Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Judges order trial on claims of anti-religious bias, discrimination

University blasted for intolerance of Christianity

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered a trial at the district level for a graduate level counseling student who was dismissed from her program for asking that a client with “gay” issues be referred to another counselor because as a Christian she could not affirm that lifestyle choice.

Read more:


BREAKING: Starbucks coffee co. officially backs homosexual ‘marriage’

by John-Henry Westen

SEATTLE, January 30, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In news that will come as a heavy blow to many coffee lovers, Starbucks has officially backed homosexual ‘marriage.’

In a January 24 letter to U.S. partners, Kalen Holmes, Starbucks executive vice president, expresses support for the homosexual “marriage” legislation in Washington State.  The “important legislation,” says Holmes “is core to who we are and what we value as a company.”

The legislation has been decried by pro-family advocates as a major threat to freedom, since it would force religious institutions to open the doors of their facilities for homosexual “marriages.”

The letter, which boasts of the company’s LGBT activism begins, “Starbucks is proud to join other leading Northwest employers in support of Washington State legislation recognizing marriage equality for same-sex couples.”

The letter concludes: “We look forward to seeing this legislation enacted into law.”

“I’m disappointed that Starbucks wants to redefine marriage, but I’m not in the least bit surprised,” Dr. Michael Brown, author of “A Queer Thing Happened to America,” told LifeSiteNews.com. “Already in 2005, they informed me in writing that, for them, ‘embracing diversity’ (which was one of their core values) included sponsorship of gay pride events even when highly inappropriate, sexual displays were paraded in public.

“At the same time, when I asked them to name a single pro-life event they sponsored, or an event encouraging teen-abstinence or the celebration of marriage (meaning, of course, natural marriage, as God intended it), their national representative told me plainly by phone, ‘I don’t like the way this conversation is going.’ So much for diversity! Christians need to recognize that Starbucks is on the front lines of gay activism and is anything but friendly to biblical, Judeo-Christian family values.”

LifeSiteNews did not hear back from Starbucks headquarters in Seattle by press time.

To express your view to Starbucks contact here.

The widowed Duchess de Montmorency who became a nun to follow St. Jane Frances de Chantal

Marie-Félice Orsini, Duchesse of Montmorency

Among the crowd of eminent or remarkable women called to the Visitation Order had been the widowed Duchess de Montmorency. She was by birth Maria Felicia Orsini, a niece of Pope Sixtus V., and a greatniece and goddaughter of Queen Marie de Medici. She had married at fourteen the Duke de Montmorency, the representative of the oldest noble house in France, as his war cry or legend still attests: “God aid the first Christian baron!” The duke, having joined with Gaston duke of Orleans in an effort to overthrow Richelieu’s power, was defeated at Castelnaudary, taken prisoner, and condemned to death. The pitiless Richelieu would not spare his noble prey, and Montmorency suffered on the scaffold with all the valor of his race.

Henri II, Duke of Montmorency, husband of Marie-Félice Orsini

Even the widowed duchess was not spared the anger of the vindictive minister, and she also was arrested and sent under guard to the castle at Moulins. As she was travelling through Lyons to her destination, she heard that Mother de Chantal was there, and wished to see her; but Richelieu’s orders were so imperative, that the poor prisoner was not allowed to do so. The duchess, therefore, was obliged to content herself with writing to Mother de Chantal, and begging a remembrance in her prayers. Mother de Chantal had returned an answer, assuring her that her present troubles were so many steps by which she should reach a great height in Christian virtue. At Moulins she was frequently visited by the tourieres of the Visitation, and having become well acquainted with the Order, the duchess had made up her mind, as soon as she was allowed, to exchange her prison in the castle for the convent without its walls; and in spite of all that the king, queen, and Duke of Orleans could urge, or the Duke of Bracciano, her brother, who besought her to live in Rome, she made her home in the convent at Moulins, where she lived not as a religious, but in great austerity and poverty, and dispensing her wealth freely upon the neighboring poor. Her progress in the spiritual life became so remarkable, that Mother de Brechard employed her in instructing the novices, and Mother de Chastelluz even put herself under her direction. Louis XIII., when passing through Moulins in 1642, and even Richelieu her injurer, sent messages to pay her their respects. She acknowledged all these honors with dignity; but begged that Richelieu might be told that her tears had never ceased to flow….

St. Jane Frances de Chantal

The duchess had made arrangements on taking the veil to found, with half her property, a Visitation convent at Toulouse, “for the daughters of the men who had slain her husband;” and to give up the remaining half for the use of the convent at Moulins. But Mother de Chantal refused both these offers. Looking now steadfastly from the border land on which she dwelt into the eternal life to come, she numbered up the infinite snares and delusions into which wealthy religious orders fall, and she obliged the duchess to promise to make over her whole property to her own family. One day when Mother de Chantal found the young widow dwelling upon the remembrance of her husband with tears, she had said to her a few earnest faithful words about the character of true resignation, which sank deeply in her heart. Madame de Montmorency then locked herself into her room, took out the one single beloved likeness of the duke, which for ten years had been blotted with her tears, and after looking at it as if to stamp the sacrifice upon her heart, she threw it into the fire.

Marie-Félice Orsini, Duchess of Montmorency, in the Visitantion habit

When Mother de Chantal heard of this heroic act, not required but voluntarily offered, she said that there was no need to interfere in any way with the duchess’s direction, for she was a true saint visibly guided by God Himself. And then she, on her part, made a sacrifice of a little miniature of Francis de Sales given her by himself, and having written on the back of it a few words, she gave it to the duchess, who valued it as a double relic. This is what Mother de Chantal wrote: “My blessed Father, obtain for Madame that sovereign love of God which may comfort and gladden her noble heart in all her afflictions. Amen, amen.”

Emily Bowles, The Life of St. Jane Frances Fremyot de Chantal (London: Burns & Oates, 1872), pp. 267-268, 271-272.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 147

Cuba: the great shame of our times -- entire generations of Cubans have been deprived from essential human rights

Anger is what the Cuban people must be feeling vis-à-vis the leaders of Latin America. Cubans, indeed, have only received sporadic leftovers of sympathy from their own region, as the bulk of Latin American governments and regional organizations tend to shun - whether by fear or by convenience - any quarrel with the longest tyranny in the history of that continent.

Read more:


Pro-Life Group Releases List of Most Pro-Life States

For the pro-life movement, 2011 was a banner year. According to the group Americans United for Life (AUL), a total of 47 state legislatures introduced 460 pro-life bills, ultimately implementing 70 laws designed to protect the unborn and their mothers. From de-funding Planned Parenthood, to informed consent laws, to measures designed to discourage abortion among minors, more states pushed more pro-life legislation than ever before.

Read more:


Monday, January 30, 2012

Young Catholics take the crusade for the family all across Brazil

This video shows young Catholics from the Institute Plinio Correa de Oliveria in Brazil campaigning for life and family on the streets.   This is very encouraging to watch, even if you cannot understand the dialogues in the Portuguese language.

Bishop calls on Saint Michael to defeat the enemies of the Church

Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria, Ill. has asked parishes, schools, hospitals and religious houses to insert the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel at Sunday Mass.

The move comes in response to a new federal requirement that will force many Catholic organizations to provide insurance coverage for sterilizations and contraceptives.

"It is God’s invincible Archangel who commands the heavenly host, and it is the enemies of God who will ultimately be defeated," the bishop said in a Jan. 24 letter to the Catholics of his diocese.

Read more:


St. John Bosco’s First Noble Patroness

January 30, 2012

Juliette Colbert

Juliette Colbert, a native of Vendée, had married Marquis Tancredi Falletti of Barolo, and of her it could be said, even as we read of Tabitha in the Acts of the Apostles: “This woman had devoted herself to good works and acts of charity.” Indeed, she used her abundant wealth to help the working classes and the poor. A most generous and alert woman, she used to say: “Whatever you give to charity is never lost. Let us not keep track of what we give. God will take care of that.”

Carlo Tancredi Fallett and Giulia Falletti Colbert di Maulevrer

She liked to visit the women’s  prisons where, with official authorization, she would spend from three to four hours every morning. Here she would endure insults and sometimes even blows. She accepted these humiliations, prayed and induced others to pray, gave generous alms, and thus was able to turn these wild creatures into repentant and resigned women…

Previously, at King Charles Felix’ request, she had brought to Turin the Sacred Heart Sisters to educate upper-class girls, and had placed at their disposal a large, magnificent villa not far from Turin…

Don Bosco, a man to appreciate noble deeds, knew full well that when a cholera epidemic had swept through Turin in 1835, this magnanimous lady, who was vacationing near Moncalieri, had hastened back to the city; day in and day out she had nursed the sick in private homes and hospitals, consoled the dying and promising to take care of their poor widows and children, which she faithfully did…

The venerable lady was now sixty years old. At this first meeting Don Bosco detected a great humility under her majestic demeanor, and sensed that her reserve and noble bearing were blended with the affability and kindness of a mother and of a lady given to charity. He was satisfied with this first interview.

Juliette Colbert

(The Biographical Memoirs of Saint John Bosco, by Fr. Giovanni Battista Lemoyne, 1839-1916)

The Glory of the Ladies

St. Marcella

(325–410)  She was a Christian ascetic in ancient Rome. Growing up in Rome, she was influenced by her pious mother, Albina, an educated woman of wealth and benevolence. Childhood memories centered around piety, and one in particular related to Athanasius, who lodged in her home during one of his many exiles.

He may have taken special interest in her, thinking back to his own youthful practice of playing church. Athanasius interacted with his hosts on theological matters and recounted anecdotes of his own monastic life. His most spellbinding stories, however, were the miraculous tales of the desert monks. As a parting gift he left behind the first copy of his biography, The Life of St. Anthony.

Marcella’s wealth and beauty placed her at the center of fashionable Roman society. She married young, to a wealthy aristocrat, but less than a year later he died. Her time of mourning over, young men soon came calling again. After her husband’s early death, she decided to devote the rest of her life to charity, prayer, and mortification of the flesh and was convinced that God was directing her to a life of poverty and service, she shocked her social circle when she left behind her fashionable dresses for a coarse brown garment and abandoned her usual extravagant hair styling and makeup.

Appearing as a low-class woman, she started a trend as other young women join her. They formed a community known as the brown dress society, spending their time praying, singing, reading the Bible, and serving the needy. Her palatial home was now a refuge for weary pilgrims and for the poor. After her husband’s early death, she decided to devote the rest of her life to charity, prayer, and mortification of the flesh.

Summoned by Bishop Damasus (who arranges lodging at Marcella’s hospitality house), Jerome arrived in 382. It was an exhilarating time for this woman of letters, who had immersed herself in both Greek and Hebrew, to be entertaining one of the great minds of the age. He spent the next three years in what he called her “domestic church,” translating the Bible into Latin. She learned under his teaching even as she critiqued his translation. He spoke and wrote of her Christian devotion and scholarship and commended her influence on Anastasius, bishop of Rome — particularly in his condemning Origen’s doctrines, which Jerome declared a “glorious victory.”

Indeed, his admiration of Marcella was unbounded, not only for her intellectual acumen but also for her deference to men who might be threatened by her vast store of knowledge.

Marcella, however, was also known for her efforts to restrain Jerome from quarreling with his opponents — or at least helping him control his legendary temper. Eleven of his extant letters are addressed to her, and she is mentioned in many of his other writings. In one of his letters he responded to her query about the truth of Montanism.

Someone was apparently attempting to convert her, and she was deeply interested in what she is hearing, though suspecting that the claim that they possess a more authentic spirituality might have been false. Jerome writes a lengthy point-by-point refutation of the movement and then concludes:

“It was at the home of Marcella that Jerome first met Paula, a devoted and scholarly woman who would become his long-time intellectual counterpart. When Jerome returned to the Holy Land, Paula relocated there as well. They invited Marcella to join them, but she remained in Rome to oversee her growing house of virgins, where she was addressed as Mother. But hard times were ahead of her. She was in her late seventies in 410, when the Goths, led by Alaric, pillaged the city. Soldiers stormed the residence, demanding she relinquish her hidden jewels and wealth, which long before had been sold to fund her charitable work. When she had nothing to give them, they struck her down. She was taken to a church set up as a sanctuary, but she died the next day.”

