Category Archives: Church History

Guillaume Du Fay: Missa Ecce ancilla Domini

This week we peruse the repertoire of Sacred Music from the 15th century. We begin with this piece by Guillaume Du Fay, his, Missa Ecce ancilla Domini, written in honor of Our Lady.

Du fay had a colorful life. Born as a bastard of a priest at Cambrai (now France); he was raised by his mother and, having shown exceptional musical talent, received the help of many clerics who gave him an excellent musical formation. He obtained a benefice as a chaplain at the age of 16, at Cambrai, traveled to Contanz for the Ecumenical Council held there 1415-1418. Returning to Cambrai, he was made a subdeacon at the Cathedral, where he served two years. Then he spent four years traveling in Italy and working as a musician for the Nobility. Worn out by travels he returned home for two years, beginning in 1426.

He then traveled to Bologna, in Italy, and was taken under the patronage of Cardinal Louis Aleman, the papal legal. He was ordained a deacon, and then a priest at Bologna.  He fled Bologna in 1428, when it rebelled against the Pope, and went to Rome where he entered the service of Popes Martin V and Eugene IV. There he became the most famous musician in Europe of his time. When the forces of Conciliarists drove Pope Eugene from Rome and set up a temporary republic, he accepted invitations to courts from all over Europe.

He was the court composer for the Duke of Savoy in 1434, and returned to the service of Pope Eugene IV at Florence in 1435. When the schismatic Council of Basel deposed Pope Eugene IV, he fled to Turin and got a degree in law and then returned home to Cambrai, where he obtained a position as Canon of the Cathedral in 1440.

From 1452 he traveled Italy seeking the patronage of the Nobility, writing and composing music to pay his way. In his final years, he returned to and remained at Cambrai, where his fame drew students of music and composers from all of Europe to collaborate with him. He completely revised the musical  books used by the Cathedral and set in motion the rise of sacred polyphony for the next generation.

He died on Nov. 27, 1470, and as he passed requested that his motet, Ave Regina Caelorum be sung. Thus died a great servant of Our Lady and the Church.

Nazi Refugees and the origins of the St. Gallen Mafia

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

In this article I am going to carpet bomb any notion you had that Bergoglio and his supportive faction are politically the opposite end of the spectrum from the Nazi Party of Germany in the Second World War. And I am not going to do it by a political or ideological analysis, but by a historical demonstration of collaboration. At every point, I will out the member of the House of Rampolla del Tindaro, who was involved or probably was involved. I mention Cardinal Rampolla del Tindaro, because his episcopal descendants form the core axis of membership in the St. Gallen Mafia (a.k.a, “Team Bergoglio”), as have demonstrated some time ago (see report here).

Rat Lines

“Rat Lines” is the term given to  organized routes of escape used by member of the Nazi Party and German Government and Military to flee Germany at the end of the War while avoiding capture by the Allied powers.

THE VATICAN RAT LINE

Historians have identified that the first Rat Lines were created using the existing network of relations between the Vatican and Argentina. As I reported yesterday, Argentina was nearly entirely in the control of the House of Rampolla.

These connections were no doubt facilitated by a Rampolla man: the Apostolic Nuncio to Argentina, Archbishop Giuseppe Fietta, who was named to that post on June 20, 1936 (Wikipedia has the wrong date, according to Catholic-Hierarchy.org) —  He had been the Nuncio to Haiti and the Dominican Republic, since Sept. 23, 1930.  — Months later, on Dec. 11, 1936 he was also named Nuncio to Paraguay, but resigned on Nov. 12, 1939 shortly before Italy entered the war on the Axis side. Wikipedia gives more detail on how the Cardinal may have done this without getting his own hands dirty:

As early as 1942, Monsignor Luigi Maglione contacted Ambassador Llobet, inquiring as to the “willingness of the government of the Argentine Republic to apply its immigration law generously, in order to encourage at the opportune moment European Catholic immigrants to seek the necessary land and capital in our country”.[6] Afterwards, a German priest, Anton Weber, the head of the Rome-based Society of Saint Raphael, traveled to Portugal, continuing to Argentina, to lay the groundwork for future Catholic immigration; this was to be a route which fascist exiles would exploit. According to historian Michael Phayer, “this was the innocent origin of what would become the Vatican ratline”.[6]

Bishop Alois Hudal

Bishop Hudal is the first prelate we know by name to have aided and abbetted German war criminals to escape from Europe. We know this because he confesses it his memoirs. He was a Nazi sympathizer. He was appointed by the Vatican in Dec. 1944 to visit prisoner of war camps. Being a German and rector of the Pontifical Teutonic Institute at Rome (a seminary for German and Austrian students) he used every means he could to help them escape.  One of Bishop Hudal’s co-consecrators was Bishop Ferdinand Stanislaus Pawlikowski, a Rampolla man, and it makes sense that Archbishop Fiettta may have urged his nomination to the position he received.

Hudal and other Catholic clergy used their influence with the International Red Cross to forge papers as necessary to obtain for the war criminals visas to travel overseas. But Hudal’s efforts were numerically small in scope

San Girolamo Ratline

The first large scale effort to assist large numbers to escape was organized by Franciscan clergy in Croatia and Austria. Both countries were heavily dominated in those years by Rampolla men in the major Bishoprics: Innsbruck, Salburg, Feldkirk, and Vienna, all had Rampolla Bishops and auxiliary Bishops during Word War II. As Bishops at the end of the war, due to their contacts with the Red Cross they would be the natural go-to persons for those wishing to escape Germany.

The San Girolamo Ratline is called by that name, because the Croatian clergy at the College by that name at Rome, facilitated the operation. The actual Rat Line ran from Austrian and Croatia to the port of Genoa. Why Genoa? The Cardinal Archbishop of Genoa from 1938 to 1946 was Cardinal Pietro Boetto, S. J., a Rampolla man.

Argentine Ratlines

On orders of the Dictator Peron, Argentina made overtures to welcome refugees from Nazi Germany. Argentines were instrumental in establishing Rat Lines from Scandinavia, Switzerland and Belgium.

Why Switzerland? The Bishop of Chur, on the German border, was a Rampolla man: Bishop Lauenz Matthew Vincenz, until 1941. And the Bishop of St. Gallen from 1938 to 1957, was Bishop Joseph Meile, who co-consecrated a Rampolla man. So it is highly probably that the House of Rampolla had priests in Eastern Switzerland, whom they ordained, to be operative for such a work.

Why Belgium? Both the Dioceses of Melchen and Tournai had had Rampolla men in them prior to the War. There would be then an abundance of Rampolla Clergy in the country, where there was already a strong pro-Nazi movement among Catholics at Louvain

But the key Rampolla man in all of this was Cardinal Caggiano. I quote from Wikipedia, again:

According to Goñi, Argentina’s first move into Nazi smuggling was in January 1946, when Argentine bishop Antonio Caggiano, leader of the Argentine chapter of Catholic Action flew with another bishop, Agustín Barrére, to Rome where Caggiano was due to be anointed Cardinal. In Rome the Argentine bishops met with French Cardinal Eugène Tisserant, where they passed on a message (recorded in Argentina’s diplomatic archives) that “the Government of the Argentine Republic was willing to receive French persons, whose political attitude during the recent war would expose them, should they return to France, to harsh measures and private revenge”

Cardinal Caggiano was one of the most prolific consecrators of Rampolla men in Argentina. That it was he to make the overtures to open the Rat Lines to Argentina makes the supposition that the House of Rampolla collaborated with the Nazis to help them escape from Europe, indisputable.

In 2004, over 700 FBI documents were declassified, a study of which showed that the U.S. Government was aware of rumors and evidence which shows that even Adolf Hitler, after faking a death in Berlin, had used one of these Rat Lines to escape to Argentina. These stunning revelations were subject of a multi part series by National Geographic, which alleged to know even of the final resting place and residence of the former Dictator in the Argentine Andes.

Spanish Ratlines

According to the report by National Geographic, Hitler was smuggled to Spain and hid in Galicia until he could flee to South America. This is no surprise, because Zacarías Martínez y Núñez, O.S.A., a Rampolla man had been the Bishop of Santiago de Compostella from 1927 to 1933, and was replaced by a Bishop whose co-consecrator was a Rampolla man. Therefore, it is highly probable that there were pro Rampolla clergy in the province to be used in any task at hand.

CONCLUSIONS

At the time of World War II, Rampolla men occupied the Bishoprics of Munich-Freising, Regensburg, Augsburg, Passau, Linz, Seckau, Sankt Pölten, Salzburg and Innsbruck. These all were either part of existing Rat Lines or natural door ways to them. Some of them are in close proximity to Berchtesgaden, the effective Head Quarters of the Third Reich, Hitler’s mountain residence in Southern Bavaria.

Thus both in Germany and in Argentina the House of Rampolla was present to exploit the opportunity. And in Argentina they took the initiative to begin the effort.

But maybe the cooperation went further than that. Maybe it did not end with Rat Lines. Let us not forget the ominous words of Adolf Hitler in the final weeks of World War II, in regarded a question put to him: What would become of the Nazi party, would it disappear after the war? No, he said, it would return in 100 years, but not as a party, but as a religion.

When persons fled, money and information fled. Where did Bergoglio get the 70 million euros from the Archdiocese of Buenas Aires to invest in the Vatican Bank during the pontificate of Pope John Paul II? Is that what bought him the leadership position in the St. Gallen Mafia?

The St. Gallen Mafia was founded around 1992. It’s Bishop, Ivo Furer, was not a Rampolla man, but the co-consecrator of his co-consecrator was. The diocese of St. Gallen is in eastern Switzerland, along the German border, the very border through which thousands of Nazis seeking to escape allied forces escaped to Spain and South America.

So when you next hear Bergoglio calling his enemies, “Nazis”, perhaps you can check it off as another act of psychological projection.

