Saturday, April 30, 2016

Update: Facebook continues to block me for opposing hatred and incivility...

This is Paul Melanson speaking...

I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's worth; banks are going bust; shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter; punks are running wild in the street, dissent and homosexuality have infected certain segments of the Church, the leader of North Korea cannot find a decent barber,
and there's nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there's no end to it.

We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, that our local church is infected with modernism. And we sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that's the way it's supposed to be!

We all know things are bad -- worse than bad -- they're crazy.  When an Archdiocese honors a pro-abortion, pro-homosexual mayor, things are crazy! When Facebook allows hateful rhetoric and pages advocating the assasination of a political candidate but bans a member for objecting to this incivility, things are spinning out of control!

It's like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don't go out any more. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we're living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, "Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials, and I won't say anything. Just leave us alone.  Just let us pray quietly in church and leave us alone."

Well, I'm not going to leave you alone.

I want you to get mad!

I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot. I don't want you to write to your Congressman, because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Koreans, the Lavender Mafia, liturgical terrorists, wiccan nuns, Call to Action and the crime in the street.

All I know is that first, you've got to get mad.

You've gotta say, "I'm a human being, goshdarnit! My life has value!  And the teaching of the Magisterium must be adhered to, we must listen to the Lord Jesus!

So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out and yell,

"I'm as mad as hell,

and I'm not going to take this anymore!!"

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Facebook uses its "Community Standards" policy to engage in partisan politics

In my last post,  I commented on the course,  vulgar  language employed by many who engage in partisan politics and who wish to demonize their political opponents or those who support them.

Because I took exception to a hateful Facebook post attacking Donald Trump and referring to the presidential candidate as an "asshat" and his supporters as "uneducated morons," I found my post deleted and myself accused of violating Facebook standards and banned.

Incredible.  Facebook is obviously engaging in partisan politics.

My post:

And the fallout for commenting on a Trump-basher's hate:

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Resisting the current of harsh commentary....

Michael Brown writes:

The quickening descent of American politics into ribald, mean-spirited, and generally coarse discourse should be no surprise: it has been on this trajectory for several decades now, propelled not just by movies and music — which no longer require commentary — but the psittacism, the constant, numbing negative drumbeat, of harsh (not to mention un-Christian) verbiage on the internet and talk-radio and cable TV. 
The result, the fruit, is now constantly before us, as politics sinks into what can most charitably be called a quagmire, and entertainment into a “cesspool of impurity” (to borrow a phrase from the Blessed Mother at La Salette).

Gutter language is the norm of modern America.

The other day a liberal woman in Gainesville, Florida, verbally assaulted Governor Rick Scott, calling him — shouting at him — a word we don’t even want to abbreviate. You used to be arrested for such things. There are no more profanity laws, not really. Is there no such thing as decency? We are now, indeed, a “Savage Nation” (the name of one caustic talk show).

Unfettered anger and uncharitable approaches have been drilled into us (listening to radio, as so many do, while working or driving or sleeping, thus often only partly aware of what’s being said and how it is being stated, although it washes to the subconscious). There is seething anger: some justified, some inspired or magnified by the Prince of Division (reigning behind the scenes, in the dark, in the radio waves; divide and conquer).

And so now we are at the point of tremendous factionalism; it’s why we often carry articles under the category of “upheaval watch.” Minorities are mad. Majorities are mad. Immigrants are mad. Natives are furious. Liberals detest each other as much as they detest conservatives, and vice versa. Atheists are furious. So are evangelicals. 

Are we really still the “United” States when the governor of New York bans official travel to the state of Mississippi because Mississippi has passed a religious-rights law. This same governor previously banned non-essential travel to North Carolina when that state barred trans-sexuals from using restrooms opposite the gender they were given (by God) at birth.

It is not just a passing observation, because on many fronts, the seeds for civil uprising and/or even civil war have been cultivated. That leaders and major commentators and candidates could be tearing into each other the way they now do (“liar,” “sniveling,” “coward,” “stupid,” “crazy,” small of hands) is astonishing even if it shouldn’t be astonishing — upsetting even though one can see the frustration of the hitherto “silent majority.”

Punches are thrown at rallies. There is hatred. Insults about manhood fill the air. Height and weight and looks are fair targets. There are salacious reports. There are salacious photos (including of a potential First Lady).
On TV, formerly dignified and objective newsmen use language that only a short time ago was confined to bars, sports stadiums, and gyms. Once-staid magazines such as The Atlantic and The New Yorker allow a certain degree of scatological utterance; mainstream publications occasionally allow their writers to use the “f-word” (in their own prose).

Women who claim to be Christian — often Catholic — take to the microphone and use language once confined to men’s locker-rooms to besmirch the opposition (all in the name of righteousness).
A “born-again” candidate for vice president (2008) uses the term “punk a—” to describe protesters, while the sitting vice president is also known for a bit of saltiness.

When the head of the Democratic party cusses in front of nuns who are protesting the health mandate (the law that would force them to pay for contraception), it’s just another news item that passes quickly. How inured we have grown! (That’s a nice way of saying “hard.”)

We pay for such things in the afterlife.

“Shun the gossip of men as much as possible, for discussion of worldly affairs, even though sincere, is a great distraction inasmuch as we are quickly ensnared and captivated by vanity,” warned the classic Catholic writer, Thomas a Kempis. “Hence, we talk and think quite fondly of things we like very much or of things we dislike intensely. But, sad to say, we often talk vainly and to no purpose; for this external pleasure effectively bars inward and divine consolation. Therefore we must watch and pray lest time pass idly. When the right and opportune moment comes for speaking, say something that will edify.”

Indeed we only have a set number of hours on this earth; it is wise to use that time well.

The undercurrent of harsh commentary (See here, my note), of execration, of cussing, is now burbling — gushing — into the very fabric of American society. It is what our flag is now fashioned with. It goes for every walk of life, and every political party. It is what we wear. It is how we drive (now, too often, so rudely, and with profane hand signals).

Is it caused, in large part, with the suddenly-roused white middle-class, by what a magazine called Salon (itself known for caustic language) recently said, in discussing “Savage Nation”?

“Between American multinationals, who do everything and anything to avoid taxes, and American politicians, who so often trade on their office to amass vast fortunes, regular working class Americans feel abandoned,” it said. “For decades, as businesses have increasingly exploited undocumented immigrants for cheap labor or moved operations out of the country entirely, these voters have become resentful, watching their wages stagnate and full-time jobs with benefits become scarcer by the day. For many of them… ‘Savage Nation’ is a kind of sanctuary.”

While there is no question that a number of major issues have been neglected for far too long, and that the middle class has been all but forgotten — with Washington unable to accomplish just about anything, even when it has the notion to — good Christians are allowing themselves to be swept toward a vortex of rancor. It could end up being a truly epic divide (or series of them).

