Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Catholics Come Home

Editor's Note:
A big thank you to Catholic Family Vignettes for the heads up on this site. A stunning video, one that should remind the world that despite what the pinko-communists and history-revisionists tell you, the Catholic Church built Civilization!
Click here and scroll to bottom to view the video:

In Praise of St. George

Martyr, patron of England, suffered at or near Lydda, also known as Diospolis, in Palestine, probably before the time of Constantine. According to the very careful investigation of the whole question recently instituted by Father Delehaye, the Bollandist, in the light of modern sources of information, the above statement sums up all that can safely be affirmed about St. George, despite his early cultus and pre-eminent renown both in East and West (see Delehaye, "Saints Militaires", 1909, pp.45-76).
Earlier studies of the subject have generally been based upon an attempt to determine which of the various sets of legendary "Acts" was most likely to preserve traces of a primitive and authentic record. Delehaye rightly points out that the earliest narrative known to us, even though fragments of it may be read in a palimpsest of the fifth century, is full beyond belief of extravagances and of quite incredible marvels. Three times is George put to death-chopped into small pieces, buried deep in the earth and consumed by fire-but each time he is resuscitated by the power of God. Besides this we have dead men brought to life to be baptized, wholesale conversions, including that of "the Empress Alexandra", armies and idols destroyed instantaneously, beams of timber suddenly bursting into leaf, and finally milk flowing instead of blood from the martyr's severed head. There is, it is true, a mitigated form of the story, which the older Bollandists have in a measure taken under their protection (see Act. SS., 23 Ap., no. 159). But even this abounds both in marvels and in historical contradictions, while modern critics, like Amelineau and Delehaye, though approaching the question from very different standpoints, are agreed in thinking that this mitigated version has been derived from the more extravagant by a process of elimination and rationalization, not vice versa. Remembering the unscrupulous freedom with which any wild story, even when pagan in origin, was appropriated by the early hagiographers to the honour of a popular saint (see, for example, the case of St. Procopius as detailed in Delehaye, "Legends", ch. v) we are fairly safe in assuming that the Acts of St. George, though ancient in date and preserved to us (with endless variations) in many different languages, afford absolutely no indication at all for arriving at the saint's authentic history. This, however, by no means implies that the martyr St. George never existed. An ancient cultus, going back to a very early epoch and connected with a definite locality, in itself constitutes a strong historical argument. Such we have in the case of St. George. The narratives of the early pilgrims, Theodosius, Antoninus, and Arculphus, from the sixth to the eighth century, all speak of Lydda or Diospolis as the seat of the veneration of St. George, and as the resting-place of his remains (Geyer, "Itinera Hierosol.", 139, 176, 288). The early date of the dedications to the saint is attested by existing inscriptions of ruined churches in Syria, Mesopotamia, and Egypt, and the church of St. George at Thessalonica is also considered by some authorities to belong to the fourth century. Further the famous decree "De Libris recipiendis", attributed to Pope Gelasius in 495, attests that certain apocryphal Acts of St. George were already in existence, but includes him among those saints "whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose actions are only known to God".
There seems, therefore, no ground for doubting the historical existence of St. George, even though he is not commemorated in the Syrian, or in the primitive Hieronymian Martyrologium, but no faith can be placed in the attempts that have been made to fill up any of the details of his history. For example, it is now generally admitted that St. George cannot safely be identified by the nameless martyr spoken of by Eusebius (Hist. Eccles., VIII, v), who tore down Diocletian's edict of persecution at Nicomedia. The version of the legend in which Diocletian appears as persecutor is not primitive. Diocletian is only a rationalized form of the name Dadianus. Moreover, the connection of the saint's name with Nicomedia is inconsistent with the early cultus at Diospolis.
