Category Archives: Traditional Catholic Values and Beliefs
“Manifesto of Faith” – A stunningly beautiful new film on the Catholic Faith
It’s certainly no understatement to say that we who profess the Catholic Faith live in a time of great confusion; some go so far as to say we are living in a period when ambiguity has been weaponized. One of the saddest aspects of this undeniable reality that the source of this confusion, is in part coming from some who received the Sacrament of Holy Orders.
Gerhard Cardinal Müller, former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, contributed the words of a most excellent catechetical short film found at the link below. It is meant to bring clarity to an age of confusion.
Every Catholic who professes the Faith would do well to watch this video. It’s a perfect video to show to your family, your prayer group, your CCD class, or your home Bible study meetings.
This film, Manifesto of Faith, was released earlier this week; it’s making and release was timed to be a reminder of the tenets of our faith as the Vatican opens the controversial Amazon Synod in Rome.
You can view the film here: https://manifestooffaith.com/
If you’ve been paying attention (and if you’re one of the dozens of readers here at CatholicCyber-Militia.com, we know you have been!), you know that our beloved Church is in the midst of an unprecedented crisis. With the Amazon Synod howling at the gates, there’s no better time to ask once more for You Know Who to defend us in battle!
On October 7th, 1571 a fleet of ships assembled by the combined forces of Naples, Sardinia, Venice, the Papacy, Genoa, Savoy and the Knights Hospitallers fought an intense battle with the fleet of the Ottoman Empire. The battle took place in the Gulf of Patras located in western Greece. Though outnumbered by the Ottoman forces, the so-called “Holy League” possessed of superior firepower would win the day. This victory would severely curtail attempts by the Ottoman Empire to control the Mediterranean, causing a seismic shift in international relations from East to West. In some respects, and I do not want this claim to be overstated, the world that we know came into being with this victory. This event is known to history as the “Battle of Lepanto.”
Pope Pius V, whose treasury bankrolled part of this military endeavor, ordered the churches of Rome opened for prayer day and night, encouraging the faithful to petition the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary through the recitation of the Rosary. When word reached the Pope Pius of the victory of the Holy League, he added a new feast day to the Roman Liturgical Calendar- October 7th would henceforth be the feast of Our Lady of Victory. Pope Pius’ successor, Gregory XIII would change the name of this day to the feast of the Holy Rosary. (Source: Fr. Steve Grunow, Our Lady of the Rosary and the Battle of Lepanto )
Lepanto is immortalized (as if Our Lady hadn’t!) in a poem which Hilaire Belloc declared Chesterton’s greatest poem and the greatest poem of his generation. It only takes a few minutes to read.
Some things to consider as you read the poem:
- The “Soldan of Byzantium” is Sultan Selim II, the Ottoman Turk reigning in Constantinople
- The “Lion of the Sea” is Venice
- The “cold queen of England” is of course the monster Elizabeth I
- The “shadow of the Valois” refers to the French king Henri III (who couldn’t be bothered to aid the Pope and who was also known to sleep through Masses)
- “Mahound” is an archaic rendering of the Mohammed, who is depicted as being very agitated in his Islamic paradise when he learns that Don John (whom he considers a crusader every bit as dangerous as Richard Lionheart or Godfrey) is mounting a defense of Christendom
- St Michael tries to rally Christians of northern Europe, but they are too distracted by the protestant revolt to aid the Holy League.
- The Spaniard Cervantes lost his left hand at the Battle of Lepanto, but 50 years later would use his remaining hand to pen the greatest of Spanish novels, Don Quixote.
Each priest is a man with a body of soft clay. To keep that treasure pure, he has to be stretched out on a cross of fire. Our fall can be greater than the fall of anyone else because of the height from which we tumble. Of all the bad men, bad religious men are the worst, because they were called to be closer to Christ.
–Archbishop Fulton Sheen
Pray for our priests!
With the loss of so many vocations over the past fifty years, we’ve seen a general (and often severe) contraction of religious orders across the board. Every once in a while, however, you come across an account of a religious order that is actually growing, sometimes explosively so.
The Discalced Carmelites, however, are on the rebound.
Since 2000, the Carmelites have been faced with the sort of challenge many religious orders pine for: a boom in vocations. In that year, the nuns moved into the monastery at Elysburg, Pennsylvania from their original home in Nebraska, which they soon outgrew. They were thus granted permission to take over another declining Carmelite monastery, the Carmel of St. Joseph and St. Anne, in Philadelphia — and filled that one with vocations as well. So finally, with the community having overflowed its lodgings twice, the Carmelites received permission last summer from His Excellency Ronald Gainer, bishop of the Diocese of Harrisburg, to expand operations again, this time constructing a new monastery from the ground up.
