“Glory Enough for All”

The 4th New Hampshire(1)

“Glory Enough for All,” a day-long event commemorating the kickoff for the sesquicentennial commemoration of the Civil War in North Carolina, was held on Saturday, Jan. 15, at Fort Fisher State Historic Site in Kure Beach. The program focused on post-war reunions and efforts to memorialize the battle.

It was at this time that I donated a field manual , Casey's Tactics that was once the property of a Col Lewis Bell, who was at the time the commander of the 3th (of 4) Brigade of Adelbert Ames 2nd Division. It was during the second attack on Fort Fisher on January 15 1865 that Bell received a fatal wound. Bell died the next day. His wife Mary Anne (called Mollie) died just a few weeks later.

Fort Fisher below Wilmington was strategically located on the entrance to the Cape Fear River. It's construction of sand made it almost impervious to cannon fire from the Federal Fleet. The aspect of sand absorbing the effects of heavy ordnance emulated the Tower of Malakoff which had been constructed at Sevastopol, Russia, during the Crimean War. Fort Fisher was called the Malakof Tower of the west. Much of what remained of the fort after the battle has either been eroded by 145 years of hurricanes, or the building of a USAAF anti-submarine airfield during the 2nd World War. Almost half of the site facing the ocean is gone and what remains is in jeopardy of ruin. Battery Buchanan about a mile closer to the New Inlet is just a mound of sand.

A cannon or two would be placed between each hump.

...Colonel Louis Bell, was the son of Governor Samuel Bell and his second wife Lucy, was born in Chester, New Hampshire, on March 8, 1837. His siblings included Dr. Luther V. Bell, New Hampshire Senator James Bell, and the Honorable Samuel D. Bell, Chief Justice of New Hampshire. He attended Derry and Gilford Academies and at eighteen graduated from Brown University. In 1857, after he was admitted to the Bar, Bell opened a law office in Farmington, New Hampshire. He married Mary Anne (Mollie) Persis Bouton, third daughter of Rev. Dr. Bouton, of Concord, New Hampshire on June 8, 1859. The couple had two children: a daughter, Marian, born September 5, 1860 and a son, Louis, born December 5, 1864.... University of New Hampshire Library

The first volume (there originally were 3) of Brigadier General Silas Casey's Infantry Tactics, which included the School of the Soldier, and School of the Company, inscribed with the owners name ..Col Louis Bell, 4th New Hampshire Vols, Feb 22, 1863 (2).. It was purchased for me in the 1980's by my good wife Suzanne while we lived (exiled) in California. How it came to California is a mystery to me. Bell was reputed for being very well versed in military tactics and carried his manuals where ever he went. I had kept it with me safe ever since. After a sickness a couple of years ago I decided it was high time to distribute some of my papers and books, therefore with that in mind I attempted at first to contact the NC Department of Archives. I got no response; I contacted the New Hampshire National Guard, again nothing. I was put in contact with descendants of the Bell family, but it also elicited no interest. Finally I went to Bennett Place State Historic Site in Durham NC, the curator kindly put me in touch with Fort Fisher and finally Paul Laird and the Friends of Fort Fisher. The Friends Of Fort Fisher graciously accepted this for the fort to be made into a display so that the posterity of the State of North Carolina may enjoy this piece of history. Some photos are below...

Casey's Infantry Tactics 1862, frontispiece showing a regiment in line ad the positions of the officers.

Col Bell's name in his own hand located on the front cover. The manual is also signed on page 24 as was the practice in the 19th century.


(1) The 4th New Hampshire wore a peculiar type of hat to the war and it's service in South Carolina at Hilton Head. It was called a Whipple hat, named after the units first colonel a light pressed felt, sky blue hat with a skirt which ran around the sides and back. Photo borrowed from Dirty Billy's Hats a reenactor source. This is the penultimate source for historical hats. I do not know of any other regiment which wore this particular hat.
(2) Washington's birthday.

Eucharistic Miracle in Lourdes

I have watched this film over and over.

Eucharistic Miracle

On November 7, 1999 a solemn Mass was held in the minor Basilica of Lourdes. The Archbishop of Lyon at the time, the late Cardinal Billé, was the celebrant and concelebrating with him were the archbishop of France, Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, a number of French bishops, a number of priests and all the superiors of Trappist monasteries worldwide. The ceremony was broadcast live on French television.

On the altar were two hosts to be consecrated, much larger than those used by Italian priests, as is customary in France. At the beginning of the Mass, the two hosts appear in the film to be stacked one above the other, so that one cannot tell that their are two instead of one: they are resting on the paten,and are perfectly matched up. The film shows various camera angles showing them in this position and there is no doubt that the two hosts are physically stacked one atop the other and resting on the paten. At the moment of the "epiclesis", that is, when the priest extends his hands and invokes the Holy Spirit, the phenomenon is evident.

One sees the upper host detach from the lower one and levitate. The motion is impressive: the host is raised as though underneath it a force is released and it oscillates three or four times in the air before assuming a fixed position, horizontal, suspended about a centimeter, and remains in this position until the end of the Canon.

The video shows various moments of the ceremony during which the concelebrants move around and it is thus possible to see, between the levitating host and the host resting on the paten, the colors of the vestments of the celebrants.

The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist
by Frank J. Sheed

The Blessed Eucharist is the Sacrament. Baptism exists for it, all the others are enriched by it. The whole being is nourished by it. It is precisely food, which explains why it is the one sacrament meant to be received daily. Without it, one petition in the Our Father-"Give us this day our daily bread"-lacks the fullness of its meaning.

Early in his ministry, as St. John tells us (ch 6), Our Lord gave the first promise of it. He had just worked what is probably the most famous of his miracles, the feeding of the five thousand. The next day, in the synagogue at Capernaum on the shore of the sea of Galilee, Our Lord made a speech which should be read and reread. Here we quote a few phrases: "I am the Bread of Life"; "I am the Living Bread, which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give, is my flesh for the life of the world"; "He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed. He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, abides in me, and I in him"; "He that eats me shall live by me."

