30 April 2022

Restore Year-Round Friday Abstinence

Published 8 April 2022. I abstain every Friday that is not a Holy Day of Obligation and on Wednesdays as counselled by the Old Carmelite Rule.

From Crisis

By John M. Grondelski, PhD

Practicing Catholics will today have kept six meatless Fridays (well, five this year if you indulged on the Solemnity of the Annunciation). If we count Good Friday next week and Ash Wednesday five weeks ago, we’re practically “done” with all the officially designated days of abstinence in 2022 in the United States. Just one more Friday to get through…

…or maybe not?

Having learned something of the traditional Catholic discipline of abstinence over these past six Fridays, let me propose something: we keep to it! We honor the discipline in our heart and try to keep it all the year.

Not that long ago (at least in the life of the Church), Friday abstinence was a normal thing for Catholics. Catholics “giving up” meat on Fridays was the norm, not the exception.

Then came 1966.

In 1966, the Catholic bishops of the United States abrogated the formal obligation of abstinence on Fridays outside of Lent. Their “pastoral statement“ reminded Catholics that Friday, the day that commemorates the Lord’s Passion, remained a day of penitential observance (no. 18). The bishops wrote that Catholics should deepen their spirit of renunciation and penance and, though other penitential acts could substitute for abstinence from meat, the latter did retain pride of place (no. 24).

Unfortunately, what most Catholics in the United States heard was “pass the hamburgers!” Lou Groen’s 1963 experiment that got Filet-o-Fish onto the McDonald’s menu would soon be undercut.

The logic of the bishops was that mature adult Catholics would understand and recognize the need for penance as a permanent feature in the Christian life and adapt the form that was their “most effective means of practicing penance” (no. 19). However laudatory in principle that idea might have been, retrospect strongly suggests it was, at best, naïve. Instead of letting “a thousand penitential flowers bloom,” penance withered away.

(If you doubt that, think back to the confessional lines on a typical Saturday afternoon and evening—yes, Virginia, many parishes had an hour of Saturday night confessions years before there were Saturday night vigil Masses—and compare them to today.)

After 56 years, the results are in and, if “by their fruits you will know them” (Matthew 7:20), the bishops’ 1966 penitential tree hasn’t borne much. Like the barren fig tree (Luke 13:6-9), there seems to be good reason to cut it down and clear the ground.

The Bishops of England and Wales have already done that. Unlike their American brothers, they attempted, in 1985, to reemphasize the need for real Friday penance. When that admonition of “do some kind of penance or abstain from meat” also withered on the vine, the English and Welsh bishops decided to act. As of September 2011, mandatory abstinence was restored as the norm for all Fridays.

Not being sanguine about the willingness of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to act collectively in a way that some might imagine questioning a “post-Vatican II development”—regardless of the evidence for the alleged “development’s” failure—there is an alternative: individual bishops, or at least the bishops of ecclesiastical provinces, might reinstate mandatory Friday abstinence. Not being a canonist, I cannot say whether there is some ecclesiastical norm that requires national uniformity on these matters (inasmuch as episcopal conferences, while having no munus docendi, nevertheless have been used to set common disciplines).

However, even if there was no such requirement, leaving matters to geographic incongruity creates the impression that the “rules” are purely arbitrary (consider that Ascension Thursday, May 26, will be a holy day in Pennsylvania but not in Ohio), which feeds doubts about essential matters of the faith (e.g., the ineligibility of divorced-and-remarried couples from receiving Communion, a teaching applied in Poland but not so much in Germany). The best response would be for all the bishops to get on one page.

Until that happens, there is another alternative: do it yourself.

Having accustomed yourself these past six weeks and obliged for one more to the discipline of Friday abstinence, let’s just continue. Let’s keep it for two more weeks, three more, four more…

The purpose of Lent is to remind Catholics of an essential truth: that penance and conversion from sin is a constant feature of the Christian life and that we ought to pay attention to it. That insight is permanent: it has no expiration date, certainly not one of forty days. So, if we have been serious about what we have done in Lent, then let’s honor it in our hearts and try to keep it all the year.

That requires no bishop. It requires your decision and commitment.

Making that commitment addresses one aspect of what the bishops tried to do in 1966: having Catholics personally appropriate the decision to do penance. Recovering that essential dimension of life by individual Catholics is vital.

But Catholics are not just individuals. They are not a herd of cats who happen to be under one church roof at one time. As Vatican II reminded us, “God…does not make men holy and save them merely as individuals, without bond of link between one another. Rather has it pleased Him to bring people together as one people” (Lumen Gentium, no. 9).

Paradoxically, it is this Vatican II teaching, this communal dimension of penance, that the 1966 “Pastoral Statement” undermines.

Communities share common practices and customs. Abstinence was one of them that embodied the commitment to penance. Its evisceration did not just affect how individual Catholics did penance; it affected the ecclesial ethos; it weakened the community in its penitential practice and witness.

Once upon a time, Catholics (aka “fish eaters”) had a certain visibility on Fridays. This dietary practice made them stand out. Our current “penitential discipline” does not.

“Standing out” should not be motivated by virtue-signaling. Do “not practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them” (Matthew 6:1). But don’t hide it under a bushel basket either (Matthew 5:15).

One’s motive is not to display one’s piety or penance. But it is a good thing if, in the exercise of one’s piety or penance, others are inspired by example to recognize: “I should be doing that, too.”

So, as Lent winds down, how about resolving to make Friday abstinence part of your life?

And, lest it become just your individual “thing,” how about recruiting some family or friends to join in?

The Intellectual Virtues

Lesson Three of Aquinas 101: The Virtues, with Fr James Brent, OP, PhD, STL, Asst Professor of Philosophy, Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception, Washington DC.