Her Aventine Hill palace became a center of Christian activity. She was an associate of Saint Paula. Saint Jerome corresponded with her, and he called her “the glory of the ladies of Cadereyta.” His letter To Principia is a memoir and biography of her life.

Her feast day 31 January.

Is Jubilee cooking contest illegal?

“The anti-monarchy group Republic is warning schools they may break the law if they take part in a cooking contest to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The contest, launched by the Duchess of Cornwall, is for 10 to 15-years-olds. But Republic says involving children in celebrations of the monarchy without teaching them about republicanism as well is a breach of the Education Act.”

Running from republican cooking

Read more here.

No word yet on what a republican cooking contest would cook up.

Occupy Wall Street protesters throw condoms, drown out speakers at Rhode Island pro-life rally

by Ben Johnson

PROVIDENCE, RI, January 30, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Demonstrators from the Occupy Wall Street movement threw condoms on Catholic schoolgirls, refused to allow a Catholic priest to give a closing prayer, and shouted down a pro-life speaker at a Rhode Island right to life rally on Thursday, according to its organizer. The event marked the third time protesters associated with the movement have disrupted a pro-life meeting in a week.

About two-dozen members of Occupy Providence hiked from Burnside Park to the 39th Annual Pro-Life State House Rally organized by the Rhode Island State Right to Life Committee on Thursday. 

The pro-life organization’s executive director, Barth E. Bracy, told LifeSiteNews.com that, near the end of the rally, the Occupiers “strategically fanned out with military precision.”

That’s when they “started showering condoms down on some of the girls from a Catholic high school.”

They gathered around speakers at the podium, shouting them down or otherwise jostling them and members of the audience.

Bracy, who finished only a quarter of his keynote address before being drowned out by chants and catcalls, said the Occupiers – who carried a large sign reading “Occupy Providence” and wore distinguishing arm bands – physically bumped several people. “They’re touching you. They’re swarming you,” he said.

The Providence chapter openly planned its actions on its Facebook page, Bracy said.

Bracy said he was disappointed when he tried to ask a man from the national Occupy Wall Street movement, who identified himself as “Dallas,” what opposing the right to life had to do with economics. http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/why-does-occupy-wall-st.-support-big-abortion “You can’t have a reasoned conversation with these people,” he said, “They simply try to taunt you. They’re smug, snarky, arrogant. You won’t get a straight answer.”

Dallas told Bracy he was on a 13-city national tour to teach Saul Alinsky tactics to local organizers.

“Their actions have made it loud and clear, whatever else they are, they are pro-abortion – and they are willing to attack the pro-life movement,” Bracy told LifeSiteNews.

Members of the Occupy movement, which putatively focuses on economic and financial issues, have begun aggressively demonstrating against those who advocate for the rights of the unborn.

Approximately 15 protesters from Occupy D.C. disrupted the March for Life Youth Rally in the nation’s capital last Saturday evening.

Last Monday, they disrupted a prayer service for the unborn in front of the Supreme Court.

“What they did yesterday was clearly the most outrageous and egregious thing they’ve done so far,” Bracy said on Friday. “I don’t know if this is a sign of what’s to come from them, but I think it’s important Catholics and pro-lifers know who these people are.”

However, such outrageous and offensive tactics may prove counterproductive for the pro-abortion movement. “They couldn’t have done us a bigger favor,” Bracy said. “We’re more popular with the legislators than we’ve ever been, because they’re absolutely appalled at their behavior.”

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Saint says modern pedagogy does not want to speak to children about eternal truths: death, judgment, and much less, hell

"God made me to know, love, and serve Him in this world in order to be happy with Him in the next."  Thus does the child correctly answer the catechism question of why God made him.

In consonance with this basic notion, Catholic education has traditionally meant fashioning the child's whole personality for the practice of virtue.  It thus produced children with consciences, in marked contrast to the troubled and problem children so prevalent today.

Modern schools have, for the most part, lost sight of - or utterly ignore -  the true finality of education. Let us look back then,   to a time when saints formed children, leading them along the path of virtue.

Following are some selected passages from the educational guidelines laid down by Saint John Bosco in the last century. These forgotten truths are every bit as timely now as then.

Novena to St. John Bosco

On music: "Any educational center without music is a body without a soul. Music educates, soothes, and elevates;  it is a most efficacious means for instilling discipline and contributing to morality."

On love for beauty: "The teacher must also help his charges perfect their sentiments for beauty. This is a natural sentiment, but it must be developed and perfected. All children have a capacity to appreciate the beauties of nature, art, and religion."
"I recall that when I was a boy my mother taught me to look up and gaze at the sky and to observe the marvels of the countryside. During the serene and starlit nights, she took me outside and showed me the heavens and said to me,  'It is God Who created the world and put so many beautiful stars above. If the firmament is so beautiful, how will paradise be?'

And when spring came around, with its wealth of flowers across the countryside, she would exclaim: 'How many beautiful things the Lord has made for us!' And when the clouds gathered, and the skies darkened and the thunder roared: 'How powerful the Lord is! Who can resist Him? Therefore, let us not commit sins.' And in winter, when all was covered with snow and ice, and we would gather together around the fire, she even amidst our poverty, would say: 'How grateful we should be to the Lord Who has provided us with all that is necessary! God is truly our Father: Our Father, Who art in heaven..."

On intellectual formation: "To cultivate only the intellect,  abandoning all the other human faculties, is to deform man."

"Intellectual education encompasses a series of norms, of practical measures and appropriate resources to provide the juvenile intelligence with the knowledge of letters and sciences indispensable and helpful for life. But the school should not presume to take the place of the family,  and much less the Church. School must teach in relation to life."

On moral formation: "All, or nearly all, educators see the development of the intellect as their principal responsibility to the child."

"However,  this displays a lack of prudence, for they do not understand—or else easily lose sight of—human nature and the reciprocal dependency of our faculties. They direct all their efforts to the development of the cognitive faculties and sentiments, which they erroneously and tragically confound with the faculty of love. In so doing, they completely disregard the sovereign faculty,  the will, which is the only source of true and pure love, and of which the sensibility is but a type of outward appearance."

"What is the obligation of the Christian teacher? According to the spirit of Jesus Christ and the practice of His moral law, the mother, the father or the teacher, must avoid giving a vitiated education to the children.  Providence has entrusted to them; their immediate end must be to direct the child along the path of sanctity, whose guideposts are renunciation and generosity. To communicate the spirit of sacrifice,  the teacher must direct his charges,  above all, to cultivate their reason and will without neglecting any of the other faculties."

Novena to St. John Bosco

On social formation: "Games are also social elements that should not be belittled. For this reason, we give them much importance. Games teach the child to control himself and not to injure or bother his companion:  to develop social sensibility, to increase habits of courtesy, affability, and manners,  to stimulate the exercise of justice and loyalty,  indispensable conditions not only for games but for all forms of social activity."

On religious education: "Education must develop in youth a passion for good and a hatred of evil. The teacher is duty-bound to understand that this is an effect of correspondence or lack of conformity to the will of God."

"One of the defects or vices of modern pedagogy is the reduction of religion to pure sentiment. For this reason, it does not want to speak to children about, or even name, the eternal truths: death, judgment, and much less, hell."

From Biografia y Escritos de San Juan Bosco, Madrid: B.A.C., 1955.


Saint John Bosco, father and teacher of the young, in need of special help, I appeal with confidence to you, for I require not only spiritual graces, but also temporal ones, and particularly...

(Mention intentions here)

May you, who on earth had such great devotion to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and to Mary Help of Christians, and who always had compassion for those who were suffering, obtain from Jesus and His Heavenly Mother the grace I now request, and also a sincere resignation to the Will of God.

Saint John Bosco, pray for us!

(Recite the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be)

When Saints formed children

Body of unborn baby discovered at Indiana sewage station

by John Jalsevac

January 24, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – City utility workers who were cleaning a screen at a pump house in Fort Wayne, Indiana made a gruesome discovery Monday: the body of an unborn child, estimated to be about 10-25 weeks gestation.

According to local media, the body of the unborn child was collected by police to be examined by forensics.

“We’re not treating it as a homicide,” said Raquel Foster, police spokeswoman. “It’s the coroner’s investigation. They’ll determine the age, and they’ll share their findings with us, and then we’ll go from there.”

“We don’t know whether this baby was aborted and then flushed into the sewer system by Fort Wayne’s local abortion clinic, or aborted at home using the RU-486 chemical abortion method, but both are strong possibilities,” said Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter.

The Indiana State Department of Health told the pro-life organization in response to inquiries that fetal remains prior to 20-weeks are classified as medical waste to be handled according to federal guidelines. Those guidelines list various methods for disposing of medical waste including, “Discharge in a sanitary sewer or septic system that is properly installed and operating in accordance with state and local laws.”

“The horrifying fact is that abortion clinics in Indiana can use garbage disposals and toilets to discard body parts into local sewer systems,” stated Fichter. “The degradation of the disposal process is second only to the degradation of destroying these lives in the first place.”

Fichter notes that the Fort Wayne baby may also have been aborted at home by a woman using the RU-486 chemical abortion method and subsequently flushed down a toilet.  ”A woman who has an RU-486 abortion is given a drug that kills her unborn child, followed by another powerful drug that causes cramping, bleeding, and the expulsion of the child,” said Fichter. 

“It is appalling that we even need to address this issue,” he said. “But when you realize that Indiana is giving the option of treating aborted children like common sewage, something needs to be done. The discovery of this little body in Fort Wayne should be a wake up call for us all.”

‘Captain Coward’: Behold our brave new sexually emancipated world

by Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

SANTA MARINELLA, Italy, January 23, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – What kind of man sneaks away under cover of darkness from his own sinking ship, leaving nearly 4200 passengers and crew to fend for themselves? What kind of men knock aside old ladies, little girls and young mothers to get to lifeboats first? Why, modern men, sexually emancipated men who have been raised on the tenets of feminism and our “contemporary” mores.

What can an expression like “women and children first” mean to modern men who have been taught all their lives that women are nothing more precious than sexual playthings, and children nothing more than a disposable burden?

The capsizing of the Costa Concordia, one of the biggest cruise ships plying the Mediterranean, filtered into the English language press a week later and everyone has now heard the recorded phone conversation in which coast guard captain, Gregorio De Falco, furiously orders the ship’s captain, Francesco Schettino, to return to his vessel. Schettino replied by repeatedly lying, while trying to flee in a lifeboat.

Passengers were left to rescue themselves aided by hired entertainers and a few crew members. One woman was quoted saying, “There were big men, crew members, pushing their way past us to get into the lifeboats.” Another passenger, a grandmother, said, “I was standing by the lifeboats and men, big men, were banging into me and knocking the girls.”

Francesco Schettino ("Captain Coward") has become the world's most hated man. But is he so much worse than any other modern, sexually emancipated man, raised under the tenets of feminism?

In the first days after the Costa Concordia tipped over in shallow water 300 yards from shore, all of Italy was gripped by shame at reports of Schettino’s behavior. He was arrested after he got to shore and charged with involuntary manslaughter and abandoning his ship. He was caught trying to get into a taxi, having reportedly asked the driver to “get me as far away from here as possible.”

Nicknamed “Captain Coward,” Schettino has become the focus of national fury for Italians fed up with the all too frequently accurate stereotype of Italian men as vain, feckless, irresponsible, selfish and untrustworthy permanent adolescents.

But the problem is not limited to Italy. It seemed apropos that the same week bad-boy American Catholic apologist Michael Voris was doing a series of videos on the emasculation of men and the effects of feminism on the Catholic Church and the world in general, a topic few in the Church dare to broach.

In one video, Voris mentioned the type of men who are approved by the feminist-controlled media: weak, stupid and ineffectual, who need to be ruled over by strong, hip, intelligent women. In the last 50 years, the Catholic institution has followed the world in adopting the feminist model. That ideal, Voris says, has driven strong men out of the Church and out of family life, pushing them to find a channel for their masculinity in unhealthy avenues like criminality and the objectification of women.

