The First Saturdays in 2017


Torch of The Faith News on Friday 03 February 2017 - 13:57:41 | by admin

It is hard to believe that the second month of the year is already upon us. That means that tomorrow will be the First Saturday of February.

Who among us can fail to observe the Devotion of the First Saturdays in these grave times? 

Like many others, we discern a renewed sense of urgency about Our Lady's important requests at Fatima; especially as their 100th anniversary approaches this year.

May God give us all the grace to honour and obey Our Lady of Fatima's First Saturday requests, by doing the following things in a spirit of reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary: Making a good Confession; Receiving Holy Communion worthily and with devotion; Praying the Rosary; Spending 15-minutes meditating on a particular Rosary mystery.

Mr. Jones at the LMS Wrexham blog has been posting up some splendid advertisements for the Traditional Latin Masses being offered on the First Saturdays in the Diocese of Wrexham.

We encourage readers in the surrounding regions to do their best to support this important initiative. 
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Wherever we are, let us not fail to heed Our Lady's requests on the First Saturdays of each month. 

Given the tenor of these times, it would be best not to miss that daily Rosary either!

On the Hamster Wheel with Cardinal Muller


Torch of The Faith News on Wednesday 01 February 2017 - 21:18:16 | by admin

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By now, you've probably already read Sandro Magister's published excerpts from Cardinal Muller's interview with the Italian magazine, Il Timone.

Whilst Muller's answers contain some positive affirmations of orthodoxy - goodness! how low we must have fallen to be grateful for such meagre scraps from the head of the CDF! - it is nevertheless clear that he is still attempting to avoid seeing the Jorge wood for the Bergoglio trees, when it comes to the ongoing saga of Amoris-gate.

I quote from the very words of His Excellency: ''It is not Amoris Laetitia that has provoked a confused interpretation, but some confused interpretations of it.''

Congratulations Eminence: only a slick politician could have done better than that!

I've got to say it, but as circular arguments go, this one had me just going round and round like a spinning-top. It left me feeling a couple of umlauts short of a surname!

Look, this kind of statement is so ridiculous that, if this wasn't such a spiritually dangerous issue involving the salvation of countless millions of souls, we'd all be falling over the backs of our chairs and laughing our socks off right now.

In any case, Magister thrusts a stick into the spokes of Muller's rapidly rotating wheel by reminding his readers that it was Pope Francis himself who told the Argentine bishops, in the region of Buenos Aires, that there was no other interpretation of Amoris Laetitia than the sacrilegious one that they had so painstakingly spelled out and submitted for checking like a bunch of teacher's pet schoolboys.

Confused interpretations indeed...

You know, speaking of pets, we used to have a pet hamster called Marmaduke.

That little fella used to crawl out of his straw in the early hours, scramble up onto his plastic cage-wheel and start running like an olympian.

I don't know if you've ever observed this, but at a certain point, hamsters like that wear themselves out and just stop running.

The problem is that, by then, the wheel has reached a momentum all of its own and the hamsters end up just spinning around and around against their will, like a loose cog in the machine.

Thanks to Pope Francis, Cardinal Muller and their never-ending spin over Amoris, I guess we all know how that feels...
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Thursday 2nd February, 2017 - Feast of Candlemas


Torch of The Faith News on Wednesday 01 February 2017 - 20:05:14 | by admin

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From as early as the fourth Century, the Catholic Church has celebrated on this day one of the most ancient feasts of Our Lady, to commemorate Her ritual Purification and the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple. The feast has traditionally been celebrated with the blessing and procession of candles, to signify that Christ has come as the Light of the World.

As so many Catholics are suffering both interiorly and physically for the Faith in these grave times, we have posted up some consoling words that were given by Our Lady, in private revelation, to the female mystics St. Bridget of Sweden and Ven. Mary of Agreda.

They bear upon the mystery of Our Lady's sufferings, which were prophesied by Simeon at the Temple, with the words: ''And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed'' (Lk 2:35). As you will see, they also provide an answer to the lawlessness of these times; whilst offering consolation to the weary of heart.

As a couple of the sentences from each of the revelations seem so particularly apposite, we have depicted these in bold type below. Our prayer is that, taken together, these words will bring you encouragement and renewed strength to carry the present Cross with Jesus.

Take heart: if you are suffering with and for the Church right now, then you can be consoled in the knowledge that you love Christ with a love that is more than mere sentiment. Remember, too, that we love Christ because He has first loved us. These are graces to be very thankful for on this great feast. Let us offer it all up for the coming Triumph of the Immaculate Heart!

St. Bridget of Sweden (1307 - 1373 AD)
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The Blessed Virgin said to St. Bridget: I did not need purification, like other women, because my Son who was born of me, made me clean. Nevertheless, that the Law and the prophecies might be fulfilled, I chose to live according to the Law. Nor did I live like worldly parents, but humbly conversed with the humble. Nor did I wish to show anything extraordinary in me, but loved whatever was humble.

On that day (of the Purification) my pain was increased. For though by divine inspiration I knew that my Son was to suffer, yet this grief pierced my heart more keenly at Simeon's words. And until I was assumed body and soul into Heaven, this grief never left my heart, although it was tempered by the consolation of the Holy Spirit of God. Let not, then, this grief leave thy heart, for without tribulation few would reach Heaven.

Ven. Mary of Agreda (1602-1665 AD)
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And to Ven. Mary of Agreda: My daughter, the doctrine and example contained in this Mystery will teach thee to strive after the constancy and expansion of heart by which thou mayest prepare thyself to accept blessings and adversity, the sweet and the bitter, with equanimity.

How persistently the human heart forgets that its Teacher and Master has first accepted sufferings, and has honoured and sanctified them in His own Person!

