A Prayer for England


Torch of The Faith News on Wednesday 22 March 2017 - 19:58:41 | by admin

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London's Westminster Bridge in happier times.

As news of the dreadful attacks in Westminster hits home, it seems appropriate for us to pray Cardinal Wiseman's famous prayer for England. Please join in with us from wherever you are.

Prayer for England

O Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and our most gentle Queen and Mother, look down in mercy upon England, Thy Dowry, and upon us all who greatly hope and trust in Thee.

By Thee it was that Jesus, our Saviour and our hope was given unto the world; and He has given Thee to us that we might hope still more.

Plead for us Thy children whom Thou didst receive and accept at the foot of the Cross, O sorrowful Mother.

Intercede for our separated brethren that in the one true fold we may all be united under the chief shepherd of Christ's flock, and that by faith fruitful in good works we may all deserve to see and praise God together with Thee in our Heavenly home.

Amen.

(Cardinal Nicholas Wiseman of Westminster 1802 - 1865).

May God have mercy on those who were murdered; and may He help those who are now suffering grave injuries, bereavement and trauma.

Thanks for reading each day - stay safe people.

Above all, keep close to God in the state of grace.

Our Lady of Walsingham - Pray for us!

To Speak Freely


Torch of The Faith News on Tuesday 21 March 2017 - 12:37:15 | by admin

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Background Update

On 3rd January, 2017, I posted an article here entitled, Georg Ganswein - Who Art Thou? In that article, I reflected on several key themes relating to Archbishop Georg Ganswein.

These included:-

1. The fact that, in the year following Pope Benedict's abdication, he merrily took a central part in the ''Inter-religious prayers for world peace'' in the Vatican Gardens at Pentecost 2014; in spite of the fact that this act represented a radical departure from both the Church's Magisterial teaching and Ganswein's own previous reputation for theological orthodoxy in the days of Benedict XVI.

2. The fact that Ganswein continues to act in his long-held role as personal aide to the uniquely titled Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI; whilst at the same time remaining so closely associated with Pope Francis.

It seems highly unusual for one man to act as both Pope Benedict's personal secretary and as Pope Francis' Prefect of the Papal Household, at one and the same time.
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3. That previous point seems even more unusual, when one also considers that Pope Francis is vigorously reversing so many of Pope Benedict's long-held policies; such as the latter's pursuit of a hermeneutic of continuity, a reform of the reform, and the upholding of the Church's constant Tradition, which precludes adulterers from reception of the Holy Eucharist.

Indeed, in this key area, and numerous others, Francis can be seen to be attempting not only a reversal of Pope Benedict's policies, but of the very teaching of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as this has been handed on through 2,000 years of Sacred Scripture and Tradition.

4. Again, these above points are made still more strange when one reflects on the fact that Archbishop Ganswein himself acknowledged, in an address given by him at the Pontifical Gregorian University in May 2016, that the Conclave of 2005 had been the ''outcome of a battle'' between a so-called ''St. Gallen Group'' - described by one of its own shadowy figures, Cardinal Godfried Danneels, as a ''St. Gallen mafia'' - and the ''Ratzingerians''.

Given the fact that Ganswein described Ratzinger's famous ''Dictatorship of Relativism'' sermon as the background to this struggle, how can he now be so happy to serve so closely in both camps?

Does this not represent a conflict of interests?

And why does nobody else seem to be asking any of this?

5. In the last year, Archbishop Ganswein has caused much confusion by speaking and acting in ways which appear to represent major departures from orthodox Catholicism.

I speak of:-

A). His suggestion at the Pontifical Gregorian University in May 2016, that Pope Benedict had somehow ''profoundly and lastingly'' transformed the papacy when he abdicated in 2013.

B). His subsequent claim that this had come about because Benedict had not abandoned the papal ministry, but had somehow helped to build a communal ministry. In words that were as illogical as they were heretical, Ganswein suggested that there were not two popes, but rather an expanded ministry including an active and a contemplative member.

C) Ganswein even went so far as to summarize various reactions to the Benedict-Francis ''ministry'' in a decidely relativistic manner. And so, he spoke of some who saw this as revolutionary; others who saw it as consistent with the Gospel; still others who discerned a ''secularized papacy''; and finally those who now recognized a ''demythologized papacy''.

D). On Christmas Day, 2016, Archbishop Ganswein gave an interview with the Austrian ORF channel, in which he presented the false Fideistic notion - contradicted by the Church's Magisterium in the First Vatican Council's Dogmatic Constitution Dei Filius - that it is somehow not possible to know the existence of God from natural reason alone.

Actually, the principles involved in this matter are so foundational, that the First Vatican Council pronounced an anathama sit! on those who deny the capacity of natural reason to discern the existence of God.

E). I have already discussed on three separate occasions the unusual sight of Archbishop Ganswein appearing to give diamond-shaped hand-signals to Pope Benedict - hand-signs that the latter himself then echoed - at the 35:20 mark on the video of Pope Benedict's 65th anniversay celebrations last summer.

That was an event made particularly unusual by Pope Benedict's strangely un-Ratzingerian words to Pope Francis, which read: ''Thank you Holy Father - your goodness - from the first day of your election, every day of my life here moves me interiorly, brings me inwardly more than the Vatican Gardens... Your goodness is the place where I live and feel protected.''

Even the most casual observer must surely ask: Protected from what exactly?

In light of Pope Benedict's famous ''pray that I may not flee for fear of the wolves'' line, that unreal sounding statement still gives me the creeps whenever I think of it.

F). On 13th October, 2016, the very day of Our Lady of Fatima, Archbishop Ganswein and Pope Francis joyfully received a giant copy of Martin Luther's heretical 95 theses at the Vatican. Seconds prior to this travesty, Ganswein was seen to make the diamond hand-sign towards those approaching with the theses... 

Under Pressure    
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I've not had chance until now to properly read, reflect and comment on Archbishop Luigi Negri's bombshell interview with the Italian Rimini 2.0 earlier this month.

By now, it is old news to mention that His Grace had said that he had visited Pope Benedict XVI as a friend a number of times since 2013; and that he believed the Pontiff had stood down as a result of ''tremendous pressure''.

Specifically, Archbishop Negri stated: ''I am certain that the truth will emerge one day showing grave liability both inside and outside the Vatican.''

Perhaps predictably, the Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi was brought out of his retirement from the Holy See Press Office to refute these claims. In his refutation, Lombardi went so far as to criticise Archbishop Negri for giving an ''odd demonstration of friendship by triumphantly contradicting'' the official words given by Pope Benedict XVI at his abdication.