After watching one video, I sent Michael an email asking that he remember to talk about the flip side of feminism’s misandry, its vilification and demonisation of masculine strength. According to the tenets of the ideology, strong men are violent, evil and terrifying. Instead of heroes protecting women and children, feminism depicts strong men as brutal monsters, wife-beaters and child abusers.

The Costa Concordia disaster brought into the limelight the effects on men of feminism, and her strumpet daughter, the Sexual Revolution. Feminism has killed the cultural priority of men protecting and being responsible for women. In one video, Michael Voris spoke of the “hero’s journey,” the traditional western cultural archetype of the boy who leaves home, faces and overcomes adversity and becomes a man capable of protecting a family. But our feminist-inspired anti-culture, coupled with a soul-deadening consumerist materialism, has tossed these concepts out.

By telling women they don’t need men, by demonizing the value of masculinity, feminism has at the same time told men that they never need to grow up. If feminism has told women they can sleep around “like men,” it must be remembered that this implies that men may do the same right back. Instead of insisting that men grow up, marry a woman and protect and care for their children, it has offered men women as toys while offering women the Pill, abortion and family court as the back-up plan. Feminism defines “equality” as men and women competing equally in the labour market and using each other equally as objects.

A while ago, I read an interesting, though deeply frightening, website that claimed to be in support of men against the feminist world. In one article, the clearly angry men pointed out an unjust double standard in family law. The legal system, now held firmly in the feminist claw, holds them financially responsible for the children they father when they split from the mother. The article pointed out, however, logically enough, that at the same time feminism demands that contraception and abortion be freely available. Why then, if women are now allowed to use men as sexual objects, should a man ever be held responsible for fatherhood? Why should men be routinely financially ruined by family courts when abortion is legal, a lot cheaper and easy to get?

Why indeed? Feminism, because it is essentially dishonest, childish and self-serving, will never own up to the logical conclusions of its premises.

Recently, the popes have written against the kind of feminism that promotes abortion and contraception while hammering a wedge of hostility between men and women. Universal promiscuity, contraception, legal abortion, easy divorce, together with a youth-worshipping, madly materialist culture, they have said, has created an atomized society of isolated consumers for whom all relationships routinely end in abandonment. A vast cultural catastrophe that leaves children without fathers, tells women they don’t need men, and men they can remain happy, care-free adolescents their whole lives.

This message seems to have come through especially loud and clear in Italy where it is only too easy to find men who are the embodiment of the self-indulgent stereotype. The effeminate man-child is a plague in Italy; vain, self-important, shallow and self-seeking mamma’s boys who live in their parents’ house into their thirties and forties.  The once-family oriented Italians are increasingly either divorcing or refusing to marry in the first place.

Italian journalist Rosaria Sgueglia writes in the Huffington Post that the former master of the Costa Concordia is one of those Italian men who match the stereotype point for point. Italians are “furious,” she wrote, at “people like Mr. Schettino [who] do nothing but compromise the already damaged image the rest of the world has of Italian people.”

“The average Italian man is said to be narcissist, egomaniac, coward, selfish, unable to follow basic procedures and unable to follow the rules. True or not, it’s a stereotype, a stereotype which is strongly proved by the latest, tragic events in Italy.”

While Italians vent their fury on Francesco Schettino for being everything they hate about themselves, it must be remembered that many countries were represented in the crew roster of the Costa Concordia. The disaster has the fingerprints of our poisoned and dying western culture all over it.

Reading the reports of the Costa Concordia, I could not help but recognize the results of our society’s new priorities. Many observers made the comparison with the Titanic disaster. One hundred years ago, 1st class men lifted steerage class women and children into lifeboats in the full knowledge that they were giving their lives. The captain of that ship was last reported seen holding a child in his arms seeking a way to save her. A hundred years later, we have a coast guard officer shouting at “Captain Coward” to “Vada a bordo, cazzo!” … Get on board, damn it!

Behold our brave new sexually emancipated world.

‘To Hell with you!’ That’s what Obama just told Catholics, says bishop

by Kathleen Gilbert

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania, January 27, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Saying it’s “really hard to believe that it happened,” the bishop of Pittsburgh has taken aim at the Obama administration’s birth control mandate.

“It comes like a slap in the face. The Obama administration has just told the Catholics of the United States, ‘To Hell with you!’” wrote Bishop David Zubik in a hard-hitting column appearing on the diocese’s website. “There is no other way to put it.”

Bishop David Zubik

Catholic bishops have been up in arms ever since the administration indicated it would force virtually all employers to cover all birth control, including drugs that can cause early abortions, like Plan B and ella. Last week, Catholic Church leaders were aghast to hear that, upon further consideration, the administration had refused to back down, instead simply giving outraged faith-based groups another year to comply with the mandate.

Zubik said the unilateral mandate “undermines the democratic process itself” and represents an unprecedented attack on conscience rights.

“This is government by fiat that attacks the rights of everyone – not only Catholics; not only people of all religion,” he said. “At no other time in memory or history has there been such a governmental intrusion on freedom not only with regard to religion, but even across-the-board with all citizens.

“It forces every employer to subsidize an ideology or pay a penalty while searching for alternatives to health care coverage. It undermines the whole concept and hope for health care reform by inextricably linking it to the zealotry of pro-abortion bureaucrats.”

The bishop lamented that the many voices of Catholics protesting the mandate when it first was announced this summer had fallen on deaf ears, and urged even more persistent protest be directed at the president, Secretary Sebelius, and those in Congress.

“Could Catholics be insulted any more, suggesting that we have no concern for women’s health issues?” he wrote. The Catholic Church and the Catholic people have erected health care facilities that are recognized worldwide for their compassionate care for everyone regardless of their creed, their economic circumstances and, most certainly, their gender. In so many parts of the globe – the United States included – the Church is health care.” 

“We’ll give you a year, they are saying, and then you have to knuckle under.”

Anti-abortion advocates protest University of Scranton speaker

By David Falchek (Staff Writer)

Another showdown between a local Catholic institution and the Bishop of Scranton erupted Saturday, with conservative Catholic groups entering the debate on the side of Bishop Joseph Bambera.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/anti-abortion-advocates-protest-university-of-scranton-speaker-1.1264036#ixzz1krv1I1q1

Note: Funny how the news report has a picture of the TFP band, but does not say the band’s name.  All they say is “ A band and bagpipers join protesters outside the Cathedral Prayer Garden for an anti-abortion rally critical of the University of Scranton allowing a speaker on campus who is pro-abortion rights.”

Pro lifers rally against pro-abortion speaker at Catholic University in Scranton

By Matt Hughes mhughes@timesleader.com

SCRANTON – More than a hundred anti-abortion advocates protested former Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies’ appearance at The University of Scranton Saturday with a rally near the campus.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/Anti-abortion_protesters_rally_against_U_of_S_speaker_01-29-2012.html#addPhotos#ixzz1kruJHOE8

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Bishop blasts secularist intolerance, calls for ‘assertive action’ to defend Church

Noting that “American Catholics have in recent decades become remarkably passive even in the face of relentless hostility from the media, the entertainment industry, and now from some politicians,” Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria has issued a pastoral letter on secularism.

Read more:


March for Life Draws Multitude of Pro-Life Youth

By William Stover

Watch what the media won't show you...

Rising early on the morning of January 23, volunteers of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, as well as the young participants of the TFP Student Conference attended Mass, spiritually preparing for the day’s events.  After Mass and a few final provisions, we began the drive to Washington D.C.  Our destination: The 39th annual March for Life.

We were prepared by a weekend of talks, culminating with addresses by His Imperial and Royal Highness Prince Bertrand of Orleans-Braganza and His Highness, Duke Paul von Oldenburg.  In his speech, Duke Paul particularly highlighted the leading role that American Catholic counter-revolutionaries must play in the global struggle against the sin of abortion.

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Student Conference
Other talks elaborated on such varied topics as the anarchic underpinnings of the “Occupy” movement, and the growth of Satanism. Of particular interest was a lecture by Professor David Magalhães of the University of Coimbra, Portugal.  Professor Magalhães outlined the growing threat of same-sex “marriage,” and why it must be opposed.  He also used his background as a law professor to debunk the homosexual lobby’s attempt to find a precedent in Roman law to justify the legalization of same-sex “marriage.”

Spurred on by these lectures, and motivated by the nobility of the pro-life cause, we were ready and willing to brave the rainy weather.

As the march began, the TFP band played such favorites as Hail Holy Queen, God Bless America and the Marine’s Hymn. Complete with a full complement of instruments, including six bagpipes, the band tirelessly played song after song as thousands marched by.  The statue of Our Lady of Fatima was escorted up Constitution Avenue by TFP volunteers in their ceremonial habits.

The flyer was extremely well-received with thousands upon thousands being given out. Responses such as “St. Michael? That’s awesome!” and “Thanks for being here, you’re doing great work!” were commonplace.  A small child, upon being shown the picture of St. Michael by his mother, exclaimed: “I love St. Michael; he’s the best!” Also popular was the offer of a free St. Michael’s chaplet of which many people planned to take advantage.

Prince Bertrand and Duke Paul also honored us with their active presence at the march.

Once again, the march served to show that Americans oppose the sin of abortion.  In opposition to the several hundred thousand pro-lifers, there were a scant handful of “pro-choice” activists (read anti-life).  In spite of rain and frigid temperatures, approximately 350,000 people converged on Washington to pray and fight for the end of abortion.

About 50,000 Walk for Life in San Francisco, California – 2012

2012 Louisiana Life March, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
(About 4,000 pro-lifers attend

Hungary defies liberal pressure with conservative family law

Hungarian leaders have passed a law protecting the traditional family, defying ongoing criticism that their new constitution would curtail abortion and homosexuality.

The new law says the family, based upon marriage of a man and a woman whose mission is fulfilled by raising children, is an "autonomous community...established before the emergence of law and the State" and that the State must respect it as a matter of national survival. It says "Embryonic and fetal life shall be entitled to protection and respect from the moment of conception," and the state should encourage "homely circumstances" for...

Read more:


Young Americans lean pro-life, but may accept same-sex marriage

Survey data show that young Americans are leaning more heavily against abortion. But the polls show that the same young respondents are more likely than their parents to accept same-sex marriage.

Read more;


Friday, January 27, 2012

In Need of Spiritual Help? -- Novena to St. John Bosco


With St. John Bosco’s feast coming up on January 31, you may want to pray to him and ask for some special intention.



In need of special help, I appeal with confidence to you, Saint John Bosco, for I require not only spiritual graces, but also temporal ones, and particularly...

(add your personal intentions here)

May you, who on earth had such great devotion to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and to Mary Help of Christians, and who always had compassion for those who were suffering, obtain from Jesus and His Heavenly Mother the grace I now request, and also a sincere resignation to the Will of God.

(Recite the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be)

The Nation’s Strongest Pro-Life Legislation Advances to State Senate


Katelyn Evans 614-395-8404
Lori Viars 513-932-3554
or Mary Katherine Collins 813-482-4838

June 28, 2011 – For Immediate Release
The full Ohio House of Representatives voted 54–44 to pass the Heartbeat Bill (sub. H.B. 125) this afternoon at the Statehouse in downtown Columbus.

Sponsored by Rep. Lynn Wachtmann, the chair of the House Health Committee, the Heartbeat Bill would give legal protection to every pre-born child in Ohio that has a detectable heartbeat.

“For every battle weary pro-lifer who didn't see how children were going to be protected in our lifetime, come see what God is doing in Ohio. Protection for babies with beating hearts is within reach for the first time since Roe stripped their rights away. I have never been more hopeful for restoring protection to babies with beating hearts than I am right now,” declared Janet (Folger) Porter, president of Ohio-based Faith2Action and a
former legislative director for Ohio Right to Life.

In meetings with bill supporters, several of the state senators have expressed interest in serving as a sponsor or co-sponsor for the bill.  Janet Porter is available for media interviews. Details on the Heartbeat Bill can be found at


No Man Has Greater Love Than This

St. Peter Nolasco

Born at Mas-des-Saintes-Puelles, near Castelnaudary, France, in 1189 (or 1182); died at Barcelona, on Christmas Day, 1256 (or 1259). He was of a noble family and from his youth was noted for his piety, almsgiving, and charity. Having given all his possessions to the poor, he took a vow of virginity and, to avoid communication with the Albigenses, went to Barcelona.

