Early Fathers on Purgatory

August 30, 2008

Q. I have been reading the early Christian writings and it gives us all of the writings of the Apostolic Fathers, these were the first Christians who were ordained by the Apostles and were taught and lived with the Apostles.

BFHU: I am curious what book you are reading. Because the books of the Early Fathers with all of them in it is 30 volumes or more and very expensive. There are shorter works and online versions. If you are reading a book from a Protestant publishing house it may have been edited to exclude writings that support the Catholic Faith.
Q. Purgatory is not mentioned in their writings and that in fact they say that the apostles, Peter and Paul as well as the first presbyters and bishops WENT TO THE HOLY PLACES AFTER THEY FELL ASLEEP (I.E. DIED )


Doesn’t this mean that these first christians believed in immediate entry into the glory of heaven?

A. All of the Apostles of Jesus, including St. Paul were martyred except St. John. We believe that those who are martyred for their faith DO go directly to Heaven. They atoned for their sins (temporal consequences) through their own passions. And we also believe that those who live very holy lives and offer up their sufferings in union with Christ may also skip Purgatory. So, it is not surprising that the first century fathers talked about the Apostles going straight to Heaven.


A. Purgatory is not mentioned in the Bible by that name either. But we all agree there was/is a place that is not Heaven and not Hell where the dead went for some period of time. Since scripture nowhere tells of its destruction on what authority do those who believe in Sola Scriptura assert that it is no longer used or in existence.

I am not sure when it began to be called Purgatory. So, in the earliest writings we must look to see if anyone puts forth the concept of purification of the dead before entrance into Heaven. What it is called, if it Read the rest of this entry »

August 29: Blessed Francisco Monzón Romeo, O.P., New Martyr Of Spain

August 29, 2008

Blessed Francisco Monzón Romeo

Brother Roger of Taizé: Catholic & Calvinist? Or Just Misrepresented?

August 29, 2008

In the last couple of days several blogs have written about the late Brother Roger of Taizé… The interest began with a post over at the widely-read blog (I am a reader myself!) Rorate Coeli in an article by Carlos Palad (Both Catholic and Calvinist?)  in the aftermath of an article appearing in L’Osservatore Romano: Was the Founder of Taizé Protestant, or Catholic? A Cardinal Solves the Riddle.

Shortly after the Palad post responses and thoughts were offered by Drs. Blosser & Liccione at The Pertinacious Papist (Catholic & Calvinist?) and Sacramentum Vitae (The case of Br. Roger) respectively. (Both blogs also found on my aggregator!)

While I read, respect, and look forward to all three bloggers work and don’t toil under any illusion that my posts at The Black Cordelias are in the same league… (It is a cheeky little blog that is best described as a “Potpourri of Popery”)…  Well it occurs to me that the question to be asked is “How accurate is the little article that started this whole series of posts?”  For my part, I think the answer is “Not very!”

In another forum a reader astutely pointed out an article from a newspaper called The Remnant, which is hardly favorable to the Taizé community or Br. Roger Schutz. Either way, the author of the article had taken the time to research and to confirm that Br. Roger had indeed become a Catholic, criticizing only the way he went about it (emphasis mine):

… This “passage”, this conversion, took place in 1972, in the chapel of the Bishop of Autun, the diocese where Taizé is located. There was a profession of the Catholic Faith then Communion was given by Mgr. Le Bourgeois. Read the rest of this entry »

Bishop: English Church has Lost its Way

August 28, 2008

Soon to retire Bishop of Lancaster Patrick O’Donoghue issues landmark document on the English Church, the Catholic Herald reported today.

The Church in England and Wales is losing its Catholic identity, a senior bishop said this week.

Bishop Patrick O’Donoghue of Lancaster made the claim in a 92-page document highly critical of the direction of the Church in the past 40 years The document, described by several parish priests as “dynamite”, addresses declining vocations, falling Mass attendance and the future of the Church. Read the rest of this entry »

Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) Welcomes Muslim Student – Guess Who Is Sponsoring?

August 28, 2008

Remember, way back when (a few decades ago) when seminaries and divinity schools across the Christian world trained priests, pastors and preachers to go forth with the Gospel to all nations and make disciples of Jesus Christ? (Christians!)

Apparently these days, just talking to everyone is where some feel most comfortable stopping.  Not who is sponsoring the initiative.

From here:

Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) welcomed its first Muslim exchange student, Salih Sayilgan, on August 20 as part of its continuing effort to encourage deeper cross-cultural conversations within the VTS community and equip students to envision new and creative ways to undertake ministry in the world.

