G.K. Chesterton on the Superstition of Divorce and Re-''marriage''


Torch of The Faith News on Friday 21 October 2016 - 11:44:08 | by admin

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During the opening decades of the 20th-Century, the marriage laws of the State here in England came under increasing pressure from the secularizing zeitgeist.

G.K.Chesterton was one of those clear-sighted folks who recognized early on that, if the State were to cave to such pressure, this would lead to widespread wreckage for both the family and the wider society.

In 1920, a couple of years before he converted to the Catholic Faith, he penned a series of articles for the New Witness under the heading, ''The Superstition of Divorce''. There follows below an interesting section from one of these articles, wherein Chesterton resists the notion that sacramental marriage is a mere superstition, by logically turning the argument back on his opponents.

Before reading Chesterton's words, it is worth reflecting that, when he wrote them, the polemic was aimed at immoral anti-Christian secularists. Such is the tenor of our own times, that it could just as easily be applied today to Pope Francis, Cardinal Walter Kasper, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, Cardinal-elect Blase Cupich, the Bishops around Buenos Aires, Archbishop Javier Martinez; and all others who have either led or encouraged the disgraceful attack on Holy Matrimony during the last three years.

The Superstition of Divorce

While free love seems to me a heresy, divorce does really seem to me a superstition. It is not only more of a superstition than free love, but much more of a superstition than strict sacramental marriage; and this point can hardly be made too plain.

It is the partisans of divorce, not the defenders of marriage, who attach a stiff and senseless sanctity to a mere ceremony, apart from the meaning of the ceremony. It is our opponents, and not we, who hope to be saved by the letter of ritual, instead of the spirit of reality. It is they who hold, that vow or violation, loyalty or disloyalty, can all be disposed of by a mysterious and magic rite, performed first in a law court and then in a church or registry office. There is little difference between the two parts of the ritual; except that the law court is much more ritualistic.

But the plainest parallels will show anybody that all this is sheer barbarous credulity. It may or may not be superstition for a man to believe he must kiss the Bible to show he is telling the truth. It is certainly the most grovelling superstition to believe that, if he kisses the Bible, anything he says will come true. It would surely be the blackest and most benighted Bible-worship to suggest that the mere kiss on the mere book alters the moral quality of perjury.

Yet, this is precisely what is implied in saying that formal re-marriage alters the moral quality of conjugal infidelity.

Logical and Theological Consistency

Chesterton's argument here is consistent with the logical principle of non-contradiction. In any given case, we need to simply ask the objective question: is this person seeking ''re-marriage'' already validly married to someone else, or not? For one cannot already be married and not be married at the same time!

This has ever been the teaching and law of the Church from Our Lord Jesus Christ, through the Apostles, the Church Fathers, and on to our own times through all of the reigning Popes and those Bishops in communion with them.

As Pope Pius XII recalled, during an address to parish priests in Rome on 16th March, 1946: ''The matrimony between the baptized, validly contracted and consummated, cannot be dissolved by any power on earth, not even by the Supreme Church Authority.''

A Convert's Tale


Torch of The Faith News on Wednesday 19 October 2016 - 22:27:02 | by admin

It is four years today since my dear father passed through his final agony and went to God. The Traditional Latin Mass has been offered again today for the repose of his soul and we have visited his grave to pray for him and place fresh flowers there. What follows is an updated version of his life and conversion story.

Christi Simus Non Nostri

This Latin phrase, immortalized by the great St. Columban, was carefully copied by Dad into the front page of his Missal. In English, it can be translated as: ''We belong to Christ, not to ourselves.'' Looking back over Dad's life, one can discern something of the mysterious workings of grace, leading him home to the Catholic Church and to the Most Holy Trinity from the very beginning.

He was born in Litherland, a suburb of Liverpool, during the crucible of World War II, on the 15th June, 1943. A short time later, he was baptized as Gordon Kenneth Houghton, in the local St. Philip's Anglican church. From his earliest years, Dad would be known more familiarly to everyone as ''Ken''.
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Ken's childhood was not always the easiest, but he managed to get into the local grammar school and developed his interests in art and architecture. At the age of 16, he became a junior in the offices of the Norwest Holst construction company. In his late teens, Dad met his soul-mate Doreen at a local bus stop! When they got married a few years later, Dad was aged 22-years and Mum was just 19-years old. 
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They were married at St. Philip's church and spent a happy honeymoon on the Isle of Wight. Dad was a bit put out when Mum sent her parents a post-card with Wish You Were Here on the front!

Mum and Dad went on to set a good Christian example by being married together for 47 years. Dad was always keen to highlight the importance of Christian marriage by marking each wedding anniversary with celebration and thanksgiving to God. He bought Mum ruby-coloured Rosary beads for their 40th-Wedding Anniversary; and she bought him sapphire-coloured ones for their 45th! Mum had been baptized in the Catholic Church as a baby, and their marriage needed to be convalidated in the Catholic Church in the late-1980's; but we are getting ahead of ourselves.

Ken progressed through the ranks at Norwest Holst and, by his late-30's, had attained the position of Personnel Manager in the Bootle office. He had also managed to get a mortgage on a nice little new-build house and this became home for the family, which by now included us three children - Phil, Michelle and me.  
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As you can see, he was a snappy dresser! This was now the 1970's and Dad was, at this point, quite a party animal. He liked to sing, dance and partake of potent homebrew beer with his friends. He purchased a powerful Dynatron music system and our home frequently resonated with the sounds of Abba, The Beegees, Herp AlbertThe Carpenters and James Last.

Nevertheless, these also became years of intense religious searching. Having grown up in the midst of a respectable Anglicanism, Dad first went through a period of 'dropping out' of going to church at all. On Sundays, he would just sit out in the garden in the sunshine, wearing flared jeans and white pumps. I recall standing on the gate as an infant and laughing at my siblings going off to St. Philip's in their Sunday-best with Mum. I also remember poor Mum, remonstrating with him and saying: ''Look what a bad influence you are having on that boy!''

Don't worry, Ken soon came good!

Around this time, Dad went through a deep and mysterious conversion experience and basically fell in love with Our Lord Jesus Christ. The search was on...

When he returned to the Anglican parish, he was fired up and soon became disillusioned with what he termed ''nominal Anglicanism''. He met a young and dynamic vicar in a neighbouring parish. This man was encouraging personal conversion, charismatic renewal and the formation of lay-people to pray, evangelize and visit the sick. Dad began to study and pray the Sacred Scriptures, to visit the sick and to join the vicar in street evangelization campaigns with a loud-speaker and tracts. One time, they even had some raw eggs thrown at them for their efforts!