He saw that many of his own disciples were horrified at what he was saying. He went on: "It is the spirit that quickens: the flesh profits nothing." We know what he meant: in saying they must eat his flesh, he did not mean dead flesh but his body with the life in it, with the living soul in it. In some way he himself, living, was to be the food of their soul's life. Needless to say, all this meant nothing whatever to those who heard it first. For many, it was the end of discipleship. They simply left him, probably thinking that for a man to talk of giving them his flesh to eat was mere insanity. When he asked the Apostles if they would go too, Peter gave him one of the most moving answers in all man's history: "Lord, to whom shall we go?" He had not the faintest idea of what it all meant; but he had a total belief in the Master he had chosen and simply hoped that some day it would be made plain.

There is no hint that Our Lord ever raised the matter again until the Last Supper. Then his meaning was most marvellously made plain. What he said and did then is told us by Matthew, Mark, and Luke; and St. Paul tells it to the Corinthians (1 Cor 10 and 11). St. John, who gives the longest account of the Last Supper, does not mention the institution of the Blessed Eucharist; his Gospel was written perhaps thirty years after the others, to be read in a church which had been receiving Our Lord's body and blood for some sixty years. What he had provided is the account we have just been considering of Our Lord's first promise.

Here is St. Matthew's account of the establishment: "Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke: and gave to his disciples, and said, Take ye and eat: This is my body. And taking the chalice he gave thanks: and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this. For this is my blood of the New Testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins."

Since they deal with the food of our life, we must examine these words closely. What we are about to say of "This is my body" will do for "This is my blood" too. The word is need not detain us. There are those, bent upon escaping the plain meaning of the words used, who say that the phrase really means "This represents my body." It sounds very close to desperation! No competent speaker would ever talk like that, least of all Our Lord, least of all then. The word this, deserves a closer look. Had he said, "Here is my body," he might have meant that, in some mysterious way, his body was there as well as, along with, the bread which seems so plainly to be there. But he said, "This is my body"-this which I am holding, this which looks like bread but is not, this which was bread before I blessed it, this is now my body. Similarly this, which was wine, which still looks like wine, is not wine. It is now my blood.

Every life is nourished by its own kind-the body by material food, the intellect by mental food. But the life we are now concerned with is Christ living in us; the only possible food for it is Christ. So much is this so that in our own day you will scarcely find grace held to be Christ's life in us unless the Eucharist is held to be Christ himself.

What Our Lord was giving us was a union with himself closer than the Apostles had in the three years of their companionship, than Mary Magdalen had when she clung to him after his Resurrection. Two of St. Paul's phrases, from 1 Corinthians 11 and 10, are specially worth noting:

"Whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord"; and "We, being many, are one bread, one body, all that partake of one bread"- a reminder that the Eucharist is not only for each man's soul but for the unity of the Mystical Body.

I can see why a Christian might be unable to bring himself to believe it, finding it beyond his power to accept the idea that a man can give us his flesh to eat. But why should anyone to escape the plain meaning of the words?

For the Catholic nothing could be simpler. Whether he understands or not, he feels safe with Peter in the assurance that he who said he would give us his body to eat had the words of eternal life. Return again to what he said. The bread is not changed into the whole Christ, but into his body; the wine is not changed into the whole Christ, but into his blood. But Christ lives, death has no more dominion over him. The bread becomes his body, but where his body is, there he is; the wine becomes his blood but is not thereby separated from his body, for that would mean death; where his blood is, he is. Where either body or blood is, there is Christ, body and blood, soul and divinity. That is the doctrine of the Real Presence.


Dieu le Roy!

Lourdes and St. Bernadette

"Qui Soy Era Immaculada Counceptiou" The grotto at Massabielle today, with the image of Our Lady who identified herself to Bernadette saying "I am the Immaculate Conception," written in Pyrenean dialect at the base of the statue.

Today is the anniversary of the first Apparition of our Lady of Lourdes. I added this to the inmate weekly bulletin last week for the Catholics in this prison.

It is more than 150 years since the birth of Bernadette Soubirous, the peasant girl whose visions led to the founding of the shrine at Lourdes in the foothills of the French Pyrenees. Nowadays four illuminated basilicas dominate the landscape, there are torchlight processions every day, and the shops are full of statuettes and relics. Five million pilgrims or religious tourists visit every year.

At the time of her vision Bernadette was fourteen years old and barely literate, and had to look after her younger brothers while her mother went out cleaning. On February 11, 1858, while Bernadette was out collecting wood with her sister Toinette and her friend Jeanne, they came to a place where the millstream joined the shallow river by a grotto at Massabielle. The other girls waded through the water, crying because it made their feet so cold. As Bernadette, a sickly, asthmatic girl, held back, she heard what she described as a roar. Later she reported: "I raised my head and looked towards the grotto. I saw a Lady dressed in white, wearing a white dress, a blue girdle and a yellow rose on each foot, the same color as the chain of her Rosary: the beads of her Rosary were white."

The vision was praying the Rosary. Bernadette took out her beads and did the same. The Lady beckoned but, when the girl dared not approach, she vanished. Toinette and Jeanne saw nothing and at first Bernadette did not tell them what she had seen but they got the story out of her and told her parents. The Soubirous family would not allow her to visit the grotto again, but the girl told her priest, Father Pomian, about the vision and he discussed it with the parish priest of Lourdes, Father Peyramale.