RECOMMENDED FURTHER READING: Evita, the Swiss & the Nazis.

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The Grandfather of the St. Gallen Mafia

The House of Rampolla del Tindaro

AND ITS TIES TO THE AMAZON

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

As I continue my series of investigations into episcopal lineages and what they imply as regards factions among the Cardinals and Bishops of today, I cannot omit the most important for this investigation: the House of Rampolla del Tindaro, on account of its centrality in the history of the Church since the reign of Pope Leo XIII right down to Jorge Mario Bergoglio. See my previous report on the St. Gallen Mafia’s ties to Rampolla, here.

This faction is very large and very powerful. You can see the power of Cardinal Rampolla in the very fact that he was never the co-consecrator of any bishop, he was always the principal consecrator.

Next, you can see the power of the man shown in this, that nearly a third of all those Bishops whom he consecrated became Cardinals of the Roman Church. You can also see the power of the man, through the generations, by the number of men who seek as their principal consecrator a Cardinal or Bishop whose episcopal lineage traces back to Cardinal Rampolla. This is no accident of fame. Cardinal Rampolla is not known for his holiness, he was the rival of Saint Pius X. Who would want such a lineage?

As can be seen from this list, the House of Rampolla comprises a large part of the hierarchy of Brazil, and many bishops in the Amazon, for generations. Thus, when next you hear of the Amazon Synod, understand that its name is no accident: it is a code word for The Synod of the House of Rampolla del Tindaro, Godfather of the St. Gallen Mafia.

From this study, one can also see the power bases of the House of Rampolla, in addition to Italy and Brazil: Venezuela, Cuba, Santo Domingo, Argentina, Macau and Portugal. Also, other nations where Bergoglio has visited, such as Vietnam, Sudan/South Sudan, Mozambique. And others he has not, like Taiwan, Tanzania, Uganda, Riwanda, Indonesia and Hong Kong.

Indeed, as I reported the other day, the prevalence that is seen here of Rampolla men in Portugal and its former colonies of Brazil and Mozambique is another indication that Cardinal Nuno da Cunha de Athaíde from Portugal has had a lasting influence in the geopolitics of the faction.

This is further evidence of why Our Lady chose Fatima, in the heart of Portugal, for the decisive place of Her most magnificent miracle in all history and God’s most magnificent promises of salvation since Pentecost. The fact that Saint John says in the Apocalypse that the Dragon will seek out the woman who flees to the countryside, may be a reference to Fatima and its location. Moreover, we know that of all the Apostles, after Saint John, his brother Saint James went to Iberia to preach the Gospel and was active in the area of Portugal. Perhaps he too knew from Our Lady and his brother, where the decisive spiritual battle would take place at the end of times.

Another avenue of research will be to see how many Rampolla men were voting at the Second Vatican Council, to determine how much of that Council was produced under their direction, as the truth of that investigation may blow the lid off all claims that the Council was inspired by the Holy Spirit. Indeed, the insistence of Bergoglian supporters to claim that Bergoglio is fulfilling the Council may already answer that question.

You will find some very notable names on this list. One is that of Cardinal Siri, whom many sedevacantists hold was elected pope but forced to step aside. Whether he accepted an election or not, perhaps can be never known, but if he was forced to step aside, the request to do so may have come from the very faction to which he belonged!

Another is Cardinal Zen of Hong Kong. Annother Cardinal Ruini, Cardinal Merry del Val and Cardinal Manning. Another is the Bergoglian created Cardinal of Tonga, in the South Pacific.

So, for your information and the further research of scholars, here are the men whom he consecrated. In this list, the date is the date of consecration as a Bishop. The cross indicates that he persons is no longer alive. To each bishop, I have subordinated in turn the men whom he has consecrated, and so on. Thus, thus the men who are not subordinated, were consecrated by Cardinal Rampolla. The men who are subordinated only one indenture, were consecrated by the man above them who is not subordinated at all. And so on.

The House of Rampolla del Tindaro

 

Bishop Gracida and the Magisterium of the Church on Patients’ rights to food and hydration

By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Many Catholics in the Church, right now, are extremely worried and upset at the ongoing apostasy and silence of nearly the entire Catholic Hierarchy. Many believe that we have entered the Great Apostasy, foretold by Saint John the Apostle in the Book of the Apocalypse.

GracidaBut there is one Bishop who gives the faithful hope, by his words and example: the Most Rev. René Henry Gracida, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi. This is because, since February 2013, he has been an outspoken critique of the Resignation of Pope Benedict, the election of Jorge Bergoglio and the consistent heretical and erratic behavior of that man. You can read his writings and musings at his blog, Abyssum.org.

Narrative controlled Catholic Media have concealed from nearly the entire Church the strong Catholic stance of Bishop Gracida, who has not only written many Cardinals and Bishops urging a canonical investigation into the election irregularities perpetrated before and during the Conclave of 2013, but has publicly supported calls for an Imperfect Synod, publicly condemned Bergoglio for his idolatry in the Vatican Gardens, and holds that Bergoglio should be tried for heresy.

FromRome.Info as a truly Catholic Media Outlet praises Bishop Gracida for acting as all Bishops and Cardinals should act, and urges all Cardinals and Bishops to do the same! We should constantly encourage and reprove Bishops who are not doing their duty in this most urgent crisis in the Church, in which the Catholic party should prove itself by at least doing what Bishop Gracida has done.

But since Bishop Gracida is not so well known, let me first relate a little of his personal history, and then explain how the teaching of the Church on Patients’ Rights, as regards nutrition and hydration, was formulated thanks to Bishop Gracida’s defense of the Deposit of the Faith on the Fifth Commandment of the Decalogue: Thou shalt not kill.

It all began in Louisiana

René Henry Gracida was born on June 9, 1923, nearly a 100 years ago, in New Orleans. His father was an engineer and architect of Mexican descent, and his mother a 5th generation Cajun lass. His great uncle was a vicar general of a diocese in Mexico and rather well know for his strictness in matters of religion.

In 1942, he went to college at Rice University, in Houston, and signed up with the U.S. Army Corp Air Reserve, to anticipate being drafted. He was called to active duty in the Summer of 1943.

303ebombgroup-emblem
303 Air Expeditionary Bomber Group Emblem

The future Bishop became a tail gunner in the 303 Hell’s Angels Air Expeditionary Bomber Group, the most active Bomber Group in the US Military during the war. It became active in February 1942, and flew more than 75 combat missions.

If you know anything about Areal Warfare during the Second World War, then you know how horrific, harrowing, and down right terrifying it was for men to fly Bomber missions through enemy territory and relatively undefended from German Fighter plans and Flak attacks. Each mission was a possible no return.

After the War, he studied at  the University of Fribourg, in Switzerland, and the University of Houston, where he earned a degree in Architecture.

Under the Rule of Saint Benedict of Nursia . . .

Then the grace of God hit him. — Having read the lives of the Jesuit Martyrs as a youth, and familiarized himself with the life of Saint Benedict of Nursia, he decided to become a monk and dedicate himself to the divine service of God. — So you can imagine how his father, who disliked his own uncle for that reason, reacted when his son revealed he wanted to follow Saint Benedict and become a Monk!

He entered the Benedictine Order in 1951, and went on to study at St. Vincent’s College and St Vincent Seminary, in Latrobe, PA, where he earned a Masters in Divinity. He took solemn vows in 1956 and became a Deacon in 1958.

He was ordained a Priest on May 23, 1959, at the age of 36, just before the Second Vatican Council opened.

Following reprisals for a sincere critique of his Abbots plan for a new Monastery, he separated from the Benedictine Order and was accepted as a priest in the Diocese of Miami, which had need of an Architect. He was incardinated there in 1961, and on account of his faithful service to the Church was nominated by Pope Paul VI, on Dec. 6, 1971, as Auxiliary of the Diocese.

In the footsteps of the Apostles . . .

He was consecrated Bishop, on January 25, 1972. — That means, in just 2 days, he will celebrate the 48th anniversary of his episcopal consecration!

On account of his being consecrated by Archbishop Dearden, he traces his episcopal lineage back to Saint Pius X, and then to Popes Clement XIII, Benedict XIV and Benedict XIII.

Gracida as bishopHe was so highly respected as an administrator of God’s House that Pope Paul VI promoted him to the Bishopric of Pensacola-Talahasse in 1975. Pope John Paul II, in 1983, then promoted him again to the Bishopric of Corpus Christi, Texas, where he served until his retirement for reasons of health at nearly 74 years of age, in 1997.

As Bishop of Corpus Christi he was known for his refusal of communion to public sinners. He also published a pastoral letter rebuking all the other Bishops of Texas for their official public statement on Patient’s Rights, in which they taught that food and water could in some circumstances be denied patients.

In response, Bishop Gracida, in full fidelity to his duty as a Successor of the Apostles, published a public Letter correcting the errors of his brother Bishops, on May 25, 1990.

The doctrine he handed down would be taken up by Pope John Paul II in 2004 and affirmed as the official position of the Catholic Church on the right of patients to food and hydration.

For your edification, I share here, with the permission of His Excellency, the text of his Pastoral Letter of 1990.

A Dissent From the ‘Interim Pastoral Statement on Artificial Nutrition and Hydration’

Authored By: Bishop Gracida

INTERIM PASTORAL STATEMENT ON ARTIFICIAL NUTRITION AND HYDRATION

Bishop Rene H. Gracida

A Dissent From The “Interim Pastoral Statement On Artificial Nutrition And Hydration” Issued By The Texas Conference Of Catholic Health Facilities And Some Of The Bishops Of Texas

Recently the Texas Catholic Conference in Austin released the final text of the document approved by the Texas Catholic Conference of Health Facilities and sixteen of the twenty-one Bishops of Texas. I had declined to sign the document because I consider it to be seriously flawed.

