Belgium becomes the first country in Europe to restricts headcoverings

"...No one shall wear clothing that obscures the face..."

The Belgian Parliament almost unanimously approved a ban on the wearing of veils in public places. This decision by the Belgian legislators is the first of its kind in Europe. In this case, the law does not mention Islamic female attire; according to the literal text, the prohibition extends to coverings (including certain caps) that hide most of the face. Thus, the hijab does not fall under the law’s proscription. Anyone who appears in public with their face covered faces a fine of 15 to 25 euros (19.94 to 33.23 USD.)and/or confinement in jail for up to seven days. If local authorities give their consent, the law allows for exceptional easements for holidays, carnivals, and other cultural events.

In response to a personal request of President Nicolas Sarkozy, French legislators are now working on similar legislation. The public authorities in both countries insist that the law does not focus on believers in a particular religion; rather, its raison d’être comes from concerns about public safety, so that police can more effectively determine a person’s identity. However, Muslim organisations, European leftist groups, and human rights activists called the ban on the wearing of the veil a violation of personal freedom. They point up that its implementation would be difficult and that only a small percentage of European Muslim women wear clothing that completely hides the face. In reply, the proponents of the law argue that people who voluntarily choose a certain country as their place of permanent residence should integrate themselves into the local society and respect its customs. The hijab is legal under the new law, it does not hide the wearer’s face. An exception in the law covers the Roman Catholic “third orders” that parade with covered faces.

It was on this date 1883 that Édouard Manet the French impressionist died.
Self portrait, Édouard Manet.


Count Roman Ignacy Franciszek Potocki

On the 28th of February, 1750 in Radzyń Podlaski a town in eastern Poland, Roman Ignacy Franciszek Potocki was born in the Potoki palace. He was born into the Polish nobilty, during the time of the The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth(1).

This commonwealth possessed features unique among contemporary states: the Commonwealth's political system known alternately as the Noble's Democracy or Golden Freedom was characterized by strict checks upon monarchical power. These checks were enacted by a legislature (Sejm) controlled by the nobility (szlachta). This idiosyncratic system was a precursor to modern concepts of democracy, constitutional monarchy and federation. The two component states of the Commonwealth were formally equal, yet Poland was the dominant partner in the union. The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was marked by high levels of ethnic diversity and by unusual religious tolerance, though the degree of religious tolerance varied over time. Shortly before its demise, the Commonwealth adopted a massive reform effort and enacted the Constitution of May 3, 1791, which has been described as the 2nd oldest codified national constitution of modern history.

Potocki was an alumnus of the Collegium Nobilium (College of Nobles) in Warsaw, Poland, and later studied theology and law in Rome. As a member (1772-1791) of Poland's Commission of National Education the world's first ministry of education – he presided over the Society for Elementary Textbooks.

First an opponent of King Stanisław II August, during the Four-Year Sejm (1788-1792) Potocki backed the King and was a leader of the Patriotic Party and the reform movement. An advocate of a pro-Prussian orientation, he helped conclude an alliance on March 29, 1790 with the Kingdom of Prussia.

However Count Potocki is best remembered by Poles as the co-author of the Constitution of May 3, 1791. Europe's first codified national constitution in modern history, and the world's second, (after the United States Constitution), which had been ratified two years earlier. The revolutionary Constitution recast the erstwhile Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth as a Polish–Lithuanian federal state with a hereditary monarchy and abolished many of the deleterious features of the old system. The new constitution: Abolished the liberum veto and banned the szlachta's confederations; provided for a separation of powers among legislative, executive and judicial branches of government; established "popular sovereignty" and extended political rights to include not only the nobility but the bourgeoisie; increased the rights of the peasantry; preserved religious tolerance (but with a condemnation of apostasy from the Catholic faith). unfortunately this reforms immediately induced the surrounding kingdoms, Russia, Austria, and Prussia to invaxe and partition Poland. In the end, the May 3rd Constitution was never fully implemented, and the Commonwealth entirely ceased to exist only four years after the Constitution's adoption. Throughout the Napoleonic Wars the poles saught to regain their country and allied themselves with France, producing a truly steady ally.

