “that God loves you the way you are.” How clever of the Jesuit Bergoglio to exploit the victim by affirming the media’s modernist homosexual agenda. Thus, Francis silenced media criticism of his three-year cover-up of the Barros scandal.

Who could forget his yearly Christmas Eve rant at the Curia staff? The Bully alights from his throne, again surrounded by his security force, and unleashes invective at the poorly paid, overworked curial staff on the eve of Christmas, calling them “corrupted by ambition or vainglory” and “corrupted by a cancer of cliques.” Buon Natale!

Who could forget the papal silence and inaction over the Fr. Luigi Capozzi caper, with his sodomitical drug orgy in the plush Vatican Apartments next to the CDF?

Who could forget the papal silence over the furor of the appointment of the notoriously discredited homosexual Msgr. Ricca as head of the papal household and the Vatican Bank?

Who could forget the papal silence over the scandalous reinstatement of the serial sex abuser Fr. Inzoli?

Who could forget the papal silence over the intemperate firings of the three brilliant and capable priests at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who worked diligently to investigate clergy sex abuse cases?

Who could forget the papal stone-cold silence over the dubia?

Who could forget the papal silence over the massive financial and sexual scandal with his vice pope, Cardinal Oscar Maradiaga, this summer?

The subversive campaign to discredit Viganò is now underway, led by the pope himself. On September 11, 2018, at his daily Mass at Casa Santa Marta, Francis suggested that the victims’ allegations against cover-ups by the bishops are the workings of “the Great Accuser.” This Great Accuser – i.e., the devil – is attacking the bishops in order to create scandal.

Now, that’s a moral and theological head-scratcher. Apparently, according to Francis, Catholics who attack bishops for their complicity and participation in the sexual abuse of children are doing the work of the devil. Huh?

His following homiletic utterances lay bare papal clericalism in its vilest form.

In these times, it seems as though the “Great Accuser” has been unchained and is attacking bishops. True, we are all sinners, we bishops. He tries to uncover the sins, so they are visible in order to scandalize the people. The “Great Accuser,” as he himself says to God in the first chapter of the Book of Job, “roams the earth looking for someone to accuse.”

A bishop’s strength against the “Great Accuser” is prayer, that of Jesus and his own, and the humility of being chosen and remaining close to the people of God, without seeking an aristocratic life that removes this unction. Let us pray, today, for our bishops: for me, for those who are here, and for all the bishops throughout the world.

Francis hurls insults in a homily during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass when no one can respond or confront him. He fires potshots at Viganò from the safe confines of Casa Santa Marta, beyond the interrogation of the global press.

Incredibly, Francis believes that the Great Accuser (the devil) shares the stage with clergy abuse victims and concerned Catholics who accuse the bishops of covering up sex abuse and sexually abusing minors and seminarians. That’s the theology of Pope Francis, folks!

Rome, we have a problem.

The pope will not deign to respond to the Viganò allegations. He can’t, because they are true. He will not respond to the dubia; he can’t. He will not respond to any of the scandals swirling around himself and his malevolent papal courtiers. He can’t, because he would have to fire all his collaborators.

Carlo Maria Viganò is now in hiding. Although he is confined somewhere, Viganò has never been more free. His conscience is clear.

Viganò lives by the words of Jesus in John 8:32: “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

The floodgates of the Tiber are opened, and the Barque of Peter will be tossed violently among the waves of increasing scandals and appalling corruption.

Yet speaking truth is spiritually contagious, spreading courage and hope to the fearful and despondent. Despite the shock of the Viganò testament, the Church received a cleansing balm, bitter, yet breathtakingly bold in its valorous healing power.

Francis will not be able to suppress it.

Viganò the truth-teller haunts the Vatican. He is the most feared of whistleblowers: a man of integrity, uniquely suited to know and witness all the scandals unfolding.

Viganò is now in hiding. Disclosing the truth has its price in Città del Vaticano of Francisco.

As Fr. Malachi Martin warned, “observant Catholics, traditionalist Catholics will become hunted like doves.”

Viganò laid bare the sordid legacy of the Francis papacy. In Viganò, veritas.

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Benedict XVI Discusses His Resignation in Newly Published Letters

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Papal audience with a globally known figure

By Steve Skojec at OnePeterFive:

19th September 2018

Today, Pope Francis had an audience with a globally known figure. It was not Cardinal Burke, one of the four authors of the dubia, who submitted their concerns about the pope’s post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia exactly two years ago today. (Two of those authors, Cardinal Joachim Meisner and Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, did not live to see their request for an audience, let alone an answer from the pope, responded to.)

It was not Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former papal nuncio to America, whose 11-page report on clerical abuse cover-ups in the Church made public in August pointed a finger directly at the pope himself – a charge the pope has refused to answer, instead saying he is “not going to say a word about this” and suggesting that journalists should draw their own conclusions as a character-building exercise.

It was also not any victim of abuse, nor any member of the international or Catholic media hoping to get answers to questions on what the pope knew about the alleged cover-ups and why he refuses to answer.

