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November 2020 Contents
Fratelli Tutti and the Hermeneutic of Continuity (Brian M. McCall)
Encyclical or Socialist Manifesto?
Pope Francis released a long-dreaded encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, on October 4, 2020, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi and one-year anniversary of the idolatrous Pachamama ceremony held in the Vatican Gardens. Subtitled “On Fraternity and Social Friendship,” a more apt description would be “On Fraternity and Socialism.” Disguising itself as Catholic Social Teaching, it is really an example of “Catholic” Socialist Teaching, which is an oxymoron since the Church has definitively taught that Socialism is incompatible with Catholicism. Pius IX, for example, clearly condemned in his 1846 Encyclical Qui Pluribus (and repeated in the Syllabus of Errors) “that infamous doctrine of so-called Communism which is absolutely contrary to the natural law itself, and if once adopted would utterly destroy the rights, property and possessions of all men, and even society itself.” Pius XI repeated this condemnation of his predecessors in his 1937 Encyclical Divini Redemptoris, in which he called Socialism a “satanic scourge.”
Francis’ book-length document, on the other hand, reads like a manifesto of Communism or Joe Biden’s Democratic Party (just as Laudato Si was identical to a manifesto for the radical environmentalists). It proposes a globalized one-world utopia under the thumb of the United Nations that destroys the borders of all countries and redistributes property according Socialist principles. Like the Socialists of the 19th century, it rails against the “privilege” of the Bourgeoisie to stir up the revolutionary passions of the masses. Echoing Communism’s axiom, “From each according to his merit to each according to his need,” Francis rails: “The world exists for everyone, because all of us were born with the same dignity. Differences of colour, religion, talent, place of birth or residence, and so many others, cannot be used to justify the privileges of some over the rights of all.” Just like in Communist China, this one-world government needs a one-world “church” under its thumb (e.g., the Communist-run “Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association”) to use to control the masses. Francis presents himself eager to be the “leader” of this one-world, man-made religion that will be the slave of the Globalist Socialist Dictatorship.
Yet, this article is not intended to document the Socialism of Fratelli Tutti. Others have and will continue to do so. Instead, this article seeks to demonstrate that this abomination masquerading as a papal encyclical is in perfect continuity with the past six decades of “diabolical disorientation” (Sister Lucia of Fatima) within the Church. To continue reading, subscribe to the Catholic Family News E-Edition
Telling the Whole Truth About Islam: Interview with Professor William Kilpatrick (Matt Gaspers)
Incomplete Information: A Case in Point
At the beginning of his new encyclical Fratelli Tutti (FT), the title of which is based on words of St. Francis of Assisi (“brothers all”), Pope Francis shares, “This saint of fraternal love, simplicity and joy, who inspired me to write the Encyclical Laudato Si’, prompts me once more to devote this new Encyclical to fraternity and social friendship. … Wherever he went, he sowed seeds of peace and walked alongside the poor, the abandoned, the infirm and the outcast, the least of his brothers and sisters” (FT 2).
The Pope goes on to summarize “an episode in the life of Saint Francis that shows his openness of heart,” namely, “his visit to [Islamic] Sultan Malik-el-Kamil, in Egypt,” in 1219 during the Fifth Crusade (1218-1221). “Unconcerned for the hardships and dangers involved,” the Pontiff writes, “Francis went to meet the Sultan with the same attitude that he instilled in his disciples: if they found themselves ‘among the Saracens and other nonbelievers’, without renouncing their own identity they were not to ‘engage in arguments or disputes, but to be subject to every human creature for God’s sake’” (FT 3).
