In God’s name, why is the Pope inviting abortion-backers to his Vatican ‘health’ talks?

He who sups with the devil should have a long spoon.

By Kate Dunlop at Conservative Woman: 

I’VE received in my inbox confirmation of the next big Vatican ‘public’ event – the International Health ConferenceExploring the Mind, Body & Soul. How Innovation and Novel Delivery Systems Improve Human Health. 

This will be the Vatican’s fifth such event and because of Covid, it will be ‘virtual’. The gathering promises to bring together ‘the world’s leading physicians, scientists, ethicists, policymakers, philanthropists, and influencers to engage in powerful conversations on the latest breakthroughs in medicine, health care delivery and prevention’. Bill Gates will not be attending. 

To take place from May 6 to May 8, the conference is being heavily promoted on social media: ‘#Unite to Prevent and #UniteToCure.’ It will certainly be busy, with 114 ‘international thought leaders’ and even two named Catholic clergy. 

Michael Haynes reports that the action will be moderated by ‘ten world renowned journalists,’  including Moira Forbes, scion of the Forbes publishing dynasty, Katie Couric, US television journalist and presenter, and other journalists from Left-wing media corporations including CBS, CNN, MSNBC, and the Wall Street Journal.  

Perhaps to underline the Vatican’s recent public pronouncements on its financial difficulties, the conference is being funded by donations, notably from Moderna, Sanford Health, Akkad Holdings, the John Templeton Foundation, and bizarrely, the  Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints – the Mormons. 

Pope Francis’s environmental encyclical Laudato Si (video), is to be the ‘guiding theme’ for discussions. But none of the ten goals listed for the conference refer either to God or the Catholic Church. Topics include ‘Human Enhancement, Living Healthily to 120 and Beyond, and Sustainable Health Care: Protecting Our Environment.’ 

Proceedings will be opened by Dr Anthony Fauci, Director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Joe Biden’s chief health advisor. Fauci grew up Catholic, as did Biden, but appears equally ambivalent about his faith. He has described himself previously as a humanist.   

Fauci is an advocate of Big Pharma and led the US response to Covid, extolling mask wearing, social distancing – including church closures, lockdowns, and mass vaccination. He is ‘pro-choice,’ and recently assured the World Health Organisation of the Biden administration’s commitment to funding abortion.   

Another sparkling headliner is the abortion-promoting, former First Daughter, now ‘vice-chair’ of the Clinton Foundation (!) and ‘world health expert’, Chelsea Clinton. 

In 2018, Ms Clinton spoke at a ‘Rise up for Roe’ event in New York City organised by Planned Parenthood https://www.plannedparenthood.org/ – the US industrial-scale abortion giant – to oppose Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. During her address, she criticised the pro-life movement, labelling it the ‘anti-choice movement.’   

Chelsea is also an expert in economics, crediting legal abortion for adding trillions of dollars to the US economy. She is a strong advocate for Planned Parenthood.  

The CEO of Pfizer will be a speaker. Albert Bourla is a Greek vet, and the man who described the State of Israel as a ‘living Covid vaccine experiment,’ despite his own Jewish heritage.  

Pfizer produces a messenger RNA jab and a highly lucrative line of abortion pills. The CEO of Moderna, Stéphane Bancel, will also take part. Last year he earned 13million dollars from Covid-19 mRNA development and sales. Both ‘vaccines’ were developed in record time using aborted foetal cell tissue lines. 

The Director of the US National Institute of Health (NIH) Francis Collins, has accepted his invitation. He has a long history of anti-life policies and has previously defended the ‘scientific benefits’ of foetal tissue research, claiming that such work can be conducted ‘with an ethical framework.’   

Even an impartial observer might be beginning to pick up a trend here. But it gets worse. Some of the other conference speakers look like people who took the wrong turn for Davos.  

There is the woke boss of cloud-software giant Salesforce, Marc Benioff, who has long battled for trans and gay rights, and firmly aligned himself with the liberal elite, by banning emails from Republicans during the Presidential campaign. He has since prohibited clients from questioning the results of the 2020 election.  

The United Nations representative will be the primatologist Dame Jane Goodall, who has a track record of criticising Catholic Church teachings on sexuality and contraceptives.  

In this 2007 video she accuses the Church of standing in the way of reducing global population, saying: ‘The Catholic Church makes quite a major problem when you are trying to balance between people and their environment and that’s what has to happen. It’s population growth that underlies just about every single one of the problems that we’ve inflicted on the planet.  

‘If there were just a few of us, then the nasty things we do wouldn’t really matter and Mother Nature would take care of it – but there are so many of us.’ 

Goodall may find support for her views on human population control from the new age activist Deepak Chopra and others. 

Aerosmith rock guitarist Joe Perry has been in lockdown in his beachfront condo in Sarasota, Florida, since last March, but has read The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History.  

His take on Covid: ‘A lot of things are different now – medical things … but on the other hand, we got a lot of people flying around the world. So, in a lot of ways, we’re in the same position we were in 1918.’(?) 

Pope Francis will close the gig conference by giving the participants a private, ‘virtual audience’ – backstage as it were. The optics could not really be any worse. 

The conference tells us many things, none of them good, about the Vatican and the judgment of those counselling Pope Francis.  

His welcome to the Vatican and acceptance of funding from the CEOs of Moderna and Pfizer; his inclusion of Big Tech woke activists who take every opportunity to malign the Church and its teachings, and his association with celebrities and well-placed ingénues such as Chelsea Clinton are grave errors.    

Pope Francis has a unique opportunity to seek counsel from the man who preceded him – Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who turned 94 on April 16. Francis should seek him out, sooner rather than later. 

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Embrace the Lifestyle of a Living Martyr

Early Christian Martyrs

Catholic author, Peter J. Kreeft, in his new book, “How to Destroy Western Civilization and Other Ideas from the Cultural Abyss“, recalls the unshakable faith of the early Christian martyrs who refused to recant from what they knew to be true. They went joyously to their death singing out, “Credo in unum Deum….”. Therefore Kreeft asks:

”What is the difference between then and now? Then every Christian knew one salient fact about Christianity, that it is either EVERYTHING or NOTHING, either the world’s stupidest lie or the world’s ultimate truth, that if Jesus Christ is not literally everything to you, then He is nothing at all. Now almost no one knows that anymore, and those who do, and say so are labelled fanatics.”

If Jesus Christ is everything to us, then what do we care if the world labels us a diversity of derogatory names? Why should we worry if we are ostracised and mocked? We should rejoice in our humiliations and suffering: “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His footsteps” (1 Peter 2:21).

Many believers may not be aware that we are all called to be living martyrs. Blessed Pius XII reminds us: “Not all of us are called to die a martyr’s death, but we are all called to the pursuit of Christian virtue. This demands strength of character…a constant, persistent and relentless effort is asked of us right up to the moment of our death. This may be conceived as a slow, steady martyrdom”.

Whatever sin is crucified in this present life will escape God’s retributive justice in Purgatory. The lifestyle of a living martyr is, in a very real sense, Purgatory Now, and if we have been purified in this life, we have been made ready for the Beatific Vision in the next one: “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”

The earnest and consistent embrace of the lifestyle of a living martyr ultimately prepares us for Heaven. How important it is to live our lives in the light of eternity! St. Paul confirms and underscores the teaching of Jesus in talking about the living martyrs who are “always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in [their] mortal flesh” (II Cor. 4:10).

