Thursday 31 October 2013

Monday 28 October 2013

New Men, New Women

The Church in the 21st Century will see times compared to the Fall of the Roman Empire, as sovereign nations will change, morph into new conglomerations based on finance, or even a global government. Those nations not part of this change, which is already happening in some parts of the world, and which has already happened culturally, will continue to be "at the gates". The simplicity and materialistic religion of Islam will continue to appeal to many men, as Hilaire Belloc predicted over 70 years ago, as it appeals to millennial aspirations, just as communism and socialism do.

There is no such thing for the Catholic as millennial, utopian state of human perfection on earth under a physical leader. When Christ comes again to judge the living and the dead in His Second Coming, we shall see the end of this earth.

This is the teaching of the Church for centuries. St. Augustine rightly and succinctly wrote of the City of Man as against the City of God in his great classic, which was written as a defense of the Christians who were being blamed for the downfall of Rome. Some saw the heretical Christian sect as undermining the civic order of Rome, which is obviously not the case, as the decadence of the Republic and then the Empire came from within the totalitarian state based on emperor worship and a dying population, dying both physically and spiritually.
The sadness of Seneca

Not to see parallels in the cult of personality so many give to some political leaders, to so many people who want a political messiah, a la Liberation Theology, would be blindness. As a teacher, first in Montessori and then in either university or very advanced private high schools, some of which I set up as a curriculum adviser, I saw the rot first hand of the lack of rational discourse among students, a change happening from 1979 to 1999 with great rapidity.

Now, in 2013, we need new men and new women formed in the Catholic and classical tradition, not merely to survive the onslaught of more and more barbarism, but to preserve not only the teachings of the Catholic Church, handing these down to the next generation, but also the jewels of Western Civilization, including the Trivium and Quadrivium.

New men and new women going forward into the next 25 years as adults must be formed in the virtues, given to all baptized Catholics and confirmed in confirmation, and formed in the thinking of the West, which is a combination of the liberal arts and the Catholic religion. Anything less will not only undermine the Church is most places, but see an end to both the influence of the Church and the influence of classical education, which, of course, includes art and music.

Those barbarians at the gates fall into four categories. Are we ready to meet them?

One, relativists and atheists, who want to remove all traces of Catholicism from the public square.

Two, materialists who continually deny an afterlife and live in a consumer frenzy of buying and selling.

Three, other ideologists, such as communists, socialists, gay activists, and Islamists who want to impose their world order on to the entire world, suppressing the one, true, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church.

Four, the weak Christians, who live in fear and sadly, go along with those above, rather than standing firm. Many are those who compromise, as using contraception or supporting ssm and so on; those willing to work with the enemies of Christ have always included many from the ranks.

New men and new women must be strong both in character, mind, and body. This means that parents need to form their children now to be saints now, and to re-establish the idea that the Catholic Faith is and always has been counter-cultural.

Look at the ruins of the great basilicas and cathedrals of Northern Africa. Those wastelands of Christianity could be the future of Ireland, England, France, Spain, Portugal and so on.

The only fingers in the dikes will be those who have learned how to think and live like Catholics. The rest will be washed away where those dikes are weakest. England may be one place where the Church only survives as a small remnant.

Do you want to be a new man and a new woman?

Ruins of the great diocese of Hippo may be seen here.

Wednesday 23 October 2013

A Fantastical Gathering of Recusant Families

Ffermdy Maesog - a Catholic recusant house During the period of the Protestant Reformation, the Clynnog area remained a Catholic stronghold. The area produced a canonised saint - St John Jones a Benedictine monk ,whose brother William also became the head of the order, the first head of the English College in Rome - Morys Clynnog and a number of priests including Fr Morgan Clynnog. The Maesog family remained staunchly Catholic and the house served as a Mass-centre for local recusants.

I was day-dreaming today of a new gathering of recusant families in England. What if all the real, non-compromising, solidly orthodox Catholic families would get together for a gathering: that is all the English, Welsh and Scottish Catholics who do not use contraception, are not in irregular marriages, have children obeying them at home and attending Sunday Mass, and who do not support any governmental policies which are against natural law, such as abortion and ssm?

