Saturday, September 30, 2006

Francisco Franco: 70th Year Anniversary

Hoy en historia, en AD 1936-10-01, el lider de las fuerzas naciónalistas de España, Gen. Francisco Franco, fue proclamado Generalissimo de la Ejército Naciónal y Jéfé del Estado. Aunque no esté de moda para decirlo, G. Franco éra el heroé en la lucha mundial contra comunismo. Como siempre, la historia (y el Señor) será el justa Juéz.

Today in history, on 1 October 1936, the leader of the Nationalist forces of Spain, Gen. Francisco Franco, was proclaimed Generalissimo of the National Army and Head of State. Although it is not currently fashionable to say so, Franco was a hero in the global struggle against communism. As always, history (and God) will be the only just Judge.

GOP Leaders Have More in Common With Certain Catholic Bishops Than a Commitment to the Pro-Life Cause ...

... they also seem to have issues when it comes to covering up for child predators. From The Washington Post:
GOP Leaders Knew Of Foley's Messages

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) was notified early this year of inappropriate e-mails from former representative Mark Foley (R-Fla.) to a 16-year-old page, a top GOP House member said yesterday -- contradicting the speaker's assertions that he learned of concerns about Foley only last week.

Hastert did not dispute the claims of Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds (R-N.Y.), and his office confirmed that some of Hastert's top aides knew last year that Foley had been ordered to cease contact with the boy and to treat all pages respectfully.

Reynolds, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, became the second senior House Republican to say that Hastert has known of Foley's contacts for months, prompting Democratic attacks about the GOP leadership's inaction. Foley abruptly resigned his seat Friday.

House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) told The Washington Post on Friday that he had learned in late spring of inappropriate e-mails Foley sent to the page, a boy from Louisiana, and that he promptly told Hastert, who appeared to know already of the concerns. Hours later, Boehner contacted The Post to say he could not be sure he had spoken with Hastert.

Yesterday's developments revealed a rift at the highest echelons of House Republican ranks a month before the Nov. 7 elections, and they threatened to expand the scandal to a full-blown party dilemma.

My Comments:
Other than "The Democrats are worse.", it's hard for me to formulate a justification for why the Republicans should not go down to ignominious defeat this November.

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
The Fox Guarding the Henhouse

Friday, September 29, 2006

I'm Done. As of Today, I'm Through ...

... with having birthdays. I'm 39 and holding from here on out.

Dueling Catholic Voter Guides

From Amy Welborn:
Catholic News Service does an article on the various voting guides for Catholics that are out there - from state Catholic conferences, as well as independent groups like Catholic Answers and the fairly new Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good.
Here's an excerpt from the Catholic News Service article:
What's a voter to do? Election guides offer different answers

In the absence of a "Faithful Citizenship" document from the U.S. bishops to guide Catholic voters in this midterm election, groups as diverse as the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, Priests for Life, state Catholic conferences and new organizations with names like Red Letter Christians and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good are stepping into the fray.

In its 12-page brochure, "Voting for the Common Good: A Practical Guide for Conscientious Catholics," Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good suggests three principles:

-- "Inform your conscience on church teaching and the candidates' positions.

-- "Apply prudence when deciding how to apply Catholic values to voting.

-- "Vote for the common good by focusing on what's best for everyone, especially the poor and vulnerable."

"We need to understand that our church's social teachings call us to consider a broad range of important issues -- on everything from poverty to war, human rights, abortion and the environment," the guide says. "There is no Catholic voting formula and there is rarely, if ever, a perfect candidate for Catholic voters."

But there are some candidates that Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, would consider clearly imperfect.

In a booklet called "Voting With a Clear Conscience," he urges Catholic voters to "reject the disqualified."

"Suppose a candidate came forward and said, 'I support terrorism.' Would you say, 'I disagree with you on terrorism, but what's your health care plan?' Of course not," the priest of the Diocese of Amarillo, Texas, says in the booklet.

"Similarly, those who would permit the destruction of innocent life by abortion disqualify themselves from consideration," Father Pavone added.

Catholic Answers, a San Diego-based Catholic apologetics organization, takes a similar approach in its "Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics," presenting five "nonnegotiable issues" on which to judge candidates for public office -- abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem-cell research, human cloning and homosexual "marriage."

Here's what the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights has to say about the "Voting for the Common Good" voters' guide:
September 29, 2006


A new Catholic activist organization, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, has issued a voter guide that will be distributed to Catholics between now and election day. Commenting on the 12-page booklet is Catholic League president Bill Donohue:

“The voter guide is a slick attempt to get the abortion albatross off the necks of Catholic Democrats, but it’s a failed effort—the noose is still there. Instead of listening to James Carville and Paul Begala, who have counseled Democrats to drop their opposition to parental notification laws and their support for keeping partial-birth abortion legal, the best Catholics in Alliance can do is say it is opposed to abortion. But it makes it painfully clear that it will never join any effort to ban any abortions, including partial-birth. Alexia Kelley heads the new group, and in 2004 she worked as a religion advisor to John Kerry in the closing weeks of his campaign. Kerry is an advocate of keeping partial-birth abortion legal.

“On p. 9 of the booklet, it criticizes many pro-life candidates (it puts the term pro-life in quotes, as in so-called pro-life candidates) who are nothing but talk. ‘On the other hand,’ it says, there are pro-abortion politicians who ‘support effective measures to promote healthy families and reduce abortions by providing help to pregnant women and young children.’ There’s the moral equivalency: it’s okay for a Catholic politician to give a green light to a practice that kills a baby who is 80-percent born, just so long as he’s against trans fats.

“On August 2, 2006, Catholics in Alliance issued a news release urging the Senate to raise the minimum wage, an issue which the Catholic Church has no official position on, one way or the other. But the group has no statement urging anyone to vote against partial-birth abortion, an issue which the Catholic Church officially opposes. The best it can do is say it opposes the ‘root causes’ of abortion.

“Despite what Catholics in Alliance says, there is a moral hierarchy of issues, and as important as ending poverty is, it does not rival the right of a child to be born.”

Digest of Today's Posts (29 September 2006)

  • Embrace Islam, Al Qaida leader tells Pope

  • The Fox Guarding the Henhouse (and Baby Chicks)

  • Photo of the Bishop and Jamie

  • Bush Judges Confirm Opponents' Fears ... GOOD!

  • Virginia Catholics Urged to Back Same-Sex "Marriage" Ban

  • Michaelmas - Feast of St. Michael and All Angels, 29 September

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (28 September 2006))

    Embrace Islam, Al Qaida leader tells Pope

    Coward hiding in a cave "urges" leader of 1 billion Catholics to convert to the Religion of Peace®:
    Sep. 29 ( - The second-ranking official in Al Qaida called upon Pope Benedict XVI to convert to Islam, in a videotaped message released on September 29.

    In an Arabic-language message, delivered in videotape format to Islamic media outlets, Ayman al Zawahiri charged that in his Regensburg speech Pope Benedict was stirring up the same "superstitions" and fears of Islam that had led to the Crusades.

    However, Zawahiri called for a peaceful reaction to the Pope's remarks. "If Benedict attacks us, we will respond to his insults with good things," he said. Muslims, the Al Qaida leader said, should urge the Pope "and all Christians to become Muslims."

    In his videotaped message, the terrorist leader reserved his harshest rhetoric for US President George W. Bush, whom he described as a "charlatan" and a "liar."
    My Comments:
    I'll say this much for the Al Qaida guys: they know how to play the PR game much better than we do.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Al Qaida to Comment on Pope?