St. Pedro Nolasco has a vision of Jerusalem. Painting by Francisco de Zurbarán

At that time the Moors were masters of a great part of the Iberian peninsula, and many Christians were detained there and cruelly persecuted on account of the Faith. Peter ransomed many of these and in doing so consumed all his patrimony. After mature deliberation, moved also by a heavenly vision, he resolved to found a religious order (1218), similar to that established a few years before by St. John de Matha and St. Felix de Valois, whose chief object would be the redemption of Christian slaves. In this he was encouraged by St. Raymond Penafort and James I, King of Aragon, who, it seems, had been favoured with the same inspiration. The institute was called Mercedarians (q.v.) and was solemnly approved by Gregory IX, in 1230. Its members were bound by a special vow to employ all their substance for the redemption of captive Christians, and if necessary, to remain in captivity in their stead. At first most of these religious were laymen as was Peter himself. But Clement V decreed that the master general of the order should always be a priest.

cfr. Acta SS.; DE VARGAS, Chronica sancti et militaris ordinis B. M. de Mercede (Palermo, 1619); GARI Y SIUMELL, Bibliotheca Mercedaria (Barcelona, 1875); MARIN, Histoire de l’eglise (Paris, 1909).

Mercedarians (Order of Our Lady of Mercy)

Foundation of the Order of Mercy, part of the center altarpiece of the Cathedral of Barcelona.

A congregation of men founded in 1218 by St. Peter Nolasco, born 1189, at Mas-des-Saintes-Puelles, Department of Aude, France. Joining Simon de Montfort’s army, then attacking the Albigenses, he was appointed tutor to the young king, James of Aragon, who had succeeded to the throne after the death of his father, Pedro II, killed at the battle of Muret. Peter Nolasco followed his pupil to his capital, Barcelona, in 1215. From the year 1192 certain noblemen of that city had formed a confraternity for the purpose of caring for the sick in hospitals, and also for rescuing Christian captives from the Moors. Peter Nolasco was requested by the Blessed Virgin in a vision to found an order especially devoted to the ransom of captives. His confessor, St Raymond of Pennafort, the canon of Barcelona, encouraged and assisted him in this project; and King James also extended his protection. The noblemen already referred to were the first monks of the order, and their headquarters was the convent St. Eulalie of Barcelona, erected 1232. They had both religious in holy orders, and lay monks or knights; the choir monks were clothed in tunic, scapular, and cape of white. These religious followed the rule drawn up for them by St Raymond of Pennafort. The order was approved, first by Honorius III and then by Gregory IX (1230), the latter, at the request of St Raymond Nonnatus presented by St Peter Nolasco, granted a Bull of confirmation and prescribed the Rule of St. Augustine, the former rule now forming the constitutions (1235). St. Peter was the first superior, with the title of Commander-General; he also filled the office of Ransomer, a title given to the monk sent into the lands subject to the Moors to arrange for the ransom of prisoners. The holy founder died in 1256, seven years after having resigned his superiorship; he was succeeded by Guillaume Le Bas.

La Mercè Basilica, in Barcelona, was built in 1267.

The development of the order was immediate and widespread throughout France, England, Germany, Portugal, and Spain. As the Moors were driven back, new convents of Mercy were established. Houses were founded at Montpelier, Perpignan, Toulouse, and Vich. The great number of houses, however, had a weakening effect on the uniformity of observance of the rule. To correct this, Bernard de Saint-Romain, the third commander general (1271), codified the decisions of the general chapters. In the fourteenth century, disputes arose from the rivalry between the convents of Barcelona and Puy, and from the discord between the priests and knights, which ended in the latter’s suppression, disturbed the peace of the order. Christopher Columbus took some members of the Order of Mercy with him to America, where they founded a great many convents in Latin America, throughout Mexico, Cuba, Brazil, Peru, Chile, and Ecuador. These formed no less than eight provinces, whereas they only had three in Spain and one in France. This order took a very active part in the conversion of the Indians. At the beginning of the seventeenth century Father Gonzales, who had made his profession in the convent of Olmedo in 1573, conceived the idea of a reform, at that time necessary. The commander-general, Alfonso de Montoy, at first supported this scheme, but ended by opposing it. In this undertaking, Gonzales was assisted by the Countess of Castellan, who obtained for him the necessary authorization from Clement VIII, and presented him with three convents for the reformed monks (at Viso, Diocese of Seville; Almoragha, Diocese of Cadiz; Ribas). The reform was confirmed at the provincial chapter of Guadelajara in 1603. Father Gonzales took the name of John Baptist of the Blessed Sacrament, and died at Madrid in 1618. Paul V approved his reform in 1606; in 1621 Gregory XV declared it independent of the monks of the Great Observance. Their convents formed two provinces,with houses at Madrid, Salamanca, Seville, and Alcalá, with a few foundations in Sicily.

Father Antoine Velasco founded a convent of nuns of Our Lady of Mercy at Seville in 1568, of which the first superioress was Blessed Ann of the Cross. This foundation had been authorized by Pius V. The reformed branch also established houses of barefooted nuns, or Nuns of the Recollection, at Lura, Madrid, Santiago de Castile, Fuentes, Thoro, and elsewhere. The female tertiaries go back to the very beginning of the order (1265). Two widows of Barcelona, Isabel Berti and Eulalie Peins, whose confessor was Blessed Bernard of Corbario, prior of the convent there, were the foundresses. They were joined by several companions, among them St. Mary of Succour (d. 31 Decemb., 1281), the first superior of the community. Blessed Mary Anne of Jesus (d. 1624) founded another community of tertiaries, under the jurisdiction of the reformed branch. The Order of Mercy of late years has much decreased in membership. The restoration of the reformed convent at Thoro, Diocese of Zamora, Spain, is worthy of note (1888). At present the order has one province and one vice-province in Europe, and four provinces and two vice-provinces in America, with thirty-seven convents and five to six hundred members. The Mercedarian convents are in Palermo; Spain; Venezuela (Caracas, Maracaibo); Peru (Lima); Chile (Santiago); Argentina (Cordova, Mendoza); Ecuador (Quito); and Uruguay. The Mercedarians of Cordova publish “Revista Mercedaria”.

Mercedarias Descalzas Convent in Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Besides the founder, St. Peter Nolasco, the following illustrious members of the order may be mentioned: St. Raymond Nonnatus (d. 1240), the most famous of the monks who gave themselves up to the work of ransoming captives; Blessed Bernard of Corbario, already mentioned; St. Peter Paschal, Bishop of Jaen, who devoted all his energies to the ransom of captives and the conversion of the Musselmans, martyred in 1300; St. Raymond was a cardinal, as also were Juan de Luto and Father de Salazar. It is unnecessary to enumerate the archbishops and bishops. Writers were numerous, especially in Spain and Latin America in the seventeenth century. To mention only a few: Alfonso Henriquez de Almendaris, Bishop of Cuba, who founded a college for his order at Seville, and from whom Philip III received an interesting report on the spiritual and temporal condition of his diocese in 1623; Alfonso de Monroy, who drew up the constitutions of the reform, and who was a bishop in America; Alfonso Ramón, theologian, preacher, and annalist of his order; Alfonso Velásquez de Miranda (1661), who took a considerable part in political affairs; Fernando de Orio, general of the order, who translated and learnedly commented on Tertullian’s treatise “De Poenitentia”; Fernando de Santiago (1639), one of the favourite preachers of his time; Francisco Henríquez; Francisco de Santa Maria; Francisco Zumel; Gabriel de Adarzo (1674), theologian, preacher, and statesman; Gabreil Tellez (1650), dramatic author; Gaspar de Torrez, Bishop of the Canary Islands; Pedro de Ona, whom Philip III sent on important missions both in America and in the Kingdom of Naples.

Fr. Francisco Zumel Painting by Francisco de Zurbarán

(1913 Catholic Encyclopedia)

What the EU cultural war against Hungary is really about

M. Article
(1) Hungary protects the institution of marriage between man and woman, a matrimonial relationship voluntarily established, as well as the family as the basis for the survival of the nation.
(2) Hungary supports child-bearing.
(3) The protection of families is regulated by a super majority law.

II. Article
Human dignity is inviolable. Everyone has the right to life and human dignity; the life of a foetus will be protected from conception.

The Constitution also has a preable beginning with the words “Isten áldd meg a magyart” (“God bless the Hungarians” – the first words of the national anthem).

It is a Constitution based on Christian values. The opposition, consisting of the ex-communist MSZP, the extremist right-wing “Jobbik” Party and the Green-Liberal Party “Politics can be different” (Lehet Más a Politika) voted against it, which however did not prevent it from being adopted with the necessary 2/3 majority.

6. The media attacks against the current Hungarian Government can thus to a large extent be explained as a culture war against the Christian values that are expressed in the new Constitution.

Read more:


March for Life Shows Next Generation Solidly Pro-Life

They say a picture is worth a 1,000 words. I think this photo says it all:

This screen shot comes from FOX News’ coverage of the March for Life on Monday night. And here, prominently displayed for the entire nation to see, are Students for Life of America’s new signs. This was just the icing on cake for what was an AMAZING weekend for us!

On Sunday, we hosted our National Conference, where over 2,000 students from around the country joined us to learn how to be better pro-life leaders on their campuses and in their communities. They got to hear from the nation’s top pro-life leaders, including Lila Rose, David Bereit and Former Governor Mike Huckabee – all of whom were excited to be a part of the day.

Read more:


Why does Occupy Wall St. support Big Abortion?

by Ben Johnson

January 26, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - It seems the definition of an Occupy Wall Street protester is someone who believes every businessman will lie, cheat, skirt health and safety regulations, mislead public officials, and harm or even kill his customers in order to make a profit – except for an abortionist.

On Saturday evening demonstrators from Occupy D.C., the local affiliate of the Occupy Wall Street movement, harassed the teenagers at the March for Life Youth Rally. Jumping out of their seats on cue, they waved flimsy paper signs and chanted phrases like, “Not the church. Not the state. Women must decide their fate.” They shouted down the pro-life presenters until the first sign of security guards, at which time the occupation beat a hasty retreat.

Intrigued, I followed them out to find out more. When one of the crowd said they were with the anti-corporate protest group, I wanted to learn why they chose this target. “What does this have to do with Wall Street?” I asked the young man. “When people think of Occupy Wall Street, they think of Wall Street – economics, income distribution, financial issues. What does abortion have to do with capitalism?”

I anticipated a number of answers, but not the one he gave me. 

He responded that the group cared about economics, but “this is an important issue, too. We believe women should decide what they do. Not the church. Not the state. You can’t get pregnant.” (In fairness, neither could he.) Another voice in the crowd said something about protecting funding for Planned Parenthood.

Perhaps sensing these answers did not help his cause, another young man intervened. “He’s going to edit this to make you look bad,” he said. After bumping into me, he snapped, “Don’t touch me!” After showing I was not intimidated, he slunk away. Ultimately, so did all his compatriots.

Their intimidation and singularly inarticulate rationale raises big questions: Why was this anti-capitalist movement agitating for the top one percent? Why does Occupy Wall Street support Big Abortion?

The American Life League’s Stop Planned Parenthood (STOPP) International has released a new report showing that 27 percent of the CEOs at Planned Parenthood offices have a base salary of $200,000 a year or more, not including bonuses or other forms of incentive pay. The national organization’s president, Cecile Richards, makes more than $350,000, placing her safely in the top one percent of income earners. Occupy Wall Street may be the 99 percent, but its beneficiaries are not.

OWS claims to oppose taxpayer bailouts of huge corporations. Yet Planned Parenthood is a $1 billion a year industry that received $487.4 million in taxpayer funds in 2010. These young people protested, in part, to “protect” its federal subsidy.

