It's official. The Catholic Knight is retired.  I'm hanging up the helmet and passing the torch. There will be no more articles, no more commentaries, no more calls to action. THIS BLOG IS CLOSED. I've spent a very long time thinking about this, I believe the time has come, and is a bit overdue.  I want to thank my readers for everything, but most especially for your encouragement and your willingness to go out there and fight the good fight. So, that being the case, I've spend the last several weeks looking for bloggers who are fairly active, and best represent something akin to the way I think and what I believe.  I recommend the following blogs for my readers to bookmark and check on regularly. Pick one as your favourite, or pick them all. They are all great..... In His Majesty's Service, THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hillary Clinton Admires A Racist

(California Catholic Daily) - According to the State Department’s transcript of Clinton’s remark, the secretary of state said, “I admire Margaret Sanger enormously, her courage, her tenacity, her vision… when I think about what she did all those years ago in Brooklyn, taking on archetypes, taking on attitudes and accusations flowing from all directions, I am really in awe of her....

read full story here
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Now, for some quotes by Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood...
On blacks, immigrants and indigents:
"...human weeds,' 'reckless breeders,' 'spawning... human beings who never should have been born." Margaret Sanger, Pivot of Civilization, referring to immigrants and poor people.

On sterilization & racial purification:
Sanger believed that, for the purpose of racial "purification," couples should be rewarded who chose sterilization. Birth Control in America, The Career of Margaret Sanger, by David Kennedy, p. 117, quoting a 1923 Sanger speech.

On the purpose of birth control:
The purpose in promoting birth control was "to create a race of thoroughbreds," she wrote in the Birth Control Review, Nov. 1921 (p. 2)

On the rights of the handicapped and mentally ill, and racial minorities:
"More children from the fit, less from the unfit -- that is the chief aim of birth control." Birth Control Review, May 1919, p. 12

On the extermination of blacks:
"We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population," she said, "if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members." Woman's Body, Woman's Right: A Social History of Birth Control in America, by Linda Gordon

On respecting the rights of the mentally ill:
In her "Plan for Peace," Sanger outlined her strategy for eradication of those she deemed "feebleminded." Among the steps included in her evil scheme were immigration restrictions; compulsory sterilization; segregation to a lifetime of farm work; etc. Birth Control Review, April 1932, p. 107

On abortion in general:
"The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it." Margaret Sanger, Women and the New Race (Eugenics Publ. Co., 1920, 1923)

source
As a footnote, Hillary Clinton made a pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City just the day before making the comments about Sanger. She offered some white flowers on behalf of the American people, and in regards to the miraculous image that mystically appeared on the tilma of Juan Diego nearly 500 years ago, she asked the basilica’s rector "Who painted it?"  No joke.  The American Secretary of State actually asked that question concerning the most important religious artifact in North American history. 

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Notre Dame Obamanation

Dear Father Jenkins:

It has come to our attention that the University of Notre Dame will honor President Barack Obama as its commencement speaker on May 17.

It is an outrage and a scandal that “Our Lady’s University,” one of the premier Catholic universities in the United States, would bestow such an honor on President Obama given his clear support for policies and laws that directly contradict fundamental Catholic teachings on life and marriage.

This nation has many thousands of accomplished leaders in the Catholic Church, in business, in law, in education, in politics, in medicine, in social services, and in many other fields who would be far more appropriate choices to receive such an honor from the University of Notre Dame.

Instead Notre Dame has chosen prestige over principles, popularity over morality. Whatever may be President Obama’s admirable qualities, this honor comes on the heels of some of the most anti-life actions of any American president, including expanding federal funding for abortions and inviting taxpayer-funded research on stem cells from human embryos.

The honor also comes amid great concern among Catholics nationwide about President Obama’s future impact on American society, the family, and the Catholic Church on issues such as traditional marriage, conscience protections for Catholic doctors and nurses, and expansion of abortion “rights.”

This honor is clearly a direct violation of the U.S. bishops’ 2004 mandate in “Catholics in Political Life”: “The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

We prayerfully implore you to halt this travesty immediately. We do so with the hope that Catholics nationwide will likewise call on you to uphold the sacred mission of your Catholic university. May God grant you the courage and wisdom to do what is right.

Sincerely,

More than 170,000 signers to date.
SIGN THE PETITION HERE

The Pope Opposes Obama

(The Catholic Thing) - A few days ago Archbishop Burke gave an interview to the San Diego-based organization Catholic Action for Faith and Family, during which he took the gloves off about Sebelius, who has been nominated to head the massive U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He noted her “public association with some of the more notorious agents of the culture of death.” This, of course, was a reference to her hosting a party for the late-term abortionist George Tiller, currently on trial in Kansas for nineteen infractions of abortion restrictions.

Burke commented on her fitness for office, saying that for Sebelius to be “placed in charge of the federal office with responsibilities for health and human services” is “sad for our nation” and a “source of great embarrassment.”

He also spoke about her relationship to the Church, and pointed out that Sebelius’s bishop in Kansas had properly instructed her about the dangerous ground she treads. Archbishop Joseph Naumann offered her pastoral counseling on the teachings of the Church related to abortion and urged her to accept them. She declined. Only then did Naumann instruct her not to approach the altar rail for Communion. Burke said this fulfilled “one of the most solemn duties as a pastor, namely, the care of the Most Blessed Sacrament and of the worthy reception of Communion.”

Burke closed the interview by issuing a challenge to his brother bishops, most notably Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C.: “Every bishop is held to the same universal discipline which has been in force since the time of St. Paul the Apostle and is stated in canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law.” And then this: “Whether Governor Sebelius is in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, or in any other diocese [italics mine], she should not present herself for Holy Communion because, after pastoral admonition, she obstinately persists in serious sin.”

You can see why the Obama administration might get upset about this. They played footsie with pet Catholics of left and right last year and thought they had this kind of problem covered, since some of them have already offered cover for Sebelius. Two groups created to offer such services, Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance, started a petition drive saying Sebelius was really pro-life.

And now there is word that someone who is well known among Republicans, and who has served in previous Republican administrations, is reaching out on behalf of the Obama administration to get the Holy See to quiet Burke, or at least to make it clear he speaks not for the Church, but only for himself....

read full story here
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: I don't know how to put this subtly, and any kindergartner could point it out if the evidence were presented to him. The pope opposes President Obama's administration on so many levels. What the Obama administration doesn't understand is that Archbishop Burke is practically acting as a mouthpiece for Pope Benedict XVI. Burke is to Benedict, what Ratzinger was to John Paul II - God's rottweiler! At least he is as far as the United States goes, and perhaps western Europe as well. You see as an American, Burke has some insight into American politics and the problems that plague U.S. Catholicism. He's made it very clear over and over again, that the bishops MUST deny communion to pro-abort Catholic politicians, and don't think for one second that this isn't coming with the approval of the pope. There can be no reasonable doubt that Pope Benedict XVI is a fierce opponent of President Barack Obama and his entire administration.

Obama has sought to draw cover from the Vatican onslaught by appointing as many pro-abort Catholic politicians to the Whitehouse as possible. There is no question Obama is anti-Catholic, but his anti-Catholicism is subtle. Obama doesn't oppose Catholics just because they identify themselves as Catholics, but rather, he opposes them when they start acting like Catholics. In other words, the only good Catholic is a bad Catholic. So long as a Catholic politician opposes Church teaching on human life and traditional marriage, that politician will always have a friend in the Obama administration. However, just as soon as a Catholic politician starts backing the teachings of the Church on life and family, the Obama administration immediately pushes that politician to the sideline. The Obama administration's opposition to Catholicism however, is not limited to members of the Catholic Church. It is well known the Catholic Church leads the pro-life movement in the United States, and because of this, any other pro-life Christians (regardless of denomination) will also find themselves marginalized by the Obama administration.

