Catholic Family News

This Month’s Edition

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October 2021 Contents

INTERVIEW: Author Exposes Enduring Legacy of Modernist Conspirators (Matt Gaspers)

On the evening of March 13, 2013, Cardinal Jean-Louis Pierre Tauran announced in Latin what the Church and the entire world had been anxiously awaiting: “Habemus Papam!” — “We have a Pope!”

Cardinal Tauran went on to reveal the identity of the newly elected Pope according to the prescribed format: “The most eminent and reverend lord, Lord Jorge Mario, Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, Bergoglio, who takes to himself the name Francis.”

The initial signs of the first Jesuit Pope, at least in this writer’s opinion, seemed positive (granted, I knew nothing about the man at the time). His chosen name, for example (another first in Church history), bespoke two powerful Saints: Francis of Assisi (1181/1182-1226), to whom Christ said (as recorded by St. Bonaventure), “Francis, go and repair My House, which, as thou seest, is falling utterly into ruin”; and Francis Xavier (1506-1552), the renowned Jesuit missionary who personally baptized tens of thousands of converts in India, southeast Asia, and Japan.

The newly elected Pontiff also declared with striking clarity during his first papal sermon (Mar. 14, 2013): “When we do not profess Jesus Christ, the saying of Léon Bloy comes to mind: ‘Anyone who does not pray to the Lord prays to the devil.’ When we do not profess Jesus Christ, we profess the worldliness of the devil, a demonic worldliness.”

Over eight-and-a-half years later, with the benefit of hindsight and a thick catalogue of scandalous words and deeds testifying against him, I can only shake my head and humbly admit that my initial assessment and hopes were terribly mistaken. The truth is that Cardinal Bergoglio, the former Archbishop of Buenos Aires (1998-2013), was elected to implement a very specific and heterodox agenda, one that had been in the making for decades by a group of liberal Cardinals who chose Bergoglio as their candidate.

Such is the subject of a new book entitled, The St. Gallen Mafia: Exposing the Secret Reformist Group within the Church (TAN Books, 2021). Following St. Paul’s exhortation to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Eph. 5:11), author Julia Meloni has spent a total of three years researching and writing about the St. Gallen Mafia, exposing and reproving it as a group of Modernist conspirators — members of what Archbishop Viganò calls “the deep church” — bent on imposing a dark and destructive agenda upon the Church. Drawing from scholarly works, news articles, and other compelling sources, Meloni’s book provides indispensable information for those seeking to understand the origins of the present ecclesial crisis. To continue reading, subscribe to the Catholic Family News E-Edition

Catholic Theology: “The Science of God and the Blessed” (Peter A. Kwasniewski, Ph.D.)

There is no discipline whose object is loftier than that of theology, namely, God Himself, in His infinite mystery; and whose student, the human being, is lowlier with regard to it. We are dealing with an excess of knowledge, not a deficiency—there is too much to know, and it is too far above us.

Aristotle compared man’s situation vis-à-vis God to the eye of an owl blinded by the light of the sun; the owl is comfortable flying in the dark because its eye was made for that environment. Images of God though we are, we humans have individual material things as the first and natural object of our mind. This means we are decently well-equipped to understand and speak about and make use of the material things among which we find ourselves on this planet, but are very poorly equipped to rise beyond them to pure spiritual realities.

St. Thomas Aquinas insists that God, as He really is in Himself, is beyond all our language, beyond reach of our reasoning, so that our thoughts and words fall perpetually short; we walk towards Him in the bright darkness of faith, guided by His hand, instructed by His words, above all by His Word made flesh, Jesus Christ (cf. John 1:1-3, 14). If God had not, in His mercy, “humbled Himself to share in our humanity” (Offertory of the Mass) and mingle with us sinners, if He did not stoop to conquer, we would have no purchase whatsoever on the world of the divine, the “interior life” of God. We would be alien to Him—and ultimately, to ourselves, created unto His image and likeness. This is why man is a mystery to himself until he is illuminated by the light of divine revelation.