On February 14, a Sunday, Madame Soubirous relented. Bernadette took a bottle of holy water to the grotto and knelt down to say her Rosary. The Lady appeared again. Bernadette said, "I started throwing holy water at her and told her that if she came from God to stay, and if not to go." The vision smiled and bowed her head and as Bernadette was frightened, Our Lady disappeared. On the 18th Bernadette returned once more, this time with two adults, Madame Millat and Antoinette Peyret, "who advised me to take paper and ink and to ask her, if she had anything to say to me, to be so good as to write it down." The Lady appeared, said that what she had to say need not be written down, and asked Bernadette if she would come each day for a fortnight. Bernadette began to refer to the vision as Aquero, which means simply, 'It', and said that the Lady spoke in the Lourdes dialect, 'sweet and gentle', and not in French. On this third visit Aquero said, "I do not promise to make you happy in this world, but in the other."

According to Bernadette, between February 19 and March 4 "The vision appeared every day except one Monday and one Friday. She told me several times that I should tell the priests that a chapel should be built there and . . . I should pray for the conversion of sinners. She gave me three secrets which she forbade me to tell anyone."

Bernadette's account caused mixed reactions. The local police inspector interrogated her and tried to muddle her testimony, but could not: his notes of the interview have been preserved.

Some of the villagers were angry at him and threatened to break down the door if he would not release the girl.

Our Lady told Bernadette to drink from the spring-----a little muddy water that appeared from beneath the rock. Bernadette said, "I threw it away three times because it was so dirty, but the fourth time I was able to drink it . . .
The Public Prosecutor, Dutour, tried to rig Bernadette's account, but again local men hammered on his door and, trembling, he let the girl and her mother go. Later Bernadette said, "There was something in me that enabled me to rise above everything. I was tackled from all sides, but nothing mattered and I was not afraid."

At five o'clock on the morning of March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, Bernadette felt compelled to go again to the grotto. The Lady was already there. "With her two arms hanging down, she raised her eyes and looked up at the sky, and it was then that she told me, joining her hands together now at the height of her breast, that she was the Immaculate Conception. Those were the last words she ever said to me." Four years before these events, Pope Pius IX had proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. For centuries this doctrine-----that the Virgin Mary had been conceived and born without the taint of Original Sin-----had been a pious belief among the ordinary people; but the proclamation of 1854 had made it part of the Church's official teaching.

Controversy surrounded the event, and it is possible that Bernadette had heard angry words flying about in a devout village. But Father Peyramale was convinced by Bernadette's story and became her strongest supporter.

On June 3, the Feast of Corpus Christ, Bernadette made her First Communion. By the 16th, when Bernadette returned to the grotto, fences had been put up around it and she was obliged to say her Rosary from a distance. When questioned she said, "I saw nothing but the Blessed Virgin."

In 1862 a series of interrogations by bishops began. They were impressed by 'her simplicity, candor and modesty, the wisdom of her answers, her calm imagination and commonsense above her age'. To skeptics Bernadette replied, "I have been told to tell you about it. I have not been told to make you believe it."

Lourdes quickly became a popular shrine and visitors tried to shower Bernadette with money, to steal a relic from her or to cut off a piece of her hood or her dress as a souvenir. She complained of the adulation and said it tired her. Hundreds of letters were addressed to her; she prayed for their senders and asked them to pray for her in turn.

In 1862 the Bishop of Tarbes authenticated the visions and the hard-pressed Bernadette applied to join the St. Bernard nuns at Anglet, but was turned down because they did not want to be over-run by pilgrims and tourists. Four things told against her vocation: poverty, fame, poor education and lifelong bad health. In March 1862 Bernadette became very ill and she was given the Last Rites. She recovered to nurse old people in the hospice at Lourdes.

In April 1866 she succeeded in becoming a postulant at Nevers. On her first day she was ordered to recount her visions to the whole community and then never speak of them again. "I have come here to hide," she declared. She carried with her three small stones of which she said, "These are my companions whom I love." On them she had written the words 'Lourdes', 'The Grotto' and 'Nevers Mother House'. In July she received the habit and became known as Sister Marie-Bernard, but in October she was so ill that she was again given the Last Rites. Once more she defied death, and was later put in charge of the hospital.

In June of 1873 she was given the Last Rites for the third time. Yet again she recovered and this time was appointed Assistant Sacristan-----the person who kept the chapel clean and in order. But from April of 1875 she was a complete invalid, and on April 16, 1879 she died at three in the afternoon-----the same hour as Christ's death on the Cross.

What, apart from this bare chronology, can we know about Bernadette Soubirous? One thing is certain: she strove with all her might to fulfill the vocation announced to her by the Virgin at Massabielle-----to do penance, to pray and suffer for sinners. And she did suffer. The Mother Superior at Nevers testified, "It took her an hour to find a bearable position, during which her face changed and she became as if dead. Even when asleep, the faintest movement of her leg made her cry out. Such sharp cries that her companions in the dormitory could not sleep. She shrank to nothing." In fact, she had tuberculosis. Bernadette did not 'enjoy' suffering, though she spoke of it as 'my job'. And she once said, "I pray to St. Bernard, but I do not imitate him. St. Bernard liked suffering, but I avoid it if I can."

Apart from her physical pain, she bore much personal grief. Her mother died early, at forty-one. Her sister Toinette's first child, also named Bernadette, died in February of 1871, to be followed by her father a month later. In fact all five of Toinette's babies died and Bernadette wrote to her: "I like to imagine that dear little group praying in Heaven for us poor exiles on this miserable earth."
Bernadette suffered, too, from the interrogations of religious historians who tried to make her offer elaborate theological explanations for her visions. But she replied, "It is best for people to speak and write very simply. It is more moving to read the Passion than to have it explained."

In the last stages of her final illness, she requested to be left only with the crucifix sent to her by Pope Pius IX. When she became too weak to hold it, she had it fastened to her breast. After her death she was first beatified in 1925 and then canonized as St. Bernadette in 1933. Her Feast Day is February 18.