No one knows to what end result.

But one can guess it will not be a good one.


Indeed.  In his Encyclical Letter Ecclesiam Suam, Pope Paul VI told us that, "The Church must enter into dialogue with the world in which it lives. It has something to say, a message to give, a communication to make." (No. 65).

The Holy Father goes on to say that, "Dialogue, therefore, is a recognized method of the apostolate. It is a way of making spiritual contact. It should however have the following characteristics:

1) Clarity before all else; the dialogue demands that what is said should be intelligible. We can think of it as a kind of thought transfusion. It is an invitation to the exercise and development of the highest spiritual and mental powers a man possesses. This fact alone would suffice to make such dialogue rank among the greatest manifestations of human activity and culture. In order to satisfy this first requirement, all of us who feel the spur of the apostolate should examine closely the kind of speech we use. Is it easy to understand? Can it be grasped by ordinary people? Is it current idiom?

2) Our dialogue must be accompanied by that meekness which Christ bade us learn from Himself: "Learn of me, for I am meek and humble of heart." It would indeed be a disgrace if our dialogue were marked by arrogance, the use of bared words or offensive bitterness. What gives it its authority is the fact that it affirms the truth, shares with others the gifts of charity, is itself an example of virtue, avoids peremptory language, makes no demands. It is peaceful, has no use for extreme methods, is patient under contradiction and inclines towards generosity.
3) Confidence is also necessary; confidence not only in the power of one's own words, but also in the good will of both parties to the dialogue. Hence dialogue promotes intimacy and friendship on both sides. It unites them in a mutual adherence to the Good, and thus excludes all self-seeking.

4) Finally, the prudence of a teacher who is most careful to make allowances for the psychological and moral circumstances of his hearer, particularly if he is a child, unprepared, suspicious or hostile. The person who speaks is always at pains to learn the sensitivities of his audience, and if reason demands it, he adapts himself and the manner of his presentation to the susceptibilities and the degree of intelligence of his hearers....In a dialogue conducted with this kind of foresight, truth is wedded to charity and understanding to love." (Nos. 81, 82).

As faithful Catholics, we must recognize and embrace these characteristics of authentic dialogue, even when our partners in dialogue refuse to accept these principles. For we will often encounter those who have succumbed to relativism or who do not possess a love of objective truth. For such people, the purpose of dialogue is not to attain truth but rather to achieve personal victory and to triumph at any cost. As Dr. Montague Brown explains in his wonderful book "The One-Minute Philosopher" (Sophia Institute Books): "An argument (emotional, not rational) is a disorderly confrontation based on an unwillingness to learn from one another. Desire for victory takes precedence over love of truth, with the result that agreement becomes an argument, I simply want my position to be the right one and you to agree with me. I am, indeed, looking for agreement, but on my terms, not in terms of objective truth." (p. 33). An authentic dialogue (which such people are not really interested in) is, " orderly confrontation based on a mutual willingness to learn from one another. It involves the presentation of evidence by each party and then a good-faith attempt of the participants in the discussion to come to agreement...In a discussion [or dialogue], I do not primarily want to disagree: I want to know the truth.." (The One-Minute Philosopher, p. 32).

It was Pope John Paul II, in his Encyclical Letter Ut Unum Sint, No. 36, who said, "There must be charity toward one's partner in dialogue, and humility with regard to the truth which comes to light and which might require a review of assertions and attitudes."

This requires maturity.

Monday, April 25, 2016

"Very often, I hear folks speak of mercy as if it were a cancellation of justice..."

As noted here, the Brothers of Christian Instruction have been credibly accused of numerous cases of child sexual abuse across many nations.  We read that:

"In Ireland in March 1998, the Congregation of the Christian Brothers published full-page advertisements in newspapers apologizing to former pupils who had been ill-treated whilst in their care. The unprecedented advertising campaign expressed 'deep regret' on behalf of the Christian Brothers and listed telephone lines which former pupils could ring if they needed help...In 2003, the order took legal action against the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, to prevent the Commission from naming deceased brothers and brothers who were too old to competently defend themselves.

The High Court rejected the challenge, but did stipulate that the Commission must take into account the corroboration of accusations and the testing of witness evidence, and to allow the representatives of deceased brothers to cross-examine witnesses.

However, Justice Seán Ryan later overruled this when he took over the commission, and declared that individual perpetrators of abuse would not be named unless they had already been convicted.
The Commission found that thousands of Irish children at Christian Brothers institutions were abused and that more allegations were made against the Irish Christian Brothers than against all other male religious orders combined.

In the Irish Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse's five-volume report of its investigation of systemic abuse of children in Ireland, the Congregation of Christian Brothers, which was the largest provider of residential care for boys in the country, received more allegations of abuse than all of the other male religious orders combined.

They have accepted the allegations were correct, saying ""The Christian Brothers accept, with shame, the findings of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse ... The congregation is deeply sorry for the hurt we have caused - not just for the mistakes of the past, but for the inadequacy of our responses over recent years."

On the 5 November 2009 the organization announced they would be paying €34 million in reparations, following the publication of the Report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse the previous May. Up to €30m is to be given to a Government trust, in addition to €4m for counselling services. The donations reflect the "Christian Brothers' acceptance, shame and sorrow at the findings of the Ryan Report.

In late November 2009 the organization announced they would supply a €161 million (£145 million sterling) package as part of reparations for child abuse in Ireland. This includes a donation of €30 million to a government trust and €4 million donated to provide counselling services. Playing fields owned by the organisation and valued at €127 million would be transferred to joint ownership of the government and the trust that runs former Christian Brothers schools."

Not exactly a stellar record of showing "mercy" to one's neighbor.

Which is why I am wary of a book written by Father Patrick Martin entitled A Log in a Stream which my parish is currently distributing.  Father Martin was a member of the Brothers of Christian Instruction.  There have never been any accusations of any kind against Fr. Martin.  But still his association with the Brothers and his affinity for Francis and his conception of "mercy" concern me.  See here also.

Father Robert McTeigue, SJ has written, "Very often, I hear folks speak of mercy as if it were a cancellation of justice. On this view, “justice” means, “you have to pay off your debt—or else.” “Mercy”, then, says, “About that debt—never mind!” And who wouldn’t breathe a sigh of relief when told that one’s debt has been dismissed, made irrelevant? That’s an appealing, even tempting image of justice and mercy, especially if you’ve ever been deeply in debt. Unfortunately, such a view tragically distorts justice and mercy. If left uncorrected, such a view runs the risk of making us unable to see or feel what is, to borrow a phrase from C.S. Lewis, “the weight of glory.” In other words, the roots of human dignity and the very character of God may be obscured by such a facile, beguiling, and impoverished view of mercy and justice."