According to their superior, Mother Stella, “I think the young women are drawn to beauty in the liturgy. They know that if God exists, if God is on our altars, if God is within the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, then He needs to be worshiped as He deserves: with beauty and reverence,” she said of what she thinks draws young women to the Carmelites in particular. “They see that we have that here in our monastery, and they want to be a part of that. They also want something that is authentic, that goes back to the time of our holy mother, St. Teresa.”
Read the entire article here:
The problems which plague the Catholic Church predate the rise of Bergoglio to the Chair of Peter by a generation at least. Is the Latin Mass under threat? Yes. Is the Novus Ordo Mass beset with flaws and subject to all manner of abuse? Yes.
Is it the fault of Pope Francis? Nope.
Check out this very informative video by Michael J. Matt. He lays out the problem very well…
Sorry, Your Eminence. Despite your best efforts to downplay the scandal, excommunication very much remains “a thing!!” It is considered a harsh remedy for the salvation of a soul in desperate danger of damnation, but it is still very much a tool which a caring shepherd can use in a situation like this.
Notwithstanding our silly little meme which opens this article, why haven’t our bishops acted to excommunicate notable (and notorious) Catholic politicians who actively support infanticide and abortion? Here are three reasons. You might find Reason #1 hard to take, but please consider it.
Reason #1: “It’s not ‘pastoral.'”
“Pastoral” is one of those handy post-Vatican II buzzwords that can mean pretty much just about anything the priest, bishop, or trendy theologian using the word wants it to mean. In its most common use, “pastoral” appears to mean “we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.” If you pair this word up with the equally-potent term “mercy,” you have a powerful incantation which permits you remain inactive, even if public figures in your diocese are actively defying Church teachings, committing egregious mortal sins, and encouraging everyone around them to do likewise.
“We must show mercy. We must be pastoral.” That’s number one on on our hit parade. Upon further considerations, that really isn’t a reason, so much as it’s an excuse.
Mercy is absolutely essential to our salvation, there’s no debating that point. What is conveniently overlooked by so many of our modern theologians, prelates, and celebrity priests is the fact that mercy as a concept is meaningless if it does not remain paired with the concept of justice. A person who sins (that’s all of us) will be subject to the Divine Justice unless they are saved by the Divine Mercy. Mercy manifests itself through the sacrament of Reconciliation: you acknowledge your sins in the confessional, you show true sorrow and perform penance, and you are once more under the protection of Mercy because you’re once more in a state of sanctifying Grace.
In His earthly ministry, Jesus showed true pastoral care and mercy towards His lost sheep by living among them, sharing meals with them, and calling them to repentance. When He was dining with publicans and sinners, he wasn’t “accompanying them on their journey.” While he was eating with them, He wasn’t affirming their present lifestyle; he was calling them out of it. And in his preaching, Jesus made it abundantly clear what would happen to their souls if they failed to turn away from sin; if they failed to repent and follow Him.
He reminded them of the reality of hell, and of the horrifying consequences of dying in a state of mortal sin. He offered them a way out of this eternal damnation which they had earned, if only they repented and accepted His gift of salvation through the Cross. Now that’s being pastoral!
That’s what excommunication does: it points out–in no uncertain terms–the state of danger a person’s soul is in as a result of mortal sin and calls that person to repentance. And not only the person who is the object of this public call to repentance…an excommunication serves as an exhortation for all of us to repent, confess our sins, and to avoid the types of sins which have produced this grave set of circumstances for the public figure who is the object of this harsh remedy.
Bishops and cardinals: you want to be pastoral? Then call your people away from sin through whatever means necessary–including excommunication–in order that they may benefit from Christ’s divine Mercy!
Reason #2: They don’t want to upset the applecart.
These bishops have a pretty good racket going. They’re respected (well, maybe not so much these days), they’re considered pillars of the community, and they perceive themselves as being beloved of their people. If they’re a big-city bishop, they’re probably rubbing elbows with the rich and famous. They’re accepted by the local glitterati, and just might be considered a major celebrity in their own right. They’re like the unpopular kid in school who suddenly finds themselves accepted by and hanging out with all the kids in the highest rung of the social ladder…jocks, cheerleaders…heck, they might even get chosen to have a big role in Homecoming!
And, equally important, there are those financial considerations. Dioceses and archdioceses are big money operations. Many of them receive government money to engage in social and charitable work. These are not insignificant sums. Initiating a God-vs.-Caesar type of conflict by excommunicating a very powerful politician could have some very serious financial implications.
And that’s unfortunate. The role of a bishop is first and foremost to defend his sheep and do everything they can to help them get to Heaven. When their excellencies and eminences look into the mirror each morning, they’re supposed to see shepherd willing to lay down his life for the sake of his sheep staring back at them. Instead, too many of these men instead see the CEO of a charitable NGO (non-governmental organization) with obligations to “the bottom line”…and that vision informs all their actions.