Not a Mere Intellectual Exercise

In the opening question of the Summa Theologiae, St. Thomas Aquinas uses the phrase sacra doctrina as a synonym for theology. It may be translated a number of ways: “holy teaching” or “sacred instruction” or “sacred doctrine.” Doctrina suggests someone teaching (which implies authority to teach), someone receiving instruction (which implies docility and zeal), and something being taught or handed down. It is a relationship of instructor and pupil, a bearer of wisdom and a disciple, a giver and a recipient, built upon a truth that precedes both the teacher and the pupil, is greater than they are, and measures them both. The term doctrina highlights that we are not dealing with an abstract impersonal sum of information, but a living truth that is possessed within a tradition, given as a gift, and received with trust. To continue reading, subscribe to the Catholic Family News E-Edition

*The Popes Speak* Pius XII’s Encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi on the Church, Part VII

We Must Love Holy Mother Church

92. But lest we be deceived by the angel of darkness who transforms himself into an angel of light [cf. 2 Cor. 11:14], let this be the supreme law of our love: to love the Spouse of Christ as Christ willed her to be, and as He purchased her with His Blood [cf. Acts 20:28]. Hence, not only should we cherish exceedingly the Sacraments with which Holy Mother Church sustains our life, the solemn ceremonies which she celebrates for our solace and our joy, the sacred chant and the liturgical rites by which she lifts our minds up to Heaven, but also the sacramentals and all those exercises of piety by which she consoles the hearts of the faithful and sweetly imbues them with the Spirit of Christ. As her children, it is our duty, not only to make a return to her for her maternal goodness to us, but also to respect the authority which she has received from Christ in virtue of which she brings into captivity our understanding unto the obedience of Christ [cf. 2 Cor. 10:5]. Thus we are commanded to obey her laws and her moral precepts, even if at times they are difficult to our fallen nature; to bring our rebellious body into subjection through voluntary mortification; and at times we are warned to abstain even from harmless pleasures. Nor does it suffice to love this Mystical Body for the glory of its divine Head and for its heavenly gifts; we must love it with an effective love as it appears in this our mortal flesh — made up, that is, of weak human elements, even though at times they are little fitted to the place which they occupy in this venerable Body.

93. In order that such a solid and undivided love may abide and increase in our souls day by day, we must accustom ourselves to see Christ Himself in the Church. For it is Christ who lives in His Church, and through her, teaches, governs, and sanctifies; it is Christ also Who manifests Himself differently in different members of His society. If the faithful strive to live in a spirit of lively faith, they will not only pay due honor and reverence to the more exalted members of this Mystical Body, especially those who according to Christ’s mandate will have to render an account of our souls [cf. Heb. 13:17], but they will take to their hearts those members who are the object of our Savior’s special love: the weak, We mean, the wounded, and the sick who are in need of material or spiritual assistance; children whose innocence is so easily exposed to danger in these days, and whose young hearts can be molded as wax; and finally the poor, in helping whom we recognize as it were, through His supreme mercy, the very Person of Jesus Christ.

94. For as the Apostle with good reason admonishes us: “Those that seem the more feeble members of the Body are more necessary; and those that we think the less honorable members of the Body, we surround with more abundant honor.” [1 Cor. 12:22-23] Conscious of the obligations of Our high office We deem it necessary to reiterate this grave statement today, when to Our profound grief We see at times the deformed, the insane, and those suffering from hereditary disease deprived of their lives, as though they were a useless burden to society; and this procedure is hailed by some as a manifestation of human progress, and as something that is entirely in accordance with the common good. Yet who that is possessed of sound judgment does not recognize that this not only violates the natural and the divine law written in the heart of every man, but that it outrages the noblest instincts of humanity? The blood of these unfortunate victims who are all the dearer to our Redeemer because they are deserving of greater pity, “cries to God from the earth.” [Gen. 4:10] Click here to read Pius XII’s Mystici Corporis Christi

Are Modern Canonizations of Saints Infallible? (Brian M. McCall)

Changes to the Process following Vatican II

As our readers may have noticed over the years, Catholic Family News has long since been reticent and cautious when it comes to the topic of modern canonizations. Along with everything else in the Church — the Mass, Sacraments, fasting, and even the Rosary — the process of papal canonizations has not been spared the sledgehammer of post-Vatican II destruction. Pope Paul VI began tinkering with the process, but it was John Paul II who conducted a wholesale deconstruction and reconstruction of the scrutinizing (or lack thereof) of a candidate for canonization.

