"On ne Passe Pas!" "They Shall not pass"
"Twice I have stood fast and conquered on the Marne, my brother civilian. A deceptive 'peace offence' will attack you in your turn; like me you must stand firm and conquer. Be strong and shrewd -- beware of Boche hypocrisy."
We will beat them! 2d National Defense Loan. Subscribe.
Dieu le Roy!
On this date in 1916 The German Army under General von Falkenhayn began it's siege of Verdun.
The last fortress town to fall to the Prussians in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71, Verdun’s fortifications had been significantly boosted in the 1880s to withstand further attacks. In addition its status as an important fortress since Roman times guaranteed recognition of the name ‘Verdun’ to most Frenchmen. In short, it was of greater value symbolically than strategically. Von Falkenhayn counted upon this.
Today upon this sacred ground the fortresses of Verdun lay in ruins, mute testimony to the sacrifice of thousands of Frenchmen defending France from the invading Germans. An ossuary is located there which contains the bones of countless unknown dead.
One very poignant area is the "Bayonette Trench Memorial". On the 12th of June 1916 the heavy bombardment of a section of trench, with a detachment of the French 137th Infantry Regiment in it, was collapsed. The soldiers of the 3rd Company were killed. The only proof of their presence being their bayonets sticking out of the dirt.
If anyone questions the French love of their country let them be directed to Verdun.
If anyone questions France's love of peace let them be directed to the Bayonette Trench.
Dieu le Roy!
Posted Feb. 19, 2009 11:47 AM by Phil Lawler
Did you see the photo of Nancy Pelosi with Pope Benedict XVI during her visit to the Vatican yesterday? (Feb 18, 2009)
No, you didn't. There was no photo, because there was no photographer on hand when they met.
The Speaker of the House went to Rome hoping for a photo op. A smiling picture of herself with the Pontiff would have done a great deal to ease the tensions between Pelosi and the American hierarchy: tensions caused by her unswerving defense of legal abortion. That photo would have burnished her credentials as the "ardent Catholic" she claims to be.
But there was no photo op. After a month of disastrous public-relations gaffes, the Vatican handled this meeting quite nicely. The meeting was held in private. Without violating diplomatic protocol the Vatican managed to convey an unmistakable coolness about the encounter. (The New York Times, picking up the proper nuance, reported: "In a statement, the Vatican said Benedict 'briefly greeted' Ms. Pelosi….") Best of all, the Pope-- who rarely issues public statements after meetings with visiting dignitaries-- followed up on the meeting with a clear public statement reiterating the duty of Catholic politicians to protect the dignity of life.
Undoubtedly frustrated by this adroit handling of her visit, Madame Speaker issued her own statement, saying that she had spoken with the Pope about her earlier visit to the Vatican. (And if he plays his cards right, maybe the Holy Father will have a chance to watch the Pelosi family's home movies?) She said that she had also spoken to the Pontiff about world hunger and global warming. Perhaps those topics were on her agenda, but it is significant that they were not mentioned in the terse Vatican statement. There was no happy-talk from the Holy See: no mention of shared concerns and mutual interests, nothing that would distract attention from the one essential point that the Pope wanted to make.
Pelosi ignored that point in her own statement. But reporters were not distracted. George Weigel was the first to call attention to the huge disparity between the two public accounts of the meeting. Writing for National Review Online, he asked: "Were They at the Same Meeting?" Fox News agreed that, based on the two statements, "it appears the pope and the politician attended two different get-togethers." And USA Today's religion blogger Cathy Lynn Grossman took up the refrain: "Were they in the same room?"
Needless to say, no one was questioning the Vatican's version of the encounter. Reporters realized that Pelosi was doing her best to put a positive spin on a damaging story. She wanted some affirmation from the Pope; instead she received a clear rebuke.
If the Speaker had had her way, the photo-op with the Pope could have been cited as evidence that a Catholic politician can legitimately support legal abortion. Instead the headlines told exactly the opposite story:
:Pope tells Nancy Pelosi life must be protected (AP)
:Pope raises abortion at meeting with Pelosi (CNN International)
:Visiting Pope, Pelosi Hears a Call to Protect Life (New York Times)
Dieu le Roy!
Madame Thérèse, daughter of Louis XV
At first I had planned to limit this series on the daughters of Louis XV and Marie Leszczynska to those who had reached adulthood. Then a reader mentioned privately that she hoped I would include the little princesses who had died as children. Indeed in their own sad way they too illustrate life and death in the 18th century. more...
Death was common to the world then, it is probably why they had so much respect for it. I feel sometimes that we have no such respect for the death of the little ones, indeed nor for the older ones either. We are daily bombarded through the modern tabernacle called the TV or the computer with graphic scenes of violence we have be come accustomed with death. Death can be ended in that world by a click of the remote.
Thanks to Catherine Delors for the posting and please excuse my ranting.
Dieu le Roy!
BTW: Alénor d'Aquitaine is very much one of the most colourful women of all time...Thanks to Catherine for her photo. I am sure Madame Thérèse is having a full time in her company.