While the information provided thus far is technically correct, it is woefully incomplete. Pope Francis quotes from the Franciscan Rule of 1221 regarding how friars should conduct themselves “among the Saracens and other unbelievers,” but he only gives one of the “two manners” of conduct specified in the Rule (Chapter XVI):
“One manner is that they cause no arguments or strife, but be subject ‘to every human creature for God’s sake’ (1 Pet. 2:13) and confess themselves to be Christians. The other manner is that, when they have seen that it pleases God, they announce the word of God, so that they [infidels] may believe in God the Omnipotent, Father and Son and Holy Spirit, the Creator of all things, (and) in the Redeemer and Savior, the Son, and that they [infidels] may be baptized and become Christians, because ‘unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God’ (John 3:5).” (Emphasis added)
Why would Pope Francis omit this crucial text? Apparently, because it doesn’t jibe with the feel-good (and false) narrative he wants to convey via his encyclical: “Francis did not wage a war of words aimed at imposing doctrines; he simply spread the love of God. He understood that ‘God is love and those who abide in love abide in God’ (1 Jn 4:16). In this way, he became a father to all and inspired the vision of a fraternal society. … Francis has inspired these pages.”
Correcting the False Narrative on Islam
The problem of Catholics receiving a false or incomplete narrative from their leaders has become endemic over the past several decades, particularly when it comes to Islam. They have been told ad nauseum by popes, bishops, theologians, and others that Catholics and Muslims both worship one God, that they share the same basic morals and values, and thus have plenty of common ground on which to build a good relationship. Never mind that the Koran (Islam’s sacred text) explicitly rejects the Holy Trinity and the Incarnation as blasphemous, that Mohammad (Islam’s false prophet) married a six-year-old girl (while also married to adult women) and consummated their union when she was nine (according to Islamic sources), or that modern-day Islamic “terrorists” are simply putting into practice the instructions and example found in the Koran, the Hadith (oral traditions associated with Mohammad), and the Sira (biography of Mohammad recognized as authoritative by Muslims).
Thankfully, there are still some Catholics who have (1) studied the history and teachings of Islam in depth and (2) are willing to tell the whole truth about it. One of those rare individuals is William Kilpatrick, a graduate of both Harvard (M.A.) and Purdue (Ph.D.) universities who taught in the education department at Boston College for over 30 years. He is the author of several books, including Christianity, Islam, and Atheism: The Struggle for the Soul of the West (Ignatius Press, 2012) and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Jihad (Regnery, 2016). His numerous articles on Islam have appeared in FrontPage Magazine, JihadWatch, Crisis Magazine, Catholic World Report, the National Catholic Register, and other publications.
The good professor has graciously agreed to answer a few questions about his latest book and the ongoing problem of Islam for the Church and the world. To continue reading, subscribe to the Catholic Family News E-Edition
*The Popes Speak* Excerpts from Pius XI’s Encyclical Rite Expiatis
Editor’s Note: In his new encyclical Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis falsely portrays St. Francis of Assisi as “an apostle of Vatican II’s new brand of dialogue and ecumenism” (John Vennari, RIP), thus continuing the legacy of John Paul II and his scandalous interfaith ‘prayer meetings’ held in Assisi (1986 and 2002; Benedict XVI held a third such gathering in 2011). As an antidote to this decades-old caricature, we offer readers the following excerpts from Pius XI’s 1926 encyclical Rite Expiatis, written in preparation for “the Seventh Centenary of the blessed passage of St. Francis of Assisi from his exile on earth to his heavenly home” (n. 1).
Even in 1926, it seems that the true life and legacy of the Seraphic Patriarch was under attack “by the defenders of modern error or by the followers of luxury and worldly comforts,” and so Pius XI urged Franciscans and their collaborators throughout the world “to bring Christians to the faithful imitation of the ideal of sanctity which he exemplified in himself” (n. 1). Similarly, he appealed to all Catholic bishops, “as the messengers and interpreters of Our words to arouse in Christian peoples that Franciscan spirit which differs no wise from evangelical ideals and practices” (n. 4).
An oft-forgotten part of “that Franciscan spirit” is a zeal for souls, which St. Francis himself exemplified. As Pius XI observes, St. Francis “set about personally and commanded his disciples to occupy themselves before everything else with the conversion of the heathen to the Faith and Law of Christ” (n. 37). A prime example of this zeal, which Pius XI mentions, was St. Francis’ journey to Egypt in 1219 during the Fifth Crusade to preach the Gospel to the Islamic Sultan – not as a means of ‘cultural dialogue’, but to convert the Sultan and his army to Christ.
