Daily Archives: July 21, 2011
Rorate Caeli has an old-ish, but always beautiful blog post: the translation of the message sent by Pope Pius XII to the Spanish Faithful at the end of the Civil War in Spain.
Pointedly, Rorate Caeli point out that this is a reminder of who represented what in that conflict.
I reproduce the text in its entirety, and allow myself to suggest that it be accompanied by a prayer for Francisco Franco, the brave men who followed him in his stand, and all those who fought and died for Christ.
Let us also use this as a reminder that open persecution is always nearer than one thinks.
«CON INMENSO GOZO»
OF HIS HOLINESS
TO THE SPANISH FAITHFUL
(April 14, 1939)
With great joy We address you, most dear children of Catholic Spain, to express to you our fatherly congratulations for the gift of peace and of victory, with which God has deemed worthy to crown the Christian heroism of your faith and charity, tried in so many and so generous sufferings. Our Predecessor, of venerable memory, expected, with longing and trust, this Providential peace, which is undoubtedly the fruit of that copious blessing which he sent, in the very beginning of the struggle, “to all those who had devoted themselves to the difficult and dangerous task of defending and restoring the rights and the honor of God and Religion” ; and We do not doubt that this peace shall be the one that he himself foretold since then, “the sign of a future of tranquility in order, and of honor in prosperity” .
The designs of Providence, most beloved children, have once again dawned over heroic Spain. The Nation chosen by God as the main instrument of the evangelization of the New World and as an impregnable fortress of the Catholic faith has just shown to the apostles of materialistic Atheism of our century the greatest evidence that the eternal values of religion and of the spirit stand above all things.
The tenacious propaganda and the constant efforts of the enemies of Jesus Christ seemed to have desired to try in Spain a supreme experiment of the dissolving forces which they have at their disposal throughout the world; and even though it is true that the Almighty has for now not allowed them to achieve their goal, He has at least tolerated some of their terrible effects, so that the world could see how religious persecution, undermining the very bases of justice and charity, which are love for God and respect for His holy law, may drag modern society to unthinkable abysses of evil destruction and passionate discord.
Convinced of this truth, the sane Spanish people, with the two marks characteristic of their most noble spirit, which are generosity and frankness, rose up determinedly in defense of the ideals of Christian faith and civilization, deeply rooted in the Spanish soil, and, aided by God, “who does not abandon those who hope in Him” (Judith 13, 17), could resist the push from those who, deceived by what they believed to be a humanitarian ideal of the exaltation of the meek, truly fought only for Atheism.
This primordial meaning of your victory makes us dwell in the most promising hopes, that God in His mercy will deign lead Spain through the safe path of its traditional and Catholic grandeur; which will be the point that will guide all Spaniards, who love their Religion and their Fatherland, in the effort to organize the life of the Nation in perfect harmony with its most noble history of Catholic faith, piety, and civilization.
We thus exhort the Authorities and Shepherds of Catholic Spain to enlighten the mind of those who were deceived, showing them, lovingly, the roots of Materialism and Secularism from which their errors and wrongful acts came forth, and from which they could spring forth again. Propose to them the principles of individual and social justice, without which the peace and prosperity of nations, as mighty as they may be, cannot subsist, and which are those contained in the Holy Gospel and in the doctrine of the Church.
We do not doubt that it will happen thus, and the bases for Our firm hope are the most noble and Christian sentiments, of which the Chief of State and so many gentlemen, his faithful collaborators, have given unequivocal evidence with the legal protection which they have granted to the supreme religious and social interests, according to the teachings of the Apostolic See. The same hope is also founded upon the enlightened zeal and abnegation of your Bishops and Priests, tempered by pain, and also in the faith, piety, and spirit of sacrifice of which, in terrible hours, all classes of Spanish society gave heroic proof.
And now, before the remembrance of the mounting ruins of the bloodiest civil war recorded in the history of modern times, We, with pious regard, bow our head, above all, to the holy memory of the Bishops, Priests, Religious of both sexes, and faithful of all ages and conditions who, in such an elevated number, sealed with blood their faith in Jesus Christ, and their love for the Catholic Religion: «maiorem hac dilectionem nemo habet», “Greater love than this no man hath” (Jn 15, 13).
We also acknowledge our debt of gratitude towards all those who sacrificed themselves even unto heroism in defense of the unalienable rights of God and of Religion, either in the battlefields, or devoted to the sublime works of Christian charity in prisons and hospitals.
We cannot hide the bitter sorrow that the remembrance of so many innocent children, who, having been ripped from their homes, were taken to faraway lands, often in danger of apostasy and perversion: we desire nothing more ardently than to see them returned to the bosom of their families, where they will once again find the warm and Christian tenderness of their own. And those others who, as prodigal sons, wish to return to the house of the father, we doubt not that they will be welcomed with goodwill and love.