Not since Pope John Paul II's struggle with the communists in Poland has there been such an adversarial relationship between a reigning pontiff and a head of state. It is a moral and philosophical battle that cuts down to the very core of human nature and the role of government. The pope seeks to preserve human life in the womb, the president seeks to destroy it. The pope seeks to promote the culture of life internationally, the president seeks to export abortion-on-demand around the developing world. The pope seeks to preserve the traditional family, the president seeks to extend marital rights to gay couples. the pope seeks to promote worldwide fiscal responsibility, the president seeks to promote out-of-control government spending worldwide, starting with the United States. The pope seeks a truly just international order based on subsidiarity, the president seeks to consolidate power in the Whitehouse and create a massive central government. The two could not be more polar opposites. There is virtually nothing they have in common.

Those who long for the days of John Paul II have forgotten history. Pope John Paul II played the exact same game as Benedict XVI, its just that his focus of it was in Eastern Europe. Americans didn't get a chance to see the warrior side of John Paul II, but Eastern Europeans did. He played the game of "good cop - bad cop" with the communists. Back then it was John Paul II who played the role of the good cop while the "infamous and sinister" (sic) Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger played the bad cop. Together with one mind they orchestrated the internal demise of communism in Eastern Europe. Now it's Ratzinger's turn to play the good cop as Pope Benedict XVI, while Burke is put out as today's front man to play the role of the bad cop. This time however, it is not the Soviet Union the Vatican is tinkering with. This time it's the United States of America, and for the first time Westerners are getting a chance to see the warrior papacy in action. What the Obama administration doesn't realize (or doesn't want to see) is that they've just been put into a political game the Vatican has been playing for longer than the United States has even existed. The Whitehouse has taken the bait. Archbishop Burke (a.k.a. "bad cop") is now the target of Obama's frustration, and so the plea is made for the pope to pull back on Burke's leash. Don't expect the Vatican to comply however, without some reciprocity. There is always a little give and take in these games. If the Whitehouse is going to get what it wants, even for a short time, it's going to have to give up something. It's going to be interesting to see how this turns out.

If the Whitehouse refuses to cooperate with the Vatican's demand for reciprocity, we can expect Burke to ratchet up the rhetoric quite a bit. Of course the pope is behind this. Nothing Burke says hasn't already been privately discussed with the pope. The two are of the same mind. If the Whitehouse complies with the Vatican's demand for reciprocity, Burke will tone it down (but not disappear from view completely). However, even if the Whitehouse complies, the restructuring of the American Church will take place anyway, right under the president's nose, reorganized by the pope for the purpose of fighting this administration (and Democrat controlled Congress) from the inside. It's a lose-lose situation for the Whitehouse. The only way to battle this kind of warfare is to engage in outright persecution against the Catholic Church, and that itself will backfire as well. No, there is only one way to beat the warrior pope, and that is to join him, and make an ally of him. This is something Obama and the Democrartic Party will never do. Make no mistake about it, the Vatican has begun an undeclared war on the Obama administration, Nancy Pelosi's Congress, and the whole Democratic Party.  Grab some popcorn and have a seat.  Things are about to get interesting.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Pope's Communion Crusade


THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The pope has made it clear. The Vatican has made it clear. It is the SACRED RIGHT of every Catholic to KNEEL for communion and receive on the tongue. Nobody can lawfully stop you. No priest, no bishop, no nun, no monk, no liturgy director, NOBODY can deny you this sacred right. Oh sure, some may try to "counsel" you against receiving communion this way, and in fact, the USCCB has even authorized such "counseling." In spite of this, however, the Vatican has prohibited them from stopping you, and they are going against the Holy Father (the pope) by "counseling" you against kneeling. In fact, the Holy Father has made it clear, along with Cardinal Arinze (Prefect of the Congregation for Worship) that you should kneel, and he would prefer you do. Currently, everyone receiving communion from the hand of the pope kneels while doing so. This will be the case for the remainder of his papacy, and will probably be continued on thereafter indefinitely. The Holy Father would prefer that we all do the same. So if we are to be obedient to the will of the pope, we must oppose the will of Liberal Modernists within the U.S. Catholic Church, and kneel for communion.

Here is how to do it in a easy way. If the chapel is not set up for kneeling, simply go to the back of the communion line. The idea here being to let everyone else go first, so you don't trip up the person behind you. Make sure you're in an isle that leads to a priest, and not an extraordinary Eucharistic minister. Then when you reach the priest, kneel down on both knees, open your mouth, tilt your head back, and close your eyes. After the priest places the Eucharist on your tongue, close your mouth and say "Amen." Cross yourself as you're getting up and return to the pew.

The reason why you close your eyes is to avoid looking at the priest. That way if he gives you a gesture to "get up," you'll never see it, and it simply becomes easier for him to give you the sacrament than to lean over and tell you to stand. This works well to avoid any confrontation. Should anyone seek to "counsel" you about it after mass, simply smile and thank them for caring about you. Then come back the following Sunday, and promptly do the same thing all over again, in obedience to the Holy Father and in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. If somebody tries to "counsel" you again, simply smile and thank them for caring about you again, and come back the next Sunday to do the same thing. Eventually they'll stop "counseling" you.

Monday, March 23, 2009

"Hitler's Youth" Comes To America?


THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: It has begun! The U.S. House of Representatives just passed HR 1388 "The GIVE Act" which authorizes the creation of a "voluntary" youth corp, promoted in the public schools across America, in which children will receive official government uniforms and be sent to "camps" where they will learn the basics of social service to the state. The legislation was passed by the House on March 18, 2009. This is Phase 1 of the plan. The legislation will now be passed on to the Senate, where it is expected to receive wide support before it is signed into law by President Obama.

The bill also authorizes an investigation as to how the program might be made MANDATORY for ALL YOUTHS IN AMERICA at some future date. That will be Phase 2. No word yet on when that will come about. Finally, the bill addresses the further study of an axillary program for adults, which will also be mandatory for a certain number of weeks out of the year. This will be phase 3.

Democrats in Congress applaud the legislation as a measure mapping out a national mandate for all citizens to participate in the fine American tradition of volunteerism. Few seem to be concerned that mandatory "volunteer" labor was actually called by another name during the early to middle 1800s, and supposedly prohibited by the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution. No word yet on how Congress plans to get around that little problem, but we can rest assured their constitutional lawyers are hard at work trying to make it happen.

The problem with this legislation is threefold. First and foremost, it threatens to kill the very thing it claims to promote. Volunteerism is only volunteerism when people participate voluntarily. The moment you make participation mandatory, it is no longer volunteerism. It's sort of like reinstating a military draft and calling it a "volunteer army." It's also a lot like our supposedly "voluntary" income tax system in the United States. The IRS likes to boast about how so many Americans voluntarily submit their tax returns and pay their income taxes every year, but then we all know what happens to those who don't. Yes, volunteerism is a fine American tradition, but Congress by proposing to make it mandatory, threatens to end it all with the stroke of a pen. If Phase 2 and 3 are ever implemented, it will actually spell the end of American volunteerism.

The second problem with this legislation is the nature of the program itself. We must ask ourselves what business the state has in recruiting children for social service work. The comparison is sometimes made to "Hitler's Youth," which was formed in 1920s Germany and remained active until the end of World War II. On the one hand, the comparison is unfair, because as far as we know, the youth corp this legislation creates does not have a racist component. As far as we know, it does not have a military component either, even though one could be added very easily. On the other hand, the comparison is perfectly legitimate because the basic underlying concept is similar. Children are being recruited to serve the state. They will be wearing state uniforms, and going to state run training camps, where they will undoubtedly learn state sponsored indoctrination. That indoctrination may not include the racial darwinism that was characteristic to Hitler's Youth, but it is state sponsored indoctrination nonetheless. That means whatever form this indoctrination takes, it's going to be very pro-government, and may quite possibly be designed to cast suspicion upon anybody who doesn't share the same pro-government views. Jews and Gypsies probably won't be the targets of such suspicion, but social and fiscal conservatives probably will be. That would especially include practicing Catholics and Evangelicals (of course devout and practicing Jews might fall into this category as well). It is likely that indoctrination will be done quietly and subtly at first, so as not to alarm the general public. As time passes however, the indoctrination will slowly become more bold and abrasive. We can rest assured this will happen because of the very nature of government itself. Remember, government programs have a tendency for self-preservation, and those who are involved in them often take a very pro-government political position. So it's only reasonable to assume the youth corp will follow the same pattern.