Is there anything truer or more beautiful, anything more desperately needed in our own violent times, than the heartfelt desire to pray for the forgiveness and salvation of others as well as for ourselves, and to follow the intuitive, undefeated sense and hope in all of us that love and tenderness are the immaculate things in a sullied world? It is not out of place to describe this longing as a vision of the Mother of God.

Lourdes is justly regarded as the most important place of Catholic pilgrimage in the world after the Holy Land and Rome. It comprises four magnificent basilicas and the grotto marking the exact spot where Our Lady appeared to Bernadette.

It is an awe-inspiring and unforgettable experience for the pilgrim or visitor to join one of the torchlight processions which begin at the grotto and lead to Rosary Square where the sick are blessed in the name of the Holy Mother. Traditionally there are four gifts of Lourdes: the gift of miraculous water, the gift of healing, the gift of reconciliation, the gift of strength and friendship.

In 1866 the first Mass was offered at the grotto, and on the Feast of the Assumption in 1871 the newly built Church of the Immaculate Conception was blessed. The following year saw the first national pilgrimage, with flags and banners and a torchlight procession. In 1873 the Assumption Fathers organized a much larger pilgrimage and a year later the first visitors came from abroad, particularly from Belgium and the USA. The statue of Our Lady of Lourdes was crowned in 1876 and the second of four great basilicas-----the Church of the Rosary-----was opened in 1889. On March 25, 1958, the centenary of the apparitions, the Basilica of St. Pius X was consecrated.

There have been five thousand cures which have taken place. Sixty-five of these cures have been officially designated 'miraculous' by the Church. Wonderfully moving is the nightly procession of the Holy Rosary.

The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes is February 11.

For a way to explain the Immaculate Conception see here.
A message from Lourdes, here.
The Immaculate Conception of the Holy Theotokos, here.
Song of Bernardette, from Tea at Trianon, here.

Dieu le Roy


Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.

Above Lourdes 1914

Lord have mercy; Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy; Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy; Lord have mercy.
Christ hear us; Christ graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven; Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world; Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit; Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God; Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary; Pray for us.
Holy Mother of God; Pray for us.
Mother of Christ; Pray for us.
Mother of our Savior; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, help of Christians; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, source of love; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of the poor; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of the handicapped; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of orphans; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of all children; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of all nations; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of the Church; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, friend of the lonely; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, comforter of those who mourn; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, shelter of the homeless; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, guide of travelers; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, strength of the weak; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, refuge of sinners; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, comforter of the suffering; Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, help of the dying; Pray for us.
Queen of heaven; Pray for us.
Queen of peace; Pray for us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world; Spare us O Lord.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world; Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world; Have mercy on us.
Christ hear us; Christ graciously hear us.
Let us pray:
Grant us, your servants, we pray you, Lord God, to enjoy perpetual health of mind and body. By the glorious intercession of Blessed Mary ever Virgin, may we be delivered from present sorrows, and enjoy everlasting happiness. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.



New App

The I-(confess) APP on I-phone.
It is not an easy way to go to confession. There is no such thing as a phone-in confession any more than you can go to Mass by watching EWTN, although there would be many who would say that "...according to Vatican II"... But seriousely if anyone needs an I-Pod App to figure out what is a sin and what isn't a sin, I teach Catechisis In the priest's house on the 2nd and 4th Sundays 12:30 PM at Saint Catherine of Siena Parish in Clarksville Virginia, right after Mass.

We are all given the knowledge of good and evil, of right and wrong. What happens most is that through a constant exersize of the wrong it becomes easier until we rationalize sin away. A well formed conscience is needed to overcome the rationalization, for without it we not only give ourselves the wrong answer but most often we don't even ask the question, "is this a sin?".

I say, donate the money for the APP to the poor, attend Mass, study scripture, the teachings of the church...

About sin and confession.


Joan of Arc's Faith

My friend and author Ben Kennedy has set up a portion of his site exclusively dedicated to the Faith of Joan of Arc, know on this blog as simply "la Pucelle". Go here to find out more...



Emanuel Calls to Blagojevich Missing from Evidence

Phil Rogers
NBC Chicago
February 8, 2011

Attorneys for former governor Rod Blagojevich have asked a federal judge to order prosecutors to produce two phone calls his lawyers say are mysteriously missing from evidence.

In a motion filed overnight, Blagojevich’s attorneys say the calls would support the former governor’s contention that he is innocent of charges alleging he attempted to sell Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat after the November 2008 election.

While much of the motion is blacked out to comply with orders that the conversations remain under seal, it appears at least one of the alleged conversations was between then Chief of Staff John Harris and then congressman Rahm Emanuel, who had just taken the post as president-elect Obama’s chief of staff.

Wow imagine that! What a coincidence that evidence that might incriminate the man who is seeking to be the next mayor of Chicago has come up missing. The lessons of Byzantium have not gone unlearned. Is there no limit to the depths that these democrats will go to stay in power?



Ecuminism and the Protestant Plague

I often remind my student in Catechism that they are inheritors of a great treasure and of a great gift which God has willed that they pass on. "You see" I tell them, "you are the descendants of survivors. " Someone in your line escaped the black death, the bubonic plague which ravaged Europe in the 14th and 15 centuries. Nearly half of the population died off. ...and yet here you are." The Bubonic plague killed men's bodies, but the protestant plague kills souls. Which is worse.

I am often looked to with disdain at my parish, when I voice concern over every ecumenical event our parish is asked to participate in. In many cases these events are fostered by the Catholic parishioners.