It seems to me that the document gives a higher priority to efforts to relieve the burden caused by a serious illness rather than efforts to protect the sick person’s right to life. The document deals with the withdrawal of nutrition and hydration from a seriously ill patient.

This whole matter is one which is being debated by the legal and medical professions as well as by theologians and ethicists. The Holy See has this whole controversial area of morality under review and will undoubtedly issue a major declaration on the subject sometime in the next year or two.

In the meantime, I would have preferred to see my fellow Bishops of Texas issue a document which would have made a stronger statement in support of the sick person’s right to receive food and drink as the basic necessities of life.

My specific objections to the text of the statement which was recently made public, are:

1. In the title and throughout the text, the phrase “artificial nutrition and hydration” is used. This is inaccurate: the food and water used are not artificial. It is medically appropriate to speak of “artificially assisted nutrition and hydration.” It is the mode of assistance that is artificial.

2. Under “Basic Moral Principles” the Declaration on Euthanasia is used selectively. As the title of that document indicates, one must begin with a rejection of euthanasia—defined by the Declaration as “an action or an order that all suffering may in this way be eliminated.”

Only “after” one has established that an omission of care or treatment is not directly intended to bring about death should one turn to the complex task of assessing benefits and burdens. The question of intention is central here: If the removal of a life-sustaining procedure is intended to avoid an unreasonable burden of the procedure, so that a quicker death is only an unintended side-effect of the decision, it is not a case of euthanasia.

3. Also not treated here is the question whether artificially assisted feeding may be classified as “normal care” rather than “treatment.” The “Declaration” says normal care must be provided even when one has removed “forms of treatment that would only secure a precarious and burdensome prolongation of life” for an imminently dying patient.

Whether tube feeding may constitute “normal care” is not currently resolved by the magisterium; three non-magisterial bodies (Pontifical Council Cor Unum, editorial board of La Civilta Cattolica, and a working group of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences) have issued statements answering the question in the affirmative. If tube feeding has some aspects of “normal care,” this would strengthen the presumption in favor of providing it in most cases.

4. The inclusion of burdens on “others—family, care provider, or community”—is more broadly stated than in existing Church documents. The Declaration on Euthanasia speaks of the “patient himself” validly making a self-sacrificing decision not to burden other: when those “others” are the agents making the decision, other factors (including the Golden Rule) come into play.

“All” long-term care for seriously impaired patients is a “burden” on the community, but it may be a burden that has to be willingly shouldered: “The respect, the dedication, the time and means required for the care of handicapped persons, even of those whose mental faculties are gravely affected, is the price that a society should generously pay in order to remain truly human” (Document of the Holy See for the International Year of Disabled Persons, 1981.)

5. The phrase about “investment in medical technology and personnel disproportionate to the expected results” is taken from a paragraph in the Declaration on Euthanasia that concerns “the most advanced medical techniques,” especially those “at the experimental stage.” This document applies the phrases to life-supporting means generally.

6. I know of no Church document that says treatment is disproportionate when it involves “inequitable resource allocation.” This could be a broad loophole for communities saying that severely impaired persons are not worth the money. The phrase should be clarified or deleted.

7. The restrictive statement that “maintenance of life” is a benefit only when it involves reasonable hop of recovery” could ground discriminatory withholding of life preserving means from people with incurable disabilities.

It vitiates the principle that everyone has the same basic “right to life” regardless of age or condition, which in Catholic social teaching means that every person has the same basic right to the necessities that sustain life. Life is “always a good.” How can it be a good without being a benefit?

8. The equation between “foregoing” and “withdrawing” is an oversimplification. What of cases where initiation of tube feeding entails the transient risks and burdens of minor surgery under general or local anesthesia, but its maintenance does not involve these burdens? Must this change in the burden/benefit calculus be ignored?

9. The claim that the NCCB Pro-Life Committee came to the “same conclusion” is overstated. The Committee’s chief message was rejection of any efforts at “intentionally hastening the deaths of vulnerable patients by starvation or dehydration”; as was said in point #2 above, the text under consideration does not have this focus.

Also, the Pro-Life Committee document clearly supports tube feeding that can “effectively preserve ‘life’ without involving too grave a burden”; the present draft, as noted above, judges effectiveness in terms of preserving “life with reasonable hope of recovery,” which is a different standard.

10. The question of “cause of death” is a major open question in the current debate. This text overstates the importance of that question, because traditional moral teaching puts great weight on “intention.”

It also understates the causal role of an omission of nutrition and hydration in hastening death, in cases where a patient could have survived in a medically stable condition for years with continued feeding. The phrase “proximate physical means” is obscure, and should have been replaced by “proximate physical cause of death.” One can recognize that the omission is the proximate cause leading to death, while reaffirming that the hastening of death is “praeter intentionem” in some cases.

11. The claim that all these decisions are made “by the patients themselves and by no one else” is not supported in the Church documents. The Declaration says “account will have to be taken of the ‘reasonable’ wishes of the wishes of the patient ‘and the patient’s family,’ as also of ‘the advice of the doctors’ who are specially competent in the matter.”

In cases of doubt “it pertains to the conscience either of the sick person, ‘or’ of the doctors, to decide, in the light of moral obligations and of the various aspects of the case.” In the Declaration a major “moral obligation” binding on “all” decision makers is the rejection of euthanasia by action or omission. Theses qualifications are all absent from (even explicitly rejected by) the document.

12. To say the “morally appropriate” withdrawal of tubal feeding is not “abandoning the person” is a truism. It is equally true to say: “The morally inappropriate withdrawal of tube feeding ‘is’ abandonment of the person.”

This leaves us nowhere, because the text gives no guidelines on when the burdens of artificially assisted feeding are grave enough to render this means optional (except for the overboard standard cited above that whatever the patient says is right).

13. The statement that the patient should not be impeded from “taking the final step” has an ominous sound to it; it might give the impression that hastening death can be directly intended. A phrase like “accepting the inevitability of death ” would have been better.

14. The phrase “threat ‘of’ life” on page 5, line 19 is, I hope, a misprint for “threat ‘to’ life.” The presumption seems to be that death from a life-threatening condition is the “normal consequence” that should occur, and one needs a special reason to “impede” this “normal” state of affairs.

The burden of proof should go the other way: We have a “prima facie” obligation to save someone’s life unless there is a special reason (e.g., ineffectiveness, grave burdensomeness) not to do so. One senses here a very passive model for human action in the world in cases of preventable death—one that does not comport well with the stated “presumption” in favor of averting death.

15. The document as a whole should have distinguished more clearly between two classes of patients: Those who are dying soon no matter what we do for them (e.g., terminal cancer patient), and those who are medically stable and are “not” dying if provided with continued nutrients and fluids.

A much more permissive standard is possible for the former class of patients, for whom continued feeding may become strictly useless in prolonging life. A strong presumption could be established in favor of life-sustaining feeding for the latter class, rebuttable in cases of excessive burden.

A strong presumption here is especially important because, in some celebrated cases, tube feeding has apparently been withdrawn from the latter class of patients precisely because they are “not” dying and someone wants death to occur (see ACLU brief in the Hector Rodas case, cautionary statements by ethicist Daniel Callahan, and concurring opinion by Judge Lynn Compton in the Elizabeth Bouvia case).

This statement was published in the May 25, 1990 edition of the Corpus Christi “Diocesan Press.”

Here follows the teaching of Pope John Paul II, on the same issue:

 

ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II
TO THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS
ON “LIFE-SUSTAINING TREATMENTS AND VEGETATIVE STATE:
SCIENTIFIC ADVANCES AND ETHICAL DILEMMAS” 

Saturday, 20 March 2004

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

1. I cordially greet all of you who took part in the International Congress: “Life-Sustaining Treatments and Vegetative State: Scientific Advances and Ethical Dilemmas”. I wish to extend a special greeting to Bishop Elio Sgreccia, Vice-President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, and to Prof. Gian Luigi Gigli, President of the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations and selfless champion of the fundamental value of life, who has kindly expressed your shared feelings.

This important Congress, organized jointly by the Pontifical Academy for Life and the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations, is dealing with a very significant issue: the clinical condition called the “vegetative state”. The complex scientific, ethical, social and pastoral implications of such a condition require in-depth reflections and a fruitful interdisciplinary dialogue, as evidenced by the intense and carefully structured programme of your work sessions.

2. With deep esteem and sincere hope, the Church encourages the efforts of men and women of science who, sometimes at great sacrifice, daily dedicate their task of study and research to the improvement of the diagnostic, therapeutic, prognostic and rehabilitative possibilities confronting those patients who rely completely on those who care for and assist them. The person in a vegetative state, in fact, shows no evident sign of self-awareness or of awareness of the environment, and seems unable to interact with others or to react to specific stimuli.

Scientists and researchers realize that one must, first of all, arrive at a correct diagnosis, which usually requires prolonged and careful observation in specialized centres, given also the high number of diagnostic errors reported in the literature. Moreover, not a few of these persons, with appropriate treatment and with specific rehabilitation programmes, have been able to emerge from a vegetative state. On the contrary, many others unfortunately remain prisoners of their condition even for long stretches of time and without needing technological support.

In particular, the term permanent vegetative state has been coined to indicate the condition of those patients whose “vegetative state” continues for over a year. Actually, there is no different diagnosis that corresponds to such a definition, but only a conventional prognostic judgment, relative to the fact that the recovery of patients, statistically speaking, is ever more difficult as the condition of vegetative state is prolonged in time.

However, we must neither forget nor underestimate that there are well-documented cases of at least partial recovery even after many years; we can thus state that medical science, up until now, is still unable to predict with certainty who among patients in this condition will recover and who will not.