Imagine a gathering in Walsingham or in Berkshire, or in Lancashire of those Catholic families who have withstood the tide of modernist heresies and compromising in modern day Great Britain.

Imagine this group planning a renewal of the faith, safe havens for Catholic priests, real Catholic education, which does not exist in Great Britain except in home schooling, and centers made to preserve classical education and Western culture.

Imagine this group making oaths to die rather than desert the traditional teachings of the Magisterium.

Imagine this group creating communities and long-range communications in case of out and out persecution.

Imagine some excellent priests agreeing to be part of this group and plan for underground Masses and seminaries.

Imagine this group creating a strategy for the survival of the Traditional Latin Mass and the one, true, holy and apostolic Church.

Our ancestors survived because they planned. Do we have the guts and the smarts to plan? Will there be recusants again?

Tuesday 22 October 2013

Episcopal Ordination and Installation of Mgr Leo Cushley: Reading Pope Francis

Who could deny that the episcopal ordination and installation of the second most important out of the two metropolitan archbishops in a wee Protestant, European country with a statistically almost insignificant Catholic population — Saint Andrews and Edinburgh circa 116,000 Catholics, Glasgow circa 225,000 Catholics; total population of Scotland in excess of 5,000,000 — is wholly insignificant in the greater scheme of Catholic things?

Well, me actually.

Two days before Mgr Leo Cushley formally took up his responsibilities, an interview given by his former most important boss gave rise to an excess of joy among those who hate the Catholic Church — from the New York Times to the Pink News via CNN and the National Catholic Reporter; I can’t tell you about The Tablet, I never read it now that it has ceased to be a Catholic magazine, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

Our new Holiness, Pope Francis, they have proclaimed, has declared that homosexuality, abortion, artificial insemination, embryonic stem cell research, divorce and remarriage, marriage of priests — they haven’t, at least not yet, included marriage of priests to each other — ordination of women and anything and everything else you care to add, no matter how apparently absurd never mind outrageous, is now OK. That which had been taught by Pope Benedict XVI and his 264 predecessors and the man to whom they owe their lineage’s and teachings’ very existence, Jesus of Nazareth, Son of Mary, the Christ, are oot the windae.

Halelujah. Or not, as the case may be.

For those of us now upset, confused, fearful and full of doubt  in face of this apparent massive, papal U-turn it would seem prudent that we yet again follow Para Handy’s sage advice: Let us pause and consider.

Is it at all likely that this could be true?

Fortunately, all we need do is turn to Archbishop Leo’s words as the Mass of Episcopal Consecration drew to its close on Saturday, September 21. Because he worked so closely with Pope Francis, Mgr Leo had been granted the unusual privilege for a newly appointed bishop or archbishop to be called in for a chat with His Holiness. He recalled: “One of the things he communicated then and in the coming days — Mgr Leo routinely saw him in the course of his normal duties (HMcL) — was the idea that I should be merciful in my ministry here.

“Merciful.  This has already become a key word in his pontificate, and it’s an idea that comes to him from the Gospels but filtered through his thinking about a quotation that he likes from the Venerable Bede, the famous English historian. The Pope told me to look up the Office of Readings for the day and to find his motto, the words “miserando atque eligendo”, where Christ mercifully looks upon Matthew and chooses him.

“But he explained that being merciful doesn’t mean being soft. It means being gentle but also firm at the same time. This is what the Pope asked me to be for all of you. It is also Pope Francis’s proposal for the way we priests ought to be with each other: firmly resolved to be merciful, to forgive, to be humble, to re-build, to dialogue.

“The Holy Father proposed this in his own gentle and fraternal way, but also with the strength of loving conviction and experience.”