Remember the sorrow that pierced my heart at the prophecies of Simeon, and how I remained in peace and tranquility, even though my heart and soul were transfixed by a sword of pain.

Seek ever to preserve inward peace.

Full of trust in me, whenever tribulation comes over thee, fervently exclaim:

The Lord is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear?

We wish all of our readers a blessed and holy Feast of Candlemas!

Marriage as an Apostolate


Torch of The Faith News on Wednesday 01 February 2017 - 11:05:25 | by admin

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The Witness of a Generation Formed in the True Faith

When I first became a Catholic in 1993, there were a number of strongly Catholic couples, of retirement age or thereabouts, that were very active in the parish qua married couples.

Having already brought up their families, these couples were very involved together in the spirituality of the parish: expressed through shared attendance at daily Mass and Rosary, weekly Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help and Stations of the Cross; and also in the practical outreach that was going out from the parish, through traditional groups like the SVP society and the Legion of Mary.

I particularly remember these couples as ones that, whilst being very rooted in the necessities of everyday life, nevertheless clearly exuded love, commitment and even a certain sense of holiness. Indeed, it was through the very ordinariness of their daily lives that the gleams of sanctity showed.

Even in the case of one couple where the husband had sadly walked out and gone absent years earlier, his good wife faithfully kept up her side of the covenant; even going to an extra Mass every single Sunday, as well as the one she already went to with her grown-up children, in a self-sacrificial attempt to fulfill the missing husband's Sunday obligation for him. I'll never forget that lived testimony to real love and the indissolubility of true marriage.

It is worth reflecting that the majority of these couples had their formation in the faith as youngsters in the decades of the 1930's - 1940's. 

Many of these good folks died and went to their reward in the first decade of the new millennium. I sometimes shudder to think of what they would make of the present papacy and its impacts. They never would have believed it possible that things could ever sink to the level of the current attempted subversion of the True Faith.

Over the years, we have still encountered couples of the kind being described above, mainly in Traditionalist circles or in places like Steubenville or Pantasaph, but there do seem to be a lot less of them than there ever were before; and there are certainly less of them coming up ''through the ranks'' of the following generations.

Indeed, with even marriage itself becoming rare, we now know some priests whose parishes have not been blessed with the celebration of a single Nuptial Mass or wedding ceremony for several years. 

When one reflects on the present crisis in the Church, it becomes clear that far too many people, alas even among the ranks of the Sacred Hierarchy, have an understanding of marriage that is heavily influenced by post-modernity and pop-psychology. This leads them to view love and marriage primarily, if not solely, as some kind of guaranteed vehicle for easy-happiness and self-actualization.

Just taking a look at the approach taken by the Modernists in the whole divisive battle over Amoris Laetitia reveals an understanding of spousal love that has much more in common with consumerism, where one is encouraged to update to the ''latest model'' every few years, than with anything one finds in the natural and divine law.

When one contrasts their approach with the qualities of actual self-sacrificial love, especially those established and enabled by the grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, it becomes clear that theirs is an immature, selfish and overly romanticised conception indeed. Worse than that, it is extremely sinful.

During these crazy times for the Church, it can often be refreshing to dip into the writings of some of the best Catholics like that great Irishman Frank Duff, the Servant of God and Founder of the Legion of Mary.
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The Servant of God, and Founder of the Legion of Mary, Frank Duff (1889 - 1980).

What follows is an excerpt from his book The Spirit of the Legion of Mary. It has been chosen because I think it well highlights the genuine spirituality that so obviously set those above-mentioned Catholic couples apart: they truly lived their marriages as a shared apostolate.

Even the lady who had been cruelly abandoned continued to live in the midst of her sufferings in this apostolic manner. Indeed, she had perhaps the deepest grasp of the redemptive power of suffering, when it is borne in love with Christ, that I have yet encountered.

If we are all to overcome the present crisis, which we should more accurately call a heresy, then the spirituality of those couples is one we would all do well to recover and emulate.

Marrying for God by Frank Duff

Do people ever think of getting married for God? Is there any reality in the phrase ''Vocation of marriage'' so frequently heard? Or is that expression no more than lip-service? I fear so. For examine and you will find that quite a different set of ideas from true vocational ideals governs the general approach to marriage.

I do not suggest that people do not try to lead holy lives in matrimony. Of course they do. But so do the butcher, the baker, the candlestick-maker - and the Civil servant.

But that does not by itself constitute those trades vocations except in the conventional sense of the word.

Marriage is different.

It is a true vocation in every sense of the word, because it is a sacramental state - as is the priesthood itself.

Therefore, marriage is an immense thing, elevated as far above merely occupational states as Mount Everest is reared above ground level.

But vocations and sacraments for full efficacy require cooperation; and I fear that in regard to the great Sacrament of Matrimony this condition is not being sufficiently satisfied.

Its big moment is esteemed to be the wedding; after which there is little or no advertence to the fact of a sacramental condition.

If graces flow, it is rather because God freely gives them, than because of any effort to earn them. For in the everyday marriage the main factors are not faith, hope and charity, but pounds, shillings and pence; not holiness, but worldly pursuits; not God, but sheer self.

Doesn't this neatly encapsulate and express the whole crisis now facing the Church?

May the Holy Family - Pray for us!

Some Traditional Latin Masses for the Celebration of Candlemas in NW England


Torch of The Faith News on Wednesday 01 February 2017 - 09:25:39 | by admin

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Here are some Traditional Latin Masses that will be offered in the NW of England to celebrate tomorrow's great Feast of Candlemas. Please be aware that the list may not be exhaustive.

Bolton
St. Osmund's, Long Lane, Breightmet, Bolton, BL2 6EB.

7:30pm - Low Mass

Lydiate
Our Lady's, Southport Road, Lydiate, L31 4HH.