Well, there is a reason for all that. I can read history. The history of the world is the history of the Catholic Church. Any ecumenical service we do has the possibility of the watering down of our beliefs, that includes sending the youth groups to the "House of Pain" alternative halloween tour at the local Baptist church, Palm Sunday parade, "non-denominational" discussions, and most recently the Taize communion(!) service. The communion service had a benefit for my Catechists, I was able to show them the 'Holy Hub Cap" communion set. (It still remains in my classroom as no one ever came to get it from whatever community lost it.) A Communion service is not ecumenical it is heresy. There is but one Faith, the True Faith in which the body of Christ is shared among the believers, anything else is sacrilegious. Period. Baptists, Presbiters, Calvinists, Methodists do not have the True Presence, so anything taken as communion in a Catholic Church is a parody. ...and we know who is famous for his parodies.

Currently we are living in the time of the heresy of progressivism, liberalism, modernism, call it what you will... It is merely a continuation of the heresy begun by one man. Martin Luther.

All of the post reformation ecclesiastic communities can trace their roots back to and their doctrine from Luther.

If is seems like I am bashing Protestants, I am not. I will be the first to welcome them in to the fold when they realized they are the Prodigal Sons, just as I am welcoming those brothers and sisters who are returning to the faith in England.

Prepare to Commemorate 2017
The Fifth Centenary of the Protestant Revolt

by John Vennari

Chapter 9 of the Apocalypse opens with Saint John’s terrifying vision:“And the fifth Angel sounded the trumpet; and I saw a star fall from Heaven upon the earth, and to him was given the key to the bottomless pit.

“And he opened the bottomless pit: and the smoke of the pit ascended as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun was darkened, and the air with the smoke of the pit:

“And from the smoke of the pit, there came out locusts upon the earth, and power was given to them, as the scorpions of the earth have power.” (Apoc: 9:1-3)

Devout Catholic Scriptural commentators for the past 500 years have seen in this vision a prediction of Luther and his Protestant Revolt.

Martin Luther inaugurates his Protestant Revolt in 1517, nailing his 95 theses to the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany

Father Herman Bernard Kramer, in The Book of Destiny, explains, “Luther did truly open the pit and let loose against the Church all the fury of hell. Therefore modern interpreters almost universally see in this fallen star, Luther.”[1] Father Kramer references the eminent Scriptural commentator, Cornelius a Lapide as making this point.[2]

“The whole description of the locusts”, Father Kramer explains, “fits down to the last detail the kings and princes who established by force the heresy of the 16th Century.” He continues:“When Luther propounded his heretical and immoral doctrine, the sky became as it were obscured by smoke. It spread very rapidly over some regions of the earth, and it brought forth princes and kings who were eager to despoil the Church of her possessions. They compelled the people of their domains and in the territories robbed from the Church to accept the doctrines of Luther. The proponents of Protestantism made false translations of the Bible and misled the people into their errors by apparently proving from the ‘Bible’ (their own translations) the correctness of their doctrines. It was all deceit, lying and hypocrisy. Bad and weak, lax and lukewarm, indifferent and non-practicing Catholics and those who had neglected to get thorough instruction were thus misled; and these, seeing the Catholic Church now through this smoke of error from the abyss and beholding a distorted caricature of the true Church, began both to fear and hate her.”[3]

As for Luther, he did “everything to instill hatred of the [Catholic] Church into the hearts of his followers.”[4]

Father Kramer explains:“The princes of Germany eagerly took up Lutheranism to become the spiritual heads of the churches in their domains and to plunder the Church. Their assumed jurisdiction in spiritual matters was usurpation ... In Denmark, Norway and Sweden the Kings imposed Lutheranism upon the people by the power of the sword and by lying, deceit and hypocrisy. They left the altars in the churches and had apostate priests use vestments and external trappings of the Catholic Church to mislead the people. They crushed out the Catholic faith by terrorism, by making it a felony and treason to remain a Catholic. Each monarch made himself the spiritual head of the church in his kingdom. They had so-called historians falsify history to arouse hatred against the Church in the hearts of the people. They pretended to prove the truth of Lutheranism by false translations of the Bible made by Luther and by others and by still falser interpretations of it. Those princes and kings were the locusts appearing in the vision of St. John. They had the teeth of lions to terrify lukewarm Catholics into submission.”[5]

The Haydock Commentary of the Douay Rheims contains a similar explanation of Apocalypse 9:2:“Luther and his followers propagated and de-fended their new doctrines with such heat and violence as to occasion everywhere seditions and insurrections which they seemed to glory in. Luther openly boasted of it. ‘You complain,’ said he, ‘that by our gospel the world is become more tumultuous; I answer, God be thanked for it; these things I would have so to be, and woe to me if such things were not’.”[6]

The Commentary further explains that indeed the sun was darkened since the light of faith was darkened by the widespread heresy of Protestantism. The revered Redemptorist Father Michael Müller elucidates how these Protestant “re-forms” snuffed out the light of true Faith:“... they dissected the Catholic faith till they reduced it to a mere skeleton; they lopped off the reality of the body and blood of Christ in the Holy Eucharist, the divine Christian sacrifice offered in the Mass, confession of sins, most of the sacraments, penitential exercises, several of the canonical books of Scripture, the invocations of saints, celibacy, most of the General Councils of the Church, and all present Church authority; they perverted the nature of jurisdiction, asserting that faith alone justifies man; they made God the author of sin, and maintained the observance of the commandments to be impossible.”[7]

Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton, the eminent American theologian, rightly observed that Martin Luther’s alleged Reformation of the Church “consisted in an effort to have people abandon the Catholic Faith, and relinquish their membership in the one true Church militant of the New Testament, so as to follow his teaching and enter into his organization.”[8]

This is what the Lutheran revolt was, the tearing away of millions of souls from the one true Church of Christ, and probable consignment of millions to eternal hellfire.

The Protestant revolt is nothing to celebrate!

So What Are They Celebrating?