It is worth, I think, pointing out that Pope Francis when he was Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires was loath to grant interviews with the Press. It may well be either he knew of, or, had learned from those who knew of, the fact that in February of 1959, Good Pope John released for publication part of the text of a speech that Pope Pius XI had intended to deliver to his cardinals twenty years earlier, on 11 February 1939, the day after he died. It read in part:

“You know how badly the Pope’s words are treated. People read our allocutions or addresses — not only in Italy — in order to falsify their meaning, sometimes inventing altogether and attributing to us the most utter nonsense and absurdities. Recent and past history are so perverted in a certain press that it is said that there is no persecution in Germany, and this denial is accompanied by false and calumnious allegations of mixing in politics, just as Nero’s persecution used the charge of setting fire to Rome.

“Take care, dearest brothers in Christ, and never forget that there are observers and tale-bearers (call them “spies” and you will be nearer the truth) who will listen to you in order to denounce you, having understood nothing of the matter in hand or got it all wrong. They have in their favour – one must remember how Our Lord thought of His executioners – only the good sovereign excuse of ignorance.”

This, according to some controversial, interview granted by Pope Francis was conducted by Fr Antonio Spadaro SJ, editor in chief of La Civiltà Cattolica on behalf of several Jesuit journals from across the world. As always, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was paying his debts. As Pope, canonically he is no longer “SJ” but at heart he is.

And that word “canonically” and that word “heart” lead us directly to the pastoral, evangelical impulse behind Papa Bergoglio’s advice to Archbishop Leo (as revealed at his consecration/induction) and to the Catholic Church more generally (as revealed in his interview).

One of the great teachers of Canon Law in the Twentieth Century at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome was Servant of God Fr Felice Maria Cappello SJ, Confessor and Canonist. Professor at the Greg 1920-1959, he daily heard the confessions of brother Jesuits, secular priests, bishops, archbishops and cardinals as well as of the laity of all walks of life at the nearby Church of Saint Ignatius until shortly before his death on March 25, 1962.

Dr Edward Peters, a lay American canon lawyer, has asked the followers of his Blog to invoke Fr Cappello’s intercession for the recovery of his son, Thomas Peters, who was recently very seriously injured in a swimming accident. He makes note of the good confessor’s advice to the student priests whom he taught: “Principles are principles, and they remain firm and are always to be defended. But all consciences are not the same. In applying principles to consciences, we must do it with great prudence, much common sense, and much goodness. In your opinions and decisions never be severe. The Lord does not want that. Be always just, but never severe. Give the solution that offers the soul some room in which to breathe.”

Never be severe, always be merciful! Exactly what Pope Francis has said to Archbishop Leo and to his brother bishops and fellow priests is, then, really nothing new. Indeed, William Shakespeare said it long ago in The Merchant of Venice (Act IV, Scene1):

The quality of mercy is not strained
It droppeth as the gentle rain from Heaven
Upon the place beneath
It is twice blessed:
It blesseth him that gives and him that receives.

If you take the time and go to the trouble of reading Pope Francis’s interview, this is the key to understanding what he is all about: be merciful. Or, since there is nothing new under the Roman sun, as Cardinal Winning always put it: Hate the sin; but love the sinner!

Friday 18 October 2013

The Disappearance of True Art and Music

One of the trends in our society which has not been emphasized in the news is the gradual disappearance of the high culture of art and music. This trend began to be notice in the mid-2000s with the lack of growth of local symphony and concert goers, as well as the practical halting of new art museums and galleries. This trend has increased in the past ten years. One may ask why high culture is decreasing and even disappearing in some areas of the West. One may also ask if this is an important development.

Some critics have blamed the superb reproduction of music on Cds. and the easy access to art on the Net. I think these type of comments or even articles ignore a much larger issue.

The issue for me is this. Without a religious basis in a society, the pursuit of beauty disappears, and a philosophical utilitarianism takes over. Also, beauty in art and music is connected often to the desire to worship God and reveal that attribute of His, which is Beauty.

The high culture of the Greeks was adopted by the Romans with a difference, as most art historians agree. The militaristic, utilitarian culture of the Romans took over most of the ideals of beauty so perfected by the Greeks, who were a religious people, but art was made more and more the purpose of art the glorification of the state. Art declined in quality and beauty.

Art and music flourish in societies where there is a common philosophical background and where there is a certain amount of leisure. For art and music to be more than mere commodities, that is, ways of making money, a common view of beauty must connect the society from which these examples of art and music flow.