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The amazing life of Princess Alice, Prince Philip’s mother

We all know about the late Queen Mum – one of Britain’s most instantly recognisable figures. But few have even heard of the Queen’s mother-in-law, Princess Alice. And yet, the life story of Prince Philip’s mother almost defies belief.

A great granddaughter of Queen Victoria, Prince Philip’s mother married into the Greek royal family – only to see the Greek monarchy overthrown by revolution. Fleeing into exile, she suffered a severe nervous breakdown. She was locked away in mental hospitals and subjected to experimental treatments by psychiatrists – including Sigmund Freud himself.

The trauma had a shattering effect on Princess Alice’s marriage and led to a fractured childhood for her only son Prince Philip. Philip’s mother eventually fought her way back from mental illness, and became an unlikely hero of World War Two – risking her life to hide a Jewish family from the Nazis.

When her son married the future Queen Elizabeth in 1948, Alice turned down the option of a cosy royal life. Instead she chose to dedicate herself to working with the poor in Greece, gave away all her possessions and even founded her own religious order. Featuring exclusive interviews with family members and previously unseen archive footage, this film sheds new light on one of the royal family’s most remarkable but little known personalities.

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At Some Point, We Priests and Bishops Need to MAN UP

A sermon by Fr. Richard Heilman

Here we are. We priests and bishops thought we could just keep the perfunctory programs and mandatory sacramental preparations going, along with the standard amount of Mass offerings, with a half hour of Confessions each week, while we made sure we never offended anyone, for fear of keeping the offertory collection at an acceptable level, or losing cred among their fellow clerics.

All while we watched the wolves of this world devour our sheep.

I’ve lost count as to how many have approached me to ask for prayers or any advice whatsoever on what they can do about their child, or their sibling, who has totally turned their lives over to the culture and its “normalization of evil” that is now at historic proportions. Sodom and Gomorrah seems like an Amish community in comparison to our culture today.

My first question I ask is, “Where do you worship?” And then, “Can you describe it to me?” It usually boils down to something “common.” While it is a nice community, they are not challenged, and they never hear sermons that challenge the anti-Christ movements in our culture today that seek to normalize evil. If it is this kind of wishy-washy parish, I then ask if they have any other options of “strong” parishes within driving distance. Staying there is like sending your child to a public school that asks what their preferred pronoun they choose to use.

It seems we priests and bishops avoid speaking against this current culture and the new super-flood of “normalizing evil,” for fear of appearing to “take sides.” This would “cause division,” and we’d prefer to welcome everyone, so we avoid “triggering” anyone.

Balderdash! (socially acceptable word, right? ;-))

Just look at Peter and John in this Sunday’s readings. Peter says, “YOU denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you!” John says, “Those who say, ‘I know him,’ but do not keep his commandments are LIARS!”

I bet their ears didn’t feel “tickled” there!

And, let’s not forget that, while Peter and John were giving their “drill sergeant like” sermons, “the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly” (Acts 6:7). People want something SUBSTANTIAL that calls them to engage in the battle, not thin gruel.

At some point, we priests and bishops need to MAN UP, like Peter and John, and begin to be the TRUE shepherds we are called to be, instead punch-the-clock functionaries that we are now. Our flocks are being kidnapped by a force that is FAR MORE passionate than we are!! They are being devoured while we calculate whether we are at the acceptable level of political correctness.

Those who speak out are accused of being political. POPPYCOCK!! Those who remain silent, for fear of offending, are in fact the ones putting politics ahead of the well-being of their flocks!

Please pray that we priests and bishops grow some hair on our chests.

[LISTEN to the full sermon from Fr Heilman at ROMAN CATHOLIC MAN]

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“THE ROMAN SPIRIT: This is what we need!”

by Roberto de Mattei at ‘The Lepanto Foundation’

The Roman Spirit is something that one breaths in only in Rome.  The “sacred city” par excellence, the center of Christianity, the eternal fatherland of every Catholic, who is able to repeat with Cicero, “civis romanus sum”, claiming a spiritual citizenship that has as its geographical boundaries not that of a city but that of an Empire:  not the Empire of the Caesars, but that of the Church, Catholic, apostolic, and Roman.

There was a time when bishops of dioceses from far away places used to send their seminarians and priests to Rome, not only for studies in the best theological schools, but to acquire this spiritual Romanitas.  In this light Pius XI, addressing the professors and students at the Gregorian University, expressed it in this way: “Your presence tells us that your highest aspiration, like that of your Pastors who sent you here, is your Roman formation.  That this romanità that you have come to seek out in that Roma eterna that the Great Poet—not only Italian, but of the whole world, because he was a poet of philosophy and Catholic theology–, Dante speaks in the Purgatorio of the Christ who is Roman:  may Rome become the Lady  of your heart as Christ is the Lord of your heart. May this Romanità take hold of you, you and all that you will do.  In this way when you return to your own towns and villages you will be able to be teachers and apostles of this Romanità.”(Address of November 21, 1922.)

The “Roman spirit” is not studied in books, but is breathed in, so to speak, in that impalpable atmosphere that the great Catholic polemicist Louis Veuillot (1813-1883) called “the perfume of Rome”: a perfume that is both natural and supernatural, that emanates from every stone and from every piece of earth in which are stored the history of the city. It is this place in which Providence has placed the Cathedra of Peter. Rome is at the same time a sacred space and a sacred memory, a “fatherland of the spirit”, as one of Veuillot’s contemporaries described it, the Ukrainian writer Nikolai Gogol, who lived in Rome on the via Sistina, between 1837 and 1846.

Rome is the city that contains the tombs of the apostles Peter and Paul, it is the subterranean necropolis whose bowels contain thousands of Christians,  Rome is the Colosseum, where the martyrs faced the ferocious wild beasts. It is Saint John Lateran, the Mother and Head of the Churches, where one can venerate the only bone of Saint Ignatius spared by the lions.  Rome is the Campodoglio, the center of government, where the emperor Augustus had constructed an altar to the true God,  who was about to be born of a Virgin.  Also on the Capitoline Hill was built the basilica of Aracoeli, “the altar of heaven”, where lies the body of Saint Helena, the empress who found the relics of the Passion that are today kept in the basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem.  Rome is her streets, her piazzas, where  lived Saint Catherine of Siena and Saint Francesca Romana, Saint Ignatius and Saint Philip Neri, Saint Paul of the Cross and Saint Leonard of Porto Maurizio, Saint Gaspare del Bufalo and Saint Vincent Pallotti, Saint Pius V and Saint Pius X.  In Rome one can visit the rooms of Saint Birgitta of Sweden on the Piazza Farnese, of Saint Joseph Benedict Labre on the Via dei Serpenti, of Saint Stanislaus Kostka in the church of Sant’ Andrea al Quirinale.  Here one can venerate the crib of the Infant Jesus at Santa Maria Maggiore, the arm of Saint Francis Xavier in the church of the Gesù, the foot of Saint Mary Magdalene in the church of Saint John of the Fiorentini.