When I read this, my mind recalled the Holy See Press Office's rapid denial last spring of Benedict XVI's other close friend, Fr. Ingo Dollinger; whose public claims about the Third Secret of Fatima having not been fully released by the Vatican were swiftly denied by a statement purporting to be from Pope Benedict. That official statement raised many eyebrows for not bearing Benedict's signature, lacking evidence of his usual style of writing and expressing a brusque dismissal of Benedict's long-term friend.

Thinking of these examples of brusqueness against Benedict's loyal old friends, and some of the sophistries employed by Lombardi during the Synods of '14 and '15, also brought to my mind a scene from C.S. Lewis' book, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Like all good children's fiction, it expresses truths that can be greatly appreciated by adults too. 
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Jim Broadbent portrays the eccentric Professor Digory Kirke in the movie adaptation of C.S. Lewis' classic, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.

The scene I speak of is the time when young Susan and Peter Pevensie go to visit Professor Digory Kirke, because they are concerned that their little sister is going mad, by insisting on the reality of her visit to Narnia. Their fears are deepened by the dishonesty of their brother Edmund, who has been there with Lucy, but denies this as merely an example of make-believe.

The professor surprises them by viewing the outlandish story not as an example of insanity, but as a lesson in logic. He asks them, ''If you will excuse me for asking the question, does your experience lead you to regard your brother or your sister as the more reliable. I mean, which is the more truthful?''

Developing his theme, the Professor continues, ''Why don't they teach logic at these schools? There are only three possibilities. Either your sister is telling lies, or she is mad, or she is telling the truth. You know she does not tell lies and it is obvious that she is not mad. For the moment then and unless any further evidence turns up, we must assume that she is telling the truth.''

Of course, this episode of childhood story-telling misses out the other logical possibility that Lucy might have merely been mistaken. Still, it presents us with the key question: In the experience of recent years, has the Holy See's Press Office demonstrated itself to be a more clear and reliable source of information on matters like Fatima, the Synods of '14 and '15, and the evolving reasons for Benedict's abdication; or have the good Archbishop Negri and Fr. Ingo Dollinger? The answer to that question was given still more weight last week when, as revealed to the English-speaking world by the good Dr. Maike Hickson at 1 Peter 5, a respected hatmaker and public defender of the Church from Austria, a gentleman called Gottfried Kiniger, came forward to back up Fr. Dollinger's earlier claims on the Third Secret of Fatima.

Free Speech

In any case, all of the above has been a preparation for discussing something that I read earlier today at Crux. I speak of an interview which has been given to them by Archbishop Ganswein; and which so clearly fits in with the ''Go back to sleep, all is serene with Benedict'' genre that it particularly caught my attention.

For the most part the interview plays out like so many that have gone before: we are told that Benedict still says his daily Mass, prays his daily Rosary and takes his routine walk in the gardens.

I suppose my question here is: if all this is true, then why do we keep having to be told about it every few months, or every time someone starts raising tricky questions?

Then there is a little piece about him reading L'Osservatore Romano, which I took as a subtle implanting of the message that Benedict is aware of all Francis' revolutionary changes but, hey, he's fine with all that. Then there is a bit about the many visitors; which I again took as a clever way of saying that Benedict receives many visitors, and no-one else has claimed that he has been under any kind of pressure. At this point, many would likely just lose interest and turn to other things. In fact, to tell the truth, I was about to myself... 

However, towards the end of the article, I was suddenly alerted by the following statement by Archbishop Ganswein about Benedict's daily Masses in his place of retreat: ''We pay attention to what he preaches, because he speaks freely.''

Now, to my eyes, that just seems a bit too clever.

If you look at that phrase again, you will see that it can bear the meaning that Benedict speaks freely on the subjects of his sermons; but given what is said above, it can also be read as another, not-so, subtle message to implant the idea that Benedict is free and not under any kind of pressure.

Put another way: who speaks like this about anyone else? For instance, I do not need to ever say that ''so and so speaks freely'' because nobody thinks otherwise.

However, there are plenty of people out there wondering whether or not Benedict speaks and acts freely; including most recently his good friend Archbishop Negri!

Of course, even if Ganswein is trying to implant the message that Benedict speaks freely, that might only be a clarification that he, in fact, does!

Then again, when Pope Francis made his new cardinals late last year, I wondered here if it was not ''an overplaying of the hand'' for him to be seen to get Benedict's blessing on them all.

I asked this because Francis had: cancelled the regular meeting with all the cardinals in a manner that allowed him to avoid facing the Dubia in public; just appointed some radical dissenters from Catholic moral teaching to become key cardinals in the Church; and had gone out specially with his new crop of cardinals to perform a closely choreographed video routine of himself, Archbishop Ganswein and all the new cardinals happily meeting - and being blessed by - Papa Benedict in his private chapel.

Francis was certainly keen to get Benedict's blessing filmed and broadcast out from a very controlled environment - one from which the Dubia cardinals, and indeed the majority of other cardinals, were kept absent by the cancellation of the regular meeting of all cardinals with the pope.
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Given all that has been said in this article, I can only ask once again: Is it possible that these words of Archbishop Ganswein - on the theme of Benedict ''speaking freely'' - might represent another overplaying of the hand?      

Feast of St. Joseph 2017


Torch of The Faith News on Monday 20 March 2017 - 08:43:27 | by admin

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In the wake of Amoris Laetitia and the still unanswered Dubia, heretical notions have spread abroad to suggest that God somehow does not give us the graces necessary for us to avoid sin in our state in life. This is an essentially Lutheran heresy, which was clearly condemned long ago at the Council of Trent. The tendency towards this error has sadly found even more exposure recently via the sacrilegious writings and interviews released by that other scandalous Francis-favourite, Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio.

In order to counter these grave errors and provide readers with some edifying spiritual reading for this great feast of St. Joseph - the greatest of saints after Our Lady - we offer the following reflection from the writings of Dom Bernard Marechaux. He was a French Benedictine abbot and spiritual writer, who lived from 1849-1927.

The Grandeur of St. Joseph by Dom Bernard Marechaux

Mary belongs to God; She is the golden ladder by which God wishes to come down to men and to draw them to Himself. But consider this extraordinary fact: although the Virgin is the beloved one God took for Himself and the wedding chamber in whom the Son chose to unite Himself to His humanity, the Lord saw fit that She should become the spouse of a man, that man being St. Joseph.

Was it in God's plan to give a mortal man some kind of lawful rights over this blessed creature, this holy Virgin? It was indeed - and we are dumbfounded by this act of divine will.

Who, then, is this St. Joseph, this one chosen by Heaven, this most favoured among all men, the one to whom God was pleased to entrust the woman He created with such great love and jealously made His very own?