Of course, one only has to look at the music and art of the Catholic churches in the past fifty years to see the obvious break with beauty, and the preference for utilitarianism. To blame the issue of poor and even bad art in the churches on money is to totally ignore the sacrifices made by our Catholic ancestors in the creating of absolutely sublime churches.

Those who make money may not care for high culture at all. It is merely one more thing to make money.But, those artists and composers who rely on benefactors know that the pursuit of beauty is somehow both a pursuit of God and a celebration of the soul of the human person.

Art had become paintings and statuary for gardens or offices, rather than an expression of a spiritual reality shared by a culture.

The same is true for music.

Without the religious impulse for rising above the doldrums of daily life to a transcendent reality, art becomes pastiche.

Have we not witnessed this in our lifetimes? What is good and true leads to beauty. What is false and evil, leads to ugliness.

I predict the lessening of local symphonies or small groupings of musicians, and painters and other artists. Without a church which for centuries paid for artists to adorn the great cathedrals and basilicas of the past, there would be no heritage of art and music in the West. With a culture which is fast losing its soul to Mammon, art will disappear.

Without a people who value art for the sake of art, art dies. I see it here in Malta. The gorgeous art of the past has no equal in the present day. One has a hard time finding art galleries and anything of worth to purchase. Really high quality art is at a minimum.

Why? The Catholic heritage is passing quickly, being replaced by a society of decadence and lust. Art needs religion to flourish. Without a religious soul, a culture with high music and art will die, and pass on into history.

Sunday 13 October 2013

The Miracle of the Sun - an eye witness account

Today, 13th October, is the anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun when Our Lady of Fatima, through her Divine Son, interceded to create a miracle for the thousands gathered in the Cova da is an eye witnesses' account:

An Eyewitness Account by Dr. José Maria de Almeida Garrett, professor at the Faculty of Sciences of Coimbra, Portugal

     "It must have been 1:30 p.m when there arose, at the exact spot where the children were, a column of smoke, thin, fine and bluish, which extended up to perhaps two meters above their heads, and evaporated at that height. This phenomenon, perfectly visible to the naked eye, lasted for a few seconds. Not having noted how long it had lasted, I cannot say whether it was more or less than a minute. The smoke dissipated abruptly, and after some time, it came back to occur a second time, then a third time.

"The sky, which had been overcast all day, suddenly cleared; the rain stopped and it looked as if the sun were about to fill with light the countryside that the wintery morning had made so gloomy. I was looking at the spot of the apparitions in a serene, if cold, expectation of something happening and with diminishing curiosity because a long time had passed without anything to excite my attention. The sun, a few moments before, had broken through the thick layer of clouds which hid it and now shone clearly and intensely.

"Suddenly I heard the uproar of thousands of voices, and I saw the whole multitude spread out in that vast space at my feet...turn their backs to that spot where, until then, all their expectations had been focused, and look at the sun on the other side. I turned around, too, toward the point commanding their gaze and I could see the sun, like a very clear disc, with its sharp edge, which gleamed without hurting the sight. It could not be confused with the sun seen through a fog (there was no fog at that moment), for it was neither veiled nor dim. At Fatima, it kept its light and heat, and stood out clearly in the sky, with a sharp edge, like a large gaming table. The most astonishing thing was to be able to stare at the solar disc for a long time, brilliant with light and heat, without hurting the eyes or damaging the retina. [During this time], the sun's disc did not remain immobile, it had a giddy motion, [but] not like the twinkling of a star in all its brilliance for it spun round upon itself in a mad whirl.

"During the solar phenomenon, which I have just described, there were also changes of colour in the atmosphere. Looking at the sun, I noticed that everything was becoming darkened. I looked first at the nearest objects and then extended my glance further afield as far as the horizon. I saw everything had assumed an amethyst colour. Objects around me, the sky and the atmosphere, were of the same colour. Everything both near and far had changed, taking on the colour of old yellow damask. People looked as if they were suffering from jaundice and I recall a sensation of amusement at seeing them look so ugly and unattractive. My own hand was the same colour.

