Monday, May 31, 2010

Prayers for the soul of Mrs. Guzman

May 31, 2010 – 3 years since Mrs. Eugenia Guzman’s death.

She was one of the very first and most faithful supporters of TFP and America Needs Fatima.

My good friend, Sergio de Paz,  prayed a Rosary and brought some flowers to her grave site in the name of all TFP and ANF members and supporters.


May God and Our Lady hear and answer our prayers for Mrs. Guzman’s soul.

I Honor This American Knight on Memorial Day

Free Book of Confidence

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Last Appeal of Service Chiefs On DADT Ignored

From Modern American Heroes

Chiefs of Navy, Army, Air Force, and Marines Oppose DADT Repeal

General George William Casey, Chief of Staff of the United States Army

I also believe that repealing the law before the completion of the review will be seen by the men and women of the Army as a reversal of our commitment to hear their views before moving forward.

To read excerpts from the letters of the other Service Chiefs to Senator McCain on this  issue click here.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Pray the Rosary at Tropical Park in Miami on Saturday, June 12

The moral and political situation in America is going from bad to worse.  Human solutions have failed.

Only God and Our Lady of Fatima can save us now through the Rosary and a sincere amendment of life.  So, come, and pray the Rosary with us to save America:

Saturday, June 12

12 noon

at Tropical Park in Miami


Hurrah For Priestly Celibacy

by Luiz Sérgio Solimeo

Self-appointed reformers always arise in times of crises offering “brilliant” solutions that attempt to demolish the Church’s most venerable traditions.

Priestly celibacy, a glorious trait of the Latin Church, has been a constant target of these so-called reformers.

Curiously enough, abolishing priestly celibacy comes hand-in-hand with destroying the indissolubility of marriage. This is easy to understand since it is based on the idea that chastity is impossible to observe. Thus, not only celibate continence is cast aside but also conjugal chastity and fidelity in marriage. Historically this happened with Eastern Orthodox schismatics, Protestants, Anglicans and others. The total or partial abolition of priestly celibacy either came together with or was preceded by permission to divorce.

Pseudo Arguments Against Celibacy
The present sex scandals, so trumped up by the media, have served as a pretext to intensify the campaign against priestly celibacy. Sectors of the media, as well as organizations of married priests and liberal Catholics, are insisting on this matter.

In addition to pseudo-scientific arguments used to prove the impossibility of observing chastity, we often find the claim that celibacy is a purely disciplinary policy introduced only later in Church legislation. It can therefore be abolished. Others say that it should at least be made optional.

Actually there are many studies, some very recent, totally debunking this supposedly historic-canonical argument.

Let us cite three among the most important studies: Apostolic Origins of Priestly Celibacy, by Fr. Christian Cochini, S.J.(Ignatius, San Francisco, 1990); The Case for Clerical Celibacy, by Alfons Maria Cardinal Stickler (Ignatius, San Francisco, 1995); Celibacy in the Early Church, by Fr. Stefan Heid, (Ignatius, San Francisco, 2000).

Early Church Tradition
Based on solid documentation, these authors show that although one cannot speak of celibacy in the strict sense of the word (not being married), it is certain that since apostolic times the Church had as a norm that men elevated to the deaconate, priesthood and the episcopate should observe continence. If candidates happened to be married – a very common occurrence in the early Church – they were supposed to cease, with the consent of their spouses, not only marital life but even cohabitation under the same roof.

Let us limit ourselves to the short yet substantial book by the late Cardinal Stickler (1910-2007), a well-respected Canon Law historian, expert on Roman Congregations, and former head of the Vatican Library.

He explains that both the apostolic and early Church did not require that a man be single or widowed in order to be ordained priest or designated bishop.

Since a large number of Christians were adult converts, (a typical example is Saint Augustine, who converted at 30), it was common for a married man to be ordained priest and made bishop. However, the Epistles of Saint Paul to Titus and Timothy clearly state a bishop had to be a “man of only one woman” (I Tim 3:2; 3:12; Titus 1:6). According to the interpretation commonly adopted in the early Church (and attested to by the Fathers of the Church), a candidate could not be married more than once. Thus, a widower who remarried was ineligible.

Moreover, Church officials believed a person in those conditions would hardly have sufficient strength to halt marital relations and live under the same roof. Cardinal Stickler emphasizes that because of the mutually self-giving nature of matrimony; a separation would always take place only with the full consent the wife, who, for her part, would make a commitment to live in chastity in a community of women religious.

The Apostolic Tradition
Among the Apostles, only Saint Peter is known to have been married due to the fact his mother-in-law is mentioned in the Gospels. Some of the others might have been married but there is a clear indication that they left everything, including their families, to follow Christ.

Thus, in the Gospels, one reads that Saint Peter asked Our Lord, “What about us? We left all we had to follow you.” The Divine Master answered: “I tell you solemnly, there is no one who has left house, wife, brothers, parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not be given repayment many times over in this present time and, in the world to come, eternal life” (Lk 18:28-30, cf. Mt 19:27-30; Mk 10:20-21).

Saint Augustine   

Early Church Councils Reaffirm Practice
This brief overview does not allow us to look at the whole history of celibacy amply documented by Cardinal Stickler. Let us present some of the most outstanding cases. The Council of Elvira in Spain (310) dealt with priestly chastity (canon 33), and presented perfect continence as a norm that must be maintained and observed and not as an innovation. The lack of any revolt or surprise attested to its widespread practice.

At the Council of the Church of Africa (390) and above all at the Council of Carthage, (419), which Saint Augustine attended, similar norms were adopted. These councils recalled the ecclesiastical praxis of the obligation of perfect chastity, affirming that such praxis is of apostolic tradition.

Pope Siricius answering a specific consultation about clerical celibacy in 385 affirmed that bishops and priests who continue marital relations after ordination violate an irrevocable law from the very inception of the Church that binds them to continence.

Several other popes and regional councils, particularly in Gaul, present day France, continued to recall the tradition of celibacy and punish abuse.

Saint Gregory VII (1073-85) when struggling against the intervention of the Holy Roman Emperor in church affairs, had to fight simony – the purchase of Church posts – and Nicolaitism – the heresy that preaches, among other things, priestly marriage.

While many attribute priestly celibacy to Saint Gregory the Great, there is evidence to suggest that it dates back to apostolic times.

Some mistakenly conclude that Saint Gregory VII introduced the law of celibacy into the Church. Quite the contrary. What Saint Gregory VII, and later the Second Lateran Council (1139) did was not to “introduce” the law of celibacy but simply confirm that it was in force and issue regulations for its observance. Since most recruiting for the priesthood was already among the unmarried, the Second Lateran Council forbade priestly marriage, declaring it null and void in the case of priests, deacons or anyone with a solemn vow of religion.

The Case of Paphnutius
The main argument of those who deny the apostolic tradition of priestly continence comes from an incident during the first Council of Nicea (325). Paphnutius, a bishop from Egypt, was reported to have protested in the name of tradition when the Conciliar Fathers tried to impose priestly continence. Because of his protest, the Council is said to have refused to impose such continence.

Cardinal Stickler adeptly deals with the case. He points out that Eusebius of Cesarea, the Council’s historian, was actually present during the whole event. He makes no reference to any such protest, which he certainly would have noted had it really happened.

The story of Paphnutius only appears almost a century after the Council of Nicea in the writings of two Byzantine authors, Socrates and Sozomen. The first cites as his source his conversation as a young man, with an elderly man who claimed he was at the Council. The veracity of this story is questionable since Socrates was born more than fifty years after the Council. His interlocutor had to be at least seventy years old when he was born and practically in his nineties at the time of the supposed conversation.

The story of Paphnutius’ protest was also always held in suspicion because his name was not on the roster of Fathers who came from Egypt to participate in the Council of Nicea. This was affirmed by Valesius, editor of the works of Socrates and Sozomen in the Greek Patrology of Migne.