The infinite monkey theorem states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type a given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare. Or a stimulus package...
Dieu le Roy
Carlos had posted this some time ago, and I am only getting around to reposting it on my blog. The original with a picture of Fr Ryland my be found here... Rev. Ray Ryland is a contributing editor of This Rock magazine, boardmember and chaplain of The Coming Home Network.
“You're a married priest? I didn't know we had married priests. I think the Church should let all her priests marry.”
Words like these have greeted me frequently since my ordination to the priesthood in 1983, with dispensation from the rule of celibacy. I always assure those who favor optional celibacy that both my wife and I strongly support the Church's discipline of priestly celibacy. While I'm deeply grateful that the Church has made an exception for certain former Protestant clergy like me, the exception is clearly a compromise. The priesthood and marriage are both full-time vocations. The fact is, no one can do complete justice to both simultaneously.
The objection usually persists. “But surely a married man is better qualified to teach people about marriage than is a celibate priest.” Again, I disagree (politely, of course). The purpose of marriage preparation is not to teach couples what the priest has experienced. Catholic couples need and have the right to be instructed in the Church's revealed truth about the meaning of human sexuality and holy matrimony. If both a married and a celibate priest are reasonably mature, and if each teaches in harmony with the Church, the married priest has no essential advantage over the celibate priest in giving marriage instruction.
Then comes the final argument. “Yes, that may be, but if priests could marry, it would solve our priest shortage.” I reply that this is an assumption with no evidence to support it. If the rule of celibacy is keeping men out of the priesthood, how do we account for the dioceses in this country that have an abundance of priests? As Pope Paul VI said 40 years ago, the decline in priestly vocations is due to lack of faith on the part of our people. The dissent that has been rampant in recent decades has created widespread confusion about the Church's teaching, especially with regard to the priesthood.
An Ancient Discipline
Unquestionably, sentiment in favor of optional celibacy for priests is growing, even among faithful Catholics. But there are two fundamental errors underlying this opinion, one historical, the other theological.
First, the historical error: People commonly believe that the Church mandated celibacy for her priests beginning in the fourth century or the twelfth century or somewhere in between. The fact is, priestly celibacy is an apostolic institution. 
The connection of celibacy with priesthood was first revealed in Christ. We see that in its perfect embodiment, priesthood involves remaining free from all claims of marriage and parenthood. That freedom enabled God's Son to be completely available for the working of the Father's perfect will through Him (Cf. John 4,34).
When He called His successors, the apostles, “they left everything and followed him” (Luke 5,11). Later, Peter reminded Jesus, “We have left everything and followed you.” Then he asked, with typical candor, “What then will we have?” (Matthew 19:27). Jesus replied, “There is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not get back very much more in this age, and in the age to come” (Luke 19,29, emphasis added). Recall also that when Jesus taught the indissolubility of marriage, He also highly commended celibacy (Matthew 19,12). And Paul himself strongly endorsed celibacy for more effective service to the Lord.
The disciplinary canons of the Council of Elvira in 305 are the Church's earliest record regarding priestly celibacy. The council gave no explanation of its rulings, which were ancient and presumably well-known. Canon 33 forbade all married bishops, priests, and deacons from having sexual relations with their wives and begetting children. The council reminded the married clergy that they were bound by a vow of perpetual continence. Penalty for breaking that vow was deposition from the ministry. Commenting on this council, Pope Pius XI said that these canons, the “first written traces” of the “Law of Ecclesiastical Celibacy,” “presuppose a still earlier unwritten practice. ” 
The Council of Arles, nine years later, upheld both the obligation of continence for married clergy and the penalty for nonconformity. The Council of Nicaea in 325 took for granted priestly celibacy for unmarried and married clergy. Canon 3 stated, “This great synod absolutely forbids a bishop, presbyter, deacon or any of the clergy to keep a woman who has been brought in to live with him, with the exception of course of his mother or sister or aunt, or of any person who is above suspicion. ”  On the basis of the fourth- and fifth-century evidence, Rev. Christian Cochini, S.J., holds that the phrase “any person who is above suspicion” includes wives of clergy who with their spouses had taken vows of continence before their husbands were ordained. 
Near the end of the fourth century, a Spanish bishop wrote to the pope, asking for help in dealing with married clergy who were having conjugal relations with their wives and having children. In 385 Pope Siricius reminded all married clergy (in Spain and presumably everywhere) that their vows of perpetual continence were “indissoluble.”  The next year, the pope issued a decretal repeating his prior ruling. He insisted he was not giving new rulings but was rather recalling the clergy to rules long established in the Church.
Some of the married clergy tried to defend their continuing conjugal life, but there was no tradition of optional celibacy to which they could appeal. They pointed rather to 1 Timothy 3,2, Titus 1,6, and 1 Timothy 3,12, which specified that bishops, priests, and deacons must have been “married only once” (must be unius uxoris vir , “husband of one wife”). In response, Pope Siricius declared that “married only once” does not mean that after their ordination married clergy could continue conjugal relations with their wives. The true meaning is this: A man faithful to one wife could be expected to be mature enough to live the perpetual continence required of him and his wife after his ordination.