Cardinal Pell Asks The Modernists If They Serve The Diabolic Or Christ?

There is very little doubt in my mind as to the answer to the question! Knowingly or unknowingly they serve Satan! 

History Summarized: Ukraine

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Islam in the Lex Orandi of the Old Roman Martyrology

This is a lengthy article that shows what the Church actually believes about Islam, which is to be contrasted with the heresies of Nostra Aetate, Section 3, of John Paul II kissing the Koran and asking St John the Baptist to protect Islam, and of Francis's heretical statement in the Abu-Dhabi Declaration.

From the New Liturgical Movement

By Peter Kwasniewski, PhD

As Catholics, the sacred liturgy is our theologia prima, our first and foundational knowledge of God and service of Him. That is why the axiom lex orandi, lex credendi is so basic to Catholicism: the “law of prayer” (how and what we pray) contains, expresses, and instills the “law of believing” (the faith we profess). It is true that creeds are drawn up outside of the liturgy at crisis moments, but those creeds formulate what is already received and venerated in the holy rites of the Church. [1]

The crisis of the modern Catholic Church has been fueled by massive changes to the lex orandi, the way we pray as a body. In the decade from about 1963 to 1973, the changes to the Mass, the other sacramental rites, the blessings, were immeasurably greater in quantity and quality than any others ever witnessed in the history of Christian liturgy. [2] Liturgy until the 20th century had generally developed slowly and in small steps, and almost always in the direction of augmentation or expansion. The 20th century reforms, on the other hand, were rapid and far-reaching, and almost always in the direction of abbreviation, simplification, or reduction. This was dictated by theories about how worship should be either restored to ancient “simplicity” or modernized to suit a new era. As a result, Catholics have been given a much less adequate, much smaller lex orandi on the basis of which to internalize the lex credendi; and, moreover, the intended lex credendi seems to be divergent, at least as regards systematic omissions.

Many Catholics in our days are aware of the kinds of changes that took place in connection with the Mass and who was the driving force behind them; some may be aware of the changes that were made to other sacramental rites, blessings, and the Divine Office. Rarer are those who know what was done to more specialized liturgical books, such as rites of profession for religious and the consecration of virgins, the rite of exorcism, and — my interest in this article — the Roman Martyrology.

The Roman Martyrology began as an ancient listing of the names of martyrs on their “dies natalis,” that is, their birthday into heavenly glory. It was added to, century after century, as confessors, doctors, monks, hermits, friars, virgins, widows, kings, queens, and others joined the procession of martyrs through the ages. This book is indeed a liturgical book because it is recited or chanted as part of the equally ancient office of Prime. (It is customary to read the following day’s list of saints, which mentally prepares us for First Vespers of any great feast that may be coming, and in general, puts us in mind ahead of time of the Saints we wish to remember.) It also transmits the Faith of the Church, and continues to be used by religious, clergy, and laity who adhere to the usus antiquior of the Roman Rite.

Regrettably, in spite of its antiquity and its integral role in the sevenfold daily praises of God, the office of Prime was summarily abolished, without explanation, at the Second Vatican Council — an astonishing decision about which Wolfram Schrems has written a fine article. The liturgical reform, which left no stone unturned, produced a new version of the Martyrology that bears about as much, or as little, connection with its predecessor of 1956 as the Novus Ordo Missae of 1969 does with its predecessor, the Missale Romanum of 1962. Due, moreover, to the abolition of Prime, the new Martyrology has never found a secure foothold, and is extremely rarely used today — one sign of which is the rarity of the Latin editio typica and the lack, even today, of an English translation. Ironically, the old Martyrology in its last edition from 1956 is widely available in multiple English editions (like this one, pictured here).

As a catalogue of victors, the Martyrology loudly proclaims the truth of the communion of Saints, exalts states of life lived with heroic virtue, and testifies to the prevalence of miracles in the life of the Church. Moreover, in a manner highly pertinent to the confusion in which we find ourselves today, the traditional Roman Martyrology bears witness to beliefs or attitudes that have become “forbidden” in the ecumenism and interreligious miasma of postconciliar ecclesiastical correctness. A notable example is the severe judgment on Islam found in its pages.

Today’s date, March 11, puts forward the following example of heroic virtue:
At Cordova in Spain, St Eulogius, Priest and Martyr. On account of his fearless and outstanding confession of Christ, he was scourged and beaten with rods, and finally beheaded in the Saracen persecution. He merited to have part with the martyrs of the city for he had written of their fight for the faith and wished to join them.
The most perfect of all such entries is that found under the date of February 21:
At Damascus, St Peter Mavimenus, who said to certain Arabs who came to him in his sickness: “Every man who does not embrace the Catholic Christian faith is damned as Mohammed, your false prophet, was.” and was slain by them. 
Unlike Pope Francis, who co-signed with a Moslem leader a declaration that asserts, inter alia, that God wills a plurality of religions, St Peter Mavimenus spoke the truth with simplicity and fortitude. In his words are condensed the only proper Christian attitude towards Islam: an unequivocal repudiation of its errors, which are all the more dangerous to the degree that some truths of natural religion and some fragmentary truths of revelation are mingled in with them. [3]

February 21’s entry is one among many entries that proclaim the necessary conflict between believing Catholics and Muslims committed to any standard form of Islam. [4] Indeed, every month of the year brings its reminders in the old Martyrology: Catholic Martyrs to Islam are commemorated on January 14, January 16, February 19, March 11, March 15, April 17, April 18, May 16, June 5, June 7, June 13, June 26, June 28, July 11, July 16, July 19, July 20, July 22, July 27, August 6, August 20, September 15, September 19, September 27, October 10, October 11, October 22, November 6, November 24, and December 17. Still other entries speak of Catholics who resisted the Saracens or the Arabs but did not lose their heads for it.