However, Cardinal Stickler claims the decisive argument against the Paphnutius story comes from the second Council of Trullo (691). During this council of the Eastern Church, the Council Fathers, under pressure from the Emperor, allowed matrimony for priests (not for bishops) – going against the tradition both in the East and West. These same Fathers failed to present the testimony of Paphnutius to justify their break with the tradition of priestly continence even though they had everything to gain by doing so. Instead of citing Paphnutius, they sought to justify their position, never recognized by the Western Church, by invoking the Council of Carthage.

However, this Council clearly ruled in defense of the apostolic tradition of continence. Thus, they resorted to falsifying its decrees, a fact even schismatic historians now recognize.

Cardinal Stickler laments that historians of weight like Funk, at the end of the nineteenth century, accepted the story of Paphnutius as valid even as his contemporaries had already rejected it as false. One of the people responsible for spreading this error was the Frenchmen, E. Vacandard, through the prestigious Dictionnaire de Théologie Catholique.

An Identity Crisis
Finally, Cardinal Stickler argues that the reason for priestly celibacy is not a functional one. Unlike the Old Testament, where the priesthood was merely a temporary function received by way of inheritance, the priesthood in the New Testament is a vocation, a calling that transforms the person and confiscates him entirely. He is a sanctifier, a mediator.

Above all, the priesthood in the New Testament is a participation in the Priesthood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the High Priest. And, therefore, the priest has a mysterious and special bond with Christ, in whose name and by whose power he offers the bloodless sacrifice (in persona Christi). The most profound reason for priestly celibacy comes from this supernatural bond with the Savior.

The Cardinal points out that the main reason celibacy is in question today is because the clergy faces an identity crisis. Only by restoring the true identity of the priest, can the profound reasons for celibacy be understood and practiced.

This identity crisis cannot be resolved by returning to “the origins of the Church,” a solution proposed by proponents favoring married priests and their sympathizers. Those origins would simply not allow them to cohabit with their wives and continue to exert their priestly ministry.

Let us hope that, with the help of grace, the true identity of the Catholic priest will be restored soon so that all the present-day madness may come to an end.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Is this Our Lady? Please leave a comment…

This is a picture of the statue of "Our Lady of the Angels," at the new Cathedral in Los Angeles.


This is what one lady wrote:

Oh, come on! The artist did a great job with the image of Our Lady. It could be a very young image of her. I took a close look and the image is beautiful. She appears to people in different ways with different clothes and different faces. Who are we to judge how this artist sees her? Not very Christian in my point of view. I think it is a beautiful image, may not be how I imagine her but I would not put down this work of art just because my idea differs from this artist’s idea.


Do you agree?

Please leave a comment.

8 Kinds of False Pieties – Beware!

by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira


Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

Our spiritual life is the life of grace within us; through it we become children of God.

For our spiritual life to be preserved and to develop, a series of actions are required that constitute the life of piety. How must that life of piety be? What deviations must be avoided? These are the problems we must understand to progress in sanctity.

Concessions to the World

In a speech to university students of Rome in June 1952, the Holy Father Pius XII made an observation that shows well the importance of the subject, and above all, the need to address it in a practical manner. Analyzing the moral crisis that youth usually goes through, His Holiness stated: "Let us leave aside the question of how this crisis was provoked, to which intellectual difficulties and other circumstances have contributed, [reasons] that can be sought... in the wild jungle of unbridled passions and moral deviations, or perhaps in the murky field of concessions people think must be made to the demands of a coveted career.”

Indeed, how many concessions is a fervent Catholic solicited to make in our days! How to avoid compromising with the spirit of the world, except through solid piety? Therefore, what must the characteristics of true piety be?

Before we describe true piety, we will analyze some types of false piety very common in the modern world and will show the moral deviations to which they lead.

Minimalist Piety

In all his acts of piety, a minimalist devotee is contented with what seems to him absolutely indispensable. His prayers are short, quick, almost mechanical. He believes a monthly or weekly Communion suffices and does not even think about receiving it more often. If someone encourages him to receive Communion more often, he will perhaps reply with a kind word but believing he already does enough. St. Ignatius appears a bit exaggerated to him when he recommends daily meditation. In the morning and before going to bed, he says some hasty Hail-Marys and thinks his duty is fully done. To him, weekly confession made out of devotion even without grave sin appears perfectly dispensable. He practices other acts of piety such as spiritual reading, visits to the Blessed Sacrament, prayers before and after meals, and frequent ejaculations without the least warmth.

This slackness in the practice of pious acts is reflected in the whole life of the minimalist. In his conversations he seldom deals with spiritual matters or topics related to the apostolate. His general attitude in society, before his friends and colleagues, or even family, is never as markedly Catholic as should be expected. His way of avoiding near occasions of sin and reacting to temptations is always lukewarm and dubious. The apostolate gives him no pleasure at all; he devotes to it the least, indispensable amount of time so he won’t look bad.

As a consequence, his apostolate produces only rare and weak fruits. If a zealous friend points out the reason for the inefficacy of his work, he defends himself blaming secondary factors. He thus seeks to deceive himself about the real cause. In short, his life is lukewarm, slothful and without enthusiasm.

In order to understand clearly this type of false piety, we must note that minimalism has several degrees. One can be a minimalist even though one receives Communion every day, makes a daily meditation and follows all the rules of the religious association to which one belongs, and even though our apostolate may produce some fruit. Indeed, all that is possible without the desire for perfection that characterizes non-minimalist piety. Even a fervent person can have traits of minimalism: a small defect he does not want to correct because he is “convinced” he has done enough and needs nothing else to be entirely happy with himself.

Since in spiritual life there is no stagnation, in fact the minimalist is always losing ground. That fall can be slow and go unperceived but it is inevitable. A typical example of a minimalist devotee is the rich man of the Gospel. Although he practiced the Commandments since his youth, he did not want to follow Our Lord. Some theologians believe he has even been condemned.

Piety Without Formation

Is the piety of a devotee with a deficient and superficial religious formation and who does not seek to deepen it. He has never studied the truths of our faith and does not even know the catechism. In the life of piety, he is a child.

He does not know why the Church recommends meditation, how to do it or what fruits to draw from it. He does not know why we must pray, frequent the sacraments, have a profound devotion to saints. Everything in him is directed by impressions, impulses and routine; he either becomes enthusiastic with devotions or dislikes them for no reason. In him there is no upright ordination of everything according to the good norms taught by the Church.

The devotee deprived of formation does not even know that the principles of supernatural life exist. He does not know the marvels that divine grace can operate in the human soul.

How can he have a life of profound and serious piety if he does not know the value of a well-made Communion? If his meditation is poor and without horizons? If he does not know how to pray? If he does not know the mysteries of our faith? If he does not know about the communion of saints, the final resurrection, the Immaculate Conception and so on?

Let us take only one example. Saint Paul wrote: “I can do everything in Him who strengthens me.” What source of energy and courage does this message convey! It preserves us from all discouragement. It incites us to the most daring and heroic spiritual enterprises. A devotee without formation does not know all that.

Inconstant Piety

In defining inconstancy in piety toward Our Lady, St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort writes: "Inconstant devotees are those whose devotion to Our Lady is practiced in fits and starts. Sometimes they are fervent and sometimes they are lukewarm. Sometimes they appear ready to do anything to please Our Lady, and then shortly afterwards they have completely changed. They start by embracing every devotion to Our Lady. They join her confraternities, but they do not faithfully observe the rules. They are as changeable as the moon, and like the moon, Mary puts them under her feet. Because of their fickleness they are unworthy to be included among the servants of the Virgin most faithful, because faithfulness and constancy are the hallmarks of Mary's servants. It is better not to burden ourselves with a multitude of prayers and pious practices but rather adopt only a few and perform them with love and perseverance in spite of opposition from the devil the world and the flesh."

This inconstancy can be manifested in all practices of piety and in every life of apostolate.

How will an inconstant devotee behave, for example, when he is in charge of directing a Marian Congregation? As soon as they give him that post, his soul is filled with enthusiasm. He makes perfect plans and resolutions worthy of all praise. But when the time for concrete achievement comes, the phase of the moon changes. His hollow enthusiasm vanishes before the slightest difficulty and he abandons all plans without hesitation. At a certain point he hears about a new work of apostolate and warmly decides to put it into practice in his Congregation. He organizes meetings to deal with the matter; makes insistent invitations to those who appear reluctant; and only talks about that new work. In a little while, his enthusiasm disappears because a new idea has appeared or simply because he forgot.

