Correcting Cornwell Again…

Catholic Truth blogger, Athanasius, submitted the following letter to the Catholic Herald, in an attempt to correct yet another attack on Pope Pius XII by the pseudo-journalist John Cornwell. We’ve discussed his writings in the past here
When you’ve read the letter, please vote in the poll to tell us whether you think the Editor of the Catholic Herald published this letter or not. Then share your thoughts on why – against all the evidence to the contrary – John Cornwell continues to defend his unconscionable attacks on Pope Pius XII…

Letter from Martin Blackshaw, aka Athanasius…

In an attempted rebuttal of Fr. Leo Chamberlain’s observation that “Hitler’s Pope” received warm reviews in the liberal press, as opposed to harsh reviews from knowledgeable experts, John Cornwell offered Professors Owen Chadwick, Paul Preston, Denis Mack Smith and Saul Friedländer as “academic specialists on the period” who praised his book (Letters, March 17).

The problem with this defence is that all of the aforementioned are left-leaning, non-Catholic revisionist historians who have little regard for the Catholic Church. Indeed, Friedländer abandoned Catholicism to become a leading left wing Zionist in Israel.

Mr. Cornwell then went on to describe the Reichskonkordat as “the international treaty negotiated by Pacelli and Hitler in the summer of 1933”.

In fact, the concordat in question was negotiated by Cardinal Pacelli, representing the Holy See, and Vice Chancellor Franz von Papen, on behalf of President von Hindenburg and the German government. Hitler’s signature is not on the agreement and neither he nor his Nazi Party are mentioned in it. This is very important to note as it demonstrates how Mr. Cornwell slants his presentation of events.

In a further misrepresentation he proposes that the Reichskonkordat was agreed to by the Nazis on the understanding that the Catholic Centre Party would be abolished, but only after it had voted in favour of the Enabling Act that handed Hitler his dictatorship.

In response to this common revisionist error, historian Michael Phayer writes: “the view that the Concordat was the result of a deal that delivered the parliamentary vote of the Catholic Centre Party to Hitler, thereby giving him dictatorial power (the Enabling Act of March 1933)…. is historically inaccurate”. (The Catholic Church and the Holocaust (1930–1965), 2000, p. 18).

In truth, there is not a shred of historical evidence supporting a link between the Enabling Act of March 1933 and the Reichskonkordat signed on July 20 of the same year.

Hitler’s dictatorship was actually sealed in February 1933 with the ‘Reichstag Fire Decree’. From that date it was only a matter of time before he intimidated his way to full control of the Reich. The dissolution of opposition political parties was well underway by then and the Catholic Centre Party knew its days were numbered.

The Nazis were viciously anti-Christian, as well as anti-Jewish. Cardinal Pacelli knew this and acted “with a gun at his head”, as he put it to one British journalist, to preserve the Church in Germany as best he could under the circumstances. One of Germany’s leading Cardinals of the time, Cardinal Faulhaber, concurred when he declared “With the concordat we are hanged, without the concordat we are hanged, drawn and quartered”.

History vindicates both Churchmen in that by the end of the war Dachau concentration camp held so many imprisoned catholic clergy that it had its own barracks. Others were not so fortunate; those many priests and religious who were murdered when their churches, monasteries and convents were ransacked and desecrated by the Nazis.

The trouble with revisionists like John Cornwell is that they are unable to distinguish between martyrdom and suicide. It seems they also have difficulty in separating truth from falsehood.

I still remember the consternation of Fr. Peter Gumpel, vice postulator of the cause of Pius XII, during a telephone conversation I had with him when Hitler’s Pope was first published. According to Fr. Gumpel, John Cornwell lied when he said he had been given privileged access to secret Vatican archives on Eugenio Pacelli that shocked him and prompted him to write Hitler’s Pope.

The truth is he was only granted access to publicly available archive information that covered the period 1912 – 1922. There is no mention in those documents of Hitler or the Nazis.

I don’t know about anyone else but that revelation of Fr. Gumpel tells me all I need to know about Hitler’s Pope and its author. END.

 

 

Real Presence: What Does Pope Francis Believe About The Blessed Sacrament?

(Milan) In the context of his visit to Milan today and the meeting with the clergy of the Archdiocese in the Cathedral of Milan, Pope Franziskus spent some time before the Blessed Sacrament. “He does not kneel, but sits down on a beautiful chair surrounded by other prelates who stand …”

Thus,  Antonio Socci criticized the scene, which provoked criticism from different sides. The traditional page Messa in latino added some comments. Its author criticized Francis’ attitude before the Blessed Sacrament, as had not yet been voiced by him in the four years of this pontificate. “The Pope did not visit the Blessed Sacrament on the main altar (which would have been a good and proper opportunity to provide visibility to the worthy worship of God, the climax of the liturgy and the cult), but in the crypt, almost as if it were a private act that is made in secret and in a hurry.