    The Fox Guarding the Henhouse (and Baby Chicks)

    Congressman Foley Resigns Over Sexually Explicit Messages to Minors
    Saying he was "deeply sorry," Congressman Mark Foley (R-FL) resigned from Congress today, hours after ABC News questioned him about sexually explicit internet messages with current and former congressional pages under the age of 18.

    A spokesman for Foley, the chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, said the congressman submitted his resignation in a letter late this afternoon to Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert.

    Hours earlier, ABC News had read excerpts of instant messages provided by former male pages who said the congressman, under the AOL Instant Messenger screen name Maf54, made repeated references to sexual organs and acts.

    (emphasis added)
    Good riddance, you sick bastard.

    Photo of the Bishop and Jamie

    Here is a less grainy version of the photo I scanned and posted yesterday. I called the Norwalk Reflector's news room and asked if they would send me an electronic version of the picture. Many thanks to Scott Seitz at the Reflector for the photo.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Meeting the Bishop

    Meeting the Bishop - After Action Report

    More Bishop Blair (and Jamie, Too)

    Bush Judges Confirm Opponents' Fears ... GOOD!

    (Hat tip: Steve Dillard at Southern Appeal)

    Surprise, surprise. Leftist activist organization People For the unAmerican Way doesn't like the way Bush's judicial appointees are doing their jobs:
    Bush Judges Confirm Opponents' Fears

    Report Documents Impact of Bush-Nominated Appeals Court Judges

    Federal appeals court judges nominated by President Bush are threatening and undermining Americans’ rights and liberties, and working to reduce congressional authority to protect those rights and liberties, according to a legal analysis published today by People For the American Way Foundation.


    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    People For the UnAmerican Way Rallies Its Hollywood Supporters Against Alito

    Virginia Catholics Urged to Back Same-Sex "Marriage" Ban

    From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
    Virginia Catholic bishops are sending a letter to 650,000 parishioners in their two dioceses explaining how church teachings support a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

    Arlington Bishop Paul Loverde and Richmond Bishop Francis DiLorenzo call the measure that Virginia voters will decide Nov. 7 an issue of "profound significance for the future of the family, the most fundamental social structure of our society."

    Acknowledging that marriage "had a design and purpose long before any nation, religion or law was established," the pastoral letter explains "the proper role of both church and state is one of stewardship, to preserve our creator's great gift of marriage from one generation to the next."

    The letter is being sent this week to 133,000 households through diocesan newspapers. Next month, the Virginia Catholic Conference will deliver bulk quantities of the letter and an accompanying question-and-answer piece to 185 parishes statewide.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Charlottesville Churches Square Off Over Virginia's Marriage-Protection Amendment

    Virginia Bishops Endorse Postcard Campaign

    Thursday, September 28, 2006

    Michaelmas - Feast of St. Michael and All Angels, 29 September

    Saint Michael the Archangel,
    Defend us in battle.
    Be our protection against the
    Wickedness and snares of the devil.
    May God rebuke him,
    We humbly pray.
    And do thou,
    O Prince of the Heavenly Host,
    By the Power of God,
    Cast into Hell
    Satan and all the evil spirits
    which prowl about the world,
    Seeking the ruin of souls.

    See Tom Fitzpatrick's excellent post on the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels at Recta Ratio.

    On Michaelmas one year ago, during our travels in England, Sarah, the kids, and I visited Ely Cathedral (Anglican) before going to Sarah's Great-Auntie Olive's house for dinner. While at the Cathedral, I asked the ladies who were attending the excellent gift shop whether there were any special services planned that day to commemorate Michaelmas.

    The answer:
    "Is today Michaelmas? Why yes, I suppose it is, isn't it. You know, I just don't think there's as much attention given to the old feasts as there used to be. Nowadays, Michaelmas mostly just marks the beginning of school terms."
    I just don't think there's as much attention given to the old feasts as there used to be. Indeed.

    Patron Saints Index - St. Michael

    Women for Faith & Family - St. Michael and All Angels

    Variations of St. Michael Prayer

    Pictures of St. Michael

    Recipe - Michaelmas Goose with Traditional Potato & Apple Stuffing

    St. Michael's Mount, Cornwall

    ...not to be confused with ...

    Mont-Saint-Michel, Normandy

    Labels: ,

    Digest of Today's Posts (28 September 2006)

  • Going Off On Citgo

  • Faith & Reason - It's All About Keeping One's Head


  • Al Qaida to Comment on Pope?

  • "Sinne is Where Our Ladye Sate"

  • More Bishop Blair (and Jamie, Too)

  • College Catholic Experiences Radical Feminist Neo-Paganism

  • Morris Dancing at Walsingham

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (27 September 2006))

    Going Off On Citgo

    From Investor's Business Daily:
    ... What Caracas is staring at, dumbfounded, is the realization that Americans can use their formidable buying power to tell Chavez something he cynically thought he'd never hear: that his oil was not all that necessary.

    That's bound to send a strong message to Caracas because Venezuela needs the $4 billion in U.S. yearly oil revenue to stay afloat and continue to throw its weight around on the world stage.

    Chavez has made hay for years about America's addiction to foreign oil. He's always been firm in the belief that Americans were soft and would never go without buying it. He was wrong.
    My Comments:
    LOL! Ha-ha, you ignorant Castro-loving commie bastard! This'll teach you to come to our country and shoot off your fat mouth!

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Castro-Loving Commie Bastard Pounds Shoe on Podium at U.N.

    Venezuela's [Castro-Loving Commie Bastard] Chávez Urges Pope to be More Careful With His Words

    Venezuela, Syria Join Forces Against "American Imperialism"

    Castro-Loving Commie Bastard Hugo Chávez Says Israel's Action in Lebanon "Worse" Than Hitler

    Israel's Critics Hail Castro-Loving Commie Bastard Hugo Chávez

    Pro-US Candidate Wins Landslide in Colombia

    Saint Hugo - the Religious Left Begins its Embrace of [Castro-Loving Commie Bastard] Hugo Chávez

    Pope Tells Castro-Loving Commie Bastard to Get With the Program

    Robertson's Remarks On Chavez Shock Baptists

    Faith & Reason - It's All About Keeping One's Head

    From The Lapped Catholic:

    (Hat tip: Julie D. at Happy Catholic)


    I received the following email message from Joseph Cella of Fidelis just a little while ago:
    Dear Friends:

    Fidelis needs your help right now in helping pass a very important piece of legislation.

    Last night, Senate Majority Leader Frist filed cloture on S. 403, the Parental Notification Bill, as passed by the Senate and amended by the House.

    This legislation prohibits transporting a minor across state lines to get an abortion in circumvention of state parental notification laws, and requires abortionists to notify a parent before performing an abortion on an out-of-state minor.

    S. 403 was passed by the Senate by a vote of 65-34 (with 51 Republicans and 14 Democrats voting in favor) on July 25. Upon passage, Sen. Frist made a routine request to go to conference committee, which was blocked by Senate Democrats. The following week, he made two attempts to move towards conference, both of which were blocked. Filing last night's cloture petition is latest effort to move this important legislation across the finish line.

    The vote will occur on the amended bill approved earlier this week by the House, 264-153. The House passed bill contains all of the provisions approved by the Senate in July, including the Boxer-Ensign Amendment, which makes it a separate offense for a parent who impregnates a minor daughter to take that daughter to another state for an abortion, and bars the incestuous parent from employing the right to sue under the anti-transportation provision.

