30 September 2021

Rod Dreher Gets the Leftist Iconoclasm

'[Y]ou are either a leftist, or a fool, to think it has anything to do with Lee, ..., or the Slave Trade, ... Its end goal is the destruction of the Western Tradition and its Western and Christian values and principles. That is the goal.'

From Daffey Thoughts

By David Griffey

Read it here. Yep. It's his response to my old classmate Russ Moore's rejoicing over the end of Robert E. Lee. Rod realizes that in another time and place, such a conversation might be appropriate. Heck, such a solution might have its place.

But you are either a leftist, or a fool, to think it has anything to do with Lee, or Jefferson, or Washington, or the Slave Trade, or a host of Western signposts. Its end goal is the destruction of the Western Tradition and its Western and Christian values and principles. That is the goal.

I know this because I pay attention to my sons and what they hear in their world and among their peers. From their classroom discussions a cool 50% of their classmates see the United Stats as a 400 year old Nazi regime. Its entire history one of racism, slavery and genocide. Nothing more. Nothing less.

The books and handouts they show me make it clear that the whole of Western Civilization was a net zero for the world - at best. In most cases it was a negative, being the sole cause of the suffering and evils in the world today. For their college, Critical Race Theory is the gospel.

That Christianity is a myth and lie is also the official teaching, and many classes present that view. My son took a class on mythology and what was added to the fraternity of Greek, Egyptian and Norse myths? That would be the Bible. Right between Thor and Perseus was standing Jesus Himself. And his is a state university. Which is fair and honest at least. I learned that the Bible was just what the biblical authors stole from surrounding religions and myths back in high school. Seeing it now as nothing but an ancient set of folktales and fake stories makes perfect sense. Classes in anthropology, sociology and history present the same picture.

So consider that these kids, learning on the tax payer dime that religions are just folk tales, the West is a net evil, and the US particularly is a racist Nazi state in serious need of extermination, are the face of the next generation of leaders in our world. The move to eliminate almost anyone and anything to do with this most horrid of all civilizations - including the art, philosophy, religion, literature, and its foundational principles - is well under way. And the ones officially being taught that the whole of the civilization should die aren't even out of college yet.

Since the official Catholic - and general Christian - response to this is more or less accepting its premises at face value, don't expect it to slow any time soon. Since our leaders seem to think there is some common ground net neutrality viewpoint that we can work with, the line of the Faithful will be drawn backwards and backwards and backwards again.

Why the speed with which this is happening? I dunno. My sons might have some insight. They have said before that if it was any other generation discussing a radical departure from the last centuries of Christian ideals, it might seem credible. But as it is, you get the impression of a bunch of people unable or unwilling to stand up and fight, so they wrap their surrender in a Jesus flag and hope that disastrous results of their cowardliness and apathy don't come before they've passed from this mortal realm.

When Obedience is Used as a Tool of the Devil....

What is obedience? To whom or what are we to be obedient? These are vital questions today and Mary Ann Kreitzer gives some cogent answers.

From Les Femmes

By Mary Ann Kreitzer

Obedience is a great virtue. In fact, it is often called a foundational virtue, one that stands as a pillar to others. Whom are we called to obey? God first, of course. Then those who have lawful authority over us. Children owe obedience to their parents. Catholics owe obedience to the doctrine and precepts of the Church. We owe obedience to those in lawful authority in government. We owe obedience to the Truth, who is a person, Jesus Christ.

But, and this is a big BUT, we do not owe obedience when what we are ordered to do violates the LAW OF GOD or are own well-informed conscience. Note the adjective: WELL INFORMED.

In fact, justice demands that we DISOBEY and defy such orders. History abounds with tyrants who ordered people to do immoral things: offer adoration to pagan gods, arrest and murder people because of their ethnic background or their religion, lie and coverup evil deeds. Satanic reality lurks all around us -- and has since the devil seduced Eve in the Garden of Eden.

But what happens when the virtue of obedience becomes a trap to destroy the truth? We see that almost daily in the modern Church and the actions and statements of Pope Francis. Carry Pachamam into St. Peter's. Dismiss Jesus' Great Commission to baptize the whole world "In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." All religions deserve equal recognition before God and everyone goes to heaven no matter which path they follow. Conduct visitations of orthodox communities with the express purpose of destroying them and suppress the Mass of the ages. Claim that the "common good" and love for others requires taking a vaccine developed and tested by murdering and cannibalizing unborn infants.

"It was the height of the devil's victory to destroy the Church by obedience." That's the creed of freemasonry, Communism, and the devil. Each of us must know the truth and refuse to compromise with the lie, especially the lie that shakes a fist at God. No matter what "authority" orders us to disobey God's laws or join in the rebellion against His truth, we may not obey. 

The persecution is here. The question now is how will we respond? Will we compromise and offer just a tiny pinch of incense or will we stand with Michael and his angels and ask the authorities, "Who is like unto God?"

A Million and a Half Page Views!

Sometime in the past couple of hours Musings of an Old Curmudgeon has reached 1,500,000 page views. It took almost three years to reach one million, but it's taken just over a year to add another half million.

I'd like to thank all my readers here, on my Facebook page, on the Musings of an Old Curmudgeon Facebook group, and the group on MeWe, as well as those other bloggers who list 'Musings' in their blogroll, especially my good friend, Vox Cantoris

I especially thank all those who share my posts on their own Facebook or MeWe pages.

I ask for your prayers and I assure you of my prayers for your health and salvation, as well as for all of your intentions.

Nobody Does Pop Jargon Like Pope Francis

Once again, Francis says something that is either a) completely meaningless, or b) absolutely opposed to what Scripture says.

From Daffey Thoughts

By David Griffey

So we have this:

Now that's just pretty to see, but it means nothing in modern discourse.

We know that for liberalism, inclusive means conform to liberalism or watch your butt. The same goes for tolerance, which usually means conform to liberalism or watch your butt. Or diversity, which also can be translated as conform to liberalism or watch your butt.

Is that what Pope Francis means? I realize God's love is universal, and Christ reaches out to all sinners. Does that mean inclusive despite - anything? One can be, do, think, or whatever and it's all inclusion and no distinction? Does Pope Francis mean white supremacists, arms dealers, people who deny Global Warming, people who question Covid lockdowns, people who support border walls? I don't know. He might.

But once again, Pope Francis uses empty pop culture terms that are common on Oprah and The View, but are of little use elsewhere. If only he would speak like a religious leader not of the age, but merely in the age.

Oh, and for the record, I had no idea that Jesus's teachings on the sheep and goats and wheat and chaff meant that there are no distinctions. I thought that the point was you didn't want to be goats or chaff, not that it didn't matter to Jesus. Did I just seriously misunderstand those teachings?

Professor Who Criticized Extra Pay for Black Faculty Labeled Example of Racism at Princeton

But isn't paying someone more or less based on their skin colour just blatant racism? I guess not, according to the Left, if they're the RIGHT colour!

From The College Fix

By Jennifer Kabbany

Princeton University freshmen have been taught that a professor at the institution is an example of racism because he criticized a now-defunct black student group’s aggressive tactics and he opposes giving professors of color a variety of perks, such as additional pay.