Around this time, Dad was awoken from his sleep by a male voice instructing him to get up and read Malachi 1-2:9. The voice continued until he got out of bed. It seemed crazy - and a little scary - when Dad told us all about it the next morning! 

If you have never read those verses from Sacred Scripture, they express God's indictment of unfaithfulness in the priesthood. How prescient they are for these times in the Catholic Church! Given where he was ''at'' in those years, Dad began to discern, around that time, whether he should offer himself to serve as an Anglican vicar and he deepened his prayer life accordingly. When he eventually attended an Anglican selection-conference, he was shocked to encounter many candidates who no longer saw conversion from sin to Jesus Christ as being as important as engaging in social action. Sounds familiar, hey? Perhaps it should come as no surprise that Dad was not accepted by the selection-panel for training...
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This is Dad and I at Christmas 1981. He never wore an Anglican clerical collar, but he ended up wearing this surgical collar instead! This was because a fork-lift truck knocked a warehouse door on top of him, whilst he was cycling past with my brother one evening. To make matters worse, the driver ran out on top of the collapsed door to see if my brother was alright. Our poor Phil had to tell the driver that he was fine, but that Dad was all the while getting crushed beneath the massive door! Dad would suffer neck and spinal pain for the rest of his life.

One of my own earliest religious memories dates to those years. It is one of Dad telling me that Jesus wants to have a deep friendship with each one of us; we need never think of Our Lord as only being a distant figure in Heaven, but as also being always close to us. Friendship with Christ would become a hallmark of his own life and, in his latter years, Dad often loved to play Charlie Landsborough's Forever Friend on his CD-player. 
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Faith in Christ and family life were by now foundational aspects of Dad's life. In the early 1980's these helped him through some painful bereavements of close relatives. When his brother Ron died in the most tragic of circumstances in 1983, followed by his Mum from natural causes a couple of months later, local Christian friends stepped in and provided strong spiritual and practical support to our family.

As the decade unfolded, Dad's search for the full truth grew deeper and more intense. This sincere search took him - and all of us! - through several Anglican parishes, a Baptist community, and eventually to a free-church group. We even had family friends who were friends of Ian Paisley!

Dad's neck injury and spinal pain caused him to be away from work for many months. This led to him being made redundant from the company after a couple of decades of service. With a young family to provide for, he was naturally distressed. Remarkably, however, the pay-out the company gave him helped him to clear his mortgage and eventually to get another one on a bigger house. After a difficult period of about a year signing on the dole, Dad found new employment working as a secretary for the Liverpool office of the National Federation for Building Trade Employers (NFBTE). He went on to work there for around 10 years.

Throughout this time, Christian hospitality was a hallmark of Mum and Dad's marriage. The wild parties of earlier times had matured into meals and supper evenings with fellow Christian friends and the wider family. During their lifetimes, Dad was a strong support for his mum, sister and his great-aunt Annie who, with her chaise lounge, hat-pins and high-tea, seemed to us to be the last of the great Edwardian ladies! Dad also enjoyed gardening, book collecting and studying wildlife.

In 1983, my brother passed his driving test and our family bought our first car. It was a bright red Austin Maestro and we shared holidays at favourite locations, such as Llandudno in North Wales, Settle in Yorkshire and Keswick in the Lake District. 
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This picture was taken by my big brother, Phil, at the summit of Skiddaw near Keswick. Remarkably, the nearby Protestant Keswick Convention was to become a most unlikely setting for a totally unexpected ''Road-to-Damascus'' experience for Dad.

As I described recently, we spent a period of time attending a virulently anti-Catholic ''free-church'' in this period. We had certainly imbibed their fundamentalist reading of the Bible. The pastor there even belonged to that strain which held the Pope as the Antichrist and Rome as the Whore of Babylon! In those years, Dad was always on the look-out for polemical texts with which to try and convert Catholics to Evangelical Protestantism. He thought that he had found one in the book store of the Keswick Convention, when he gleefully brought out a paperback book entitled The Facts About the Catholic Church.
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In reality, though, it was Dad who was about to be knocked from his theological horse. This was because the said book was actually not anti-Catholic rhetoric at all, but rather an articulate and balanced work of Catholic apologetics aimed at sincere Protestants and written in 1956 by a Redemptorist priest called Fr. J. Cummings CSSR.

Some years later, Dad wrote inside the front cover of his copy that he believed that God had led him to find it; and had opened his heart to learn from it that the Catholic Church is the True Church, founded by Jesus Christ, and wherein Dad had ultimately found the fullness of Truth and joy in His Name.

Sometime later, Dad attended an ''ecumenical'' Stations of the Cross at the local Roman Catholic parish of English Martyrs in Litherland. This was a time that ''ecumenism'' worked, because the good priests who had invited local Protestants to join the Stations of the Cross, during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, never tried to water-down the Cathoic Faith. Quite the opposite in fact!

After this, Dad began to frequently attend Holy Mass, Traditional Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and the Stations of the Cross devotion in the parish. Dad was awestruck by the beauty and reverence of the Catholic liturgies and devotions that he experienced there. He had discovered the One True Church, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.

He next began to go along one evening each week, after work in the city, to help St. Mother Teresa's Missionary Sisters of Charity with their soup kitchen for the homeless in Seel Street, in Liverpool. One day, Dad shared his joy that these nuns were not just speaking about religion, but living it. I was amazed at the changes in Dad, when he explained that the homeless men could sometimes be very aggressive and rude when he was serving them their food. He said that he was accepting this, because of his desire to serve Jesus. I must admit that I was thunderstruck at the time. He also began attending the Blessed Sacrament Shrine in Liverpool during his lunch hour. Dad found the Holy Mass and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament there to be an oasis of peace in the heart of the busy city.  
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A couple of very orthodox old priests helped Dad at this time to see, as Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman said, that to be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant. After months of prayer, studying the Creed and learning about Church history, Dad was received into the Catholic Church, by Canon Michael Culhane, on 22nd December, 1989.

That night in the Catholic parish, I looked at the Tabernacle and said: ''Lord, all my life I have been taught that You are not there. If You are there, though, please help me to accept it.'' As the years unfolded, I very gradually received a deep love for the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
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This picture was taken of Mum and Dad on their 25th-Wedding Anniversary, which occurred around that time. When their marriage was convalidated in the Catholic Church, we had another nice little celebration here at home.

Mum and I noticed a real transformation in Dad in these months. In contrast to earlier years of volatility, he was now a man marked by deep and prolonged peace. With a bit of a giggle, we acknowledged to each other that the Catholic Church must indeed be true to bring such a remarkable change in him.