Then there is the question of the abortionists’ business practices. Whatever the merits of the movement’s other targets, the abortion industry embodies the worst corporate behavior OWS could imagine in its most feverish nightmare. Abortionists lie about their service. (“It’s safe, legal, and rare.”) They mislead women about the unborn child whose limbs they will sever. (“It’s just a blob of tissue.”) They intimidate and sometimes force women to have abortions. (For but one example, read the allegations against Alberto Hodari). They often injure and occasionally kill their unsuspecting patients due to lax regulations and lack of enforcement. With the aid of a compliant media, they cover up the long-term physical and psychological damage their service causes their clients, who are disproportionately poor and minority women just as its racist founder intended.

Despite the damage they do, their lobby peddles influence in both parties and can deny one party’s presidential nomination to any politician who dares to question the desirability of its product – or whether American taxpayers should be compelled to pay for it.

They are the merchants of death who have exploited human suffering for their private, temporal gain.

If OWS protesters wanted to stand with the powerless, they would have marched to the Supreme Court on Monday alongside Atheists for Life and others across the political, religious, and ideological spectrum who understand the fundamentals of biological science and human rights. Until they confront the reality of the innocents their activism harms and the atrocities it aids, they will continue to share the tactics and the moral sensibilities of the brownshirts.

Hundreds of lay faithful prepare protest of pro-abort speaker at Catholic Scranton University on Saturday noon

The ranks are swelling of lay faithful who are gathering to protest the pro abortion speaker and former U.S. Rep. Marjorie Margolies.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/Area_man__vows_mass__protest_of__Margolies_01-27-2012.html#ixzz1kfo0m9db


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Children Throw Grenades And Worse At Jesus In New Blasphemous Play…

Please join our protest of a blasphemous new theater play called On The Concept of the Face...

Because in the play the Holy Face of Jesus is subjected to the most vile possible insults and mockeries!


(READ WITH CAUTION... this is highly blasphemous!...and also vulgar.)

According to reviews of the theater play On The Concept of the Face... in the play:

“…a son taking care of his incontinent father. He wants to go to work, but his father ***** himself again and again. You see the brown stains on his diaper … You even smell the horrible stench.

“Then nine kids walk on stage. They take off their backpacks and start taking out grenades. They take out the pin and start throwing them at the face of Christ. Each time they hit the painting you hear a loud bang.

“The last scene is entirely about that painting.”


The Last Scene:  (The review’s wording is too vile to continue with, so I’ll take it from here.)

It looks like a large knife slashes the face of Christ. Large, red-brown streaks, a nod to the feces in the previous scene, ‘bleed’ out and spread over His face, before a black veil of the ‘tears’ entirely covers the portrait of the Son of God.

The painting is finally torn up, giving way to a large black panel. Above, in large letters, one can read, You are my shepherd. There’s another word that comes into view as well: not. You are not my shepherd.

This play has been touring major European cities since the summer of 2011, but, sadly, we have only just come across it.

As you receive this e-mail, it is in its last day showing in Milan, Italy.

BUT, it is scheduled to show from February 1 – February 5
at the deSingel International Arts Campus in the city of Antwerp, Belgium, so there’s no time to lose, protest now!

You and I both know that it makes no difference whatsoever where the Satanic head of blasphemy rears itself... If we know about it, we MUST defend the honor of God.

Hopefully, if everyone who gets this email actually peacefully and legally defends Our Lord’s honor and protests, then we will have a very practical effect upon the administrators of the deSignell “Arts” campus and maybe they’ll stop the blasphemous play from showing.

If not, at least we will have done our duty to God.

Standing Room Only: The TFP's Washington Bureau Open House

    by Joseph Jordan

    Standing Room Only: The TFP's Washington Bureau Open House

    The American TFP Washington Bureau held its annual open house on the Saturday before the March for Life. It was attended by many local friends as well as delegates from the Netherlands, Italy and Belgium.

    Brett Decker was the guest speaker. He gave an excellent presentation on his new book: Bowing to Beijing: How Barack Obama is Hastening America’s Decline and Ushering a Century of Chinese Domination.

    With well-articulated logic and incontrovertible facts, he exposed the treason of the United States' leaders in turning a blind eye to the growing threat of Chinese aggressiveness in their attempt to subvert America's power in the world. He gave many examples of how China has set out to do so through espionage while America's leaders know full well what is happening, watch, and do nothing in face of impending peril.

    His talk demonstrated how the pro-life movement is also affected by the same malicious apathy by showing that America's leaders simply turn a blind eye to the ever-increasing number of innocent lives being murdered every day in the name of “choice.”

    We must pray that the American people realize the malice and treason of our government in its failure to fight our domestic and foreign enemies. After thirty-nine years of legalized abortion, America must recognize the immense sin this great country has committed and understand the full implications in the immediate future.

    He Spent 50 Years in the Saddle to Defend the Church and Christian Civilization


    (French for Charles the Great, Carolus Magnus, or Carlus Magnus; German Karl der Grosse).

    The name given by later generations to Charles, King of the Franks, first sovereign of the Christian Empire of the West; born 2 April, 742; died at Aachen, 28 January, 814.

    At the time of Charles’ birth, his father, Pepin the Short, Mayor of the Palace, of the line of Arnulf, was, theoretically, only the first subject of Childeric III, the last Merovinigian King of the Franks; but this modest title implied that real power, military, civil, and even ecclesiastical, of which Childeric’s crown was only the symbol. It is not certain that Bertrada (or Bertha), the mother of Charlemagne, a daughter of Charibert, Count of Laon, was legally married to Pepin until some years later than either 742 or 745.

    Charlemagne’s career led to his acknowledgment by the Holy See as its chief protector and coadjutor in temporals, by Constantinople as at least Basileus of the West. This reign, which involved to a greater degree than that of any other historical personage the organic development, and still more, the consolidation of Christian Europe, will be sketched in this article in the successive periods into which it naturally divides. The period of Charlemagne was also an epoch of reform for the Church in Gaul, and of foundation for the Church in Germany, marked, moreover, by an efflorescence of learning which fructified in the great Christian schools of the twelfth and later centuries.

    To the Fall of Pavia (742-774)

    In 752, when Charles was a child of not more than ten years, Pepin the Short had appealed to Pope Zachary to recognize his actual rule with the kingly title and dignity. The practical effect of this appeal to the Holy See was the journey of Stephen III across the Alps two years later, for the purpose of anointing with the oil of kingship not only Pepin, but also his son Charles and a younger son, Carloman. The pope then laid upon the Christian Franks a precept, under the gravest spiritual penalties, never “to choose their kings from any other family”. Primogeniture did not hold in the Frankish law of succession; the monarchy was elective, though eligibility was limited to the male members of the one privileged family. Thus, then, at St. Denis on the Seine, in the Kingdom of Neustria, on the 28th of July, 754, the house of Arnulf was, by a solemn act of the supreme pontiff established upon the throne until then nominally occupied by the house of Merowig (Merovingians).

    Charles, anointed to the kingly office while yet a mere child, learned the rudiments of war while still many years short of manhood, accompanying his father in several campaigns. This early experience is worth noting chiefly because it developed in the boy those military virtues which, joined with his extraordinary physical strength and intense nationalism, made him a popular hero of the Franks long before he became their rightful ruler. At length, in September, 768, Pepin the Short, foreseeing his end, made a partition of his dominions between his two sons. Not many days later the old king passed away.


    Map of the rise of Frankish Empire, from 481 to 814, by Sémhur

    To better comprehend the effect of the act of partition under which Charles and Carloman inherited their father’s dominions, as well as the whole subsequent history of Charles’ reign, it is to be observed that those dominions comprised:

    • first, Frankland (Frankreich) proper;
    • secondly, as many as seven more or less self-governing dependencies, peopled by races of various origins and obeying various codes of law.

    Of these two divisions, the former extended, roughly speaking, from the boundaries of Thuringia, on the east, to what is now the Belgian and Norman coastline, on the west; it bordered to the north on Saxony, and included both banks of the Rhine from Cologne (the ancient Colonia Agrippina) to the North Sea; its southern neighbours were the Bavarians, the Alemanni, and the Burgundians. The dependent states were: the fundamentally Gaulish Neustria (including within its borders Paris), which was, nevertheless, well leavened with a dominant Frankish element; to the southwest of Neustria, Brittany, formerly Armorica, with a British and Gallo-Roman population; to the south of Neustria the Duchy of Aquitaine, lying, for the most part, between the Loire and the Garonne, with a decidedly Gallo-Roman population; and east of Aquitaine, along the valley of the Rhone, the Burgundians, a people of much the same mixed origin as those of Aquitaine, though with a large infusion of Teutonic blood.

    These States, with perhaps the exception of Brittany, recognized the Theodosian Code as their law. The German dependencies of the Frankish kingdom were Thuringia, in the valley of the Main, Bavaria, and Alemannia (corresponding to what was later known as Swabia). These last, at the time of Pepin’s death, had but recently been won to Christianity, mainly through the preaching of St. Boniface. The share which fell to Charles consisted of all Austrasia (the original Frankland), most of Neustria, and all of Aquitaine except the southeast corner. In this way the possessions of the elder brother surrounded the younger on two sides, but on the other hand the distribution of races under their respective rules was such as to preclude any risk of discord arising out of the national sentiments of their various subjects.

    In spite of this provident arrangement, Carloman contrived to quarrel with his brother. Hunald, formerly Duke of Aquitaine, vanquished by Pepin the Short, broke from the cloister, where he had lived as a monk for twenty years, and stirred up a revolt in the western part of the duchy. By Frankish custom Carloman should have aided Charles; the younger brother himself held part of Aquitaine; but he pretended that, as his dominion were unaffected by this revolt, it was no business of his. Hunald, however, was vanquished by Charles single-handed; he was betrayed by a nephew with whom he had sought refuge, was sent to Rome to answer for the violation of his monastic vows, and at last, after once more breaking cloister, was stoned to death by the Lombards of Pavia.

    For Charles the true importance of this Aquitanian episode was in its manifestation his brother’s unkindly feeling in his regard, and against this danger he lost no time in taking precautions, chiefly by winning over to himself the friends whom he judged likely to be most valuable; first and foremost of these was his mother, Bertha, who had striven both earnestly and prudently to make peace between her sons, but who, when it became necessary to take sides with one or the other could not hesitate in her devotion to the elder. Charles was an affectionate son; it also appears that, in general, he was helped to power by his extraordinary gift of personal attractiveness.

    Carloman died soon after this (4 December, 771), and a certain letter from “the Monk Cathwulph”, quoted by Bouquet (Recueil. hist., V, 634), in enumerating the special blessings for which the king was in duty bound to be grateful, says,

    Third . . . God has preserved you from the wiles of your brother . . . . Fifth, and not the least, that God has removed your brother from this earthly kingdom.

    Carloman may not have been quite so malignant as the enthusiastic partisans of Charles made him out, but the division of Pepin’s dominions was in itself an impediment to the growth of a strong Frankish realm such as Charles needed for the unification of the Christian Continent. Although Carloman had left two sons by his wife, Gerberga, the Frankish law of inheritance gave no preference to sons as against brother; left to their own choice, the Frankish lieges, whether from love of Charles or for the fear which his name already inspired, gladly accepted him for their king. Gerberga and her children fled to the Lombard court of Pavia. In the mean while complications had arisen in Charles’ foreign policy which made his newly established supremacy at home doubly opportune.

    From his father Charles had inherited the title “Patricius Romanus” which carried with it a special obligation to protect the temporal rights of the Holy See. The nearest and most menacing neighbour of St. Peter’s Patrimony was Desidarius (Didier), King of the Lombards, and it was with this potentate that the dowager Bertha had arranged a matrimonial alliance for her elder son. The pope had solid temporal reasons for objecting to this arrangement. Moreover, Charles was already, in foro conscientiae, if not in Frankish law, wedded to Himiltrude. In defiance of the pope’s protest (PL 98:250), Charles married Desiderata, daughter of Desiderius (770), three years later he repudiated her and married Hildegarde, the beautiful Swabian. Naturally, Desiderius was furious at this insult, and the dominions of the Holy See bore the first brunt of his wrath.