This flawed notion of "mercy" is popular at my parish.  And this doesn't surprise me.  For there is precious little authentic mercy in practice there.  Only a lukewarm counterfeit which offers chaff instead of wheat and leaves one unsatisfied.

The "pastor," influenced by Francis, preaches on the need for showing others mercy even as he treats me like a leper and leaves me feeling unwelcome.  Isn't this the same pseudo-mercy shown by Francis?  See here.  A "mercy" which is most selective and has little or no room for devout, orthodox Catholics.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Our Lady of Good Success warned of the times we're living in...

Our Lady of Good Success, Quito, Ecuador to Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres in the 1500s:

"Unbridled passions will give way to a total corruption of customs because Satan will reign through the Masonic sects, targeting the children in particular to insure general corruption."

“Unhappy, the children of those times! Seldom will they receive the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. As for the sacrament of Penance, they will confess only while attending Catholic schools, which the devil will do his utmost to destroy by means of persons in authority."

“The same will occur with Holy Communion. Oh, how it hurts me to tell you that there will be many and enormous public and hidden sacrileges!"

“In those times, the sacrament of Extreme Unction will be largely ignored.… Many will die without receiving it, being thereby deprived of innumerable graces, consolation, and strength in the great leap from time to eternity."

“The sacrament of Matrimony, which symbolizes the union of Christ with the Church, will be thoroughly attacked and profaned. Masonry, then reigning, will implement iniquitous laws aimed at extinguishing this sacrament. They will make it easy for all to live in sin, thus multiplying the birth of illegitimate children without the Church’s blessing….

“Secular education will contribute to a scarcity of priestly and religious vocations.”

“The holy sacrament of Holy Orders will be ridiculed, oppressed, and despised, for in this both the Church and God Himself are oppressed and reviled, since He is represented by His priests."
“The devil will work to persecute the ministers of the Lord in every way, working with baneful cunning to destroy the spirit of their vocation and corrupting many. Those who will thus scandalize the Christian flock will bring upon all priests the hatred of bad Christians and the enemies of the One, Holy, Roman Catholic, and Apostolic Church. This apparent triumph of Satan will cause enormous suffering to the good pastors of the Church…and to the Supreme Pastor and Vicar of Christ on earth who, a prisoner in the Vatican, will shed secret and bitter tears in the presence of God Our Lord, asking for light, sanctity, and perfection for all the clergy of the world, to whom he is King and Father.”

“Unhappy times will come wherein those who should fearlessly defend the rights of the Church will instead, blinded despite the light, give their hand to the Church’s enemies and do their bidding. But when [evil] seems triumphant and when authority abuses its power, committing all manner of injustice and oppressing the weak, their ruin shall be near. They will fall and crash to the ground."

“Then will the Church, joyful and triumphant like a young girl, reawaken and be comfortably cradled in the arms of my most dear and elect son of those times. If he lends an ear to the inspirations of grace–one of which will be the reading of these great mercies that my Son and I have had toward you–we shall fill him with graces and very special gifts and will make him great on earth and much greater in Heaven. There we have reserved a precious seat for him because, heedless of men, he will have fought for truth and ceaselessly defended the rights of the Church, deserving to be called ‘martyr.’”

“At the end of the nineteenth century and throughout a great part of the twentieth, many heresies will be propagated in these lands.…

“The small number of souls who will secretly safeguard the treasure of Faith and virtues will suffer a cruel, unspeakable, and long martyrdom. Many will descend to their graves through the violence of suffering and will be counted among the martyrs who sacrificed themselves for the country and the Church.

“To be delivered from the slavery of these heresies, those whom the merciful love of my Son has destined for this restoration will need great will-power, perseverance, courage, and confidence in God. To try the faith and trust of these just ones, there will be times when all will seem lost and paralyzed. It will then be the happy beginning of the complete restoration…"

“In those times the atmosphere will be saturated with the spirit of impurity which, like a filthy sea, will engulf the streets and public places with incredible license.… Innocence will scarcely be found in children, or modesty in women.

“He who should speak seasonably will remain silent."

“There shall be scarcely any virgin souls in the world. The delicate flower of virginity will seek refuge in the cloisters.…Without virginity, fire from heaven will be needed to purify these lands.…"

“Sects, having permeated all social classes, will find ways of introducing themselves into the very heart of homes to corrupt the innocence of children. The children’s hearts will be dainty morsels to regale the devil.…

“Religious communities will remain to sustain the Church and work with courage for the salvation of souls.… The secular clergy will fall far short of what is expected of them because they will not pursue their sacred duty. Losing the divine compass, they will stray from the way of priestly ministry mapped out for them by God and will become devoted to money, seeking it too earnestly.
“Pray constantly, implore tirelessly, and weep bitter tears in the seclusion of your heart, beseeching the Eucharistic Heart of my most holy Son to take pity on His ministers and to end as soon as possible these unhappy times by sending to His Church the Prelate who shall restore the spirit of her priests.”

We are now witnessing the fulfillment of this prophecy.  Rome is in disarray.  The secret sects are undermining the Church.  Masonry, in it's ecclesiastical form, has infiltrated to the highest levels of the Church and will soon welcome the man-God (John 5:43) with open arms.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Why does Francis have such sympathy for Judas?

The Amateur Brain Surgeon notes how Francis's sympathy for Judas contradicts the Church's Tradition.

Back in 2012, Pope Benedict XVI said that a lack of sincerity in life is “the mark of the devil” as witnessed in the decision of Judas Iscariot to continue following Jesus Christ even after he had ceased to believe in him.

Pope Benedict stressed that, “The problem is that Judas did not go away, and his most serious fault was falsehood, which is the mark of the devil. This is why Jesus said to the Twelve: ‘One of you is a devil’..." See here.

So why does Francis have sympathy for the one Jesus refers to as a devil? Because he is betraying the Church himself.

Father Vincent Miceli, S.J., explains the vice of treason:

"The vice that destroys the justice and order of any society is called treason.  Treason is a special, unnatural hatred of God as the author of one's being; it is also hatred of one family which gives birth and nourishment to the person; it is hatred of one's fatherland which endows it's subjects with citizenship in a social milieu that guarantees human dignity, liberty and peace.  Treason is the ultimate ingratitude.  Judas hated Jesus, his benevolent savior and sold him into the hands of his enemies.  The betrayal of Judas created chaos in the community of the twelve...There is a satanic, despicable dimension in the character of every traitor."

Isn't this why Francis is anxious to pardon Judas and make excuses for him?  Because he himself is a traitor?

Related reading here.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

World economic collapse is coming in preparation for the Man of Sin

Michael Snyder writes:

Mainstream news outlets are already starting to use the phrase "economic collapse" to describe what is going on in some areas of our world right now.

For many Americans this may seem a bit strange, but the truth is that the worldwide economic slowdown that began during the second half of last year is starting to get a lot worse.