Dad next joined the parish S.V.P. to help the disadvantaged and went to a weekly novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help. During that year, we all laughed with Dad to discover that he had actually worn holes in the knees of his trousers through all the praying he did in church! Although I laughed, I also reflected on the depth of Christian witness which this gave to me as a young lad.  
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Almost one year to the day after Dad's conversion, Mum was also received into full Communion in the Catholic Church at English Martyrs. This was a great consolation to Dad. It also became a special testimony to the spiritual union of validly married couples, who can worthily receive together the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Holy Communion.

As I reached adulthood in the following years, my own relationship with Dad was deepening and maturing. We became close friends and I often used to go for long drives with him, in my little red Austin Mini Mayfair, to talk about what was going on in my life and to listen to music on the radio with him. I hope to be eternally grateful to Dad for the time he spoke to me about John 6:53-58.  
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Dad told me that he was worried about my immortal soul, because I was not receiving the Body and Blood of Christ and - by Jesus' own teaching in that text - I could not have divine life in me.

To be honest, I was angry with Dad for suggesting such a thing at the time. 

However, I had loved Jesus since I had given my heart to Him as a boy of 7-years of age. I could not get away from the fact that Our Lord, Truth Himself, had taught this about the Holy Eucharist. Indeed, He had even said that many would leave Him on account of this teaching. As I was getting pulled deeper into sin and worldliness at this time, it took several more years for this truth to really get through to my stubborn heart and, finally, to my will. Nevertheless, by God's grace, I was also converted and received into the Catholic Church at English Martyrs just before Easter 1993. It was one week before my 21st birthday. 
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Finally, Mum, Dad and I could all receive Holy Communion together. In those days, I still remember the local Catholic churches as being places of reverent silence before and after Mass. It was one of the striking differences between Catholic churches and Protestant buildings.
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In 1999, Mum, Dad and I went on pilgrimage to Lourdes. This was the only time in his entire life that Dad left the British Isles. Having discovered Catholic Truth, he dearly loved Our Lady and regularly prayed the Rosary until the end of his life. As some of these images show, he often wore his Rosary beads, a Benedictine Crucifix or a large Miraculous Medal around his neck, to give public witness to the Faith. 

That Lourdes pilgrimage took place as I was beginning to crash and burn from my two years in the Modernistic Ushaw Seminary; an experience which I partially described here in my recent article, Satan's War on the Mass. The hat's shadow hides the teary eyes!

When I eventually left the seminary, Mum and Dad were the number one support to me through a very dark and lonely time. In all truth, had Dad not walked me through that period, I do not think that I would have made it through. He often listened to me, gave advice, stayed with me, held me upright and put Holy Water on my head and about my room at night.  
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It was very hard for Mum and Dad to hear of the dreadful Modernism at Ushaw and to have to witness its impact on my life. For some years, it caused Dad to struggle to come to terms with it all. What got him and I through was our love for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the union with Christ which this central mystery provides.   
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On the Rock of Peter, and in the harmony of Sacred Scripture, Tradition and Magisterium, Dad had found what he had always been looking for.

Better than me, Dad could nevertheless see beyond the battle lines of the present Culture War, in order to love the souls of the Church's enemies. Sometimes we would argue vigorously about our different approaches - what Mum would call clashing of antlers! - but I know deep down that Dad was right that the Church's enemies really need our prayers rather than mere angry condemnation.

When Dad reached his early 50's, his career at the NFBTE came to an unexpected and disheartening end, due largely to cost-saving cutbacks. This was a hard period when Dad wrote off for over 200 jobs and received very few replies due to his age. Even those replies he did receive were negative. He generously offered his services to the Archdiocese, but received a polite rebuff telling him to watch the ''jobs column'' in the Catholic papers.

Although he found it hard to adjust to being stuck in the house all day, Dad was able to become a daily Mass-goer. He loved the gift of the Real Presence and desired for all of his family, friends, neighbours and Protestant former-confreres to enter into this peace.

To bear witness to the Catholic Faith, he cultivated a number of other ways, beyond just wearing his Benedictine Crucifix/Rosary. In addition to carrying his Missal through the streets to Mass, Dad wrote evangelistic letters to family, friends and neighbours about the Faith. In a throwback to his Protestant days, he made little tracts about the Catholic Faith to hand out to people that he met and got talking to along the road. Towards the end of his life, he even appended his phone number to these with an offer of help to potential converts. When he was eventually forced to resort to the use of an electric wheelchair to get about, Dad decorated it with key texts from Sacred Scripture. Each Christmas, he placed an illuminated crib-scene in the front window at home; whilst at Easter, and other times through the year, he made evangelistic posters to put up there instead. He also posted the times of Confessions and Masses in with his Christmas and Easter cards to local friends and neighbours.

I distinctly remember Dad trying to convert his Jewish doctor a couple of times and also writing a letter about the Faith to his local chemist. Denunciations of ''proselytism'' would have seemed most strange to Dad!

At the end of his funeral, as flowers were laid before Our Lady's altar, Dad's eulogy was read out. Dad had written this himself just a few weeks earlier, in order to counteract the culture of ''celebrity-funerals''. Instead of the usual litany of how ''great'' the deceased was, Dad had penned a request for prayers for his soul and an urgent and Christocentric call to all present to seek Jesus Christ in the Catholic Church. It was touching to think that so many Protestant former-friends, among them some strong anti-Catholics, had come to the funeral and would hear this heartfelt call of Dad's.

Here are Mum and Dad near the Tabernacle after my marriage to Angeline in 2002.  
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For years, Mum and Dad hosted a weekly prayer group at home. This included the Rosary, Divine Mercy chaplet, intercessory prayers, traditional Catholic hymns, praise and worship songs, and a period of study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Dad kept a book of newspaper cuttings of local tragedies and crimes, in order to assist the group in praying for those who suffer and who need conversion.
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When Mum retired, they went to daily Mass together and, for years, prayed parts of the daily Divine Office together too. Every day, they also prayed for the safety, conversion and success of all of their children and grandchildren. 
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Dad designed a wall image with little cross symbols and a picture of some small children gathered around Jesus. He added the names of all Mum and Dad's six grandchildren between the words, ''Lord Jesus, protect our grandchildren from the works of the Devil. Amen.'' Mum and Dad also prayed every day that all of their grandchildren would receive the grace of Baptism.

Other wall images he made included Sacred Scripture texts for difficult times, a challenging daily examination of conscience regarding the choice between the Kingdom of God and that of Satan, and a framed catechesis on the ''obligation and joy of Holy Mass''. These all still adorn the home today.

