Friday, August 31, 2012

The Queenship of Mary

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The Queenship of Mary

Pope Pius XII in the Papal Encyclical Ad Coeli Reginam proposed the traditional doctrine on the Queenship of Mary and established this feast for the Universal Church.

Blessed Pope Pius IX said of Mary’s Queenship: “Turning her maternal Heart toward us and dealing with the affair of our salvation, she is concerned with the whole human race. Constituted by the Lord Queen of Heaven and Earth, and exalted above all choirs of Angels and the ranks of Saints in Heaven, standing at the right hand of Her only begotten Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, she petitions most powerfully with Her maternal prayers, and she obtains what she seeks.

Pope Pius XII added the following: “We command that on the festival there be renewed the consecration of the human race to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Upon this there is founded a great hope that there will rejoice in the triumph of religion and in Christian peace…

…“Therefore, let all approach with greater confidence now than before, to the throne of mercy and grace of our Queen and Mother to beg help in difficulty, light in darkness and solace in trouble and sorrow…

…“Whoever, therefore, honors the lady ruler of the Angels and of men — and let no one think themselves exempt from the payment of that tribute of a grateful and loving soul—let them call upon her as most truly Queen and as the Queen who brings the blessings of peace, that She may show us all, after this exile, Jesus, who will be our enduring peace and joy.”

California Assembly passes ‘attack on parental rights’ bill banning sex orientation therapy

by Kathleen Gilbert

SACRAMENTO, August 30, 2012, ( - A first-of-its-kind state measure banning voluntary therapy for same-sex attraction for minors has passed California’s Assembly, moving it a step closer to law, pending the reconciliation of the bill’s versions this week.

The latest version of the bill states that California has a compelling interest in protecting minors against “exposure to serious harms caused by sexual orientation change efforts,” and prohibits any mental health professional from providing sexual orientation therapy to individuals under 18 years old. 

The measure passed by a 51-21 vote in the Democratic-controlled Assembly, and was approved by the Senate in May.

Critics have blasted the bill as an infringement upon parents’ rights, while supporters say that’s precisely the point.

The attack on parental rights is exactly the whole point of the bill, because we don’t want to let parents harm their children,” the bill’s sponsor, State Senator Ted Lieu, said this summer. “We have these laws to stop parents from hurting their kids. Preventive therapy hurts children, so this bill allows us to stop parents from hurting their children.”

Family rights activists say that the bill’s therapy crackdown neglects one of society’s most victimized members: children traumatized by sexual molestation.

“It is absolutely wrong to withhold emotional, mental, and physical help from a child who has been raped or molested, who, as a result of this physical, mental, and emotional exploitation, is confused about his or her sexual identity,” said President Randy Thomasson in statements following the Assembly’s vote. “The professional counseling that an abused child receives is often the key to the child’s recovery and overall mental health.”

Conservative legislators such as Republican Assemblyman Donald Wagner object that the government had no right to interfere in “matters of medical decisions made between parents and children.” 

“That’s why parents have children—to hand down their legacies, their belief systems, the way they want their children raised,” Republican Representative Shannon Grove said during floor debate, according to Reuters.

The bill originally dictated that any speech by therapists favoring sexual change therapy, or indicating it could possibly work, constituted “therapeutic deception” and could be brought to court by “a patient, former patient, or deceased former patient’s parent, child, or sibling” with an eight-year statute of limitations for patients and five years for other relatives.

The latest version of the bill was simplified to state only that the therapy is harmful, that homosexuality is not a disorder, and that all such therapy for children and teenagers is illegal regardless of consent.

The two chambers must pass a final bill reconciling their two versions by Friday before sending the bill to Democratic Governor Jerry Brown.

Brown, a regular backer of gay rights initiatives such as redefining marriage, has yet to confirm he will sign the bill.

University upholds study finding children do better with straight parents than homosexuals

by Kathleen Gilbert

AUSTIN, TX, August 30, 2012, ( - A Texas university has determined that “no formal investigation is warranted” against a professor who published a rigorous study this summer finding that children of heterosexual parents fare better in many respects than children of homosexual parents.

The University of Texas at Austin announced this week it would not pursue allegations against associate sociology professor Mark Regnerus an article published in the journal Social Science Research in July.

The announcement came in response to LGBT activist and blog author Scott Rosensweig, who had accused Regnerus of crafting a study “designed so as to be guaranteed to make gay people look bad, through means plainly fraudulent and defamatory,” and of “harbor[ing] anti-gay prejudices” because he is Catholic.

The study unearthed alarming disparities between the two family models, from suicide attempts and unemployment rates to sexual abuse.

One statistic found children of lesbian mothers are nearly 12 times as likely to say they were sexually touched by a parent or adult as those raised in intact biological families. Asked if they had ever been raped, 31 percent of those raised by lesbian mothers and 25 percent of children raised by gay fathers answered yes, compared to eight percent of those from intact biological homes.

Regnerus had noted that previous studies on the issue suffer from considerable sample bias, including the widely noted National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study, which drew its information from volunteers responding to advertisements targeting lesbians.

Regnerus based his study on a large random sample of American young adults from the data collection project New Family Structures Study, and unlike most others, uses the responses of children rather than parents.

The study also found a correlation between a young person’s upbringing and his or her later sexual orientation. While 90 percent of respondents from normative households identified as “entirely heterosexual,” only 61 percent of those raised by a lesbian mother and 71 percent of those raised by a homosexual father reported the same.

In a press release Wednesday, university officials said an advisory panel’s report concluded there was insufficient evidence to pursue Rosensweig’s allegations, noting that it sought the counsel of Dr. Alan Price, former associate director of the Office of Research Integrity in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, who independently agreed the investigation was conducted properly.

“As with much university research, Regnerus’ New Family Structures Study touches on a controversial and highly personal issue that is currently being debated by society at large,” said officials. “The university expects the scholarly community will continue to evaluate and report on the findings of the Regnerus article and supports such discussion.”

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Homosexual’s ‘defamatory’ lawsuit seeks to silence pro-family groups: Liberty University attorney

by Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

August 28, 2012 ( - A lawsuit filed by a homosexual against Liberty University School of Law and various other organizations and individuals for “conspiracy” and “racketeering” is based on lies and is defamatory, according to law school dean Mathew Staver, who says that he will “pursue every recourse” against the plaintiffs for having filed it.

Staver also says that the suit is an attempt to undermine the freedom of speech of pro-family groups in their opposition to homosexual behavior and homosexual parenting.

“This is outrageously frivolous,” Staver told “It’s a press release filed in federal court. It is sanctionable, and we will pursue every recourse possible because this suit is defamatory. It’s filled with lies, it’s frivolous, and the attorney who filed it ought to be sanctioned…”

The suit, filed on behalf of Vermont lesbian Janet Jenkins, claims that Liberty University School of Law, Thomas Road Baptist Church, Christian Aid Ministries, and other organizations and individuals are involved in various schemes of “conspiracy” and “racketeering” for allegedly offering support for ex-lesbian Lisa Miller’s and her daughter’s escape from the United States in 2009.

Miller fled the United States after a Vermont court insisted that Jenkins, who was Miller’s ex-partner in a Vermont civil union, be given visits with Miller’s daughter, Isabella. Although Jenkins is unrelated biologically to Isabella, and never adopted her, the court awarded “parent” status to Jenkins, and continued to order visits despite evidence submitted of trauma suffered by Isabella.

After Miller’s disappearance, Vermont judge Richard Cohen ordered that the custody of Isabella be transferred permanently to Jenkins, an order that is unenforceable while Miller remains in hiding outside of the United States.

“Racketeering” churches and law schools?

The suit seeks to invoke the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) against Liberty University’s law school because a single individual who worked there part-time allegedly sent an email to co-workers soliciting donations to be sent to Miller in Nicaragua, an event that Staver says never happened.

The suit also cites the fact that the Thomas Road Baptist Church signed the Manhattan Declaration, which endorses civil disobedience in defense of Christian values, and asserts that Liberty University teaches the same thing in its law school. It also cites an interview given by Liberty law school professor Rena Lindavaldsen with, in which she states that people could write to their representatives about the case, implying that participation in politics is tantamount to a criminal “conspiracy.”

