Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Homosexual ‘marriage’ the ‘inevitable’ outcome of the Sexual Revolution, says UK Catholic bishop

by Hilary White

PORTSMOUTH, July 30, 2013 ( – The government’s homosexual “marriage” bill is nothing more than the logical and “inevitable outcome of a process that has been gathering pace since the sexual revolutions of the 1960s,” an English Catholic bishop has said in a pastoral letter.

Bishop Philip Egan, recently appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to the diocese of Portsmouth, said that with the legislative and social changes in Britain in the last few years, Catholics now find themselves “in an alien land that speaks a foreign language with unfamiliar customs.”

“For what we mean by the matrimony, sexual intercourse and family life is no longer what today’s world, the government, the NHS and policy-makers understand by marriage, sex and the family.”

At its core, the Sexual Revolution promulgated the rejection of the “intrinsic link between the unitive and procreative aspects of sexual intercourse,” that had always been legally protected in natural marriage.

“Lifted from its natural context within married love and commitment, and coupled to pleasure without responsibility, sexual intercourse could now be experienced outside marriage, and thus, in time, take on a new meaning in human relationships,” Bishop Egan wrote.

The bishop said that this “has led to the ‘contraceptive mentality’ Pope Paul VI spoke of so prophetically in his 1968 Encyclical Letter Humanae Vitae,” the encyclical letter reiterating the Church's teachings against contraception that was widely rejected in the Church, notably by many bishops and national bishops’ conferences

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Egan called the government’s attempt to redefine marriage “Orwellian” and said it “radically changes the social context” in which Christians must act. Among the changes proposed in the government’s bill is the requirement that the term “wife” be applied to men and “husband” to women.

Egan called the legislation a “legal minefield,” and warned that it will have serious repercussions for all Catholics who have anything to do with marriages, from priests to parents attempting to raise their children as Catholics, to teachers in Catholic schools.

Although the full implications of the legislation will have to be fully assessed, he said that the Catholic leadership will “certainly need to review our preaching, teaching and school curricula.”

“Our Catholic system of meanings and values is strikingly different from what secular culture now deems normal or acceptable.”

He added that “it goes without saying” that the Church must offer serious pastoral support for people struggling with same-sex attractions. The Church must demonstrate the “inner freedom, chastity and perfection which Christ offers.”

“Living up to the ideal of Christian chastity has always been demanding,” he said, “even when the cultural context was supportive of Christian values and the pursuit of holiness.

“Christians are committed to the natural way of life, but thanks to original sin, that natural way of life has always needed the supernatural means Christ offers us, if we are to achieve it. Even so, however demanding, the Way of Christ is truly the way to happiness, and as disciples of the Lord, we have to give witness to this.” 

He urged Catholics to “continue compassionately to warn our society of the wrong turns it is taking”.

The letter is a dramatic break from the style of most of the English/Welsh Catholic episcopate, who have preferred to maintain silence on the 45th anniversary of the promulgation of Humanae Vitae. It is not the first time, however, that Philip Egan, appointed to Portsmouth in July 2012, has spoken strongly in support of the encyclical, calling it “prophetic.”

In December 2012, Egan wrote to Prime Minister David Cameron warning, “Marriage and the home” are the “foundation and basic building block” of society. “If you proceed with your plans, you will gravely damage the value of the family, with catastrophic consequences for the well-being and behavior of future generations.”

Forty-five years on, Humanae Vitae remains one of the greatest challenges facing the Catholic hierarchy, Janet Smith, a professor of ethics at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, wrote in an op-ed in the National Catholic Register today. The division on moral issues within the Catholic Church, she said, “began with the rejection by many of Humanae Vitae.”

Smith, who is one of the encyclical’s leading defenders in the North American Church, said, “It is scandalous but true that priests were trained not to teach the truths of Humanae Vitae.”

“Since dissent spread to virtually every other teaching, Catholics have been woefully ignorant of the teachings of their own Church.”

Hot to discover the wisdom of Saint Ignatius

The Spiritual Exercises by Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Founder of the Society of Jesus are often presented as a magnificent sequence of logical arguments that can lead a person to amend his life, save his soul, choose his state in life or make important resolutions.

While all these treasures are found in this work, we need to have an even broader vision that will allow us to see yet another treasure that is rarely pointed out. That treasure is his wisdom. If someone wants to have mental balance, nervous equilibrium and wisdom, let him read The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. His way of thinking is not just speculative reasoning. Rather there is no more sensible or logical way to think about the concrete problems of life today than that of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. Anyone who becomes familiar with, and used to, his reasoning acquires a truly extraordinary and structured soul.

What is it about The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius that we should especially praise? 

First of all, the wisdom by which he lays out the topics. He always goes straight to the central points of a topic. For example, his consideration of sin leads us to reflect upon the gravity of sin and the rights of God.  By taking conclusions about the gravity of sin, people then gauge the gravity of their own sins. From a central point, he always develops his reasoning in a logical, simple, direct and irrefutable way.  We are left with the alternative of either admitting we have no faith or that he is right.

Secondly, Saint Ignatius teaches us to be completely honest when considering our private lives. The Exercises are laid out in such a way as to make us fully objective when considering our defects, virtues, circumstances and duties. The saint teaches us to fight against those numerous and devious (although mostly semi-subconscious) maneuvers that we often employ to avoid knowing ourselves. His logic is like a straight arrow that forces us to look at things head on and with all honesty. We see and recognize ourselves as we are. At the time of our spiritual self-examination, we are put in a position where we will not lie to ourselves or to God.

However comforting or painful this honest vision may be, we can then draw helpful conclusions and resolutions. 
Saint Ignatius teaches us to be completely honest when considering our private lives. However comforting or painful this honest vision may be.

Finally, Saint Ignatius supplies us with an admirable equilibrium between the intelligence and the will on the one hand, and the sensibility on the other. He bases his arguments on reason, not sensibility or feelings. Nevertheless, once reason dominates, he asks man’s sensibility to follow reason. Thus, Saint Ignatius asks us to think about a topic and then imagine a place or situation that will help stir up good movements in our souls. That is to say, he tries to bring human sensibility into line with the logical arguments. If however, your sensibility or feelings are not moved by the argument, he advises us to carry on with the exercise without them because that is what reason indicates we should do. This is a marvelous equilibrium!

Saint Ignatius also strikes a balance between the supernatural and the natural. At every moment he asks us to make an act of love or make an act of the will. He asks our souls to “exercise” but he also constantly asks us to stop and ask God for an insight to consider this or that thing. We are asked to stop and ask God to move our souls in the direction He desires for us. In other words, he bends over backward to stir in us the right natural dispositions to accept the orientation God wishes to give us. This truly shows an extraordinary fullness of wisdom.

In this regard, Saint Ignatius is so opposed to everything that our times have of arbitrary, wild and crazy. All saints are the opposite of the hippie. Charles Manson, for example, was characteristically unbalanced, with regard for neither thinking nor law, a kind of wild beast loose in the world.

In Saint Ignatius we have the exact opposite. We have composure, logic, common sense and a sense of measure. From this standpoint, he is an incomparable master of wisdom.

Saint Ignatius of Loyola was the founder of the Jesuits, we celebrate his feast day on July 31.

The preceding article is taken from an informal lecture Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira gave on July 31, 1970. It has been translated and adapted for publication without his revision. –Ed.

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Do you have a Catholic and epic spirit?

by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

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The Epic Spirit

We need to define what we mean by epopee and the epic spirit well.

Epopee is the marvelous, not only the aesthetic marvelous but the marvelous placed in battle array and exposed to risk, even imminent risk. Epopee is the marvelous of heroism.

From this one can infer what the epic spirit is. It is a spirit turned to the marvelous and enthusiastic about the marvelous. The measure of this enthusiasm is the heroic. In other words, it is to have one’s spirit turned to heroism and to be capable of heroism in the defense of the marvelous. This is truly the epic spirit.

For example: Let’s say one young man meets another young man with a quality worthy of admiration. The first young man can have two attitudes of soul. The first is to admire, to see how beautiful and magnificent that quality is because he is joyful to see the quality of another. The second attitude would be to minimize the virtue he sees by immediately putting the qualities he sees into doubt. He tells himself: “Not so fast! You know something? I’ve noticed this little defect. It’s not much, but it puts any quality he might have into question.”

This is not vigilance; it is stinginess. It is to try to use the other person’s bad sides in order to cover up his good side. Talleyrand says that this behavior is characteristic of the mediocre man. A man with a truly great and elevated soul likes to admire with enthusiasm therefore, admiration is part of the epic spirit.