The third and final problem with this legislation is that Barack Obama himself is the inspiration for it, and based on the campaign speech he gave in July of 2008 (featured above), he made it very clear that a military component is eventually planned for this mandatory "volunteer" security force. How will this manifest? We don't know exactly, but if the American Youth Corp follows the Hitler model; children will be made physically fit, and competitively train in exercises similar to army boot camp, minus combat and weapons training. That is reserved for the adult version of the program.

The only way it could be stopped is if the Senate votes it down. That is not likely to happen. So the time has now come for parents to do some serious reflection. This youth corp is just weeks away from being created. By early to middle 2010, parents may start to see some of their children's school friends going to meet the school bus fully uniformed. Chances are these kids will be indoctrinated with a very pro-government point of view, and might start to hold a suspicion of anyone who thinks contrary, particularly religious conservatives. It is very probable, parents will also begin to notice their own children being pressured to join this program, especially if they attend public school. That alone will be disturbing enough, even if phases 2 and 3 are never implemented.

UPDATE 3-26-2009: The Senate just passed the bill. Obama WILL sign it! It's his idea. So it's as good as LAW now. Phase 1 has just been implemented.

Russian Orthodox Support Pope Over Condom Controversy

(Zenit) - The Russian Orthodox Church is supporting Benedict XVI's position that condoms are not an acceptable solution to AIDS.

A message on the French official Web site of the Church stated, "The Patriarchate of Moscow is in solidarity with Pope Benedict XVI's position on the means in the fight against AIDS, and on the fact that condoms cannot be considered as a remedy against this sickness."

This statement came as a response to the Pope's words to journalists on his flight to Africa, in which he affirmed: "This problem of AIDS cannot be overcome only with publicity slogans.

"If there is not the soul, if the Africans are not helped, the scourge cannot be resolved with the distribution of condoms: on the contrary, there is a risk of increasing the problem."...

read full story here

Friday, March 20, 2009

Harvard Agrees With Pope - Liberals Wrong About Condoms

(NRO) - “The pope is correct,” Green told National Review Online Wednesday, “or put it a better way, the best evidence we have supports the pope’s comments. He stresses that “condoms have been proven to not be effective at the ‘level of population.’”

“There is,” Green adds, “a consistent association shown by our best studies, including the U.S.-funded ‘Demographic Health Surveys,’ between greater availability and use of condoms and higher (not lower) HIV-infection rates. This may be due in part to a phenomenon known as risk compensation, meaning that when one uses a risk-reduction ‘technology’ such as condoms, one often loses the benefit (reduction in risk) by ‘compensating’ or taking greater chances than one would take without the risk-reduction technology.”

read full story here
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: So the pope turns out to be right all along. The use of condoms does not prevent AIDS/HIV. Harvard scholars agree with Benedict XVI. Liberals are wrong, and all they can do is put their lack of scientific understanding on display for all the world to see. Meanwhile the enjoy attacking the pope - for being right - as they plot their next crucifixion scenario for the Holy Father.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pope Condom Flap

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Well, the secular anti-Catholic news media is at it again. It's the usual suspects, so I won't bother to mention their outlets by name. This time they've taken the pope's comments about condoms in Africa out of context, and put their own spin on them. This of course has drawn criticism of the pope from every corner of the western world, and even within the Catholic Church, whose modernist clergy are more than willing to crucify the Holy Father at every opportunity they can get. They don't agree with this conservative and orthodox approach to the faith, so they give themselves license to persecute the Holy Father with their words and acts of rebellion.

Because my readers deserve to know the truth, I provide the full context of the pope's interview in which the supposedly controversial comments were made. I will not bother to elaborate or comments on them myself. The Holy Father speaks for himself, and anybody with half an intellect can understand the plain sense of his condom comments when placed in their appropriate context.

A full transcript of the exchange follows...
(CNA) - A journalist from French state TV asked Pope Benedict:

“Holy Father among the many evils that affect Africa there is also the particular problem of the the spread of AIDS. The position of the Catholic Church for fighting this evil is frequently considered unrealistic and ineffective.

“Will you address this issue during your trip? Holy Father, could you please respond in French to this question?” he asked.

Although the Pope responded to a previous question from the French newspaper La Croix in French, he gave this in-depth answer in Italian.

“I would say the opposite.”

"It is my belief that the most effective presence on the front in the battle against HIV/AIDS is precisely the Catholic Church and her institutions. I think of the Community of Sant’ Egidio, which does so much, visibly and invisibly to fight AIDS, of the Camillians, of all the nuns that are at the service of the sick.

“I would say that this problem of AIDS cannot be overcome with advertising slogans. If the soul is lacking, if Africans do not help one another, the scourge cannot be resolved by distributing condoms; quite the contrary, we risk worsening the problem. The solution can only come through a twofold commitment: firstly, the humanization of sexuality, in other words a spiritual and human renewal bringing a new way of behaving towards one another; and secondly, true friendship, above all with those who are suffering, a readiness - even through personal sacrifice - to be present with those who suffer. And these are the factors that help and bring visible progress.

“Therefore, I would say that our double effort is to renew the human person internally, to give spiritual and human strength to a way of behaving that is just towards our own body and the other person’s body; and this capacity of suffering with those who suffer, to remain present in trying situations.

“I believe that this is the first response [to AIDS] and that this is what the Church does, and thus, she offers a great and important contribution. And we are grateful to those that do this.”

read full story here

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Is Baptism Symbolic or Necessary for Salvation?

Why Have A Crucifix?

Do Catholics Interpret Scripture Literally?

Faith Alone VS. Faith & Works

Rapture and Left Behind

Do Catholics Have To Believe ALL The Church Teaches?

Should We Confess Our Sins to a Priest?

Perpetual Virginity of Mary VS. The Brothers of Jesus

Do Catholics Add "Traditions of Men" to Scripture?

Immaculate Conception of Mary

Transubstantiation, Eucharist, Literal Flesh & Blood

Prayer To Mary And The Saints

Are Catholics Saved?

Call No Man Father

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Nothing Good Comes Out Of Boston

(CWNews.com) - Caritas Christi, the health-care agency administered by the Archdiocese of Boston, has joined in a successful bid for a government contract to provide health services for low-income clients. The program requires coverage for abortion, sterilization, and contraception...

read full story here

Obama Hates Practicing Catholics

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: So it would seem that the President of the United States, Barack Obama, only likes Cafeteria Catholics, meaning those who don't practice the faith nor adhere to Church teaching. Meanwhile, President Obama seems to have no problem creating rules, or lifting restrictions, in such a way that causes Practicing Catholics to violate their conscience, or else face legal repercussions. Why does our current president reward Catholics who don't practice the faith, and punish those who do? Does he have an ax to grind? Is the President of the United States and closet anti-Catholic?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Unbiblical Roman Catholic Pagan Cult and Mystery Whore of Babylon

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The title of this thread may raise a few eyebrows. Sorry for the shocker. As some of my readers already know, before converting to Catholicism, I was a "born-again" Evangelical/Pentecostal teacher who was originally raised in a Baptist Church. My journey of faith led me through the rigors of Fundamental Protestantism, and the depths of outright anti-Catholicism. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I had heard a pastor preach to his congregation that the Catholic Church is an "unbiblical cult" and the prophetic "Whore of Babylon" written of in the Book of Revelation.

I eventually decided to research the origins of this wretched organization called the Roman Catholic Church. In doing so I quickly discovered that all the authoritative literature on the topic were keen on quoting each other, but very little cited information more than a couple hundred years old. In fact, most cited a single book written in the middle 1800s called "Two Babylons," by Alexander Hyslop. This particular author constructs an entire volume of accusations against the Catholic Church, based on his own superficial connections between this or that ancient ritual, but does virtually nothing at all to back his claims with original source documentation. In fact, finding any original source documentation to support these claims, that dates prior the Reformation Era, is virtually impossible. It seems as if accusations against Catholicism developed as a product of the Reformation itself, and not vice versa.