Before she suffered a stroke in 2014, both Mum and Dad were a strong support to this Torch of The Faith apostolate. In fact, they were our strongest support to date. Just prior to his diagnosis with cancer of the stomach in 2012, Dad had come over to our apartment in Crosby to sign the on-line petition to the British Government to stand against so-called ''gay-marriage''.
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Soon after that, Dad received a deep sense that he was being called to suffer, but that Christ would sustain him in his sufferings. He gathered us around him and said that God was closer to him now than was his own shadow.

Poor lad, he tried his very best to carry the heavy Cross of cancer after his shock diagnosis. He even used the opportunity to try and evangelize the nurses and his fellow patients.

A few days before he died, just 5 months after being diagnosed with cancer, Dad made his last Confession. Then, when Fr. Barry McAllister held up the Sacred Host to give Dad his last Holy Communion, he looked up and said: ''I know I am dying, Lord. I accept it. Please forgive me for all the sins of my life.''

He was unconscious for the last couple of days, but we remained near him to hold him, chat to him, and to pray the Rosary, Divine Mercy chaplet, and the Prayer to St. Joseph for a Holy Death. There was also a blessed beeswax candle burning in the room and Dad was wearing his Benedictine Crucifix and Brown Scapular. During his last day, he received the Last Rites and the Apostolic Pardon from two priests. As he peacefully left this life, with a single tear running down the left side of his cheek, I gently sang the In Paradisium over him. It was four years ago, today.

A few days later, as he was laid out in his best suit, Brown Scapular, and wearing the Jesus Lives badge that he had worn on his lapel so often in life, I had a really peaceful sense of the Resurrection. Since then, the Traditional Latin Mass was offered on his first two anniversaries on our home altar here, a Gregorian of 30 Traditional Latin Masses was offered in 2015 by the ICKSP, and the Traditional Latin Mass has been offered again today by the FSSP. We miss Dad so much that we pray the ''Eternal Rest'' for him every time we say the grace before meals each day.

In the final sad days leading up to Dad's final suffering, I used to watch and listen to the large flocks of geese flying off to other climes for the winter months. I remember thinking that, by the time they returned in the following spring of 2013, that Dad would have long gone from this world. It was a heart-rending thought. Whenever, I have seen or heard the geese, in each of the Octobers that have passed since then, it has filled me with grief and melancholy. That is, until tonight. As this was a long article, I popped out into the garden for a breather before the dusk fell and observed an enormous flock of geese flying high in the distance. Almost instantly, this flock changed direction and came low over our home here, with the setting sun illuminating their wings and bodies. I have never seen a flock of geese fly directly over here or so low in the sky above our home. For the first time since 2012, the sight and sound of the migrating geese gave me a sense of deep peace.

Perhaps the best way to conclude this tribute to my dear old ''pop'' is to let his own final diary entry speak. It witnesses so eloquently to the priority of grace working throughout Dad's life and to his loving response to these movements of grace. Sometimes, I am in awe of the graces we have received.
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''This evening was bad again, with much pain. Sometimes it is so bad that it brings tears to my eyes. But I do offer it up for all those we are praying for. Lord Jesus, continue to give me the strength through your grace to cope with all this suffering. I was suddenly drained of all energy... it is as though you are dying - everything seems to drain away. It is at these times I realize I can trust in You Lord Jesus, for I can only rest in Your Love.''

At the conclusion of this day, I simply say: ''God bless Dad. May you rest now in Christ's truth and peace. Truly, Christi Simus Non Nostri - We Belong to Christ, Not to Ourselves.''

May we all learn this lesson.

If you've read this far, may God bless you: please pray an ''Eternal Rest'' for my old Dad before you go! 

Raymond de Souza Amply Refutes Martin Luther (With Help from an Unlikely King of England!)


Torch of The Faith News on Wednesday 19 October 2016 - 17:08:59 | by admin

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The Catholic activist, apologist, author and broadcaster Raymond de Souza is one of the most encouraging lights of orthodoxy shining in the Church these days.

Brazilian by birth, Catholic by grace and an American citizen, Mr. de Souza is also the President of the Sacred Heart Institute of the United States, a Knight of Magistral Grace of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Co-ordinator of the Knights of the Sacred Heart Legion. He will be known to many readers through his splendid apologetics programmes which have been aired throughout the world on EWTN.

About six years ago, Providence led to Angeline being asked to ferry Raymond de Souza in our car between the Birmingham Oratory and the Maryvale Institute during one of his speaking tours in England. In the evening of that day, we were both blessed to attend a meal at which Raymond de Souza was also present. It was clear from his conversation and conduct that he was both a gentleman and a faithful son of Holy Church.

About a week prior to this, Angeline and I had been driving through the British Midlands when we came across a massive roadside billboard advertising the horror movie Drag Me to Hell. This is a film which depicts evil and contains both strong horror and strong violence. When I saw that poster and the associated image dominating a busy stretch of road I was angry; and I actually wept.

There were a few reasons for this: the public insult being given to God; the sign that this gave of a disturbing social acceptance of evil; the souls that may become endangered by it; the bad example and temptation being put in the path of so many young people who passed that way; the spiritual and psychological harm which may be caused to the many infants who passed that way with their families.

During Angeline's subsequent journey with Raymond de Souza along that road about a week later, he expressed his own concern and righteous indignation that such a sign had been permitted to advertise such a strong horror film in such a place.

A few days later, a priest with a high rank and title that we know also encountered the foul advert. Angie and I were both shocked when he responded by chuckling about it merrily.

A few weeks later, another priest who we know - a man renowned by many for his orthodoxy and for regularly offering the Traditional Latin Mass - actually went to the cinema to see the film and laughed about it later in our presence. The same priest also thought it fun to frequently watch Desperate Housewives.

Whilst we do know many good and faithful priests, one cannot help but thinking that these four responses present us with something of a microcosm of the wider crisis in the Church: Two laymen publicly displaying reactions of spiritual disgust for the acceptance of evil; a high-ranking priest thinking the thing not evil but somehow funny; and another priest actually engaging with the evil as entertainment and thinking it funnier still.

Needless to say, Raymond de Souza's reaction to this advertisement was both an encouragement to us and a testament to the authenticity of his various Catholic apostolates.
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2009: Raymond de Souza is given a tour of the library at Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman's Birmingham Oratory. Angie's claim to fame: If you look closely, Angeline is at the rear of the photo by the books (wearing a lilac blouse, brown jacket and black skirt). I saved this image from the internet some year's ago and am therefore not certain whose it was originally. It may be from Jackie Parkes' blog. If it is, thank you Jackie!

If, like us, you are deeply disturbed by the overt displays of affection being given by Pope Francis and his entourage for the excommunicated heretic Martin Luther, then you will likely enjoy a bit of an uplift by watching a splendid on-line video, featuring Raymond de Souza, about the truth of the 500th Anniversary of Martin Luther's ''Deformation''.