To have the epic spirit is, above all, to admire something truly admirable and to be ready to run every risk and selflessly make every sacrifice for the sake of what we admire, whether it be a cause, a doctrine, a principle or in our concrete case, Christian Civilization.

This is truly the epic spirit.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

VIDEO: Pro life fight is really a fight between God and Satan

Who's really behind abortion?

You know the answer, of course.

But TFP Student Action volunteers just got back from a tour for the unborn in Texas.

They report facing off with a creepy pro-abortionist with satanic tattoos.

Read about their adventure here

The incident reminds me how pro-abortion activists recently chanted "Hail Satan" at the State Capitol building to oppose pro-life legislation.

That creepy video is included in the report too

Really, the battle is between God and the Serpent.

Cardinal George pressured not to pull funding for immigrant group promoting homosexual ‘marriage’

by Kirsten Andersen

CHICAGO, July 29, 2013 (LifeSiteNews) – The Archbishop of Chicago is under fire from local political leaders after threatening deny funding to several members of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), which recently came out in support of same-sex “marriage.”

In a May 23 statement, ICIRR had written, “As an organization dedicated to the full inclusion of all Americans, whether foreign-born or native-born … ICIRR supports marriage equality.”

The Chicago diocese’s Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) has been contributing between $25,000 and $30,000 each year to several of ICIRR’s member groups to aid humanitarian efforts in poverty-stricken neighborhoods. But since CCHD funding agreements are contingent on recipients not supporting agendas contrary to the Catholic faith, Archbishop Francis Cardinal George recently notified member groups that CCHD will be unable to provide any more funding unless the groups severed ties with the ICIRR and publicly renounced support for gay nuptials.

Now, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that eight Catholic Democrats have signed on to an angry letter accusing the Archbishop of using poor immigrants as “pawns in a political battle” and urging him to continue funding the groups.

Cook County Commissioners John Fritchey and Larry Suffredin; Chicago aldermen James Cappleman, Patrick O’Connor, Proco “Joe” Moreno, and Danny Solis; City Clerk Susana Mendoza; and retired Cook County Judge Maureen Durkin Roy all signed the letter, which reads in part: “We write to you as loyal and proud Catholics to urge in the strongest possible terms that you rescind this threat. This action is not worthy of the church we know, love and respect.”

A call to the Archdiocese by LifeSiteNews seeking comment was not immediately returned.

In its statement announcing its new position in favor of gay “marriage,” ICIRR had acknowledged that the position was likely to offend their faith-based benefactors, but added, “the majority of our members - and therefore our organization - believe that a full respect for our state’s and our nation’s diversity demands that we not discriminate based on whom we love, and that we call upon an end to such discrimination in our local, state, and federal laws.”

Same-sex nuptials are a hot topic in Illinois, where a bill to redefine marriage to include homosexual couples was passed by the State Senate earlier this year, but stalled in the State House last month.  It is likely the issue will be brought up again in the fall, as the state’s Catholic governor, Pat Quinn, is keen to sign it.

Desmond Tutu says he would rather go to hell than to ‘homophobic heaven’

by Thaddeus Baklinski

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, July 29, 2013 ( - Speaking at a press event in Cape Town during the launch of a UN campaign promoting homosexual "rights," retired Anglican archbishop Desmond Tutu said he would prefer to go to hell than to worship a "homophobic" God or go to "homophobic heaven."

"I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place," Tutu said at the launch of the UN's "Free and Equal" campaign.

"I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this, " he said.

Tutu was joined at the "Free and Equal" press event by UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navi Pillay and Justice Edwin Cameron of the South African Constitutional Court. There they announced the launch of the year-long project, which the UN's website describes as a “global public education campaign to promote greater respect for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people everywhere," with a focus on "legal reforms and public education to counter homophobia and transphobia."

Archbishop Tutu said the UN's new campaign against "homophobia" was similar to the campaign he waged against racism in South Africa.

"I am as passionate about this campaign as I ever was about apartheid. For me, it is at the same level," he said.

The ultraliberal Anglican prelate played a leading role in the fight against the South African apartheid system, but has made a name for himself more recently as a champion of homosexuality, abortion, and population control.

In 2007 Tutu was named as a founding member of “The Elders,” a group of self-proclaimed "wise men" that includes Jimmy Carter, Nelson Mandela, and Kofi Annan, who, their website contends, meet privately to solve the world's problems.  

"I’m not particularly reassured by that group," said Jim Hughes, president of Campaign Life Coalition, Canada and vice-president of International Right to Life, at the time.

"Given that almost all of the members of the group are well-known, powerful figures in pro-abortion, pro-population control, pro-everything else circles, I can imagine what sort of ‘wisdom’ they plan on offering the world. Personally, I think the world would be a much better place without that sort of wisdom."  

"The fact that they are touting themselves as the world’s wise men is simply a big joke. I would rather refer to them as the wise-guys. That’s closer to the truth," Hughes said.

Monday, July 29, 2013

TV show dishonors nun's vow of chastity: Receives EMMY award.

Send your e-protest NOW

Primetime Emmy Awards has disrespected every Catholic nun in the world by awarding the 65 Primetime Emmy Awards to the movie: “American Horror Story:  Asylum.”

Few TV programs in recent years have been as thoroughly anti-Catholic as FX Channel’s “American Horror Story: Asylum.”

This show, which leads the pack with 17 Emmy nominations depicted a Catholic home for the criminally insane run by sadistic and libidinous nuns.

To portray Catholic nuns as irreligious prostitutes is an attack on the Catholic Church and the precious honor and dignity of the nun. The plot is sinister. Characters include a nymphomaniac, a lesbian, a degenerate bully, a serial killer, and a doctor who enjoys torturing patients.

The nun leads a life of chastity either in seclusion from the world or in the world, but, always as an Angel of Charity: taking care of the sick and poor and always praying for everyone. Thus, to portray a nun who violates her vow of chastity and instead of caring for her patients she abuses them and commits the worst of crimes is the most atrocious offense against every nun's honor.

How dare they. Defend the honor of the religious women and the Catholic Faith.

Send Your Instant E-PROTEST Message NOW

Pope Convokes Crusade

Pope Blessed Urban II

Pope Urban II & Saint Bruno Painting by Francisco de Zurbaran

(Otho, Otto or Odo of Lagery), 1088-1099, born of a knightly family, at Châtillon-sur-Marne in the province of Champagne, about 1042; died 29 July, 1099. Under St. Bruno (afterwards founder of the Carthusians) Otho studied at Reims, where he later became canon and archdeacon. About 1070 he retired to Cluny and was professed there under the great abbot St. Hugh. After holding the office of prior he was sent by St. Hugh to Rome as one of the monks asked for by Gregory VII, and he was of great assistance to Gregory in the difficult task of reforming the Church. In 1078 he became Cardinal Bishop of Ostia and Gregory’s chief adviser and helper. During the years 1082 to 1085 he was legate in France and Germany. While returning to Rome in 1083 he was made prisoner by the Emperor Henry IV, but was soon liberated. Whilst in Saxony (1084-5) he filled many of the vacant sees with men faithful to Gregory and deposed those whom the pope had condemned. He held a great synod at Quedlinburg in Saxony in which the antipope Guibert of Ravenna and his adherents were anathematized by name. Victor III had already been elected when Otho returned to Rome in 1085. Otho appears to have opposed Victor at first, not through any animosity or want of good will, but because he judged it better, at so critical a time, that Victor should resign the honour he was unwilling to retain. After Victor’s death a summons was sent to as many bishops of the Gregorian party as possible to attend a meeting at Terracina. It was made known at this meeting that Otho had been suggested by Gregory and Victor as their successor. Accordingly, on 12 March, 1088, he was unanimously elected, taking the title of Urban II. His first act was to proclaim his election to the world, and to exhort the princes and bishops who had been loyal to Gregory to continue in their allegiance: he declared his intention of following the policy and example of his great predecessor—”all that he rejected, I reject, what he condemned I condemn, what he loved I embrace, what he considered as Catholic, I confirm and approve”.

Statue of Urban II in Clermont-Ferrand & Sculpted by Henri Gourgouillon. Photo by Mussklprozz

Statue of Urban II in Clermont-Ferrand & Sculpted by Henri Gourgouillon. Photo by Mussklprozz

It was a difficult task which confronted the new pope. To enter Rome was impossible. The Normans, on whom together with Matilda he could alone rely, were engaged in civil war. Roger and Bohemund had to be reconciled before anything could be done, and to effect this the pope set out for Sicily. He met Roger at Troina, but history is silent as to what took place between them. The year following, however, saw peace between the two princes, and Urban’s first entry into Rome in November, 1088, is said by some to have been made possible by Norman troops. His plight in Rome was truly pitiable; the whole city practically was in the hands of the antipope, and Urban had to take refuge on the Island of St. Bartholomew, the approach being guarded by Pierleone, who had turned the theatre of Marcellus on the left bank of the river into a fortress. Nor was the outlook in Germany calculated to hold out hopes of the triumph of the papal party; its stoutest adherents in the episcopate had died, and Henry was steadily gaining ground.