As a result of this, I began reading the history of the early Church and quickly found a plethora of original source documentation dating back to the first few centuries of the Christian age. What I learned was shocking! and turned my whole world upside down. The early Christians were all Catholic! That's right, the earliest Christians, meaning those who were persecuted by the Caesars and fed to the lions, believed in the transubstantiation of the eucharist, prayed to the Virgin Mary and the saints, recognized the primacy of the pope, and made offerings for their loved ones in purgatory. Oh sure, they didn't use all the fancy terminology I just cited, but the core of their belief system was virtually identical. Knowledge of history spelled the end for my Protestantism.

If you're a "born-again" Christian who believes Catholicism is unbiblical, then you've got a lot of homework to do. The Bible commands us not to spread false witness against our neighbors (Exodus 20:16). If you say Catholicism is unbiblical, and it isn't, then you're spreading false witness, and thus breaking the commandment of the Lord. So you owe it to yourself to find out if Catholicism is truly unbiblical.  If you think Catholicism is unbiblical, then it's time to do your homework to see if you're right. Every argument has two sides. You can't formulate an honest opinion if you've only heard one side. You have to hear both sides of an argument before you can decide between them. Most "born-again" Christians are very familiar with the Protestant side of the argument against Catholicism, but they don't know anything about the Catholic side. Most "born-again" Christians, who take the time to learn the Catholic side, are shocked to discover that Catholics actually can make a Biblical argument in favor of Catholic teaching, and this argument can be well reasoned at that. So if you're a "born-again" Christian who believes Catholicism is unbiblical, then take the challenge, and see how much you really know about the Bible. Examine the links below.

Here we have one of the most exhaustive Catholic apologetic resources on the Internet. Special thanks to John Salza for making this resource possible...

THE CHURCH
The Biblical Church
Primacy of Peter
Apostolic Succession

THE BIBLE
Scripture Alone
Oral Tradition
Deuterocanon
Septuagint

THE SACRAMENTS
Baptism
Confession
The Eucharist
Confirmation

Holy Orders
Anointing of the Sick

HOLY MATRIMONY
Divorce & Remarriage
Contraception
Homosexuality
Husband's Headship
THE VIRGIN MARY
THE SAINTS
JUSTIFICATION
SALVATION

ESCHATOLOGY
Second Coming / Rapture
Purgatory
Hell
Zionism

THE TRINITY
Jesus Christ's Divinity
The Holy Spirit
Messianic Prophecies

OTHER
Angels
Tongue Speaking
Usury
Sacramentals
Sunday Worship
Suffering
Fasting
Drinking
Vain & Repetitious Prayer
Modesty in Dress
Just War

SCIENCE
Evolution
Geocentrism

CATHOLIC Q& A
The Church
Scripture Alone
Baptism
Confession
The Eucharist
The Blessed Virgin Mary
Justification
Purgatory
Sexuality
Miscellaneous
Freemasonry
TOP TEN QUESTIONS
DIFFERENT CHURCHES?

Religious Kids Are Healthier - Study Shows

(Scientific Blogging) - Like adults, kids who are more spiritual or religious tend to be healthier.

That’s the conclusion of Dr. Barry Nierenberg, Ph.D., ABPP, associate professor of psychology at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, who has been studying the relationship between faith and health. He presented on the topic at the American Psychological Association’s Division of Rehabilitation Psychology national conference on February 27, in Jackson, Fla.

“A number of studies have shown a positive relationship between participatory prayer and lower rates of heart disease, cirrhosis, emphysema and stroke in adults,” he says. “Prayer has been shown to correlate to lower blood pressure, cortisol levels, rates of depression, as well as increased rates of self-described well being...

read full story here

Fascism Returns To Europe

(Daily Mail) - In Austria's recent general election, nearly 30 per cent of voters backed extremist right-wing parties. Live visits the birthplace of Hitler to investigate how Fascism is once again threatening to erupt across Europe...

read full story here
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Here is an article on the most recent trends in Europe. Fascism is on the rise again, gaining 30% of the popular vote in Austria, along with growing minorities in other European nations as well. The trend mimics the political climate of Europe during the early 1930s.

So the pressing question is why? Allow me to dispel the mystery. Much of this is the product of European Liberalism, and the failed social policies it has produced. The European welfare state, coupled with the invention of artificial birth control, and the legalization of abortion-on-demand, has produced a population shortage in Europe. To support their welfare state, Liberal European governments must import a massive number of immigrants to offset the population loss and shore up the tax base. Unfortunately the majority of people who want to immigrate to Europe are African and Middle Eastern Muslims. Thus Europe is slowly becoming Islamic and losing it's historic cultural identity. Liberalism's social war on orthodox Catholicism, which encourages large families and abhors abortion, has been no help either, only exacerbating the problem. Thus European Liberalism has effectively put down the only influence (orthodox Catholicism) that could have helped it.

The reaction was predictable. In fact I did predict it about ten years ago, along with many others. A growing number of native Europeans have recognized a state of crisis as Islam slowly takes over the region. They know Liberalism is responsible, but because conservative Christianity is virtually dead in Europe, they don't know how to remedy the problem. So they've turned back to the failed ideologies of the past, embracing the Social Darwinism of the old European Fascists, and all the bigotry that goes along with it. That bigotry includes anti-Semitism, anti-Catholicism and anti-Americanism, along with a staunch new form of anti-Islamism.

The lesson of history is that Liberalism drives societies into Fascism, in a sort of cause and effect motif. Another lesson of history is that fascism was effectively suppressed during periods of European history when conservative Christianity (particularly Catholicism) was the dominate political force on the continent. This also serves as a warning to North Americans. To follow the ideals of European Liberalism is to eventually condemn ourselves to Fascism. The solution to many of our social problems lies right beneath our noses. It is in the conservative and orthodox influence of Christianity. We can either return to our Christian roots, or we can follow the lead of our European friends down the road to Fascism.

We should consider this a fair warning.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Rabbis Declare Crisis Over - Full Dialog Restored After Papal Letter

(Catholic Culture) - Following a meeting with a delegation from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and the publication of his letter to the world’s bishops on the lifting of the excommunications of four bishops of the Society of St. Pius X, the head of the rabbinate’s delegation declared that the recent crisis in Catholic-Jewish relations was over. “This was not just another meeting,” said Haifa Chief Rabbi She’ar-Yashuv Cohen. “This was a special experience, a turning point, the end of a crisis. We could not have expected a warmer reception.”

source
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Of course there is nothing the pope could ever write that would satisfy the Modernists in the Church, or the Secular media outside the Church. Once again this demonstrates that the so-called "crisis" was hyper-inflated, and not nearly on the level made out by enemies of the pope both within and outside the Church. There is only one group of people who could make any honest claim to injury by this whole thing, and that was the Jews, who's leaders just returned to full reconciliation with this pope, now that they understand what he meant by his action of lifting the SSPX excommunications.

So the Modernists are left holding the bag, after all the horrible things they said and did, in open rebellion against this pope and exposing their true nature. After the events of this last month, we have seen a preview of things to come. The Modernists within the Catholic Church are the next Protestants. As assuredly as I write this down, it is as easy to predict. THESE PEOPLE WILL EVENTUALLY LEAVE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH! They are schismatic at heart. They're looking for an opportunity, a reason, an excuse of you will. It has to be a big one though, because they are hell bent on taking as many Catholics with them as they possibly can.  Hopefully the Vatican took some good notes on who supported the pope verses who opposed him. Maybe, just maybe (if we're lucky), we'll see some action to correct this sometime in the near future.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

American Pro-Life Leaders Meet With High Level Vatican Officials - Discuss Necessary Changes To Reform U.S. Catholic Church

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Randall Terry is the head of Operation Rescue, and converted to Catholicism about five years ago. He just got back from leading a delegation of top Pro-Life leaders to Rome to speak with high ranking Vatican officials about the abysmal state of the U.S. Catholic Church, and the utter failure of U.S. Bishops to effectively communicate the Church's Pro-Life message to the laity and the general public. Mr. Terry writes...
"Our first request was that the Holy See relocate Archbishop Donald Wuerl (D.C.) and Bishop Paul Loverde (Arlington V.A.), and to replace them with bishops who will uphold the laws of the Church -- namely, bishops who refuse to serve Communion to any politician who supports the killing of children by abortion.