A series of these videos is being put on-line by The Wanderer. We especially recommend a video entitled Shield of Faith, Episode 2, Luther: 500 Years of Heresy and Doctrinal Confusion.

Here are a couple of marvellous quotes from the film to whet your appetite!

''500 years of the Lutheran Revolution... When that nervous, rebellious, German monk revolted against the Catholic Church and made his own religion based upon his own individual interpretations of the Bible, to satisfy his pride and his lust.''

Elsewhere in the video-presentation, Raymond de Souza courageously describes Martin Luther as a, ''foul-mouthed, blasphemous, proud and lustful man, who abandoned his vows to God and lived with a runaway nun in a convent, who drank beer to his heart's content from his own provided cellar... A proud man who thought of himself as a big deal, an infallible prophet; even demanding the murder of thousands of people who disagreed with him.''

The video is about 25-mins and is well worth your time to view. If you do watch it, you will see what I mean about the help from an unlikely king of England! May God continue to bless Raymond de Souza and his various orthodox apostolates!   

Convergence Rather Than Conversion?


Torch of The Faith News on Tuesday 18 October 2016 - 12:48:31 | by admin

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Hitler's Enemy Number One: The Catholic Theologian and Philosopher, Dietrich Von Hildebrand, who fearlessly struck at the spiritual and intellectual roots of both National Socialism and the Modernist crisis in the Catholic Church.

All this talk of not ''proselytizing'' anyone has put us in mind of a story told by Alice von Hildebrand, about her remarkable husband Dietrich, in the summer 2001 edition of the American Latin Mass Society magazine.

During an interview for the magazine, Alice von Hildebrand was asked the following question: ''I take it by your remarks about ecumenism that you do not agree with the current policy of ''convergence'' rather than ''conversion''?

Alice von Hildebrand provided a very heartening answer to this question.

She replied: ''Let me relate an incident that caused my husband grief. It was 1946, just after the war. My husband was teaching at Fordham, and there appeared in one of his classes a Jewish student who had been a naval officer during the war. He would eventually tell my husband about a particularly stunning sunset in the Pacific and how it had led him to the quest for the truth about God.

He first went to Columbia to study philosophy, and he knew that this was not what he was looking for. A friend suggested he try philosophy at Fordham and mentioned the name Dietrich Von Hildebrand.

After just one class, my husband and this student went for a walk. He told my husband during this time that he was surprised at the fact that several professors, after discovering he was Jewish, assured him that they would not try to convert him to Catholicism.

My husband, stunned, stopped, turned to him and said, ''They said what!''

He repeated the story and my husband told him, ''I would walk to the ends of the earth to make you a Catholic.''

To make a long story short, the young man became a Catholic, was ordained a Carthusian priest, and went on to enter the only Charterhouse in the United States (in Vermont).''

Torch of The Faith reflects: If we truly love those who are different from us, then we should desire and do all that is possible to help them find the full truth about Our Lord Jesus Christ and the salvation which He alone can offer through His Holy Catholic Church. In light of the truth of extra Ecclesiam nulla salus, this is the very essence of any charity and mercy worthy of the name.

For, as Dietrich Von Hildebrand once reflected: ''The great mystery of our metaphysical situation is that we cannot even be wholly ourselves until we are reborn in Christ.''

To which, we can only add for any potential converts out there: Try it and see!

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque


Torch of The Faith News on Monday 17 October 2016 - 13:54:40 | by admin

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Early Life

The Traditional Calendar today celebrates St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. From her childhood, St. Margaret Mary had intense love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Having made her Holy Communion at the age of nine years, she began to practice severe mortifications in secret.

She then suffered an illness which left her bed-ridden for a period of four years. St. Margaret Mary was restored to health after making a vow to Our Blessed Lady to enter the religious life.

When St. Margaret's father died, the family were thrown into poverty by the unjust treatment of one of their relatives. Our Blessed Lord in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar was her consolation and strength. In fact, He even appeared to her a number of times. In her innocence, St. Margaret thought that everyone could see Him in this way.

This has been the experience of other mystics in the Church who, having been blessed with extraordinary graces from their earliest years, believed that all people could see the supernatural realities that they could. It could sometimes come as a great shock and source of confusion for them to realize, as they were growing up, that others did not have access to the same levels of reality and being that they did! We see this, for example, in the life and times of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich. 

One night, St. Margaret went to a ball in fancy clothes and a mask to please members of her family. When she returned home, she received a vision of Our Lord with the wounds of the scourging. He reproached her for this unfaithfulness to Him. St. Margaret was full of remorse for this fault for the rest of her life. It is quite a lesson for these times, which are so dominated by vanity, worldliness and sin.

Entry into Religious Life

In 1671, St. Margaret Mary entered the Visitation Convent at Paray-le-Monial. It was in the chapel there that Our Blessed Lord would subsequently appear to her and ask her to help Him to establish the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
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We were blessed to make a pilgrimage to the Chapel of Apparitions in Paray-le-Monial just before Christmas in 2011. The construction of the nun's enclosure keeps the chapel's interior draped in a tranquil, candelit dusk; it is one of those places where the very atmosphere seems tangibly ''soaked'' in the grace and love of Christ.

The Coldness of the Hearts of Men

One of the most moving aspects of Our Lord's visitations to St. Margaret Mary at Paray-le-Monial must be His lament about the coldness of the hearts of men. Showing His Sacred Heart, aflame and wounded for love of His creatures, Our Lord confided to St. Margaret: ''Behold the Heart that has so loved men, to the point of consuming and exhausting itself to witness to its love, and in return I receive ingratitude from most.''
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We have a copy of this particular image in our living room at home. I sometimes remark to Angie, that when you look at Our Lord and think of all that He has done for us, you cannot understand why more people do not love Him.

It is indeed a mystery.

Let us endeavour to love Him more.

A Very Important Devotion

St. Margaret suffered much when her community were unsure of the authenticity of her apparitions. The Sacred Heart of Jesus consoled her and promised to send along His own ''faithful servant and perfect friend'' to assist her.  A short time later, St. Claude le Colombiere arrived to become her spiritual director. He was a humble priest with great trust in the Merciful Love of God. Even before meeting St. Margaret Mary, he had devoted himself to the Heart of Christ. Whilst directing St. Margaret, St. Claude became convinced that God wanted the devotion to the Sacred Heart to be made known to the whole world.

St. Margaret Mary herself made known the importance of Our Lord's message: ''This devotion was the last effort of His love that He would grant to men in these latter ages, in order to withdraw them from the empire of Satan which He desired to destroy, and thus to introduce them into the sweet liberty of the rule of His love, which He wished to restore in the hearts of all those who should embrace this devotion.''

