France, eldest daughter of the Church, who are you?-II

This article was written by Javier Gomez Tejeda, a seminarian studying in Spain and a fellow traditionalist contributor.

Saint Ignatius of Loyola used to say that “Our Blessed Mother must put us with Her son Jesus so that we experience their full communion, as perfect and immaculate as no other bond can be” (EE, 241) As I progressed on my explanation, I prayed so that the hearts of these children of God may be set ablaze by the power of the Holy Spirit through the Virgin, but I also considered a question I had long refused to put to myself. Remembering the words of Saint John Paul II, I asked “France, eldest daughter of the Church, who are you? Do you recognize, do you acknowledge what you are doing with your roots? Your youth is being destroyed by selfishness and injustice, and yet you deny them the right to pray, the right to find comfort in the arms of Mary.”

By now, almost a week has passed since I arrived in France, and I am due to leave next Sunday. In Paris, where I am at the moment, I go almost daily to the shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal or to Notre Dame to attend Mass there. But every single time, on recalling France´s historical ties to Catholicism and seeing how it has decreased, the same question I asked myself in Lourdes continues to pop up in my head.

I pray Our Mother Mary so that you, readers, may never experience the horrific feeling I went through when asking those French youngsters what they were doing in the south. And, though I am not yet an ordained minister, I dare say that, at the end of my talk, surely more than a vocation to priesthood must have awakened in the hearts of my listeners.

Why not following Him who never lets you down?

France, eldest daughter of the Church, who are you?-I

This article was written by Javier Gomez Tejeda, a seminarian studying in Spain and a fellow traditionalist contributor.

For the past few days, I have been traveling in France on the occasion of a series of conferences I was invited to participate in Paris. I know the capital of the so-called eldest daughter of the Church very well, having lived there myself between 2007 and 2009, so it´s always a joy to return. On this case, though, it has not been as sweet as I expected.

As a devout Catholic, I try to set a fire on the consciences of those men and women whom I meet during my frequent trips. In France, it is even easier, for the country is placed under the protection of Our Lady of Lourdes and such a great company of saints like Bernadette Soubirous, Saint Therese of Lisieux and Saint Marguerite Marie Alacoque. Or it was, up until recently.

Landing in Marseille, where I was due to spend a few days before continuing on to Paris, I took a two-day trip to Lourdes in the Pyrenees, where hundreds of pilgrims assemble every day so as to implore a miracle from Our Blessed Mother. On arriving at the spot, I happened to meet a group of French pilgrims, mainly youngsters, who, upon being asked which were their reasons to visit that southern point, automatically answered “It´s close to a great city and rumor has it that here the Devil appears, so we are here to gamble with him.”

I was astounded. Not only did the young men and women who were purported to be the hope of the Church in Gaul ignore who the Virgin Mary was but they also thought Lourdes was the site of a devilish apparition! At that point, I began to laugh hysterically, then paused, took a breath and patiently explained what had actually happened in that point of their geography they surely had ignored up until then.

Violence in the Qur’an and the Old Testament-II

This article was written by Connor Attard, a fellow Maltese traditionalist and contributor.

The Contrast

The Qur’an consists entirely of direct speech, and offers very little in the way of historical context or details about Muhammad’s personal life. Verses are loosely organised into chapters by theme, and the chapters themselves are sorted in descending order of length; all except the first chapter. Owing to this rather bewildering format, Muslim scholars are forced to rely on external sources such as the Hadith and the Sira to properly interpret the Qur’an.

The Bible, in contrast, is a collection of Jewish and Christian texts, written by several authors in vastly different historical contexts. As Christians, we believe the Bible to be the inspired word of God, who allowed the human authors to convey His message according to their individual literary talents. Exodus, for example, is considered by many scholars to be a religious epic. It also contains numerous historical accounts, poems, parables and anthems.

On the Violence

Since the Bible flows chronologically for the most part, the violence of the Old Testament is completely overshadowed by the New Testament. Neither Jesus nor His early disciples resorted to violence to spread their influence, despite tremendous persecution. Muhammad, on the other hand, was a political leader who frequently took his followers to battle and demanded a fifth of the spoils of war (Qur’an 8:41).

Furthermore, there is ample literary context to mitigate the Old Testament’s violence. There’s little doubt that these passages are descriptive, rather than prescriptive, so even literal interpretations of these passages are poor justifications for bloodshed.