It falls upon You, Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate, to advise all, so that in their policy of pacification all will follow the principles taught by the Church, and proclaimed with such nobility by the Generalísimo: of justice for crime, and of lenient generosity for the mistaken. Our solicitude, also as a Father, cannot forget these deceived ones, whom a deceitful and perverse propaganda succeeded in enticing with praises and promises. Your Pastoral solicitude should be targeted at them, with patience and meekness: pray for them, seek them, lead them again to the regenerative bosom of the Church and to the warmth of the Fatherland, and lead them to the Merciful Father, Who awaits them with open arms.
Therefore, most dear children, since the rainbow of peace has returned to brighten the heavens of Spain, let us come together heartily in a fervent hymn of thanksgiving to the God of Peace and in a prayer of forgiveness and mercy for all those who perished; and, in order that this peace be fruitful and longlasting, We exhort you with all the fervor of Our heart, to “keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4, 2-3). Thus united and obedient to your venerable Episcopate, devote yourselves joyfully and with no delay, to the urgent work of reconstruction, which God and the Fatherland expect from you.
As a pledge of the copious graces, which the Immaculate Virgin and Saint James the Apostle, Patrons of Spain, shall obtain for you, and which the great Spanish Saints have merited for you, We bestow upon you, Our dear children of Catholic Spain, upon the Chief of State and his illustrious Government, upon the zealous Episcopate and their selfless Clergy, upon the heroic combatants, and upon all the faithful Our Apostolic Blessing.
I have written some time ago about Schattenschrift, a brilliant Blog in German. Unfortunately, no blog posts have been appearing on that blog since February, though the blog is still online and more than worth a visit.
In the last days, I have become aware of a new and brilliant blog, “Kreuzfaehrten”.
Besides being extremely well-written and a thoroughly well-thought product, this blog is of particular value because coming from a convert; not a convert from Protestantism – as I had originally thought – but from that kind of mocking Atheism with which we are increasingly more often confronted.
On this page (at the same time, the first message) the author gives a brilliant exposition – and explanation – of his individual journey from mockery to doubt, to possibility, to certainty. As it is typical for brilliant minds (intelligent people always understand submission to Truth; it’s the idiots who think they know better), this new convert hasn’t espoused any wishy-washy, made-to-measure, “what is truth”, “I am so proud of my doubts”-mentality in his approach to Christianity. On the contrary, he has recognised the Truth, and has embraced it whole.
As you would almost expect from a German, the completeness of all the usual side aspects of a blog (blogroll, graphics, various sources, & Co.) is in total contrast with the scantiness of the up to now not numerous messages, showing that this is a carefully planned and beautifully executed project.
Many of the links are to sites written in English, which will certainly not damage the site’s fruition from a vast number of German speakers but will be of use to the one or other of the non German-speaking ones. Germany does need as many of these blogs as possible, as if we exclude Bavaria the picture is one of a vastly tepid Catholicism, more inherited than actively lived, and rather firmly in the end of trendy bishops and priests. Last time I looked, the traditionally Catholic Cologne had the same divorce rate than the traditionally Protestant nearby Düsseldorf, and the German bishop’s conference is something difficult to talk about whilst remaining calm; granted, german Catholics hold their grounds more firmly than the now vastly secularised Lutherans, but to say that the Church in Germany is healthy would be a vast exaggeration.
I would suggest to those among my readers who can read the beautiful language of Goethe – not so few after all; and the author of this new blog apparently one of them – to visit this beautiful new blog and to, perhaps, introduce it to their German-speaking friends and acquaintances. Once again, as a non German-speaker you will find useful sources too. The author of this blog is, after all, the one who introduced me to the Sancta Missa site.
The work of letting a blog emerge from the vast mass of far less serious blogging enterprises is often a long and painful one, and it takes some time before even a very good blog can obtain visibility.
In this case, my impression is that the process deserves to be shortened as much as possible. Congratulation and best wishes to Catocon.
It is highly ironical that basic tenets of Catholic thinking (besides the Church being……. the only Church, She is the country’s second largest Christian organisation after the largely atheists or indifferent Anglicans, and the largest if you consider the number of churchgoers) need the endorsement of a senior judge to make some headlines.
The judge in question is Sir Paul Coleridge talking to the BBC, which reports the conversation as follows:
On the day official figures showed that nearly half of all babies are now born to unmarried mothers, Sir Paul blamed family break-up on social changes including the shift in attitudes towards cohabitation and increasing numbers of children born outside marriage.