Here are the passages in order from January through December:
  • On Mount Sinai, thirty-eight holy monks, slain by the Saracens for the faith of Christ. (January 14)
  • In Morocco, Africa, the passion of five proto-martyrs of the Order of Friars Minor, namely, Berard, Peter and Otho, priests, and Accursius and Adjutus, lay-brethren; for preaching the Catholic faith and because of their rejection of Mohammedan Law, after divers torments and mockeries, were beheaded by the Saracen king. (January 16)
  • In the town of Amatrice, in the diocese of Rieti, the death of St Joseph of Leonissa, Priest of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, who, for his preaching of the faith, suffered patiently torments inflicted by the Mohammedans. (February 4)
  • In Palestine, the commemoration of the holy monks and other martyrs who were cruelly slain for the faith of Christ by the Saracens, under their duke Alamundar. (February 19)
St. Eulogius
  • At Cordova in Spain, St Eulogius, Priest and Martyr. On account of his fearless and outstanding confession of Christ, he was scourged and beaten with rods, and finally beheaded in the Saracen persecution. He merited to have part with the martyrs of the city for he had written of their fight for the faith and wished to join them. (March 11)
  • At Cordova in Spain, St Leocritia, Virgin and Martyr; she was subjected to different torments and beheaded in the Arabian persecution for the faith of Christ. (March 15)
  • At Cordova in Spain, the holy martyrs Elias, a priest, Paul and Isidore, monks, who were slain in the Arab persecution on account of their profession of the Christian faith. (April 17)
  • At Cordova in Spain, St Perfectus, Priest and Martyr, who was beheaded by the Moors for disputing against sect of Mohammed, and courageously professing his faith in Christ. (April 18)
  • In Palestine, the passion of the holy monks slain by the Saracens at the laura of St Sabbas. (May 16)
  • At Cordova in Spain, blessed Sancho, a youth who, although brought up at the royal court, yet hesitated not to undergo martyrdom for Christ’s faith in the Arab persecution. (June 5)
  • At Cordova in Spain, the holy martyr monks Peter, a priest, Wallabonsus, a deacon, Sabinian, Wistremund, Habentius and Jeremias, who for Christ’s sake were slain in the Arab persecution. (June 7)
  • At Cordova, St Fandila, Priest and monk, who underwent martyrdom for Christ’s faith in the Arab persecution by decapitation. (June 13)
  • At Cordova in Spain, the birthday of St Pelagius, a youth, who for his confession of the faith, at the command of Abderrahman, King of the Saracens, was torn limb from limb by iron pincers, and consummated his glorious martyrdom. (June 26)
  • At Cordova in Spain, St Argymirus, monk and Martyr, who was racked and slain by the sword for Christ’s faith in the Arab persecution. (June 28)
  • At Cordova in Spain, St Abundius, Priest, who was crowned with martyrdom in the Arab persecution for preaching against the sect of Mohammed. (July 11)
  • At Cordova in Spain, St Sisenand, Cleric and Martyr, whose throat was cut by the Saracens for the faith of Christ. (July 16)
  • At Cordova in Spain, St Aurea, Virgin, sister of the holy martyrs Adulf and John; for a while she apostatized through the persuasion of a Mohammedan judge, but, quickly repenting of what she had done, she overcame the enemy in a second contest by the shedding of her blood. (July 19)
  • At Cordova in Spain, St Paul, Deacon and Martyr, who rebuked the heathen princes for Mohammedan impiety and cruelty, and preached Christ with great courage: by their command he was slain, and passed to his reward in heaven. (July 20)
  • In Cyprus, St Theophilus, Praetor, who was taken by the Arabs, and as he could neither by gifts nor by threats be brought to deny Christ, was slain with the sword. (July 22)
  • At Cordova in Spain, the holy martyrs George, a Deacon, Aurelius and his wife, Natalia, Felix and his wife, Liliosa, in the Arab persecution. (July 27)
  • At Burgos in Spain, in the Benedictine monastery of St Peter of Cardegna, the passion of 200 monks and their Abbot, Stephen, who were slain by the Saracens for the faith of Jesus Christ, and buried there in the cloister by the Christians. (August 6)
  • At Cordova, Spain, the holy martyrs Leovigild and Christopher, monks, who were cast into prison for their belief in Christ during the Arab persecution, at once had their necks broken and were then burned and so obtained the crown of martyrdom. (August 20)
  • At Thessalonica, St Fantin, Confessor, who suffered much at the hands of the Saracens and was driven from the monastery where he had lived in amazing abstinence. After he had brought many to the way of salvation, at last he died at a good old age. (August 30)
  • At Cordova in Spain, the holy martyrs Emilas, Deacon, and Jeremy, who after long enfeeblement in prison suffered martyrdom for Christ’s sake in the Arab persecution. (September 15)
  • At Monte Cassino, blessed Pope Victor III, who as the successor of Pope St Gregory VII shed a fresh lustre on the Apostolic See, and with God’s help gained a famous victory over the Saracens. (September 16)
  • At Cordova in Spain, St Pomposa, Virgin and Martyr. In the Arab persecution she was beheaded because of her fearless witness to Christ and so obtained the palm of martyrdom. (September 19)
  • At Cordova in Spain, the holy martyrs Adulf and John, brothers, who were crowned with martyrdom for Christ’s sake in the Arab persecution. Their sister, the blessed Virgin Aurea, was inspired by their example to return to the faith, and later suffered martyrdom bravely on July 19. (September 27)
  • Near Ceuta in Morocco, the passion of the seven holy martyrs of the Order of Friars Minor, namely, Daniel, Samuel, Angelus, Leo, Nicholas, Ugolino and Domnus, all of whom were priests except Domnus. There they suffered insults, bonds and stripes from the Saracens because they preached the Gospel and put to silence the sect of Mahomet [Mohammed]; finally, they were beheaded and thus obtained the palm of martyrdom. (October 10)
  • In the Thebaid, St Sarmatus, a disciple of St Antony the Abbot, who was slain for Christ’s sake by the Saracens. (October 11)
  • At Huesca in Spain, the holy virgins Nunilo and Alodia, sisters, who were punished by death by the Saracens for confessing the faith, and consummated martyrdom. (October 22)
  • At Theopolis, that is Antioch, ten holy martyrs who are said to have suffered at the hands of the Saracens. (November 6)
  • At Cordova in Spain, the holy virgins and martyrs Flora and Mary, who after long imprisonment were slain by the sword in the Arab persecution. (November 24)
  • At Eleutheropolis in Palestine, the holy martyrs Florian, Calanicus, and their fifty-eight companions, who were slain by the Saracens on account of their faith in Christ in the reign of the Emperor Heraclius. (December 17)

