Tuesday, May 30, 2006

"The battle against the devil, which is the principal task of Saint Michael the Archangel, is still being fought today, because the devil is still alive and active in the world. The evil that surrounds us today, the disorders that plague our society, man's inconsistency and brokenness, are not only the results of original sin, but also the result of Satan's pervasive and dark action."

Pope John Paul the Second, May 24, 1987

We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has ever experienced. I do not think the wide circle of the American Society, or the wide circle of the Christian Community realise this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the antichurch, between the Gospel and the antigospel, between Christ and the antichrist. This confrontation lies within the plans of Divine Providence. It is, therefore, in God's Plan, and it must be a trial which the Church must take up, and face courageously.

From his farewell address in 1976, when as Cardinal Wojtyla of Krakow, he attended the Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia, U.S.A.

Are we able to see this? Or is there a veil over our eyes? Now is the time to have recourse to the Divine Mercy. Now is the time to take refuge in the Immaculate Heart of Our Lady. The Man of Sin is ready to reveal himself. He will do subtly at first. He will continue to seduce many.


Monday, May 29, 2006

Camille Alfred "Joe" Melanson
U.S. Army, Korea, 1952-1953
U.S. Air Force, Vietnam.
Duty Honor Country
Our Lady to Christina Gallagher, July 25, 2005:

"The anti-christ is in the world in human form. You will experience his power and seduction. Also, you will experience your free will being removed through his control. Pray My Rosary each day. By its means I will draw down protection upon you..."

The Restrainer

Mark Mallett wrote this powerful meditation and posted it at his wonderful blog:

A FEW years ago, I had a powerful experience which I shared at a conference in Canada. Afterward, a bishop came up to me and encouraged me to write that experience down in the form of a meditation. And so now I share it with you. It is also forms part of the “word” that Fr. Kyle Dave and I received last fall when the Lord seemed to be speaking prophetically to us. I have already posted the first three “Petals” of that prophetic flower on my website’s blog here. Thus, this forms the Fourth Petal of that flower, for your discernment…

I was driving alone in British Columbia, Canada, making my way to my next concert, enjoying the scenery, drifting in thought, when suddenly I heard within my heart the words, “I have lifted the restrainer.” I felt something in my spirit that is hard to explain. Something happened, and it seemed global… as if a shock wave traversed the earth. It felt as if something in the spiritual realm had been released.

That night in my motel room, I asked the Lord if what I heard was in scripture. I grabbed my bible, and it opened straight to 2 Thessalonians 2:3. So I began to read:
Let no one deceive you in any way. For unless the apostasy comes first and the lawless one is revealed... (New American Bible).

As I read these words, I recalled what Catholic author and evangelist Ralph Martin said to me in a documentary I had produced for the CTV satellite network in Canada in 1997 (What In The World Is Going On) : “Never before have we seen such a falling away from the faith in the past 19 centuries as we have this last century. We are certainly a candidate for the Great Apostasy.”

The word “apostasy” refers to a falling away of believers from the faith in mass numbers. While this is not the place to do an analysis of the Church, it is clear from the words of Pope’s Benedict XVI and John Paul II that Europe and North America have nearly abandoned the faith, as well as other traditionally Catholic countries. A cursory look at other mainstream Christian denominations shows that they are all but crumbling as fast as they are abandoning traditional Christian moral teaching.

Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the last times some will turn away from the faith by paying attention to deceitful spirits and demonic instructions through the hypocrisy of liars with branded consciences (1 Tim 4:1-3)

What really caught my attention in that motel room, though, was what I read further on in 2 Thessalonians:
And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. But the one who restrains is to do so only for the present, until he is removed from the scene. And then the lawless one will be revealed...
That which is being restrained is the “lawless one” whom verse 4 says will “seat himself in the temple of God, claiming that he is god” and whom in verse 8, “The Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and render powerless by the manifestation of his coming.” The lawless one, the Antichrist.

I wondered… has the Lord now released the lawless one in the same sense that he released Judas at the Last Supper to begin the process of his betrayal? That is, have the times of the Church’s “final passion” begun?

This question alone will no doubt draw a number of eye-rolling-head-shaking reactions: “It’s over-reaction…. paranoia… fear-mongering….” However, I cannot understand this response. If Jesus said that he would return some day, preceded by a time of apostasy, persecution, tribulation and the Antichrist, why are we so quick to suggest that it could not happen in our day? If Jesus said we are to “watch and pray” and to “stay awake” regarding these times, then I find the ready dismissal of any apocalyptic discussion to be far more dangerous than a calm and intellectual debate.

The widespread reluctance on the part of many Catholic thinkers to enter into a profound examination of the apocalyptic elements of contemporary life is, I believe, part of the very problem which they seek to avoid. If apocalyptic thinking is left largely to those who have been subjectivized or who have fallen prey to the vertigo of cosmic terror, then the Christian community, indeed the whole human community, is radically impoverished. And that can be measured in terms of lost human souls. —Author, Michael O’Brien, Are We Living In Apocalyptic Times?

As I have pointed out numerous times, several Popes have not shied away from suggesting we may be entering that specific period of tribulation. Pope Saint Pius X in his 1903 encyclical, E Supremi, “On the Restoration of All Things in Christ”:

When all this is considered there is good reason to fear lest this great perversity may be as it were a foretaste, and perhaps the beginning of those evils which are reserved for the last days; and that there may be already in the world the “Son of Perdition” of whom the Apostle speaks (2 Thess 2: 3). Such, in truth, is the audacity and the wrath employed everywhere in persecuting religion, in combating the dogmas of the faith, in brazen effort to uproot and destroy all relations between man and the Divinity! While, on the other hand, and this according to the same apostle is the distinguishing mark of Antichrist, man has with infinite temerity put himself in the place of God, raising himself above all that is called God; in such a way that although he cannot utterly extinguish in himself all knowledge of God, he has despised God’s majesty and, as it were, made of the universe a temple wherein he himself is to be adored. “He seats himself in the temple of God, showing himself as if he were God” (2 Thess 2:4).

It would seem in hindsight that Pius X was speaking prophetically as he perceived “a foretaste, and perhaps the beginning of those evils which are reserved for the last days.” I pose this thought. If the “Son of Perdition” is in fact alive, would lawlessness be the harbinger of the “lawless one?”

“The mystery of lawlessness is already at work,” Paul says in verse 7. Since I heard those words, “the restrainer has been lifted,” I believe there has been a rapidly increasing lawlessness in the world. In fact, Jesus said this would happen in the days prior to His return:
...because of the increase of evildoing, the love of many will grow cold. (Matthew 24:12)
What is the sign of love grown cold? The apostle John wrote, “Perfect love casts out all fear”. Perhaps then, perfect fear casts out all love, or rather, causes love to grow cold. This may be the saddest trait of our times: our fear of one another, and the unknown. And the reason is because of a growing lawlessness, which corrodes trust.

There has been a marked increase in corporate and political greed, and scandal in governments and the money markets.
Laws redefining marriage, reframing human dignity, and approving hedonistic practices continue to gain momentum.
Terrorism has nearly become a daily occurrence.
Genocide is becoming more prevalent.
Violence has increased in various forms from suicide to school shootings to parent/child murders to the starvation of the helpless.
There has been an unprecedented and rapid decay of morality in television and movie productions in the past few years. It’s not so much in what we see visually, though that is a part of it, but in what we hear. The topics of discussion and frank content of sitcoms, dating shows, talk show hosts, and movie dialogue is virtually unrestrained.
Pornography has exploded across the globe with high speed internet.
STD’s are reaching epidemic proportions not only in third world countries, but in nations such as Canada as well.

I think it is worth it to note that, as lawlessness increases, so too do the wild disturbances in nature, from extreme weather to the awakening of volcanoes to the fomentation of new diseases.

2 Thessalonians 2:11 goes on to say:
Therefore, God is sending them a deceiving power so that they may believe the lie, that all who have not believed the truth but have approved wrongdoing may be condemned.
At the time I received this word, I was also getting a strong image—particularly as I was speaking in parishes—of a strong wave of deception. The Da Vinci Code comes to mind… but it is certainly more than that. As Pope Benedict said shortly before his election to succeed John Paul II, there is a growing “dictatorship of relativism” (Opening Homily at Conclave, April 18th, 2004). A growing number of people consider the Church to be more and more irrelevant, while their own personal feelings or the pop psychology of the day form their conscience.
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

With the growing lawlessness in our society, those who hold fast to the moral teachings of the Church are perceived more and more as fanatics and fundamentalists. Beguiling, is the voice of the world, defective as its reasoning is.

I hear the words in my heart repeatedly, like a war drum in the distant hills:
Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak (Matt 26:41).

There is a parallel story to this “lifting of the restrainer”. It is found in Luke 15—the story of the Prodigal Son. The prodigal did not want to live by his Father’s rules, and so, the Father let him go; he opened the front door, “lifting the restrainer” as it were. The boy took his inheritance (symbolic of the gift of free will and knowledge), and left. The boy went off to indulge his “freedom”.

The key point here is this: the Father did not release the boy so as to see him destroyed. We know this because scripture says the Father saw the boy coming from a long way off (that is, the Father was constantly on the lookout, waiting for his son’s return….). He ran to the boy, embraced him, and took him back —poor, naked, and hungry.

God is still acting in his mercy toward us. I believe that we may experience, as did the prodigal son, terrible consequences as a global community for continuing to reject the Gospel. Already, we are reaping what we have sown. But I believe God will permit this so that after having tasted how poor, naked, and hungry we are, we will return to Him. I believe Catherine Doherty once said, “In our weakness, we are most ready to receive His mercy.”

Whether or not we live in the times foretold by Christ, we can be sure that with every breath we breathe, He is extending his mercy and love toward us. And since none of us knows if we will wake up tonight, the most important question is, “Am I ready to meet Him today?”

Well said Mr. Mallett.

This article may be found at: www.markmallett.com


Sunday, May 28, 2006

Article on Mr. Joe Klock

Mr. Klock continues to dissent from the Church's Magisterial teaching. Pray for him.


Saturday, May 27, 2006

La Salette: As pertinent as ever

Unfortunately, many Catholics today have become desensitized to the evils of our present epoch. I've met those within the Church who never seem to find the time to oppose these evils*, evils such as abortion, contraception, the homosexual agenda, fornication, adultery, immodesty, profanity, new age paganism and so on and so forth. What these people do find the time to criticize is faithful Catholics who actually witness to their faith.

Their punishment will be all the worse. In the words of Fr. Harrison:

Let us turn to Our Lady of La Salette and offer her Memorare:

Remember, Our Lady of La Salette, true mother of Sorrows, the tears you shed for us on Calvary. Remember also the care you have taken to keep us faithful to Christ, your Son. Having done so much for your children, you will not now abandon us. Comforted by this consoling thought, we come to you pleading, despite our infidelities and ingratitude. Virgin of Reconciliation, do not reject our prayers, but intercede for us, obtain for us the grace to love Jesus above all else. May we console you by living a holy life and so come to share the eternal life Christ gained by His cross. Amen.

* James 4:17

ειδοτι ουν καλον ποιειν και μη ποιουντι αμαρτια αυτω εστιν

Thursday, May 25, 2006

This morning I attended a children's Mass at Saint Anthony's Parish in Manchester. Many of these children were receiving their Eucharistic Jesus for the first time. When it came time to pray the Lord's Prayer, there was a real electricity throughout the Church. As these innocents prayed, I could feel the Spirit moving very powerfully.

I opened to this Scripture later today:

"I will strengthen the house of Judah, the house of Joseph I will save; I will bring them back, because I have mercy on them, they shall be as though I had never cast them off, for I am the LORD, their God, and I will hear them.

Then Ephraim shall be valiant men, and their hearts shall be cheered as by wine. Their children shall see it and be glad, their hearts shall rejoice in the LORD." (Zechariah 10: 6-7).