    When the final vote will occur on S.403 has not yet been determined. After two other pressing votes on terrorism and the border fence, there will be the cloture vote on the Parental Notification Bill. All that said: the vote will occur soon, in all likelihood tomorrow, but it is not possible to give an exact time. But to make a real impact, the time to contact Senators is now.

    Since this is a cloture vote, 60 votes are needed to win, before the final vote on passage occurs. There are 14 Democratic Senators who voted for S. 403, Pryor, Salazar, Ben Nelson, Bill Nelson, Carper, Inouye, Bayh, Landrieu, Reid, Conrad, Dorgan, Johnson, Byrd and Kohl, will be under pressure to switch their votes.

    Below are the names, states and telephone numbers for those 14 Senators. Please take the time today and call those Senators and urge them to vote “YES” on the S.403 cloture vote and “YES” on final passage.

    Pryor (AR) 202-224-2353 or in state at 501-324-6336 Salazar (CO) 202-224-5852 or in state at 303-455-8850 Carper (DE) 202-224-2441 or in state at 302-856-7690 Bill Nelson (FL) 202-224-5274 or in state at 954-693-4851 Inouye (HI) 202-224-3934 or in state at 808-541-2542 Bayh (IN) 202-224-5623 or in state at 574-236-8302 Landrieu (LA) 202-224-5824 or in state at 225-389-0395 Ben Nelson (NE) 202-224-6551 or in state at 402-441-4600 Reid (NV) 202-224-3542 or in state at 775-686-5750 Conrad (ND) 202-224-2043 or in state at 701-258-4648 Dorgan (ND) 202-224-2551 or in state at 701-250-4618 Johnson (SD) 202-224-5842 or in state at 605-332-8896 Byrd (WV) 202-224-3954 or in state at 304-342-5855 Kohl (WI)) 202-224-5653 or in state at 414-297-4451

    Sincerely yours,

    Joseph Cella

    Al Qaida to Comment on Pope?

    From Catholic World News:
    Sep. 27 ( - An Islamic web site is promising a message from a top leader of Al Qaida, commenting on Pope Benedict's remarks about Islam.

    The Islamic site, which has released videotaped messages from Al Qaida leaders in the past, has now posted a banner advertising a message by Ayman al Zawahiri, the second-ranking official in Al Qaida. The banner promises comments on the "Vatican pope" as well as on Darfur and on the "crusader wars" which the site says President George W. Bush has launched.

    There was no indication when the message from Zawahiri would be released. But the advertisement suggested that a message-- probably on videotape-- had been promised, and therefore had probably already been completed. In the past Al Qaida has delivered videotapes to Islamic media sites, using couriers to transport the tapes from the terrorist group's headquarters, presumed to be somewhere near the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    If the Zawahiri message alludes to the Pope's speech in Regensburg on September 12, it must have been taped recently. Al Qaida has released several messages by Zawahiri in recent weeks, including one that hailed the 5th anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2001; in that message the Egyptian terrorist threatened more attacks on the US and its allies.

    "Sinne is Where Our Ladye Sate"

    Hilary at The Devout Life (newly added to the blogroll) has several Walsingham-related links as well as some commentary on the Shrine at this post - Sinne is where our Ladye sate, Heaven turned is to helle:
    Walsingham is a touchstone for English recusant Catholicism and a place of deep and holy sadness for the crimes against the Church and the faithful by the thieving King Henry.

    I might add here, that it is now also a place of more immediate sadness at the more recent internal iconoclastic revolt. The Slipper Chapel is still there and has been beautifully restored, but the new chapel (designed, quite deliberately, to resemble a barn) at the shrine itself is a place where NewChurch Catholics come and worship the new god, Ecumenism.

    In the "Chapel of Reconciliation" all the necessary elements for the New Religion can be found. Clapping and swaying. The Mass as theatre-in-the-round. The Blessed Sacrament shoved off into a corner.

    Also included in the post is a plug for Fr. Finigan's excellent blog (linked in a post below and also newly added to the blogroll).

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Morris Dancing at Walsingham

    Our Lady of Walsingham - 24 September

    Photos, Postcards, and Mementos of My 2005 Pilgrimage to Walsingham

    Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Walsingham - Day 1

    Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Walsingham - Day 2

    Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Walsingham - Day 3

    Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Walsingham - Day 4

    Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Walsingham - Day 5

    Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Walsingham - Day 6

    Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Walsingham - Day 7

    Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Walsingham - Day 8

    Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Walsingham - Day 9

    Labels: , , ,

    More Bishop Blair (and Jamie, Too)

    Above is the local newspaper's coverage of Bishop Blair's visit to Norwalk yesterday to bless the Norwalk Catholic School. The handsome young man in the lower left-hand corner of the photo is none other than my son, Jamie (cast on broken arm and all).

    When Sarah arrived at Jamie's school this morning to drop him off, Jamie's teacher asked her if she had seen the wonderful photo of Jamie on the front page of the Norwalk Reflector. We're not subscribers, so we hadn't seen it.

    Sarah came home and told me about it, and we rushed right out and purchased enough copies to keep for ourselves and to send to the grandparents and godparents.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Meeting the Bishop

    Meeting the Bishop - After Action Report

    Wednesday, September 27, 2006

    College Catholic Experiences Radical Feminist Neo-Paganism

    Fidei Defensor at College Catholic reports on his campus encounter with radical feminist and neo-pagan Gloria Steinem.

    Morris Dancing at Walsingham

    Father Tim Finigan of the blog The Hermeneutic of Continuity (newly added to the blogroll, hat tip to Joanna Bogle) has posted a video he made of Morris Dancers performing in the village of Little Walsingham during this past weekend's Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham.

    Check it out - it's quite a treat if you're interested in the folk traditions of the British Isles.

    Postcard - Morris Dancers at Walsingham
    Postcard I purchased of Morris Dancers at Walsingham

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Our Lady of Walsingham - 24 September

    Photos, Postcards, and Mementos of My 2005 Pilgrimage to Walsingham

    Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Walsingham - Day 1

    Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Walsingham - Day 2

    Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Walsingham - Day 3

    Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Walsingham - Day 4

    Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Walsingham - Day 5

    Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Walsingham - Day 6

    Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Walsingham - Day 7

    Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Walsingham - Day 8

    Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Walsingham - Day 9

    Labels: , ,

    Digest of Today's Posts (27 September 2006)

  • First Things on Commonweal on Catholic Voting

  • GOP Prez Wannabe Mitt Romney Untruthful About His "Pro-Choice" Stance

  • Democrats Practice Unity: "The Difference Between US and THEM"

  • Pope in "Crusader Conspiracy" With Bush

  • Sabato Admits to Repeating Hearsay Re: Alleged Racial Remarks by Allen

  • House Passes Measure on Religion Suits

  • Catholic High School Honor Roll

  • Dennis Prager on the Holy Father's Critics

  • Meeting the Bishop - After Action Report

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (26 September 2006))

    First Things on Commonweal on Catholic Voting

    Robert T. Miller writes at First Things:
    Eduardo Moisés Peñalver, who teaches at Cornell, argues in Commonweal that the genuinely Catholic vote this fall should go to the Democratic party. In fact, for Peñalver, it’s not even a close call, for he thinks that the Bush administration knowingly led the United States into war in Iraq on false pretenses, tortures prisoners to extract confessions and satisfy its hatreds, intentionally seeks to favor the rich at the expense of the poor, and consciously enflames racial hatred for political advantage. He thus proves, sadly, that some people are determined to believe the worst about those who disagree with them on complex political issues.