Although the changes were manifold, some of the most significant are the reduction of the required proven miracles from four to two, the lowering of the standard for what is proven to be a truly supernatural miracle, the abolition of the Promoter of the Faith (the so-called “Devil’s Advocate”), and the reduction in the number of years after a candidate’s death required to elapse before a case could be opened. In essence, the process was transformed from a legal trial in which the sanctity and heroic virtue of the candidate was subject to rigorous cross-examination into a political committee that decided matters by simply reading reports and deciding what causes or special interests a canonization of a person would promote.

The effects of the changes that John Paul II introduced in 1983 are manifest. The act of canonization has been transformed from a rigorous scrutiny that resulted in few canonizations into a “saint-making factory.” John Paul II canonized more people than all his predecessors dating back to when the system of investigation he destroyed was formally adopted in the 16th century. Francis has already surpassed John Paul II in a race to canonize anyone and everyone. Not only has the quantity of saints canonized by the post-Conciliar popes increased exponentially, the bar for heroic sanctity (the “quality” of results) has clearly been dropped. To continue reading, subscribe to the Catholic Family News E-Edition

Are Progressive Catholics a Threat to the World? (William Kilpatrick, Ph.D.)

For twenty years we have been fighting a global war on terror without much to show for it. This lack of success stems from a deception at the heart of the war effort. The deception is to call it a war on terror when it is, in fact, a war on Islamic terror.

For twenty years we have been fighting against ideologically motivated warriors while carefully avoiding any discussion of what that ideology is. One sometimes gets the impression from news analysts that the terrorists are motivated by terrorism itself. But, of course, that is no explanation at all.

Occasionally, however, the terrorists are described as “radical Islamists.” That’s closer to the truth, but it still leaves many questions unanswered. What’s the difference between Islam and radical Islam? Exactly where did the radical Islamists go wrong?

Very few ever press these questions because, in truth, Islam and radical Islam share the same basic beliefs. The radical version of Islam and the standard version are uncomfortably alike. In the West and in the Muslim world, the most common way of dealing with the issue is to assert that the terrorists have misunderstood their religion. They must have misunderstood Islam, it is suggested, because, as everyone knows, Islam itself is a good thing—a great religion that has brought many benefits to the world. And anyone who says different about this wonderful faith is an “Islamophobe” who ought to be silenced.

In The Art of War, Sun Tzu says that in order to win a battle, you must first know your enemy. But in our two-decade war against terror, we have made every effort to avoid knowing too much about our enemy’s motivating ideology. Note that this was not the case in previous wars. During the Civil War, the North made every effort to discredit the South’s slave system. In the Second World War, the Allied Forces mounted a massive propaganda campaign aimed at undermining Nazi ideology. And in the Cold War, America showed no hesitation in attacking communist ideology.

By contrast, the war on terror has dragged on longer than any other U.S. war, with hardly a hint that something might be amiss with Islamic ideology. Perhaps the length of the war reflects the fact that we never fully knew what we were fighting for—and what we were fighting against. Click here to continue reading

Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Battle of Lepanto (Kennedy Hall)

Cortés and the Aztec Empire

In 1521, just 50 years before the Battle of Lepanto (Oct. 7, 1571), Hernán Cortés conquered the Aztec Empire with military genius. Of course, the anti-Catholic historical narrative that has been thrust upon us over the decades has painted him as a blood-thirsty conquistador who sought the destruction of a hapless and innocent noble savagery of fun-loving Aztecs. If we are able to think for ourselves, however, we can easily discern that the Aztecs were anything but peaceful.