Some Other Key Quotes

Here are a couple of other quotes from St. Margaret Mary:-

This Divine Heart is an abyss filled with all blessings, and into which the poor should submerge all their needs. It is an abyss of joy in which all of us can immerse our sorrows. It is an abyss of lowliness to counteract our foolishness, it is an abyss of mercy for the wretched, an abyss of love to meet our every need.

We can tell Him all the secrets of our heart, disclosing our want and misery to Him Who alone can remedy them, and saying: O Friend of my heart, she whom Thou lovest is sick. Visit and heal me, for I well know that Thou canst not love me and yet leave me alone in my distress.

Prayer Intentions
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St. Margaret Mary is buried beneath the side altar in the Chapel of Apparitions in the Visitation Convent. The figure is actually a wax effigy, as the great saint is buried beneath the stone.

During our visit in 2011, we prayed before St. Margaret Mary's shrine for the peace of the world in these troubled times; and for a restoration of authentic catechesis, according to the true mind and heart of the Church, in order to help overcome the vast religious ignorance which has hindered the spread of the True Faith for several decades.

We renew those prayers today with a sense of great urgency!

Sacred Heart of Jesus - Have mercy on us!

St. Margaret Mary - Pray for us!

Jesus, Whose Light Pierces the Black Clouds Over Our Stormy Sea


Torch of The Faith News on Sunday 16 October 2016 - 15:11:26 | by admin

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St. Raphael Kalinowski bearing the Light of Christ to the World.

We were praying the Rosary last night with a lit candle before our image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. At the end of the Rosary prayers, we prayed heartfelt words of our own, to ask for the light of Christ to shine into the present darkness.

As we retired for the evening a little later, I quite unexpectedly came across a prayer of St. Raphael Kalinowski. He was a Polish Carmelite priest who lived between 1835 and 1907. St. Raphael was an outstanding confessor and spiritual director, saying that ''when he was receiving penitents, he felt himself to be a treasury of Divine Mercy.''

One of his key expressions was ''Mary always and in everything.'' St. Raphael died on November 15th, 1907, the feast for all Carmelite souls who are deceased.

Coming across his life story and prayer after praying that Rosary last night seemed like a real answer to prayer to us. St. Raphael's own prayer therefore follows for your edification on this Holy XXII Sunday after Pentecost in the Traditional Calendar.

Jesus, hope of suffering humanity, our refuge and our strength, whose light pierces the black clouds that hang over our stormy sea, enlighten our eyes so that we can direct ourselves toward You Who are our harbour. Guide our barque with the rudder of the nails of Your cross, lest we drown in the storm. With the arms of this cross rescue us from the turbulent waters and draw us to Yourself, our only repose, Morning Star, Sun of Justice, for with our eyes obscured by tears, we can catch a glimpse of You there, on the shores of our heavenly homeland. Redeemed by You, we pray: Salvos nos fac propter nomen tuum - ''Save us for the sake of Your Holy Name.'' And all this through Mary.

For further encouraging examples of lives and mystical prayers of this nature, we highly recommend the book, Drink of the Stream - Prayers of Carmelites, compiled by Penny Hickey O.C.D.S, and published by Ignatius Press.

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel - Pray for us!

St. Raphael Kalinowski - Pray for us!  

Bursting the Bergoglian Balloon!


Torch of The Faith News on Saturday 15 October 2016 - 13:44:00 | by admin

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Solemn Nonsense?

Various sites have reported on an answer that Pope Francis gave during his Q&A sessions with the Lutherans in Rome on October 13th. Here is a translation from Ansa.it,

''The last thing you must do is 'to say, to convince'. It's not right to convince someone of your faith,'' he said. ''Proselytism is the strongest venom against the path of ecumenism.''

Although similar to other statements that he has made against ''proselytism'' in various other settings, this is perhaps the strongest public claim that Francis has yet made in this particular direction.

I mean, sharing the Faith is Venom now?!!!

It is certainly intriguing that there is no official transcript of the much-discussed Q&A session forthcoming from the Vatican.

Pin Meets Balloon

As we have done once before regarding Francis' proselytism line, we will now burst this particular bubble, by demonstrating that Francis has uttered a philosophical impossibility.

Or what we might easier term a self-defeating argument.

Francis suggests that ''it is not right'' to convince someone of your faith.

However, in saying that, he attempts to convince others of his own belief - we might almost say his own faith - that it is somehow ''not right'' to try and convince others of one's own faith.

In other words he contradicts himself.

For, if he really believed that it was wrong to convince others of what one believes, then why is he trying to convince others of his personal belief that it is ''not right'' to convince others?!!

I say ''personal belief'' because, whatever else his answer might have been, it was certainly not an expression of Catholic Truth.

What it boiled down to was Francis proselytizing a message not to proselytize!

The ''H'' Word That None Dare Utter...

In fact it also boiled down to a heretical statement.

This is so, because Our Lord Jesus Christ gave the Great Commission for the Apostles to go out into the whole world, teaching and baptizing all nations in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to obey everything He had commanded (Matthew 28:16-20).

This has ever been the faith of the Catholic Church.

If St. Paul had taken the Bergoglian line, there would not have been much of a Catholic Church to speak of today!

POP!

This particular Bergoglian Balloon has just been burst.

In truth, it was really deflating from the outset.

We started this web-site in 2008 in order to joyfully spread the Catholic Faith for the salvation and sanctification of souls.

Honestly, these days I feel more like the kid trying to warn everyone that the Emperor has no clothes...

Keep the (True) Faith!

October 13th - A Significant Date in Salvation History - Part 2


Torch of The Faith News on Friday 14 October 2016 - 22:04:57 | by admin

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The Demise of Irony: Pope Francis with an idol of the iconoclast Martin Luther...

Since writing the earlier article on the importance of October 13th in salvation history, we have come across two other related pieces of information.

Rome - 2016

The first is the fact that Pope Francis met yesterday, during the 13th October, in an ecumenical meeting with a large group of German Lutherans in the Pope Paul VI Hall in the Vatican. The above picture reveals the singular fact that a statue of Martin Luther was actually given prominence during the event. This is not only remarkable as the first time in history that a Catholic Pope would appear alongside such a thing, but also because a hallmark of Protestantism has long been the rejection of images and statues of Catholic saints, never mind Protestant leaders!

Perhaps more disturbing, is the content of some of the questions and answers during the session. To give a flavour, Pope Francis was asked what he likes and dislikes about the Lutheran 'church'. He responded: ''I really like the good Lutherans, the Lutherans who follow the true faith of Jesus Christ... However, I do not like lukewarm Catholics and I do not like lukewarm Lutherans.''