This is the original magisterial exegesis of these passages. Further, Pope Siricius's teaching finds clear echoes in the writings of the Fathers of this era: Ambrose, Epiphanius of Salamis, and Ambrosiaster. 
Another passage used to buttress the apostolic case for optional celibacy is 1Corinthians 9,5. Referring to his prerogatives as an apostle, Paul asks (seemingly rhetorically), “Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?” The Greek behind “believing wife” in this translation is “a sister wife” or “a sister as wife.” The words together do not mean “wife” in the ordinary sense. In the early centuries the term “sister” (as in 1 Corinthians 9,5) was used to designate a wife of a clergyman who with her had vowed perpetual continence before his ordination. Their relation was that of brother and sister.
(Momentarily to depart from our chronology, we should glance at the Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priests , issued in 1994 by the Congregation for the Clergy. Section 59 affirms Pope Siricius's exegesis of the passages in Timothy and Titus. It also cites several early councils that required continence for married as well as for unmarried clergy. Then come these words: “The Church, from apostolic times , has wished to conserve the gift of perpetual continence of the clergy and choose the candidates for Holy Orders from among the celibate faithful” [emphasis added]. “The celibate faithful” clearly in early centuries would include married men who with their wives had vowed to observe perpetual continence after the men were ordained.)
Back to the fourth century: The Council of Carthage in 390, involving the whole African hierarchy, restated the rule of perpetual continence for all married clergy. They declared they were simply restating the Church's unbroken tradition. In explaining their decree, the presiding bishop, Genethlius, urged that “what the apostles taught and what antiquity itself observed , let us also endeavor to keep”  (emphasis added).
The decretal Dominus Inter was issued in the early fifth century by a Roman synod, led most likely by Pope Innocent I. Responding to questions raised by bishops from Gaul, Canon 16 repeats the Church's rule of perpetual continence for married clergy.  We find the same teaching by pontiffs who succeeded Innocent I—Leo the Great and Gregory the Great, for example, as well as Sts. Jerome, Augustine, and Ambrose. So did the Council of Tours (461), the Council of Gerona (517), and the Council of Auvergne (535). Further, the requirement of perpetual continence for married clergy appears in the penitential books of the Celtic churches.
In the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the Gregorian reform dealt with violations of the norm of clerical celibacy. The Second Lateran Council (1139) was part of this movement. From this fact, Catholics and non-Catholics alike have wrongly concluded that this council originated clerical celibacy. Like all its predecessors that dealt with the matter, the Lateran Council sought to enforce the apostolic ban on conjugal life for the clergy.
Apologists for the Eastern Orthodox practice of mixed celibacy (married priests and deacons, celibate bishops) ignore these councils' declaration that they were only upholding an apostolic tradition.
In more recent times, the predecessor of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued an instruction in 1858 that stated: “Whoever ponders diligently the true tradition of celibacy and clerical continence will indeed find that, from the first centuries of the Catholic Church, if not by a general and explicit law, at least by behavior and custom, it was firmly established that not only bishops and priests, but [all] clergy in Holy Orders were to preserve inviolate virginity or perpetual continence.” 
That priestly celibacy is an apostolic tradition “is shown clearly and convincingly” by the work of Stickler, Cochini, Heid, and others. This is the verdict of then–Cardinal Ratzinger. 
The Eastern Orthodox discipline of optional celibacy (optional for priests and deacons, required for bishops), was first formulated in 692. Prior to that time, all the Eastern Churches followed the apostolic tradition of mandatory continence for both married and unmarried clergy.
But the Council of Trullo in 692 radically changed the discipline of celibacy. One of its canons did retain the prohibition of bishops, priests, and deacons marrying after ordination. It also partly preserved the apostolic tradition in requiring perpetual continence of married men who were installed in the episcopate. But it decreed that married men ordained to the diaconate and priesthood could continue their conjugal life after ordination. The council herein both explicitly and polemically rejected the clerical discipline of Rome, which is to say, the apostolic tradition.
To justify this departure, Trullo quoted the earlier canons of the Council of Carthage. That council, as we have seen, had restated the rule of perpetual continence for all married clergy by appealing to what it called the apostolic tradition. Its records were widely available. Trullo changed the wording of the Carthaginian canons so that they mandated only temporary continence for married clergy only on days when they served at the altar. (This is effectively the Old Testament law for levitical priests who served in the Temple.)
Despite this radical alteration of the Carthage council's ruling, the Council of Trullo blithely assured all who would listen that by their decrees they were only “preserving the ancient rule and apostolic perfection and order.”  The Catholic Church, of course, has never recognized the Council of Trullo.
In her magisterial statements, the Catholic Church has often spoken of the Eastern practice regarding celibacy. The Church always uses guarded language, not wanting to widen the breach between the Orthodox Churches and the Catholic Church. But she has never said—never even implied—that the Eastern practice stands on par with her own discipline regarding celibacy. Typical of her attitude is the language of Pope Pius XII in his 1935 encyclical on the Catholic priesthood quoted earlier. After extolling the glories of priestly celibacy, he said he was not criticizing the Oriental discipline. “What we have said has been meant solely to exalt in the Lord something we consider one of the purest glories of the Catholic priesthood , something which seems to us to correspond better to the desires of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and his purposes in regard to priestly souls” (Section 47, emphases added).