Granted, as with many pre-Christian civilizations, there was an aspect of grandeur and excellence to their civilization, as there was with many pagan empires before them. To this day if you are to visit Mexico City, you can see vestiges of Aztec architecture that has stood the test of time, and on a natural level they are remarkable. As with the Egyptians and their pyramids, the Aztecs also offered the world monuments of the time when the nations worshipped idols and devils.

Having visited Mexico City twice, I have stood at the peak of those edifices, and they were constructed with precision so that various solar and celestial movements would descend light and shadows on the buildings on certain days. Though they were a murderous civilization, it would be untrue to say they were not intelligent, and they were a military power of gigantic proportion given the time and place.

Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec Empire was seen as an impenetrable force in the days before colonization, and indeed it very well was. Strategically guarded by bodies of water, and other topographical aids that made penetrating the city almost impossible, it was a fool’s errand for any military to try and take the city.

Our Lady Appears in Mexico

Just ten years after the conquest of Tenochtitlan, Europe was embroiled in full-scale chaos as a result of the Protestant Revolt sparked by Martin Luther. Millions had left the Church established by Christ, and Christendom writhed in agony at the fracturing of kingdoms.

The Kingdom of New Spain welcomed missionaries to evangelize the people of the New World, but the knot of the pagan religions was not easily undone. Missionaries experienced varying levels of success, but suffice it to say, efforts were not as fruitful as hoped. Considering the blow to Catholic Europe that resulted from Protestantism, it is easy to imagine the zeal of Spanish Catholics who hoped to win souls for the true Faith. England had already planted its flag in the northeastern portion of America and Canada, a flag dedicated to the divorcing of Britain from Rome by Henry VIII. To continue reading, subscribe to the Catholic Family News E-Edition

The Fall of the New Roman Republic (Brian M. McCall)

The philosopher George Santayana accurately diagnosed the central problem of our time with the quip, “He who forgets history is doomed to repeat it.” In so many ways and with official narratives changing faster than the captive media can keep up, we are living through this adage, although the history we forget is often only a few months old. George Orwell perfected the adage by fictionalizing in his book 1984 a Ministry of Truth whose function was to constantly edit and change records, documents, and photos to reflect the new socialist version of history. Facts that did not support the new narrative were sent down the “memory hole” to be incinerated.

The Roman and American Republics: Parallels

It has been easy to compare the history of the United States of America to that of the Roman Republic. In broad strokes, they are both republican forms of government that had their historical origin in the throwing off of a kingly form of government and its replacement with a complex system of government that mixed monarchical, aristocratic, and democratic forms of government. After fighting long global wars (the Punic Wars for Rome and the World Wars for the U.S.), each established itself as the dominant world power. All other countries fell into one of two categories: allies and client states or enemies. The story of Rome ends with the death of the Republic and the transition to a demagogic empire that suppressed all the classical Roman liberties on which Republican Romans formerly prided themselves. The budding imperialists used a series of political crises to dismantle the Republican constitution. The resulting empire retained the names of former institutions (the Senate, for example), but they were transformed into shells of their former selves and used merely to support the military-financial complex that made and unmade the “divine” emperors.

The founding generation, more versed in ancient history than our time, overtly chose to highlight the comparison. Many aspects of the Constitution they wrote explicitly adopted Roman institutions or terms. The very words “senate” and “veto” come from the Roman constitution. A bicameral assembly of the people and a senate were also copied. The requirement of property ownership to participate fully in public life was also modeled on ancient Rome. The voting by subdivision (one equal vote for each tribe in Rome regardless of the size of the tribe and two equal votes per state in the Senate). To continue reading, subscribe to the Catholic Family News E-Edition

Economics as Moral Science: A Thomistic Perspective, Part II (Daniel Gutschke, Ph.D.)

Commutative Justice and Economic Life

We will now consider certain basic principles of commutative justice that help ensure a just economic order. We will begin by considering one of the most basic kinds of economic transactions, namely, buying and selling. Such transactions are governed by commutative justice, which “is concerned about the mutual dealings between two persons.” In his discussion of justice in buying and selling, St. Thomas lays down the following general principle: “buying and selling seem to be established for the common advantage of both parties.” A man can never enter into an exchange transaction thinking that the transaction is for his benefit only. It is of the very nature of the exchange transaction to benefit both parties, and both parties must respect the nature of the transaction.