Let us pray for a return of this authentic Franciscan spirit to the minds and hearts of Catholics today, beginning with the members of the Church’s hierarchy. Click here to read Pius XI’s Rite Expiatis in full
My Journey from Ultramontanism to Catholicism – Part I (Peter Kwasniewski, Ph.D.)
Editor’s Note: This three-part series is an expansion of a lecture that Dr. Peter Kwasniewski delivered at St. Stephen of Hungary Catholic Church in Allentown, Pennsylvania, an apostolate of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, on September 20, 2020.
Many Catholics have heard the word “ultramontanism.” But what exactly does it mean? Where did it come from? And why might the phenomenon it describes be harmful—at least today? The Encyclopedia Britannica offers us a short, handy definition of the term:
“Ultramontanism, from Medieval Latin ultramontanus, ‘beyond the mountains,’ in Roman Catholicism, [means] a strong emphasis on papal authority and on centralization of the church. The word identified those northern European members of the church who regularly looked southward beyond the Alps (that is, to the popes of Rome) for guidance. During the period of struggle within the church over the extent of papal prerogatives—beginning especially in the 15th century with the conciliar movement and continuing in the following centuries with the growth of strong nationalism and theological liberalism—the Ultramontanists were opposed by those, such as the Gallicans, who wished to restrict papal power. The Ultramontane Party triumphed in 1870 at the first Vatican Council when the dogma of papal infallibility was defined as a matter of Roman Catholic belief.”
The Growing Strength of the Papacy
We should note, first of all, that the initial desire of Northern Europeans to look towards the papacy in Rome for support and guidance came in the midst of a false theory of conciliarism that attempted to make an ecumenical council—a general synod of bishops—the ultimate authority in the Church, which is clearly contrary to the divine institution of the papal primacy in the Apostle Peter and his successors.
This adherence to the pope gained strength in the period of the Protestant Revolt, for obvious reasons: the Protestants rejected with increasing radicalness the very existence of a single Church of Christ with a single form of government, which led inevitably to doctrinal fragmentation and contradiction. The reforming popes of the Counter-Reformation emerged as the saviors of Christendom, or at least of what portions of it they could salvage in Europe, as well as of the immense additions to the Church that were made through European exploration and conquest.
The spirit of Protestantism gave birth, in the 17th and 18th centuries, to the rationalism and liberalism of the so-called Enlightenment. In this period, too, the papacy functioned as a visible symbol of continuity with the one Faith of the ancient and medieval Church.
In the revolutionary spirit of the late 18th and 19th centuries, with the growth of a disordered patriotism and a diseased nationalism, the papacy in Rome, even as it grew progressively weaker in political terms, became just about the only office on earth whose incumbent was, and could be seen to be, transnational and universal, a representative of Christ to the nations and a teacher of all mankind.
Finally, as Protestant liberalism infected the Catholic Church in the 19th century and became Modernism, once again the pope showed himself to be a defender of the simplicity, integrity, and totality of the Catholic Faith. This unique role on the world stage made it inevitable that the pope would be understood and seen as the very embodiment of the Catholic Faith, the measure of what it means to be Catholic.
The Pope as Rallying-point for Catholics
In practical terms, think of what it was like in England or in France in the 19th century. England was dominated both by the Established or Anglican Church and by political moderates who were nonetheless basically “liberals” in the Catholic understanding of the term. France was even worse off; her government was dominated by anticlerical Freemasons who continually sought pretexts for opposing the resurgent post-revolutionary Church and who would eventually prevail in their campaign against any kind of union between Church and State. France, moreover, was imbued with centuries-old habits of Jansenism and Gallicanism, which gave rise to a rationalistic and anti-Roman mentality.