Potocki participated in preparations for the Kościuszko(2) Uprising of 1794, in which he served as a member of the Supreme National Council (Rada Najwyższa Narodowa). Upon suppression of the Uprising, he was imprisoned by the Tsarist Russian authorities.

After being released in 1796, Potocki settled in Galicia (southern Poland) and devoted himself to historical studies. He died 30 August 1809 in Vienna. He was married in 1773 to Elżbieta Lubomirska(3) by which he had 1 child, Krystyna Potocka.

Jezus i Maryja,

My other posts on Poland, here, here, here, here, and here.

Polish saints are found here and http://lefleurdelystoo.blogspot.com/2010/05/st-maximilian-kolbe.html

(1)The official name of the Commonwealth was Kingdom of Poland and Grand Duchy of Lithuania
(2)Kościuszko fought in the American Revolution.
(3)All female names in Polish always end in an A, first, last, and middle. Potoki's wifes name wouud be Elżbieta Lubomirska Potocka

A pro life Saint and role model

From Da Mihi Animas.


The Nun of Kent

From Supremacy and Survival: The English Reformation, via Tea at Trianon is this posting,

...Born in 1506, Elizabeth Barton had been regarded as a visionary; as a Benedictine in Canterbury, she had been visited by both Henry VIII and his Chancellor, Thomas Wolsey, Cardinal Archbishop of York. Before Henry VIII broke away from Rome and arranged the annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, Barton's visions and prophecies had pleased him and he thought her Godly...more


Tornado in Zebulon

Last Sunday we had a spurt of tornadic activity. This is a picture of a tornado in Zebulon NC taken by Joseph Nusser, as he and his wife left church.

Thanks for the picture, Sgt Nusser.


God is pretty powerful.


Italian Government Investigates Baby Left to Die after Failed Abortion

Yesterday I posted an article on the baby left to die for 2 days after surviving an abortion in Italy. This is a follow up on that article.

Italian Government Investigates Baby Left to Die after Failed Abortion: "
The Italian government has announced that it will launch an investigation of a hospital where a premature baby born alive following an attempted abortion was left to die for hours, before receiving medical attention thanks to the intervention of a priest.

“If the reports are correct we are talking about a grave case of therapeutic abandonment of a very premature newborn, probably also with some form of disability: an act against the sense of human pity but also against all ethics of medical practice,” said Eugenia Roccella, the Italian Subsecretary of Health.

“The Ministry of Health will send its inspectors to Rossano Calabro hospital to see that the case is effectively addressed, and to verify that respect has been shown for law 194, which prohibits abortion when there is the possibility of an autonomous life for the fetus, and allows it only if the continuation of the pregnancy is dangerous to the life of the woman,” Roccella added.

The baby, who was at 22 weeks gestation, was aborted in a hospital in Rossano reportedly because he suffered from a deformity, although the mother has also claimed that the pregnancy posed a medical risk. After surviving the doctor’s attempt to kill him, the infant was given no medical treatment and was left to die.

According to reports in the Italian media, the situation was discovered by a priest, who had heard of the abortion and had come to pray for the soul of the infant.

However, he was shocked to find that the child was moving and breathing, wrapped in a sheet and lying unattended with his umbilical cord still attached. He reported the situation to the doctors, who then placed the child in intensive care in a neighboring hospital. However, he died only a few hours later.

In addition to the investigation by the national health ministry, local officials in Rossano are also reportedly investigating the case to determine if there was negligence on the part of doctors.

Many similar cases of children left to die after surviving abortions have been documented in the American media as well, prompting the passage of the federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which was signed into law in 2002. Barack Obama, the current U.S. president, had infamously opposed a state version of the bill while serving as a senator in Illinois.

