Why abortion activists hate Ireland

By Jonathon Van Maren and republished on ‘Irish Pro-Life Crusaders’ Facebook page.  10151758_563524128603_442119849534507273_n

If there’s one place that abortion activists hate more than a maternity ward, it must be pro-life Ireland. They simply cannot countenance the fact that there is a Western country, in the current year, that recognizes the right of human beings developing in the womb to live and grow in safety. They cannot stand the fact that there is a nation that has not bought into the same lies and joined their gruesome club. Thus, the Toronto Star breathlessly covered the journey of two anonymous Irish women who flew to the United Kingdom to end their pregnancies, noting that nearly all abortions are still illegal in Ireland, which, they add ominously, is “overwhelmingly Catholic.”

This, of course, is mentioned so that the reader immediately recognizes that opposition to abortion is rooted not in the fact that it brutally violates a human being’s right to life, but rather in the theology of the Catholic Church. That would mean, in case you missed it, that it is insane for people to expect a Catholic belief to be forced on the rest of the population, specifically the woman who hired a British abortionist to relieve her of her Irish pre-born child.

The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada chimed in on the situation too, noting gravely that, “The humanity and wisdom of women far surpasses the humanity of people like Enda Kenny, leader of Ireland. He’s a man, he will never have to travel to England for an abortion, the Church is still powerful, so women must be forced to be mothers.” Pardon the run-on, that’s a direct quote.

There’s a lot to unpack there. First of all, I fail to see why someone who does not agree with the violent eviction of human beings in the womb somehow possesses less “humanity” than an abortion activist, but then again, abortion activists are in the full-time business of claiming that some people are less human than others, so this should be no surprise.

Second of all, no one has to travel to England for an abortion, although some people very regrettably choose to. But to claim that this was something that had to be done is simply stupid. Then we have the finger pointed at the Catholic Church, even though I believe it is politicians and not cardinals who create public policy in Ireland. And finally, we have the claim that women are “forced to be mothers.” It must be pointed out here that the Irish woman seeking the British abortion was already a mother. That’s why she wanted an abortion: to end her tenure as a mother as quickly as possible. The unfortunate lie that abortion activists tell women is that abortion will relieve them of their motherhood, when in reality it makes them mothers of dead children, but mothers nonetheless.

The Irish law that is the target of so much hatred and bile is the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution Act, which states in full that: “The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.” Cue the screeching feminists, who shy away from terminology like “unborn” much like a vampire does a mirror.

It’s beautiful and encouraging to see that in spite of relentless pressure from the outside—Amnesty International, the European Union, and abortion activists from around the globe—Irish pro-life activists have been fighting back magnificently in defence of Ireland’s tiniest girls and boys. I’ve had the privilege of spending time with quite a number of them, and their conviction arises from the firm belief that violence is not an acceptable or humane answer to the question of what to do about a crisis pregnancy.

That’s why abortion activists hate the clear, wonderful message that Ireland sends to the rest of the West: You, too, can fight for a society that protects all people, from the very youngest to the very oldest.

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The Primacy of God in Our Lives

In 2012, on the feast of the Martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist, Pope Benedict XVI delivered the following instruction at his weekly general audience. Pope Benedict XVI’s teaching, all of which is marked by a strong and humble insistence on the primacy of God, is certainly worth revisiting. (The title of this post, plus the beautiful words in italics below interspersed within Pope Benedict’s homily, come from the monks of Silverstream Priory

The beheading of St John the Baptist

The beheading of St John the Baptist

“Dear brothers and sisters, This day [29th August] marks the liturgical memorial of the martyrdom of St. John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus. In the Roman calendar, he is the only saint for whom we celebrate both his birth (June 24th) and his death by martyrdom. Today’s memorial dates back to the dedication of a crypt of Sebaste, in Samaria, where by the mid 4th century his head was already being venerated. The cult then spread to Jerusalem, to the Churches of the East and to Rome under the title of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist. In the Roman Martyrology, reference is made to a second-century discovery of this precious relic, which was transported for the occasion to the Church of St. Sylvester in Campo Marzio, Rome.

These little historical references help us to understand how ancient and deep the veneration of St. John the Baptist truly is. In the Gospels his role in relation to Jesus is quite prominent. In particular, St. Luke recounts his birth, his life in the desert and his preaching, and in today’s Gospel St. Mark speaks to us about his dramatic death. John the Baptist begins his preaching under the emperor Tiberius, in 27-28 A.D., and the clear invitation he addresses to the people who come out to hear him is to prepare the way to welcome the Lord, to make straight the paths of their lives through a radical conversion of heart (cf. Luke 3:4).

But the Baptist does not limit himself to preaching repentance and conversion; rather, in recognizing Jesus as “the Lamb of God” who has come to take away the sins of the world (John 1:29), he has the deep humility to point to Jesus as the One truly sent by God, and he steps aside so that Christ might increase, be heard and followed.

Humility, as so many have written, is the distinctive Benedictine virtue. Chapter Seven, on the twelve steps of humility, is the longest chapter in the Holy Rule. It is no mere coincidence that one of the first oratories that Saint Benedict built on Monte Cassino was dedicated to Saint John the Forerunner. Humility begins, not by gazing upon oneself, but by gazing upon and recognizing the Lamb of God. In the light of the Lamb one is content to disappear into a kind of ennothingment. This is where humiliation and adoration become two expressions of the same thing.

As a last act, the Baptist bears witness with his blood to his fidelity to God’s commandments, without giving up or turning back, thus fulfilling his mission to the end. St. Bede, a 9th century monk, in his Homilies says: Saint John, for Christ, gave up his life, even though [his persecutor] had not demanded that he should deny Jesus Christ, but only that he should keep silent about the truth (cf. Hom. 23: CCL 122, 354). And he did not keep silent about the truth, and thus he died for Christ who is the Truth. For love of the truth, he did not give in to compromises with those who were powerful, nor was he afraid to address strong words to the one who lost his way to God.

Is this not the single greatest temptation today for people in the public eye, be they churchmen or politicians: to keep silent about the truth? The trend to privatize religion is, in effect, a trend to suppress the truth. Such is the religion of the cowardly, not of the boldhearted in the Holy Ghost.

Now we see this great figure — this force — in his passion, in his resistance against the powerful. We ask: where does this life come from, this interiority, which is so strong, so principled, so consistent, which is spent so totally for God and in preparing the way for Jesus? The answer is simple: from his relationship with God, from prayer, which is the guiding thread of his entire life.

More and more do I see the significance of Saint John the Baptist in the apparition at Knock in 1879. The little church that became the site of the apparition was dedicated to him. The Holy Forerunner did not appear with the Mother of God, with Saint Joseph, Saint John the Evangelist, and the Lamb of God. He was true to himself: silent and hidden, and yet, in some mysterious way, Saint John the Baptist was present at Knock. His intercession preceded the apparition and accompanied it. Is not the message of Saint John the Baptist at Knock exactly what the Holy Father sets forth here? Is it not the primacy of one’s relationship with God, and prayer as the guiding thread of one’s life?