Thus our inconstant devotee, from enthusiasm to enthusiasm, carries on with life.

His life of piety is made of unfulfilled resolutions and his life of apostolate is made of unachieved plans. What will he have to present to God at the Last Judgment?

Interested Piety

“And it came to pass, as he was going to Jerusalem, he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain town, there ten men met him that were lepers who stood far away. They lifted up their voice, saying: Jesus, master, have mercy on us. Whom when he saw, he said: Go, show yourselves to the priests. And it came to pass, as they went, they were made clean. And one of them, when he saw that he was made clean, went back, with a loud voice glorifying God. And he fell on his face before his feet, giving thanks: and this was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, were not ten made clean? And where are the nine? There is no one found to return and give glory to God, but this stranger. And he said to him: Arise, go thy way; for thy faith hath made thee whole.”

The nine lepers who did not return to thank Our Lord did have some piety. Seeing that Our Lord was passing near their town, they went to meet him, which shows they had faith that He could cure them. They were not like those who remained indifferent as Our Lord passed by. They asked Jesus to have pity on them and even called Him master. However, what was the ultimate reason for their devotion? Self-interest. They wanted to be cured. Not one among them returned to give glory to God, for in fact they did not care about the glory of God.

Does self-interested piety exist nowadays? Certainly. Giving glory to God and doing good to souls may not be the primary intention of a Catholic who is zealous in his works of apostolate, but rather to obtain a personal advantage such as, for example, becoming a congressman. Apostolate for him is a way to make a career. Self-interested piety can exist out of convenience, economic, social or other advantages.

In most cases the self-interested side of piety appears in a disguised fashion. People avidly look for personal advantages they can gather along the way. If an interested devotee must give a public speech, he is much more concerned about showing off and displaying his natural qualities than in doing good to souls. Note that self-interested piety is often subconscious, but no less culpable on that account.

A self-interested devotee is opportunistic and dislikes sacrifices that procure him no personal gain; he does not understand the spirit of penance and has no gratitude at all for the graces he receives.

Sentimental Piety

Sentimental piety consists of a hypertrophy of sentiments that makes the whole spiritual life of a person be based on emotions and sensations. In true piety the will must be governed by intelligence; in the final analysis, the whole spiritual life must be oriented by rational motives. That does not mean that feelings do not play a role in true piety; they must accompany reason by favoring and encouraging the practice of virtue. But they are not essential to the spiritual life and can be absent, particularly in moments of trial. In general, a prayer made without consolation is more meritorious than when accompanied with emotions and bouts of enthusiasm in the soul.

But a sentimental devotee does not think so. As far as he is concerned, spiritual vibrations are the thermometer of the spiritual life. If when praying before a statue he feels that all the fibers of his heart are vibrating, he goes away certain that his prayer was well done. If he feels no emotion whatsoever he thinks his prayer was useless and generally abbreviates it as much as he can.

On finishing a retreat, he spends a few days with great “fervor” and fulfilling all his duties. But when sensible emotions go away – something that is inevitable – all his fervor disappears and he goes back to being the same person as before.

He combats his defects only when he feels an impulse to do so. He only does apostolate with people who are pleasant to be with, or when he feels like doing it.

Romantic Piety

Like sentimental piety, romantic piety overvalues feelings. But what makes a romantic devotee vibrate is different than what makes a sentimental one tick. The latter vibrates with pious practices. The romantic vibrates with liturgical, social or aesthetic exteriorities of religious practices. He does not look for sensations in prayer but in the ceremonial that surrounds prayer.

A romantic devotee goes to Sunday Mass. If the organist was not brilliant; if inexperienced altar boys messed up the harmony of the liturgy; if the sermon, though excellent, contained a grammatical error; or if the audience was not very select, our romantic believes the Mass had no value.

As it were, he despises simple, though pious, prayer. His meditation – if he makes it – is populated with dreams, fantasies and interior declamations. If his works of apostolate do not allow him to imagine himself a knight of the Round Table, he soon becomes discouraged and apathetic. He almost only appreciates “great gestures,” original sayings and romantic attitudes in general.

In short, spiritual life for him is an ensemble of apparatuses without supernatural content.

“Enlightened” Piety

We call “enlightened” the piety of a proud and naturalist devotee who thinks he is sufficiently cultured and educated to deny the value of simple pious practices.

An “enlightened” Catholic is always up-to-date about the latest scientific developments; he knows the cultural movements of our times; he holds his own intellectual capabilities in the highest esteem. He believes he has an open and superior mind. So he does not think much of simple devotions such as the recitation of the Rosary, visits to the Blessed Sacrament, novenas to Our Lady and the saints, frequent ejaculations. He believes it is childish to wear medals or scapulars, something useful perhaps for the common people but ridiculous for him. For – the “enlightened” devotee thinks – an intellectual is superior to those superstitions.

Catholic doctrine teaches that since man is made of soul and body, interior practices of piety are not sufficient so that exterior devotions are also indispensable. If interior piety is not exteriorized through concrete practices and sensible signs, it tends to wither.

In the sixth rule of Sentire cum Ecclesia “to have the mind of the Church”, St. Ignatius says: “Have a great esteem for relics, venerating them and praying to the saints they belong to; appreciate the solemnities of the “Stations,” pilgrimages, indulgences, jubilees, crusade bulls, the custom to light candles at church and other similar things that aid our piety and devotion.”

Naturalist Piety

Let us imagine a naturalist devotee who has to organize the apostolate of a religious association. What will his orientation be like? In his accomplishments, he will leave to a second place, or even forget, pious practices and everything else related with supernatural life.

As for the rest, a naturalist devotee has a bulletproof dedication. He is capable, active, untiring, a real shaker and mover. As soon as he takes over his post he will make a magnificent plan to organize lectures about burning issues of the day. He will create a sports department, which he holds in the highest esteem, and greatly encourage it. He will prepare courses and invite professors who shine for their natural qualities though their doctrine is dubious. Our naturalist devotee will organize databases, plans for apostolate, advertising for the association and a thousand other activities.

The only thing he will not think about is what Jesus Christ in the Gospel called the only thing necessary: “Now it came to pass as they went, that he entered into a certain town: and a certain woman named Martha, received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sitting also at the Lord's feet, heard his word. But Martha was busy about much serving. Who stood and said: Lord, hast thou no care that my sister hath left me alone to serve? speak to her therefore, that she help me. And the Lord answering, said to her: Martha, Martha, thou art careful, and art troubled about many things: But one thing is necessary. Mary hath chosen the best part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

A naturalist devotee has the same conception of virtue as Martha’s. He organizes lectures and mailing lists but almost does not think about incrementing the life of piety in the association. The consequences of that will be most disastrous. Without frequent Communion, a life of prayer and recourse to grace, all of his plans for apostolate will be fruitless, as Our Lord said: “Sine me, nihil potestis facere” – “Without Me you can do nothing.”

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Most Blasphemous Story Ever Told – Protest NOW

It is called “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told” and it is a play that will soon show at the City Theater in Austin, Texas from June 10-July 4. The title, however, is deceitful since there is nothing fabulous about this story which portrays the Mother of God as a lesbian.

In face of this outrage, the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property and its America Needs Fatima campaign are sending email protests to the theater asking for the show’s cancellation.

Send your e-protest message to the Austin City Theatre.

Press reports say “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told” refers to Our Lady as a lesbian. It presents a homosexual version of the Old Testament, with scenes of “Adam and Steve” in full frontal nudity.

According to The New York Times, the playwright himself is a homosexual, and this is how he describes his play:

“I wanted the Garden of Eden in Central Park, and Mary as a lesbian mother, which would certainly help me comprehend immaculate conception.” (The New York Times, 12/6/98)

Such a distortion of the Immaculate Conception and other Catholic belief cannot go unopposed. In its call for protest, the American TFP notes that protests can be very effective. Similar protests have led to the cancelations of the play “Corpus Christi” play at two theaters.