Related LifeSiteNews coverage:

How Babies Were Left to Die: Nurse Recounts Horrors of Infanticide Practice Barack Obama Protected

66 British Babies Survived Abortion – All Were Left to Die Without Medical Aid

I have to say that were these criminals sentenced to die by execution they would be treated far more humanly than these babies were. It is truly murder. Italy is a country which does not allow the death penalty for convicts who have been found guilty of dastardly crimes, yet the innocent are killed every day through abortion. These babies have done no other crime than to be conceived. Original sin is not a crime.


Mark Wahlberg, good Catholic moral example.

There is hope for Hollywood.

Mark Wahlberg, American actor and Oscar nominee, a well-known rapper (with the stage name of Marky Mark) and model known for controversy in the past, said that he did not star in the films Brokeback Mountain and Ocean's 11 at the insistence of his confessor, Fr James Flavin.

Brokeback Mountain was about a homosexual love affair and these relations contradict the teachings of the Catholic Church. Therefore, although the film received three Academy Awards, the actor has no regrets about his refusal, according to the British website Showbizspy.com. One of his closest friends said, “Mark is a practising Catholic, so he never takes a final decision regarding his roles without securing a blessing from Fr James”. At the same time, over the entire course of his career, Mark believes that he owes much to Fr James. “Fr James has had a huge impact on my life. He always tried to put me on the right path. Without him, everything would have been much worse”, he said.

Recently, Rev Flavin advised the actor to accept a role in Martin Scorsese's The Departed, and, in the end, Mark received an Oscar nomination for his role. In the past, Mark was crude and violent, but now he is a model family man and he and wife are raising four children. He was married to his wife, model Rhea Durham, in a Catholic church in Beverly Hills.



Ecuminism of St Jean Vianney

Once upon a time, ecumenism meant that we tryed to convert the Protestant to the True Faith. Now it means understanding the Protestants view of salvation as equal to or even surpassing the Catholic one. Today we are told "conversion isn’t necessary - the important thing is that we are all good people, and love Jesus Christ." This isn’t what the Church taught in the past, as shown in this encounter of the Saint John Vianney with a Protestant. You can also see the good results of his intransigent, yet charitable position.

One day the saintly Curé de Ars was visited by a Protestant gentleman. The good priest, thinking he was a Catholic, began to speak to him about Our Lord and the Saints, as he was accustomed to do with all who came to see him.

As the man rose to leave, the Saint gave him a medal as a small remembrance of his visit.

The Cure de Ars did not have the modern ecumenical spirit...

The gentleman said to him: “Dear sir, you have given a medal to one who is a heretic – at least, I am a heretic from your point of view. But although we are not of the same religion, I hope we shall both be in Heaven one day.”

St. John Vianney took the man’s hand in his own and, giving him a penetrating look, answered: “Alas, my friend. We cannot be together in Heaven unless we have begun to live so in this world. Death makes no change in that. As the tree falls, so shall it lie.”

“But, my good Father,” replied the other, “I put my trust in Jesus Christ, Who said, ‘He that believes in Me shall have eternal life.’”

The good Curé answered: “Jesus Christ said many more things than that. He also said, ‘He that does not hear the Church, let him be to thee as a heathen and a publican.’ And he also said, ‘There shall be one fold and one shepherd,’ and He made St. Peter the chief shepherd of His flock.”

Then he added, “My dear friend, there are not two ways of serving Jesus Christ. There is only one good way, and that is to serve Him as He Himself desires to be served.”

Saying this, the priest left the man. But these words sank deeply into the Protestant’s heart, and led him to renounce the errors in which he had been brought up, and he became a fervent Catholic.

From The Catechist, by Canon Howe, South Bend, Indiana: Marian Publications, 1976, pp. 3


Our protestant brothers are great at sound bites.

See what St Louis IX, King had to say on ecuminism, here...

Is History Repeating Itself?

Oh yes it can... See Elena-Maria's article here...

Thanks and a tip of the beret to Elena-Maria.


12 things we should know about the sexual abuse scandal

Today the Raleigh News and Observer posted an article in the paper and on the web, entitled "Out of the Shadows", about a man who retired to a town near Raleigh who in his youth had been homosexually molested by a priest. It is found here. I have made the first comment.