3. Faced with patients in similar clinical conditions, there are some who cast doubt on the persistence of the “human quality” itself, almost as if the adjective “vegetative” (whose use is now solidly established), which symbolically describes a clinical state, could or should be instead applied to the sick as such, actually demeaning their value and personal dignity. In this sense, it must be noted that this term, even when confined to the clinical context, is certainly not the most felicitous when applied to human beings.

In opposition to such trends of thought, I feel the duty to reaffirm strongly that the intrinsic value and personal dignity of every human being do not change, no matter what the concrete circumstances of his or her life. A man, even if seriously ill or disabled in the exercise of his highest functions, is and always will be a man, and he will never become a “vegetable” or an “animal”.

Even our brothers and sisters who find themselves in the clinical condition of a “vegetative state” retain their human dignity in all its fullness. The loving gaze of God the Father continues to fall upon them, acknowledging them as his sons and daughters, especially in need of help.

4. Medical doctors and health-care personnel, society and the Church have moral duties toward these persons from which they cannot exempt themselves without lessening the demands both of professional ethics and human and Christian solidarity.

The sick person in a vegetative state, awaiting recovery or a natural end, still has the right to basic health care (nutrition, hydration, cleanliness, warmth, etc.), and to the prevention of complications related to his confinement to bed. He also has the right to appropriate rehabilitative care and to be monitored for clinical signs of eventual recovery.

I should like particularly to underline how the administration of water and food, even when provided by artificial means, always represents a natural means of preserving life, not a medical act. Its use, furthermore, should be considered, in principle, ordinary and proportionate, and as such morally obligatory, insofar as and until it is seen to have attained its proper finality, which in the present case consists in providing nourishment to the patient and alleviation of his suffering.

The obligation to provide the “normal care due to the sick in such cases” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Iura et Bona, p. IV) includes, in fact, the use of nutrition and hydration (cf. Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”, Dans le Cadre, 2, 4, 4; Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers, Charter of Health Care Workers, n. 120). The evaluation of probabilities, founded on waning hopes for recovery when the vegetative state is prolonged beyond a year, cannot ethically justify the cessation or interruption of minimal care for the patient, including nutrition and hydration. Death by starvation or dehydration is, in fact, the only possible outcome as a result of their withdrawal. In this sense it ends up becoming, if done knowingly and willingly, true and proper euthanasia by omission.

In this regard, I recall what I wrote in the Encyclical Evangelium Vitae, making it clear that “by euthanasia in the true and proper sense must be understood an action or omission which by its very nature and intention brings about death, with the purpose of eliminating all pain”; such an act is always “a serious violation of the law of God, since it is the deliberate and morally unacceptable killing of a human person” (n. 65).

Besides, the moral principle is well known, according to which even the simple doubt of being in the presence of a living person already imposes the obligation of full respect and of abstaining from any act that aims at anticipating the person’s death.

5. Considerations about the “quality of life”, often actually dictated by psychological, social and economic pressures, cannot take precedence over general principles.

First of all, no evaluation of costs can outweigh the value of the fundamental good which we are trying to protect, that of human life. Moreover, to admit that decisions regarding man’s life can be based on the external acknowledgment of its quality, is the same as acknowledging that increasing and decreasing levels of quality of life, and therefore of human dignity, can be attributed from an external perspective to any subject, thus introducing into social relations a discriminatory and eugenic principle.

Moreover, it is not possible to rule out a priori that the withdrawal of nutrition and hydration, as reported by authoritative studies, is the source of considerable suffering for the sick person, even if we can see only the reactions at the level of the autonomic nervous system or of gestures. Modern clinical neurophysiology and neuro-imaging techniques, in fact, seem to point to the lasting quality in these patients of elementary forms of communication and analysis of stimuli.

6. However, it is not enough to reaffirm the general principle according to which the value of a man’s life cannot be made subordinate to any judgment of its quality expressed by other men; it is necessary to promote the taking of positive actions as a stand against pressures to withdraw hydration and nutrition as a way to put an end to the lives of these patients.

It is necessary, above all, to support those families who have had one of their loved ones struck down by this terrible clinical condition. They cannot be left alone with their heavy human, psychological and financial burden. Although the care for these patients is not, in general, particularly costly, society must allot sufficient resources for the care of this sort of frailty, by way of bringing about appropriate, concrete initiatives such as, for example, the creation of a network of awakening centres with specialized treatment and rehabilitation programmes; financial support and home assistance for families when patients are moved back home at the end of intensive rehabilitation programmes; the establishment of facilities which can accommodate those cases in which there is no family able to deal with the problem or to provide “breaks” for those families who are at risk of psychological and moral burn-out.

Proper care for these patients and their families should, moreover, include the presence and the witness of a medical doctor and an entire team, who are asked to help the family understand that they are there as allies who are in this struggle with them. The participation of volunteers represents a basic support to enable the family to break out of its isolation and to help it to realize that it is a precious and not a forsaken part of the social fabric.

In these situations, then, spiritual counselling and pastoral aid are particularly important as help for recovering the deepest meaning of an apparently desperate condition.

7. Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, in conclusion I exhort you, as men and women of science responsible for the dignity of the medical profession, to guard jealously the principle according to which the true task of medicine is “to cure if possible, always to care”.

As a pledge and support of this, your authentic humanitarian mission to give comfort and support to your suffering brothers and sisters, I remind you of the words of Jesus: “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Mt 25: 40).

In this light, I invoke upon you the assistance of him, whom a meaningful saying of the Church Fathers describes as Christus medicus, and in entrusting your work to the protection of Mary, Consoler of the sick and Comforter of the dying, I lovingly bestow on all of you a special Apostolic Blessing.

 

Thus, Pope John Paul II.

I think that what Bishop Gracida did for the weak and suffering and elderly has the blessing of God. For in the Old Testament, the care of the elderly has a blessing: Honor thy father and thy mother, and thou shalt have a long life on the land.  Bishop Gracida is nearly 97 years of age, and is still a staunch defender of the Holy Catholic Faith. We owe him our support.

_________

CREDITS: The Featured Image is of Bishop Gracida and Pope John Paul II during a meeting in Poland. The text of John Paul II’s Address is from the Vatican Website. The Text of the Bishops Pastoral Letter can today be found on the website of EWTN. The Image of the Bomber Group Logo is in the public domain.

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The House of Cardinal Re

By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Three days after the publication of this article,
Bergoglio named Cardinal Re dean of his college of Cardinals.

It is not easy for Catholics to understand why Cardinals do and do not do what they do. Especially in these times, when the Cardinals should be warning and reproving and taking steps to clean up the mess at the Vatican, which is leading the apostasy of the world.

For this “why” I cannot give an explanation. But understanding where Cardinals come from and to which faction in the Church they may belong, may shed some light on this “why”, however so superficial.

With this in mind, let us examine the Faction of Cardinals which has as its co-consecrator, Giovanni Battista Re, one of the most important Cardinals in the College of Cardinals, which is seen by the fact that Bergoglio selected him to be Vice-Dean of his college of cardinals on June 10, 2017. A position he has weathered despite the unceremonious demotion of the Cardinal Dean of many years, Cardinal Sodano, in December.

Let me begin by saying that Cardinal Re’s episcopal lineage does not descend from Cardinal Rampolla del Tindaro, the god-father of the St Gallen Mafia. It descends rather from Pope John Paul II.

Second, that Cardinal Re is an impressive Bishop in action. He has participated in over 165 Episcopal consecrations in his life time. A truly remarkable number, which makes him one of the greatest all time consecrators of bishops in the Church. This is due to the fact, that when Pope John Paul II consecrated Bishops, Cardinal Re was normally assisting as a co-consecrator, by some special arrangement of the Pope.

Normally, factions in the Church among Bishops are denoted by lineages of principal consecrators, not co-consecrators. A principal consecrator is the Bishop who presides over the consecration of a man who has been nominated to be a bishop. A co-consecrator is one of two or more Bishops who assist in the consecration of the nominated.

However, Cardinal Re was not the principal consecrator of any Bishop who later became a Cardinal. A fact which means, that no one upon whom his favor rested that much, was ever raised to the dignity of a Cardinal. However, he is the co-consecrator of 18 Cardinals, which is extraordinary. Nevertheless, this seems to be because these future Cardinals were all consecrated by Pope John Paul II, with few exceptions.

Let me list the names of those Bishops and Cardinals, in the order of the year they were co-consecrated Bishop by Cardinal Re. You might recognize someone you know:

Patriarch Michel Sabbah (1988)
Archbishop Marian Oles † (1988)
Archbishop Emery Kabongo Kanundowi (1988)
Bishop Luís d’Andrea, O.F.M. Conv. † (1988)
Bishop Victor Adibe Chikwe † (1988)
Bishop Athanasius Atule Usuh † (1988)
Bishop José Raúl Vera López, O.P. (1988)
Bishop Srecko Badurina, T.O.R. † (1988)
Bishop Luigi Belloli † (1988)
Bishop John Gavin Nolan † (1988)
José Cardinal Saraiva Martins, C.M.F. (1988)
Bishop Giuseppe Matarrese (1989) ###
Archbishop Giovanni Tonucci (1990)
Archbishop Ignazio Bedini, S.D.B. (1990)
Archbishop Mario Milano (1990)
Archbishop Giovanni Ceirano † (1990)
Archbishop Oscar Rizzato (1990)
Antonio Ignacio Cardinal Velasco Garcia, S.D.B. † (1990)
Archbishop Paul Runangaza Ruzoka (1990)
Bishop Marian Błażej Kruszyłowicz, O.F.M. Conv. (1990)
Bishop Pierre François Marie Joseph Duprey, M. Afr. † (1990)
Archbishop Domenico Umberto D’Ambrosio (1990)
Bishop Edward Dajczak (1990)
Bishop Benjamin de Jesus Almoneda (1990)
Archbishop Francesco Gioia, O.F.M. Cap. (1990)
Archbishop Edward Nowak (1990)
Archbishop Giacinto Berloco (1990)
Archbishop Erwin Josef Ender (1990)
Jean-Louis Pierre Cardinal Tauran † (1991)
Vinko Cardinal Puljić (1991)
Archbishop Marcello Costalunga † (1991)
Archbishop Osvaldo Padilla (1991)
Francisco Javier Cardinal Errázuriz Ossa, P. Schönstatt (1991)
Bishop Bruno Pius Ngonyani (1991)
Bishop Francis Emmanuel Ogbonna Okobo (1991)
Bishop Andrea Gemma, F.D.P. † (1991)
Bishop Joseph Habib Hitti (1991)
Bishop Jacinto Guerrero Torres † (1991)
Bishop Bl. Alvaro del Portillo y Diez de Sollano † (1991)
Julián Cardinal Herranz Casado (1991)
Archbishop Bruno Bertagna † (1991)
Archbishop Ernesto Maria Fiore † (1992)
Archbishop Rino Passigato (1992)
Bishop Juan Matogo Oyana, C.M.F. (1992)
Bishop Gastone Simoni (1992)
Bishop Iñaki Mallona Txertudi, C.P. (1992)
Bishop Philippe Nkiere Keana, C.I.C.M. (1992)
Bishop Benjamin David de Jesus, O.M.I. † (1992)
Bishop John Joseph Glynn † (1992)
Bishop Petar Šolic † (1992)
Michael Louis Cardinal Fitzgerald, M. Afr. (1992)
Bishop Henri Salina, C.R.A. † (1992)
Archbishop Diego Causero (1993)
Archbishop Gabriel Charles Palmer-Buckle (1993)
Elio Cardinal Sgreccia † (1993)
Bishop Henryk Marian Tomasik (1993)
Archbishop Henry Joseph Mansell (1993)
Bishop Jan Kopiec (1993)
Archbishop Alojzij Uran (1993)
Bishop Luigi Sposito † (1993)
Bishop Norbert Klemens Strotmann Hoppe, M.S.C. (1993)
Bishop Elmo Noel Joseph Perera † (1993)
Archbishop Csaba Ternyák (1993)
Archbishop Domenico De Luca † (1993) ###
Archbishop Peter Paul Prabhu † (1994)
Archbishop Peter Stephan Zurbriggen (1994)
Archbishop Jean-Paul Aimé Gobel (1994)
Bishop Julien Mawule Kouto † (1994)
Bishop Edward James Slattery (1994)
Bishop Uriah Adolphus Ashley Maclean (1994)
Bishop Emiliano Antonio Cisneros Martínez, O.A.R. (1994)
Bishop Américo do Couto Oliveira † (1994)
Bishop Christo Proykov (1994)
Archbishop Ramon Cabrera Argüelles (1994)
Bishop Ricardo Jorge Valenzuela Rios (1994)
Bishop Paolo Gillet (1994)
Bishop Antoni Józef Długosz (1994)
Archbishop Bruno Musarò (1995)
Bishop Petko Jordanov Christov, O.F.M. Conv. (1995)
Bishop Antonio Napoletano, C.SS.R. † (1995)
Bishop Zacharias Cenita Jimenez † (1995)
Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke (1995)
Bishop Javier Echevarría Rodríguez † (1995)
Bishop Pierfranco Pastore † (1995)
Bishop Stanislav Szyrokoradiuk, O.F.M. (1995)
Bishop Paweł Cieślik (1995)
Bishop Stefan Regmunt (1995)
Archbishop Charles Asa Schleck, C.S.C. † (1995)
Archbishop Luigi Ventura (1995) ###
Carlo Cardinal Caffarra † (1995)
Archbishop José Paulino Ríos Reynoso (1996)
Archbishop Riccardo Fontana (1996)
Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli (1996)
Archbishop Jaime Vieira Rocha (1996)
Kurt Cardinal Koch (1996)
Bishop Ārvaldis Andrejs Brumanis † (1996)
Bishop Antons Justs † (1996)
Archbishop Francisco Pérez González (1996)
Archbishop Richard Anthony Burke, S.P.S. (1996)
Bishop Marko Sopi † (1996)
Bishop Rafael Ramón Conde Alfonzo (1996)
Bishop Riccardo Ruotolo † (1996)
Bishop Antal Majnek, O.F.M. (1996)
Stanisław Cardinal Ryłko (1996)
Archbishop Francisco Gil Hellín (1996) ###
Archbishop Luigi Conti (1996) ###
Archbishop Luigi Pezzuto (1997)
Paolo Cardinal Sardi † (1997) Titular Bishop of Sutri, Italy
Varkey Cardinal Vithayathil, C.SS.R. † (1997)
Bishop Delio Lucarelli (1997)
Bishop Ignace Baguibassa Sambar-Talkena † (1997)
Bishop Luciano Pacomio (1997)
Archbishop Angelo Massafra, O.F.M. (1997)
Bishop Florentin Crihălmeanu (1997)
Archbishop Jean-Claude Périsset (1997)
Bishop Piotr Libera (1997)
Bishop Basílio do Nascimento (1997)
Bishop Hil Kabashi, O.F.M. (1997)
Leonardo Cardinal Sandri (1997) ###
Mario Francesco Cardinal Pompedda † (1998)
Archbishop Marco Dino Brogi, O.F.M. (1998)
Bishop Peter Kwaku Atuahene (1998)
Bishop Filippo Strofaldi † (1998)
Archbishop Wiktor Paweł Skworc (1998)
Bishop Franco Dalla Valle, S.D.B. † (1998)
Archbishop Angelito Rendon Lampon, O.M.I. (1998)
Bishop Tomislav Koljatic Maroevic (1998)
Bishop Francesco Saverio Salerno † (1998)
Archbishop Alessandro D’Errico (1999)
Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio (1999)
Archbishop Alain Paul Charles Lebeaupin (1999)
Bishop Cesare Mazzolari, M.C.C.I. † (1999)
Bishop Pierre Trân Ðinh Tu (1999)
Bishop Rafael Cob García (1999)
Archbishop Mathew Moolakkatt, O.S.B. (1999)
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin (1999)
Bishop José Luis Redrado Marchite, O.H. (1999)
(Layman) Józef Wesołowski † (2000)
Archbishop Giacomo Guido Ottonello (2000)
Archbishop George Panikulam (2000)
Archbishop Alberto Bottari de Castello (2000)
Bishop Ivo Baldi Gaburri (2000)
Archbishop Gabriel Mbilingi, C.S.Sp. (2000)
Bishop David Laurin Ricken (2000)
Bishop Anton Coşa (2000)
Bishop András Veres (2000)
Péter Cardinal Erdő (2000)
Bishop Giuseppe Pasotto, C.S.S. (2000)
Bishop Franco Croci (2000)
Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia (2000) ###
Fernando Cardinal Filoni (2001)
Archbishop Henryk Józef Nowacki (2001)
Archbishop Timothy Paul Andrew Broglio (2001)
Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino (2001)
Archbishop Tomash (Tomasz) Bernard Peta (2001)
Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo (2001)
Marc Armand Cardinal Ouellet, P.S.S. (2001)
Archbishop Giampaolo Crepaldi (2001)
Bishop Đura Džudžar (2001)
Bishop Fabio Fabene (2014) ###

Now look at that list again. I have colored in RED the Cardinals who were suspected as members of the group which engineered the election of Bergoglio in the uncanonical Conclave of 2013. They formed a group called by Austen Ivereigh, “Team Bergoglio”. There are at least 3, Cardinal Koch, Bishop of Basel Switzerland might be the fourth.

I have colored in Green, those who were Cardinal Electors in 2013, but whose allegiance in voting is not known. There are 7 of these, not counting Cardinal Koch.

I have colored in BLUE the men whom Bergoglio presumed to name Cardinals. I say presumed, because as an Anti-pope, he has no authority to name Cardinals (To do that you need to hold the petrine munus, which Pope Benedict clearly and textually never renounced.)  There are 2 Cardinals in this category.

Three of the Cardinals on this list are publicly known for having criticized the Bergoglian regime: Cardinal Sandri, who is rumored to have bitterly denounced Bergoglio to his face for attacking the Discipline of the Sacraments; Cardinal Caffara who was renowned for denouncing relativism (God rest his soul); and Cardinal Burke, whose reputation is such it need not be summarized here, after his numerous public statements in favor of the Eternal Faith and in criticism of the policies of Bergoglio, even if he continues to hold Bergoglio as the Pope.

The Cardinals and Bishops whose episcopal lineage descends from Cardinal Rampolla del Tindaro, are marked with a ### in Black (there are 3); those who descend from Cardinal de Lai, both of whose co-consecrators descend from Cardinal Rampolla, or from Cardinal Gasparri, the secretary of Cardinal Rampolla, are marked with a ### in Red (There are 5, nearly all Sodano men).

I think it is important to note, that in all the cases in which Cardinal Re is not assisting Pope John Paul II as principal consecrator, he is assisting an ally or direct descendant of Cardinal Rampolla del Tindaro.

The only reasonable inference that can be made from that, is that Cardinal Re was a member of the St. Gallen Mafia, by adoption. And that would explain why he is now Vice-Dean of Bergoglio’s college of cardinals.

The fact that he was trusted by Pope John Paul II in so many ceremonies of episcopal ordination, shows that he succeed so well in gaining the confidence of the Pope that he served as a sort of minder of his activities during his pontificate. This may imply that Cardinal Re was one of the chief St. Gallen Mafia secret agents in the Vatican for many years, hiding in plain sight.

So the next time you ask why any Cardinal on this list, like Cardinal Burke, may not be doing what you want him to do, read this list and contemplate what it might mean. They might be hedging, so that in the next conclave they elect someone from the House of Cardinal Re, which, alas, might not be a good thing after all.