The suit’s abuse of the RICO statute, according to Staver, is an attempt to silence pro-family groups, in a manner similar to that of pro-abortion groups in lawsuits against the pro-life movement in the 1990s.

“It’s exactly the same thing that happened in the 90s with pro-lifers,” Staver said. “Pro-lifers were targeted by RICO suits, people were brought into RICO complaints and intimidated into silence, because they agreed to pray to end abortion in America. They agreed to pray for a picket or a prayer rally outside of an abortion clinic, even though they hadn’t even been to the abortion clinic. People in Texas who had never been to Florida were all of a sudden named on a RICO complaint.”

Ex-lesbian and pro-family activist Linda Wall, who was a close friend of Lisa Miller in the years before her disappearance, says that various claims made regarding her in the complaint are also false.

“I have never been an agent of Thomas Road Baptist Church, and not even a member of Thomas Road Baptist Church,” said Wall. “So that’s a big error there, connecting me with that church.”

The suit also claims that Wall called law enforcement and told them not to investigate the case, and that she posted messages on Facebook encouraging people not to reveal what they know about Miller, which Wall also denies.

Wall said that she had never counseled Lisa Miller to leave the country, principally because she didn’t want Miller to blame her later if it didn’t work out. She also says she was never told by Miller that she had decided to leave, an event that surprised Wall, although she subsequently stated her personal agreement with Miller’s actions in later interviews.

A pattern of legal harassment?

The Jenkins lawsuit comes on the heels of a number of recent cases in which homosexuals have been accused of using the legal system and even law enforcement to harass pro-family activists.

The president of the Massachusetts pro-family group Mass Resistance was recently slapped with a restraining order in the state of Maine after homosexual activist and convicted sex abuser Adam Flanders complained that Camenker was “harassing” and “stalking” him, even though Camenker has never had any personal contact with Flanders and resides in another state.

The chief motive in Flanders’ complaint was that Camenker had published a public letter written by Flanders years earlier detailing the sexual exploitation of minors in a local homosexual “youth group” run by adults, and Flanders now wished it to be removed from the Mass Resistance site, a request that Camenker refused. The Maine court granted Flanders’ request for the restraining order after refusing to allow Camenker to testify by phone, something that Camenker says he was told he could do.

Following the restraining order, Flanders went on to file a multimillion dollar lawsuit against Camenker and Mass Resistance, claiming that his status as a protected minority in the state of Maine has been violated by Camenker because Mass Resistance had not removed his letter from the site. Flanders also temporarily secured the removal of all of conservative news outlet Road Kill Radio’s content from Vimeo’s video service after threatening Vimeo with a lawsuit because of Road Kill’s discussion of his case with Camenker. He has sought to silence other news sources as well, including World Net Daily, Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, and

In other recent cases, homosexual activists have been accused of placing fraudulent phone calls to police, claiming that a murder or other violent event has occurred at the house of a pro-family activist, and provoking the intervention of a SWAT team at the activist’s residence. Although the origin of such attacks remains unproven, they have become known as “SWATing” in the pro-family movement.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Homosexual Commercial Tyranny

by Gary J. Isbell

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Homosexual Commercial Tyranny

A chill has just fallen upon the markets in Vermont as business owners can now be forced to do business against their consciences.

A Roman Catholic family was recently sued by two lesbians from New York who wanted to use The Wildflower Inn in Lyndonville, Vermont as the site for a homosexual “wedding” reception. An employee from the inn informed the inquirers of the owners’ feeling about hosting such a reception and politely turned them down.

That polite refusal brought down the wrath of the ACLU and Vermont Human Rights Commission upon Jim and Mary O’Reilly, who could not match the resources the two giants brought against them. They settled out of court, giving $10,000 to the commission and $20,000 to a charitable trust run by two lesbians. They also agreed not to host any more receptions.

It seems painfully clear that liberals are content with abrogating the freedoms of some in order to enforce the “freedoms” of others in the name of equality. The implications of this decision are chilling.

Business can only operate in an atmosphere of freedom, and contract without coercion. The recent decision against the O’Reilly’s demonstrates how government is dictating the terms of a contract to owners and with whom they must do business. If owners insist upon honoring their consciences, they must either conform, or get out the business altogether.

Another consequence of this decision is that it sends the message that owners can expect to see an array of disproportional powers brought against them.  Small owners now know they can be punished by government and have legal action taken against them if they dare disagree with the homosexual agenda. So much for land of the free.

Finally, business owners are now feeling the tyranny of an ideological agenda that has entered into the markets and violates all the rules, exercising a kind of commercial “terrorism” against any who oppose it.  Business owners in Vermont now know that all it takes is a single phone call from an out of state activist to shut down their operations.  As in the case of O’Reilly’s Wildflower Inn, an activist need not even speak to the owners but to a mere employee, and they may see their life’s work threatened.

In such an atmosphere of intimidations, markets cannot be free. The chilling message taken from this case against the Wildflower Inn is that the free market in Vermont is no longer free.

Scotland’s bishops issue pastoral message on marriage

CWN - August 27, 2012

The bishops of Scotland have issued a pastoral message on marriage that was read throughout Scottish parishes on August 26.  “We write to you having already expressed our deep disappointment that the Scottish government has decided to redefine marriage and legislate for same-sex marriage,” the bishops stated. Read more:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

14 year old Christian orphan murdered; his body dismembered and face disfigured

by Shafique Khokhar, Faisalabad (AsiaNews) - A brutal murder, of a shadowy nature, has shaken the Christian community in Pakistan already marked by the experience of a disabled girl imprisoned for blasphemy in Islamabad, 11-year-old Rimsha Masih (see AsiaNews 19/08/2012 An 11-year-old disabled Christian girl arrested for blasphemy, 300 families flee).

Read more here:,-brutal-murder-of-14-year-old-Christian-boy,-his-body-dismembered-and-face-disfigured-25617.html

You have one MAJOR point upon which is hinged your fidelity to God and His Holy Laws

This text from Prof. Plinio Correa de Oliveira explains what is this major point of the soul, or primordial light:

According to Catholic theology, for the same reason that each one of us feels within himself a tendency towards a specific sin—usually referred to as capital sin—in he contrary sense, each soul is called to reflect a specific aspect of God by especially shining in the practice of a specific virtue. This has been referred to as the person's "primordial light."

Thus we may conjecture that as one advances in sanctity, his primordial light becomes more evident. Were we to correspond faithfully to every grace that Christ gives, His light would radiate through our poor selves.

One person tends to be charitable, another loyal, another obedient, and yet another serious and responsible. One is inspired by all that is pure and sublime, another by the severe and austere.

One has such a love for our Blessed Mother that he cannot hear her name mentioned without feeling every string of his heart stir. Another is particularly touched by all that surrounds the birth of the Child Jesus, yet another by Our Lord's Passion. All souls are called to practice all virtues, but a particular virtue shines before each in a primordial, a first light.

Imagine Saint Louis Gonzaga, the personification of purity, and emulate his angelic chastity. Consider Saint Louis, King of France, the embodiment of honor, with uprightness and sincerity written in each line of his noble face.

Reflect on Saint Vincent de Paul, an emissary of divine charity, who walked the back streets of Paris rescuing abandoned babies and carrying them in the huge pockets of his cassock to their new homes. Recall Saint Francis of Assisi, who courted Lady Poverty throughout his life, or Saint John the Baptist, who embodied the rigors of God's call to repentance and penance.

As every virtue reflects its divine Author, Saint Thomas concludes that Christ is the perfect expression of all the primordial lights that were, are, and will be. To that we may add that every saint is nothing more–nor less–than a small spark of the perfection of Our Lord, an inestimable honor indeed.

Cardinal Dolan, we beg you, please avoid the appearance of scandal!

By Judie Brown
From Renew America --  Today's commentary teaches the true meaning of the word scandal, not merely what pop culture would have us believe.  Through an insightful and enlightening discussion of the Church's teaching on the meaning of the word, Judie Brown explains why President Obama should not dine with Church leaders at an event to benefit Catholic charities.  Read on to discover why this is so.