Portrait of Matilde of Tuscany, Margravine of Tuscany.

Portrait of Matilde of Tuscany, Margravine of Tuscany.

From amidst the poverty and want of his wretched island, Urban launched sentence of excommunication against emperor and antipope alike. Guibert retorted by holding a synod in St. Peter’s before which he cited Urban to appear. The troops of pope and antipope met in a desperate encounter which lasted three days; Guibert was driven from the city, and Urban entered St. Peter’s in triumph. He was now determined to unite his partisans in Italy and Germany. The Countess Matilda had lost her first husband, Godfrey of Lorraine. She was now well advanced in years, but this did not prevent her marriage with Count Welf of Bavaria, a youth of eighteen, whose father, Duke of Welf IV of Bavaria, was in arms against Henry. Urban now turned his steps southwards again. In the autumn of 1089 seventy bishops met him in synod at Melfi, where decrees against simony and clerical marriage were promulgated. In December he turned back to Rome, but not before he had effected a lasting peace between Roger and Bohemund, and had received their full allegiance. The fickle Romans had again renounced him on the news of Henry’s success against Matilda in north Italy, and had summond Guibert back to the city. The latter celebrated Christmas in St. Peter’s whilst Urban anathematized him from without the walls.

Pope Urban II preaching the First Crusade in the presence of Philip I, before the assembled bishops and princes.

Pope Urban II preaching the First Crusade in the presence of Philip I, before the assembled bishops and princes.

For three years Urban was compelled to wander an exile about southern Italy. He spent the time holding councils and improving the character of ecclesiastical discipline. Meanwhile Henry at last suffered a check from Matilda’s forces at Canossa, the same fortress which had witnessed his humiliation before Gregory. His son Conrad, appalled, it is said, at his father’s depravity, and refusing to become his partner in sin, fled to the faction of Matilda and Welf. The Lombard League—Milan, Lodi, Piacenza, and Cremona—welcomed him and he was crowned king in Milan, the centre of the imperial power in Italy. The way was now clear for Urban’s entry into Rome, but still the partisans of Guibert held the strong places of the city. This time the pope took up his residence in the fortress of the Frangipani, a family which had remained faithful to him and which was entrenched under the Palatine near the Church of Sta. Maria Nuova. His condition was piteous, for he had to depend on charity and was already deeply in debt. A French abbot, Gregory of Vendôme, hearing of Urban’s plight, hurried to Rome “that he might become a sharer of his sufferings and labour and relieve his want”. In return for this he was created Cardinal Deacon of Sta. Prisca. Shortly before Easter, 1094, the governor of the Lateran palace offered to surrender it to Urban on payment of a large sum of money. This money Gregory of Vendôme supplied by selling certain possessions of his monastery; Urban entered the Lateran in time for the Paschal solemnity, and sat for the first time on the papal throne just six years after his election at Terracina.

Castle of Canossa.  Photo by turismoemiliaromagna

Castle of Canossa. Photo by turismoemiliaromagna

But it was no time for tarrying long in Rome. Henry’s cause was steadily growing weaker, and Urban hurried north to hold a council at Piacenza in the interests of peace and reform. The unfortunate Praxedis, Henry’s second wife, had suffered wrongs which were now the common property of Christendom. Her cause was heard, Henry not even attempting to defend himself. She was publicly declared innocent and absolved from any censure. Then the case of Philip of France, who had repudiated his wife Bertha and espoused Bertrada, the wife of Fulk of Anjou, was dealt with. Several bishops had recognized the union, but Archbishop Hugh of Lyons had had the courage to excommunicate Philip for adultery. Both king and archbishop were summoned to the council, and both failed to appear. Philip was granted a further respite, but Hugh was suspended from his office. At this council Urban was able to broach the subject of the Crusades. The Eastern Emperor, Alexius I, had sent an embassy to the pope asking for help against the Seljuk Turks who were a serious menace to the Empire of Constantinople. Urban succeeded in inducing many of those present to promise to help Alexius, but no definite step was taken by Urban till a few months later, when he summoned the most famous of his councils, that at Clermont in Auvergne.

Pope Urban II preaches the First Crusade at the Council of Clermont.

Pope Urban II preaches the First Crusade at the Council of Clermont.

The council met in November, 1095; thirteen archbishops, two hundred and twenty-five bishops, and over ninety abbots answered the pope’s summons. The synod met in the Church of Notre-Dame du Port and began by reiterating the Gregorian Decrees against simony, investiture, and clerical marriage. The sentence, which for some months had been threatening Philip of France, was now launched against him, and he was excommunicated for adultery.

Philip I of France

Philip I of France

Then the burning question of the East was discussed. Urban’s reception in France had been most enthusiastic, and enthusiasm for the Crusade had spread as the pope journeyed on from Italy. Thousands of nobles and knights had met together for the council. It was decided that an army of horse and foot should march to rescue Jerusalem and the Churches of Asia from the Saracens. A plenary indulgence was granted to all who should undertake the journey pro sola devotione, and further to help the movement, the Truce of God was extended, and the property of those who had taken the cross was to be looked upon as sacred. Those who were unfitted for the expedition were forbidden to undertake it, and the faithful were exhorted to take the advice of their bishops and priests before starting. Coming forth from the church the pope addressed the immense multitude. He used his wonderful gifts of eloquence to the utmost, depicting the captivity of the Sacred City where Christ had suffered and died—”Let them turn their weapons dripping with the blood of their brothers against the enemy of the Christian Faith. Let them—oppressors of orphans and widows, murderers and violaters of churches, robbers of the property of others, vultures drawn by the scent of battle—let them hasten, if they love their souls, under their captain Christ to the rescue of Sion.” When the pope ceased to speak a mighty shout of Deus lo volt rose from the throng. His most sanguine hopes had not anticipated such enthusiasm as now prevailed. He was urged repeatedly to lead the Crusade in person, but he appointed Ademar, Bishop of Le Puy, in his stead, and leaving Clermont travelled from city to city in France preaching the Crusade. Letters were sent to bishops who had been unable to attend the council, and preachers were sent all over Europe to arouse enthusiasm. In every possible way Urban encouraged people to take the cross, and he did not easily dispense from their obligations those who had once bound themselves to undertake the expedition.

Pope Urban II

Pope Urban II

In March, 1096, the pope held a synod at Tours and confirmed the excommunication of the French king, which certain members of the French episcopate had endeavoured to remove. In July, 1096, the king, having dismissed Bertrada, was absolved by Urban in a synod held at Nîmes, but having relapsed, he was again excommunicated by the pope’s legate in 1097. Some of the greater prelates of France had now to be brought to subjection to the pope, amongst them being the Archbishop of Vienne, who had refused to abide by the papal decision regarding the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Grenoble, and the Archbishop of Sens, who had declined to recognize the Archbishop of Lyons as papal legate. After a triumphal progress through France, Urban returned to Italy. On his way to Rome he met the crusading princes at Lucca, and bestowed the banner of St. Peter upon Hugh of Vermandois. It is said by some that this crusading host enabled Urban to enter Rome, which at this time was again held by the antipope. If this was so, the entry appears, according to the statement of an eyewitness to have been effected without fighting. No doubt the presence of well-disciplined troops, under the most distinguished knights of Christendom, struck terror into the wild partisans of Guibert. But Urban’s final triumph over the “imbecile” was now assured. Northern and central Italy were in the power of Matilda and Conrad, and Henry was at last forced to leave Italy. A council was held in the Lateran in 1097, and before the end of the year Urban was able to go south again to solicit help from the Normans to enable him to regain the Castle of S. Angelo. The castle capitulated in August, 1098. He was now enabled to enjoy a brief period of repose after a life of incessant activity and fierce strife, which had brought exile and want. His friendship with the Normans was strengthened by the appointment of Count Roger as papal legate in Sicily, where the Church had been almost swept away by the Saracens; the antipope was within his Archbishopric of Ravenna, and Henry’s power, though strengthened by Count Welf, who had forsaken Matilda, was not strong enough to be any longer a serious menace.