A Unique ‘Discipline'
I earlier noted that the advocacy of optional celibacy for priests reflects two basic errors. One is historical—a failure to recognize that priestly celibacy is an apostolic tradition. The other error lies in the ambiguity of the word “discipline” to characterize the Church's rule of celibacy. True, the requirement of priestly celibacy is not part of the deposit of Faith. In a sense it is part of the Church's discipline. But it is quite unlike all her other disciplines. Take the Church's rules about fasting before receiving the Eucharist; about allowing meat on Friday if one otherwise fulfills the obligation of penance; about being allowed to register in a parish when one lives outside the parish bounds. These have been changed with no theological consequences.
Theoretically, if he so chose, the pope could set aside the rule of priestly celibacy overnight. But if he did, it would have a profound, negative effect on the Church's understanding of herself and of the priesthood.
Here we follow Benedict XVI's teaching. The Church is both human and divine, a duality of structure (organization) and the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. That which gives the Church her permanency of structure is itself a sacrament—the sacrament of orders. This means that the Church's structure is continuously created by God's unfailing action through the sacrament. The Church as an institution cannot herself choose those who will serve in the hierarchy. The call to holy orders comes from God, and the Church can only recognize that call. Thus our Lord commanded us, “Pray the Lord of the harvest to send workers into his harvest” (Matthew 9,37).
So the priestly ministry has a “strictly charismatic character,” in the words of Benedict XVI. The Church emphasizes that fact by “linking ... priesthood with virginity, which clearly can be understood only as a personal charism, never simply as an official qualification.” Any attempt to separate priesthood from celibacy (“the demand for their uncoupling”) would in effect deny the charismatic nature of priesthood. It would reduce it to an office completely under the control of the institution. Thus the Church in effect would be regarded as a purely human institution. 
The priesthood is a continuous gift to the Church. She is only a steward, not the giver, of that gift. But as recent magisterial statements have reminded us, celibacy itself is also a gift.
In his encyclical I Will Give You Shepherds (1992), Pope John Paul II repeatedly characterizes clerical celibacy as such. He calls it “a priceless gift,” “a precious gift,” a “gift of God for the Church.” It is a gift to be cherished. And because it is God's gift, the Church as an institution has no right to set it aside—to send it back to God, so to speak.
The Synod of Bishops in 1990 issued what is perhaps the ultimate statement of modern times on the Church's commitment to priestly celibacy. “The synod would like to see celibacy presented and explained in the fullness of its biblical, theological and spiritual richness, as a precious gift given by God to his Church and as a sign of the kingdom which is not of this world—a sign of God's love for this world and of the undivided love of the priest for God and for God's people , with the result that celibacy is seen as a positive enrichment of the priesthood” (emphases added).
Further, the Church is totally committed to maintaining priestly celibacy. “The synod does not wish to leave any doubts in the mind of anyone regarding the Church's firm will to maintain the law that demands perpetual and freely chosen celibacy for present and future candidates for priestly ordination in the Latin rite” (Proposition 11).
While advocates of a married priesthood will likely continue their efforts, they have neither history nor the contemporary Church on their side.
 For more detail, see Ray Ryland, A Brief History of Clerical Celibacy. Peter Stravinskas, ed., Priestly Celibacy: Its Scriptural, Historical, Spiritual, and Psychological Roots (Mt. Pocono: Newman House Press, 2001), pp. 27-44.
 Ad Catholici Sacerdotii , 43 (1935).
 Norman P. Tanner, S.J., ed., Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils , Vol. 1 (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 1990), p. 7.
 Christian Cochini, S.J., Apostolic Origins of Priestly Celibacy (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1990), pp. 185-195.
 Ibid. , p. 9.
 Ibid. , footnote 18, p. 12.
 Ibid. , p. 5.
 Ibid. , p. 15.
 Quoted by Roman Cholij, Celibacy, Married Clergy, and the Oriental Code. Eastern Churches Journal , Vol. 3, No. 3 (Autumn, 1996), p. 112.
 Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, The Theological Locus of Ecclesial Movements. Communio (Fall 1998), footnote 2, p. 483.
 Quoted by Roman Cholij, Clerical Celibacy in East and West (Herefordshire: Fowler Wright Books, 1988), p. 115.
 Ratzinger, op. cit., p. 483.
Posted by Cletus at 7:07 AM
Speaker in Rome [NRO Staff]
This just in: A fictional account of what may have happened this morning from an imaginative journalist who has covered the pope and the Vatican.
On Wednesday February 18, 2009, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and fellow Democrats, Rep. George Miller, Rep. Anna Eshoo, Rep. John Larson, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Rep. Edward Markey, Rep. Michael Capuano, and Rep. William Pascrell Jr. had an audience with Pope Benedict XVI.