John is the divine gift long besought by his parents, Zechariah and Elizabeth (cf. Luke 1:13); a great gift, humanly unhoped–for since both of them were advanced in years and Elizabeth was barren (cf. Luke 1:7); but nothing is impossible for God (cf. Luke 1:36). The announcement of this birth occurred precisely in a place of prayer, in the temple of Jerusalem; indeed, it took place when, to Zechariah, there fell the great privilege of entering the temple’s most sacred place, in order to offer incense to the Lord (cf. Luke 1:8-20). Even the Baptist’s birth is marked by prayer: the hymn of joy, praise and thanksgiving that Zechariah raises to the Lord and that we recite each morning in Lauds — the “Benedictus” — extols God’s action in history and prophetically points to the mission of his son John: to go before the Son of God made flesh in order to prepare the way for him (Luke 1:67-79).

Pope Benedict XVI is, of all the popes of modern times, the one most marked by the experience of the sacred liturgy in all its richness. The influence of the liturgy on his piety, his theology, and his world-view comes through in all his teachings, as it does here.

The entire life of Jesus’ precursor was nourished by his relationship with God, especially during the time he spent in the wilderness (cf. Luke 1:80); the wilderness, a place of temptation, but also a place where man feels his own poverty, for there he is deprived of all support and material security, and he comes to understand that the only secure reference point is God himself.

What the Holy Father says here of the wilderness can be applied, just as he says it, to the monastery. What is a monastery, if not “a place of temptation, but also a place where man feels his own poverty, for there he is deprived of all support and material security, and he comes to understand that the only secure reference point is God himself”?

But John the Baptist is not only a man of prayer, of constant contact with God; he is also a guide in this relationship. The Evangelist Luke, in relating the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples — the “Our Father” — notes that the request made by the disciples was formulated with these words: “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples” (cf. Luke 11:1).

I have never forgotten what I read so many, many years ago in Jean Cardinal Danielou’s book on the mystery of Advent: that Saint John the Baptist has a permanent and ongoing mission in the Church and in regard to souls, and that there is no “advent” of the Lord, even those secret advents of grace, that is not, in some way, prepared by the Holy Forerunner.
Saint John the Baptist is, moreover, a master of prayer. He teaches one how to pray by fixing one’s gaze upon the Lamb of God and by falling silent in adoration, in humility, and in joy.

Dear brothers and sisters, celebrating the martyrdom of St. John the Baptist also reminds us — Christians in our own times — that we cannot give into compromise when it comes to our love for Christ, for his Word, for his Truth. The Truth is the Truth; there is no compromise. The Christian life requires, as it were, the “martyrdom” of daily fidelity to the Gospel; the courage, that is, to allow Christ to increase in us and to direct our thoughts and actions. But this can only occur in our lives if our relationship with God is strong.

Never has the temptation to compromise with the world been stronger than it is today, especially in Europe and North America. Notions such as discretion, tolerance, and liberty are used as excuses for pusillanimity, fear of confrontation, and the watering down of the truth. The gift of fortitude is as necessary in the present hour as it was in the great age of the martyrs.

Prayer is not time lost, nor does it steal space away from our activities, even those that are apostolic; it is exactly the opposite: only if we are able to have a life of faithful, constant, trusting prayer, will God himself give us the ability and strength to live in happiness and peace, to overcome difficulties and to courageously bear witness to him. May Saint John the Baptist intercede for us, that we might always maintain the primacy of God in our lives. Thank you.”

How often I have heard people say that perseverance in prolonged prayer is a loss of time that might better be used working, that it steals space away from productivity, and that, while it is alright for those living in the cloister, it is not suitable for ordinary layfolk. I have even heard priests and religious repeat the tired old chestnut, “We are not monks”! With that deadly little phrase they absolve themselves of zeal for the sacred liturgy, of a daily rule of personal prayer, of lectio divina, and of making space in daily life for silence and solitude with God. The Holy Father calls the whole Church to maintain the primacy of God in life: God first, God adored, God confessed, God sought always and everywhere.


[Zenit Translation by Diane Montagna]


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So Shines A Good Deed In A Weary World

Gene Wilder has died. May he rest in peace.

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The Firedrake Jammer

(Don’t listen to it all unless it floats your sampan)

You’ll find this little tune playing all over the shortwave bands. It is a traditional Chinese folk music piece. The funny thing is you will find it being broadcast at megawatt volume at exactly the frequency you expected to hear Radio Taiwan, or the Voice of America, or whoever else somebody doesn’t want the free Chinese peoples listening to. Funny that, innit.

Somebody is just exercising their right to share cultural heritage, aren’t they.

Yes, it’s called “jamming”, the world’s third oldest profession, after undertaking and prostitution. You don’t need a radio transmitter to do it either. Just get a lie that holds together, sort-of, and use a rent-a-mob to spread it voluminously and relentlessly until the Truth is drowned out. Simples!

There is one counter-weapon against jamming though, that they can never beat. The Christians were given it by the great DJ* Himself:

There is no greater Love than laying down one’s own life for one’s friends-in-the-Truth.

In all times and places, on all bands and wavelengths, Saints are laying their lives down for the Truth, for Love’s sake, and for their friends-that’s all of us-and guess what:



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George Soros paid $650K to influence bishops during Pope’s US visit

August 23, 2016, LifeSiteNews

shutterstock_39886369_810_500_55_s_c1Leaked emails through WikiLeaks reveal that billionaire globalist George Soros – one of Hilary Clinton’s top donors – paid $650,000 to influence Pope Francis’ September 2015 visit to the USA with a view to “shift[ing] national paradigms and priorities in the run-up to the 2016 presidential campaign.” The funds were allocated in April 2015 and the report on their effectiveness suggests that successful achievements included, “Buy-in of individual bishops to more publicly voice support of economic and racial justice messages in order to begin to create a critical mass of bishops who are aligned with the Pope.”

The monies were granted to two US entities that have been engaged in a long-term project, according to the report, of shifting “the priorities of the US Catholic church.” Grantees were PICO, a faith-based community organizing group, and Faith in Public Life (FPL), a progressive group working in media to promote left-leaning ‘social justice’ causes. Soros has funded left-wing causes the world over and was just foundto have been funding an effort to eliminate pro-life laws around the globe.

Board Minutes from the May 2015 meeting of Soros’ Open Society Foundation in New York reveal that in the planning stages of the papal visit initiative, the group planned to work through one of the Pope’s key advisors, Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, naming him specifically in the report. In order to seize on the opportunity provided by the Pope’s visit to the US, says the report, “we will support PICO’s organizing activities to engage the Pope on economic and racial justice issues, including using the influence of Cardinal Rodriguez, the Pope’s senior advisor, and sending a delegation to visit the Vatican in the spring or summer to allow him to hear directly from low-income Catholics in America.”

In 2013 Cardinal Rodriguez endorsed PICO’s work in a video during a visit from PICO representatives to the cardinal’s diocese. “I want to endorse all the efforts they are doing to promote communities of faith,” he said, “… Please, keep helping PICO.”

The post operative report on the funding to influence the papal visit comes in the 2016 report entitled, Review Of 2015 U.S. Opportunities Fund. The Soros group was pleased with the result of their campaign and saw statements by various bishops against presidental candidates who are using “fearmongering” – likely a reference to the GOP lineup, and perhaps Trump specifically – as one outcome of their efforts. “The impact of this work and the relationships it has fostered can be seen in the broad range of religious leaders hitting pointedly back at presidential candidates for their use of fearmongering,” the report said.

