Saturday 27 September 2014

February 24, 303 XV

This is part of a longer series on the persecution of Diocletian. One can use the link at the bottom for more posts.

The Romans had done persecutions before. What was the difference? Diocletian helped calm down the stress of financial difficulties.

He increased taxes, built up the army, made it into a military state which were all things that worked before.

What was the difference which caused the persecution of the Catholics?

Two things caused the hatred of the Catholics-one the stress of the people being on the edge of the decline of the civilization.

Second, the return to rejuvenate the glory that was Rome was based on a conservatism, of a system which was outdated, as the new system emerging was feudalism, which was local government, a new idea, as the empire idea was passe.

Rome was twice the size of the old USSR. The empire model was ending fast, the imperial system was old and weary, whereas the local systems were growing.

The Senate was made up of local Roman families, not world travelers, like the emperors or the army.

Rome was reliant on the supply lines, corn from Egypt, and other far trade routes. Over-centralization killed Rome-Rome could not re-invent itself.

A city like Rome has never existed since then, never. A real center of politics, technology, trade and it was increasingly reliant on charismatic leaders like Diocletian.


Stress is now in the States. I see it and I feel it. Europeans feel the stress. The infrastructures we take for granted are
crumbling, The same was true in 303. The inside  of the empire was crumbling. Therefore, a scapegoat had to be found.

The Catholics became the scapegoats because they were the largest minority group. They were at least 20% to 30% of the population. They were seen as a threat to the old common good.

There were many Catholics in the military. And, they could command armies, and even become emperor.

But, they did not worship the common gods. They did not worship the State.

They were THE threat to the world order. A huge system which was NOT pagan threatened the system.

Yes! We are on the edge now.

I can see and feel the stress here in America where I write, and abroad in many countries. Stress will lead to persecution. It has all happened before.....

Catholicism could not be adopted by the pagans, as other cults were. Catholicism could not be put into the melting pot.
The West is a melting pot, or has been. And the separation of church and state is ending, as the state will create a religion of secularism.

Are you getting ready?

Thursday 18 September 2014

Report: Catholic Identity Conference 2014

For the third consecutive year, the Catholic Identity Conference was held in Weirton, West Virginia, to bring together a broad array of tradition minded Catholics to worship in the Traditional Roman Rite and to share ideas on current issues in the Church.  What follows is a brief report on this year's conference, held 12-14 September.

On Friday, 12 September 2014, Canon Jean-Marie Moreau of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest offered a Solemn High Mass for the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary at St. Peter Church in Steubenville, Ohio, to open the Catholic Identity Conference 2014.  Canon Moreau preached on the meaning of the name of Mary and of its power, referencing the lifting of the Siege of Vienna in 1683.

St. Peter Church, in the Diocese of Steubenville, Ohio, just across the Ohio River from Weirton, West Virginia, offers the Traditional Mass every Sunday, however, this was the first Solemn High Mass to be offered at St. Peter's in the age of Summorum Pontificum.  In addition to conference participants, who hailed from as far away as Oregon and Maine, Michigan and Mississippi, the opening Mass was attended by a number of local parishioners.

After Mass, at a hotel in Weirton, Dr. John Rao, of the Roman Forum, set the theme for the conference with a talk examining the strengths and weaknesses of the "Old Evangelization" with an emphasis on personalism, and the problems it created, and continues to create, in the Church.

St. Peter Church
Steubenville, Ohio
The second day of the Conference began with a Low Mass, again offered by Canon Moreau, at Sacred Heart of Mary Church in Weirton, West Virginia.  This church, originally a Polish parish and built in 1967, had never had the Traditional Mass offered on its altar until the first Catholic Identity Conference held in 2012.

After Mass, there was a full day of conference speakers who examined various aspects of both the Old and New Evangelization.  All of the talks were well presented and very informative.  Audio CD's of the conference talks are available for purchase online.  The day culminated with a dinner, at which Fr. Gregory Pendergraft, of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, gave the keynote address.

The conference concluded on Sunday, Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, after a High Mass offered by Fr. Ladis J. Cizik, a priest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at Sacred Heart of Mary Church in Weirton.  Fr. Cizik preached on the centrality of the sign of the cross to the Catholic faith and in the Traditional Mass.  He also blessed the congregation with a relic of the True Cross.

One of the primary objectives of the Conference organizer, Mr. M. Eric Frankovitch, an attorney in Weirton, was to bring together the various strands of Traditionalism, that sometimes seem to be at odds with one another.  In that regard, this year's Conference boasted an impressive array of participants and attendees that included both ordained and lay members and adherents to the following organizations: the Society of Saint Pius X; the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter; the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest; the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate; the Fatima Center; the Knights of Columbus; Juventutem; diocesan clergy from four dioceses; prominent Catholic academics, journalists, and bloggers, as well as parishioners from parishes and chapels of the various traditional orders and diocesan Latin Mass communities.