And this one:

"At that time the disciples approached Jesus and said, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"

He called a child over, placed it in their midst,

and said, "Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18: 1-4).
Thank you to all who have wished me a happy birthday. As many of you know, May 25th is also St. Padre Pio's birthday. Let's all ask him to intercede for us before the Lord Jesus. Today is also the Feast of the Ascension. Let us pray:

Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God,that we who believeThine only-begotten Son our Redeemer to have ascended this day into heaven, may ourselves dwell in spirit amid heavenly things.



Wednesday, May 24, 2006

For the time will come.....

Erit enim tempus cum sanam doctrinam non sustinebunt sed ad sua desideria coacervabunt sibi magistros prurientes auribus.

2 Timothy 4:3

Pope says devotion to Sacred Heart helps Catholics focus on love

A prayer to St. Michael

By Pope Leo XIII, from the Roman Ritual, Rite of Exorcism

PRINCEPS gloriosissime caelestis militiae, sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in proelio et colluctatione, quae nobis adversus principes et potestates, adversus mundi rectores tenebrarum harum, contra spiritualia nequitiae, in caelestibus. Veni in auxilium hominum, quos Deus creavit inexterminabiles, et ad imaginem similitudinis suae fecit, et a tyrannide diaboli emit pretio magno. Proeliare hodie cum beatorum Angelorum exercitu proelia Domini, sicut pugnasti contra ducem superbiae luciferum, et angelos eius apostaticos: et non valuerunt, neque locus inventus est eorum amplius in caelo. Sed proiectus est draco ille magnus, serpens antiquus, qui vocatur diabolus et satanas, qui seducit universum orbem; et proiectus est in terram, et angeli eius cum illo missi sunt.

O GLORIOUS Prince of the heavenly host, Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in the battle and fearful warfare that we are waging against the principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, against the evil spirits. Come thou to the assistance of men, whom Almighty God created immortal, making them in His own image and likeness and redeeming them at a great price from the tyranny of Satan. Fight this day the battle of the Lord with thy legions of holy Angels, even as of old thou didst fight against Lucifer, the leader of the proud spirits and all his rebel angels, who were powerless to stand against thee, neither was their place found any more in heaven. And that great dragon was cast forth, the ancient serpent, who is called the devil and satan, who seduces the whole world; and he was cast forth upon Earth, and his angels were sent with him.

En antiquus inimicus et homicida vehementer erectus est. Transfiguratus in angelum lucis, cum tota malignorum spirituum caterva late circuit et invadit terram, ut in ea deleat nomen Dei et Christi eius, animasque ad aeternae gloriae coronam destinatas furetur, mactet ac perdat in sempiternum interitum. Virus nequitiae suae, tamquam flumen immundissimum, draco maleficus transfundit in homines depravatos mente et corruptos corde; spiritum mendacii, impietatis et blasphemiae; halitumque mortiferum luxuriae, vitiorum omnium et iniquitatum.
But behold! the ancient enemy of mankind and a murderer from the beginning has been fiercely aroused. Changing himself into an angel of light, he goes about with the whole multitude of the wicked spirits to invade the earth and blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to plunder, to slay, and to consign to eternal damnation the souls that have been destined for a crown of everlasting life. This wicked serpent, like an unclean torrent, pours into men of depraved minds and corrupt hearts the poison of his malice, the spirit of lying, impiety and blasphemy, and the deadly breath of impurity and every form of vice and iniquity.
Ecclesiam, Agni immaculati sponsam, vaferrimi hostes repleverunt amaritudinibus, inebriarunt absinthio; ad omnia desiderabilia eius impias miserunt manus. Ubi sedes beatissimi Petri et Cathedra veritatis ad lucem gentium constituta est, ibi thronum posuerunt abominationis et impietatis suae; ut percusso Pastore, et gregem disperdere valeant.

Be favorable to Thy Church, the Bride of the Lamb without spot, whose enemies have filled to overflowing with gall and inebriated with wormwood. They have laid profane hands upon Her most sacred treasures. Where the See of the most blessed Peter and the Chair of Truth has been constituted as a light to the nations, there they have placed a throne of their abomination and impiety; so that with the Pastor struck, they may prevail to disperse the flock.

Adesto itaque, Dux invictissime, populo Dei contra irrumpentes spirituales nequitias, et fac victoriam. Te custodem et patronum sancta veneratur Ecclesia; te gloriatur defensore adversus terrestrium et infernorum nefarias potestates; tibi tradidit Dominus animas redemptorum in superna felicitate locandas. Deprecare Deum pacis, ut conterat satanam sub pedibus nostris, ne ultra valeat captivos tenere homines, et Ecclesiae nocere. Offer nostras preces in conspectu Altissimi, ut cito anticipent nos misericordiae Domini, et apprehendas draconem, serpentem antiquum, qui est diabolus et satanas, ac ligatum mittas in abyssum, ut non seducat amplius gentes. Hinc tuo confisi praesidio ac tutela, sacri ministerii nostri auctoritate [si fuerit laicus, vel clericus qui ordinem exorcistatus nondum suscepit, dicat: sacra sanctae Matris Ecclesiae auctoritate], ad infestationes diabolicae fraudis repellendas in nomine Iesu Christi Dei et Domini nostri fidentes et securi aggredimur.

Therefore, most invincible Leader, be with the people of God against this spiritual wickedness and bring about victory. Thou art venerated by Holy Church as Her guard and patron; Thou art glorified as our defender against the impious powers of earth and of hell. Unto thee the Lord hath handed over the souls of the redeemed to be placed in happiness above. Entreat the God of peace, to obliterate satan beneath our feet, lest he prevail further to hold men captive, and to injure the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that the mercy of the Lord may swiftly overtake us, and apprehend the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and satan, and send him bound into the abyss, so that he may seduce the nations no more. Henceforth having been confided to thy escort and protection, we sacred ministers by our authority [if recited by a layman, or cleric who has not yet taken up the order of exorcist, say instead, "by the authority of Holy Mother Church ], do undertake to repel the infestations of diabolical deceit in the Name of Jesus Christ, Our God and Lord.

V. Ecce Crucem Domini, fugite partes adversae.
V. Behold the Cross of the Lord, depart from us, our adversaries.

R. Vicit Leo de tribu Iuda, radix David.
R. The Lion of the tribe of Juda, root of David, has conquered.

V. Fiat misericordia tua, Domine, super nos.
V. Let Thy mercy be upon us Lord.

R. Quemadmodum speravimus in te.
R. As much as we hope in Thee.

V. Domine, exaudi orationem meam.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.

R. Et clamor meus ad te veniat.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Si fuerit saltem diaconus subiungat
If recited by at least a deacon add the following

V. Dominus vobiscum.
V. The Lord be with you all.

R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
R. And with thy spirit.

OremusDeus, et Pater Domini nostri Iesu Christi, invocamus nomen sanctum tuum, et clementiam tuam supplices exposcimus ut, per intercessionem immaculatae semper Virginis Dei Genetricis Mariae, beati Michaelis Archangeli, beati Ioseph eiusdem beatae Virginis Sponsi, beatorum Apostolorum Petri et Pauli et omnium Sanctorum, adversus satanam, omnesque alios immundos spiritus, qui ad nocendum humano generi animasque perdendas pervagantur in mundo, nobis auxilium praestare digneris. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Let us prayO God, and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, we invoke Thy Holy Name, and we humbly implore Thy clemency so that, through the intercession of Mary, the Immaculate ever-Virgin Mother of God, of blessed Michael the Archangel, of blessed Joseph, the Spouse of the same blessed Virgin, of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the Saints, Thou may deign to offer us aid against satan, and all the other unclean spirits, who wander through the world to injure the human race and to destroy souls. We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Excellent article from TFP on natural disasters and chastisement

By Luis Sérgio Solimeo

The string of natural calamities and man-made tragedies afflicting the world and the United States, particularly Hurricane Katrina in late August, have stimulated many people to reflection. Some see these tragic events as God’s chastisement of a sinful mankind; others see them as yet one more merciful warning from Providence; others yet deny both options and give various reasons.

Modern society’s staggering apostasy from the truth of the Gospel prompts many to ask themselves if God is not trying to send a message to the world through these calamities. Could He be saying: “Such as I love, I rebuke and chastise. Be zealous therefore and do penance. Behold, I stand at the gate and knock”?1

Could God be showing His supreme displeasure with the reigning amorality and libertinism, loss of faith and dissemination of sins that “cry out to heaven for vengeance” such as abortion and homosexuality?2

If we consider just abortion, for example, could these calamities be a Divine chastisement for the blood of millions of innocent victims that rises to heaven clamoring for justice? “They have poured out the blood of the Saints as water, round about Jerusalem. And there was none to bury them. Avenge, O Lord, the blood of Thy Saints, which has been shed upon the earth.”3

An Archbishop’s WordsCommenting on 2005’s Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the retired Archbishop of New Orleans, Most Reverend Philip M. Hannan was very much of the opinion that these tragedies were Divine chastisements for sin:

“I’ve been speaking at local parishes, and here's what I kept telling the people. I say, look, we are responsible not only for our individual actions to God, but in addition to that, we are also citizens of a nation and in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament, it says that a nation has a destiny and we are responsible whether we cause it or not for the course of morality in that nation. We are responsible as citizens for the sexual attitude, disregard of family rights, drug addiction, the killing of 45 million unborn babies, the scandalous behavior of some priests – so we have to understand that certainly the Lord has a right to chastisement.… We have reached a depth of immorality that we have never reached before. And the chastisement was Katrina as well as Rita.”4

That people who deny the existence of God would summarily write off Archbishop Hannan’s courageous assessment is understandable. However, we see some Catholics rush to join the opinion of such atheists – perhaps unwittingly – emphatically denying any spiritual significance to these disasters. How can these Catholics be so sure that these calamities are not “signs of the times?”5

That they are not chastisements? Or warnings from God?

A First Objection: If It Can Be Explained Scientifically It Cannot Be Divine InterventionAmong these Catholics are some who suggest that natural catastrophes can be explained scientifically and that there is no need, therefore, to bring Divine intervention into the picture to understand what happened. This argument is only partly correct.

God Uses the Natural Causes He Created to Intervene in HistoryScience can explain the mechanics of natural disasters, but not their transcendent meaning. For this, we must look to philosophy and theology.

Indeed, to suggest that the forces of nature act wholly on their own, to the exclusion of any Divine plan, is to deny that they are God’s creatures. It is to affirm either that the Creator made things without an end and purpose, or that He is unable to intervene in His own creation.
However, if God were to have made things without a purpose, He would not be wise; and if He were unable to control events and direct them toward the end He had in mind when He created them, He would not be almighty. This would be tantamount to denying His existence, for the sheer possibility of an imperfect God contradicts the very idea of God. Either He is an absolutely perfect being, or the very idea of God makes no sense.

Nothing in Creation Escapes God’s GovernmentIndeed, not only did God create all beings through a sovereign act of His Divine Will, but He sustains them in existence and directs them toward the end for which He created them: His extrinsic glory. In other words, all of Creation is under Divine government and is subject to God’s wise designs. As Saint Thomas teaches:
“God [is] the ruler of things as He is their cause, because the same gives existence as gives perfection; and this belongs to government. Now God is the cause not indeed only of some particular kind of being, but of the whole universal being. Wherefore, as there can be nothing which is not created by God, so there can be nothing which is not subject to His government.… Now the end of the Divine government is the Divine goodness. Wherefore, as there can be nothing that is not ordered to the Divine goodness as its end, so it is impossible for anything to escape from the Divine government.”6

Saint Thomas further explains that while this Divine government is direct and immediate from the standpoint of design, this does not mean that God cannot use secondary means for the ultimate execution of His plans. Consequently, He can use the angels or even men to intervene in History. He can use natural forces and the physical laws that are derived from the nature of beings as He created them and their relationships with each other.7

However, just because God usually uses these secondary causes to execute His plans, this does not mean that He is not directing, in a superior fashion, all things to their true purpose, which is His glory.8 Therefore, just because God does not suspend the laws of nature, as He did when opening the Red Sea for the Chosen People, that does not mean events are not obeying His designs.9

In fact, God’s absolute perfection demands that He act continuously in history. This is abundantly confirmed by Holy Scriptures and the writings of the Church Fathers.10 Therefore, when analyzing the present catastrophes, God’s government in the world must be taken into consideration.