In the present ecumenical climate, the above-mentioned facts receive little press, since ecumenical Catholics regard these truths as an embarrassment. Much of what saints, theologians and the Church herself taught regarding the errors and dangers of Protestantism are either not mentioned, or explained away as pathetic ignorance of a bygone era. Thanks to Vatican II, the Church has allegedly outgrown its juvenile counter-reformation stance that was based on the ghetto mentality of “no salvation outside the Catholic Church”. The ecumenical Catholic has effectively abandoned the true God of Catholicism to serve the false god of ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue. He incinerates the Church’s anti-Protestant doctrines as burnt offerings to his new deity.

Thus, it is no surprise that a Lutheran-Catholic celebration is being planned for 2017, the fifth centenary of the Protestant Revolt. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (www.ecla.org) filed the following report from the Vatican on November 16, 2005:“Lutherans and Roman Catholics began planning for 2017 with recognition of their movement toward reconciliation during the past 500 years and with a renewed commitment to continue in that direction. 2017 will be the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, which traditionally began October 31, 1517, when Dr. Martin Luther nailed 95 theses to the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany.”[9]

This report followed a meeting of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity held on November 7-8, 2005at the Vatican. The meeting was called a “Fourth Round” of dialogue, and a seven-member Lutheran delegation was warmly received by Pope Benedict XVI.

Here, the Pope praised the 1999 Lutheran-Catholic Accord and urged further ecumenical dialogue. Yet tragically, this dialogue is not meant to convert non-Catholics to the one true Church of Christ, but to form a pan-Christian co-op of unity and peaceful coexistence. Anyone who believes otherwise ignores the statements of post-Conciliar Catholic leaders who have made clear that the goal of ecumenism is not a “return of dissidents to the one true Church of Christ.”[10] Today’s ecumenism is thus a betrayal of the authentic Catholic Magisterium on the necessity of membership in the Catholic Church for salvation.

Saint Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church, called Lutheranism, "that wretched sect".
At the November Vatican meeting of Lutherans and Catholics, participants were heartened by Pope Benedict’s ecumenical encouragement. Plans are now underway for the “Fifth Round” of international dialogues, and also for organizing a commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation with international events.

The fourth round of talks took 10 years to develop the final document “The Apostolicity of the Church,” which will be issued in the fall of 2006, said the Rev. Ishmael Noko, LWF general secretary, Geneva. The conclusion of the fifth round, said the LWF, will probably coincide with the 500th anniversary in 2017.

Archbishop Brian Farrell, Secretary to the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, said “Our idea is that the commission would take up at the beginning of its mandate a deep, profound study of what the Reformation meant and what it has meant down the centuries and what it actually means today for both of us.”

We have already seen what the Protestant Revolt has meant to Catholics: a massive attack on the faith so severe that the holiest Catholic commentators identify Luther and his revolt with apocalyptic pestilence.

Luther, the Man

Take for example what faithful Catholics have observed about Luther.
David Goldstein, the zealous Catholic convert from Judaism who was called “a 20th Century Saint Paul,” rightly remarked:“The father of the first Protestant Church [Luther] changed the 28th verse of the 3rd chapter of St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans to make it fit his doctrine that Christian faith minus Christian works is sufficient for salvation: ‘We hold that man is justified without works by the law of faith alone’. To one of his followers who complained that objection was being made to this perversion of the sacred text, Luther gave the cold comfort: ‘If any Papist annoys you with the word (alone) tell him straightway: Dr. Martin Luther will have it so: Papist and ass are one and the same thing.’ (Amic. Discussion, I, 127).”[11]

Goldstein goes on to explain the brutality of the Lutheran revolt: “The soldiers of the princes slaughtered the peasants, pillaged the churches and prevented Catholic worship in public. In this way Lutheranism was made the doctrine of the first Protestant Church — the State Church of Germany (1520).”[12]

Goldstein further points out that Luther denied the binding force of the moral law: “We must remove the Decalogue out of sight and heart” (De Wette, IV, 188), and again, “If Moses should attempt to intimidate you with his stupid Ten Commandments, tell him right out: ‘Chase yourselves to the Jews’ (Works, Wittenberg, ed. V 1573).”[13]

Luther, an ordained priest and consecrated religious, wantonly broke his vow of celibacy to God, and married a nun, also under a vow of celibacy. Of Luther’s debased teachings, Goldstein observed: Luther’s writings regarding matters of sex are the opposite of things decent. Only in Socialist free-love writings have we seen commendation of them. There Luther’s lewd writings have won for him distinction as the ‘classic exponent’ of ‘healthful sensualism’ (Bebel, Woman, p. 78, NY, 1910). Too many times through the centuries, immoralities have disgraced the Christian ministry, but Luther has the unenviable distinction of having defended sex sins as ‘necessary’.”[14]

One of Luther’s ultimate disgraces was his giving permission to Phillip Land-grave of Hesse to have two wives at once. The license was signed by Luther, Melancthon, Bauer and five other Protestant preachers.[15]

Thus it is lunacy for our Church leaders to plan to celebrate the 500th anniversary of a man who spent his life debasing Christian revelation. Yet it is not surprising. We saw similar madness in 1983, when a high Catholic Churchmen praised Luther for his “deep religiousness,”[16] thus voicing unqualified public esteem for a man whose warped religious views led him to reject the true Church, deny his priesthood, and teach that the Mass was an abomination worse than the most loathsome brothel.[17]

Where There is No Hatred of Heresy, There is No Holiness

Forgotten in this ecumenical maelstrom is the fact that Protestantism is heresy, and heresy is a sin. In the objective order, it is a mortal sin against Faith that sends souls to hell for eternity. The revered Father Frederick Faber explained that heresy is “the sin of sins, the very loathsomest of things which God looks down upon in this malignant world. ... It is the polluting of God’s truth, which is the worst of all impurities.”Thus, Father Faber observed, “where there is no hatred of heresy, there is no holiness.”[18]