I also post a link to static youth entitled "12 Things Every Catholic Should Know About the U.S. Scandals"... It is found here...

Blatant attacks on the Church and the Pope.



Jacobins and Girondins

My other blog has articles of sarcasm posted today...


Baby boy survives for nearly two days after abortion

A baby boy abandoned by doctors to die after a botched abortion was found alive nearly two days later.

Daily Telegraph
By Simon Caldwell
Published: 4:29PM BST 28 Apr 2010

The 22-week infant later died in intensive care at a hospital in the mother's home town of Rossano in southern Italy.

The mother, pregnant for the first time, had opted for an abortion after prenatal scans suggested that her baby was disabled.

However the infant survived the procedure, carried out on Saturday in the Rossano Calabria hospital, and was left by doctors to die.

He was discovered alive the following day – some 20 hours after the operation – by Father Antonio Martello, the hospital chaplain, who had gone to pray beside his body.

He found that the baby, wrapped in a sheet with his umbilical cord still attached, was moving and breathing.

The priest raised the alarm and doctors immediately arranged for the infant to be taken to a specialist neonatal unit at a neighbouring hospital where he died on Monday morning.

Italian police are investigating the case for "homicide" because infanticide is illegal in Italy.

The law means that doctors have had an obligation to try to preserve the life of the child once he had survived the abortion.

The Italian government is also considering an inquiry into the conduct of the hospital staff.

The case has reignited controversy on the legality of abortion in the proudly Roman Catholic country.

It could also raise questions in Britain over the legal upper limits for abortion and the viability of the foetus – or its ability to survive outside of the womb.

A spokesman for the ProLife Alliance said: "There cannot be anybody in the world who is not horrified by a story like this nor anybody in the UK who would not support a massive reduction in the upper limit for abortion."

Most abortions at 22 weeks simply involve the induction of the birth which normally results in the death of a young foetus.

The case is causing uproar in Italy because it is the second involving a foetus of that age surviving the procedure in just three years.

The other involved a baby in Florence who weighed just 17oz when he was aborted at 22weeks because of a suspected genetic disorder but lived for three days.

Since 1978 abortion has been available on demand in Italy in the first three months of pregnancy but is restricted to specific circumstances – such as disability- in the second trimester. The government is considering a review of the working of the laws.

The case also comes as figures in Britain revealed last week that the number of babies born weighing only 2lbs has more than doubled in just two years.

Yet the proportion of tiny babies born stillborn has nearly halved, the health service statistics have shown.

The figures do not reveal at what stage the babies were born but a child weighing under 2lbs is likely to have been born at least three months early.

They will inevitably include some born alive at an age when they could, in other circumstances, have been aborted.

More than 200,000 abortions are performed each year, most for non-medical reasons within the legal upper limit of 24 weeks gestation.

The increasing number of babies surviving below 24 weeks, partly because of advances in medicine, has led to widespread calls for the legal upper limit to be further reduced.

Attempts to lower the limit failed in Parliament in 2008.

In 2005 a baby boy in Manchester was born alive at 24 weeks after surviving three attempts to abort him. He is now a five-year-old schoolboy.

However the infant survived the procedure, carried out on Saturday in the Rossano Calabria hospital, and was left by doctors to die.

Related Articles
Baby 'OT' dies after court rules his life-saving ventilator must be switched off

Baby OT: Parents 'deeply distressed' by court ruling to switch off life-support for their boy

'Right-to-life' parents lose bid to save baby

Parents fight doctors for son's right to life

Mother has healthy baby boy despite abortion warning by doctor

Mother of octuplets 'ecstatic' about their arrival


"Europe's Most Slandered Princess"

Here is an article about the Princess de Rethy, second wife of Leopold II of Belguim.

Much thanks to Matterhorn.


18 th Century Blogging

Blogging, Now and Then
The libelles of eighteenth century France. (Via Andrew Cusack)

Thanks to Elena-Maria.

Vive le Roy!