In England and in France, the most devout and zealous Catholics tended almost inevitably towards exalting the office of the Pope, the “Father of Christians,” as a counterbalance to regional or national self-interest, a common rallying point for doctrine and discipline. Military imagery has always been favored by Christians, ever since St. Paul’s letters and the Rule of St. Benedict. The pope could be seen as the general of the Lord’s army, mustering troops from the four corners to engage in battle against the philosophical and political forces of modernity. To continue reading, subscribe to the Catholic Family News E-Edition
The Obligation to Sunday Rest – Part II (Timothy Flanders)
St. John Vianney and Our Lady of La Salette
In response to this widespread working on Sunday, two figures emerged in the 19th century who served as prophetic voices against this lamentable state of affairs. The first was the great Cure d’Ars, St. John Vianney. The Life of St. John laments that when he first came to Ars, “Servile work of every kind was done on Sunday, and at harvest time the carts and wagons were in use during the entire day ‘carting souls to hell,’ as Father Vianney not inaptly expressed it.” In response, St. John launched an “unceasing war that he waged against the desecration of the Lord’s day.” One story relates a miracle which helped bring this about:
“One Sunday in July there was a full harvest, the wheat bending to the earth. During the High Mass a violent wind arose and threatening clouds gathered; a destructive tempest was apparently about to break. The holy priest entered the pulpit, forbade his people to touch their crops that day, and promised them a continuation of good weather sufficient for the gathering in of the harvest. His prediction was verified; the storm passed over and no rain fell for twelve days.”
As a result of his tireless efforts, “The spirit of religion was revived, public worship restored, the Lord’s day unusually respected and observed.”
Another miraculous instance during this period (also in France) was the apparition of Our Lady of La Salette. In this vision, Our Lady identified two grave sins which provoked God’s wrath in bringing the potato famine of 1846:
“If my people will not submit, I shall be forced to let fall the arm of my Son. It is so strong, so heavy, that I can no longer withhold it[.]…‘Six days I have given you to labor, the seventh I had kept for Myself; and they will not give it to Me.’ It is this which makes the arm of my Son so heavy. Those who drive the carts cannot swear without introducing the Name of my Son. These are the two things which makes the arm of my Son so heavy[.]…
I gave you warning last year with the potatoes but you did not heed it. On the contrary, when you found the potatoes spoilt, you swore, you took the Name of my Son in vain[.]…
There are none who go to Mass except a few aged women. The rest work on Sunday all summer; then in the winter, when they know not what to do, they go to Mass only to mock at religion.”
Some say that the famine was not as severe thanks to the revival in France helped by Our Lady of La Salette and St. John Vianney. In any case, it must be clear that the economic changes brought about without any regard to the Third Commandment or the Church’s holy days was a very severe thing indeed. To continue reading, subscribe to the Catholic Family News E-Edition
Holocaust and the ‘Faces of Evil’ (Fr. Ladis J. Cizik)
In Nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.
The word holocaust, used as a variable noun, can be defined as “an event in which there is a lot of destruction and many people are killed”; its synonyms include devastation, destruction, carnage, genocide, and annihilation.
As such, we will consider certain holocausts which have taken place throughout history in which many people have been killed at the hands of evil men (and women). There are, as we will see, ‘Faces of Evil’ connected to such human suffering.
Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it. Based upon their predecessors, we must recognize the new ‘Faces of Evil’ in order to stop further holocausts from taking place.
Slaughter of the Holy Innocents: King Herod ‘the Great’
After the Birth of our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Good Saint Joseph, saying: “Arise and take the Child and His Mother, and fly into Egypt: and be there until I shall tell thee. For it will come to pass that Herod will seek the Child to destroy Him” (Matt. 2:13).
King Herod, meanwhile, had been greatly troubled by news delivered to him by wise men from the east who came seeking “He that is born king of the Jews”. This was perceived as a threat to Herod’s rule. So, Herod assembled together “all the chief priests and scribes of the people” and inquired of them where Christ should be born. The answer was Bethlehem of Juda (Matt. 2:1-5).
