Christ stilling the waves

The Trumpeteer

  • When Children become Prophets

    It must surely be one of Our Lady’s most delightful gestures, and fragrant with all that is truly motherly and comforting; that the miracle that has been recognized as authentic and necessary for the canonization of Francisco and Jacinta Marto should be the healing of a 5 year old Brazilian boy called Lucas, who fell 20 feet from an upstairs window with terrible brain injuries.

    Jacinta always stressed the great need of purity, and Francisco spent his time praying the rosary that he might comfort the suffering Christ. Together with their cousin and great friend Lucia, stand not simply as visionaries but as prophets to a century in which bloodshed, cruelty, sexual immorality, and scientific perversion have all but drowned humanity in a sea of Satanic degeneracy.

    The Woman clothed in the Sun came to these peasant children to ask them to pray for the conversion of Russia, to warn them and the Church and the World that the sin that casts most people into Hell is the sin of impurity, and that if the World did not repent then there would be a Second World War. Despite the continual and at times acrimonious controversy as to whether John Paul consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Our Lady of Fatima said that finally her Immaculate Heart would triumph and the World would be given a period of peace, which no doubt will end with the coming of the Antichrist. There is, to my mind, little doubt that the great miracle of the Sun at Fatima is what we see described in chapter 12 of the Apocalypse.

    What is so wonderful about Jacinta and Francisco is that there is a quality of martyrdom. Both fell victim to the terrible Spanish flu that raged through Europe and the United States in the aftermath of World War I. Both children knew they were to die, and at least Francisco died at home, whereas poor Jacinta was moved from hospital to hospital, but to no avail and Jacinta dies alone in a hospital in Lisbon.

    In a Church where many are obsessed with sex, the question is being discussed by the highest ecclesiastical dignitaries as to whether people who are having sex sinfully can receive communion. Whereas these children stand as rock like witnesses to the truth that impurity damns, and that our highest obligation is to love God with every fibre of our being, and that the road to heaven is not one of ease and comfort, but is the way of the Cross.

    Francisco by nature was somewhat lazy, liked playing his flute and liked being on his own. Jacinta had a sweet singing voice and a talent for dancing; being the youngest of the family she was understandably spoilt. They were very normal children. It is to my mind amazing that Pius XI felt that these two children could not be canonized during his time, as they did not understand what heroic virtue entailed. I quote from Wikipedia this illuminating extract.

    “In 1937 Pope Pius XI decided that causes for minors should not be accepted as they could not fully understand heroic virtue or practice it repeatedly, both of which are essential for canonization. For the next four decades, no sainthood processes for children were pursued. In 1979 the bishop of Leiria-Fatima asked all the world's bishops to write to the Pope, petitioning him to make an exception for Francisco, who had died at age 10, and Jacinta, who had died at age 9. More than 300 bishops sent letters to the Pope, writing that “the children were known, admired and attracted people to the way of sanctity. Favors were received through their intercession.” The bishops also said that the children's canonization was a pastoral necessity for the children and teenagers of the day.

    In 1979 the Congregation for the Causes of Saints convened a general assembly. Cardinals, bishops, theologians and other experts debated whether it was possible for children to display heroic virtue. Eventually, they decided that, like the very few children who have a genius for music or mathematics, "in some supernatural way, some children could be spiritual prodigies." They (Jacinta and Francisco) were declared venerable by Pope John Paul II in 1989.”

    Two things spring to mind. When the three children are abducted by the authorities, they are interrogated and threatened to boiled alive if they do not retract their testimony that Our Lady has appeared to them. The children, believing that their final hour has come, refuse to recant. This is heroism to the point of martyrdom. Then 42 years later there is a meeting of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to discuss the possibility of the two children becoming saints and they equate Francisco and Jacinta with child prodigies. What has an intellectual or artistic talent in the very young got to do with heroic sanctity; surely it is about co-operation with grace. Did Pius XI read the accounts of their lives? Did he not know, and did not the Congregation for the Causes of Saints know what anyone brought up on the Penny Catechism knows, namely that a child can commit a mortal sin at the age of reason, which is about the age of seven or thereabouts. Heaven help us when such a fine Pope as Pius XI can miss the point, and that the Congregation can come out with such nonsense. How far we are from the Gospel, which is so simple and whose fishermen apostles have so much in common with these little shepherds, who knew nothing of luxury and comfort, but who intuitively knew the language of Heaven, the power of prayer, and the salvific quality penance. How the Church needs them today. The Christian LGBT and sadly the Catholic LGBT along with their Cardinal, bishop, priest, and religious supporters should hang their heads in shame, and so too should the divorced and remarried Catholics wanting to receive communion. They are not worthy to hold a candle to these wonderful children.

    What then do these two wonderful children have to teach us? In a word utter simplicity. Their lives were lived amid the cycle of the seasons for they were from farming stock. They had the liturgical life of the Church to guide them through the Church’s year and there was the joy of the big festivals like Christmas, Epiphany, Easter, The Ascension, Pentecost, and the great feasts of Our Lady. Heaven was close to them as was the liturgical cycle and occasionally these met when the Angel of Portugal gave them communion.

    So let us hope that Saints Francisco and Jacinta will today bring to the Pope a great grace whereby he can fully understand, what so many Catholics have forgotten; that purity and chastity are fundamental virtues that are absolutely necessary if we wish to enter Heaven. This purity is not simply about virginity and chastity. It is about purity of heart. It is about the sixth beatitude.

    Blessed are the pure in heart,

    For they shall see God

    It is interesting to note that the first beatitude, and the last are about inheriting the Kingdom of Heaven, but the sixth is about seeing God. Francisco, and Jacinta and their cousin Lucia, the main seer, and who was destined to outlive her cousins by 84 years, saw Christ, saw his Mother, saw St Joseph and saw the angels; because they were innocent, and were brought up to be natural and unaffectedly pious and devout, because they were taught the simple truths of their faith, and taught what was right, and what was wrong. God sent his Mother to write on the tablets of their hearts what men and women must do to be reconciled to God. What was at the heart of Our Lady’s message? That we repent, that we consecrate ourselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and that Russia be consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as well. Our Lady’s Heart is Immaculate and Pure. Of all of the human race, with the exception of her Son, who after all was God, Mary was utterly pure of heart, and perfectly humble, the utter personification of being “poor in spirit”.

    Francisco and Jacinta and their cousin Lucia are not only spiritually allied to the Anawim, “The Quiet in the Land” as the simple humble and devout Israelites were described, but they are also prophets like Elijah, like Isaiah, like Ezekiel. They call us to repentance, and call us by their lives to be people of simplicity and peace, who obey God’s commandments not out of fear but out of love; love for God, and love for Our Lady. If we wish for a world of goodness, love and peace then let us live our lives with the simplicity and whole heartedness of this radiantly good, and utterly natural brother and sister, who died out of love for God and for the salvation of sinners,

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  • Paradise and the Cross

    Malcolm Muggeridge, in his book entitled “Jesus Rediscovered” is seen very much as a prophet for our present times. When he was writing these articles in the 60’s, and giving the interview to Roy Trevivian, you see the conversion of a notorious womanizer, and drunk, albeit one who was a brilliant journalist and T.V. interviewer, into a profound, if somewhat unorthodox Christian. He was able as something of an outsider to view the Church very accurately. Here are two excerpts from his Chapter “Am I a Christian?”

    One may marvel, that when pretty well every item of Christian belief and Christian ethics has been thus subjected to some degree of denigration and attack by those ostensibly responsible for upholding and propagating them, congregations of sorts none the less continue to assemble in parish churches on Sunday mornings, and ordinands and novices, though in dwindling numbers, continue to come forward with seemingly authentic vocations. The Church of Christ has to stagger on under the guidance of those who increasingly sympathise with, when they do not actually countenance, every attack on its doctrines, integrity and traditional practices. By one of our time’s larger ironies, ecumenicalism is triumphant just when there is nothing to be ecumenical about; the various religious bodies are likely to find it easy to join together only because, believing little, they correspondingly differ about little. I look forward to the day when an Anglican bishop in full canonicals will attend a humanist rally on the South Downs, or a Salvation Army band lead a procession of Young Atheists to lay a wreath on Karl Marx’ grave in Highgate Cemetery. It cannot be long delayed if it has not happened already. (Jesus Rediscovered, p. 38).

    Far worse has of course happened with gay weddings being acceptable in the Church of Scotland. Such a volte face is unbelievable, but for the fact of the very remoteness of Calvin’s God, and his terrifying theory of Double Predestination. If you are predestined to Hell you might as well enjoy yourself now, and as your Church says that from all eternity some are destined to Hell, then the ministers of that dour Church should happily tie the knot, for there is nothing you can do about it. Then there is the spectacle of the Archbishop of Canterbury lamenting that he cannot do a gay wedding. On a sadder note we remember St. John Paul II being manipulated into the inter religions meeting in Assisi in 1986, which his predecessors prior to Paul VI would have been appalled at. An English Bishop in full canonicals attending a humanist rally is somewhat put into the shade after the Assisi episode.

    The second excerpt from “Jesus Rediscovered” then develops the theme of the Church on a path to auto-destruction.