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The Bull of Pope Nicholas II: In Nomine Domini, April 13, 1059

Preface and Translation by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

After centuries of interference in the Election of the Roman Pontiff by the Emperors of Constantinople and of the Holy Roman Empire, by the military, by the Roman Nobility and by rogue Nobles of diverse parts of Italy, Pope Nicholas II decreed a historic Bull which restricted the right of election — which had from ancient times been vested by Saint Peter the Apostle in the whole Church of Rome, and subsequently to the clergy — to the Cardinal Bishops principally, and then to the other Cardinals, the rest of the Clergy and the Faithful of the Diocese of Rome.  This Bull led to the formation of the institutions which we know of today as the College of Cardinals and the Conclave. Due to its crucial importance in the history of the regulation of the election of the Roman Pontiff, the From Rome Blog here presents its own English translation of the Latin Text (which can be download in PDF — the authenticity of which I have presumed from internal criteria). — Following the translation, I will give a commentary.

In Nomine Domini

In the Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and Savior, in the One Thousand and Fifty-Ninth year from His Incarnation, in the month of April, in the twelfth indiction, with the sacrosant Gospels laid before Us, with the most Reverend and Blessed Pope Nicholas also presiding in the Patriarchàs Lateran Basilica, which is named the Constantinian: with the most Reverent Bishops, Abbots, Priests and Deacons sitting with him: the same Venerable Pontiff decreeing by Apostolic authority concerning the Election of the Supreme Pontiff, said:

Your Beatitude knows, most beloved Brother (Cardinals), and Co-Bishops, and it is also not hidden to inferior members ( of the clergy), that with the passing of Our predecessor, the divine Stephen, of good memory, how many adversities this Apostolic See, which I serve with God as my author, has born, and how many repeated hammers, and frequent blows, She has been subjected to through the brokers of simonaical heresy: so much, indeed, that the Column of the living God almost seemed to totter, and the net of the Fisherman, with the storms having swelled, would be driven into the depths of shipwreck to be submerged, wherefore if it please thy Brotherhood, We ought, with the God assisting, take care prudently that future cases do not occur, and this by Ecclesiastical statute, lest recurring — far be it — the evils prevail.

The Election of the Pope pertains, first of all, to the Cardinal Bishops, who serve also as Metropolitians, the to the Cardinal Clerics, and the rest of the Clergy, and the People, only proffer their consent to the election.

§1. On which account, having been instructed by Our predecessors, and by the authority of the other Holy Fathers, We decree, and establish, that with the passing of the Pontiff of this Catholic Roman Church, first of all, the Cardinal Bishops, treating most diligently together concerning the election, summon immediately the Cardinal Clerics of Christ; and in this manner let the rest of the Clergy, and the People approach to consent to the new election taking the greatest care beforehand, lest the deadly disease of venality insinuate itself by an occasion, and for that reason let the most religious men be the chief leaders in promoting the election of the Pontiff, but the rest be their followers.  Moreover, the certain and even legitimate order here of the election  is carefully considered, if it be gathered from having examined the diverse rules of the Fathers, or their deeds, and even that sentence of Blessed Leo, Our predecessor: “No reason permits, that there be had among Bishops, those who have neither been elected from the Clerics, nor requested by the common people, nor consecrated by the co-provincial Bishops with the judgement of the Metropolitans; but because the Apostolic See takes precedence to all other Churches throughout the earth, for that reason She also  can have over Her no Metropolitan, the Cardinal Bishops with out doubt serve instead as Metropolitans, who namely, proceed to consecrate the apex of the Apostolic brow, once elected as Bishop“.

The Pope ought to be elected from the womb of the Roman Church if one is found to be suitable, otherwise he is to be elected from another Church.

§2. Moreover, let him be elected from the very womb of the Church, if one is found to be suitable, and/or if one not be found in Her, let him be taken from another; with due honor being served, and reverence for Our beloved son, Henry, who is held as King at the present, and with God conceding hoped as the future Emperor, as We have already conceded to him, just as to the successors of him, who personally begged this right from this Apostolic See.

If the Pope cannot be elected in the City, because of obstacles,
he can be elected elsewhere by the Cardinals, and by others, though few, of whom (We spoke) above.

§3. Wherefore, if the perversity of depraved, and iniquitous men, so prevail, that a pure, sincere and free election cannot be held in the City, the Cardinal Bishops with the religious Clerics, and the Catholic laity, though few, obtain the right of power (ius potestatis) to elect the Pontiff of the Apostolic See, where it might be fitting.

If the elected Pope cannot be enthroned, by these men, here, on account of obstacles, nevertheless he is a true Pope, and can rule the Roman Church, and dispose of all Her faculties.

§4. Plainly, after the election has been completed, if there be a bellicose conflict, and/or if the struggle of any kind of men resists by the earnestness of wickedness, such that he, who has been elected, cannot prevail to be enthroned in the Apostolic See according to the custom, nevertheless, the elect obtains as the true Pope the authority to rule the Roman Church, and to dispose of all Her faculties, which Blessed Gregory, We know, did, before his own consecration.

The pope elected against the form of this Decree is to be punished, as this one was, with his supporters.

§5. On which account, if anyone has been elected, or even ordained, or enthroned, against this Decree of Ours promulgated by Synodal sentence, whether through sedition, and/or presumption, or any guile, let him be cast down by the Divine Authority, and that of the Holy Apostles, Peter and Paul, by a perpetual anathema with his promoters and supporters and followers as one separated from the thresholds of the Holy Church, just as the Anti-Christ, both an invader and destroyer of the whole of Christendom, and let no audience be given him over this, but let him be deposed from every ecclesiastical grade unto whatever was before his, without any objection made, to whom if anyone whatsoever adheres, and/or exhibits any kind of reverence as to the Pontiff, or presumes to defend him in anything, let him be abandoned by equal sentence, which if anyone shows himself to be a violator of this sentence of Our Holy Decree, and has tried to confound the Roman Church by his presumption, and to raise disturbance against this Statute, let him be damned by perpetual anathema and excommunication, and let him be reputed among the impious, who shall not rise again in judgement, let him know the wrath of the Omnipotent One against him, and that of the Holy Apostles, Peter and Paul, whose  Church he has presumed to fool, let him know a ravaging madness in this life and in the future; let his dwelling become deserted, and let there be no one who dwells in his tents:   let his sons be orphans, and his wife a widow, let him be shaken completely to madness, and may his sons go about begging, and be cast out of their dwellings, may the money-lender ravage all his substance, and may foreigner lay waste to his labors:  Let the whole world fight against him, and let all the other elements be against him, and may the merits of all the Saints resting above confound him.

For the observers of this Decree, the Pope prays for the grace of God and pardon for their sins.

§6. Moreover, let the grace of the Omnipotent One protect the observers of this Our decree, and let the authority of the Blessed Apostles, Peter and Paul absolve them from all the bonds of their sins.

COMMENTARY

NiccoloII
Pope Nicholas II

Oh the faith and zeal of the men of God of ages past! How shining their nobility of mind, how forthright their speech, how determined their mind, how strong their justice against all wickedness, how prudent in particulars, how unbending in ideals and purpose. Many a  Catholic reading of the Church in ages past has commented thus of our forebears in faith, who on account of the distance of the ages, we can assuredly count among some of our relatives of old.

What makes them so different from our own age, is that with the passing of time, and the corruption of men, the mystical body of the Antichrist has grown up inside the Church, pretending to be one of the faithful, but deceiving all, to such an extent, that the mass and number of the wicked in the Church has reached critical stage and the likeness of the monster of iniquity is taking form inside the members of the Church long dead and separated from the vital sap of Our Lord, the True Vine of the Father.

We can see openly how less a corrupt age it was, by the few precepts to be had to govern a papal election. This was not because the age knew nothing of Law. The great legal works of the Emperor Justinian and the Roman Jurist Ulpian had long before been written and studied. No, it was the rarity of the boldness of demonic impiety, which is now common day and an every day manifestation, which made this first Papal Decree on the Election of the Popes so simple and direct.

Yet, in its simplicity it shows forth several important legal institutions and principles which would characterize papal law on the election of the Roman Pontiff for the next nearly thousand years. Let us examine them in their order of appearance in the Decree.

Three Conditions for the man Elected

The Ancient and Apostolic custom of the Church of Rome was ever that three conditions prevail for the election of a Roman Pontiff: his selection by the Clergy of the City, his approval by the faithful of the city, his consecration by the Metropolitian, or what we call the suburbican Bishops, of the ecclesiastical province: the Bishop who oversaw the dioceses immediately adjacent to Rome.

This custom was the orderly application of the Apostolic Right by which the Roman Pontiff was elected from the time of the Apostle Peter’s death, and may have been suggested by the Apostle St. Paul, who ministered in the City for a year or more before his own decapitation and martyrdom.

Pope Nicholas II by this decree modifies the ancient custom and restricts the discernment and selection of the one to be elected to the Cardinal Bishops. They are then to summon the other Cardinal Clergy, the rest of the clergy of the City and all the Faithful and ask for their consent.

No Elections in secret

The wisdom of this institution prevented the usurpation of the Church by foreigners, the election of men who were unknown to the local clergy, and or who did not enjoy an honest reputation among the faithful of the city. It also prevented simony — the offering of money for votes — to some extent, since you cannot bribe everyone, and without any obligation of proceeding in secret, the motivation for voting for this one or that, would certainly come out and quickly become known to all.

Respect for Tradition

Pope Nicholas shows his respect for the Apostolic right by quoted Pope Leo the Great, who explains the manner in which the election was conducted in his age, some five centuries before, when all the clergy has the right to vote, not just the Cardinals.