    I would let it go at that, but Peñalver also talks about Catholic moral doctrine on abortion, getting some aspects of that doctrine quite wrong. In particular, he says that, if opposition to abortion were the moral imperative that Catholics like
    Robert George and Gerald Bradley say it is, then “George W. Bush’s failure to take extraordinary steps during his six years in office to put an immediate end to the slaughter makes him nearly as culpable as prochoice politicians. If mass murder is going on every day in this country, shouldn’t President Bush halt all other government business in order to force through a constitutional amendment outlawing abortion?”

    Publius at Res Publica et Cetera offers his cogent analysis here.

    GOP Prez Wannabe Mitt Romney Untruthful About His "Pro-Choice" Stance notes that "Being pro-choice isn't just a label":

    "I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. I have since the time when my Mom took that position when she ran in 1970 as a U.S. Senate candidate. I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years that we should sustain and support it, and I sustain and support that law and the right of a woman to make that choice."
    -Mitt Romney in a 1994 Senatorial debate

    "I respect and will fully protect a woman's right to choose. That choice is a deeply personal one, and the women of our state should make it based on their beliefs, not mine and not the government's."
    -Mitt Romney in a 2002 GOP acceptance speech

    "I've never called myself pro-choice."
    -Mitt Romney in a 2006 Redstate interview

    In his latest interview with RedState, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney responds to a question about his abortion position by saying that he's never adopted the label "pro-choice."

    That's all well and good. Mitt Romney wants to be called pro-life. I'd like to be the King of all Londinium and wear a
    shiny hat.

    But let's not kid ourselves: there is no substantive difference between the position labeled "pro-choice," declaring your support for "the right to choose." And that is something that Mitt Romney has done repeatedly over the course of his political career. To say otherwise is to tell a lie.


    Democrats Practice Unity: "The Difference Between US and THEM"

    Hypocritical Democrats send out an email that says ...
    The governing philosophy of the Republicans leading America today could be described as divide and conquer. Time after time, when faced with critical opportunities to bring Americans together in common purpose, Republicans in Congress chose instead to exploit wedge issues that divide America, foster fear, and promote insecurity.
    ... and title it "The Difference Between US and THEM".

    Pope in "Crusader Conspiracy" With Bush

    Sheik: "Only dialogue we want is when all religions agree to convert to Islam":
    JERUSALEM – Pope Benedict XVI's meeting this week with a delegation of Muslim leaders and his calls for interfaith dialogue following earlier remarks about Islam are really "Crusader conspiracies" to subjugate the Islamic faith and force "Christian-Zionist" worldviews upon Muslims, a prominent Gaza Strip preacher told WorldNetDaily in an interview.

    Sheik Abu Saqer, leader of Gaza's Jihadia Salafiya Islamic outreach movement, which seeks to make secular Muslims more religious, called the pope a "puppet" for "that Crusader George Bush."

    The Gaza imam said the only Christian-Muslim dialogue that is acceptable is one in which "all religions agree to convert to Islam."

    "The call for so-called dialogue by this little racist pope is a Trojan horse with the main goal of reaching a new system in which the ideals [of Christianity] are a new ideology that will rule relations between nations and people. The dialogue he wants is dangerous," said Abu Saqer, speaking to WND from the southern Gaza city of Khan Yunis.

    "The pope is the spiritual and religious wing of the Crusader ideology," Abu Saqer said. "He is totally coordinated with Bush. Through this dialogue he hopes to break the lines of unity between Muslims and polarize the Muslim world, which has some partisans who will accept this new dialogue. But true believers know Islam must rule all relations. The only dialogue we will accept is when all other religions agree to convert to Islam."


    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Latest Conspiracy Theory: Pope Provoked Muslim Rage To Help Bush and Republicans

    Labels: , ,

    Sabato Admits to Repeating Hearsay Re: Alleged Racial Remarks by Allen

    At first, he said he knew for a fact that Allen made insensitive remarks about blacks; now, University of Virginia political science professor Larry Sabato appears to be doing a little CYA:
    LOUISA, Va. (AP) - One of Virginia's best-known political analysts said he had never personally heard Sen. George Allen use racial epithets, despite saying on television a day earlier that the senator "did use the n-word."

    Larry J. Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, said Tuesday in an e-mail to The Associated Press, "I didn't personally hear GFA (Allen's initials) say the n-word.

    "My conclusion is based on the very credible testimony I have heard for weeks, mainly from people I personally know and knew in the '70s," Sabato wrote.

    Sabato, a classmate of Allen's at the University of Virginia in the early 1970s, said Monday on MSNBC's "Hardball with Chris Matthews" that he knew Allen had used racial slurs, but declined to say whether he had witnessed them.

    My Comments:
    Sabato is (and always has been) a partisan hack. Just remember that the next time he's on your radio or TV offering his "unbiased analysis" of the upcoming elections.

    The University of Virginia should sanction Sabato big time for this. Having tenure doesn't give you the "academic freedom" to slander people based on hearsay.

    House Passes Measure on Religion Suits

    The Washington Post reports that the U.S. House of Representatives is sticking it to the ACLU ... finally:
    The House passed a bill yesterday that would bar judges from awarding legal fees to the American Civil Liberties Union and similar groups that sue municipalities for violating the Constitution's ban on government establishment of religion.

    Though the bill would prevent plaintiffs from recovering legal costs in any lawsuit based on the Establishment Clause, House Republicans said during a floor debate that it was particularly aimed at organizations that force the removal of Nativity scenes and Ten Commandments monuments from public property.

    "Liberal groups . . . scour the country looking to sue cities and states with any kind of religious display, regardless of how popular these displays are," said Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Fla.). Because judges often require municipalities that lose such lawsuits to reimburse their opponents' legal fees, "citizens' precious monuments are being eroded with their own tax dollars," she added.

    The bill, called the Public Expressions of Religion Protection Act, passed 244 to 173 on a mostly party-line vote.

    (emphasis added)

    Catholic High School Honor Roll

    (Hat tip: Amy Welborn)

    2006 Catholic High School Honor Roll announced:
    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Sept. 27, 2006) – The Catholic High School Honor Roll today announced its third annual selection of the best 50 Catholic secondary schools in America. The Honor Roll provides a powerful resource to parents and educators by acknowledging those schools that best maintain high academic standards, uphold their Catholic identities, and prepare students to actively engage the world.

    To see a list of the top 50 schools, along with lists of the top 25 schools in the categories of academics, Catholic identity, and civic education, please see the links below:

    2006 Top 50 Catholic High Schools
    2006 Category Leaders
    2006 Press Release
    2006 Virtual Newsroom
    Contact Us
    My Comments:
    Something for the newly reconstituted (and dedicated by the Bishop today) Norwalk Catholic School to shoot for in the future.

    Dennis Prager on the Holy Father's Critics

    (Hat tip: Father Fox at Bonfire of the Vanities)

    He shoots, he scores:
    Pius attacked for not confronting evil, Benedict attacked for confronting evil

    Among the most heated debates of the last 40 years has been the debate over Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust. What did he do when the greatest evil of his day engulfed Christian Europe? Was he "Hitler's Pope," as the name of a widely read book about him charged? Was he too reticent in speaking out against Nazism and the Nazi extermination of Europe's Jews? Was he perhaps even a Nazi sympathizer? Or was he in fact a great friend of Europe's Jews who did whatever he could to save tens of thousands of Jews, especially in Italy, opening up the doors of Church institutions to hide Jews?