Likewise, Saint Alphonsus Liguori spoke of the duty to fight heresy because it kills our souls and the souls of others:“Heresy has been called a canker: ‘It spreadeth like a canker.’ (2 Tim. 2:17) As a canker infects the whole body, so heresy infects the whole soul — the mind, the heart, the intellect and the will. It is also called a plague; for it not only infects the one contaminated with it, but others who associate with him. Truly the spread of this plague in the world has injured the Church more than idolatry.”[19]

But for today’s Catholic leaders, the heresy of Protestantism is no longer a problem. Have these leaders no love of Catholic doctrine? If they did, they would publicly oppose the Protestant heresies that disfigure it. Have they no love of souls? If they did, they would not pretend that a Protestant can be saved by remaining in his own man-made religion that teems with errors against the express teaching of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

None of this matters to ecumenists like the Vatican’s Bishop Brian Farrell who looks ahead misty-eyed to 2017, and requests profound study of “what the Reformation meant and what it has meant down the centuries and what it actually means today ...” Yet he need not embark on yet another profound study, since one of the greatest Popes in history made it clear what the Reformation means. Blessed Pope Pius IX rightly recognized Protestantism in all its forms as “a revolt against God, it being an attempt to substitute a human for a divine authority, a declaration of the creature’s independence from God.”[20]

This revolt against God has had profound consequences.

Consequences of the Lutheran Revolt

The great Catholic historian Hilaire Belloc points out that heresy does not only affect the individual, but has a negative social impact.[21] Belloc reminds us that man has to live and arrange his life according to a Creed, some system of beliefs. And if his creed be distorted away from the truth revealed by God, he will pattern his life accordingly. Thus when large masses of people fall into heresy, and live accordingly, it will change the entire structure of their society away from the Divine Program of Our Lord. It will create an environment that is not conducive to live the life of sanctifying grace, a society where evil is institutionalized.

For example, thanks to the Protestant heresy, we have legalized divorce in society. Thanks to the Anglicans at Lambert in the 1930s, we have legalized contraception.

Thanks to Protestantism in general, as the eminent Father Denis Fahey points out, we have the inordinate rise of the power of the State. This is because the Protestant does not look at his “church” as an authority established by Christ to teach and govern all men. According to the Protestant, Christ never founded such a Church. Thus, for the Protestant, the highest authority on earth is the State. This had the immediate result of increasing the power of princes and rulers in Protestant countries, which gave rise to State Absolutism, and even what was called “the Divine Right of Kings”.[22]

As the secular Kings and leaders gained temporal power due to Protestantism, the Social Kingship of Christ went into decline.

Protestantism: The Death Knell of Christendom

When we pray in the Our Father, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”, we pray for the establishment of the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ, wherein States, governments and social institutions base their laws of right and wrong on what the Gospel teaches is right and wrong and on what Our Lord’s Catholic Church teaches is right and wrong. This is what is called “Christendom”.

The organization of Europe in the 13th Century, despite its various defects due to human foibles, effected the concrete realization of this Divine Plan. Father writes, “The formal principles of ordered social government in the world, the supremacy of the Mystical Body, was grasped and, in the main, accepted.”

However, Father Fahey explains, “The Lutheran revolt, prepared by the cult of pagan antiquity at the Renaissance ... led to the rupture of that order.”[23]
This is the true legacy of Protestantism, the shattering of the Social Kingship of Christ.

First of all, Protestantism rejects the entire notion of a visible Church established by Christ to teach, govern, sanctify and offer worship to the Father in His name. For the Protestant, there is no visible Church, there is only the lone Protestant and his Bible. There is no external ecclesiastical authority that the Protestant must obey for salvation. If the individual Protestant disagrees with his minister’s interpretation of Scripture, he is free to adopt one of his own, and even start his own sect to propagate his Biblical elucidations.

This, in effect, is how all Protestant sects began. Thus, Protestants do not have a Divine Faith received from Heaven through a teaching Church established by Our Lord. Rather, Protestantism is simply rationalism. The individual decides for himself how he will interpret the Bible, or what denomination’s interpretation he fancies the most.

This necessarily leads to indefinite multiplication of sects. “Pushed to its ultimate conclusion,” notes Father Fahey, “this would give rise to as many churches as there are individuals.”[24] Protestantism, by its very nature, begets endless fragmentation. Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is Wisdom itself, would never establish such an unstable system.

This multiplication of sects so scandalized the learned English Protestant Dr. Walton that he applied Chapter 9 of the Apocalypse to Protestantism itself, thus, knowingly or not, agreeing with Catholic exegesis: “The bottomless pit seems to have been opened, from whence a smoke has arisen which has darkened the heavens and the stars, and locusts have come out with stings, a numerous race of sectaires and heretics, who have renewed all the ancient heresies, and invented many monstrous opinions of their own. These have filled our cities, villages, camps, houses, nay our pulpits, too, and lead the poor deluded people with them to the pit of perdition.”[25]

Father Müller, employing the words of Saint Paul, calls these human sects the “works of the flesh”. As such, they undergo the corruption of the flesh. One of the first consequences of the doctrine of private judgment — the individual deciding for himself how to interpret Scripture — is a kind of deification of man, which is the main tenet of Freemasonry: the autonomous man decides for himself all things without reference to a teaching Church operating in God’s name Father Fahey quotes the Protestant writer, Herman, who explains the humanistic manner in which Protestants believe:“It matters little that we [Protestants] are in agreement with Catholics about certain points of Christian doctrine. What is distasteful to us in the Catholic Church is not what Catholics believe, but above all, the way in which they believe. The great difference between Rome and ourselves is that we cannot brook a faith which is not an autonomous conviction.”[26]

Father Fahey thus observed, “the autonomous man, who decides on his own authority what he will accept of the Gospel God Himself came to deliver to us is already well on the way to self-deification.” And, as mentioned, the deification of Man is the foundation doctrine of Freemasonry.