St. Joseph is a son of David, a close relative of the Virgin. Mary, full of grace though She was, had to live on earth and needed an earthly support, a human arm of flesh and blood to shield and uphold Her. St. Joseph will protect and defend Her as his own, for She will be his true spouse.

Such was this son of David's purity of heart that Mary, while She was totally his, could still belong totally to God. They were united in a true marriage, so that each might be closer to God, with, one might say, the help of the other. Concupiscence was extinguished in St. Joseph, and his soul shone with brilliant purity when he came into the presence of the Blessed Virgin. It could not be that She should be loved by someone who was not perfectly chaste.

We see in St. Joseph a totally purified soul, a soul in which sin has lost its power. St. Augustine, while asserting that no one is ever free from sin in this life and that even the saints must pray ''Forgive us our sins,'' recognized that God could, if He so desired, by way of exception and special privilege, ''completely take away the corruption which causes a man to sin and array him with incorruptibility in this life so that he might see God everywhere present, just as the saints in Heaven see Him but without a veil (De Spiritu et Litt).

Surely this marvellous privilege was granted to St. Joseph who was called to virginity in marriage and who had the Son of God always before his eyes. Was he not, as St. Augustine says, completely taken up with unceasing contemplation of his God? How could he sin? In the holy house of Nazareth, there was no place for sin.

O St. Joseph, we catch a glimpse of your holiness in its dazzling mystery - Mary can be yours, but no less God's for all that. Furthermore, being yours, She belongs to God even more than before, and it is when she became yours that the great mystery for which She was created was accomplished in Her.

How admirable God's arrangement! How it brought to light St. Joseph's extraordinary purity of soul, he who did not keep the love of the creature for himself, but returned everything to God!

What a lesson you teach us, O great Saint! You wanted nothing which is not of God and for God. In Mary, you experienced only God, as Mary experienced only God in you. Obtain for us, great Saint, the grace to be able to imitate such purity of heart.

We pray that, through the intercession of St. Joseph, Our Lord Jesus Christ will grant our readers many graces and blessings on this special day of the year; especially the grace of finding and loving God in all things.

St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church - Pray for us! 


Fr. Geoffrey Hilton - Requiescat in Pace


Torch of The Faith News on Sunday 19 March 2017 - 21:12:02 | by admin

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Of your charity, please pray for the repose of the soul of Fr. Geoffrey Hilton, who has died suddenly in his presbytery at the age of 60. Please also pray for his family and all the shocked parishioners in the church and school at St. Osmund's parish in Breightmet, Bolton.

Although we never actually met Fr. Hilton, we had been advertising a number of the Traditional Latin Masses that he offered in his church, as part of our regional listings for the big feast days.

Fr. Hilton was born in 1956 and received into full communion in the Catholic Church in 1981. He had become a police cadet in Lancashire at the age of 16, before going on to serve as a police officer from the age of 18. He answered God's call to the sacred priesthood at the age of 26.

In 1982, he thus went off to train at the English College, at Valladolid in Spain. After two years studying philosophy there, he transferred to Campion House in Osterley, and then went on to the Beda college in Rome for his final years of seminary studies. In 1989, he was ordained to the priesthood in St. Peter's Basilica by St. Pope John Paul II.

As well as being a spiritual man, Fr. Hilton was also a gifted and energetic sportsman.

As a youth, he played soccer at the schoolboy level for Bolton Wanderers, and also took part in Rugby League. He went on to become a rugby referee for student international games; even being involved as a referee in several Rugby World Cups, at the student level. Whilst at Valladolid, he was given permission to fly home in order to take part in the national Badminton championships; where he reached as far as the men's finals.

Having played Crown Green Bowling with his father in his youth, Fr. Hilton continued to play that game at the league level for around four decades; even winning the Classic in 1997 and 2011. The following summer, Fr. Hilton was interviewed at the famous Waterloo Hotel bowling stadium in Blackpool, wearing his Roman collar and black cassock, by Talking Bowls TV and Radio.

The combination of his priesthood and sporting prowess caused him to be chosen to serve as a Roman Catholic Chaplain at the Olympic Village, during the British Olympics in 2012.

In terms of his regular service as a priest, Fr. Hilton served as an assistant priest at St. Bernard's in Burnage and St. Ann's in Stretford; as well as acting as RC Chaplain to Trafford General Hospital. He subsequently served as parish priest at St. Teresa's in Blackburn, St. Augustine's in Burnley and, finally, at St. Osmund's in Breightmet, Bolton.

Fr. Hilton was highly regarded by his loyal parishioners. In 2010, he was left confused and bewildered when he was suspended from active ministry, due to an accusation of child abuse. After separate investigations by both the police and the diocese of Salford, he was cleared of all wrongdoing and enabled to return to his parish duties. During the time of his suspension, he had been grateful to receive messages of support from people back in the parish. They were grateful to have him back, when his name was cleared.

Indeed, after his name was cleared, Fr. Hilton gave an interview to This is Lancashire. He said that, whilst he had been worried about what people would think, ''there is no point in being bitter about it, because that does nobody any service at all.''

Speaking of service, many Catholics are grateful for the fact that Fr. Hilton provided the Traditonal Latin Mass at St. Osmund's parish.

Here is just one example of that gratitude: after news broke that Fr. Hilton had died suddenly in his presbytery on Thursday 9th March, the local representative for the Latin Mass Society in Leeds Diocese posted up the following tribute: ''As a family we were able to attend our first (Christmas) midnight Mass in the Extraordinary Form several years ago when Fr. Hilton broke the mould by offering this Mass publicly anywhere in the north of England for some years.''

It is worth remembering that Fr. Hilton was already providing this Traditional Latin Mass at midnight on Christmas Eve way back in 2009; that was long before the region was blessed with the ICKSP shrines at New Brighton and Preston, the FSSP shrine in Warrington, and the various other parishes whose priests began to offer the Traditional Latin Mass on such big feasts in recent years.

Indeed, we came across Fr. Hilton's ministry through posting up adverts here for the Traditional Latin Masses being offered in this north west region of England on those big feast days; most recently Fr. Hilton's Mass was featured in our list for the Feast of Candlemas in February. God bless him, Father had also planned to offer a Low Mass at St. Osmund's for tomorrow's great feast of St. Joseph.

Fr. Hilton's death will understandably come as a great blow to Traditional Catholics who had been travelling to Bolton especially for these Masses; as well as for the flock we have mentioned in his own parish. Please do keep them all in your prayers at this time of shock and grief.

Apparently, Fr. Hilton often advised his flock: ''Don't pray for what you want; pray for what is best for you.''