Perhaps most haunting of all of the above, given current circumstances, is the entry for September 16:
At Monte Cassino, blessed Pope Victor III, who as the successor of Pope St Gregory VII shed a fresh lustre on the Apostolic See, and with God’s help gained a famous victory over the Saracens. 
Like St Pius V, Bl. Victor III fought the Moslems, rather than capitulating to them as his successor Francis does with his attitudes on European immigration and his willingness to enter into agreements that only cause more confuse to Catholics who are already pickled to the gills in religious indifferentism. [5]

In Robert Reilly’s The Closing of the Muslim Mind: How Intellectual Suicide Created the Modern Islamist Crisiswe learn of the great struggle within Islam from the 9th to the 11th centuries between the Hellenized Muslims who valued the role of reason or Logos and the fundamentalists (as we would recognize them today) who held it in suspicion or denigrated it. The latter prevailed, and since then, the phrase en sha’Allah denotes everything in Islam — “if God wills it.” As Pope Benedict XVI argued in his Regensburg Address, God is reduced to nothing but pure will.

There is a curious and disturbing connection here, as we watch the same reductionism happening to the office and role of the Pope. Instead of being seen as a voice of the Logos, a witness to reason and revelation as they echo through time in the Church, the papacy becomes a sheer exercise of volition: authority reduced to will-power. As in Islam, God is reduced from loving wisdom to almighty will, so in the Vatican, the Pope is reduced from a servant of perennial doctrine to a domineering engineer of change. No one, then, should be surprised that this Pope was able to sign the document on human fraternity in Abu Dhabi: a papacy of will enters smoothly into agreement with a religion of voluntarism.

We enter into dangerous waters indeed when our faith, founded upon Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the confident use of reason, is made subject to the will of an individual with an agenda, and treated as a commodity that can be negotiated at the table of interreligious dialogue.

Here we have an obvious clash between the Faith of the Church, represented by the lex orandi of her  traditional Martyrology, and the novelties propounded by Pope Francis, who endeavors to introduce a new lex credendi on adultery, sacramental access, capital punishment, and religious pluralism — and who finds his triumphal march obstructed by a growing resistance that adheres to the older Roman liturgical books, which, like their Eastern Christian counterparts, faithfully inculcate the spirit of Catholicism.

(A condensed version of this article appeared at LifeSite News on Thursday, February 22. The present article adds a substantial introduction and many more examples.)


[1] Even when Pius XII in a moment of weakness tried to flip the axiom and say that the Church’s lex credendi determines her lex orandi, his argument fails to deliver the goods, since even the new feasts instituted by the Church — such as Corpus Christi, instituted in 1264 by Pope Urban IV and, in point of fact, the first feast instituted by papal fiat, or the Kingship of Christ, instituted in 1925 by Pope Pius XI — are merely giving added emphasis to dogmas universally held by the faithful and already present in the liturgy.

[2] It is true, as I have argued, in line with many others, that the Pius X revision of the Roman breviary was also a major change in the lex orandi and a rupture with tradition. Nevertheless, it retained four crucial features of the Roman tradition that were abandoned by Paul VI: the structure of seven day hours and one night office; the principle of the weekly cursus of 150 psalms; the retention of the Latin language (and of chant if the office is sung); and a high degree of textual overlap with the preceding breviary. The Liturgy of the Hours fails in regard to all four of these, and therefore, like the Novus Ordo, is a rupture in the lex orandi of an entirely different order of magnitude than Pius X’s reform.

[3] The assertion to which Francis placed his signature is erroneous and heretical, as Dr John Lamont and Bishop Athanasius Schneider have shown.

[4] As opposed to those who have modified the Islamic religion to the extent of muting or dissenting from passages in the Koran deemed no longer true or applicable. Among Catholics, of course, we have the same problem with people — including, again, the pope — who seem to think that certain teachings of Christ, such as the prohibition of divorce and remarriage, are no longer true or applicable.

[5] It might be objected to my argument that, inasmuch as Pope Francis has canonized the 800 martyrs of Otranto, he has explicitly confirmed the principle that it is better to die than to embrace Islam. It is, of course, true that he did so, and that this message may be inferred; but it is utterly characteristic of this pope, as of Modernists in general (as Pius X explains in Pascendi), to say and do contradictory things, in order to sow further confusion and make the path of doctrinal change easier. More to the point, the old Martyrology shaped the prayer and belief of the Church in a far more profound way than most of the enormous numbers of canonizations from recent decades, which, with a few exceptions, have minimal liturgical impact, as explained above.

Why Do Dominicans Wear Harry Potter Capes?