The Vatican released only this description of the meeting:
His Holiness took the opportunity to speak of the requirements of the natural moral law and the Church's consistent teaching on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death which enjoin all Catholics, and especially legislators, jurists and those responsible for the common good of society, to work in cooperation with all men and women of good will in creating a just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development. more...
Dieu le Roy,
Living within a few hours ride from Mt Vernon, we have visited Washington's Virginia home on the Potomac several times. In truth, it is a shrine to freemasonry. I have heard rumors that Washington became a Catholic just before he died. No one ever told Martha evidently, as she died in communiion with her Anglican Church.
I guess we will never know, though it is good to speculate. I will ask him if I see him...
Thanks to both Christine and Joseph.
Dieu le Roy,
Benedict XVI met only 15 minutes with Speaker Nancy Pelosi today in the Vatican. Photographers and reporters were not allowed in the room. The Vatican then released a text of the Pope's remarks to Pelosi, which were pointed on the subject of protecting unborn life.
Here is what the AP is reporting:
VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday told U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a Catholic who supports abortion rights, that Catholic politicians have a duty to protect life "at all stages of its development," the Vatican said.
Pelosi is the first top Democrat to meet with Benedict since the election of Barack Obama, who won a majority of the Catholic vote despite differences with the Vatican on abortion.
The Vatican released remarks by the pope to Pelosi, saying Benedict spoke of the church's teaching "on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death." That is an expression often used by the pope when expressing opposition to abortion.
Benedict said all Catholics—especially legislators, jurists and political leaders—should work to create "a just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development."
Pelosi could not immediately be reached after the 15-minute meeting, which was closed to reporters and photographers. The two met in a small room of a Vatican auditorium after the pope's weekly public audience.
A number of the bishops in the United States have questioned Pelosi's stance on abortion, particularly her theological defense of her support for abortion rights.
Benedict has cautiously welcomed the new Democratic administration, although several American cardinals have sharply criticized its support of abortion rights in a break from former President George W. Bush.
Pelosi had meetings with Italian leaders the past few days, including Premier Silvio Berlusconi.
Benedict XVI has used the occasion of the meeting requested by Pelosi to remind her, and all politicians, of their primary responsibility -- to defend the lives of their citizens.
a Zenit article may be found here...
TEST what is next for the Speaker?
1.Will there be a new heresy called Pelosi-anism?
2.Will Pelosi return to the United States and say she and the Pope came to an agreement and the Pope came around to her way of thinking?
3.Will she recant her ideas, and return to the Church and It's teachings?
Dieu le Roy
If by “philanthropist” we mean one who creates chaos, destruction and financial ruin for his own personal gain, it’s a perfect fit. Calling Soros a philanthropist is rather like referring to the Nazi block wardens as Neighborhood Watch.
Soros certainly gives lots of money away. But a philanthropist acts to improve the human condition. Soros acts solely to improve the Soros condition. Despite the lofty sounding rhetoric about an Open Society, Soros’ objective is to wreck the United States. Actually Soros never really defines his Open Society. The concept arose in the 1930s with the notion of a moral code based on “universal principles”. After tweaking the concept to suit his own purposes, Soros adopted his own version of an Open Society which would be one in which the US has no power.
Soros was born in Hungary in 1930 to non practicing Jewish parents. His father, a lawyer was able to hide their identities and young George was recruited by the Judenrat to hand out flyers deceptively directing Jews to turn themselves in for deportation to the death camps. Soros later said he found the work exhilarating. Later passing himself as an official’s godson, he accompanied his benefactor confiscating valuables from innocent Jews. (David Horowitz and Richard Poe, The Shadow Party. 2006).
Soros would later tell Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes that he had no remorse about what he had done.
In fact, Soros doesn’t have remorse for much, if anything. In The Shadow Party (David Horowitz and Richard Poe, 2006), Soros is quoted as saying that conscience clouds an investor’s judgment.
Soros amassed his fortune by speculating in the currency markets. He got a lot of attention for tanking the British pound in 1992. More than once, Soros has used his status as an investor to manipulate markets. According to Horowitz and Poe, the great patriot Soros likely sold short after 9/11 when the rest of the nation was being urged to take whatever they could afford and buy some shares of their favorite stocks. Lots of patriotic Americans did exactly that.
To further jeopardize our national security, Soros told CNN that the market would react negatively if the US were to invade Afghanistan knowing his words would cause a global market reaction. Soros has stuck his nose in governments all over the world claiming a philanthropic motive. Yet like day into night, once he’s done, the local economy is in a shambles and Soros is richer. More...
As we know, John Calvin introduced that severe brand of Protestantism into the reformation history which we now call 'absolute unconditional predestination.' ......In John Calvin's theory, which later then became the foundation of world Protestantism – God wants certain people to reach Heaven and He quite frankly wants some people not to be saved. Those who are to be saved, receive the grace; those who will not to be saved just don't get the grace. It's that simple. In other words, God does not want everyone to be saved. That's the Calvinist teaching.
An article by the late Father John Hardon is found here...
Once again Thanks Joseph...
Dieu Le Roy!