Joshua Katz, a highly decorated Princeton classics professor of nearly 25 years, is featured in a “virtual gallery” detailing various forms of racism at the Ivy League university. The gallery was part of a mandatory freshman orientation video.

Katz is highlighted under the gallery’s “Race and Free Speech” section for his “Declaration of Independence,” a Quillette piece he wrote questioning racial justice demands lodged by his fellow faculty members last summer in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

While Katz’s “Declaration” had agreed with some of the 48 demands, he called out several as “extra perks for no reason other than … pigmentation.”

He criticized their calls for faculty of color to receive “course relief and summer salary” and to give junior faculty of color an extra semester of sabbatical and human resources support. (They had argued faculty of color deserve it for their “invisible work” as “spokespersons of diversity at Princeton.”)

Katz also denounced their request for the university to issue a formal public apology to members of the Black Justice League student group.

“The Black Justice League, which was active on campus from 2014 until 2016, was a small local terrorist organization that made life miserable for the many (including the many black students) who did not agree with its members’ demands,” Katz had written.

“Recently I watched an ‘Instagram Live’ of one of its alumni leaders, who—emboldened by recent events and egged on by over 200 supporters who were baying for blood—presided over what was effectively a Struggle Session against one of his former classmates. It was one of the most evil things I have ever witnessed, and I do not say this lightly.”

Katz’s use of the term “terrorist” caused a massive cancel culture campaign against him last year, leading it to be featured as part of the overall gallery entry.

But Katz’s quote from the Quillette piece was surreptitiously edited by Princeton officials in the gallery shown to freshmen to omit the parenthetical “including the many black students” when it was first featured.

Although campus officials did not respond to repeated requests for comment from The College Fix, they have more recently corrected the quote to include the clause that Black Justice League members also harassed black students who did not support their narrative.

As Just The News reports, the gallery entry also “left out the classics department’s removal of its statement condemning Katz and [Princeton President Christopher] Eisgruber walking back the threat to investigate him.”

In an interview with The College Fix, Katz’s attorney, Samantha Harris, said Princeton officials essentially threw Katz “under the bus in front of the entire freshman class.”

She points to the “doctored” quote as well as how the gallery entry does not mention how Katz did support some faculty demands and essentially called into question ones that would violate federal anti-discrimination laws.

She declined to say what, if any, legal avenues Katz might pursue over the gallery entry.

In a Sept. 1 op-ed in the New York Post, Princeton professors John Londregan and Sergiu Klainerman came to the defense of Katz, calling the gallery entry an attempt to stigmatize Katz as racist.

“While Katz had strong words for the BJL, the Web site fails to mention that he was decrying the harassment the BJL had directed against students, especially African-American students, who disagreed with its radical aims and tactics,” they wrote.

As for the rest of the mandatory Princeton freshmen orientation, as The College Fix has previously reported, it also “likened personal denials of racism to segregation, urged the students and university to do more for ‘undocumented immigrants,’ and warned that those who protested the 2020 presidential election bear some resemblance to Confederates.”

Transgender Students 'Unknowingly' Admitted to Catholic Seminaries, Archbishop Warns

May God have mercy on His Church! Now, on top of everything else, we need to worry about women pretending to be Priests!

From Catholic News Agency

By Christine Rousselle & Joe Bukuras

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Sep 29, 2021 / 09:03 am

Bishops should consider requiring DNA tests or physical examinations to ensure that all seminarians are biological men, said Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki in a recent memo sent to the members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

“Recently, the Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance was made aware of instances where it had been discovered that a woman living under a transgendered identity had been unknowingly admitted to the seminary or to a house of formation of an institute of consecrated life,” said the memo. Listecki is the chairman of the USCCB’s canonical affairs committee.

In one case, said Listecki, “the individual’s sacramental records had been fraudulently obtained to reflect her new identity.”

“In all instances, nothing in these individuals’ medical or psychological reports had signaled past treatments or pertinent surgeries,” he added. None of the biologically female seminarians received Holy Orders, said Listecki.

The archbishop’s memo does not identify which seminaries or houses of formation have enrolled a biological female who presented herself as a male, nor was it clarified if these “instances” occurred in the United States or elsewhere. Rocco Palmo, who writes the blog Whispers in the Loggia, first reported the memo via Twitter on Sept. 23.

While a Catholic baptism certificate typically does not indicate the sex of the person being baptized, other Christian denominations have invited people identifying as transgender to re-affirm their baptismal promises under their new, chosen, name.

The archbishop said that he was “encouraged by the Committee” to send the memo to his brother bishops, so that they could “exercise special vigilance as a new year of seminary formation begins.”

Listecki, a doctor of canon law, noted that “canon law requires the diocesean bishop to admit to the major seminary and to promote to Holy Orders only men who possess the requisite physical and psychological qualities,” and that the bishop “can require various means to establish moral certitude in this regard.”

The memo continues: “Some members of the Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance observed that a bishop could consider requiring a D.N.A. test or, at a minimum, certification from a medical expert of the bishop’s own choosing, to assure that an applicant is male.”

The USCCB declined to comment on the contents of the memo. You can read the full memo below.
. .
. .

Prayers for the Intercession and Beatification of Fr Emil Kapaun

Prayer for the Intercession of Father Kapaun

Father Emil Kapaun gave glory to God by following his call to the priesthood and thus serving the people of Kansas and those in the military.

Father Kapaun, I ask your intercession not only for these needs which I mention now . . . but that I too may follow your example of service to God and my neighbor.

For the gifts of courage in battle and perseverance of faith, we give you thanks O Lord.

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary

Prayer for the Beatification and Canonization of Father Kapaun

Lord Jesus, in the midst of the folly of war, your servant, Chaplain Emil Kapaun, spent himself in total service to you on the battlefields and in the prison camps of Korea, until his death at the hands of his captors.

We now ask you, Lord Jesus, if it be your will, to make known to all the world the holiness of Chaplain Kapaun and the glory of his complete sacrifice for you by signs of miracles and peace.
In your name, Lord, we ask, for you are the source of peace, the strength of our service to others, and our final hope. Amen.

For more information or to report favors granted please contact:

Fr. Kapaun Guild
424 North Broadway | Wichita, KS 67202 | 316-269-3900
www.FatherKapaun.org | fatherkapaun@CatholicDioceseOfWichita.org
Chaplain Kapaun, pray for

Funeral Mass for the Servant of God, Fr Emil Kapaun

It is sad that he was laid to rest with a Mass he would not have recognised. Why not the Mass he celebrated on the battlefield?

Francis Goes After Another Innocent Group Of Nuns

Another 'Apostolic Visitation' of a Traditional Convent. Will this be the end of the Traditional Carmelites? And the possibility of such a 'Visitation' for the FSSP. 

The aftermath of Traditionis Custodes continues to unfold, with a group of nuns and possibly the FSSP coming under the baleful gaze of Rome.

Nancy Pelosi Says China is Committing Genocide But We Must Ignore It Because Climate Change

Pelosi admits that for the Left 'climate change' is more important than anything else, including genocide!

From Creative Minority Report

By Matthew Archbold

I know what you’re thinking. There’s no way she actually said that, right? You’d be wrong. Sometimes politicians slip and tell the truth, especially as they get older or drunk (or both.)