That sounds to us like a piece of straightforward, yet wise and deeply profound, spiritual advice to keep us all going in these tough times. In common with Fr. Hilton's sudden death, it also reminds us that God's ways are not our ways; and that we need to remain ever close to God in the state of grace.

Alas, another good priest has gone from us. May he rest in peace.

Fr. Hilton's body will be received into St. Osmund's Church, Long Lane, Breightmet, Bolton, BL2 6EB at 7:30pm this coming Thursday, 23rd March. A (Novus Ordo) Mass will then be offered. The following day, at 12:30 on Friday 24th March, Bishop John Arnold will offer a (Novus Ordo) Requiem Mass for Fr. Hilton. The ceremony of Burial will follow at St. Mary's Cemetery in Wardley.

Eternal rest grant unto Fr. Hilton, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon him; and may he rest in peace. Amen.

St. Osmund - Pray for us!

3rd Sunday in Lent - Heaven's Answer to the Dubia


Torch of The Faith News on Sunday 19 March 2017 - 17:41:19 | by admin

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All of the confusion, division, scandal and sacrilege that has issued from the heretical ''Kasper proposal'', Synods '14 and '15, and Amoris Laetitia could be simply overcome if Pope Francis, Walter Kasper, Reinhard Marx, Charles Scicluna, Mario Grech, et al contemplated, and took seriously, the words from today's Epistle in the Traditional Latin Mass.

Those words follow for the edification and guidance of all who read them.

Lesson from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Ephesians, c 5.

Brethren: Be ye followers of God, as most dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath delivered Himself for us, an oblation and a sacrifice to God, for an odour of sweetness.

But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not so much as be named among you, as becometh saints; or obscenity, or foolish talking, or scurrility, which is to no purpose: but rather giving of thanks.

For know ye this and understand, that no fornicator, or unclean, or covetous person, which is serving of idols, hath inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God.

Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the anger of God upon the children of unbelief. 

Be ye not therefore partakers with them. For you were heretofore darkness, but now light in the Lord. Walk then as children of the light: for the fruit of the light is in all goodness, and justice, and truth.

At the end of the day, this is God's Revealed Word on the matter, as expressed in Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the Sacred Liturgy; and there can be no arguing with any of that.

End.

Of.

Discussion.

Double Effect


Torch of The Faith News on Saturday 18 March 2017 - 10:30:02 | by admin

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Pope Francis and Archbishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo: It has to be said that, under their leadership, a decidedly warped view of ethics is contorting the clarity of Church teaching.

One of the first ethical principles that any pro-life educationalist has to grasp is the Principle of Double Effect. At least, they do if they want to be taken seriously in debates, interviews and post-presentation question and answer sessions.

The Principle of Double Effect emerged into Western civilization with St. Thomas Aquinas' reflections in the Summa Theologia, over the culpability of homicide that resulted from self-defence.

It has been developed by various Christian philosophers, and reflected on with strict guidelines by the Catholic Church, to discern the morality of an action that has two effects - one being good and the other being an unintended evil.

This is emphatically not the same thing as the Utilitarian approach, which claims to choose the ''lesser of two evils''. This is because no evil can ever be legitimately chosen. Again, as St. Thomas underlined, ''We may never do an evil act, even if a good result might ensue.''

The Catholic Church has thus limited this principle's application, by establishing the following clear criteria for moral acts that have two effects, one good and one bad:-

1. The given act must be good in itself.

2. Whilst any bad outcomes from the given act may possibly be foreseen, they can never be intended as outcomes. In short, the good outcome must be the one that the person acting intends to happen.

3. The good effect must outweigh or, as it were, be at least ''equal to'' the evil effect.

4. The act having both a good and an evil effect must only be carried out as a last resort, when no other alternatives exist.

One example of a discussion surrounding the application of this principle, which does often come up in pro-life debates, relates to the case of a dangerous ectopic pregnancy, which threatens to kill the life of the mother.

An ectopic pregancy is, of course, a pregnancy in which the developing baby implants, at an early stage, in the fallopian tube, rather than the uterus. There is of course, no room for the embryo to grow here, and this may cause the tube to burst, causing internal bleeding and possible infection.

The Catholic Church has affirmed, in accord with natural and divine law, that direct abortion is never morally permissable.

The Principle of Double Effect would posit that, in a dangerous ectopic pregnancy, it would be licit with proportionate reason to carry out a Salpingectomy - that is to say the cutting of the fallopian tube on either side of the developing embryo - once expectant management of the tubal pregnancy is no longer possible without imminent danger of grave harm to the mother's life.

This is because the act aims at removing the damaged fallopian tube, rather than targeting the embryo for destruction. The act and intended outcome would arguably be good - removing a damaged tube to save the mother's life. At the same time, the death of the baby is bad; but it is not intended and no other alternatives could be seen to exist.

In this application of the principle, its defenders would say that there is a difference between a direct abortion and the indirect death of the developing baby; because this is unintended and indirect, happening as a regrettable consequence of removing the damaged tube to save the mother. 

I think it important to point out that, to my understanding, the Catholic Church has not explicitly affirmed the application of the Principle of Double Effect in this case.

Still, what this discussion shows is the care and precision with which the Principle of Double Effect needs to be discerned and applied.

It seems that too many of those holding Francis-enabled positions in the Church today, are lacking in that kind of care and precision.

For example, LifeSiteNews' Pete Baklinski has written a revealing article about the Francis-favourite, Archbishop Marcel Sanchez Sorondo, under the heading: Did this bishop just reveal the reason he invites pro-abortion extremists to the Vatican?

This relates, of course, to Sorondo's oft-repeated scandals of bringing in Culture of Death radicals to speak at Vatican conferences, and then scoffing at the faithful Catholics who complain.

Pete Baklinski has provided both an audio-clip and a transcript of an interview he recently had with Sorondo on these matters.

Perhaps it is his Latin temperament, but it has to be said that Sorondo comes across as tetchy in the interview. He also sounds arrogant.

To say nothing of also sounding disturbingly ill-informed...

For, in one particular exchange, Sorondo grumpily reveals his startling ignorance of the Principle of Double Effect.

Even though Baklinski answers Sorondo's demand that he describe the principle with, what I would say was, a concise working definition of the Principle of Double Effect, Sorondo tries to belittle him and then slips-up by admitting his own totally false conception of this principle.

Baklinski explains: ''It's when a certain action has an effect which the agent of the action had not intended, then this (second) effect, for example, does not fall under a moral judgement.''

Sorondo responds: ''Well that's a complicated way of saying it. It is easier to say that, if an action has two effects, if the positive effect is greater than the negative effect, then you can do it.''

