Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Getting the right diagnosis in cases of possession

Objectivity of scientific rigor

Monsignor F. X. Maquart – renowned investigator of this subject – compares the diagnosis of the exorcist to that of a doctor.

The exorcist must proceed in his examination with the same objectivity and rigor as a doctor, so that no manifestation presented by the behavior of the patient is neglected. 

He must avoid being drawn in by the first impressions, which may be misleading.

This critical examination has the objective of eliminating any possible natural explanation that he observes in the presumed diabolic manifestation.

Monsignor Maquart explains that there are a certain number of symptoms of possession that are also common in some diseases, such as the psychasthenia, hysteria, some forms of epilepsy, etc.

How can one tell the difference between a simple mental illness and possession by the demon?

It is here that other signs of possession – which do not have a natural explanation - become important: the ability to speak foreign languages unknown until then; the knowledge of facts happening in distant places; the revelation of unsuspected scientific talent; the show of exceptional physical strength, etc.

This diagnosis demands, at the same time, much objectivity and common sense, and also great faith.  For, obviously, one cannot - under the excuse that the preternatural is an exception - negate in principle all and any demonic action. Nor can one proceed in such a way as to always find, at all costs, a natural explanation for the phenomena.

Home schooling hit by Austin diocese and in article by renowned priest

by Patrick B. Craine

AUSTIN, Texas, May 30, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Following the controversy over a statement from the Diocese of Austin deriding homeschooling, the head of the world’s largest international pro-life organization has defended the decision to homeschool, especially in cases where faithful Catholic schools are not available.

“There is absolutely no obligation for parents to send their children to a school that is academically poor or that is confused in its presentation of the faith,” said Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro-Carambula, interim president of Human Life International.  “These parents must have the option to educate their own children.”

Last month, a minor controversy flared between advocates of homeschooling and parochial schools after the publication of a letter from Superintendent of Catholic Schools Ned F. Vanders of the Diocese of Austin.

The Holy Family Homeschoolers Association had asked Bishop Joe Vasquez of Austin to celebrate a Mass in the fall to open the school year. 

In his reply for the bishop, Vanders said Vasquez was declining because his presence would “convey a contradictory message equating the importance of Catholic school education with Catholic homeschooling.”

“Bishop Vásquez believes Catholic education, and in particular Catholic school education, is an essential part of the life of the Diocese of Austin,” he wrote.  “As you know, Catholic schools are at the heart of the mission of the church.”

The diocese declined LifeSiteNews’ request for comment from Bishop Vasquez or Vanders.

In an article by Our Sunday Visitor last week, the diocese’s stance was supported by Fr. Peter M.J. Stravinskas, executive director of the Catholic Education Foundation.

According to Fr. Stravinskas, the Fathers of the Church stressed that catechesis should be carried out by the whole Church, and is the primary domain of the pastor rather than the parents.

He said keeping one’s children home rather than sending them to the local Catholic school can give the children the idea that their parents do not trust the Church and the parish priest to hand on the faith.  He said this can create a “subtle anti-clericalism” (in OSV’s words), which he claims is revealed by a lack of priestly vocations from homeschoolers.

“On the same property where they go to church on Sunday is a school where the parents don’t wish to send them,” he said.  “Why would you want to join the club if its members can’t be trusted to their jobs?”

He took issue particularly with homeschoolers who have no problems with the teaching at the school, but are concerned about exposing their children to other kids with values at odds with their own.

“That sets up an elite, a church within a church, and that is to be avoided,” he said.

Msgr. Barreiro emphasized that the Church has not declared children must be taught in Catholic schools, though he said they should be if there is a school available that is affordable, high-quality, and - most importantly - faithful.

“Many families lack the means to send their children to such schools, and many more are faced with the option of mediocre education, or unfortunately, with a weak Catholic identity,” he said.  “There are some excellent Catholic schools, but there are some poor ones, and sadly, many Catholic children are losing the faith, and parents too often outsource their faith formation to dissenting or lukewarm teachers, and often don’t feel the need to closely monitor what their children are learning.”

Msgr. Barreiro also contested the claim that children’s education rests especially with the pastor, saying that “it is absolutely clear that parents are the primary educators of their children” and the pastor instead shares in this responsibility.

The Servant of God Fr. John Hardon, S.J., a theologian who championed homeschooling for decades, believed it was firmly rooted in the Church’s ancient tradition and is an essential means of preserving the Catholic faith in our times.

“Home schooling in the United States is the necessary concomitant of a culture in which the Church is being opposed on every level of her existence,” he said.  “As a consequence, given the widespread secularization in our country, home schooling is not only valuable or useful but it is absolutely necessary for the survival of the Catholic Church in our country.”

Contact Information:

Bishop Joe Vasquez of Austin
Pastoral Center
6225 Highway 290 East
Austin, TX 78723-1025
Phone: (512) 949-2400
E-mail: Use this form.

Fr. Peter M.J. Stravinskas
Catholic Education Foundation
500 Linden Oaks
Rochester, NY 14625
Phone: (585) 899-1245
Fax: (585) 899-1265
E-mail: Use this form.

Abortion clinic anesthetist charged with infecting 54 patients with Hep C

by Thaddeus Baklinski

MELBOURNE, May 30, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - An abortion centre anesthetist who has been under investigation since early 2010 was charged Friday with endangering the lives of his patients. The charges follow an investigation into a rash of Hepatitis C infections which surfaced in women who had been under his care while aborting their children at Melbourne’s Croydon Day Surgery.

James Latham Peters, 61, who worked as an anesthetist at the Melbourne abortion mill, was charged with 54 counts each of conduct endangering life, negligence causing serious injury and recklessness causing serious injury. The charge of conduct endangering life carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

Prosecutor Helen Faturous told the court it would take some time to prepare the brief of evidence because of the case’s complexities. However, the charge presented to the court stated, “The accused ... recklessly engage(d) in ... using and sharing intravenously administered anaesthetic drugs ... knowing he was infected with the hepatitis C virus, (which) may have placed person/s in danger of death.”

Hepatitis C is spread by blood-to-blood or sexual contact and attacks the liver, in some cases causing cirrhosis and liver cancer. The most common way it is spread is by the sharing of needles.

The police began their investigation last April after the Victoria state Department of Health initially noticed a cluster of three Hepatitis C-infected women who had attended Croydon Day Surgery, and subsequently found others infected with the same strain of the disease.

The Department of Health investigated the clinic’s infection control practices without finding any breaches of procedure. After staff members were tested for the virus, however, all were found to be negative, except for the anesthetist, Dr. Peters. Tests confirmed that his Hepatitis C strain matched the strain of the infected women.

“That’s precisely why, back in early last year, we referred these matters to the police for further investigation — because our investigation could find no plausible reason as to why the infection took place,” said Bram Alexander, a spokesman for the Victoria state Department of Health.

Police said the investigation will continue until all the clients of the clinic between 2006 and 2009 have been tested for the infection, and that Dr. Peters could face further charges.

At least 4000 women who used the centre, now known as the Marie Stopes Centre, have already been tested, according to the Herald Sun.

Paula Shelton of Slater and Gordon law firm has said the 54 women infected with Hepatitis C are considering mounting a class action suit against Dr. Peters, and possibly the clinic, the Medical Practitioners Board, and the Health Department.

“The civil and criminal processes are separate and we have not ruled anything out in our investigations,” Ms. Shelton told the media.

“Today’s charges do not let anyone else or other bodies potentially involved in this matter off the hook. The information that’s gained throughout any criminal proceedings will be evidence that’s relevant in any class action.”

Deputy chief magistrate Jelena Popovic approved bail of $200,000 and ordered Peters to surrender of his passport and appear in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on September 30.

The Victoria state Department of Health advises women who attended Croydon Day Surgery from 2006 to 2009 to contact Victoria’s Hepatitis C information line at 1300 651 650.

Monday, May 30, 2011

On May 31, the Holy Church celebrates the feast of Our Lady, Universal Mediatrix of all Graces

In this age of afflictions and dangers, when all of mankind moans under the weight of misfortunes that increase at every moment, our needs grow and our prayers become more pressing. With this, it is also increasingly important that we know how to pray well. Few truths of the Faith contribute so powerfully to raise the value of our prayers as the Universal Mediation of Mary when studied seriously and made to penetrate deeply into our life of piety.

Of what does this truth consist? Theology teaches that all graces that come to us from God pass through Mary's hands. So, we obtain nothing from God if Mary is not joined to our prayer, and we owe all the graces we receive to her intercession. Thus, the Mother of God is the channel of all prayers that reach her Divine Son and the way of all graces that He bestows on mankind.