Here’s what she said in her clearly unscripted comments.

We’ve always felt connected to China, but with their military aggression in the South China Sea, with their continuation of genocide with the Uyghurs in Xinjiang province there, with their violation of the cultural, linguistic, religious priority of Tibet, with their suppression of democracy in Hong Kong and other parts of China, as well – they’re just getting worse in terms of suppression, and freedom of speech. So, human rights, security, economically [sic]. Don’t miss out on content from Dave Rubin free of big tech censorship. Listen to The Rubin Report now.

Having said all of that … we have to work together on climate. Climate is an overriding issue and China is the leading emitter in the world, the U.S. too and developed world too, but we must work together.

Overriding. That’s the key here. Yeah, China is guilty of genocide but climate change overrides all that brutal genocidey stuff.

These are the people in charge of the world. They don’t care one whit about individual lives.

I didn’t see this reported anywhere in the mainstream media. Did you?

Glenn Beck said, “She said ‘we have to work together on climate,’ because climate is the ‘overriding issue.’ The overriding issue? There is no way to describe this mindset. That, yes, they are killing an entire group of people because of their ethnicity or religion. They are systematically rounding them up, using them for slave labor, and killing them, using their organs and selling them on the open market. They are nothing more than cattle. For us to recognize it and do nothing about it is bad enough. But to say, ‘we recognize it, but we have bigger things to talk to them about,’ is a horror show.”

So the question to ask is, what does trump climate change? Because individual lives certainly don’t. This is anti-Christian. I can’t put it more plainly. This is utilitarianism. She is saying that she thinks more lives are in danger from climate change so we must ignore the fewer numbers of victims of genocide.

Who’d a thunk that the party of abortion wouldn’t care about human life? Who saw that coming?

One final note. If climate change is more important than actually taking lives, what is the Democrat Party willing to do to those who stand in the way of their climate change policies? If you are against the New Green Deal, does that make you WORSE than those who commit genocide in their eyes?

When genocide is the lesser of two evils, genocide can and will be done for the greater good.

Father Emil Kapaun: 18 Things Every Catholic Should Know About This Heroic Priest

Some facts about the family, background, and story of the Servant of God, Fr Emil Kapaun. Servant of God Emil Kapaun, pray for us!

From the National Catholic Register


"The life of the Holy Family was a life of true happiness. In order to have happiness in our Christian families we must practice the virtue of self-sacrifice.” — Father Emil Kapaun

(T-L) Father Emil Kapaun celebrating Mass using the hood of a Jeep as his altar, Oct 7, 1950. (T-R) Father Emil Kapaun (center) poses for a picture with members of his congregation after celebrating his first mass as a priest at St. John Nepomucene Church in Pilsen, Kan., in 1940. (B-L) Emil Kapaun and his mother, Bessie, prior to his ordination to the priesthood in 1939. (B-M) Photos and mementos on display at his parish in Pilsner. (B-R) Servant of God Fr. Emil Joseph Kapaun was a Roman Catholic Priest and United States Army captain who served as a United States Army chaplain during World War II and the Korean War.
(T-L) Father Emil Kapaun celebrating Mass using the hood of a Jeep as his altar, Oct 7, 1950. (T-R) Father Emil Kapaun (center) poses for a picture with members of his congregation after celebrating his first mass as a priest at St. John Nepomucene Church in Pilsen, Kan., in 1940. (B-L) Emil Kapaun and his mother, Bessie, prior to his ordination to the priesthood in 1939. (B-M) Photos and mementos on display at his parish in Pilsner. (B-R) Servant of God Fr. Emil Joseph Kapaun was a Roman Catholic Priest and United States Army captain who served as a United States Army chaplain during World War II and the Korean War. (photo: Public Domain)

Servant of God Emil Kapaun was laid to rest Wednesday, 70 years after the U.S. Army chaplain died in a prison camp in North Korea. Reflecting on his life, legacy and his path to sainthood, here are 18 interesting and inspiring facts about this courageous chaplain who offered so much hope amid despair.

1. Affirming the truth that saints can come from anywhere, Emil Joseph Kapaun came into this world on Holy Thursday, April 20, 1916, on a 160-acre farm in rural Pilsen, Kansas. Born into a Catholic family, his parents, Enos and Elizabeth (Hajek) Kapaun, were from the Czech Republic. His experience on a farm proved a useful survival skill during his seven-month stint in a death camp after he was captured as a prisoner of war in 1950.

2. He was baptized as an infant at the newly built St. John Nepomucene Church, just 3 miles from his family farm. The church now welcomes visitors from across the globe anxious to learn more about this chaplain who made his first confession, first Holy Communion, confirmation and celebrated his first Mass serving as the parish priest at the same church. As one historian said, “He was around it and touched everything.”

3. Growing up with his brother, Eugene, Emil was very close to his family and enjoyed his work on the farm. He attended Catholic school, being taught by three Adorer of the Precious Blood of Christ Sisters. Confirmed into the church his first year of high school, he chose St. Joseph as his patron saint. An excerpt of his writings just a few short years later while he was a deacon hint at the impact his upbringing had on his Catholic faith — and St. Joseph’s mark of humility:
“Jesus wished to show that the simple, humble life is very pleasing to God. The will of God was that the Holy Family live a life of poverty and of humble labor. The life of the Holy Family was a simple life; it was marked not by the honors and glamour which the world can give, but it was marked by the peace and holiness from God. The life of the Holy Family was a life of true happiness. In order to have happiness in our Christian families we must practice the virtue of self-sacrifice.”

4. Father Kapaun was ordained as a priest by Bishop Christian Winkelmann in 1940 at St. John’s Chapel on the campus of Sacred Heart College in Wichita, now Newman University. The first Pilsen native ever to be ordained, Father Kapaun celebrated his first Mass at his home parish 11 days later, with more than 1,200 guests in attendance.

5. Father Emil joined the U.S. Army Chaplains Corps just four years later, after serving as an auxiliary chaplain at a neighboring Army airbase. His first assignment was overseas during the tail end of World War II; serving in both Burma and India, he would often travel thousands of miles to meet soldiers in combat. He was promoted to the rank of captain on Jan. 3, 1946.

6. After finishing his service, Father Kapaun went back to school at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., studying education and ultimately earning his master’s. His dissertation was on “A Study of the Accrediting of Religion in the High Schools of the United States.” After completing his degree, he asked Bishop Mark Carroll of Wichita for the chance to serve in the active military again. After two requests, Father Kapaun was finally granted the opportunity and reported to the Anti-Aircraft Artillery Corps at Fort Bliss, Texas, in 1948.

7. Father Kapaun departed for Japan in 1950 to help peace-keeping forces of the 1st Calvary Division meeting the spiritual needs of the troops by offering Mass and hearing confession. Father Kapaun was also known to take part in military maneuvers. The situation changed dramatically when Communist North Korea invaded South Korea on June 25, 1950. Father Kapaun’s unit, the 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division was assigned to help South Korea. In a letter to his bishop, Chaplain Kapaun wrote:
“Tomorrow we are going into combat. I have everything in order, all Mass stipends, my will, etc. The way the Catholic soldiers are rallying around the priest is edifying.”