A Second Objection: God is Goodness Itself, So He Never Chastises MenOther Catholics disagreeing with Archbishop Hannan’s assessment raise a second objection: “God is supremely good, in fact He is Goodness itself, therefore He never chastises men.”
Actually, since God is the absolute perfect being, and the cause of all perfection, He must have in Himself all possible perfections.11 Thus, He is not only infinitely good and merciful, but also infinitely just. As the Psalmist so aptly says: “Mercy and truth have met each other: justice and peace have kissed.”12

Therefore, while God reserves definitive reward or punishment for the next life, as seen in the parable of the wheat and the chaff,13 He also chastises on this earth. This truth is formally found in Revelation. Some examples are: the plagues of Egypt, 14 the Flood,15 the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah16 and the destruction of Jerusalem.17

God Does Judge and Chastise Men, and Each Man IndividuallyAlso, Saint Paul says that earthly authority “is God's minister: an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil.”18 Clearly, human authority could not be a “minister” or agent of Divine justice if God Himself did not meet out earthly punishment.

According to the Apostle, man cannot escape Divine justice, be it in this life or the next: “And thinkest thou this, O man … that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? … But according to thy hardness and impenitent heart, thou treasurest up to thyself wrath, against the day of wrath and revelation of the just judgment of God: Who will render to every man according to his works.”19

Finally, Mary’s prayer, the Magnificat, teaches that God’s mercy is manifested “to them that fear him.”20 It is because God judges and chastises that we should fear offending Him.
A Third Objection: Since the Calamity Affected Both Good and Bad It Cannot Be Divine Chastisement – God Would Never Chastise the GoodOther Catholics bring up a third reason why they would disagree with Archbishop Hannan: “These natural disasters, did not only affect evil men, they also brought untold suffering to good people. Thus, they cannot be a chastisement from God. Were God to punish the good, He would not be infinitely just.”

To properly address this objection we must first recall some basic teachings of our Catholic faith:

a) God is the Lord of life: We owe our existence to God and just as He freely gave us life, He is free to take it from us. There is no injustice when He does so, regardless of the stage of life, be it that of an infant, a child, an adult in the full vigor of manhood, or one who has reached venerable old age.

b) Eternal, not earthly, life and happiness are our ultimate goal: Moreover, our earthly life and happiness are not ends in themselves. They are not the supreme reason for our existence. They are the road, the means, for us to attain eternal life, our true goal. Thus, Saint Paul reminds us, “Our citizenship is in heaven.”21 God’s way of acting becomes incomprehensible when we lose sight of eternal life and heavenly happiness.

c) God punishes collective sin, collectively: When sin becomes generalized, is greatly tolerated, or is committed by particularly representative individuals, it involves the whole family, city, region, nation, or even historical eras. This collective dimension makes sin particularly grave and offensive to God and the result is that Divine chastisement is also collective. Both good and bad suffer. The first suffer to become more perfect; the second as a chastisement for their faults.

Saint Augustine Explains Collective ChastisementThe great Saint Augustine, Bishop of Hippo in Northern Africa, and Doctor of the Church, lived during the barbarian invasions that brought about the fall of the Western Roman Empire. Indeed, the Vandals were storming at the city gates as he died.

During this troubled period, pagans blamed the Church for the collapse of Empire and civilization. If the Empire had not become Christian, they argued, Jove and the other gods of Rome would have saved it from destruction. Moreover, they added, the God of the Christians was no god at all since He had not spared the Christians from the barbarians.
Saint Augustine wrote The City of God to defend the Church and shore up the faith in hearts. In his masterwork, he explains the reason for collective chastisements. His reasoning can be summed up as follows:

1. Since nations as such do not pass to eternal life, they are rewarded or chastised in this life for the good or evil they practice; good and bad alike feel the effects of both reward and chastisement.

2. As for the good, the chastisement purifies their love of God, and may even take them from the tribulations of this life to the eternally happy life of Heaven; “Job’s case exemplifies that the human spirit may be proved, and that it may be manifested with what fortitude of pious trust, and with how unmercenary a love, it cleaves to God.”

3. On the other hand, very often the good are justly chastised for a certain selfishness, a lack of courage and apostolic fervor, that prevents them from pointing out to the bad, the evil of their ways: “Because they weakly relish the flattery and respect of men, and fear the judgments of the people, and the pain or death of the body; that is to say, their non-intervention is the result of selfishness, and not of love.”

4. As for the bad, they are chastised by “Divine Providence, which is wont to reform the depraved manners of men by chastisement.”22

Such is also the teaching of Saint Thomas who says: “Justice and mercy appear in the punishment of the just in this world, since by afflictions lesser faults are cleansed in them, and they are the more raised up from earthly affections to God. Likewise, Saint Gregory says: ‘The evils that press on us in this world force us to go to God.’”23

Our Lady at Fatima: A Prophetic and Maternal WarningProphets in the Old Testament continually warned the Chosen People of chastisements that would come on account of their apostasies. Hence, we read of the prophet Jeremias warning of the Babylonian captivity. In the New Testament, Our Lord warned that Jerusalem would be destroyed because it had rejected Him.24

In 1917, the Blessed Mother appeared in Fatima to warn that if the world did not convert and do penance it would be chastised: “When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father.… [Russia] will spread her errors throughout the world.… The good will be martyred… various nations will be annihilated.”25

At her last apparition in Fatima on October 13, 1917, Our Lady performed the famous miracle of the sun, perhaps to give us an idea of the natural or man-made cataclysms that could strike mankind, if we do not convert. The miracle was witnessed by 70,000 people and was reported extensively in the Portuguese anti-clerical secular press of the time.26
Has the world converted and done penance during these 88 years since Our Lady made her request? Archbishop Hannan’s words suggest that it has not. He mentions a few of the evils that plague us, but many more can be added to the list. The world has fallen into an almost universal apostasy. Its immorality is unparalleled since the advent of Christianity. More than just an aggressive libertinism, this sad state of things represents a sin of the spirit whereby moral aberrations are esteemed and even protected by law. Massive public parades that glorify homosexual vice have become frequent in nearly all of the world’s major cities. In 2000, a world “homosexual pride” festival took place in Rome. And in August 2005, another 10-day one was to have taken place in Jerusalem, but the vigorous reaction from residents forced the organizers to postpone it for a year.

New Orleans: Tears of Maternal Sorrow and WarningIn this regard, it is certainly significant that the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima, one of the four statues carved under the direction of Sister Lúcia, the main Fatima seer, shed tears in New Orleans in July 1972.27

One month after that miraculous weeping, the beautiful port city saw the beginning of Southern Decadence – days filled with the public display of naked flesh and homosexual lewdness28 – and with every passing year, New Orleans became increasingly a symbol for those who ignore Our Lady of Fatima’s message of conversion.

Could Our Lady have chosen New Orleans for this miraculous weeping because, in weeping over New Orleans, She was weeping over everything it would come to symbolize?

A Call to Conversion and PenanceThis brings us back to the original question. How should we look at Hurricane Katrina and the string of tragedies that have befallen our nation and the world? As a chastisement? As a new warning from Divine Providence?
The answer is that regardless if the causes of tragedy are natural or man-made, we cannot exclude Divine Providence’s wise and unfathomable designs. Rather, for all the reasons laid out above, and particularly Our Lady’s message at Fatima, it seems to us that prudence demands we give serious consideration to the possibility that God is warning us of our faults and calling us to repentance.

God does not want the death of the sinner, but his conversion. However, if the world does not heed Our Lady’s call to conversion, we cannot be surprised if even worse tragedies afflict the world – the annihilation of whole nations, for example, as mentioned by the Blessed Mother at Fatima.Whatever the future may have in store for us, however, we should always remember that Our Lady also foretold at Fatima both mankind’s ultimate conversion and her final victory, “Finally, my Immaculate Heart will triumph!”May the series of catastrophes that have befallen America and the world help us to take to heart Our Lady’s maternal call to conversion.

1. Apoc. 3:19-20.
2. “The catechetical tradition also recalls that there are "sins that cry to heaven": the blood of Abel, (Gen. 4:10) the sin of the Sodomites, (Gen. 18:20; 19:13) the cry of the people oppressed in Egypt, (Ex. 3:7-10) the cry of the foreigner, the widow, and the orphan, (Ex. 20:20-22) injustice to the wage earner (Deut. 24:14-15).” Catechism of The Catholic Church (Second Edition, n. 1867.
3. Adaptation of Psalm 78:3, 9-10, Tract of the Mass of the Holy Innocents, Martyrs, (Feast day December 28) old Latin Roman Missal.
4. http://www.tfp.org
5. When the Pharisees and Sadducees asked the Divine Master for “a sign from heaven,” He answered: “When it is evening, you say, it will be fair weather, for the sky is red. And in the morning: Today there will be a storm, for the sky is red and lowering. You know then how to discern the face of the sky: and can you not know the signs of the times?” – Matt. 16:1-3. (Our emphasis).
6. St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, I.q. 103, a.5.
7. “In government there are two things to be considered; the design of government, which is providence itself; and the execution of the design. As to the design of government, God governs all things immediately; whereas in its execution, He governs some things by means of others.” (Ibid., a. 6).
8. Of course, God respects men’s free will and, in case of sin, reestablishes his offended glory by exercising His justice.
9. God commonly acts in history without suspending the laws of nature but by steering them to obtain certain results. For example, when the Prophet Elias prayed for rain in Israel, which was suffering from a terrible drought, God caused many clouds to come together and rain heavily (1 Kings 18:41-45). At other times He suspends the laws of nature, as when the Israelites crossed the Red Sea (Ex. 14:16).
10. Summarizing the central thesis of St. Augustine’s famous work, The City of God, Fr. A. Rascol says that it is Divine Providence that orders favorable events and allows adversities, regulating the joys and afflictions of the just, and punishing some faults while saving others for the day of definitive judgment (Cf. A. Rascol, s.v. “Providence, S. Augustin,” in Vacant-Magenot-Amann, Dictionnaire de Théologie Catholique, (Paris: Letouzey et Ané, 1936), Vol. 13, col. 963. On the role of Providence in Scripture, see Leslie J. Walker, s.v. “Divine Providence,” at www.newadvent.org/cathen/12510a.htm.
11. Thus, St. Thomas says: “Since therefore God is the first effective cause of things, the perfections of all things must pre-exist in God in a more eminent way.” (Summa Theologica, I, q.4, a2.
12. Psalm 84:11. (Douay-Rheims.)
13. Cf. Matt. 13:24-30.
14. Cf. Exodus, Chapters 7-8.
15. Cf. Genesis, Chapters 6-8.
16. Cf. Genesis, Chapter 19.
17. Cf. Matt. 24:1-2.
18. Rom. 13:4.
19. Rom. 3:6.
20. Lk. 1:50.
21. Phil. 3:20.
22. Cf. St. Augustine, The City of God, Book I, Chapters 1 and 9. The thesis that nations are rewarded or chastised in this earthly life is an underlying thesis found throughout The City of God, but particularly in Books IV and V.
23. Summa Theologica, I, q.21, a.4.
24. Cf. Lk., 19:41-44; Matt. 23:37.
25. Cf. http://www.tfp.org
26. Cf. John M. Haffert, Meet the Witnesses, (Washington, N.J.: Ave Maria Institute, 1961). Mr. Haffert provides his interviews with numerous eyewitnesses of this awesome miracle.
27. We read on the web site of the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima: “New Orleans, LA, July, 1972: During Her tour of the New Orleans diocese, the statue shed tears on numerous occasions.… That was the first time it was discovered that the moisture was human tears and also the first time photos began to circulate.” http://www.tfp.org Cf. also Plinio Correa de Oliveira, “Tears, a Miraculous Warning,” Folha de S. Paulo, Aug. 6, 1972.
28. This August, the homosexual event was officially cancelled because of hurricane Katrina although two unofficial parades were held in New Orleans and Lafayette. The festival’s immorality is evident from this description found on a New Orleans’ tourist web site:“Leave your prudish friends and family at home“Parades and non-stop parties aside, Southern Decadence may be most famous (or infamous) for the displays of naked flesh which characterize the event …. the atmosphere of Southern Decadence has stayed true to its name and public displays of sexuality are pretty much everywhere you look. Like I said, you might want to leave your more prudish friends and family at home…. August 31-September 5, 2005.” http://www.tfp.org
29. “Is it my will that a sinner should die, saith the Lord God, and not that he should be converted from his ways, and live?” Ezek. 18:23.