Additionally, the summary report says their funding was helpful to counter “anti-gay rhetoric” in the media. The “efficacy of the media campaign can be seen in the team’s ability to react to and counter the anti-gay rhetoric following the Kim Davis story (the Kentucky county clerk who was jailed for defying a federal court order to issue marriage licenses to gay couples whom the Pope visited),” the report states.

The grant specifically targeted the ‘pro-family’ agenda, redirecting it from defending marriage to being concerned with income equality. “FPL’s media, framing, and public opinion activities, including conducting a poll to demonstrate that Catholic voters are responsive to the Pope’s focus on income inequality, and earning media coverage that drives the message that being ‘pro-family’ requires addressing growing inequality,” says the May report.

Attorney Elizabeth Yore, who served on the Heartland Institute Delegation that traveled to the Vatican in April 2015 to urge Pope Francis to re-examine his reliance on UN population control proponents who promote climate change, spoke to LifeSiteNews about the Soros initiative. “Catholics serve as a huge and influential voting block in the U.S. election,” she said. Soros, she said, is “using the head of the Catholic Church to influence this key voting block,” with the “bully pulpit of the papacy” to ensure Hilary Clinton’s election.

Yore pointed out “this is not the first time that the unholy alliance of Soros and the Vatican successfully collaborated on a political project.” In 2015, she recalled, “the Soros operatives, embedded in the Vatican, directed Pope Francis’ Environmental Agenda, by delivering for Soros and the UN, an Apostolic Exhortation on Climate Change, and a prized papal endorsement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Pope’s apostolic blessing on the Paris Climate Treaty.”

In terms of the Soros goal of shifting the priorities of the Catholic Church away from moral absolutes, two US bishops stand out as champions of the move. San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy has repeatedly stressed changing the Church’s priorities and has had the backing of Pope Francis’ ‘favored son,’ Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich. McElroy created a furor at the U.S. Bishops Conference meeting last November over his attempt to change a document instructing Catholics on how to vote.

McElroy made a pointed argument that the document was out of step with Pope Francis’ priorities — specifically, by putting too much emphasis on abortion and euthanasia, and not enough on poverty and the environment.  Cupich later praised McElroy’s intervention as a “real high moment” for the conference and supported the move to put degradation of the environment and global poverty on par with abortion and euthanasia.

Concluding their report reflecting on the success of the grant to influence the papal visit, the Soros group was very pleased with the results. Looking to the future, they are excited that the long-term goal of shifting the priorities of the Catholic Bishops in the United States “is now underway.”

Further reading: remnantnewspaper the-pope-s-boss

remnantnewspaper an-unholy-alliance

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Is Russia Converting?

CP&S is publishing a recent article from The Remnant, and a first one to which it is linked. We understand some may find their content controversial, but the information therein is based on reality and accurate findings. They give rise to some important questions for our age.


Written by Robert J. Siscoe for The Remnant


The Material Preparation for the Consecration?

Editor’s Note: The recent RTV Short, Putin vs. Obama, touched off a lively debate here and on YouTube [see below] that seems to call for a bit more context. The following article by Robert Siscoe appeared in the print-edition of The Remnant back in 2013, and provides food for thought. As I said here the other day, we don’t claim to have all the answers but we are interested in this debate, especially if it can be conducted by those willing to think outside the box, set aside outdated Cold War polemics and look at what’s happening in the here and now. This is not 1980, the U.S. is not the ‘shining city on the hill,’ and when considering the breakup of the U.S.S.R.—especially when compared to other ruthlessly Christophobic regimes operating around the world right now—it doesn’t seem quite right to single out Russia as the “evil empire” anymore. So, what’s going on here? How does Fatima come into this? What about the consecration? Have the atheistic “errors of Russia” now become the “errors of the whole world”? Was Our Lady (who never once mentioned ‘Communism’) referring merely to a political/economic system or wasn’t there much more to it than that. MJM

Over the past few years some remarkable events of a religious nature have been taking place in Russia, of all places, with Vladimir Putin gaining worldwide respect for his leadership. The former KGB agent is emerging as a voice of moral sanity through his promotion of traditional morality and having the courage to condemn sins against nature. He has also been speaking out for the rights of persecuted Christian minorities in the Middle East, and taking concrete measures to establish closer relations between the Orthodox Church and the Russian State. Mere political stunts? Perhaps, but perhaps not.

In a recent article from LifeSiteNews, Hilary White discussed some of these recent events:

Putin praised the growth of cooperation between the Orthodox Churches and the Russian state, saying, “We act as genuine partners and colleagues to solve the most pressing domestic and international tasks, to implement joint initiatives for the benefit of our country and people.”

The Russian Federation recently passed legislation making it illegal to promote homosexuality as normal, a move that, while condemned by many European leaders, was strongly supported by the Orthodox Church.

Putin added Thursday that the Church was giving Russians a moral compass when so many were looking for help. “Today when people are once again searching for moral support, millions of our compatriots see it in religion,” he said. “They trust the wise, pastoral word of the Russian Orthodox Church.”

He added that it was the Church that was ultimately responsible for the development and rise of “culture and education” in Russia over the last 1,000 years. “The adoption of Christianity became a turning point in the fate of our fatherland, made it an inseparable part of the Christian civilization and helped it turn into one of the largest world powers,” Putin said.[1]

These positive developments have many Catholics wondering what is taking place in Russia. Has the long-awaited conversion, spoken of by Our Lady of Fatima, already begun? If so, what about the collegial Consecration that is supposed to precede it? And has Vladimir Putin really undergone a conversion to Christianity (albeit Orthodoxy), or are his public actions in support of Christianity merely a means of strengthening and unifying the Russian people in preparation for their coming battle against the West?

There are informed Catholics on either side of this issue and both make a compelling case for their position, but in my opinion Putin’s motives are irrelevant with respect to the larger picture, since what I believe we are witnessing is nothing less than the material preparation for the Consecration of Russia, which, I believe, is itself is due to the millions of Rosaries and other prayers that the faithful have been offering up for this intention for decades. God has willed that only the Pope and Bishops can bring about the true conversion of Russia, but I strongly suspect that God has been using the prayers of the faithful to prepare the matter, which will receive the form (the true Faith) when the long-awaited Consecration takes place.

Material Preparations

In an August 2012 article from the Washington Times, titled: “In Putin’s Russia, Little Separation between Church and State”, we read:

The Russian Orthodox Church is enjoying its newfound prestige with the Russian government. The head of the church, Patriarch Kirill, was granted residence in the Kremlin, the elaborate historic fortress in Moscow and seat of the Russian government, late last year… a move that restored the head of the church to a residence the church lost in the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution.[2]

The same article quotes an Orthodox Priest who had the following to say about separation of Church and State:

‘Our church does not consider itself an enemy of the state. The Western idea that the state and the church should be slight rivals and slight enemies is both bizarre and incorrect from an Orthodox point of view,’ Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, a leading Orthodox church official, said in June. ‘We have — quite the opposite — teachings about harmony, cooperation and agreement between the state and the church.’[3]

In the same article, the then-President Dmitry Medvedev admitted: “Yes, the church occupies a fitting place in the life of our society and government.”