Whilst it perhaps makes a positive change to hear Francis alluding to the fact that he must therefore ''like'' commited Catholics - as opposed to his more typical accusations against ''fundamentalism'' - his answer appears heretical.

Why?

Because, the true faith of Jesus Christ is the Catholic Faith, founded by Christ on the Apostles and handed down to us through their successors.

To put this simply: Any Lutherans who were following the true faith of Jesus Christ would have ceased to be Lutherans and become Catholics.

As Blessed Cardinal J.H. Newman remarked with some perspicacity: ''To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant.''

To have a reigning Pontiff giving answers like this to a large group of Lutherans in the presence of a statue of Martin Luther, instead of teaching them the True Faith in charity, is nothing short of apocalyptic.

Especially given that this unprecedented event took place on October 13th...

It calls to our minds the prophecy of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich from the 1st June 1821: ''Then I saw that everything pertaining to Protestantism was gaining the upper hand, and the Catholic religion fell into complete decadence... In those days, faith will fall very low, and it will be preserved in some places only, in a few cottages and in a few families that God has protected from disasters and wars.''

Of course, Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich's visions point to a final restoration of the One True Faith after a period of unprecedented trial for the Church.

This all reminds me once again of the traditionalist magazine that I read some time in the late 1990's. This suggested that, when Martin Luther was being hailed as some kind of saint figure in the Catholic Church, then this would be evidence that the Marxist infiltration would be almost complete. At that time, this claim seemed so outlandishly far-out as to be impossible. And yet, here we are seeing pictures like that above in October 2016.

And the hierarchy don't even seem to have blinked!

If that doesn't look like the Great Apostasy warned about in Sacred Scripture and Tradition, then I don't know what does.

To sum this part up: Pope Francis will be remembered as the Pope who publicly honoured the excommunicated heretic and forerunner of Antichrist, Martin Luther, instead of Our Lady of Fatima, on October 13th, 2016.

Prepare your souls through a good Confession, because I daresn't think what comes next.  

Rome - The Early Church
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I am afraid we still can't get links to work within this news/blog page. It is most frustrating! However, I strongly commend you to look up the Keeping it Catholic blog of Marianna Bartold.

I came across a splendid article there today regarding the importance of October 13th in Church history.

It seems that, according to research by the respected epigraphologist and archeologist Margherita Guarducci, St. Peter was crucified in Rome on 13th October, 64 A.D.

There's that date again.

Not only that, but the Emperor Nero ascended the Imperial throne ten years earlier on 13th October, 54 A.D.

It is traditionally held that Nero, this early precursor of Antichrist, began to suffer the calamaties which would end his reign on the date of St. Peter's martyrdom.

And so we have this incredible juxtaposition between the first clear precursor of Antichrist and the first Pope in Rome. The revelation of the spiritual battle between Christ and Antichrist, Church and anti-church, could not be more clear. As with the Crucifixion of Christ, the suffering and martyrdom of the First Pope and of the True Church seemed to be the end. The enemies of the Church must have thought it was. Perhaps, like the Apostles on Good Friday, some of the Catholics did too. However, such darkness merely precedes the glories of the Resurrection and the undoing of Satan's plans. This is because, being only a creature, he cannot ever outwit God. We need to remember that in these times. 

And all of this has been connected to October 13th throughout Church history...

I urge you to read Marianna Bartold's article because there is so much more depth than I can do justice to in the time available tonight. Her thorough research and conclusions will likely give folks, who take the time to read it, some renewed hope in the face of the present spiritual onslaught.

Keep the Faith friends!

Our Lady of Fatima - Pray for us!

LMS/ICKSP Pilgrimage to Wrexham in Honour of St. Richard Gwyn


Torch of The Faith News on Friday 14 October 2016 - 22:04:41 | by admin

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Readers in this region are reminded that the LMS/ICKSP Pilgrimage in honour of St. Richard Gwyn takes place tomorrow in Wrexham Cathedral.

The Latin Mass Society in association with the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest will honour the great saint with a Traditional Latin Mass on Saturday 15th October at 11:00 am. Following the Missa Cantata there will be veneration of the relic of St. Richard Gwyn.

The address is: Cathedral Church of Our Lady of Sorrows, Regent Street, Wrexham, LL11 1RB.

St. Richard Gwyn is one of our favourite Welsh saints. He was a Catholic husband and father of six children. During the Elizabethan persecution of the Church, St. Richard Gwyn was serving as a schoolteacher in the Wrexham area.

Having been caught and imprisoned for keeping and teaching the True Faith, St. Richard was forced to receive a visit from a Protestant minister in his cell. The minister dangled some keys in his face and claimed to have the same Power of the Keys as St. Peter did. St. Richard wittily replied: ''There is this difference, namely, that whereas St. Peter received the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, the keys you received were obviously only those of the beer cellar!''

St. Richard Gwyn was hanged, drawn and quartered for the One, True, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Faith, in the Beast Market at Wrexham on 15th October, 1584.

His last words, spoken in Welsh, were: ''Iesu, trugarha wrthyf'' (''Jesus, have mercy on me'').

It is marvellous that Wrexham Cathedral, the LMS and the ICKSP honour this great saint in this way. Please pray for the success of this pilgrimage and attend if at all possible. We hope you have a blessed day!

St. Richard Gwyn - Pray for us!

October 13th - A Significant Date in Salvation History


Torch of The Faith News on Thursday 13 October 2016 - 22:02:03 | by admin

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Events, My Dear Boy, Events...

A few days ago, the mainstream media kept the masses looking firmly the other way, whilst the latest Wikileaks data dump was revealing a shocking series of e-mails from Hillary Clinton's political campaign.

Among them was an e-mail from former Clinton administration official Bill Ivey to campaign chairman John Podesta, which spoke about the ''need'' to maintain political power by producing ''an unaware and compliant citizenry''.

That most people are still unaware of this news demonstrates just how successful they have been!

Of course, that has been the case for a long time in a secularist culture with dumbed-down education, entertainment and media systems.

Not that you would notice in the MSM, but the latest batch of released Wikileaks e-mails have also impacted greatly on the Catholic Church.

In varying degrees of discomforture, many ''mainstream'' Catholic sites have by now responded to the news that Hillary Clinton's campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri and Center for American Progress fellow, John Halpin, had mocked ''conservative'' Catholicism as an ''amazing bastardization of the faith''.

More troubling was the confirmation of the worst-kept secret regarding the infiltration of the Catholic Church.

This is no news to anyone who has read up on their Bella Dodd, Alice von Hildebrand or Ion Mihai Pacepa. We have dealt with this issue a few times here, particularly in a series of articles last year entitled And Russia Will Spread Her Errors. Nevertheless, the latest news has a particularly disturbing quality given the state of the Church and the Geo-political situation throughout the world in these days.