The Da Vinci Hoax Documentary

NEW: The Da Vinci Hoax DVDHosted by Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J., with Carl E. Olson and Sandra MieselNow the insights and arguments of the best selling exposé, The Da Vinci Hoax, are available on DVD. Apologist Carl E. Olson, historian Sandra Meisel, and Jesuit biblical scholar Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J. join forces to expose the myths of Dan Brown’s popular novel, The Da Vinci Code.

Using top-notch graphics and outstanding art, this powerful, in-depth documentary gives an inspiring visual and intellectual presentation on the real truth about Christianity, and a devastating critique of the numerous errors and deceptions in The Da Vinci Code about Jesus, Mary Magdalene, the early Christians and the Catholic Church.

Click on link above to order this terrific documentary from Ignatius Press.


Record deluge swamps Exeter, NH: Home of Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code

Signs of the times.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Our Lady to Fr. Stephano Gobbi of the Marian Movement of Priests

From Our Lady Speaks to Her Beloved Priests:

Message # 370, December 31, 1987

Know how to read and to meditate upon that which, in sacred scripture, has been clearly described for you to help you understand the time in which you are living. With my motherly voice I am leading you all to understand the signs of the great tribulation. From the Gospels, from the Letters of the Apostles and from the Book of the Apocalypse, sure signs have been clearly described for you to make you understand what the period of the great tribulation is. All these signs are in the act of being realized in your time.

-First of all, a great apostasy is spreading in every part of the Church, through the lack of faith which is flooding even among its very pastors. Satan has succeeded in spreading everywhere the great apostasy, by means of his subtle work of seduction, which has brought many to be alienated from the truth of the Gospel to follow the fables of the new theological theories and to take delight in evil and in sin, sought after as an actual good.

-Then, in your time, overturnings of the order of nature are multiplying, such as earthquakes, droughts, floods, and disasters which cause the unforeseen death of thousands of persons, followed by epidemics and incurable diseases which are spreading everywhere.

-Moreover, your days are marked by continual rumors of wars which are multiplying and are reaping, each day, innumerable victims. Conflicts and dissensions within countries are increasing; revolts and struggles between various peoples are propagating; bloody wars are continuing to extend themselves, notwithstanding all the efforts which are being made to attain peace.

-Finally, in your time, there are occurring great signs in the sun, on the moon and in the stars. The miracle of the sun which took place at Fatima was a sign I gave you to warn you that the times of these extraordinary phenomena which are taking place in the heavens have now arrived. And how many times during my present apparitions have you yourselves been able to contemplate the great prodigies that are taking place in the sun.

[Mark 13:28-29 Learn a lesson from the fig tree. Once the sap of its branches runs high and it begins to sprout leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see these things happening, you will know that he is near, even at the door.] Just as the buds which sprout forth on the trees tell you that spring has now arrived, so also these great signs which are taking place in your time are telling you that even now there has come to you the great tribulation, which is preparing you for the new era which I have promised you with the triumph of my Immaculate Heart in the world.

Our Lord to St. Faustina Kowalska:

"..Oh, what great graces I will grant to souls who say this chaplet; the very depths of My tender mercy are stirred for the sake of those who say the chaplet. Write down these words, My daughter. Speak to the world about My mercy; let all mankind recognize My unfathomable mercy. It is a sign for the end times; after it will come the day of justice. While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fount of My mercy; let them profit from the Blood and Water which gushed forth for them." (Our Lord to Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, Divine Mercy in My Soul," Notebook II (No. 848).


Saturday, May 20, 2006

State Representative Maurice Pilotte and Emergency Contraception

On March 9, 2006, State Representative Maurice Pilotte - who attends Blessed Sacrament Parish in Manchester, New Hampshire - voted nay on HB 1492 which would have granted immunity from liability to pharmacists who refuse to dispense an emergency contraceptive pill without a prescription.

On March 21, 2006, Mr. Pilotte voted nay on HB 1682 relative to parental notification of a parent or legal guardian of a child who has been provided with emergency contraception by a pharmacist.

This is a source of scandal to faithful Catholics.


Friday, May 19, 2006

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin
(never known to fail)

O most beautiful flower of Mount Carmel, fruitful vine, splendor of Heaven, Blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me in my necessity. O star of the Sea, help me and show me here you are my mother. O Holy, Mary Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and Earth, I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart to secure me in my necessity (make request). There are none that can withstand your power. O Mary conceived without sin pray for us who have recourse to thee (3 times). Holy Mary, I place this cause in your hands (3 times). Say this prayer for 3 consecutive days and then you must publish and it will be granted to you.


Iran eyes badges for Jews and Christians.....persecution watch

The Didache

"In the last days there will multiply false prophets and corruptors and they shall be changed into wolves of their flocks. Charity will be converted into hatred. There will be an increase in iniquity; men will mutually hate each other, they will persecute and betray each other and then there will appear the deceiver of the world saying he is the son of God. He will make signs and do miracles. The earth will be given into his hands and he will do such iniquities as has never before been done throughout the centuries....Therefore, what men have created will be cleansed by fire and many will be scandalized and will perish, but those who persevere in their faith will be saved from the evil one..."

There are many Catholics who are so secularized today that such words seem to them as mere fantasy or pious hyperbole. The problem for such "enlightened" minds is that these words are taken from the Didache, which is (and always has been) considered to be, "the most important document of the SubApostolic period, the oldest source of ecclesiastical law which we possess.." (Patrology, Quasten, Vol. 1, p.30).

And today, a blasphemous film is released which attacks the very holiness of Our Lord and His Mystical Body which is the Catholic Church. Will people rush to embrace this film while rejecting the Divine Mercy?

"..Oh, what great graces I will grant to souls who say this chaplet; the very depths of My tender mercy are stirred for the sake of those who say the chaplet. Write down these words, My daughter. Speak to the world about My mercy; let all mankind recognize My unfathomable mercy. It is a sign for the end times; after it will come the day of justice. While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fount of My mercy; let them profit from the Blood and Water which gushed forth for them." (Our Lord to Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, Divine Mercy in My Soul," Notebook II (No. 848).


Rome Sanctions founder of Legionaries

Monday, May 15, 2006

Protection for the Journey

14 May, 2006
Pope: Immaculate Heart of Mary watches over journey of Church and mankind
Benedict XVI recalled the apparitions of Fatima and the promise of the “Lady of White Light” about her final victory. The pope mentioned persecutions and hardships suffered during the totalitarian regimes of the XX century, as well as the assassination attempt against John Paul II. At their First Holy Communion, children become “branches” of the Vine that is Jesus Christ.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The pope today once again talked about the apparitions in Fatima and the prophecy uttered by the “Lady of White Light” to the shepherds: “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph”. He was speaking during the Regina Caeli prayer, one day after the anniversary of the beginning of the apparitions (13 May 1917) and 25 years after the assassination attempt against Pope Wojtyla, in which the “Servant of God, John Paul II, felt he had been miraculously saved from death by the intervention of ‘a maternal hand’, as he himself used to say. His entire pontificate was marked by what the Virgin pronounced at Fatima”.

Only yesterday, the statue of Our Lady of Fatima was welcomed in St Peter’s Square by tens of thousands of believers, and a plaque was unveiled in the square on the exact spot where the attempt to take the life of the Polish Pope took place. Benedict XVI recalled that the message the Virgin entrusted in Fatima to the three children, Francesco, Giacinta and Lucia, “following on the one of Lourdes, was a strong call to prayer and conversion. It was a truly prophetic message considering that the XX century was ravaged by unheard-of destruction caused by wars and totalitarian regimes, as well as long drawn out persecution against the Church”. The promise of Mary, about the victory of the Immaculate Conception, is one of comfort, although “there is no shortage of worries and suffering, although there are still reasons for apprehension about the future of mankind”.

The pope called on one and all to invoke “the most Blessed Mary, thanking her for her constant intercession and praying to her so she may continue to watch over the journey of the Church and of humanity, especially of families, mothers and children.”

Some of the pope’s words before the Regina Caeli were dedicated especially to children. Recalling that many parishes are celebrating their First Holy Communion in these weeks, Benedict XVI said: “To all children who in these weeks are meeting Jesus for the first time in the Eucharist, I would like to deliver a special greeting, auguring that they may become branches of the Vine that is Jesus and that they may grow up as his true disciples.” Citing the parable of the Vine and the branches, proclaimed in today’s gospel, the pontiff said: “Christian life is a mystery of communion with Jesus… the secret of spiritual fecundity is union with God, a union realized above all in the Eucharist, rightly also called ‘Communion’.”

“A certain way of remaining united in Christ is to have recourse to the intercession of Mary.”

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The DaVinci Code and the Flight from God

In an article for the National Catholic Register (May 14-20 edition) on the success of the DaVinci Code entitled "But Why Is it Popular," Mr. Clemens Cavallin, a professor at the University of Bergen, Norway in the Department of History of Religions, asks the important question, "How are we to understand the success of the book (and probably, soon, the film)? Why are so many reading it? There are, after all, many fast-paced thrillers and books inspired by conspiracy theories on the market."

Mr. Cavallin provides a tentative answer, "We have to see the success of The DaVinci Code against a backdrop of increasing modernization and 'demythologization' that have simultaneously pushed religious discourses to the realm of fiction, and increased the power of fiction through movies and the Internet....Secondly, we have to consider the de-Christianization of of the Western world, which has led to the impression that Christian ideas and institutions have little influence on society, but also that much knowledge of Christianity, its beliefs and history, is lost. Our era neither knows nor feels any loyalty toward our Christian heritage; on the contrary, we see honor in turning against it. Thirdly, it is necessary to take the postmodern condition seriously. The borderline between fact and fiction has become fuzzy and arbitrary. There is widespread skepticism toward the power and self-sufficiency of human reason. For many, there is very little that is absolutely a fact and, respectively nothing which in an absolute sense is fiction; everything is about perspectives."

I believe professor Cavallin is on the right track. Yes, the success of The DaVinci Code should be viewed against the backdrop of "increasing modernization and 'demythologization.'" Yes, another factor which explains the book's success is the de-Christianization of the Western world. And yes, the borderline between fact and fiction has been obscured in our postmodern society.

These are all factors behind the success of The DaVinci Code. But they are secondary factors. For each one of these factors is merely a symptom of the primary factor which is responsible for the success of The DaVinci Code: Namely, man's flight from God.

In his powerful classic entitled, "The Flight from God," the eminent Swiss philosopher Max Picard writes: "In every age man has been in flight from God. What distinguishes the Flight to-day from every other flight is this: once Faith was the universal, and prior to the individual; there was an objective world of Faith, while the Flight was only accomplished subjectively, within the individual man. It came into being through the individual man's separating himself from the world of Faith by an act of decision. A man who wanted to flee had first to make his own flight. The opposite is true to-day. The objective and external world of Faith is no more; it is Faith which has to be remade moment by moment through the individual's act of decision, that is to say, through the individual's cutting himself off from the world of the Flight. For to-day it is no longer Faith which exists as an objective world, but rather the Flight; for every situation into which man comes is from the beginning, without his making it so, plainly a situation of flight, since everything in this world exists only in the form of the Flight." (The Flight from God, Gateway Editions, 1951, pp.1-2).