The restoration of a union between Church and State, which was lost at the 1917 Communist Revolution, is not only in agreement with the teaching of the Orthodox Church, but also reflects the teaching of the Catholic Church, as one can read in many Papal encyclicals, such as Immortale Die – “On the Christian Constitution of the State” – by Pope Leo XIII. Union of Church and State is an essential element for a truly Christian country, which alone can produce a truly Christian culture. Therefore, regardless of the motives that are inspiring it, and in spite of the fact that the form (true Faith) is still lacking, this development serves as an important material component for the future conversion of the nation.

In addition to promoting greater cooperation between church and State, Russia is also taking measures to suppress heretical sects, which is another positive development in the material preparations. The following is taken from a 2008 New York Times article:

The Kremlin’s surrogates in many areas have turned the Russian Orthodox Church into a de facto official religion, warding off other Christian denominations that seem to offer the most significant competition for worshipers. They have all but banned proselytizing by Protestants and discouraged Protestant worship through a variety of harassing measures, according to dozens of interviews with government officials and religious leaders across Russia.

This close alliance between the government and the Russian Orthodox Church has become a defining characteristic of Mr. Putin’s tenure, a mutually reinforcing choreography that is usually described here as working ‘in symphony.’ …

… 300 miles south of Moscow, the police evicted a Seventh-day Adventist congregation from its meeting hall, forcing it to hold services in a ramshackle home next to a construction site. Evangelical Baptists were barred from renting a theater for a Christian music festival, and were not even allowed to hand out toys at an orphanage. A Lutheran minister said he moved away for a few years because he feared for his life. He has returned, but keeps a low profile.

On local television last month, the city’s chief Russian Orthodox priest, who is a confidant of the region’s most powerful politicians, gave a sermon that was repeated every few hours. His theme: Protestant heretics. ‘We deplore those who are led astray — those Jehovah’s Witnesses, Baptists, evangelicals, Pentecostals and many others who cut Christ’s robes like bandits, who are like the soldiers who crucified Christ, who ripped apart Christ’s holy coat,’ declared the priest, the Rev. Aleksei D. Zorin.[4]

The article goes on to quote a Protestant Minister, Mr. Pakhomony, who said: “They have made us into lepers to scare people away. There is this climate that you can feel with your every cell”.

The active suppression of heresy, which is the ideal in a truly Christian State, is another positive development since heresy corrupts the true Faith, causes division, and results in the loss of innumerable souls. While it is true that the Orthodox Church is itself in schism from the Catholic Church and does not profess the “fullness’ of the Faith, the suppression of heretical sects is certainly a positive development in the material preparation. What is lacking at present is the form, which will easily be remedied when the Consecration takes place.

Another positive development is seen in a recent amendment to the Russian Constitution. On June 26, 2013, Russia approved an amendment intending to protect children “from information that is harmful to their health and development”. The law expressly forbids “non-traditional sexual relations among minors expressed in distribution of information that is aimed at the formation among minors of non-traditional sexual attitudes, attractiveness of nontraditional sexual relations, misperceptions of the social equivalence of traditional and non-traditional sexual relations, or enforcing information about non-traditional sexual relations that evokes interest to such relations.”

In view of these measures the Sodomites are fleeing Russia in droves, thereby ridding the country of a sin that cries to Heaven for vengeance. As a result of this law, any Russians suffering from this disordered tendency will be forced to keep it in the closet where it belongs.


It seems evident that these positive developments constitute the material preparation for the coming Consecration, which will bring about the conversion of Russia and the promised Age of Peace.

At the wedding Feast of Cana, the Blessed Mother asked her Son to perform a miracle. Even though His time had not yet come (John 2:4) Our Lord granted the request, but the miracle did not take place until the “waiters” did their part. Their job was to prepare the matter for the miracle by filling the jugs with water, which would then be miraculously transformed into wine at the appointed time. In like manner, I believe the prayers of the faithful are serving to prepare the matter in Russia, which will soon be miraculously transformed when the Consecration takes place and the form is infused.

While only the Pope and Bishops can bring about the true conversion by performing the collegial Consecration of Russia as requested by God,[5] the seemingly miraculous conversion of the matter, which we are witnessing today, should give us hope that the long-awaited event is not far off. It should also serve as an encouragement to those who have helped to prepare the matter by their sacrifices and prayers. But whether or not the Consecration takes place before or after “the annihilation of nations” is in the hands of the Pope, since only he can bring about the true conversion by an act of obedience to the Will of God.

[1] Hilary White, World Leaders Should Unite To End Anti-Christian Persecution, Vladimir Putin Say,” LifeSiteNews August 1st, 2013.
[2] By Marc Bennetts, In Putin’s Russia, Little Separation Between Church And State, Washington Post, August 13, 2012
[3] Ibid.
[4]Clifford J. Levy, At The Expense Of All The Others, Putin Picks A Church’, New York Times, April 24, 2008
[5] “The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father, in union with all the Bishops of the world, to make the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means” (Words of the Blessed Mother to Sr. Lucy in June of 1929).

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“The priest is not a priest for himself, he is a priest for you.”

108 Years Ago, This Priest’s Murder at Mass Shocked the U.S.



When you read a headline about priests being murdered at Mass, who comes to mind? Almost certainly, you think of Fr. Jacques Hamel, who died last month at the hands of Muslim terrorists during Mass in the small French town of Saint Etienne-du-Rouvray, in Normandy.

If your mind stretches beyond the horror of Fr. Hamel’s death, his throat slashed by ISIS sympathizers, then you probably think next of Blessed Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador. Archbishop Romero was assassinated while celebrating Mass in the chapel of the Hospital of Divine Providence on March 24, 1980. Just one day before his death, Romero had called on Salvadoran soldiers, as Christians, to stop aiding the government’s repression and violation of basic human rights, and to instead obey the laws of God. For that, he was shot while praying at the altar.

The priest I have in mind, though, is not Father Hamel, not Archbishop Romero, but a humble Franciscan priest who served as pastor of St. Elizabeth’s in Denver, Colorado in 1907-1908.

Fr. Leo Heinrichs was born in Germany but fled persecution under Otto von Bismarck’s Kulturkampf, arriving in the United States in the 1880s. With his fellow seminarians, he settled at St. Bonaventure’s Friary in Paterson, New Jersey. He professed his final vows on December 8, 1890, and was ordained to the priesthood in July 1891.

Fr. Heinrichs served at several parishes in New York and New Jersey before being assigned to St. Elizabeth’s in Denver in 1907. During his tenure at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, New Jersey, a smallpox epidemic broke out; and Fr. Heinrichs spent many hours to the sick and dying at a nearby “pest house,” the name given to hospitals where persons afflicted with communicable diseases were isolated from the general public.

At St. Elizabeth’s, just a week before his death, Fr. Heinrichs spoke at a meeting of the Young Ladies’ Sodality. “If I had my choice of a place where I would die,” he said, “I would choose to die at the feet of the Blessed Virgin.”

A week later—on February 23, 1908—that’s just what happened. Fr. Heinrichs usually celebrated Mass at 8:00 a.m., but on that day he had a meeting and so he switched with Fr. Wulstan Workman and celebrated the early (6:00 a.m.) Mass instead. Seated in the third row was an unemployed shoemaker, a recent immigrant by the name of Giuseppe Alia. Alia was a deeply troubled anarchist, and for some reason he had a special hatred for priests.