Sayilgan’s arrival marks a new relationship between the Seminary and the Istanbul Foundation for Science and Culture (IFSC), a Muslim organization committed to dialogue and constructive relationships with Christians. Sayilgan, who has been a volunteer at the IFSC for the past five years, is currently working toward a master’s degree in the Sociology of Religion at the University of Sakarya, Turkey. His time at the Seminary will also build on the interreligious studies within the Washington Theological Consortium and on the work of the Rev. Dr. Rich Jones, professor of Mission and World Religions at VTS, who has taught about Islam for the past 20 years. Sayilgan’s time at VTS is being coordinated by the Seminary’s Center for Anglican Communion Studies. Read the rest of this entry »

August 28: Blessed Juan Bautista Faubel Cano

August 28, 2008

Blessed Juan Bautista Faubel Cano
1889 – 1936 Read the rest of this entry »

“One Day There Will Be A Caliphate In Europe!”

August 27, 2008

5 bob to: Jihad Watch

Pray for the conversion of those trapped in the error of Islamism.

See also: Islam overtakes Catholicism as the worlds largest religion?

The Difference Between Dominicans and Jesuits

August 27, 2008

Two men considering a religious vocation were having a conversation. “What is similar about the Jesuit and Dominican Orders? ” the one asked.

The second replied, “Well, they were both founded by Spaniards — St. Dominic for the Dominicans, and St. Ignatius of Loyola for the Jesuits. They were also both founded to combat heresy — the Dominicans to fight the Albigensians, and the Jesuits to fight the Protestants.”

“What is different about the Jesuit and Dominican Orders?”

“Met any Albigensians lately?”

5 bob to: BeeSweet

Ex-Protestant-now-Catholic Priest

August 27, 2008

Help Bob Catholic: He is looking to make a list of Ex-Protestant-now-Catholic Priests.

Go leave a comment in his combox and help his list, if you are aware of some priests yet to be mentioned.


August 27: Saint David Lewis, Martyr Of Wales

August 27, 2008

Saint David Lewis
1616 – 1679 Read the rest of this entry »

Gay Parish is Part of Brisbane Gay Network, May Get Closed

August 26, 2008
According to Queensland Pride, there is a broader network of gay parishes in Brisbane, Australia, which the Archbishop ought to be looking at.  Again with the identity politics.
See Also: St. Mary’s, Brisbane Told: Be Catholic or Be Shut Down.

“In reality St Mary’s South Brisbane has taken a Roman Catholic parish and established its own brand of religion,” Bathersby wrote.

The church has previously angered conservatives in the church by welcoming gay couples and allowing the Brisbane Gay and Lesbian Choir to perform there in June 2003 as part of Brisbane Pride Festival celebrations. Bathersby opposed the performance and said it was “inappropriate”.

However, gay Catholic activist and St Mary’s parishioner, Tony Robertson, told Queensland Pride supporters were rallying to save St Mary’s.

“The response and support from across all social justice networks has been overwhelming,” Robertson said. Read the rest of this entry »

Baptism of Blood or Desire

August 26, 2008

Q. Where do you find the doctrines of baptism of Blood and Baptism by desire in scripture?

A. The Catholic Faith is not based on Scripture in the same way Protestants do theology. (But please see this post for scripture on baptism)

For several reasons:

1. For 400 years after the birth of Christ, the New Testament, as we know it today, was non-existent.

2. Therefore, it would have been impossible for all theology to be based on something that did not exist.

The Church taught FIRST from the deposit of Teachings given to the Apostles by Jesus. Then as the need arose to write epistles or Gospels these were written, SECONDARILY. So, Sacred Scripture, is derived from the teaching of the Apostles or Sacred Tradition as we call it. Not the other way around as in most Protestant Churches.

3. The only Christian Churches in the world for over 1400 years based theology on both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition (Teaching of the Apostles) until the advent of Martin Luther.

4. There is nothing in Sacred Scripture that commands the faithful to base theology on Scripture Alone/Sola Scripture.

5. Until some time after the invention of the printing press, the Bible, was an extremely costly book. At today’s minimum wages of $5.15 the cost of one Bible in today’s US Dollars would come to $21,424. And that still does Read the rest of this entry »

August 26: Blesseds Luigi Beltrame Quattrocchi & Maria Corsini, Married Beati

August 26, 2008

Blessed Luigi Beltrame Quattrocchi
1880 – 1951
Blessed Maria Corsini
1884 – 1965

Memories of Good Shepherd Parish, circa 1970-75, Part I

August 25, 2008

A Short Series recording my childhood memories of the most avant garde Catholic parish in the nation.