I am referring, of course, to the revelation of the dire exchange of e-mails from 2012, between the above-mentioned campaign chairman John Podesta and Sandy Newman, the President of Voices for Progress.

In case there is anyone who has still not read up about this exchange, Newman had asked Podesta whether a so-called ''Catholic Spring'' could be engineered to draw some of the 98% of US Catholic women who break the Church's teaching on contraception (!) into a resistance movement against the US Bishops, who were then fighting against the contraceptive coverage of the HHS Mandate.

Obianuju Ekeocha, the dynamic foundress of Culture of Life Africa, has tweeted a splendid response to this situation: ''Are you Catholic? Are you part of Podesta's 98%? An atheist has recognized you as a trigger for revolution against the Church and the Gospel''.

Thought provoking, isn't it?
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Anyway, the supposedly Catholic Podesta (!) had replied to Newman as follows: ''We created Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good to organize for a moment like this. But I think it lacks the leadership to do so now. Likewise Catholics United. Like most Spring movements, I think this one will have to be bottom up.''

As Steve Skojec reflects over at 1 Peter 5, this is a text-book example of Alinskyian Trojan Horse tactics. It certainly calls to our minds the tactics revealed by the late Bella Dodd in her writings and speeches about Communist infiltration of the Church and State.

Even as I type this, various outlets are now reporting that RAF pilots have been ordered to shoot down ''hostile'' Russian fighter jets over Syria.

Not exactly the Battle of Britain is it?

Then again, a Russian general made a similar threat to US fighter aircraft in the region last week.

All of the above is written by way of highlighting the apocalyptic nature of the times through which we are presently living. They also serve as an up-to-the-minute introduction to the concluding section of this article as it regards the significance of October 13th in Salvation History.

What follows is pretty much a re-blog of what we posted up this time last year. In light of all that is happening in the Church and world, I wouldn't put that Rosary down yet...

October 13th and the Battle for the Church
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Christopher Ferrara has frequently drawn attention to the historical importance of the date of October 13th in recent Church history.

Fatima

It was on that date, in 1917, when a crowd of 70,000 witnesses, including a number of atheistic reporters from secularist newspapers, witnessed the Miracle of the Sun. It will be remembered that this miracle had been promised by Our Lady beforehand. The fulfillment of this promised miracle before so many witnesses marks Fatima out as a truly historical series of supernatural events. They ought not to be dismissed by anyone, whether presently Catholic or not.

So beautiful, though also terrifying, was the Miracle of the Sun that many fallen-away Catholics repented and returned to the Sacraments of the Holy Church on that very day.

Perhaps too few have considered the symbolism contained in that historical miracle. We would all do well to reflect on the fact that the descent of the Sun on the massive crowd calls to mind the punishment of fire from Heaven which befell Sodom and Gomorrah.

Akita

In this context let us not forget, either, that Our Lady of Akita gave the following explicit warning to Sister Agnes Sasagawa: ''As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as has never been seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by my Son. Each day, recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and the priests.''
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An important part of the Akita message, relating to events preceding the punishment by fire, warns: ''The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned by their confreres... churches and altars will be sacked; the Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.''

Sadly, we have all lived to see such things happening in the Church. The Rome Synods of '14 and '15 were punctuated, if not dominated, by them. More recently, at the end of September 2016, two ''former'' nuns have attempted to ''marry'' each other, with an ''ex''-priest officiating at a civil ''ceremony'' in the Italian town of Pinerolo.

And what was the date that this prophecy was given in Akita? October 13th, 1973.

Rome - Vatican II 

Christopher Ferrara has also drawn attention to the fact that the 13th October, 1962, was the date on which Cardinal Achille Leinhart seized the microphone, out of order, and derailed the Second Vatican Council's preparatory documents with his revolutionary demands. Drawing on Professor Romano Amerio's classical study Iota Unum, Ferrara notes that the Church is still living with the consequences of that derailment to this day.

Rome - Synods '14 and '15

Indeed, much closer to our own times, the 13th October has turned out to be a very significant date for the Church.

On that date in 2014, the disgraceful mid-term report was manipulated, pushed through and released to the world's media - without having been so much as seen by the bishops gathered for that autumn's Extraordinary Synod. As Bishop Schneider said at the time, and Christopher Ferrara recalled later: ''This is the first time in Church history that such a heterodox text was actually published as a document of an official meeting of Catholic bishops under the guidance of a pope...'' Of course, the release of the document became the watershed for a resistance led by Cardinal George Pell of Australia against the so-obvious behind-the-scenes manipulations.

In the distressing build up to Synod '15, Christopher Ferrara had thus wondered aloud what might be the significance of October 13th that year.

Although few seemed to spot it at the time, we did observe here at Torch of The Faith that this was the date on which the news broke, in the German Die Tagespost, that Pope Francis had been hosting a kind of miniature ''Shadow Synod'' each day with some specially chosen members of the Synod proper, and some undisclosed outsiders, in the Domus Sanctae Marthae...

Rome - Pope Leo XIII

There is one source which claims that October 13th was also the date on which Pope Leo XIII had his terrifying experience of the devil demanding a period of 100 years to try and destroy the Catholic Church. Whatever the veracity of that source, it remains the case that Fatima, and the 13th day of October, have been extremely significant in the ongoing battle between Christ's True Church and the false anti-church of Antichrist.

At the beginning of the present stage of the battle, the importance of Fatima was again highlighted when it was announced in 2013 that Pope Francis was to consecrate his entire papacy to Our Lady of Fatima. This is an important detail, and source of ultimate hope, that should not be forgotten by any of us in these dark times.

What Must We Do?

Yes, these certainly are grave times. October 13th, 2016, marks the 99th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima. At the end of this month, within weeks of the beginning of the 100th year since the occurrence of this apocalyptic event, Pope Francis plans to travel to Lund to ''commemorate'' the condemned heretic Martin Luther.

Luther, the troubled monk who was condemned by a Church Council, disparaged the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, sacrileged his vows by attempting marriage with a nun, split countless souls from the Church, helped to sunder European Christendom, and paved the way for the secularized post-Christian anti-culture that we have all around us today.

This planned visit, and the mysterious silence of the world's cardinals and bishops on the matter, is nothing short of apocalyptic.

What can we do as lowly members of the faithful?

We must all stop offending God, sincerely repent of our sins, receive God's forgiveness, grace and strength in the Sacraments, honour the First Saturdays and pray the Rosary every single day.

We have all heard the warnings of Our Lady at Fatima and Akita. Now let us heed them!

Our Lady of Fatima and Akita - Pray for us!   

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