    The surrender of institutional Christianity to the promoters of a kingdom of heaven on earth has been so abject, the assumptions of scientific materialism so widely accepted and arrogantly stated, that an aspiring Christian today is left in a kind of catacomb of his own making, utterly remote from the debates and discussions going on around him, whether about “permissive” morality (divorce, contraception and abortion ----- those three panaceas for all matrimonial ills), or about the basic dogma of Christian faith.

    In my copy of the New Testament I underline passages which take my fancy. Nearly all of them are about the deceitfulness of this world and of riches, about how concupiscence and vanity separate us from God, and about glorying in tribulation which brings patience, experience and hope, about the flesh lusting against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh, these being contrary to one another so that we cannot do the things that we would do, and so on. It is difficult to think of any sentiments which would be more intrinsically unsympathetic in most clerical circles. They, are I should say, about the most unpopular sentences it is possible to utter today; at religious gatherings they cause malaise and irritation; on radio and television panels derision and incredulity. When I use them I am often accused of insincerity and affectation, so rooted are the opposite assumptions --- that by caring about this world we shall all make it better, that we must aim collectively to get richer in order to get happier and happier, that the unrestrained satisfaction of earthly hopes and desires is the way to physical, mental and spiritual contentment.

    However, I love these sentences, and often say them over to myself. I should like them to govern my every thought and activity for the rest of my life. They seem to me to be true, and the notion of making the world better by caring about it, and achieving happiness through material prosperity and sensual pleasure, quite nonsensical. In face of the otherworldliness which I still unfashionably find in the Gospels, as far I am concerned the whole edifice of twentieth-century materialism --- and utopian hopes that go therewith ---- falls flat on its face. One is delivered from the myth of progress. The terrible vision of a Scandinavian-American paradise, with longer lives, more and better aphrodisiacs and more leisure and amenities for all, dissolves into a nightmare, awaking from which one advances gingerly upon the sublime truth that to live it is necessary to die, that a life can only be kept by being lost--- propositions which strike contemporary minds as pessimistic, but which seem to me optimistic to the point of insanity, implying as they do, that it is possible for mere man, with his brief life and stunted vision, to aspire after universal understanding and a universal love. Is this being a Christian? Ask me another. (pp.39-40)

    Quite what Muggeridge would make of Pope Francis would be hard to imagine, for the present Pope, whose heretical utterances and endorsement of such scandalous people as Emma Bonino, Paul Erlich, and George Soros, who are undoubted enemies of both Christ and the Church, would perhaps be made clearer when we remember that Muggeridge thought that “Good Pope John” was the most disastrous Pope in History. What must be stressed however is the utterly erroneous perception of the World that far too many ecclesiastics, great and small have had since the 60’s. The love affair with the world is sadly damnable and condemned by St. John; “Love not the world, nor the things which are in the world. If any man love the world, the charity of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, is the concupiscence of the flesh, and the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life, which is not of the Father, but is of the world.” (1 John; ch.2 vv. 15-16) and then we have the Pope and goodness knows what other deluded ecclesiastic worried that the planet is in danger because of Global Warming, which has not been scientifically proved. We pause and wonder at such stupidity. Why we must ask ourselves are people so concerned with over population, which is another myth, and even if it wasn’t (There is no overpopulation in Western Europe, and there is definitely underpopulation in Russia), it is a strange way of looking at things. It is a lack of trust in God. It is his creation, and not ours; we are only stewards and pretty incompetent ones at that. The Pope’s real problem is the political and ideological atmosphere that he has been reared in.

    Unless I have completely misunderstood Pope Francis’ parents’ decision to emigrate to Argentina in the 30’s, it was because they could not stand the thought of remaining in Mussolini’s fascist Italy. Unfortunately it was out of the frying pan into the fire. Juan Peron was a great admirer of Mussolini, and wanted to reproduce something similar in Argentina. He might have managed it, if his glamorous second wife Evan Peron had not died prematurely. The entry for Peron in the 2002 Chambers Biographical Dictionary is illuminating and very helpful:

    Juan Peron was born in Lobos, in the province of Southern Buenos Aires. He joined the army in 1913, and took a leading part in the army revolt in 1943 which toppled the pro-Axis President, Ramon Castillo. He was well read, a hypnotic speaker and a close student of Benito Mussolini; he developed a broad base of popular support, augmenting his rule with force.

    He used his position as Secretary of Labour to gain union support, while using his other position as Under-Secretary of War to cultivate junior officers. He organized the descamisados, a civilian paramilitary organization which, like Hitler’s Brownshirts and Mussolini’s Blackshirts, was drawn from the lower classes. Their affections were secured by his politically astute wife, Eva Peron, and when she died in 1952 they greatly mourned her. In 1945, senior army and naval officers, alarmed at Peron’s mobilization of the masses, imprisoned Peron, but released him after thousands gathered in the public squares demanding his return.

    In 1946 after a populist campaign laced with strong nationalist and anti-American rhetoric, ‘El Lider’ was elected President and set about building a corporatist state. He reduced the legislature and the judiciary to rubber-stamps, tried to crush all opposition by any means including torture, and sought to modernize and industrialize the economy through large-scale government intervention and by nationalizing foreign-owned enterprises (including railways). In 1955 with the government in a shambles and having alienated the church, the military, the middle-class and some of the labour movement, he was deposed by the army and fled to Spain.

    Peron did return in the last two years of his life, and when he died in 1974 his third wife Isabelita Peron was briefly President until she was toppled by the Military Coup of the Generals.

    Pope Francis’ rule has all the hall marks of Peron’s method of ruling. Both are populists who wish to be popular with the masses. Pope Francis behaves as if the Papacy is his own. He allows a plate dinner to take place in the Sistine Chapel. He demotes those with whom he disagrees, namely Cardinal Burke, and refuses to give them audiences. He endorses PICO (People Improving Communities through organizing ---- anything more communist sounding would be hard to imagine) a leftist group with ties to George Soros, a Globalist who among other things is Anti-Christian and who helps destabilize regimes, such as the Ukraine in 2014. George Soros with the aid of Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga, the epitome of a left wing prelate and saturated with the ideology of Liberation Theology, pressured the Pope in his 2015 U.S. visit not to mention abortion, but emphasize economics and racial justice. The Pope’s treatment of the Friars of the Immaculate, and his treatment of Fra Matthew Festing, the former Grand Master of The Knights of Malta is an offence against International Law, as the Knights of Malta constitute a Sovereign State, and is also deeply uncharitable. His support of Emma Bonino and Paul Erlich who are open enemies of the Catholic Church and of Christ leave one speechless. A Pope, who says such things as, God would not send people to Hell, atheists can go to Heaven, who denies the miracles of the loaves fishes, and says Christ on the Cross becomes the devil like the Bronze servant has now crossed the Rubicon and become an Antipope?

    The problem with the Left wing agenda is that, true to its Marxist ideology, it sees people as simply the masses, never is the encounter with a human being, a person made in the image of God. That is why both Hitler and Stalin, not to mention Mao and Pol Pot, saw people as the masses. When one views Hitler and Stalin’s huge armies on film, you are overwhelmed by the gigantic and monumental. Soviet art, and Nazi art hangs between the tasteless and the gargantuan. There is nothing intimate about these Nazis and the Soviets. One is overwhelmed by Speer’s model of Germania, the new Capital of the Third Reich, a model of the grotesque, the grand and the utterly superficial, and one is bemused by Stalin’s Moscow University. Both men were monsters, and produced the monstrous. Both turned on their own people in different ways. Both wielded power arbitrarily. Pope Francis should heed what happens when one does such a thing. He need look no further than one of his patron’s, namely St. Francis of Assisi.

    In, what I consider the finest of the modern biographies of St. Francis, namely Omer Englebert’s biography, which I have recently been re-reading, I came across a footnote by the Franciscan, Father Hilarin Felder. It deals with the mistaken notion that St. Francis was a conscious social reformer, especially with regard to the founding of The Third Order, the order of Franciscan Tertiaries. What made the tertiaries so extraordinary is that they were not to carry weapons, and should not take oaths. At one stroke the whole feudal system was challenged. However let us read Father Hilarin’s comment.

    That St. Francis was a social reformer such as, since Jesus Christ, the world had not seen, is generally admitted to-day. There is no doubt much truth in this and other similar views, but it should be said that neither in his writings nor in his discourse was St. Francis preoccupied with social and political needs. Like Christ he seemed indifferent to the temporal fate of parties and groups. It was the individual alone and his salvation that counted in his eyes. Certainly he preached the love of one’s neighbour, peace and interior happiness, the right of each to accomplish his supernatural destiny. But that is the Gospel, the practice of which, as we know, is entirely favourable to the temporal happiness of both individuals and of societies. It would be better then to say that the political and social role of the Poverello was to give the Gospel to souls.’(Omer Englebert; St.Francis, footnote 2, p.238 Burns and Oates, 1950)

    Sadly this gift of the Gospel the Pope seems unable to manage. He does not give the Gospel to souls, but a social programme that is taken up with the plight of young people without jobs, the care of elderly, and the migrant crisis (The supposedly greatest catastrophe of the present era) all good things, but not ends in themselves, which is why his pontificate is so disastrous, and which unfortunately lends plausibility to the theory that the Jesuits are Machiavellian; namely that the end justifies the means. And so the Pope can appoint a priest as one of the consultors for the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, who has likened gay sex to the Eucharist, be close to Cardinal Daneels, a protector of sex abusers, and give back to the well known sex abuser Fr. Izzoli his right to practice his priesthood, which had rightly been taken away from him by Pope Benedict. Pope Francis then attacks Catholics just for being Catholics, as Matthew Schmitz noted in an op-ed in the New York Times last September, and which was quoted by the utterly admirable Steve Skojec in his brilliant article on Pope Francis in Onepeterfive only recently; entitled Four Years Later: Reflections on an Unprecedented Pontificate.