Instead, the man the pope received, with cameras rolling, was Paul Hewson – better known as Bono, the lead singer of the Irish mega-pop band U2. Bono prominently advocated legalized abortion in Ireland earlier this year, to the dismay of legions of pro-life fans, in advance of the formerly Catholic nation’s successful repeal of constitutional protection for the unborn.

Bono, who met with the pope to discuss such topics as “the wild beast that is capitalism,” told journalists today that the pope is “aghast” about sex abuse in the Church. “You can see the pain in his face,” Bono said. “And I felt he was sincere.”

Others take a different view.

“He receives all the celebrities, like Leonardo DiCaprio, and opens his door to them,” said one Argentine victim of clerical abuse in the pope’s former diocese in Argentina, in commentsmade long before today’s papal audience with an A-list rock star. “And for us, not even a quick letter to say he was sorry.”

Like Bono, Pope Francis wasn’t always world-famous, and he was formerly known under a different name: Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the cardinal-archbishop of Buenos Aires. But allegations of neglect and cover-up both past and present are catching up to the “people’s pope,” as evidenced by a group of victims featured in the 2017 Spanish-language documentary Sex Abuse in the Church: Code of Silence. Subtitled clips of the film have begun circulating on the internet in the wake of revelations of abuse about McCarrick and the pope’s alleged complicity in hiding it, all while returning the favor for McCarrick’s support of his election by rehabilitating the American cardinal’s career.

Screenshot taken from the documentary Sex Abuse in the Church: Code of Silence. (Click the image to see an excerpt of the video on YouTube.)

One of the most famous cases of clerical abuse in Argentina is that of Fr. Julio Grassi, a so-called “celebrity priest” who was in charge of homes for street children in Argentina and was sentenced in 2009 to fifteen years in prison for the sexual corruption of a minor. A story by the Associated Press (AP) earlier this week has brought new light to this case – and Bergoglio’s alleged involvement in it – and has taken it from the archives of the Argentine justice system and placed it before an international audience. (Read the full AP report here.)

The victim, known only as Gabriel, was 13 years old at the time of the abuse and testified that “on two separate occasions in 1996 the priest once fondled him, and then performed oral sex on him in his office.” Two other children from Grassi’s homes also made allegations, but these were thrown out during the initial trial.

Although Francis was not Grassi’s bishop, the AP reports that he was quoted in 2006 by a magazine saying that the accusations Grassi faced were “informative viciousness against him, a condemnation by the media.”

In 2010, while Bergoglio was president of the Argentine Episcopal Conference, the conference hired a “leading Argentine criminal defense attorney” named Marcelo Sancinetti. His mission, according to the AP, was to “research a counter-inquiry into the prosecutor’s case against Gabriel” and the two other alleged victims whose cases were tossed in the 2009 trial. The counter-inquiry, which totaled four volumes and over 2,000 pages, in which Sancinetti concluded that “the falsity of each one of the accusations” against Grassi was “objectively verifiable.” Nevertheless, and even after the inquiry – alleged to have been for internal use for the Argentine bishops – wound up in the possession of certain judges considering Grassi’s appeals, in 2017, the Supreme Court of Argentina showed that it was unmoved by Sancinetti’s analysis, upholding Grassi’s conviction.

Later, Grassi testified that Bergoglio “had never let go of my hand” during the entire ordeal. He remains a priest to this day.

The victim felt no such paternal protection from Bergoglio. According to the AP, at one point, Gabriel had to be put into a witness protection program after his home was broken into and after receiving “physical attacks and threats.”

Gabriel also worked with his attorney to bring a letter to the Argentine cardinal-archbishop-turned-pope, shortly after his election in 2013. In it, he identified himself as the victim of “aberrant crimes of repeated sexual abuse and corruption,” according to the AP, and complained that details of his abuse, which should have been under the secrecy of the court, were publicly revealed, further denigrating him and causing additional suffering.

Gabriel and his attorney brought the letter to the Vatican embassy in Buenos Aires, accompanied by a request for a papal audience. Rather than being received with compassion, Gabriel’s attorney alleges that they were “threatened at the embassy and don’t know what became of the letter.”

Unlike Bono, Gabriel was never granted an audience.

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Card. Müller: “the real danger to today’s humanity is the greenhouse gases of sin and the global warming of unbelief”

First posted on by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf on his blog:

I was alerted to an item in German.  It seems that Gerhard Ludwig Card. Müller gave quite the sermon last Saturday in Rome for the ordination of Michael Sulzenbacher, SJM.

The whole text in German is on

Here are some of the most important parts…

On the current crisis:

But the Church, founded by God and made up of human beings, is, according to its human side, in a deep, man-made crisis of its credibility. In this dramatic moment, we suspect and fear the possible negative consequences of scandals and leadership mistakes. Involuntarily we think of the splitting of Western Christendom in the sixteenth century or the secularization of spiritual life in the wake of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution.