    It is not my aim here to offer an answer to that debate. But the attacks on Pope Benedict XVI may help shed new light on some of the motives for the attacks on Pius XII. It is true that we have always known that most, if not all, of Pius's critics were/are on the political/religious Left. But this no more discredited their critiques of Pius than the fact that the vast majority of Pius's defenders were on the political/religious Right discredited their defense.

    But recently the critics have lost credibility. If the same people who attack Pope Pius XII for his silence regarding the greatest evil of his time are largely the same people who attack Pope Benedict XVI for confronting the greatest evil of his time, maybe it isn't a pope's confronting evil that concerns Pius's critics, but simply defaming the Church.


    Meeting the Bishop - After Action Report

    We're back. Surprisingly there was no "receiving line" or anything. It was all pretty informal, especially considering that a Bishop of the Church was the guest of honor.

    Immediately following the prayer service in the church (Mass is later at the other parish), the Bishop and all the Early Childhood students went to the front of the school for a group photo. After the photos, people sort of scattered to go inside for refreshments.

    Sarah and I remained outside speaking to some of the other parents. Bishop Blair approached on the sidewalk and offered his hand. I responded "Your Excellency", genuflected, and kissed his ring. Bishop Blair responded "Thank you". He saw Mary Virginia in her carrier on the ground next to me and asked "Who is this?" I responded "Mary Virginia". Bishop Blair said "God bless you, Mary Virginia", reached down, and made the Sign of the Cross on her forehead. He asked about the other children and all their ages, and I filled him in on the details. He told Aidan that he had a nice smile.

    I then introduced Bishop Blair to Sarah (who had been talking to another parent), and she says "Now what is it I'm supposed to do? I'm still unsure about the protocol." Honest question from a recent convert, if a little inopportune at that particular moment.

    I responded, "You genuflect and kiss his ring". Sarah did so. Bishop Blair was very patient and gracious during the exchange. Of course, during this whole thing I was so nervous that I forgot to introduce myself. Bishop Blair asked me my name, and I told him, as well as giving him our reasons for moving to his diocese. A very nice man. And a solid, orthodox Bishop to boot.

    I was not a witness to every exchange, but I didn't see anyone else kiss the Bishop's ring. Which isn't to say that Sarah and I are particularly holy or better Catholics than everyone else. We're most certainly not. The point I'm making is that it's just a little shocking to me that people no longer engage in this act of reverence to the Office of Bishop.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Meeting the Bishop

    Tuesday, September 26, 2006

    Digest of Today's Posts (26 September 2006)

  • Meeting the Bishop

  • Geography Meme

  • Mel Gibson's Remarks Regarding "Human Sacrifice" of Iraq War Draw Still More Controversy

  • Britain's Catholic Heritage Quiz

  • Bill Clinton, Bin Laden, and Hysterical Revisions

  • Movie Company Builds a Line of Faith-Based Films

  • Chesterton On "Tolerance"

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (25 September 2006))

    Meeting the Bishop

    Tomorrow morning, I get to meet Bishop of Toledo Leonard Blair, who is coming to Norwalk to dedicate the Norwalk Catholic School.

    Pretty excited about it. I know it's late notice, but I'd like some advice, and I need to hear from you by no later than 8:45 a.m. tomorrow (Wednesday) morning.

    To kiss the ring, or not to kiss the ring - that is the question.

    Geography Meme

    GOP Soccer Mom tagged me with this Geography Meme:
    1. A Place You've Visited and Your Favorite Thing there.
    Scotland - Glenfinnan and the Western Highlands
    (also Stirling Castle, Edinburgh Castle, Blair Castle, Dunfermline Abbey, Dunkeld Cathedral)

    2. A Country You'd Like to Visit and Why
    I'd love to continue going back to the British Isles over and over again. I've been to Ireland three times, England twice, and Scotland once. I really want to go back to Scotland with Sarah for a 2nd honeymoon sometime in the next few years, but we'd both also love to visit Wales since we've never been there. I'd also like to visit the Vatican and the Holy Land at some point in my life.

    3. A Place From History You'd Like to Visit and Why
    Apart from the obvious answer of 1st century Judea so that I could meet Jesus, Our Lady, and the apostles, I'd have to say the Island of Iona during the time of St. Columba, or early medieval England during the time of King Alfred the Great. Both time periods were eras of great learning - a "golden age" so to speak of illuminated books and manuscripts, not only of scripture but of philosophy and the classics.

    4. A Place You Know a Lot About
    Columbia, VA (I was Mayor of Columbia for 7 years)

    5. A Place You'd Like to Learn More About
    The Midwest (now that I live here - first time I've ever lived outside the South - I have lots to learn and many places I need to visit)

    6. A Fictional Place You'd Like to Visit
    Middle Earth

    Tag: Mr. & Mrs. Darwin, Rich Leonardi, Dale Price

    Mel Gibson's Remarks Regarding "Human Sacrifice" of Iraq War Draw Still More Controversy

    From MSNBC:
    Get ready for more Mel Gibson controversy.

    The “Apocalypto” director recently made widely reported comments drawing parallels between Mayan culture shortly before it collapsed and America’s current situation, saying “the precursors to a civilization that’s going under are the same, time and time again,” and adding, “What’s human sacrifice if not sending guys off to Iraq for no reason?”
    My Comments:
    Politics makes strange bedfellows. Many folks who have long stood by Mel Gibson are left scratching their heads and asking "WTF?" Included among that group are likely many members of the armed forces who probably don't appreciate having their military service described in such terms.

    On the other hand are those who otherwise wouldn't give a squirt of pee for Mel if his mouth were on fire, but who suddenly think he's some great Catholic. Witness, for example, this comment from notoriously liberal "Celine" at Amy Welborn's blog yesterday:
    "It's not surprising that Gibson would be anti-Bush since Catholics (following JPII and BXVI) are notoriously alle[r]gic to militarism and the War Party."
    So, apparently, one is less Catholic by virtue of having supported the Iraq War than is someone who outright rejects Vatican II and the authority of the Pope.

    Look, I'm a big fan of Mel Gibson. To the extent I have a "favorite Hollywood personality", I suppose it would be Mel. And it's clear this dude is fighting some serious demons, so I'm willing to cut him slack.

    Oppose the Iraq War if you must. But don't dishonor the military service of the men and women who have proudly served and/or died in Iraq by likening their service to their country to the human sacrifice practiced by pagan cultures.

    Britain's Catholic Heritage Quiz

    Joanna Bogle of Auntie Joanna Writes has posted a "Quiz ... aimed at encouraging greater knowledge of Britain's Catholic heritage":
    This is a serious Quiz: first correct set of answers gets a copy of my new book on Pope Benedict (published by Gracewing earlier this year). Only stipulation is: your entry to this Quiz must be accompanied by a (truthful) statement that you have done one of the things I listed the other day, eg contacted ACW website, ordered one or more of Pope Benedict's books from your local library.

    This Quiz is aimed at encouraging greater knowledge of Britain's Catholic heritage, and is also fun. You will find most answers on the Internet and/or in your local library - which you will in any case be visiting because of ordering a couple of Ratzinger books.....