There is no doubt that Freemasonry is the product of Protestantism. Father Michael Müller said as much with the statement: “The main spirit of Protestantism, then, has always been to declare every man independent of the divine authority of the Roman Catholic Church and to substitute for his divine authority a human authority.”[27] On the same point, we again quote Blessed Pope Pius IX who called Protestantism “a revolt against God, it being an attempt to substitute a human for a divine authority, a declaration of the creature’s independence from God.”[28]

In short, the French Revolution, that based itself on the Masonic deification of man, is the direct result of the Protestant Revolt. The godless secularism, religious indifferentism and moral license that spawned from the French Revolution can look to Protestantism as its true father.

This is the torrid legacy our churchmen will celebrate when they uncork their best champagne at the 2017 party. I wish I could be there when they toast the star that fell from Heaven, give three cheers to the darkened sun, and drink to the health of the smoke from the bottomless pit.

“That Wretched Sect”
Saint Teresa of Avila called Lutheranism “that wretched sect,”[29] and established her first Carmelite foundation of nuns at Avila to help “cure this terrible evil” by bringing “some comfort to our Lord.”

“Thus,” said Saint Teresa, “being all of us employed in interceding for the champions of the Church and the preachers and theologians who defend her, we might, to our utmost, aid this Lord of mine Who is attacked with such cruelty ...”30

One can only imagine how Saint Teresa of Avila would react to Catholics joining with Protestants to celebrate the fifth centenary of the Lutheran revolt. But who cares what Saint Teresa thinks. For ecumenical Catholics, dancing on the graves of the saints is a necessary ritual of their new religion.

Thanks to Robert Banaugh, a sometime contributer to this blog.
A religion begun in rationalization will rationalize anything, even abomination.


1. Father Herman Bernard Kramer, The Book of Destiny, (Originally published in 1955, republished by Tan Books, Rockford IL, 1975), p. 223. It is worth noting, that it took Father Kramer over 30 years to write this book. on the Apocalypse.
2. (Cor. a Lapide, p. 201, Note 1 ma), Ibid.
3. Ibid. pp. 223-4.
4. Kramer, p. 224.
5. Ibid., pp. 223-4.
6. The Douay-Rheims New Testament with a Comprehensive Catholic Commentary Compiled by Rev. Fr. Geo. Leo Haydock (Republished by Catholic Treasures, 1991), p. 1637.
7. Father Michael Müller,C.SS.R., The Catholic Dogma [New York: Ben-zinger Brothers, 1888], p. 35. The following quotes from Luther himself demonstrate Luther’s perverse doctrine: “God’s commandments are all equally impossible” (De Lib. Christ, t. ii., fol. 4). Ibid., p. 36.
8. Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton, “The Council and Father Kung”, American Ecclesiastical Review, September, 1962.
9. On the web at: http://mail.wfn.org/ pipermail/wfn-editors_wfn.org/2005-November/003241.html
10. Cardinal Kasper, Prefect of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, said, “Today we no longer understand ecumenism in the sense of a ‘return’, by which the others would be ‘converted’ and return to being ‘Catholics.’ This was expressly abandoned at Vatican II (Adisti, February 26, 2001). English translation quoted from “Where Have They Hidden the Body?”, by Christopher Ferrara. See also Iota Unum, chap. 35, where Professor Romano Amerio demonstrates that converting non-Catholics to the one true Church is not the aim of today’s practice of ecumenism. Most troubling of all is the statement from Pope Benedict XVI: “On the other hand, this unity does not mean what could be called ecumenism of the return: that is, to deny and to reject one’s own Faith history. Absolutely not!” – Pope Benedict XVI’s Address to the Ecumenical Meeting: Cologne, August 19, 2005. (Posted on Vatican web page.)
11. David Goldstein, Campaigners for Christ Handbook, [Boston: Catholic Campaigners for Christ, 1931], p. 197-8.
12. Ibid., p. 197.
13. Ibid., p. 198.
14. Ibid.
15. Ibid., and also Fr. Müller, p. 37.
16. Sadly, it was Pope John Paul II who praised Luther for his “deep religiousness”. See “Pope Praises Luther in an Appeal For Unity on Protestant Anniversary”, New York Times, November 6, 1983.
17. Of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, Luther said that no sin of immorality, nay not even “manslaughter, theft, murder and adultery is so harmful as this abomination of the Popish Mass.” He said further that he would have “rather kept a bawdy house or been a robber than to have blasphemed and traduced Christ for fifteen years by saying the Masses.” Luther, by Hartman Grisar, S.J. (English translation, Herder), Vol. 2, p. 166; Vol 4. p. 525
18. From Father Faber’s The Precious Blood.
19. St. Alphonsus Liguori, The History of Heresies, English translation taken from the No. 1-2, 2000 edition of Christ to the World (Rome) in its first installment of serializing the book.
20. Quoted from Müller, p. 43-4.
21. Consult Belloc’s The Great Heresies.
22. See Father Denis Fahey, C.S.S.p, The Mystical Body of Christ in the Modern World, [first published by Regina Publication in Dublin, 1935. Republished by Christian Book Club of America, 1987]. This theme is developed in Chapter III.
23. Ibid., p. 10.
24. Ibid., p. 12.
25. Quoted from Müller, p. 33.
26. Quoted from Fahey, p. 13.(emphasis added)
27. Müller, pp. 43-4.
28. Ibid.
29. Saint Teresa of Avila, The Way of Perfection, English Translation by the Benedictines of Stanbrook, [First published in 1911. Republished by Tan Books, 1997] p. 5.
30. Ibid., p. 6.

Reprinted from the July 2006 edition of
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