Rome underwent terrible scourges of every type in her long history. The city was sacked by the Goths in 410, by the Vandals in 455, by the Ostrogoths in 546, by the Saracens in 846, by the Landsknechte in 1527.  The Jacobins invaded Rome in 1799, the Piedmontese in 1870.  The city was occupied by the Nazis in 1943. Rome bears on her body the scars of these deep wounds, and others beside, such as the Antonine plague in 180, the Black Death in 1348, the cholera epidemic in 1837 and the Spanish flu in 1917.

According to the American historian Kyle Harper (The Fate of Rome, Princeton University Press, 2017) the fall of the Roman empire was caused not only by the barbarian invasions but also by the epidemics and climatic disturbances that characterized the period between the second and sixth century after Christ.  These wars and epidemics, in the successive centuries as well, were always understood as divine chastisements.  So writes Ludwig von Pastor, that universally, among both the heretics and the Catholics, “there is seen in the terrible sack of Rome a just chastisement from heaven upon the capitol of Christianity sunken in vice”.  (History of the Popes, Desclée, Rome 1942. Vol. IV, 2, p.582)

But Rome always lifted herself up, purified and stronger, a symbol of which is  the medal ordered to be coined in 1557 by Paul IV  dedicated to Roma resurgens after a terrible famine. It can be said about Rome what is said about the Church:  impugnari potest, expugnari non potest: always capable of being attacked but not able to be knocked down and destroyed.

Given all of this, in the troubled times in which we live and anticipating even more trials, we must lift our gaze toward Roma nobilis, whose light does not set: that noble Rome that an ancient song of pilgrims salutes her as the mother-Lady of the world, made red by the blood of the martyrs, and whitened by the pure lilies of the Virgins: O Roma nobilis, orbi et domina. Cunctarum urbium excellentissima, Roseo martyrum sanguine rubea, Albi et virginum liliis candida.

Christian Rome gathers up and raises on a supernatural plane the natural qualities of ancient Rome. The spirit of the Roman is that of the one who is just and strong, who confronts with calm and imperturbability the most hostile situations. The Roman is one who does not let himself be shaken up by the furor that surrounds him. The Roman is the one who remains fearless, even if the universe falls into smithereens upon him. Si fractu inlabitur orbis, impavidum feriant ruina (Horace, Odes, III,3). The Catholic who inherits this tradition, affirms Pius XII, does not limit himself to be still standing even amidst the ruins, but strives to reconstruct the edifice that has been struck down.  The Roman uses all of his strength to seed the devastated field. (Allocution to the Roman Nobility, January 18, 1947)’

The Roman spirit is firm, willing to do battle, but is prudent.  Prudence is the internal discernment of good and evil and does not directly look towards the ultimate ends of man– that is the subject of wisdom–, but provides the means for that discernment.  Prudence, therefore, is the practical wisdom of life, and among the Cardinal Virtues occupies a central and directive place.  For this reason, Saint Thomas considers Prudence as the culmination of all the moral virtues.  (Summa Theolgiae, II-II, q. 166, 2.1).

Prudence is the chief virtue required by those who govern, and among all those who govern no one has a higher responsibility that the one who guides the Church.  An imprudent Pope, not having the capacity to govern the bark of Peter, would be the gravest of disasters, because Rome cannot be without a Pope who governs her, and a Pope cannot be lacking in the Roman spirit that helps him to govern the Church.  If this happens, the spiritual tragedy is worse than any natural disaster.

Rome has known disasters of every kind, but has confronted them as Saint Gregory the Great did,  in his facing a violent epidemic of the plague that afflicted the city.  To placate the divine wrath, the Pope, as soon as he was elected, ordered a penitential procession of clerics and the Roman people.  When the procession reached the bridge that joins the city to Hadrian’s mausoleum, Gregory saw on the summit of the fortress Saint Michael the Archangel putting back his bloody sword into its sheath, which was a sign that the chastisement had ended, while a chorus of angels sang:  “Regina Caeli, Laetare, Alleluia—Quia quem meruisti portare, Alleluia—Resurrexit sicut dixit, Alleluia!” Saint Gregory responded with a loud voice:  “Ora pro nobis Deum, Alleluia!”

There was born in this way the harmony that still resounds from one end to the other of the Catholic world.  May this heavenly song instill in Catholic hearts a boundless trust in Mary, Protector of the Church, but also of the Roman spirit, strong and harmonious, of which we have never needed so much as in these terrible days.(by Roberto de Mattei)

[Translated by Father Richard Gennaro Cipolla]

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Sunday Readings and Reflections

Caravaggio, Supper at Emmaus (1601)

Sunday, April 18 
Third Sunday of Easter 

Roman Ordinary calendar


Bl. Marie-Anne Blondin, St. Apollonius – Martyr (+ c. 186)


Acts of the Apostles 3,13-15.17-19.

Peter said to the people: “The God of Abraham, (the God) of Isaac, and (the God) of Jacob, the God of our ancestors, has glorified his servant Jesus whom you handed over and denied in Pilate’s presence, when he had decided to release him. 
You denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. 
The author of life you put to death, but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses. 
Now I know, brothers, that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did; 
but God has thus brought to fulfillment what he had announced beforehand through the mouth of all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer. 
Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away.” 

Psalms 4,2.4.7.9.

When I call, answer me, O my just God, 
you who relieve me when I am in distress; 
have pity on me, and hear my prayer! 

Know that the LORD does wonders for his faithful one; 
the LORD will hear me when I call upon him. 
O LORD, let the light of your countenance shine upon us! 

As soon as I lie down, I fall peacefully asleep, 
for you alone, O LORD, 
bring security to my dwelling. 

First Letter of John 2,1-5a.

My children, I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one. 
He is expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world. 
The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his command ments. 
Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 
But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him. This is the way we may know that we are in union with him.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 24,35-48.

The disciples of Jesus recounted what had taken place along the way, and how Jesus was made known to them in the breaking of bread. 
While they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 
But they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 
Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? 
Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” 
And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 
While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed, he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 
They gave him a piece of baked fish; 
he took it and ate it in front of them. 
He said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.” 
Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures. 
And he said to them, “Thus it is written that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day 
and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 
You are witnesses of these things.” 


Saint Gregory the Great (c.540-604) 
Pope, Doctor of the Church 
Homilies on the Gospels, no.26 ; PL 76,1197 (©Cistercian publications Inc., 1990)

“It is I myself. Touch me and see”

How was the Lord’s body, which could come in to the disciples through closed doors after the resurrection, a real one? We must be certain that if a divine work is understood by reason it is not wonderful, nor does our faith have any merit when human reason provides a proof. We have to consider these works of our Redeemer, which can in no way be understood of themselves, in the light of other works of his, so that his more miraculous deeds may provoke faith in the miraculous. For the Lord’s body, which made its entrance to the disciples through closed doors, was the same as that which issued before the eyes of men from the Virgin’s closed womb at his birth. Is it surprising if he who was now going to live for ever made his entrance through closed doors after his resurrection, who on his coming in order to die made his appearance from the unopened womb of the Virgin? 