At Holy Communion, Alia lined up with the other congregants to receive the Eucharist, and he knelt at the Communion rail. He received the consecrated Host, but then spat it out into his hand and flung it at Fr. Heinrich’s face. As the Host dropped to the floor, Alia drew his revolver and aimed at the startled priest, shooting him through the heart.

As he fell, before losing consciousness, Fr. Heinrichs prayed, “My Lord and my God.” He attempted to pick up the Hosts which had fallen from the ciborium in his hands, and then died on the step of Our Lady’s altar.

Giuseppe Alia was captured by a conductor for the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, who happened to be present at the Mass, and was arrested by an off-duty Denver police officer. Later, at the jail, Alia is reported to have explained his actions: “I went over there,” he said,

“…because I have a grudge against all priests in general. They are all against the workingman. I went to the Communion rail because I could get a better shot. I did not care whether he was a German priest or any other kind of priest. They are all in the same class. … I shot him, and my only regret is that I could not shoot the whole bunch of priests in the Church.”

Alia was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death by hanging. He never expressed remorse; his final words, as he was hanged in the Colorado State Penitentiary, were “Death to the priests!”


From the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops comes this prayer for priests:

Gracious and loving God, we thank you for the gift of our priests.
Through them, we experience your presence in the sacraments.

Help our priests to be strong in their vocation.
Set their souls on fire with love for your people.

Grant them the wisdom, understanding, and strength they need to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.
Inspire them with the vision of your Kingdom.

Give them the words they need to spread the Gospel.
Allow them to experience joy in their ministry.

Help them to become instruments of your divine grace.

We ask this through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns as our Eternal Priest.




Comment: The Priest acts In Persona Christi. Through the sacrament of Holy Orders he once received, he is graced with the ability to administer the holy sacraments to the people. Above all, it is he alone who brings the vital ‘food of our souls’, the life-giving ‘Body of Christ’, to the faithful through the sublime act of transubstantiation at the moment of Consecration. To keep our priests always free from fear and temptations they are in great need of our prayers.

From earliest days the priest has been consistently attacked both spiritually and physically by the devil and all the many enemies of Christ. Countless priests have been martyred at the altar of God when celebrating Holy Mass. From the days of the great pre-Constantine Christian persecutions, through the spread of the missionaries to foreign and often hostile lands, to the Protestant Revolt and the cruel Penal Laws in Great Britain and Ireland (like St. Thomas a Becket previously in 1170), at the hands of the French Revolutionists, the red fury that swept through Spain during the Spanish Civil War, and the Nazi Fascists in WWII, to the violent Muslim invasions over the centuries to the atheistic Communist genocidal purges, the Priest has spilt his blood in imitation of His Sovereign Lord and King at the altar, offering the Memorial of Christ’s Supreme Sacrifice.

In our own day there are many priests in Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, China and other parts of the world who are daily risking their lives to bring the sacraments to their flocks. The fate of many of these courageous and holy men is often unknown to the world, but not unknown to God, Who will impart to them their due reward.

The priest is our ‘bridge’ from this life to the next. Through the Sacraments of initiation, he brings Christ’s love, peace, forgiveness and offer of eternal happiness. He guides the lost soul back on the right path, comforts the afflicted and evangelises the ignorant. The priest who celebrates the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with humble reverence and great devotion, drawing his hands and prayer together with the congregations’ heavenwards like a cloud of incense (Ps. 141:2) pours down immense grace upon his people. He becomes the greatest of earthly treasures.

But as I once heard an exceptionally holy priest once admit: “There is no greater joy on earth than to be a priest for Christ; but it is at the same time a path strewn with thorns”. And he added: “It can be no other way”. I have never forgotten those words.

St John Vianney, patron saint of priests, reminds us:

“Without the priest, the passion and death of our Lord would be of no avail. It is the priest who continues the work of redemption here on earth…What use would be a house filled with gold, were there no one to open its door? The priest holds the key to the treasures of heaven: it is he who opens the door: he is the steward of the good Lord; the administrator of His goods…The priest is not a priest for himself, he is a priest for you.

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Norcia Close to Epicenter of Devastating Earthquake in Central Italy

By EDWARD PENTIN on National Catholic Register

Rescue efforts taking place in Amatrice. The town's mayor has said half the town "isn't there anymore."

Rescue efforts taking place in Amatrice. The town’s mayor has said half the town “isn’t there anymore.”

Like many in Rome, I was awoken at around 3.30 this morning as the top floor apartment I was staying in gently swayed from an earthquake tremor for about 30 seconds, setting off car alarms. A slightly gentler aftershock followed about half an hour later.

It was ominously similar to the earthquake that struck L’Aquila in 2009 which resulted in 309 people losing their lives and which we also felt in the Eternal City.

As then, I knew that Rome would escape largely unscathed, but places close to the epicenter would not be so fortunate. Little did I know that the quake struck very close to Norcia, the birthplace of St. Benedict. I had only left the town the day before.

So far, the magnitude 6.2 earthquake has left 38 people in the region dead and 150 missing according to news reports. Many of the victims were in Accumoli and Amatrice — towns which have been devastated by the quake and which are only 20-30 miles from Norcia.

Pope Francis shelved his prepared general audience catechesis today and instead led pilgrims in praying the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary for the victims.

“On hearing the news of the earthquake that has struck central Italy and which has devastated many areas and left many wounded, I cannot fail to express my heartfelt sorrow and spiritual closeness to all those present in the zones afflicted,” the Pope said Aug. 24. He offered his condolences to all who have lost loved ones, and his expressed his spiritual closeness to those who are “anxious and afraid.”

Norcia has become particularly well known in recent years because of the American Benedictine monks who re-founded the monastery there in 2000. In a statement posted on their Facebook page, the monks assured the public they were OK but highlighted the many injured, especially in the small mountain villages.

“Please pray for them,” they said. “We monks will do what we can to contribute here on the ground, but we’ll need your spiritual support in a special way during this period.”

They added: “We, as many others in Norcia and surrounding areas, suffered a lot of damage to our buildings and especially to our basilica. It will take some time to assess the extent of the damage, but it is very sad to see the many beautiful restorations we’ve made to St. Benedict’s birthplace reduced, in a moment, to disrepair.” The monks have most recently been restoring some of the side chapels of the basilica.

To the question of what can the public to do help, they wrote: “Please, pray for us, for those who have lost their lives, who have lost someone they love, who have lost their homes and livelihoods. We will need your help, as always but now in a special way, to start the project of rebuilding. Please consider making a gift to help us get started.”

I hope to return to Norcia soon and will give an update on the latest from there.

Update 3.23 p.m.:

The Vatican has said that “as a concrete sign of the Holy Father’s closeness to those affected by the earthquake, a team of six members of Vatican City’s Firefighting Corps left this morning for Amatrice.” It added that the team will work in accordance with Italy’s Civil Protection in the search and rescue of victims.

Naturally, this tragic news has also been taken up by all other media networks. For further reports please see here, here, and here.