"Recent headlines proved our point. Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, Kansas, recently excommunicated Governor Kathleen Sebelius. President Obama selected her to head Health and Human Services, where she will promote abortion. When she comes to DC, Archbishop Naumann will be scoffed at, she will receive Communion with Archbishop Wuerl's or Bishop Loverde's
tacit approval, and American Catholics will descend further into scandal and confusion.

"If these two bishops are relocated, and Bishops of the caliber of Naumann are put in the D.C. area dioceses -- which are watched by the whole world -- it will show all humanity that the Holy See is serious about defending innocent life, and that the Eucharist is not to be profaned or scandalized. It will also tell all U.S. Bishops that the days of fear, equivocation, and outright disobedience are coming to an end."

The delegation met with:

His Excellency, Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, Prefect, Apostolic Signatura;

His Eminence, Antonio Cañizares Llovera, Cardinal, Prefect, Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments;

His Eminence, James Francis Stafford, Cardinal, Major Penitentiary, Apostolic Penitentiary;

Father Thomas Powers, Congregation for Bishops;

His Excellency, Rino Fisichella, Titular Archbishop of Voghenza, President, Pontifical Academy for Life;

Father Kevin Lixey, Pontifical Council for the Laity;

Father Victor Ghillo, Pontifical Council for the Family;

Monsignor Anthony R. Frontiero, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace; and

Monsignor Richard Soseman, the Congregation for Clergy.

source

UN Proposes Making Criticism Of Islam Illegal

(UN Watch) - A new U.N. resolution circulated today by Islamic states would define any questioning of Islamic dogma as a human rights violation, intimidate dissenting voices, and encourage the forced imposition of Sharia law.

UN Watch obtained a copy of the Pakistani-authored proposal after it was distributed today among Geneva diplomats attending the current session of the UN Human Rights Council. Entitled "Combating defamation of religions," it mentions only Islam.

While non-binding, the resolution constitutes a dangerous threat to free speech everywhere. It would ban any perceived offense to Islamic sensitivities as a "serious affront to human dignity" and a violation of religious freedom, and would pressure U.N. member states -- at the "local, national, regional and international levels" -- to erode free speech guarantees in their "legal and constitutional systems."

It's an Orwellian text that distorts the meaning of human rights, free speech, and religious freedom, and marks a giant step backwards for liberty and democracy worldwide...

read full story here
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The Islamists are no fools. They know Modernism is weak and self-destructive. They will attempt to use the liberal sensibilities of westerners against themselves, by banning any possibility of criticizing Islam.  Once passed, this legislation will allow Islamists, via the United Nations, to declare any criticism of Islam a "hate crime." While the legislation is non-binding, meaning the UN will have no power to arrest individuals under this measure, it does not prohibit individual nations from constructing their own laws that allow them to arrest, convict and sentence critics of Islam. In effect, the measure legitimatizes Shariah Law throughout the Islamic world, and gives a UN stamp of approval on the arrest and detention of Christians, Jews and Secularists in Islamic countries.  Of course, there would be nothing stopping secularized western nations from enforcing a similar ban against criticizing Islam under the guise of "tolerance."  

Democrats Hate Catholics

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: While not everyone registered as a Democrat may be anti-Catholic, a growing number of Democratic party leadership at the state and national level are clearly moving in that direction, and acting upon it with legislation. The anti-Catholic trend in the Democratic Party is well documented on this blog here. Voters registered as Democrats should seriously look into this matter, and consider if they really support this kind of anti-religious bigotry. Typically, the DNC will trot out politicians who have been informally excommunicated from the Church as front men to lead their anti-Catholic charge. Such persons include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Vice President Joe Biden and Senator John Kerry just to name a few. This kind of party leadership makes it appear as if the Democratic Party is creating a "religious test" for Catholics within the Party. Catholics who go against official Church teaching are made out to be the little darlings of the DNC, while those who adhere to official Church teaching are shunned by the Party. In other words, the message from the DNC is that the only good Catholic is a bad Catholic, meaning one who doesn't follow the teachings of the Church.

The latest manifestation of the anti-Catholic Democratic Party leadership comes at the state level in Connecticut, in which the Democrat controlled legislature just attempted to introduce a bill that would have effectively robbed the Catholic Church there of all it's property, leaving every diocese in the state virtually penniless. The legislation harkened back to laws passed during the French Revolution. Currently, the bill has been shelved after an overwhelming national outcry against the legislation as unconstitutional, unamerican, and motivated by anti-religious bigotry. However, the anti-Catholic Democrats in the Connecticut state legislature have indicated that it's not over, and the bill may return for a second round, just as soon as they can determine if it passes constitutional muster....
(CNA) -- Following a deluge of phone calls and emails, a bill introduced in the Connecticut Senate to reorganize the financial and pastoral structure of the Catholic Church has been pulled and tabled for the rest of the legislative session.

Meanwhile, state Sen. Andrew MacDonald and state Rep. Michael Lawlor, the sponsors of the bill, have sent it to the state attorney general, Richard Blumenthal, to determine if it passes constitutional muster. The two lawmakers also canceled a hearing on the bill.

Despite the bill being pulled, the Diocese of Bridgeport is telling its members that the bill is still a possibility and that they are planning on proceeding with plans to rally against the proposed legislation...

read full story here

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Pope Clarifies SSPX Controversy


THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: In pontifical fashion, the Holy Father (Pope Benedict XVI) has issued a corrective letter written in a charitable and apologetic way. Though every bishop received a copy, the primary recipients intended were so-called "progressive" bishops of liberal diocese, who have publicly expressed their disdain over the pope's recent decision to remove the excommunication of the four SSPX bishops. These so-called "progressive defenders of Vatican II" display their blatant hypocrisy by promoting ecumenical dialog with every religion under the sun, but simultaneously reject any conversation whatsoever with the SSPX. Such hypocrisy is not only uncharitable, and unchristian, but it flies in the face of everything the Second Vatican Council is about. If you're going to have ecumenism, you cannot "pick and choose" what religions you will dialog with, based on your own personal preferences.

The SSPX has been unfairly attacked by liberal Modernists all over the world, and progressive bishops are no exception. The Bishop Williamson affair is a scandal, to be sure, but not nearly on the magnitude promoted by the mainstream news media. The corrective actions of Bishop Fellay, Superior General of the SSPX, should have demonstrated beyond a doubt that Bishop Williamson's views concerning the Holocaust do not reflect those of the SSPX or the majority of her members. To connect the SSPX with Bishop Williamson's views on the Holocaust is an artificial construct entirely - a stereotype and a generalization - similar to the kind used by anti-Catholics who frequently connect the entire Catholic priesthood with those few priests (less than 5%)  who sexually abused minors. It's unfair, inaccurate and unwarranted. The very notion that supposedly "progressive" Catholic bishops would behave in such a way toward the SSPX is scandalous.  It is unconscionable that they would treat their fellow Christians with such stereotype and generalization. Yet it has happened, and the Holy Father seeks to correct this.

In regards the the Williamson affair directly, the Holy Father was not aware of his views on the Holocaust when he lifted the excommunications. He said he wasn't, and that should be enough for any Catholic of good will. Secondly, even if the pope was aware, it still may not have affected the removal of Williamson's excommunication, since the excommunication pertained to a completely different matter, that had nothing to do with Williamson's views on this or that. To connect the removal of Williamson's excommunication with his views on the Holocaust is once again another artificial construct having no basis in reality. As awful as Holocaust denial is, it is not an excommunicatable offense. The Church cannot excommunicate somebody simply because one holds to strange views on history that have nothing to do with Church doctrine.  Like it or not, the Holocaust is no more a matter of Church doctrine than the evolution of species or the French Revolution. Third, Williamson's excommunication has been removed, along with that of the other three SSPX bishops, who have nothing to do with his views on the Holocaust. Still, none of the SSPX bishops have yet been received into full communion with the Catholic Church, and the pope has made it clear to Bishop Williamson that he must reverse his position on the Holocaust before he can be fully accepted. It is possible the other three SSPX bishops may be fully received into the Church without Williamson, but then it is also possible Williamson may repent and also be readmitted into the Church along with the other three. The so-called "progressive" bishops of the Church had better be prepared for either possibility, and accept it, if they don't want to become total hypocrites in every respect.  You can't possibly call yourself an ecumenist when you refuse to accept those who want to come back into the Church, and accept everything the Church has infallibly taught.