But because the faith of those who beheld it wavered concerning the body they could see, he showed them at once his hands and his side offering them the body which he brought in through the closed doors to touch. (…) Now, it cannot be otherwise then that what is touched is corruptible, and what is not corruptible cannot be touched. But in a wonderful and incomprehensible way our Redeemer, after his resurrection, manifested a body that was incorruptible and touchable. By showing us that it is incorruptible he would urge us on toward our reward, and by offering it as touchable he would dispose us towards faith, He manifested himself as both incorruptible and touchable to truly show us that his body after his resurrection was of the same nature as ours but of a different sort of glory.

Traditional Latin Mass readings

Click here for a live-streamed Traditional Latin Mass

Fr Z’s Sunday post

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Fr. Reese (SJ) and “the Dangerous Latin Mass”!

Before reading the article below, please note: “In this time of kenotic simplification, one group of Catholics is growing [everywhere] and growing strong: Catholics who want traditional sacred worship. The numbers are encouraging. During the last year quite a few younger priests have learned the traditional form of Holy Mass and have implemented it in their parishes. I don’t think we have accurate stats right now, because many of these initiatives have been handled quietly.

Two things are absolutely necessary to carry this forward, for the good of the Church and, frankly, the nation, is for these good people – who just want to be Catholic – to commit themselves to solid involvement in their parishes and chapels, not merely to drive in on Sunday and drive away until the next Sunday.” [source]

*****

from Crisis Magazine

Spare a thought for progressives. Life hasn’t been all sunshine and roses lately for those who would sing a new church into being. Or so Fr. Thomas Reese, S.J., reports in his latest column on the future of Catholic liturgical reform for Religion News Service. There’s a long way to go—his concerns center around eight liturgical issues—and, apparently, an insufficient number of youthful progressives to get there.

What’s happened to the next generation, you ask? Well, to Fr. Reese’s sorrow, they’re off attending the Traditional Latin Mass, just as if Vatican II never happened. Or if not all of them, enough to cause Fr. Reese to beg the Vatican: do something! “The church needs to be clear that it wants the unreformed liturgy to disappear and will only allow it out of pastoral kindness to older people who do not understand the need for change,” he writes. “Children and young people should not be allowed to attend such Masses.”

Of course, despite widespread abuse in this regard over the last 50 years, neither the Vatican nor the bishops technically have the authority to prevent celebration of the traditional Mass, or to forbid laypeople (of any age!) from attending it. Pope St. Pius V granted to all priests in perpetuity the universal right to celebrate the Tridentine Mass in his bull Quo Primum (1570)—a right reiterated by Benedict XVI in his motu proprio Summorum Pontificum (2007)No pope has attempted a formal, express revocation of Quo Primum; so powerfully worded is that document that any such attempt would be of questionable validity. But authority or no authority, bishops can make life extremely unpleasant for priests who persist in celebrating the traditional Mass and laypeople who support them. It is for a renewal of this ground-level persecution that Fr. Thomas Reese is advocating.

But it’s still delightful to see Fr. Reese openly admit the power of the traditional Mass to draw souls. Only authoritative force, he believes, can stop children and young people from attending it! The whole point of this Vatican II/liturgical reform business was—supposedly—to appeal to youth, to bring the Church up to date, to get with the times. But it has backfired so badly that the precious young people are voting with their feet and packing into traditional Masses. What’s worse, they’re marrying each other and bringing their numerous progeny to the traditional Mass too! Will the Dark Ages never end?

Poor progressives. What must their pained thoughts be? Perhaps something along these lines: Younger people fail to appreciate the good things for which we aging revolutionaries negotiated and schemed. We brought them fun in church, guitars, pop music, spontaneity, kisses of peace. We brought them Mass in English so for the first time in centuries they could have some idea of what was going on. We turned the priest around so they could feel that the Mass was about them instead of being about the sacrifice of Calvary. We stopped talking about life-changing issues like mortal sin and the social Kingship of Christ and our mission to convert the world to Catholicism. We freed them to live not by the Ten Commandments but by the trendy issues of the day: climate change, immigration, racial issues, social justice. No need to worry about the Kingdom of Heaven in the next life; we can find salvation by building utopia now.

But tradition is the opium of the people. Instead of joyfully building our earthly utopia, on a Sunday you’ll find the ungrateful youth kneeling—kneeling!—in rows, watching the chasuble-clad back of a priest who addresses God in a language He may understand but we progressives certainly can’t and don’t want to. They remain silent through long, boring periods of inaction, and they won’t let their children talk or fidget either—a disturbing throwback to the harsh discipline of a bygone era. The alien strains of Gregorian chant rise up from their midst to mix with incense, that deliberately retrograde substance. Next thing you know, they’ve started praying for the conversion of non-Catholics and buying copies of the Baltimore Catechism

What traditionalists are doing may appear peaceful, but we progressives know it is violent. They are violently tearing the focus of religion away from our utopia of love, tolerance, and well-being. They are setting their sights on something otherworldly, something outside, something higher. Their every genuflection is in rude defiance of the dogma we’ve so carefully instilled in the Church: God is more within than without; He is to be found in ourselves, in the spirit of our times, in the community, in interaction with other human beings. As Fr. Reese says, “More important than the transformation of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ is the transformation of the community into the body of Christ so we can live out the covenant we have through Christ.”  

What pride these reactionaries have, to think they can simply disregard the monumental theological breakthroughs of the past 60 years and still call themselves Catholic! We need to tweak the liturgy a bit more to make sure everyone understands the new theology: “Too many [Eucharistic prayers] focus exclusively on the consecration of the bread and wine while ignoring the meaning of the prayer,” says Fr. Reese. The consecration of the Body and Blood of Christ is obviously secondary to the Eucharistic prayer, which could reference the Gospel, or a social issue of the day—what’s important is the community and its actions, not the reenactment of the sacrifice on Calvary.

The Traditional Mass is both dangerously popular and naturally resistant to the liturgical improvements needed to achieve our brave new utopia. So, it must go. Inculturation, one of Fr. Reese’s chief liturgical concerns, is a prime example. You can’t inculturate the Traditional Mass. In every place where it has been permitted to develop, it seizes more and more turf, becoming the foundation and inspiration for a new, specifically Catholic, local culture. We don’t want the liturgy to be the source of culture; we want it to be subservient to a culture that preceded it and dominates over it. This is why we’re so keen on the Amazonian Church.

“Each bishops’ conference,” writes Fr. Reese, “needs to be encouraged to gather scholars, poets, musicians, artists and pastors to develop liturgies for their specific cultures.” Stubborn traditionalists will doubtless say, “Well, what about the scholars, poets, musicians, artists, and pastors who, in 1971, begged Paul VI not to destroy the traditional Mass, which had inspired ‘a host of priceless achievements in the arts—not only mystical works, but works by poets, philosophers, musicians, architects, painters and sculptors in all countries and epochs.’ Is that inculturated enough for you?”  

But they don’t get it. The signatories of this letter to Paul VI (among others, pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy, art historian Kenneth Clark, soprano Joan Sutherland, and novelists Agatha Christie and Nancy Mitford) were the wrong kind of artists. Whatever their personal religious beliefs, their work was inextricable from—and built upon—the culture created by Catholic Europe, by the Mass of all time. We progressives want liturgy to be inculturated in non-Catholic cultures, not Catholic ones. We need to get away from what Fr. Reese calls Catholicism’s “European base.” Decolonize (or is that dechristianize?) the liturgy!