Kristina Wasa, Swedish Queen

"It is necessary to try to surpass one's self always; this occupation ought to last as long as life."

Queen of Sweden, child of Gustavus Adolphhus II of Sweden, born at Stockholm, 8 December, 1626; d. at Rome, 19 April, 1689. Her father was the famous soldier whose interposition in the Thirty Years' Was wrought so much harm to Catholicism. Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg, her mother, had hoped for a son, and was so disappointed at the birth of a daughter that she had little love for the child, who was left to the care of nurses. Gustavus Adolphus, however, was tenderly attached to his daughter; in 1630, when he sailed for Germany, he recommended Christina to the loyalty of his people and put his sister Catherine, who held her court at Stegeborg, in charge of the child's education.

Three years later, Maria Eleonora brought back the body of her husband, Gustavus Adolphus, to Sweden. For a while after this her love seemed to be transferred to the child, but this affectionate relation did not last long. In obedience to the command of her father, Christina was brought up like a boy, and received instruction in the various branches of learning from distinguished men, among whom was the learned Dr. Matthiæ, Bishop of Strengès. The princess was an indefatigable student, and a great reader of good books.

Feminine occupations and amusements had no attraction for her, and she was indifferent to dress and finery of all kinds. The mother wished rather to see he daughter lead a life of pleasure, and encouraged her in the enjoyment of wine and other stimulating drinks, so that the country was alarmed for the mortals of the heir to the throne, and Christina was sent again to her aunt. When the aunt died she was put under the care of the sister of the celebrated chancellor Axel Oxenstiern. In her new surroundings the great talents of Christina rapidly developed. She soon mastered several languages, gained a comprehensive knowledge of history and politics, and showed in particular a strong liking for theologico-political speculations. At the same time the masculine qualities of her character grew steadily more evident. Her favorite amusement was bear-hunting, and she could outride most men. At 18 (8 December, 1644) she was of age and entered on the duties of government with a strong hand. It was not, however, until two years later she was crowned, the ceremony taking place with great pomp at Stockholm.

At first Christina devoted herself to the affairs of state with most laudable zeal. It was owing to her interventions that the peace negotiations at Münster and Osnabrück were more quickly concluded than expected. Christina strove to raise her people to a higher plane of civilization, to promote their welfare in every way, and to insure their prosperity. Without lowering the dignity suitable to her station she treated all her subjects with dignity and condescension. She drew to Sweden artists and scholars, among whom were the philosopher Descartes and Hugo Grotius, the expounder of international law; by the payment of large pensions she kept these men attached to her court. The praise with which these scholars repaid their royal patron was often immoderate. As time went on Christina gradually lost interest in the task of government and developed an intense desire for new and exciting pleasures, often for those of a most costly character. The health of the queen suffered from the changed method of her life, and it was with great difficulty that her French physician, Dr. Bourdelot, effected a cure. In the mean time the debts thus incurred, rose to a large amount.

The Swedish people wished the queen to marry and to give them an heir to the throne, but Christina was not willing to hear of this as she desired to preserve her personal independence. She was much more inclined to abdicate her position and to become a ruler in the realm of genius and learning. At the same time she showed a continually growing inclination to the Catholic Church, for she took no pleasure in the simple forms of Lutheran belief which was all-powerful in Sweden. It is not possible to prove positive whether Dr. Bourdelot or the Spanish ambassador, Pimentelli, influence Christina's change of religious views. It is certain however, that several members of the Society of Jesus, Fathers Macedo, Francken, Malines, and Casati, succeeded in removing her last doubts as to the truth of Catholicism. Christina perceived that she could not continue to reign in Sweden as a convert to Catholicism, and resigned her throne in favour of her cousin, Charles Gustavus of Pfalz-Zweibrücken, a member of the Wittelsbach family.

On 6 June, 1654, at Upsala, she transferred her authority to him with much ceremony, and in the following day started on her travels. She bade farewell to her mother at Nyköping, then hastened to Halmstad, where she dismissed her retinue, and went to Brussels by way of Hamburg and Antwerp. At Brussels she made private confession of her belief in Catholicism; her public entrance into the Church took place in the beginning of November 1655, in the parish church of Innsbruck.