Finally, the Holy Father addresses the issue of hermeneutic continuity, which is at the root of many of these problems. He addresses the matter on both sides.

On the side of the SSPX, and other Traditionalists, it is impossible to suspend the Church's development at one point in history or another. The Church cannot be locked into the Missal of 1962, or the pre-conciliar customs and traditions, for all eternity. The Missal of 1962 is itself the product of liturgical development and revision. The traditions and customs of the pre-conciliar period are the result of nearly 2000 of ecclesiastical evolution. The Church must continue to develop, just as it has always developed, throughout it's entire history. Simultaneously, the process of development can sometimes be fraught with trial and error, as is the case in this post-conciliar period.  There is nothing wrong with pointing out perceived errors and vigorously attempting to correct them, but not at the expense of denying the Church's ability to adapt and change over time.

On the side of the Catholic Church, especially those bishops who consider themselves progressive "defenders of Vatican II," the council cannot be properly interpreted outside of the context of previous ecumenical councils and historic Church tradition. According to the bishops present at the council, and the pope who oversaw it's conclusion, Vatican II was a pastoral council, of a lower order than previous ecumenical councils, having deliberately chosen not to define specific doctrine, nor attach the "note of infallibility" to any particular document or decree. Therefore, Vatican II cannot be interpreted as "Super Dogma," as is commonly done by some erring individuals, as if it were a break with previous Church history and tradition. It is not. Vatican II augments previous Church history and tradition. It does not cancel it, nullify it, nor reverse it. If one is to understand Vatican II, then one must understand it this way, or else one does not understand it at all. Like it or not, the abusive interpretations of the Second Vatican Council are about to become mainstream conversation in the Church.

The Holy Father's letter...
Dear brethren in the Episcopal ministry!

The lifting of the excommunication of the four bishops ordained by Archbishop Lefebvre in 1988 without a mandate of the Holy See has led, both within and outside the Catholic Church, for a variety of reasons, to a discussion of such vehemence as we had not experienced for a long time. Many bishops felt at a loss before an event which came unexpectedly and could barely be integrated positively among the questions and tasks of the Church of today. Although many pastors and faithful were willing in principle to value positively the Pope's desire for reconciliation, against this was the question of the appropriateness of such a gesture, given the real urgency of a believing life in our time. Several groups, however, accused the Pope openly of wanting to return behind the Council. An avalanche of protests was set into motion, the bitterness of which made injuries visible which transcended the moment. Therefore I feel pressed to address to you, dear brethren, a clarifying word, which is meant to help to understand the intentions which have guided me and the competent organs of the Holy See in this step. I hope in this way to contribute to peace in the Church.

One mishap for me unforeseeable, was the fact that the Williamson case has superimposed itself on the remission of the excommunication. The discreet gesture of mercy towards the four bishops ordained validly but not legitimately, suddenly appeared as something entirely different: as a disavowal of the reconciliation between Christians and Jews, and therefore as the revocation of what in this area the Council had clarified for the way for the Church. The invitation to reconciliation with an ecclesial group separating itself had thus become the opposite: an apparent way back behind all the steps of reconciliation between Christians and Jews which had been made since the Council and which to make and further had been from the outset a goal of my theological work. The fact that this superposition of two opposing processes has occurred and has disturbed for a moment the peace between Christians and Jews as well as the peace in the Church I can only deeply regret. I hear that closely following the news available on the internet would have made it possible to obtain knowledge of the problem in time. I learn from this that we at the Holy See have to pay more careful attention to this news source in the future. It has saddened me that even Catholics who could actually have known better have thought it necessary to strike at me with a hostility ready to jump. Even more therefore I thank the Jewish friends who have helped to quickly clear away the misunderstanding and to restore the atmosphere of friendship and trust, which - as in the time of Pope John Paul II - also during the entire time of my pontificate had existed and God be praised continues to exist.

Another mishap which I sincerely regret, is that the scope and limits of the measure of 21 January 2009 have not been set out clearly enough at the time of the publication of the procedure. The excommunication affects persons, not institutions. Episcopal consecration without papal mandate means the danger of a schism, because it calls into question the unity of the Bishops' College with the Pope. The Church must, therefore, react with the harshest punishment, excommunication, and that is to call back the persons thus punished to repentance and into unity. 20 years after the ordinations this goal has unfortunately still not been achieved. The withdrawal of the excommunication serves the same purpose as the punishment itself: once more to invite the four bishops to return. This gesture was possible after the affected had expressed their fundamental recognition of the pope and his pastoral authority, albeit with reservations as far as obedience to his magisterial authority and that of the Council is concerned. This brings me back to the distinction between person and institution. The releasing of the excommunication was a measure in the field of ecclesial discipline: the persons were freed of the burden of conscience of the heaviest ecclesial censure. From this disciplinary level one has to distinguish the doctrinal area. That the Fraternity of Saint Pius X does not possess a canonical position in the Church is not based ultimately on disciplinary grounds but on doctrinal ones. As long as the Fraternity does not possess a canonical position in the Church, its officials do not exercise legitimate offices in the Church. One has therefore to distinguish between disciplinary level affecting the persons as persons, and the level of doctrine, at which office and institution are concerned. To say it once again: As long as the doctrinal issues are not resolved, the Fraternity has no canonical status in the Church and its ministers, even if they are free from ecclesiastical censure, do not exercise in a legitimate way any ministry in the Church.

Given this situation, I intend to connect the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei", which since 1988 is responsible for those communities and individuals who, coming from the Fraternity of Pius X or similar groups, want to return into full communion with the Pope, in the future with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. This shall make it clear that the problems now being treated are essentially doctrinal in nature, especially those concerning the acceptance of the Second Vatican Council and the postconciliar Magisterium of the Popes. The collegial organs through which the Congregation works on the questions arising (especially the regular assembly of the Cardinals on Wednesday and the General Assembly every one or two years) guarantee the involvement of the prefects of various Roman congregations and of the worldwide episcopate in the decisions to be made. One cannot freeze the magisterial authority of the Church in 1962 and - this must be quite clear to the Fraternity. But to some of those who show off as great defenders of the Council it must also be recalled to memory that Vatican II contains within itself the whole doctrinal history of the Church. Who wants to be obedient to it [sc. the Council] must accept the faith of the centuries and must not cut the roots of which the tree lives.

I hope, dear brethren, that with this both the positive meaning as well as the limit of the measure of 21 January 2009 is clarified. But now the question remains: Was this necessary? Was this really a priority? Are there not much more important things? Of course, there are more important and urgent things. I think that I have made clear the priorities of the pontificate in my speeches at the beginning of it. What I said then remains my guideline unchangedly. The first priority for the successor of Peter, the Lord has unequivocally fixed in the Room of the Last Supper: "You, however, strengthen your brethren" (Lk 22, 32). Peter himself rephrased this priority in his first letter: "Be ready always to satisfy every one that asketh you a reason of that hope which is in you." (1 Peter 3, 15). In our time, in which the faith in large parts of the world threatens to go out like a flame which can no longer find food, the first priority is to make God present in this world and to open to men the access to God. Not to just any god, but to the God who spoke on Mount Sinai, that God whose face we recognize in the love unto the end (John 13, 1)- in the crucified and risen Jesus Christ. The real problem of our historic hour is that God is disappearing from the horizon of men and that with the extinguishing of the light coming from God disorientation befalls mankind, the destructive effects of which we are seeing ever more.

To lead men to God, to the God speaking in the Bible, is the supreme and fundamental priority of the Church and the successor of Peter in this time. From it then it follows on its own that we have to be concerned for the unity of believers. For their strife, their internal dissent, calls their talking about God into question. Therefore, the effort for the common witness of faith of the Christians - for ecumenism -is included in the highest priority. Then there is also the necessity that all who believe in God seeking peace with each other, trying to become closer to each other, in order to walk, in the different-ness of their image of God, yet together towards the source of light - inter-religious dialogue. Those who proclaim God as love unto the end, must give the witness of love: devoted to the suffering in love, fending off hatred and enmity - the social dimension of the Christian Faith, of which I have spoken in the encyclical "Deus caritas est".