"Then, suddenly, one heard a clamour, a cry of anguish breaking from all the people. The sun, whirling wildly, seemed all at once to loosen itself from the firmament and, blood red, advance threateningly upon the earth as if to crush us with its huge and fiery weight. The sensation during those moments was truly terrible.

"All the phenomena which I have described were observed by me in a calm and serene state of mind without any emotional disturbance. It is for others to interpret and explain them. Finally, I must declare that never, before or after October 13 [1917], have I observed similar atmospheric or solar phenomena."

From The Fatima Network

Richard Collins - Linen on the Hedgerow

Friday 11 October 2013

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

External crises have a way of separating people into those who are helpful, competent and calm, from those who are panicky, unskilled and negative. Sometime, small inconveniences bring out the same personality traits.

Coming from prairie stock, I value the strong, silent types of men and women who get on with it in a crisis situation, never complaining and eyeing things with a creative intuition.

In a crisis, the virtues which we have allowed God to develop in us through purification and prayer, come to the fore.

But, what has happened in the last two generations is that people have come to expect chaos and a lowering of standards across the board for how leaders respond to crisis.

Let me divide these leaders, whether they be in the sphere of politics and government, religion or education, as the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The good are the few left who honestly believe in natural law, the inherent nobility of humans and expect certain moral standards from humans. Whether these be good pagans, or Protestants or Catholics, this group believes in good citizenship and noblese oblige.

They are the few who understand public service as a good and sacrifice as necessary for progress.

The second group are the bad leaders, who work out of greed and amorality, or immorality-those with either false group agendas, or those who are completely selfish and are content with being a celebrity for ten minutes in the history of mankind. These are the movers and shakers who have allowed themselves to live in deceit and deceive others. Five minutes of interviews from the G-8 Convention today are enough to reveal the propaganda and misuse of language, given in complicity with the media, concerning the real financial crisis in the world. I could hardly believe the purposeful deception.

The third group are those ugly ones who go along with Group Two: these are the mediocre who think that they only really want a quiet life and cooperate with evil in little ways, allowing the chaos to continue.

Why do not more people see the bad and the ugly?  When I am travelling and when I meet people who understand the lack of leadership and who are moving more and more into making their spiritual lives a priority, I think of little candles spread across a world of increasing darkness. When these little candle lights get together for a short period of time, a larger light is born. However, so many of the spiritual people of this world are isolated. They tell me this in England, Ireland, Malta and the States.

Partly what isolates them is the lack of leadership which would inspire more light and make bonfires of truth and goodness.

The bad and the ugly do not want this to happen. Evil hates the light and chooses darkness. But, sadly, many young people have never experience order, only chaos. Many young people do not expect people to be good, to transcend evil.

Travelling in Europe and talking to people who feel helpless against the rising darkness shows me that the problem of evil is not circumstantial.

The good need encouragement. They need community.

The little lights across the world see the deceit of the dark. Let us pray for each other and for God to raise up the spiritual leaders we need, especially in the Catholic Church.

Sunday 6 October 2013

Try again, stages four and five of persecution

Many people in Europe do not understand the real significance of Obamacare. For the Catholic population who are orthodox, this is a question of freedom of religion. The five stages of persecution were developed after WWII by social scientists and psychologists to try and explain how both the Holocaust and the Gulag became acceptable to the larger populations of Germany and Russia. The other three stages can be found on my blog. We are now in Stage Four, which is the criminlization of religious positions, laws which specifically target a group, such as practicing Christians or Catholics. This movement has accelerated in the past three years in the States. 

Stages four and five of persecution are clear. We are in stage four in the States and entering into it in Great Britain.

Stage Four is criminalization. I tried to explain this to my seminarian students right before Obamacare was passed in the House and Senate-- and Stupek caved in, December 24th, 2009. America changed that day. If one wants a dummy view of what will come--check out this plan of action and fill in the spaces.

Fines for disobeying state laws, such as in the Reformation, will be common.

Obamacare. SSM.