USCCB President Cardinal Dolan celebrates Catholicism of VP picks Biden and Ryan

by John-Henry Westen

August 24, 2012, ( – In a recent interview with National Review’s Kathryn Jean Lopez, New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan celebrated the Catholicism of both candidates for US Vice President - Democrat VP Joe Biden and Republican Paul Ryan. “Do you not think it’s a cause for celebration in the Catholic community in the United States of America that the two vice-presidential candidates are Catholic?” Dolan told Lopez.

Dolan added:

“We’ve got two men who - and you can disagree with one of them or both of them - say they take their faith seriously, who don’t try to hide it, and who say, ‘Hey, my Catholic upbringing and my Catholic formation influences the way I think.’ Not bad. Not bad.”

Joe Biden, Cardinal Dolan and Paul Ryan

Joe Biden, Cardinal Dolan and Paul Ryan

President John F. Kennedy, “couldn’t say, ‘My religion will affect my public policy.’ He couldn’t say, ‘My Catholic faith is going to have an impact on the way I govern.’ In fact, he almost had to say the opposite. And now you’ve got two guys . . . who were picked because their Catholicism was attractive.”

Nevertheless, the ‘Catholicism’ of the two Vice Presidential candidates could hardly be further from one another according to Catholic League President Bill Donohue

“Ryan’s idea of freedom of choice commits him to supporting school vouchers; Biden’s notion of choice commits him to abortion rights,” said Donohue in a press recent press release. “Ryan is opposed to reinventing the institution of marriage; Biden wants to expand marriage to include two people of the same sex.”

He concluded the point: “The Catholic Church opposes abortion and gay marriage. On both of these issues, Biden disagrees with the Church. “

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

Biden’s Catholicism has also been a cause for concern for American bishops.  Like his Catholic Democratic colleague Nancy Pelosi, Biden has touted his Catholicism while at the same time expounding his support for legal abortion and same-sex ‘marriage’. 

On NBC’s “Meet the Press” in 2008 Biden tried to assert that there is disagreement in Catholic Church teaching on abortion by citing St. Thomas Aquinas prompting both his own bishop and the Cardinal heading the pro-life arm of the United States Conference of Bishops and 14 other bishops to issue public corrections.

When, after the kerfuffle, Biden received a standing ovation at a Catholic Church after receiving communion, the Bishop of that diocese also issued a public correction of Biden’s pro-abortion stance. Bishop John Ricard warned Biden using the words of St. Paul that, “‘Whoever ... eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the Body and Blood of the Lord.’”

Click “like” if you want to defend true marriage.

Vatican authorities have insisted that pro-abortion Catholic politicians such as Biden be denied Holy Communion.  And in the United States, Bishop Joseph Martino has said publicly he would deny Biden Holy Communion.  Additionally, Bishop Michael Saltarelli, Biden’s own bishop at the time of Biden’s consideration for VP, said publicly that as long as Biden maintained his pro-abortion position, he would refuse him permission from speaking at Catholic schools even if he was Vice President of the United States.

Monday, August 27, 2012

August 28 – The Restless Heart of Saint Augustine

St. Augustine of Hippo

The great St. Augustine’s life is unfolded to us in documents of unrivaled richness, and of no great character of ancient times have we information comparable to that contained in the “Confessions,” which relate the touching story of his soul, the “Retractations,” which give the history of his mind, and the “Life of Augustine,” written by his friend Possidius, telling of the saint’s apostolate.

We will confine ourselves to sketching the three periods of this great life: (1) the young wanderer’s gradual return to the Faith; (2) the doctrinal development of the Christian philosopher to the time of his episcopate; and (3) the full development of his activities upon the Episcopal throne of Hippo.

Statue of St. Monica, the Mother of St. Augustine.


Augustine was born at Tagaste on 13 November, 354. Tagaste, now Souk-Ahras, about 60 miles from Bona (ancient Hippo-Regius), was at that time a small free city of proconsular Numidia which had recently been converted from Donatism. Although eminently respectable, his family was not rich, and his father, Patricius, one of the curiales of the city, was still a pagan. However, the admirable virtues that made Monica the ideal of Christian mothers at length brought her husband the grace of baptism and of a holy death, about the year 371.

Augustine received a Christian education. His mother had him signed with the cross and enrolled among the catechumens. Once, when very ill, he asked for baptism, but, all danger being soon passed, he deferred receiving the sacrament, thus yielding to a deplorable custom of the times. His association with “men of prayer” left three great ideas deeply engraven upon his soul: a Divine Providence, the future life with terrible sanctions, and, above all, Christ the Saviour. “From my tenderest infancy, I had in a manner sucked with my mother’s milk that name of my Saviour, Thy Son; I kept it in the recesses of my heart; and all that presented itself to me without that Divine Name, though it might be elegant, well written, and even replete with truth, did not altogether carry me away” (Confessions, I, iv).

But a great intellectual and moral crisis stifled for a time all these Christian sentiments. The heart was the first point of attack. Patricius, proud of his son’s success in the schools of Tagaste and Madaura determined to send him to Carthage to prepare for a forensic career. But, unfortunately, it required several months to collect the necessary means, and Augustine had to spend his sixteenth year at Tagaste in an idleness which was fatal to his virtue; he gave himself up to pleasure with all the vehemence of an ardent nature. At first he prayed, but without the sincere desire of being heard, and when he reached Carthage, towards the end of the year 370, every circumstance tended to draw him from his true course: the many seductions of the great city that was still half pagan, the licentiousness of other students, the theatres, the intoxication of his literary success, and a proud desire always to be first, even in evil. Before long he was obliged to confess to Monica that he had formed a sinful liaison with the person who bore him a son (372), “the son of his sin” – an entanglement from which he only delivered himself at Milan after fifteen years of its thralldom. Two extremes are to be avoided in the appreciation of this crisis. Some, like Mommsen, misled perhaps by the tone of grief in the “Confessions,” have exaggerated it: in the “Realencyklopädie” (3d ed., II, 268) Loofs reproves Mommsen on this score, and yet he himself is to lenient towards Augustine, when he claims that in those days, the Church permitted concubinage. The “Confessions” alone prove that Loofs did not understand the 17th canon of Toledo. However, it may be said that, even in his fall, Augustine maintained a certain dignity and felt a compunction which does him honour, and that, from the age of nineteen, he had a genuine desire to break the chain. In fact, in 373, an entirely new inclination manifested itself in his life, brought about by the reading Cicero’s “Hortensius” whence he imbibed a love of the wisdom which Cicero so eloquently praises. Thenceforward Augustine looked upon rhetoric merely as a profession; his heart was in philosophy.

Augustine at school

Unfortunately, his faith, as well as his morals, was to pass though a terrible crisis. In this same year, 373, Augustine and his friend Honoratus fell into the snares of the Manichæans. It seems strange that so great a mind should have been victimized by Oriental vapourings, synthesized by the Persian Mani (215-276) into coarse, material dualism, and introduced into Africa scarcely fifty years previously. Augustine himself tells us that he was enticed by the promises of a free philosophy unbridled by faith; by the boasts of the Manichæans, who claimed to have discovered contradictions in Holy Writ; and, above all, by the hope of finding in their doctrine a scientific explanation of nature and its most mysterious phenomena. Augustine’s inquiring mind was enthusiastic for the natural sciences, and the Manichæans declared that nature withheld no secrets from Faustus, their doctor. Moreover, being tortured by the problem of the origin of evil, Augustine, in default of solving it, acknowledged a conflict of two principles. And then, again, there was a very powerful charm in the moral irresponsibility resulting from a doctrine which denied liberty and attributed the commission of crime to a foreign principle.