    1.Where in Rome is a monument to the man comemorated in the "Skye Boat song"?
    2.Which English king established Westminster Abbey?
    3.Who was Bishop Richard Challoner?
    4.Who is the hero of the London plague, whose body lies in Westminster Cathedral?
    5.Who was Margaret Clitheroe and where is her home to be found?
    6.What is the Royal Maundy?
    7.Why is the Hilary law term so named?
    8.Where is Tyburn? What now comemorates the Catholic martyrs who suffered there?
    9.Name the village outside Oxford where John Henry Newman was recievd into the Catholic Church.
    10.Who wrote the hymn "Faith of our Fathers"?
    12.Where is Hilaire Belloc buried?
    13.Who was Anne Line?
    14.Who was Abbot Richard Whiting?
    15.Give the rest of the line of this poem:
    "Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
    16.Who had a vision of Our Lady at Walsingham, causing a shrine to be erected there?
    17.Who was St Thomas More's son in law, who wrote an acount of More's death?
    18.Who was the first Archbishop of Westminster, following the restoration of the RC hierarchy in England and Wales in 1850?
    19.Who was St George?
    20.When did Pope John Paul 1 visit Britain?
    21.Which famous London Catholic church comemorates a Saxon princess from Ely?

    I need your answers by Oct 15th. If this Quiz is popular, I'll do others.
    My Comments:
    Surprisingly, I knew the answer to most of these questions, but the others I hadn't a clue about.

    By the way, I'll give bonus points to anyone who can tell me the name of the person who is the subject of question #1, and not only the place in Rome where that person is commemorated, but the location and name of the only church in Britain where that person is commemorated.

    NOTE: You can find the answers to several of the questions in the Quiz located in the archives of this blog. Proving once again that daily reading of Pro Ecclesia * Pro Familia * Pro Civitate is beneficial to your cerebral health.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Joyful Joanna

    Auntie Joanna Writes

    Monday, September 25, 2006

    Bill Clinton, Bin Laden, and Hysterical Revisions

    From The American Thinker:
    Last week, former president Bill Clinton took some time out of his busy dating schedule to have a not so friendly chat with Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday. Given his rabidity, Mr. Clinton might consider taking a few milligrams of Valium the next time he allows himself to face “fair and balanced” questions, assuming once wasn’t enough that is.

    This wasn’t Mr. Clinton’s finest hour. In fact, it could be by far the worst performance of his career, which is saying a lot given that his acting skills were typically much more apparent than his policy-making acumen when he was in office.

    From the onset, Mr. Clinton seemed ill at ease. This is understandable, as he didn’t see the normally comforting initials of the “Clinton News Network” proudly displayed on the video cameras in front of him. But, this doesn’t absolve him of appearing before the American people as if he were Norman Bates just questioned about his mother.

    On the other hand, maybe asking the former president anything of consequence these days will elicit such volatility, as the fireworks started as soon as Wallace brought up historically factual statements made in a new book, The Looming Tower. In it, author Lawrence Wright addressed how Osama bin Laden had indicated that when American troops pulled out of Somalia in 1993, he and his al Qaeda buddies saw this as an indication of American weakness.

    Although this certainly couldn’t have been the first time he had heard this, it didn’t sit very well with Mr. Clinton, who lashed out in a fury akin to a president that had just been accused of having sexual relations with an intern ...


    "I want you to listen to me. I'm going to say this again. I did not not cut and run from that country, Somalia. I never passed on the opportunity to get Bin Laden, not a single time – never. These allegations are false. And I need to go back to work salvaging what's left of my legacy and my wife's presidential aspirations."

    Movie Company Builds a Line of Faith-Based Films

    From the Toledo Blade:
    Looking to provide entertainment for audiences that made The Passion of The Christ and The Chronicles of Narnia box-office hits, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment has launched a new label, FoxFaith.

    "We're in the business of entertainment, not proselytizing," said Jeff Yordy, vice president of marketing. "We simply recognized that there was a huge, underserved audience and seized the opportunity to provide them with high-quality entertainment that reflects their values."

    The American Humanist Association immediately decried the launch of FoxFaith, saying the label's existence is "evidence of a deepening religious rift in America."

    Twentieth Century Fox has been distributing products through the Christian Bookseller's Association since 2002 and has sold more than 30 million DVDs and done more than $200 million in retail business. But the launch of FoxFaith this week marks the start of a label specifically designed to market faith-based entertainment.

    Among the Christian titles released on video by FoxFaith are The Passion of The Christ, The End of the Spear, Love Comes Softly, Woman Thou Art Loosed, The Visitation, and Beyond the Gates of Splendor.

    Besides overtly religious titles, FoxFaith will release "wholesome family classics" including Dr. Doolittle with Rex Harrison, The Sound of Music, Because of Winn-Dixie, and My Friend Flicka.

    The label has been building a network of churches and ministries to promote its films and said it sends information to 90,000 congregations quarterly and has 14 million Christian households in its database.

    (emphasis added)

    My Comments:
    The American Humanist Association immediately decried the launch of FoxFaith, saying the label's existence is "evidence of a deepening religious rift in America."

    Heaven forbid that some company might want to serve a market interested in something other than the usual sex and violence served up by the entertainment industry.

    Chesterton On "Tolerance"

    " Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions."

    ~G. K. Chesterton

    Digest of Today's Posts (25 September 2006)

  • Sticking To His Guns, Pope Tells Muslim Leaders Violence Must Be Opposed

  • Are ALL Leftists Paranoid?

  • Globe Columnist: How Dare Pope Think Catholicism Superior!

  • George Weigel: "Pope Posed Tough Questions That the World Must Answer"

  • Cardinal Pell: "A Little Religious Reciprocity"

  • (Digest of Weekend's Posts (24 September 2006))

    Sticking To His Guns, Pope Tells Muslim Leaders Violence Must Be Opposed

    From The Guardian (UK):
    Pope Benedict stuck to his guns at a meeting with Muslim diplomats and representatives today aimed at launching talks between the Roman Catholic church and Islam into a new phase of more substantial - but perhaps thornier - debate.

    "We are in great need of an authentic dialogue between religions and between cultures," he said.

    Barely pausing to acknowledge the furore caused by a lecture he gave earlier this month, the pontiff went on to make a coded appeal for discussions on the two issues that most concern the Vatican. One is the scant religious freedom of Christians in predominantly Muslim countries. The second is the issue that ignited the latest row - Pope Benedict's view that too many Muslim clerics are willing to tolerate, if not actively encourage, violence.

    (emphasis added)

    My Comments:
    Sticking to his guns. I like that in a Pope.

    Are ALL Leftists Paranoid?

    (Or is it just the people who are out to get them that say that they are?)

    Two examples:

    "Right-Wingers Attacking Me," Clinton Says

    ( -
    Democrats are applauding former President Bill Clinton for standing up to Fox News's "right-wing bullying and propaganda machine." Full Story
    And second,
    Chavez: Bush May Try to Kill Me for "Devil" Comments

    ( -
    Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez said that U.S. President George W. Bush may be seeking to kill him for calling him "the devil" at the United Nations, according to the Associated Press. Full Story

    Globe Columnist: How Dare Pope Think Catholicism Superior!

    Mark Finkelstein at NewsBusters writes:
    If there's one person whose essence, whose very being, whose every fiber stands for the proposition that the Roman Catholic church is the one true religion, it is the Pope. The Church does define him as the Vicar of Christ, after all.

    So you might forgive the Pope for advocating the notion that his religion is superior. But somehow that notion deeply offends Boston Globe columnist - and former Roman Catholic priest - James Carroll. In his column of today, Pope Benedict's hierarchy of truth, faith, Carroll takes the Pope to task for asserting the superiority of his faith. Referencing the Pope's recent address that has caused a stir, Carroll writes:

    "The pope's lecture reveals a deeper and insulting problem. Benedict properly affirms the rationality of faith, and the corollary that faith should be spread by reasoned argument and not by violent coercion. But he does so as a way of positing Christian superiority to other faiths."

    Well, yeah. That is the Pope's job description, after all.