Thomas goes on to state that “whatever is established for the common advantage, should not be more of a burden to one party than to another.” This leads St. Thomas to the principle of equivalency in exchange transactions: “all contracts between them should observe equality of thing and thing.” This principle follows necessarily from the fact that exchange transactions exist for the common advantage of both parties, for if there were an inequality in the exchange, one party would suffer a loss.

To maintain that exchange transactions should observe an equality of thing with thing implies that it is possible to make fairly precise determinations regarding the respective values of things. According to St. Thomas, one of the primary purposes of money is to serve as a standard according to which the values of different things can be judged. As St. Thomas states in his commentary on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics:

“In order that the products of the different workmen be equated and thus become possible to exchange, it is necessary that all things capable of exchange should be comparable in some way with one another so that it can be known which of them has greater value and which less. It was for this purpose that money or currency was invented, to measure the price of such things.”

In buying and selling, a just exchange is one in which the money paid for the good corresponds to the value of the thing itself. To continue reading, subscribe to the Catholic Family News E-Edition

Defending the Truth of Our Lady of Fatima, Part VII — Conclusion (Marianna Bartold)

As with the last six installments, Part VII continues with historical proofs refuting the resurfacing errors regarding the Virgin Mary’s commands for the collegial consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart and, just as important, the public release of the Third Secret of Fatima. These inaccuracies lead to three main, false misinterpretations that (1) Pius XII made the act of consecration, for which reason the Lord bestowed upon the immediate post-WWII world the promised “era of peace,” but not the conversion of Russia (the rest is up to the priests and laity); (2) only John Paul II fulfilled Our Lady’s command for the consecration and, again, all else is left to the Church Militant; or (3) the Mother of God cannot command the Pope or the bishops, as well as the oft-repeated error that either Our Lord or the Mother of God said at some point to Lucia of Fatima that the consecration will arrive “too late.” Already, this essay’s previous six parts provided evidence to the contrary of these bogus claims. Last month’s essay, Part VI, ended with the summer of 2008, as follows:

“A Bishop Dressed in White”

Summer 2008: In a special Fatima series for Catholic Family News (CFN), this author was the first to connect the Third Secret’s “bishop dressed in white” to Pope Benedict XVI. After examining St. John Bosco’s famous and prophetic dream, I then wrote:

The fate of a future pope was also related by none other than Pope St. Pius X: ‘I saw one of my successors by name fleeing over the corpses of his brethren. He will flee to a place for a short respite where he is unknown; but he himself will die a cruel death.’”

(N.B.: The Pope’s vision occurred in 1914; in a previous vision of 1909, he exclaimed: “What I have seen is terrifying! Will I be the one, or will it be a successor? What is certain is that the Pope will leave Rome and, in leaving the Vatican, he will have to pass over the dead bodies of his priests!”)

To continue with an excerpt from my 2008 series, which I later repeated in my book, Fatima: The Signs and Secrets: “In the Third Secret Vision, the pope walks ‘half trembling and with halting step,’ indicating advanced age. As for Pope St. Pius X’s vision, it may be that a future pope will take the name of Pius, but there is another consideration:  Pope St. Pius X’s baptismal name was Giuseppe Sarto; in Italian, Giuseppe means Joseph — the baptismal name of Joseph Ratzinger.” To continue reading, subscribe to the Catholic Family News E-Edition

*Roman Catechism Series* The Lord’s Prayer: Hallowed Be Thy Name (Matthew Plese)

“Hallowed be Thy Name” (Matt. 6:9). The first petition of the Lord’s Prayer begins with sentiments of praise and adoration for the most adorable Name of God. In so doing, our Savior, the true Author of this prayer, has shown us the primary importance of giving honor and glory to God from Whom all things come. With the clarity and depth we have come to expect from the Roman Catechism, the Church opens her explanation of this petition and explains why it appropriately ranks first among the seven petitions:

“What we are to ask of God and in what order, the Master and Lord of all has Himself taught and commanded. For prayer is the ambassador and interpreter of our thoughts and desires; and consequently, we pray well and properly when the order of our petitions follows the order in which the things sought are desirable.