Pope Urban II Consecrating the Church of St. Sernin of Toulouse. Painting by Antoine Rivalz

Pope Urban II Consecrating the Church of St. Sernin of Toulouse. Painting by Antoine Rivalz

In October, 1098, the pope held a council at Bari with the intention of reconciling the Greeks and Latins on the question of the filioque; one hundred and eighty bishops attended, amongst whom was St. Anselm of Canterbury, who had fled to Urban to lay before him his complaints against the Red King. The close of November saw the pope again in Rome; it was his final return to the city. Here he held his last council in April, 1099. Once more he raised his eloquent voice on behalf of the Crusades, and many responded to his call. On 15 July, 1099, Jerusalem fell before the attack of the crusaders, but Urban did not live to hear the news. He died in the house of Pierleone which had so often given him shelter. His remains could not be buried in the Lateran because of Guibert’s followers who were still in the city, but were conveyed to the crypt of St. Peter’s where they were interred close to the tomb of Adrian I. Guibert of Nogent asserts that miracles were wrought at the tomb of Urban, who appears as a saint in many of the Martyrologies. Thus there seems to have been a cult of Urban II from the time of his death. Amongst the figures painted in the apse of the oratory built by Calixtus II in the Lateran Palace is that of Urban II with the words sanctus Urbanus secundus beneath it. The head is crowned by a square nimbus, and the pope is represented at the feet of Our Lady.

(adapted from R. URBAN BUTLER, Catholic Encyclopedia)

Obama admin forces school district to let teenage girl use boys restroom, showers, sleeping quarters

by Kirsten Andersen

ARCADIA, CA, July 25, 2013 ( – The Obama administration’s Justice Department has pressured a California school district into allowing an incoming high school freshman who is anatomically female but identifies as a boy to use the restroom and changing facilities assigned to her preferred sex, rather than her biological sex.

Her family filed a federal discrimination lawsuit after the school district twice refused to allow the girl to sleep in a room with boys without a chaperone.

The Obama administration pressured the school district to allow the girl to use the boys' facilities, saying in a letter that failure to do so constitutes sexual discrimination against “students who do not conform to sex stereotypes.”

Under a new agreement, every transgender student in the district will have full access to the opposite sex's changing rooms and sleeping quarters during school trips.

On Wednesday, after two years of investigation by the DOJ, the school district agreed to a settlement in which they admitted no wrongdoing, but agreed to submit to the demands of the girl’s family, along with several additional DOJ orders,.

Now, not only must Arcadia school officials give the girl unrestricted access to the boys’ facilities, they must also give her access to private facilities if and when she requests them.

The district must also allow her to participate in any boys-only activities she desires, both on- and off-campus, and seal all records of her birth sex and previous name to protect her new identity as a boy.

These orders apply not just to the girl in this case, but to any students who approach school administrators in the future claiming to be a different sex than their biology suggests.

The district and its administrators will be subject to continued monitoring by the DOJ and Department of Education through 2016 to ensure they comply.

The girl, whose name has been withheld to protect her privacy, has been living as a male with her parents’ complicity since she was in fifth grade. In 2011, her parents filed a complaint with the civil rights office of the U.S. Department of Education, arguing that the Arcadia Unified School District had violated federal anti-discrimination laws by requiring their daughter to sleep in her own room with a parental chaperone on two separate field trips instead of with the boys.

“While [name] was in fifth grade, [name] and [her] family made the decision that [she] would officially transition to living as male on a full-time basis at the beginning of sixth grade,” the complaint read. “That year the entire fifth grade went on an overnight field trip to a science camp. AUSD had arranged for [name] to attend the camp with [her] mother. They were placed in a room together in the girls' cabin, while the rest of [her] friends were able to bunk with their peers.”

“For [name] the trip was a disaster,” the complaint continued. “[Name’s] female peers taunted [her] relentlessly referring to him as ‘it’ and attempting to block [her] from entering the girls' cabin because of [her] ambiguous gender. Each night, [name] cried [her]self to sleep.”

The girl’s parents say the taunting drove them to accelerate their daughter’s transformation in order to “end all speculation and ambiguity.” They cut off her hair and got a court order to change her name. By the time she went to middle school the following year, she was living full time as a boy, “with a whole new group of students who never knew [her] as a girl.”

But in seventh grade, there was another overnight field trip scheduled.

“[Name] was excited for the trip,” read the complaint, “believing that [she] would not experience any of the problems [she] had during the fifth-grade trip because now [she] was a boy. What made the trip even more exciting is that AUSD informed the students that no parents would be allowed on the trip, the chaperons would be camp employees and teachers.”

But the district said that in order for the girl to go, she would have to bunk in a separate room and have a parent along to chaperone.

After an evening of sobbing in her room, “[name] resorted to planning the lies [she] would tell [her] friends to cover for the discriminatory treatment [she] was being forced to endure, an exercise that was unfortunately all too familiar to [her],” according to her parents.

Three weeks before the field trip, her parents sued, demanding the school district allow their daughter “to bunk with [her] buddies in the boys’ cabin and without [her] father being present.”

The school district refused, citing a state law permitting the maintenance of separate facilities for the two biological sexes, along with a California Department of Education legal advisory stating that the law “balances the gender self-perceptions of particular students against the privacy and perceptions of other students and sets a reasonable limit on ‘transgender’ rights.”

In response, the girl’s parents filed a federal civil rights complaint, alleging the district violated federal anti-discrimination laws by not allowing their daughter to sleep in the boys’ bunk without a parent present.

In addition to giving transgender students access to the opposite sex's restrooms and changing facilities, the settlement requires the district to provide all such students with “support teams” upon request, who will help the students work with school administrators to ensure their wishes concerning their gender identity are honored.

Additionally, the DOJ has ordered the district to add “gender discrimination” to its anti-discrimination rules, provide sensitivity training for its staff, and inform students, staff and faculty that discrimination based on “gender identity, gender expression, gender transition, transgender status, or gender nonconformity” is strictly forbidden.  

Saturday, July 27, 2013

This is ‘civil rights’? Pro-family leaders react to California school’s transgender settlement

by Kirsten Andersen

ARCADIA, CA, July 26, 2013 ( – Pro-family leaders reacted with stunned disbelief this week to the news of a settlement in the case of a Southern California girl whose parents filed a federal civil rights complaint against their local school district after their daughter was not allowed to sleep in a hotel room full of boys during field trips, despite her belief that she is a boy trapped in a girl's body.

After two years of investigation by the Obama administration's Department of Justice, the Arcadia Unified School District agreed to a settlement in which they admit no wrongdoing, but will allow the teenage girl, who is about to enter ninth grade, to use the facilities of her preferred sex rather than her biological one, as well as to participate in activities intended for boys only.

Additionally, they will provide sensitivity training for their staff and faculty and add “gender identity” to the definition of “gender discrimination” in the district’s anti-discrimination policies.

That means from now on, the school district will allow students to use the showers, restrooms, and sleeping quarters of the opposite biological sex if they identify as “transgender.”

On Friday, conservative and pro-family leaders took to Fox News to criticize the decision, which they say is unfair to other students at the school.

Steve Johnson, who heads the local Arcadia Republicans, blamed President Obama for unleashing the DOJ on the school district, saying, “This is just a decision handed down by the Obama administration.”

He said the girl’s classmates are unhappy about the settlement. “The restroom can be a very personal thing for kids growing up,” Johnson said.

Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition also criticized the decision. “We are seeing a trend here nationally where we have individuals who are psychologically unhealthy who are always getting with they want, but what do you do about the hundreds of other children in the school affected?” she asked.

Randy Thomasson, president of, told Fox News that the DOJ overstepped its bounds in investigating the case in the first place, which he says had nothing to do with civil rights.

Attorney General “Eric Holder needs to reread the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and find out that civil rights are based on an unchangeable, immutable characteristic,” Thomasson stated. “You cannot change your genes or your gender. You have chromosomes and they are either XX or XY. This is a girl who has been environmentally warped to believe she is a boy, and, instead of coddling this confused child, her parents should have gotten her into counseling with an expert on gender confusion.”

Stop ‘Catholic’ group from hosting pro-abortion, same-sex ‘marriage’ conference; Pro-life group

by Johanna Dasteel

MILWAUKEE, WI, July 26, 2013 ( – A group identifying as Catholic has plans to host a conference November 1-3 during which the speakers are scheduled to deliver talks in favor of abortion, same-sex “marriage,” and the “role of dissent” in the Catholic Church.

In light of past liturgical abuses at Call to Action conferences and the roster of speakers who actively work against the teachings of the Church, the Rockford Pro-Life Initiative is calling on Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee to prevent the conference from holding a Catholic Mass.

The Mass is scheduled for 10:45 am on Sunday, November 3.