7:00pm - Low Mass

New Brighton
ICKSP Shrine of Ss Peter, Paul and Philomena, Atherton Street, New Brighton, Wallasey, CH45 9LT.

All Day Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament - Please Pray for Many Holy Priests and Sisters!

9:00am - Low Mass
12 Noon - Low Mass
7:00pm - Sung Mass

N.B. The Solemnity of Candlemas will also be celebrated at the shrine on Sunday 5th Feb with: 10:30am Blessing and Distribution of Candles, followed by Sung Mass and then the Blessing of St. Blaise to follow.

Preston
ICKSP Shrine of St. Walburge, Weston Street, Preston, PR2 2QE.

7pm - Candelit Procession and Sung Mass.

Warrington
FSSP Shrine Church of St. Mary, Buttermarket Street, Warrington, WA1 2NS.

12 Noon - Candlemas Blessing and Procession followed by Holy Mass.

Those attending St. Mary's are asked to take candles that they wish to have blessed and place them in front of the Martyrs' Chapel. These candles will be blessed at 12 noon, followed by a procession within the church and then Holy Mass.

The FSSP Newsletter recalls: As we process with palms on Palm Sunday as witnesses to Martyrdom (and Christ's Passion), so it is fitting at the end of the Christmas season to process with lights as witnesses to Christ's Nativity, Who is the Light of the World. Lighted candles are held during the Procession and at the Gospel and from the Sanctus to the priests' Communion.

We thank all of these good priests for making these Traditional Latin Masses available for the Feast of Candlemas. Readers in the region are strongly encouraged to attend wherever possible.

President Trump's State Visit to The UK - Some Thoughts


Torch of The Faith News on Monday 30 January 2017 - 18:44:26 | by admin

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A UK Ban on Trump?

The BBC's main headline today tells of a petition bearing 1.3 million names demanding a stop to be put on President Trump's state visit to the UK. In something of a knee-jerk reaction, thousands are joining anti-Trump protest marches in cities from London to Glasgow.

According to the BBC, ''Mr. Trump's executive order on immigration has caused anger worldwide''. Or as the socialistic Jeremy Corbyn has bleated, ''Donald Trump should not be welcomed to Britain while he abuses our shared values with his shameful Muslim ban and attacks on refugees' and women's rights''.

As if that were not enough to be going along with, I've got to say that, to see the US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer crying such ''convincing'' tears on TV about Trump's executive order, is enough to make a grown man, erm, weep...

Even after years of media brainwashing, especially given the plethora of horrific Islamist terror attacks on soft targets, you would think that the average person would be able to appreciate the thrust of an executive order that began with the words, ''In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles''.

Cutting Through the MSM Narrative

Although the mainstream media and the countless minions of the ''Twitterati'' are putting out and furthering the overall narrative of a ''Muslim ban'', it is worth critiquing this for a somewhat more nuanced picture.

For example, Paul Joseph Watson has responded with a video at Prison Planet to demonstrate that Mr. Trump has not actually initiated a ''Muslim ban'' at all. Rather, he has established a temporary ban on immigration from a list of terror-linked countries; which warning list was first created by the Obama administration anyway.

In any case, Trump's executive order allows for the ban to be waived in the case of individuals who pass certain case-by-case criteria.

And so, countries with the largest Muslim populations, such as Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Nigeria, remain totally unaffected by the temporary immigration ban.

But you won't hear any of this on the mainstream media, much less in the tumult of blogs and tweets decrying Trump's new policy.

Unfortunately, Mr. Watson's intemperate use of foul language means that we cannot wholeheartedly recommend his video for viewing.

Nevertheless, Mr. Watson does raise important questions when he compares the present liberal distress over Trump's immigration order to the complete lack of protest during the 8 years in which the Obama administration was dropping tens of thousands of bombs on Muslim countries.

Again, Mr. Watson wonders, where was the protest when Obama's leadership armed the jihadists who were responsible for creating the civil war in Syria, which led to the subsequent refugee crisis, in the first place?

Mr. Watson is also right to point out the hypocrisy wherein those who remained silent over these and other issues of Obama's foreign policy are now defaming Mr. Trump as somehow being a ''dangerous and racist Islamophobe''.

''Shared Values'' Mr. Corbyn?

Speaking as an Englishman, it intrigues me that, in contrast to the media-generated hype over Trump and Islamic immigration, there was so little fuss made last week in light of an important story that was raised by the courageous Andrea Williams of the UK's Christian Concern.
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On 24th January, Christian Concern ran a headline that has caught the attention of too few people in this country. It ran: Christians at risk of years in prison for preaching Christ.

It seems that Lord Malcolm Pearson had raised a question in the House of Lords regarding the new Policing and Crime Bill's proposal to raise the penalty for a ''racially or religiously aggravated offence'' from 7 years to 14 years.

Lord Pearson had asked: ''Could such an offence be caused by a Christian preaching the supreme divinity of Christ and therefore denying the supremacy of Muhammed? Would various assembled Muslims be free to regard that as a religiously aggravated offence under this section?''

Not a few observers were startled when the Government, represented by Baroness Williams (herself having been educated at La Sagesse Catholic High School), replied: ''It is a matter for the court and the Criminal Prosecution Service (CPS) to determine the points that he makes.''

This is the kind of thing that would lead one to hope for a response from the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales that was as rapid as it was reasoned and robust. Alas, as far as we can see, none has been forthcoming.

At least Christian Concern's Andrea Williams, as has been the case with so many other important issues impacting on Christians in the UK, was informed and ready with a clear statement.

Amongst other things, she said: ''It is extremely concerning that the Government is not prepared to defend free speech to the extent that Christians may risk a prison sentence for saying that Jesus is Lord of all... This is a further step down the road to a totalitarian society, where people dare not say what they think for fear of being arrested and imprisoned... The fact that Jesus is Lord over all is the hope of our nation. It is at the very heart of Christianity, which has provided the moral and spiritual foundations of our society for centuries. People should be free to declare Christ's Lordship in every area of public life.''