On the causes:

Not clericalism, whatever that may be, [Do I hear an “Amen!”?] but the turning away from the truth and moral lawlessness are the roots of the evil. [One particular lawless sin, as a matter of fact, and then complicity of the corrupt who covered it over.] The corruption of teaching always entails the corruption of morality and manifests itself in it. The grave rejection of the sanctity of the Church without remorse is the result of relativizing the dogmatic foundation of the Church [For example… that adulterers can receive Communion ultimately will lead to approbation of homosexual perversion… at any age.]

On reforms:

What is behind the iridescent and media-friendly propaganda formula “reform of the Curia and the whole Church”, if not – as I hope – the renewal in the truth of the revelation and the following of Christ is meant? It is not the secularization of the church, but the sanctification of men for God, that is the true reform.  [Do NOT miss THE BOOK!]

It is not reform but a heresy to think that the doctrine of the Church can be kept, but for the sake of the weak man one must invent a new pastoral which diminishes the claims of the truth of the Word of God and of Christian morality.  [After all, what the Church (and Christ) teaches are just ideals that not everyone can be expected to live up to!  We have to show mercy and condone the sin while denying that God offers everyone sufficient graces to live holy lives.]

On the mission of the Church:

The Church does not gain in relevance and acceptance when she adds the drag of the spirit of the times (Zeitgeist) to the world, but only when she brings the torch to her with the truth of Christ. We should not care about secondary issues and work on the agenda of others who do not want to believe that God alone is the origin and the sole purpose of man and of all creation.

For the real danger to today’s humanity is the greenhouse gases of sin and the global warming of unbelief and the decay of morality when no one knows and teaches the difference between good and evil. The best environmentalist and nature lover is the Gospel Herald that there is only survival with God, not just limited and soon, but forever and ever.

Note well that Card. Müller is quite concerned about the environment!   He didn’t go down the rabbit hole that another Cardinal wants us to avoid.  No no.  Müller faced head on the real dangers of green house gasses and global warming.

¡Hagan lío!

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Episcopalis communio: what does the Pope’s new document mean for the Church?

Pope Francis (C) poses at Maria Mater Ecclesiae during a pre-synodal meeting with young people in Rome on March 19, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Alberto PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)

The new law appears to combine the Synod’s teaching authority with that of the Roman Pontiff

Pope Francis issued an Apostolic Constitution on Tuesday morning, which introduces significant reforms to the structure of the Synod of Bishops. Titled Episcopalis communio — “Episcopal communion” — the document is composed of a six-page introduction articulated in ten numbered sections, and a 27-article dispositive part.

The introduction talks a good deal about collegiality, broad consultation with all the faithful of every state of life in the Church, and the general spirit of synodal collaboration:

Although in its composition it appears as an essentially episcopal organism, the Synod does not therefore live separately from the rest of the faithful. On the contrary, it is an instrument apt to give voice to the whole People of God, precisely through the Bishops, who are constituted by God as, “authentic guardians, interpreters and witnesses of the faith of the whole Church,” showing itself from Assembly to Assembly to be an eloquent expression of synodality as “[a] constitutive dimension of the Church.”

In effect, however, the reforms Pope Francis introduced on Tuesday may create a situation in which the bishops gathered in synod assembly act at least as much as filters, as they do channels for the voice of the faithful.

The role of the General Secretary appears greatly increased and his powers expanded, along with those of the General Secretariat. These expanded powers especially regard the steering of Synod Assemblies, from their early organisation, through the sessions, to the drafting and approval of final documents — all of which come to be part of the Synod Assembly proper.

Though the Synod of Bishops remains a consultative body, the new law envisions a sort of elision of the body’s teaching authority with that of the Roman Pontiff. Article 18 § 2 reads, “If expressly approved by the Roman Pontiff, the final document participates in the ordinary Magisterium of the Successor to Peter.”

Lawyers will quibble over just what sort of elision that is, as they will also discuss the nature of and extent the participation any document thus approved has in Papal teaching authority.

Read on at The Catholic Herald

Update with further reading: New Apostolic Constitution Appears to Formalize the Hijacking of the Synod Process

Ed Pentin on Twitter


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How did we get to the point where we are?

From Fr Z’s blog:

Sunlight and fire are both effective in purifying.

In the wake of The Viganò Testimony and in accord with what Francis said on the airplane, we need to get to the bottom of things, investigate, open the dark places up for exposure to light.   I say that we also need to debride the wounds in the Body of Christ and may even apply fire to cauterize.

Here is a video I picked up via a tweet by Damian Thompson.  It is part of a story at PJMedia.

We are all, I think, striving to understand how we got to the point where we are.

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Reflection for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle B



Image result for take up his cross and follow me



FIRST READING            Isaiah 50:5-9a

The Lord God opens my ear that I may hear; and I have not rebelled, have not turned back.  I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; my face I did not shield from buffets and spitting.  The Lord God is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame.  He is near who upholds my right; if anyone wishes to oppose me, let us appear together.  Who disputes my right?  Let that man confront me.  See, the Lord God is my help; who will prove me wrong?