8. Given the gravity of the situation on the ground, Father Kapaun spurred into action, and for four months, he tended to hundreds of dead and wounded soldiers amid extreme heat and torrential rain. Father Kapaun risked his life to offer the sacraments to troops hidden in fox holes, carrying wounded soldiers on his back and burying the dead — from both sides — at the height of the Korean War. He also took time to write personal letters to families of servicemen who had died, to offer loved ones the knowledge that their child or spouse had died with the consolation of the last rites — and with a priest at his side.

9. Brushes of death were extremely common for the chaplain priest. Coming under enemy fire while rescuing his men, he barely escaped a sniper who knocked his tobacco pipe out of his mouth. As archive photos show, Father Kapaun would offer Mass on the hood of Jeep — at one point his vehicle and Mass kit were stolen as he rushed to escape from the enemy, so he made the decision then to always carry the Blessed Sacrament on him, along with sacramental oils and items necessary for Mass to always have them readily available.

10. As winter was setting in, many of the troops thought the war was coming to an end. On All Saints’ Day, Father Kapaun celebrated Mass for his soldiers. U.S. forces on the ground alongside the United Nations had stopped North Korea’s advancement, and most of the troops thought they would be spending Christmas at home with their families. But, overnight, as dawn broke over All Souls’ Day, 20,000 Chinese soldiers swarmed the camp, catching 2,000 American soldiers by surprise while they protected the town of Unsan.

11. Father Kapaun sprang into action, helping to drag those wounded to safety and offering last rites to those dying. He was captured once but escaped when U.S. soldiers returned fire. He carried countless bodies on his back while hearing confessions amid gunfire.

12. Father Kapaun was captured for the second time just before dawn. Hundreds of captured soldiers, now American POWs, began the “death march” to the camp, forcibly walking 87 miles while suffering from frostbite and war wounds. Anyone unable to walk was instantly shot, and Father Kapaun took to carrying those on the ground on his back, asking others with the last bit of strength they could muster to do the same. Because of this, many who would have died made it to Prison Camp No. 5 in Pyoktong, North Korea.

13. It was at Prison Camp 5 that Father Kapaun’s selfless heroism truly shone forth. Employing some of the skills he acquired growing up on a farm, he awoke before dawn every day and, even in negative temperatures, would melt snow for clean water for the men to drink. He created makeshift vessels out of old iron sheeting to have containers available for laundering the clothes of the infirm and wounded. To help those suffering from starvation, Father Kapaun would search around the camp for corn, soybeans, salt and other provisions, always praying to the Good Thief, St. Dismas, before embarking on one of his missions.

14. Father Kapaun was a beacon of hope for all of the soldiers at the prison camp. He not only met physical needs but always worked to nourish the souls of the men, sometimes adapting prayers to reach soldiers of all faiths. Although it was forbidden, Father Kapaun led an Easter Mass for the men in 1951, reminding them of the sufferings that Christ endured for their sake and the new life brought about by the Resurrection.

15. It was just a few short weeks after this service that Father Kapaun fell deathly ill, suffering from a blood clot in his leg and pneumonia. American military doctors who were also captured as prisoners had created a space for him to heal, and those that visited him could tell he must be in great pain, but Father Kapaun never showed any of his suffering. Slipping in and out of consciousness, many soldiers feared he would die. It was mid-May when he started to feel a bit better, but at that point, the prison guards had become aware of his condition. Storming in, they said he had to go to the “hospital,” a euphemism for the camp’s death chambers, as all soldiers quickly learned. His fellow prisoners put up a fight, but Father Kapaun reassured them, saying, “Don’t worry about me. I’m going where I always wanted to go, and when I get there, I’ll say a prayer for all of you.”

16. Near tears, and with some visibly shaking, the soldiers asked to carry Father Kapaun, their beloved chaplain, to the Death House themselves. Holding him up, they were awestruck at the many times Father Kapaun asked them to stop to ask forgiveness from certain guards and then lift his arm to offer a blessing before moving on. On May 23, 1951, just a few short days after his arrival, Chaplain Kapaun died alone in the Death House, exhausted from his years of service to his men and God. He was 35 years young. Surviving POWs tell stories of how his memory lingered, allowing camaraderie and care for others to permeate the camp, and one Jewish prisoner created a crucifix of cherrywood to serve as a reminder of his service, sacrifice and love. That crucifix is now on display at Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School in Wichita.

17. Father Kapaun was declared a “Servant of God” by Pope John Paul II in 1993. With at least two miracles currently under investigation, the canonization process of this compassionate priest is continues.

18. Father Kapaun has been awarded several awards posthumously including the Congressional Medal of Honor, the Bronze Star, and the Distinguished Service Cross, among others. When then-President Barack Obama awarded the posthumous medal, he said:
"This is the valor we honor today -- an American soldier who didn’t fire a gun, but who wielded the mightiest weapon of all, a love for his brothers so pure that he was willing to die so that they might live. And yet, the incredible story of Father Kapaun does not end there."

This humble and heroic priest from Kansas is an inspiration to us all.

Servant of God Father Emil Kapaun, pray for us!

To learn more about Servant of God Father Emil Kapaun, please visit here.

Catholic Converts Surveyed Say: “Give Us the Latin Mass!”

The results of a survey done by Benedictus, the new Gregorian Rite missalette and companion, yielded some fascinating results. Not what Francis and his minions want to hear!

From One Peter Five

By 1P5 Editor

Editor’s Note: Several months ago, Dr. Peter Kwasniewski wrote an article for our readers in review of Benedictus, the acclaimed “Traditional Catholic Companion” resource that had just been announced, and which is now in its second print issue (see here).

After the recent motu proprio restricting access to the TLM, Benedictus shared a survey with their subscribers, hoping to learn more about their familiarity with the TLM and views on Traditionis Custodes. We reached out to Aaron Seng, director of the project, to learn more about the survey and share some of the findings with our readers at 1P5.

1P5: Before digging in to your TLM survey, let’s talk about the latest motu proprio. You seem to have picked a rather difficult time to launch a monthly companion resource for the TLM – has Benedictus seen any negative impact?

Seng: No, quite the opposite. Within two weeks of the motu proprio, we lost about twenty subscribers and added six hundred more. Traditiones Custodes – impious and spiritually harmful as it is – may be a better advertisement for the TLM than anything else. And, if there ever was a time for a resource like Benedictus, it seems to be the present. One of our subscribers calls it their “lifeline to Tradition.”

1P5: Some are saying that God willed the motu proprio, as a way to bring people to Catholic Tradition who may not have found it otherwise. Would you agree?

Seng: I’m sure that many will discover Tradition due to the motu proprio, but this is a “bringing good out of evil” situation. Our Lord is not a schizophrenic – perfecting the Roman Rite over centuries as “the most beautiful thing this side of Heaven,” then suddenly condemning it by papal fiat as harmful to souls and the unity of the Church. I’d say God wills Traditiones Custodes in the same way that He wills the diversity of world religions, i.e., not at all. He merely foresees and permits such evils in His “passive will,” as a means to chastise the wicked and try the just. One hopes that we will rise to the occasion.