Big Questions, Little Answers, with Fr Ambrose Little, OP, PhL, PhD, Assistant Director, Thomistic Institute.

Why do Dominicans wear Harry Potter capes? What do the parts of the Dominican habit signify? Big questions like these have been popping up in the comment boxes of our Aquinas 101 videos since the start of our very first season. In this new video series with Fr. Ambrose Little, O.P., we will attempt to provide some answers.

You can find the article referenced in the video here: https://www.english.op.org/godzdogz/q...

Want to participate? You can submit your big questions to Aquinas 101 using #AskAFriar in the YouTube comments and on social media. And don't forget to like and share with your friends, because it matters what you think!

/Satire/ People Who Say They Aren't Censoring Anyone Really Mad They Won't Be Able To Censor Anyone /satire/

Once again, The Bee absolutely nails it! I especially appreciate this because I'm suffering one of those 'non-existent' shadowbans on FB right now.

From The Babylon Bee

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—Reports are flooding in that the same exact people who said that they are not censoring anybody are absolutely furious that they won't be able to censor anyone.

Now that Elon Musk—who is a strong proponent of free speech—has purchased Twitter, many employees worry that their days of inappropriately censoring opposing views are numbered.

"So we're just going to let people freely say whatever they want now? What if they say something we don't like?" said Eliza Stephens, a Twitter content moderator who claims to have never ever censored anyone before. "How else will we prove we are right if we can't silence the opposition entirely. If conservatives aren't handicapped at every turn their ideas may catch on or be better than ours. AHHHHH!"

Other employees adamantly agreed that censoring people was not something they ever did. They explained that they simply limited their audience drastically and throttled their views all without that person's knowledge. "They were still able to have freedom of speech, just not to as many people as they wanted, even if those people would have wanted to hear what they were saying," said Kelly Burbank. "Clearly not censorship."

According to sources, when news broke that Elon Musk hoped to bring transparency and end partisan censorship, Twitter employees fell to the ground, tearing at their clothes while shouting, "NOOOOOOO! Content moderation is a human right! Limiting the speech of others is an expression of my free speech!"

At publishing time, the censors who were not censoring, nor had they ever censored, had to be locked out of the Twitter code for fear that they might sabotage the code and censor conservatives—a thing that they have never done before.

Mandy is absolutely triggered by Twitter's possible takeover by Elon Musk. She attends a Twitter-sponsored therapy session to help her cope.

New Regularly Scheduled Posts

Starting tomorrow, at 13.00 I shall be sharing the '150 Points of the Phalange, Catholic, Royal, and Communitarian', written by Fr Georges de Nantes. I disagree with Fr de Nantes's philosophy, his particular brand of royalism, and his view of how to deal with the crisis in the Church. I am a Thomist, a Legitimist, and a 'Unite the Clans' Traditionalist. He was a positivist, a 'providentialist' royalist, and suspicious of all Trad groups not his own. However, I think it's important that we know what other Traditionalist groups around the world are doing.

At 14.00 I shall be sharing the Angelic Doctor's great work 'Against the Errors of the Greeks'. It was prepared in 1263 for Pope Urban IV in the lead up to what became the Second Ecumenical Council of Lyons (1272-1274), a failed attempt at bringing the Greeks back into the Church of Christ.

Release the Entire Red Dossier Now!

We will never see the Red Dossier as long as any of those implicated in scandals and coverups of all sorts are still alive. Protect the guilty is the watchword!

From The Remnant

By Elizabeth Yore

Once upon a time, in the tiny Vatican City State, Benedict XVI, the soon-to-abdicate Pope, ordered his three most trusted confidants to undertake a top-secret investigation into the financial, sexual, and moral scandals at the Vatican.

The three prelates dutifully investigated, interviewed key prelates and Vatican employees, reviewed documents and videos, and scoured archives for information. The investigative team gathered intelligence regarding the persistent and intractable financial and clergy sex abuse scandals which plagued the Vatican. Allegations surfaced that the investigators uncovered a powerful underground gay lobby, rampant with blackmail, extortion and breathtaking financial fraud.


Names were named, events catalogued, and documents recorded into the report. It was an exhaustive undertaking, which shattered the investigative team’s confidence in the personnel, the prominent prelates, and clergy embroiled in immorality, financial misconduct, and other nefarious intrigues. Surely, the investigators uncovered plot lines and schemes to rival a Dan Brown novel—a veritable who’s who in the powerful homosexual Vatican lobby.

In December of 2012, the 300 page report was delivered to Benedict XVI.  The dossier contained explosive information regarding endemic financial fraud and sexual crimes among the Vatican prelates, clergy and employees.

The report was dubbed the “Red Dossier.” The two-volume red leather bound dossier detailed explosive findings and a firestorm smoldered in the Vatican as the faithful awaited a response from Pope Benedict.

Yet, the response would shatter the Catholic world. No one expected the next red shoe to drop.

A mere 2 months after his receipt of the Red Dossier, on Feb. 11, 2013, Pope Benedict shockingly announced that he was retiring from the papacy. Immediately, the media speculated that the scandalous and salacious Red Dossier drove the pontiff into retirement. However, Benedict denied that the dossier caused his retirement. He announced that he no longer possessed the energy to properly conduct his papal duties.

Nevertheless, the papacy had been provided a detailed and documented bill of indictment—a valuable roadmap exposing the Vatican gay lobby.  Yet, the prosecutions and reforms demanded by the dossier would not be implemented under the Benedict papacy. His successor would be handed this hot potato.

Following Benedict’s resignation, he delivered the explosive Red Dossier to his successor, Jorge Bergoglio. Bergoglio would be responsible to ensure, as he had promised and touted, reform of the financial and sexual Vatican scandals.

And so the clock began to tick, as Catholics waited for action from Bergoglio to address and expunge the filth documented in the Dossier.