Francis before the Most Blessed Sacrament: “Apathetic look, no disposition of prayer”

A prie dieu was not even provided. That is, the master of ceremonies of the cathedral had instructions not to set him one up at all. The pope does not want to use the prie dieu and apparently does not even have one on hand. Francis did not even remove the white pileolus on his head before the Blessed Sacrament. It was once named Soli Deo because it is only removed for God in the Sacrament. Expression and body language, the folded hands, indicate that the pope is not taking a prayerful disposition before the Lord in prayer and worship, but just as if he were in a program and had to make an intermediate stop in the crypt which had annoyed him. The look seems apathetic as if he did not see God in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

Pope Francis does not seem to have the intention of wishing to foster acts of worshiping God, as they are only due to God. He does not kneel down, as is known (he suffers, it is said, but not officially). But he sits instead of not taking the pileolus off and not to fold his hands? No, I believe he does not believe in the real presence! On Holy Thursday we will see it. It is pointless: I am told that I must love and respect this pope. I just do not succeed in loving him. It is hard for me to respect him. He is Pope by right, but he does not sanctify and teach it in his office.  Visit Eponymous Flower to read entire article  

Comment

Apart from comments relating the  Eucharist to “community” (Pope Francis said: “The Eucharist is the sacrament of the communion that takes us out of our individualism so that together we live our discipleship, our faith in him.”) I’ve not been able to find any quotes to reassure me that Pope Francis holds to Catholic dogma on the Real Presence in its entirety.  His behaviour in the presence of Our Lord, including his focus on the washing of the feet on Holy Thursday each year since his election, with no mention that I can recall of the institution of the Mass and the Priesthood – traditional sermon topics for that day – have caused me to question whether or not he really does hold to belief in the Blessed Sacrament.  What about you?  

13 May: Fatima Visionaries Canonised?

From Pope to make Fatima child visionaries saints

Two child shepherds who claimed to have had holy visions in Fatima are to be made saints, possibly during Pope Francis’s upcoming trip to the Portuguese pilgrimage site.

Francis gave the go-ahead Thursday to canonise Jacinta and Francisco Marto who, along with their cousin Lucia Santos, claimed to have witnessed apparitions of the Virgin Mary in a miracle officially recognised by the Catholic Church.

The children said Mary appeared to them first on May 13, 1917, when Jacinta was seven years old, Francisco nine and Lucia 10.

The siblings, born into a poor family, fell sick during the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic which racked Europe after the First World War, with Francisco succumbing to the illness in 1919, and Jacinta following in 1920 aged just nine.

Both are buried at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima, which Francis will visit during his May 12-13 trip to mark the centenary of their first sight of Mary.

Francis’s approval of the miracle attributed to them — reportedly the curing of a Brazilian boy — was the final step needed before the children could be made saints.

They will be the youngest non-martyrs to be canonised in the history of the church.

After her first visit, the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to them several times over a six-month period, always on the 13th.

This prompted thousands to gather on the spot on October 13, 1917, with several witnesses saying they had seen the sun “miraculously” dance in the sky.

Their cousin Lucia joined a convent. In 1941 she said she and the siblings had been given three secrets by Mary; the first was a vision of Hell and the second was a warning that another, more devastating war was looming — the Second World War.

The third secret she kept to herself for years, before finally being persuaded to write it down and it was delivered to the Vatican in 1957.

Finally published in 2000, it described a vision that was believed — with its depiction of the death of a man robed in white — to have been a prophecy of the 1981 assassination attempt on pope John Paul II.

The Argentine will be the fourth pope to visit the Fatima shrine, after Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI.  Source

Comment:

How did YOU vote in the poll? 

Yes/No…Should Glasgow Build Statue of Scotland’s Only Martyr – St John Ogilvie?

A statue for Scotland’s only Catholic Martyr?

A CAMPAIGN is growing for a memorial to St John Ogilvie, Scotland’s only Catholic martyr, to be built on the spot of his execution at Glasgow Cross.

An online campaign launched on his feast day last week has found huge support, with the Knights of St Columba saying they’d be delighted to take the project forward by raising funds for a marker for the saint.

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow used his homily at the St John Ogilvie feast day Mass in St Andrew’s Cathedral, a few hundreds yards away from Glasgow Cross, to call on Scotland to make more of its saints, and a campaign by a Scottish Catholic media group for a memorial has received huge support online.

“John Ogilvie was a Scot from Banffshire,” Archbishop Tartaglia said. “He was a Jesuit priest. He died here in our city. He is an honorary Glaswegian. He belongs to Glasgow. And above all, his blood was shed for Christ here in Glasgow. I just wish we knew where he was buried, but we don’t.

“We know he was executed at Glasgow Cross (right). We have the national shrine at St Aloysius’, where we celebrated ecumenical vespers in honour of St John Ogilvie yesterday evening, and we have the renowned painting of our martyr which is displayed in this Cathedral. These tangible things help us to claim St John Ogilvie as our saint, to love him and to keep his memory alive.”

 Religious freedom

The Archbishop also said that the saint’s memory was particularly important at a time when Catholics faced ‘more subtle forms of restricting religious freedom.’

“It gets into the realm of limiting your freedom to say in public places what you believe and what you hold most dear in your heart and in your conscience, and that trend, let’s call it, is recognisable even in developed liberal democracies like ours,” he said.