All this is a bit tongue in cheek. But real Catholics would be foolish to write off columns like Fr. Thomas Reese’s as meaningless blather. Progressives have specific goals for the Church. When they kindly outline their game plan, we should listen carefully and consider: do we want the Church to wind up where Fr. Reese wants it to go? If not, each point of their plan tells us where we need to fight.

They want inculturation? Don’t sit on the fence, trying to please everyone; instead, firmly adopt the position that a Catholic culture founded on and inspired by the Catholic Mass is the best kind of culture. They want more ecumenism? Consider how ecumenism prevents souls from receiving sanctifying grace and keeps them outside the Church of Jesus Christ, and have nothing to do with it. They want the Traditional Mass to die out? Consider carefully how the Traditional Mass prevents them from achieving their goals, and then support the Traditional Mass steadfastly. It is our bulwark, built for us from the earliest centuries by popes, saints, martyrs, and all our Catholic ancestors. When we stand behind it, we are safe—and truly Catholic.

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Before you go to Holy Communion next time, read this…

A Eucharistic Meditation from St Justin (d. 165), an early Christian martyr and saint:

”There is then brought to the president of the brethren bread and a cup of wine mixed with water; and he taking them, gives praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and offers thanks at considerable length for our being counted worthy to receive these things at His hands. And when he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all the people present express their assent by saying Amen. This word Amen answers in the Hebrew language to genoito [so be it]. And when the president has given thanks, and all the people have expressed their assent, those who are called by us deacons give to each of those present to partake of the bread and wine mixed with water over which the thanksgiving was pronounced, and to those who are absent they carry away a portion. 
And this food is called among us Euxaristia, of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. 
For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, “This do ye in remembrance of Me, this is My body;” and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, “This is My blood;“ and gave it to them alone.

First Apology 65-66

Father Z: “Reflect on what these people believed… the faith in which they believed fuel like a fusion reactor by the faith by which they believed.

They were willing to die [for their Faith].”

CP&S comment: Have we become any wiser or grown more pious in our devotion for our Eucharistic Lord after almost two thousand years from the times of those early Christians? They went willingly to go to their death rather then renounce even one iota of their Faith. May their testimony be a leading star for us to follow, and to awaken in our sluggish hearts a revival of that same heroic courage and love of Christ and His Holy Words.

*****

UPDATE

From a comment on Father Z’s blog:

“It is clear that our liturgy is timeless through this saint’s writings. Justin Martyr (probably more correct to say Justin the Martyr) stands as one who was faithful to the end. With the predominance in most catholic circles of effeminate, clownish men in the hierarchy it is no wonder that we are in the situation we are in today in the Church. Unclear encyclicals, wrong-headed edicts, and watered down liturgy have led the Church to the precipice of the pit. While Christ told us that Hell would not prevail, many in the Church today are trying their best to prove Him wrong (and we know where that will end!). 

Would that we all take St. Justin’s words to heart!”

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Catholicism: Centre of Gravity Moving South and East

On March 25, 2021, the Holy See unveiled the Pontifical Yearbook 2021 and the Annuarium Statisticum Ecclesiae 2019, two publications that provide an exhaustive inventory of the life of the Church in the world. The vitality of Catholicism in Africa and Asia is being confirmed.

Our Lady of Africa

At the level of ecclesiastical structures, the data provided by the Pontifical Yearbook shows a trend towards stability in 2020: during this year, 2 metropolitan sees and 4 episcopal sees were erected, 2 dioceses were elevated as metropolitan sees, 2 territorial prelatures and 1 apostolic vicariate in a diocese.

Statistical data from the Annuarium Statisticum Ecclesiae, referring to the year 2019, allow a more in-depth analysis of the life of the Church.

In 2019, there are just under 1.345 billion Catholics, against about 1.329 billion in 2018, an increase, in absolute value, of 16 million (+ 1.12%). A growth close to that of the world population (+ 1.08%) and which shows a certain stability of the presence of Catholics in the world, a presence that can be evaluated at 17.7%.

Between 2018 and 2019, the Catholic presence at the regional level has undergone changes: a decline is starting in the North and South American continents, where the share of Catholics in the two continents combined has fallen from 48.3% to 48.1%.  It is of some importance to underline how the two American continents are very differentiated: whereas in North America the percentage of Catholics is only 24.7%, in Central America and the Antilles (84.6%) and in South America (86.6%) the presence of Catholics appears much more conspicuous.

In Europe, the decline in the number of Catholics continues inexorably: from 21.5% to 21.2% in the space of a year.

Two signs which show the effects of growing secularization in the North and South American continents, and especially South America which remains the lungs of the Church; and for old Europe, the continuation of this unbridled secularization and the emergence of a post-Christian society, of which the laws in favour of the culture of death, are among the most tangible signs.

Conversely, Catholics have increased in Africa (from 18.3% to 18.7%) and, more slightly, in Southeast Asia, while the proportion of Catholics in Oceania remains stable: as in the previous year, shows the emerging of a slow displacement of the centre of gravity of the Church towards the former mission territories of African and the Far East.

Another interesting indicator: the number of priests, diocesan and religious, increased from 414,065 to 414,336; misleading figures which hide great regional disparities.

Indeed, alongside significant increases for Africa and Asia (3.45% and 2.91%, respectively), Europe and America are experiencing a decline of 0.5% and 1.5% respectively.

Even more worrying, the general decline that has characterized priestly vocations in recent years continues: candidates for the priesthood on the planet have gone from 115,880 in 2018 to 114,058 in 2019, a decrease of 1.6% which has spared no continent, apart from Africa, and jeopardizes the visibility of the Church in many places.

This drop thus reached 2.4% for the North and South American continents. In Europe and Asia, it reached 3.8% and 2.6% respectively, while in Oceania, the number of major seminarians in 2019 was 5.2% lower than in the previous year.

Only Africa seems to have been spared, since the number of major seminarians has increased from 32,212 to 32,721 men.

The regional distribution of candidates for the priesthood has changed significantly during the period analyzed by the Statistical Yearbook: Africa, which in 2018 represented 27.8% of the world total, increased in 2019 to 28.7%. At the same time, Europe fell from 14.3% to 13.9%.

Some would still like to be reassured while waiting for the renewal promised by Vatican II – as we wait for Godot – but there is an urgency for the Church. It is rather a case of fully reclaiming, with courage, the faith and the Tradition which made it shine in the world.

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Pro-Lifers Parody State’s COVID Psycho-War

Campaign dignifying ‘Johanna’ exposes evil of abortion-tainted vaccines

WORTHING, England (ChurchMilitant.com) – A pro-life organization is turning the British government’s COVID-19 psychological-warfare campaign on its head by using Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s fearmongering advertising to raise awareness of Britain’s abortion genocide and abortion-contaminated vaccines.

READ THE REST THERE

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Male nuns? Blame Pope Francis and our effeminate prelature

Featured Image
Thanks to Pope Francis and our bishops, this guy thinks he can be a Catholic nun VRT NWS Facebook photo

By Doug Mainwaring at LifeSiteNews:

“A 46-year-old Catholic man in Belgium who identifies as female is pushing to gain entrance to a convent as a nun where he hopes to live the remainder of his life as a religious sister,” reported my colleague, Pete Baklinski, last week.