SECOND READING                  James 2:14-18

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?  Can that faith save him?  If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it?  So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.  Indeed someone might say, “You have faith and I have works.”  Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works.

GOSPEL                Mark 8:27-35

Jesus and his disciples set out for the villages of Caesarea Philippi.  Along the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?”  They said in reply, “John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others one of the prophets.”  And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?”  Peter said to him in reply, “You are the Christ.”  Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him.  He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and rise after three days.  He spoke this openly.  Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.  At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples, rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan.  You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”  He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.  For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it.”

My sisters and brothers in Christ,

Today we begin to hear more about the sufferings that the chosen one of God must undergo.  It is Jesus Himself who is telling us as He told his early followers:  I must suffer and die in order to do the will of God.  This suffering and death of Jesus challenge us:  can we really believe that Jesus is God?

The first reading today is again from the Prophet Isaiah.  The test refers to the suffering servant, an image developed by this Prophet.  Isaiah, even in the Old Testament, was able to understand that one person can accept suffering for the good of others.  Isaiah could understand that a person could accept suffering and pain when that person is giving His life for others.

Even today there are many stories of people who go to rescue others and die in the attempt to save someone else.  Always the challenge is for us:  Am I willing to give up my own life so that others can live?  This is a choice to choose the good of others over my own good.

The second reading is from the Letter of James.  This particular passage is so strong about the different between words and deeds:  Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works.”  It does no good at all to talk about faith if we never do the works of faith.  Words by themselves are just words—and it takes actions to change the world.

The Gospel brings us back to the suffering of humans and the suffering of Jesus.  It is Jesus Himself who tells His followers that He must suffer.  We have this wonderful scene of Peter taking Jesus aside and rebuking Jesus for speaking like that.  Even the closest followers of our Lord found it difficult to accept that Jesus would that suffer and die.  We can think ahead to when Jesus does suffer and die—and all of His followers then doubt.  It is the Resurrection that restores faith.  For us who live so many centuries later it is important that we understand clearly that Jesus did die and He rose from the dead.  The Resurrection is the heart of our faith but resurrection only comes after suffering and death.

Jesus makes clear in this Gospel passage from Saint Mark that we also must follow Him in suffering and death:  “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.”  This is both an invitation and a challenge to us.  So often we are happy to pray to Jesus and to worship Him—but to suffer and die as He did really stretches us.  Faith is more comfortable—but less of a commitment—when it demands nothing of us.

This Sunday we are invited to look at our lives and to compare our lives with the life of Jesus.  Are we ready to suffer and die for our faith?  Can we follow Jesus?  Can we accept His Church with all of its defects and its sins and sinful people?  It is much easier to believe in Jesus than to believe in His Church.  But if we don’t believe in the Church we no longer believe in the Incarnation and thus no longer really believe in Jesus as Lord, as God and Man, as our Savior.

Your brother in the Lord,

Abbot Philip

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Our Lady’s Seven Sorrows, Seven Promises and Fatima

A. Isenbrandt (c. 1485-1551), “Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows”


We easily recognize the Blessed Virgin Mary under some of her most popular titles — the Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of Fatima, the Immaculate Heart, Our Lady of the Rosary, Our Lady of Lourdes, Queen of Heaven. But we sometime miss another of her major titles — Our Lady of Sorrows.

Yet on October 13, 1917, during her last apparition and the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, she appeared not only as Our Lady of the Rosary and As Our Lady of Mount Carmel, but also as Our Lady of Sorrows.

In October Our Lord will come, as well as Our Lady of Sorrows and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. St. Joseph will appear with the Child Jesus to bless the world, Mary told the three children during her Sept. 13 apparition, preparing them for her next visit. More on the connection later.

Her feast of Our Lady of Sorrows falls on September 15. Wisely, it links to the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross the day celebrated before, on September 14. The connection is most obvious.

But not so obvious are the promises Our Lady made for those with a devotion to her seven sorrows. And not so obvious is what those Seven Sorrows are even though the devotion has been around for many centuries.

We’ll look at the promises and the seven sorrows in a minute, but first, here’s a quick glance at where the devotion originated.

Devotion Begins

The solid connection between both feasts really begins at the Crucifixion.

The Church has celebrated the Exaltation of the Holy Cross from 326, when on September 14 St. Helen discovered Christ’s True Cross on Calvary. The feast became prominent in the west in the 7th century after Heraclius rescued the True Cross from pagans who took it from Jerusalem in 627.

Also in the 4th century Ephrem the Syrian and St. Ambrose celebrated and venerated Mary’s sorrows and compassion. In 1239 the sorrows of Mary standing under the cross became the main devotion of the new order, the Servants of Mary or Servites. In his major book The Glories of Mary, St. Alphonsus Ligouri explains how in that year Our Lady appeared to seven of her servants “with a black garment in her hand, and told them that if they wished to please her, they should often meditate upon her dolors (sorrows).” These seven became the founder of Servants of Mary, the Servites.

The Holy See granted them a feast of the Seven Dolors. Centuries later, in 1814, the Holy See placed the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows on the Roman calendar.