Part I: Confetti and Streamers

About the same time the new Roman sacramentary came out, there was in the Washington, D.C. area an enormous and dynamic movement among Catholics to put into motion the Spirit of Vatican II which was then sweeping the globe with promises of great radical changes. The Charismatic Movement was sweeping through at the same time.

One such movement was the Mass People movement in the District which set up liturgies in various public places around the city, in parks, community centers, at national monuments, anywhere on the city streets. The radical idea these liturgies embodied with the new erradication of the divide between the sacred and the profane. With the elimination of the communion rail and the sanctuary open to all, there could no longer be a real separation between the holy and the ordinary. This was a liturgical embodiment of the the Spirit of Gaudium et Spes, as well, the joys and hopes of the world becoming the joys and hopes of the Catholic Church.

* * *

Born in 1965, my first memory of going to church was walking there when we lived on an Army base in 1969. At four, somehow was etched in my psyche a church with blue curtains (military chapel), the men in their uniforms and the boys, like me, in shirt and ties.

My next memory was at our new parish when we moved to Northern Virginia, Good Shepherd Catholic Church. I remember my mother taking me over to the statue of the Virgin Mary to the left of the altar and explaining to me that I should light a candle with her and say a prayer for my sister who had died and needed my prayers. It was a sweet memory. I knew my prayer was important and that it made my sister and God happy. That was the last truly traditional Catholic experience I would have for many, many years. Our new parish had a new pastor… Read the rest of this entry »

St Mary’s , Brisbane told: Be Catholic, or Be Shut Down

August 25, 2008

Yes, it happen in the Catholic Church. A parish can be quashed for going astray of Church teachings, liturgical norms and other practices antithetical to the Catholic faith. This parish has now been given fair warning.

From The Courier Mail:

In a three-page letter delivered to parish priest Father Peter Kennedy on the weekend, Archbishop Bathersby said St Mary’s was operating outside practices and policies acceptable to the Roman Catholic Church.

The church – where women can preach, homosexual couples can be blessed and social justice is championed – has a congregation of about 700 that would be the envy of many parishes.
Read the rest of this entry »

August 25: Blessed Luis Urbano Lanaspa, Dominican New Martyr Of Spain

August 25, 2008

Blessed Luis Urbano Lanaspa
1882 – 1936 Read the rest of this entry »

What is Hell?

August 24, 2008

Q. What is Hell?

A. “Hell is the eternal lot of misery awaiting those who die in a state of grave sin and at enmity with God. Before the general resurrection, the soul alone experiences this misery; after the resurrection, the body will be reunited with that soul and will share in the misery, being tormented by created elements even as the person forsook God during life for the enjoyment of created things. The chief misery will be the sense of having lost the happiness of the Vision of God; the other will be the torment of fire.” Radio Replies, Vol 1; #921, p189.

Catechism of the Catholic Church


1033 We cannot be united with God unless we freely choose to love him. But we cannot love God if we sin gravely against him, against our neighbor or against ourselves: “He who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.”612 Our Lord warns us that we shall be separated from him if we fail to meet the serious needs of the poor and the little ones who are his brethren.613 To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God’s merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called “hell.”

1034 Jesus often speaks of “Gehenna” of “the unquenchable fire” reserved for those who to the end of their lives refuse to believe and be converted, where both soul and body can be lost.614 Jesus solemnly proclaims that he “will send his angels, and they will gather . . . all evil doers, and throw them into the furnace of fire,”615 and that he will pronounce the condemnation: “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire!”616

1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, “eternal fire.”617 The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.

1036 The affirmations of Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Church on the subject of hell are a call to the responsibility incumbent upon man to make use of his freedom in view of his eternal destiny. They are at the same time an urgent call to conversion: “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”618

Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the advice of the Lord and watch constantly so that, when the single course of our earthly life is completed, we may merit to enter with him into the marriage feast and be numbered among the blessed, and not, like the wicked and slothful servants, be ordered to depart into the eternal fire, into the outer darkness where “men will weep and gnash their teeth.”619

1037 God predestines no one to go to hell;620 for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end. In the Eucharistic liturgy and in the daily prayers of her faithful, the Church implores the mercy of God, who does not want “any to perish, but all to come to repentance”:621

Father, accept this offering
from your whole family.
Grant us your peace in this life,
save us from final damnation,
and count us among those you have chosen.