“Eefje” Spreuters told Radio 2 Antwerp, as reported by VRT.be, that “everywhere I register, the sisters are enthusiastic. But it is not allowed by the rules” for a man who believes himself to be female to enter the convent.

This man’s twisted desire to become a nun didn’t come out of nowhere and it can’t naively be attributed to pop-culture forces.It stems from the very fertile environment our prelates have created for sexual confusion to flourish.While the teaching of the Catholic Church on sexual matters is perfectly clear, our prelates are not.Let’s drop the pretense of faithfulness to Church teaching once and for all: Catholic prelates have a soft spot in their heart for feminine men, masculine women, and sodomy. 

The fish stinks from the head down

First and foremost, this male-nun daydream is a reflection of Pope Francis’ softness and jocularity on the topic of transgender men and women.Last year, Pope Francis praised a nun in South America for opening a residence for ‘trans women’ — men who choose to identify as women — referring to the men as “girls.”Sister Mónica Astorga Cremona, known locally in Argentina as the “Nun of the Trans,” had cut the ribbon on a new complex of apartments dedicated solely to housing men claiming to be women and their partners.Upon hearing the news, the Pope responded, according to the nun, “Dear Mónica, God who did not go to the seminary or study theology will repay you abundantly. I pray for you and your girls.”Again, the Supreme Pontiff, according to the nun, referred to the males, reported to be between 40 and 70 years old, as “girls.”

Pro-LGBT Jesuit priest Fr. James Martin SJ was delighted with the Pope’s congratulatory words to Sister Monica Cremona, saying in a tweet: “Wow. Pope Francis sends his support for a Catholic sister in Argentina who ministers to transsexual women.”

In 2016, Pope Francis referred to a woman who had undergone a sex-change operation as a “man,” and also referred to her as having “married” another woman and admitted to receiving them in the Vatican.

Referring to the post-trans surgery woman, the Pope said, “He got married.”

“He that was ‘her’ but is he,” explained Pope Francis, multiplying the confusion of his already confounding words.

The bishops are to blame”

But it’s not just Pope Francis. This Belgian man’s surreal plight is also a reflection on the sexual confusion perpetrated by many European and U.S. bishops.

Over the last few years I’ve covered several United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) general assemblies. These are not men prepared to lead the Church and do battle with Satanic forces; USCCB meetings are quilting conventions, coffee klatsches. With just a few exceptions these are soft academics, ill prepared to inspire men to be men of God.

“Our Church is fast becoming an institution devoid of men; a patriarchy devoid of patriarchs — true fathers,” wrote Leila Marie Lawler and Leila Miller in a scathing rebuke of Catholic men in general and our bishops and priests in particular.

The faithful who want to worship as God commands are weary. We thought the bishops’ complicity in sex abuse, finally exposed in the Summer of Shame of 2018, was the watershed moment. We were wrong. The situation is not better today. It is worse. And as before, the bishops are to blame, this time by inappropriately imposing obedience (often through their subordinates, not directly) on purely prudential matters.

Regarding the hierarchy’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

[O]ur hierarchy ran in panic at the first hint of danger, and then added a new form of abuse, for which (with few exceptions) they have neither apologized nor repented. We now have dioceses resuming Mass in the U.S. for the most part (not all!), but most with bizarre and arbitrary restrictions still in place, and the threat of taking it all away again still hanging over us.

Most troubling of all is the strangely naïve and imprudent cooperation with the state to pressure or require the faithful to accept the COVID-19 jab. Using their moral authority to persuade the doubtful, our clergy seem to see no danger looming as those who choose not to accept the vaccines will be relegated to a lower stratum in the new caste system — or outright banished. A soft dictatorship based on medical status is upon us, and our bishops are enthusiastically welcoming it.

“A priest recently said of the U.S. bishops, that, with very few exceptions, we could not find a more effeminate group of men if we tried,” reported Lawler and Miller.

Wrapping and obscuring Catholic teaching with garish rainbow colors

In recent weeks, LifeSiteNews has reported:

  • Two U.S. bishops back a pro-LGBT campaign calling for acceptance of men who claim to be female.
  • 13 U.S. bishops earlier this year signed a statement in partnership with the foundation supporting young people who identify as LGBT, telling them that “God is on your side.”
  • Pro-homosexual Bishop John Stowe expressed public support for the so-called Equality Act which would effectively criminalize Christianity by overriding conscience objections to practices such as performing abortions and transgender surgeries. Stowe has previously encouraged the celebration of “PRIDE” events in his diocese and has even issued a “prayer” card that celebrates homosexual “pride” and includes an image of a crucifix with rainbow colors coming from it.

Further:

  • In 2019, Newark’s Cardinal Tobin said in a nationally televised Today Show interview on April 17 that the church’s teaching that same-sex attraction is “disordered” is “unfortunate” and “hurtful” language. Shortly after being appointed archbishop of Newark, Tobin personally welcomed homosexuals to the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark as part of a so-called “LGBT Pilgrimage.” Tobin became the center of speculation in 2018after tweeting “nighty-night, baby. I love you” and then promptly deleting it, saying it was meant for his sister. The Cardinal was in the limelight again months later after having reportedly confirmed rumors he recently housed in his rectory a young Italian actor for a period of time.
  • Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich has praised the pro-LGBT Fr. James Martin and has removed a priest in his archdiocese from his parish in apparent retaliation for his decision to burn a “rainbow pride flag” previously used by the parish to promote the homosexual agenda. When he was still an archbishop, I asked him in a press scrum if he believed homosexual couples could receive Holy Communion and he replied in the affirmative.
  • Washington, D.C., Cardinal Wilton Gregory has permitted the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (Atlanta) to act as a center for LGBT events, including LGBT potluck s and socials. The group has also participated in the city’s Pride Parade. Gregory has personally invited  pro-homosexual Fr. James Martin to speak in his archdiocese and has designated a pro-gay priest who heads a homosexual-affirming parish as the “Spiritual Director for Victims” of sex abuse for the Atlanta archdiocese. 
  • Then there’s the Commission for Marriage and Family of the German Bishops’ Conference which has concluded that homosexuality is a “normal form of sexual predisposition.”

It’s clear: The softness of our Catholic hierarchy on sexual matters amplified by their own velvety smooth personal softness has led “Eefje” Spreuters to believe he has a right to become a nun.

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St. Gemma Galgani and her Guardian Angel

Yesterday was the feast of Gemma Galgani, one of the Church’s mystics. As it fell on a Sunday this year (2021) we celebrate it today, April 12th. Gemma was born in Camigliano, Italy on March 12, 1878 of devout parents. The fifth child and eldest daughter in a family of eight, she was given the name “Gemma” meaning “gem”. The family later moved to Lucca where Enrico Galgani practiced as a pharmacist.

Gemma’s beloved mother was the first to show her the way of Christian piety. “It was Mamma,” Gemma was to say, “who made me desire to go to heaven”. But tuberculosis took Aurelia Galgani when Gemma was only seven. This great grief was softened by Gemma’s first mystical communication which assured the little girl that her mother was in Heaven.