Now, genuine charity tells us to direct our whole soul and all our affections to God, for He alone being the one supreme Good, it is but reasonable that we love Him with superior and singular love. On the other hand, God cannot be loved from the heart and above all things else, unless we prefer His honor and glory to all things created. For all the good that we or others possess, all that in any way bears the name of good, comes from Him, and is therefore inferior to Him, the sovereign Good.

Hence, that our prayers may be made with due order, our Savior has placed this Petition regarding the sovereign Good at the head of all the other Petitions of the Lord’s Prayer, thus showing us that before asking the things necessary for ourselves or for others, we ought to ask those that appertain to God’s honor, and to manifest and make known to Him the affections and desires of our hearts in this regard.”

The Catechism further elaborates by tying this petition back to the greatest of the Commandments, namely, to love God above all else: “Acting thus, we shall be faithful to the claims and rules of charity, which teaches us to love God more than ourselves and to ask, in the first place, those things we desire on His account, and next, those things we desire on our own.” To continue reading, subscribe to the Catholic Family News E-Edition

Saint Luke: Beloved Physician and Evangelist (Mark Fellows)

The earliest known manuscript of St. Luke’s Gospel (fragments of the text, anyway) is dated circa A.D. 200 and names Luke as the author. Although Luke does not identify himself as the author of his Gospel account within the text itself, most historians believe he is the author of the Gospel that bears his name, as well as of the Acts of the Apostles. More importantly, his authorship of both books is attested by such early Church Fathers as St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Tertullian, Origen, St. Clement of Alexandria, Eusebius of Caesarea, and St. Jerome. Irenaeus spoke for many when he wrote, “Luke also, the companion of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel preached by him” (Adversus Haereses III, 1, 1).

Furthermore, the Pontifical Biblical Commission clarified in 1912 and 1913, respectively, that Catholics must hold that the author of the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles is St. Luke. Both books are precise in their subject matter and have the same writing style. Both books are written in the same highly advanced Greek language one would expect from an intelligent, well-educated Gentile.

Over the years, historians and scholars began referring to the two-volume work as “Luke-Acts,” an opus that accounts for 27 percent of the New Testament — the largest contribution by a single author and the only New Testament writings done by a Gentile. In addition to flawless Greek directed to a Gentile audience, Luke appears to have hailed from Antioch in Syria, which makes it likely that he was a Gentile rather than a Jew. Luke begins his Gospel with the declaration that he was not part of the Palestinian world of Jesus and His Jewish Apostles. Luke speaks of the Apostles as those “who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word” (Luke 1:2). This distinction makes sense for a Gentile Syrian from Antioch to make. Although Luke never met Jesus, he had access to all the eyewitnesses who did, including the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Further proof that Luke was a Gentile is a passage near the end of St. Paul’s Epistle to the Colossians (4:10-14). Paul was under house arrest awaiting his trial before Nero. He mentions three of his companions — Aristarchus, (John) Mark, and Jesus/Justus — and identifies them thusly: “of men circumcised, these only are my fellow workers in the kingdom of God.” This is a clear limit Paul is setting regarding those of his companions who are circumcised Jews. Then he names a new set of companions — Epaphras, Luke, and Demas — who by implication are uncircumcised Gentiles. This makes it even more likely that Luke, whom Paul described here as “the most dear physician” (Col. 4:14), was a Gentile. To continue reading, subscribe to Catholic Family News E-Edition

St. Robert Bellarmine: Herald of Republics? — Part I (Ryan Grant)

Editor’s Note: This year marks the 400th anniversary of the death of St. Robert Bellarmine, one of the Church’s most celebrated and prolific theologians, who was born in 1542 and went to his eternal reward on Sept. 17, 1621. In honor of this anniversary, CFN is pleased to publish the following scholarly treatment of a question that has gained attention in certain Catholic quarters, namely: Was Bellarmine a herald of republics? The author, Ryan Grant (founder/president of Mediatrix Press), has translated several of Bellarmine’s major works into English and in the process has gained expert knowledge of the Saint and his teachings on a multitude of subjects, including political philosophy. We are grateful to Mr. Grant for sharing his expertise in this two-part feature article (Part II will appear next month).