These are the Seven Sorrows of Mary:

1. The prophecy of Simeon

2. The Flight into Egypt

3. The Loss of Jesus for Three Days in the Temple

4. Meeting Jesus on his way to Calvary

5. Jesus’ Crucifixion and Death of Jesus

6. Jesus Taken Down from the Cross

7. Jesus Laid in the Tomb

In The Glories of Mary, St. Alphonsus presents these in great detail, quoting major saints with their understandings into Mary’s sorrows and insights to saints given by the Blessed Mother herself and by Jesus.

Promises of Our Lady

“So much does the Crucified Lord desire humanity to ponder, along with His own saving Redemption, the coredemption of his Mother, that He has attached to the prayerful meditation of the seven principal historical events of Our Lady’s sufferings promises of grace and mercy that are nothing short of extraordinary and miraculous,” reveals Marian expert Mark Miravalle.

Our Blessed Mother revealed these seven promises to St. Bridget of Sweden in the 14thcentury. Our Lady said she would bestow seven graces to the those souls honoring her daily by saying seven Hail Marys while meditating on her tears and sorrows:

1. “I will grant peace to their families.”

2. “They will be enlightened about the divine Mysteries.”

3. “I will console them in their pains and I will accompany them in their work.”

4. “I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose the adorable will of my divine Son or the sanctification of their souls.”

5. “I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives.”

6. “I will visibly help them at the moment of their death—they will see the face of their mother.”

7. “I have obtained this grace from my divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to my tears and dolors will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness, since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son will be their eternal consolation and joy.”

Promises of Jesus

In The Glories of Mary, St. Alphonsus also lists the four promises Jesus made for those devoted to his Mother’s sorrows. Alphonsus recounts the revelation made to St. Elizabeth of Hungary “that after the assumption of the Blessed Virgin into heaven, St. John the Evangelist desired to see her again. The favor was granted him; his dear Mother appeared to him, and with her Jesus Christ also appeared; the St. then heard Mary ask her Son to grant some special grace to all those who are devoted to her dolors. Jesus promised her four principal ones:

First, that those who before death invoke the Divine Mother in the name of her sorrows should obtain true repentance of all their sins.

Second, that He would protect all who have this devotion in their tribulations, and that He would protect them especially at the hour of death.

Third, that He would impress upon their minds the remembrance of His Passion, and that they should have their reward for it in heaven.

Fourth, that He would commit such devout clients to the hands of Mary, with the power to dispose of them in whatever manner she might please, and to obtain for them all the graces she might desire.”

Saints on Her Sorrows

In his great work, St. Alphonsus also presents the insights of a number of major saints as they see the connection between Our Lady of Sorrows and her Crucified Son. A look at a tiny handful helps us visualize her sorrows and our need to take them to heart, and console and honor her.

Looking at Our Lady’s “sea of grief” at the Passion, St. Bernardine professed “that if all the sorrows of the world were united, they would not equal that of the glorious Virgin Mary.”

St. Bonaventure asks this Mother, “O Lady, where art thou? Near the cross? Nay, rather, thou art on the cross, crucified, sacrificing thyself with thy Son.”

Our Lady herself told St. Bridget, that even after Jesus’ death and Ascension into heaven,  whether she was working or eating, the memory of his Passion was deeply imprinted  and always in her tender heart.

An angel addressed these words to St. Bridget: “As the rose grows up amongst thorns, so the Mother of God advanced in years in the midst of sufferings; and as the thorns increase with the growth of the rose, so also did the thorns of her sorrows increase in Mary, the chosen rose of the Lord, as she advanced in age; and so much the more deeply did they pierce her heart.”

The angel also told her that this Mother was so merciful and kind she was, recounts St. Alphonsus, “willing to suffer any pain, rather than to see souls unredeemed or left in their former perdition.  It may be said that this was the only consolation of Mary in the midst of her great sorrow at the passion of her Son, to see the lost world redeemed by his death, and men, who were his enemies, reconciled with God.”

“But of this she complained to St. Bridget, that very few pitied her, and most lived forgetful of her Sorrows. ‘I look around upon all who are in the world, if perchance there may be any to pity me, and meditate upon my sorrows, and truly I find very few. Therefore, my daughter, though I am forgotten by many, at least do not thou forget me; behold my anguish, and imitate, as far as thou canst, my grief.’”

Fatima Connection

In her book ‘Calls’ From the Message of Fatima, Sister Lucia brings out this same connection that “Mary, made one with Christ, is the co-redemptrix of the human race.”

Lucia explains how at Calvary “she suffered and agonized with him, receiving into her Immaculate Heart the last sufferings of Christ, his last words, his last agony and the last drops of his Blood, in order to offer them to the Father.”

Lucia adds as her own interpretation of this vision of Our Lady of Sorrows, God wishes “to show us the value of suffering, sacrifice and immolation for the sake of love. In the world of today hardly anyone wants to hear these truths, such is the extent to which people are living in search of pleasure, of empty worldly happiness, and exaggerated comfort. But the more one flees from suffering, the more we find ourselves immersed in a sea of afflictions, disappointments and suffering.”