Herod the Great had been appointed as ‘King of the Jews’ by the Roman Senate of the ‘Herodian Kingdom of Judea.’ This Herodian Kingdom was a client state of the Roman Republic from 37 BC. Thus, Herod was not pleased to hear that there was a newborn King of the Jews, who was not one of his own sons.
Typical of the corrupt politicians of today, using smooth talk which masks their evil intent, King Herod infamously laid his snare to kill Jesus, as he sent the wise men to Bethlehem, saying: “Go and diligently inquire after the Child, and when you have found Him, bring me word again, that I also may come to adore Him” (Matt. 2:8). This lying ‘Face of Evil’ had no intent to adore the Christ Child, only to kill Him.
Communist/Socialist Mass Murderer: Joseph Stalin
Stalin was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1952. The Soviet Union or USSR is also known as the ‘Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.’ His reign of terror gives us insight into what it is to live under Socialism and/or Communism.
More than one holocaust-type event can be ascribed to this vicious mass-murderer. The estimates of the number of deaths attributed to this ‘Face of Evil’ vary greatly. Based upon evidence found after the USSR was dissolved on Christmas Day, December 25, 1991, the official records show… Click here to continue reading
Challenging Evolutionism, Part I: Exposing Philosophical Errors (Hugh Owen)
The purpose of this article is to demonstrate the suicidal folly of abandoning the traditional Catholic doctrine of creation for the wild speculations of so-called “theistic evolution.” Special attention will be paid in subsequent articles to the evidence from many areas of natural science that support the fiat creation of all things by God in the beginning and that refute the modern myth of molecules-to-man evolution over billions of years. This article will focus on the philosophical errors that paved the way for the acceptance of the molecules-to-man hypothesis in its theistic and atheistic forms.
Defining Our Terms
It will be helpful to begin by defining our terms: theistic evolutionism and the traditional doctrine of creation.
Theistic evolutionism holds that God created matter and natural laws in the beginning, and then used billions of years of natural processes – including death, destruction, mutations, and disease – to produce the various kinds of living things, including the human body. Generally speaking, theistic evolutionists deny the historicity of Genesis 1–11 and believe that Noah’s Flood was a local flood, that the Tower of Babel incident never actually happened, and that human languages evolved from primitive to more complex over long periods of time.
The traditional, patristic, magisterial doctrine of creation holds that God created all of the different kinds of corporeal creatures during a very brief creation period at the beginning of time by an act of His Divine Will. According to this understanding, God created a perfectly harmonious world for our first parents, Adam and Eve, several thousand years ago. He created Adam first, and then created Eve from Adam’s side. There was no human sickness, death, disease, harmful mutations or man-harming natural disasters before the Fall. Prior to the Original Sin, all of nature was under the dominion of Adam and Eve and was subservient to them. Even after the Original Sin, early man was physically and mentally superior to modern man, and the early patriarchs actually lived to the long ages ascribed to them. There was a global flood in Noah’s day which killed all of the people and land animals except for those on Noah’s ark, and new languages distinct from the original language of mankind were instantaneously created by God during the Tower of the Babel incident.
Our next task is to set forth the primary assumption that all of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church made in regard to the natural order. In the Summa Theologiae, St. Thomas Aquinas defined the relationship between the work of creation and the operation of the natural order which only began after its completion as follows:
“…the completion of the universe as to the completeness of its parts belongs to the sixth day, but its completion as regards their operation, to the seventh.”