In this article, we are going to examine evidence of this from South America, Europe, Asia and North America. Once we are done, it should be obvious that there is absolutely no reason to be optimistic about the direction of the global economy right now. The warnings of so many prominent experts are now becoming a reality, and what we have witnessed so far are just the early chapters of a crushing economic crisis that will affect every man, woman and child in the entire world.

Let's start with Brazil. It has the seventh largest economy on the entire planet, and it is already enduring its worst recession in 25 years. In fact, at the end of last year, Goldman Sachs said that what was going on down there was actually a "depression."

But now the crisis in Brazil has escalated significantly.

I want to share with you an excerpt from a recent article titled "Brazil: Economic collapse worse than feared." I know, that title sounds like it comes directly from The Economic Collapse Blog, but I didn't write it.

It actually comes from CNN.
Amid political chaos, Brazil's economic collapse is worse than its government once believed.
In the midst of rising calls to impeach President Dilma Rousseff, Brazil's central bank announced Thursday that it now expects the country's economy to shrink 3.5% this year.
That's worse than the central bank's previous estimate for a 1.9% contraction. The darker forecast matches what the International Monetary Fund projected for Brazil — Latin America's largest country — and what many independent economists have suspected.

It is one thing for Michael Snyder to tell you that Brazil is in the midst of "economic collapse," but it is another thing entirely for CNN to say it.

And of course, I have been warning about the crisis down in Brazil for quite some time now. For much more on this, please see my previous article, titled "The Economic Collapse of South America Is Well Underway."

Meanwhile, things are actually much worse in Venezuela than they are in Brazil. Food and basic supplies are in short supply, the inflation rate has hit 720 percent, and crime is completely out of control.

The following is from an article in the Independent called "Venezuela is on the brink of complete economic collapse":
The only question now is whether Venezuela's government or economy will completely collapse first.
The key word there is "completely." Both are well into their death throes. Indeed, Venezuela's ruling party just lost congressional elections that gave the opposition a veto-proof majority, and it's hard to see that getting any better for them any time soon — or ever.
Incumbents, after all, don't tend to do too well when, according to the International Monetary Fund, their economy shrinks 10 percent one year, an additional 6 percent the next, and inflation explodes to 720 percent. It's no wonder, then, that markets expect Venezuela to default on its debt in the very near future. The country is basically bankrupt.

Once again, we see a very respected mainstream publication using the phrase "economic collapse" to describe what is happening in South America.

You can find some stunning video of the "economic Armageddon" that is taking place in Venezuela right here. I would encourage you to watch that video, because what is happening down there will eventually be happening here.

Meanwhile, over in Europe, the collapse of the Italian banking system has entered a disturbing new chapter. Italy's finance minister has called a meeting in Rome for Monday that will be focusing on a "last resort" bailout plan for the troubled banks.
Finance minister Pier Carlo Padoan has called a meeting in Rome on Monday with executives from Italy's largest financial institutions to agree final details of a "last resort" bailout plan.
Yet on the eve of that gathering, concerns remain as to whether the plan will be sufficient to ringfence the weakest of Italy's large banks, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, from contagion, according to people involved in the talks.
Italian bank shares have lost almost half their value so far this year amid investor worries over a €360bn pile of non-performing loans — equivalent to about a fifth of GDP. Lenders' profitability has been hit by a crippling three-year recession.
As Italy descends into financial chaos, the rest of the continent better be paying attention.
Do you remember how hard it was for the rest of Europe to rescue Greece?
Well, Greece has the 44th largest economy on the planet.
Italy has the eighth.

It would be hard to overstate the seriousness of what is going on over in Europe, and it is not just Italy we are talking about. All over the continent, major banks are in deep trouble, and the chairman of France's second largest retail bank recently told reporters that "I am much more worried than I was in 2009."

And there is very good reason for concern. On Sunday, we learned that a major "bail-in" had just been announced for one of Austria's most prominent banks. The following comes from Zero Hedge:
And then today, following a decision by the Austrian Banking Regulator, the Finanzmarktaufsicht or Financial Market Authority, Austria officially became the first European country to use a new law under the framework imposed by Bank the European Recovery and Resolution Directive to share losses of a failed bank with senior creditors as it slashed the value of debt owed by Heta Asset Resolution AG.
The highlights from the announcement:
Today, the Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA) in its function as the resolution authority pursuant to the Bank Recovery and Resolution Act (BaSAG – Bundesgesetz über die Sanierung und Abwicklung von Banken) has issued the key features for the further steps for the resolution of HETA ASSET RESOLUTION AG. The most significant measures are:
  • a 100% bail-in for all subordinated liabilities,
  • a 53.98% bail-in, resulting in a 46.02% quota, for all eligible preferential liabilities,
  • the cancellation of all interest payments from 01.03.2015, when HETA was placed into resolution pursuant to BaSAG,
  • as well as a harmonisation of the maturities of all eligible liabilities to 31.12.2023.
According to the current resolution plan for HETA, the wind-down process should be concluded by 2020, although the repayment of all claims as well as the legally binding conclusion of all currently outstanding legal disputes will realistically only be concluded by the end of 2023. Only at that point will it be possible to finally distribute the assets and to liquidate the company.
The dominoes are starting to fall in Europe, and I would expect even bigger announcements in the weeks and months to come.
Over in Asia, economic chaos is beginning to prevail as well.
In China, the stock market is already down more than 40 percent from the peak, Chinese exports were down 25.4 percent on a year over year basis in February, and Chinese economic numbers overall have not been this poor since the depths of the last global recession.
At the same time, the Japanese economy is really struggling right now. As I wrote about the other day, Japanese GDP has shrunk for two out of the last three quarters, we just saw Japanese industrial production experience the biggest one month decline that we have witnessed since the tsunami of 2011, and business sentiment has fallen to a three-year low. The Nikkei has dropped by about 5,000 points from where it was last summer, and some analysts believe that Japanese markets "are being destroyed" due to massive intervention by the Bank of Japan.
Here in the United States, we haven't been hit quite as hard as the rest of the world just yet, but there are lots of very disturbing warning signs all around us.
At the end of last week, we learned that it is being projected that U.S. GDP will have grown by just 0.1 or 0.2 percent during the first quarter of 2016. And on Monday corporate earnings reporting season begins, and it is expected to be a very, very bad one. The following comes from Business Insider:
We are about to get confirmation that earnings growth for America's biggest companies was negative in the first quarter, compared to the same period a year ago.
When aluminum giant Alcoa releases its results on Monday, it will mark the unofficial start of the heaviest reporting season for S&P 500 companies.
The final scoreboard is expected to show a 9.1% earnings drop for the quarter, according to FactSet senior earnings analyst John Butters.
If these projections turn out to be accurate, it will be the fourth quarter in a row of earnings declines. This is something that we never see outside of a recession.
And for a whole bunch more numbers which indicate that the U.S. economy is in very serious trouble, please see my previous article titled "19 Facts That Prove Things in America Are Worse Than They Were 6 Months Ago."
Of course I am just another voice in the crowd when it comes to predicting that the U.S. economy is headed for rough times. For example, just check out what Societe Generale economist Albert Edwards is saying.
A tidal wave is coming to the US economy, according to Albert Edwards, and when it crashes it's going to throw the economy into recession. ...
The profit recession facing American corporations is going to lead to a collapse in corporate credit.
"Despite risk assets enjoying a few weeks in the sun our fail-safe recession indicator has stopped flashing amber and turned to red."
He continued:
Whole economy profits never normally fall this deeply without a recession unfolding. And with the US corporate sector up to its eyes in debt, the one asset class to be avoided — even more so than the ridiculously overvalued equity market — is US corporate debt. The economy will surely be swept away by a tidal wave of corporate default.
As you can see, it isn't just one nation or one region of the world that we need to be concerned about.
Economic chaos is erupting literally all over the planet, and global leaders are starting to panic.
Unfortunately, they have had seven years to try to fix things since the last global recession, and they didn't get the job done. Anyone who believes that by some miracle they will be able to pull us out of the fire this time and that everything will somehow be OK is simply engaged in wishful thinking.