*****

The beatification of St. Robert Bellarmine in 1923 was the penultimate step in a battle which had begun on the very day St. Robert was laid to rest in the Gesu just over 300 years earlier. Although he was one of the very greatest and most celebrated theologians of his own time, Bellarmine also had detractors who opposed his beatification for one reason or another. His beatification brought celebration not only to the Jesuit order, but to a great many who celebrated his place in the history of the Church. It also brought a theory which was attractive to some men, that Bellarmine was really the main influence for modern democracy, or modern republicanism, or again, a veritable ghost writer of the United States Constitution.

Yet, while this is certainly attractive to Catholics looking to vindicate Catholicism’s place in the history of the U.S., it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. The truth is that St. Robert Bellarmine, trained in the tradition of his time, was through and through a monarchist, though he was quite willing to accept other forms of government which had prevailed in various countries with the tacit consent of the people to be legitimate. Additionally, he was opposed to the very novel doctrine which had arisen in his time of the “Divine Right of Kings”, or what is often termed “absolute monarchy”, where the king is believed to rule exclusively by divine right, without any question of the Church or the people. But was he a herald of American Federalism? To continue reading, subscribe to Catholic Family News E-Edition

The Outcast Madonna — Part I (Susan Vennari)

Everyone knows all about Fatima: that on the thirteenth of October 1917, Our Lady, as She had promised during Her visits in July and September, appeared to the three shepherd children from the Portuguese village of Fatima and worked a miracle that upwards of 70,000 pilgrims had travelled muddy roads to see; that these pilgrims had started arriving days before the event, journeyed from miles around, and had even slept under muddy lean-to shelters or out in the open in drenching rain; that the morning of October 13th had dawned no better, so that the mud from the countryside had become sloppy glue, sucking upon the feet of those earnest souls; yet they, seemingly oblivious to their trials and exhaustion — mud in their pockets, mud in their hair, mud in their lunch baskets, clothes weighing upon them as wet ropes — these people assembled as if called; praying, singing joyful hymns, and kneeling in the mud, they awaited the invisible arrival of the Madonna. Then, at the appointed hour (Our Lady not deceived by Freemasonic time), the dismal rain stopped and She appeared for the sixth and final time to speak to the three, faithful, shepherd children; that having said Her few last words, She then worked the great event that people think is summed up by the title “Miracle of the Sun.”

Everyone knows that it was Lucia, the oldest of these three cousins, who in watching her Heavenly Mother ascend toward Heaven, called out suddenly, “Look at the sun!”, so that all the curious crowd was brought to attention. The pilgrims could not see, as could Lucia, that the sun’s light was not its own but was only a reflection of the light emanated from Our Lady’s open hands.  Nevertheless, in those moments some 140,000 eyes riveted on the skipping and dipping miraculous “dance” of the sun across the sky, gazing raptly as it seemed to spray lights in colors never seen by mortal eyes, galvanizing souls to contrition, fear, hope, and joy. Only after about ten minutes, when the heavenly performance was over, did the pilgrims look around to realize that the mud was gone and the roads were clear!  What was more remarkable was that having kindly considered those who had travelled so hopefully, Our Lady now rewarded each who had come to see the heavenly testimony to her messages of the past six visits, and welcomed her guests as might any good hostess, washing their faces and bodies, “combing” their hair, restoring to them clean clothes, and refreshing them, Her children.  Just as Her Son in His days on earth had fed the weary five thousand, She on this day now refreshed those who had come, so that they could return to their homes rejoicing; those who had come to sit at Her feet, so to speak, would be able to give joyful and tangible evidence to those who awaited them at the home of their Mother’s great goodness. Yes, everyone knows all this. To continue reading, subscribe to Catholic Family News E-Edition

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