    To battle

    But Charles had to defend his own borders against the heathen as well as to protect Rome against the Lombard. To the north of Austrasia lay Frisia, which seems to have been in some equivocal way a dependency, and to the east of Frisia, from the left bank of the Ems (about the present Holland-Westphalia frontier), across the valley of the Weser and Aller, and still eastward to the left bank of the Elbe, extended the country of the Saxons, who in no fashion whatever acknowledged any allegiance to the Frankish kings. In 772 these Saxons were a horde of aggressive pagans offering to Christian missionaries no hope but that of martyrdom; bound together, normally, by no political organization, and constantly engaged in predatory incursions into the lands of the Franks.

    Their language seems to have been very like that spoken by the Egberts and Ethelreds of Britain, but the work of their Christian cousin, St. Boniface, had not affected them as yet; they worshipped the gods of Walhalla, united in solemn sacrifice — sometimes human — to Irminsul (Igdrasail), the sacred tree which stood at Eresburg, and were still slaying Christian missionaries when their kinsmen in Britain were holding church synods and building cathedrals. Charles could brook neither their predatory habits nor their heathenish intolerance; it was impossible, moreover, to make permanent peace with them while they followed the old Teutonic life of free village communities.

    He made his first expedition into their country in July, 772, took Eresburg by storm, and burned Irminsul. It was in January of this same year that Pope Stephen III died, and Adrian I, an opponent of Desiderius, was elected. The new pope was almost immediately assailed by the Lombard king, who seized three minor cities of the Patrimony of St. Peter, threatened Ravenna itself, and set about organizing a plot within the Curia. Paul Afiarta, the papal chamberlain, detected acting as the Lombard’s secret agent, was seized and put to death. The Lombard army advanced against Rome, but quailed before the spiritual weapons of the Church, while Adrian sent a legate into Gaul to claim the aid of of the Patrician.

    Thus it was that Charles, resting at Thionville after his Saxon campaign, was urgently reminded of the rough work that awaited his hand south of the Alps. Desiderius’ embassy reached him soon after Adrian’s. He did not take it for granted that the right was all upon Adrian’s side; besides, he may have seen here an opportunity make some amends for his repudiation of the Lombard princess. Before taking up arms for the Holy See, therefore, he sent commissioners into Italy to make enquiries and when Desiderius pretended that the seizure of the papal cities was in effect only the legal foreclosure of a mortgage, Charles promptly offered to redeem them by a money payment. But Desiderius refused the money, and as Charles’ commissioners reported in favour of Adrian, the only course left was war.

    Charlemagne's army crossed the Alps with amazing speed

    In the spring of 773 Charles summoned the whole military strength of the Franks for a great invasion of Lombardy. He was slow to strike, but he meant to strike hard. Data for any approximate estimate of his numerical strength are lacking, but it is certain that the army, in order to make the descent more swiftly, crossed the Alps by two passes: Mont Cenis and the Great St. Bernard. Einhard, who accompanied the king over Mont Cenis (the St. Bernard column was led by Duke Bernhard), speaks feelingly of the marvels and perils of the passage. The invaders found Desiderius waiting for them, entrenched at Susa; they turned his flank and put the Lombard army to utter rout. Leaving all the cities of the plains to their fate, Desiderius rallied part of his forces in Pavia, his walled capital, while his son Adalghis, with the rest, occupied Verona. Charles, having been joined by Duke Bernhard, took the forsaken cities on his way and then completely invested Pavia (September, 773), whence Otger, the faithful attendant of Gerberga, could look with trembling upon the array of his countrymen. Soon after Christmas Charles withdrew from the siege a portion of the army which he employed in the capture of Verona. Here he found Gerberga and her children; as to what became of them, history is silent; they probably entered the cloister.

    What history does record with vivid eloquence is the first visit of Charles to the Eternal City. There everything was done to give his entry as much as possible the air of a triumph in ancient Rome. The judges met him thirty miles from the city; the militia laid at the feet of their great patrician the banner of Rome and hailed him as their imperator. Charles himself forgot pagan Rome and prostrated himself to kiss the threshold of the Apostles, and then spent seven days in conference with the successor of Peter. It was then that he undoubtedly formed many great designs for the glory of God and the exaltation of Holy Church, which, in spite of human weaknesses and, still more, ignorance, he afterwards did his best to realize. His coronation as the successor of Constantine did not take place until twenty-six years later, but his consecration as first champion of the Catholic Church took place at Easter, 774.


    Iron Crown of Lombardy. Photo by James Steakley

    Soon after this (June, 774) Pavia fell, Desiderius was banished, Adalghis became a fugitive at the Byzantine court, and Charles, assuming the crown of Lombardy, renewed to Adrian the donation of of territory made by Pepin the Short after his defeat of Aistulph. (This donation is now generally admitted, as well as the original gift of Pepin at Kiersy in 752. The so-called “Privilegium Hadriani pro Carolo” granting him full right to nominate the pope and to invest all bishops is a forgery.)

    To the Baptism of Wittekind (774-785)

    The next twenty years of Charles’ life may be considered as one long warfare. They are filled with an astounding series of rapid marches from end to end of a continent intersected by mountains, morasses, and forests, and scantily provided with roads. It would seem that the key to his long series of victories, won almost as much by moral ascendancy as by physical or mental superiority, is to be found in the inspiration communicated to his Frankish champion by Pope Adrian I. Weiss (Weltgesch., 11, 549) enumerates fifty-three distinct campaigns of Charlemagne; of these it is possible to point to only twelve or fourteen which were not undertaken principally or entirely in execution of his mission as the soldier and protector of the Church. In his eighteen campaigns against the Saxons Charles was more or less actuated by the desire to extinguish what he and his people regarded as a form of devil-worship, no less odious to them than the fetishism of Central Africa is to us.


    Monumental equestrian statue of Charlemagne, by Agostino Cornacchini (1725) — St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican. Photo by Myrabella.

    While he was still in Italy the Saxons, irritated but not subdued by the fate of Eresburg and of Irminsul had risen in arms, harried the country of the Hessian Franks, and burned many churches; that of St. Boniface at Fritzlar, being of stone, had defeated their efforts. Returning to the north, Charles sent a preliminary column of cavalry into the enemy’s country while he held a council of the realm at Kiersy (Quercy) in September, 774, at which it was decided that the Saxons (Westfali, Ostfali, and Angrarii) must be presented with the alternative of baptism or death. The northeastern campaigns of the next seven years had for their object a conquest so decisive as to make the execution of this policy feasible. The year 775 saw the first of a series of Frankish military colonies, on the ancient Roman plan established at Sigeburg among the Westfali. Charles next subdued, temporarily at least, the Ostali, whose chieftain, Hessi, having accepted baptism, ended his life in the monastery of Fulda. Then, a Frankish camp at Lübbecke on the Weser having been surprised by the Saxons, and its garrison slaughtered, Charles turned again westward, once more routed the Westfali, and received their oaths of submission.

    At this stage (776) the affairs of Lombardy interrupted the Saxon crusade. Areghis of Beneventum, son-in-law of the vanquished Desiderius, had formed a plan with his brother-in-law Adalghis (Adelchis), then an exile at Constantinople, by which the latter was to make a descent upon Italy, backed by the Eastern emperor; Adrian was at the same time involved in a quarrel with the three Lombard dukes, Reginald of Clusium, Rotgaud of Friuli, and Hildebrand of Spoleto. The archbishop of Ravenna, who called himself “primate” and “exarch of Italy”, was also attempting to found an independent principality at the expense of the papal state but was finally subdued in 776, and his successor compelled to be content with the title of “Vicar” or representative of the pope. The junction of the aforesaid powers, all inimical to the pope and the Franks, while Charles was occupied in Westphalia, was only prevented by the death of Constantine Copronymus in September, 775. After winning over Hildebrand and Reginald by diplomacy, Charles descended into Lombardy by the Brenner Pass (spring of 776), defeated Rotgaud, and leaving garrisons and governors, or counts (comites), as they were termed, in the reconquered cities of the Duchy of Friuli, hastened back to Saxony. There the Frankish garrison had been forced to evacuate Eresburg, while the siege of Sigeburg was so unexpectedly broken up as to give occasion later to a legend of angelic intervention in favour of the Christians. As usual, the almost incredible suddenness of the king’s reappearance and the moral effect of his presence quieted the ragings of the heathen. Charles then divided the Saxon territory into Missionary districts. At the great spring hosting (champ de Mai) of Paderborn, in 777, many Saxon converts were baptized; Wittekind (Widukind), however, already the leader and afterwards the popular hero of the Saxons, had fled to his brother-in-law, Sigfrid the Dane.

    Roland de Roncevaux. The statue of Roland, is located in the centre of the town hall square in front of the House of Blackheads in Riga, Latvia. Photo by Patrick Mayon

    The episode of the invasion of Spain comes next in chronological order. The condition of the venerable Iberian Church, still suffering under Moslem domination, appealed strongly to the king’s sympathy. In 777 there came to Paderborn three Moorish emirs, enemies of the Ommeyad Abderrahman, the Moorish King of Cordova. These emirs did homage to Charles and proposed to him an invasion of Northern Spain; one of the, Ibn-el-Arabi, promised to bring to the invaders’ assistance a force of Berber auxiliaries from Africa; the other two promised to exert their powerful influence at Barcelona and elsewhere north of the Ebro. Accordingly, in the spring of 778, Charles, with a host of crusaders, speaking many tongues, and which numbered among its constituents even a quota of Lombards, moved towards the Pyrenees. His trusted lieutenant, Duke Bernhard, with one division, entered Spain by the coast. Charles himself marched through the mountain passes straight to Pampelona. But Ibn-el-Arabi, who had prematurely brought on his army of Berbers, was assassinated by the emissary of Abderrahman, and though Pampelona was razed, and Barcelona and other cities fell, Saragossa held out. Apart from the moral effect of this campaign upon the Moslem rulers of Spain, its result was insignificant, though the famous ambuscade in which perished Roland, the great Paladin, at the Pass of Roncesvalles, furnished to the medieval world the material for its most glorious and influential epic, the “Chanson de Roland”.

    SONG OF ROLAND, 778 A.D. The death of Roland (in gold armor), the nephew of Charlemagne and the most celebrated of the emperor's twelve paladins, at the Battle of Roncesvalles in the Pyrenees, 778 A.D., the basis of the epic 'Chanson de Roland.' Flemish manuscript illumination, 1462.

    Much more important to posterity were the next succeeding events which continued and decided the long struggle in Saxony. During the Spanish crusade Wittekind had returned from his exile, bringing with him Danish allies, and was now ravaging Hesse; the Rhine valley from Deutz to Andenach was a prey to the Saxon “devil-worshipers”; the Christian missionaries were scattered or in hiding. Charles gathered his hosts at Düren, in June, 779, and stormed Wittekind’s entrenched camp at Bocholt, after which campaign he seems to have considered Saxony a fairly subdued country. At any rate, the “Saxon Capitulary” of 781 obliged all Saxons not only to accept baptism (and this on the pain of death) but also to pay tithes, as the Franks did for the support of the Church; moreover it confiscated a large amount of property for the benefit of the missions. This was Wittekind’s last opportunity to restore the national independence and paganism; his people, exasperated against the Franks and their God, eagerly rushed to arms. At Suntal on the Weser, Charles being absent, they defeated a Frankish army killing two royal legates and five Counts. But Wittekind committed the error of enlisting as allies the non-Teutonic Sorbs from beyond the Saale; race-antagonism soon weakened his forces, and the Saxon hosts melted away. Of the so-called “Massacre of Verdun” (783) it is fair to say that the 4500 Saxons who perished were not prisoners of war; legally, they were ringleaders in a rebellion, selected as such from a number of their fellow rebels. Wittekind himself escaped beyond the Elbe. It was not until after another defeat of the Saxons at Detmold, and again at Osnabrück, on the “Hill of Slaughter”, that Wittekind acknowledged the God of Charles the stronger than Odin. In 785 Wittekind received baptism at Attigny, and Charles stood godfather.

    Charles' nature was of a type that appears to best advantage in storm and stress.