Once won over to this sect, Augustine devoted himself to it with all the ardour of his character; he read all its books, adopted and defended all its opinions. His furious proselytism drew into error his friend Alypius and Romanianus, his Mæcenas of Tagaste, the friend of his father who was defraying the expenses of Augustine’s studies. It was during this Manichæan period that Augustine’s literary faculties reached their full development, and he was still a student at Carthage when he embraced error. His studies ended, he should in due course have entered the forum litigiosum, but he preferred the career of letters, and Possidius tells us that he returned to Tagaste to “teach grammar.” The young professor captivated his pupils, one of whom, Alypius, hardly younger than his master, loath to leave, him after following him into error, was afterwards baptized with him at Milan, eventually becoming Bishop of Tagaste, his native city. But Monica deeply deplored Augustine’s heresy and would not have received him into her home or at her table but for the advice of a saintly bishop, who declared that “the son of so many tears could not perish.” Soon afterwards Augustine went to Carthage, where he continued to teach rhetoric. His talents shone to even better advantage on this wider stage, and by an indefatigable pursuit of the liberal arts his intellect attained its full maturity. Having taken part in a poetic tournament, he carried off the prize, and the Proconsul Vindicianus publicly conferred upon him the corona agonistica. It was at this moment of literary intoxication, when he had just completed his first work on æsthetics, now lost that he began to repudiate Manichæism. Even when Augustine was in his first fervour, the teachings of Mani had been far from quieting his restlessness, and although he has been accused of becoming a priest of the sect, he was never initiated or numbered among the “elect,” but remained an “auditor” the lowest degree in the hierarchy. He himself gives the reason for his disenchantment. First of all there was the fearful depravity of Manichæan philosophy – “They destroy everything and build up nothing”; then, the dreadful immorality in contrast with their affectation of virtue; the feebleness of their arguments in controversy with the Catholics, to whose Scriptural arguments their only reply was: “The Scriptures have been falsified.” But, worse than all, he did not find science among them – science in the modern sense of the word – that knowledge of nature and its laws which they had promised him. When he questioned them concerning the movements of the stars, none of them could answer him. “Wait for Faustus,” they said, “he will explain everything to you.” Faustus of Mileve, the celebrated Manichæan bishop, at last came to Carthage; Augustine visited and questioned him, and discovered in his responses the vulgar rhetorician, the utter stranger to all scientific culture. The spell was broken, and, although Augustine did not immediately abandon the sect, his mind rejected Manichæan doctrines. The illusion had lasted nine years.

Conversion of St. Augustine. Painting by Benozzo Gozzoli of St. Augustine reading the Epistle of St Paul.

But the religious crisis of this great soul was only to be resolved in Italy, under the influence of Ambrose. In 383 Augustine, at the age of twenty-nine, yielded to the irresistible attraction which Italy had for him, but his mother suspected his departure and was so reluctant to be separated from him that he resorted to a subterfuge and embarked under cover of the night. He had only just arrived in Rome when he was taken seriously ill; upon recovering he opened a school of rhetoric, but, disgusted by the tricks of his pupils, who shamelessly defrauded him of their tuition fees, he applied for a vacant professorship at Milan, obtained it, and was accepted by the prefect, Symmachus. Having visited Bishop Ambrose, the fascination of that saint’s kindness induced him to become a regular attendant at his preachings. However, before embracing the Faith, Augustine underwent a three years’ struggle during which his mind passed through several distinct phases. At first he turned towards the philosophy of the Academics, with its pessimistic scepticism; then neo-Platonic philosophy inspired him with genuine enthusiasm. At Milan he had scarcely read certain works of Plato and, more especially, of Plotinus, before the hope of finding the truth dawned upon him. Once more he began to dream that he and his friends might lead a life dedicated to the search for it, a life purged of all vulgar aspirations after honours, wealth, or pleasure, and with celibacy for its rule (Confessions, VI). But it was only a dream; his passions still enslaved him. Monica, who had joined her son at Milan, prevailed upon him to become betrothed, but his affianced bride was too young, and although Augustine dismissed the mother of Adeodatus, her place was soon filled by another. Thus did he pass through one last period of struggle and anguish. Finally, through the reading of the Holy Scriptures light penetrated his mind. Soon he possessed the certainty that Jesus Christ is the only way to truth and salvation. After that resistance came only from the heart. An interview with Simplicianus, the future successor of St. Ambrose, who told Augustine the story of the conversion of the celebrated neo-Platonic rhetorician, Victorinus (Confessions, VIII, i, ii), prepared the way for the grand stroke of grace which, at the age of thirty-three, smote him to the ground in the garden at Milan (September, 386). A few days later Augustine, being ill, took advantage of the autumn holidays and, resigning his professorship, went with Monica, Adeodatus, and his friends to Cassisiacum, the country estate of Verecundus, there to devote himself to the pursuit of true philosophy which, for him, was now inseparable from Christianity.


Baptism of St. Augustine

Augustine gradually became acquainted with Christian doctrine, and in his mind the fusion of Platonic philosophy with revealed dogmas was taking place. The law that governed this change of thought has of late years been frequently misconstrued; it is sufficiently important to be precisely defined. The solitude of Cassisiacum realized a long-cherished dream. In his books “Against the Academics,” Augustine has described the ideal serenity of this existence, enlivened only by the passion for truth. He completed the education of his young friends, now by literary readings in common, now by philosophical conferences to which he sometimes invited Monica, and the accounts of which, compiled by a secretary, have supplied the foundation of the “Dialogues.” Licentius, in his “Letters,” would later on recall these delightful philosophical mornings and evenings, at which Augustine was wont to evolve the most elevating discussions from the most commonplace incidents. The favourite topics at their conferences were truth, certainty (Against the Academics), true happiness in philosophy (On a Happy Life), the Providential order of the world and the problem of evil (On Order) and finally God and the soul (Soliloquies, On the Immortality of the Soul).

Here arises the curious question propounded modern critics: Was Augustine a Christian when wrote these “Dialogues” at Cassisiacum? Until now no one had doubted it; historians, relying upon the “Confessions,” had all believed that Augustine’s retirement to the villa had for its twofold object the improvement of his health and his preparation for baptism. But certain critics nowadays claim to have discovered a radical opposition between the philosophical “Dialogues” composed in this retirement and the state of soul described in the “Confessions.” According to Harnack, in writing the “Confessions” Augustine must have projected upon the recluse of 386 the sentiments of the bishop of 400. Others go farther and maintain that the recluse of the Milanese villa could not have been at heart a Christian, but a Platonist; and that the scene in the garden was a conversion not to Christianity, but to philosophy, the genuinely Christian phase beginning only in 390. But this interpretation of the “Dialogues” cannot withstand the test of facts and texts. It is admitted that Augustine received baptism at Easter, 387; and who could suppose that it was for him a meaningless ceremony? So too, how can it be admitted that the scene in the garden, the example of the recluses, the reading of St. Paul, the conversion of Victorinus, Augustine’s ecstasies in reading the Psalms with Monica were all invented after the fact? Again, as it was in 388 that Augustine wrote his beautiful apology “On the Holiness of the Catholic Church,” how is it conceivable that he was not yet a Christian at that date? To settle the argument, however, it is only necessary to read the “Dialogues” themselves. They are certainly a purely philosophical work – a work of youth, too, not without some pretension, as Augustine ingenuously acknowledges (Confessions, IX, iv); nevertheless, they contain the entire history of his Christian formation. As early as 386, the first work written at Cassisiacum reveals to us the great underlying motive of his researches. The object of his philosophy is to give authority the support of reason, and “for him the great authority, that which dominates all others and from which he never wished to deviate, is the authority of Christ”; and if he loves the Platonists it is because he counts on finding among them interpretations always in harmony with his faith (Against the Academics, III, c. x). To be sure such confidence was excessive, but it remains evident that in these “Dialogues” it is a Christian, and not a Platonist, that speaks. He reveals to us the intimate details of his conversion, the argument that convinced him (the life and conquests of the Apostles), his progress in the Faith at the school of St. Paul (ibid., II, ii), his delightful conferences with his friends on the Divinity of Jesus Christ, the wonderful transformations worked in his soul by faith, even to that victory of his over the intellectual pride which his Platonic studies had aroused in him (On The Happy Life, I, ii), and at last the gradual calming of his passions and the great resolution to choose wisdom for his only spouse (Soliloquies, I, x).