When Baklinski, God bless him, quickly replies that this is not the Principle of Double Effect, Sorondo scoffs, ''Then you have not understood the Principle of Double Effect. You have to form your mind. And you have to understand St. Thomas better.''

Actually, it is you, Your Grace, that needs to go and do your homework.

By saying what he did, and being caught saying it on tape, Sorondo has really demonstrated both his ignorance and his arrogance for all to see.

His position appears to actually be that of the atheistic utilitarian model that has helped to pave the way for the post-modern relativism which so afflicts these times.

This exchange does make even more obvious what kind of thinking is operative behind all those extensive invitations to anti-Catholic pro-aborts, and their globalist fellow-travellers, in the days of Pope Francis and his collaborators.

Actually, that word ''collaborators'' is one that Francis recently used in a Tweet to describe those going on Lenten retreat with him - an event captured in the above photograph...

It is interesting that Sorondo's position sounds very like the words Francis himself used during an in-flight interview in February 2016. I refer to his discussion of ''choosing the lesser of two evils'' in relation to contraception-use in relation to the Zika-virus.

As we pointed out at the time, such a position is explicitly rejected by the Magisterium of the Catholic Church in paragraph HV 14 of Humanae Vitae.

This reads: ''Though it is true that sometimes it is lawful to tolerate a lesser moral evil in order to avoid a greater evil, or in order to promote a greater good, 'it is never lawful, even for the gravest reasons, to do evil that good may come of it' (Romans 3:8) - in other words, to intend directly something which by its very nature contradicts the moral order, and which must therefore be judged unworthy of man, even though the intention is to protect or promote the welfare of an individual, of a family, or of society in general.''

To sum up, both Francis and his close-collaborator Sorondo have demonstrated with public statements that they have a utilitarian, rather than a clearly Catholic, approach to ethics and moral questions.

Given that this has been done so publicly, that it leads to confusion among the faithful and others who are observing, and that it has such dangerous ethical and spiritual consequences, is it not beyond high time for cardinals, bishops, priests, lay people and ethicists everywhere to call them out on this in order to defend the Faith and save souls?

We think so!

St. Thomas Aquinas - Pray for us!

A Blessed Feast of St. Patrick to Our Readers!


Torch of The Faith News on Friday 17 March 2017 - 12:06:41 | by admin

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We wish a blessed feast of St. Patrick to Angeline's Irish parents and relatives, together with all Irish and Irish-descended readers around the world! We especially express our gratitude to readers who so faithfully visit this blog from Ireland.

We know things can be very tough for orthodox Catholics living these days in an increasingly secularized and post-modern Ireland. May God increase His grace in you, as you keep the Light of Christ's True Faith shining there in God's Own Country!

A Thought-Provoking Reflection on St. Patrick from the Classical, Butler's Lives of the Saints

The apostles of nations were all interior men, endowed with a sublime spirit of prayer. The salvation of souls being a supernatural end, the instruments ought to bear a proportion to it, and preaching proceed from a grace which is supernatural.

To undertake this holy function without a competent stock of sacred learning, and without the necessary precautions of human prudence and industry, would be to tempt God. But sanctity of life and the union of the heart with God are a qualification far more essential than science, eloquence, and human talents.

St. Patrick and other apostolic men were dead to themselves and the world, and animated with the spirit of perfect charity and humility, by which they were prepared by God to be such powerful instruments of His grace, as, by the miraculous change of so many hearts, to plant in entire barbarous nations not only the Faith, but also the spirit of Christ.

Preachers who have not attained to disengagement and purity of heart suffer the petty interests of self-love secretly to mingle themselves in their zeal and charity, and have reason to suspect that they inflict deeper wounds in their own souls than they are aware, and produce not in others the good which they imagine.

May Our Blessed Lord purify our hearts more and more to make us into His faithful witnesses.

May He help us to celebrate this feast in a manner which is pleasing to God, good for our souls and edifying to those around us.

And May God grant many graces and blessings to our readers on this glorious Feast of St. Patrick.

St. Patrick - Pray for us! 

The Importance of Pro-Life Prayer Vigils


Torch of The Faith News on Thursday 16 March 2017 - 12:58:19 | by admin

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Archbishop Bernard Longley of the Archdiocese of Birmingham leads a pro-life Rosary outside a UK abortion facility.

Carol Everett ran four abortion facilities in Texas between 1977 and 1983. During that time, it is estimated that some 35,000 innocent babies were killed in those facilities. Thanks be to God, Everett received the grace of conversion and went on to become a well-known pro-life speaker, who has done much to expose the behind-the-scenes evils of the abortion industry in America.

Carol Everett encourages pro-lifers to keep on with their prayer-vigils outside of abortion facilities.

In October 2016, the National Catholic Register reported her words: ''Every time pro-life activists are standing in front of the clinic, you are holding a light on inside that clinic.''

These words echo the testimony that Everett gave to pro-life activists several years ago during an event of the American Pro-Life Action League. She proclaimed: ''But every time you are in front, you are holding that light on. They slow down. An abortionist who brags and thinks he can do eight to ten, maybe even twelve abortions an hour, with a picketer in front of him, will slow down. Do four, six, three, something - but he will slow down. He's afraid of you.''

Last night, Angie and I sat down together at the end of the day to read a moving account of a recent prayer-vigil outside of the BPAS abortion centre on Parkfield Road, in Liverpool. That account is featured as the latest article at the splendid Liverpolitanus website and we strongly encourage readers to click the link at our ''Links Page'' and have a read. It is well worth your time to do so.

Last week, we received an uplifting communication from the excellent Good Counsel Network, which featured a positive story about a prayer vigil that had been led by Archbishop Bernard Longley of the Archdiocese of Birmingham (UK).

The first bit of good news is that the ''clinic'' involved has closed down since that prayer vigil.

The second relates to a mother and baby that were saved from the horror of abortion during the vigil.

A young Catholic lady, who had little support for her young family from the man she described as her ''partner'' had always regarded herself as pro-life. However, she felt that she could not cope with another child without support.

She booked an abortion at the said facility, but first went to Holy Mass in a Catholic parish. By God's grace, it was a Marian feast day and, when she listened carefully to the Gospel, the young lady felt called to be strong like the Blessed Mother and have her baby.

However, she still headed off to the abortuary afterwards. On the way, she asked God to give her a sign about what He wanted her to do. She added, ''I am very confused, so please make it a very clear sign.''

Arriving at the abortuary, she was met by about 15 Catholics praying. One of the Helpers, a man called Michael, approached her in a loving and compassionate manner. Pretty soon, the young lady was chatting to Fr. Martin Edwards. She then met Archbishop Longley, who gave her and her growing baby a blessing.