Beatification Mass of Louis and Zelie Martin.
Here you may watch the Beatification Mass of the parents of St Thérèse of Lisieux.
Louis and Zelie Martin's imitation of the Holy Family
This short and simple article by Robert Colquhoun on his blog Love Undefiled
The recently beautified parents of Therese of Lisieux, Louis and Zelie Martin originally proposed to live as brother and sister in their marriage, following the example of Saint Joseph and the Virgin Mary. But a prudent intervention by their confessor and the desire to give children to the Lord made them put an end to this holy experiment. Zélie would later write to her daughter: “As for me, I wished to have many children so that I could raise them for Heaven.”
Merci and a tip of my beret to Robert.
Dieu le Roy!
The Franco-Prussian War initiated through the deceit of Bismarck in July of 1870 was lost to the French. In September of 1870 the Emperor of the French, Louis Napoleon III, surrendered after the battle of Sedan. Though the war continued under a republican government by the end of September Paris was under siege. During the war the population of Paris increased, the differences between the wealthy and the poor grew, and the bombardment by the Prussians increase the already widespread discontent.
On 17 January 1871, after four months of siege, the republican Government of National Defence sought an armistice with the newly proclaimed German Empire. The Germans insisted upon a triumphal entry into Paris in the armistice terms. Despite the widespread discontent of the siege, many Parisians resented bitterly that the Prussians should be allowed even a brief ceremonial occupation of their city.
During the war thousands of Parisians were enrolled into the armed militia called the National Guards. Named for the National Guards of the French Revolution. Unfortunately many of these units contained or were led by more radical socialists inspired by the writings of Karl Marx.
These guards attempted to form a "Central Committee" of the Guard, which including patriotic republicans and socialists. Its stated reason was to provide defense against a possible German attack, (which never occurred) but in reality the Commune was more concerned with a Royalist Restoration of the Bourbon line. This fear was increased following the election of February 1871 in which a monarchist majority was elected to the National Assembly.
Parisians were boldly intractable to the Germans in the aftermath of defeat, and the guardsmen were prepared to offer opposition if the German entrance into Paris resulted in aggression. The Guards assisted by the population removed field pieces in the path of the Germans which had been purchased for the Army by popular subscription. They regarded these pieces as public property and placed them in safe districts, one of which was Montmartre.
Adolphe Thiers, head of the new provisional government, realised that in the present unstable situation, the Central Committee formed an alternative centre of political and military power. The newly renamed German Army entered Paris, stayed briefly and then left. Paris remained in a high state of anxiety.The Provisional Army of France left Paris for Versailles as it afforded a better defensive position against the Germans should the Armistice be broken and fighting resume. Unfortunately this left a huge power vacuum in Paris. Thiers fearing a power grab by the radicals ordered his remaining troops to take charge of the artillery at Montmartre. It was believed that the National Guard could not control the 400 cannon it now had. As the soldiers arrived instead of taking the guns the soldiers fraternised with the National Guards. The commander of the force General Claude Lecompte in the company of the former commander of the National Guard, General Thomas was shot by the National Guards.
As other army units left the army to join the National Guards, Thiers ordered the police, loyal army units and as many people who would listen to retreat towards Versailles. They would soon be referred to as the Versaillais. Those who remained in Paris would be given the name Communards. The Central Committee of the National Guard was now the only effective government in Paris: it arranged elections for a Commune, to be held on March 26.
The newly elected 92 members of the "Communal Council" included skilled workers and professionals. Many of them were political activists, ranging from reformist republicans, various types of socialists and Jacobins who tended to look to the Revolution of 1789 for inspiration.
To connect themselves to the revolution of 1789 the Commune reconstituted the revolutionary calendar, and to distinguish themselves from the more moderate republican government raised the red flag of socialism. The council enacted certain measures, these included the separation of church and state; the remission of rents owed for the entire period of the siege (during which payment had been suspended); the abolition of night work in the hundreds of Paris bakeries; the granting of pensions to the unmarried companions and children of National Guards killed on active service; the free return, by the city pawnshops, of all workman's tools and household items valued up to 20 francs, pledged during the siege as they were concerned that skilled workers had been forced to pawn their tools during the war; the postponement of commercial debt obligations, and abolition of interest on the debts; and the right of employees to take over and run an enterprise if it were deserted by its owner, who was to receive compensation.
The decree which separated the church and state was particularly onerous as it made all church property public, and removed the teaching of religion from school. Churches were allowed to continue religious activity only if the churches could be used at night for public political meetings. Churches became the second most common participatory areas for political activity.
Local assemblies pursued their own goals, usually under the direction of local workers. Despite the formal reformism of the Commune council, the composition of the Commune as a whole was much more revolutionist. Revolutionary trends included an early form of moderate anarchists members of the International Socialist, Blanquists, and libertarian republicans groups. The Paris Commune has been celebrated by Anarchist and Marxist socialists continuously since then, partly due to the variety of tendencies, the high degree of workers' control and the remarkable cooperation among different revolutionists.
After only a week, the Commune came under attack by elements of a new army formed by returning prisoners, being created at a furious pace in Versailles.