    Last Steps to the Imperial Throne (785-800)

    The summer of 783 began a new period in the life of Charles, in which signs begin to appear of his less amiable traits. It was in this year, signalized, according to the chroniclers, by unexampled heat and a pestilence, that the two queens died, Bertha, the king’s mother, and Hildegarde, his second (or his third) wife. Both of these women, the former in particular, had exercised over him a strong influence for good. Within a few months the king married Fastrada, daughter of an Austrasian count. The succeeding years were, comparatively speaking, years of harvest after the stupendous period of ploughing and sowing that had gone before; and Charles’ nature was of a type that appears to best advantage in storm and stress. What was to be the Western Empire of the Middle Ages was already hewn out in the rough when Wittekind received baptism. From that date until the coronation of Charles at Rome, in 800, his military work was chiefly in suppressing risings of the newly conquered or quelling the discontents of jealous subject princes. Thrice in these fifteen years did the Saxons rise, only to be defeated. Tassilo, Duke of Bavaria, had been a more or less rebellious vassal ever since the beginning of his reign, and Charles now made use of the pope’s influence, exercised through the powerful bishops of Freising, Salzburg, and Regensburg (Ratisbon), to bring him to terms. In 786 a Thuringian revolt was quelled by the timely death, blinding, and banishment of its leaders. Next year the Lombard prince, Areghis, having fortified himself at Salerno, had actually been crowned King of the Lombards when Charles descended upon him at Beneventum, received his submission, and took his son Grimwald as a hostage, after which, finding that Tassilo had been secretly associated with the conspiracy of the Lombards, he invaded Bavaria from three sides with three armies drawn from at least five nationalities. Once more the influence of the Holy See settled the Bavarian question in Charles’ favour; Adrian threatened Tassilo with excommunication if he persisted in rebellion, and as the Duke’s own subjects refused to follow him to the field, he personally made submission, did homage, and in return received from Charles a new lease of his duchy (October, 787).

    During this period the national discontent with Fastrada culminated in a plot in which Pepin the Hunchback, Charles’ son by Himiltrude, was implicated, and though his life was spared through his father’s intercession, Pepin spent what remained of his days in a monastery. Another son of Charles (Carloman, afterwards called Pepin, and crowned King of Lombardy at Rome in 781, on the occasion of an Easter visit by the king, at which time also his brother Louis was crowned King of Aquitaine) served his father in dealing with the Avars, a pagan danger on the frontier, compared with which the invasion of Septimania by the Saracens (793) was but an insignificant incident of border warfare. These Avars, probably of Turanian blood, occupied the territories north of the Save and west of the Theiss. Tassilo had invited their assistance against his overlord; and after the Duke’s final submission Charles invaded their country and conquered it as far as the Raab (791). By the capture of the famous “Ring” of the Avars, with its nine concentric circles, Charles came into possession of vast quantities of gold and silver, parts of the plunder which these barbarians had been accumulating for two centuries. In this campaign King Pepin of Lombardy cooperated with his father, with forces drawn from Italy; the later stages of this war (which may be considered the last of Charles’ great wars) were left in the hands of the younger king.

    The last stages by which the story of Charles’ career is brought to its climax touch upon the exclusive spiritual domain of the Church. He had never ceased to interest himself in the deliberations of synods, and this interest extended (an example that wrought fatal results in after ages) to the discussion of questions which would now be regarded as purely dogmatic. Charles interfered in the dispute about the Adoptionist heresy. His interference was less pleasing to Adrian in the matter of Iconoclasm, a heresy with which the Empress-mother Irene and Tarasius, Patriarch of Constantinople, had dealt in the second Council of Nicaea. The Synod of Frankfort, wrongly informed, but inspired by Charles, took upon itself to condemn the aforesaid Council, although the latter had the sanction of the Holy See. In the year 797 the Eastern Emperor Constantine VI, with whom his mother Irene had for some time been at variance, was by her dethroned, imprisoned, and blinded. It is significant of Charles’ position as de factoEmperor of the West that Irene sent envoys to Aachen to lay before Charles her side of this horrible story. It is also to be noted that the popular impression that Constantine had been put to death, and the aversion to committing the imperial sceptre to a woman’s hand, also bore upon what followed. Lastly, it was to Charles alone that the Christians of the East were now crying out for succour against the threatening advance of the Moslem Caliph Haroun al Raschid. In 795 Adrian I died (25 Dec.), deeply regretted by Charles, who held this pope in great esteem and caused a Latin metrical epitaph to be prepared for the papal tomb. In 787 Charles had visited Rome for the third time in the interest of the pope and his secure possession of the Patrimony of Peter.


    Charlemagne and Alcuin

    Leo III, the immediate successor of Adrian I, notified Charles of his election (26 December, 795) to the Holy See. The king sent in return rich presents by Abbot Angilbert, whom he commissioned to deal with the pope in all manners pertaining to the royal office of Roman Patrician. While this letter is respectful and even affectionate, it also exhibits Charles’ concept of the coordination of the spiritual and temporal powers, nor does he hesitate to remind the pope of his grave spiritual obligations. The new pope, a Roman, had bitter enemies in the Eternal City, who spread the most damaging reports of his previous life. At length (25 April, 799) he was waylaid, and left unconscious. After escaping to St. Peter’s he was rescued by two of the king’s missi, who came with a considerable force. The Duke of Spoleto sheltered the fugitive pope, who went later to Paderborn, where the king’s camp then was. Charles received the Vicar of Christ with all due reverence. Leo was sent back to Rome escorted by royal missi; the insurgents, thoroughly frightened and unable to convince Charles of the pope’s iniquity, surrendered, and the missi sent Paschalis and Campulus, nephews of Adrian I and ringleaders against Pope Leo, to the king, to be dealt with at the royal pleasure.

    Charles was in no hurry to take final action in this matter. He settled various affairs connected with the frontier beyond the Elbe, with the protection of the Balearic Isles against the Saracens, and of Northern Gaul against Scandinavian sea-rovers, spent most of the winter at Aachen, and was at St. Riquier for Easter. About this time, too, he was occupied at the deathbed of Liutgarde, the queen whom he had married on the death of Fastrada (794). At Tours he conferred with Alcuin, then summoned the host of the Franks to meet at Mainz and announced to them his intention of again proceeding to Rome. Entering Italy by the Brenner Pass, he travelled by way of Ancona and Perugia to Nomentum, where Pope Leo met him and the two entered Rome together. A synod was held and the charges against Leo pronounced false. On this occasion the Frankish bishops declared themselves unauthorized to pass judgment on the Apostolic See. Of his own free will Leo, under oath, declared publicly in St. Peter’s that he was innocent of the charges brought against him. Leo requested that his accusers, now themselves condemned to death, should be punished only with banishment.

    After His Coronation in Rome (800-814)

    Two days later (Christmas Day, 800) took place the principal event in the life of Charles. During the pontifical Mass celebrated by the pope, as the king knelt in prayer before the high altar beneath which lay the bodies of Sts. Peter and Paul, the pope approached him, placed upon his head the imperial crown, did him formal reverence after the ancient manner, saluted him as Emperor and Augustus and anointed him, while the Romans present burst out with the acclamation, thrice repeated: “To Carolus Augustus crowned by God, mighty and pacific emperor, be life and victory” (Carolo, piisimo Augusto a Deo coronato, magno et pacificio Imperatori, vita et vicotria). These details are gathered from contemporary accounts (Life of Leo III in “lib. Pont.”; “Annales Laurissense majores”; Einhard’s Vita Caroli; Theophanes). Though not all are found in any one narrative, there is no good reason for doubting their general accuracy. Einhard’s statement (Vita Caroli28) that Charles had no suspicion of what was about to happen, and if pre-informed would not have accepted the imperial crown, is much discussed, some seeing in it an unwillingness to imperial authority on an ecclesiastical basis, others more justly a natural hesitation before a momentous step overcome by the positive action of friends and admirers, and culminating; in the scene just described.


    Charlemagne crowned Holy Roman Emperor

    On the other hand, there seems no reason to doubt that for some time previous the elevation of Charles had been discussed, both at home and at Rome, especially in view of two facts: the scandalous condition of the imperial government at Constantinople, and the acknowledged grandeur and solidity of the Carolingian house. He owed his elevation not to the conquest of Rome, nor to any act of the Roman Senate (then a mere municipal body), much less to the local citizenship of Rome, but to the pope, who exercised in a supreme juncture the moral supremacy in Western Christendom which the age widely recognized in him, and to which, indeed, Charles even then owed the title that the popes had transferred to his father Pepin. It is certain that Charles constantly attributed his imperial dignity to an act of God, made known of course through the agency of the Vicar of Christ (divino nutu coronatus, a Deo coronatus, in “Capitularia”, ed. Baluze, I, 247, 341, 345); also that after the ceremony he made very rich gifts to the Basilica of St. Peter, and that on the same day the pope anointed (as King of the Franks) the younger Charles, son of the emperor and at that time probably destined to succeed in the imperial dignity.

    The Roman Empire (Imperium Romanum), since 476 practically extinguished in the West, save for a brief interval in the sixth century, was restored by this papal act, which became the historical basis of the future relations between the popes and the successors of Charlemagne (throughout the Middle Ages no Western Emperor was considered legitimate unless he had been crowned and anointed at Rome by the successor of St. Peter). Despite the earlier goodwill and help of the papacy, the Emperor of Constantinople, legitimate heir of the imperial title (he still called himself Roman Emperor, and his capital was officially New Rome) had long proved incapable of preserving his authority in the Italian peninsula. Palace revolutions and heresy, not to speak of fiscal oppression, racial antipathy, and impotent but vicious intrigues, made him odious to the Romans and Italians generally. In any case, since the Donation of Pepin (752) the pope was formally sovereign of the duchy of Rome and the Exarchate; hence, apart from its effect on his shadowy claim to the sovereignty of all Italy, the Byzantine ruler had nothing to lose by the elevation of Charles. However, the event of Christmas Day, 800, was long resented at Constantinople, where eventually the successor of Charles was occasionally called “Emperor”, or “Emperor of the Franks”, but never “Roman Emperor”. Suffice it to add here that while the imperial consecration made him in theory, what he was already in fact, the principal ruler of the West, and impropriated, as it were, in the Carolingian line the majesty of ancient Rome, it also lifted Charles at once to the dignity of supreme temporal protector of Western Christendom and in particular of its head, the Roman Church. Nor did this mean only the local welfare of the papacy, the good order and peace of the Patrimony of Peter. It meant also, in face of the yet vast pagan world (barbarae nationes) of the North and the Southeast, a religious responsibility, encouragement and protection of missions, advancement of Christian culture, organization of dioceses, enforcement of a Christian discipline of life, improvement of the clergy, in a word, all the forms of governmental cooperation with the Church that we meet with in the life and the legislation of Charles.

    Signature of Charlemagne

    Long before this event Pope Adrian I had conferred (774) on Charles his father’s dignity of Patricius Romanus, which implied primarily the protection of the Roman Church in all its rights and privileges, above all in the temporal authority which it had gradually acquired (notably in the former Byzantine Duchy of Rome and the Exarchate of Ravenna) by just titles in the course of the two preceding centuries. Charles, it is true, after his imperial consecration exercised practically at Rome his authority as Patricius, or protector of the Roman Church. But he did this with all due recognition of the papal sovereignty and principally to prevent the quasi-anarchy which local intrigues and passions, family interests and ambitions, and adverse Byzantine agencies were promoting. It would be unhistorical to maintain that as emperor he ignored at once the civil sovereignty of the pope in the Patrimony of Peter. This (the Duchy of Rome and the Exarchate) he significantly omitted from the partition of the Frankish State made at the Diet of Thionville, in 806. It is to be noted that in this public division of his estate he made no provision for the imperial title, also that he committed to all three sons “the defence and protection of the Roman Church”. In 817 Louis the Pious, by a famous charter whose substantial authenticity there is no good reason to doubt, confirmed to Pope Paschal and his successors forever, “the city of Rome with its duchy and dependencies, as the same have been held to this day by your predecessors, under their authority and jurisdiction”, adding that he did not pretend to any jurisdiction in said territory, except when solicited thereto by the pope. It may be noted here that the chroniclers of the ninth century treat as “restitution” to St. Peter the various cessions and grants of cities and territory made at this period by the Carolingian rulers within the limits of the Patrimony of Peter. The Charter of Louis the Pious was afterwards confirmed by Emperor Otto I in 962 and Henry II in 1020. These imperial documents make it clear that the acts of authority exercised by the new emperor in the Patrimony of Peter were only such as were called for by his office of Defender of the Roman Church. Kleinclausz (l’Empire carolingien, etc., Paris, 1902, 441 sqq.) denies the authenticity of the famous letter (871) of Emperor Louis II to the Greek Emperor Basil (in which the former recognizes fully the papal origin of his own imperial dignity), and attributes it to Anastasius Bibliotheca in 879. His arguments are weak; the authenticity is admitted by Gregorovius and O. Harnack. Anti-papal writers have undertaken to prove that Charles’ dignity of Patricius Romanorum was equivalent to immediate and sole sovereign authority at Rome, and in law and in fact excluded any papal sovereignty. In reality this Roman patriciate, both under Pepin and Charles, was no more than a high protectorship of the civil sovereignty of the pope, whose local independence, both before and after the coronation of Charles, is historically certain, even apart from the aforesaid imperial charters.