Paragraph 1. Christ Descended into Hell

632 The frequent New Testament affirmations that Jesus was “raised from the dead” presuppose that the crucified one sojourned in the realm of the dead prior to his resurrection.478 This was the first meaning given in the apostolic preaching to Christ’s descent into hell: that Jesus, like all men, experienced death and in his soul joined the others in the realm of the dead. But he descended there as Savior, proclaiming the Good News to the spirits imprisoned there.479

633 Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, “hell” – Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek – because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God.480 Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the Redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into “Abraham’s bosom”:481 “It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Savior in Abraham’s bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell.”482 Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him.483

634 “The gospel was preached even to the dead.”484 The descent into hell brings the Gospel message of salvation to complete fulfilment. This is the last phase of Jesus’ messianic mission, a phase which is condensed in time but vast in its real significance: the spread of Christ’s redemptive work to all men of all times and all places, for all who are saved have been made sharers in the redemption.

August 24: Blessed Czesław Jóźwiak

August 24, 2008

Blessed Czesław Jóźwiak
1919 – 1942 Read the rest of this entry »

August 23: Blessed Władysław Findysz, New Martyr Of Poland

August 23, 2008

Blessed Władysław Findysz
1907 – 1964 Read the rest of this entry »

Prayer to Saints

August 22, 2008

Q. Why do Catholics pray to Saints when they could pray directly to God?

A. I guess because from the beginning we were instructed to pray for one another as in

James 5:16:

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

And John 9:31:

“We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him.

Praying to saints is nothing more than asking for their intercession. For an explanation of the Catholic use of the phrase “pray to the Saints” click here.

August 22: Blessed Symeon Lukac, New Martyr Of Ukraine

August 22, 2008

Blessed Symeon Lukac
1893 – 1964 Read the rest of this entry »

Liturgical Reforms Arrive in Bangladesh

August 22, 2008

First Communion at Holy Cross College, Dhaka,

run by the Congregation of Holy Cross

HH Benedict XVI’s call to reform the practice of the liturgy takes root in Bangladesh. I am personally pleased to see that Holy Cross is taking a leading role in liturgical reform.

BANGLADESH Church Tries To Protect Traditional Hymns, End Loud Singing

DHAKA (UCAN) — Bangladeshi Catholic hymns are “out of control,” sometimes sung too loudly or performed by pop-style bands, so much so that some claim the deep spirituality the music is meant to inspire gets lost.The Episcopal Commission for Liturgy and Prayer (ECLP) has responded to the problem by trying to bring order to the chaos and restore a level of uniformity and a proper atmosphere for Bangla-language hymns. It did so in a six-day training program for liturgical music experts and performers that was conducted July 13-18 at the Holy Spirit Major Seminary in Dhaka. Read the rest of this entry »

Soren Keirkegaard in a Quote

August 22, 2008

I have seen the ending of this quote many times, but never this full paragraph. Stunning. Convicting.

“The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any word in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. Read the rest of this entry »

Ben Lomond: When Antiochian Orthodoxy Drove Away its Converts

August 22, 2008

A terrible tragedy happened 10 years ago this month known as the Ben Lomond Crisis. According to these re-published accounts, it was an event characterized by rigidity, intrigue and ethnocentricism on the one hand, and a defiance of legitimate episcopal authority on the other, which ruined Antiochian Orthodoxy’s best hope for a major influx of Evangelical converts. The “Orthodox Moment” among Evangelicals began and ended at Ben Lomond, California.

While there are undoubtedly conflicting versions of this event, here are two accounts of what took place in this historic turn for Orthodoxy in America.

From Ben Lomond Tragedy:

An account from 1998, November 26, 1998 (broken into paragraphs for easier reading)

The parish in Ben Lomond, CA was then the largest parish of the Antiochian Evangelical Mission. In 1997, it was a parish of about 1500. Saturday Vespers had about 200 attendees. The entire congregation sang as the choir. It has a K-12 school, a world class choir, a hospitality house (for visitors), programs for teens, and a publishing house, Conciliar Press, which the evangelicals brought with them. The parish allowed a highly respected spiritual father from Mount Athos to visit them and to hear confessions and give guidance. People began to fast and pray more.

The hierarchy of the Antiochian Archdiocese then forbade any Antiochian clergy or faithful to go for a confession to a non-Antiochian priest. Their practice of having a complete round of daily services, with Matins, Liturgy, Vespers, and everything else, all well attended, was considered bizarre and no longer normal. Moreover, they had some unusual liturgical customs and Russian customs in their services. Certain Arab ladies in the parish got the ear of the local Bishop and started demanding that the thing was getting out of control; a new leadership had to be installed at Ben Lomond. Read the rest of this entry »

Benedict to Beijing?

August 21, 2008

Benedict the Re-Gatherer may strike again soon–in China!