Michael T. Snyder is the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog and author of The Beginning of the End.

Signs are emerging.  The Ecstatic of Tours told us that: "Before the war breaks out again, food will be scarce and expensive*. There will be little work for the workers, and fathers will hear their children crying for food. There will be earthquakes and signs in the sun. Toward the end, darkness will cover the earth. When everyone believes that peace is assured, when everyone least expects it, the great happening will begin. Revolution will break out in Italy almost at the same time as in France. For some time the Church will be without a Pope."

Our Lady told Fr. Stephano Gobbi on November 15, 1990, at Malvern Pennsylvania: "I announce to you that the hour of the great trial is on the point of arriving. The great trial has arrived for your country. How many times, as a concerned and sorrowing mother, have I endeavored to urge my children to follow the path of conversion and of return to the Lord. I have not been listened to. You have continued to walk along the way of rejection of God, and of His law of love. Sins of impurity have become ever more widespread, and immorality has spread like a sea which has submerged all things. Homosexuality, a sin of impurity which is against nature, has been justified; recourse to the means of preventing life have become commonplace, while abortions - these killings of innocent children, that cry for vengeance before the face of God - have spread and are performed in every part of your homeland.The moment of divine justice and of great mercy has now arrived.

You will know the hour of weakness and of poverty; the hour of suffering and defeat; the purifying hour of the great chastisement. The great trial has arrived for your Church. How great is your responsibility, O Pastors of the Holy Church of God! You continue along the path of division from the Pope and of the rejection of his Magisterium; indeed, in a hidden way, there is in preparation a true schism which could soon become open and proclaimed...And then, there will remain only a small faithful remnant, over which I will keep watch in the garden of my Immaculate Heart.

The great trial has arrived for all humanity. The chastisement, predicted by me at Fatima and contained in that part of the secret which has not yet been revealed, is about to take place. The great moment of divine justice and of mercy has come upon the world."
We are being prepared for the Reign of Antichrist. The Rev. P. Huchede, in his work entitled "History of Antichrist," explains the religious preparation, both intellectual and moral, for the Reign of Antichrist which will arrive after economic collapse:

"But how shall he deprive the world of Christianity and have himself adored as God? Alas, it is only too true that the minds and hearts of men are admirably disposed for revolution and consequently ready to accept and bear the cruel yoke of such a tyrant. Revolution as the word itself implies means a subversion, but a subversion of all that is true, good, beautiful, and grand in the universe. It is the subversion of religion, representing its dogmas as myths and its moral teachings as tyranical. It is the subversion of authority. Licentiousness under the name of liberty becomes the order of the day; each one is invested with the right to govern himself. It is the subversion of reason: and do we not find leading minds in some of the most enlightened nations denying the principle of contradiction and maintaining the absolute identity of all beings? Revolution is therefore essentially destructive, and it becomes cosmopolitan by the action of secret societies scattered throughout the world. Is it not true to say that the 'mystery of iniquity' is prepared in secret revolutionary dens? But it does not suffice to destroy; it is absolutely necessary to build up again. The world cannot subsist long in a vacuum. It must have a religion; it must have a philosophy; it must have an authority. Revolution will furnish all these. Instead of the reasonable and supernatural religion of Jesus Christ, Revolution will preach Pantheism. The God-humanity will impart the theurgic spirit and thus lead men to adore the demon as the author of universal emancipation...What frightful immorality must follow in the train of this shameless prostitution of religion! Never has the threefold concupiscence made greater ravage among mankind. And this is the religion sought and hoped for as the cherished boon of the aspirations of our modern free thinkers. To our Christian philosophy, the honor of humanity's revolution will substitute a babel of extravagant and absurd ideas. Instead of a mild and efficient authority consecrated alike by Church and state, despotism* and anarchy will rise up and contend for the shreds of religious liberty and human policy...if the state of perversion continue for a while longer, he [Antichrist] will find the world prepared to receive and serve him." (Rev. P. Huchede, History of Antichrist, pp. 13-14, Tan Books).

Is there really any doubt that we are now on the verge of a One World Government which will be eventually led by the Son of Perdition? Men are ready to worship and adore the demon. Those whose names are not written in the Book of Life, that is, who are not consecrated to the Immaculata.  But first we must have economic collapse.

At his Blog, Mark Mallett writes, "world bodies such, as the International Monetary Fund, who are increasingly warning that America’s foundations are beginning to crumble under its enormous debt. I have written before that Revolution is coming. But it will only come when the social order has been sufficiently destabilized, and then, the opportunity for a new political order is possible. That destabilization is coming hard and fast, it seems, as unemployment and poverty in the U.S. rises and the possibility for social chaos, such as we see breaking out in other third world countries, becomes less remote. Far from a speculation, several popes have been warning for decades that such a revolution has been the intention all along of secret societies working parallel to governments...With the collapse of the United States, the door will be open for a new super-power—or super-world government—to assert a mode of governance that does not place the intrinsic freedom and dignity of the human person at its center, but instead profitability, efficiency, ecology, the environment, and technology as its primary goal."