It is intriguing to note that there is so much ''liberal'' panic over Trump's supposedly anti-Islamic immigration policy, whilst there is no associated uproar regarding the supression of free speech among the ever-dwindling number of British Christians.

We have noted above that Mr. Jeremy Corbyn expresses distress over Trump's perceived attack on ''shared values''. However, where is the similar uproar when it comes to the news broken recently by the Daily Mail regarding a Sharia court in Lancashire which handed down a sentence that, though suggesting an alternative, nevertheless approved of an ''honour killing''? Where are Mr. Corbyn's ''shared values'' now?

Of this, it seems, the ''liberals'' demanding that Trump be banned from a state visit to the UK have little to say.

An Attack on Women's Rights?

Another aspect of Mr. Jeremy Corbyn's anti-Trump rhetoric featured his lament about a supposed attack on ''women's rights''.

This supposed attack was at the heart of the various expressions of the ''Women's March'' that took place in Washington D.C. and various other cities around the globe last week.

Judging by the pro-abortion/LGBT platform, the anti-male atmosphere, the crude names of the pink knitted hats, the impure costumes of some participants, and the inclusion of a speaker who had done time for kidnapping, raping and murdering a man, this was no place for a lady...

Perhaps AKA Catholic's Louie Verrecchio summed things up best when he stated: ''The so-called Women's March was truly nothing other than an open act of rebellion against the authour of the Divine Law; a demon-infested parade of lost souls figuratively pointing an accusing finger heavenward while howling ''We'll show you who's boss!''

If you are looking for something a little more civilized, reasoned and, frankly, more feminine than that ''offered'' by the Women's Marches, we highly recommend the person, works and writings of Culture of Life Africa's Obianuju Ekeocha. In contrast to the backward thinking of 20th-Century radical feminism, here is a Catholic woman who is thoroughly 21st-Century.  
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One of President Trump's first acts in office that has so angered radicals is the cut to funding for abortion in other nations. During the years of the Obama administration, organizations like IPPF and Marie Stopes International had received millions of dollars to destigmatize abortion and spread it all around the world. Thanks be to God, this has all ended with President Trump's reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy.

Various abortion agencies are now spreading the lying propaganda message that, for example in Nigeria alone, 3,000 women will now die every year due to the reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy.

Obianuju Ekeocha has countered this message at the website of Culture of Life Africa. Indeed, she has demonstrated how Trump's new policy will actually be welcomed across various African nations.

Reasons for this welcome include:-

1. The funding of abortion organizations working in Africa is a form of extreme interventionism, given that 80% of African countries are against abortion in both their national laws and the public opinion of their populaces.

2. The giving of so much money to pro-abortion giants like Marie Stopes International fortifies them in their targeting of the poorest and most vulnerable communities. ''This could otherwise be seen as modern day eugenics to ensure that only the planned, the privileged and the perfect are born into the world.''

3. Humanitarian aid given to abortion organizations is humanitarian aid not used for real humanitarian initiatives like healthcare, education, nutrition and water.

4. These organizations already receive large funding from European countries, who do not scruple to fund abortion in Africa. They also receive plentiful monies from, ''the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, the Buffet foundation, Hewlett foundation and others who have shown their vested interest in population reduction programs especially in Africa.''

5. Most of these organizations are involved in ''advocacy'' to push for the legalization of abortion in new countries, where it presently remains illegal.

Looking Beyond the Mainstream Media Narrative

In this article we have presented some information and thoughts that provide another angle on the petition to ban Trump's state visit to the UK. 
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This is not to say that we have a totally unnuanced understanding of Trump as some kind of great hope for the West. There are many complex forces at play in these times. Even when we celebrated the ''blessed defeat of Hillary'' last year, we also reflected on the fact that the final choice was between Hillary and Donald was itself emblematic of the ongoing collapse of Western civilization. In any case, we are always wary of anyone who makes the above handsign so comfortably and so frequently in their regular course of communication...

Still, actions do count and President Trump has already made several very positive actions in terms of Christian prayer, support for family and pro-life issues. The present furore also seems to demonstrate that he is willing to take unpopular actions in order to ensure the protection of American culture and citizens.

Mr. Trump's first week in office has certainly sent out a wave of optimism among Christians in particular and cultural conservatives in general.

Oh, and (whoo hooo!) he is not Hillary!!!

None of which makes him popular with the ''liberal'' elites or the minions that bleat forwards the media narrative they are provided from on high...

So, whilst we might have a nuanced view of Trump, if this article gets anyone to look beyond the unthinking narrative, including the associated calls for a ban on the state visit, which they are being fed by the mainstream media, then it will have been worth writing and posting it up.

From a Symphony to a Cacophony


Torch of The Faith News on Saturday 28 January 2017 - 17:49:58 | by admin

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The good Frank Walker at Canon 212 was right to make a headline article out of the news that Pope Francis has ordered a review of the recent Mass translations that followed Liturgiam authenticam.

Given that these translations more fully expressed Catholic orthodoxy in the Mass than those that came immediately after the Second Vatican Council, and that so many Modernist dissenters have resisted them in recent years, this is big news indeed.

As Fr. Z reflected last night, under the title The liturgical attack begins: ''We saw this coming, didn't we? There was the appointment of new consultors to the CDW... What's next? I think we know.''

Indeed...

Sandro Magister goes further by suggesting that this revisiting of Liturgiam authenticam will bring about its effective demolition.

To be honest with you, by the time the new translations were implemented here in England during November 2011, Angie and I were already well on the way to only ever attending the Traditional Latin Mass, and eventually living solely from the Traditional Calendar.