Still less is St. George to be considered, as suggested by Gibbon, Vetter, and others, a legendary double of the disreputable bishop, George of Cappadocia, the Arian opponent of St. Athanasius. "This odious stranger", says Gibbon, in a famous passage, "disguising every circumstance of time and place, assumed the mask of a martyr, a saint, and a Christian hero, and the infamous George of Cappadocia has been transformed into the renowned St. George of England, the patron of arms, of chivalry, and of the Garter." "But this theory,says Professor Bury, Gibbon's latest editor, "has nothing to be said for it." The cultus of St. George is too ancient to allow of such an identification, though it is not improbable that the apocryphal Acts have borrowed some incidents from the story of the Arian bishop. Again, as Bury points out, "the connection of St. George with a dragon-slaying legend does not relegate him to the region of the myth, for over against the fabulous Christian dragon-slayer Theodore of the Bithynian Heraclaea, we can set Agapetus of Synnada and Arsacius, who though celebrated as dragon-slayers, were historical persons". This episode of the dragon is in fact a very late development, which cannot be traced further back than the twelfth or thirteenth century. It is found in the Golden Legend (Historia Lombardic of James de Voragine and to this circumstance it probably owes its wide diffusion. It may have been derived from an allegorization of the tyrant Diocletian or Dadianus, who is sometimes called a dragon (ho bythios drakon) in the older text, but despite the researches of Vetter (Reinbot von Durne, pp.lxxv-cix) the origin of the dragon story remains very obscure. In any case the late occurrence of this development refutes the attempts made to derive it from pagan sources. Hence it is certainly not true, as stated by Hartland, that in George's person "the Church has converted and baptized the pagan hero Perseus" (The Legend of Perseus, iii, 38). In the East, St. George (ho megalomartyr), has from the beginning been classed among the greatest of the martyrs. In the West also his cultus is very early. Apart from the ancient origin of St. George in Velabro at Rome, Clovis (c. 512) built a monastery at Baralle in his honour (Kurth, Clovis, II, 177). Arculphus and Adamnan probably made him well known in Britain early in the eighth century. His Acts were translated into Anglo-Saxon, and English churches were dedicated to him before the Norman Conquest, for example one at Doncaster, in 1061. The crusades no doubt added to his popularity. William of Malmesbury tells us that Saints George and Demetrius, "the martyr knights", were seen assisting the Franks at the battle of Antioch, 1098 (Gesta Regum, II, 420). It is conjectured, but not proved, that the "arms of St. George" (argent, a cross, gules) were introduced about the time of Richard Coeur de Lion. What is certain is that in 1284 in the official seal of Lyme Regis a ship is represented with a plain flag bearing a cross. The large red St. George's cross on a white ground remains still the "white ensign" of the British Navy and it is also one of the elements which go to make up the Union Jack. Anyway, in the fourteenth century, "St. George's arms" became a sort of uniform for English soldiers and sailors. We find, for example, in the wardrobe accounts of 1345-49, at the time of the battle of Crecy, that a charge is made for 86 penoncells of the arms of St. George intended for the king's ship, and for 800 others for the men-at-arms (Archaeologia, XXXI, 119). A little later, in the Ordinances of Richard II to the English army invading Scotland, every man is ordered to wear "a signe of the arms of St. George" both before and behind, while the pain of death is threatened against any of the enemy's soldiers "who do bear the same crosse or token of Saint George, even if they be prisoners". Somewhat earlier than this Edward III had founded (c. 1347) the Order of the Garter, an order of knighthood of which St. George was the principal patron. The chapel dedicated to St. George in Windsor Caste was built to be the official sanctuary of the order, and a badge or jewel of St. George slaying the dragon was adopted as part of the insignia. In this way the cross of St. George has in a manner become identified with the idea of knighthood, and even in Elizabeth's days, Spenser, at the beginning of his Faerie Queene, tells us of his hero, the Red Cross Knight:
But on his breast a bloody Cross he bore, The dear remembrance of his dying Lord, For whose sweet sake that glorious badge we wore And dead (as living) ever he adored.
We are told also that the hero thought continually of wreaking vengeance:
Upon his foe, a dragon horrible and stern.
Ecclesiastically speaking, St. George's day, 23 April, was ordered to be kept as a lesser holiday as early as 1222, in the national synod of Oxford. In 1415, the Constitution of Archbishop Chichele raised St. George's day to the rank of one of the greatest feasts and ordered it to be observed like Christmas day. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries St. George's day remained a holiday of obligation for English Catholics. Since 1778, it has been kept, like many of these older holidays, as a simple feast of devotion, though it ranks liturgically as a double of the first class with an octave.
From the Catholic Encyclopedia