    [Francis] describes parish priests as “little monsters” who “throw stones” at poor sinners. He has given curial officials a diagnosis of “spiritual Alzheimer’s.” He scolds pro-life activists for their “obsession” with abortion. He has said that Catholics who place an emphasis on attending Mass, frequenting confession, and saying traditional prayers are “Pelagians” — people who believe, heretically, that they can be saved by their own works.

    Christ meets the individual and convicts them of sin, such as the woman at the well, and the woman taken in adultery, or Matthew the tax collector. He does not accompany the woman at the well and slowly gets her to get rid of her lover, nor does he say to the woman taken in adultery “There, there you didn’t really mean any harm, and adultery is so understandable and not such a big thing after all.” No! He tells the woman to go and sin no more, and he certainly doesn’t tell Matthew to remain where he is and try and make the tax gathering system more people friendly and less corrupt. He simply says “Follow Me.” precisely what he says to St. Francis and all the saints. So how has Pope Francis made such a huge and disastrous mistake in his conception of Christianity? It has been put with utter succinctness by Hieromonk Damascene in his massive biography of that great prophet to the Christian world of 20th century, Father Seraphim Rose:

    The religion of the “Grand Inquisitor”, Eugene(Seraphim Rose) maintained, takes fundamental Christian values ---peace, brotherhood, unity, love --- and distorts them to be used for the furtherance of purely earthly aims. It does not do away with Christianity; it only reinterprets it, so thoroughly that sincere Christians are eventually led to work for the same goals as secular idealists to build their kingdom of heaven on earth. (Father Seraphim Rose, His Life and Works, Hieromonk Damascene; St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, p.242)

    Returning to that marvellous character, and journalist cum prophet, Malcolm Muggeridge, it is good to remember that he never felt that he belonged in this world and this feeling went back to early childhood. Throughout his early life he had to struggle with his fairly appalling sensuality and hard drinking, allied to a world weary cynicism until he returned to Christ and realized that the flesh availeth naught.

    In Eden Adam and Eve were, though physical, utterly permeated with the spiritual. They had no need for excitement, wonderful meals and a healthy sex life, which is neither healthy, nor fecund. In Paradise our first parents would have reproduced themselves in a totally different manner to the way we reproduce ourselves in the fallen world. All was bliss in Eden, but not excitement.

    With the Fall, the longing for Heaven, a purely spiritual thing, has got muddled up with our fallen nature. We feel alien in the Fallen world, because that is the truth of the situation, but to escape this Fallen world we too often take the road of pleasure, which leads to Hell. Our longing for love and Heaven, our innate desire for God gets diverted into the pursuit of beauty and all that is seemingly good and ends in despair, and in our modern world this means a life steeped in drugs, drink, sexual perversion, and violence, which makes us even more aliens in an alien fallen world. The only way back to Paradise and to God is by living the life of the Spirit, living the life of the Gospel, and not living in an Utopia of social advancement, comfort and jobs for all, because after all, Jesus himself had no job, no home, and no comforts, so why should we cling so stubbornly to such things, and pursue them with a frenzy bordering on craziness? As Christians we should long to live in Christ’s company and imitate him as far as we are able.

    So if the Pope really wants to change the world, I would suggest that he should look to reviving the Third Order of St. Francis with all the rigours of its original rule, and then we will really see the true reformation of a Church which looks as if it is about to die at the hands of priests and religious who have fallen in love with the contemporary world and who have rendered to Caesar what belongs to God, which is why so many of them have betrayed Christ, discarded their vows, and sold their souls to the World, the Flesh and the Devil, not realizing that in the Cross they will find joy inconceivable, love unimaginable, and life without end.

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  • The Return of the Blog

    Well, as you may have read, we intended to stop our blog and just write occasional articles as we felt drawn to do so.

    However, we have realized that it is much easier to use the blog tool rather than having to create new 'pages'.

    Also, as things in the Church now are so serious and so dangerous, as to the transmission of the immemorial teachings, doctrines, and practice of the Church, we feel we must bring hope to the suffering and confused faithful.

    So, blog, we have returned!

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  • The Importance of Praying with Christ

    In recent months central Italy has been convulsed with earthquakes that have been likened, by those who have been hit by them, to scenes out of the Apocalypse. These rumblings and cracking of the earth ‘s surface reflect the rumblings and crackings that are going on in the Church. Never before in her history, even in the Arian crisis, has the confusion been so great. During the Arian Crisis there was the one undivided Church, and though there were small heretical groups, the Church was really dealing with just one opponent, Arius and his followers, but today the Church is like a sinking ship or more appropriately a collapsing building. She is like a dying man who is suffering from multiple organ failure, or someone who has numerous illnesses. Secularism, humanism, the Enlightenment have entered her body, the Faith is clouded, Dogma is dimmed, and most extraordinary of all, the integrity of the Papacy is being compromised by the Pope himself.

    In these truly Apocalyptic times we must pray with Christ to the Father. As He did when he would spend nights alone in prayer to his Heavenly Father. We pray with him in his terrible Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, and say over and over again “Not my will be done, but thine be done.”. We pray with Christ at the Last Supper, and we pray with him in his final and a terrible death agony on the Cross “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” But especially we must pray as He taught us:

    OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN,

    HALLOWED BE THY NAME.

    THY KINGDOM COME. THY WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.

    GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD.

    AND FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES,

    AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US.

    AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION.

    BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL

    Let us also place ourselves under the great banner of Our Lady which is emblazoned with her Immaculate Heart, and where we see her foot crushing Satan’s head. And let us do all we can to promote the great devotion to The Divine Mercy, for it will be this devotion along with the rosary which will do more to save souls than all the different schools of prayer.

    If we do this then, God willing, the attack on marriage and the Eucharist which has resulted from the ambiguities of Amoris Laetitia will be swept aside and the true understanding of marriage will be revealed. If it is not, then we will find ourselves back in 1535 when Henry VIII repudiated the Catholic Church and built his own Church on the foundations of adultery.

    So, in the 100th anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima, let us make the First Five Saturdays, and let us beseech Our Lady to usher in her great reign of Peace. Christ who is the Way, the Truth and the Life will prevail, but he will need martyrs, victim souls, warriors and above all the prayers of children which are so pleasing to God, for it will be the truly humble souls who will bring down the powerful from their thrones and raise up the lowly. Then maybe we will see a rebirth of the ancient monastic and religious tradition that made England The Isle of Saints.

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  • Let us rejoice in the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady

    We have just celebrated the wonderful Feast of The Immaculate Conception, and we ponder Our Lady’s Immaculate conception where she was conceived without Original Sin and how only She and her Son, the New Adam who is both God and Man usher in the Redemption, and the recreation of Man in the image of God more perfectly and more mysteriously than if Adam and Eve had not fallen.

    In Amoris Laeatitia the floodgates of the Liberal Dam have been opened, and we see the beginnings of the wreck of marriage, and the utter denigration of chastity. Now here’s the rub, and it is a very important one. The concept of chastity which has been so underplayed since Vatican II, has all but been forgotten in so much discourse. Just think that most of the women who joined religious life prior to Vatican II were virgins or widows, and note also that there were special orders formed for “Fallen Women” (On the basis of the present state of things, there should be thousands of convents for such women in the Western World. That would solve the vocations crises,for women at least.) One such order was founded by that most delightful of saints, St. Joseph Benedict Cottolengo, a contemporary of the great Don Bosco, and in some ways more extraordinary than him, but his story must be told at a later time.

    With the underplaying of Virginity, there has been a concomitant down playing of chastity in marriage. St. Catherine of Siena said that many married people go the Hell because of sexual sins committed within the marriage bed. The one thing that couples do not need is “A healthy sexual life”. In the superb book by Archpriest Josiah B. Trenham of the Antiochian Orthodox Church entitled Marriage and Virginity, According to John Chrysostom (published by St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood) he relates a story, that I cannot put my finger on, which is embedded amidst Father Josiah’s fairly massive footnotes. It tells the story of an Orthodox bishop visiting a parish and being scandalized at a priest who has 10 children, and berates him for a far too active sex life for one who is a priest. The priest points out that he has only made love to his wife ten times, and so the bishop is gently rebuked.