Evidently, this truth supposes that in all our prayers we explicitly ask Our Lady to help us. This practice would be highly praiseworthy. Even though we do not declaredly invoke Our Lady's intercession, we can be certain that we will be heard because she prays with us and for us.

A highly consoling conclusion follows from this. If we had to confide merely in our merits, how could we confide in the efficacy of our prayer?

It is said that Our Lord once appeared to Saint Teresa ofAvila bearing marvelous grapes in His hands. The saint asked the Divine Master what the grapes signified, and He answered that they were an image of her soul. The saint then looked carefully at the grapes. As she examined them, her first impression, which was grand, faded, giving way to an increasingly distressing impression. The grapes, now full of blemishes and defects, seemed repugnant to the great saint. She then understood the lofty meaning of the vision:

Even the most perfect souls reveal stains when attentively examined. And what stains can go unnoticed under God's penetrating gaze? Thus did the Psalmist exclaim with good reason: "If thou, 0 Lord, wilt mark iniquities. Lord, who shall stand it?"

If there is no one who does not present stains to the eyes of God, who can hope with full assurance to be heeded in his prayers?

On the other hand. God wants our prayers to be confident. He does not want us to present ourselves before His throne like slaves who fearfully approach a dreadful lord, but like children who gather around an infinitely generous and good father. Indeed, this confidence is one of the conditions for the efficacy of our prayers. But how can we have confidence if, examining ourselves, we feel lacking in reasons to confide? If we have no confidence, how can we hope to be heeded?

From the sadness of this reflection we triumphantly draw the doctrine of the Universal Mediation of Mary. In fact, our merits are minimal and our faults are great, but whatever we cannot attain by ourselves we have every right to hope that Our Lady's prayers will attain.

We must never doubt that she joins our prayers when they are suited to the greater glory of God and our sanctification. In fact, Our Lady has a love for each one of us that is only imperfectly comparable to the love that our earthly mothers have for us. Saint Louis de Montfort says that Our Lady has for the most wretched and miserable of men a love superior to that which would result from the sum of the love of all the mothers in the world for one child. Our authentic mother in the order of grace begot each of us to eternal life, and the passage that the Holy Ghost inscribed in Scripture-Even though your father and mother abandon you, I will not forget you-is faithfully applied to her. It is easier to be abandoned by our parents according to nature than by our mother according to grace.

However wretched we may be, then, we can confidently present our petitions to God. Whenever they are supported by Our Lady, they will have a priceless value in God's eyes, a value that will certainly obtain for us the requested favor.

It is fitting for us to meditate unendingly on this great truth. Catholics that we are, we must face in this life the struggles common to all mortals and, in addition, those that come from the reality of our being in God's service. Even though the horizon seems ready to pour down a new flood upon us; even though paths close before us, precipices open up, and the very earth moves under our feet, we should not lose heart. Our Lady will overcome all obstacles that exceed our strength. As long as this confidence does not desert our hearts, victory will be ours and the cunning of our adversaries will be worth nothing. We will walk upon asps and basilisks and will crush lions and dragons underfoot.

By Plinio Correa de Oliveira

Special Graces in May, the Month of Mary

What Our Lady of Fatima said in May 1917

Why the expression “the devil made me do it” is untrue and misleading

The persuasive action of the demon

“The demon does not compel; he proposes, suggests, persuades, seduces…”

The demon does not have the power to force men to do something; therefore, he tries to persuade and seduce them. 

“The demon does not compel; he proposes, suggests, persuades, seduces” – writes Father J. de Tonquédec S. J., a French exorcist and demonologist.

And he adds: “In Eden, he proposed to Eve reasons for her to transgress the divine command (Gn 3, 4-5, 13); in the desert, he tried to entice Our Lord with the attractions of a universal domination” (Mt 4, 26-27)".

Saint Thomas also refers to the devil’s work of persuasion.  He explains that man can only be moved interiorly by himself, or by God.  But externally, man can be solicited by a foreign object.  However, that foreign object cannot compel man to do something against his will.

Father Candido Lumbreras O. P. thus comments this passage from the Angelic Doctor: “What influence can the demon have on the sins of men? … The demon works on influencing the senses; he can talk to reason, both interiorly, or externally, alter the humors and produce dangerous images, excite the passions that can move the will and thus take possession of the understanding.”

Commenting over another passage from Saint Thomas, Father Jesus Valbuena O. P. explains:

“That the Angels can illuminate and actually do illuminate the human understanding is a truth rooted in many passages of Sacred Scripture… Also the wicked Angels can produce, with their natural gifts, false illuminations on men’s understanding.  Thus Saint Paul warns us to stay alert for ‘even Satan masquerades as an Angel of light’” (2 Cor 11, 14).

“Saint Thomas affirms that the Angels can influence men’s senses – both from without and from within – and can act, both from the outside and from the inside, that is, both intrinsically and extrinsically; but, as related to the human understanding and will, they can only move and influence indirectly and exteriorly, that is, proposing their objects – truth and goodness - to these spiritual forces, in a manner adapted to them and influencing indirectly through the senses, the passions, the sensitive corporeal alterations, etc.; however, they can never succeed in bending effectively and completely man’s will, if he is in his normal conditions”.

In the cases of the temptations to Eve in the Garden, and to Our Lord in the desert (described above), the demon “presented his reasons” assuming a corporeal form, producing sounds and articulating words verbally; in most of the cases, however, the demon, to persuade man to sin, concentrate his actions upon sensibility, memory and imagination.


It is important throughout our life and at the moment of our death.

First and foremost, it is important during our life. What, in reality, is more important than grace? It beautifies our soul; it penetrates it and transforms it into a creature of a new order by making it a child of God and heir to heaven. It renders all the works and sufferings of the Christian worthy of eternal life, it is the magic wand that changes all into gold - into the gold of supernatural merits.

What, on the contrary, is sadder than a Christian in the state of sin! All his sufferings, all his works, all his prayers remain barren, without any merit for heaven. He is an enemy of God, and if he dies, he goes to hell.

The state of grace, therefore, is of capital importance and necessary to the Christian.

If you have lost grace, you can recover it in two ways:

(1) by confession,

(2) by perfect contrition.

Confession is the ordinary means, but since it is not always available, God has given us an extraordinary means: perfect contrition.

Let us suppose that one day you have the misfortune to commit a mortal sin. After the worries of the day, in the quiet of the night your conscience awakens; it condemns you forcefully, and you are in agony. What are you to do? Well, then, God puts in your hands the golden key, which will open for you the gates of heaven. Repent of your sins intensely, for the love of the good and bountiful God.

On the contrary, how much is to be pitied the Christian who ignores the practice of perfect contrition. He goes to bed and rises in the state of mortal sin. He lives in this manner two, three, four or more months, from year to year, perhaps. The dark night in which he is shrouded is not for one moment interrupted after confession. A sad state, to live almost always in mortal sin, as an enemy of God, without any merit for heaven and in danger of eternal damnation!

Another benefit: if before receiving a sacrament, say Confirmation or Matrimony, for instance, you recall an unpardoned sin, perfect contrition allows you to receive this sacrament worthily. Only for Communion is confession required.

Even for a Christian in a state of grace, the frequent practice of perfect contrition is very useful.

First, we are never certain of being in a state of grace. Now, every act of perfect contrition increases this certainty. It often occurs to us to wonder whether we have given in to temptation. Such doubts delay and discourage the soul on the path of virtue. What are we then to do? Scrutinize ourselves if we have or have not consented to temptation? This would be fruitless. Make an act of perfect contrition and be at ease.

Even supposing that we possessed certainty of being in a state of grace, perfect contrition will still be very useful to us. Each act of perfect contrition increases grace and an ounce of grace is worth more than all the treasures in the world. Each act of perfect contrition erases the venial sins that disfigure the soul; thus the soul grows more and more beautiful. Each act of perfect contrition remits temporal punishment due to sin.

Let us remember the words of the Savior regarding Mary Magdalene: "Many sins are forgiven her, because she hath loved much" (St. Luke 7, 47). And if this forgiveness of temporal punishment makes us appreciate and value indulgences, good works, almsgiving, charity toward God, which is the queen of the virtues, it stands in the first rank of these good works.

Lastly, with each act of perfect contrition and of love, our soul strengthens itself in good, and thus it has firm confidence of obtaining the paramount grace of final perseverance.

The practice of perfect contrition is, therefore, very important during our life, but most especially at the hour of our death and above all if we are in danger of sudden death.

One day, a large fire broke out in a heavily populated city, and many were found dead. Among the many persons who cried out in the courtyard of a house, a twelve-year-old child, on his knees, begged for the grace of contrition; then he entreated his companions to pray with him. Entirely hapless, perhaps they owed him their salvation.

