Trump & Jerusalem: A Moral Move, A Politically Smart & Valuable Move…

Comment:

Well, do you agree that in publicly recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and moving the U.S.A. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,  President Donald Trump has made a “moral move, a politically smart move and a politically valuable move” – or is he making things worse in the region?   After listening to the potted history on the video, doesn’t it seem odd that the media seem to be united in criticising Trump for this “moral, smart and valuable move”? Or, is it actually the case that no matter what he does, Trump will be criticised… A case of his not being able to do right for doing wrong?

Irish Eyes Are Surely Smiling Now!

The Catholics of Ireland are invited to gather, on November 26, 2017, on the shores of the Island to recite the holy rosary, for the preservation of the Catholic faith and the life of the unborn child, in a political context where abortion could be legalized in 2018.

The generous response of the Irish, attached to the faith of their ancestors, was not long in coming: in a few days, more than a hundred meeting points had to be planned to allow the smooth running of this religious event.

Thus, after Poland and Italy, which saw millions of Catholics gather at the borders to recite the rosary, it is now Ireland’s turn to erect a living rampart of rosaries on November 26, 2017.

For its part, the Irish District of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X joins this initiative and plans to organize four assembly points in the country.

The recitation of the rosary will begin at 14:30 on November 26, with the main purpose of preserving the faith and the fight against abortion. In 2018, indeed, the Irish will be called to the polls to decide whether or not they wish to amend Article 8 of their Constitution which protects the life of the unborn child.  Source

Comment: 

The speedy and generous response of the Irish to the invitation to pray the rosary around the country in defence of the Faith and the unborn child, gives us great hope for this once deeply Catholic land.  So, to those of you who are free to join the Irish at any of the meeting points, we say, please do! Here are the contact details for the Irish District of the SSPX, for anyone seeking to make enquiries.  I presume the linked details are up to date. 

Is The Christian Institute Anti-Catholic?

From the website of The Christian Institute…

In 1523 London could number its citizens by the thousands, its crimes by the hundreds and its places of worship by the scores.

Men and women wandered past the religious institutions which held them in superstition and fear. They had no knowledge of the word of God which was withheld from them in Latin by the Church.

Just 15 years later, the Bible was being distributed in English to churches across the land. God’s word would be freely accessible to every man, woman and child who could read or be read to.

This revolutionary change was the focus of our third Autumn Lecture last night, brought to us by Brian Edwards, author and former president of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC).

Edwards explained that the English Bible we read today can largely be credited to the work of one man, used by God – William Tyndale.

Reformation minded

Tyndale was probably born in Gloucestershire in 1491. By 1506, he was studying at Magdalen College, Oxford, before being ordained into the priesthood of the Church of England.

Concerned with the theology of his Oxford colleagues, he is thought to have transferred to Cambridge around 1519. Here he was among a score of upcoming reformers who were discussing the ideas of the Reformation and the work of a certain German monk by the name of Martin Luther.

In 1521, he crossed swords with a local friar who, following a heated debate, exclaimed: ‘we’d be better off without God’s law than the law of the Pope’.

Tyndale replied: “I defy the Pope and all his laws. If God spare my life ere many years, I will cause the boy that drives the plow to know more of the Scriptures than you!”
Thus began Tyndale’s life’s work – translating the Bible into the language of the common people.

Exile

This at a time when it was forbidden for a person to read the Bible in English without a priest’s permission and people were burned at the stake for teaching others the Lord’s Prayer in English.

Tyndale fled England. In 1524 he travelled to Hamburg and then to Cologne, and by 1525 he was starting to print the New Testament in English, before copies were smuggled back to England on German merchant ships.

Amidst barrels of grain were thousands of English New Testaments, available for the price of a load of hay.

Lasting influence

Skilled in Hebrew, Greek, Latin and several other languages, the accuracy of Tyndale’s rendering has been commended by experts.

But he aimed to communicate the Gospel, not just translate, and in the foreword to his New Testament, he urged readers to repent and trust in Christ for themselves.

Medieval historian Ian Mortimer describes Tyndale as, “the only writer in the English language more influential than Shakespeare”. Many of his phrases remain in language today and he introduced new terms including “scapegoat” and “Exodus”.

By 1530, his translation of the Pentateuch had arrived in England. But King Henry declared that Tyndale’s books should be burned and punishment doled out to owners. Tyndale was a hunted man, constantly on the lookout for King Henry’s agents.