    In the early Church you often see many, many, couples, especially in the 4th and 5th centuries embracing perpetual continence and living as brother and sister; the most colourful must be St.Melania and her husband Pinanius, but that too is a tale for another time. However the most perfect marriage was the virginal marriage of Our Lady and St. Joseph, and the marriage had to be virginal not just for the very obvious reason that no man could enter the sanctuary of the Mother of God, for that was God’s domain and no-one else’s, but because they had to be totally absorbed with Jesus, the God Man. Marriage like, religious chastity and virginal chastity is about contemplating God with all the faculties of spirit, intellect and body. Marriage is not and end in itself but a means to contemplation in the World, and a way to Heaven. It is not about couples constantly taken up with themselves in a silly dream world, sentimental romances, or sexual shenanigans, it is a window into Heaven.

    So the Pope and his advisors are missing the point. All remarried divorcees, when they come to the awful realization of what they have done, would welcome a life of perfect continence as that would be a life of penance, and a beautiful way to holiness, experienced by all those wonderful couples who throughout the ages have opted for perfect chastity within their, albeit, valid marriages. However as the Church just pays lip service to penance then this will uphill struggle, to say the very least.

    The consequences of divorce are manifold, children are emotionally, psychologically, and even sexually wrecked, spouses shattered, not to mention financial problems accruing to the whole aea of maintenance. What is essential to marriage is not sexual attraction, a harmonious life between husband and wife, though that would be wonderful, but the begetting of children for Heaven, in a nutshell producing saints for God, something that St. Bernard’s parents, St.Dominic’s parents and St. Thérèse’s did superlatively well.

    We should rejoice on this Gaudete Sunday when we think of great married people who decided to live as brother and sister, and show to divorced and remarried couples that they can live like these saints and so redeem the sin of adultery which is now rendered falsely innocuous under the name re-marriage; nothing could be more dangerous nor damnable than this.

    Underneath I append important commentaries on the grave happenings within the Church.

    Dubia debacle shows the Church is in a ‘religious civil war’, says famed Catholic historian

    ROME, December 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Italian Catholic historian Roberto de Mattei has stated that Pope Francis’ refusal to answer questions by the four Cardinals about whether Amoris Laetitia conforms to Catholic teaching is itself “already an answer,” the implications of which, he says, indicates that the Catholic Church has entered into a “religious civil war.”

    “This situation is so grave that a neutral position is no longer possible. Today we are in a war, a religious civil war,” de Mattei told LifeSiteNews in an exclusive interview in Rome last month.

    “It is important to comprehend that today there is a clear choice between fidelity to the Church, to the perennial Magisterium, or infidelity, which means errors, heresy, and apostasy,” he said.

    De Mattei, a professor at the European University of Rome and the president of the Lepanto Foundation, stated that there is “tremendous confusion inside the Church” caused by the pope’s ambiguous moral teaching, especially as found in his April exhortation Amoris Laetitia, which he said has caused “division” and “fragmentation” among bishops, priests, and the faithful.

    The exhortation specifically has been criticized by faithful Catholics for undermining the indissolubility of marriage, opening a door for couples in adulterous relationships to receive Holy Communion, and for making conscience the final arbiter of morality. As some critics feared, the exhortation is already being used by some liberal bishops to welcome openly homosexual “families” into parishes and for allowing adulterous couples to receive Holy Communion in certain cases.

    When the four Cardinals privately asked the pope in September — following a standard procedure within the Church — whether the exhortation conforms to Catholic teaching on marriage, the sacraments, and conscience, the pope failed to answer their questions.

    Specifically, they asked: 1) whether adulterers can receive Holy Communion; 2) whether there are absolute moral norms that must be followed “without exceptions;” 3) if habitual adultery is an “objective situation of grave habitual sin;” 4) whether an intrinsically evil act can be turned into a “‘subjectively’ good” act based on “circumstances or intentions;” and 5) if, based on “conscience,” one can act contrary to known “absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts.”

    The cardinals then went public with their questions last month, only to receive harsh criticism from high-ranking prelates, including two who were recently made cardinals by Pope Francis. The four stand accused of being “troublesome,” in need of “conversion,” of committing “apostasy” and “scandal,” of giving the pope a “slap in the face,” and of creating “difficulty and division.”

    But de Mattei argued that it was not the four cardinals who created the problem, but the pope.

    “The cause of this confusion, the author of this confusion is not the four cardinals, of course. I think that the main author of the confusion is Pope Francis, because it is since his pontificate that things go so rapidly, so fast,” he said. “It seems sometimes that he likes to create this confusion.”

    De Mattei said that the cardinals acted in a “perfect way from a canonical point of view” when they submitted their five questions (dubia) to the pope.

    “I consider it very grave the fact that the Pope, who is the supreme head of the congregation, didn't want to answer. This is already an answer, in fact,” he said.

    De Mattei called it “very opportune” for the cardinals to pursue what one of them —Cardinal Burke — called a “formal act of correction” of the errors found in the Pope’s exhortation.

    “The importance of this initiative is not only to warn the Pope about the errors found in Amoris Laetitia, but also to warn the faithful, to inform the faithful, because among the faithful there is confusion but there is also ignorance. And I think that we have the duty to make the faithful aware of the gravity of this situation,” he said.

    “This situation is so grave that a neutral position is no longer possible. Today we are in a war, a religious civil war, unfortunately. I don't like this war, but we are engaged in it against our will. We have not created the situation, but this situation obliges everyone to pursue a clear position. And for this, I think we have to thank the four cardinals for their courage and to push them to continue their action and their witness,” he added.

    Magisterium ‘debased’ by pope’s ‘refusal to answer’ four Cardinals: famed German philosopher

    December 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — The foremost Roman Catholic philosopher in Germany has come out in support of the four Cardinals who asked Pope Francis to clarify ambiguities in his Apostolic Exhortation regarding the sacraments for divorced and remarried Catholics.

    “It is deplorable that only four Cardinals have taken the initiative regarding this topic,” Robert Spaemann said in defense of the dubia voiced by four Cardinals.

    In an interview with the Italian Nuova Bussola Quotidiana (New Daily Compass) on December 4, Spaemann underlined that the four who brought forth the dubia were correct in addressing the worldwide perplexity that Amoris Laetitia created in the episcopate.

    Spaemann is famous for his philosophical work on Christian ethics, bioethics, and human rights. He is a personal friend of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and professor emeritus of Munich’s Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität. He has already expressed his concern about the ambiguity of Amoris Laetitia, calling it a “breach with Catholic Tradition.”

    “With the dubia, the Cardinals take on their proper duty to sustain with their council – insofar as they are ‘senators’ – the Church in the person of the Holy Father. […] The four Cardinals have chosen the right path,” Spaemann explained.

    Recently the highest protector of the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith suggested that the Pope could consult his congregation to resolve the ambiguity. Spaemann added that the dubia should have gone to the CDF. “The first addressee of the dubia is the Pope, although in my opinion the writing should have passed through the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith.”

    Regarding the silence of Pope Francis, who has hitherto not answered the Cardinals, Spaemann wrote: “The Pope’s refusal to answer the appeal of the four Cardinals fills me with great worry since, in a certain way, the supreme Magisterium in this case is being debased. The Pope clearly has a deep aversion to these decisions in which a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is required.”

    Spaemann emphasized that Christ’s way does entail a clear true-false distinction: Where on the one hand Pope Francis hesitates, “Christ, the Lord of the Church, on the other hand, always gives to His disciples a decision of the kind. In the specific question regarding adultery, he ‘shocks’ the apostles with the simplicity and clarity of his teaching.”

    The third doubt addressed if it is still “possible to affirm that a person who habitually lives in contradiction to a commandment of God’s law, as for instance the law that prohibits adultery (Matthew 19:3-9), finds him or herself in an objective situation of grave habitual sin.” Spaemann argued against the subjectivist understanding of the discernment of conscience: “It is a grave error to think that subjectivity is the last criterion for the administration of the sacraments. It is also true that every action that goes against one conscience is evil but one can also act according to an erroneous conscience. This is the clear teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas.”

    If a person finds himself in a situation that is perplexing (casus perplexus), a situation in which the person has to choose between two or more moral evils whereupon he would either go against his conscience or against the norm, in this case “from this dilemma one can only come out through ‘conversion,’ that is an opening of the conscience towards objective truth. The place of renewal of the truth is on the one hand reason, on the other hand Revelation.”

    The interview ended with an appeal from the Gospel of John (6:67): “‘Will you also go away?’ This is the question Jesus gives His disciples as the crowd leaves after having heard the words of Jesus. Peter does not discuss, but only asks: ‘To whom shall we go? Only you have the words of eternal life.’ (John 6:68)”

    Openly gay theologian defends four Cardinals: ‘I want a Church that speaks plainly’

    December 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — In the wake of harsh rebukes from cardinals and other churchmen over the dubia to the pope, German Cardinal Joachim Meisner has received unlikely support from one of his past adversaries.

    “The situation never before existed in this kind of dimension,” theologian David Berger wrote on his website. “They [the Cardinals] are hushed up in order to implement plans that contradict the Church’s teaching on marriage while the secular media applauds.”

    “The most ardent preachers of tolerance are almost always intolerant people,” he added, citing German philosopher, Walter Hoeres.

    David Berger might be one of the most controversial figures in recent times. He made a name for himself as a Catholic theologian and Thomist until publicly coming out as a practicing homosexual in 2010. This led to the Church’s revocation of his license to teach (missio canonica) by Cardinal Meisner, who thought this act necessary because Berger “does not seem to conform to the norms of the Church in teaching and way of life.”