Now, similar dangers threaten us at every moment and at the time when we least think about them.

You can be the victim of some accident, fall out of a tree, be run over by a train or a bus; you can be taken unawares at night by a fire in your bedroom; you can make a misstep on a stairway or fall in the midst of your work. They carry you away, dying. They run to look for a priest, but the priest is late in coming, and the time is short.

What do you do?

Immediately make an act of perfect contrition. Repent mightily out of love and gratitude to God and Jesus Christ crucified. Perfect contrition will have afforded you the key to heaven.

It is not the case that it is lawful for everyone to wait until the last hour in the hope of being free from every sin by means of a simple act of perfect contrition. It is very doubtful, in fact, that perfect contrition can avail those who have misused it in order to sin. The benefits detailed are chiefly for those who have good will.

"But," you will ask me, "will I have the time to make an act of perfect contrition?" Yes, with God's grace. Perfect contrition does not require much time, especially if, during your life, you have practiced it often. It takes only an instant to make it from the depths of your soul. Besides, God's grace is more efficacious at the moment of danger, and our mind is much more active. At death's door, the seconds seem like hours. I speak from personal experience.

On July 20, 1886, I came very close to death. It was a matter of eight to ten seconds of pain, the time it takes to pray half an Our Father. In this very brief moment, thousands of thoughts crossed my mind.

My whole life passed before me with an unimaginable speed; at the same time I thought of what was in store for me after death. All that, I repeat, happened during the short period of half a Pater. Fortunately, my life was spared. God thus willed it so that I could write The Key to Heaven. Well! The first thing I had to do in such a danger was to make what they taught us in catechism - an act of contrition - and to have recourse to God in seeking His protection.

Truly, it was then that I learned to love and treasure, as is proper, perfect contrition. Afterward, I made it known and prized everywhere when I had the opportunity. What a loss that people do not better understand its importance in this last moment!

Everyone rushes about; they do not understand the tears and cries; they lose their heads; they go to find the doctor or the priest; they bring fresh water and all the remedies that they secretly possess. And while the sick person is in agony, no one, perhaps, has pity on his immortal soul; no one suggests to him to make an act of perfect contrition. If you find yourself in a similar situation, hasten to the side of the dying person and, calmly and serenely presenting to him, if possible, the image of Jesus crucified, with a sure and firm voice, tell him to think and to repeat from the depths of his soul what you are

about to say. Then slowly and clearly recite the act of contrition even though it would appear that the sick person understands and comprehends nothing. You will have done a supremely good work that will earn you his eternal gratitude.

Even if you are dealing with a heretic, help him in his last moments in the same way. It is not necessary to speak to him about confession. Urge him to make an act of love of God and of Jesus crucified in slowly reciting to him the act of contrition.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

The amazing effects of perfect contrition on your soul


Some truly admirable effects! For the sinner, thanks to perfect contrition, he immediately receives forgiveness for each of his faults even before making his confession. Nevertheless, he must make a resolution to confess himself at an opportune time; of course, this resolution is included in perfect contrition.

Every time he makes an act of perfect contrition, the pains of hell are immediately remitted, he recovers all his past merits, and he turns from being an enemy of God to being His son by adoption and co-heir to heaven.

For the just man, perfect contrition enlarges and strengthens the state of grace. It erases the venial sins he has detested, and increases in him the true and sound love of God. Here are the marvelous effects of divine mercy in the soul of the Christian owing to perfect contrition. Perhaps, they may appear unbelievable to you. Undoubtedly, you think, in danger of death, we should ask for contrition; but is it credible that at every moment perfect contrition produces such effects?

Is this teaching concerning perfect contrition well founded?

I answer you that it is as solid as the rock upon which me Church is built and as certain as the very word of God. At the Council of Trent, the Church, in explaining the chief truths disputed by the heretics, declares (Session xiv, Chap. 4) that perfect contrition, that which proceeds from the love of God, justifies man and reconciles him to God, even before the reception of the sacrament of penance.

Now, the Council nowhere says that this is only in danger of death. Therefore, perfect contrition at all times produces this effect. Besides, in that the Church relies on the words of Jesus: "If anyone love me" - and with perfect contrition we truly love Him - "my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our abode in him" (St. John 14, 23).

God cannot live in a soul stained by sin. Perfect contrition or the contrition of charity accordingly wipes away sins. Such has always been the teaching of the Church, the holy Fathers, and her doctors: Baius has been condemned for having maintained the contrary.

In fact, if, as we said just now, perfect contrition must have brought forth such admirable effects in the Old Testament, in the era of the law of fear, it will all the more produce these effects in the New Testament, where the law of love reigns.

But then, someone will say, if perfect contrition wipes away sin, what good is it to confess it afterwards? It is true that perfect contrition produces the same effects as confession, but it does not affect them independently of the sacrament of penance, since perfect contrition precisely supposes a firm purpose to confess the same sins that it has just pardoned.

For, to confess all sins, at least the mortal ones, is a law of Jesus Christ and a law that cannot change.

Is it necessary to confess one's sins as soon as possible after the act of contrition?

Very strictly speaking, that is not necessary, but I strongly urge you to do so. You will thus be all the more sure of being forgiven and you will obtain, at the same time, the precious graces attached to the sacrament of penance, those that are called the sacramental graces. Perhaps, now, you will be tempted to say to yourself:

"If it is easy to obtain the remission of sins through perfect contrition, I do not have to trouble myself about confession. I will sin without scruple, and I will be discharged of the debt of sin by an act of perfect contrition!"

Anyone who would think in such a way will not have even a shadow of perfect contrition. He would not love God above everything, since he would not have the

serious desire to break with sin and change his life, the condition required equally by confession and perfect contrition. He could well fool himself, but he could never fool God. He who truly has perfect contrition is entirely resolved to renounce mortal sin. He will cleanse himself as soon as possible in the sacrament of Penance, and, by his good will aided by the grace of God, he will keep himself from sin, and he will strengthen himself more and more in the happy state as a child of God.

Perfect contrition is a great aid for those who loyally and sincerely wish to recover and preserve the state of grace, and especially for those who fall into sin from habit, i.e., who, in spite of their good will, lapse again from time to time owing to their bad habits and their own weakness. It is, however, entirely different for those who use perfect contrition as a means of sinning with impunity: they turn the divine remedy of perfect repentance into a hellish poison.

Don't be among the latter, my dear reader, and don't allow so precious a grace to serve you ill.


Following outcry, Brazilian president cancels homosexual indoctrination program in nation’s schools

by Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

BRAZIL, May 27, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has agreed to eliminate a very explicit United Nations approved program designed to convince children and adolescents to accept homosexual behavior and transsexualism, following threats from Protestant and Catholic legislators to block new legislation in protest.

The program, which was sponsored by by the Brazilian Ministry of Education and referred to as “Schools without Homophobia,” included an “anti-homophobia kit,” with videos showing a cartoon of a child masturbating while fantasizing about sex with a man, adolescents who enter into homosexual relationships, and a “transsexual” student who calls himself “Bianca.”

In the original video, the “Bianca” character reportedly becomes sexually aroused at the sight of another male student urinating in the bathroom, although this scene was apparently removed later, along with an another image showing two girls kissing on the lips. 

The program also supplied students with games, toys, and musical lyrics, all designed to normalize homosexuality and other sexual deviations.  Despite the minor modifications made to the materials, they have continued to spark outrage from parents and pro-family activists.

Under massive pressure from a high-profile Internet campaign and from legislators, Rousseff capitulated, and one congressional ally reported that she regarded the program as “horrific” and “the end of the world.”

“I’m not in agreement with the kit, because I don’t think that it defends non-homophobic practices,” Rousseff said publicly. “I didn’t watch the videos, but I saw part of one of them on television and I don’t agree with it.”

“We cannot interfere with the private lives of people,” Rousseff continued. “There will not be authorization for this type of policy of defending A, B, C, or D. However, the government can teach that it is necessary to respect differences and that you can’t use violence against those who are different from you.”

Before retracting the materials, the government had boasted of the approval it had received for the program from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which had judged the videos “suitable” for the target audience, which is reported to reach children as young as 11 years of age.

“The material of the Schools without Homophobia project is suitable for the age groups and the affective-cognitive development for which it is targeted,” UNESCO wrote, according to a Brazilian government website.

The cancellation of the program, which has caused controversy in Brazil for over half a year, has made headlines across the country.  Revelations that the government has spent over a million of dollars of public money on the program have also added fuel to the fire.

The defeat of “Schools without Homophobia” represents another major blow against the socialist government’s long-standing anti-life and anti-family policies.