Picard goes on to explain in this critically important work that, "The man of the Flight cannot bear the feeling that there is one thing and one thing only: the Flight. He needs something wholly other, something, now threatening, now friendly, which is above him, like a heaven beneath which he can make his journey...This is Art...The very existence of Art in a sphere of its own already means that it is 'wholly other,' and from the beginning it is other than reality itself. The strange thing about Art is that a work of art is indeed made by man, but that once it is made it stands there independently of man. This gives it a semblance of otherness." (The Flight from God, pp. 138-139).

This is of the utmost importance for "modern man" as he flees from his God Who is Wholly Other. Nature abhors a vacuum after all. And so, in his flight from the Divine Other, man in the flight substitutes "Art" for the Divine Being as the Wholly Other." Picard explains that the cinema "..is the perfect Flight" and that here is where "men may learn how best to flee." For this reason, "..cinemas are everywhere erected, examples of the Flight. The figures on the screen are fashioned only for the Flight, they are disembodied. Like one in a hurry who drops his luggage, the figures have laid down their bodily substance somewhere in the background, while they themselves make off in the foreground of the screen, outlines only of their bodies. Sometimes they are still for a moment, looking backwards fearfully, as if there was one who pursued them. Alas, it is only a game, they do but pretend to be afraid. No one can reach them, these things without being. And now, as if they want to fool the one who pursues them, they move more slowly, they even translate a movement which ought o be fast into a slow one; they demonstrate slowness in the Flight, so sure are they that nothing can reach them, these things without being. Here in the cinema it is as if there were no more men, as if the real men were somewhere in safety, had for long been in safety, and as if these shadows had been left behind simply to flee in place of the real men. They only pretend to be in flight and even the men who sit in front of the screen in order to gaze at the shadows there seem nothing but dummies, arranged to complete the illusion,while the real men have long since departed." (pp. 8-9).

Dr. Von Hildebrand was right when he said that, "Modern man has lost that consciousness of being a creature which even the pagan possessed, and he lives in the illusion that by his own powers he can transform the world into a terrestrial paradise." (The New Tower of Babel, Sophia Institute Press, 1994, p. 21).

Having decided against God, "modern man" has embraced the Flight. This flight from the Divine Other has led to the decline of man's confidence in the powers of human reason to attain reality and truth. Man in the Flight has concluded today that all truth is relative. In the same way that Pilate asked Our Lord, "What is truth?" and hastened in his flight to the judgment-hall without waiting for an answer (John 18:38), so "modern man," in his embrace of relativism, joins the flight without any thought of inquiring for the truth. Instead, he settles for illusion, rejecting the permanent authority of truth as founded by the Divine Other in reality, reason and revelation while setting himself up as the autonomous source of all truth:

"Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the 'mystery of iniquity' in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 675).

The Antichrist is behind the Flight, urging "modern man" to hasten in his Flight and not to look back. How will this Flight end? In the words of Romano Guardini:

"One day the Antichrist will come: a human being who introduces an order of things in which rebellion against God will attain its ultimate power. He will be filled with enlightenment and strength. The ultimate aim of all aims will be to prove that existence without Christ is possible - nay rather, that Christ is the enemy of existence, which can be fully realized only when all Christian values have been destroyed. His arguments will be so impressive, supported by means of such tremendous power - violent and diplomatic, material and intellectual - that to reject them will result in almost insurmountable scandal, and everyone whose eyes are not opened by grace will be lost. Then it will be clear what the Christian essence really is: that which stems not from the world, but from the heart of God; victory of grace over the world; redemption of the world, for her true essence is not to be found in herself, but in God, from whom she has received it. When God becomes all in all, the world will finally burst into flower." (The Lord, p. 513).

Professor Cavallin concluded his article by writing that, "..we are likely to see the Da Vinci message and agenda presented and acted out in many different ways and with the help of the whole spectrum of mass media."

I couldn't agree more. To secure himself in his Flight from God, "modern man" will no doubt rush to embrace anything which assaults those sacred and supernatural realities which remind him of his creature status and his total dependence on the Divine Other. Like Pilate, "modern man" isn't interested in truth. He has ceased struggling to be a man. He has preferred the Flight.

Until next time,
God love you
Paul Anthony Melanson

Friday, May 12, 2006

Cardinal O'Malley fights anti-Semitism

The Boston Globe is reporting that, "In his first public remarks on Catholic-Jewish relations, Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley last night said the spirit of God was behind Catholic efforts to purge their religion of centuries of anti-Semitic teaching and traditions. He vowed there would be no retreat from the declarations of kinship between the two faiths that began with the Second Vatican Council in 1965 and deepened under the late Pope John Paul II."

Huh? With all due respect to His Eminence, the Church has always condemned anti-Semitism. There is no history within the Catholic Church of "anti-Semitic teaching and traditions." The Church's respect for Jews didn't begin with the Second Vatican Council:

Beginnings to 1094
Pope Gregory I
"For it is necessary to gather those who are at odds with the Christian religion the unity of faith by meekness, by kindness, by admonishing, by persuading, lest these...should be repeled by threats and terrors. They ought, therefore, to come together to hear from you the Word of God in a kindly frame of mind, rather than stricken with dread, result of a harshness that goes beyond due limits." (Synan,The Popes and the Jews in the Middle Ages,p.45)
June 591 "Censure of Virgil, bishop of Arles, and Theodore, bishop of Marseilles, for having baptized Jews by force. They are to desist. (Simonsohn, Shlomo, p.4)
November 602 "Admonition to Paschasius, bishop of Naples, to ensure that the Jews are not disturbed in the celebration of their religious festivals." (The Apostolic See and the Jews, Documents: 492-1404; Simonsohn, Shlomo, p.23)

"TO PASCASIUS, BISHOP OF NAPLES: Those who, with sincere intent, desire to lead people outside the Christian religion to the correct faith, ought to make the effort by means of what is pleasant, not with what is harsh, lest opposition drive afar the mind of men whom reasoning...could have attracted. Those who act otherwise...demonstrate that they are concerned with their own enterpises, rather than with those of God!
Now, the Jews dwelling in Naples have registered a complaint with Us, asserting that certain people are attempting, in an unreasonable fashion, to restrain them from some of the solemnities connected with their own feast days, as it has been lawful for them to observe or celebrate these up to now, and for their forefathers from long ages past...For of what use is this, when...it avails nothing toward their faith and conversion?...One must act, therefore, in such a way that...they might desire to follow us rather than to fly from us...Rather let them enjoy their lawful liberty to observe and to celebrate their festivities, as they have enjoyed this up until now." (Synan, 217).

Pope John XVIII 1007 "The Jews of France, victims of persecution, are taken under papal protection."
(The Apostolic See and the Jews, Documents: 492-1404; Simonsohn, Shlomo, p.34)
Pope Alexander II

1063 "Praise for Winfred, archbishop of Narbonne, for defending the Jews." 1063 "Praise for Berengar, viscount of Narbonne, for protecting the Jews." 1065 "Admonition to Landulf, lord of Benevento, that the conversion of Jews is not to be obtained by force." (The Apostolic See and the Jews, Documents: 492-1404; Simonsohn, Shlomo, p.35,36,37)

1094 to 1200
With the dawn of the First Crusade, a burst of anti-Semitism also flared up. However, there was also much opposition to this behavior. "Bishops and princes [were] mostly on the side of the [Jewish] victims, but proving for various reasons, powerless to protect them effectively." (Catholic Ency.p.393).

Pope Calixtus II 1119-1124 "The Jews are taken under papal protection."
(The Apostolic See and the Jews, Documents: 492-1404; Simonsohn, Shlomo, p.44)
With the Second Crusade (1147-1149) hatred erupted again. Yet, many would not tolerate the bigotry. The German prelates, Pope Eugenius III, and St. Bernard protested against this eruption of anti-Semitism:

Pope Eugenius III 1145-1153 "The Jews are taken under papal protection."
(The Apostolic See and the Jews, Documents: 492-1404; Simonsohn, Shlomo, p.47)
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (letter to Archbishop Henry of Mainz, 1146) "Is it not a far better triumph for the Church to convince and convert the Jews than to put them all to the sword? Has that prayer which the Church offers for the Jews...been instituted in vain?"
(Carroll, Warren; The Glory of Christendom, 62).
Things settled down the next fifty years; "in Italy...Pope Alexander III was favourable to them, and the Third Latern Council (1179) passed decrees protecting their religious liberty." (Cath.En.p.393).

Pope Clement III
10 May 1188 "The Jews are taken under papal protection." (The Apostolic See and the Jews, Documents: 492-1404; Simonsohn, Shlomo, p.66)
Once again, when a new crusade (1202-1204) was preached in 1198 anti-Semitism came about again. Some crusaders caught up in misguided enthusiasm massacred Jews. In other areas they were forced out of their towns. "The Jews appealed to [Pope] Innocent III to curb the violence of the crusaders; and in answer the pontiff issued a Constitution which rigorously forbade mob violence and forced baptism, but which apparently had little or no effect." (Cath.En.p.393).

Pope Celestine III 1191-1198 "The Jews are taken under papal protection" (Sicut Judeis...)
(The Apostolic See and the Jews, Documents: 492-1404; Simonsohn, Shlomo, p.68)

1200 to 1300
Pope Gregory IX
6 April 1233 "Mandate, if facts are established, to the archbishops and bishops of France to induce the Christians in their dioceses to stop persecuting the Jews, who had complained to the pope that they were being maltreated and tortured by certain lords, imprisoned and left to die. The Jews are willing to forsake usury. They are to be set free and are not to be injured in person or in property."
3 May 1235 "Protection provided to Jews by standard formula of Sicut Judeis."
17 August 1236 "List of charges against Emperor Frederick II includes the "matter of the Jewish communities of which certain churches were deprived."
5 September 1236 "Mandate to Gerald de Malemort, archbishop of Bordeaus, Peter, bishop of Saintes, John Builloti, bishop of Angouleme, John de Melun, bishop of Poitiers, Hugo, bishop of Sees, William de Saint-Mere-Eglise, bishop of Avranches, Peter de Colmieu, bishop-elect of Rouen, Juhellus de Mathefelon, archbishop of Tours, Geoffroy de London, bishop of Le Mans, William de Beaumont, bishop of Angers, Alan, bishop of Rennes, Robertus, bishop of Nantes, Ramilf, bishop of Quimper, and Philip Berruyer, archbishop-elect of Bourges to force the crusaders of their dioceses who had killed and robbed Jews to provide proper satisfaction for the crimes perpetrated against the Jews and for the property stolen from them. They had complained to the Pope."
5 September 1236 "Request to Louis IX, king of France, to punish the crusaders, murderers and despoilers of the Jews, and to compel them to make restitution."
(The Apostolic See and the Jews, Documents: 492-1404; Simonsohn, Shlomo, p.143,154,162,163,165)

Pope Innocent IV
7 October 1246 "Request and admonition to Thibaut I, king of Navarre, to continue protecting the Jews from persecution and preventing the forced baptism of their children."
22 October 1246 "Confirmation of the protective Bull Sicut Judeis."
12 June 1247 "Admonition and exhortation to Thibaut I (IV), king of Navarre and count of Champagne, to ensure that the Jews of Champagne are reimbursed by their debtors."
5 July 1247 "Mandate to the prelates of Germany and France to annul all measures adopted against the Jews on account of the ritual murder libel, and to prevent accusation of Jews on similar charges."
6 July 1247 "Admonition and exhortation to Thibaut I (IV), king of Navarre and count of Champagne, to ensure that the Jews of Champagne are reimbursed by their debtors."
25 September 1253 "Mandate to the dean of Wurzburg to protect the local Jews from molestation by the citizens, who are in conflict with Hermann of Lobdenburg, the bishop."
(The Apostolic See and the Jews, Documents: 492-1404; Simonsohn, Shlomo, p.188-189,193-195,208)
1247; writes, "Certain of the clergy, and princes, nobles and great lords of your cities and dioceses have falsely devised certain godless plans against the Jews, unjustly depriving them by force of their property, and appropriating it themselves;...they falsely charge them with dividing up among themselves on the Passover the heart of a murdered boy...In their malice, they ascribe every murder, wherever it chance to occur, to the Jews. And on the ground of these and other fabrications, they are filled with rage against them, rob them of their possessions without any formal accusation, without confession, and without legal trial and conviction, contrary to the privileges granted to them by the Apostolic See...Since it is our pleasure that they shall not be disturbed,...we ordain that ye behave towards them in a friendly and kind manner. Whenever any unjust attacks upon them come under your notice, redress their injuries, and do not suffer them to be visited in the future by similar tribulations"
Yet these protests by the pontiffs appeared to go generally unheeded by the Christian states. (Catholic Encyclopedia, 1910 edition, p.393-394).