According to the AP:

ROME (AP) — The Beijing bishop appointed by China’s state-controlled Catholic Church said in an interview Wednesday that he hopes Pope Benedict XVI will visit his country and that relations with the Vatican are improving.

“We strongly hope that Benedict XVI will make a trip to China,” Joseph Li Shan told Italy’s RAI state TV. “Relations with the Vatican are constantly improving. We can say that there are big developments.” Read the rest of this entry »

Please Sign the Petition to Support USD’s Decision on Prof. Rosemary Radford Reuther!

August 21, 2008

There is really NOTHING I can add to this, so I am opting just to offer this post with the hopes our handful of regular readers will sign this petition! From Thomas Peters at American Papist:

Please Sign the Petition to Support USD!

Brian McDaniel took up my challenge to collect 4,000 signatures supporting the University of San Diego’s recent decision to rescind a prestigious position to heretical theologian Rosemary Radford Reuther.
If ever there was someone who clearly deserves no place of honor in a Catholic school of Theology – she’s it. Beyond her long membership in the offensive “Catholics for Choice” organization, she also advocates women priests, homosexual marriage, and a litany of positions not in harmony with Church teaching.
The original San Diego Union Tribune article claimed that “Two national women’s religious groups have sponsored a petition with more than 2,000 signatures demanding that she be allowed to assume the post.”
I’d like to demonstrate to the University of San Diego that there are even more faithful Catholics who support them, and are with them attempting to live up to the challenge Pope Benedict has given to Catholic academe.

August 21: Blessed Brunon Jan Zembol, Polish Martyr At Dachau

August 21, 2008

Blessed Brunon Jan Zembol
1905 – 1942

Will the Feminists Riot?

August 21, 2008

This week a Catholic blogger came out in support of Barack Obama despite the candidate’s position on abortion. More interesting to me than that a liberal blogger at the controversial Vox Nova would ignore the evil of abortion was a comment to the effect that Feminists would riot if Roe v. Wade were overturned. I had never thought of this. Here is digbydolben’s comment:

What often fascinates me about Americans is not just how divided your country is, but, also, how little certain elements of the population know other elements: obviously a great many people writing here have little or no knowledge of the millions of “feminists” presently living in America who consider the right to “control their reproductive systems” as a basic human right now.

I, however, have known many of this type of “modern woman” during my time in the United States, and I can tell you, “Father J,” that, if you succeeded in criminalizing abortion in certain states, or if you succeeded in passing an Amendment to the Constitution repealing Roe vs Wade, or if the Supreme Court were tipped by Republican appointments toward a reversal of Roe vs. Wade, these women would take to the streets; they’d burn your courthouses down, their feelings regarding this “right” are so strong. Read the rest of this entry »

TheCall: Evangelicals March on Washington

August 20, 2008
USAToday reports on TheCall, a movement of Evangelical religious and political rallies held in cities across the US and abroad to draw attention to moral issues and to offer prayer and fasting.
WASHINGTON — Tens of thousands of evangelical Christians converged on the National Mall here Saturday to highlight moral issues before the fall presidential election with a day of fasting, prayer and music.

Organizers of TheCall DC said 70,000 people turned out for the event, though that number could not be confirmed independently by the National Park Service. Read the rest of this entry »

No Salvation Outside the Catholic Church

August 20, 2008

Q. Is it true that there is no salvation outside of the Catholic Church?

A. Yes. But, unlike the oft heard teaching that, “If you are not a Christian you are going to Hell”– this teaching of The Catholic Church does NOT mean that you must be Catholic in order to be saved or that if you are not Catholic you are going to Hell. But, the Church also does NOT teach that everyone will be saved.

In fact, in the early 20th century. Fr. Leonard Feeney, SJ taught that all unbaptized people, including babies, would be condemned to Hell. This was contrary to Catholic Theology so the pope called him to Rome to explain himself. He refused to go.

He was excommunicated for disobedience, refusing to go to Rome to explain his position. Then the Holy Office, under Pius XII, sent a letter to the Archbishop of Boston, condemning Feeney’s error. (It is known that Pius XII personally checked the English text of that letter). The very first paragraph pointed out what is obvious: we must avoid private interpretation of Scripture — for that is strictly Protestant. But then the letter said we must also avoid private interpretation of the official texts of the Church. To insist on our own private interpretation, especially when the Church contradicts that, is pure Protestant attitude.

Some years before his death he was reconciled to the church. The Church teaches that she KNOWS that a baptized person who dies without mortal sin on his soul may go to Heaven. Because

Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. John 3:5

The unbaptized we leave to the mercy and justice of a loving God.