Nevertheless, we figured that anything which enabled parishes everywhere to more fully express Catholic theology in liturgy, prayer and catechesis could only be for the good in the longer term.

Therefore, we used to find it very tiresome when so many aging Modernists, as typified by the more outspoken members of the radically dissenting A Call to Action (ACTA) organization, resisted the translations and complained that words like ''consubstantial'' and ''incarnation'' no longer meant anything to today's society! 

Sadly, their attempts to impose their own meanings on the liturgy, caused so much energy to be expended on looking inwards into the Church, in defence of the Faith, that could otherwise have been spent on looking outwards to effectively evangelize a society that had by now forgotten all about Christ and His Church. Instead of bringing outsiders to appreciate the mysteries expressed by these words, the Modernists effectively kept them locked outside.

As a convert of 1993 vintage, I could never understand these dissenting voices. Their lack of receptivity to Catholic orthodoxy in doctrine, liturgy, prayer and morality seemed closer to the ideology of post-modernity than to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It seemed to me that the mysteries of the Faith, being divinely revealed, were life-giving in ways I could never have imagined. Surely, as Catholics, we are to let the Sacred Liturgy change us; rather than us attempting to change It!

This can perhaps be most clearly discussed in terms of the Modernistic lack of receptivity to Tradition as it is in its very essence; and the resulting desire of Modernists to impose their own meanings on it.

But, if these folks were to win in this imposition of self, then all we would be left with is a community in their image and likeness; rather than the Mystical Body of Christ.

It strikes me that receptivity to the Faith, as it is in its very essence, is an essential part of what it means to actually be a Catholic.

In a sense, this brings us back to the Traditional Latin Mass.

More than any other setting, this is the ''place'' where we have found it most possible to receive from Christ and the fullness of His Truth. Unlike the Novus Ordo, this is the Mass which grew and matured organically, like a splendid and fruitful vine, over very many centuries.

Whereas the Post-modern wants to impose their own selfish will, and their own created meanings onto reality, orthodox Catholicism is instead like a flowing river into which one enters to find the overall meaning that gives real life and true sense to to one's own existence.

It is not that our own lives are submerged, or worse drowned, by that overarching meaning, but that they are instead nurtured, refreshed and buoyed along. 

That is because, Catholicism and the Holy Mass at its heart, is about Christ. The God-man. He Who is like us in all things, except for sin and ignorance. He is the image of God par excellence. In Him we find God and we truly find ourselves.

Alas, the article I was orginally writing about the Traditional Latin Mass, this afternoon, was lost when my lap-top suddenly crashed. That means that I do not have time now to say more about the Traditional Latin Mass today.

What I will say is that I think that those, like Fr. Z and Sandro Magister, who express fears about ''what comes next'' from the CDW under Francis are on the money with their concerns.

It is not hard to see that moves will likely be made at some future point to outflank Summorum Pontificum. Perhaps the illicit behaviour of Bishop Malloy of Rockford Illinois in recent days represented an opening salvo in that regard.

What then, can be done?

Although perhaps too few noticed it, Rorate Caeli wrote about this on 11th January.

They said: ''The time to agitate is now: Traditionalists around the world must make clear the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum (which was not an act of mercy, but a mere recognition of justice and logic) cannot be touched.''

One of the things that finally moved me to convert to the Catholic Faith in 1993, was the realization that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was being offered somewhere in the world at all times. Unlike in Protestantism, where every pastor, to say nothing of every other believer, held varying views on key doctrines, it was wondrous to discover the True Church and her unity of belief, liturgy, prayer and moral teaching.

Although he was actually a 19th-Century Evangelical, this mystery found some kind of expression in J. Ellerton's hymn, The Day Thou Gavest, Lord is Ended.

I think particularly of the words: ''We thank Thee that Thy Church unsleeping, while earth rolls onward into light, through all the world her watch is keeping, and rests not now by day or night... As over continent and island, the dawn leads on another day, the voice of prayer is never silent, nor dies the strain of praise away.''

As I say, this unity of worship and life helped to move me to convert to the Catholic Faith in 1993. As the years progressed, I came to appreciate more that it was a unity that also extended back in time through all the centuries of Catholic history, and also into the realms of Purgatory and Heaven.

Then again, as I came to study more about the Traditional Latin Mass, and to experience it regularly, I began to see how this was a more uniform expression of Catholic Truth and unity; both in this world, when It was offered everywhere, and also beyond this world in those other realms of the Communion of Saints.

It strikes me that the possible demolition, to use Sandro Magister's word, of the new translation can only further break down the Church's unity, and the visible expression of that unity, from a beautiful symphony into a disastrous cacophony.

I must conclude now, for time is running out for today. As it becomes clear that the Sacred Liturgy is now likely also under threat from the revolutions of the Bergoglian era, I encourage readers to enter more deeply into the Traditional Calendar and Mass.

Perhaps it may be physically hard, or even impossible for you to attend a Traditional Latin Mass regularly. However, if you can at all, even if this requires sacrifice and travel, we highly recommend this to you. In any case, we recommend readers obtain a Traditional Latin Missal to pray from; and begin to prayerfully study books about the Traditional Latin Mass.

In the meantime, may we also take this opportunity to present to you the marvellous LiveMass website. This is an apostolate of the FSSP, which provides live Traditional Latin Masses each day via a webcam from Florida, Guadalajara and Fribourg; complete with time-clocks, time-zones and time-zone widgets for you to access the Masses at the correct times from your locality.

If you are not used to attending the Traditional Latin Mass, this can be a good place to start; especially if you obtain a Latin-to-English Mass book, or Missal, to follow with. We recommend that folks who are new to the Traditional Liturgy, also say a prayer to God at the outset to help them with His grace to appreciate its mysteries.