The woman took this as a sign from God to continue her pregnancy. She was then able to receive ongoing counselling, help and practical support from Good Counsel Network.

May God bless Archbishop Longley for this, and various other important public pro-life witnesses that he has taken part in during recent years. This really shows the power of the witness given when consecrated bishops and their priests show up to support the pro-life work. Several years ago, we wrote to a bishop, asking him to join us on a pro-life prayer vigil. Sadly, we received a rather enigmatic reply. This is why we are always so greatly heartened to hear of bishops and priests who do get involved.

As Good Counsel note in their latest mail-shot: ''Bishops, Priests, Religious and lay people praying and offering help outside abortion centres around England are really making a difference. Thousands of Mothers in difficult circumstances have been able to continue their pregnancies because of the help they have been offered... Please come and pray with us... You can make a difference; you can help save a life and make another happier.''

Angie and I used to pray a couple of times each month outside of the BPAS facility on Parkfield Road, in Liverpool. Over the years we prayed there with the late, great Fr. Cyril Thomas and Fr. Mike Williams, a Franciscan brother from Pantasaph, with Bernadette Smyth from Ireland's Precious Life, with good Passionist nuns and lay people involved with SPUC, with local Catholic friends, and sometimes just the two of us.

Actually, it was Precious Life's Bernie Smyth who got us going to pray there, during one of her visits to England in 2003. Up until then, we had done pro-life talks in schools, colleges and parishes, but Bernadette helped us to see that it is essential to also do one's best to pray at the very site where the abortions take place. This ensures that one is not just supporting an ''issue'' out there in a detached way, but actually engaging in trying to save real babies in real situations.

On some occasions we took along a large framed image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. When conditions seemed right, we would sometimes offer 10-week stage Little Feet badges, pictures of the stages of development in the womb, pro-life helplines and practical help for girls and women to keep their babies.

That never went down well with the BPAS staff.

Not everyone can do this kind of thing all the time. Unhealed emotional wounds, unresolved anger, or other responsibilities might preclude some people from taking part on site. I would never recommend it to post-abortive women until they have had thorough counselling, healing and reconciliation. There are certainly many roles for many different types of people in the pro-life movement. At this present time, due to Mum's 24/7 care needs, we also find ourselves unable to attend to actually pray at the BPAS location.

However, we want to do all we can to encourage readers everywhere to pray for the 40-Days for Life vigils which are taking place around the world - and at BPAS Liverpool - from 1st March - 9th April.

The hours of the Liverpool vigil are 8am - 8pm.

We also want to urge anyone who is able to sign up to take part in the Liverpool vigil to do so as soon as possible, by getting in touch with Declan Carroll, the local contact for 40-Days for Life, at: Declancrrll©hotmail.com; 07584-575867.

Remember Carol Everett's words: ''Every time pro-life activists are standing in front of the clinic, you are holding a light on inside that clinic.''

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Unborn - Pray for us!     

And You, Rome, What Will Become of You?


Torch of The Faith News on Wednesday 15 March 2017 - 12:52:40 | by admin

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Picture at Fatima Network News of a procession of reparation with the Pilgrim Virgin of Fatima statue in St. Peter's Square on Monday. The procession was taking place to make reparation for the travesty of ''Anglican Evensong'' which took place in St. Peter's Basilica.

The Four Pillars of the Faith

From the earliest times of the Church, the elements expressed in Acts 2:42 have been foundational to Catholic belief, practice and catechetical instruction.

In the Douay-Rheims, we read: ''And they were persevering in the doctrine of the apostles, and in the communication of the breaking of the bread, and in prayers.''

We see in this text, the four central pillars which have given structure and shape to the Church's official catechisms, from the earliest times right down until our own day. For this reason, Acts 2:42 has sometimes been referred to as the ''classical catechesis''.

Those four foundational pillars are: Dogma/doctrine; Sacred Liturgy; the Communal moral life that flows from these first two; and Christian prayer offered in community, as well as by individuals.

Looking more deeply at these four dimensions, we can see that: the first pillar is structured on the Apostles' Creed; the second pillar on the Seven Sacraments; the third pillar on the 10 Commandments; and the fourth pillar on the Lord's Prayer.

So fundamental are these four dimensions that they have been described as the ''four pillars of the Catholic Faith''.

Without Foundations

Having grown up as a Protestant in mainly Anglican circles, I can tell you from a (now) Catholic perspective how awful it is to lack these God-given pillars, in trying to follow Christ.

What makes Christopher Ferrara's critique of Monday's ''Anglican Evensong at St. Peter's Basilica'' so particularly valuable, is the way in which he begins and develops his case from sound first principles.

In a video at the Fatima Center's Rapid Response Team page, Mr. Ferrara notes that Anglicanism is essentially a human organization, ''and because it is a human organization, it does not enjoy the protection of the Holy Ghost against error. It has drifted with the tide of history, over the past 500 years, descending into all manner of heresy and immorality.''

Let's just go through each of the above-mentioned four pillars and contrast them to Anglicanism.

Dogma/Doctrine

Although mainstream Anglicanism claims to accept the Apostles' Creed, it is essential to recall that Our Lord Jesus Christ founded One True Church on St. Peter and the Apostles in communion with him. To remain rooted in that Creed then, is to remain in communion with the successors of St. Peter, his Apostles and the Deposit of Faith expressed in that very Creed of Faith.

Imagine attending an ecclesial community - to use the proper word presented by Dominus Iesus - wherein every other vicar, as well as every other person sat in the pews, held differing beliefs on doctrines as basic as: the nature and meaning of the Bible; Original Sin; the efficacy of Baptism; the nature of the Church; the nature and mission of the priesthood; the nature of the Holy Eucharist; the elements of Sunday worship; the manner in which sins may be forgiven; the existence of Purgatory; or the morality/immorality of divorce and re-''marriage''.

Having grown up in Anglican circles, I can tell you that this makes for a horrifically confusing experience. In essence it is sheer chaos.

Unfortunately, it is a kind of confusion that is also rapidly submerging large parts of the Catholic Church, in wake of the terrible dissent from the Magisterium that has too often typified the last five decades.

Sacred Liturgy

Following on naturally from those widely diverging differences in basic beliefs, imagine now attending for Holy Communion. Of course, the Anglican community does not have valid orders and so cannot offer a valid Eucharist anyway.

Nevertheless, growing up I encountered vicars of all stripes from ''low-church evangelical'' types to ''Victorian high-church'' figures, and all shades in between.

Some believed they were offering a sacrifice; others that they were celebrating a commemorative meal.