The Brazilian Labor Party, led by the popular presidents Luiz Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff, his handpicked successor, have consistently advocated the decriminalization of abortion and policies that would punish those who speak out against homosexuality. However, Rousseff found her presidential aspirations threatened last year when pro-family forces emphasized her party’s record on human life and family issues, forcing her to sign an agreement not to promote her party’s agenda.

Public opinion polls, as well as polls of congressional representatives, have also indicated a strengthening of the pro-life and pro-family positions in the Brazilian electorate.

Although Roussef has been careful to indicate her rejection of the program, her Women’s Policies minister has taken a more defiant tone.

“The program for confronting homophobia is a definitive program. It will not suffer setbacks. The government of President Dilma [Rouseff] is committed to the issue of rights. The president has demonstrated that in all of her acts,” said chief minister Iriny Lopes.

Rousseff’s education minister Fernando Haddad promised to return to the schools with new materials in a matter of months, after a further consultation with “specialists.” The program reportedly will be reformulated by the same homosexualist non-governmental organizations that created the current program.

Julio Severo, one of Brazil’s most influential pro-family activists, is warning that the administration will continue to push the homosexual agenda, and urges Catholics and Evangelical Protestants to continue fighting.

“Whether or not Dilma has retreated, the Catholic and Evangelical leadership should not retreat,” writes Severo, adding that “above all, it is necessary to unmask and combat the campaign that, in the name of fighting against ‘homophobia’ is combating the Christian majority of Brazil and the mothers and father who want to protect their children form every type of immoral assault.”

This Catholic commander receives the baton of command and the standard of the Holy League before the battle of Lepanto

Pontifical Mass from a Missal

Cardinal Granvelle celebrated the Pontifical Mass, and at the end of it D. John of Austria mounted to the chancel, and, kneeling in front of the altar, received from the hands of Granvelle, first the baton and then the standard, with these words, which the Cardinal said over three times in Latin, Spanish and Italian: “Take, fortunate Prince, the insignia of the true Word made flesh; take the living sign of the holy faith of which this enterprise is the defender. He gives thee glorious victory over the impious enemy, whose pride shall be humbled by thy hand.” Then a shout burst out in the church, and a thousand voices, with one accord, cried “Amen! Amen.”

Than a brilliant military procession was formed to carry the standard from the church to the port; it was carried, furled, on the back of a white horse, whose crimson velvet cloth dragged on the ground, led by two captains who took it in turns. Behind came the Lord D. John, carrying the baton of Generalissimo, followed by the brilliant suite, all with drawn swords, as if ready to defend the insignia of the Holy League. It was at length hoisted at the magnificent stern of the royal galley at one o’clock. D. John himself directed this, and the fleet and the port saluted him with a formidable salvo of artillery, muskets, and arquebuses, which lasted more than half an hour.

Standard of the Holy League used in the Battle of Lepanto.

Rev. Fr. Luis Coloma, The Story of Don John of Austria, trans. Lady Moreton, (New York: John Lane Company, 1912), pp. 244-245.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 78, --- from www.NOBILITY.org

Saturday, May 28, 2011

This saint opposed the Arian heretics at the council of Sardica, and was "excommunicated" along with St. Athanasius

                    May 29 ---------- St Maximinus of Trier

When the Holy Catholic Church is in greatly attacked, God raises up saints who do whatever is necessary to protect Her.  St. Maximinus is one of those pastors.

St. Maximinus' was of noble birth, born in Poitiers in the 4th century.  Upon hearing of the sanctity of St. Agritius, bishop of Triers, he sought him out to gain a virtuous education.  After being ordained and upon the death of St. Agritius, St. Maximinus was chosen his successor in 332.

His orthodoxy was well known, and so was his enmity for Arianism.  So when St. Athanasius was banned for his defense of Holy Church, St. Maximinus received him joyfully.  The two saints worked side by side for several years to prevent the spread of the vicious lies and deceptions of the Arians heretical sect. 

They worked with indefatigable vigilance, heroic courage and exemplary virtue.  Then our saint cautioned the Emperor against the intrigues and snares of the Arians, his very life was at risk, only to have him work harder to discover the Arian artifices and oppose their faction.

After opposing these heretics at the council of Sardica in 347,  he had the honor to be "excommunicated" along with St. Athanasius by them.  He died in Poitou in 349.

In the 4th century a large number of Catholics were led astray by the Arian heresy.  Today, the Catholic Faith has seen many of her members leave her bosom to embrace heretical sects.  Let us pray to St. Maximinus to enlighten our hearts and minds with the Truth, to embrace It fully, and to defend It at every opportunity.

Series on Perfect Contrition: Part III: Is it difficult to make a perfect act of contrition?


Without a doubt, the act of perfect contrition is more difficult than the act of imperfect contrition required for confession.

However, there is no one who, with God's grace, cannot obtain perfect contrition, provided he desires it sincerely. Contrition is in the will and not in the sentiment, though even without tears its intensity should have some proportion to the sin or sins we have committed.

Moreover, and this is a very proper consideration to give us encouragement, before the time of our Lord, in the ancient law perfect contrition was, for 4,000 years, the only means of obtaining forgiveness of sins.

Again, in our times, there exists no other form of forgiveness for thousands of pagans and heretics. Now, it is true that God does not wish the death of the sinner; He cannot wish to impose a perfect contrition impossible to attain. Contrition must, on the contrary, be within the range of all men.

Well, then, if so many unfortunates who live and die can obtain this perfect contrition far from (though through no fault of their own) the stream of grace and the Catholic Church, is perfect contrition so difficult for you who have the good fortune of being Christian and Catholic, who are the object of much greater graces and who are better taught than these poor infidels?

I will go further. Often, without your suspecting it, you have perfect contrition. For instance, when you devoutly hear holy Mass, when you make with fervor the Stations of the Cross, when you meditate with devotion in front of an image of Jesus crucified or of His divine Heart.

Some words often suffice to express the most ardent love and the sincerest contrition. Some of these are, for example, the ejaculatory prayers: "My God and my all"; "My Jesus, mercy"; "My God, I love Thee above all things"; "My God, have pity upon me, a poor sinner"; "My Jesus, I love Thee."


A Truly Heroic Catholic President

Catholic president Garcia Moreno

Catholic hero: President
Gabriel Garcia Moreno.

Mortally wounded, Garcia Moreno cried out "God does not die!" This stalwart Catholic president of uncompromising principles was slain by the enemies of the Faith because of his consistent courage in defense of the Church and Papacy.

Gabriel Garcia Moreno was born in Guayaquil, in southern Ecuador on December 24, 1821. His father, Gabriel Garcia Gómez was Spanish, while his mother, Doña Mercedes Moreno, was a member of the local aristocracy.

Tragedy visited the family when the father died suddenly in his youth, shortly after losing his fortune. His young widow employed a priest to teach her son his first letters. Later, Gabriel continued his studies at the Colegio de San Fernando in Quito.

Moved by religious fervor, Garcia Moreno received minor orders in 1838, but became convinced that he did not have a priestly vocation. Instead, after completing law school, Gabriel devoted his life to politics.

He became Commissioner of War in the northern jurisdiction, but in 1846 was involved with some periodicals that were highly critical of Ecuador’s government. Nevertheless, he collaborated with the regime during the threat of invasion by General Flores in 1847. He was an active member of the Municipal Council of Quito and later became Governor of Guayas.

Due to political turmoil, he was exiled in 1848 and traveled to Europe the following year.

When he returned, he dedicated himself to politics once again. In 1853, he successfully lobbied for Ecuador to receive the Jesuits expelled from Colombia.

He soon won a senatorial election, but was exiled a second time before taking his seat. During his deportation, he diligently applied himself to study in France. He worked so hard that his health began to suffer. During this time, he wrote: "I recognize that I have abused my strength and nearly did myself more damage. Neither my head nor my strength are proportional to the energy of my will."1

Returning, he got involved in the cultural life of the country, where he fulfilled many important functions. In 1857, he was elected mayor of Quito and rector of the local university. As a senator, he gained notoriety for his fiery speeches. On April 2, 1861, he became President of Ecuador.

His Providential Mission: Free the Country from Chaos

Originally, Ecuador and Venezuela were part of a larger nation called Great Colombia, which was created by Bolívar in the early 1800s, after the war of independence.

When Great Colombia collapsed in 1830, Ecuador became a nation. Revolutions followed that threw the nation into chaos. Bad government and party resentments ravaged the country to such an extent, that the Catholic Church was the only unifying factor in Ecuador.  Garcia Moreno took advantage of this situation to mold the government after the Faith, which was deeply rooted throughout the nation.