The Consecration of St Augustine, painted by Jaume Huguet

It is now easy to appreciate at its true value the influence of neo-Platonism upon the mind of the great African Doctor. It would be impossible for anyone who has read the works of St. Augustine to deny the existence of this influence. However, it would be a great exaggeration of this influence to pretend that it at any time sacrificed the Gospel to Plato. The same learned critic thus wisely concludes his study: “So long, therefore, as his philosophy agrees with his religious doctrines, St. Augustine is frankly neo-Platonist; as soon as a contradiction arises, he never hesitates to subordinate his philosophy to religion, reason to faith. He was, first of all, a Christian; the philosophical questions that occupied his mind constantly found themselves more and more relegated to the background” (op. cit., 155). But the method was a dangerous one; in thus seeking harmony between the two doctrines he thought too easily to find Christianity in Plato, or Platonism in the Gospel. More than once, in his “Retractations” and elsewhere, he acknowledges that he has not always shunned this danger. Thus he had imagined that in Platonism he discovered the entire doctrine of the Word and the whole prologue of St. John. He likewise disavowed a good number of neo-Platonic theories which had at first misled him – the cosmological thesis of the universal soul, which makes the world one immense animal – the Platonic doubts upon that grave question: Is there a single soul for all or a distinct soul for each? But on the other hand, he had always reproached the Platonists, as Schaff very properly remarks (Saint Augustine, New York, 1886, p. 51), with being ignorant of, or rejecting, the fundamental points of Christianity: “first, the great mystery, the Word made flesh; and then love, resting on the basis of humility.” They also ignore grace, he says, giving sublime precepts of morality without any help towards realizing them.

It was this Divine grace that Augustine sought in Christian baptism. Towards the beginning of Lent, 387, he went to Milan and, with Adeodatus and Alypius, took his place among the competentes, being baptized by Ambrose on Easter Day, or at least during Eastertide. The tradition maintaining that the Te Deum was sung on that occasion by the bishop and the neophyte alternately is groundless. Nevertheless this legend is certainly expressive of the joy of the Church upon receiving as her son him who was to be her most illustrious doctor. It was at this time that Augustine, Alypius, and Evodius resolved to retire into solitude in Africa. Augustine undoubtedly remained at Milan until towards autumn, continuing his works: “On the Immortality of the Soul” and “On Music.” In the autumn of 387, he was about to embark at Ostia, when Monica was summoned from this life. In all literature there are no pages of more exquisite sentiment than the story of her saintly death and Augustine’s grief (Confessions, IX). Augustine remained several months in Rome, chiefly engaged in refuting Manichæism. He sailed for Africa after the death of the tyrant Maximus (August 388) and after a short sojourn in Carthage, returned to his native Tagaste. Immediately upon arriving there, he wished to carry out his idea of a perfect life, and began by selling all his goods and giving the proceeds to the poor. Then he and his friends withdrew to his estate, which had already been alienated, there to lead a common life in poverty, prayer, and the study of sacred letters. Book of the “LXXXIII Questions” is the fruit of conferences held in this retirement, in which he also wrote “De Genesi contra Manichæos,” “De Magistro,” and, “De Vera Religione.”

Augustine did not think of entering the priesthood, and, through fear of the episcopacy, he even fled from cities in which an election was necessary. One day, having been summoned to Hippo by a friend whose soul’s salvation was at stake, he was praying in a church when the people suddenly gathered about him, cheered him, and begged Valerius, the bishop, to raise him to the priesthood. In spite of his tears Augustine was obliged to yield to their entreaties, and was ordained in 391. The new priest looked upon his ordination as an additional reason for resuming religious life at Tagaste, and so fully did Valerius approve that he put some church property at Augustine’s disposal, thus enabling him to establish a monastery the second that he had founded. His priestly ministry of five years was admirably fruitful; Valerius had bidden him preach, in spite of the deplorable custom which in Africa reserved that ministry to bishops. Augustine combated heresy, especially Manichæism, and his success was prodigious. Fortunatus, one of their great doctors, whom Augustine had challenged in public conference, was so humiliated by his defeat that he fled from Hippo. Augustine also abolished the abuse of holding banquets in the chapels of the martyrs. He took part, 8 October, 393, in the Plenary Council of Africa, presided over by Aurelius, Bishop of Carthage, and, at the request of the bishops, was obliged to deliver a discourse which, in its completed form, afterwards became the treatise “De Fide et symbolo.”


Enfeebled by old age, Valerius, Bishop of Hippo, obtained the authorization of Aurelius, Primate of Africa, to associate Augustine with himself as coadjutor. Augustine had to resign himself to consecration at the hands of Megalius, Primate of Numidia. He was then forty two, and was to occupy the See of Hippo for thirty-four years. The new bishop understood well how to combine the exercise of his pastoral duties with the austerities of the religious life, and although he left his convent, his episcopal residence became a monastery where he lived a community life with his clergy, who bound themselves to observe religious poverty. Was it an order of regular clerics or of monks that he thus founded? This is a question often asked, but we feel that Augustine gave but little thought to such distinctions. Be that as it may, the episcopal house of Hippo became a veritable nursery which supplied the founders of the monasteries that were soon spread all over Africa and the bishops who occupied the neighbouring sees. Possidius (Vita S. August., xxii) enumerates ten of the saint’s friends and disciples who were promoted to the episcopacy. Thus it was that Augustine earned the title of patriarch of the religious, and renovator of the clerical, life in Africa.

But he was above all the defender of truth and the shepherd of souls. His doctrinal activities, the influence of which was destined to last as long as the Church itself, were manifold: he preached frequently, sometimes for five days consecutively, his sermons breathing a spirit of charity that won all hearts; he wrote letters which scattered broadcast through the then known world his solutions of the problems of that day; he impressed his spirit upon divers African councils at which he assisted, for instance, those of Carthage in 398, 401, 407, 419 and of Mileve in 416 and 418; and lastly struggled indefatigably against all errors. To relate these struggles were endless; we shall, therefore, select only the chief controversies and indicate in each the doctrinal attitude of the great Bishop of Hippo.

A. The Manichæan Controversy and the Problem of Evil

After Augustine became bishop the zeal which, from the time of his baptism, he had manifested in bringing his former co-religionists into the true Church, took on a more paternal form without losing its pristine ardour – “let those rage against us who know not at what a bitter cost truth is attained. . . . As for me, I should show you the same forbearance that my brethren had for me when I blind, was wandering in your doctrines” (Contra Epistolam Fundamenti, iii).

Among the most memorable events that occurred during this controversy was the great victory won in 404 over Felix, one of the “elect” of the Manichæans and the great doctor of the sect. He was propagating his errors in Hippo, and Augustine invited him to a public conference the issue of which would necessarily cause a great stir; Felix declared himself vanquished, embraced the Faith, and, together with Augustine, subscribed the acts of the conference. In his writings Augustine successively refuted Mani (397), the famous Faustus (400), Secundinus (405), and (about 415) the fatalistic Priscillianists whom Paulus Orosius had denounced to him. These writings contain the saint’s clear, unquestionable views on the eternal problem of evil, views based on an optimism proclaiming, like the Platonists, that every work of God is good and that the only source of moral evil is the liberty of creatures (De Civitate Dei, XIX, c. xiii, n. 2). Augustine takes up the defence of free will, even in man as he is, with such ardour that his works against the Manichæan are an inexhaustible storehouse of arguments in this still living controversy.

Four Doctors of the Church, LtoR: St. Augustine, St. Gregory the Great, St. Jerome, St. Ambrosius

In vain have the Jansenists maintained that Augustine was unconsciously a Pelagian and that he afterwards acknowledged the loss of liberty through the sin of Adam. Modern critics, doubtless unfamiliar with Augustine’s complicated system and his peculiar terminology, have gone much farther. In the “Revue d’histoire et de littérature religieuses” (1899, p. 447), M. Margival exhibits St. Augustine as the victim of metaphysical pessimism unconsciously imbibed from Manichæan doctrines. “Never,” says he, “will the Oriental idea of the necessity and the eternity of evil have a more zealous defender than this bishop.” Nothing is more opposed to the facts. Augustine acknowledges that he had not yet understood how the first good inclination of the will is a gift of God (Retractions, I, xxiii, n, 3); but it should be remembered that he never retracted his leading theories on liberty, never modified his opinion upon what constitutes its essential condition, that is to say, the full power of choosing or of deciding. Who will dare to say that in revising his own writings on so important a point he lacked either clearness of perception or sincerity?