    At the time, the theologian called the revocation a “heavy smash” against peace in the diocese. Today, his words are supportive of Cardinal Meisner. “While in my life I had to experience the hard hand of Meisner, I am most ashamed as a Catholic and theologian for this conduct [of Msgr. Vito Pinto] that would punish [the Cardinals] for holding on to a core teaching of Catholic thought.”

    Berger was referring to a report that Msgr. Pinto had said the pope could remove the four Cardinals' red hats over the dubia. But the news agency, Religión Confidencial, has since corrected the report and indicated that Msgr. Pinto had actually said the pope would not remove them as cardinals. Msgr. Pinto then redoubled his rebuke of the four Cardinals in an interview last week.

    “Even though the Rota has backpedaled and now gives the impression that everything was a misunderstanding, I know that nothing is published by the Vatican by accident. It was supposed to test the waters, how far they could go,” Berger explained to LifeSiteNews on December 1.

    “Those who were at a disadvantage under Pope Benedict seem to want revenge,” he noted. “Cardinal (Raymond) Burke and Meisner are welcome targets. One knows you can shoot at them without Pope Francis stepping in. The attackers give the impression that they fight for tolerance and openness, but they fight with the most despicable and intolerant means.”

    Regarding his own dispute with Cardinal Meisner in the past, he added: “I cannot have an opinion in the discussion [today] based on my bad experience with him. That would be pure subjectivism. The question is if Meisner and Burke [and the other Cardinals] are right or not.”

    Regarding the dubia, Berger voiced his support, explaining that Amoris Laetitia wants to get rid of everything that is against the the spirit of the times. “Now there is a wish to abolish central core elements of the Church’s moral teaching – which are irritating for the Zeitgeist – and Amoris Laetitia is a welcome ground for that. The intention [of those who hold this view] is that the Church’s teaching should be changed. That some Cardinals fight against this by signing the dubia is not just their right but their duty. Their office urges them to fight for the integrity of the Church’s teaching on faith and morals until their blood is spilled.”

    “And I am happy about it. The Church was not founded by Christ as a wellness center,” he added. “I prefer a Church that scolds me than a Church which mendaciously says yes to me and teaches me the Zeitgeist while making itself laughable and superfluous.”

    These words gain particular importance coming from Berger, who has strongly criticized the Church and clergy with statements such as “20 to 40 percent of Catholic clergy are homosexual” and with publications such as his book, Der heilige Schein (The Holy Sham: A Gay Theologian in the Catholic Church). He remains active in the homosexual scene, working as editor-in-chief of gaystream.eu while also writing politically and socio-political minded articles in The Huffington Post and the German disputation newspaper Junge Freiheit.

    “I want a Church that speaks plainly. At the same time, I uphold the Catholic motto fortiter in re, suaviter in modo [stronger in matter, sweeter in manner]. As opposed to Islam, the Catholic Church refuses homosexuality, but she would never demand the death penalty for homosexuals."

    “In recent years, I have experienced very respectful dealings with me as a homosexual by Church prelates. The Church also respects the forum internum and does not ask about things that belong in the Confessional. Therefore, I can respect her call for abstinence, which could also target married people, etc. Though when holding the mirror up to me, I do not always give a good image, I defend the doctrine unmistakably that there cannot be sacramental homosexual marriage (that would be a simulatio sacramenti).”

    Instead, he called for dialogue when possible. “I see many points where homosexuals and pro-lifers could work together — and they already do here in Berlin and in the USA, for example regarding PID [pre-implantation diagnostics].”

    Berger also made headlines in 2012, saying Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was gay. On August 26 of this year, he apologized publicly to Benedict XVI on his website. “I realized what kind of awful game I had taken part in and I was ashamed. And then I apologized,” Berger said to LifeSiteNews. “He has defended the Church’s teaching in a highly intelligent and uncompromising way. That why I learned to hate the media and everything bad that has been said about [Pope Benedict] – no matter if true or not.”

    Berger concluded with his support of the dubia. “I hope that Pope Francis does not gamble with the unity of the Church, only to appease a few liberal Catholics. Those are Catholics who use the Eucharist – the most sacred thing in the militant Church – in their fight for recognition of divorce as a means to an end.”

    Bishop Schneider: ‘We are witnessing today a strange form of schism’ within the Church

    December 8, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – "A certain kind of schism already exists in the Church," Bishop Athanasius Schneider said, and it consists of those who align themselves with the pope to advance their careers yet reject Christ's fundamental teachings on marriage.

    Schneider, the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Maria Santissima in Astana, Kazakhstan told this to TV Libertes in an interview addressing Amoris Laetitia and Schneider's support of the four cardinals' dubia to the pope asking for moral clarification.

    "My questioning of Amoris Laetitia first of all concerns the very concrete question of admitting so-called ‘remarried’ divorces to Holy Communion," he explained. "In fact, during the last two synods on the family and after the publication of Amoris Laetitia, there was and continues to be to this day an arduous and tumultuous fight about this conrete question."

    "All these ecclesiastics who want another gospel, meaning a right-to-divorce gospel, a gospel of sexual liberty, in short, a Gospel without God's sixth commandment...make use of all evil means, that is to say ruses, deceptions, masterful rhetoric and dialectics, and even the tactic of intimidation and moral violence in order to attain their goal of admitting so-called ‘remarried’ divorces to Holy Communion, without the latter fulfilling the condition of living in perfect continence, a condition requied by divine law," said Schneider. "Once the objective is attained, even if limited to so-called exceptional cases of discernment, the door is opened to introducing the gospel of divorce, the gospel without the sixth commandment. And this will no longer be the Gospel of Jesus, but an anti-gospel, a gospel according to this world, even if such a gospel is cosmetically embellished with terms such as 'mercy,' 'maternal solicitude' or 'accompaniment.'"

    Citing St. Paul's letter to the Galatians, Schneider reminded the faithful that someone who "preaches a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you" is "anathema."

    "On the subject of doctrine and practice concerning the sacrament of marriage, and the perennial validity of the moral law, we are witnessing in our times an ambiguity of such scope only comparable to the general confusion of the Arian crisis of the fourth century," Schneider warned.

    If the dubia remain unanswered, he said, and "if the pope does not fulfill his task in the current circumstances, the bishops have to indefectibly preach the unchanging Gospel concerning the divine doctrine of morality and the perennial discipline of marriage, coming fraternally in this way to help the pope even, because the pope is not a dictator."

    Disputes over the indissolubility of marriage and sacramental practice aren't only a risk, but a reality, he continued. Schneider stated:

    It is not only a risk of schism, but a certain kind of schism already exists in the Church. In Greek, schism means to separate oneself from the totality of the body. Christ is the totality of the body of Divine Truth, and unity in His supernatural body is also visible. But we are witnessing today a strange form of schism. Externally, numerous ecclesiastics safeguard formal unity with the pope, at times, for the good of their own career or or of a kind of papolatry. And at the same time they have broken their ties with Christ, the Truth, and with Christ, the true head of the Church. On the other hand there are ecclesiastics who are denounced as schismatics despite the fact they live in canonical peace with the pope and remain faithful to Christ, the Truth, by assiduously promoting His Gospel of Truth.

    It is evident that those who are internally the true schismatics, in relation to Christ, make use of calumnies for the sole purpose of silencing the voice of Truth by absurdly projecting their own state of internal schism on those ecclesiastics, who, regardless of praise or rebuke, defend the divine truths. In fact, as Sacred Scripture says, the word of Divine Truth is not bound. Even if a number of high-ranking officials in the Church today temporarily obscure the truth of the doctrine of marriage and its perennial discipline, this doctrine and discipline will always remain unchangeable in the Church, because the Church is not human foundation, but a divine one.

    The bishop stressed the importance of praying for the pope and pointed out, "In Pope Francis’s words, he made [it] clear he did not have the intention of putting forward his own magisterial teaching" with the exhortation.

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  • SAINT ANDREW AND THE LIBERAL BISHOPS

    We have just celebrated the feast of St. Andrew, called by the Orthodox Church “The First Called”. What is delightful about St. Andrew is his spontaneity and enthusiasm, which is in stark contrast to his fellow Apostle Nathaniel, who is rather like a Yorkshireman, not easily taken in. I think in the States a Texan would be the equivalent of a Yorkshireman. So if Peter rushes in where angels fear to tread, and blurts out whatever comes into his head, then Andrew rushes so to speak towards “The Lamb of God” who his master John the Baptist has pointed out to him and to the other disciple who is with Andrew. So as Andrew and his companion, who is most probably John follow Jesus, he turns round and says “What do you seek?” and they answer “Where are you staying?” to which Christ replies “Come and See” and so the two disciples of John spend the rest of the day with Jesus. At the end of their time with him, on that momentous day, Andrew is convinced that Jesus is the long awaited Messiah. So either very late on the day when Andrew met Jesus, or the next day, he rushes off to tell Peter that he has found the Messiah, who is Jesus of Nazareth.

    Definitely on the day after the meeting with Andrew and the other disciple, Jesus meets Philip and says to him “Follow Me” and so Philip goes off to tell Nathanael that they have found the Messiah, who is Jesus of Nazareth, to which Nathanael laconically replies “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” to which Philip says “Come and see.”