His task was difficult because Catholics had been practically orphaned by a lax clergy that often failed in its duties. Seminaries were decadent, religious instruction was wanting and whole sections of the population were left without guidance. Ecuador needed a strong leader. Garcia Moreno was so well suited for this mission that even his detractors admit that he was the man Ecuador needed at that critical time.

Historian Calderón García describes Garcia Moreno’s character:

"Indefatigable, stoic, just, energetic in his decisions, admirably logical in his life, Garcia Moreno is one of the greatest personalities in the history of the Americas... In fifteen years he completely transformed his little country according to a vast political system that only death prevented him from completing. He was a mystic of the Spanish type, not satisfied with sterile contemplation, he needed action. He was an organizer and a creator."2

Throughout his entire administration, Church doctrine guided his actions. "His philosophy was inspired in the classical doctrine of Thomism."3

Resolution of the President: Concordat with the Holy See

When Garcia Moreno assumed the presidency, the Church in Ecuador was beset with insubordination, immorality and laxity, due largely to an abuse of authority that limited the power of the Holy See regarding religious affairs. The president immediately drafted a concordat to correct this abuse.

The document’s first article sets the tone, stipulating that the Catholic Church would continue to be the State religion and preserve the rights and prerogatives afforded Her by the Law of God and cannon law. All dissident worship was prohibited.

It states: "the instruction of the youth in the universities, high schools, colleges, public and private schools will all be in accordance with the Catholic Religion," 3rd article, in Ricardo Pattée, p. 151,  because "The Catholic Religion was one of the few bonds of Ecuadorian nationality... Catholicism is a force of political cohesion."4 Thus, "the fundamental articles [of the concordat] were not attacked, nor were amendments proposed to them."5

Consecration of Ecuador to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

However, Garcia Moreno’s adhesion to the Faith was not limited to internal affairs. When the Papal States were invaded in 1870, Garcia Moreno was the only ruler in the world to protest. He wrote to the Minister of Foreign Relations of Italy, decrying the Italian government’s robbery of pontifical land.

The grateful Pope sent him a Decoration of the First Class in the Order of Pius IX with a brief commendation, dated March 27, 1871.6

"As a manifestation of solidarity with the Holy See, [Garcia Moreno] decreed in 1873, that the Supreme Pontiff be sent ten percent of the state’s tithes."7

However, the most symbolic act of Garcia Moreno’s government was the ecclesiastical and civil consecration of the Republic to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. During its ceremonial consummation, the president affirmed: "I recognize the faith of the Ecuadorian people, and that Faith imposes on me the sacred obligation of conserving its deposit intact."8

Years before, a decree of the Constitutional Convention had declared the Virgin of Mercies Patroness of Ecuador.

Assassinated for His Devotion to the Catholic Faith
This government, led by the religious fervor of its president, worried the Masonic sects, which immediately began planning his assassination.

Perhaps Garcia Moreno foresaw his demise. During this time, he wrote to Pius IX: "What a treasure it is for me Holy Father, to be hated and calumniated for my love for Our Divine Redeemer. What happiness, if your blessing were to obtain for me from Heaven the grace of shedding my blood for Him, Who, being God, willed to shed His Blood for us on the Cross!"9

On August 6, 1875, Garcia Moreno entered the Cathedral to make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament. Conspirators interrupted his prayer to tell him he was urgently needed next door at the presidential palace.

Garcia Moreno immediately left the Church. While climbing the steps in front of the palace, a thug named Royo struck him in the back of the head with a machete, crying out: "death to the tyrant!" He then almost hacked off the president’s arms as he tried to fend off his assassin’s blows. Meanwhile, three accomplices shot him in the chest.
"God does not die!"

Mortally wounded, Garcia Moreno was then thrown down onto the plaza, where Royo struck him several more times on the head. While agonizing, he managed to wet his finger in his own blood and write on the ground: "Dios no muere" (God does not die).

He was carried quickly to the Cathedral, where he received Extreme Unction and rendered his soul to God.

Learning the sad news, Pius IX declared that Ecuador:

"Distinguished itself miraculously by the spirit of justice and the unshakable faith of its president, who showed himself always a submissive son of the Church, full of devotion to the Holy See and of zeal to maintain Religion and piety in his whole nation…

"So it was, that in the councils of darkness organized by the sects, those villains decreed the assassination of the illustrious President. He fell under the steel of an assassin as a victim of his Faith and of his Christian Charity."10  By José Maria dos Santos

Visit the Hall of Heroes:

1. Cartas Inéditas. Garcia Moreno to Roberto Ascásubi. Piura, April 20, 1855: in Ricardo Pattée, trans. Cecília F. Vargas, Garcia Moreno e o Equador de seu tempo (Editoria Vozes: Petrópolis, 1956) p. 126. [back]
2. Calderón García, Latin America: Its Rise and Progress (London: Unwin) p. 220, in Ricardo Pattée, p. 15. [back]
3. Ricardo Pattée, p. 329. [back]
4. Belisário Quevedo, Sociologia Política y moral (Quito: Editorial Bolívar) 1932, p. 54, in Ricardo Pattée, p. 152. [back]
5. J. Tobar Donoso, La Iglesia Ecuatoriana en el siglo XIX, Vol. I, in Ricardo Pattée, p. 159. [back]
6. "El National," n° 300, October 10, 1873, in Ricardo Pattée, p. 294. [back]
7. José Felix Heredia, La Consagración de la República del Ecuador al Sagrado Corazón de Jesús, Quito, Editorial Ecuatoriana, 1935, p, 198; in Ricardo Pattée, p. 295. [back]
8. E. MacPherson. [back]
9. E. MacPherson. [back]
10. The words of Pius IX, in a public audience in Rome, on September 20, 1875, in Gary Potter, Garcia Moreno, Statesman and Martyr, http://www.fisheaters.com/moreno.html. [back]

PHOTOS - America Needs Fatima and TFP Regional Conferences Across the Nation






All around the country, friends and supporters of the American TFP and its America Needs Fatima campaign gathered at regional conferences to discuss topics of concern to the nation.

This year, regional conferences were held in places like Lafayette, Louisiana, Topeka, Kans. and Hazleton, Pennsylvania. Still others were organized in Miami, Florida, Los Angeles, and Sacramento, Calif.  Friends and supporters in Hawaii also gathered together to welcome TFP speakers.

The TFP speakers addressed issues like socialism or egalitarianism. They launched books and provided insights and perspective. There were ample opportunities to talk and get acquainted. The TFP’s Regional Conference program is set up to introduce new friends to the TFP and provide support for old friends and activists in the areas.

Included with this article is a selection of photos from some of the 2011 Regional Conferences held this spring.

To read about the Louisiana Regional Conference, please click here.

For information about attending a regional conference in your area, please call (888) 317-5571.



Friday, May 27, 2011

God, tornados, tsunamis and volcanoes

You can get a free copy of the book published by America Needs Fatima, called "Sermons of Hope for Times of Natural Calamities: How God uses suffering for the salvation of mankind." 

It was written by Saint Alphonsus de Ligouri, Doctor of the Church.

Phone: 888-317-5571

Email: anf@americaneedsfatima.org

From Sacramento, CA, a lady writes:

"Hi, I received a booklet "Sermons of hope for times of natural calamities: How God uses suffering for the salvation of mankind." It's really good and I want to share it with others.  So, I would like to have 7 copies of it mailed to me."

With the tornado season is full swing, this book is timely reading.

Pro-life groups call for Pepsi boycott over aborted fetal cell lines

by Rebecca Millette

LARGO, Florida, May 26, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Scores of prolife groups are calling for a public boycott of food giant, PepsiCo, due to its partnership with Senomyx, a biotech company that uses aborted fetal cells in the research and development of artificial flavor enhancers.

LifeSiteNews previously reported on Senomyx’s partnership with major food corporations, most notably PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, and Nestlé. 

Pro-life watchdog group, Children of God for Life (CGL), is now joined by major pro-life organizations calling upon the public to target PepsiCo in a boycott.

Pepsi is funding the research and development, and paying royalties to Senomyx, which uses HEK-293 (human embryonic kidney cells) to produce flavor enhancers for Pepsi beverages.

“Using isolated human taste receptors we created proprietary taste receptor-based assay systems that provide a biochemical or electronic readout when a flavor ingredient interacts with the receptor,” says the Senomyx website.

“What they do not tell the public is that they are using HEK 293 – human embryonic kidney cells taken from an electively aborted baby to produce those receptors,” stated Debi Vinnedge, President for CGL, the watch dog group that has been monitoring the use of aborted fetal material in medical products and cosmetics for years.