The conference will screen a film produced by Catholics for Choice entitled, The Secret History of Sex, Choice, and Catholics. The film is a 45-minute-long apology for Catholics who dissent from the church's teaching on abortion.

The film is part of a three day celebration of Catholics who actively oppose Catholic doctrine.

Among the Call to action speakers is dissident Sister Jeannine Gramick, who frequently calls for the Catholic Church to accept same-sex “marriage’ “ Last year she penned an article with priest Francis DeBarnardo, in which they claimed that Catholics engaged in the homosexual lifestyle were not living in contradiction to the teachings of their faith.

Gramick will be sharing the stage with Robert Shine, a former LGBT student advocate at Catholic University of America. The homosexual news outlet Metro Weekly reported in January 2012 that Shine protested against Cardinal Francis George for his affirmation of the Catholic Church’s ancient teachings on marriage and human sexuality.

Miguel De La Torre, a fallen away Catholic and LGBT advocate, is slated to deliver a talk titled “Why the Church, for its Own Salvation, Needs Our Queer Sisters and Brothers.”

Lesbian activist Lisbeth Menendez-Rivera will be delivering the talk “LGBTQ Family Acceptance in the Latino Community.”

Other presenters teach that the Church should change Church doctrine on moral issues based on the majority opinion of lay Catholics, something they say represents the sensus fidelium.

Ex-priest Robert McClory will be lending his perspective on self-identifying Catholics whose beliefs clash with the Magisterium in his talk, “Faithful to Baptism: The Role of Dissent in Catholicism's New Era.”

Another conference speaker, Fr. Thomas Doyle, has openly stated he thinks the Church should reconsider the ordination of women and priestly celibacy.

The group's troubled history has drawn rebukes from the highest levels of the Roman Catholic Church. Call to Action is “causing damage to the Church of Christ,” wrote Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re as the Vatican confirmed the March 1996 excommunication of all Call To Action members in the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska. contacted the Archdiocese of Milwaukee for comment on the conference and the Mass, which the Rockford Pro-Life Initiative is calling for the archbishop to prevent. The archbishop was in South America at the time.

Archdiocesan officials were not able to provide comment after more than 24 hours.


Julie Wolfe, Media Relations Director at the Archdiocese of Milwaukee

The heroic life of Blessed John Ingram

Blessed John Ingram

Bl. John Ingram

English martyr, born at Stoke Edith, Herefordshire, in 1565; executed at Newcastle-on-Tyne, 26 July, 1594.

He was probably the son of Anthony Ingram of Wolford, Warwickshire, by Dorothy, daughter of Sir John Hungerford. He was educated first in Worcestershire, then at the English College, Reims, at the Jesuit College, Pont-a-Mousson, and at the English College, Rome.

Ordained at Rome in 1589, he went to Scotland early in 1592, and there frequented the company of Lords Huntly, Angus, and Erroll, the Abbot of Dumbries, and Sir Walter Lindsay of Balgavies. Captured on the Tyne, 25 November, 1593, he was imprisoned successively at Berwick, Durgam, York, and in the Tower of London, in which place he suffered the severest tortures with great constancy, and wrote twenty Latin epigrams which have survived.

Sent north again, he was imprisoned at York, Newcastle, and Durgam, where he was tried in the company of John Bostle and George Swalwell, a converted minister. He was convicted under 27 Eliz. c. 2 (which made the mere presence in England of a priest ordained abroad high treason), though there was no evidence that he had ever exercised any priestly function in England.

It appears that some one in Scotland in vain offered the English Government a thousand crowns for his life.

[ed. note: He was beatified in 1929 by Pope Pius XI.]

John B. Wainewright (Catholic Encyclopedia)


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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Sen. Ted Cruz: Homosexual ‘marriage’ could lead to Christian beliefs being punished as ‘hate speech’

by Kirsten Andersen

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 24, 2013 (LifeSiteNews) – In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) said he believes the legalization of same-sex “marriage” may lead to those who express religious objections to homosexuality being prosecuted for hate speech.

Sen. Ted Cruz

“If you look at other nations that have gone down the road towards gay marriage, that’s the next step of where it gets enforced,” Cruz told CBN host David Brody. “It gets enforced against Christian pastors who decline to perform gay marriages, who speak out and preach biblical truths on marriage, that has been defined elsewhere as hate speech, as inconsistent with the enlightened view of government.”

In Canada, where gay ‘marriage’ was legalized in 2005, Christian pastors, public officials, educators and business owners have all faced heavy fines and lengthy court battles after speaking critically of the homosexual lifestyle. In one case a pastor was fined $7000 and ordered never again to speak publicly about the issue of homosexuality after he wrote a letter to the editor of a local newspaper criticizing the homosexual agenda in schools.

Both Sweden and the United Kingdom have also prosecuted people who expressed traditional views on homosexuality, including a Christian pastor in Sweden who was sentenced to a suspended jail term for “inciting hatred” for preaching against homosexual behavior. The UK has recently seen a rash of cases in which Christian street preachers were arrested simply for preaching that homosexual conduct is sinful.

The French government has criminalized speech against homosexuality, resulting in a member of parliament being hit with a $4,000 penalty and ordered to pay $2,000 in court fees after he said he thought homosexuality was “inferior” to heterosexuality and said the practice would be “dangerous for humanity if it was pushed to the limit.”

Senator Cruz told CBN he is concerned that the United States is on the verge of becoming equally hostile to those who criticize the homosexual lifestyle.

“I think there is no doubt that the advocates who are driving this effort in the United States want to see us end up in that same place,” said Cruz.  He told Brody that he feels the nation is “at the edge of a precipice.”

“If we keep going down this path, we’re risking losing our nation, we’re risking losing the incredible oasis of liberty,” said Cruz.

Already in the U.S. there have been several cases of Christian businesses owners facing lawsuits and fines for refusing to participating in gay "marriage" ceremonies.

Can a Catholic support civil unions to prevent homosexual ‘marriage’?

by Roberto de Mattei

July 24, 2013 (LepantoFoundation) - A dangerous belief is gaining ground, even among Catholics, that a juridical recognition of homosexual cohabitation is the only way to avoid "gay marriage."  "No to gay marriage, yes to the rights of de facto couples and homosexuals" is the watchword of those who want to organise a line of resistance based on the disastrous policy of "giving in so as not to lose."  This is not only a colossal strategic error but also - and above all - a grave moral one.

The cardinal principle, not only of Catholic morality but also of natural morality, is that one must do good and avoid evil:  bonum faciendum et malum vitandum. This first principle is immediately apparent to all men in all places and at all times.  It admits of no interpretations or compromises.  By postulating the existence of good and evil, this principle presupposes the existence of an objective and immutable order of moral truths which man discovers first and foremost in his own heart because this order is a natural law inscribed "on the tables of the human heart by the very finger of the Creator himself" (Romans 2, 14-15).

Read more…

Virgin: it’s not a dirty word

by Norman Fulkerson

July 24, 2013 (TFPStudentAction) - Millions of teenagers nationwide, including male university students, have chosen to remain virgins until marriage. In doing so they unflinchingly clash head on with a modern day culture that implicitly condones free love.

A friend of mine was once riding the subway late at night when the doors opened and in stepped two couples returning from a night out on the town. They laughed and carried on until one of the ladies noticed a poster promoting abstinence on the wall behind them. She read it out loud for the others. "Virgin: it's not a dirty word," it said. Then half jokingly, but with a voice that portrayed guilt and disappointment, she added: "Why didn't they tell us that when we were 15?"

The nervous laughter that followed this remark quickly degenerated into a pensive silence and a marked note of frustration.

Read more…

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

German homeschool family denied asylum in the U.S. appeals to Supreme Court

by Kirsten Anderson

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 23, 2013 (LifeSiteNews) – A German homeschooling family who fled to the United States in 2008 after persecution by officials in their home country has filed an appeal with the Supreme Court asking to be allowed to stay.

Uwe and Hannelore Romeike and their children were first granted asylum in the U.S. by a Memphis judge in 2010 after a costly battle authorities in their native Germany over their choice to educate the kids at home.  Strictly-enforced German laws enacted during the Nazi era require all children to be taught in state-approved schools, but the Romeikes, who are Christian, say they object to the government-approved curriculum on religious grounds.

But in 2012, under pressure from the Obama administration and Attorney General Eric Holder, the Board of Immigration rescinded original judge’s decision to grant asylum.

The Romeike family.

“The goal in Germany is for an open, pluralistic society,” Holder argued in a Justice Department brief regarding the case. “Teaching tolerance to children of all backgrounds helps to develop the ability to interact as a fully functioning citizen in Germany.”