On April 2, the Commune forces, now called the National Guard to connect the commune with the revolution of 1789, first began skirmishing with the regular Versailles Army . Both sides shied away from a Civil War, and neither side wanted compromise. The National Assembly's army brutally crushed the Commune, and when the Commune had been demolished, the National Assembly proceeded with executions that numbered 20,000 in one week. One of the generals leading the counter-assault headed by Thiers was the Marquis de Galliffet, (the fusilleur de la Commune who later took part as Minister of War in Waldec-Rousseau's government at the turn of the century. )
The Versaillais captured the suburb of Courbevoie on 2 April. The Commune was rebuffed in an abortive attack towards Versailles the next day. It became apparent to the Commune that the National Guard was no match in it's current form with the Army in Versailles, made of battle hardened troops fresh from prisoner of war camps in Prussia. In order to improve the National guards the commune sought to instill discipline, and rudimentary tactics.
Politically the Commune was fully committed to international socialism, and therefore the Vendôme Column, celebrating the victories of Napoleon I, and considered by the Commune to be a monument to Bonapartism was pulled down.
Although there was support from international sources, such as labour unions and Marxist groups world wide, the Versailles government prevented news from going into Paris, and no information coming out. Similar uprisings in other cities along the lines of the Paris Commune were crushed quickly.
In an effort to further connect he commune with the revolution of 1789 a committee of safety was formed. This council had broad sweeping powers but it was largely ineffective.
All through the rest of April and into May the Commune forces were pushed back. A cause of this pushing back was in part due to the districts inability to work together, where they had once came to together in common cause for the commune they became disjointed because of their philosophy as anarchists to allow an overall authority. Each group fought only for themselves and each in turn was defeated. In addition the replaced by wide boulevards created during Haussmann's renovation of Paris replaced the narrow Parisian streets which featured prominently during prior revolts, and had proven almost impregnable. On the other hand the Versaillais Army had trained for street fighting and were very adapted to it. If the National Guards barracaded a boulevard the Versaillais simply out flanked them by burrowing through a the walls of the houses on eirther side to get behind them and attack from all sides at once.
In the assault on Paris, the Versaillais were responsible for killing National Guard troops and civilians, prisoners taken in possession of weapons, or who were suspected of having fought, were shot out of hand and summary executions were the order of the day. It was not restricted to the Versaillais as the Commune forces also executed The Catholic Encyclopedia states that between 24 May and May 26, more than 50 hostages were murdered. In some cases, certain leaders of the Commune gave the orders, in other cases they were killed by mobs. Among the victims was the Archbishop of Paris, Georges Darboy.
On May 27 only a few pockets of resistance remained, notably the poorer eastern districts of Belleville and Ménilmontant. Fighting ended during the late afternoon or early evening of May 28. According to legend, the last barricade was in the rue Ramponeau in Belleville.
"To the inhabitants of Paris. The French army has come to save you. Paris is freed! At 4 o'clock our soldiers took the last insurgent position. Today the fight is over. Order, work and security will be reborn." wrote Marshall MacMahon.
Reprisals began in earnest. Having supported the Commune was immediately declared as a crime. Thousands were accused, thousands were shot, more thousands were deported. All future Marxists and communists laud the commune and refer to it. Marx, who was still alive wrote that it was the basic form of a Dictatorship of the Proletariat. Marx also stated that the commune wasted time in forming a government when it should have should have finished off the Versaillais when they could. Lenin(1) and Mao continued to draw lesson from it.
The form of government created by the commune was doomed to fail. In its desire to be all things to all men and women it failed in it's most basic dimension. Anarchy is inherent in this form of government. If no one is in authority nothing gets done. Like a ship on the ocean who changes its captain and direction it never arrives in port, sooner or later it is bound to flounder. In it's direct attack on the Church they saw it as the only viable competition. They did not learn from the lessons learned from an earlier revolution that one does not escape justice when one attacks the church by force in France.
Dieu Le Roy!
Notes:(1) V.I. Lenin, "Lessons of the Commune", Marxists Internet Archive. Originally published: Zagranichnaya Gazeta, No. March 2, 23, 1908. Translated by Bernard Isaacs. Accessed August 7, 2006.
...But two mistakes destroyed the fruits of the splendid victory. The proletariat stopped half-way: instead of setting about “expropriating the expropriators”, it allowed itself to be led astray by dreams of establishing a higher justice in the country united by a common national task; such institutions as the banks, for example, were not taken over, and Proudhonist theories about a “just exchange”, etc., still prevailed among the socialists. The second mistake was excessive magnanimity on the part of the proletariat: instead of destroying its enemies it sought to exert moral influence on them; it underestimated the significance of direct military operations in civil war, and instead of launching a resolute offensive against Versailles that would have crowned its victory in Paris, it tarried and gave the Versailles government time to gather the dark forces and prepare for the blood-soaked week of May...
By Kathleen Gilbert
TORONTO, February 11, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - 12-year-old "Lia" of Toronto has become a star at her school and on Youtube with her five-minute pro-life speech, crafted for a school competition. Despite discouragement and outright opposition, Lia's presentation was so well done that she reportedly won the contest she was told she would be disqualified from, due to the "controversial" message of her speech.