Pope Alexander IV
1 February 1255 "Exemption to a group of Jewish merchants of Rome from the payment of tolls in the Papal States and the kingdom of Sicily."
22 September 1255 "Protection to Jews by Sicut Judeis Bull."
(The Apostolic See and the Jews, Documents: 492-1404; Simonsohn, Shlomo, p.211)

Pope Urban IV
26 April 1262 "Protection of Jews by Sicut Judeis Bull."
(The Apostolic See and the Jews, Documents: 492-1404; Simonsohn, Shlomo, p.219)

Pope Gregory X
7 October 1272 "Protection of Jews by Sicut Judeis Bull, with additional clauses: a mixed group of witnesses, including a Jew, is to be required to convict Jews; the evidence of a Christian was not to be admissible against Jews accused of ritual murder; in the unlikely event of such a murder being committed, a Jew may be arrested only if caught in the act."
(The Apostolic See and the Jews, Documents: 492-1404; Simonsohn, Shlomo, p.242)
1273; writes in "an encyclical to all Christians forbidding them to baptize Jews by force or to injure their persons, or take away their money, or to disturb them during the celebration of their religious festivals." (Horace K. Mann, Lives of the Popes in the Middle Ages, Volume XVI [London, 1929], p. 496)
As quoted from: http://www.ewtn.com/library/HOMELIBR/JEWS.HTM
7 July 1274 "Confirmation to all Christians of a mandate to protect Jews of Germany against ritual murder libel."
10 September 1274 "Renewal of Sicut Judeis Bull."
(The Apostolic See and the Jews, Documents: 492-1404; Simonsohn, Shlomo, p.245-246)

Pope Nicholas III
"Renewal of Sicut Judeis Bull."
(The Apostolic See and the Jews, Documents: 492-1404; Simonsohn, Shlomo, p.249)

Pope Martin IV
1 March 1281 "Reissue of Sicut Judeis Bull
2 August 1281 "Reissue of Sicut Judeis Bull, with the additiion of a clause limiting the freedom of action of the Inquisition with regard to Jews."
(The Apostolic See and the Jews, Documents: 492-1404; Simonsohn, Shlomo, p.254)

Pope Honorius IV
1285-1287 "Reissue of Sicut Judeis Bull."
17 September 1285 "Confirmation of the provisions and laws promulgated for the government of the kingdom of Sicily, including the punishment for the murder of a Christian, a Jew, or a Moslem."
(The Apostolic See and the Jews, Documents: 492-1404; Simonsohn, Shlomo, p.260)

Pope Nicholas IV
1288-1292 "Reissue of Sicut Judeis Bull."
29 August 1288 "Request and admonition to Emperor Rudolf I to set free Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg."
30 January 1291 "Mandate to the papal vicar in Rome to protect the Jews."
(The Apostolic See and the Jews, Documents: 492-1404; Simonsohn, Shlomo, p.265,266,278)

1300 to 1500
Pope John XXII
9 July 1320 "Request and exhortation to all princes, rulers, officials and local authorities to protect the Jews in the papal territories in France under their jurisdiction against attacks by Shepherds."
(The Apostolic See and the Jews, Documents: 492-1404; Simonsohn, Shlomo, p.319)

Pope Benedict XII
26 June 1335 "Mandate...to Hugo de Vienne, archbishop of Besancon, to grant dispensation to and impose penitence on Vivetus Grosseti de Poligny, a cleric in the archbishop's diocese, who at the age of fifteen, carried wood to help burn Jews at the stake in the village of Arbois, in the diocese of Besancon."
(The Apostolic See and the Jews, Documents: 492-1404; Simonsohn, Shlomo, p.368)

Pope Clement VI
18 December 1345 "Mandate to Hugues de la Roque, rector of the Comtat Venaissin, to allow the Jews who had recently settled there to dwell unmolested, and to let other Jews join them."
8 May 1347 "Request to King Philip VI of France to set free Bernard de Lipasse, bishop of Dax...and others, including Jews, taken prisoner at sea by the French."
5 July 1348 "Reissue of the Bull Sicut Judeis."
26 September 1348 "Mandate to all prelates and other clergy to act against those who persecute the Jews, especially in connection with the outbreak of the plague, admonish them to desist and threaten them with punishment."
1 October 1348 "Reissue of the protective Bull against the persecutors of Jews, especially in connection with the outbreak of the plague."
20 October 1349 "Mandate to all prelates to adopt suitable measures for the suppression of the Flagellants and their supporters, accused of various crimes, including the persecution of the Jews."
(The Apostolic See and the Jews, Documents: 492-1404; Simonsohn, Shlomo, p.389,392,396,398-399)
"While the fearful scourge, known as the "Black Death", desolated Europe. The report that the Jews had caused the scourge by poisoning the wells used by Christians, spread rapidly and was believed in most towns of Central Europe, despite the Bulls issued by Clement VI in July and September, 1348, declaring their falsity. Despite the fact, too, that the same pontiff had solemnly ordered that Jews be not forced into baptism, that their sabbaths, festivals, synagogues, and cemeteries be respected, that no new exactions be imposed on them, they were plundered and murdered in many countries of Central and Northern Europe." http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08386a.htm

Pope Urban V
5 June 1365 "Reissue of Sicut Judeis Bull."
(The Apostolic See and the Jews, Documents: 492-1404; Simonsohn, Shlomo, p.430)

Pope Clement VII
10 July 1381 "Mandate to the subcollector of papal revenues...to hand over 400 French francs and 80 German florins to Simon de Nantua, a Jew...These sums were confiscated from Ysaac of Tulette...for 'excesses and crimes.' The money belonged to Simon, and Amadeus VI, count of Savoy, had interceded on his behalf."
13 August 1387 "Approval of petition presented by the Jews in the towns of Arles, Avignon, Maguelonne, Uzes and Nimes to revoke the mandate to have them make restitution to their debtors, in view of the harassment to which they had been exposed following its implementation."
(The Apostolic See and the Jews, Documents: 492-1404; Simonsohn, Shlomo, p.483,500)

Pope Boniface IX
1389-1404 "Renewal of the Bull Sicut Judeis.
"In Germany (1384), and in Bohemia (1389, 1399), the Jews were likewise persecuted. Boniface IX had protested, but in vain, against such outrages and slaughters (1389); and it is only in his states, in Italy, and in Portugal, that the Jewish race had any measure of peace during these years of carnage." http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08386a.htm
23 October 1392 "Appointment of Salamon de Metasia de Sabaduchio, a Jew in Perugia, to status of member of the papal household, and grant of papal protection."
(The Apostolic See and the Jews, Documents: 492-1404; Simonsohn, Shlomo, p.507,512)

Pope Martin V
he declared in 1419: "Whereas the Jews are made in the image of God and a remnat of them will one day be saved, and whereas they have besought our protection: following in the footsteps of our predecessors we command that they be not molested in their synagogues; that their laws, rights, and customs be not assailed; that they be not baptized by force, constrained to observe Christian festivals, nor to wear new badges, and they be not hindered in their business relations with Christians"
After the Austrian and German Jews appealed to him, he spoke in their favor in 1420 and "in 1422, confirmed the ancient privileges of their race."

Alexander VI (1492-1503)
When the Jews of Rome refused to admit the Jewish refugees from Spain and offered him a bribe of a thousand ducats, he threatened the Roman Jews with expulsion, demanded two thousand ducats from them, and forced them to allow the Jewish refugees entrance. (Synan, 145).
"Alexander made a place at his court for Jewish physicians...One eminent Jew who held such as post was...Maestro Boneto...Expelled from Provence in 1493, he had taken refuge in the papal city of Carpentras, in order to profit by the friendly reception generally to be expected by Jews in towns under the control of the popes. Since this rabbi [also] possessed...remarkable competence in astronomy...it was possible for him to give striking evidence of his gratitude to the Pope. This he did by dedicating to him a work called The Astronomical Ring...By 1499, Maestro Boneto had become...personal physician to Pope Alexander VI, an office he would retain under Leo X." (Synan, 146-147).

1500 to 1900
"The early Roman pontiffs of the sixteenth century had Jewish physicians and were favourable to the Jews and the Maranos of their states." http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08386a.htm
1758, Benedict XIV appoints Cardinal Lorenzo Ganganelli (future Pope Clement XIV) to investigate the accusation of blood libel. After a year of investigation, the cardinal reports back that the accusations are false
See: http://www.chretiens-et-juifs.org/article.php?voir[]=1700&voir[]=1182

Pope Gregory XVI
1837, "when, seeing how poverty and high taxes plunged the [Jewish] community into bankruptcy, he rubbed out all their debts, and helped them with medical aid during the cholera epidemic of that year" (Chadwick, Owen/A History of the Popes 1830-1914/Oxford University Press/2003/p.129).

Pope Leo XIII
1892, Leo XIII defends the Jews in a newspaper interview (Ibid.).
Leo XIII supports French Jewish officer Captain Alfred Dreyfus, who has been accused of treason and "publicly condemned the anti-Semitic campaign against him" (Ibid).
"Protestants everywhere condemned the papacy for the Dreyfus Affair, though the papacy had nothing to do with the matter. So far as he expressed an opinion publicly, Leo XIII was on the side of Dreyfus. In March 1899 he was said to have compared Dreyfus to Jesus on Calvary" (Chadwick, Owen/A History of the Popes 1830-1914/Oxford University Press/2003/p.385).
Under the pontificate of Pope Pius X, many condemned anti-Semitism: "In the Catholic Church the leaders were against any such [anti-Semitic] attitudes towards the Jews. In Vienna one cardinal after another, from Rauscher onwards, tried to prevent race-hatred and especially anti-Semitism in the Church. As political anti-Semitism...grew in Vienna, the bishops issued a joint pastoral letter against anti-Semitism and racialism... In 1895 the rector of the university of Vienna was a Catholic priest, Laurenz Mullner...In a debate on money for the medical school, an anti-Semite attacked the university as Jew-infested. Mullner took the speaker to pieces: 'Read Dante, and what he said about Averroes, a Semite; he was a great spirit. Read Thomas Aquinas, a noble mind and a saint. Even where they do not agree with Jewish scholars they speak in a very different spirit. Every year it is my duty to refute Spinoza. Though I refute him, yet I bow before that great spirit and noble mind.'" (Chadwick, Owen/A History of the Popes 1830-1914/Oxford University Press/2003/p.379,381)

1900 to today
Pius X denounces the accusations against the Russian Jew Mendel Beilis (Ibid.).