Also, Planned Parenthood was deleted from the websites of two Catholic universities due to TFP Student Action protests.

These protests only work however, if thousands join in and send the message to cancel this insult to Our Lady now!

Please send your e-protest message now.

Save our military

Email your members of Congress now!

We are facing a critical week and our military is in peril. In only a few days, members of Congress will decide whether to repeal the 1993 law regarding homosexuals in the military, which is usually mislabeled “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT). 

Activists who are determined to impose their agenda on the military, believe that victory is imminent, but they still don’t have the votes

That could change in a matter of days—before the Memorial Day recess.

Now is the time for all supporters of our military to email your members of Congress. You can do this by using the email protest form of the American Family Association in the link below.

All you have to do is click below and it will take you to their site and allow you to send personalized emails to your congressman and two senators.


Email your members of Congress now!

It is very important that you forward this alert to your friends and family members.

Please ask the members to: Support the 1993 law regarding homosexuals in the military and oppose all legislative efforts to repeal or weaken it, including a "moratorium" on enforcement, or repeal with "delayed implementation."

You can also call your own members of Congress and the Senate and let them know that you expect them to oppose this radical social experiment on our military, which will make military life more difficult and more dangerous.  (To call ANY legislator, call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at: 202-224-3121.)

Please do this now as there is little time left before a vote might be forced.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Replica Replacing Stolen Mojave Cross Removed by Officials

By James Tillman
MOJAVE NATIONAL PRESERVE, California, May 21, 2010 ( -- On Thursday a replica of the much-disputed cross stolen from a federal park on May 9 appeared on Sunrise Rock - but officials said the new cross broke park service regulations, and removed it.

To honor veterans of World War I, the Veterans of Foreign Wars had originally placed a wooden cross on Sunrise Rock in 1934 with a plaque stating “The Cross, Erected in Memory of the Dead of All Wars.”  It became the site of Easter gatherings starting the following year; it was replaced by a metal cross after time.

In Salazar v. Buono, the ACLU and others filed suit to remove it.  Congress transferred the property on which the cross rested to private hands, and on April 28 the Supreme Court of the United States sent the case back down to the district court with orders to consider legality of the land transfer.  In the meantime, the cross remained hidden by a wooden cover, making it look like a blank billboard.

Less than two weeks later, the cross was stolen.  The Liberty Institute offered a $125,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible removing the cross.

An anonymous letter, purportedly from the thief, said that the government's actions in preserving the cross clearly violated the Constitution and that a non-sectarian memorial should be raised at the site instead.
Sometime between Wednesday and Thursday, a look-alike cross was again raised.  Differences between the two were soon noticed, as it had a new paint job, lacked the marks of the previous cross, and was six inches taller.  LInda Slater, Mojave National Preserve spokeswoman, said that the new cross was not covered by the Supreme Court ruling.

"Technically, it's illegal," she said, according to the AP. "The park service has regulations about people putting up memorials. You can't just go to a park and put a memorial to a family member."
The cross had been removed by the end of Thursday.

See related coverage:

Controversial Mojave Desert Cross Stolen
Supreme Court Shakily Upholds Mojave Cross Display 5-4


"Frankenstein" or Scientific Breakthrough?: U.S. Biologist Creates Controversy with Artificial DNA

By Hilary White

May 21, 2010 ( – An American pioneer biologist and entrepreneur, Craig Venter of the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) in Maryland and California, has created an international media stir with his announcement yesterday that he has created the world’s first cell with artificially constructed DNA.

Despite media reports to the contrary, the researchers did not “create new life,” but instead artificially constructed an existing sequence of DNA of a naturally occurring bacterium and reproduced it in existing cells.

In the study, published in the peer-review journal Science, the researchers copied the genome, or complete genetic sequence, of an existing bacterium. They sequenced its genetic code and then used “synthesis machines” to chemically construct a copy. The new DNA was inserted into cells of a different type of bacteria. These reproduced daughter cells with both the natural and artificial DNA. The bacteria with the artificially constructed DNA replicated over a billion times.

“This is the first time any synthetic DNA has been in complete control of a cell,” said Venter, who likened the process to creating software for a computer. He told the BBC, “We’ve now been able to take our synthetic chromosome and transplant it into a recipient cell - a different organism.

“As soon as this new software goes into the cell, the cell reads [it] and converts into the species specified in that genetic code.”

Venter, who has been working for years to create artificial life forms, responded in his autobiography to criticisms that he has gone too far and is “playing God,” saying, “I always reply that - so far at least - we are only reconstructing a diminished version of what is out there in nature.”

“I think they're going to potentially create a new industrial revolution,” he said. “If we can really get cells to do the production that we want, they could help wean us off oil and reverse some of the damage to the environment by capturing carbon dioxide.”

Media has responded to the report with near-hysteria, with headlines referring to “Frankenstein” experiments and warnings against “playing God.” The Daily Mail asked, “Could it wipe out humanity?”

The Mail quoted Professor Julian Savulescu, an Oxford University ethicist, who said, “Venter is creaking open the most profound door in humanity's history, potentially peeking into its destiny. He is not merely copying life artificially or modifying it by genetic engineering. He is going towards the role of God: creating artificial life that could never have existed.”

“This could be used in the future to make the most powerful bioweapons imaginable. The challenge is to eat the fruit without the worm,” he added.

Despite the frenzied media reaction, however, responses from religious leaders have been more measured. Vatican officials were reserved in their judgment of the breakthrough, saying that it was the result of God’s gift of human intelligence that needs to be used correctly.

The head of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, gave a non-committal response, saying, “If it is used toward the good, to treat pathologies, we can only be positive. If it turns out not to be ... useful, to respect the dignity of the person, then our judgment would change.”

“We look at science with great interest. But we think above all about the meaning that must be given to life,” said Fisichella. “We can only reach the conclusion that we need God, the origin of life.”

The cardinal at the head of the Italian’s bishops’ conference, Angelo Bagnasco, said the invention is “further sign of intelligence, God's gift to understand creation and be able to better govern it.”

Bagnasco told ANSA news agency, “On the other hand, intelligence can never be without responsibility. Any form of intelligence and any scientific acquisition ... must always be measured against the ethical dimension, which has at its heart the true dignity of every person.”


Monday, May 24, 2010

Anti-Blasphemy Campaign Makes Its Point

America Needs Fatima’s protest of the scheduled June 10-July 4 showing of the blasphemous play, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, in Austin, Texas is starting to have effect.

Andy Berkovsky, Producing Artistic Director of the City Theatre, released an update (dated May 12) on the theater’s website acknowledging receipt of hundreds of protest emails.

One news item from the Austin On Stage website described the campaign as, “a wave of threatening emails and phone calls that plagued The City Theatre this past weekend.”

Another article, echoes the same dubious description of “threats”. A report told readers that “angry calls and e-mails” have flooded the small theatre. In that report, Jeff Hinkle, who sits on the Board of Directors for City Theatre said, “We didn’t anticipate it being scandalous. We’ve been getting continuous calls, one after the other.”
He explained further: “Most are upset because they said the play refers to the Virgin Mary as a lesbian. One e-mail said, ‘To refer to her as a lesbian, or even insinuate it, is an unspeakable blasphemy, which I reject with all my soul.’”
However, the questionable claim of the protest posing as a threat elicited reactions from some on-line readers.

M.E. writes: “Since when is a peaceful and legal protest a threat? Your opening makes it sound like the place is under physical attack. Not exactly objective journalism. It's also odd that the playwright thinks people must pay to view his play before forming an opinion about it. The script can be found online and read for free!”

T.S. challenges one writer: “…. The onus is on YOU to demonstrate that viable threats have indeed been made, as you are the one making the claim. Perhaps the City Theatre has actually been threatened, but nothing in your article evinces this.”

C reacts: “Why do promoters/directors/etc state death threats are being made? If so, contact police. ..What if a church promotes and directs a play making fun of gays? Whow! They would face a wide range of threats and be call haters!”

Despite the controversy, Artistic Director Andy Berkovsky tells Austin On Stage that he does not intend to bow to the “threats” and urges people to see the blasphemous play.