The hearts of men are growing ever colder.  As multi-millionaires and billionaires accumulate more and more wealth, many cities have witnessed tent cities spring up.  Some estimate the number of unemployed at over 30 million.  Many have given up and many more are well on their way to doing so.  It is an evil time.  A time prophesied some 1,600 years ago by Saint Nilus: "After the year 1900, toward the middle of the 20th century, the people of that time will become unrecognizable. When the time for the Advent of the Antichrist approaches, people's minds will grow cloudy from carnal passions, and dishonor and lawlessness will grow stronger. Then the world will become unrecognizable. People's appearances will change, and it will be impossible to distinguish men from women due to their shamelessness in dress and style of hair. These people will be cruel and will be like wild animals because of the temptations of the Antichrist. There will be no respect for parents and elders, love will disappear, and Christian pastors, bishops, and priests will become vain men, completely failing to distinguish the right-hand way from the left. At that time the morals and traditions of Christians and of the Church will change. People will abandon modesty, and dissipation will reign. Falsehood and greed will attain great proportions, and woe to those who pile up treasures. Lust, adultery, homosexuality, secret deeds and murder will rule in society."

What is this, if not an accurate description of our sin-sick world?

Monday, April 11, 2016

The fulfillment of prophecy: Men will abuse the freedom of conscience conceded to them and the sacrament of Matrimony will be attacked and deeply profaned

Venerable Bartholomew Holzhauser (17th century, Germany)

"The fifth period of the Church, which began circa 1520, will end with the arrival of the holy Pope and of the powerful Monarch who is called "Help From God" because he will restore everything. The fifth period is one of affliction, desolation, humiliation, and poverty for the Church. Jesus Christ will purify His people through cruel wars, famines, plagues, epidemics, and other horrible calamities.

He will also afflict and weaken the Latin Church with many heresies. It is a period of defections, calamities and exterminations. Those Christians who survive the sword, plague and famines, will be few on earth.

"During this period, many men will abuse the freedom of conscience conceded to them (See here). It is of such men that Jude, the Apostle, spoke when he said: 'These men blaspheme- whatever they do not understand; and they corrupt whatever they know naturally as irrational animals do. . . They feast together without restraint, feeding themselves, grumbling murmurers, walking according to their lusts; their mouth speaketh proud things, they admire people for the sake of gain; they bring about division, sensual men, having not the spirit.'

"During this unhappy period, there will be laxity in divine and human precepts. Discipline will suffer. The Holy Canons will be completely disregarded, and the Clergy will not respect the laws of the Church. Everyone will be carried away and led to believe and to do what he fancies, according to the manner of the flesh. They will ridicule Christian simplicity; they will call it folly and nonsense, but they will have the highest regard for advanced knowledge, and for the skill by which the axioms of the law, the precepts of morality, the Holy Canons and religious dogmas are clouded by senseless questions and elaborate arguments. As a result, no principle at all, however holy, authentic, ancient, and certain it may be, will remain free of censure, criticism, false interpretations, modification and delimitation by man."

"These are evil times, a century full of dangers and calamities. Heresy is everywhere, and the followers of heresy are in power almost everywhere.

Bishops, prelates, and priests say that they are doing their duty, that they are vigilant, and that they live as befits their state in life. In like manner, therefore, they all seek excuses. But God will permit a great evil against His Church: Heretics and tyrants will come suddenly and unexpectedly; they will break into the Church while bishops, prelates, and priests are asleep. They will enter Italy and lay Rome waste; they will burn down the churches and destroy everything."

—Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774–1824); The Life and Revelations of Anne Catherine Emmerich; message from April 12th, 1820

I had another vision of the great tribulation… It seems to me that a concession was demanded from the clergy that could not be granted. I saw many older priests, especially one, who wept bitterly. A few younger ones were also weeping… It was as if people were splitting into two camps.  —Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774–1824); The Life and Revelations of Anne Catherine Emmerich; message from April 12th, 1820

Sr. Marianne de Jesus Torres (17th century) - Our Lady of Good Success, Quito, Ecuador

Our Lady told her: "The Church will find itself attacked by waves of a secret sect ... corrupted priests will scandalize the Church ... Moreover, in these unhappy times there will be unbridled luxury which, acting thus to snare the rest into sin, will conquer innumerable frivolous souls who will lose themselves.

Innocence will almost no longer be found in children, nor modesty in women, and, in this supreme moment of need of the Church, those whom it behooves to speak will fall silent."

As for the Sacrament of Matrimony, which symbolizes the union of Christ with His Church, it will be attacked and deeply profaned*. Freemasonry, which will then be in power, will enact iniquitous laws with the aim of doing away with this Sacrament, making it easy for everyone to live in sin and encouraging the procreation of illegitimate children born without the blessing of the Church. The Catholic spirit will rapidly decay; the precious light of Faith will gradually be extinguished until there will be an almost total and general corruption of customs. Added to this will be the effects of secular education, which will be one reason for the dearth of priestly and religious vocations.

“The Sacrament of Holy Orders will be ridiculed, oppressed, and despised, for in this Sacrament, the Church of God and even God Himself is scorned and despised since He is represented in His priests. The Devil will try to persecute the ministers of the Lord in every possible way; he will labor with cruel and subtle astuteness to deviate them from the spirit of their vocation and will corrupt many of them. These depraved priests, who will scandalize the Christian people, will make the hatred of bad Catholics and the enemies of the Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church fall upon all priests.

"This apparent triumph of Satan will bring enormous sufferings to the good Pastors of the Church, the many good priests, and the Supreme Pastor and Vicar of Christ on Earth, who, a prisoner in the Vatican, will shed secret and bitter tears in the presence of his God and Lord, beseeching light, sanctity, and perfection for all the clergy of the world, of whom he is King and Father.

*  See here.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Pope Francis has forgotten that conscience has a right to respect and obedience in the measure in which the person himself respects it and gives it the care which its dignity deserves

Even now the Man of Sin readies to reveal himself.  Various signs are emerging.  There is a growing diabolical disorientation.  Life Site reports:

"The most controversial moment of Pope Francis’ new apostolic exhortation – Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love) – might be confined to a humble footnote, but the implication is clear: the pope has opened the door to Cardinal Walter Kasper’s proposal that in some circumstances divorced and remarried Catholics could be readmitted to the sacraments, including the Eucharist.