"What if I told you that right now, someone was choosing if you were gonna live or die?" begins the charismatic seventh-grader in a practice recording of the speech posted on Youtube. "What if I told you that this choice wasn't based on what you could or couldn't do, what you'd done in the past, or what you would do in the future? And what if I told you, you could do nothing about it?
"Fellow students and teachers, thousands of children are right now in that very situation. Someone is choosing without even knowing them whether they are going to live or die. That someone is their mother. And that choice is abortion."
Lia, speaking easily and with sunny enthusiasm, fires off answers to several common objections in the brief speech.
"Why do we think that just because a fetus can't talk or do what we do, it isn't a human being yet?" She asks. "Some babies are born after only five months. Is this baby not human?
"We would never say that. Yet abortions are performed on 5-month-old fetuses all the time. Or do we only call them humans if they're wanted?
"Think about the child's rights, that were never given to it. No matter what rights the mother has, it doesn't mean we can deny the rights of the fetus," she said. "We must remember that with our rights and our choices come responsibilities, and we can't take someone else's rights away to avoid our responsibilities."
Lia's mother says that the topic was of her own choosing, and that she was determined not to back down, even after teachers told her it was "too mature" and "too controversial."
"She was also told that if she went ahead with that topic, she would not be allowed to continue on in the speech competition," Lia's mother wrote in the email to the Moral Outcry blog. "Initially, I tried helping her find other topics to speak on, but, in the end, she was adamant. She just felt she wanted to continue with the topic of abortion. So she forfeited her chance to compete in order to speak on something she was passionate about."
The mother told LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) that the girl's homeroom teacher was supportive of Lia's speech even though she was pro-choice. "After helping Lia do the speech she said, 'It really got me thinking,'" the mom noted.
At the schoolwide competition, the mom said one pro-choice teacher on the judge's panel "didn't even want to hear" the speech, and stepped down from the panel before Lia began. After the speech, which Lia's family said was well-received by both students and teachers, the judges initially told Lia she had indeed been disqualified. But controversy among the judges eventually led to a reversal, and Lia's family learned the next day that the panel agreed the girl deserved to win the competition.
"There was a big stink about it, and we volunteered to step down ... but her teacher said 'No, she won fair and square, so she'll keep going on," said her mom. Lia is expected to present her speech at a regional competition tomorrow night, representing her school.
When asked what inspired Lia to pursue the topic so adamantly, her mother said it was "a little mystery."
While the family espouses pro-life Christian values, "it's not like we're out every weekend picketing," she said. "It was just something really deep in her heart, and she just felt really passionate about it." She added: "I kind of snicker when I see people on the Youtube video [comment box] saying 'Oh, her mother forced her to do this' - I'm like, 'No, I'm on the other end, trying to make her pick another topic!'
"But she was just really passionate about it, and she has her research on it," said the mother. "I really believe it's just something that God put in her heart."
Dieu le Roy!
The War between the French and the Prussians began through perfidy on the part of the Prussian von Bismarck.
Early in 1870, Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen (of the Roman Catholic branch of the Hohenzollerns) had been offered the Spanish throne which had become vacant. France, was concerned over a possible alliance between Prussia and Spain which would serve to box France in on two sides. France protested a possible alliance between the two branches of Hohenzollerns spoke about war. Following the the French protestations, Leopold withdrew his acceptance. As it stood this meant a diplomatic defeat for Prussia. The french demanded a guarantee that no member of the Hohenzollern family would ever be a candidate for the Spanish throne. It seemed as if the War of Spanish Succession was about to be replayed.
King Wilhelm I of Prussia, on his morning stroll on 13 July 1870 in the Kurpark in Ems, was buttonhold by Count Vincent Benedetti, the French ambassador in Prussia since 1864. The ambassador had been instructed to present the French demand that the king would never approve a Hohenzollern to fill the empty Spanish throne. The meeting was informal and took place in the Kursaal discreetly, the demand was refused and the meeting ended politely.
The account was passed on to von Bismarck via the King's secretary Heinrich Abeken. The King recounted that Benedetti was "very importunate." and he allowed a transcript to be published.
Bismarck edited the report, sharpening the language. He cut out Wilhelm’s conciliatory phrases and emphasized the real issue. The French had made certain demands under threat of war; and Wilhelm had refused them. This was no forgery; it was a clear statement of the facts. The telegram was released on the evening of the 13 July to the media and implied that Benedetti was insistent and the King exceedingly abrupt. The French concluded that Benedetti was insulted and the through him the French Nation, the Prussians concluded that Benedetti insulted the Prussian King by threatening War.
Von Bismarck correctly assessed that the French would, through pride, declare war on Germany. In this way he could help in his goal to unify The German peoples under the Prussian Crown. His edited telegram had ..."the desired effect of waving a red cape in front of the face of the Gallic Bull..."
France was outraged and declared war on the 14 July 1870, Bastille day.
Dieu le Roy,