No one has heard another word about the Red Dossier.  It is as if the Red Dossier ended up like all the historical documents of Argentina, erased from history, never to be mentioned again. Uki Goni, an Argentine author and journalist describes this Argentine ethos:

It is the Argentine attitude: suppress, ignore. Many of the records of the Peronist era have been destroyed… There is no history in Argentina. There are no archives.”

Is the Argentine in the Chair of St. Peter suppressing and ignoring the explosive Red Dossier, hoping it will be forgotten?

Undoubtedly, the Red Dossier contained time sensitive information of ongoing criminal activity.  Rumors of sex trafficking and prostitution dominated the gossip and chatter around the Dossier investigation. The fear is that the statute of limitations on these crimes is now expired.

Since March 13, 2013, when Bergoglio assumed the Chair of Peter, talk of the Red Dossier has ceased. Apparently, evidence of potential crimes are not being investigated by Roman and Italian law enforcement. The details of the Red Dossier remain buried and hidden in the archival files of Jorge Bergoglio, as concealed as the details of his notorious secret Vatican-China pact.

The Vatican, like Bergoglio’s Buenos Aires, is a city where evil men walk free.

In the 9 years of Bergoglio’s reign, the scandal of the Vatican gay prelate and clerical lobby and the ongoing coverup of clergy abuse scandals and financial fraud rages on. In many documented cases, Jorge Bergoglio appears personally involved in the cover up. Yet, he remains untouchable and unapologetic.

Justice delayed is justice denied. The Red Dossier must gather dust no more. In the interim of the 9 years of Bergoglian cover up, the perpetrators of sexual abuse remain unchecked and continue to roam preying on victims.

Release the entire Red Dossier now.

Saturday of the Second Week After Easter

From Dom Prosper Guéranger's Liturgical Year.

The Love of the Blessed Mother

Tomorrow is May Day, the beginning of the Month of Mary, dedicated to Our Blessed Lady and Queen. I will have many posts honouring her during the month.

From Catholic Stand

By Steve Greco

The month of May, during which the Church especially honors the Blessed Mother, is upon us.  How blessed are we that we have the love of the Blessed Mother! We have a spiritual mother who intercedes for us with her Son, just as she did at the wedding feast in Cana (John 2).

John’s Gospel further speaks of the special relationship we have with Mary when he recounts one of Jesus’ last actions as He was dying on the cross:

When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman behold your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home. (John 19:26-27)

A Marian Experience

My grandmother, Carmella, prayed the rosary every day and during Mass on Sunday. Growing up, I observed how peaceful she was when she prayed, but I did not have a devotion to Mary until later in life.

One time, I felt God calling me to France to visit Paris and Lourdes. In Paris, I received a Marian miracle. The Church of the Miraculous Medal is located on a street called Rue de Bac. I was led to pray in that church at the Communion rail, to meditate on the Blessed Mother.

Initially, my mind went blank, but then I heard a voice in my head: “I will give you the gift of poverty.”

Wow! I knew that voice couldn’t be my voice! I didn’t want poverty! I was so disturbed that I ran, shaking, to the back of the church and went into the last pew. I remember looking up and asking God, “Can we talk about this?”

Pondering the message, I realized I didn’t want to be like the rich young man in Mark’s Gospel (10:17-25) who didn’t want to do what it took to follow Jesus. I slowly walked to the front of the church and told the Lord, “I surrender completely to you, use me in any way you want!”

On the way back and when I returned home, the Lord revealed much more to me. He showed me the verse from Matthew:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, / for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)

God revealed to me that “poverty in spirit” means putting God first in all things. Matthew’s Gospel says it succinctly:

“But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you besides.” (Matthew 6:33)

I recognized that I had made many things my gods: my family, in trying to make everyone get along perfectly; Sunday afternoon dinner; success in business; my health. So many things.

The Fallout From That Experience

What happened following this time of self-realization?

My family had a major blow-up. Half the family stopped talking to the other half.  Not only was Sunday dinner off the table but also being together for holidays.

My good health was taken away; my back hurt with pains shooting down the side of my leg to my feet. I had sciatica but previously I didn’t even know what the word meant.

For six months, I could barely stand for more than thirty seconds without severe pain. I went to one doctor after another, had one treatment after another before I found a pain specialist who helped me.

Then I got fired from my job. One day, I was senior vice president of a major pharmaceutical company, the next, I was out on the street with no job. Ironically, I had recently been honored as one of the top executives in that company, told I was a “corporate treasure.” I was fired two months later when senior management changed.

God’s miracle, through what I believe was the voice of the Blessed Mother, was to show me that we need to trust God in the midst of all trials.

Mary Inspires Trust

He will turn trials into good when we trust in Him and believe in His healing power. I now believe these difficult events in my life were God preparing me for the diaconate program in our diocese. During that time, I had entered into the program’s four-plus years of formation.

When we pray with our Blessed Mother and ask her to intercede for us with Jesus, we can expect and experience miracles!

The love of a mother for her family is one of the great graces God bestows on us.  Our Lady loves the family.  Katie Hughes, who works with me in my apostolate, Spirit Filled Hearts Ministry, shares a miracle story of Mother Mary’s love for her child on earth. It is worth sharing with you to conclude.

Being in ministry, I’m often told of miracles that God has performed.  A friend had shared with me a miracle that happened to her after her young daughter died of an illness.

At that time, she was not going to church.  She had lost her daughter and had immense grief and sorrow. One particular event occurred during this difficult time, when this woman was grieving. She may not have realized it but she was praying fervently to God.  At this critical moment of despair, she saw before her the Blessed Mother.  She had appeared to this woman at the lowest point in her life and came to give her a simple message that would change her.  The Blessed Mother looked at her and let her know she understood her pain.