1P5: Why do you think Benedictus continues to grow?

Seng: With only two issues in print, we are already approaching 9,000 subscribers. I see this as a spillover of the wider return to right faith and morals among those seeking to know, love, and serve Our Lord in the Church He established. Many are weary of the “new paradigm” among the officers of that Church over the past fifty years, barely distinguishable now from the secularism and neo-pagan nonsense of the age. Many are finding that there is more to Church history than what they were told, if they were told anything. All of this finds clear expression in the growth of TLM communities around the world, some of which have seen tenfold growth and more over the past year.

1P5: Is Benedictus only a resource for those who love the TLM, or do you see it as having wider appeal?

Seng: Benedictus is considerably more than a missalette; our goal was to give readers a portable companion resource to help shape a daily Catholic devotional life. It certainly features the daily TLM texts, but it also includes daily portions from the old breviary, meditations from proven authors, solid liturgical commentary, classic catechesis, Catholic customs and culture, points for fostering a liturgical life in the home, artwork by Old Masters, etc. It’s had a surprisingly wide appeal for this reason. We naturally have veteran traditionalist subscribers, but there are also Catholics who just discovered the TLM, others who want to learn more before attending, and still others who are not even Catholic, but want to find out about “the whole traditional Catholic thing.” The seed is being sown widely.

1P5: Tell us about the TLM survey you sent to your subscribers.

Seng: A few weeks ago, we sent an at-will survey, asking general demographic questions: Were you raised with the TLM? Do you attend it regularly now? Do you think the motu proprio benefits souls? etc. We had thousands of responses, and over one thousand personal testimonials. More than two-thirds of the survey respondents were not raised with the TLM (so much for “nostalgia”), but the vast majority now attend the TLM regularly if not exclusively. They come from many countries and all walks of life, and no two stories are just alike. The write-ins are especially moving to read, and could fill a book of several hundred pages. I will share just a few here, specifically from non-Catholic converts.

1P5: Final question: In your opinion, what is the single biggest roadblock to restoring the TLM, and the Faith in general, in our times?

Seng: The same as always: a want of supernatural charity, the first property of which is zeal for God’s glory. How can we face the Lord in prayer, if we are not prepared to suffer, even publicly, for His honor? May the martyrs intercede to deliver us all from the fear of man, and teach us the fear of the Lord.


As recent converts, my wife and I have been incredibly blessed by attending the TLM. The beauty and transcendence of the vetus ordo conveys the gravity and “weight of glory” of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in a clear and unconfused way. We have been blessed to be able to participate in this truly living tradition!

The Traditional rite is a clear expression of Catholic Doctrine, especially in regard to Transubstantiation. I grew up Protestant and I do not think I fully converted until I started to attend the Traditional rite.

My husband and I are both converts to Catholicism. …He is Anglo and I am Hispanic. We find the TLM to be more reverent and beautiful than the N.O. mass in English or Spanish. My husband can’t understand Spanish and though his latin isn’t great right now, he is learning, and we find the TLM to be a true unifying force within the RC Church. I’ve attended mass in English, Spanish, French, German in different countries. I have also noticed regional differences within the N.O. in the US. I don’t understand why it isn’t all TLM if unity is so important.

I converted over 20 years ago and recently discovered the TLM, only months before Pope Francis issued his motu proprio. I love the Latin Mass so much!!! … I have started to look forward to Mass in a way I never have before and it truly feels like for that hour I leave the craziness of this world behind. I am praying that God will not allow this beautiful treasure to be taken from His children.

We are converts. Once we attended our first TLM it was as if Christ was entering the church. It is an experience not of words but of the heart.

A Catholic convert of over 11 years. I was introduced to the TLM almost 2 years ago and I now attend it exclusively. It has changed my spiritual life for the better, and I now feel as though I am truly Catholic!

I came into the Church 3 years ago barely “surviving” RCIA in an ultra-heterodox parish. If I had NOT discovered the EF of the Mass, I would have left the faith – period. …The stumbling block to evangelization which the current state of the Church and the OF as the only “allowed” celebration of the Mass create, is immense. Protestants do “ordinary” much better – so why should they convert?

I am a convert to the faith and the Latin Mass. Finding the traditional Roman Rite Mass and learning more about it has deepened my faith my love of God…  I cannot imagine not being to attend the Latin Mass.  It is irreplaceable.  May God protect the Mass of all time!

I am a recent convert from Anglicanism. I was greatly disappointed by the Novus Ordo mass. Attending TLM feeds my soul. I don’t want to be without it.

We are converts who were formerly Protestant who entered the Church mainly because of the Latin Mass.

As a Protestant convert, I had almost no exposure to the TLM before I began attending exclusively just over a year ago, and I can tell a difference in my spiritual life. …I craved One Truth, not the many versions of “doctrine” I’d received from multiple denominations throughout my life. I was so thankful to have been introduced to the Catholic Church, the keeper and protector of Christ’s Truth. It’s important to me that the Tradition of our faith be preserved, and I’ve found this to be most evident in churches that celebrate the TLM.

The Traditional Latin Mass is the reason I converted to Catholicism. And I brought my family into the Church with me.

As a 13 y/o when I converted to Catholicism I was spiritually engulfed in the TLM: I did not understand Latin or all the BEAUTIFUL Rites but my heart AND soul KNEW I’d rarely be closer to GOD during the TLM.

I am a convert… The first High Mass I attended brought me to tears. *This is what I’d been searching for. *This* is home. Our family drives an hour and a half one way every Sunday for the privilege of assisting at a TLM, and we frequently make additional trips during the week… My husband is actively searching for a job that will allow us to move closer to our parish, so that we can more fully participate in parish life. …But even if we have to stay where we are, every penny we spend on gas is worth it. Having experienced Christ in this way, we can’t ever go back.

Would that I could attend the TLM regularly, but distance is prohibitive, especially in the liberal diocese I live in. Safe to say, Traditionis Custodes will not expand my opportunities!

I converted to the Faith in university after studying for a BA in history and falling in love with the TLM.

The reverence and beauty of the TLM attracted this convert!!!

I converted in 2020. I probably would not have converted had it not been for the TLM. The reverence and respect displayed towards the Holy Eucharist inspired me so much and my faith has grown exponentially with the influence of the TLM. The Latin Mass saves souls!

The TLM has brought me closer to God and has increased my love for Catholicism (I am an Episcopal convert).

I am a convert thanks to the TLM. As a lifelong Episcopalian prior to conversion I appreciate how clearly the TLM expresses Catholic doctrine.

The TLM is the only way I was able to convert my wife, without it I fear she may go through intense struggles with her faith.

I am a convert currently attending the TLM. I’ll be baptized in September. I have never felt closer to God than I am now. The ceremony is about true worship, and I feel such love when in prayer while attending. Thank you for having the Benedictus available to every one at this sensitive time in Church history.

I am a convert from Calvinism, and going to the Latin Mass every week has entirely changed my life and my spirituality, all for the better. Our family life, our marriage, and our parenting has drastically improved since we started going to the TLM.