Concerning Communion on the Tongue

Apr. 22, 2008 ( - The American magazine Catholic Response has published an English translation of a provocative article, originally published in the official Vatican newspaper, calling for an end to the practice of receiving Communion in the hand.
The article by Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, originally printed in L'Osservatore Romano, examines the historical record of Catholic practice, concluding that the early Church quickly developed the practice in which lay people Communion on the tongue while kneeling. Only ordained ministers were allowed to touch the consecrated Host with their hands.
By the 6th century, Bishop Schneider writes, the Church had formed a consensus that Communion should be received on the tongue, of reverence for the Eucharistic Lord. Pope Gregory the Great chastised priests who resisted that consensus, and it was become an "almost universal practice" in the early Church, the author says.
Kneeling to receive Communion was also a pattern established early in Church history, Bishop Schneider reports. That posture, too, was seen as a means of expressing reverence for Jesus in the Eucharist, and "the most typical gesture of adoration is the biblical one of kneeling."
By administering Communion on the tongue, priests were able to foster greater devotion to the Eucharist; Bishop Schneider remarks that that form is "an impressive sign of the profession of faith the in the Real Presence."
He adds the argument that this form of distributing Communion can prevent accidents. The author cites St. Cyril of Jerusalem, who exhorted priests to use extra caution "so that no even a crumb of the Lord's Body could fall to the ground."
The article published in L'Osservatore Romano, and now translated in Catholic Response, summarizes the more complete argument that Bishop Schneider put forward in his book, Dominus Est. That book, released in Italy earlier this year, drew special notice for two reasons. It was published by the official Vatican press, and a preface was contributed by Archbishop Macolm Ranjith, the secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, who said it was "high time to review" the policy of allowing laymen to receive Communion in the hand.
From Catholic World News

Newman To Be Beatified

Cardinal John Henry Newman
Vatican City, Apr 23, 2008 / 03:12 am (CNA).- The Vatican has approved the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman, the English convert and theologian who has had immense influence upon English-speaking Catholicism, the Birmingham Mail reports.
John Henry Newman was born in 1801. As an Anglican priest, he led the Oxford Movement that sought to return the Church of England to its Catholic roots. His conversion to Catholicism in 1845 rocked Victorian England. After becoming an Oratorian priest, he was involved in the establishment of the Birmingham Oratory.
He died in 1890 and is buried at the oratory country house Rednall Hill.
The Catholic Church has accepted as miraculous the cure of an American deacon’s crippling spinal disorder. The deacon, Jack Sullivan of Marshfield, Massachusetts, prayed for John Henry Newman’s intercession.
At his beatification ceremony later this year, John Henry Newman will receive the title “Blessed.” He will need one more recognized miracle to be canonized.
The case of a 17-year-old New Hampshire boy who survived serious head injuries from a car crash is being investigated as a possible second miracle.
From Catholic News Agency