Meanwhile Carl Matthews from the online magazine LA Progressive called and informed theater management that he did a research on America Needs Fatima and wrote an article about the campaign.

However, his investigation fell short as he couldn’t even get ANF director Mr. Robert E. Ritchie’s name right by citing him as Robert E. Reich.

He took pains to portray ANF in a bad light, straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel in the process, by insinuating that it is a money-making venture. One revealing fact stood out, in the piece, however. He wrote, “Andy [Berkovsky] told me that, within the first week of the “Defend My Mother” mailing, TCT [The City Theater] received over 5,000 e-mails, hundreds of pre-printed postcards and telephone calls.”

May 24 – Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians

This commemoration was introduced in the liturgical calendar by decree of Pope Pius VII on September 16, 1815, in thanksgiving for his happy return to Rome after a long and painful captivity in Savona and France due to Napoleon’s tyrannical power.

Click here for a Novena to Our Lady Help of Christians
May 16 - May 24

The invocation "Help of the Christians" is very old, having been included in the Litany of Loreto by Pope Saint Pius V in 1571, as a token of gratitude to the Most Holy Virgin, by virtue of Christendom’s’ victory in the famous battle of Lepanto.

*      *      *

During five years of captivity, Pius VII appealed continuously to Our Lady under the invocation of "Help of Christians". From 1809 to 1812, the Pontiff remained imprisoned in the Italian city of Savona, then making a vow to crown an image of the Mother of Mercy existing there, should he obtain his freedom.

In 1812, the Pope was taken to Paris, remaining a prisoner in Fontainebleau, where he suffered enormous sufferings and humiliations inflicted by the French tyrant.

But in the course of time, events began providentially to overturn the fortunes of the despot.

In 1814, weakened by losses suffered in several fronts and pressured by public opinion, Napoleon permitted his august prisoner to return to Rome. The Supreme Pontiff took advantage of the journey to honor in a special way the Mother of God, crowning her image in Ancona under the invocation of Queen of All Saints. And, fulfilling the vow that he made when still prisoner in Savona, he adorned the forehead of the image of the Mother of Mercy with a golden frond as he passed by that city.

The journey continued amid glorious manifestations of reverence on the part of the populace in all the localities where Pius VII passed. And on May 24, he made a triumphant entrance in Rome, being received by the population at large.

As the carriage that transported the Supreme Pontiff advanced with difficulty amid the crowd along the Flavian way, a group of faithful, under the tumultuous applauses of the people, withdrew the horses and went on to pull the vehicle up to the Vatican Basilica.

Pius VII, attributing this great victory of the Church over the Revolution to the powerful intercession of Mary Most Holy, wanted to show his gratitude by means of establishing a feast day of universal scope dedicated to this beautiful Marian invocation.

*      *      *

Such invocation took a new turn in the Catholic world due to the action of one of the greatest saints of modern times: Saint John Bosco, founder of the Society of Saint Francis of Sales (Salesians) and of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.

The companions of Saint John Bosco noticed that, from 1860, he began to invoke the Most Holy Virgin under the title of Mary Help of Christians, Maria Auxilium Christianorum.

In December of 1862, the Saint made a resolution to build a church dedicated to that invocation. And he declared, on that occasion: "To the Virgin Most Holy whom we desire to honor with the title of 'Help of Christians'; the times we are in are so sad that we truly need the Most Holy Virgin to help us in preserving and defending the Christian Faith as in Lepanto, as in Vienna, as in Savona and Rome.... and it will be the mother church of our future Society and the center from where all our works will radiate in behalf of the youth".

Six years after, on May 21, 1868, the magnificent Church of Mary Help of Christians was solemnly consecrated in Turin by the Archbishop of the city. The dream of Saint Bosco became a reality and since then, that devotion spread specially all over the Catholic world owing, in great measure, to the action of the Salesian Congregation.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Please call Gov. Crist today

Message from Father Alfred Cioffi:

After many years of prolife hard work, finally, the Florida Senate and House of Representatives have passed a bill requesting expectant women to see a sonogram of their unborn child before deciding to have an abortion. In addition, this bill (HB 1143) will prohibit our taxdollars to pay for abortions. So, this is a very prolife bill!

Now, it is up to Governor Crist to sign it into law or not. He is still undecided, but the pro-abortion people are convincing him not to sign it. They want to use our taxdollars to pay for abortions, and they want to keep women in ignorance regarding the humanity of their unborn children.

Please, take a moment right now again to call Governor Crist (850-488-7146) and email him:

Please be patient on the phone call, because you might have to wait a few minutes on hold. It has been estimated that the vast majority of women who see the ultrasound of their child DO NO ABORT. This is one of the most effective ways of saving human lives!

Please don’t delay, the Governor is about to make his decision. Just ask him, respectfully, to sign HB1143 into law.

Please also pray for this, but not as a substitute for action. The Holy Spirit is counting on us!

Thank you very much, and many blessings

Fr. Alfred Cioffi

Why does Comedy Central insult Catholics, but respects Muslims?

Comedy Central Mocks Jesus: SIGN PROTEST






America Needs Fatima is urging Comedy Central to cancel the production of a new cartoon series called JC that mocks Our Lord Jesus Christ. 

According to press reports, Comedy Central writers are describing the new series JC as “a playful take on religion and society with a sprinkle of dumb.”

For example, God the Father is shown as someone who is lazy, plays video games and neglects his son.  In turn, Jesus is distant from his powerful and lazy father, and tries to become a regular guy in New York City.

Since final approval at Comedy Central for JC is still pending, please:

Send your instant e-protest today


The Blatant Double Standard
Time and time again, Comedy Central has censored images of Muhammad on its program South Park. 

Yet they allow Our Lord Jesus Christ to be mocked and insulted without scruples.  For example, Comedy Central ran “Sacrilicious Sunday,” a series of shows highly offensive to Catholics.

Take Peaceful Action

Comedy Central
Mr. Doug Herzog, CEO

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Anti-Catholic Hate Crime

Virgin Mary statue in Weymouth destroyed

By Stefanie Geisler, Globe Correspondent

A statue of the Virgin Mary was vandalized and destroyed outside a Catholic church in Weymouth on Sunday, breaking it into three pieces in a crime that shocked the community, the church's pastor said today.

"Right now, all I can say is I'm considering it a hate crime," said the Rev. Bill Salmon, who has been with the Immaculate Conception church for six years. "I don't know what their actual motivation would be, but when you start moving the base of a statue, you know it's deliberate."


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Church Must Protest Against Laws Favoring Homosexuality, Cardinal Says



Cardinal Janis Pujats, Archbishop of Riga

Cardinal Pujats, the Archbishop of Riga, capital of Latvia, sheds light on the question of homosexuality, indicates the best means to fight against this sinful practice, and expounds the reasons why he combats it.

In 1984, when still a simple priest, Cardinal Janis Pujats was declared persona non grata by the KGB and transferred to a parish in the countryside of his motherland, Latvia, then dominated by a communist regime. This alone is enough to show how he is today a person dearly beloved by Catholics.

Born at Navireni in 1930, he was ordained a priest in 1951. He taught history of the arts and liturgy at the seminary of Latvia’s capital. From 1979 to 1984 he was vicar-general of the Archdiocese of Riga. In 1988 he received the title of Honorary Prelate to the Pope and in 1991 he was designated archbishop. Seven years later, Pope John Paul II appointed him Cardinal of Riga – “in pectore” at first, and three years later his nomination was made public.

His Eminence Cardinal Pujats has been a leading figure in the struggle against the spread of homosexuality. He carries out a public action against the so-called “homosexual parades” and calls on the Latvian government to forbid such demonstrations. The Cardinal has granted an interview to reporter, Mr. Valdis Grinsteins, also of Latvian descent, during his recent trip to Latvia. This interview was published in the Brazilian magazine Catolicismo.

*          *          *

Catolicismo What favors the expansion of homosexuality?

Cardinal Pujats — On the one hand, homosexuality is favored by the rampant idolatry of sex propagated through the modern media and also by the fact that this vice has been promoted in some countries in the name of ill-understood “human rights.” On the other hand, the lack of faith and the hardening moral decay in much of society paves the way for homosexuality.