    And later: "Benedict is defending a hierarchy of truth. Faith is superior to reason. Christian faith is superior to other faiths (especially Islam). Roman Catholicism is superior to other Christian faiths. And the pope is supreme among Catholics. He does not mean to insult when he defends this schema, yet seems ignorant of how inevitably insulting it is. Nor does the pope understand that, today, such narcissism of power comes attached to a fuse."

    Carroll reveals a profound ignorance, perhaps grounded in hostility, about religion. If religion is just a quaint cultural relic, well then, there's no point in getting worked up over the supposed superiority of one's religion, or "faith tradition" as Al Gore so delicately preferred it in the 2000 campaign. Many pathways to God, let's all hold hands, sing Kumbaya and see you at the anti-war march next week. But what if you believe that your religion is not merely superior, but the one way in which man can achieve salvation and avoid eternal damnation? You might just be a tad more assertive in proclaiming that fact.

    Carrroll clearly can't contemplate someone so old-fashioned as to believe that. His failure exemplifies MSM attitudes toward religion and faith.

    George Weigel: "Pope Posed Tough Questions That the World Must Answer"

    George Weigel writes in USAToday:
    Over the 18 years I have known Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, I've formed some distinct impressions of the man.

    He is, first of all, a Christian gentleman whose exquisite manners reflect his innate shyness and respect for others. Then there is his encyclopedic knowledge of theology, which ranges far beyond the borders of the Catholic Church; Benedict XVI has read widely and deeply in Protestant and Orthodox thought, in Jewish scholarship, in Islamic sacred texts and commentaries. And there is the precision of his mind: I have often described Benedict as one of those rare men who, when asked a question, pauses, reflects — and then answers in complete paragraphs.

    All of which sheds some light on the global controversy that has swirled around the pope since his lecture on faith, reason, Christianity and Islam two weeks ago. Benedict XVI says precisely what he means and means exactly what he says. So what exactly was the pope saying, and why did he say it?

    Why would the pope raise these volatile questions, and in an academic lecture that he surely knew would be reduced to sound bites that distorted his meaning? I think that Benedict knew precisely the risks he was taking and thought the risks worthwhile. Why? Because he believes in the power of reason to cut through the fog of passion. Because he believes that serious problems — such as those posed by jihadist Islam — can be solved only by examining them at their roots. And because he might well have wanted to extend a helping hand to those Islamic reformers who are trying to convince the extremists among their fellow Muslims that irrational violence in the name of God is, in fact, offensive to the one true God.


    Cardinal Pell: "A Little Religious Reciprocity"

    Cardinal Pell, writing in The Sunday Telegraph (Australia), asks for "a little religious reciprocity" when it comes to Islam:
    AUSTRALIA has come well through the week that followed Pope Benedict's passing reference to Mohammed in his university address on the role of reason in religion.

    I never expected violence in Australia, and fully expected Moslem leaders and commentators to have their say. This is their right.

    Some moderates, such as Waleed Aly, came to grips with the problem, even if Sheik Hilali remained consistent and continued to play his usual game of personal criticism and completely avoiding the central issues in dispute: the relationship of violence to mainstream Islam and the Koran.

    In Australia, Catholics - and even archbishops - are used to public criticism. This goes with the active presence of Christian principles in public life, and is a consequence of our precious rights to freedom of expression.

    Prime Minister John Howard was correct to point out that "If Catholics rioted every time people attacked the Catholic Church, you would have riots on a very regular basis." If you don't like the heat, you don't go into the kitchen.

    (emphasis added)

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Cardinal Pell: Pope Protests "Show Violence" in Islam

    Cardinal Pell "Keen to Provoke Islam Debate"

    Cardinal Pell Sparks Outrage Over Islam Comments

    Two Prominent Catholics On Islam

    Sunday, September 24, 2006

    Digest of Weekend's Posts (24 September 2006)

  • Our Lady of Walsingham - 24 September

  • Photos, Postcards, and Mementos of My 2005 Pilgrimage to Walsingham

  • Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Walsingham - Day 9

  • Saturday
  • Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Walsingham - Day 8

  • (Digest of Friday's Posts (22 September 2006))

    Our Lady of Walsingham - 24 September

    Pilgrimage to the Land Known as "Our Lady's Dowry"

    O England great cause thou hast glad for to be
    Compared to the land of promise Sion
    To be called in every realm and region
    The Holy Land, Our Lady's Dowry ...

    One year ago today - on the Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham, I went on pilgrimmage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in the picturesque village of Little Walsingham, Norfolk, East Anglia.

    The Blessed Virgin Mary, under her title of Our Lady of Walsingham is the patroness of England (as well as the Anderson household).

    Historical Background

    Walsingham has been a place of pilgrimage since medieval times. At one time, it was ranked among the 3 most important pilgrimage sites in Europe, along with Santiago de Compostela and Rome.

    The original Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham was founded in 1061 by Richeldis de Faverches, who was taken in spirit to Nazareth and asked by Our Lady to build a replica, in Norfolk, of the Holy House of the Annunciation. The Shrine of the Holy House stood for almost 500 years as a place of devotion to the Holy Virgin Mother of God and the Incarnation of Her Son, before it was destroyed by Henry VIII at the Reformation.

    Many barren years passed until the Slipper Chapel, a 14th century wayside pilgrim chapel just outside the village of Little Walsingham, was restored and pilgrimage to Walsingham in honor of Our Blessed Lady began once more. Originally dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria, this wayside chapel had served medieval pilgrims on their way to England's Nazareth. Just as on Mount Sinai Moses took off his shoes because he was on holy ground, so pilgrims used to remove their shoes at the Slipper Chapel (hence, its name) and walk the Holy Mile into Walsingham barefoot.

    In 1934, the English Bishops named the Slipper Chapel the Roman Catholic National Shrine of Our Lady. The Slipper Chapel's first Mass since the Reformation was celebrated there on August 15, 1934, and on September 8, 1938, the Shrine was re-consecrated by the local Bishop.

    The most important image in the Chapel is the Statue of Our Lady of Walsingham.

    From the Women for Faith & Family website:
    Our Lady of Walsingham

    by Raven Wenner
    Our Lady of Walsingham Church
    Houston Texas

    In AD 2000, The Holy Father John Paul II decreed that the feast of Our Lady of Walsingham, mediaeval patroness of England, and in modern times patroness of all English-speaking peoples, is now celebrated on September 24th in England. It is a solemnity for all parishes in any part of the world named for Our Lady under this title.

    Our Lady of Walsingham was formerly celebrated on March 25th, "Lady Day" (Feast of the Annunciation), but for ecumenical considerations was moved to September 24th. (September 24 in England had been the feast of Our Lady of Ransom, who was entreated for the re-conversion of England, "Our Lady's Dowery".

    The feast of Our Lady of Walsingham was celebrated for the first time on the new date in 2001. The feast of the Annunciation is increasingly celebrated as a pro-life feast, considering children in the womb; Our Lady of Walsingham's feast asks us to contemplate the joy of the Incarnation in the simple family life of the Holy Family at Nazareth. The new date and emphasis on this feast is timely considering how family life is under attack in Western culture.

    Our Lady of Walsingham

    by Joanna Bogle
    Voices' Contributing Editor

    Walsingham is England’s national shrine to Our Lady, and a major place of pilgrimage and prayer. It is in Norfolk, a few miles from the North Sea, and is a small village set in the green countryside characteristic of this corner of Britain. The shrine dates back to the 12th century, when the local lady of the manor, Richeldis, had a vision of the Holy House – the home of the Holy family at Nazareth – on this spot. For centuries, pilgrims visited here and Our Lady of Walsingham was honoured with countless processions and prayers. Springs of water – they still exist today – were said to have healing powers. A great priory drew men who devoted themselves to the religious life. At the shrine itself, the image was always surrounded by candles, flowers, and gifts left by grateful pilgrims who had knelt there in prayer.