Martyred

Early in the summer of 1535, Tyndale was betrayed by his friend Henry Phillips who invited him to lunch and then ambushed him. He was imprisoned outside Brussels for a year, accused of heresy.

In September 1536, William Tyndale, England’s greatest Bible translator was chained to a stake, partially strangled and then burned.

His final words are said to have been: ‘Lord, open the King of England’s eyes’.

God’s word for all

Tyndale’s prayer was answered in that a short time later the Great Bible – based on the work of Tyndale – was presented to Henry VIII and approved for distribution to churches across England.

Brian Edwards concluded: “Tyndale’s legacy is in the pages of every English Bible you ever pick up”.   Source – Christian Institute

Comment:

The above article from the Christian Institute website is classic Protestant Propaganda.  Click here to read an academic rebuttal of the Protestant view of the Bible, which was butchered, literally, by the Protestant revolutionaries in the Middle Ages. Far from upholding the Scriptures as the Word of God, the “reformers” removed those books which, a cynic might say, were too Catholic for them – notably, books which contain the roots of Catholic doctrines (e.g. Purgatory – Maccabees).   See short (2 minutes) video clip below..

Share your thoughts on the blatant propaganda published by the Christian Institute, which is an organisation respected for its work in addressing political correctness in the moral sphere. It has led the fight against the Named Person Scheme in Scotland. Thus,  Catholics, myself included, have supported its work – but this might prove to be  a game-changer.  Or perhaps you disagree?  Speak your mind! 

2/11 – All Souls Day…

Click here to read Catholic teaching on Purgatory… 

Angel frees souls from Purgatory – Carracci, Lodovico 1610

Now discover…

How to gain indulgences for Souls in Purgatory

A brief outline on how to obtain a plenary indulgence for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

Plenary indulgences for the Poor Souls:

Six General rules for obtaining a plenary indulgence:

State of grace at least when performing the indulgenced act
Complete detachment from sin, even venial sin
Confession (20 days before or after the indulgenced act)
Communion (20 days before or after the indulgenced act)
Prayers for the Supreme Pontiff (20 days before or after the indulgenced act)
Indulgenced act: a special good work with special conditions of place and time
Indulgenced acts to be performed for obtaining a plenary indulgence:
 
From November 1 to 8: visit of a cemetery with mental prayer for the poor souls.
On November 2: visit of a church or an oratory with one Our Father and one Creed being recited.

A partial indulgence can be obtained any time by visiting a cemetery and praying for the Poor Souls.

The following prayer is especially recommended:

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiescant in pace. Amen.

Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.    Source

Now…

Share your comments, stories, favourite prayers, novenas, hymns etc   

Scotland To Ban Smacking… Childless Politicians Rebuked by Majority of Scots

Click here to read about the Scottish Government’s plans to ban smacking. Parents who choose to discipline their children with a timely smack, are to be criminalised – although we’ve yet to find out exactly how this crackpot law will be enforced. Below, a letter written by our blogger, Athanasius, which was published in The Scotsman Newspaper: 

LETTER from blogger, Athanasius (Martin Blackshaw) published in The Scotsman…

The arrogant interference in family life by Scotland’s political leaders is again on display as a recent ComRes poll, reported in the Scotsman, shows them at odds once more with parents, this time in the matter of smacking children.

Having already ignored the will of parents and the Supreme Court by forging ahead with their State-usurping Named Person scheme, it seems the next step in eradicating parental authority is to criminalise so much as a slap on the hand or the leg of a child.

They say it’s all in the interests of child safety and wellbeing, a red herring argument backed with endless liberal psychobabble about how smacking can scar the mind of a chastised child for life.

These are the same politicians who dismiss traditional Christian moral teaching in State schools, choosing instead to rob Scottish youth of its innocence at a vulnerable and tender age through sex education. That too is backed up with psychobabble despite a shocking decline in youth morality since the almighty switch from God to government began in the 1960s.

Well I have some news for our politicians, it is that I was smacked countless times by my parents when I was growing up and I love them for those corrections. Children, like adults under the law, have rules to obey if they are to enjoy true liberty. Parents understand this and that’s why they enforce the rules with the threat of physical punishment if breached. It’s a tried and tested method both privately and publicly over many millennia by authorities who actually had children of their own and truly cared for their welfare. Holyrood hippies take note! END.

Comment:

Given that the majority of the politicians are childless who are leading this drive to criminalise loving parents for their choice of discipline, albeit that it may be a rare, even one-off, occurrence, it seems like a monumental cheek for them to set themselves up as experts in any aspect of childcare. How unreasonable is that?