If then the struggle for Faith, hope and love in the world is the true priority for the Church in this hour (and in different forms always), then still the small and medium-sized reconciliations also belong to it. That the quiet gesture of a hand stretched out has become a great noise and thus the opposite of reconciliation, we have to take note of. But now I have to wonder: Was and is it really wrong, also in this case, to go to meet the brother, who "hath any thing against thee" and to try for reconciliation (cf. Mt 5, 23f)? Does not civil society, too, have to try to prevent radicalizations, to bind their possible supporters - if possible - back into the major creative forces of social life to avoid isolation and all its consequences? Can it be entirely wrong to strive for the lessening of tensions and constrictions and to give room to the positive which can be found and integrated into the whole? I myself, in the years after 1988, have experienced how by the return of communities previously separating themselves from Rome the interior climate there has changed, how the return to the great, wide and common Church overcame onesided-ness and lessened tensions, so that now they have become positive forces for the whole. Can a community leave us totally indifferent in which there are 491 priests, 215 seminarians, 6 seminaries, 88 schools, 2 university institutes, 117 brothers, 164 sisters? Should we really calmly leave them to drift away from the Church? I am thinking, for example, of the 491 priests. The plaited fabric of their motivations we cannot know. But I think that they would not have made their decision for the priesthood, if next to some askew or sick elements there hot not been there the love of Christ and the will to proclaim Him and with Him the living God. Should we simply exclude them, as representatives of a radical marginal group, from the search for reconciliation and unity? What will then be?

Certainly, we have long and have again on this occasion heard many dissonances from representatives of this community - pride and a patronizing know-it-all attitude, fixation into onesidedness etc. For the love of truth I must add that I have also received a series of moving testimonials of gratitude, in which was made perceptible an opening of hearts. But should the great Church not also be able to be magnanimous [in German its a play on words: "great Church - great of heart"] in the knowledge of the long wind she has; in the knowledge of the promise which she has been given? Should we not, like good educators, also be able not to hear some bad things and strive to calmly lead out of the narrowness? And must we not admit that also from ecclesial circles there have come dissonances? Sometimes one has the impression that our society needs at least one group for which there need not be any tolerance; which one can unperturbedly set upon with hatred. And who dared to touch them - in this case the Pope - lost himself the right to tolerance and was allowed without fear and restraint to be treated with hatred, too.

Dear brethren, in the days in which it came into my mind to write this letter, it so happened that in the seminary of Rome I had to interpret and comment the passage of Gal 5, 13-15. I was surprised at how directly it speaks of the present of this hour: "Do not make liberty an occasion to the flesh, but by charity of the spirit serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. But if you bite and devour one another; take heed you be not consumed one of another." I was always inclined to regard this sentence as one of the rhetorical hyperbole which occasionally there are with St. Paul. In some respects it may be so. But unfortunately, the "biting and devouring" is there in the Church even today as an expression of a poorly understood freedom. Is it surprising that we are not better than the Galatians? That we at least are threatened by the same temptations? That we have always to learn anew the right use of freedom? And that we have always to learn anew the first priority: love? On the day on which I had to speak about this in the seminary, in Rome the feast of the Madonna della Fiducia - our Lady of Trust - was celebrated. Indeed - Mary teaches us trust. She leads us to the Son, in Whom we all may trust. He will guide us - even in turbulent times. So at the end I would like to thank from my heart all the many bishops who have given me in this time moving signs of trust and affection, but above all the gift of their prayers. This thank I extend to all the faithful who have shown me during this time their unchanged fidelity to the successor of St. Peter. The Lord preserve us all and lead us on the path of peace. This is a wish that spontaneously rises from my heart, especially now at the beginning of Lent, a liturgical time particularly propitious to inner purification, and which invites us all to look with new hope towards the radiant goal of Easter.

With a special Apostolic Blessing, I remain


Yours in the Lord

Benedictus Pp. XVI

From the Vatican, on 10 March 2009


Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the SSPX, responds below....
Pope Benedict XVI has addressed a letter to the bishops of the Catholic Church, dated March 10, 2009.

After the recent « outburst of a flury of protests », we warmly thank the Holy Father for having repositioned this debate at the high level where it must take place—of the Faith. We fully share his chief concern for preaching »in our days, when in vast areas of the world the faith is in danger of dying out like a flame which no longer has fuel. »

The Church is going through, in effect, a major crisis that cannot be resolved except through an integral return to the purity of the Faith. With St. Athanasius, we profess that « whoever wants to be saved, must above all accept the Catholic Faith : unless each one preserves this whole and inviolate he will, without doubt, be lost forever. »

Far from wishing to freeze Tradition in 1962, we wish to consider the Second Vatican Council and the post conciliar teaching in the light of that Tradition that Vincent of Lerins defined as « that which was always believed everywhere and by everyone » (Commonitorium), without rupture and in perfectly homogenous development. It is therefore that we could efficaciously contribute to the missionary mandate of our Savior (cf. Matt 28, 19-20)

The SSPX assures Pope Benedict XVI of its desire to address the doctrinal discussions recognized as necessary by the Decree of January 21, with the desire to serve the revealed truth that is the first concern to be shown in regard to all men, Christian or not. The SSPX assures him of its prayer so that his faith will not fail and he will confirm all his brethren. (cf. Luke 22, 32).

We place these doctrinal discussions under the protection of Our Lady of Trust with the hope that she will obtain for us the grace to faithfully transmit what we have received « tradidi quod et accepi » (I Cor. 15,3).

Menzingen, le 12 mars 2009

+ Bernard Fellay

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Evangelicalism To Implode Within 10 Years

(Christian Science Monitor) - We are on the verge – within 10 years – of a major collapse of evangelical Christianity. This breakdown will follow the deterioration of the mainline Protestant world and it will fundamentally alter the religious and cultural environment in the West.

Within two generations, evangelicalism will be a house deserted of half its occupants. (Between 25 and 35 percent of Americans today are Evangelicals.) In the "Protestant" 20th century, Evangelicals flourished. But they will soon be living in a very secular and religiously antagonistic 21st century.

This collapse will herald the arrival of an anti-Christian chapter of the post-Christian West. Intolerance of Christianity will rise to levels many of us have not believed possible in our lifetimes, and public policy will become hostile toward evangelical Christianity, seeing it as the opponent of the common good.

Millions of Evangelicals will quit. Thousands of ministries will end. Christian media will be reduced, if not eliminated. Many Christian schools will go into rapid decline. I'm convinced the grace and mission of God will reach to the ends of the earth. But the end of evangelicalism as we know it is close...

read full story here
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: This prediction may sound fantastic, and defy common perceptions, but as a former Evangelical turned Catholic, I can attest that this may very will be the case. The foundations of Evangelicalism are weak, surprisingly fragile, and they are about to crumble beneath the entire movement. The reasons for this are explained in the full text of the article above.

The post-Evangelical landscape will be very different from the Christian world we know today. The two biggest beneficiaries from this will be Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. Evangelicalism will not disappear from the world completely. It will shrink in size, consolidate, and ultimately merge with Pentecostalism.

About 20 to 30 years from now, the Christian landscape in North America will probably look something like this. Roman Catholicism in the northeast United States will be struggling to survive. In the northeast as well, an emerging Modernist Church will appear from the ruins of the Episcopal Church USA, and disaffected Catholics of the liberal persuasion. In the American southeast, a whole new conservative and traditional Roman Catholicism will be emerging, along with an emerging Eastern Orthodoxy, as traditional Baptist and Evangelical churches subside. In the Southwest United States, Catholicism will be almost entirely Hispanic, and Eastern Orthodoxy will be booming there among Caucasians and Blacks. Mainline Protestant churches (such as Lutheran, Episcopalian, Methodist, etc.) will be virtually nonexistent, except in the northeast, where a Modernist conglomerate will emerge. Baptist churches will be struggling to survive. Evangelicalism and Pentecostalism will be virtually indistinguishable, and may actually merge at some informal level. A growing number of house churches will arise, with congregations no more than just a few families. These groups will be notoriously unstable and fluid.