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Still In Love With His Priesthood After 25 Years

This profoundly sincere and moving video is the testimony of Father Anthony Mary, a priest of the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer, the traditional ‘Transalpine Redemptorists’ based on Papa Stronsay (in the northern Scottish islands  of the Orkneys) on his silver jubilee in the Holy Priesthood. The Transalpine Redemptorists also have an apostolate in Christ Church, New Zealand, where Fr Anthony is currently based.

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Pope Francis: withdraw the Vatican’s flawed new sex-ed curriculum (Sign the petition)

CP&S first blogged about this here.

Sign the petition over at LifeSiteNews

Featured Image

Note: This petition is sponsored by the American Life League


International life-and-family leaders who have defended Catholic teaching on marriage, sexuality, and life for decades have called the Vatican’s newly released sex-ed program for teens “thoroughly immoral,” “entirely inappropriate,” and “quite tragic.”

“I find it monstrous that an official arm of the Church would not only create a sexual education program for teens but one that bypasses parents as the primary educator of their children,” said Dr. Thomas Ward, Founder and President of the National Association of Catholic Families as well as a Corresponding Member of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

The program, titled “The Meeting Point: Course of Affective Sexual Education for Young People,” was released in July by the Pontifical Council for the Family to be presented to young people at World Youth Day in Poland.

While the new Vatican program has many positive qualities, its defects cannot be underestimated. These include:

  • Handing the sexual formation of children over to educators while leaving parents out of the equation.
  • Failing to name and condemn sexual behaviors, such as fornication, prostitution, adultery, contracepted-sex, homosexual activity, and masturbation, as objectively sinful actions that destroy charity in the heart and turn one away from God.
  • Failing to warn youths about the possibility of eternal separation from God (damnation) for committing grave sexual sins. Hell is not mentioned once.
  • Failing to distinguish between mortal and venial sin.
  • Failing to speak about the 6th and 9th commandment, or any other commandment.
  • Failing to teach about the sacrament of confession as a way of restoring relationship with God after committing grave sin.
  • Not mentioning a healthy sense of shame when it comes to the body and sexuality.
  • Teaching boys and girls together in the same class.
  • Having boys and girls share together in class their understanding of phrasessuch as: “What does the word sex suggest to you?”
  • Asking a mixed class to “point out where sexuality is located in boys and girls.”
  • Speaking about the “process of arousal.”
  • Using sexually explicit and suggestive images in activity workbooks (herehere, and here).
  • Recommending various sexually explicit movies as springboards for discussion (see below for links).
  • Failing to speak about abortion as gravely wrong, but only that it causes “strong psychological damage.”
  • Confusing youths by using phrases such as “sexual relationship” to indicate not the sexual act, but a relationship focused on the whole person.
  • Speaking of “heterosexuality” as something to be “discover[ed].”
  • Using gay icon Elton John (while not mentioning his activism) as an example of a gifted and famous person.
  • Endorsing the “dating” paradigm as a step towards marriage.
  • Not stressing celibacy as the supreme form of self-giving that constitutes the very meaning of human sexuality.
  • Failing to mention Christ’s teaching on marriage.
  • Treating sexuality as a separate subject instead of as something integrated into the doctrinal and moral teachings of the Church.

Tell the Vatican to retract this deeply flawed new sex-ed curriculum. Sign the petition.

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This is about the American political system, but I can’t argue with any of the points made, and am sure the principle applies to all nation’s politics.

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The Queenship and the Immaculate Heart of Mary


Today, August 22nd, is the feast of The Immaculate Heart of Mary in the traditional calendar and the Queenship of Mary in the new calendar. Both calendars mark the feast of the Divine Maternity on 11th October. In the traditional calendar Our Lady’s Queenship is also observed on that day.

On the 11th of October 1954, Pope Pius XII established the feast of the Queenship of Mary and invited the Faithful throughout the world to renew their consecration to Her. The feast was subsequently moved to the 22nd of August.

In his encyclical Ad Coeli Reginam, Pope Pius XII wrote:

“The purpose of the Feast is that all may recognize more clearly and venerate more devoutly the merciful and motherly sovereignty of Her who bore God in Her womb.”



 Solemn Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen and Mother

Most Holy Virgin Mary, tender Mother of men, to fulfill the desires of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the request of the Vicar of Your Son on earth, we consecrate ourselves and our families to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, O Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and we recommend to You, all the people of our country and all the world.

Please accept our consecration, dearest Mother, and use us as You wish to accomplish Your designs in the world.

O Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and Queen of the World, rule over us, together with the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, Our King. Save us from the spreading flood of modern paganism; kindle in our hearts and homes the love of purity, the practice of a virtuous life, an ardent zeal for souls, and a desire to pray the Rosary more faithfully.

We come with confidence to You, O Throne of Grace and Mother of Fair Love. Inflame us with the same Divine Fire which has inflamed Your own Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Make our hearts and homes Your shrine, and through us, make the Heart of Jesus, together with your rule, triumph in every heart and home.


–Venerable Pope Pius XII

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The ‘Eucharistic Heart’ of Pope St Pius X.

Pope Pius X (Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto) - Supreme Pontiff, 1903-1914

Pope Pius X (Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto) – Supreme Pontiff, 1903-1914

Today is the feast day of one of the greatest Popes of the modern era, Pope St Pius X, whose eleven year Papacy was lived at the onset of turbulent and changing times. His great personal sanctity in daily life was the guide and inspiration of all his ecclesiastic undertakings, first as a young priest, then as Bishop (first of Mantua and later as Patriarch of of Venice), and finally as Supreme Pontiff.

When as a young priest he had been chosen by the Bishop to fill a vacancy as canon of the Cathedral, along with his duties at the cathedral, Monsignor Sarto now looked after other priests and the seminary as spiritual director. He threw all his energies into his new assignments, showing particular zeal in the formation of new priests. He was constantly heard stating: “The priest is a man obliged to hard work: ‘priest’ and ‘hard work’ are synonyms”, living out this dictate himself, even to the point of exhaustion.

Before applying rules of holiness to others, he put them into practice in himself with his ardent devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and his abiding trust in Her intercession under the specific title of ‘Our Lady of Confidence’; this he later defined as his motto in his encyclical, Ad Diem Illum Laetissimum, expressing his desire, through Mary, to renew all things in Christ. Pius X believed that there was no surer or more direct road than by the Virgin Mary to achieve this goal.

In Italy at the end of the nineteenth century, the anti-Catholic forces were mobilising to eradicate any influence of the Church on society. This persecution could be seen within the confines of the Church as well, with many modernists taking important posts in Catholic universities and seminaries, promoting many errors of the day, including secularism, liberalism and relativism, while asserting that Church teaching must conform itself to the present era. (Sound familiar? Yet how greatly things have deteriorated since those days!) The newly appointed Bishop Sarto of Mantua confronted these modernists head-on, boldly affirming the perennial teaching of Holy Mother Church amid the partisans of what he would famously call “the synthesis of all heresies.” Bishop Sarto first went about the task of uniting the clergy to fight these pernicious errors with a letter to the pastors of his diocese, enjoining his fellow ‘apostles’ that: “A priest’s life is a continual warfare against evil, which cannot fail to raise up powerful enemies. In order that they may not prevail against us, let us be united in charity amongst ourselves; thus we shall be invincible and strong as a rock.”