Monday, April 21, 2008

Eugenicists and Other Worthless People

Editor's Note:
Most people, including this editor, are useless. We do some good things in life but because of our human condition offend God more often than not through sin. The good that we do do is usually lacking and sometimes doesn't deserve to be called good, hence why I say that most of us are useless. Yet, there is a small minority in the world who don't even deserve the title of useless. Instead, they inherit the title of worthless.
At the root of Eugenics and underlining all of the following quotes is an inherent lack of understanding concerning man, his nature and his status in a fallen world. When man refuses to recognize his fallen state, he focuses on things that really don't matter. For instance, a notorious adulterer will send millions of dollars to children in Africa. An abortionist will support the Muscular Dystrophy Association. A homosexual fornicator will save the whales. A rapacious capitalist will invest money in pharmaceutical companies allowing them to find a cure for cancer. They do these things because they see some good in them, yet their motives are corrupt. Instead of turning away from their sin, they find ways to make themselves feel better thereby affording the opportunity to remain hardened.
Eugenicists want a perfect world with no illnesses and no impurities. Although their desire is impossible , it is not their desire which is sinful. It is the means by which they pursue their end that is covered in iniquity as the following quotes will demonstrate. Read and judge for yourself.
James Watson's Legacy
by Center for Genetics and Society on October 22nd, 2007
Over the past half century, millions have known James Watson for his Nobel Prize and double-helix fame. Only last week did most learn about James Watson, bigot and eugenics enthusiast.
Watson now says, "That is not what I meant." But take a look at these statements by him, stretching back years. And he's not the only one; some of his colleagues have joined him in advocating for a new high-tech eugenics.
On race and intelligence-“[A]ll our social policies are based on the fact that [Africans'] intelligence is the same as ours - whereas all the testing says not really… [P]eople who have to deal with black employees find [equality] is not true.” Interview with The Times of London, October 14, 2007
"There is no firm reason to anticipate that the intellectual capacities of peoples geographically separated in their evolution should prove to have evolved identically. Our wanting to reserve equal powers of reason as some universal heritage of humanity will not be enough to make it so."Avoid Boring People: Lessons from a Life in Science (2007)
On "stupid" kids, ugly girls, and enhanced children-"If you really are stupid, I would call that a disease.... The lower 10 percent who really have difficulty, even in elementary school, what's the cause of it? A lot of people would like to say, 'Well, poverty, things like that.' It probably isn't. So I'd like to get rid of that, to help the lower 10 percent....""It seems unfair that some people don’t get the same opportunity. Once you have a way in which you can improve our children, no one can stop it. It would be stupid not to use it because someone else will. Those parents who enhance their children, then their children are going to be the ones who dominate the world...""People say it would be terrible if we made all girls pretty. I think it would be great....""I think it's irresponsible not to try and direct evolution to produce a human being who will be an asset to the world."DNA, British documentary, March 2003
"Then I am a eugenicist""My view is that, despite the risks, we should give serious consideration to germ-line gene therapy. I only hope that the many biologists who share my opinion will stand tall in the debates to come and not be intimidated by the inevitable criticism ... If such work be called eugenics, then I am a eugenicist."DNA: The Secret of Life, 2003
On sex and discriminating against overweight people, Watson proposed that skin color and sex drive are linked- "That's why you have Latin lovers. You've never heard of an English lover. Only an English patient."
Watson proposed that thinness and ambition are linked, and thus thin people are better hires. "When you interview fat people, you feel bad, because you know you're not going to hire them.""The Pursuit of Happiness: Lessons from pom-C," Watson's lecture at University of California, Berkeley, October 2000
Let's play God-"If scientists don't play God, who will?"Addressing members of the British Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, May 2000
Embracing the Master Race-"Here we must not fall into the absurd trap of being against everything Hitler was for.... Because of Hitler's use of the term Master Race, we should not feel the need to say that we never want to use genetics to make humans more capable than they are today."
A Passion for DNA: Genes, Genomes, and Society, 2000. On inheritable human genetic modification-"I'm afraid of asking people what they think. Don't ask Congress to approve it. Just ask them for the money to help their constituents. That's what they want.... Frankly, they would care much more about having their relatives not sick than they do about ethics and principles. We can talk principles forever, but what the public actually wants is not to be sick. And if we help them not be sick, they'll be on our side...."If we could make better human beings by knowing how to add genes, why shouldn't we? What's wrong with it?… Evolution can be just damn cruel, and to say that we've got a perfect genome and there's some sanctity?"Engineering the Human Germline, symposium at University of California Los Angeles, March 20, 1998
Aborting fetuses with a "gay gene"-"If you could find the gene which determines sexuality and a woman decides she doesn't want a homosexual child, well, let her."The Telegraph, February 16, 1997
On the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications program of the Human Genome Project-"I wanted a group that would talk and talk and never get anything done," Andrews quotes Watson as telling a meeting. "And if they did do something, I wanted them to get it wrong. I wanted as its head Shirley Temple Black." Quoted by Lori Andrews in The Clone Age: Adventures in the New World of Reproductive Technology
More on Hitler
The time has come to "put Hitler behind us," Watson said, urging Germany to put more resources into genetic research. Keynote speech to a conference on molecular medicine in Berlin, May 1997Center for Genetics and Society

Deal, Or No Deal? Bishop Fellay says: "No Deal!"