    Now what is important is that neither Andrew or Philip tell Peter and Nathaniel why Jesus is the Messiah, it is enough to see him, and then the revelation takes place.

    The problem with the Church today is that all vision is blinded by endless discussions, documents, seminars, workshops and goodness knows what else. Quite what St. Francis Xavier whose feast is on Saturday would make of this I do not know. All he wanted to do was to save as many souls as possible, and despite the fact that he was deprived of all the up to date 20th and 21st missiology techniques, his work prospered in Southern India, and would have conquered Japan but for the wretched Portuguese merchants who managed to destroy everything, and the curse of avarice is still among Christians today.

    The Tridentine Church which finished with the opening of Vatican II was very much a worshipping Church, and a devotional one. The present Church is very much a teaching one, and worse still is a classroom or University lecture Hall. The Apostles, for the most part simple men, had begun a tremendous adventure, where Christ was shown to them as the Lamb of God, where he told Simon that he was a rock, and told him and the other Apostles that he would make them fishers of men. Christ the Son of God, who is the God Man, preached in parables, and very simply; but today encyclicals and Apostolic Exhortations get longer and longer. I believe that Laudato Si and Amoris Laetitia have broken all records when it comes to length, and what good do they really do. Global warming is another secularist shibboleth, and chastity seems off limits in Amoris Laetitia, it is all about the needs of the couple who have got married again, when they shouldn’t have done; it is as simple as that. You cannot take the Law of Christ into your own hands. If we had the three hour fast back, everyone would be at the 11 o’clock Mass, not having communion anyway. It seems that the Law of Christ is there to bent, broken, or simply ignored because “I feel that I am right”. You don’t join a tennis club, and say “I want to change the rules of the game”. Why this blindness on the part of so many Cardinals, Bishops, priests, and religious? The blindness is because the shepherds are not really wanting to go and see where Jesus truly is. They don’t really want to be like Andrew, and John, Peter, and Philip, Nathanael and James. They don’t want to abandon themselves to Jesus, and begin the great adventure of following him. Too often they want the status of being theologians (God help us wasn’t theology basically tied up with Thomas. What else do we need) to discuss God, to dissect him, to analyse his laws, and change them, when it is too hard. The last thing that they want to do is trust, follow him, and become saints. Of course his laws on marriage are difficult, but he will give his grace. If you said a job was too difficult at work, and you weren’t going to do it, you would be sacked; you can at least give it your best effort. Also in all this thing about the divorced and remarried receiving communion, does anyone take into account the children, and how they suffer from divorce. No, what people want is Utopia, they do not want Heaven, because the only path to Heaven is the Cross; there is no other way to get there.

    It is an absolute scandal that people are being so horrible to the four cardinals who are bravely standing up for Christ. It is very depressing that the Pope is so bad mannered as not to reply to important letters. It is very sad that so many liberal clerics are being so nasty about the Cardinals who are dignified and don’t abuse their adversaries, and it is truly tragic that the Pope has been taken in by the liberal agenda, both within and without the Church. Does he not know that behind the liberal agenda stand the most evil men bent on the destruction of the Church. We know some of the names of these families, such as the Rockefellers, the Rothschilds, and the real hater of Christians, George Soros. Sadly the Pope won’t be told. He is convinced that he must remake the Church according to his plans. If only he would follow Jesus as Andrew and the other disciple did and go and see where the Son of God really dwells. If he did that then he would save us all a lot of trouble. As it is rushing headlong into wrecking the Church, but perhaps that is not bad thing, as we can then start all over again with Andrew, Peter, Philip, Nathanael, James and John, and experience that joy of following Christ, not knowing where it will lead you, but that it will lead you to unutterable love and the Kingdom of Heaven

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  • Christ the King, St. Francis, and the Pope

    When St. Francis began to preach that momentous day, after he heard the Gospel of the feast of St. Matthias being read at Mass about the sending out of the disciples by Christ to preach the Gospel, heal the sick and cleanse the lepers, and most importantly of all, about taking nothing for the journey. Not long after this, the beginning of the order of St Francis, the first disciples arrive, and so begins the great romance and adventure of the Franciscan Order, sadly so blighted by disputes over poverty, that elusive Lady Poverty, so perfectly understood by Francis, but not by most people.

    Francis’s preaching, as one of his great biographers Omer Englebert points out, and is mentioned by Francis’ first biographer Thomas of Celano, is that “Contrary to the lay reformers who swarmed at the time, he did not curse his own day nor attack anyone. He confined himself to reciting the Gospel with such humility and charm and assurance, that it found again in his mouth its original power and freshness.” Francis’ literal imitation of Christ has never been surpassed, though his great contemporary and kindred spirit, St. Dominic, is a perfect imitator of Christ, but not so literalist.

    This is why people loved Francis, because his simple preaching would not allow of casuistry. He was black and white, as for that matter was that other great St. Francis, namely Francis Xavier; for it was on one of his journeys that that great missionary responded to the death of the pagan Chinese captain. He did not immediately pray for the man’s soul. When asked by a companion why he did not pray for the repose of the man’s soul, St. Francis Xavier replied “Because he is in hell”. One is not sure whether this was a spiritual knowledge, or a strict interpretation of “Outside the Church there is no salvation.” The chronological snobbery of our lacklustre unromantic age would say “Francis Xavier was very much a product of his times, and the Tridentine Church.” The subtext is “We of course know better”. It is the same dreary and heretical rubbish that Pope Francis came out with some time ago, when he said that the miracle of the feeding of the Five Thousand in fact was that everyone shared what they had, but that flies in the face of the text, which does not say anything about sharing, and worse still is an insult to Christ, who is King of all Creation and God.

    St. Francis Assisi saw himself as “the herald of the great King”, and his life of poverty gave him that great freedom of always praising God, either in contemplative prayer, praising out aloud, or singing. In fact Francis seems to, like all troubadours of his time, be singing so much of the time. If he is not doing that then he is to be seen sending out his friars to preach, by getting them to twirl themselves around until they fall over, and then go in the direction in which their bodies are pointing towards. There is no planning here, no incredibly long formation for contemplative nuns that the Pope has just produced, and which is another version of the Jesuit formation. Though St. Francis saw himself and his friars as spiritual versions of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, there was nothing of that rigid formation or militarism of Ignatius’ Jesuits. The Jesuit Order being militaristic seems to have become more like the S.A.S, or S.O.E in World War II, but St. Francis turns the whole world into a wonderful children’s playground. Here there is laughter, life, praise, and gratitude.

    The Pope having taken the name of Francis, which I suspect has more to do with Francis of Assisi than Francis Xavier, has sadly been more and more losing the point. He is not in the playground with St. Francis and his companions, instead is a schoolmaster or school prefect who is always trying to teach people a lesson; unfortunately it is never the right lesson. He tells us that three of the worst problems today are youth unemployment, the plight of the elderly, and global warming. St. Francis would boggle at such a notion, for him the greatest problem is that God is not loved enough and that there are not enough heralds of the great King, and he would be horrified at abortion and transgenderism. Because everything from an unborn baby, to one’s gender, and the whole of creation, are priceless gifts from a Creator who is so humble that he becomes a little baby, and becomes a tiny host at Mass. St. Francis was continuously amazed at God’s endless generosity. He would have not truck with climate change as he would be only too aware that God oversees the World not us. St. Francis had an immense trust, and quite what the Poverello would make of a plate dinner for the ultra-wealthy in the Sistine Chapel I dread to think. However, he would have been pleased that the Pope was housing refugees in the Vatican.

    One thing that St. Francis could not tolerate was the scolding mentality. He was too aware of his own sinfulness to go on about the sins of the clergy and the higher clergy. He did denounce wickedness, especially wars, and strove always to make peace, but the peace was based on beatitudes and humility and that everyone and everything is a brother and sister, and you don’t spend your time fault finding with your brothers and sisters unless you want to be really unpopular, and that sadly is what the Pope is doing.

    The Pope’s latest fault-finding is with the illustrious and noble Cardinals Burke, Brandmuller, Caffara, and Meisner, who simply asked for clarification on behalf of the very confused Faithful about the true meaning of this quite unnecessary Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia. The Cardinals sent the Pope a private letter. He did not reply, surely this is discourteous, something that St. Francis was the complete opposite of. St. Francis was a true knight, noble and courteous. When the Pope is forced to reply, because the Cardinals have no option but to go public, he apparently goes into a rage, and goes on about people being rigid and goes on about morality being about the movement of life or something incredibly vague. Then on the Pope’s side, his doughty Knight Fr. Spadaro S. J. starts tweeting on his phone about the Cardinals being like Grima Wormtongue from Lord of the Rings poisoning the minds. Of whom? I suppose the laity. What the good Father has failed to understand is that the illustration is wrong. The Cardinals are like Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli, and the Pope is like King Theoden, whose mind has been poisoned by an assortment of Grima Wormtongue’s like Cardinals Marx, Kasper, Cupich, and Father Spadaro himself. One thing that they will not be doing is playing in St. Francis’s idyllic garden. They won’t be seesawing with children on the seesaw a la Brother Juniper. Neither will they, like St Philip Neri and St. Felix of Cantalice be seesawing together in Rome. There is no joy in this Pontificate. There are no knights of Christ among these serious clerics, there are only plans, ideologies, and compromises with the cruel and wicked modern world. There is not attempt to convert, only to flatter modernity, and extol Modernism. It is a Grey Church, whose liturgy is short, banal and dull. Let us discover on this great Feast of Christ the King what it means to be heralds of the Great King and Knights of Christ. Let us romp in God’s playground and enjoy the Father’s warmth and the brotherhood of Christ, and let us take the Faith seriously and ourselves not at all, and let us not carp or cant or scold. Let us have the joy of St. Francis and let us pray that a little bit of it will rub off on the Pope.