Parents, on the other hand, tend to be even handed, reasonable to a fault when it comes to disciplining their offspring.  Some of them have even launched a group emphasising this parental reasonableness.  Click here to reach their website.  It’s great to see parents leading the fightback by refusing to accept this latest bullying attempt by the Scottish Government to take control of the nation’s families.

It’s time that the Scottish Bishops did the same, time that they exercised their duty to support parents in the raising of their children, by objecting, publicly, to this latest State intrusion into private family life.  But, will they? 

Pope Francis Wishes To Change Teaching On Capital Punishment…

Speaking in Rome on October 11th, 2017 (55th anniversary of the opening of Vatican Council II), at a conference promoting the ‘New Evangelization’, Pope Francis made known his will for the Catechism of the Catholic Church to be revised so as to condemn capital punishment as absolutely immoral in principle. He declared the death penalty to be “in itself contrary to the Gospel” (“in sé stessa contraria al Vangelo”). Source

The Pope’s attack on traditional teaching is not going unchallenged, however;  below, extracts from a very interesting analysis from the Society of St Pius X, District of the U.S.A.  Read entire article here

Capital Punishment and Contemporary Catholicism

On April 20, 2017, Ledell Lee, convicted of the brutal murder of his neighbor, Mrs. Debra Reese, was executed in Arkansas, the state’s first execution since 2005. When asked what his wishes were for his last meal, Lee declined a meal but said he wished to receive Holy Communion before execution. He made no public statement before death, but his request to receive the Sacraments was indicative of a desire to die in a state of grace, at peace with God.

Before Lee’s execution, Bishop Anthony Taylor of Little Rock, Arkansas, Bishop Frank Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference, and the Catholic Mobilizing Network, which describes its mission as “Ending the death penalty. Promoting restorative justice,” all wrote to the governor of Arkansas asking that Lee’s sentence be commuted to life imprisonment.

Opposition to the Death Penalty

These Catholic bishops and activists are not alone in their opposition to the death penalty. In June of 2016, Pope Francis sent a video message of support to the 6th World Congress against the Death Penalty in which he said: 

“Nowadays the death penalty is unacceptable, however grave the crime of the convicted person. It is an offence to the inviolability of life and to the dignity of the human person; it likewise contradicts God’s plan for individuals and society, and his merciful justice.”

What then does the Church teach about capital punishment? Is it permitted, and under what circumstances?

The Catechism of the Council of Trent tells us:

“Far from being guilty of breaking this commandment [Thou shall not kill], such an execution of justice is precisely an act of obedience to it. For the purpose of the law is to protect and foster human life. This purpose is fulfilled when the legitimate authority of the State is exercised by taking the guilty lives of those who have taken innocent lives”
(Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent, 1566, Part III, 5, n. 4.).

This contrasts starkly with Pope Francis’s words, “The commandment “Thou shalt not kill” has absolute value and applies both to the innocent and to the guilty” (Message to the 6th World Congress against the Death Penalty).

St. Thomas Aquinas gives two main reasons for the use of capital punishment. One is the common good:

Now every individual person is related to the entire society as a part to the whole. Therefore if a man be dangerous and infectious to the community, on account of some sin, it is praiseworthy and healthful that he be killed in order to safeguard the common good, since ‘a little leaven corrupteth the whole lump’ (1 Cor. 5:6).”
(Summa Theologiae, II, II, q. 64, art. 2)

His other consideration is the good of the criminal.

“They…have at that critical point of death the opportunity to be converted to God through repentance. And if they are so obstinate that even at the point of death their heart does not draw back from malice, it is possible to make a quite probable judgment that they would never come away from evil” 
(Summa contra gentiles, Book III, chapter 146).

The Good of the Criminal
 
On July 26, 2017, Ronald Phillips, convicted of the particularly horrible murder of a child, was executed in Ohio. The day of his execution, he reportedly spent several hours with a spiritual adviser and took time to read the Bible. Just before death, he made his first public expression of regret since his incarceration, asking forgiveness of his victim’s family. He had previously unsuccessfully sought clemency on grounds of his youth at the time (he was 19) and his difficult childhood.

While some claim that the death penalty puts an end to the possibility of the criminal repenting later on, St. Thomas does not admit this objection.

“The fact that the evil ones, as long as they live, can be corrected from their errors does not prohibit that they may be justly executed, for the danger which threatens from their way of life is greater and more certain than the good which may be expected from their improvement.”