In the wake of the Evangelical implosion, many marginal Christians will abandon the faith completely, opting instead for various self-help groups, philosophies, and seminars. Most will simply become a religion of one, in which adherents will say "I don't need a church, I just do my own thing with God." This will lead to a rise in atheism, agnosticism and occultism among youth, followed by a significant rise in the Muslim population. Islam always rushes in to fill the vacuum wherever Christianity dies out.

For Catholics and Orthodox, the potential Evangelical influx is an opportunity that cannot be missed. Evangelical converts often make for very devout Catholics and Orthodox, who are energetic and highly evangelistic. Speaking as a former Evangelical, the best way to attract them is to first get our own houses in order. We must return to the conservative and orthodox practice of our faith. Liberal Modernists, who corrupt the faith and confuse it's message, must either be corrected or expelled. They will do more to frighten away Evangelical converts than anything else. I cannot stress enough the importance of this. If Liberals are allowed to continue to cloud the historic and traditional message of the Church, they will frighten potential Evangelical converts away. That is just a matter of fact, and those diocese that refuse to correct and expel Liberal Modernists will learn this lesson in the form of shrinking parishes and dwindling donations.

We must revive all that is traditional and historic in our Church, as this is exactly what Evangelical converts will be looking for. Remember, Evangelicals will be coming from a faith tradition that has no tradition. They'll be looking for a Christianity that is solid and has withstood the test of time. In short, they'll be looking for something bigger than themselves. They'll want to reconnect with the Christianity of their ancestors. Catholic and Orthodox churches must be ready to offer this to them in a tangible way. Stripping our church buildings of Catholic decor and making them look "more Protestant" isn't going to attract a single Evangelical convert. Some may still come in, but if they do it will be in spite of these things, not because of them.

Finally, we must concisely and effectively communicate what our Catholic (and Orthodox) faith is about - meaning the message of the Gospel, the sanctity of Life and the importance of the Family. Evangelical refugees will be searching for something that promises a clear and concise picture of what the Christian faith is about. They'll be looking for something that affirms their Pro-Life beliefs and supports the traditional family. If we can provide these things, Evangelicals will be attracted. That's just a matter of fact. We've got about a decade to prepare, maybe less, so I suppose we better get started now!  

New Study Shows Dramatic Religious Shift In USA

(CNA)- A new study on American religion finds that Catholicism is facing a “stunning” decline in the northeast United States as the population center of U.S. Catholics shifts towards the southwest. Secularism continues to grow in all regions, while mainline Protestant denominations face the most significant population decline.

The study, titled the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS), was conducted by the Program on Public Values at Trinity College.

According to the ARIS report, Catholic numbers and percentages rose in many states in the South and West mainly due to immigration.

“Catholics increased their share in California and Texas to about one-third of the adult population and in Florida to over one-fourth. In terms of numbers they gained about 8 million adherents in these three states in the past two decades,” the report says.

In the Northeast, Catholic adherents fell from 46 percent to 36 percent of the adult population...

read full story here
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: There are a few points I'd like to address with this story. The first has to do with the Catholic demographic shift from the Northeast to the Southwest USA. This was predicable. Both the Northeast and West Coast USA are becoming increasingly liberal, embracing the ideas of Modernism, as Europe did in the early 20th century. North America is steadily following the trends of Western Europe, but about 50 years behind the curve. Give North America another half century, it it will mirror Western Europe today - spiritually dead and sterile, with increasing Muslim populations. That is unless there is a dramatic event that changes the hearts and minds of North Americans, leading them back toward God, but that would be nothing short of a miracle. The increase in Catholicism in the Southwest was also predictable, because it reflects the massive migration from Mexican nationals into the Southwest United States. While the presence of these immigrants (both legal and illegal) is beneficial to U.S. Catholicism, it does not offset the lack of Catholic growth among U.S. natives. As a footnote to this, I should point out that Mexican Catholics in the U.S. are not impressed with U.S. Catholicism. Our lack of reverence during mass, compounded with the liberal attitudes of half of U.S. Catholics is a significant turnoff to them. This helps explain why many have chosen not to integrate with English-speaking Catholics in the United States, and a growing number of them are starting to attend the Traditional Latin Mass (Tridentine or Extraordinary Form Liturgy). The long-term effect of Mexican nationals on U.S. Catholicism in the Southwest will be interesting to watch. Perhaps when the current generation of Modernist clerics dies off, we may see a more traditional Catholicism there. Don't expect very many masses in English though. Spanish will probably become the norm, with a smattering of Vietnamese and English here and there.

The second point I'd like to address is not covered by the above story at all, but I think it's very significant. That is the emergence of Traditional Catholicism in the Southeast United States. This area is called the Bible Belt, because of it's overwhelming Evangelical Protestant population and influence. With the exception of Louisiana and Southern Florida, Catholics are virtually nonexistent in this area. The whole region is considered a missionary field by the U.S. Catholic Church. That is significant, because for a missionary field, there is a surprising interest in Traditional Catholicism here. By that I mean not just an interest in the Traditional Latin Mass (Tridentine or Extraordinary Form), but also an interest in a more conservative and orthodox celebration of the English mass (Novus Ordo or Ordinary Form). A good example of this is the influence of the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) located near Birmingham Alabama, which regularly broadcasts a fairly conservative and orthodox Catholicism both in liturgy and teaching. This has developed significant appeal for searching souls in the American Southeast, and with the development of traditional parishes and monasteries in the region, the Old South (Dixie) may become the emerging Catholicism of North American English-speaking people during the 21st century. Keep an eye on Catholicism in this area.

Finally, I would like to address the overall decline of religion in North America, not just in Catholicism but in all Christian denominations, affiliations and sects. What we are witnessing is a repeat of what happened in Western Europe over half a century ago. It is the product of Modernism (1800-1900s), which is the child of the Enlightenment (1700-1800s), conceived in the Protestant Reformation of the 1500 to 1600s. In other words, to move away from the sacraments, and authentic apostolic secession, is to move away from the faith entirely. When the first Protestants broke with Rome some 500 years ago, they had no way of knowing where their rebellion would lead western civilization. The break with the sacraments and apostolic secession broke their physical connection with Christ. What followed a couple centuries later was an intellectual break with Christ in the form of the Enlightenment. Finally, within a couple hundred years after that, what followed was a break with Christ both on a faith and moral level in the form of Modernism. One thing leads to another, and we're witnessing the fruit of these things in our time. It's a societal problem, not just a denominational problem.

As Northern Europe abandoned Catholicism to become Protestant, it led to an eventual disconnect with the faith entirely. We see this happen in various stages though history, and we're now seeing it happen in North America as well. Mainstream Protestantism in North America embraced the Modernist errors during the middle 1900s, and because of that there was a split that occurred during the later 1900s. Conservative Protestants gravitated toward the emerging Evangelical and nondenominational free churches, leaving liberals and moderates to stagnate in their older mainline denominations. Those denominations are collapsing now, and will continue to do so over the next several decades. However, what conservative Protestants in Evangelical and nondenominational churches don't yet realize is that the same thing will happen again some time in the not too distant future, leaving the currently growing Evangelical churches stagnate and empty. Each time the conservatives will scatter, starting their own new affiliations and repeating the process over and over again, until all of Protestantism has splintered into oblivion. What will remain in it's wake is a desolate wasteland of searching souls who have lost their faith entirely. Sadly, mainstream Catholicism has been caught up in this process as well, many clerics and lay people having embraced the errors of Modernism during the late 1900s. The only cure to this decline is conservative and orthodox Catholicism, in which the errors of Modernism are abandoned, and the full Catholic Christian faith is embraced morally, intellectually and physically. In other words, the last 500 years of religious development (Reformation, Enlightenment & Modernism) in Northern Europe and North America must be completely rejected. Failure to do so will ultimately result in more Atheism and Agnosticism, ultimately resulting in the rise of the occult and finally Islam.