She knew her pain and this intervention of Our Blessed Mother gave this mother the understanding that God is listening and is right there and that her Heavenly Mother knew her pain and would not abandon her.

France's Old Duopoly Is Officially Dead

The 'old' parties of the Left and Right, the Socialists and The Republicans, got a total of 6.52% in the first round.

From The Post@UnHerd

By Peter Franklin

The country's traditional parties look set to gain few seats at the legislative election

Just when you thought it was safe to ignore French politics, there’s another crucial set of elections coming up. 

In June, France elects the 16th National Assembly of the Fifth Republic. The previous election in 2017 was a triumph for Emmanuel Macron’s LREM party. Together with their centrist allies, the Macronistes came from nowhere to win 350 out of 577 seats. 

Meanwhile the Socialists and their allies were nearly wiped out, losing 286 seats. The conservative Républicains and their allies also suffered — losing 93 seats. It was a political realignment and the collapse of the traditional duopoly of the mainstream Right and Left. 

But for the radical Right and Left — i.e. the supporters of Marine Le Pen and Jean-Luc Mélenchon — there was no breakthrough. They gained seats, but not many. 

So what will happen this time? Will the legislative elections resemble the presidential election — and deliver another clear victory for Macron? Or will we see the old order reassert itself, as during the regional elections last year (in which the traditional parties dominated, and both Macron and Le Pen were disappointed)?

Via Europe Elects, we now have the first poll, from Harris: 


In first place, on 24% of the vote, is Ensemble Citoyens (Citizens Together) which is the centrist alliance dominated by Macron’s party; in second place, on 23%, is Le Pen’s Rassamblement National (National Rally); and in third place on 19% is La France Insoumise (Unbowed France), which is Mélenchon’s party. Note also the 7% for Reconquête (Reconquest) which is Éric Zemmour’s party.  

This looks pretty similar to the result of the presidential elections — not least because the parties of the mainstream Right and Left are doing even worse than they did in 2017.

As with the presidential contest, the National Assembly elections use the two round system of voting, which tends to favour centrist candidates. So even on a modest quarter-share of the vote, Macron’s allies could end up with an absolute majority — according to the seat projection

Credit: Europe Elects

The populist Right would end up as the second largest presence, followed by the populist Left. 

Of course, this is just the first poll. Many things could change between now and the first round of voting on the 12th June. For instance, the various Left-wing parties might form a broad Left electoral alliance. The conservatives, fearing a wipe-out, might throw in their lot with the Macron supporters. 

But whichever way one looks at it, the old duopoly is dead. Instead of dividing gently between the mainstream Left and Right, France is now becoming split between three blocks — far Left, far Right and neoliberal — each of which have profoundly different values from the other two. 

For the moment, the centre holds because it is disproportionately favoured by the electoral system. The next five years will tell us just how sustainable that arrangement is.

The Thousand Lands in Sicily

A look at the fall of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies to the forces of the Red Revolution, prior to being incorporated into the Revolutionary, Freemasonic 'Kingdom of Italy'.

From The Mad Monarchist (11 May 2013)

It was on May 11, 1860 that Giuseppe Garibaldi and his “Thousand” red shirts landed at Marsala on the island of Sicily to instigate the uprising against the Bourbon rule of King Francesco II. Although an independent operation, Garibaldi was certainly not without outside support or sympathy. Elements within the government in Turin certainly supported him (as did pan-Italian nationalists in general but this was a stateless group) and beyond the Italian peninsula there were numerous sympathetic governments, one of the most prominent being that of Great Britain (and not just because they appreciated the fashion-sense of his army). It helps to explain how such a seemingly hopeless and even farcical operation turned out to be such a stunning success. After all, it seems incredible that an invasion force of a thousand men could end up bringing down the entire Kingdom of the Two-Sicilies; that long-time Spanish bastion in the south of Italy. Actually, “The Thousand” were probably not even that numerous and they consisted, for the most part, of volunteers drawn from across northern Italy, unfamiliar with Sicily and unaccustomed to the harsher climate of the south. Some were not even Italians at all such as the Hungarian Legion of Italia which fought enthusiastically for the famous Garibaldi after having their own nationalist movement thwarted. How could such a rag-tag group be victorious?

The Kingdom of the Two-Sicilies certainly has the reputation of being a place one would not expect to find much sympathy for a revolutionary like Garibaldi. It has long been known as a very conservative, Catholic, absolute monarchy in traditional Spanish style. However, that proved to be part of the downfall of the kingdom and part of the reason for the lack of international support for the status quo and a pro-Garibaldi attitude from the British in particular. Ever since the Congress of Vienna the “Great Powers” had been most concerned with peace and stability, keeping rebellion from ever breaking out anywhere for fear of it spreading as in the past. The British (and most other northern European monarchies such as Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and even Prussia to a degree) firmly believed that the best way to ensure stability as through a constitutional monarchy that provided for some level of popular representation. Effectively, to give the people enough of a voice that they would feel they had some control over the national destiny but never enough to actually determine policy. This, the accepted thinking went, would make the public less susceptible to the arguments of the revolutionaries who wanted the people to rise up and overthrow the monarchy. This is why, in Spain, for example, the French and the British supported the liberal monarchists of the Queen mother rather than the absolute monarchists of Don Carlos. Or at least it was one reason.