“Christians and Catholics all over the western world are wakening up to this now and it is a difficult prospect for us because the goalposts of civic respectability appear suddenly to have been moved. I think this may be our next big challenge. That’s one reason why we continue to need the example, inspiration and intercession of St John Ogilvie.”

John Patrick Mallon leads Sancta Familia Media, a group out of Holy Family parish in Motherwell Diocese which make Faith-based online videos. He was inspired to call for a memorial when filming a short film about the saint at Glasgow Cross.

“I was just really surprised there was nothing there to mark it, not even a plaque,” he said. “And I thought, ‘this is terrible.’ So we put up a campaign on social media and it had an amazing response, hundreds of people liking and sharing it.”

 Support

Charlie McCluskey, supreme knight of the Knights of St Columba, said the order had first started to consider a permanent memorial to St John Ogilvie at Glasgow Cross on the saint’s 400th anniversary in 2015, but the time was now right.

“There should be a something,” he said. “He’s the only Scottish martyr and there’s not even a plaque. Whether you are Catholic, Protestant, whatever, this was an historic event in the history of the city that should be marked.”

Mr McCluskey suggested an alcove on the Mercat Building, which is owned by Glasgow City Council and overlooks the Cross, would be an ideal place for a statue of the saint. “We have made tentative enquires to the council,” Mr McCluskey said. “There didn’t seem to be major objections. We need to move onto the next stage now, but if there’s public support we’d be happy to take a lead on this.”  Source

Comments invited…

20 March: Happy Feast of St Joseph!

St. Joseph, the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the foster-father of Jesus, was probably born in Bethlehem and probably died in Nazareth. His important mission in God’s plan of salvation was “to legally insert Jesus Christ into the line of David from whom, according to the prophets, the Messiah would be born, and to act as his father and guardian” (Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy). Most of our information about St. Joseph comes from the opening two chapters of St. Matthew’s Gospel. No words of his are recorded in the Gospels; he was the “silent” man. We find no devotion to St. Joseph in the early Church. It was the will of God that the Virgin Birth of Our Lord be first firmly impressed upon the minds of the faithful. He was later venerated by the great saints of the Middle Ages. Pius IX (1870) declared him patron and protector of the universal family of the Church.

This Solemnity normally falls on March 19 but has been transferred this year, to 20 March, since 19 falls on a Sunday.  Read more about St Joseph here

Comment:

Share your favourite hymns and prayers to St Joseph on this thread, and tell us any experiences which you may have had as a result of your devotion to this great saint, or stories of miracles attributed to him that impressed you. Check out the story  in the film below and tell us if you think that anonymous carpenter might have been St Joseph himself…

A very happy Feast of  St Joseph to one and all. 

An Independent Protestant Scotland…

One of the Treasures of the National Archives of Scotland, the Declaration of Arbroath was written to the Pope in 1320, on behalf of the barons and community of the realm of Scotland. This eloquent letter, written in support of King Robert Bruce (Robert I) and an independent Scotland, is still regarded as a spirited statement of a nation’s claim to freedom. Click here to read the Declaration of Arbroath

Comment:

With the SNP once again calling for a referendum on Scottish independence, it is worth reflecting on Scotland’s deeply Catholic roots in order to consider the question of  “freedom”. Outside the Catholic Church, can there BE true freedom for Scotland?  Think “gay marriage”; think Named Person Scheme; think the Freemasonic roots of the EU, which the SNP wish to rejoin after Brexit/and (they hope) a successful independence referendum.  Take note of the  reference to “poor Scotland” in the Declaration – a description so apt in our times. Poor, poor Scotland.

In short, knowing that the original call for Scotland’s independence was made by loyal sons of the Church, is it permissible today for  Catholics to vote in good conscience for an independent (Protestant) Scotland?  

17 March: A Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

As ever with our devotional threads to mark a Feast Day, feel free to share your favourite hymns and prayers, stories and experiences. And a few jokes won’t go astray either. Here’s one that made me laugh, albeit having a bit of fun with the (entirely false) claim that our Irish friends are less than bright …

The BBC decided to make a news report on how thick the Irish are,  so they went to Dublin and set out a massive stage in the middle of the city. Cameras lights and everything. Before they started the report, a huge crowd gathered, very excitable.  So the presenter got up on the stage and said down the mic: “I need a volunteer!” and he points to a man in the crowd and says: “What’s your name sir?”

“Sean” the man replied. “OK Sean, come up on stage”.  So he goes up and stands where he is asked to stand. “OK Sean, I’m going to ask you a short easy question, what’s 5+9?” “Oooo,  I know this to be sure I do, that’ll be 7.” “No, that’s wrong Sean.”

The crowd went wild shouting and screaming: “We’re not tick, we’re not tick, give him another chance! “

“OK,  I’ll give him another question: “What’s 5+3?”

“I know this one, that’s simple, that’ll be 9.” 

“Sorry, Sean, wrong..; ”   We’re not tick, we’re not tick, give him another chance!

“OK, one last question:  What’s 2+2?”

“I know this to be sure, I do, that’ll be 4”. 

And the crowd shouts, “Give him another chance!”

Happy St Patrick’s day!