Preference for a Roman

To prevent foreign influence and contro and to guarantee not only the independence of the Church of Rome but that She have a pastor who saw himself as Her shepherd by innate ties and bonds, Pope Nicholas urges the election of a man born at Rome and Roman. This hearkens back to the Old Testament where God required that the people select one of their own kin to rule over them.

Flexibility in non essentials

Pope Nicholas II shows the sanity of the medieval mind, by allowing the election under special circumstances of necessity to be conducted outside the city. There was no fixed or prescribed place for the election, and this prevented it being controlled from beforehand, as well as from being prevented or impeded in its execution.

A Man is made pope by Election, not consecration or enthronement.

Here there is a principle which comes down from at least the time of Pope Gregory the Great, namely, that the man elected Pope, from that moment becomes the pope, even if he has not yet been consecrated a Bishop and even before he is enthroned in the Lateran Basilica (the Cathedral of Rome prior to the 14th century).

Grave Sanctions for those who transgress

Finally, Pope Nicholas II imposes the most grave and extreme sanctions upon those who transgress his Law on Elections: anathema, excommunication, reduction to the state in which he was prior to the election or usurpation. And this punishment is extended to all his promoters, supporters and followers.  A promoter is he who encouraged his candidacy, a supporter is he who voted for him, and a follower is he who joined his faction and vied that it prevail.

Just read n. 5 above, if you want to know how a usurper of the office of Pope should be treated for his crime. It makes you understand the moral gravity of the crime, a thing which a godless cleric has no understanding of.

Equity and Wisdom

In this Decree, one can see that Pope Nicholas II is trying to balance the different and disparate forces which were vying to control the election of the Roman Pontiff in his own age, and to place that election securely in the hands of those who could be more trusted to elect a man of God, without however, restricting the process so much as to prevent a man of God being elected. His emphasis that the holier members of the Church take a principle part in the election is a strong reminder to our own age of the folly of legislation which thinks that in the precise observance of minutiae one can guarantee holiness.  For this reason, Nicholas II promulgated a law which was to have a lasting effect on papal legislation for a thousand years. May God grant the clergy of Rome a similar wisdom and courage to execute their duties before God.

Criticism

Pope Nicholas II has gone to his reward, so I will allow myself to make one criticism of his papal law, and that is this: by restricting the right to vote to Bishops alone he imposed on the Roman Church the practice which prevailed in the provinces and in the Eastern Churches. This ended up helping the papacy, in one sense, to have men who had experience in government and fiscal management, but, on the other hand, tended to restrict candidates to the class of the landed gentry. It would end the habit of popular candidates, who sometimes, not always, in the past had been men who corrected the wrongs and injustice of the landed class and returned the Apostolic See to a more evangelical road.

What if, God forbid, Pope Benedict XVI dies while the Cardinal Electors remain fast with the Antipope?

I get a lot of questions from the Catholic Faithful who hold that Benedict is still the Pope because they simply follow the norm of Canon Law, unlike the precipitous and rash College of Cardinals who did not even implement canons 40 and 41 following the Declaratio of Pope Benedicct XVI on Feb. 11, 2013. For that reason, the Cardinals are in de facto schism from Christ and His Church, because they have violated canon 359 and Universi Dominici Gregis, n. 37, by electing another Pope when there was no legal sede vacante.

For that reason many of the faithful worry that the Petrine Succession might be abolished or lost, if when Benedict dies, the Cardinals do not convene in Conclave to elect his successor. This is because, the current papal law, published in an age in which there has not be an Anti-pope for nearly 500 years, does not address what is to happen if it should be that all the Cardinal Electors who are canonically valid (appointed by Popes John Paul II or Pope Benedict XVI) omit convening in Conclave after Benedict’s death.

I explained the theological, legal and historical reasons why this presents no fundamental problem in my Disputed Question: Whether, with all the Cardinal Electors defecting...

In such a case, whatever Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops, Monsignori, Priests and Deacons, who are incardinated in the Diocese of Rome or at the Vatican, remain in communion with Benedict and assemble after his death, whomsoever they elect by a simply majority will be the Pope. In such an election the laity can also participate, since the Apostolic Right pertains to the whole Church. — If Arcibishop Vigano shows at such an assembly, he would probably be surely elected.

The Church desperately needs a popular candidate for the papacy, because, as in times prior to the law of Pope Nicholas II, In Nomine Domini, the Church is need of a dire correction in its pastoral objectives and needs a reformer who will return the Faith to Her rightful queenship of governance in the Church. Pope Benedict XVI by his evangelical prudence or by mistake, has providentially prepared, perhaps, the next papal election to proceed in just such a manner.

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Scotland’s Secret Shame: the Story of Scotland’s downfall

James_V_of_Scotland2
King James V of Scotland

Written and researched by Francesco Joseph Dougan

https://independent.academia.edu/FrankDougan/Papers
https://maryqueenofscots1587.wordpress.com
https://lindisfarnegospels.blogspot.com/
https://twitter.com/MQofScots

14th of December 1542. King James V. of Scotland held his seven-day-old baby daughter Mary in his arms and with his last breath may have whispered to her?

‘My darling lassie, I’m so sorry to leave you in these dreadful times surrounded by devils. Now you will be queen, as I fear my life slipping away’.

With the death of James V. dawned an era that was about to change the world, and especially Scotland for the worst.

The Reformation and the doom and gloom of Protestantism that would plunge the country into the bloodiest period it had ever witnessed in its troubled history.

Never before or since had there been a more devious collection of contemptuous Vultures accumulated on the political stage of Scotland or England who created havoc and division, that would last for hundreds of years.

The number one culprit in the scenario was without a doubt John Knox, who betrayed everything starting with God, Queen, and Country and that was before he started to get serious.

Henry VIII and his illegitimate daughter Elizabeth I…. came in second and third though in all honesty it was a photo finish.

A whole posse of Scottish so called Nobles are included in the scenario, and if one can imagine the henchmen of Adolph Hitler’s Nazi party and the horrors that they committed prior to and during the second world war, then that will give one a pretty clear idea of the Scottish Nobility at the time.

The devil’s personal servant the illegitimate half brother of Queen Mary of Scotland, James Stuart, Prior of St. Andrews, later to become the Earl of Moray, who was a murderous lying cheat and protector of Knox.

The Earl of Bothwell, Morton, Ruthven, James and Andrew Melville, along with the sadistic child abuser George Buchanan ‘theologian’? to mention but a few all pursued demonic ideals and forced the Scottish Proletariat to follow them.

I will include the author J. Mackintosh who’s History of Scotland, circa 1891, is almost dedicated to the promotion of the devil’s own faith, Protestantism.

The Reign of James V had given hope to Scotland

When Europe was on the verge of the Reformation the Scottish king James IV had been killed in battle at Flodden in September 1513. October 1513 his son an infant was crowned James V at Scone in Perth and his mother was named as Regent, but this only lasted for one year due to her marriage with the Earl of Angus. Some of the of nobles wanted the Duke of Albany to be Regent, he was a son of Alexander Stuart a brother of King James III and after the infant king was next heir to the crown, he had been living in France and accepted the role and arrived in Scotland in May 1515.

The task of restoring order among the nobles was enormously difficult he was French in manner and custom and was at the disadvantage of being unacquainted with the habits of the Scots, although a very talented man he soon found the obstacles that the nobles put in front of him impossible to deal with and within a short space of time realised the hopelessness of his task.

He returned often to France to escape the constant turmoil and after a fluctuating sway of eight years his regency ended in 1524. The Earl of Angus who during the duke of Albany’s Regency had been up to some missdoings had been forced to flee from Scotland and with the concurrence of the Earl of Arran, Angus returned and started to push for power. He took on the mantle of chancellor and made his uncle treasurer. He became the guardian of the young king James V, though in reality he held James as a prisoner and they compelled the young king to sign everything which they presented to him, with the aid of some loyal nobles the young king escaped from the imprisonment imposed upon him and from that day in May 1528, until the end of his life James hunted and pursued Angus and his accomplices with relentless vigour and severity.

The Earl of Angus’s estates were forfeited and he fled to England under the protection of Henry VIII where he stayed until the plot with Henry, to return to Scotland and steal the baby queen Mary after the death of King James V.

Once James had found his freedom he started making drastic changes in the government. He appointed the archbishop of Glasgow as chancellor and leaned more towards the clergy to help him govern the country and the king pursued his policy of crushing the nobles. 1541 parliament passed an act confirming the revocation of all grants of land customs borough rents fishing and gifts, which the king had been compelled to sign while being held prisoner under the Earl of Angus.

Another act which enraged the nobles annexed to the crown the Western Isles and Orkney and Shetland the act also took over Bothwell, Preston, Douglas, Tantallon, Crawford, Lindsay, Bonhill, Jedbourgh Forest, Glammis, Liddesdale, Evandale and the Earldom of Angus and everything that belonged to it. These acts were within the constitution but overbold, as the crown had not the power to enforce them the nobles were nervously apprehensive and they were sure to make a move against the king.

1542, Henry VIII demanded King James V to attend a conference at York, James failed to attend and Henry proclaimed war on Scotland. James mustered his army and marched to meet his enemy, now the opportunity arose for the nobles to destroy their king.

He was daring and fearless in leading his army but the traitorous Nobles turned back with their men and left the king defenceless, not unlike the scenarios that William Wallace and Bonnie Prince Charlie also endured, James had no alternative other than to turn back.

Shortly afterwards the king managed to raise a small force to be led by Oliver Sinclair as its commander he was a close friend of the king and James knew he couldn’t trust the nobles, as the army was approaching English ground the nobles started arguing with the commander, and a great deal of confusion arose as to who was to do this or that.