King Ferdinando II of the Two-Sicilies, part of the Spanish Royal Family, annoyed the British by siding with Don Carlos. They were also concerned by the growing discontent in the Two-Sicilies and the increasing support for a republican revolution. Why were the British or French concerned at all? What was Sicily to them? The answer, of course, was that Sicily was right next to the British naval bastion of Malta and straddled the main seaway to the Suez Canal which was just starting to be built the year before Garibaldi and his men landed at Marsala. The French and British were therefore greatly concerned about any unrest that might disturb this enterprise upon which so much of global commerce was to depend. The British even sent warships to encourage the Neapolitan navy to stay away while Garibaldi and his men were landing (once the troops had disembarked the Neapolitans destroyed one ship and captured the other).

When Garibaldi landed, his forces were not opposed at all. The Neapolitan army, while not exactly having the best reputation in the world, should have been able to swamp such a tiny group with their massive numerical superiority if nothing else. However, King Francesco II inexplicably failed to take decisive action such as leading the army himself. Compounding the problem was the fact that his forces often did more to turn the local population against the monarchy than stopping the invaders. On May 14 Garibaldi declared himself ‘Duce’ of Sicily in the name of King Vittorio Emanuele II of Piedmont-Sardinia and the following day met the Neapolitan army for their first battle. The result was the unimpressive battle of Calatafimi which amounted to a victory for Garibaldi despite being outnumbered 2-to-1. It helped that the Neapolitan commanders seemed to be equal parts incompetent and vindictive. Previously, the one, reliable hardcore of the Bourbon forces had been the Swiss mercenary guard. However, they had earlier gone on strike for better pay and King Francesco II responded by having them all massacred; which was probably not the best idea.

Garibaldi captured Palermo and his ranks slowly grew as locals volunteered to join him. The Neapolitan army also had a problem with desertion. A key element was the local aristocracy who responded in various ways to the crisis, none of them very helpful to Francesco II. Some fled the island immediately as soon as Garibaldi landed and these were those most supportive of the Bourbon monarchy. Obviously, they would be no help. Most, however, considered the cause of Francesco II lost and decided to make common cause with Garibaldi who promised to respect their rights and privileges. This would later cause a degree of rebellion and banditry by those peasants who felt Garibaldi had sold them out by not tearing down the aristocracy completely and redistributing their lands. King Ferdinando II had shown that he would do whatever was necessary to maintain his rule, be it promising a constitution only to revoke it later or shooting down rebels and shelling entire cities to rubble. If he had still been around things might have been different but few had confidence that Francesco II was made of such tough stuff. The pragmatic types looked at the situation and reasoned that the Bourbons were doomed and their only options for the future would be a united Italy ruled by Giuseppe Mazzini and his radical republicans or a constitutional monarchy ruled by King Vittorio Emanuele II. Mazzini was unthinkable so these invariably suppressed their distaste for Garibaldi and supported his red shirt army to maintain the existing social order.

Rebel forces soon besieged Palermo, with disastrous consequences for the Neapolitan side. Political prisoners were broken out of jail, causing panic in the rear and the commanding Neapolitan general seemingly lost his nerve and ordered a retreat only to then order his artillery to shell the city indiscriminately, killing hundreds of civilians, many of whom must have been loyal to the Bourbon monarchy. Naturally, this made the cause of the King in Naples all the more unpopular (though he, of course, had nothing to do with it). Still, more Neapolitan troops arrived and the city might have been retaken but the commanding general, whether due to befuddled panic or simply corruption, decided to surrender. The Neapolitan troops began withdrawing from the island, even where they held the upper hand, and in their absence several peasant rebellions broke out. These were then suppressed by Garibaldi’s red shirts which, again, bewildered many of the locals who had envisioned him as their liberator. These rebels, however, were typical of the types who would have seized power and set up a revolutionary republic if not for the presence of Garibaldi who was moderating his more radical inclinations to win the support of powers like Piedmont-Sardinia and Great Britain.

In a last, desperate effort to avoid disaster and win back popular support, King Francesco II issued a constitution in June but it was to no avail. After the “now you see it, now you don’t” constitutions of his father, very few people were prepared to believe that the King was serious about constitutional government and simply ignored him. More volunteers joined Garibaldi though the Neapolitan army still had some sizeable garrisons on the island. In July Garibaldi captured Milazzo with 5,000 men after the overall Neapolitan commander refused to reinforce the garrison there. His caution did him no good and a few days later he surrendered Messina to Garibaldi by which time it was the rebels who held a significant numerical advantage and the remaining garrisons surrendered quickly. Throwing caution to the wind (and alarming the government in Turin) Garibaldi wasted no time and transferred his forces over to the mainland at Calabria. After that, a string of victories ensued as many Neapolitan forces deserted, some even joining the red shirts and most of those who did offer resistance did so with little support or coordination. The army and navy seemed to melt away, King Francesco II fled Naples and made his last stand at Gaeta.

The Neapolitans were still able to slightly outnumber the forces of Garibaldi and might have defeated him, at least temporarily, were it not for the arrival of the Piedmontese army under King Vittorio Emanuele II who was alarmed at how fast and far the red shirts were advancing and just a little concerned about how genuine their newfound monarchist sympathy was. Between them, Gaeta was doomed (though it would hold out until early the following year) and at the bridge of Teano on October 26, 1860 General Garibaldi and King Vittorio Emanuele II met, bringing their forces together and joining, from that time ever since, the north and the south of Italy together for the first time since the days of the old Roman Empire. In March of 1861 the unified Kingdom of Italy was officially proclaimed. It was not something that either the new King of Italy or even his first minister Cavour had planned for in advance. Even his royal predecessor, King Carlo Alberto, had only ever had ambitions to unite northern Italy. However, just as in those days, the drive to end foreign rule and unite the Italian people was such that it became a race between the republicans of Mazzini and the monarchists of the King of Piedmont to see who would accomplish the act and establish the first real Italian government since Roman times. There was plenty of tragedy along the way, but between those two competing ideologies, it is fortunate that it was the King who reached the goal first.