In so doing the pope appears to have taken up a position contrary to that of his predecessors, most notably Pope Saint John Paul II, who had flatly rejected the idea of admitting the divorced and remarried to Communion in his apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio. Pope Benedict XVI, during his time as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, had also addressed the controversy, coming down definitively against liberalizing the Church’s practice.
It isn’t until Chapter 8 of Pope Francis’ historically lengthy apostolic exhortation that he deals directly with the question that has embroiled the Church in debate for the past two years - ever since Cardinal Kasper, at Pope Francis’ personal invitation, outlined his controversial proposal in a keynote address to a consistory of Cardinals at the Vatican.
The text of the final document (or relatio) of last year’s Synod on the Family had caused concern among some synod fathers by referencing the idea of the “internal forum” in relation to the debate over the divorced and remarried. This idea has been used by some theologians to argue that a penitent who persists in an objectively sinful state could discern, in private discussion with his confessor, that his subjective culpability is limited, and he could therefore return to the sacraments.
In the exhortation released today, Pope Francis has adopted and expanded that reasoning.
Though the entire thrust of Chapter 8 is making the case for a deeper “integration” of those in “irregular unions” into the life of the Church, in the main body of the text the pope leaves the meaning of the phrase more or less ambiguous. However, he provides a clear answer at the end of a footnote to paragraph 305, where he states that this “integration” can, “in certain cases,” involve admittance to the sacraments, including the Eucharist. He does not explicitly elucidate what those "certain cases" might be, though broad principles for discernment are given elsewhere in the text. 
In paragraph 305, the pope warns that “a pastor cannot feel that it is enough simply to apply moral laws to those living in ‘irregular’ situations, as if they were stones to throw at people’s lives.” Quoting a well-known section of his own speech at the conclusion of the Synod on the Family last October, Francis says that such a pastor would be “sitting on the chair of Moses and judging at times with superiority and superficiality difficult cases and wounded families.”
He adds:
Because of forms of conditioning and mitigating factors, it is possible that in an objective situation of sin – which may not be subjectively culpable, or fully such – a person can be living in God’s grace, can love and can also grow in the life of grace and charity, while receiving the Church’s help to this end.
At the end of that sentence, he includes a footnote (351), which clarifies: “In certain cases, this can include the help of the sacraments,” and then refers to both Confession and the Eucharist. He writes: “I would also point out that the Eucharist ‘is not a prize for the perfect, but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.’”
Speaking of the problem of integrating people in irregular unions, the pope says it would be impossible to establish “general rules,” such as through canon law. Rather, he encourages individuals to discern their individual circumstances in the “internal forum” - i.e. in private consultation with their priest - and following guidelines established by the bishop.
He writes: “What is possible is simply a renewed encouragement to undertake a responsible personal and pastoral discernment of particular cases, one which would recognize that, since ‘the degree of responsibility is not equal in all cases’, the consequences or ef­fects of a rule need not necessarily always be the same.”
This applies even to “sacramental discipline,” he writes in a footnote to that text, because “discernment can recognize that in a particular situation no grave fault exists.”
Quoting the Synod on the Family’s final text, he says the discernment “can never prescind from the Gospel demands of truth and charity, as proposed by the Church.” Still quoting the Synod text, he says the discernment must involve several conditions: “humility, discretion and love for the Church and her teaching, in a sincere search for God’s will and a desire to make a more per­fect response to it.”
He then writes: “These attitudes are essen­tial for avoiding the grave danger of misunder­standings, such as the notion that any priest can quickly grant ‘exceptions’, or that some people can obtain sacramental privileges in exchange for favours.”
The pope bases his argument on a radical interpretation of the role of conscience - which he suggests could, in some cases, actually reveal to a person that God may in fact be “asking” them to continue in a situation that does not achieve the “objective ideal” of the Gospel.
The pope writes that “individual conscience needs to be incorporated into the Church’s praxis in certain situations which do not objectively embody our understanding of marriage.” He continues:
Naturally, every effort should be made to encourage the development of an enlightened conscience, formed and guided by the responsible and serious discernment of one’s pastor, and to encourage an ever greater trust in God’s grace. Yet conscience can do more than recognize that a given situation does not correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel. It can also recognize with sincerity and honesty what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God, and come to see with a certain moral security that it is what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits, while yet not fully the objective ideal.*
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the exhortation’s treatment of irregular unions is the pope’s apparent dismissal of the idea that couples in such unions who find themselves unable to separate for legitimate reason should be required or even encouraged to live together as “brother and sister” - i.e. to forego engaging in sexual relations.
Pope John Paul II had, in Familiaris Consortio, proposed sexual continence as the only moral solution for couples who, repenting of their irregular union, find that “for serious reasons” - such as the need to raise their children - they “cannot satisfy the obligation to separate.” In such cases, wrote John Paul II, the couple must "take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples."
Pope Francis, however, while citing this sentence of Familiaris Consortio to show that the Church does acknowledge cases where separation may be impossible, leaves out the latter half of the sentence, which references the obligation to continence. In a footnote, Pope Francis then casts into doubt the wisdom of living in continence for such couples, suggesting that doing so could harm the couple’s relationship and children.  
“In such situations, many people, knowing and accepting the possibility of living ‘as brothers and sisters’ which the Church offers them, point out that if certain expressions of intimacy are lacking, ‘it often happens that faithfulness is endangered and the good of the children suffers.’” This footnote in turn cites the Second Vatican Council’s document, Gaudium et Spes - in particular a section that acknowledges the strain married couples face during periods of abstinence in the practice of natural family planning. However, Pope Francis’ usage of the quote applies it to those in irregular unions.
Pope Francis acknowledges that the pastoral approach he has outlined may be viewed by some as causing confusion, but suggests that this is a risk he is willing to take. "I understand those who prefer a more rigorous pastoral care which leaves no room for confusion," he writes. "But I sincerely believe that Jesus wants a Church attentive to the goodness which the Holy Spirit sows in the midst of human weakness, a Mother who, while clearly expressing her objective teaching, 'always does what good she can, even if in the process, her shoes get soiled by the mud of the street'.”
The pope’s decision today follows decades of pressure on the issue from progressives in the aftermath of Vatican II. In particular, it was a major point of discussion at the Synod on the Family that Pope John Paul II convened in 1980. It was in his exhortation following that Synod, Familiaris Consortio, that he firmly shut the door on the question, citing Scripture and the Church’s doctrine. His short paragraph on the issue still offers the most cogent and concise explanation for why the proposal is impossible. He wrote:
However, 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."

See here.

*  There is a famous hymn written by Martin Luther which begins, "A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing.." For all too many people today (including sadly, many Catholics and Francis himself) the conscience has become a "mighty fortress" built so as to shelter one from the exacting demands of truth. In the words of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, "In the Psalms we meet from time to time the prayer that God should free man from his hidden sins. The Psalmist sees as his greatest danger the fact that he no longer recognizes them as sins and thus falls into them in apparently good conscience. Not being able to have a guilty conscience is a sickness...And thus one cannot aprove the maxim that everyone may always do what his conscience allows him to do: In that case the person without a conscience would be permitted to do anything. In truth it is his fault that his conscience is so broken that he no longer sees what he as a man should see. In other words, included in the concept of conscience is an obligation, namely, the obligation to care for it, to form it and educate it. Conscience has a right to respect and obedience in the measure in which the person himself respects it and gives it the care which its dignity deserves. The right of conscience is the obligation of the formation of conscience. Just as we try to develop our use of language and we try to rule our use of rules, so must we also seek the true measure of conscience so that finally the inner word of conscience can arrive at its validity.