As a convert to Catholicism it’s just wild to me that a Pope would believe eliminating the Mass as it has always existed in the Church would be beneficial to the Church. …I don’t see myself or my family as being divisive or schismatic only devoted to our faith. It saddens us to have a Holy Father who sees us in this way because we cling to the tradition of our beautiful Church.

As a convert from Protestantism, I often tell people that my conversion involved two paradigm shifts in series: the first when I recognized the truth and beauty of the Catholic faith, and the second (5 years later) when I realized what has happened in the Church over the past 50-plus years. After attending my first traditional Latin Mass (which happened to be a pontifical Mass celebrated by Cardinal Burke, I knew there was no going back.

I am a convert who has grown to love the beauty and tradition of the TLM. …My sons have gone from complaining about going to Mass (our local Nous Ordo parish) to eagerly watching the altar servers and following along with reverence (most of the time!). Discovering the TLM has been an immense blessing for our family.

I am a convert to Catholicism of sixteen years. My husband and myself began attending TLM nine months ago. Greatest decision we ever made.

I have for many years felt a persistent tug towards Roman Catholicism, primarily through my extensive reading of Cardinal Newman’s writings. My entire experience, however, with the Roman Catholic church has been negative — irreverent services, women serving Holy Communion, altar girls, guitars and drums, and hideous buildings pretending to be churches. … However, Providentially, our two oldest (21 and 20) started attending a TLM parish. Eventually they sought our blessing to convert. We gave it to them. We then attended a TLM and were blown away. This has all happened in the last 3-4 months… we quickly fell in love with the TLM and made the decision to convert… and we will, God willing, be received into the One True Church on Easter. We are ready to join all of you who have fought and persevered for the TLM over these many years. We have our rosaries in hand (and are learning to pray them). Thanks to Benedictus for your wonderful publication.

Tell Me Again Leftism Isn't a Religion. NY Gov Proclaims, "The Vaccine Comes From God" and Says, "I Need You To Be My Apostles."

The religious megalomania of the Left on clear display!

From Creative Minority Report

By Matthew Archbold

Oh boy. This kind of craziness makes me very glad I left New York. Sadly, this kind of thinking is pervasive around the country. Leftists exhibit an evangelistic zeal but what they don’t understand is they start seeming like Jimmy Bakker or Jimmy Swaggart. Their sham wears thin, becomes transparent. And soon, people begin mocking them.

So I’ll just jump straight to mocking them. Hahahhaahahahahahahaahaa!!!!!

Word of the Day: Conceptualism

CONCEPTUALISM. The theory that universal concepts are only subjective ideas with no objective foundation in reality. As developed by Peter Abelard (1079-1142), conceptualism denies that universals exist independently of the mind, but holds that they have an existence in the mind as concepts. Although not arbitrary inventions, they are merely reflections of similarities among particular objects.

St Thomas More: A Man For OUR Season

 We need more laymen like St Thomas More and more Prelates like St John Fisher to stand against the Cromwells and Cranmers of today.

From Catholic Stand

By Michael Sandifer

St. Thomas More is one of the most important figures of the tumultuous time of the Reformation in Europe.  There are few saints who could rival St. Thomas More in the sheer number of memorable quotes alone. Even so, this scholar, statesman, husband, and father is a model of virtue in his deeply faithful life as much as, if not more than, his letters.

St Thomas More Lived His Ideals

Born into an influential family, More’s own ability in his profession as a lawyer and strength of character elevated him above his peers to such a degree that he eventually rose to the position of High Chancellor of England.  Indefatigably Catholic in the face of an influential yet schismatic minority, More authored books, letters, and official tracts dealing in matters of both faith and state.  Famously, More is the author of Responsio ad Lutherum, the official reply of King Henry VIII to Martin Luther’s attack on the king in response to Henry’s earlier Defence of the Seven Sacraments.

In a tragic twist of fate, this close relationship with the crown would end in More’s martyrdom, but in those former days, More could see himself living out his ideals as a man of learning serving his Church and Nation in his work each day.  It’s so easy to forget in light of his later actions, but King Henry VIII was once celebrated as a popular, deeply religious monarch whose attachment to the Catholic Faith burned brightly in Defence, even earning from the Pope the title Defender of the Faith.

Henry VIII’s Schism

The sad tale, infamous even today, needs little introduction. Henry VIII wanted a divorce to guarantee that if he had a son from his current mistress, he would have a guaranteed heir.  Divorce, then just as now, was not permissible in light of the permanence of the Sacrament of Marriage

Ironically, Henry’s Defense devoted an entire chapter to the Sacramental quality of Marriage in light of Luther’s denial that it was a sacrament, so it came as no surprise to the monarch that his only recourse in such a grave matter would have been trusting the Pope’s wisdom in granting a dispensation of annulment for him.  The dispensation was denied, and the wheels of revolution in England were set in motion.

When it was clear that Henry VIII’s schism was to be absolute, More stepped down from his position as High Chancellor and hoped to quietly follow his conscience and, quite literally, keep his head.  It was not to be. Thomas More was at length arrested, placed on a rigged trial, and condemned to death for treason against his king and country.

Advice for Today: Do Not Compromise

Today, as we navigate an age of scandal, hypocrisy, and disappointment, I can think of few figures who better relate to our emotional and spiritual experience than Thomas More, memorialized with the popular title, “A Man for All Seasons.”  What would More do as a citizen in a nation so divided on issues of faith and conscience? What counsel would he give to us?

I think his example speaks for itself.  St Thomas More was convinced that a man must not, above all else, compromise on matters of conscience.  Certainly, he thought no one could do so without placing his soul in peril.  Today we are so accustomed to politicizing the most mundane of issues that we often fail to see the broader and more fundamental lapse in our societies’ trust in the timeless, common sense of the Cardinal Virtues. Despite this, we wonder at the dearth of any sign in our political landscape of the Theological Virtues.

Theological Virtues

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1803, neatly defines a virtue as “an habitual and firm disposition to do the Good.”  The virtuous man, again according to the Catechism, is “one who freely practices the Good.”  The four Cardinal Virtues were known in antiquity, and are evidently good in the natural world. In other words, they are part of the natural order and do not require special grace to understand as a good in themselves, because God has created a world which, in reflection of himself, follows his true, good, and beautiful order.

Faith, hope, and charity are called Theological Virtues because they orient us toward God in deep and abiding cooperation with the Cardinal Virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance.  Today, few are prudent, little is known of true justice, the courage (fortitude) to stand in the face of real opposition is seen as backward, and we all see clearly the disdain our society holds for self-control.

It ought to come as no surprise that even in those who God has animated the Theological Virtues, a broken culture continues to decay.  The Theological Virtues work through and with the Cardinal. In our days of wanton indulgence and moral ennui, we crawl around like a society of spiritual infants.

In his first letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul calls out his flock for demanding more robust spiritual goods when they were so apparently unprepared for the higher things – they were not ready for solid food, he says, but required, like the spiritual infants they were, only milk.

So it is in we adults who refuse to do the hard work of disposing ourselves, habitually, to grow in these tools which orient our lives to do the Good.  St. Thomas More understood this; he spent time with the Carthusians discerning a vocation which evidently shaped his robust spiritual life the remainder of his days. From works of mercy to small (and large!) acts of self-sacrifice, and even in the deep education he provided for his children, More illustrates a life welllived.