Gemma began to attend school with the Sisters of St. Zita and was considered bright. She longed to receive Holy Communion and so begged and pleaded that she was granted the favour at age nine, then an early age for first communicants. “I feel a fire burning here” was her comment as she pointed to her heart.

At home, Gemma worked diligently to fill her mother’s shoes. She loved the poor, giving them what she could. She also taught religion to children, and visited the sick in hospitals.

By age nineteen, Gemma was doubly orphaned by the death of her father, and had also lost two brothers and a little sister.

All the while she made great strides in her spiritual life, her desire to suffer with Jesus for the good of souls increasing.

Gemma came down with a spinal meningitis that almost took her life, but was healed through the intercession of St. Gabriel Possenti of the Passionist Order who appeared to her and to whom she became greatly attached.

Refused entry into a Passionist convent, partially because of her health, Gemma submitted to God’s will.

From the time of her healing she began to experience mystical graces that eventually led to her receiving the stigmata of Christ. At this time she and other family members were living with an aunt, and as her ecstasies became more frequent, she had little privacy or understanding.

Through the influence of the Passionists, she was introduced to the exceptionally devout Giannini family, who ultimately adopted her as a daughter. The Gianninis became the “reliquary” that enshrined the “gem” so her sanctity could develop to the fullest.

Two other great friends were to accompany Gemma during her life: her confessor Fr. Germanus, who guided her wisely and securely, and her Guardian Angel, whom she saw often, and who instructed and admonished her, delivered letters and messages to Fr. Germanus for her, and who even brought her coffee in bed during her illnesses.

On Pentecost Sunday in 1902, Gemma was stricken with a mysterious illness which led to her death on Holy Saturday in 1903. She was twenty-five. Gemma was canonised by Pope Pius XII in 1940.

St. Gemma and her Guardian Angel

Saint Gemma Galgani enjoyed the grace of the constant sight of her guardian angel.

Gemma’s confessor and biographer provides us with details of her familiarity with her guardian angel.

“Gemma,” he writes, “saw him with her eyes, touched him with her hand as if he were a being of this world, remained talking with him as one friend with another. ‘Jesus has not left me alone,’ she said. ‘He makes my guardian angel stay with me always….’

“‘If I am sometimes culpable, dear Angel, don’t be angry with me. I want to be grateful to thee,’ she said to him.

“And the angel answered: ‘Yes, I shall be thy guide and inseparable companion. Dost thou not know who it is that gave me charge of thee? It is the merciful Jesus.’

“Unable to restrain her emotion at this, the angelic girl stood rapt in ecstasy with her angel. The angel sometimes let her see him raised in the air with outspread wings, his hands extended over her or joined in an attitude of prayer. At other times, he knelt beside her.

She also kept the angel busy with many letters to people in this world, often to her confessor.

“It was thus,” he writes, “that she kept the heavenly messenger continually on the move, and he most gladly favoured her. Even without being called, he hastened to her in every need and danger. He restrained the power and malicious ruses of the devil, who was always just as vigilant in his efforts to do her harm. Instances are not wanting of this blessed guardian’s constant watchfulness. Once when Gemma was at table with her family, one of those present did not hesitate to blaspheme the Holy Name of God. Upon hearing this, she fainted in horror and, falling, would have dashed her head against the floor had her angel not hastened to her aid. He took her hand, supported her, and with a single word restored her.

“The most important mission of Gemma’s angel was in what concerned her spiritual advancement. While he served on one side as her watchful protector, on the other she found in him a perfect master of Christian perfection.

“The holy guardian knew how to show severity when necessary. One day she told me of this in the following words: ‘My angel is a bit severe, but I am glad for it. During the past few days he called me to order as many as three or four times a day.’

“Seeing the great charity lavished on her, Gemma loved her angel immensely, and his name was always on her lips as well as in her heart. ‘Dear Angel,’ she would say, ‘I so love you!’

“‘And why?’ he would ask.

“‘Because you teach me to be good, to remain humble, and to please Jesus.’

“Another time, Gemma wrote: ‘I was in bed, suffering greatly, when I suddenly became absorbed in prayer. I folded my hands and, moved with heartfelt sorrow for my countless sins, I made an act of deep contrition. My mind was wholly plunged in this abyss of crime against my God when I beheld my angel standing by my bed. I felt ashamed of being in his presence, but he was more than courteous with me, and said kindly: “Jesus loves thee greatly; love Him greatly in return.” Then he added: “Art thou fond of Jesus’ Mother? Salute her very often, for she values such attention very much and unfailingly returns the greetings offered her; and if thou dost not feel that she does, know that thus she makes a proof of thine unfailing trust.” He blessed me and disappeared.’”

May Saint Gemma’s intimacy with her angel, so simple, spontaneous, and full of profound humility, be an example for us all.

[Source: Excerpts taken from Fr. Germanus C.P. (her spiritual director), Blessed Gemma Galgani, 1903, pp. 207-216.]

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Liberals Endanger the Synthesis of Faith and Reason

Modern liberalism’s attempt to define the “good” of man without reference to the God who determined it can only end in tragedy.

By George Neumayr at The American Spectator:

Modern liberals often present themselves as the champions of “science” and “reason,” even as the positions they take grow increasingly fantastical. To sustain those positions, they reject science and reason in favor of pure ideology. They can stare at a sonogram and deny that it shows a human life. They can stare at a biological male and call him a woman.

The defense of reason these days comes not from the citadels of modern liberalism but from religion. What G. K. Chesterton called “the modern and morbid habit of always sacrificing the normal to the abnormal” has become a ubiquitous feature of Western culture. The last holdouts against this trend are the religious, who insist on rational norms.

The subjectivism to which modern liberalism is drawn defies rational norms. It celebrates denials of reality and dignifies those denials with the name of freedom. Anthony Kennedy, the former Supreme Court justice, once mused, “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” That’s modern liberalism in a nutshell. It rests not on reality but subjective fantasies and willful redefinitions.

CNN recently pronounced that it is “not possible to know a person’s gender identity at birth, and for some people, the sex listed on their original birth certificate is a misleading way of describing the body they have.” This is what passes for science at CNN.

Of course, modern liberalism doesn’t treat everything as fluid and malleable. On questions of sexuality, for example, it usually insists on the immutability of sexual orientation. It simultaneously holds that a person’s sex can change but the person’s sexuality cannot.

We often hear about the dangers of faith without reason. But little is said about the dangers of “reason” without faith. From that divorce has come some very odd offspring. The ideology of transgenderism is one of them. Its treatment of biological sex as a fiction is a profound threat to human life. That view has given rise to a culture of mutilation. The same secularists who express horror at the mutilations that take place in the Islamic world don’t hesitate to sanction the mutilations involved in reassignment surgeries. Secularism can be as warped as superstition. Both breed irrationalities of their own.

The Judeo-Christian West sought to harmonize faith and reason, recognizing that God gave man a mind with which to understand the created order. But now we are told that no such order exists and that something as basic as biological sex is a mere illusion. This view is advanced, ironically enough, by those who hector others for not “respecting nature.” They seek to preserve nature but not human nature. They go to great lengths to protect rainforests but not children. As Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has pointed out, the ecological Left possesses no “ecology of man.” It treats disrespecting human nature as the height of human freedom.