Because all homeschooling is illegal in Germany, not just religious homeschooling, the Board ruled that in their opinion, the Romeikes are not being singled out for persecution because of their faith, and therefore do not qualify for refugee status under U.S. law.   A federal appeals court upheld the Board’s decision in May of this year, meaning the Romeikes, whose religious commitment to homeschooling had already cost them thousands of Euros in fines by the time they sought refuge in the U.S., will be deported unless the Supreme Court agrees to hear their case.

If forced to return to their home country, the Romeikes may face additional fines and jail time, along with the loss of their children to state custody.

Home School Legal Defense Association chairman Michael Farris, who is representing the Romeikes in court, said the Board of Immigration and the federal appeals court were mistaken in ruling that Germany’s ban on homeschooling is not religiously-motivated.

“The German High Court is on record for saying that religious homeschoolers should be targeted and severely punished, yet our Justice Department sees nothing wrong with that,” Farris said. “The Attorney General and Sixth Circuit are ignoring critical evidence and are trying to send back this family who is trying to stay in our country legally.

“We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will go the other way and see what the original immigration judge saw: that this family and other religious homeschoolers in Germany are being persecuted for what they believe is the right way to raise their children.”

Even the Obama Justice Department admits that the suppression of religion plays a role in German education law.  In a court filing, the DOJ cited German case law stating “the general public has a justified interest in counteracting the development of religiously or philosophically motivated ‘parallel societies’ and in integrating minorities in this area.”

But according to Farris, whether or not Germany’s ban on homeschooling has its roots in religious bigotry or something else, it is still a violation of the basic human right to educate one’s children in the way one sees fit.

Said Farris, “This is not over yet. We are taking this case to the Supreme Court because we firmly believe that this family deserves the freedom that this country was founded on.”

In Farris’s opinion, “the Sixth Circuit’s opinion contains two clear errors: First, they wholly ignored Germany’s proclamation that a central reason for banning homeschooling is to suppress religious minorities. Second, the Sixth Circuit erred when it failed to address the claim that parental rights are so fundamental that no government can deny parents the right to choose an alternative to the public schools.”

The Romeikes have until October 13 to file their petition with the Supreme Court.

A Threat to Private Property in America

Martha Boneta, a local farmer from Fauquier County, Virginia, has engaged in criminal behavior by hosting a birthday party on her farm for eight 10 year-old girls. Her crime was not obtaining a land-use permit, and she has been threatened with $5,000 in fines.

by Gary Isbell

A Threat to Private Property in America

Read more…

Some People on Twitter Wish Kate and William’s Royal Baby Had Been Aborted

While most people around the world celebrated the birth of a new baby to the royal parents in England, haters on Twitter responded with the usual lack of class.

Kate Middleton and Prince William issued a statement thanking well-wishers.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Human rights group: Defund Depo Provera to battle international ‘population control’ elite

by Johanna Dasteel

July 23, 2013 ( – A human rights organization has taken aim at the abortifacient birth control drug Depo-Provera and is demanding that Congress end all federal funding for the shot, in the United States and around the world.

A report issued by The Rebecca Project names the U.S. government, Planned Parenthood, USAID, and the Rockefeller Foundation and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, among others, as profiteers in a scheme that victimizes low-income and minority women by pushing them to take what it calls a “dangerous” drug.

“This elite institutional clique operates constructively as a de facto cartel of unethical reproductive health research funders, reproductive health advocates, and abortion rights advocates, manipulating policies to support unethical and extreme regimes of population control,” The Rebecca Project writes in its “Depo-Provera: Deadly Reproductive Violence Against Women” report.

The group expresses a “deep concern” that ”Depo Provera is an insidious...incarnation of a bygone eugenics era of forced sterilization.”

Manufactured by Pfizer, the drug was approved by the FDA in 1992 and, according to The Rebecca Project, has been disproportionately promoted to black women ever since.

The report states that this “egregious...human tragedy” is “driven by profit at any cost and a ‘population control’ ideological agenda.”

According to the Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch, the drug’s manufacturer, Pfizer, is estimated to earn $36 billion in annual sales. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) donated $560 million and various European and African governments committed to raising $2.6 billion to administer contraception, specifically Depo Provera, to women in the developing world.

The Rebecca Project has historically supported contraception and abortion but is taking issue with Depo Provera over the drug’s harmful side effects, which are listed by the FDA's warning label. Those side effects include blood clots, strokes, ectopic pregnancy, bleeding irregularities, weight gain, delayed return to fertility or permanent infertility, and loss of bone marrow density.

The Rebecca Project also objects to the drug doubling the risk of breast cancer and increasing women’s risk of contracting HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. The shot only prevents pregnancy and does not protect against STDs.

Fr. Shenan J. Bouquet, president of Human Life International, told, “The facts about the harm Depo Provera does to women are simply too overwhelming to ignore.”

The long-acting contraceptive often prevents conception but may induce an abortion by preventing a fertilized embryo from implanting in the uterine wall.

“As The Rebecca Project correctly point out, it is low income and minority women who suffer most from Depo Provera,” said Fr. Bouquet, “and that suffering extends to families and communities which often are already lacking quality health care.”

Government officials who administer these programs, whether abroad or in low income neighborhoods in the United States, have “a disdain for transparency and intolerance for constitutional equal protection principles when it involves family planning policy,” the report charges.

Fr. Bouquet said the American people should demand “a complete audit of all aid sent overseas to population control organizations supplying Depo Provera and other dangerous pharmaceuticals and services in the name of ‘reproductive health.’”

“Holding congressional hearings and ending taxpayer funding of Depo Provera would be most welcome, but especially in this time of economic turmoil,” he told LifeSiteNews. "I think Americans would be shocked to learn just how much of their tax dollars go towards destroying women’s health and ending unborn lives.”

Saint Joan of Arc, The Maid of Orleans asks the King to give France to God

Drawing of St. Joan of Arc by Frank DuMond.

Drawing of St. Joan of Arc by Frank DuMond

When Joan came to find the King, he was at the town of Chinon, and I at Saint Florent. I was riding out on a quail hunt when a message came that a Maid had come to the King who maintained that she was sent by God to drive away the English, and to raise the siege which these English had laid to Orléans. That is why I went to the King next day, at Chinon, where he was, and I found Joan talking with the King. Just as I drew near, Joan asked who I was, and the King replied that I was the Duke of Alençon. Then Joan said: “You have come at a good time. The more of the blood royal there are together, the better it will be.” And the next day Joan attended the King’s Mass, and when she saw the King she bowed, and the King led Joan into a chamber; and I was with him and the lord de la Trémoille, whom the King held back, telling the others that they could retire.

Statue of St. Joan of Arc in the Palace of Versailles

Statue of St. Joan of Arc in the Palace of Versailles

Then Joan made the King several requests, among others that he should give his kingdom to the Lord of Heaven; and when he had made this gift, she said, the King of Heaven would do to him as he had done to his predecessors and restore him to his former state.


“Sworn testimony at the Retrial provided by Jean II, Duke of Alençon, prince of the blood royal” in Wilfred T. Jewkes and Jerome B. Landfeld, Joan of Arc: Fact, Legend, and Literature (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1964), 60.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 301

Monday, July 22, 2013

A mysterious snake enters into the free market paradise…

Photo: A mysterious snake in the free market paradise

by John Horvat II --

Some believe that a simple solution to all our economic problems is to unfetter markets and everything will enter into order. Take away visible restraints and invisible hands will work their magic.


Cal. clerk sues to block order forcing him to issue marriage certificates to same-sex couples

by Kirsten Andersen

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, CA, July 22, 2013 (LifeSiteNews) – A San Diego County clerk has asked the California Supreme Court to strike down a directive issued by Governor Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris ordering clerks statewide to issue marriage certificates to same-sex couples in violation of Proposition 8, California’s voter-approved ban on homosexual “marriage.”

San Diego County Clerk Ernest Dronenburg’s lawyers told the high court their client is “caught in the crossfire of a legal struggle over the definition of marriage.”

“On the one hand, respondents have ordered him not to enforce state law and are threatening to punish him if he does not comply with that order,” Dronenburg's lawyers wrote in the lawsuit. “On the other hand, petitioner has an independent statutory obligation to enforce California law defining marriage as a union of a man and a woman.”

They asked the court to grant an immediate stay to prevent Dronenburg from having to violate the law, saying that “navigating this landmine of uncertainty on a daily basis is an ongoing and ever-present injury” to their client.