Yes to Truth

To understand the gravity of More’s ‘yes’ to truth, we need to step a bit deeper into his context.  Many if not most of More’s peers caved under the pressure of the state and compromised with varying degrees of reluctance on issues of theological weight. After all, they could reason, the king didn’t want (immediately) to change much in the way the Church lived its faith.  There was an issue of national security at stake. A stable monarchy and peaceful succession would mean stability and, Lord willing, consolidation and peace. With the uncertain divisions in Europe and the threat of the Ottomans, England needed to do something to secure her own sovereignty.

More was one of the most important people in his nation. His influential position meant he greeted foreign diplomats and helped shape the course of life and public policy in his country.  If he could but tacitly or even outwardly agree to the Oath of Supremacy which affirmed the king as “Supreme Head of the Church of England,” he could ensure at least one good and reasonable voice in a rapidly-growing, protestant government.

More saw, as we all should, that to compromise on his conviction that neither the government nor the king himself had the authority to place any man as the supreme or even titular head of a national Church, whatever theological precedent and background might be conjured up to justify it.  More was convinced that he could not in good conscience remain in his position of authority. He stepped down, recusing himself from a public stand of defiance as so many others would soon be forced to do as well.

His silence, and indeed the mere abstention of any recusant Catholic of England, would be taken as a provocation by the state.  As historian Eamon Duffy points out in his Stripping of the Altars, the reform required a fanatical implementation to enforce. Those who pulled the ecclesial strings in More’s day knew that if they were not effective in converting all of England to their cause, it would stand no chance of permanence.

I am certainly not suggesting that faithful Catholics should expect to give their lives in exchange for their clear and holy consciences, nor do I hope the days grow so wretchedly evil that such a stout heart is required of us. I wonder, though, if the mere willingness to die for the truth of our Faith sends waves of healing clarity in a time of deep confusion.

Revolutionary Disagreement

Our time, just as 16th century Europe, is rocked by revolutionary disagreements in the Church’s self-understanding.  We can seemingly go no more than a few hours without a new issue to disagree upon.  While I cannot say for certain, we might be even more internally divided as a Church than during the Reformation, because the lines drawn are more nebulous and yet fundamental to the nature of God, Man, and the Good Life.

And yet, we cling to the same divine truth that took More smiling and full of hope even to the headsman’s block.  Only a man with a serene conscience could walk lightly, joking as he ascended the scaffold, and still declare with a straight face that he died the King’s good servant, but God’s first.  May God Almighty grant that we, His pilgrim exiles, find the strength of heart, soul, and mind to be of the same heart in our day as St. Thomas More was in his.

May we also be united in Faith, Hope, and Charity, serenely placing all our days in the hands of a loving Father.  Above all, may we live with the single-minded, divine focus which transforms our families, homes, and Church for the Glory of God.  St. Thomas More, pray for us.

What is Christendom?

Mr Coulombe looks at Papal approbations of the UN as approving of an ersatz Christendom, a Christendom for which the Popes long.

From One Peter Five

By Charles A. Coulombe

As I write these words on September 18, 2021, it is 60 years to the day that the United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld was killed in a plane crash en route to a peace conference intended to end what was then a bloody conflict in the Congo. Given what the United Nations have become since then, seeing the quasi-religious significance that such as Hammarskjöld gave it can be a bit unsettling. But on one level, it is no more that with which we Americans have been used to investing our own secular State, from the Ten Commandments in courthouses, prayers in public schools, and crosses to commemorate dead heroes on public property (now banned by the Supreme Court) to the phrases “In God We Trust” on our money and “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, the ceremonial invocations of the Deity in courtrooms (including their own), and the phrase “So help me God” in judicial oaths. (The latter rituals have been retained by the Supreme Court upon their finding that these are mere “civic deism” – emptied of religious content through endless repetition.)

What is perhaps more remarkable is the level of trust and praise successive Popes have heaped upon the organisation. Thus, in his encyclical Pacem in Terris, John XXIII opines:

It is therefore Our earnest wish that the United Nations Organization may be able progressively to adapt its structure and methods of operation to the magnitude and nobility of its tasks. May the day be not long delayed when every human being can find in this organization an effective safeguard of his personal rights; those rights, that is, which derive directly from his dignity as a human person, and which are therefore universal, inviolable and inalienable.

On October 4, 1965, Paul VI addressed the General Assembly, saying, among other congratulatory things:

Permit us to say that we have a message, and a happy one, to hand over to each one of you. Our message is meant to be first of all a solemn moral ratification of this lofty Institution, and it comes from our experience of history. It is as an ‘expert on humanity’ that we bring this Organization the support and approval of our recent predecessors, that of the Catholic hierarchy, and our own, convinced as we are that this Organization represents the obligatory path of modern civilization and world peace.

On October 2, 1979, John Paul II chimed in at the same venue:

Besides attaching great importance to its collaboration with the United Nations Organization, the Apostolic See has always, since the foundation of your Organization, expressed its esteem and its agreement with the historic significance of this supreme forum for the international life of humanity today.

Not only did Benedict XVI repeat his predecessors’ praise at similar visits, he insisted in his 2009 encyclical Caritas in Veritate, that

In the face of the unrelenting growth of global interdependence, there is a strongly felt need, even in the midst of a global recession, for a reform of the United Nations Organization, and likewise of economic institutions and international finance, so that the concept of the family of nations can acquire real teeth.

The reason for this Pontifical enthusiasm for what to many of us appears as a great source of evil is in my humble opinion, a yearning for Christendom – conscious or otherwise. Christendom is a word we hear tossed around quite a bit. But what exactly was or is it? Does it bear any resemblance to the UN or any other body around to-day? Does it even exist anymore? The best way to examine a very large topic of this sort is to break it down – and so we shall, using the division offered by that wonderful prayer, the Gloria Patri.

As it Was in the Beginning

Christendom, per se, had its beginning on the first Maundy Thursday and the first Good Friday. On the former night, Christ united the Davidic Kingship – to which He was rightful earthly heir – with the communio of the nascent Church. In one eventful evening, He established the Blessed Sacrament and the Priesthood, and in the washing of His disciples’ feet laid down the symbolic example for Christian Sovereigns and leaders of all kinds to follow (as Catholic Monarchy developed, the Maundy Thursday foot washing became the hallmark of Catholic courts). From that time on, all Catholic Monarchs saw themselves as participating in the Kingship of Christ, as did their subjects. The following day the Eucharist was completed by the Sacrifice upon the Cross, and in the future, knights would take Christ’s death as the model which they must follow – every order of chivalry kept Holy Cross Day as a feast, and one or another version of the Cross as their badge.