    In the early 16th century, among those who came were the young king Henry, and his wife Catherine. They were praying that God would grant them a son. England had seen terrifying wars in an earlier generation as the houses of Lancaster and York battled out their struggle for supremacy, and now stability was needed for the new ruling house of Tudor. It was not to be. Catherine bore several children, but all died in infancy except one daughter, Mary. Henry, angry and disappointed, decided to marry his mistress Anne Boleyn. He sought an annulment of his marriage through the Church, but failed to obtain it. Divorcing Catherine unilaterally, he married Anne – who by then was carrying his child – and announced himself head of the Church. The Lord Chancellor, Thomas More, and the Bishop of Rochester, John Fisher, were beheaded at the Tower of London in 1534 for refusing to affirm him in his claims, maintaining instead that only the Pope, the successor of Saint Peter, could hold that office. . Needing funds, Henry turned on the Church and crushed monasteries and priories. On the excuse of its being idolatrous, the shrine at Walsingham was destroyed and the statue burned. For some 400 years, there were no more pilgrimages, processions, or signs of devotion to Mary in this quiet village.

    The shrine was revived in the early 20th century – an Anglican vicar researched the history and re-created the Holy House in a new shrine, and a Catholic lady obtained the old “Slipper Chapel” just outside the village and this became the revived Catholic centre of devotion. Today, there are pilgrimages throughout the summer and the Catholic shrine has its own large church built of attractive local stone. Pilgrims pray and sing as they walk the “Holy Mile” – traditionally barefoot – from the village. Schools, parish groups, Catholic organisations – all come with their banners and their choirs, their sandwiches and their children, to greet Our Lady at a place which combines the pleasures of unusually beautiful countryside with an atmosphere of real devotion and joy. Some groups stay for days – a local farmer rents out fields in which large groups of young pilgrims and families can camp – and in recent years Walsingham has seen a revival of Eucharistic adoration and confession, promoted by “Youth 2000”, a major initiative of the “John Paul 11 generation”.

    When Pope John Paul visited Britain in 1982 the image of Our Lady of Walsingham was brought to London where it was the centrepiece of a major rally attended by the Holy Father. Many Catholic families, churches and schools, have copies of the image: it is an unusual one in which Mary is seen seated, as a dignified queen wearing a simple Saxon-style crown and carrying the Christ-child seated upright on her lap. Honour to Our Lady of Walsingham is linked to prayer that the people of England may once again return to the practice of the Catholic Faith: Our Lady of Walsinghan, pray for us!

    UPDATE (25 September)
    From the Medieval Saints Yahoo Group:
    Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham
    Also known as Virgin by the Sea, site also known as England's Nazareth

    Shrine established in 1061, priory in 1150

    Commemorated September 24

    "Let all who are in any way distressed or in need seek me there in that small house that you maintain for me at Walsingham. To all that seek me there shall be given succour."

    Until the martyrdom of St. Thomas a Becket at Canterbury in 1170, Walsingham was England's most celebrated and visited shrine. Many miracles were attributed to Our Lady of Walsingham, including one in which Kind Edward I was saved from a piece of falling masonry. There constructed shrine was recently voted England's favourite spiritual place in a poll of BBC Radio 4 listeners.

    Our Lady of Walsingham

    In 1061 Lady Richeldis de Faverches, lady of the manor near the village of Walsingham, Norfolk, England, was taken in spirit to Nazareth. There Our Lady asked her to build a replica, in Norfolk, of the Holy House where she had been born, grew up, and received the Annunciation of Christ's impending birth. She immediately did, constructing a house 23'6" by 12'10" according to the plan given her. Its fame slowly spread, and in 1150 a group of Augustinian Canons built a priory beside it. Its fame continued to grow, and for centuries it was a point of pilgrimage for all classes, the recipient of many expensive gifts.

    In 1534 Walsingham became one of the first houses to sign the Oath of Supremacy, recognizing Henry VIII as head of the Church in England. Dissenters were executed, and in 1538 the House was stripped of its valuables, its statue of the Virgin taken to London to be burned, its buildings used as farm sheds for the next three centuries.

    In 1896 Charlotte Boyd purchased the Slipper Chapel and donated it to Downside Abbey. In 1897 Pope Leo XIII re-founded the ancient shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, and pilgrimages are permitted to resume. The statue of Our Lady is enshrined in 1922 beginning an era of cooperation at the shrine between Catholics and Anglicans. In 1981 construction began on the Chapel of Reconciliation, a cooperative effort between the two confessions, and located near the shrine. The feast of Our Lady of Walsingham was reinstated in 2000.


    Walsingham Priory

    Walsingham Priory stood a few miles from the sea in the northern part of Norfolk, England. Founded in the time of Edward the Confessor, the chapel of Our Lady of Walsingham was confirmed to the Augustinian Canons a century later and enclosed within the priory. From the first this shrine of Our Lady was a famous place of pilgrimage. Hither came the faithful from all parts of England and from the continent until the destruction of the priory by Henry VIII in 1538. To this day the main road of the pilgrims through Newmarket, Brandon, and Fakenham is still called the Palmers' Way.

    Many were the gifts of lands, rents, and churches to the canons of Walsingham, and many the miracles wrought at Our Lady's shrine. Henry III came on a pilgrimage to Walsingham in 1241, Edward I in 1280 and 1296, Edward II in 1315, Henry VI in 1455, Henry VII in 1487, and Henry VIII in 1513. Erasmus in fulfilment of a vow made a pilgrimage from Cambridge in 1511, and left as his offering a set of Greek verses expressive of his piety. Thirteen years later he wrote his colloquy on pilgrimages, wherein the wealth and magnificence of Walsingham are set forth, and some of the reputed miracles rationalized.

    In 1537 while the last prior, Richard Vowell, was paying obsequious respect to Cromwell, the sub-prior Nicholas Milcham was charged with conspiring to rebel against the suppression of the lesser monasteries, and on flimsy evidence was convicted of high treason and hanged outside the priory walls. In July, 1538, Prior Vowell assented to the destruction of Walsingham Priory and assisted the king's commissioners in the removal of the figure of Our Lady, of many of the gold and silver ornaments and in the general spoliation of the shrine. For his ready compliance the prior received a pension of 100 pounds a year, a large sum in those days, while fifteen of the canons received pensions varying from 4 pounds to 6 pounds. The shrine dismantled, and the priory destroyed, its site was sold by order of Henry VIII to one Thomas Sidney for 90 pounds, and a private mansion was subsequently erected on the spot.

    The Elizabethan ballad, "A Lament for Walsingham," expresses something of what the Norfolk people felt at the loss of their glorious shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.

    More on Our Lady of Walsingham at:

    Our Lady of Walsingham,
    pray for us.

    Official Shrine Site

    The Virgin by the Sea; Our Lady of Walsingham (University of Dayton)

    Patron Saints Index: Our Lady of Walsingham

    Our Lady of Walsingham (

    Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Church (Anglican Use) - Houston, TX

    Orthodox Christian Society of Our Lady of Walsingham

    Fr. Finigan's Walsingham posts at The Hermeneutic of Continuity

    Labels: , , ,

    hit counter for blogger