Fines for teaching the truth will be imposed.

Bishop Henry of Calgary was fined years ago for teaching against homosexuality and civil marriage.

Being put out of business. Loss of status.

Catholic pharmacists in Illinois with consciences had to leave their jobs rather than pass out abortifactients and birth control pills. Catholic medical students have to leave certain courses at certain universities which are required-abortion classes which do the real thing--and move to other universities. I know this.

Adoption agencies in England and in the US, which will not allow same-sex couples to adopt, and rightly so.

33% of the hospitals in the States are Catholic.  They will go out of business or become secular. Look at what happened this past ten days at Mater Misericordiae in Dublin.

Imprisonment for hate speech, loss of status and jobs, (which some in academia have already experienced for standing up for Catholic truths in Catholic institutions-I have many examples).

And so, on

Why are people in denial about this?

Stage five is out and out murder.

It will be worse in America as the government is more organized and the populace more stupid and naive.

America will see organized imprisonment and death. Europe will fall into scape-goating and kill when things fall apart out of spite.

All we need is a crisis and one which can be manipulated. Hitler used inflation and unemployment to stir up the simmering hatred of the Jews. All we need is one stupid, orchestrated event.........

All this has happened before....Two out of three Jews in Europe were killed in the Holocaust. The population of the Jews now would be three times greater had there been no Holocaust. There is a reason why there will be a remnant Church in the West.


Tuesday 1 October 2013

Blessed Karl of Austria Events in the Northeast USA -- October 2013

All Masses are Traditional Latin Masses unless otherwise indicated.
Thursday, 17 October, 5:30 PM
Pontifical Mass & Conference, Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Church,
Newton, MA

Friday, 18 October, 6:00 PM
Braga Rite Low Mass, Holy Name of Jesus Church,
Providence, RI

Saturday, 19 October, 11:00 AM
Pontifical Mass, Holy Name of Jesus Church,
Providence, RI

Sunday, 20 October, 2:00 PM
Pontifical Mass, Dinner & Conference, St. Titus Church,
Aliquippa, PA

Monday, 21 October, 7:30 PM (Feast Day of Blessed Karl of Austria)
Pontifical Mass & Reception, St. Mary Mother of God Church,
Washington, DC

Tuesday, 22 October, 6:00 PM
Mass, Reception & Conference, John Paul II Shrine,
Washington, DC

Wednesday, 23 October, 7:00 PM
Pontifical Mass & Conference, Mater Ecclesiae Church,
Berlin, NJ

Friday, 25 October, 8:00 AM
Pontifical Mass, Carmel of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Elysburg, PA

Saturday, 26 October, 5:30 PM
Novus Ordo (in Portuguese), Our Lady of Fatima Church,
Elizabeth, NJ

Sunday, 27 October, 11:00 AM
Pontifical Mass & Conference, St. Anthony of Padua Oratory,
West Orange, NJ

Monday, 28 October, 6:00 PM
Pontifical Mass & Conference, Church of the Holy Innocents,
Manhattan, NY

Veneration of Relic after all Masses

Celebrant of Pontifical Masses:
His Excellency, Don Teodoro de Faria
Bishop Emeritus of Funchal, Madeira Island, Portugal

Conference Speaker:
Ricardo Dumont dos Santos
Portugal Delegate of the Emperor Karl League of Prayers

These Masses and conferences were arranged and coordinated by the following Traditional Knights of Columbus councils:
Regina Coeli Council 423, Manhattan, NY
Potomac Council 433, Washington, DC
Woodlawn Council 2161, Aliquippa, PA
Agnus Dei Council 12361, Manhattan, NY
Mater Ecclesiae Council 12833, Berlin, NJ

Grateful acknowledgement to Syversen Touring for arranging air travel.

Additional support provided by:
Knights of Columbus District of Columbia State Council
The Paulus Institute for the Propagation of Sacred Liturgy
The Pittsburgh Latin Mass Community, Inc. (PLMC)

For additional information about Blessed Karl, please visit
the Emperor Karl League of Prayers website.

Knights of Columbus Latin Mass
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