The newborn Church was a complete society, with its own leaders and laws, and its boundaries were the Sacraments. But it was a private organisation within States which  generally persecuted it, and for all that its citizens prayed for the rulers who made them their enemies, and served loyally and gallantly in their armies – unless order to worship them. This began to change three centuries after the Incarnation, as first Armenia, Georgia, and Ethiopia became officially Catholic countries, and then St. Constantine the Great extended toleration to the Church. In A.D. 380, by the Edict of Thessalonica, Catholicism became the State Church of the Roman Empire. As a result, in the words of Viscount Bryce:

The first lesson of Christianity was love, a love that was to join in one body those whom suspicion and prejudice and pride of race had hitherto kept apart. There was thus formed by the new religion a community of the faithful, a Holy Empire, designed to gather all men into its bosom, and standing opposed to the manifold polytheisms of the older world, exactly as the universal sway of the Cæsars was contrasted with the innumerable kingdoms and republics that had gone before it. The analogy of the two made them appear parts of one great world-movement toward unity: the coincidence of their boundaries, which had begun before Constantine, lasted long enough after him to associate them indissolubly together, and make the names of Roman and Christian convertible.

Œcumenical councils, where the whole spiritual body gathered itself from every part of the temporal realm under the presidency of the temporal head, presented the most visible and impressive examples of their connection. The language of civil government was, throughout the West, that of the sacred writings and of worship; the greatest mind of his generation [St. Augustine] consoled the faithful for the fall of their earthly commonwealth Rome, by describing to them its successor and representative, the ‘city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God’ [Augustine, City of God against the Pagans].

Thus was born the idea of the “Holy Empire,” which was maintained by both bodies that would claim continuity with Rome: the Holy Roman and Byzantine Empires. But around each of them grew up a cluster of Christian Kingdoms of varying origins; those Kingdoms in turn were a patchwork of principalities, duchies, counties, and so on. Yet where the modern mind sees chaos, its contemporary inhabitants saw an overarching unity; the Res Publica ChristianaAbendland, the Occident, Christendom. Despite the Eastern Schism and the Great Western Schism (which latter offered the spectacle of three competing Popes), this was held to continue regardless of civil wars and division – the Crusades in the Holy Land, Spain, and Northern Europe were looked on as the joint effort of the whole Christian people. Of course, they often fell far of their ideal; but then, so do we moderns whose ideals are far lower in scope.

Baptism brought Roman citizenship, thanks to Theodosius, and no matter how divided the two Empires and many Kingdoms might be politically, it was true in each of them that Baptismal waters not only brought freedom from original sin, but entrance into the political commonwealth. Only the baptized had full civil rights, and membership in the body politic – those without it or who renounced it, be they Jews, Muslims, or heretics, were outside. The first two were allowed to live in their own settlements under their own rules as foreigners or resident aliens; but the latter were seen as heretics—traitors to the Christian commonwealth. Thus, only the baptised were allowed entry into local government, the guilds, the universities, and all the other countless mediating institutions of public life. No ceremonies of official life – the openings and closings of legislative, judicial, and educational bodies, not even the Coronations of Emperors and Kings – could be conducted without the offering of the Mass, and in the last named, without the Holy Communion of the newly Crowned.

This synthesis, imperfect as it was, began to unravel with the Reformation; in those countries whose rulers embraced the new religion, their ties with Catholic countries were broken, and Catholics were added to the list of those outside the pale, while the newly erected Anglican, Lutheran, and Calvinist State churches usurped the position the Catholic Church had held. This situation would be transplanted to our own Thirteen Colonies in America, wherein the New England Provinces (save Rhode Island) established Congregationalism, and the Southern ones the Church of England. Nevertheless through the Council of Trent, the Church struck back against this attack on Christendom and created a resurgence against decline – Baroque civilisation – which obtained in Italy, Austria, Spain, but most significantly in the New World—French, Spanish and Portuguese Christendom in the Americas (and parts of Asia) integrating persons and cultures from at least three continents, though imperfectly, into Christian peoples.

But beginning in 1642 with the Wars of the Three Kingdoms and continuing down to our own times, both violent and peaceful revolutions in all the countries of the West continually wore down the inherited system. At different speeds in different places, the former view of citizenship was replaced with a purely secular one, and national expressions of religion were reduced to either those that directly served the interests of the State (such as military chaplaincies), continued to bind the loyalty of the still-believing to the government (as with Washington’s annual Red Mass), or served some folkloric or touristic interest (such as various celebrations of Saints days in different locales). The rule of thumb, however, was that these demonstrations must not challenge the non- or anti-Catholic nature of the government and society. Religion must be an entirely personal issue. After Vatican II, the Catholic Church itself tacitly approved of this arrangement.

Is Now

To-day, outside of a few favoured places (like Liechtenstein), Christendom subsists, but in a completely individual manner. When, in 1925, Pius XI established the feast of Christ the King in a decidedly retrograde manner, Ernest Oldmeadow, convert editor of the Tablet opined:

Christ the King has other rebels besides Russia and Mexico and France. The map of His dominions shows not only the Empires and Kingdoms and Republics, but also the counties, the towns, the villages, the hamlets, and – like the ordinance maps of largest scale – the homesteads each and all. Indeed, it goes farther than the work of any human cartographer; because it shows the inmost places of every human heart. Even the humblest man or woman or child alive is, so to speak, a tiny province in the dominions of Christ the King: a province either submissive or disobedient, either loyal or rebellious.

Save that every nation that was part of Christendom is a rebel against Christ the King alongside Russia, Mexico, and France, this description remains true to-day.

So it is that at its deepest base, Christendom subsists in every loyal Catholic heart. But each of these hearts has the ability to practise his faith, to receive the Sacraments, and follow such devotions as Eucharistic Adoration, the Sacred Heart, and the Rosary. There are countless devotional societies and confraternities he may join. There are various organisations – some new, some tattered remnants of groups that attempted to defend this or that aspect of Christendom during its long outward decline – that one may join. There are also here and there those remaining signs and symbols of civic Christendom – processions, local consecrations, and the like – to which he may lend his hand. There are even alternative educational and other institutions growing in the face of this hideous strength that he can assist. And, of course, there is an endless field of the apostolate in his family, work, and special interest groups in which he may labour. If, as the saying goes, we all pray as though everything depended upon God and worked as though it all depended upon us, then happier future generations may see the Kingship of Christ and Queenship of Mary once again placed at the headship of human affairs. Hopeful intellectual movements are arising to recapture Christendom and even in some local communities this is becoming something of a reality.

And Ever Shall Be

It is, of course, important to remember that whatever the current leadership in Church and State declare or mandate, Christ does indeed remain King, and Mary remains Queen. None of our tumult on Earth can change or diminish those facts. From time to time – through things like the six scientifically established Eucharistic Miracles of the past quarter century that the Church has verified, the various approved Marian apparitions over the past two centuries, and the continued witness of the Saints of our time – we are brought face to face with this reality, deny it as we may. The Holy Souls in Purgatory and the Blessed Company of Heaven rejoice in Christendom; the damned in Hell tremble at it, and their earthly allies grow hysterical at any remembrance of it.

There is always the possibility that these are the Last Days; that some of us now living may witness the Final Judgement in the flesh. Or it may be that we have centuries yet, before that day of wrath occurs. No matter; our duty is the same – to live as subjects of Christendom in precisely the same way our forefathers attempted to, whether that meant quiet loyalty to Altar and Throne, or violent struggle against or martyrdom at the hands of that heresy or this revolution. When, at last, in God’s good time the Earth yields up its graves, those of us who persevere shall see that New Heaven and that New Earth Christ promised, and reside in Christendom forever.