Dronenburg’s lawsuit comes on the heels of a similar filing by Protect Marriage, the group who originally sponsored Prop. 8 back in 2008.  The group argued last week that a 2010 ruling by a federal judge blocking the law’s enforcement applies only in the two counties directly mentioned in the case.  But the state’s Democratic leadership has ordered clerks in all 58 counties to ignore the law and proceed with same-sex “marriages,” threatening legal retribution for those who fail to comply.

Protect Marriage’s lawsuit asked the Court to block that order, reminding the Court, “This Court’s case law requires executive officials charged with ministerial duties to execute those duties regardless of their or others’ views about the constitutionality of the laws imposing those duties.”

The petition continues, “Article III, section 3.5 of the California Constitution prohibits government agencies and officials from declaring state law unenforceable, or declining to enforce state law, on the basis that the law is unconstitutional, unless an appellate court has first made that determination.”

The Supreme Court ruled June 26 that Proposition 8’s backers lacked the standing to fight for it in federal court, meaning the 2010 injunction still stands.  But attorneys for both Project Marriage and Dronenburg argue that the ruling only applies to the two counties mentioned in the original lawsuit, not the entire state, and that since the high Court chose not to rule on the constitutionality of the law itself, it hasn’t been struck down.

Last week, Protect Marriage’s attorneys asked the Supreme Court to grant county clerks not directly affected by the 2010 injunction an immediate stay against the attorney general’s demand that they break state law in order to approve gay unions.

“This has become more than just a fight over marriage,” said Protect Marriage’s general counsel Andrew Pugno. “The authority of local government officials, and the future of the initiative process itself, is put at grave risk if state officials are allowed to nullify a proposition by executive order, backed by no binding legal precedent.”

The court denied their request on the grounds that the group has no personal standing in the case.

However, Dronenburg’s situation is different in that he is directly impacted by the attorney general’s order.

Dronenburg told the state Supreme Court in his petition that he and other county clerks need “definitive guidance from this court on this critical question of state law.”

Dronenburg has also asked to join the Protect Marriage lawsuit going forward.

Pugno, representing Protect Marriage, praised Dronenburg for his actions, saying, “We applaud San Diego’s county clerk for courageously standing up against the attorney general’s attempt to bully local officials into ignoring our state Constitution.” Added Pugno, “We hope other county clerks will bravely step forward as well.”

Catholic Georgetown U. caves to HHS mandate

by Kirsten Andersen

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 22, 2013 (LifeSiteNews) – Georgetown University, a Jesuit-affiliated Catholic school, has capitulated to the Obama administration’s demand that it offer full coverage for contraceptives, sterilizations and abortion-causing drugs to its female students and faculty, without co-pay.

Catholic teaching forbids the use of such drugs and procedures, but a provision of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) requires all employers offering health care coverage to include them at no extra charge. The controversial mandate has led to dozens of lawsuits by Catholic-owned schools and businesses against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), seeking to overturn the new rule.

Georgetown University

But Georgetown says it is satisfied with an “accommodation” offered by the Obama administration which requires the insurance companies of religious-affiliated employers who oppose contraception or abortion to provide the coverage for “free.”

Under the arrangement, Georgetown’s students and faculty will get the contraceptive coverage through their school-sponsored plans, but Georgetown won’t directly pay for it.  Additionally, the student health center will not offer sterilizing drugs or procedures, meaning those desiring them will have to go off campus to get them. 

“These regulations give us the opportunity to reconcile our religious identity and our commitment to providing access to affordable healthcare,” University President John J. DeGioia wrote in an email to staff and students last week.

However, the administration’s “accommodation” has been derided by numerous groups, including the country’s Catholic bishops, who have argued that it amounts to little more than an accounting gimmick. Critics have said while the coverage is being offered “for free” on paper, the insurance companies will simply pass the extra costs onto their customers in the form of higher premiums.

Georgetown junior Evelyn Flashner, who serves as the marketing chair for the campus Right to Life group, told the school newspaper that she thinks the university is making a mistake.

Flashner borrowed an analogy from Bishop William Lori to explain the problems with the Obama administration’s attempt at compromise, telling The Hoya, “There is a Jewish deli that doesn’t sell anything but kosher meat, but the government says, ‘You have to sell non-kosher meat.’  Everyone freaks out, but the government says, ‘Never mind, I take it back. Instead of having you sell kosher meat, we’re going to put a little kiosk in the middle of your store and sell non-kosher meat.’”

Said Flashner, “The university is violating its own principles as a Catholic institution on this issue … Georgetown is diverging from the opinion of the Catholic Church.  The new accommodation does not solve all the problems, and according to the [U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops], it doesn’t present a feasible version of religious liberty.”

In an email to LifeSiteNews, Cardinal Newman Society spokesman Adam Wilson also criticized the university’s choice to accept the Obama administration’s accomodation.  Wilson quoted Catholic author G.K. Chesterton, who wrote, “A dead thing goes with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.”

“There's a strong correlation between the state of a university's Catholic identity and its ability and willingness to defend its religious freedom,” said Wilson. “At Georgetown, Catholic identity has eroded over the last few decades.  But many faithful Catholic universities, like those in our Newman Guide, are courageously fighting for religious freedom with lawsuits and public opposition to the HHS mandate.”

Catholic Priest Murdered in the Reign of a Bloody Protestant Queen

July 24 – St. John Boste

The Rack. The Rack-master, Richard Topcliffe, a Member of Parliament during the reign of Elizabeth I of England, was a fanatical persecutor of Catholics and the Church. He became notorious as a priest-hunter and torturer and was often referred to as the Queen's principal "interrogator". He claimed that his own instruments and methods were better than the official ones and  was authorized to create a torture chamber in his home in London.

The Rack. The Rack-master, Richard Topcliffe, a Member of Parliament during the reign of Elizabeth I of England, was a fanatical persecutor of Catholics and the Church. He became notorious as a priest-hunter and torturer and was often referred to as the Queen’s principal “interrogator”. He claimed that his own instruments and methods were better than the official ones and was authorized to create a torture chamber in his home in London.

Priest and martyr, born of good Catholic family at Dufton, in Westmoreland, about 1544; died at Durham, 24 July, 1594. He studied at Queen’s College, Oxford, 1569-72, became a Fellow, and was received into the Church at Brome, in Suffolk, in 1576. Resigning his Fellowship in 1580, he went to Reims, where he was ordained priest, 4 March, 1581, and in April was sent to England. He landed at Hartlepool and became a most zealous missioner, so that the persecutors made extraordinary efforts to capture him. At last, after many narrow escapes, he was taken to Waterhouses, the house of William Claxton, near Durham, betrayed by one Eglesfield [or Ecclesfield], 5 July, 1593. The place is still visited by Catholics. From Durham he was conveyed to London, showing himself throughout “resolute, bold, joyful, and pleasant”, although terribly racked in the Tower. Sent back to Durham for the July Assizes, 1594, he behaved with undaunted courage and resolution, and induced his fellow-martyr, Bl. George Swalwell [or Swallowell], a convert minister, who had recanted through fear, to repent of his cowardice, absolving him publicly in court.


He suffered at Dryburn, outside Durham. He recited the Angelus while mounting the ladder, and was executed with extraordinary brutality; for he was scarcely turned off the ladder when he was cut down, so that he stood on his feet, and in that posture was cruelly butchered alive. An account of his trial and execution was written by an eye-witness, Venerable Christopher Robinson, who suffered martyrdom shortly afterwards at Carlisle. British Museum MS. Lansdowne, 75, f. 44; CHALLONER, Memoirs; SHARPE, Memorials of the Rebellion of 1569; FOLEY, Records, III; Catholic Record Society, Miscellanea (Christopher Robinson’s account), I; COOPER in Dict. Nat. Biog.; WAINEWRIGHT, Venerable John Boste (London, Cath. Truth Soc., 1907); GOLDIE, The Martyr of Waterhouses in Ushaw Magazine, 1902, 1903. Bede Camm.

He was canonized in 1970 by Pope Paul VI and is one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.

Can a Catholic Recognize the “Rights of Homosexual Couples”?

by Roberto de Mattei

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Photo: Marie-Lan Nguyen

Even in the Catholic world, a dangerous conviction is making inroads in the sense that legal recognition of homosexual unions would be the only way to counter the advance of homosexual “marriage.”

“No to gay marriage, yes to recognition of the rights of de factocouples and homosexuals,” is the watchword spread by those who would like to organize a line of resistance based on the failed principle, “give in [some] so as not to lose [all].”

This is not just a colossal strategic error, but also, and above all, a serious moral error.