Later, he directly addressed the people of his diocese with powerful words that summarised the programme he would spend the rest of his life carrying out:

“We must fight the capital crime of our day, which is the substitution of man for God; we must illumine with the Ten Commandments, with the evangelical counsels, and with the institutions of the Church all the problems that the Church and the Gospels have so clearly and triumphantly resolved; in education, in family life, in private ownership, in rights and duties, we must restore Christian equilibrium among the difficult conditions of society; we must pacify the earth and inherit heaven: This is the mission that I must carry out among you, restoring all things to the reign of God, of Jesus Christ, and His Vicar on earth, the Pope.”

Bishop Sarto’s defence of Catholic principles earned him the respect even of the liberals and anti-clericals of his day. Catholics lionised him for his support of defending the rights of the Church. It came as no surprise that after the sudden passing of the Patriarch of Venice, Pope Leo XIII nominated Bishop Sarto for the post. Bishop Sarto, now elevated to cardinal, had to wait sixteen months before being allowed to enter the city and take his rightful place as the city’s patriarch.

At Venice, the anticlerical faction had seized power. The masonic lodges arranged blasphemous demonstrations in the city streets, openly mocking the Real Presence and other Catholic doctrines. To counteract these brazen attacks, Cardinal Sarto organised a Eucharistic Congress of Reparation for the week beginning August 8, 1897, that consisted of a series of grand processions, powerful sermons, and sublime liturgies. The Congress closed with an outstanding Eucharistic Exhibition at the Church of San Rocco. At the closing procession, Cardinal Sarto gave the solemn Eucharistic Benediction before throngs of faithful gathered at the banks of the Venetian lagoon.

This awe-inspiring culmination of the week of festivities honouring our Eucharistic Lord had repercussions throughout Italy and abroad. No one could doubt the future Pope’s incomparable devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and his unshakeable faith in the power of the well-executed ceremonials of the Holy Catholic Church to evangelise. Above all his other notable qualities, this event paved the way for Cardinal Sarto’s elevation to the papal throne as Pius X, the 256th Successor of Saint Peter, on 4th August, 1903.

The numerous good fruits of Pope Pius X’s eleven year Papacy are well known. He wasted no time in fulfilling his sworn promise to Instaurare Omnia in Christo (to restore all things in Christ) with his first encyclical titled E Supremi Apostolatus that unequivocally stated his position: “We champion the authority of God. His authority and Commandments should be recognised, deferred to and respected.” With his uncompromising confidence in the Queen of Heaven, he reminds us:

“The Virgin will never cease to help us in our trials, and to carry on the battle fought by her since her conception, so that every day we may repeat: ‘Today she again crushed the head of the serpent’.”

Pope Pius X soon had to openly engage in a battle against the Church’s external enemies such as the anti-Catholic government of France that had confiscated all Church property in the country. In his encyclical Vehementer, he manifested his resistance. But his next fight moved to the battle inside the Church, where modernists whom he had continually fought still spread their errors. The decree Lamentabili was his opening salvo, explicitly condemning sixty-five erroneous doctrines, followed by the encyclical Pascendi Diminici Gregis which represented a devastating blow to these dissenters.

Perhaps one of the saintly Pope’s most well-known zealous moves to build up the Church as a remedy for the many evils threatening the world, was his encouragement of a more frequent reception of Holy Communion, and the lowering of the age for children from thirteen to seven to make their First Holy Communion. He affirmed:

“Children have need of Him that they may be formed in habits of virtue; youth have need of Him that they may obtain mastery over their passions; maidens have need of Him that they may preserve their innocence untarnished; all men and women have need of Him that they may advance in virtue and carry out faithfully the duties of their state in life; there are none who can afford to neglect this great source of spiritual strength, none who can do without Him.”

(It is reported that the saintly life of the tiny Irish girl, Little Nellie of Holy God, was the sign from Heaven that Pope Pius asked for to go ahead with this decree.)

So much more could be told about this outstanding Pope, who even during his life, the faithful from many lands attested to miracles worked through his intercession. However, many witnessed his deep sadness of heart at the impending war he foresaw by many years, and was unable to avert. His humility, courage, passionate love of God and the Blessed Virgin, together with his unstinting devotion to duty, leaves us a legacy our poor afflicted world is still enjoying today amidst its assaults on all sides from the wages of sin.

Perhaps the words from the discourse of Pope Pius XII at the canonisation ceremony of St Pius X on 29th May, 1954, would be a good reminder and final tribute to this holy man of God:

“As a humble parish priest, as bishop, as the Supreme Pontiff, he believed that the sanctity to which God called destined him was that of a priest. What sanctity is more pleasing to God in a priest of the New Law than that which belongs to a representative of the Eternal High Priest, Jesus Christ, Who left to His Church in the holy Mass the perennial memorial, the perpetual renovation of the Sacrifice of the Cross, until He shall come for the last judgment; and Who with this Sacrament of the Blessed Eucharist has given Himself as the food of our souls: “He that eateth this bread shall live forever.”

A priest above all in the Eucharistic ministry: this is the most faithful portrait of St. Pius X. To serve the mystery of the Blessed Eucharist as a priest, and to fulfill the command of Our Saviour “Do this in memory of me” (Luke 22:19), was his way. From the day of his sacred ordination until his death as Pope, he knew no other possible way to reach such an heroic love of God, and to make a such generous return to that Redeemer of the world, Who by means of the Eucharist “poured out the riches of His divine Love for men” (Council of Trent, Session 13, chapter 2). One of the most significant proofs of his priestly sensibility was his ardent concern for the renewal of the dignity of worship, and his concern to overcome the prejudices of an erroneous practice, by resolutely promoting the frequent, and even daily, Communion of the faithful at the table of the Lord, without hesitation, leading children thereto, lifting them up, as it were, in his own arms, and offering them to the embrace of God hidden on the altars. From this, sprang up a new springtime of the Eucharistic life of the Bride of Christ.

In the profound vision which he had of the Church as a society, Pius X recognised in the Eucharist the power to nourish substantially its interior life, and to raise it high above all other human associations. Only the Eucharist, in which God gives Himself to man, can lay the foundations of a social life worthy of its members, cemented by love more than by authority, rich in its works and aimed at the perfection of individuals: a life, that is, “hidden with Christ in God.”

A providential example for today’s world, where earthly society is becoming more and more a mystery to itself, and anxiously searches for a way give itself a soul! Let it look, then, for its model at the Church, gathered around its altars. There in the sacrament of the Eucharist mankind truly discovers and recognises its past, present, and future as a unity in Christ. Conscious of, and strong in his solidarity with Christ and his fellow men, each member of either Society, the earthly and the supernatural one, will be able to draw from the altar an interior life of personal dignity and personal worth, such as today is almost lost through insistence on technology and by excessive organisation of the whole of existence, of work and even leisure. Only in the Church, the holy Pontiff seems to repeat, and though Her, in the Eucharist which is ‘‘life hidden with Christ in God,” is to be found the secret and source of the renewal of society’s life.”

Sancte Pie Decime, ora pro nobis!