This was accomplished both in the formal conference talks, and in the informal social gatherings after the conference sessions.  Participants were able to talk with each other, share ideas, and express opinions about the current situation in the Church and in the world.  Needless to say, there was a wide spectrum of ideas, and not everyone agreed with everyone else, but, they all believed in the teachings of the Church on faith and morals, and were willing to listen to other viewpoints regarding problems, potential solutions, and policy.  There was no attempt to silence or marginalize people who have legitimate concerns and who are trying to seek solutions.

Many participants, who had attended previous Catholic Identity Conferences, commented that this was the best Conference to date, and looked forward to building on the contacts and relationships forged at this year's meeting.

Additional photos of the conference, and a brief summary of each of the conference talks, can be found here.

Knights of Columbus Latin Mass

Wednesday 17 September 2014

American Bishops Encouraging Fast

The International Prayer and Fasting Coalition are being supported by the Catholic Church in America, and I hope in Great Britain.

From September 20th through the 28th, Catholics are encouraged to join all Christians in the world to fast for those who are being persecuted.  The main objects of prayer are the end of persecutions (peace in the world), worldwide conversion to Christianity, and the building of pro-life cultures.

Only a world under Christ can truly be at peace. More and more, countries are hindered in missionary activities, but we can all pray and fast anywhere.

Suggestions for the week are attending daily Mass, saying the rosary daily, attending Adoration, saying the Divine Mercy chaplet daily.

An opening all-day prayer vigil will occur in Washington, D. C.  Watch this space for details.

Here is the official website.

Saturday 13 September 2014

First of All..Guild Priorities

Congratulations, in the name of all the members of the Guild, if I may be so bold, to Laurence and Mrs. England on their wedding.

In America, we congratulate the man for getting a lovely bride, and say "Best Wishes" to the new bride.

Interesting custom.

Marriages are to be celebrated with joy and gladness. They symbolize the love of Christ the Bridegroom for His Church, the Bride. Marriage also reminds us of the soul's union with Christ in love. How wonderful that God so identified with our state by making marriage a sacrament.

Mr. and Mrs. England, you may like this.....

May I quote the great St. Bernard as a tribute? I am sure we all wish you both a great life together in Christ.

 from Sermon 74
I. 5. Now bear with my foolishness a little. I want to tell you of my own experience, as I promised. Not that it is of any importance .... I admit that the Word has also come to me-I speak as a fool-and has come many times—But although he has come to me, I have never been conscious of the moment of his coming. I perceived his presence, I remembered afterwards that he had been with me; some times I had a presentiment that he would come, but I was never conscious of his coming or his going. And where he comes from when he visits my soul, and where he goes, and by what means he enters and goes out, I admit that I do not know even now; as John says: 'You do not know where he comes from or where he goes.' There is nothing strange in this, for of him was it said, 'Your foot steps will not be known.' The coming of the Word was not perceptible to my eyes, for he has not color; nor to the ears, for there was no sound; nor yet to my nostrils, for he mingles with the mind, not the air; he has not acted upon the air, but created it. His coming was not tasted by the mouth, for there was not eating or drinking, nor could he be known by the sense of touch, for he is not tangible. How then did he enter? Perhaps he did not enter because he does not come from outside? He is not one of the things which exist outside us. Yet he does not come from within me, for he is good, and I know there is no good in me. I have ascended to the highest in me, and look! the word is towering above that. In my curiosity I have descended to explore my lowest depths, yet I found him even deeper. If I look outside myself, I saw him stretching beyond the furthest I could see; and if I looked within, he was yet further within. Then I knew the truth of what I had read, 'In him we live and move and have our being'. And blessed is the man in whom he has his being, who lives for him and is moved by him.
6. You ask then how I knew he was present, when his ways can in no way be traced? He is life and power, and as soon as he enters in, he awakens my slumbering soul; he stirs and soothes and pierces my heart, for before it was hard as stone, and diseased. So he has begun to pluck out and destroy, to build up and to plant, to water dry places and illuminate dark ones; to open what was closed and to warm what was cold; to make the crooked straight and the rough places smooth, so that my soul may bless the Lord, and all that is within me may praise his holy name. So when the Bridegroom/ the Word, came to me, he never made known his coming any signs, not by sight, not by sound, not by touch. It was not by any movement of his that I recognized his coming; it was not by any of MY senses that I perceived he had penetrated to the depth of my being. Only by the movement of my heart, as I have told did I perceive his presence; and I knew the power of his might cause my faults were put to flight and my human yearnings brought into subjection. I have marvelled at the depth of his wisdom when my secret faults have been revealed and made visible the very slightest amendment of my way of life I have experience his goodness and mercy; in the renewal and remaking of the spirit of my mind, that is of my inmost being, I have perceived the excellence of his glorious beauty, and when I contemplate all these things I am filled with awe and wonder at his manifold greatness.
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