The Qur’an isn’t quite so lucky. Despite a small handful of peaceful verses in the earlier chapters of the Qur’an, Islamic tradition holds that the chapters revealed in Mecca were abrogated by the more bellicose Medinan ones; revealed after Muhammad’s flight to Medina (The Hijrah). The ninth chapter of the Qur’an happens to be the final chronological chapter, and by far the most belligerent. It contains the infamous Verse of the Sword (9:05) and the divine sanction to collect the Jizya (poll tax) from subjugated Jews and Christians (9:29).

Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that all Muslim terrorists are inspired by the Qur’an, much less that all Muslims are terrorists. Christians ought to condemn acts of violence and unjust discrimination against innocent Muslims wherever it may occur. We do believe, however, that interreligious dialogue is ultimately fruitless if built on false pretences and equivalences.

The 2016 U.S. Presidential Election and the Catholic Vote: How Businessman Donald Trump Won-II

Catholic Saints such as St. Augustine of Hippo who said:

“Sometimes, indeed, this lustful cruelty, or if you please, cruel lust, resorts to such extravagant methods as to use poisonous drugs to secure barrenness; or else, if unsuccessful in this, to destroy the conceived seed by some means previous to birth, preferring that its offspring should rather perish than receive vitality; or if it was advancing to life within the womb, should be slain before it was born.”

-De Nube et Concupiscentia 1.17 (15)

and St. Jerome who said that:

“You may see many women widows before wedded, who try to conceal their miserable fall by a lying garb. Unless they are betrayed by swelling wombs or by the crying of their infants, they walk abroad with tripping feet and heads in the air. Some go so far as to take potions, that they may insure barrenness, and thus murder human beings almost before their conception. Some, when they find themselves with child through their sin, use drugs to procure abortion, and when (as often happens) they die with their offspring, they enter the lower world laden with the guilt not only of adultery against Christ but also of suicide and child murder.”

Epistula 22

These saints opposed abortion in their lifetimes. In 1869, in his Papal bull Apostolicae Sedis moderationi, Pope Pius IX declared that any Catholic who procured an abortion incurred excommunication reserved to the Bishops or ordinaries. Also in 1995, Pope St. John Paul II wrote the encyclical Evangelium vitae, in which he upheld Catholic teachings on abortion, euthanasia, and the death penalty.

From Evangelium Vitae: “It is also a question, in a certain sense, of the “moral conscience” of society: in a way it too is responsible, not only because it tolerates or fosters behavior contrary to life, but also because it encourages the “culture of death”, creating and consolidating actual “structures of sin” which go against life. The moral conscience, both individual and social, is today subjected, also as a result of the penetrating influence of the media, to an extremely serious and mortal danger: that of confusion between good and evil, precisely in relation to the fundamental right to life.”

In 2004, during the American Presidential election, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI declared that Catholic politicians that support abortion or euthanasia should be denied Holy Communion. Catholics in the last two elections voted for a candidate that opposed the teachings of the Catholic Church. This year, however, Catholics voted in accordance with the Catholic faith and voted for pro-life Republican Donald Trump. Donald Trump is pro-life on abortion with exceptions, favors de-funding Planned Parenthood, appointing pro-life judges on the U.S. Supreme Court, and respecting Religious Freedom when it came to faith based institutions and businesses. Catholics sided with Trump over Hillary. I voted for Donald Trump. I am very proud that Catholics voted for Donald Trump. Hopefully, now that Donald Trump has been elected, the pro-life movement in the United States can make progress by appointing pro-life judges on the bench, de-funding Planned Parenthood, and overturning the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision that unleashed abortion on demand in America.

This will all be possible under Trump and would have been impossible under Clinton. The pro-life movement could not get a lot done in the 8 years of Barack Obama. Now that Trump won, Catholics and the pro-life movement can now achieve this goal to uphold the sanctity of human life and abortion will be outlawed after all.

The 2016 U.S. Presidential Election and the Catholic Vote: How Businessman Donald Trump Won-I

Image result for Catholic vote

On November 8,2016, 70-year-old American businessman Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. He won 59,611,551 votes and 302 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton’s 59,813,991 and 232 electoral votes. He won the Evangelical vote by 81% to 16% and the Catholic vote by 52% to 45%. On social issues, he is pro-life, opposed to gay marriage, supports Religious Freedom, and the 2nd Amendment. While Hillary Clinton, supports abortion, gay marriage, and favors gun control. While the Evangelical vote is always dependable to the Republican Party, while the Catholic vote tends to be tricky. In the last two elections, Barack Obama won the Catholic vote despite his support for abortion and gay marriage. This time the Catholic vote when to Donald Trump who won 52% and Hillary Clinton only won 45%. The Catholic Church is strongly opposed to abortion and gay marriage. Since the its first Pope, St. Peter, the Catholic Church has affirmed the grave evil of abortion. For example, the Catechism of the Catholic Church 2272-2275:

2272 Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. “A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,”77 “by the very commission of the offense,”78 and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law.79 The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.