B. The Donatist Controversy and the Theory of the Church

The Donatist schism was the last episode in the Montanist and Novatian controversies which had agitated the Church from the second century. While the East was discussing under varying aspects the Divine and Christological problem of the Word, the West, doubtless because of its more practical genius, took up the moral question of sin in all its forms. The general problem was the holiness of the Church; could the sinner be pardoned, and remain in her bosom? In Africa the question especially concerned the holiness of the hierarchy. The bishops of Numidia, who, in 312, had refused to accept as valid the consecration of Cæcilian, Bishop of Carthage, by a traditor, had inaugurated the schism and at the same time proposed these grave questions: Do the hierarchical powers depend upon the moral worthiness of the priest? How can the holiness of the Church be compatible with the unworthiness of its ministers?

At the time of Augustine’s arrival in Hippo, the schism had attained immense proportions, having become identified with political tendencies – perhaps with a national movement against Roman domination. In any event, it is easy to discover in it an undercurrent of anti-social revenge which the emperors had to combat by strict laws. The strange sect known as “Soldiers of Christ,” and called by Catholics Circumcelliones (brigands, vagrants), resembled the revolutionary sects of the Middle Ages in point of fanatic destructiveness – a fact that must not be lost sight of, if the severe legislation of the emperors is to be properly appreciated.

Painting by Sandro Botticelli

St. Augustine used to meditate long and hard on the mystery of the Holy Trinity, as he tried to understand it. Strolling along the seashore one day wondering how there could be Three Persons in one God, he noticed a small child repeatedly scooping up water from the sea in a shell and carried it to a hole in the sand into which he emptied the water. Curious, St. Augustine walked over and asked the child what he was doing. Smiling up at him the child said, "I am emptying the sea into this hole." St. Augustine replied, "Why, even if you spent your whole life at this task, child, you could never complete it. The sea is far too vast and deep to be contained in so small a hole!" The child looked up solemnly at St. Augustine and said: "Yet I will complete this task before you can ever fully comprehend the Mystery of the Holy Trinity." and with that, the child vanished. St. Augustine then realized that he was an angel sent to him by God to point out the futility of his efforts to understand this Mystery.

The history of Augustine’s struggles with the Donatists is also that of his change of opinion on the employment of rigorous measures against the heretics; and the Church in Africa, of whose councils he had been the very soul, followed him in the change. This change of views is solemnly attested by the Bishop of Hippo himself, especially in his Letters, xciii (in the year 408). In the beginning, it was by conferences and a friendly controversy that he sought to re-establish unity. He inspired various conciliatory measures of the African councils, and sent ambassadors to the Donatists to invite them to re-enter the Church, or at least to urge them to send deputies to a conference (403). The Donatists met these advances at first with silence, then with insults, and lastly with such violence that Possidius Bishop of Calamet, Augustine’s friend, escaped death only by flight, the Bishop of Bagaïa was left covered with horrible wounds, and the life of the Bishop of Hippo himself was several times attempted (Letter lxxxviii, to Januarius, the Donatist bishop).

This madness of the Circumcelliones required harsh repression, and Augustine, witnessing the many conversions that resulted therefrom, thenceforth approved rigid laws. However, this important restriction must be pointed out: that St. Augustine never wished heresy to be punishable by death – Vos rogamus ne occidatis (Letter c, to the Proconsul Donatus). But the bishops still favoured a conference with the schismatics, and in 410 an edict issued by Honorius put an end to the refusal of the Donatists. A solemn conference took place at Carthage, in June, 411, in presence of 286 Catholic, and 279 Donatist bishops. The Donatist spokesmen were Petilian of Constantine, Primian of Carthage, and Emeritus of Cæsarea; the Catholic orators, Aurelius and Augustine. On the historic question then at issue, the Bishop of Hippo proved the innocence of Cæcilian and his consecrator Felix, and in the dogmatic debate he established the Catholic thesis that the Church, as long as it is upon earth, can, without losing its holiness, tolerate sinners within its pale for the sake of converting them. In the name of the emperor the Proconsul Marcellinus sanctioned the victory of the Catholics on all points. Little by little Donatism died out, to disappear with the coming of the Vandals.

So amply and magnificently did Augustine develop his theory on the Church that, according to Specht “he deserves to be named the Doctor of the Church as well as the Doctor of Grace”; and Möhler (Dogmatik, 351) is not afraid to write: “For depth of feeling and power of conception nothing written on the Church since St. Paul’s time, is comparable to the works of St. Augustine.” He has corrected, perfected, and even excelled the beautiful pages of St. Cyprian on the Divine institution of the Church, its authority, its essential marks, and its mission in the economy of grace and the administration of the sacraments. The Protestant critics, Dorner, Bindemann, Böhringer and especially Reuter, loudly proclaim, and sometimes even exaggerate, this rôle of the Doctor of Hippo; and while Harnack does not quite agree with them in every respect he does not hesitate to say (History of Dogma, II, c. iii): “It is one of the points upon which Augustine specially affirms and strengthens the Catholic idea…. He was the first [!] to transform the authority of the Church into a religious power, and to confer upon practical religion the gift of a doctrine of the Church.” He was not the first, for Dorner acknowledges (Augustinus, 88) that Optatus of Mileve had expressed the basis of the same doctrines. Augustine, however, deepened, systematized, and completed the views of St. Cyprian and Optatus. But it is impossible here to go into detail. (See Specht, Die Lehre von der Kirche nach dem hl. Augustinus, Paderborn, l892.)

C. The Pelagian Controversy and the Doctor of Grace

The Burial of Saint Augustine. ca. 1745.

The close of the struggle against the Donatists almost coincided with the beginnings of a very grave theological dispute which not only was to demand Augustine’s unremitting attention up to the time of his death, but was to become an eternal problem for individuals and for the Church. Farther on we shall enlarge upon Augustine’s system; here we need only indicate the phases of the controversy. Africa, where Pelagius and his disciple Celestius had sought refuge after the taking of Rome by Alaric, was the principal centre of the first Pelagian disturbances; as early as 412 a council held at Carthage condemned Pelagians for their attacks upon the doctrine of original sin. Among other books directed against them by Augustine was his famous “De naturâ et gratiâ.” Thanks to his activity the condemnation of these innovators, who had succeeded in deceiving a synod convened at Diospolis in Palestine, was reiterated by councils held later at Carthage and Mileve and confirmed by Pope Innocent I (417). A second period of Pelagian intrigues developed at Rome, but Pope Zosimus, whom the stratagems of Celestius had for a moment deluded, being enlightened by Augustine, pronounced the solemn condemnation of these heretics in 418. Thenceforth the combat was conducted in writing against Julian of Eclanum, who assumed the leadership of the party and violently attacked Augustine. Towards 426 there entered the lists a school which afterwards acquired the name of Semipelagian, the first members being monks of Hadrumetum in Africa, who were followed by others from Marseilles, led by Cassian, the celebrated abbot of Saint-Victor. Unable to admit the absolute gratuitousness of predestination, they sought a middle course between Augustine and Pelagius, and maintained that grace must be given to those who merit it and denied to others; hence goodwill has the precedence, it desires, it asks, and God rewards. Informed of their views by Prosper of Aquitaine, the holy Doctor once more expounded, in “De Prædestinatione Sanctorum,” how even these first desires for salvation are due to the grace of God, which therefore absolutely controls our predestination.

D. Struggles against Arianism and Closing Years

Statue of Saint Augustine in Austria

In 426 the holy Bishop of Hippo, at the age of seventy-two, wishing to spare his episcopal city the turmoil of an election after his death, caused both clergy and people to acclaim the choice of the deacon Heraclius as his auxiliary and successor, and transferred to him the administration of externals. Augustine might then have enjoyed some rest had Africa not been agitated by the undeserved disgrace and the revolt of Count Boniface (427). The Goths, sent by the Empress Placidia to oppose Boniface, and the Vandals, whom the latter summoned to his assistance, were all Arians. Maximinus, an Arian bishop, entered Hippo with the imperial troops. The holy Doctor defended the Faith at a public conference (428) and in various writings. Being deeply grieved at the devastation of Africa, he laboured to effect a reconciliation between Count Boniface and the empress. Peace was indeed re stablished, but not with Genseric, the Vandal king. Boniface, vanquished, sought refuge in Hippo, whither many bishops had already fled for protection and this well fortified city was to suffer the horrors of an eighteen months’ siege. Endeavouring to control his anguish, Augustine continued to refute Julian of Eclanum; but early in the siege he was stricken with what he realized to be a fatal illness, and, after three months of admirable patience and fervent prayer, departed from this land of exile on 28 August, 430, in the seventy-sixth year of his age.