Both Phillips’s case and that of Ledell Lee illustrate St. Thomas’s point: imminent death brings home to the criminal the gravity of his crime and leads him to repentance. Samuel Johnson was the author of the oft-quoted aphorism to the effect that nothing concentrates the mind like a sentence of hanging. Of course, in Samuel Johnson’s day, executions were carried out rather more promptly than they are in the United States nowadays: a criminal can languish for decades on death row, and it is said that nearly a quarter of death row inmates die of natural causes while waiting for execution or appealing their sentences.

The Church has been careful to emphasize the need for due process and true justice. Innocent III said:

The secular power can without mortal sin carry out a sentence of death, provided it proceeds in imposing the penalty not from hatred but with judgment, not carelessly but with due solicitude.”

Whether due process is consistently available in the American criminal justice system is a matter of debate. By all accounts it is in desperate need of reform. One high-profile (and well-informed, thanks to his own sojourn in the United States’ jail system) commentator on this issue was newspaper publisher Conrad Black, who has among other issues emphasized the need to address the huge number of inmates in the prison system and the high rate of recidivism, partly due (in his opinion) to a culture in which convicts become dependent on the system. 

The Catholic Understanding of Death

[F]or the believing Christian, death is no big deal. Intentionally killing an innocent person is a big deal: it is a grave sin, which causes one to lose his soul. But losing this life, in exchange for the next?…For the non-believer, on the other hand, to deprive a man of his life is to end his existence. What a horrible act!”

Does the death penalty deprive the criminal of hope? Of hope for the things of this world, certainly. But there are many instances of dying criminals who have discovered grounds for hope: a certain thief once hoped, “Remember me when thou shalt come into thy kingdom.”

In Conclusion…

From what the Catechism of the Council of Trent tells us, in combination with the teachings of many Popes and sainted theologians, it seems that while the necessity and suitability of capital punishment in a given situation remains a prudential decision for the public authorities, it is clear that traditional Catholic teachings permit the death penalty under certain conditions. One could argue that the rallying of modern Catholicism against capital punishment is at least in part due to the influence of what Scalia calls “the post-Freudian secularist,” inclined to diminish the moral responsibility of the criminal and seemingly blind to the possibility of expiation for sin and life after death.

The fifteenth-century French poet François Villon, a ne’er-do-well who frequently fell afoul of the law, composed his most famous work, The Ballad of the Hanged, in jail the night before he was to be executed. It is an entirely supernatural plea to Christ and Our Lady for mercy on his soul and to his fellowman for pity and prayers. His final stanza is remarkable for its humility and its hope:

Prince Jesus, who has command of all,                                
Do not let Hell gain lordship over us:
With it let us have no dealings.
Men, there is no mockery here;
Pray God that He will absolve us all.

Comments invited…

IS Pope Francis right to seek to “revise” Catholic teaching on the Death Penalty?

Cardinal Burke Feet of Clay…

In the clip below, Cardinal Burke pronounces the Society of Saint Pius X in schism.  Listening to it, I recall the reason several Catholic friends gave for refusing to attend his Pontifical High Mass in a Glasgow parish church recently, summed up by one insightful soul: “…he’s not the real deal.”   

Blogger Gabriel Syme, who did attend the Pontifical High Mass in Glasgow recently, writes: 

I read that earlier and was much dismayed by the reported comments from Cardinal Burke.

it is unbecoming for a prelate to tell fibs (that the SSPX is in schism) which contradict his brother Bishops.

Ironically, he would never say such a thing about genuinely schismatic groups, such as the Eastern Orthodox churches.

How disappointing that he is so feeble in the face of Francis, yet so bold with unprovoked attacks on faithful Catholic groups, attacks based on deceit.

I am very disappointed in him and have diminished respect for him now. As if attacking the SSPX should be on his agenda, while everyone is waiting (and waiting and waiting) for him to act on the dubia.

Comment:

His “damp squib” dubia and meek acceptance of the Pope’s refusal to grant him an audience to discuss the four cardinals’ concerns about Amoris Laetitia, are now placed firmly in context.  He hasn’t a clue.  He’s apparently no clearer in his grasp of the limits as well as the extent of papal authority than most of the confused Catholics, ordained and lay, suffering in the Church-anything-but Militant today.  He has shown himself to have feet of clay. Or maybe you’re a Cardinal Burke fan, just because, at least, he values the traditional Mass?  Let’s hear it…