CatolicismoWhy are so many people indifferent to the expansion of homosexuality?

Cardinal Pujats — Those who do not believe in God, and Christians who do not consider their faith important, are the ones most indifferent to this problem.

Why do they act in this way? Let me give an example with the situation in my country. A whole group of persons in the government depend financially or administratively on only one individual. Feeling pressured, they either take the side of their superior or – in the best of cases – they just keep quiet and show indifference, though deep in their souls they do not agree with that individual. In the State apparatus, even a small group of homosexual functionaries can easily attain the desired effect. This question gets worse in the judicial sphere. The repressive regime of the Soviet Union was maintained by a mutual dependence of its functionaries.

However, all that remains to those who believe in God with all their hearts but do exert real influence in society, is to organize and courageously bear witness to Christ with the example of their lives, based on the fulfillment of the Commandments. The various systems change and fall, but “divine truth remains through the ages,” as the Book of Psalms says (Ps 116:2).

Catolicismo In their writings on homosexuality, many prestigious authors, supported by Holy Scriptures and the Church’s Magisterium, categorically condemn this sinful practice. They are seldom quoted and, as a consequence, many Catholics assume a position of tolerance toward this problem. How can one protect the faithful from this danger?


In order to dispel darkness, one needs light. We must live according to the dictates of the faith: "Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God" (Matt. 5:8).

Cardinal Pujats — The clergy has the obligation, quoting the Bible, to remind the faithful that Holy Scriptures condemns all kinds of impurity. Based on the Bible, they can draw preliminary conclusions to better orient the faithful on what can and what cannot be tolerated. We must preach that divine law and natural law are stable and immutable. What changes is the position of peoples and parliaments and the laws they create. For this reason, no legislative body can eliminate the Decalogue, for it is supported on natural law, guaranteeing the existence of society. We must say that one is not allowed to erase the limit, clearly established by divine law, between good and evil, between that which is permitted and that which is forbidden. Finally, we must assert that homosexuality is an acquired vice that can be likened to addiction to drugs, alcoholism, tobacco smoking, etc., so that those who practice it cannot be treated as a “minority.” We must say that sexual perversion cannot be tolerated in the public sphere so that this disorder is not turned into a bad example for all society. If someone has inclinations to vice, vice must be reined in and treated. It cannot be legalized or protected, erroneously invoking the notion of human rights. Homosexuality is not a sexual orientation; it is a sexual perversion.

Catolicismo Every time the Church protests against laws that favor homosexuality, the objection is raised that she is getting involved in politics. What would Your Eminence say about this accusation?

Cardinal Pujats — The Church has a right to protest if the State imposes homosexuality. Religion and morals constitute a sphere specifically within Her competence. By condemning homosexuality, the Church does not go beyond the limits of Her competence. On the contrary, governments and parliaments are the ones who extrapolate from their competence by trying to alter the divine commandments and the concept of virtue and vice.

Furthermore, accords signed by the Holy See with governments in many countries guarantee freedom of expression for the Church. They also grant the faithful “the possibility to freely create and disseminate social, cultural and educational initiatives originating from principles of the Christian faith” (Concordat of the Holy See with Latvia, item 9).

The principle of separation between Church and State only indicates the competence of both parties. In some countries, members of the Catholic Church constitute a majority of the citizenry. Can the State exist if those citizens are separated from it in an artificial way? Both the faithful in general as well as the bishops are citizens of their respective countries, with all the rights derived thereof. And they also have the right to protest against immoral laws.

Catolicismo As a reaction against pressures by the homosexual lobby abroad, a law was s approved in Latvia establishing marriage as the exclusive union between a man and a woman. How do Latvians protest against pressure from the European Union favoring the propagation of homosexuality?

Cardinal Pujats — Facing the growing pressure of homosexual propaganda, in 2005 the Latvian Parliament approved an amendment to the law, which establishes that the State “protects marriage – the union between one man and one woman” – thus excluding legal recognition of homosexual cohabitation. The common voice of everyone in these moral issues is an important factor in the struggle against this sexual perversion in Latvia. Precisely because of that, on February 13, 2007 the Prime Minister abrogated the projected bill introduced in Parliament by homosexuals.


In 2005, the Latvian Parliament approved a Constitutional amendment establishing that the State “protects marriage – the union between one man and one woman”.

Attempts to organize “homosexual parades” in Riga have practically disappeared. In their places, Christians have organized the Family Feast in summer, with a solemn march through the streets of the capital. There is also a concert and the granting of rewards to families that have stood out. Christians also use television, radio and the lay press, which is friendly with the Church.

When homosexuals prepared and introduced a bill into Parliament, teachers from 200 schools sent the Prime Minister a letter of protest. For a whole month, the faithful in various parishes gathered over 17,000 signatures asking for Parliament to reject the projected bill favoring homosexuals.

Catolicismo Articles favoring homosexuals have been appearing in the media, but nothing has been written about the part of society that decisively opposes homosexuality. Can Your Eminence explain that?

Cardinal Pujats — There is nothing new about the statement that an absolute majority of society favors the normal family. Hence the position of the majority does not attract the interest of the press. Since homosexuality is linked to [the notion of] scandal, it is a pretext, from time to time, for the media to place it at the center of attention.

In this matter, there is a curious fact: analyzing this question, they do not look for its essence but announce, a priori, that homosexuals are a discriminated-against “minority”. In that case, the condition of “minority” would automatically justify receiving in all ambiences persons who practice some vice such as drug addiction and alcoholism.

Catolicismo A few months ago the liberal Polish press criticized the way Your Eminence combats homosexuality. Opinions also appeared in the sense that it is better to keep silent, since silence avoids making it popular. What does Your Eminence think of that?

Cardinal Pujats — The situation is different in each country. The fact is that remaining silent was an error in countries where homosexuality had already obtained rights. The silence tactic was also inappropriate in Latvia. Homosexuality was not successful here because it met with resistance, as I mentioned earlier. Obviously, the Church condemns violence, but she is not responsible for what happens in the streets when parade organizers meet with opponents. Ensuring order in the streets is up to the police.

Catolicismo In the United States a movement has appeared which promotes chastity, above all among youths, as a response to the expansion of diseases such as AIDS. Active groups in universities promote abstention from pre-marital relations. Unfortunately, due to EU guidelines, Europe is “forced” to promote immorality. How can we fight against this?


Coat of Arms of Cardinal Pujats

Cardinal Pujats — In order to dispel darkness, one needs light. Above all, one needs to follow this ideal: “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8). We must live according to the dictates of the faith, practicing it if only for a day. Then the light turns on. After a second day… a third day, and so on…. The greatest good one can offer spouses is the custody of chastity. It is also very important for the conviction to be dominant in society that pre-marital relations are an evil, just as no one needs to be convinced today that stealing is an action that should be repudiated.

God reserved sexual pleasure for the spouses to beget children and strengthen their family. People who cohabitate before marrying are mere thieves of sexual pleasure. They take advantage of that which God destined exclusively to spouses. In so doing, they hurt themselves and their family, for no sin remains without negative consequences. This sin also damages society. If someone commits it before marriage, he is revealing that he can later break the law of matrimony. One needs to fight for purity before marriage in every country, for this is in the interest of the entire society.

The INSIDE TRACK to Heaven

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In True Devotion, the “Apostle of Mary” points a way to holiness that is short, easy, secure, and perfect. A must-read for every Catholic seeking to know and love Our Lady better, and to find the INSIDE TRACK to Heaven. — Softcover, 216 pages.

Phoenix Catholic Hospital Defends Abortion That Took Place There; Bishop Warns of Excommunication


In late 2009, an abortion took place at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix after a hospital ethics committee deemed the abortion necessary to save the life of the mother. Sister Margaret Mary McBride, the hospital’s vice president of mission integration, was a member of the committee that made the decision and has since been assigned new duties.

The hospital has defended its decision, while Bishop Thomas Olmsted warned that Catholics who formally cooperated in the abortion were automatically excommunicated.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pray the Rosary – Free Souls from Purgatory

Saint Louis de Montfort tells the story of a young girl of noble station named Alexandra, who had been miraculously converted and enrolled by St. Dominic in the Confraternity of the Rosary.