Also, be patient with yourself: it took us at least a couple of months to get to a place where we could follow along with the priest at all parts of the Mass. We've now been doing this for several years. We promise you that, with God's grace, and perseverance on your part, you will not be disappointed! 

We aim to get a working link to LiveMass at our Links Page ASAP.

Dominus Vobiscum!

Haven't We Been Here Before?


Torch of The Faith News on Friday 27 January 2017 - 13:47:58 | by admin

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Fra' Matthew Festing: The National Catholic Register's trusted correspondent Ed Pentin stated yesterday that the good Fra' Festing was summoned alone to a private meeting with Pope Francis and then ordered to resign. All he had done was to uphold the Church's orthodox moral teachings. Is this the beginning of yet another Bergoglian purge of orthodox Catholics and organizations? Put it this way: it certainly isn't the end! 

The Present Saga

Consider the case of an intelligent and widely respected Catholic, a man who had been appointed to positions of lifelong leadership in the Church and over an independent sovereign state. He was theologically orthodox on the essential doctrines, friendly to Sacred Tradition, and traditions, and had acted to defend the Church's moral teachings when occasion demanded it.

These qualities had made him some powerful enemies among those who, whilst remaining in powerful positions of their own inside the Church, are really hostile to the orthodox Sacred Tradition of Catholicism.

Among these enemies featured at least one well placed and organized German prelate, who had clubbed together with a shadowy group that would strategically resist the said leader.

Out of the blue, this Catholic leader suddenly announced his totally unexpected resignation, during a time of crisis. Within a very short time, those well-placed opponents suddenly seized his power and set a new course that was opposed to Catholic orthodoxy. This created a culture wherein it was feared that anyone who got in the way of the ''new order'' would simply be trampled via the abuse of the very laws of the Church, and the traditional customs of obedience, to have them swiftly removed.

At the heart of this whole saga, and gaining immensely in power, though not in the good opinion of faithful Catholics, was the figure of one Jorge Mario Bergoglio; a man who cultivated a persona of mercy, whilst dealing ruthlessly with anyone who dared to resist his trajectory.

Having sifted various reports from mainstream sources on the internet, this seems to be a working summary of the main events in the ongoing Knights of Malta saga.

Reflections of the Past?

As I reflected on all of this late last night, I was struck by the remarkable parallels to the abdication of Pope Benedict XVI in early 2013. After all, it is not everyday that good Catholic leaders suddenly step down from lifelong positions and leave a void to be filled by their worst enemies. But, of course, we do have that very public precedent happening with the case of Pope Benedict's abdication and all that has followed in the last four years.  
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If this sounds extreme, readers might find it an interesting, and perhaps instructive exercise, to read again all that is written above, but this time thinking not of the present case of Fra' Matthew Festing, but by instead reflecting on the person and acts of Pope Benedict.

There are certainly some spooky parallels, aren't there?

Since writing this, I am encouraged to see Rorate Caeli making a similar point. Check it out at their site. I'll no longer be considered the only ''conspiracy-loop'' on the block...

Observable Impacts

Let us think now for a moment of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Congregation for Divine Worship, the Pontifical Academy for Life, the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, the rules for female religious orders of contemplatives, the process of annulments for marriages, and finally the latest case of the Knights of Malta.

Let us think somewhat higher and consider the Papacy, the College of Cardinals and the appointment of new bishops and heads of dicasteries.

Perhaps we might go out to the peripheries a little and consider dioceses such as Belgium, Chicago, Malta, Osorno, Pereira or San Diego.

Let us go a little deeper now and reflect on the Sacraments of Confession, Holy Eucharist, Holy Orders and Holy Matrimony.

In all of these cases - be it the Sacred Hierarchy, or the very essence, mission and spirituality of the Church, key departments in the Vatican bureaucracy, dioceses or traditional religious communities - in all of these cases, the un-Catholic Bergoglian revolution is sweeping through, demolishing and submerging each one as surely as the Atlantic Ocean surging through the water-proofed compartments on board the Titanic.

Some Further Important Reflections

A couple of days ago, I encouraged readers to read Ed Condon's thoughtful article, about the Knights of Malta saga, at the Catholic Herald.

Whilst he makes a number of good points, perhaps there are a couple of weaknesses in Condon's piece.

For example, he takes the traditional route of blaming the Pope's curial advisors, rather than the Pope himself. Then again, he also frets that the brazen insertion of the Holy See into the governance of another sovereign entity might set a bad precedent for the future. He worries that the Holy See, having set such a bad precedent, might no longer have a legitimate defence against another foreign body, say the Italian Republic, interfering in its own affairs.

On reflection, I see these as weaknesses because, firstly, and whilst it is the default position of every faithful son of the Church in normal times, it is no longer a logical or defensible position to exhonerate Francis.

He is so very clearly and publicly a central power-broker in the radical, and highly co-ordinated deconstruction of Catholic orthodoxy; which can be seen to mushroom and flourish wherever he intervenes.

Secondly, and given that fact, it would be similarly naive to expect that Francis really cares about the Holy See's sovereignty being interfered with, or even usurped, at some future date.

As I highlighted in our previous article, Francis' Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, was recently sent to attend the Soros-backed, and New World Order-building, World Economic Forum at Davos to speak of the place of ''religions'' in the public arena. In the days of Francis, the Vatican has hosted many powerful pro-death globalists, and brought in scores of local mayors from all around the world who - regardless of their promotion of leftist socialism, LGBT or abortion in their localities - have been applauded by Francis as the ''conscience of humanity''. 

If you start joining together the dots between the co-ordinated deconstruction of Catholic orthodoxy, the redirection of the Church's real estate and personnel into the service of a globalist agenda, and the merging with all religions to serve that agenda, then it seems clear that the sovereignty of the Holy See figures low on the list of Francis' priorities.