EUGÈNE PORTALIÉ (Catholic Encyclopedia)

CNN Poll: Majority of Americans Want Abortions Prohibited

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | | 8/24/12 4:44 PM

CNN has released the results of a new poll showing a majority of Americans want all or most abortions prohibited — a clear pro-life majority. The survey asked: “Do you think abortion should be legal under any circumstances, legal under only certain circumstances, or illegal in all circumstances?” Some 62 percent want abortions illegal in all cases or legal only in certain instances while just 35% want abortions legal for any reason. Read more here:

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Death of a Civilization Immersed in Sin

by Luiz Sérgio Solimeo

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The Death of a Civilization Immersed in Sin
The once Christian Western world is gradually sinking into a sea of mud in ever-thickening darkness. Vice and error are glorified as virtue and truth is persecuted. People no longer boast of moral righteousness and of the rule of reason but of libertinism, irrationality and the “deconstruction” of the concepts which sustain the life of thought.

The crisis of the family, the perversion of the youth, the growth of random and senseless violence, fruit of an ever more intense criminality, are spreading by the day.

We are witnessing the tenebrous sunset of a civilization; a new invasion of barbarians, not on horseback through the steppes or boldly crossing seas in rickety boats: they are born and raised in this very world they are going to destroy. They are a fruit of the counter-education received from broken homes, schools, society, and a media and entertainment industry gone awry.

No civilization can sustain itself and make progress without being based on logical and coherent thought and on solid and consistent morals. In other words, truth and good are the foundation and pillars sustaining the social, cultural and religious life that give a sense of purpose to the lives of individuals and to the collective life of peoples. If this is missing there is chaos in people’s minds, customs, and in society.

The frantic quest for absolute and unbridled freedom has led man to shake off all restrictions imposed by morals, logic and even nature. Deconstruction of the truth and the good has led him to “deconstruct” the reality of his own body by denying the evidence of his sex stemming from anatomy and physiology; and as a consequence, he plunges himself into the surreal world of the homosexual culture.

Without the truth to guide him and morals to govern him, man has turned into flotsam and jetsam adrift in the vastness of the sea, dragged away by the waves with no defined purpose or direction.

The Renaissance, when Western civilization began to turn its back on the “philosophy of the Gospel” which in the words of Pope Leo XIII characterized medieval Christendom, marked the start of a long process of apostasy that has come all the way to today’s virtually atheistic society.[1]

By rejecting Christianity, this decadent civilization has rejected Christ; and by rejecting the One who is Truth itself it started to love error and a world of unreality and fantasy. By falling away from truth and good this society began to seek satisfaction in sin, sinking into sin and revolt against God.

This is the reason why this civilization is dying; for, as Saint Paul reminds us, the “wages of sin is death.”[2]

TFP-ANF reparation and protest against blasphemous Corpus Christi show


These are pictures from the protest and act of reparation that we did against the blasphemy presentation Corpus Christi, that shows Our Lord and the apostles as homosexuals, and which was held on Saturday, Aug. 24 in front of the Metropolitan Community Church of L.A.


This “church” is in a residential area and a lot of people in their cars saw us with some of them nodding and giving us the thumbs up sign.   All in all, the protest was very blessed and we were so happy to offer this public act of reparation to Our Lord and to Our Lady for the terrible sin that was taking place.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

This Saint King was Crusader & Statesman

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St. Louis IX Crusader & Statesman





by Plinio Correa de Oliveira

August 25 is the feast of Saint Louis IX, king, confessor of the Faith, crusader and model of a Catholic head of state. There are two different ways people picture Saint Louis IX. One is as he truly was, the other is a soft, effeminate distortion of his person.

This dichotomy is similar to the one that exists between many artists’ renditions of Saint Pius X and pictures of him.  On the one hand, the photographs portray a giant of a man, strong soul and spiritual king, conscious of his dignity.

On the other hand, many artists depict a feeble old grandfather, whose face begs pardon for being pope and regrets that he is not a simple priest. There is an abyss between this limp-wristed portrayal and the historic Saint Pius X, who was the hero against Modernism.

Many artists’ renditions of Saint Pius X portray a limp-wristed distortion of his
person as seen in photographs.

The same holds true with Saint Louis IX. On one hand, he is portrayed distributing justice under the famous oak tree in Vincennes, like a king that lived under the trees and preferred to sit around rather than lead the life of the castle, administrate the affairs of state and wage wars amid the pomp and ceremonial incumbent on the first kingdom of Christendom.

In these portrayals, he softly sits in judgment, certainly pardoning everyone and only dealing with simple things that do not require shrewdness, ingenuity or force of will. This has become the preponderant image of Saint Louis IX. The peasants who surround him are infected with the same softness. By association, the whole medieval world is portrayed in a clownish way, consisting of soft kings, surrounded by mountains of softness.

Likewise, many paintings of Saint Louis IX show a soft weakling that contradicts
the historic reality of who he was and are in sharp contrast to other more
realistic portrayals.

The enemies of Christian civilization skillfully use this representation to denigrate the kings who succeeded Saint Louis. “He was good because he was simple,” they say, “he just sat under his tree and judged.” Thus, they present Louis XIV in his glory at Versailles, surrounded by beauty and pomp, as something intrinsically wrong.

To repel this false image, it is good to remember the real Saint Louis IX, who was both a statesman and Crusader.

Saint Louis: The Statesman
Saint Louis IX was king of an organic monarchy. He was not a hands-off ruler who abandoned state affairs to his vassals, but rather one who knew his rights and responsibilities, and was protective of them. When his vassals sought to confront or diminish his authority, he resisted them to maintain royal power.

Nevertheless, he was also a great defender of the feudal lord’s autonomy in his fiefs. Once, while visiting a church, noisy patrons of a nearby pub began a ruckus that disturbed his prayer. When asked to give orders that the commotion stop, he responded: “Tell my men to find the lord of this fief and ask him to restore order.”

Although it would have been easier for him to give the command directly as king, his respect for feudal customs and all degrees of hierarchy would not allow him to interfere with the local governance. Out of love for the organic nature of society, he scrupulously maintained the feudal structure. In this, he was very different from later French kings, like Louis XVI, Louis XIII, Henry IV and even Louis XI, who systematically destroyed that same structure.

Saint Louis also protected the guilds and made them assent to a rule drafted from custom-based directives. This gave structure to these autonomous organizations. Thus, while supporting every legitimate independent power in his kingdom, he remained its gravitational center.

Saint Louis even defended his royal power against the Holy See. He confronted the Vatican for interfering in the strictly temporal affairs of France, pressing the issue until it retreated. When this was studied during the process for his canonization, he was vindicated.

St. Louis IX Crusader & Statesman

Saint Louis IX, King of France, Crusader, and Confessor. Model of a Catholic head of state and beloved by his people.

Saint Louis: The Crusader
As a warrior, Saint Louis fought on two Crusades and died of pestilence in Tunis. Sick and bedridden, he died defeated and tearful, while the whole world had pity on him. This sad story is historic, but not complete.

Saint Louis was also the king described by Joinville, who departed for the Crusades in all his magnificence, dominating his whole army and vested from head to foot in brilliant golden armor.

When his boat first approached the Egyptian coast, his enthusiasm was such that he could not wait for the vessel to touch land. He threw himself, fully armed, into the sea and ran ashore to press the attack, before his men reached land.

This and other actions have immortalized him as a perfect warrior. This image must be considered together with the image of the wounded soldier, sick and suffering, who became venerable by imitating the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Only the combination of all these aspects can give an adequate image of King Saint Louis IX.

A King Beloved by His People
As a model statesman and crusader, Saint Louis was loved and even venerated by his people. There is touching evidence of this.
Though medieval coins are rare, the most common of all are those minted during the reign of Saint Louis. Since his effigy was on these coins, his people kept them as a medallion and remembrance of his reign. They guarded these coins so carefully, that many have survived. These outnumber all other coins of the epoch.

This demonstrates how a truly virtuous leader lifts his people up with him.

There is a beautiful prayer written to Saint Louis by Constable Du Guesclin, one of Saint Joan of Arc’s companions-in-arms. Though written years after Saint Louis’ death, it gives an idea of how great he was.