However, the Church also acknowledges that God is God and although baptism in the normal way to begin the journey to Heaven and be initiated into the Body of Christ, God is the final Judge. So, even those who might attain Heaven without having been baptized (like some of the inhabitants of the Americas for thousands of years before Christianity was introduced) are saved by Christ death and the ministry of His Church, according to the plan of God.

This teaching, “There is no salvation outside of the Catholic Church” does not mean your are going to Hell if you are not Catholic. It means basically that salvation is possible only through Jesus and His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church; even if:

a person is not a member of a Catholic Church,

a person lived before the time of Christ,

a person never heard of Jesus, etc. Read the rest of this entry »

August 20: Blessed Władysław Mączkowski , Polish Priest & Martyr At Dachau

August 20, 2008

Blessed Władysław Mączkowski
1911 – 1942

August 19: Blessed Hugh Green, Martyr Of England

August 19, 2008

Blessed Hugh Green
1584 – 1642 Read the rest of this entry »

Hitler’s Pope: The BIG LIE

August 18, 2008

Q. Why didn’t the Catholic Church help the Jews who were being murdered by Hitler?

A. The Catholic Church and Pope Pius absolutely DID help the Jews and many other people persecuted by Hitler. The Jewish ambassador and author, Pinchas Lapide, in his book, Three Popes and the Jews, estimates that Pope Pius, through the Catholic Church saved 600,000 -860,000 Jews during WWII by ordering everyone to throw open the doors of the monasteries and convents to the Jews. The Vatican also held and sheltered thousands of Jews and others.

At first, priests, bishops, and the Pope spoke out against Hitler. And what do you think Hitler did?

Back down?

Out of respect for the Church?

Change his ways?

Repent? And go to confession?


Fear public opinion?

NO! NOT AT ALL. We know in our minds and hearts the character of Hitler and the SS. And we would expect that he would punish this kind of criticism–harshly. And that is exactly what he did. More innocent Jews and Catholics were murdered immediately after public criticism. In fact, the Jewish convert, Saint Edith Stein, was rounded up with other baptized Jews and executed in one of these reprisals.

Therefore, everyone, including the Pope saved the lives of all the people they could—-secretly. To do otherwise would have been to endanger more innocent lives.

Ironically, the very lack of public statements by Pope Pius XII are now being used to condemn him for inaction. So he would have been damned if he did and damned if he didn’t–Can you imagine the outcry if he had selfishly and self righteously raged against Hitler over and over, in spite of the fact, that reprisals took even more innocent lives? The Pope would have been bitterly condemned by everyone! This would have actually been the result IF he had done what armchair critics think he should have done.

Instead of that, he prudently chose to save all the lives he could save quietly and secretly. And so, he is damned for not speaking out. At the end of the war everyone, including the Jews, praised Pope Pius XII for all that he had done.

But today, sixty years later he is judged in popular opinion to have been cold and uncaring, even in league with Hitler. Nonsense!

If you are confused by conflicting information let me tell you a true story.

The Chief Rabbi of Rome, Israel Zollie, converted to the Catholic Church after the war. Not during the war, in order to save himself from the Nazi’s, but after the war. He, his wife, and daughter entered the Catholic Church. And do you know what name he chose for his baptismal name?

Eugenio…. not one of the most well known and popular of saint names….

Do you know what the baptismal name of Pope Pius XII was?


Can anyone actually believe that this Rabbi not only converted to the Catholic Church but chose the pope’s own name for his own, at baptism, knowing Pope Pius did nothing?!!! It stretches credulity to believe that the Chief Rabbi of Rome, during World War II, who absolutely knew what the Pope did or did not do for his people, would do such a thing in spite of a do-nothing pope. Rather it speaks to just the opposite conclusion. Pope Pius’ exemplary and heroic behavior during such chaotic and murderous times greatly impressed the Rabbi. This culminated in his final conversion. And he did choose the name Eugenio in honor of the Pope.

If you would like to read the beautiful story of his conversion you can see it here. Or read his book Why I Became a Catholic by Israel Zollie.

August 18: Saint Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga

August 18, 2008

Saint Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga, 1901-1952

Please Pray For Greg S.

August 17, 2008

My roommate’s brother’s roommate named Greg has been ill for awhile with general fatigue but almost out of nowhere he was diagnosed with a debilitating condition that is attacking his organs and his liver function is incredibly diminished. It had been touch-and-go for a time, but tonight we got the call that he has taken a turn for the worse and doctors are giving him a “20% chance”…

Greg isn’t practicing anything and was not raised in any faith. Especially if these are his last hours, at the age of 37, I am asking all of you to join me in prayers for his enlightenment, and comfort for him and his family.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

August 17: Saint Beatrice de Silva Meneses

August 17, 2008

1424 –  1491

Hitler’s Pope: The Urban Legend

August 16, 2008

Q. I have heard that Pope Pius XII was in league with Hitler during World War II. What happens to papal infallibility in this case?