How to console our Blessed Mother? Again, Fatima answers.

During the July 13 apparition, Our Lady told the children, Make sacrifices for sinners, and say often, especially while making a sacrifice: O Jesus, this is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for offences committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary. There’s any small sacrifice.

Do the Five First Saturday devotions. On December 10, 1925 Our Lady and Jesus appeared in the convent in Pontevedra, Spain to Lucia who described the visit

Jesus said: Have compassion on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother, covered with thorns, with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, and there is no one to make an act of reparation to remove them.

Then the Blessed Virgin Mary said to Lucia: Look, my daughter, at My Heart, surrounded with thornwith which ungrateful men pierce Me at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console Me and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to Me.

Again, comforting her sorrows also means putting into practice what she said in each apparition, including on October 13: I want you to continue saying the Rosary every day.

Let us console Our Blessed Lord and His Holy Mother, with prayers of loving reparation, as well as for the conversion of poor blasphemers. In her supreme maternal love, Our Lady, with the full approval of Her Divine Son, has given us a most sure way of repairing these horrible blasphemies, by a humble recitation of seven Hail Mary’s each day, if not more often, whereby immense graces are released on this poor sin stricken world. A couple of minutes of our time can do immense good. Let us be generous in our response.

Source: National Catholic Register


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Vatican rocked by leak of 300-page dossier


The Vatican is reeling from news that the 300-page dossier containing names of members of the gay lobby — a dossier some believe led to Pope Benedict’s resignation in 2013 — has been leaked to the media.

Il Fatto Quotidiano, an Italian journal read by Vatican officials, is confirming it has seen the 300-page dossier. “The report contains a detailed and disturbing picture of the moral and material corruption of the clergy, with names, surnames and circumstances,” writes Francesca Fagnani.

We are … able to view a document on papal letterhead included in the investigation, and here we publish an excerpt: It is a list of prelates and laymen who belong to the so-called gay lobby, which through blackmail and secrets could affect, or have conditioned, positions and careers (theirs, like those of others).

We will not reveal the names shown in the list, but we can confirm that among the names there are people removed by the Pope, others moved from office, others who still hold important positions in strategic organs for the Vatican, such as Propaganda Fide and even the Secretariat of State.

Among those implicated in the dossier is none other than Cdl. Kevin Farrell, prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, who has repeatedly claimed he knew nothing of former housemate Abp. Theodore McCarrick’s homosexual predation, although they lived together on the same floor of the same house for six years in Washington, D.C.

The report contains a detailed and disturbing picture of the moral and material corruption of the clergy, with names, surnames and circumstances.Tweet

“Farrell was appointed auxiliary bishop of Washington precisely because it was McCarrick who wanted him as a deputy,” Fagnani reports in a September 4 article focusing on a “Farrell dossier.” “The two were part of the ‘magic circle’ of Pope Francis.”

[A case] on the auxiliary bishop of Washington, Kevin Joseph Farrell, is said to have been filed at the Congregation for the Doctrine for the Faith in the Vatican, at the Dicastery that is responsible for investigating sexual and other crimes against good morals, which, if not rebutted, would fall squarely on the Pope like a boulder. Farrell [was] appointed directly by Bergoglio to head the Dicastery of the Family.

In response to Il Fatto Quotidiano‘s queries with regard to the existence of a file on Farrell, the Vatican is refusing to confirm or deny.

“There will be no communication,” was the response from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. “The Vatican therefore does not deny Il Fatto Quotidiano, but chooses the strategy of silence as for McCarrick,” Fagani writes.

Pope Benedict’s sudden resignation in 2013 is allegedly linked to the 300-page dossier; some media reported that Benedict chose to resign the same day he received the dossier, the result of findings of an investigation commissioned by the Holy Father into clerical corruption and malfeasance.

The investigation, itself, led by Cardinals Julián Herranz, Jozef Tomko and Salvatore De Giorgi, is said to have uncovered sins involving sex and financial corruption. “Everything revolves around the non-observance of the sixth and seventh commandments,” according to La Repubblica in February 2013.

“The investigation of the three cardinals Herranz-Tomko-De Giorgi has so far remained top secret,” Fagnani writes in her report. “However, a small but not small circle of people has had the opportunity to read it, and this already before the Conclave, to give a hand to the Holy Spirit who would then take Bergoglio to the papal throne. To draw up the dossier, tens of priests and high priests were questioned, and documents of all kinds were collected.”

“If the public were aware of the content of the final report it would be a disaster for the image of the Church, already devastated in the whole world by sexual scandals,” she added.

If the public were aware of the content of the final report it would be a disaster for the image of the Church, already devastated in the whole world by sexual scandals.Tweet

The hope after Benedict’s resignation was that a younger, stronger pope would be elected to help clean up the Church; thus Francis was chosen with the understanding he’d be a man of reform. But under his papacy, some senior clergy believe conditions have worsened, not improved.