2273 The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation:

“The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death.”80

“The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined. . . . As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child’s rights.”81

2274 Since it must be treated from conception as a person, the embryo must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed, as far as possible, like any other human being.

Prenatal diagnosis is morally licit, “if it respects the life and integrity of the embryo and the human fetus and is directed toward its safe guarding or healing as an individual. . . . It is gravely opposed to the moral law when this is done with the thought of possibly inducing an abortion, depending upon the results: a diagnosis must not be the equivalent of a death sentence.”82

2275 “One must hold as licit procedures carried out on the human embryo which respect the life and integrity of the embryo and do not involve disproportionate risks for it, but are directed toward its healing the improvement of its condition of health, or its individual survival.”83

“It is immoral to produce human embryos intended for exploitation as disposable biological material.”84

“Certain attempts to influence chromosomic or genetic inheritance are not therapeutic but are aimed at producing human beings selected according to sex or other predetermined qualities. Such manipulations are contrary to the personal dignity of the human being and his integrity and identity”85 which are unique and unrepeatable.

 

Reverence and the Holy Eucharist-I

This article was written by Anthony Sciriha, a contributor and a fellow traditionalist.

CODE OF CANON LAW

Can. 212 – § 2. “The Christian faithful are free to make known their needs,
especially spiritual ones, and their desires to the pastors of the Church.”

§ 3. In accord with the knowledge, competence and preeminence which they possess, they [ the faithful ] have the right and even the duty at times to manifest to the sacred Pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church, and they have a right to make their opinion known to the other Christian faithful, with due regard for the integrity of the Faith and Morals and reverence toward their Pastors, and with consideration for the common good and the dignity of persons.

(The Code of Canon Law promulgated by John Paul II, Washington D.C.: The Canon Law Society of America, 1983, p. 71)
His Holiness Pope John Paul II, responding to a reporter  from Stimme des glaubens magazine, during his visit to Fulda (Germany) in November 1980.

“There is an apostolic letter (Pope Paul VI Memoreale Domini, 29/5/69) on the existence of a special valid permission for this [Communion in the hand]. But I tell you that I am not in favor of this practice, nor do I recommend it.”

Pope Paul VI in his instruction
Memoriale Domini (May 29, 1969):

Holy Communion received on the tongue “signifies the reverence of the faithful for the Eucharist … provides that Holy Communion will be distributed with due reverence … is more conducive to faith, reverence and humility…. It [Communion in the hand] carries certain dangers with it which may arise from the new manner of administering Holy Communion: the danger of a loss of reverence for the August sacrament of the altar, of profanation, of adulterating the true doctrine.” {Sadly all this has happened}

Embracing the Cross

This article was written by Anthony Sciriha, a contributor and a fellow traditionalist.

LET US ACCEPT IT WILLINGLY AND EMBRACE IT LOVINGLY

The great Saint and Teacher, St. FRANCES de SALES, teaches so about the CROSS which visits us:

“ The Eternal God the Father, in His Infinite Wisdom, saw from all Eternity, the CROSS which He presents to you NOW as a GIFT from His Most Holy Heart.

This CROSS He sends you, He considered IT from His EYE of WISDOM, was understood by His Divine MIND, He tested IT by His Wise JUSTICE, was warmed, by His Loving HANDS and scrupulously weighted by His same HANDS, so that He would make sure that your CROSS is not an inch longer or an ounce heavier than you could support.

He Blessed IT with His Holy Name, anointed IT by His GRACE, fragranced by His Consolation and perceived your COURAGE , and then sent IT to you from HEAVEN as a WISHFUL GOOD from God to You and as a Gift of Merciful Love of God.”

So, be Patient, Trust in Him Who LOVES you so much. He knows all your PAIN and Suffering in DETAIL. He Himself went through UNSPEAKABLE Sufferings for OUR sake to SAVE us. So, join your Sufferings with His Passion, His Wounds, His Glorious Face and His Blood and OFFER ALL to the Eternal Father for His Glory and all Sinners and the Holy Souls in Purgatory, THROUGH the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

In HEAVEN you will see the GREAT MERITS you had obtained by your CROSS.