After her death, she appeared to him and said she had been condemned to seven hundred years in purgatory because of her own sins and those she had caused others to commit by her worldly ways. So she implored him to ease her pains by his prayers and to ask the Confraternity members to pray for the same end. St. Dominic did as she had asked.

Two weeks later she appeared to him, more radiant than the sun, having been quickly delivered from purgatory by the prayers of the Confraternity members. She also told St. Dominic that she had come on behalf of the souls in purgatory to beg him to go on preaching the Rosary and to ask their relations to offer their Rosaries for them, and that they would reward them abundantly when they entered into glory.

Public Square Rosary Rally - Bridgeport, CT - Saturday May 15


On Saturday May 15, 2010 a group of Catholics gathered to pray a Rosary in the Public Square.  As the month of May is dedicated to Our Lady in a special way, it was fitting that they gather to honor Our Lady with a public Rosary. 

They offered up their Rosary intentions in a special way for the Holy Father and the Church; that the Church overcome Her enemies who work tirelessly to destroy Her.  They also prayed for America's soul, that it be restored and ordered according to God's law.

Even though the noise and hustle and bustle of a busy Saturday in Bridgeport tried to drown out their prayers; they prayed their Rosary with special fervor and devotion to Our Lady who was present. 

Just as the rally was finishing, a young woman riding by in a car pulled over and got out and ran up to the group.  She asked if the statue was that of Our Lady of Fatima, as she always carried a small picture of Our Lady of Fatima with her.  It reinforced the importance of praying the Public Square Rosary in order to bring people to Our Lady and Our Lord.

All left with a great feeling of peace and consolation that they had done something great for God and His Holy Mother.  Until these "Prayer Warriors" meet again at the next Rosary Rally; Our Lady of Fatima, Pray for us!

Monday, May 17, 2010

If Architecture Could Speak at Yale

Data Without Wisdom

Beinecke Library at Yale

Most of the architecture at Yale University is strikingly similar to the hallowed halls of ancient European universities such as Oxford or Cambridge.  Much of its Gothic Revival or Georgian style buildings are simply awe-inspiring, providing an uplifting ambience for serious, scholarly study.

However, the architectural harmony on campus is shattered by the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.  Upon entering, one immediately perceives the absence of almost all natural light. The windowless main part of the library denies visitors that most basic natural element: sunlight. It gives the impression of being a lifeless mausoleum, a computerized warehouse for robots rather than an Ivy League library for humans.

Its giant honeycomb shaped walls of faintly-translucent granite placed within gray stone frames, together with the square waffle-pattern ceiling, make the library resemble the inside of a computer chip.  The minimalist, square, metallic structure containing books offer the only clue that it is indeed a library. There are few chairs and no tables in sight.  Where does one study here?

Just as the modern world tends to transform men into anonymous egalitarian “masses,” stripped of individual personality, so does this library seem to detach knowledge from the proper ambit of the human intellect.  The building and the bookcases could just as easily be used to store computer servers, not precious tomes. It is, in effect, a display of relativistic egalitarian architecture, where each book is no greater or lesser than any other.

A library should reflect the wisdom and truth contained in its books. The Beinecke Library, however, reflects neither. The spirit of dehumanized egalitarianism in its architecture relegates the books to the level of mere “data” without beauty or wisdom.  As a recent author put it, it is as “ugly as sin.”

Now let us turn to another library at Yale.

Where Noble Thoughts Soar

Medical Library at Yale

This is the Medical Historical Library at Yale University. Look at its robust ship-like timbers, high open ceilings, and brass chandeliers. They form an ideal setting for calm reflection or serious study, where the most noble aspirations of the mind soar freely.

Beinecke   Library at Yale

The vivid clash of two
cultures at Yale University.

Notice the pleasant interplay of light and shadow that seem to pay homage to the distinguished intellects whose works are displayed here. The predominant woodwork creates a warm yet dignified atmosphere for study. Every minute detail, the fireplace, oil paintings, coat of arms, thick beams, leaded windows, tables and lamps please the eye and speak of tradition, unpretentious erudition and manly distinction. 

One could easily picture Sir Winston Churchill seated at one of those polished wood tables preparing his next parliamentary speech. 

Would the harmony of this beautiful library survive if flashy computers were installed?  Would a college student hooked on our cyber pop-culture, wearing ripped jeans, flip-flops and body piercing feel comfortable in this dignified atmosphere? Probably not. 

Yet libraries like these formed Churchills, not hippies. Yes, this library, unlike the cold, box-like architecture of the Beinecke Library, allows students to embark on new intellectual and spiritual discoveries.  This library, steeped in tradition, fosters true progress – progress within the marvelous framework of order created by God.

What noble tradition.

Send us your comments here or post them below.

Special Invitation

You are invited to come to our Rosary Rally office in Topeka, Kansas, to help organize the 2010 Public Square Rosary Crusade.

Thanks to the great generosity of various donors, the cost of your trip and stay will be taken care of.

Only the most devout children of Mary qualify and are chosen for this mission.

To apply, please call Mr. Francis Slobodnik at: (866) 584 - 3407

Actually, the success of the 2010 Rosary Crusade depends entirely on dynamic and dedicated people like you.

If you apply and are chosen, you’d spend 2 weeks enlisting rally captains for the 2010 Rosary Crusade, scheduled for Saturday, October 16, 2010.

In 2009, we had 4,337 public square rosary rallies across America. Those rallies were organized by volunteers like you.

This year our goal is: 5,000 rallies!

Will you help make this goal a reality?

In the past, we were blessed with volunteers from all over America including Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico and even Saipan.

The most important requirement is an intense love for Our Lady, as well as a thirst for souls. Your love for Our Lady will naturally overflow in your words on the phone to prospective rally captains.

First, you will receive a simple training session. Then, a “guardian angel” will guide and help you every step of the way.

Finally, your love for Our Lady will kick in, and you will:

- place calls to members of America Needs Fatima

- answer incoming calls from prospective captains

Enroll by calling (866) 584 3407

Volunteering at our office has been described by some volunteers as a retreat.


Because volunteers receive lots of graces here.

On the phone and among your new found friends at the volunteer office, you will hear stories of devotion to Our Lady that will move you to tears.

You will see the great good you are achieving by:

- the reparation offered to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary as a result of the greater number of public square rosaries that will take place because of your efforts.

Volunteering is very rewarding – you meet new friends, attend daily Mass, and pray with other volunteers and America Needs Fatima staff while here.

You will experience Our Lady’s gratitude for your help.

If you are able to come, we will sponsor your trip to Kansas from one to two full weeks, for a mutually agreeable time, between July 5th and October 4th.

As I said, we will provide the transportation, meals and lodging for those who are selected as volunteers for Our Lady as Rosary Rally Callers!

Would you consider the possibility of becoming a volunteer this year?

I hope and pray that you will say, “YES”!

Call (866) 584 - 3407 to apply.

You may choose from a one week to a two week time frame, between July 5th and October 4th.

But please hurry. We must fill these vacancies on a first come-first serve basis and there are only a limited number of sponsorships available. Two week commitments will receive priority as the cost to the campaign will be less as a result.

However, all applications will be considered.

If you require more information, you may call me toll free at 866-584-3407, or you may email me at

I will be more than happy to answer any of your questions.

I hope you will take advantage of this golden opportunity to inquire about becoming a volunteer for Our Lady.

In Jesus and Mary,


Francis Slobodnik

Rosary Crusade Director

P.S. – Through the generosity of donors, we are able to cover the entire cost of your travel and stay expenses.

However, if you are able to help cover all or even a part of your own airfare and/or meals and lodging, this would make it possible to bring even more volunteers to the Kansas office to help recruit new captains and organize more rallies for Our Lady.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Should the Church Change Her Position on Homosexuality and Divorce?

By Luis Solimeo

Surprising Statements by the Cardinal-Archbishop of Vienna

Recent statements on homosexuality and divorce attributed to the Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Cardinal Schönborn are making waves all over the United States, particularly among the liberal media, progressive Church circles and homosexual activists.1

Vienna Immaculate Conception_1.jpg

Statue of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception defeating the serpent in a public square of Vienna, Austria.