Indeed, not only Catholic, but also natural morals, hinges on the principle that we must do good and avoid evil: bonum faciendum et malum vitandum. This first principle is immediately apparent to man at all times and everywhere and does not allow for interpretations or compromise. By postulating the existence of good and evil, it presupposes the existence of objective and immutable moral truths which man finds above all in his own heart, because it is a natural law written “on the tables of the human heart by the very finger of the Creator himself” (Rm. 2:14-15).

A necessary consequence results from the principle that we must do good and avoid evil: it is never licit to anyone to do evil in any sphere, be it private or public.

In exceptional cases, evil, which is the transgression of the moral law, can be tolerated but must never be positively carried out. This means that no circumstance or good intentions can ever transform an intrinsically evil act into a good or indifferent human act. However noble the intentions behind it, an evil act, as minor as it might be, could never ever be committed.

The moral system of “proportionalism” in vogue today, rejects the idea of ​​absolute principles in the moral sphere and admits the possibility of carrying out the “lesser evil” in a particular situation, in order to obtain a proportionately greater good.

This theory has been condemned by Pope John Paul II in the encyclical Veritatis Splendor, which reaffirms the existence of unconditional and immutable “moral absolutes.” According to him, “The weighing of the goods and evils foreseeable as the consequence of an action is not an adequate method for determining whether the choice of that concrete kind of behavior is “according to its species”, or “in itself,” morally good or bad, licit or illicit”(N. 77).

Indeed, the correct criterion of moral judgment is what assesses an act as “good” or “bad” to the degree that it respects or violates the natural and divine law, considering it first of all in and of itself, that is in its essence, circumstances and consequences. Instead, the proportionalist criterion is relativistic, because it evaluates an act as “better” or “worse” depending on whether it makes a given situation better or worse. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in its Note of December 21, 2010 about the trivialization of sexuality, referring to some of those who interpreted the words of Benedict XVI in his book Light of the worldas using the theory of the “lesser evil,” declared that “this theory, is susceptible to misleading interpretations of a proportionalist matrix” was condemned by Veritatis Splendorbecause “an action which is objectively evil, even if it is a lesser evil, can never be licitly willed.”This is binding both on personal and public conduct.

While Catholic lawmakers may be unable to achieve the greatest good in practice, they can never promote a law unjust in itself regardless of its motivation. If one accepts the principle that a lesser evil can be done in order to achieve a greater good, Catholics could promote therapeutic abortion to avoid selective abortion; homologous artificial fertilization to avoid the heterologous type; and civil unions to avoid same-sex marriage. But by doing so they would cause the entire moral framework to collapse because, from lesser evil to lesser evil, every moral choice could be arbitrarily justified.

There are those who, in order to justify the principle of the lesser evil in the political sphere, refer to a phrase of John Paul II in Evangelium Vitae,

according to which “an elected official ... could licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law [on abortion] and at lessening its negative consequences.”(N.73). But this interpretation is inconsistent with both Veritatis Splendor and the moral Magisterium of the Church, which teaches that one can tolerate an evil by refusing to suppress it, and even regulate an evil in the sense of reducing its freedom and field of action; but one can never allow or regulate an evil by allowing it, because that would mean approving it and becoming complicit with it (cf. Ramon Garcia de Haro, La vita cristiana, Ares, Milano 1995).

In that passage, the Pope is not saying that it is licit for a Catholic to propose a bad law, but that it is lawful for him to take action on a bill being prepared in parliament by presenting amendments which restrict or repeal its permissive and immoral provisions. In this case, one is talking about amendments which prevent some regulatory proposals from becoming law. However, it should be noted that, in our legal system, the law must be voted on not only item by item, but, in the end also as a whole, as a sign of overall approval.

Therefore, a Catholic politician would never be allowed to cast a final, positive vote on a piece of legislation allowing immoral actions even if that law resulted from the approval of its amendments.

In fact, he cannot accept in any case and under any circumstances, overall responsibility for a final law authorizing, for example, abortion, even if only in rare and extreme cases. This means that he may correct the bill through corrective amendments but may not approve its final text if immoral provisions remain.

In order for a Catholic politician to be morally allowed to propose a law, it must have its own integritas:

that is, it must be totally correct in the sense that none of its provisions contradict natural and divine Law. But if a law contains even a single intrinsically and objectively immoral provision, it is a “non-law.” In no way can a Catholic politician vote for it as a whole, otherwise he would incur moral and juridical responsibility for the entire text. As St. Thomas Aquinas never tires of repeating, “Bonum ex integra causa, malum ex quocumque defectu”(Summa Theologica, I-II, q. 71, a. 5, ad 2, II-II, q. 79, a. 3 ad 4).

In Italy, members of the center-right and center-left are finding “broad agreement” on an eventual exhumation of DICO,

a bill to give legal recognition to cohabiting couples (on the “rights and obligations of persons stably living together”) introduced by the Prodi government in February 2007. At that time the bill stalled due to the opposition of Catholics. Today, however, even some personalities of the Catholic world consider recognition of de facto homosexual unions as a “lesser evil” that could be undertaken in order to avoid the “greater evil” of “gay marriage.”

But from the moral point of view, granting homosexual unions legal recognition is as evil as legally equating them with marriage.

For this reason, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in its document titled Considerations regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons” (June 3, 2003), approved by Pope John Paul II, establishes that “respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behavior or to legal recognition of homosexual unions.

Voting for such a law would entail complicity with an evil that is certainly not effaced by the so-called “damage limitation.” If there were two laws in Parliament, one that would legalize same-sex marriage and another that recognized the rights of homosexual couples while not equating them to marriage, Catholics still could not vote for the latter on the pretext that it was “less bad” than the former; and if it the worst law passed, the sole responsibility would be of those who signed it. How can we imagine that a Catholic can approve a law which legally protects one of those “sins that cry out to Heaven,” such as “the sin of the Sodomites” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, N. 1867)?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

24 Quotes About Purity That Every Young Catholic Should Know

Impurity is plastered everywhere today: Movies, TV, billboards, music, entertainment, books, and magazines.
We must fight back. 

To that end the following collection of quotes -- many of which are authored by Doctors of the Church -- will provide you with the support and encouragement you need to stand your ground and fight for purity.

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Your rosette: the wreath of white rosettes was placed before the statue of Our Lady of Fatima gracing the very spot on which She appeared

On July 13, a soft, unseasonal mist blanketed Fatima as the bells of the sanctuary tolled four in the afternoon. As the morning pilgrims began to disperse, silence descended on the holy place.

As we entered the esplanade leading to the “Capelinha”, the spot where Our Lady appeared, my friend, Plinio Antonio and I were deeply moved. Though only two pilgrims, we had the joy to represent thousands of subscribers of America Needs Fatima and to offer Our Lady, in their names,a wreath of white rosettes and prayer intentions.

As we made our way to the place of the apparitions, we asked other pilgrims to take a few photos so ANF participants could feel like they were “there” with us in that act of offering. The soft mist brought to mind the mysterious words of the Blessed Virgin in the apparition of  July, 1917 when she spoke of reward and punishment for the world. As we reached the spot  of the apparitions, a priest was reading the dialogue of the Blessed Virgin with Lucia on July  13, 1917.

Closing our eyes, we tried to imagine the scene.

On that day, the apparition had been preceded by a cool breeze and a small grayish cloud  that was noticed over the holm oak on which Our Lady alighted.

In this apparition, Our Lady insisted on the daily recitation of the Rosary in honor of Our Lady  of the Rosary to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war (WWI), “…for she alone  can be of any avail”.

She also confirmed that she would work a miracle for all to see in October, and at Lucia’s  request for persons who needed healings, Our Lady assured that if they prayed the Rosary daily, they would obtain those favors during the year.

Then the Holy Virgin again asked for prayer and sacrifice for poor sinners, and proceeded to show the children a terrifying vision of hell, a sea of fire into which innumerable souls were plunged like transparent burning ambers. The vision only lasted a moment or the children would have died.

“You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinner go,” the Mother of God said, “To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace…"

But if what she asked was not done, then there would be a worse war.

To prevent the war she would come to ask for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart and the Communion of reparation of the First Saturdays. If her request was headed, Russia would convert. If not, Russia would spread its errors throughout the world causing wars and persecutions of the Church.

In the end, her Immaculate Heart would triumph, the Holy Father would consecrate Russia to her and a period of peace would be granted to the world. Portugal would never lose the dogma of Faith.

Father finished the meditation, and as he left the altar, my friend and I deposited the wreath of white rosettes before the statue of Our Lady of Fatima gracing the very spot on which she appeared.

With all our hearts we said to her: We are only two, but with us, represented in this wreath, are thousands of devout Americans who implore your protection now and always.

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