Of these, some had faith in the Real Presence in a Catholic-sounding sense; others believed there was only some kind of symbolic presence; and still others were so convinced there was no presence at all that they scattered the chunks of brown bread, left over on their patens after the morning service, to feed the local sparrows and starlings.

Among them all, some thought there should be a Holy Communion service every Sunday, but others provided this only monthly.

They were all pretty much united in rejecting all of the other sacraments, except for Baptism. However, even here, there were some who held this cleansed of Original Sin; whilst others saw it more in terms of a welcome into the community of ''believers''.

Communal Moral Life

Most of the Anglicans I knew in my youth were respectable ''Best-of-British'' types. As a toddler, the walls of my local parish church were adorned with the 10 Commandments, the Union Flag and the threadbare flags of empire. Local Anglicans would have been horrified to see how our society has collapsed in just a couple of decades into a seemingly near-total acceptance of abortion, cohabitation, divorce and sodomy. They took seriously their attendance at two services on Sunday - Morning Service and Evensong - as well as their duties to be faithful spouses, employees and model citizens. During the week, they took part in evangelizing outreach, fundraising, choir and marching-band practices and ''fellowship'' evenings.

Still, even here things were beginning to collapse as the mores of secularism took hold.

One vicar's wife had been married and divorced, before ''marrying'' the vicar. Sometimes, against the rules of Anglican liturgy, she would even conduct the Sunday service in a pale blue cassock. One organist was similarly divorced and remarried. Contraception was permitted. Although many folks went to church twice each Sunday, there was no actual Sunday obligation to do so. Furthermore, openly admitted Freemasons were tolerated as members of the church-warden leadership...

How spooky is that?

Christian Prayer

I distinctly remember getting to church on several Sundays in a row when I was just 16 yrs-old, unhooking one of the squashy kneeling cushions from its peg under the pew in front, and suddenly thinking, ''Gosh, apart from the family grace before meals, it is a whole week since I said a prayer, or even thought about the things of God!''

Perhaps that says as much about me at that age as it does about Anglican prayer. However, it is instructive to recall a religion in which there was no real discipline or structure of prayer during the ordinary days of the week.

Imagine having no blessed Crucifixes, Holy Water, Brown Scapulars, Rosary beads, holy pictures, statues or prayer cards in the home to recall you to God's presence, remind you of your faith, encourage you to pray, protect you from evil and console you in grief and loss.

Imagine no opportunity to attend Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, Eucharistic Adoration, Stations of the Cross or Marian novenas. 

Imagine no Holy Mass, no Real Presence of Jesus, no Confession and Absolution, no Extreme Unction, no Holy Matrimony (as a Sacrament), no real priesthood and no Papacy. Depending on which 'branch' of Anglicanism to which you belonged, imagine not having Our Lady, the Saints or your Guardian Angel to console, guide and intercede for you.

Can you imagine having only a Bible - and an inaccurate translation at that - to keep you going in your faith from one week to the next? Imagine if you went to your vicar with a basic doctrinal question about the Gospels, only to get a different answer from the minister in the next parish; or even from the curate in the same parish!

Where it All Leads...

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Where have you hidden my Lord? The ''re-ordered'' chapel at Hinsley Hall from the days of (then) Bishop Arthur Roche's tenure in the Leeds Diocese. From thence he was promoted by Pope Benedict XVI to the Congregation for Divine Worship...

In 2009, I was one of three guest speakers who gave talks on the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the importance of orthodox catechesis during a study day in the Diocese of Leeds. It was a marvellous day attended by (then) Bishop Arthur Roche, a handful of priests and several dozen laity. Bishop Roche was kind to Angie and I, and very supportive of the message. He even got up and gave a moving talk at the end about how priests and catechists must help people by teaching them all about the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.

In light of that experience, I guess I'm still trying to make sense of his attendance at this ''Anglican Evensong'' at the very Altar of the Chair of St. Peter in Rome. Perhaps the above picture and his attempted restriction of Summorum Pontificum give some clues to the answer... In the same way, I am bemused that Cardinal George Pell would attend and take full part in this sacrilegious spectacle. Isn't he meant to be one of the legendary ''good guys''?

In his ''sermon'' at Monday's event, Archbishop Arthur Roche spoke about St. Gregory's sending of St. Augustine to Canterbury and of the importance of Christian unity.

The point is, however, that Pope St. Gregory sent St. Augustine to establish a fully Catholic mission. It was this that transformed our nation, helped to forge a new people and brought a thousand years of Christian unity; which was only sundered when the English ''Reformation'' wreaked havoc, brought untold persecution and opened the way for the descending centuries of Anglican hegemony. The above analysis should leave us in no doubt that there can be no real unity without Catholic Truth.

As I've written here several times in recent years, this all paved the way for the very secularization and cultural loss of faith that we see all around us today. And being a man-made construct, Anglicanism always carried within itself the seeds of its own religious and cultural destruction.

Had their been no ''English Reformation'' or Anglicanism, then there would have been no individual interpretation of the Bible and morality here, no rampant individualism, no secularization, no widespread acceptance of contraception, legalization of abortion, celebration of sodomy or deconstruction of Sunday into just another day for business, sport and leisure.

We can see where all of this leads in the recent case of the American street preachers who were arrested for allegedly offending Muslims in Britain.

As you will likely have read elsewhere, the British prosecutor Ian Jackson had the temerity to utter in court: ''To say that Jesus is the only God is not a matter of truth. To the extent that they are saying that the only way to God is through Jesus, that cannot be a truth.''

And whilst all of our UK bishops appear to have remained quiet in the face of this blasphemous suppression of Christian Truth, we can only reflect that this is merely the natural outcome of five disintegrating centuries of the corrosive influence of man-made Anglicanism.

Christopher Ferrara has rightly pointed out the offence this must all give to St. Peter himself.

As an Englishman, I can't help also thinking of the way it must similarly offend great martyrs like St. Ambrose Barlow, St. Edmund Arrowsmith, St. Edmund Campion, St. John Houghton and so many other of our Catholic cultural heroes.

To Archbishop Roche and Cardinal Pell we can only ask: Why would you offend God by hosting prayers from a heretical prayer book beneath the very Chair of St. Peter in Rome? Why would you not lead the sincere Anglicans into the One True Faith founded by Christ for the salvation and sanctification of all? Why would you deny them the knowledge, peace and unity of the Doctrine, Sacraments, Moral Life and Prayers of our holy mother the Catholic Church? Why can you not see that this will not lead to unity, but only to a never-ending cycle of religious indifferentism, social confusion and cultural disintegration?

I can only say that I am grateful that my parents and I were given the grace to discover Catholic Truth before you so scandalously obscured it for so many people.