Speaking to a group of Austrian journalists on April 28, the prelate is quoted making confusing and compromising statements on homosexuality and divorce.

On that occasion he is said to have also criticized by name Cardinal Angelo Sodano, former Secretary of State to Pope John Paul II and now dean of the College of Cardinals, accusing him “of complicity in the cover-up of sexual abuse allegations against his predecessor as the most important figure in the Austrian church.”2 Despite the reverberation in the media, and although more than two weeks have elapsed since the press conference, I am not aware that Cardinal Schönborn has yet denied having made these statements.3

Marriage and Homosexual Partnership have Nothing in Common

The statements by the Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna were first published by the Austrian Catholic news agency Kathpress and spread by the media.4

According to London’s The Tablet, “Questioned on the Church’s attitude to homosexuals, the cardinal said: ‘We should give more consideration to the quality of homosexual relationships,’ adding: ‘A stable relationship is certainly better than if someone chooses to be promiscuous.’”5

Quality” is this statement’s operative word. It suggests there is a difference in “quality” between homosexual relations inside and outside a stable relationship, deserving therefore, a different moral evaluation, just as occurs in heterosexual relations inside and outside the bonds of matrimony.

Indeed, sexual intercourse between a man and a woman has a different quality or moral nature when engaged inside and outside marriage. When engaged in a natural way inside marriage, it is apt to attain its end, that is, procreation and raising children, and is therefore legitimate; when engaged in outside of marriage (or inside but in an unnatural way), it goes against its end and is therefore illegitimate and sinful.

Since the homosexual act is of itself incapable of procreation and a homosexual relationship is morally inadequate for the bringing up of children, its “quality” or nature never changes: it is always an illegitimate and sinful act, contrary to nature.6

In the context of the present drive to equate stable homosexual relations with marriage – already supported by laws in many jurisdictions – a defense of such relationships is tantamount to supporting that drive.


Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, who according to The Tablet, declared himself in favor of "a morality based on happiness," instead of a morality based on obedience to the laws of God and nature.

The Church Cannot Change Her Position on Divorce

In his conversation with journalists, “[t]he cardinal also said the Church needed to reconsider its view of re-married divorcees ‘as many people don’t even marry at all any longer’. The primary thing to consider should not be the sin, but people’s striving to live according to the commandments, he said. Instead of a morality based on duty, we should work towards a morality based on happiness, he continued.”7

What does it mean for the Church to “reconsider its view of re-married divorcees”? The following sentence attributed to Cardinal Schönborn (“the primary thing to consider should not be sin but people striving to live according to the commandments”) appears to indicate that it is a change regarding the prohibition for divorced and “remarried” Catholics to receive Communion.

Indeed, since according to traditional morals marriage is indissoluble, a person who weds again after breaking his or her marriage is not really married but living in concubinage. It is an objectively sinful situation, and it bars the person from receiving Holy Communion.8

To allow persons in such circumstances to receive Communion implies that they are not in the state of sin. Now then, such an attitude, at least implicitly, appears to deny the principle of the indissolubility of matrimony; for the only way they would not be in a state of sin is if their earlier marriage no longer existed. But the indissolubility of marriage, even natural marriage, is a principle that derives from the natural Law9 and therefore the Church could not ignore that indissolubility even indirectly, by treating persons in concubinage as if they were legitimately married. For, as Pope Paul VI recalled in the Encyclical Humanae Vitae, the Church is the custodian and interpreter of natural law, not its creator. For this reason, She cannot modify it.10

Destruction of Objective Morals

The Vienna prelate’s assertion that “[t]he primary thing to consider should not be the sin, but people’s striving to live according to the commandments” would imply switching the focus from an objective moral norm – the obedience due to divine and natural law – to a subjective one: the effort a person makes, even if he does not succeed.

Moral law would thus cease being the objective standard to judge the legitimacy or illegitimacy of human actions, giving way to a merely subjective criterion impossible to gauge. In fact, how does one objectively gauge someone’s inner effort to do something or avoid it?

One thus switches from an objective and universal morality based on clear and rational principles, to a subjectivist relativism that destroys the whole ethical order. Furthermore, this whole concept is naturalistic and denies the principle that God does not fail to help, with His grace, those who truly strive to attain an upright end.11

Finally, to propose a morality where happiness clashes with duty is to propose a contradiction. True happiness, as even pagan philosophers understood, results from the practice of virtue.12 On a superior plane, happiness is related with man’s ultimate end – eternal bliss – which cannot be attained without obedience to divine Law.

Of course we will not delve into the Cardinal-Archbishop of Vienna’s subjective intentions, which God alone can judge. But we cannot but lament the effect of the statements attributed to him, and which it seems he has not yet denied.

1. Cf. Cathy Lynn Grossman, “Cardinal's surprising new tune: ‘Don't worry, be happy,’” USA Today (Faith & Reason) May 8, 2010,; Tim Rutten, “Changing the church – Recent statements and writings show that there is support within the church for reform,”Los Angeles Times, May 12, 2010,,0,7587200.column ; James Martin, S.J., “Schonborn Attacks Sodano; Calls for New Look at Gays and Remarried Catholics,” America (In All Things), May 7, 2010,; Andrew Sullivan, “The Quote for the Day – II, Tips-Q, May 10, 2010, ; Michael A. Jones, “A Catholic Bishop in Favor of Gay Relationships?” Gay Rights, May 7, 2010,; Edge Boston, “Cardinal Schönborn: Church Should Respect Long-Term Gay Relationships,” GLAA Forum, May 11, 2010,; terence@queerchurch, “Cardinal Schonborn on Church Reform: No Refutation (Yet),” Queering the Church – Toward a Reality Based Theology, May 10, 2010,; gaycatholic, “Is the Catholic Church Rethinking Homosexuality, Divorce?” Street Prophets – A Daily Kos Community, May 11, 2010, . [back]
2. John L. Allen Jr., “‘The days of cover-up are over,’ Schönborn,”National Catholic Reporter, May 10, 2010,; Cf. Philip Pullella, “Cardinal accuses Vatican official of abuse cover-up,” Reuters, May 9, 2010, [back]
3. The interpretation of the words of the cardinal made by Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J. expresses only the thought of the illustrious Jesuit and not that of the Archbishop of Vienna himself, who has not clarified before the public his thoughts on this very delicate matter. (Father Joseph Fessio, S. J., “Guestview: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished,” May 11, 2010, [back]
4. For Vaticanologist Andrea Tornielli, the fact that the cardinal’s words were published by the Austrian Catholic news agency Kathpress guarantees their fidelity (Cf. “Schoenborn attacca Sodano: ‘Non volle indagare su Groer,’”, Il Giornale, May 10, 2010, [back]
5. ChristaPongratz-Lippitt, “Schönborn attacks Sodano and urges reform,” The Tablet (Church in the World), May 8, 2010, (Our emphasis.) [back]
6. Cf. Saint Thomas Aquinas, “The Reason Why Simple Fornication Is A Sin According To Divine Law, And That Matrimony Is Natural,Summa Contra Gentiles, Bk. 3, q. 122, at ; Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2357. [back]
7. Pongratz-Lippitt, “Schönborn attacks Sodano and urges reform,The Tablet, May 8, 2010, (Our emphasis.) [back]
8. “Can. 915: Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.” [back]
9. Cf. Victor Cathrein, S.J., Philosophia Moralis, (Barcelona, Editorial Herder, 1945), p. 365, n. 527; St. Thomas Aquinas, “That Matrimony Should Be Indivisible,Summa Contra Gentiles, Bk. 3, q. 123, at [back]
10. Paul VI, Enc. Humanae Vitae, nn. 4 and 18, at [back]
11. “Facienti quod in se est, Deus non denegat gratiam.” [‘God does not deny grace when one makes the due effort.”] J. Van der Meersch, s.v. “Grace,” Dictionnaire de Théologie Catholique, (Paris: Letouzey et Ané, 1947), Vol. VI, Part II, col. 1603. [back]
12. Cf. Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics,at [back]