The aborted fetal cells are not in the product itself. However, “there are many options PepsiCo could be using instead of aborted fetal cells,” noted Vinnedge.

The revelation about Senomyx’s research techniques motivated Campbell Soup to sever all relations with Senomyx.

However, PepsiCo continues their business relationship despite the abortion connection. They drew pubic ire earlier this year when they responded, saying, “our collaboration with Senomyx is strictly limited to creating lower-calorie, great-tasting beverages for consumers.”

When pressed further, PepsiCo sent out a form letter response saying they had been accused of conducting aborted fetal tissue research.

Bradley Mattes, executive director of Life Issues Institute, said, “While aborted fetal cells aren’t actually in the product itself, the close relationship is enough to repulse most consumers.  To our knowledge, this is the first time a food product has been publicly associated with abortion.”

The pro-life groups noted that additional companies collaborating with Senomyx will be targeted for boycott next.

The pro-life organizations are asking the public to boycott all Pepsi drink products and encourage consumers to contact Pepsi management requesting that they sever all ties with Senomyx.

For a list of Pepsi Beverages included in the boycott: http://pepsico.com/Brands/Pepsi_Cola-Brands.html

To Contact PepsiCo:

Jamie Caulfield, Sr. VP
PepsiCo, Inc.
700 Anderson Hill Road
Purchase, NY 10577
(914) 253-2000
Email form.

Edmund M. Carpenter, Chair, Corporate Development
Campbell Soup
1 Campbell Place
Camden, NJ 08103-1701
Email form

Pro-life groups joining CGL in the boycott to date are:  Life Issues Institute, American Life League,  Colorado Right to Life, American Right to Life, Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute, ALL Arizona, Central Nebraskans for Life, Pro-Life Waco, Houston Coalition for Life, Mother and Unborn Baby Fox Valley, Womankind, Billboards for Life, Movement for a Better America, Defenders of the Unborn, Focus Pregnancy Help Center, Idaho Chooses Life, EMC Frontline Pregnancy Centers of NY, Four Seasons for Life, CREDO,  Life Choices, STOPP Dallas, CA Right To Life, Human Life Alliance, International Right to Life Federation, Operation Rescue, Pro-Life Nation, LifeNews.com, and Mary’s Outreach for Women.

Vatican Cardinal warns of ‘silent apostasy’; says Catholic charities must evangelize


by John-Henry Westen

ROME, May 25, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In an address to the General Assembly of Caritas International today, Cardinal Robert Sarah, who heads the Vatican dicastery dealing with the church’s charitable institutions, stressed that the main mission of all Church groups, charitable groups included, was to bring people to Christ. 

“Today, dear Friends, the tragedy of modern mankind is not lacking clothing and housing. The most tragic hunger and the most terrible anguish is not lack of food,” he said. “It’s much more about the absence of God and the lack of true love, the love that was revealed to us on the Cross.”

Cardinal Robert Sarah

The assembly comes at a time of major restructuring for Catholic charities which especially in the West have been beset by loss of Catholic identity.  Funding of questionable groups by the charitable arms of the Canadian, American, British, French and Austrian Catholic Bishops conferences have had many Catholics calling for change.  While Bishops in these nations have been working toward reform, the Vatican is working to reform the umbrella group for them all - Caritas Internationalis.  LifeSiteNews reported in February that the General Secretary of Caritas was not permitted to stand for a second term in office due to concerns about ‘Catholic identity’ among other issues. 

Cardinal Sarah added, “Regarding coordination with the charitable organisations of the Church … it is not merely philanthropic and humanitarian assistance aimed at relieving a certain kind of distress, but also and above all it entails giving back to human persons all their dignity as children of God, and promoting an anthropology that also encompasses the religious dimension of human persons, namely their encounter with God.”

Cardinal Sarah quoted both Popes John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI decrying the “religious indifference, secularisation and atheism” of the West.

“Together with enormous material, scientific and technological progress, the West is now experiencing a serious moral regression and a gradual “silent apostasy”, he said.

“Undoubtedly, since the beginning of his papacy, Pope Benedict XVI has considered this ‘religious indifference’ and ‘silent apostasy’ as the major challenge the Church has to take up today in her relations with the modern world. Therefore, he is more determined than ever to make our minds more aware and our faith more visible and more active, in order to show the world that the Church’s mission is deeply rooted in faith in God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”

While some in Catholic development agencies have argued for a hands-off approach of fostering good works undertaken even by agencies at odds with the Catholic Church to end the structures of poverty and oppression, the Cardinal took a different approach.

“I believe it is important to understand that our charitable organisations are located within the Church and not alongside her,” he said. “A Caritas that wasn’t an ecclesial expression would have no meaning or existence. The Church cannot be considered as a partner of Catholic organisations. They are the organisations that take part in her mission.”

A recent debate over whether or not groups in the developing world should have the approval of local bishops prior to their receiving funding from Catholic charities in the West seems also to have been answered by the Cardinal. “So it is necessary that charitable organisations are really able to work in full communion and deep connection with the local bishop,” he said, “and in accordance with pastoral guidelines, in order to be fully integrated within the mission of the Church. “

See the full address here

An Arab Spring or Bloody Christian Killing Spree








The press is full of glowing reports of the so-called Arab Spring sweeping through the Middle East.  Chanting protesters demanding “democracy” are seen confronting brutal police force.

It is a narrative that is accepted without question by so many in the West who want to believe a transformation is taking place. Western governments are quick to offer aid.  In Libya, there is military intervention to safeguard the lives of innocent civilians.

While the Moslem world seems ready to embrace democracy, there are disturbing signs this particular brand of democracy is spelt with an “s” as in shariah law.  Organized radical Islamist groups like the Moslem Brotherhood are jockeying into position to ensure theirs is the dominant one.

However, one disconcerting aspect of the "democratic” Arab Spring is that the very people who complain of oppression are now themselves oppressing and killing Christians.  Indeed this May has proven to be part of a very bloody Christian Spring – and no one seems to be upset about it.

Among recent attacks, one reads of an angry mob of Muslims who threw rocks and firebombs at Christians gathered in Cairo to petition the new regime to reopen nearly 50 churches it shuttered. More than 65 were injured.

On May 8, attackers stormed and set ablaze the Virgin Mary Church in Cairo, shouting: "With our blood and soul, we will defend you, Islam." Twelve people were killed in these attacks and 232 wounded. These and other attacks have all taken place while Egyptian police and troops have done little or nothing to stop the violence which is quickly becoming systemic.

The persecution is not limited to Egypt.

In Tunisia shortly after former President Zine Abeddine Ben Ali’s fall, Father Marek Rybinski, a Poland-born Catholic priest, was murdered on the premises of an inter-denominational school in the Tunis suburban governorate of Manouba. All over the Middle East, the rumblings of revolts heighten the prospects of more repeats of such violence.

Many Christians in the region are considering leaving because they fear radical Islamists have hijacked the uprisings. Syrian Christians say ‘Arab Spring’ changes could hasten their own extinction.

Alas, it seems that it is open season on persecuting Christians not just in the Middle East but all over the world. Persecution of Catholics is happening in Nigeria, Ivory Coast, North Korea, Zimbabwe and many other places.

According to a March report of the Human Rights Watch (HRW), Christians in Vietnam increasingly face charges of national security crimes, severe abuse, property confiscation and forced renunciations of faith.

In early May, there were at least 49 dead, hundreds injured and an unspecified number of arrests in a wave of bloody repression unleashed by the security forces against the worshipers which included several Catholic groups in the Hmong community, an ethnic minority that lives in the northwest of the country and in Laos.

In April, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released its annual report, which flagged several incidents of horrific abuses of Christians in China​—​including “disappearances,” beatings, the destruction of churches, and forced “re-education through labor.” The same report also noted that China has found subtle ways of undercutting religious authority, creating divisions and quietly preempting the spread of free religious worship. Indeed, the commission’s report notes that “Chinese officials are increasingly adept at employing the language of human rights and the rule of law to defend repression of religious communities.”

While so many media support the “Arab Spring,” violence against Christians does not seem to move them to action. There is little outcry to defend Christians against bloodshed. There are no military interventions put in place to save persecuted Catholics. No one mentions the reality of today’s Bloody Christian Spring.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Study: It helps your life to think specifically about your own death

by John-Henry Westen

It was always a practice of Holy Mother Church to remind the faithful to contemplate their deaths as a way of striving to live a good life.  That practice has all but died nowadays, with sophisticated counsel never to dwell on the morbid or negative.

So secular psychology has had to resurrect the truth that contemplating one’s death is beneficial for one’s life.