A. First of all, as surprising as it may seem NOTHING happens to papal infallibilty for two reasons.

(1) Papal infallibility refers only to the Doctrine that the Holy Spirit protects the Catholic Church from error by preventing the Pope from TEACHING error about FAITH AND MORALS to the WHOLE CHIURCH. The Doctrine of the Infallibility of the Pope is all about protecting the Church’s Teaching NOT Behavior of the pope.

(2) Pope Pius XII was NOT in leage with Hitler. That is a scurrilous lie. We know there have certainly been wicked popes in the history of the Catholic Church. But the Holy Spirit protected His Church from error by preventing them from teaching heresy. Popes are NOT ordained to sinlessness. The holiness of a man has not always been the reason for election to the throne of Peter.

So the Doctrine of Infallibility is not touched because Pope Pius XII never taught heresy to the whole Church. And Pope Pius XII was one of the Heros of the Holocaust.

Yes, Hitler was baptized Catholic but he was apostate. He had no “in” with the pope.

Pope Pius, in his position as Secretary of State for the Vatican before his election as pope, DID have diplomatic relations with the Reich. THAT WAS PART OF HIS JOB. We would never accuse the American Ambassador to Germany of “being in league with Hitler” simply because he had diplomatic relations with Germany. That is ridiculous. Besides Pius was a determined enemy of the Reich as was his pope, Pius XI.

The following is excerpted from Elizabeth Altham’s essay:

Catholic Heroes of the Holocaust

Eva Fogelman interviewed more than three hundred rescuers, and checked Read the rest of this entry »

Mister Joseph Kung Writes On The Church In China

August 16, 2008

Mr. Joseph Kung of the Cardinal Kung Foundation writes in the July newsletter:

One Year Later

It has been a year since Pope Benedict XVI made public a letter that he wrote to the Catholic Church in the Peoples’ Republic of China. While there are so many issues in the Pope’s letter that we could reflect upon together, I will only concentrate on the following few points:

Some Chinese bishops “not wishing to be subjected to undue control exercised over the life of the Church, and eager to maintain total fidelity to the Successor of Peter and to Catholic doctrine, have felt themselves constrained to opt for clandestine (underground) consecration.” However, they are not recognized by the Chinese Authority. Pope Benedict XVI hopes that “these legitimate Pastors may be recognized as such by governmental authorities”.

Fact: There have been no such pastors (underground bishops) Read the rest of this entry »

Friday Abstinence

August 16, 2008

Friday Abstinence


Did you know?

The abolition of Friday abstinence is a common misapprehension. Friday abstinence was not abolished; rather, the faithful (U.S.A.) now have a choice either to abstain from meat or perform some other kind of penance (or charitable work) on Fridays. According to the Church’s law, the ’substantial observance’ of Fridays as days of penance, whether by abstinence or in other ways, ‘is a grave obligation.’ (Pope Paul VI, Paenitemini, 1966, Norm II, 2).” – Fr. John A. Hardon, Modern Catholic Dictionary

5 bob to Air Maria

August 16: Saint Stephen Of Hungary

August 16, 2008

For The Repose Of The Soul Of Elvis Presley

August 16, 2008

For The Repose Of The Soul Of Elvis Presley

No one who sings of Her rosary should be forgotten in death. Say one Hail Mary for Elvis.

See also: Roman Miscellany: Five Catholic Facts About Elvis

Ex-Muslim Wafa Sultan Tells it Like it is

August 15, 2008

What is Wrong with Post Modern Religion in 2 minutes 39 seconds

August 15, 2008

“I think it is up for each one of us to interpret what God wants.”

Post modernism is the direct fruit of Sola Scriptura, by which everyone can just come up with their own interpretation of revelation.

The 6th Anniversary Of The Murder Of Sister Cecilia Moshi Hanna

August 15, 2008

For the repose of the soul of the hand maid of God, Cecelia.On August 15, 2002 three armed assailants entered the Sacred Heart of Jesus Monastery in Baghdad Iraq and found a solitary Assyrian nun preparing to quietly retire to her room. Read the rest of this entry »

The Truth About Pope Pius XII And Hitler

August 14, 2008

I recently went on a field trip with my daughter’s 8th grade class from our CATHOLIC school, to the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, California (a local Holocaust museum). Our docent, whose father survived the holocaust was excellent. She did a good job of warning the students not to let themselves be taken in by propaganda from the surrounding culture, as the Germans and many others had done before and during WWII.