    Let us hope that Pope Francis will be caught up in that immense vision of Christ the King, majestic, riding on his great white horse, flashing with jewels, crowned with the crown of all crowns, the Divine Kingship accompanied by a great army of every conceivable class of people, every nation that has ever existed, every civilization that has been founded, and in the rays flashing from the hands of the Divine King Christ Our Lord, may we see the beauty that he pours over all his beloved disciples throughout the ages, and let us hope that the poor Pope will finally experience true joy before it is too late.

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  • The Feast of All Saints

    Today we celebrate the Feast of All Saints, a feast that can be lost in a sort of vague half realized Heavenly Scene, which is best depicted by some of the Renaissance paintings of Heaven, in particular those of Fra Angelico, but perhaps the best way to understand this feast visually would be if you were attending the Divine Liturgy in the Ouspensky Cathedral in the Kremlin with the hundreds of icons gleaming in candle light amidst clouds of incense with the magnificent chants of the Russian Orthodox. Something of Heaven overwhelmed Grand Prince Vladimir’s ambassadors to Constantinople when they went to Santa Sophia “We knew not whether we were in heaven or on earth, for on earth there is no such splendour or such beauty and we are at a loss to how to describe it.” Not long after Vladimir was baptized in 987 and so begins the history of Holy Russia, which the West has been oblivious of in the main.

    The life of the saints of Heaven is one of continuous praise of God. All those who go to Heaven are those who have worshipped God and not simply prayed to Him for things, for wealth, or good health, or for happiness. They are those who have loved God for his own sake and not theirs. It his glory that matters, and so the more that the saints have conformed their lives to Christ, the more his glory has overshadowed them.

    Whether we imagine Heaven as a wonderful Divine Liturgy, or the old Papal Masses prior to Vatican II, or even the various coronation ceremonies of Christian kings, what is important to remember is that the saints in Heaven, in their different ways reflect various qualities of Christ, as they are all his brothers and sisters. Heaven then is like some glorious garden with endless vistas of tree lined avenues, flower beds radiating unknown colours, fountains that create musical sounds, waterfalls like cascading diamonds, and scents beyond description, and all these different things represent the souls of the saints, and bask in the late afternoon Summer sunlight, which is the light of God himself. Heaven itself is so often depicted as the Golden Heavenly City of the Apocalypse, whose wall “was jasper, while the city was of pure gold, clear as glass” and the foundation stones of course are of fabulous jewels but I cannot think that it is only that, I am sure that it is some astounding garden cit. Above all it a city where love abounds, where the saints with the grace of God have triumphed and the prize is to gaze on God’s face forever.

    Is it not indicative of the era that we live in, that Halloween has become so important? This is not a secular festival, but an evil festival that is celebrated by people who are secular, and are playing with fire. It is all part of a world that is enslaved to the ugly, the dark, and the defiled. It is a celebration of sin, and a grand denial of the good, and those revellers think it is just a piece of harmless fun. Would that it was simply about witches on broomsticks, but it is not. It is a celebration of Hell. The sad thing is that Halloween simply means “All Hallows Eve”, which is the vigil of All Saints. Our present society wants none of the glory of the saints. Those who really rule the World deem the praise of the saints in Heaven laughable, for these earthlings do not wish to bow the knee to God, and to know his love, they want power and never to bend the knee to anyone or so they think, but if they do not worship God, they will end up in eternal bondage to Satan. Let us pray to God that they will repent, convert, and love God, for time is running out, and the forces of Heaven will soon execute God’s punishment on this profoundly evil age, which disguises its evil under the form of philanthropy and liberty, equality, and brotherliness; but do not be deceived God will not be mocked. If we love Him, Heaven will be ours, if we do not the gigantic city of Hell with its halls of despair, and its tortures beyond our wildest waking fears will be our eternal lot.

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  • How Long Will Your Church Survive Under a Clinton Presidency?

    By Simon de Hundehutte (from “The American Thinker”)

    If Hillary Clinton becomes president, there is little doubt she will continue unabated the policies of President Obama. This will include Obama’s heavy-handiness towards dissenting religious organizations like the Little Sisters of the Poor when it comes to abortion decrees, as well as pastors who preach sermons considered “out of bounds,” and individual Christians whose conscience dictates they refrain from baking cakes or taking photos for “gay weddings.”

    So, with this in mind, just how long will it take for the church that you currently attend to either knuckle under to the new way of conducting “church business” or face punishment in Hillary’s America?

    That all depends on the type of church you now attend. The way I see it, there are presently two types of Christian churches in our country: a church where Jesus Christ is in the denominator or one where Christ is in the numerator.

    As in mathematics, the denominator and the numerator have two very different meanings. The denominator affects every number above the line. For purposes of this demonstration, the numerator can be a lot of different numbers, but the denominator is a constant. However, if that denominator changes, all the different numbers above the line in the numerator are affected.

    A Christ-denominator church preaches that Jesus is Lord and what He says through Holy Scripture dictates how you and the church conducts itself privately and in public. Your personal feelings are trumped by Bible doctrines. Cultural fashions may change but what’s written in the Bible doesn’t. A Christ-denominator church preaches biblical principles in season and out of season – it does not matter which way the cultural wind is blowing.

    A Christ-numerator church may also preach that Jesus is Lord. But what’s going on in the world is given full consideration as to how the message of the Bible is delivered. In other words, “the world” is in the denominator. A Christ-numerator church will talk about “social justice” and “saving the planet from man-made climate change,” for example.

    In a Christ-denominator church, everything in a person’s life is affected by following Christ: how he thinks, who he dates or marries, what job he will take, and on and on. All these things are part of that person’s numerator, since following Jesus is in his denominator.

    However, in a Christ-numerator church, making the world a better place is in the denominator. That means, faith in Christ (even personal salvation) is just one of a number of other important things that are in the numerator. All things that a person believes are affected by the foundational question: “How can I make the world a better place?”

    To people on the outside of the Christian religion altogether, members of a Christ-denominator church might appear narrow-minded, exclusive, self-righteous, and uncaring about the world and its problems. That certainly can be a pitfall of a Christ-denominator believer. However, since Christ came to “set the captives free” and “make all things new again,” Christ-denominator believers follow His lead. They don’t make things up because “it feels right” or to “go along to get along.”

    Under a Clinton presidency, as under the Obama administration, believers in Christ-denominator churches will continue to be pressured and punished – with an acceleration and intensity not yet experienced. By the end of Hillary’s first four years, Christ-denominators may very well be completely marginalized and “silenced.”

    And what about the Christ-numerator churches? Right now, they’re playing Hillary and Obama’s game. In fact, if it wasn’t for these kind of churches, Obama would never have been elected. Christians, whether Protestant or Catholic, make a formidable, even overwhelming, voting bloc. And Christ-numerators are about to hand Clinton the presidency, as they did Obama in 2008 and 2012.

    But, the tide will eventually turn against Christ-numerators -- it has to. The state will not tolerate dissenters; the Christ-numerator churches will become dissenters by default simply because Christ has at least a fraction of influence. In eight years, when Hillary’s second term grinds to an end, Christ-numerators will either join the already vilified Christ-denominators in retreat, or drop out of the ranks of church membership altogether.

    Either way, Hillary and the state win.

    By the election of 2024 when the Democrats choose again who will win (perhaps they will want to “make history” a third time with the first transgender president?), those who live by any remnant of Christian faith will have zero influence.

    And those who had Christ in the numerator may finally realize that they only have themselves to blame for the fall of Christianity in America.

    If Hillary Clinton becomes president, there is little doubt she will continue unabated the policies of President Obama. This will include Obama’s heavy-handiness towards dissenting religious organizations like the Little Sisters of the Poor when it comes to abortion decrees, as well as pastors who preach sermons considered “out of bounds,” and individual Christians whose conscience dictates they refrain from baking cakes or taking photos for “gay weddings.”

    So, with this in mind, just how long will it take for the church that you currently attend to either knuckle under to the new way of conducting “church business” or face punishment in Hillary’s America?

    That all depends on the type of church you now attend. The way I see it, there are presently two types of Christian churches in our country: a church where Jesus Christ is in the denominator or one where Christ is in the numerator.

    As in mathematics, the denominator and the numerator have two very different meanings. The denominator affects every number above the line. For purposes of this demonstration, the numerator can be a lot of different numbers, but the denominator is a constant. However, if that denominator changes, all the different numbers above the line in the numerator are affected.