Saint Joseph Patron of a Good Death  -- 9 day novena

A new study which will be published in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science had people either think about death in the abstract or in a specific, personal way and found that people who thought specifically about their own death were more likely to demonstrate concern for society.

Laura E.R. Blackie, a Ph.D. student at the University of Essex, and her advisor, Philip J. Cozzolino, recruited 90 people in a British town center. Some were asked to respond to general questions about death – such as their thoughts and feelings about death and what they think happens to them if they die. Others were asked to imagine dying in an apartment fire and then asked four questions about how they thought they would deal with the experience and how they thought their family would react.

Those who reflected on their own personal deaths were significantly more likely to care for society as measured by blood donation.

“Death is a very powerful motivation,” Blackie said. She said that when people are aware their life is limited, “That can be one of the best gifts that we have in life, motivating us to embrace life and embrace goals that are important to us.”

“In all thy works remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin”  Sirach 7:40

June is the month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Click here to request your free
Irresistible Novena to the Sacred Heart
prayer card!

Hope of a Hopeless World

If there is an age whose sole hope lies in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, it is our own. The evils committed by mankind today can scarcely be exaggerated. To mention just a few, these include blasphemy, the destruction of the family through abortion, divorce, euthanasia, widespread pornography, immoral fashions and lifestyles, homosexuality and so on.

As Pope Pius  XI once said, the contemporary world is so morally depraved that at any moment it could be plunged into a deeper spiritual misery than that reigning in the world when Our Blessed Redeemer was born. In consideration of so many crimes, the idea of divine vengeance naturally comes to mind. When we view this sinful world, groaning beneath the weight of a thousand crises and a thousand afflictions but nevertheless unrepentant.

When we consider the alarming progress of neo-paganism, which is on the verge of conquering humanity; and when, on the other hand, we consider the lack of resolve, foresight, and unity among the so-called remnant, we are understandably terrified at the grim prospects of catastrophes that this generation may be calling upon itself.


There is something liberal or Lutheran in imagining that so many crimes do not deserve punishment, that such a widespread apostasy of humanity is merely the fruit of some intellectual error without moral guilt. The reality is otherwise, for God does not abandon His creatures. Rather, He continuously assists and supports them with sufficient grace to aid them in choosing the right path.

If they choose to follow a way other than His, the responsibility is theirs.

Behold the grim picture of the contemporary world: on one hand, an iniquitous and sinful civilization and, on the other, the Creator holding high the divine scourge. Is there nothing left for mankind but fire and brimstone? As we face the dawn of the new millennium, can we hope for a future other than the scourge foretold by Sacred Scriptures for the final impenitence of the last days?

Were God to act solely according to His justice, there is no doubt what we should expect. Indeed, could we even have made it as far as this twentieth century? Nevertheless, since God is not only just but also merciful, the gates of salvation have not yet been shut against us.

A people unrelenting in its impiety has every reason to expect God’s rigor. However, He Who is infinitely merciful, does not want the death of this sinful generation but that it “be converted...and live” (Ezech.18:23). His grace thus insistently pursues all men, inviting them to abandon their evil ways and return to the fold of the Good Shepherd.

If an impenitent humanity has every reason to fear every catastrophe, a repentant humanity has every reason to expect every mercy.

Indeed, for God’s mercy to be poured on the contrite sinner, his repentance need not have run its full course. Even while still in the depths of the pit, if the sinner but sincerely and earnestly turn to God with a budding repentance in his heart, he will immediately find help, for God never disregards him.

The Holy Ghost says in Sacred Scripture: “Can a woman forget her infant…. And if she should forget, yet will not I forget thee” (Isa. 49:15). That is, even in such extreme cases where even a mother gives up, God does not. God’s mercy benefits the sinner even while divine justice cuts him down on the way of iniquity. Modern man cannot lose sight of these two basic concepts of divine justice and divine mercy—justice lest we dare presume that we can save ourselves without merits; mercy, so that we do not despair of our salvation as long as we repent and start anew.

God is charity, so the simple mention of the Most Holy Name of Jesus evokes love. It is the infinite, limitless love that drove the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity to become man. It is the love expressed in the utter humiliation of a God Who comes to us as a poor infant, born in a cave.

It is the love shown in those thirty years of hidden life spent in the humility of the strictest poverty, in the three grueling years of evangelization, when the Son of Man traveled highways and country roads, climbed mountains, crossed valleys, rivers and lakes, visited cities and villages, walked through deserts and hamlets, spoke to rich and poor, dispensing love and, for the most part, reaping ingratitude. It is the love manifested in that supreme moment of the Last Supper when, after generously washing the feet of His apostles, He instituted the Holy Eucharist.

It is the love of that last kiss bestowed on Judas, of that poignant look at Peter, of those insults received and born patiently and meekly, of those sufferings endured until the last drop of blood was shed. It is the love in that last pardon to the dying thief that enabled him to steal heaven. Finally, it is the love manifested in the supreme gift of a heavenly mother for a wretched humanity!

Each of these episodes has been painstakingly studied by the learned, wondrously reproduced by artists, devoutly contemplated by saints, and, above all, incomparably celebrated in the Divine Liturgy.

In venerating the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Church specially praises the infinite love demonstrated by Our Lord Jesus Christ to men. Since His heart is the symbol of love, by venerating His Heart, the Church celebrates Love.


Our Lady of the Sacred Heart

Many and beautiful are the invocations used by Holy Mother Church in reference to Our Blessed Lady. Yet, every single one of these clearly underscores her relationship to God’s love. Each celebrates either a gift of God to her, to which she was perfectly faithful, or some special power or influence she has with her Divine Son.

Now, what are God’s gifts but a special manifestation of His love? And what is Our Lady’s power of intercession with God in our favor but a sublime aspect of God’s special love for us? Thus, it is perfectly appropriate to call her Speculum Justitiae, “mirror of justice” on one hand and “omnipotent intercessor” on the other. She is the mirror of justice because God so loved her that He concentrated in her all perfections possible to a human creature.

In no other creature is He so well reflected as in her. Thus, she mirrors His justice perfectly. She is the omnipotent intercessor because no grace is obtained without Our Lady and there is no grace she cannot obtain for us. Thus, on invoking Mary as Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, we make a beautiful synthesis of all the other invocations; we recall the purest reflection of the Divine Maternity; we simultaneously strike all the chords of love in beautiful harmony, the same chords we strike when we recite her litany or sing the Salve Regina.

Yet, there is one other invocation of Our Lady that I especially wish to recall. It is “Advocate of Sinners.” Our Lord Jesus Christ is our judge, and as great as is His mercy, He nevertheless remains our supreme judge and cannot fail to exercise His judicial duty. But Our Lady is our advocate and does solely what an advocate is supposed to do—defends the accused. Do we not have in Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, the Advocate of Sinners, an all-powerful advocate before the bar of divine justice whose pleas for mercy will not be refused?

To say then, that Our Lady of the Sacred Heart is our advocate is equivalent to saying that we have an omnipotent advocate in heaven who holds the golden key to an infinite store of mercy. So, what better solution for a sinful humanity, a humanity that falls deeper into sin if justice is not mentioned but despairs of salvation if it is mentioned? By all means, let justice be mentioned; it is a duty; its omission has produced only sorry fruits.

But right alongside justice, which targets the sinner, let us never forget mercy, which helps the seriously repentant sinner to abandon sin and thus be saved as He desires with all His Heart—the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

by Plinio Correa de Oliveira

Toronto set to fund Toronto Pride to tune of several hundred thousand dollars

by Patrick B. Craine

TORONTO, Ontario, May 25, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The City of Toronto appears set to fund Toronto Pride with hundreds of thousands of dollars again this year after months of threats from city councilors and Mayor Rob Ford to pull funding.

Toronto Pride is seeking a $128,000 cultural grant from the city, in addition to about $250,000 of in-kind services such as police and garbage removal.  Though billed as “family-friendly,” the annual event has often been labeled a “sex parade,” as it regularly features people walking down the streets semi-nude or completely naked, and homosexuals engaging in public sex acts.

The funding controversy was not focused on the offensive nature of the Pride event itself, however, despite Mayor Ford’s professed belief in true marriage.  Instead, it centered around the involvement of the group ‘Queers Against Israeli Apartheid’ (QuAIA), which has been a major source of division within the Toronto homosexual community due to its controversial political aims.

After last year’s event, in which Pride allowed the group to march in an abrupt reversal only days in advance, Mayor Ford, then a city councilor, and fellow councilor Giorgio Mammoliti were able to convince the council to agree that no funds be given to Pride in 2011 should any group be allowed to march that violates the city’s anti-discrimination policy.