Yes, there are certainly going to be consequences to a public excommunication. Reason #2 means you’re more concerned with the temporal consequences than you are with the eternal ones.
Reason #3: Moral cowardice and/or lack of supernatural faith.
Lacking the guts to do the right thing and call a Catholic politician who is endangering their own soul (and countless souls around them) to Judgement and everlasting fire…what can that be called other than cowardice? This ties in with Reason #2 to a great extent; something as profound as a public excommunication is going to have consequences. If the fears of earthly retaliation (social, political, economic) are strong enough, the prelate fails to act…even if he knows in his heart he is doing the wrong thing; knows in his heart that souls are in danger but he simply can’t muster the courage to do the hard thing…the right thing.
Pray for these men. They are like the Apostles who dearly loved Jesus, but fled in terror from Gethsemane when confronted with the specter of temporal suffering which would arise from remaining at their Savior’s side. They love their Lord, and may yet find their backbones. Pray for them, support them, and encourage them to do the right thing.
And the other component of reason number one is a most terrifying theory: what if these men simply don’t believe that it matters?
Has their faith been deadened to the point where they really don’t believe in the consequences of personal sin? What if “mercy trumps all” dominates their mind to the point where they completely disregard justice? Have they convinced themselves that there truly is “a reasonable expectation that all people go to heaven,” and–that aside from Hitler and people who throw plastics into the ocean–nobody will merit everlasting punishment? It almost seems as if some of them are acting that way.
Pray for these men as well.
And, by all means, pray for the souls of those who promote, procure and perform abortions, as well as for those who support or assist them. They–along with us–are being called to accept God’s eternal Mercy, but if they reject the gift of the Cross, what happens then? “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3)
Your Excellencies and Eminences, listen to Hank Igitur in this video. He’ll explain it to you…
From a vehicle storage lot in an unknown location, Henry (you can call him Hank) Igitur kicks off a new video series for CatholicCyber-Militia.com.
In his inaugural video, Hank gives a shout-out to the “scores” of subscribers (he’s an optimist, that Hank) and shares an article from Michael Matt. What he doesn’t share is what may (or may not) be lurking in the contents of his coffee cup!
Like it? Hate it? Confused and/or bored by it? Let us know what you think of this new feature!
The Battle of Lepanto (7 October 1571) was a naval engagement in the waters off southwestern Greece between the allied Christian forces of the Holy League and the Ottoman Turks during an Ottoman campaign to conquer the Venetian island of Cyprus. The battle marked the first significant victory for a Christian naval force over a Turkish fleet and the climax of the age of galley warfare in the Mediterranean.
The above summary can be found at Britannica.com . What this secular article won’t tell you is that this victory was won (against pretty daunting odds) through prayer and the intercession of Our Lady.
Pope Pius V, a Dominican prelate before his elevation, did what Catholics have always done in times of acute danger: fly into the arms of the most powerful Mother of God. As a follower of Saint Dominic, he knew the most effective means of imploring her help was through the recitation of the Holy Rosary. He ordered all monasteries and convents in Rome to increase their prayers for the impending battle and organized rosary processions in which he, as sick as he was, participated.
As the Christian fleet sailed toward the great clash of cultures, Mass was celebrated and the rosary recited daily on each vessel. This heartfelt request for divine assistance resulted in a crushing defeat of the Ottomans at Lepanto that ended their dominance in the Mediterranean. (Source: TFP Student Action )
The battle of Lepanto is not well-known in the English speaking world, owing in no small part to the effects of the Black Legend. Lepanto was fought during the reign of that anti-Catholic monster, bloody Queen Elizabeth I of England. A victory by a Catholic fleet was not going to get much positive press in Elizabethan England!
A few centuries later, however, it was an Englishman who helped to set the record straight. On the eve of World War I, G.K. Chesterton wrote what some consider to be the best English language poem of the 20th Century. If you haven’t read or listened to his epic Lepanto, you really ought to!
Brandon Vought says the following of Lepanto:
The great G.K. Chesterton wrote a poem about these events, appropriately titled “Lepanto”, which I’ve enjoyed several times. I must say, after devouring all of Chesterton’s novels, poetry, short stories, and the majority of his essays, I think “Lepanto” is my favorite piece of his writing. I’m not alone. Hilaire Belloc, Chesterton’s good friend, considered “Lepanto” not only Chesterton’s greatest poem, but the greatest poem of their generation, staggering praise from the usually reserved historian. (Source: https://brandonvogt.com/why-you-should-read-g-k-chestertons-lepanto-today/ )
The YouTube video below is a dramatic reading by Tom O’Bedlam of Chesterton’s Lepanto. With all the nonsense our kids learn in so-called “Catholic” schools these days, if only a brief block of time could be set aside to teach them this piece of literature, how it would strengthen their faith!