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Re-shuffle at Pontifical Academy for Life, JPII Institute

By Claire Chretien, LifeSiteNews:

VATICAN CITY, August 18, 2016

pontifical-academy-for-lifeA Vatican prelate known for his support of loosening the Church’s approach toward Holy Communion for those living unrepentantly in objectively sinful situations has been appointed to head the Pontifical Academy for Life and the Pontifical Pope John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family.

Italian Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, 71, is the current president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, but will now become president of Pontifical Academy for Life. The Pontifical Council for the Family and the Pontifical Council for the Laity will shut down in September; the work previously under their auspices will fall under a new Dicastery for the Laity, Family, and Life, headed by Dallas Bishop Kevin Farrell.

Pope Francis also appointed Paglia grand chancellor of the Pontifical Pope John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. The institute is known for defending the Catholic Church’s teachings on marriage in line with its namesake’s prolific writings on the topic. However, many of its scholars were excluded from the two synods on marriage and family despite their theological expertise.

Milanese theologian Monsignor Pierangelo Sequeri, 71, will be the Institute’s new president, replacing current president Monsignor Livio Melina, 64.

In a letter to Paglia on Wednesday, Pope Francis laid out how he hopes Paglia will reshape the institutions he is now tasked with leading.

“In theological study, a pastoral perspective and attention to the wounds of humanity should never be missing,” Pope Francis wrote. He called for the Pontifical John Paul II Institute and the Pontifical Academy for Life to undergo “a renewal and further development” in order for them to focus “ever more clearly on the horizon of mercy.”

“As President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, I urge you to deal with the new challenges concerning the value of life,” the pope tells Paglia. “I refer to the various aspects concerning the care of the dignity of the human person in the various ages of existence, mutual respect between genders and generations, the defense of the dignity of every single human being, the promotion of quality of human life that integrates the material and spiritual values, in view of an authentic ‘human ecology’, which helps to restore the original balance of creation between the human person and the whole universe.”

Paglia has mixed history, will run historically orthodox institutions

Paglia has spoken out in defense of the Church’s teaching on marriage and human sexuality, calling the defense of family something that transcends the left-right political divide and lamenting that “for the first time in history” the union of marriage, family, and life “is being torn apart.”

“We are going towards a ‘de-familied’ society and therefore [a] weaker and less solid” one, he said in 2014.

However, as head of the Pontifical Council for the Family, Paglia oversaw the publication of a book embracing the “Kasper proposal” to admit to Holy Communion those living in what the Church considers an active state of adultery. In 2015, he seemingly praised the pro-homosexual television show Modern Family as sparking a dialogue about “the family” and invited same-sex couples to the World Meeting of Families.

Most recently, the Pontifical Council for the Family under his leadership has come under criticism for promulgating a sex-ed program for youth that includes explicit sexual imagery, leaves aside the Church’s teaching on sin, and envisions being taught outside the bosom of the family. Critics warn that the program violates norms previously promulgated by the very same pontifical council.

During his time as President of the Institute, Melina defended the Church’s perennial teaching that remarried divorcees who are not living as “brother and sister” are not to be admitted to Holy Communion. He also wrote that the controversial exhortation Amoris Laetitia, which Pope Francis published after the two synods on the family, “does not change the Church’s discipline,” which is “based on doctrinal grounds.”

“It must be said with clarity: also after Amoris Laetitia it continues to be the case that admitting to communion the divorced and ‘remarried,’ (apart from the situations foreseen by Familiaris Consortio 84 and Sacramentum Caritatis 29) goes against the Church’s discipline,” Melina wrote. “To teach that it is possible to admit the divorced and ‘remarried’ to communion (apart from these criteria), goes against the Church’s Magisterium.”

Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, who helped Pope St. John Paul II write his exhortation Familiaris Consortio, also helped found the Institute. Familiaris Consortio definitively answered the question of whether the divorced and “remarried” may be admitted to Holy Communion. Pope St. John Paul II wrote:

… the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church’s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.

Earlier this year, Caffarra told the Catholic faithful not to listen to priests, bishops, or cardinals if they espouse opinions about marriage that are out of line with the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Caffarra also said that if he had the opportunity to speak with Pope Francis about the ambiguity of Amoris Laetitia, he would ask for clarification on whether the Church’s traditional teaching that certain actions are always gravely sinful is “still believed to be true.”

Further reading: fatimaperspectives.com

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Saint John Eudes, Priest, Missionary and Founder

1439818499729August 19th, the Church celebrates the Optional Memorial of Saint John Eudes, (1601-1680) the French priest and missionary who founded the Congregation of Jesus and Mary and the Order of Our Lady of Charity. He was born in the village of Ri, in Normandy, France, the son of peasant farmers Isaac and Martha Eudes. At 14, he entered the Jesuit college at Caen. Despite his parents’ hopes that he marry, Eudes joined the Congregation of the Oratory of France in 1623. Two years later, he was ordained to the priesthood.


During this time, he studied the Christocentric spiritual thought of Cardinal de Bérulle whose desire was “restoring the priestly order to its full splendor”. To that end, Eudes became an apostolic missionary, preaching over 100 parish missions, throughout Normandy, Ile-de-France, Burgundy and Brittany. His gifts as a preacher and confessor won him great renown. The founder of the Sulpicians, Father Jean-Jacques Olier called him, “the prodigy of his age”.

His parish mission work brought to his attention the plight of women seeking to better their life circumstances. Some were simply destitute, many more were prostitutes, most had been abused and abandoned. To care for the spiritual and material needs of such women, Eudes founded the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Refuge. Pope Alexander VII approved the congregation in 1666.

Eudes’ concern with the spiritual formation of the clergy compelled him to act. On March 25, 1643, he founded a congregation dedicated to the spiritual and doctrinal instruction of priests and seminarians, known as the Congregation of Jesus and Mary (the Eudists). The congregation established seminaries at Caen, Evreux, and Rennes. More seminaries were added as the Eudists grew in number.

He is best known for extolling Christ as the source of holiness and Mary as the model of the Christian life in his writings. His devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary led Pope Pius XI to name him the father of the liturgical cult of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. The Office of Readings has this excerpt from a treatise by St. John Eudes on the admirable Heart of Jesus:

“You belong to the Son of God, but more than that, you ought to be in him as the members are in the head. All that is in you must be incorporated into him. You must receive life from him and be ruled by him. There will be no true life for you except in him, for he is the one source of true life. Apart from him you will find only death and destruction. Let him be the only source of your movements, of the actions and the strength of your life. He must be both the source and the purpose of your life, so that you may fulfil these words: None of us lives as his own master and none of us dies as his own master. While we live, we are responsible to the Lord, and when we die, we die as his servants. Both in life and death we are the Lord’s. That is why Christ died and came to life again, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.”

John Eudes’ spiritual works of note include: The Ideal Confessor, The Apostolic Preacher, the Mass for the Sacred Heart, The Devotion to the Adorable Heart of Jesus and The Admirable Heart of the Most Holy Mother of God, which he completed a month before his death. He died on August 19, 1680. He was beatified by Pope Saint Pius X in 1909 and canonized by Pope Pius XI on May 31, 1925.

O God, who wonderfully chose the Priest Saint John Eudes to proclaim the unfathomable riches of Christ, grant us, by his example and teachings, that, growing in knowledge of you, we may live faithfully by the light of the Gospel. Amen.

(source: bigccatholics.com)


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