In other words, the origin of the different kinds of creatures—stars, plants, animals and men—cannot be explained in terms of the activity of created things, that is, in terms of the same material processes that are going on now. To continue reading, subscribe to the Catholic Family News E-Edition
Fatima, The Movie: A Revisionist Tale, Part I (Marianna Bartold)
Most Catholics around the world have heard about the new Fatima movie, 13 years in the making “from the concept stage to the film’s completion” and first slated for release in 2017, the Centennial of the apparitions of Our Lady of the Rosary in Fatima, Portugal. Due to a series of delays, including those due to the COVID-19 “pandemic” which induced upon the populace social distancing regulations (including cinema closures), the movie was finally released on August 28, 2020. As the author of Fatima: The Signs and Secrets and an ardent promoter of the Fatima Message, I was frequently asked, after the release of the film’s various trailers and press releases, what was my opinion. My interest grew when I read that one of the producers touted the film as receiving approval from the Fatima Shrine in Portugal, which considered it “historically and theologically accurate.” It is upon that premise on which my objective, Catholic review is based—because if the premise is true, then so is the conclusion. Click here to continue reading
*Roman Catechism Series* On the Sacrament of Matrimony (Matthew Plese)
What is Holy Matrimony?
St. Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621), a contemporary of St. Charles Borromeo (1538-1584), once remarked, “Love is a marvelous and heavenly thing. It never tires and never thinks it has done enough.” While love may be manifested in all vocations and should be present in the life of all Catholics (cf. Col. 3:14), those in the married state manifest their love through bearing and raising children in the Catholic Faith. As affirmed in the 1917 Code of Canon Law, “The primary end of matrimony is the procreation and the education of children.”
Holy Matrimony is the seventh and final Sacrament explained by the Roman Catechism. In its introductory remarks, the Catechism presents a clear definition of this Sacrament: “Matrimony, according to the general opinion of theologians, is defined: The conjugal union of man and woman, contracted between two qualified persons, which obliges them to live together throughout life.” The text further clarifies this definition by stating:
“The special character of this union is marked by the word conjugal. This word is added because other contracts, by which men and women bind themselves to help each other in consideration of money received or other reason, differ essentially from matrimony.
Next follow the words between qualified persons; for persons excluded by law cannot contract marriage, and if they do their marriage is invalid. Persons, for instance, within the fourth degree of kindred, a boy before his fourteenth year, and a female before her twelfth, the ages established by law, cannot contract marriage.
The words, which obliges them to live together throughout life, express the indissolubility of the tie which binds husband and wife.”
The Baltimore Catechism succinctly expresses the same reality when it states: “The Sacrament of Matrimony is the Sacrament which unites a Christian man and woman in lawful marriage.”
“A Final Crusade” is Approaching: Christ the King vs. Global Socialism — Interview with Fr. Cyprian, O.S.B. (Brian M. McCall)
Editor’s Note: The following interview was conducted by CFN Editor-in-Chief Brian McCall with Fr. Cyprian, O.S.B., Prior of Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery (SSPX) in Silver City, New Mexico. In his responses to questions about the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the U.S. presidential election, Archbishop Viganò and Bishop Schneider’s testimony regarding Vatican II, the future of Catholicism in America, and more, Father Prior shares the fruits of the monks’ meditation and prayer in the midst of this year of turmoil and upheaval.
Catholic Family News (CFN): Reverend Father Prior, speaking in these troubled times, in the present context of global chaos and confusion, especially in our own country as presidential elections approach, and even now within our world of Catholic Tradition, where does Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery stand in the present hour of tension and anxiety?
Fr. Cyprian: Like all Catholics, we remain prayerfully vigilant. Two answers come to mind. The first being Our Lady of Fatima, who requested the things we need to do in order to survive the present hour of darkness. Penitential prayer is one of them. She also spoke of fidelity to one’s duty of state. We assume it will be challenged and become difficult, but with the Rosary we can save our souls. She spoke of the triumph of her Immaculate Heart. The word triumph implies a prior conflict, a final battle which will precede her victory, which is the triumph of charity. It reminds us of the words of St. Joan of Arc: “The men will wage battle, but God will give the victory.” Christians will have to wage battle prior to this triumph.
A second answer would be the words of Archbishop Lefebvre, when he mandated our Benedictine foundation just before his death. “It is now the time to do the impossible in order to establish an Oasis of the Faith. Nothing is more pleasing to God and redeeming to the faithful than places where the true Faith is lived without compromise.” His words still resound in our ears to this day.