But modern liberalism’s attempt to define the “good” of man without reference to the God who determined it can only end in tragedy. The terminus of its nihilistic view of human nature is not a culture of self-improvement but a culture of self-harm. The self-destructiveness that transgenderism encourages is bound to culminate in higher and higher rates of suicide. What would once have been considered child abuse is now presented to confused children as liberation. But it is not, as evident in the mental problems that accompany the use of puberty blockers and the like. An irreligious age is proving a very irrational one, with children used as the first guinea pigs in its experiments against common sense.

Where can we look for the restoration of sanity? Not to the self-styled “rationalist” academics, scientists, or politicians. They are all too willing to plunge even deeper into nihilism. We have seen in recent days that even some supposedly conservative Republicans won’t buck the tide of transgenderism. For the vindication of common sense, we must look to the religious. As Chesterton predicted, a culture that thinks and acts as if God does not exist would end up permitting everything and believing anything, no matter how absurd.

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, says the Bible. Such delusion leads to despair. Modern liberalism, for all of its rhetoric of progressive uplift, is desperately restless, always looking for new limits to trespass. Nothing can satisfy it. Its illusion of unfettered “reason,” independent of God’s design, has led not to new horizons of happiness but to new and some old forms of misery. The greatest civilizational hope lies not in faith devoid of reason or reason hostile to faith but in a revived synthesis of the two.


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Sunday Readings and Reflections

Sunday, April 11 
Second Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday) 

Roman Ordinary calendar


St. Stanislas and St. Gemma Galgani


Acts of the Apostles 4,32-35.

The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common. 
With great power the apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great favor was accorded them all. 
There was no needy person among them, for those who owned property or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds of the sale, 
and put them at the feet of the apostles, and they were distributed to each according to need. 

Psalms 118(117),2-4.13-15.22-24.

Let the house of Israel say, 
“His mercy endures forever.” 
Let the house of Aaron say, 
“His mercy endures forever.” 
Let those who fear the LORD say, 
“His mercy endures forever.” 

I was hard pressed and was falling, 
but the LORD helped me. 
My strength and my courage is the LORD, 
and he has been my savior. 
The joyful shout of victory 
in the tents of the just: 

The stone which the builders rejected 
has become the cornerstone. 
By the LORD has this been done; 
it is wonderful in our eyes. 
This is the day the LORD has made; 
let us be glad and rejoice in it. 

First Letter of John 5,1-6.

Beloved: Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten by God, and everyone who loves the father loves (also) the one begotten by him. 
In this way we know that we love the children of God when we love God and obey his commandments. 
For the love of God is this, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, 
for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world. And the victory that conquers the world is our faith. 
Who (indeed) is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 
This is the one who came through water and blood, Jesus Christ, not by water alone, but by water and blood. The Spirit is the one that testifies, and the Spirit is truth. 

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 20,19-31.

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, «Peace be with you.» 
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 
(Jesus) said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit. 
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” 
Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 
So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 
Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” 
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.” 
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” 
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of (his) disciples that are not written in this book. 
But these are written that you may (come to) believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name. 


Saint Gregory of Narek (c.944-1010) 
Armenian monk and poet 
Book of Prayers, no.33 (trad. SC 78, p. 206)

“Receive the holy Spirit”

Almighty, Benefactor, Friend to humankind, God of all,

and Creator of all things, visible and invisible;

You who save us and affirm us,

who care for us and bring us peace,

Mighty Spirit of the Father (…)

You share the same throne, the same glory,

and the same creative activity as the Father (…)

By your mediation was revealed to us

the Trinity of Persons in a unity of nature in the Divinity;

and you, too, are counted as one among those Persons,

O incomprehensible One (…)

Through Moses you were proclaimed Spirit of God (Gn 1:2)

as you hovered over the waters

with all-embracing protectiveness, awesome, full of care.

You spread your wings in sign of your compassionate presence 

hovering over those newly born,

and by this means revealed the mystery of the waters of baptism (…)

O Almighty One, as Lord you created

all natures and everything that exists (cf. Credo),

every being created by you,

in the moment that is last among the days of life here below

and first in the Land of the living.

He who is of the same nature as you,

He, the firstborn Son, who is consubstantial with the Father, 

obeyed you as a Father in our nature,

binding his will to yours.

He made you known as true God,

equal and consubstantial to his all-powerful Father (…)

and he shut the mouths of those who resisted you

for they were struggling against God (cf. Mt 12:28),

whereas he forgave all who were against himself.

He is the Just One, the Pure One, the Savior of all,

delivered up on account of our sins

and raised for our justification (Rom 4:25).

Through you all glory to him,

and to you all praise, together with the all-powerful Father

for endless ages. Amen.

Traditional Latin Mass readings for Low Sunday

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What is Divine Mercy Sunday?

dms1eucharist

In a series of revelations to St. Maria Faustina Kowalska in the 1930s, our Lord called for a special feast day to be celebrated on the Sunday after Easter.  Today, we know that feast as Divine Mercy Sunday, named by Pope St. John Paul II at the canonization of St. Faustina on April 30, 2000. 



The Lord expressed His will with regard to this feast in His very first revelation to St. Faustina. The most comprehensive revelation can be found in her Diary entry 699:

My daughter, tell the whole world about My inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and a shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day are opened all the divine floodgates through which graces flow. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come from the very depths of My most tender mercy. Every soul in its relation to Me will contemplate My love and mercy throughout eternity. The Feast of Mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My mercy.

In all, St. Faustina recorded 14 revelations from Jesus concerning His desire for this feast. 

Nevertheless, Divine Mercy Sunday is NOT a feast based solely on St. Faustina’s revelations. Indeed, it is not primarily about St. Faustina — nor is it altogether a new feast. The Second Sunday of Easter was already a solemnity as the Octave Day of Easter[1]. The title “Divine Mercy Sunday” does, however, highlight the meaning of the day. 
 


[1]Liturgically the Easter Octave has always been centered on the theme of Divine Mercy and forgiveness. Divine Mercy Sunday, therefore, point us to the merciful love of God that lies behind the whole Paschal Mystery — the whole mystery of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ — made present for us in the Eucharist. In this way, it also sums up the whole Easter Octave. As Pope John Paul II pointed out in his Regina Caeli address on Divine Mercy Sunday, 1995: “the whole octave of Easter is like a single day,” and the Octave Sunday is meant to be the day of “thanksgiving for the goodness God has shown to man in the whole Easter mystery.” 

Given the liturgical appropriateness of the title “Divine Mercy Sunday” for the Octave Day of Easter, therefore, the Holy See did not give this title to the Second Sunday of Easter merely as an “option,” for those dioceses who happen to like that sort of thing! Rather, the decree issued on May 5, 2000, by the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship and The Discipline of the Sacraments clearly states: “the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II has graciously determined that in the Roman Missal, after the title Second Sunday of Easter, there shall henceforth be added the appellation ‘or [that is] Divine Mercy Sunday’…”. 

Divine Mercy Sunday, therefore, is not an optional title for this solemnity; rather, Divine Mercy is the integral name for this Feast Day. In a similar way, the Octave Day of the Nativity of Our Lord was named by the Church “The Feast of the Mother of God.”

(source: TheDivineMercy.org)

More about the Feast of Divine Mercy and about how to gain the Plenary Indulgence

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