This becomes even more clear if one also remembers that Francis' Vatican has been inviting speaker after speaker from the ranks of those Culture of Death globalists who actually see the end of national sovereignties as one of the key stepping stones to the global governance that is so beloved of their ideology. Think Agenda 21 and its ongoing evolution in recent years.
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Heck, if the Words of Jesus, the clarity of orthodox teaching, reverence for the Blessed Sacrament, defence of Holy Matrimony and even the salvation of souls don't matter a jot to these characters - and we can all see by their public actions that they do not - then they are hardly going to trifle about maybe having to give up the sovereignty of the Holy See at some future date. From the perspective of the globalists there are simply bigger fish to fry in this game. They see a much bigger power base than that granted by local sovereignties. Indeed, for them, local sovereignty represents a block to the expansion of their power base.

Conclusion

This is no time for blaming the courtiers and not the king. That particular boat sailed at least two and a half years ago. The very Catholic Church - that one means given by God for the salvation of all men - is being swept away from within by her enemies. Every orthodox Catholic who is still standing at this point must stop trying to offset the blame and work to get at the very heart of the truth.

Given the similarities between the resignations, more accurately called abdications, of Fra' Matthew Festing and that of Pope Benedict XVI, that looks to be a good place to start looking.

Keep the Faith!

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch...


Torch of The Faith News on Wednesday 25 January 2017 - 22:31:02 | by admin

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Weighty Sagas in Malta

What with Francis' take-over of the Knights of Malta - falling somewhere between a slick Anschluss and an outright Blitzkrieg - and the ongoing saga of Scicluna and Grech, most eyes are understandably fixed on Malta at present.

We encourage readers to take some time to read and reflect on a few thoughtful articles which have been posted up on these themes, including: Fr. Hugh Somerville-Knapman's at Dominus mihi adjutor; Mark Lambert's at De Omnibus Dubitandum Est; and Ed Condon's at the Catholic Herald.

There is also a very revealing comment posted by the good Nicholas Bellord over at 1 Peter 5, which we feel bears quoting at some length. It will be remembered that Boeselager is the character who was ousted from the Knights of Malta for his unorthodox collusion with contraception distribution, whilst Festing is the orthodox leader who has, ahem, now ''resigned'' at the behest of Pope Francis. No pressure there then, eh...

Mr. Bellord's comment reads: ''In London we have the Catholic Hospital of St. John and St. Elizabeth founded in the 1850's and put under the protection of the Order of Malta by Cardinal Wiseman. Latterly it became clear that the hospital was not following the teaching of the Catholic Church on such matters as contraception, abortion and gender reassignment operations. I and a few others, none members of the Order, campaigned to put this right. We wrote to Boeselager then Grand Hospitaller of the Order. His response was to do nothing and wash his hands of the situation. Matthew Festing, on the other hand, was always extremely helpful but unfortunately we came up against one of the promoters of Pope Francis, namely Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, who did everything to undermine our position despite having had an independent report supporting our view commissioned at the instigation of the then Cardinal Ratzinger. One of the difficulties with the Order is that there is a split between those like Matthew Festing who regard the Order as a religious institution doing charitable work in the light of the teachings of the Church and others who would like to see it becoming a merely secular institution following the mores of the world at large. This is the essence of the Festing v Boeselager issue. The distribution of contraceptives was part of the issue with Boeselager and we now have Pope Francis taking his side. I have long suspected that Pope Francis had a somewhat lukewarm attitude to Humanae Vitae but this makes my suspicions much stronger.''

Interesting, isn't it, how Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor's name crops up here in this context?

Especially so, knowing that he was also publicly named as a member of the so-called St. Gallen ''mafia'' that worked to undermine Papa Ratzinger; and who was also involved in the scandalous ''reception'' - without any public repentance of his public political support for abortion, homosexuality or unjust war - of former Prime Minister Tony Blair into the Catholic Church?

Late Cancellation!
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Whilst it is essential to keep abreast of the various battles for the heart of the Church which are being played out in Malta, it is important not to lose sight of other related events happening closer, at least in geographical terms, to Pope Francis.

We learned today, from Gloria TV News, that the new Francis-picked leaders of the Pontifical Academy for Life are continuing their effacement of the last traces of Pope John Paul II from that academy's work.

This is in light of the fact that, as La nuova Bussola Quotidiana reports, a seminar to celebrate the 30th-anniversary of Donum Vitae has just been cancelled; even though the up-coming seminar was already organized in all of its details.

Donum Vitae was of course the CDF's 1987 ''Instruction on Respect for Human Life in its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation''.

This bombshell comes on the back of recent news stories relating that: the pro-abortion/mass-sterilization Culture of Death propagandist Paul Ehrlich has been invited with other radical anti-lifers to speak at an ''Extinction'' conference in the Vatican; Pope Francis was radically reorganizing the structure and staffing of the Pontifical Academy for Life through new regulations and the dismissal of all present members; that new members would no longer be required to sign the academy's vital pro-life declaration; that new members would from now on be appointed ''independently of religious orientation''; and that Francis was extending the academy's remit to include ''environmental'' issues...

Don't let us forget, either, that the Pontifical Academy for the Family had also done a massive doctrinal u-turn by issuing a graphically impure and morally confusing ''sex-education'' programme in time for Pope Francis' problematic World Youth Day '16 in Krakow.

Mysteries of Iniquity?
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It seems to us that Mr. Nicholas Bellord's prescient words on the Knights of Malta saga can be applied in a similar manner to the overall situation threatening to sunder the Church at this time.

Thus applied, we could then discern a split between, on the one hand, those who regard the Church as Christ's Mystical Body saving and sanctifying with Christ's authority and power; and on the other, those who would like to see it becoming merely a secular institution following the mores of the world at large.

Or even, becoming a vehicle which has global reach, infrastructure, personnel and plant to facilitate the implementation of a New World Order and its dehumanizing anti-life mores...