Therefore, I was shocked and offended when a film shown to our Catholic students said that none of the churches helped the Jews and even the Pope and the Vatican did NOTHING! Before becoming Catholic I researched this issue and found that this view is the result of Rolf Hochhuths’ play, The Deputy, and other anti-Catholic propaganda.

I wrote the museum with documentation that that information was not true and and asked if they would please change the offending the film.

A few days later, I also asked my daughter’s teacher if I could speak to the class and correct this information. She said I could submit the info and she would make sure it was OK.

So, I gave her a lot of information. I told her I just needed 10-15 min.to explain why the Pope had to do what he did secretly, that the Chief Rabbi of Rome converted to the Catholic Church after the war and took the Pope’s baptismal name, Eugenio, as his own at baptism. And I wanted to tell the kids a couple of the stories about how CATHOLICS rescued Jews so they would not feel ashamed of their Church and their Faith. And that people of other faiths rescued Jews also, of course.

The next day the teacher called me and said the Principal of our Catholic school and our Priest said I could not present this information because “the church says Pope Pius the XII and the Catholic Church were just bystanders.”

It took my breath away. Catholics who would rather believe lies about our Church and the Vicar of Christ! So in defense of Pope Pius XII I am sharing this YouTube.com video.

In defense of Pius XII

Humanae Vitae – Two Stories

August 14, 2008

Two stories — Pope Reminds Spouses of their “Responsibility To Generate New Children and Archbishop: For the Clergy Obedience to Church “Requires Preaching About the Moral Evil of Contraception”

Married readers – consider tucking the kids in early this evening and trying  some generation.

5 bob to the Western Confucian.

August 14: The Martyrs of Otranto Killed By The Ottomans In 1480

August 14, 2008


Otranto Cathedral, with reliquaries behind the high altar containing the 800 skulls from the severed heads of a band of Puglian Catholics martyred by Ottoman soldiery in the year of Our Lord 1480. They are commemorated in the Martyrology on August 14.

5 bob to: Shrine of the Holy Whapping

“Would that all believed in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and were ready to die a thousand times for him.” – Blessed Antonio Primaldo

On August 14, 1480, 800 survivors of the Siege of Otranto were martyred by the Muslim armies of Mohammed II (also known as Mehmed II), the Ottoman leader who had conquered Constantinople 28 years earlier. Their crime? They refused to renounce their faith in Christ. It is amazing how much of our own history that we in the West are ignorant of, even geeks like myself. I know the story of the fall of Constantinople and the seemingly miraculous victories at Lepanto and Vienna, but this is the first time I’ve ever heard of Otranto. Thanks to Alfredo Mantovano’s Read the rest of this entry »

Reformed Converts To Catholicism?

August 14, 2008

Taylor Marshall over at Canterbury Tales is compiling a list of Reformed Christians who have entered the Catholic Church.

If you can add to the list, please do so!

Reformed Converts to Catholicism

Telegraph: ‘Substantial number’ of clergy will leave over plans for women bishops

August 14, 2008

Here is the bombshell:

A group of 14 traditionalist bishops claim that there are “irreconcilable differences” over historic reforms that would introduce women as bishops without giving proper concessions to oponents of the move.

In a letter to 1,400 clergy who have indicated that they are considering defecting from the Church of England, they are highly critical of a decision by the General Synod – the Church’s parliament – to ignore proposals for a compromise over the divisive issue. Read the rest of this entry »

Anglican Bitterness over Converts to Rome

August 14, 2008

It’s all over the net. All kinds of talk about Anglicans swimming, put on swim trunks, taking the plunge, testing the waters, dipping the toe, crossing over, etc. It will be a wonder if the Tiber can handle the traffic as well as it handles the copious references to the metaphor … if they all come.

Those who do come are deserving of a hearty welcome from those of us standing along the shore. They certainly will have paid a hefty price in strained and even lost friendships as they have made a momentous and meaningful journey to the Catholic Church.

As an Anglican watcher I have noticed a distinct pattern on most Anglican blogs. Whenever something positive about the Catholic Church is posted there is a strong and bitter reaction among many of the commenters. Antipathy toward the Catholic Church is deeply ingrained in the minds of Anglicans and protestants from an early age. So it erupts almost without reflection whenever the moment calls for it. It has been particularly heavy in the wake of word of talks between some Diocese of Fort Worth Episcopal clergy and the local Catholic bishop.

Here is an example of the kind of visceral bitterness that has surfaced at blogs like the Continuum: Read the rest of this entry »