Editor's Note:
Thank you once again to Rorate Caeli for making this information available to us. The reader is free to interpret Msgr. Fellay's comments for himself. Instauratio Catholica has no comment.
The Superior-General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), Bishop Bernard Fellay, signed his latest Letter to Friends and Benefactors last Monday - and it was published in the current edition of the official newsletter of the Fraternity, DICI, made available today.This is the heart of the letter:
...The Motu Proprio which introduced a hope of change for the better at the liturgical level is not accompanied by logically co-related measures in the other areas of the life of the Church. All changes introduced at the Council and in the post-Conciliar reforms which we denounce, because the Church has already condemned them, are confirmed. With the difference that, from now on, it is said, at the same time, that the Church does not change…[sic], which means that these changes are perfectly in the line of Catholic Tradition.The disruption at the level of concepts, together with the reminder that the Church must remain faithful to her Tradition, may trouble some. Since facts do not corroborate the new attitude [lit.: affirmation], it is necessary to conclude that nothing [sic] has changed in the will of Rome to follow the Conciliar orientations, despite forty years of crisis, despite the deserted convents, the abandoned rectories, the empty churches. The Catholic universities persist in their ramblings, the teaching of the Catechism remains unknown at the same time that the Catholic school does not exist anymore as particularly Catholic: it has become an extinct species… [sic]This is why the Fraternity of Saint Pius X cannot "sign an agreement" [ne peut pas "signer d'accord"]. It openly rejoices on the papal desire to reintroduce the ancient and venerable rite of the Holy Mass, but it also discovers the resistance, at times brutal, of whole episcopates. Without despairing, without impatience, we observe that the time for an agreement has not yet come. This does not prevent us from continuing to wait, from continuing on the path defined in the year 2000. We continue to ask the Holy Father for the repeal of the decree of excommunication of 1988, because we are persuaded that that would do much good to the Church and we encourage you to pray that it may take place. But it would be very imprudent and hasty to thrust ourselves unwisely in pursuit of a practical agreement which would not be founded upon the fundamental principles of the Church, particularly on the faith....
+ Bernard FellayMenzingen, April 14, 2008

The "Triumph" of Liberation Theology

Editor's Note:
Interesting and disturbing news out of Paraguay. "Bishop" Lugo knows in his liberal heart that there is no true "liberation" without our Lord. I am sure he was taught this in Catholic school; yet, like all good liberals, this teaching is something he has conveniently forgot. Please pay particular attention to Lugo's comments regarding Socialism. Whether or not they would admit it, I know that we have "bishops" in the US who would agree completely with this.
From Rorate Caeli.
The dream of Liberation Theology priests everywhere has come true this Sunday as Bishop Fernando Lugo (Emeritus of San Pedro) was elected the new President of the Republic of Paraguay.In early 2007, the Holy See had made clear that Lugo had been suspended, but not released from his episcopal dignity (Document in Spanish). That was completely irrelevant to Lugo, who pressed on with his candidacy in favor of his vision of "Cambio" ("Change").
Lugo presented what he means by change in a political conference in Ecuador last August, concluding his speech with these words:
We are attempting to build the Socialism of the 21st Century, a fresh and new Socialism, a legitimized pact, impelling participatory democracy, that is, real democracy. With our attitude....There will be no Socialism without economic transformation, there will be no Socialism without participatory democracy, with emphasis in economic [matters], there will be no Socialism without Socialist ethics; love, solidarity, equality among all men and women, among all, are the fundamental elements of Socialism and of ordinary people.
Fernando Lugo was named Bishop of San Pedro by Pope John Paul II in 1994.