Keep me pure as the lily engraved on your coat of arms, O thou who kept thy word even when given to the Infidel. Never allow a lie to pass my lips, even should frankness cost me my life. Man of prowess, incapable of retreat, burn the bridges that lead to my excuses, so that I will always advance towards the most arduous part of the battle.

Taken from an informal lecture Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira gave on August 25, 1964. It has been translated and adapted for publication without his revision. –Ed.

This Philosophy Is Not Catholic

In the apostolic letter Notre Charge apostolique of August 25, 1910, which condemns the French Catholic leftist movement known as Le Sillon of Marc Sangnier, Saint Pius X analyzes the celebrated trilogy.

“The Sillon is nobly solicitous for human dignity; but it understands that dignity in the manner of certain philosophers of whom the Church does not at all feel proud. The first element of that dignity is liberty, understood in the sense that, except in the matter of religion, each man is autonomous. From this fundamental principle it draws the following conclusions: today the people are in tutelage under an authority distinct from themselves; they ought to free themselves from it: political emancipation.

“They are dependent upon employers who hold their instruments of labor, exploit them, oppress them and degrade them; they should shake off the yoke: economic emancipation. Finally, they are ruled by a caste, called the directing caste, to whom their intellectual development gives an undue preponderance in the direction of affairs; they must break away from this domination: intellectual emancipation. The leveling down of conditions from this triple point of view will establish equality amongst men, and this equality is true human justice. A political and social organization founded upon this double basis, liberty and equality (to which will soon be added fraternity)—this is what they call democracy….

Marc Sangnier, founder of Le Sillon

“First of all, in politics, the Sillon does not abolish authority; on the contrary, it considers it necessary; but it wishes to divide it, or rather to multiply it in such a way that each citizen will become a kind of king….

“Proportions being preserved, it will be the same in the economic order. Taken away from a particular class, the mastership will be so well multiplied that each workingman will become a sort of master….

“We come now to the principal element, the moral element….. Snatched away from the narrowness of private interests, and raised up to the interests of the profession, and, even higher, to those of the whole nation, nay, higher still, to those of humanity (for the horizon of the Sillon is not bounded by the frontiers of the country, it extends to all men, even to the ends of the earth), the human heart, enlarged by the love of the common welfare, would embrace all comrades of the same profession, all compatriots, all men. Here is human greatness and nobility, the idea realized by the celebrated trilogy, liberty, equality, fraternity….

“Such, in short, is the theory—we might say the dream—of the Sillon.”

In this manner, Saint Pius X continues in the footsteps of his predecessors who, since Pius VI, condemned the errors implied in the motto of the French Revolution.

Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII: A Theme Illuminating American Social History (York, Penn.: The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property, 1993), Appendix III, pp. 384-385.

Federal Court Rules Texas May Cut Planned Parenthood Funding

by Madeleine Morgenstern – From The Blaze:  A federal appeals court ruled late Tuesday that Texas may cut off funding to Planned Parenthood affiliates participating in a low-income women’s health care program under a new law banning funds to clinics linked to abortion providers.  More here:

Pakistan: Christian orphan meets terrible death

From the vaticaninsider-- First the case of the disabled girl put behind bars and now the story of a 14 year old boy found disfigured and brutally murdered. The Christian community is in shock.  Fear among the Christian community in Pakistan is growing. After the case of the eleven year old disabled girl who was arrested on charges of blasphemy the country has been shaken by the news of the violence committed against another Christian child.  Read more here:

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Police find man who attacked TFP

Watch this new TFP video: The Silent Majority Honk Against Obamacare

Before telling you about the attacker who pushed our American flag down, I want you to see this short new video of TFP volunteers at work. You'll really like it.

Video: The Silent Majority Honk Against Obamacare

As you can see, Americans are not being hoodwinked by socialism.

Now a word about the attack.

The North Little Rock Police Department located the man who violently attacked our peaceful volunteers in Arkansas. The attacker will be facing charges and brought to justice for the assault.

Also, a generous attorney in Little Rock has stepped forward and offered to help us pro bono with legal counsel. God bless him.

Here's footage of the brutal attack just in case you didn't see it yet.

The video has 182,000 views already.

On another note, TFP Student Action volunteers just wrapped up another Call to Chivalry camp in Pennsylvania. The boys not only understood the importance of virtue, but were inspired to champion moral values.

Very encouraging.

Update: Uncommon Camp Calls Boys to Practice Chivalry

I'd like to thank you for all your support, prayers and friendship. Your participation in this spiritual crusade is so encouraging to me personally and to my TFP colleagues.

Please help us with a donation.


Woman who rammed pro-lifers with car was Catholic Relief Services employee

by Patrick B. Craine

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 21, 2012 ( – As Catholic Relief Services responds to criticisms over its partnerships with pro-abortion anti-poverty groups, LifeSiteNews has discovered that the aid organization also has a history of hiring employees with strong ties to pro-abortion and pro-contraception organizations.

One CRS employee lists the pro-abortion Pro-Choice Resources and Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies as former employers on her LinkedIn resume, while another was hired by the Catholic aid organization directly from the pro-abortion Population Services International.

Former CRS employee Charisse Glassman was convicted of assault after driving her car into a crowd of March for Life participants.

Another former employee was convicted of assault last fall after ramming her car into a crowd at the DC March for Life in January 2011 as the pro-lifers traversed a crosswalk.

The latter employee, Charisse Espy Glassman, was a Democrat candidate for the DC school board as well as a legislative assistant with CRS-Haiti. Despite assault charges, she remained at CRS until August 4th, 2011. In a statement on Facebook responding to queries, CRS said they had “operated on the principle that people are innocent until proven guilty.” A victim of the assault, who suffered two herniated disks, reported that Glassman had seemed to laugh as she drove into the crowd.

CRS employee Dr. Amy Ellis joined the Catholic organization in October 2011 after working three years at Population Services International, a major advocate of population control through abortion and contraception.

Ellis, CRS’ Regional Technical Advisor for Health & HIV in Asia, represented PSI even after she had started working for CRS, giving a presentation on “global contraceptive needs” at the International Conference on Family Planning in Senegal from Nov 29 – Dec 2, 2011.

In May 2012, Ellis represented CRS at the Women Deliver conference in Bangladesh, a regular gathering of pro-abortion activists focused on achieving “universal access to reproductive health.” The session she joined included a focus on “revitaliz[ing] family planning.”

Ellis also worked at the Population Council, another pro-abortion population control organization, from 2001-2002.


Daphyne Williams, who has worked for CRS since 2008 and currently serves as the East Africa Regional Technical Advisor, interned at the Minneapolis-based pro-abortion group Pro-Choice Resources in 2001-2002, according to her LinkedIn page. The group is dedicated to expanding abortion access through programs such as the Hersey Abortion Assistance Fund, which provides “no-interest loans” and “grants” to help poor women pay for abortions.

From 2003-2004 Williams worked at the Sixteenth Street Community Health Center, which offers “the full range of reproductive health services including contraception.”  And from 2004-2005 she worked in STD prevention at the Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies, a national public health organization that advocates for abortion access and links to leading pro-abortion and pro-homosexual groups.

Dr. Pun Sok, CRS’ Health and HIV/AIDS Program Manager in Cambodia, joined the Catholic relief organization in 2008 after years working at CARE. A longtime partner and grant recipient of CRS, CARE has opposed restrictions on abortion and partnered with Marie Stopes International as well as promoted contraceptive initiatives in the Third World.

In 2011, Sok represented CRS on the steering committee of MediCam, an organizing body for Cambodian health NGOs that promotes contraception and abortion. He also joined a discussion of MediCam’s 2011 Position Paper as a member of the steering committee. The paper advocated expanded access to abortion and abortifacient contraception.

Notably, CRS’ Board of Directors includes Sister Carol Keehan, president of the Catholic Health Association, who famously defied the U.S. Bishops in 2010 when she endorsed Obama’s health care plan despite the bishops’ judgment that the plan included funding for abortion.

CRS communications director John Rivera did not respond to questions on the organization’s hiring practices by press time. However, on their website CRS explains that it “considers all applicants on the basis of merit without regard to race, national origin, religious beliefs, gender, age, marital status or physical or mental disability.”