I was struck tonight that the approach taken by Pope Francis, and run with by the likes of the Stalinesque ''useful idiots'' Scicluna and Grech, presents us with a very particular form of antinomianism.

What we might call ''lawlessness'' in simple layman's terms...

For it is not hard to see that the various goings-on in Malta, and elsewhere, represent a rejection of Divine Law, Natural Law, Church Law, and now, in light of the developments over the invasion of the sovereignty of the Knights of Malta, even International Law.

If you know your European history, you will recognize the fact that the very notion of International Law grew out of the Church's development of Canon Law; which latter was itself formulated to uphold and make clear the requirements of Divine and Natural Law.

There is a certain irony in the fact that a traditional worry of Protestants was always the perceived threat of an unbridled papacy, which might try to meddle in affairs beyond its God-given boundaries. Now that there is a man, in the form of Francis, working to go beyond law in his dealings with Protestants - and even other religions, sovereign nations, agencies, married couples, and individuals of all types - we now see that perceived danger becoming concrete. And yet Protestant leaders and liberal ''Catholics'' are loving it! The followers of Francis' lawless approach to life, as with the followers of the new secularist order in general, adore their new-found freedoms, even as the foundation of true freedom is being cut from beneath their feet. They are like the kids following the Child-Catcher's lolly-pops into the cage in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!

This is just one of the reasons why it is so necessary to uphold the objective moral law. Freedom without truth, love and self-sacrifice is more accurately called licence. And as we often say here: once freedom is divorced from truth and self-sacrificial love, society can only ever collapse into tyranny.

It becomes clear that the Church is moving through another dramatic historical period marked by heresies in the realm of conscience, autonomy and sacramental theology. How these will be resolved remains to be seen; but they will be resolved in God's good time.

The era through which we are passing has hallmarks of a great apostasy. We may even wonder if it is the Great Apostasy prophesied in Sacred Scripture and Tradition. The abandonment of Divine Law, Natural Law, Canon Law, and now even International Law in the case of the Knights of Malta, does call to mind the prophecies of ''the man of lawlessness'' in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12.

Anyway, the Church herself teaches us to be awake for such happenings. Let us conclude with the sobering words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

CCC 675: ''Before Christ's Second Coming, the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the ''mystery of iniquity'' in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the Truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and His Messiah come in the flesh.''

Such warnings from the constant Magisterium of the Church sound an even deeper ring when one reflects that Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Francis' Secretary of State, has just attended the Soros-backed New World Order-building World Economic Forum in Davos to discuss the role which ''religions'' can play in the public arena...

Our Lady of Fatima - Wrap us all in your mantle and pray for us!

Traditional Novena in Preparation for the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary


Torch of The Faith News on Tuesday 24 January 2017 - 20:40:26 | by admin

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Today marks the start of the traditional Novena in preparation for the great Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. A version of the Candlemas Novena follows below:-

Day One
Bright Mirror of all virtues, holiest Mary, forty days had scarcely elapsed from thy delivery when thou, though the purest of all virgins, didst will, according to the Law, to be presented in the Temple to be purified: grant that we, like thee, may keep our hearts unstained by sin, that so we, too, may be made worthy to be presented to our God in the Temple of His Glory.

Day Two
Virgin most obedient, at thy presentation in the Temple thou didst will, like other women, to offer the wonted sacrifice: obtain for us that we, too, following thy example, may learn how to offer ourselves a living sacrifice to God, by practicing every virtue.

Day Three
Virgin most pure, in observing the precept of the Law, thou didst care little that men should account thee unclean: ask for us grace to keep our hearts forever pure, however blamable the world may think us.

Day Four
Virgin most holy, in offering thy divine Son to His eternal Father, thou didst gladden all the court of Heaven: present our poor hearts to God, that He, by His grace, may keep them ever free from mortal sin.

Day Five
Virgin most humble, in placing Jesus in holy old Simeon's arms, thou didst fill his soul with heavenly joy: give our hearts into God's holy keeping, that He may fill them with His Holy Spirit.

Day Six
Virgin most zealous, by redeeming* thy Son, Jesus, according to the Law, thou didst cooperate in the salvation of the world: ransom now our poor hearts from the slavery of sin, that so they may be ever pure before the face of God.

Day Seven
Virgin most meek, on hearing the prophecy of Simeon foretelling thy woes, thou didst promptly bow to the good pleasure of God: enable us also to bear all troubles with patience and resignation to His divine will.

Day Eight
Virgin most compassionate, when through thy divine Son thou didst fill the soul of Anna the prophetess with light, thou didst make her magnify the mercies of God by recognizing Jesus as the Redeemer of the world: enrich our souls with heavenly grace, that we may largely share the fruit of the divine Redemption.

Day Nine
Virgin most resigned, who didst feel thy soul transfixed with sorrow when in spirit thou didst foresee all the bitter passion of thy Son, and, knowing the grief of St. Joseph, thy spouse, for all thy sufferings, didst with holy words console him: pierce through and through our souls with true sorrow for our sins, that we may one day have the consolation to be made partakers of thy glory in Heaven.

After each individual day's unique prayer, then say the Hail Mary, followed by the Litany of Loreto, and afterward:

V. Simeon received an answer from the Holy Spirit.

R. That he should not see death until he had seen the Christ of the Lord.

Let us Pray

Almighty, everlasting God, we pray Thy majesty, that as Thine only begotten Son was presented in the Temple in the substance of our flesh, so Thou wouldst enable us to present ourselves before Thee with clean hearts. Amen.

* Footnote to Day Six: Of course, Our Lord Jesus Christ, as God Incarnate, did not need to be redeemed. However, He and Our Lady fulfilled all the precepts of the Law. This is the sense in which that day's prayer is to be understood.

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