Benedict XV
1916, when the American Jews petitioned Benedict on behalf of the Polish Jews, Benedict responded: "The Supreme Pontiff.... as Head of the Catholic Church, which, faithful to its divine doctrines and its most glorious traditions, considers all men as brothers and teaches them to love one another, he never ceases to indicate among individuals, as well as among peoples, the observance of the principles of the natural law, and to condemn everything that violates them. This law must be observed and respected in the case of the children of Israel, as well as of all others, because it would not be comformable to justice or to religion itself to derogate from it solely on account of divergence of religious confessions" 1

Pius XI
1928, Vatican issues a statement later cited by rescueworkers during the Holocaust: "[J]ust as [the Church] reproves all rancours in conflicts between peoples, to the maximum extent condemns hatred of the people once chosen by God, the hatred that commonly goes by the name of anti-Semitism" 1.
Nov. 1931, Pius XI is thanked by the chief rabbi of Milan for opposing anti-Semitism.
"In the spring of 1933, the year Hitler took power, Pius XI met with Rabbi Allesandro da Fano of Milan to express his solidarity with the Jewish community. The Jewish Chronicle reported: 'The pope...had a long private talk with them about the situation of the Jews in Germany. It is understood that the pope was extremely concerned about the sufferings imposed on the Jews and expressed his sympathy with them and his desire to help. Rabbi da Fano, who is eighty-six years of age, is a personal friend of the pope, and was his teacher of Hebrew when the pope was Director of the Catholic Ambrosian Library in Milan' ('The Pope's Desire to Help,' Jewish Chronicle , May 12, 1933, p.28)." From: (Dalin, David G. & Bottum, Joseph/The Pius War/Lexington Books/2004/p.115-116)
Sept. 6, 1938, he says to some Belgian pilgrims that anti-Semitism "is a hateful movement, a movement that we cannot, as Christians, take any part in...Anti-Semitism is inadmissible" (Chadwick, Ibid.).
1939 issue of B'nai B'rith's National Jewish Monthly features him on the frontcover and writes, "Regardless of their personal beliefs, men and women everywhere who believe in democracy and the rights of man have hailed the firm and uncompromising stand of Pope Pius XI against Fascist brutality, paganism, and racial theories. In his annual Christmas message to the College of Cardinals, the great Pontiff vigorously denounced Fascism...The first international voice in the world to be raised in stern condemnation of the ghastly injustice perpetrated upon the Jewish people by brutal tyrannies was Pope Pius XI" (Chadwick, Ibid.).
"Also of note is Pius XI's support for British efforts to help Jewish and other refugees...the Holy See sent out requests to its representatives throughout the world to assist those fleeing oppression and racial persecution; see Cardinal Pacelli's circular telegrams of November 30, 1938, and January 10, 1939 in Actes et Documents 6, pp.48-50, and Pius XI's letter to the cardinal archbishops of Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Quebec, and Buenos Aires, pp. 50ff" (Pius War, p.119).
Jan. 1939, The Jewish National Monthly reports "the only bright spot in Italy has been the Vatican, where fine humanitarian statements by the Pope have been issuing regularly" 2.
"When Mussolini's anti-Semitic decrees began depriving Jews of employment in Italy, Pius XI, on his own initiative, admitted Professor Vito Volterra, a famous Italian Jewish mathematician, into the Pontifical Academy of Science...(see 'Scholars at the Vatican,' Commonweal , December 4, 1942, pp.187-188). When Lord Rothschild, a prominent British leader, organized a protest meeting in London against Kristallnacht...Eugenio Pacelli, Vatican secretary of state, acting on behalf of Pius XI, who was then ill, sent a statement of solidarity with the persecuted Jews; the statement was read publicly at the meeting" (Pius War, p.119).
When Pius XI passed away on February 10, 1939, the world praised him for his opposition to the Nazi and Fascism regimes, as well as for his opposition to anti-Semitism (Quotes below from: Ibid. p.120,121).
Feb. 12, 1939, Bernard Joseph wrote on behalf of the Executive Jewish Agency to the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem: "'In Common with the whole of civilized humanity, the Jewish people mourns the loss of one of the greatest exponents of the cause of international peace and good will...More than once did we have occasion to be deeply grateful...for the deep concern which he expressed for the fate of the persecuted Jews of Central Europe. His noble efforts on their behalf will ensure for him for all time a warm place in the memories of the Jewish people wherever they live' (Pinchas Lapide, Three Popes and the Jews , p.116)"
Feb. 17, 1939, the Jewish historian Cecil Roth publishes the obituary "Pope Pius and the Jews: A Champion of Toleration" in the Jewish Chronicle of London, in which he "wrote movingly of his private audience with the aged pontiff, during which Pius XI assured Roth of the papacy's opposition to anti-Semitism. Roth hailed Pius XI as that 'courageous voice raised unfalteringly and unwearingly...protesting oppression, condemning racial madness...This was an aspect which he appreciated to the full, and earned his memory an undying claim to the gratitude of the Jewish people'" (Pius War, p.120-121)

Pius XII
See also Pope Pius XII#World War II.
In recent years there has been a flood of books on Pius XII’s actions surrounding the Holocaust. The most popularly read ones have tended to view him as a staunch anti-Semite and are generally accepted by the mainstream media. However, there are many other scholars who see numerous errors with this view. Due to this debate, the following article, in keeping within its scope of “Christian opposition to anti-Semitism,” will expound upon the many actions taken by Pius XII in opposition to anti-Semitism as well as answer critiques that have been written of him.

Church’s Actions Against Anti-Semitism under Pius XII
1939, "Pius organized special operations inside the Vatican Information Office to help Jews persecuted by Nazism," writes Ronald J. Rychlak in his review of Susan Zuccotti's Under His Very Windows: The Vatican and the Holocaust in Italy , "A Dangerous Thing to Do" (The Pius War Lexington Books, 2004, p.36).
March 1940, “Pius granted an audience to Joachim von Ribbentrop, the German foreign minister and the only high-ranking Nazi to bother visiting the Vatican. The Germans' understanding of Pius's position, at least, was clear: Ribbentrop chastised the pope for siding with the Allies. Whereupon Pius began reading from a long list of German atrocities. ‘In the burning words he spoke to Herr Ribbentrop,’ the New York Times reported on March 14, Pius ‘came to the defense of Jews in Germany and Poland.’” Rabbi David G. Dalin, The Weekly Standard
“When French bishops issued pastoral letters in 1942 attacking deportations, Pius sent his nuncio to protest to the Vichy government against ‘the inhuman arrests and deportations of Jews from the French-occupied zone to Silesia and parts of Russia.’ Vatican Radio commented on the bishops' letters six days in a row—at a time when listening to Vatican Radio was a crime in Germany and Poland for which some were put to death. (‘Pope Is Said to Plead for Jews Listed for Removal from France,’ the New York Times headline read on August 6, 1942. ‘Vichy Seizes Jews; Pope Pius Ignored,’ the Times reported three weeks later.) In retaliation, in the fall of 1942, Goebbels's office distributed ten million copies of a pamphlet naming Pius XII as the ‘pro-Jewish pope’ and explicitly citing his interventions in France.” (Ibid.)
October 1943, Pius begins asking churches and convents throughout Italy to shelter and hide the Jews
“In Rome, 155 convents and monasteries sheltered some five thousand Jews. At least three thousand found refuge at the pope's summer residence at Castel Gandolfo. Sixty Jews lived for nine months at the Gregorian University, and many were sheltered in the cellar of the pontifical biblical institute. Hundreds found sanctuary within the Vatican itself. Following Pius's instructions, individual Italian priests, monks, nuns, cardinals, and bishops were instrumental in preserving thousands of Jewish lives. Cardinal Boetto of Genoa saved at least eight hundred. The bishop of Assisi hid three hundred Jews for over two years. The bishop of Campagna and two of his relatives saved 961 more in Fiume.” (Ibid.)
October 1943, during the night between October 15-16, the Germans rounded up 1,259 Roman Jews. The next morning Princess Enza Pignatelli Aragona Cortes begged the pope for help. “She reported later that he was both shocked and furious.” When she left Pius immediately was on the phone demanding a stop to the outrage. But, the German ambassador to the Vatican (who secretly supported Pius and hated Nazism) responded that any public protest by Pius would anger Hitler into ordering the destruction of more Jews. “The British minister to the Holy See, Osborne, confirmed the unpublicized papal protest in a message to his superiors in London, telling them that as a result of the pope’s action ‘large numbers’ of Jews were released” (“Something Deeply Shameful.” The Pius War, 2004. p.61).
“In the summer of 1944, after the liberation of Rome but before the war's end, Pius told a group of Roman Jews who had come to thank him for his protection: ‘For centuries, Jews have been unjustly treated and despised. It is time they were treated with justice and humanity, God wills it and the Church wills it. St. Paul tells us that the Jews are our brothers. They should also be welcomed as friends.’” (Dalin)
When the summer papal residence, Castel Gandolfo, was bombarded by Allied forces at the end of the war, U.S. intelligence documents reported that "the bombardment of Castel Gandolfo resulted in the injury of about 1,000 people and the death of about 300 more. The highness of the figure is due to the fact that the area was crammed with refugees." According to Ronald J. Rychlak, author of Hitler, the War, and the Pope, "No one but Pius XII had authority to open these buildings to outsiders. As at least one witness testified under oath, the orders came from the pope" (The Pius War Lexington Books, 2004, p.37).
When "1,000 German Jews wanted to emigrate to Brazil...the pontiff paid out of his own pocket the $800 each needed for the trip." (The Pius War Lexington Books, 2004, p.36).
When the deportations from the Netherlands started in August 1942, representatives of both the Protestant and the Catholic churches visited the chief Nazi Seyss-Inquart in Amsterdam to express their resentment. They told the Nazis about their plan to formulate a public protest on behalf of he Jews. Seyss-Inquart, who wanted to avoid such a protest, offered a deal: If the churches remained silent, the Christians of Jewish ancestry would be saved. The Protestant church accepted, while the Catholic church formulated a pastoral letter condemning anti-semitism. As a consequence, Catholic Jews were arrested and sent to Auschwitz. The Bishop of Utrecht, de Jong, continued to protest against the deportations, and Seyss-Inquart resigned. Catholic Jews who were either children or over the age of 60 or married to an Aryan survived. Of the nearly 1000 Catholic Jews de Jong could save some 600. Also some historians concluded that de Jong's protest encouraged the Dutchmen to resist against the Nazis. Over 15.000 Jews were hidden in Dutch apartments during the Holocaust. In April 1943, Seyss-Inquart reneged on his promise. Although the majority of Protestant churches remained silent, Protestant Jews were being arrested and killed later. Documents show that Seyss-Inquart never planned to spare the Catholic Jews.

Praise for Pius XII from Rescueworkers
Archbishop Montini, the future Pope Paul VI, declined an honor from the Israel delegation in 1955 for efforts to save the Jews during the war stating, "All I did was my duty...And besides I only acted upon orders from the Holy Father [Pius XII]. Nobody deserves a medal for that" (p.35)
Angelo Roncalli, the future Pope John XXIII, also attributed his successful rescue efforts to Pius XII, "In all these painful matters I have referred to the Holy See and simply carried out the pope's orders: first and foremost to save human lives" (35).
Cardinal Pietro Palazzini, assistant vice-rector of the Seminario Romano, who hid Jews there in 1943 and 1944 was honored in 1985 by Yad Vashem as a righteous gentile. "The merit is entirely Pius XII's, who ordered us to do whatever we could to save the Jews from persecution," said the cardinal (35).
Cardinal Paolo Dezza, head of an instution hid Jews, says Pius XII advised him to "Avoid helping the military...but as for the others, help them willingly: civilians, persecuted Jews" (35).
Tibor Baranski, a Hungarian rescuer of the Jews, Italian Senator Adriano Ossicini, and Sister Maria Corsetti Ferdinanda attributes the hiding of the Jews in convents to orders from Pius XII (35).
Father Michel Riquet, Jewish rescuer and inmate at Dachau, also praised Pius XII: "Pius XII spoke, Pius XII condemned; Pius XII acted...throughout those years of horror, when we listened to Vatican Radio and to the pope's messages, we felt in communion with the pope, in helping persecuted Jews and in fighting against Nazi violence" (36).
The Pius War, Chapter 3: A Dangerous Thing to Do (Lexington Books, 2004).