Vaticanista Ed Pentin reported in 2017 that, according to a senior member of the curia, “the extent of homosexual practice in the Vatican has ‘never been worse,’ despite efforts begun by Benedict XVI to root out sexual deviancy from the curia … .”

Alarm at the homosexual crisis in the Church has reached fever pitch, with the outing of Abp. Theodore McCarrick — the very face of the response to the 2002 sex abuse crisis — as a homosexual predator, followed by the bombshell Pennsylvania grand jury report revealing 301 predator priests in only six U.S. dioceses, compounded further by the shock of Abp. Carlo Maria Vigano’s testimony revealing an entrenched “homosexual current” in the Church in the highest ranks, reaching even up to Pope Francis himself.

Further reading: Fr Z detects an irony about the date of the 2019 episcopal meeting called by Francis 

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Keep up the pressure! The Truth will set you free.

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Feast of the most Holy Name of Mary

Eight days after the birth of the Blessed Virgin, her holy parents, Saint Joachim and Saint Anne, inspired by God, gave her the name of Mary. The name Mary means Lady, and also Star of the Sea. Just to say her holy name is a prayer. It gives everyone who does so favor with God and power over the devil. Blessed Pope Innocent XI set up the feast of the Holy Name of Mary in 1683 to thank her for the victory which the Catholic army under John Sobieski, King of Poland, gained over the Turks (Mohammedans), who were trying to sack Vienna and move in and conquer all the Catholics of the West. Mary’s name occurs in the first part and in the second part of the Hail Mary. In the middle of the Hail Mary, one speaks the Holy Name of Jesus. Great apostles of the Holy Name of Mary have been: Saint Anthony of Padua and Saint Bernard of Clairvaux. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux says, “O most holy Virgin Mary, your name is so sweet and admirable that one cannot say it without becoming inflamed with love toward God and toward you.” Another great apostle of the Holy Name of Mary is Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, her namesake.

The Battle of Vienna and the Holy Name of Mary

In 1683, the forces of the Holy League, under Poland’s King Jan Sobieski, roundly defeated the Mohammedan invaders at the Battle of Vienna. Here is a brief account of that triumphant occasion:

Fortuitously, the pope of the day, Innocent XI, had just brokered an alliance between the Holy Roman Empire and the Kingdom of Poland, which was also menaced by the Mohammedans. When it became known that no fewer than 300,000 Turks were advancing on the imperial capital, Pope Innocent ordered that rosaries be recited in the religious houses and churches of Rome. The same prayers of supplication were offered throughout the Empire. Still, the situation was so dangerous that the imperial court left Vienna for Passau and took refuge there. Meantime, there were special devotions at the Capuchin Church in Vienna to Our Lady Help of Christians, whose famous picture hangs there. It would become the symbol of the victory over the Turks by Poland’s King John Sobieski when he arrived on the scene after a series of forced marches from Czestochowa.

The Polish army hit the numerically superior Turkish force with their surprise attack so hard, the Turks panicked. They did not simply withdraw from the walls of Vienna, they fled. (It is an aside, but of some cultural significance, that such was the Turkish flight, they left behind virtually all their stores and baggage. This is when the Viennese, Europe’s most famous coffee-drinkers, discovered the stuff. The Turks left quantities of it in their stores when they ran.) More to the point, in thanksgiving for the help given by the Mother of God for the victory at Vienna, which was won on her feast day, the 30th day after the Assumption, Pope Innocent extended the feast in honor of the Holy Name of Mary to the Universal Church.

What isn’t mentioned here is that Sobieski began the forced marches to Vienna from the shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, where he mounted his charger on the Feast of the Assumption, August 15, 1683, to arrive in Vienna almost a month later.

There were three occasions in the defense of Christendom against Islam in which Europe was saved by a John: John Hunyadi, the Hungarian King, and hero of the Battle of Belgrade, Don Juan of Austria, who led the Christian navies at the Battle of Lepanto, and Jan Sobieski, King of Poland. On each of these instances, the Christian people sang with gratitude, “There was a man sent from God whose name was John,” applying to the hero the description of the Baptist from the prologue of St. John’s Gospel.

Here is an account of the battle itself:

After 12 hours of fighting, Sobieski’s Polish force held the high ground on the right. At about five o’clock in the afternoon, after watching the ongoing infantry battle from the hills for the whole day, four cavalry groups, one of them Austrian-German, and the other three Polish, totaling 20,000 men, charged down the hills. The attack was led by the Polish king in front of a spearhead of 3000 heavily armed winged Polish lancer hussars. This charge broke the lines of the Ottomans, who were tired from the long fight on two sides. In the confusion, the cavalry headed straight for the Ottoman camps, while the remaining Vienna garrison sallied out of its defenses and joined in the assault.

The Ottoman army were tired and dispirited following the failure of both the sapping attempt and the brute force assault of the city, and the arrival of the cavalry turned the tide of battle against them, sending them into retreat to the south and east. In less than three hours after the cavalry attack, the Christian forces had won the battle and saved Vienna from capture.