    The personal devotion of Charles to the Apostolic See is well known. While in the preface to his Capitularies he calls himself the “devoted defender and humble helper of Holy Church”, he was especially fond of the basilica of St. Peter at Rome. Einhard relates (Vita, c. xxvii) that he enriched it beyond all other churches and that he was particularly anxious that the City of Rome should in his reign obtain again its ancient authority. He promulgated a special law on the respect due this See of Peter (Capitulare de honoranda sede Apostolica, ed. Baluze I, 255). The letters of the popes to himself, his father, and grandfather, were collected by his order in the famous “Codex Carolinus”. Gregory VII tells us (Regest., VII, 23) that he placed a part of the conquered Saxon territory under the protection of St. Peter, and sent to Rome a tribute from the same. He received from Pope Adrian the Roman canon law in the shape of the “Collectio Dionysia-Hadriana”, and also (784-91) the “Gregorian Sacramentary” or liturgical use of Rome, for the guidance of the Frankish Church. He furthered also in the Frankish churches the introduction of the Gregorian chant. It is of interest to note that just before his coronation at Rome Charles received three messengers from the Patriarch of Jerusalem, bearing to the King of the Franks the keys of the Holy Sepulchre and the banner of Jerusalem, “a recognition that the holiest place in Christendom was under the protection of the great monarch of the West” (Hodgkin). Shortly after this event, the Caliph Haroun al Raschid sent an embassy to Charles, who continued to take a deep interest in the Holy Sepulchre, and built Latin monasteries at Jerusalem, also a hospital for pilgrims. To the same period belongs the foundation of the Schola Francorumnear St. Peter’s Basilica, a refuge and hospital (with cemetery attached) for Frankish pilgrims to Rome, now represented by the Campo Santo de’ Tedeschi near the Vatican.

    Homage of Caliph Harun Al-Rashid to Charlemagne

    The main work of Charlemagne in the development of Western Christendom might have been considered accomplished had he now passed away. Of all that he added during the remaining thirteen years of his life nothing increased perceptibly the stability of the structure. His military power and his instinct for organization had been successfully applied to the formation of a material power pledged to the support of the papacy, and on the other hand at least one pope (Adrian) had lent all the spiritual strength of the Holy See to help build up the new Western Empire, which his immediate successor (Leo) was to solemnly consecrate. Indeed, the remaining thirteen years of Charles’ earthly career seem to illustrate rather the drawbacks of an intimate connection between Church and State than its advantages.

    In those years nothing like the military activity of the emperor’s earlier life appears; there were much fewer enemies to conquer. Charles’ sons led here and there an expedition, as when Louis captured Barcelona (801) or the younger Charles invaded the territory of the Sorbs. But their father had somewhat larger business on his hands at this time; above all, he had to either conciliate or neutralize the jealousy of the Byzantine Empire which still had the prestige of old tradition. At Rome Charles had been hailed in due form as “Augustus” by the Roman people, but he could not help realizing that many centuries before, the right of conferring this title had virtually passed from Old to New Rome. New Rome, i.e. Constantinople, affected to regard Leo’s act as one of schism. Nicephorus, the successor of Irene (803) entered into diplomatic relations with Charles, it is true, but would not recognize his imperial character. According to one account (Theophanes) Charles had sought Irene in marriage, but his plan was defeated. The Frankish emperor then took up the cause of rebellious Venetia and Dalmatia. The war was carried on by sea, under King Pepin, and in 812, after the death of Nicephorus, a Byzantine embassy at Aachen actually addressed Charles as Basileus. About this time Charles again trenched upon the teaching prerogative of the Church, in the matter of the although in this instance also the Holy See admitted the soundness of his doctrine, while condemning his usurpation of its functions.

    The other source of discord which appeared in the new Western Empire, and from its very beginning, was that of the succession. Charles made no pretence either of right of primogeniture for his eldest son or to name a successor for himself. As Pepin the Short had divided the Frankish realm, so did Charles divide the empire among his sons, naming none of them emperor. By the will which he made in 806 the greater part of what was later called France went to Louis the Pious; Frankland proper, Frisia, Saxony, Hesse, and Franconia were to be the heritage of Charles the Young; Pepin received Lombardy and its Italian dependencies, Bavaria, and Southern Alemannia. But Pepin and Charles pre-deceased the emperor, and in 813 the magnates of the empire did homage at Aachen to Louis the Pious as King of the Franks, and future sole ruler of the great imperial state. Thus is was that the Carolingian Empire, as a dynastic institution, ended with the death of Charles the Fat (888), while the Holy Roman Empire, continued by Otto the Great (968-973), lacked all that is now France. But the idea of a Europe welded together out of various races under the spiritual influence of one Catholic Faith and one Vicar of Christ had been exhibited in the concrete.

    It remains to say something of the achievements of Charlemagne at home. His life was so full of movement, so made up of long journeys, that home in his case signifies little more than the personal environment of his court, wherever it might happen to be on any given day. There was, it is true, a general preference for Austrasia, or Frankland (after Aachen, Worms, Nymwegen, and Ingleheim were favourite residences). He took a deep and intelligent interest in the agricultural development of the realm, and in the growth of trade, both domestic and foreign. The civil legislative work of Charles consisted principally in organizing and codifying the principles of Frankish law handed down from antiquity; thus in 802 the laws of the Frisians, Thuringians, and Saxons were reduced to writing. Among these principles, it is important to note, was one by which no free man could be deprived of life or liberty without the judgment of his equals in the state. The spirit of his legislation was above all religious; he recognized as a basis and norm the ecclesiastical canons, was wont to submit his projects of law to the bishops, or to give civil authority to the decrees of synods. More than once he made laws at the suggestion of popes or bishops. For administrative purposes the State was divided into counties and hundreds, for the government of which counts and hundred-men were responsible. Side by side with the counts in the great national parliament (Reichstag, Diet) which normally met in the spring, sat the bishops, and the spiritual constituency was so closely intertwined with the temporal that in reading of a “council” under Charles, it is not always easy to ascertain whether the particular proceedings are supposed to be those of a parliament or of a synod. Nevertheless this parliament or diet was essentially bicameral (civil and ecclesiastical), and the foregoing descriptions applies to the mutual discussion of res mixtaeor subjects pertaining to both orders.

    Charlemagne Presiding at the School of the Palace

    The one Frankish administrative institution to which Charles gave an entirely new character was the missi dominici, representatives (civil and ecclesiastical) of the royal authority, who from being royal messengers assumed under him functions much like those of papal legates, i.e. they were partly royal commissioners, partly itinerant governors. There were usually two for each province (an ecclesiastic and a lay lord), and they were bound to visit their territory (missatica) four times each year. Between these missi and the local governors or counts the power of the former great crown-vassals (dukes, Herzöge) was parcelled out. Local justice was administered by the aforesaid count (comes, Graf) in his court, held three times each year (placitum generale), with the aid of seven assessors (scabini, rachimburgi), but there was a graduated appeal ending in the person of the emperor.

    While enough has been said above to show how ready he was to interfere in the Church’s domain, it does not appear that this propensity arose from motives discreditable to his religious character. It would be absurd to pretend that Charlemagne was a consistent lifelong hypocrite; if he was not, then his keen practical interest in all that pertained to the services of the Church, his participation even in the chanting of the choir (though, as his biographer says, “in a subdued voice”) his fastidious attention to questions of rites and ceremonies (Monachus Sangallensis), go to show, like many other traits related of him, that his strong rough nature was really impregnated with zeal, however mistaken at times, for the earthly glory of God. He sought to elevate and perfect the clergy, both monastic and secular, the latter through the enforcement of the Vita Canonicaor common life. Tithes were strictly enforced for the support of the clergy and the dignity of public worship. Ecclesiastical immunities were recognized and protected, the bishops held to frequent visitation of their dioceses, a regular religious instruction of the people provided for, and in the vernacular tongue. Through Alcuin he caused corrected copies of the Scripture to be placed in the churches, and earned great credit for his improvement of the much depraved text of the Latin Vulgate. Education, for aspirants to the priesthood at least, was furthered by the royal order of 787 to all bishops and abbots to keep open in their cathedrals and monasteries schools for the study of the seven liberal arts and the interpretation of Scriptures. He did much also to improve ecclesiastical music, and founded schools of church-song at Metz, Soissons, and St. Gall.

    Charlemagne and Alcuin

    He spoke Latin well, and loved to listen to the reading of St. Augustine, especially “The City of God”. He understood Greek, but was especially devoted to his Frankish (Old-German) mother tongue; its terms for the months and the various winds are owing to him. He attempted also to produce a German grammar, and Einhard tells us that he caused the ancient folksongs and hero-tales (barbara atque antiquissima carmina) to be collected; unfortunately this collection ceased to be appreciated and was lost at a later date.

    From boyhood Charles had evinced strong domestic affections. Judged, perhaps, by the more perfectly developed Christian standards of a later day, his matrimonial relations were far from blameless; but it would be unfair to criticize by any such ethical rules the obscurely transmitted accounts of his domestic life which have come down to us. What is certain (and more pleasant to contemplate) is the picture, which his contemporaries have left us, of the delight he found in being with his children, joining in their sports, particularly in his own favourite recreation of swimming, and finding his relaxation in the society of his sons and daughters; the latter he refused to give in marriage, unfortunately for their moral character. He died in his seventy-second year, after forty-seven years of reign, and was buried in the octagonal Byzantine-Romanesque church at Aachen, built by him and decorated with marble columns from Rome and Ravenna.

    In the year 1000 Otto III opened the imperial tomb and found (it is said) the great emperor as he had been buried, sitting on a marble throne, robed and crowned as in life, the book of the Gospels open on his knees.

    Charlemagne with the halo of holiness

    In some parts of the empire popular affection placed him among the saints. For political purposes and to please Frederick Barbarossa he was canonized (1165) by the antipope Paschal III, but this act was never ratified by insertion of his feast in the Roman Breviary or by the Universal Church; his cultus, however, was permitted at Aachen [Acta SS., 28 Jan., 3d ed., II, 490-93, 303-7, 769; his office is in Canisius, "Antiq. Lect.", III (2)].

    According to his friend and biographer, Einhard, Charles was of imposing stature, to which his bright eyes and long, flowing hair added more dignity. His neck was rather short, and his belly prominent, but the symmetry of his other members concealed these defects. His clear voice was not so sonorous as his gigantic frame would suggest. Except on his visits to Rome he wore the national dress of his Frankish people, linen shirt and drawers, a tunic held by a silken cord, and leggings; his thighs were wound round with thongs of leather; his feet were covered with laced shoes. He had good health to his sixty-eighth year, when fevers set in, and he began to limp with one foot. He was his own physician, we are told, and much disliked his medical advisers who wished him to eat boiled meat instead of roast. No contemporary portrait of him has been preserved. A statuette in the Musée Carnavalet at Paris is said to be very ancient.

    THOMAS J. SHAHAN & E. MACPHERSON (1913 Catholic Encyclopedia)