For us this means that the Church's magisterium bears the responsibility for correct formation. It makes an appeal, one can say, to the inner vibrations its word causes in the process of the maturing of conscience. It is thus an oversimplification to put a statement of the magisterium in opposition to conscience. In such a case I must ask myself much more. What is it in me that contradicts this word of the magisterium? Is it perhaps only my comfort? My obstinacy? Or is it an estrangement through some way of life that allows me something which the magisterium forbids and that appears to me to be better motivated or more suitable simply because society considers it reasonable? It is only in the context of this kind of struggle that the conscience can be trained, and the magisterium has the right to expect that the conscience will be open to it in a manner befitting the seriousness of the matter. If I believe that the Church has its origins in the Lord, then the teaching office in the Church has a right to expect that it, as it authentically develops, will be accepted as a priority factor in the formation of conscience." (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Keynote Address of the Fourth Bishops' Workshop of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, on "Moral Theology Today: Certitudes and Doubts," February 1984).

In the same address, Cardinal Ratzinger explains that, "Conscience is understood by many as a sort of deification of subjectivity, a rock of bronze on which even the magisterium is shattered....Conscience appears finally as subjectivity raised to the ultimate standard."

A broken conscience, an ill-formed conscience, becomes a mighty fortress which shuts the truth out. Have we built an interior castle, as did St. Teresa of Avila, which remains open to the demands of truth and the promptings of the Holy Spirit? Or has our conscience become a mighty fortress built to prevent our encounter with truth? 

Francis is preparing the way for the Beast.  Where the Holy Spirit brings clarity and peace, the False Prophet brings confusion, disorientation and discord.

Make no mistake about it, Francis is proposing (and imposing) a radical interpretation of the role of conscience which directly contradicts the perennial Magisterial teaching of Holy Mother Church.

Soon, the Man of Sin will reveal himself openly.  As we approach the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima's apparitions (where the Queen of Heaven gave us the weapons for fighting against the Devil and his followers), the False Prophet - in a cruel and sick parody of the Baptist - prepares the way for the Man-god.

Pray.  Prepare the catacombs.  The New Church foretold by Venerable Emmerich, behold, is upon us.  Sin and evil will increasingly be justified and openly celebrated.
Suggested reading: Catechism of the Catholic Church Nos. 1783-1785.
Photo courtesy of TradCatKnight
Related reading here.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Catholics and Muslims worship the same God and share a tradition?

ROME (RNS) An Italian bishop has clashed with a pair of priests who want to invite Muslims to pray inside their churches in a bid to promote tolerance in a diocese in Tuscany.

“The deserved, necessary and respectful welcome of people who practice other faiths and religions does not mean offering them space for prayers inside churches designed for liturgy and the gathering of Christian communities,” Bishop Fausto Tardelli of Pistoia said in a statement reported on Saturday (March 19).

“They can very well find other spaces and places,” Tardelli said.

The bishop was responding to pledges by two local priests, the Rev. Massimo Biancalani and the Rev. Alessandro Carmignani, to welcome 18 Muslim refugees by giving them space to pray inside their churches.

But the two priests told Italian media they intend to defy the bishop and host the refugees in three parishes in the diocese, which is 25 miles northwest of Florence.

“What is the problem?” said Biancalani who runs the parish of Vicofaro. “If we want to give them a proper welcome and integration it makes no sense to make them pray in a cellar.

“Whoever wants to can pray inside the church, whoever does not want to can do it in another space. They don’t need much; the important thing is that they can face Mecca.”

The two priests contend they are responding to appeals by Pope Francis to help immigrants seeking support and they think praying together is a good way to enable their congregations to get to know the immigrants.

Now, Father Alexander Lucie-Smith, a doctor of moral theology and a consulting editor of The Catholic Herald, has already addressed why it is inappropriate for a Catholic Church or other Christian Church to be used for Muslim "prayer space."  Fr. Lucie notes:

"A row has broken out in the Church of England’s diocese of Southwark occasioned by a vicar giving permission for some Muslims to hold their prayer service in his church. Some Catholics might feel a bit smug about this, but they ought not to, as the vicar in question’s attitude to Muslim worship is rather similar to that of several Catholic priests I could name (but won’t).

Needless to say I am firmly on the side of our evangelical brethren on this one. No Christian church, if it wants to remain a Christian church, and no other church property, even a church hall, should ever be used for Muslim worship. The reason is a straightforward one: once a place has been used for Muslim worship it is ipso facto a mosque – or so some Muslims tell us. So it is clearly not a good idea to let your church be converted into a mosque, because once it is a mosque, it cannot be converted back, or so it is claimed.

This story – Muslim prayers in Christian buildings – is a remarkably common one, and it keeps on popping up again and again in the media. It is a running saga in Spain, where, it seems, a group of Muslims are keen to reclaim their perceived rights over Cordoba Cathedral.

Most of us have heard of the theology of replacement, or supercessionism, which are terms usually used with reference to the Jews and the promises of the Old Testament. Catholics do not hold to such a theology, and we do not see the Covenant with the Jews as having been cancelled. But Islam has a theology of replacement, as far as I can see: for them it is natural that all churches, like the Haghia Sophia, should become mosques, as they regard Mohamed as the “seal” of the prophets. Therefore church into mosque is a sort of natural progression (the other way around would be regression.) Moreover, in a belief that strikes one as having it both ways, they see the natural state of mankind in the beginning as Islamic: they regard Adam as the first prophet, and see his life in the Garden of Eden as an Islamic one. So if a Christian becomes a Muslim they are at once progressing and at the same time reverting to the original state of humanity.

If a Muslim points out that I am wrong on this matter, I would be glad to take correction from him or her.

The vicar who hosted the Muslim prayers in his church and who took part in them, is reported as saying the following: “It is the same God, we share a tradition.” This is perhaps the most worrying thing of all, and it is something that I have heard on the lips of Catholics too. It is simply not true, and to suggest that it is misleading, to say the least. Islam’s concept of God and of revelation is radically different to the Catholic concept of either. Moreover, our tradition and their tradition, our culture and theirs, are radically (that is to say from the root up) different. In art, in literature, in law, in cookery, in domestic life, their path is markedly different from our own. The vicar’s words do no one any favours. Moreover, the vicar seems to have forgotten the central mystery of the Christain faith, the mystery of the Blessed Trinity, a mystery that penetrates all aspects of faith and life, or should.

Christians who take this, or a similar view, on the closeness of Islamic and Christian traditions, know nothing about Islam, but, shockingly, seem to know nothing about their own Christian tradition either.

There are forces in this country and around the world which want to combine Christianity and Islam into a global religion which would be called "Chrislam."  See here.  Still others seek to blend many different religions into a syncretistic one-world religion with truth being sacrificed in the name of a false irenicism.

Those who have the courage to warn others about the dangers inherent within Islam can expect to be ostracized and increasingly relegated to the margins of society.

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