The heading of this article is taken from St. John Bosco's series of prophetic visions of Rome's future.

It seems appropriate to conclude with his words: And you, Rome, what will become of you? Ungrateful Rome, effeminate Rome, arrogant Rome, you have reached the point where you admire in your Sovereign Pontiff nothing but luxury, forgetting that his true glory and yours are on Golgotha.

Please Keep Praying for Mr. John Vennari


Torch of The Faith News on Tuesday 14 March 2017 - 20:33:33 | by admin

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Several years ago, Angie and I were having a meal with some intellectual Catholics, when the conversation turned to the topic of Fr. Gruner and those who worked with him. At that point, the conversation took on a distinctly mocking tone. Although, to my shame, I laughed along, (mea culpa!), I reflected to myself that I really did not know enough about the truth of Fr. Gruner's story to really comment. Then, too, it became clear to me from their words that neither did anyone else who was sat at that table. I began to ask myself: is this not the very definition of bigotry?

In the summer of 2010, I read a copy of Christopher Ferrara's, The Secret Still Hidden. In that work, Mr. Ferrara applies his lawyer's mind to the issues in such a way that he provides a most enlightening investigation. Indeed, I have never come across anyone who has yet been able to refute the evidence and conclusions that Mr. Ferrara comes to in that precisely researched and carefully argued text.

During the previous decade, I had already come around to slowly see that the Consecration of Russia had not been done according to the express wishes of Our Lady of Fatima. Mr. Ferrara's book backed up and took further the conclusions that I had come to. Around that time, I also got hold of and read a copy of Antonio Socci's, The Fourth Secret. This is also a good and thought-provoking book, but Mr. Ferrara's seems particularly rock solid in its court-room style analysis.

Several months later, I purchased and read a copy of John Vennari's helpful warning booklet, The Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita - A Masonic Blueprint for the Subversion of the Catholic Church.

Around 2011, I began to occasionally dip into the on-line website of Catholic Family News. I admit, that I was cautious at first. Please understand: this was not due to any of the content of the site; but merely because of the stigma that had become attached to all things to do with Fr. Gruner.

I began to realize that there was nothing that Mr. John Vennari was saying there that I disagreed with. In fact, his articles consistently articulated the Catholic Faith by drawing on Magisterial documents and demonstrating how various present day activities, such as the various debacles in Assisi, were a direct contradiction of them. After about six months, I became a daily reader.

Partly because I have met so many orthodox, pro-life families in America who attribute their conversions to the 1993 World Youth Day in Denver, I had always had a slightly rosy conception of these events. When we first got married in 2002, Angie and I had also enjoyed watching some of EWTN's coverage of the World Youth Day from Toronto on our newly-installed satellite system.

However, the on-the-ground research carried out by John Vennari and Cornelia Ferreira for their book, World Youth Day - From Catholic to Counterchurch really opened our eyes to the ideology and serious abuses that were taking place and spreading through these events.  

When Fr. Gruner died in April 2015, I thought it was high time that I found out some more about the man and the myths surrounding him. As up until then, I had merely encountered all the attacks against him, I thought it only fair to read his side of the story in the book, Fatima Priest. I have to say that, in light of my experiences of anti-Catholic persecution at Ushaw seminary in the late 1990's, that there was so much in his story that I could relate to. I began to see how easy it would have been for the enemies of Fr. Gruner - or more specifically the enemies of Fatima - to tarnish him with a bad reputation to keep people from accessing the full truth.

To those who scoff or harshly judge the man, I must ask: Do you really know all the facts; and have you done as much as he did to so selflessly spread and defend the Catholic Faith or the message of Fatima?

When it came to the disastrous synods of '14 and '15, Angie and I relied on Catholic Family News as one of the key sources for up-to-the-minute news and orthodox analysis of all that was going on in Rome. The nightly videos of John Vennari and Christopher Ferrara were especially appreciated. At the time, we e-mailed Mr. Vennari to express our appreciation and gratitude for the things that we had learned from him and from Mr. Ferrara.

Like so many Catholics around the world, we were saddened to hear last year that Mr. Vennari was suffering from cancer. Again, we were deeply moved when we heard that he was possibly close to death a few weeks ago.

At the same time, we were greatly inspired by his phone-call remarks to Michael Matt of the Remnant. Even though he thought at that time that he might only survive for a couple more days, John Vennari said to Michael Matt: ''Either we believe in Divine Providence or we don't. I believe in it, and I know that God has known for all eternity that I would be here in this hospital today, ready to die.''

Particularly inspirational were his words on keeping up the fight for the restoration of the True Catholic Faith. He said to Michael Matt: ''Please, keep it going. You must continue the fight for the Cause.''

A couple of days ago, the Remnant announced that John Vennari is still alive and reflected that, after all this time, that in itself is quite miraculous. The Vennari family had apparently also asked for Catholics to pray a novena to St. Philomena for him to be given the grace of a miraculous recovery.

We gladly reproduce that novena below and urge all of our readers to please pray for this good man of God.

Novena to St. Philomena

O great St. Philomena, glorious Virgin and Martyr, wonder-worker of our age, I return most fervent thanks to God for the miraculous gifts bestowed on thee, and beseech thee to impart to me a share in the graces and blessings of which thou hast been a channel to so many souls.

Through the heroic fortitude with which thou didst confront the fury of tyrants and brave the frowns of the mighty rather than swerve from thy allegiance to the King of Heaven, obtain for me purity of body and soul, purity of heart and desire, purity of thought and affection.

Through thy patience under multiplied sufferings, obtain for me a submissive acceptance of all the afflictions it may please God to send me and as thou didst miraculously escape unhurt from the waters of the Tiber, into which thou wert cast by order of thy persecutor, so may I pass through the waters of tribulation without detriment to my soul. In addition to these favours, obtain for me, O faithful spouse of Jesus, the particular intention I earnestly recommend to thee at this moment.

(Mention the request here).

O pure Virgin and holy Martyr, deign to cast a look of pity from Heaven on thy devoted servant, comfort me in affliction, assist me in danger, above all come to my aid in the hour of death.

Watch over the interests of the Church of God, pray for its exaltation and prosperity, the extension of the Faith, for the Sovereign Pontiff, for the clergy, for the perseverance of the just, the conversion of sinners, and the relief of the souls in Purgatory, especially those dear to me.

O great saint, whose triumph we celebrate on earth, intercede for me, that I may one day behold the crown of glory bestowed on thee in Heaven, and eternally bless Him Who so liberally rewards for all eternity the sufferings endured for His love during this short life. Amen.

St. Philomena, Powerful with God - Pray for us!      

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