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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Father George W. Rutler: The Cross and Not the Crescent

The current mania for tearing down statues and stifling free speech by cultural ingénues ignorant of history and logic, has reached a stellar absurdity in demands to censure “The Star Spangled Banner” on lame claims that it is racist. If ignorance is bliss, then those who indulge their revisionism, must be in Nirvana.
Francis Scott Key penned the words in 1814, later set to an English song “To
Anacreon in Heaven,” a tune that is a challenge to singers, as even
Renéee Fleming confessed after performing it at the 2014 Super Bowl. It is often
mutilated by rock stars calling attention to themselves by “interpreting” it. Key
wrote the words after watching 19 British ships fire more than 1,500 cannon
balls, mortar shells and rockets on Baltimore. Key was a slave-owner, which
was, sadly, not in contradiction to common practice. But he ordered the
manumission of his slaves, and in 1820 he embarked on a seven-year effort
pleading before the Supreme Court for the liberation of 300 African slaves captured
off the ship “Antelope” along the Florida coast. He also worked with John Quincy
Adams in the “Amistad” case to free 53 slaves.

Key’s poem “The Defence of Fort McHenry” which, re-named “The
Star-Spangled Banner,” became the national anthem in 1931, was based on verses he
composed in 1805 to celebrate the victory over the Muslim slave -trading pirates on
the Barbary coast, (“the shores of Tripoli,”). “And pale beam’d the Crescent, its
splendor obscured / By the Light of the star-spangled flag of our nation….And the
turban’d heads bow’d to the terrible glare…” -John Langdon, was a Founding Father
who, as first President pro tempore of the Senate, administered the vice-presidential
oath of office to John Adams. In 1805 as governor of New
Hampshire, he set aside a day in thanksgiving “for the termination of our
contest with one of the African powers; the liberation of our fellow-citizens from

Islam, which means “submission,” has never had abolitionists like the Christians
Bartolomé de las Casas and William Wilberforce. Muhammed was a slave
trader, and the Qur’an devotes five times as much space to regulating labor
slavery and sex slavery as it does to prayer. Nearly 200 million slaves, white and
black, were sold by Muslim traders over fourteen centuries, and
almost all the Africans sold to European traders for export to America were
enslaved by Muslims. Muslim slavers even raided Ireland in 1631. So many
Eastern Europeans were enslaved that the word “slave” itself comes from “Slav.”
While lip service is given to abolition in Islamic lands, slavery today is blatant in
Sudan, Niger and Mauritania and was not abolished in Saudi Arabia and Yemen until
1962 (under Western pressure). Where is the indignation of protestors here?
If revisionists would burlesque the past and mute the voice of reason, they should
first recognize that the value of life is secured best by the standard of the Cross and
not the Crescent.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

After Centuries of Exile, a Grey Friar Returns to Walsingham

Once more at Walsingham Friary, if now to an open sky, the Blessed Sacrament was held aloft.
If you have ever visited Walsingham, England’s National Marian Shrine, you may have seen the poignant sight of a ruined friary standing upon a small hill just outside the village. It forms part of a private property now, and so is not normally accessible to the public.

At the entrance gate, one July day, there stood a figure dressed in dark gray, a member of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual, more commonly known as Grey Friars. This was the order that used to live and worship at the Walsingham Friary centuries earlier.

The Grey Friar in question was Fr. James Mary. Each day of his Walsingham pilgrimage, he would stand at the gate that leads to the ruins. He would gaze upon the ruined friary offering supplication for the friars buried there, and also for those who had caused the destruction of this once holy place. He also offered a unique prayer for a specific intention: namely that, one day, the Grey Friars would return to Walsingham.

Upon his arrival in the village, I had noted this friar. With Fr. James Mary, it was immediately observable how he talked to everyone and anyone he met, to say nothing of his gift for disarming even the most confirmed atheist. There was the woman who owns a local teashop. No believer, she was obviously so charmed by the tall, gentle friar who came each day for coffee that when the friar offered to bless her shop, she agreed. Perhaps she thought: ‘Why not?’ The day after she had something to tell the friar. He could ‘bless her shop any day’ because following its blessing, the teashop had enjoyed its busiest custom yet.

It was not just shops that were blessed; souls were touched. I saw pregnant women upon the street having their unborn babies very gently but very publicly blessed. Seemingly, no one refused Fr. James Mary’s offer to impart a blessing. Some, I know, were non-believers; some were Anglicans; many were Catholics.

Read more at National Catholic Register >>

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Lost Shepherd: How Pope Francis is Misleading His Flock

An important new book by Catholic journalist Philip F. Lawler


Faithful Catholics are beginning to realize it’s not their imagination. Pope Francis has led them on a journey from joy to unease to alarm and even a sense of betrayal. They can no longer pretend that he represents merely a change of emphasis in papal teaching. Assessing the confusion sown by this pontificate, Lost Shepherd explains what’s at stake, what’s not at stake, and how loyal believers should respond.

Lost Shepherd: How Pope Francis is Misleading His Flock Hardcover – February 12, 2018

Thursday, September 14, 2017

England to be Re-Dedicated as Dowry of Mary

The rector of Walsingham Shrine made the announcement while promoting a new novena to Our Lady of Walsingham

England will be re-dedicated as the Dowry of Mary in 2020, the rector of Walsingham Shrine has said.

Mgr John Armitage announced the plans while promoting a new prayer booklet encouraging Catholics to pray a novena to Our Lady of Walsingham.

Mgr Armitage, who became rector in 2014, helped to update the booklet. He told Independent Catholic News: “This novena in honour of Our Lady of Walsingham is the beginning of a National Novena of Prayer for our country which will help us prepare spiritually for the re-dedication of England as the Dowry of Mary in 2020 on the Solemnity of the Annunciation.”

Read more at The Catholic Herald >>

Monday, September 11, 2017

The Bergoglio Effect - Only Six Irish Sign up for the Priesthood - a 222-Year-Record Low

The number of trainee priests in Ireland is in free fall and is currently at a 222-year record low.

 A mere six men will be starting the classes required to become a priest at the National Seminary at St. Patrick's College Maynooth in County Kildare this fall – the lowest number in the seminary’s more than two centuries of existence.

Fifteen men, the Irish Catholic reports, are currently undergoing preparatory work that will allow them to become seminarians in the fall of 2018.

Read more at Irish Central >>