After the battle, Sobieski paraphrased Julius Caesar‘s famous quote by saying “veni, vidi, Deus vincit”– “I came, I saw, God conquered”

Sobieski’s heavy artillery in this battle was, as the article said, the “winged Polish lancer hussars.” These elite troops were Polish-Lithuanian heavy lancers developed from an earlier Hungarian prototype. They were “winged” because they wore eagle feathers, a detail variously explained in different histories. (To get a picture of what they looked like, go here.)

Battle of Vienna, anonymous painting (source)

Battle of Vienna, anonymous painting (source)

When the husaria (as they are known in Polish) went into battle, they customarily sang a Polish hymn, the most ancient national anthem in the world, the Bogurodzica (Mother of God). A painting, by Józef Brandt, of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth forces singing the Bogurodzica before battle can be seen here. Oddly enough, the words of this chant do not mention the nation of Poland. It is a hymn to Our Lady and invokes also the intercession of St. John the Baptist.

What a tribute to Catholic Poland: their national anthem was a hymn to the Mother of God! May she continue to bless her Poland, and all the lands of former Christendom — and may she make them Christendom again.

Source: Brother Andre Marie at Catholicism.Org

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Pope Francis: Satan tries to ‘uncover’ bishops’ sin to ‘scandalize the people’

From  LifeSiteNews:

ROME, September 11, 2018

As controversy continues to swirl around  Pope Francis’ silence in the face of serious and far-reaching sexual abuse cover-up allegations, the pontiff said that Satan “tries to uncover” bishops’ sins in order to “scandalize” the faithful.

“In these times, it seems like the ‘Great Accuser’ has been unchained and is attacking bishops,” said Pope Francis in a homily today as reported by Vatican News. “True, we are all sinners, we bishops. He tries to uncover the sins, so they are visible in order to scandalize the people,” he added.

Reaction came quickly to the Pope’s words, with many saying that it sounded like the Pope was suggesting that uncovering the sins of a bishop, such as abuse, was somehow the work of the devil.

“Satan ‘tries to uncover the sins’ of McCarrick, etc. ‘so they are visible in order to scandalize the people,’ says Francis. Bear in mind, this is the exact same reasoning Cardinal Law used to justify protecting pedophile priests” said the Catholic Herald’s U.S. editor, Michael Davis.

“Wow! This is really weird from” the Pope said another Twitter user.  “Is he actually saying that if people criticise bishops and reveal their sins it is the work of the devil? Implication: we all need to shut up. Is that it?

Catholic author and commentator Patrick Coffin tweeted, “‘The Great Accuser tries to uncover the sins, so they are visible in order to scandalize the people.’ — words actually spoken by @Pontifex this morning. Logical conclusion: the sins should stay hidden so the devil can’t cause scandal. Speechless.”

The Pope’s homily was delivered at a Mass in the chapel of his Vatican residence, Santa Marta, attended by about 140 bishops present in Rome for meetings at the Vatican.

Pope Francis in his homily may have been referring to the abuse scandal which has exploded against members of the hierarchy in the U.S. as well as in the Vatican as one report after another of sexual abuse and cover-up has rocked the Church.

First, there were the stories about decades of sexual abuse of adolescent boys and seminarians by disgraced former Cardinal McCarrick.  Then Pennsylvania’s attorney general released a sweeping, 900-page grand jury investigation of 300 clergy accused of sexual abuse. The majority of those cases involved pederasty – the sexual abuse of adolescent males by adult males, most of whom who were priests.

Then former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, released his explosive testimony implicating Pope Francis and several senior prelates in covering up McCarrick’s alleged sexual abuse of seminarians and priests.

In addition to McCarrick, Cardinals Wuerl, Cupich and Tobin have all been tainted by the Viganò testimony, as have Cardinals Sodano, Bertone and Parolin.

The Pope, too, is implicated in the cover-up of McCarrick’s sexual abuse and for having made him a “trusted advisor” after he had been sidelined by his predecessor, Benedict XVI, according to Viganò.

Anger has reached a boiling point among U.S. Catholics, evidenced in letters addressed to the Pope and U.S. Prelates and signed by tens of thousands of concerned women and men.

Nearly ten thousand men have asked Pope Francis and the bishops to “purge the corruption” which is disfiguring the Church.

And the highly influential association of Catholic business leaders, Legatus, has put its annual Vatican tithe of nearly a million dollars “in escrow,” citing the current crisis in the Church.  Legatus was founded in 1987 and has 3,000 current members.

Pope Francis has yet to address Viganò’s allegations. Last week he preached that “silence, prayer” are the best response to “wild dogs” who “don’t have good will.”

Yesterday, Francis’ special advisory group known as the Council of Cardinals expressed its loyalty to the Holy Father in the wake of the allegations, stating it “expressed its full solidarity with Pope Francis with regard to the events of recent weeks, aware that in the current debate the Holy See is about to make the eventual and necessary clarifications.”

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