The city’s manager Joe Pennachetti had ruled earlier this year that the phrase “Israeli apartheid” does not violate the anti-discrimination policy, but Ford disagreed.

“If this group marches, they’re not going to get funded,” he said recently, according to the Toronto Sun. “It’s straightforward and we’ll take it from there.”

Pride agreed not to allow the group, and QuAIA itself said they would not take part, saying they didn’t want to be Mayor Ford’s “excuse” for cutting Pride’s funding.

“Rob Ford wants to use us as an excuse to cut Pride funding, even though he has always opposed funding the parade, long before we showed up,” said spokesperson Elle Flanders.  “We are forcing him to make a choice: fund Pride or have your real homophobic, right-wing agenda exposed.”

Mammoliti pressed further, however, insisting that Pride put it in writing that they wouldn’t allow QuAIA, a demand they refused.

Mammoliti relented at Tuesday’s council executive meeting, after hours of discussion featuring 50 speakers, saying he was satisfied with Pride’s verbal assurances they wouldn’t allow the group.  As a result, the executive committee voted to receive the city manager’s report.

Mammoliti told the Toronto Sun that because council is withholding the funds until after the event, they will be able to ensure the group does not participate.  “If QuAIA surfaces and does their thing and if Pride doesn’t attempt to squash them, then I will be moving forward, as some others, to hold the funding,” he said.

Though Mayor Ford professed his belief in the definition of marriage as one man and one woman during his campaign, he has insisted in the face of claims of ‘homophobia’ that his campaign donated $5,000 to Toronto Pride last year.

He has come under pressure from homosexual activists to walk in this year’s Pride parade, but has refused thus far to state whether or not he will participate.

Contact Information:

Mayor Rob Ford
Office of the Mayor
Toronto City Hall, 2nd Floor
100 Queen St. West
Toronto ON M5H 2N2
Phone: 416-397-FORD (3673)
E-mail: mayor_ford@toronto.ca

To find contact information for Toronto’s city councilors click here.

Series on perfect contrition: Part II: WHAT, THEN, IS PERFECT CONTRITION?


In a few words, perfect contrition is contrition based on the motive of love, and imperfect contrition is that which is based on the fear of God.

Perfect contrition is that which flows from the perfect love of God. Now, our love of God is perfect if we love Him because He is infinitely perfect, infinitely beautiful, and infinitely good (love of benevolence) or because He has shown us His love in such an admirable way (love of gratitude).

How to make an act of perfect contrition

Our love of God is imperfect, if we love Him because we expect something from Him.

Accordingly, in imperfect love, we think above all about the favors received, and in perfect love, we think above all of the goodness of the One who bestows these favors. Imperfect love makes us preferably love the favor itself, whereas perfect love makes us love the Author of these favors, and that less for His gifts than for the love and the goodness that these gifts manifest.

From love, contrition flows. As a result, our contrition will be perfect, if we repent of our sins for the sake of the perfect love of God, whether from benevolence or from gratitude.

It will be imperfect, if we repent of our faults owing to the fear of God, whether because sin has made us lose the reward that we have been promised, viz., heaven; or because we have earned the punishment imposed on the sinner, viz., hell or purgatory.

In imperfect contrition, we think particularly about ourselves and about the evils that sin brings to us, according to the light of faith. In perfect contrition, we especially think of God, His greatness, His beauty, His love, and His goodness; we consider sin an offense and that it has been the cause of the many sufferings endured to redeem us. We wish not only our own good, but that of God.

An example will help us grasp it better. When St. Peter had denied our Savior, "he went forth and wept bitterly." Why did he weep? Was it for the shame that he was going to endure in front of the other Apostles?

In such a circumstance, it would have been a purely natural pain and without merit. Is it because his divine Master is perhaps going to strip him of his dignity as an Apostle and Supreme Pastor, or drive him from His kingdom?

How to make an act of perfect contrition

In this case, the contrition would be good, but imperfect. No indeed! He repents, he weeps because he has offended his beloved Master, so good, so holy, and so worthy of love. He weeps because he has responded to that immense love with base ingratitude, and that is perfect contrition.

Now, don't you, too, dear reader, have the same motive as St. Peter to detest your sins, for the sake of love, for the sake of perfect love, and for the sake of gratitude?

Without any doubt, God's favors are more numerous than the hairs on your head and every one of them should make you repeat the words of St. John: "Let us love God, because He first loved us" (1 John, 4, 19).

And how has He loved you?

"I have loved thee," says God Himself, "with an everlasting love, I have had pity on thee and I have drawn thee to me" (Jer. 31, 3).

"With an everlasting love I have loved thee."

From all eternity, before there was even a trace of you upon the earth, He cast upon you this look of love that penetrates everything. He prepared for you a soul and a body, heaven and earth, with all the tenderness of a mother who prepares to welcome the child who is going to come into the world. It is God Who has given you life and heath; it is He Who gives you the good things of nature every day.

This idea was sufficient for the pagans themselves to bring them to the knowledge and the perfect love of God. For a greater reason, it should bring you there - you a Christian who possesses the love and the supernatural goodness of God for you. Through the prophet He says, "I have had pity on you."

You were condemned like all men as a result of original sin; God sent His only Son who became your Savior and redeemed you with His blood by dying on the cross.

It was of you that He lovingly thought in His agony in the Garden of Olives, when He shed His blood under the whips and the thorns, when He followed, carrying His cross, the long and painful path of Calvary; when, nailed upon the cross, He expired in the midst of ghastly torments, it was of you that He thought, with a tender love, as if you had been the only person in the world. What shall we make of that? "Let us love God, because He loved us first."

How to make an act of perfect contrition

Moreover, God drew you to Himself by baptism, which is the first and chief grace of life, and by the Church, in whose bosom you were then incorporated. How many men have been able to attain the true faith only through the strength of effort and sufferings! But to you, God gave it to you from the cradle, out of pure love. He drew you to Himself, He draws you every day by means of the sacraments and by numberless graces, interior and exterior, with which He showers you.

You are, as it were, submerged in an ocean, the ocean of goodness and divine love, and He wishes again to crown all these graces by placing you near Him and making you eternally happy. What will you give Him for such love?

Isn't it true that you must make a return for these advances? Then let us love our God, since He loved us first.

Let us come to the point: How have you responded to the love of a God so lovable and so good? Without doubt, by your ingratitude and by your sins. But do you repent of this ingratitude? Ah, yes, without any doubt, and you burn with a desire to make amends for it by a limitless love. Well, then, if that is so, you have at this moment perfect contrition, that which is based on the love of God and which is called contrition of love or of charity.

But in contrition of charity itself, there is a degree, more elevated yet, that consists in purely loving God, because He is infinitely glorious, infinitely perfect, and worthy of being loved, the abstraction of His mercy for us. Let us make a comparison. There are, in the firmament, a number of stars so distant from us that we cannot perceive them, and yet they are all as large and as bright as the sun that so freely imparts to us warmth and life.

Likewise, suppose that man had never been in possession of this eternal star that is God's love. Suppose that God had created neither the world nor any creature: He would be no less great, no less beautiful, no less glorious, no less worthy of being loved, for He is

Himself and in regard to Himself the greatest good, the most perfect, and me most lovable.

Such is the sense of the formula: I am heartily sorry...because You are infinitely lovable and You deplore sin. Reflect a moment and consider God's love; especially contemplate the Savior's bitter sufferings. In this light, you will easily understand, and it will pierce your heart through.

Here, then, are the practical means to achieve perfect contrition.

How to make an act of perfect contrition


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Our Lord Jesus Christ and the apostles to be mocked as homosexuals in the blasphemous play Corpus Christi – protest and sign urgent petition!

Please join America Needs Fatima in protesting the blasphemous play Corpus Christi that is scheduled to start showing at the San Pedro Playhouse in San Antonio, Texas.

According to the press reports, Corpus Christi includes a Christ-like figure that has homosexual relations with his apostles! Besides, the play uses Gospel passages in a contrived way. The New York Post, for example, reported:

'"Art Thou King of the queers?' McNally's Pontius Pilate character asks. 'Thou sayest,' Joshua answers."

You now have a unique chance to defend Jesus' honor by peacefully, but loudly raising your voice against this blasphemy.

CLICK HERE to send your protest message.

Although funded in most part by private donations, the San Pedro Playhouse does receive some money from the City of San Antonio.

For this reason, a copy of our protest message will be sent to the City of San Antonio as well as to the San Pedro Playhouse.

We protest – as we always do – in a totally peaceful and prayerful way.   Also, please pass on this protest message to your friends and family.

And, above all, pray and offer sacrifice to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in reparation for this blasphemy.

CLICK HERE to read and pray your prayer of reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.