Praise for Pius XII from prominent Jewish leaders
"We share in the grief of humanity [at the death of Pius XII]…. When fearful martyrdom came to our people in the decade of Nazi terror, the voice of the pope was raised for the victims. The life of our times was enriched by a voice speaking out on the great moral truths above the tumult of daily conflict. We mourn a great servant of peace."
Golda Meir

Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir praised Pius XII's courage against the Nazis
"No keener rebuke has come to Nazism than from Pope Pius XI and his successor, Pope Pius XII."
Rabbi Louis Finkelstein, chancellor, Jewish Theological Seminary of America
"In the most difficult hours of which we Jews of Romania have passed through, the generous assistance of the Holy See…was decisive and salutary. It is not easy for us to find the right words to express the warmth and consolation we experienced because of the concern of the supreme pontiff, who offered a large sum to relieve the sufferings of deported Jews…. The Jews of Romania will never forget these facts of historic importance."
Rabbi Alexander Safran, chief rabbi of Romania
"The people of Israel will never forget what His Holiness and his illustrious delegates, inspired by the eternal principles of religion, which form the very foundation of true civilization, are doing for our unfortunate brothers and sisters in the most tragic hour of our history, which is living proof of Divine Providence in this world."
Rabbi Isaac Herzog, chief rabbi of Israel
"I told [Pope Pius XII] that my first duty was to thank him, and through him the Catholic Church, on behalf of the Jewish public for all they had done in the various countries to rescue Jews…. We are deeply grateful to the Catholic Church."
Moshe Sharett (who later became Israel’s first foreign minister and second prime minister)
Dr. Raphael Cantoni, director of the Italian Jewish Assistance Committee, wrote: "The Church and the papacy have saved Jews as much and in as far as they could save Christians.... Six million of my co-religionists have been murdered by the Nazis, but there could have been many more victims, had it not been for the efficacious intervention of Pius XII."

Scholars Defend Pius XII Against Charges of Anti-Semitism
(To include BRIEF discussion of works that critique Pius, with links to other articles that discuss & critique those works in depth) (Also to include BRIEF discussion of works that defend Pius against charges of anti-Semitism.)
The Catholic Church and the Holocaust
Critique: John Jay Hughes, "Something Deeply Shameful"
Michael Phayer employs a common argument used by many historians to show that Pius XII was an anti-Semite. On October 28, 1943, Weizsacker, the German Ambassador to the Vatican, telegrammed Berlin that the pope “has not allowed himself to be carried away [into] making any demonstrative statements against the deportation of the Jews.” Phayer claims that this is the smoking gun of Pius's anti-Semitism. But what he fails to realize is that in reality Weizsacker secretly opposed the Nazi regime and tried to covertly save as many Jews as he could. So he had to try to pretend like Pius was doing little or nothing to aid the Jews. His telegram would later be called by his deputy, Albrecht von Kessel, one of his chief’s “tactical lies” to protect the Vatican’s efforts in rescuing the Jews (“Something Deeply Shameful.” The Pius War, 2004. p.60-62).
Constantine's Sword
Critique: [1]
Hitler's Pope
Critique: Hitler's Pope#Critical Analysis of Cornwell's Work
The Hidden Encyclical
Critique: The Moral Challenge of the Holocaust in 1998
"Most important, the [author’s] assumption of a near-universal Catholic anti-Semitism tramples much historical fact. It comports with neither German Catholic voting patterns nor the record of Germany’s Catholic Center Party…It clashed with internal Nazi reports or both Catholic citizens’ ‘greatest indignation’ over government Jew-baiting and Catholic breach of the boycott against Jewish merchants. It conflicts even with the overwhelming disapproval by American Catholics polled on Germany’s mistreatment of the Jews in 1938" (The Pius War Lexington Books, 2004. p.55-56).
The Popes Against the Jews: The Vatican's Role in the Rise of Modern Anti-Semitism, David I. Kertzer
Critique: Excerpt from Desperately Seeking Culprits
Under His Very Windows: The Vatican and the Holocaust in Italy

Did Pius Do Enough to Defend the Jews?
While Pius XII could have been more outspoken in his protests against the Jews, the question is whether this would have been a very effective strategy. One major problem with protesting the Nazi’s anti-Semitism was that it did not always work. Oftentimes the more the Church would protest, the worse the Jews were treated. In the Netherlands, the bishops' protests backfired. “The saddest and most thought-provoking conclusion is that whilst the Catholic clergy in Holland protested more loudly, expressly, and frequently against Jewish persecutions than the religious hierarchy of any other Nazi-occupied country, more Jews—some 110,000 or 79 percent of the total—were deported from Holland to death camps,” writes David G. Dalin, quoting from Pinchas Lapide. The Church had to step carefully in her protests so as to not exacerbate the situation. Another issue of concern for Pius was that at any moment the Axis might seize the Vatican or kidnap the Pope. The Vatican was quite literally surrounded. The popes have not always been safe in their Roman residence. Only a little more than a hundred years earlier Pius VII had been seized at bayonet point by Napoleon. Decades before, Leo XIII was driven into temporary exile and Pius XI was forced to flee for his life when his chancellor was assassinated. Hitler was essentially breathing down Pius’ neck and Pius had to take heed, lest they find him too dangerous. Hitler had spoken openly of “packing up the whole whoring rabble [of the Vatican]” and at one point even ordered General Karl Wolff in 1943 to “occupy as soon as possible the Vatican and Vatican City, secure the archives and the art treasures, which have a unique value, and transfer the pope, together with the Curia, for their protection, so that they cannot fall into the hands of the Allies and exert a political influence.” However, in 1943 General Wolff managed to persuade Hitler to call off the plan. Yet, that was not the end of Hitler’s scheming. In January of 1944, writes David G. Dalin, the Germans planned for “the eighth division of the S.S cavalry, disguised as Italians, to seize St. Peters and ‘massacre Pius XII with the entire Vatican.’” Among the reasons the Germans listed for this plan, called “Rabat-Fohn,” was “the papal protest in favor of the Jews.”
Rabbi David G. Dalin, The Weekly Standard
Despite claims of controversial film makers, like those of the movie called Amen (2002), which is entirely based on a controversial progressivist, some say anti-Catholic, theatre play of 1963, the plans of the National Socialist régime in Berlin as to the Vatican were very clear and anti-Pius XII. After the successful end of the war, Hitler said, he wanted to "crush the Catholic Church like you crush a tod".
(J. Lenz, "Christus in Dachau", Vienna, 1957, page 137.)

External links
The Myth of Hitler's Pope: An Interview With Rabbi David G. Dalin
Latest Attempts to Smear Pope Pius XII Continue to Fail
The Vatican and Nazism in Germany and Croatia: A Photo Essay
Hitler's Pope Plot Ignored
The Holy See vs. the Third Reich
Jewish Historian Praises Pius XII
The Good Samaritan: Jewish Praise for Pope Pius XII
Did Pius XII Remain Silent?
Summi Pontificatus Pope Pius XII's wartime Encyclical condemning Nazism's racism and Communism's atheism
Mit Brennender Sorge anti-Nazi encyclical promulgated by Pope Pius XI, written by future Pope Pius XII (Eugenio Pacelli), 14 March 1937. This is the only encyclical to have been originally published in German.
Cornwell's Cheap Shot at Pius XII
Cornwell's "Hitler's Pope" - excerpt published by Vanity Fair
Pius XII and the Jews: The War Years, as reported by the New York Times
Pope Pius XII: Victim of False History Right Reason
Righteous Gentile: Pope Pius XII and the Jews Rabbi David Dalin, Ph.D.
The Usefulness of Daniel Goldhagen The Weekly Standard
Document on Jewish recognition of Pope Pius XII's support during WWII
Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust - Jewish Virtual Library
Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust - defence of Pius XII
Pius XII, books & book reviews
Simon Wiesenthal Center Learning Center Online - on Pope Pius XII
website promoting Pope Pius XII's cause for sainthood. (Also contains image of Pope Pius lying-in-state)
Complete Text of the Concordat between the Vatican and Germany

Reasons for Perceived Anti-Semite Church Legislation
Defenders of the Catholic Church argue that many actions of the Church that are perceived to be "anti-semitic" were actually not intended to be anti-Jewish in any way. For example, the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia argues that the obligation that Jews wear a badge was instituted "to prevent effectively moral offences between Jews and Christian women. The decrees forbidding the Jews from appearing in public at Eastertide may be justified on the ground that some of them mocked at the Christian processions at that time; those against baptized Jews retaining distinctly Jewish customs find their ready explanation in the necessity for the Church to maintain the purity of the Faith in its members, while those forbidding the Jews from molesting converts to Christianity are no less naturally explained by the desire of doing away with a manifest obstacle to future conversions...The inhibition of intermarriage between Jews and Christians, which is yet in vigour, is clearly justified by reason of the obvious danger for the faith of the Christian party and for the spiritual welfare of the children born of such alliances." Another source of friction was that Christians actively sought the conversion of Jews. While some Jews have and still perceive this to be anti-semitic, this is not a universal opinion. However, it is generally regarded that there is nothing morally wrong with trying to peacefully change another person's beliefs. While at times the Christian desire for conversion did indeed turn anti-Semitic by utilizing violence and forcible conversion, many pontiffs and Christians protested these efforts. Nonetheless, at other times many Christians utilized peaceful means of conversion. The 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia offers a defense of the actions of the Church in regard to conversion efforts:
[Church] authorities generally deprecated the use of violence for the purpose. [History] bears witness, in particular, to the untiring and energetic efforts of the Roman pontiffs in behalf of the Jews especially when, threatened or actually pressed by persecution they appealed to the Holy See for protection. [History] chronicles the numerous protestations of the popes against mob violence against the Jewish race, and thus directs the attention of the student of history to the real cause of the Jewish persecutions, viz., the popular hatred against the children of Israel. Nay more, [history] discloses the principal causes of that hatred, among which the following may be mentioned:
The deep and wide racial difference between Jews and Christians which was, moreover, emphasized by the ritual and dietary laws of Talmudic Judaism;
the mutual religious antipathy which prompted the Jewish masses to look upon the Christians as idolaters, and the Christians to regard the Jews as the murderers of the Divine Saviour of mankind, and to believe readily the accusation of the use of Christian blood in the celebration of the Jewish Passover, the desecration of the Holy Eucharist, etc.;
the trade rivalry which caused Christians to accuse the Jews of sharp practice, and to resent their clipping of the coinage, their usury, etc.;
the patriotic susceptibilities of the particular nations in the midst of which the Jews have usually formed a foreign element, and to the respective interests of which their devotion has not always been beyond suspicion. In view of these and other more or less local, more or less justified, reasons, one can readily understand how the popular hatred of the Jews has too often defeated the beneficent efforts of the Church, and notably of its supreme pontiffs, in regard to them.
Vast improvements have occurred in Jewish-Catholic relations since the Second Vatican Council, and especially under the leadership of the late Pope John Paul II, as evidence that the Church opposes anti-semitism. The 1991 Catholic Encyclopedia (Our Sunday Visitor Publishing) includes none of the above arguments, and instead speaks of "a building up of friendship and understanding [between Jews and Catholics] to overcome prejudices based on ignorance and also to repent for unjustifiable, sometimes horrendous, victimization based not on Church teaching but on hatred and greed." [pg. 534]
This article incorporates text from the public domain Catholic Encyclopedia.

This entire compilation of articles was accomplished by the online encyclopedia Wikipedia. Their website: http://www.wikipedia.org

I do commend His Eminence for fighting anti-Semitism. My readers know full well that I do the same no matter where I find it (I'm nobody's water boy). However, perhaps His Eminence should also fight historical revisionism?

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