It was from Innsbruck that the European Courts were officially informed of her change of faith. On 23 December, she reached the capital of Christendom, which was decorated in her honour. The Pope came personally to meet her, administered the sacrament of Confirmation, and added Alexandra to her name.

In Rome, Christina's home was in the Palazzo Farnese; and during her residence here she sought to satisfy her intellectual ambitions as well as the longings of her devout and loving heart. She visited the sacred places to pray, went as a ministering angel into the hovels of the poor, and devoted herself to the study of the collections of art and the libraries. She drew into the circle of her fascinations the leading families of the Eternal City, arranged concerts and plays, and knew how to delight everyone by her acuteness and learning. She was not willing, however, to drop rough Swedish customs, and allowed herself to display various peculiarities of dress and manner, so that many people avoided her.

In 1656 and 1657, Christina went to France, the first time with a retinue, the second time incognito. On the latter trip her conduct excited much displeasure as, among other eccentricities she dressed as a man. Much more severe censure was aroused by the trial, without proper legal forms, of an old servant, Monaldeschi, and his subsequent execution, although as sovereign she had the right to pronounce sentence of death, or at least believed herself entitled to this authority.

Returning to Rome she gradually fell under the displeasure of the pope, for like a true daughter of Gustavus Adolphus she at times defied foreign laws and customs in too arrogant a fashion. Christina suffered much annoyance from the failure to receive with regularity from Sweden the income to which she was entitled; sometimes no money came at all. Moreover a woman so active intellectually had not taste or time for keeping accounts. Dishonesty in the management of her money affairs naturally followed, and the disorder in her finances were not overcome until the Curia through Cardinal Azzolini provided her with a competent bookkeeper.

After the death of Charles Gustavus (1660) she returned to Sweden to have her rights again legally confirmed. A second visit home (1667) was not of long duration as, in the pettiest manner, difficulties were thrown in the way of her exercise of her religion.

After this for a time she lived in Hamburg, but she made her continued stay in that city, then very rigidly Lutheran, impossible by organizing festivities in honour of the newly-elected pope, which ended in tumult and bloodshed.

In 1668 she returned to Rome and never again left the Eternal City. Her new home was the Palazzo Riario, and she filled her residence with great collections of books and objects of art. Her palace became a centre both for the learned world and for artists and sculptors; to the latter, Christina gave both aid and generously paid commissions. Her forethought and care were not limited to her acquaintances and members of her household, the poor of Rome also found in her a charitable mother.

As she grew older she fulfilled her religious duties with increasing intelligence and zeal, and the approach of her death had no longer any terrors for her. Piously and bravely she prepared herself for the end; after arranging her worldly affairs she received the sacraments with humble devotion and died a true child of the Catholic Church. Against her express wishes the Pope had her body embalmed and brought to St. Peter's where it was buried under the high altar. Her ostentatious but not prepossessing monument is the work of Carlo Fontana.

Christina made Cardinal Azzolini her principal heir, while the papal See and various Catholic sovereigns also received legacies. Unfortunately, after the death of Azzolini much of her valuable art collection passed into the hands of strangers; the greater part of her very rich library, however, is in the Vatican. Pictures and plastic art of various kinds have preserved the knowledge of Christina's features. Although not beautiful, in her youth her appearance must have been interesting. In later years she grew too stout to retain any trace of good looks. Only the flashing piercing eyes give any evidence of the fiery spirit which the exterior concealed.

The character the northern sovereign remained very much the same through life. Receptive for everything good and great, she unfalteringly pursued her quest after knowledge of the truth and after many wanderings found it in the bosom of the Catholic Church. She had a tender, sympathetic heart, yet was subject at times to fits of temper, even cruelty. She was no saint, but was probably better than the members of her former confession pictured her. Any objective portrait of her will always bear out the judgment of Axel Oxenstiern, "After all she was the daughter of the Great Adolphus", both in her faults and in her virtues.