He said that 50 years ago ‘on the whole cohabitation was regarded as something you didn’t do, to have a child outside marriage, so that created a framework that stopped very much breakdown.
‘We’ve had a cultural revolution in sexual morality and sexual behaviour,’ the judge said. ‘We need to have a reasonable debate about it and decide what needs to be done – and I don’t mean Government,’ he said. ‘They didn’t cause the problem.’
He added that the change in social attitudes over the past five decades had given people ‘complete freedom of choice’.
This was ‘great’ when they behaved responsibly, he added, but some seemed to think it was a ‘free-for-all’. Sir Paul said the rate of family breakdown among unmarried couples was far higher than among married ones.
It was statistically proven parents were far more likely to stay together until their children’s 16th birthday if they were married, he said.
Official figures suggest that an average marriage lasts around 11 years, but a cohabitation is likely to break up in three if the partners do not marry.
One would give kudos to the judge – a good chap, probably – if what he says were not the most elementary, purest common sense. And in fact the very same fact that his words made headlines shows a typical trait of today’s Britain: the loss of basic common sense.
I personally see as the cause of this a typically English disease, that has been worsening and spreading like a metastasis as the religious sense disintegrated: niceness.
Niceness has slowly become the unique moral criterium, the be-all and end-all of all moral considerations, the golden calf of a new religion. Nice, good. Not nice, bad. The idea that there be values to which niceness might be sacrificed has – encouraged by the “church” of England – all but disappeared. When values disappear from the pulpits, don’t expect to find them much longer in the sitting rooms of the pewsitters. When the “church” of England eliminated Christianity from morality, niceness took its place.
Still, a society in which everyone wants to be nice to everyone is condemned to doom. As divorce became more and more frequent, no one dared to say a word about that as this just wasn’t “nice” towards those among our acquaintances that were in that situation, or knew someone who was. If “nice” is the moral criterium, you have lost your argument – and every hope of avoiding that the country goes down the drain – the very instant someone says he’s “hurt”. Welcome to Nice Britain.
It went on, as more and more couples started to live together in concubinage and no one said a word, least of all the oh so nice vicar (and, all too often, the still-too-nice priest). The country was all too happy with its “Vicars of Dibley”, and didn’t care about the consequences as long as it was convenient to do so.
This obviously led to more and more births of children born outside of wedlock, born from people who were either adolescents or were remained such, the illusory quest for a never-to-be-reached personal happiness more and more frequently put before their own children. Those who went around saying that marriage is only a piece of paper were those who were most prone to leave their partner and children; but to say that was, of course, not nice.
The stigma also went. Being divorced is something, if not almost expected, clearly within the realm of normality. The very idea that there should be a stigma associated with being divorced is considered something bad because, erm, not nice. Strangely, I grew up in a country which – covertly or overtly – used to send the message that if you are separated/divorced, you are a failure irrespective of whatever other achievement you may have, because you have failed in the most important endeavour of your life. How “rude”! How “judgmental”! But you see, in such an environment you think twice before you marry, and thrice before you divorce. Of course there is social pressure: it is because it is good!
The entire “niceness” madness is perfectly epitomised by our Prime Minster, “Call-me-Dave”-Cameron; the friend of everyone, the supporter of every idea and its contrary, the man called “chameleon” even before seriously starting to be a politician, the prostitute of every lobby, and the undoubtedly brownest nose of the Kingdom. Cameron is the kind of person able to say that he is in favour of marriage, and that “marriage” includes homosexual couples. This doesn’t scandalise much. You see, he is being nice.
This is where we are now: a country where marriage is defended with words, without saying that to defend marriage means to condemn alternative forms of convivence; a country where it is recognised that a child needs stability, but its destruction is never stigmatised; a country where there is a lot of talk about values, without ever saying what behaviours these values necessarily exclude.
The country drowns in niceness; starting from the vicar down the road, and the local politician.
It drowns to such an extent, that common sense makes headlines.
From the Let The People Vote site:
and be heard
RALLY ON 07.24.11 @ 3:00pm
Governor Cuomo and the New York Legislature imposed same-sex marriage on New York with no vote of the people. Voters in 31 other states have been able to decide the definition of marriage for their states, but New Yorkers have been denied that right!
Stand up to protest the redefinition of marriage and demand your right to vote!
If New York is going to change the definition of marriage, it should be the People and not the politicians who make the decision!
Let the People Vote! Join us on July 24 [at 3pm] in NYC, Albany, Rochester and Buffalo to let your voice be heard! Additional details coming soon..
Below is the appeal of Sen. Rev. Diaz (in Spanish).