The present confusion and chaos in modern society did not begin yesterday, and certainly not because of the turbulence of an election year. Even though most everything wrong today can be traced to the errors of Vatican II, those same errors existed well before they came to the forefront during the Council. This reminds us of the corrective encyclicals such as Pascendi of St. Pius X and especially the Syllabus of Errors published in the pontificate of Pius IX. These Popes took corrective measures when matters had already reached the extreme. Modernism, called the “synthesis of all errors,” was already rampant well before the timely publication of Pascendi. It unfortunately resurfaced during Vatican II. And for the last 50 years, Modernism has become “the new normal”.
The external aspect of the tumult of our modern world touches Benedictine life but rarely and superficially. However, the spiritual malice and betrayal which lie beneath the surface of the current societal crisis are keenly felt by all who live the religious vocation, and we sense it is only the beginning of great tribulations. The entire world is in expectation of guiding light from Holy Rome, that supernatural aspect of the Church which is infallibly led by the Holy Ghost, the Eternal Rome of which Archbishop Lefebvre so often spoke with great reverence. To continue reading, subscribe to Catholic Family News E-Edition
Professor de Mattei Opens Jubilee Year in Preparation for 450th Anniversary of Lepanto Victory (Roberto de Mattei)
Editor’s Note: The following is a transcript of a video address given by Professor Roberto de Mattei, President of the Lepanto Foundation in Rome, on Oct. 7, 2020 (section headings added). During his speech, Professor de Mattei announces an open invitation to friends and supporters of the Lepanto Foundation to join him “in Rome on October 7, 2021 to celebrate together that glorious day for Christendom.”
“But,” he explains, “our initiative does not intend only to be an act of commemoration. It intends, first of all, to be a declaration of war, or rather, a response to a war that was declared on us centuries ago and to which we intend responding with all our strength, without abandoning the place each one of us has been assigned by Divine Providence.”
Recalling the Christian Victory at Lepanto
Heaven and earth are not as distant as we might think, since everything that happens on earth is in the continuous sight of Heaven.
In Heaven, which is the place of perfect divine liturgy, some anniversaries are commemorated and among them is the 7th October 1571, a special day, celebrating the victory of the Christian fleet against Islam at Lepanto.
That victory was a result of the courage of the Christian combatants who braved a ferocious and powerful enemy with the firm determination to win or die. Many died, but the Christian armada attained the victory.
More than in the courage of men, the reason for the victory, however, was in the spiritual strength of the man who created the Christian Holy League and aided it day by day with his prayer: St. Pius V.
As a reward for his faith and trust, the Pope obtained knowledge from Heaven, in Rome, about the victorious outcome of the battle at the precise moment it ended, more than a thousand kilometers away.
Pius V attributed the merit of the victory, not to himself, nor to the bravery of the armada, but to the One he had entrusted everything to. Thus, he ordered that the invocation “Auxilium Christianorum, ora pro nobis”, be added to the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and fixed October 7 as a feast in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary. In the same way, the Republic of Venice had this inscription painted on its Senate House: “Not bravery, not armies, not commanders, but Our Lady of the Rosary made us victors.”
Venerable Pope Pius XII, in a speech given on October 7, 1947 to a group of senators and representatives of the United States Congress, declared that:
“October 7 is a memorable day in the annals of Western Europe. On that day, in the year 1571, the powers representing Christian civilization united to defeat the colossal threat from the East in the Battle of Lepanto. It is a day of thanksgiving commemorated in the calendar of the Church, not only because the sanctuaries of Europe and their altars were thus saved from utter destruction, but also because the prayers ordered by the then-Pope, St. Pius V, were universally given a large share in the victory”.
The victory then came, above all, from Heaven, like any good action performed on earth, given that man, on his own strengths is capable only of evil, whereas he is capable of good only when he collaborates with God and is aided by His Grace. To continue reading, subscribe to Catholic Family News E-Edition