    A Christ-denominator church preaches that Jesus is Lord and what He says through Holy Scripture dictates how you and the church conducts itself privately and in public. Your personal feelings are trumped by Bible doctrines. Cultural fashions may change but what’s written in the Bible doesn’t. A Christ-denominator church preaches biblical principles in season and out of season – it does not matter which way the cultural wind is blowing.

    A Christ-numerator church may also preach that Jesus is Lord. But what’s going on in the world is given full consideration as to how the message of the Bible is delivered. In other words, “the world” is in the denominator. A Christ-numerator church will talk about “social justice” and “saving the planet from man-made climate change,” for example.

    In a Christ-denominator church, everything in a person’s life is affected by following Christ: how he thinks, who he dates or marries, what job he will take, and on and on. All these things are part of that person’s numerator, since following Jesus is in his denominator.

    However, in a Christ-numerator church, making the world a better place is in the denominator. That means, faith in Christ (even personal salvation) is just one of a number of other important things that are in the numerator. All things that a person believes are affected by the foundational question: “How can I make the world a better place?”

    To people on the outside of the Christian religion altogether, members of a Christ-denominator church might appear narrow-minded, exclusive, self-righteous, and uncaring about the world and its problems. That certainly can be a pitfall of a Christ-denominator believer. However, since Christ came to “set the captives free” and “make all things new again,” Christ-denominator believers follow His lead. They don’t make things up because “it feels right” or to “go along to get along.”

    Under a Clinton presidency, as under the Obama administration, believers in Christ-denominator churches will continue to be pressured and punished – with an acceleration and intensity not yet experienced. By the end of Hillary’s first four years, Christ-denominators may very well be completely marginalized and “silenced.”

    And what about the Christ-numerator churches? Right now, they’re playing Hillary and Obama’s game. In fact, if it wasn’t for these kind of churches, Obama would never have been elected. Christians, whether Protestant or Catholic, make a formidable, even overwhelming, voting bloc. And Christ-numerators are about to hand Clinton the presidency, as they did Obama in 2008 and 2012.

    But, the tide will eventually turn against Christ-numerators -- it has to. The state will not tolerate dissenters; the Christ-numerator churches will become dissenters by default simply because Christ has at least a fraction of influence. In eight years, when Hillary’s second term grinds to an end, Christ-numerators will either join the already vilified Christ-denominators in retreat, or drop out of the ranks of church membership altogether.

    Either way, Hillary and the state win.

    By the election of 2024 when the Democrats choose again who will win (perhaps they will want to “make history” a third time with the first transgender president?), those who live by any remnant of Christian faith will have zero influence.

    And those who had Christ in the numerator may finally realize that they only have themselves to blame for the fall of Christianity in America.

    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/10/how_long_will_your_church_survive_under_a_clinton_presidency.html#ixzz4OUTwkFUT

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  • SOME HARD QUETIONS

    SOME HARD QUESTIONS

    REGARDING THE PRESENT STATE OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

    Several years ago Father Tomas Halik, the Czech philosopher priest, who one would hardly describe as being in the vanguard of the ultra-orthodox said that the Church was like a dying man, whose relatives didn’t dare tell him that he was dying. Just about a week ago Cardinal Burke said that he would ne, for some time, a de facto schism, which also is rather like Tomas Halik’s dying man. It is as plain as a pike staff, or the nose on one’s face.

    We then are confronted by a cabal of Cardinals, and bishops who would seem to want to change the teachings of the Church especially with regard to sexual morality. These men if they are successful will themselves create the schism, and then which side will the Pope find himself on. There was a lot to be said for the Byzantine Emperors, they could be very good, or very bad, orthodox or heretical, but their very power even if badly used could bring balance. This is especially true of Justinian, a fairly competent theologian and a great Emperor.

    In ‘The Three Chapters’ controversy, which dominated the Fifth General Council of Constantinople, convened by Justinian on 5th May 553, was the banana skin on which Pope Vigilius slipped. In 543 Justinian had anathematized the teaching and person of Origen; that he anathematized Origen’s person is unfortunate as Origen was indeed the stuff that martyrs are made of. However, Justinian then anathematized the ‘Three Chapters’ which were the writings of Theodore of Mopusestia as well as his person, and some of the writings of Theodore of Cyrrhus and Ibas of Edessa, who the Monophysites in the Empire considered to be Nestorian, which they were not. They were considered to be orthodox by the great Council of Chalcedon, and were indeed so. Initially Pope Vigilius refused to condemn the ‘Three Chapters’ but finally capitulated and was excommunicated by the Synod of African bishops who were absolutely right in doing such. Vigilius and Justinian had agreed that the only way things could be resolved was for there to be a Council and so there was, but before it met there had been a struggle between Vigilius who was in Constantinople, and Justinian.

    Vigilius wrote a private letter to Justinian saying he would do all that was within his power to obtain the condemnation of ‘Three Chapters’. Askisdas, the theological adviser to Justinian, persuaded him to condemn the ‘The Three Chapters’ in an edict. Vigilius demanded that the edict be retracted, and excommunicated Askidas. Vigilius then fled, accompanied by his clergy to a church, to seek sanctuary. However the police grabbed hold of the poor man who held on to the altar with such force that it collapsed. He was imprisoned for a second time by Justinian, but escaped across the roofs of the city, crossed the Bosphorus and as J.N.D. Kelly wrily notes “and took refuge, appropriately, in the council church at Chalcedon. By the time the Fifth General Council opened in Constantinople, Vigilius had summoned up enough courage to refuse to attend; his excuse was that there were not enough Westerners represented. On 14th May Vigilius issued his First Constitution, which condemned sixty of Theodore’s supposed propositions, but not the man himself. Justinian rejected this and turned the tables on the already fairly humiliated Vigilius by revealing his secret correspondence, in which Vigilius had promised to do all he could to get ‘The Three Chapters’ condemned. To really humiliate Vigilius Justinian ordered that Vigilius’ name be struck from the diptychs. The diptychs were those parts of the Liturgy where the bishop, patriarch or pope prayed for other bishops, patriarchs, etc. Justinian said he was not breaking communion with the Papacy but with Vigilius.

    This situation has resonances with the Pontificate of Francis. Because of his heretical statements there is great confusion. People posit various suggestions. The easiest one to propose in solving the problem is the following solution to the confusion, and the least tenable, namely that Pope Francis was invalidly elected. The reason put forward for this view is that the Sankt Gallen group, the liberal group of cardinals and bishops who were opposed to John Paul II and, sadly, included in their number Cardinal Hume, were a cabal formed up to, and during the 2013 conclave to get Jorge Bergolio elected as Pope, thus going against John Paul II’s constitution on Papal Elections, and also by this action excommunicating themselves in the process. On one level this is almost by the by as the electoral procedures for electing Popes have certainly developed over the last nearly two thousand years. It is interesting to note that the first Pope after Peter, namely Linus, was entrusted with this office as Bishop of Rome by Peter and Paul. In that case there was no election simply an appointment.

    The other solution is that proposed by the great Spanish Jesuit theologian Suarez. If the Pope is found to be a heretic, then he can be deposed by the bishops as he is no longer a member of the Church. I am putting this rather simply as the whole thing can be very complicated.

    What the whole madness of the present day Church reveals is where does this put Infallibility. Now Blessed Pius IX was so determined to save the Church from all her enemies that Infallibility of the Pope seemed to him a God given opportunity to do this. However, when the Bishops of the Catholic Church assembled in the Vatican for Vatican I they had not been informed, prior to this moment, that Papal Infallibility was on the list of subjects to be discussed. A lot of bishops were not keen on making Papal Infallibility a dogma (With the help of Hans Küng Pope Francis may just declare that he is no longer infallible!). Pius IX appears to have been almost the bishops to get them to assent, and quite a few left before the final vote, as they felt they could not vote for the dogma. Newman was very concerned about it, and quite rightly so. Another thing to take into account is that the Council broke up before it was finished due to the outbreak of the Franco Prussian War. It is good to know all this, and to realize that God does write straight with crooked lines, but It does beg a whole lot of questions.

    Another question is why has there never been a Reformation in Orthodoxy? The question may be partially answered by the following question. Does Faith seek understanding, or does understanding seek Faith? The former is Augustinian and the latter is Thomist. Thomas unwittingly opened the floodgates of the pursuit of knowledge. Simple peasants have become saints, and illiterate people have become saints, and Christ’s preaching and teaching was hardly of a kind that you would find in the halls of great Medieval Universities. Also you do not find anti clericalism in Orthodox countries, nor for that fact do you find it Protestant countries; make of that what you will.

    The problem is that the doctrine of development has become exaggerated since it was fully investigated by Newman. It can only develop within very tight bounds and most be squared with Scripture. This would be the Orthodox view.

    Also in the 19th century there was a lack of vigilance on the part of the Catholic Church with regard to the pseudoscience of evolution. The great Russian Orthodox writers, both priestly and lay could see the dangers and warned of the coming apostasy. That vigilance was lacking in the Catholic Church, and so science beguiled many priests and you ended up with Modernism which having not been destroyed by St. Pius X slumbered away until it was awakened with a vengeance at Vatican II.

    Finally why is the Catholic West so un-penitential these days, and the Orthodox East still so penitential? Why for the most part is Orthodox theology still so sound and modern Catholic theology one big heretical mess? Can anyone come up with some answers?

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