The English commander, Lord Dacre, observed this and while the Scots were arguing with each other three hundred English cavalry dashed into the Scottish ranks and slaughtered them. As these were his only loyal soldiers he knew he was finished it sapped all his strength and he died with his newborn baby Mary in his arms on l4th of December 1542.

The Reformation brought a distorted notion of society to Scotland

To understand this, one must go directly to the official word of the Protestant church referring to its power over the civil government.

‘This power and ecclesiastical polity is different and distinct from that which is called the civil power, and belongs to the civil government of the commonwealth; Although they are both of God and tend to the same end, if they be rightly used, namely, to advance the glory of God, and to have good subjects.

This ecclesiastical power flows immediately from God and the Mediator, Christ Jesus, and is spiritual, not having a temporal head on earth, but only Christ, the spiritual King and Governor of His Church.

Therefore this power and polity of the Church should lean upon the Word of God immediately, as the only ground thereof, and should be taken from the pure fountains of the Scriptures, hearing the voice of Christ, the only spiritual King, and being ruled by His laws….

The civil power should command the spiritual to exercise and perform their office according to the Word of God.

The spiritual rulers should require the Christian magistrates to administer justice and punish vice; and to maintain the liberty and peace of the Church within their bound….

The magistrate ought to assist, maintain, and fortify the jurisdiction of the Church.

The ministers ought to assist their princes in all things agreeable to the Word of God, provided they do not neglect their own charge by involving themselves in civil affairs.’

What I seem to understand from the mentioned constitution, is that it leans heavily towards the powers of the land and to protect the Church a Church that was imposed upon the Proletariat, and the absolute destruction of the Roman Catholic Church and as has been seen in later years the turmoil against the Episcopalian Church, and the split into 1000s of factions of the Protestant Churches.

The Scottish Protestants seemed to think that they were the only people capable of determining the way that God should be worshipped, contrary to the way that Jesus Christ wished.

Yet, St. Peter and the Apostles were ordained to carry the Word and the Message of Christ, and to ordain in His name and appoint successors on earth for them to continue spreading His Word. Lets face it for over 1500 years these appointed people carried out a pretty good method of going about what they did. Eleven very frighten men and some women in fear of death brought His Word all the nations of the world, not all accept it but all respect it.

Yet in Scotland in the mid sixteenth century all that was undone to the extent that even the very grass roots preacher, in the humblest of parishes had to be appointed or nominated by the Noble, or Earl, or Lord, actually by anyone as long as they were above the Proletariat and this system existed for hundreds of years, and the truth is that was what created the original grounds for the Reformation.

The people were conned and the Nobility took the spoils and riches of the Catholic Church and set up the system of a Bourgeoisie Church.

Perhaps the biggest thought provoker was the cancellation of the foundation of Christianity the feast and celebration of Christmas and Easter the very essence of the faith.

As a Catholic, my understanding of Jesus Christ is that he is the Son of God. But, I fail to find in the constitution of the Protestant Church this acknowledgment.

The term Mediator is used King and Governor is also used, these terms could refer to anyone and was this the reason for the abolishment of Easter the most important feast for all Christians, as the rising of Jesus Christ from the dead proved that he was The Son of God…

To be a follower of Jesus you have to accept and believe this if you don’t well try again ’cause if you want to He will come to you only if you want Him.

From the early days of the reformation in Scotland it was total chaos, as this was a business move for the Nobles and a handful of greedy power grabbing vain men, who preyed on the weakness of the poor serf classes who were easily aroused by their false hopes and promises that never materialized as we now look back from the twenty first century.

Over four hundred years have passed from the days of Knox and in reality it is only since the end of the Second World War though mostly from the 1960s onward, and the great labour movements have the Proletariat moved out of slums and into slightly better housing and education.

Prior to this period under the Protestant rule from London by the undemocratic government based there ruling the Scots through the House of Lords a government or parliament of the Bourgeoisie, lets face it the Protestant thing did not aid the Proletariat.

A state religion developed for the upper classes who reaped all the cream off the top and created a power for themselves, with the support of the Protestant Church’s leaders.

The Scots prior to the reformation enjoyed one of the most progressive free societies in the then known world. The political and religious freedom was centuries ahead of England and the cultural exchanges between our European neighbours were superb.

For hundreds of years the English had been constantly at war and had neglected the real issues in the quality of life of their peoples, and the Hierarchy constantly suppressed the Proletariat mostly for the purpose to fight wars for them as still exists today.

I am sure that the Scots and many decent English prior to the Reformation, wanted desperately to live in harmony and peace and the rulers of Scotland up to the death of James V. encouraged what was then a good deal of democracy, that was eyed by the English Bourgeoisie as a threat to its totalitarian state.

This is something that in the twentieth century one has witnessed throughout the world, brought directly into our homes by the technology that is available these days. The most prominent issue in the present day life of the Scottish population is the judicial system, how can a society be free and equal when the Courts of Law and the Judiciary are so strongly entwined with the Church of Scotland.

I have stated that the end of Protestantism is imminent, though I must emphasize that the dying beast has a sharp bite with strong jaws that cannot easily be prized open.

Until recently the Judges of the Court of Session the highest court in the land, have paraded themselves unashamedly in their ridiculous outdated robes and wigs, at St. Giles the Church stolen from Scottish Catholics in Edinburgh on Protestant appointed days.

I cannot see what these acts do to contribute to an equal and democratic society for everyone of any persuasion to enjoy, without the subliminal feeling of inadequacy.

These ‘special’ days are also attended by the Bourgeoisie from Scottish Universities and medical associations who all by their very presence at these events, are actually endorsing Protestant dominance over the Scottish Proletariat, and as we now live in a multifarious society this is an outrageous scandal and humiliation towards the whole of the image of the Scottish nation in the eyes of the civilized democratic world, to which part Scotland has yet to participate.

The more that I delve into the history of the Reformation and life after it brings a wry smile to my lips, and to come to the conclusion that one would have to be an out and out idiot to believe all the gush that has been stuffed down Protestant throats but what can one say when Protestant stalwarts such as Meikle, and not opposed by one of his contemporaries the so called ’eminent scholar’ Professor Gordon Donaldson that it is grand to be a bad Christian but great to be a good Protestant?

For many years Knox had been in league with known English collaborators, Cockburn of Ormiston, George Wishart, David and George Forrest, and many others had been planted by the English under Henry VIII, after Scotland had been invaded in 1544 and with the destruction of the Scottish religious institutions by the English allowed the Knox led traitors to lay down plans for the over throw of the Catholic people of Scotland, and eventually the Scottish government by bad Christians but Good Protestants.

The hard and true facts about Scotland as a nation she had enjoyed independence for over two hundred years until the ugly head of the reformation sold the soul of Scotland to the English, without a doubt due to the leadership of the John Knox’s Protestant Church from then until now, Scotland has ceased to be a nation in her own right.

Having lived in many European countries and Hong Kong over the past twenty years I am sad to say that so many Europeans think that Scotland is just an area in the north of England and that is the people with some understanding of geography others less knowledgeable though not less intelligent scratch their heads and look bemused, as to the exact location and purpose of claiming to be Scottish rather than British as in the eyes of the world the nation of Scotland the country is no more than an English colony with tens of 1000s of English troops based in Scotland in one guise or another even today!

Although I have had quite a few heated discussions with foreign nationals over the status of my country of birth I cannot other than agree that Scotland is nothing more than a satellite state of England.

So let me tell you the story of how Scotland fell…

The Hatred and Bitterness of Henry VIII

Henry VIII

After Henry VIII’s apostasy from the Catholic Church, his bitterness and evilly-distorted hatred towards the Scottish people was brought to the fore, along with his detestation of anyone who opposed him. His hatred against the Scottish Cardinal Beaton, who was the chief opponent of his wicked policies, was pre-eminent.

Many of the Scots nobles also had plots to murder the Cardinal and Henry offered a reward to anyone who would kill him. Cardinal Beaton evaded his enemies during 1544, but all around him were major plotters notably, the Earl of Cassillis, the Earl of Glencairn. The Laird of Brunston, the Laird of Ormiston and the Laird of Calder and a Protestant preacher was implicated; all were traitorously deeply in league with Henry VIII. and were plotting the murder of Cardinal Beaton.

The Protestant preacher George Wishart had the support of the Earls and Lairds and Henry and during January 1546 he was preaching at Haddington against the Cardinal accompanied by John Knox he was apprehended by the Earl of Bothwell and was taken to Edinburgh and shortly afterword was conveyed to St. Andrews. He was tried and convicted of heresy and implicated in the plot to murder Cardinal Beaton the last bastion of Scottish freedom against Henry VIII and his fiendish ambitions to enslave the Scots.

Wishart was condemned to death and was executed on 11 march 1546 for his part in the invasion by English forces that had destroyed the major Scottish learning institutions and Abbeys.

640px-General_view_of_castle_from_SE
Saint Andrews’ Castle (click for credits)

Cardinal Beaton had endeavoured in every way possible to strengthen his position by discrediting the rogue nobles, constantly the vultures were hovering and late in May 1546 the Cardinal received word that Henry was preparing another invasion of Scotland and he put his castle on a defensive footing for the forthcoming English attack.

The Cardinal was in residence at his castle opposite the magnificent cathedral and centre of pilgrimage in St. Andrews the ancient capital of Scotland named after the brother of St. Peter the Apostle because the relics of the bones of St. Andrew first arrived at this place in Scotland.

Early on the morning of 29th. May 1546 Cardinal Beaton was brutally murdered.

Norman Lesley and James Melville along with a group of armed traitors told the gatekeeper that they had arranged an interview with Cardinal Beaton as he had no knowledge of this and noting they were all heavily armed the gatekeeper told them to wait until he reported to the Cardinal, the traitors immediately pounced on the helpless fellow and stabbed him to death in the name of Protestantism. Within a matter of minutes the gang were inside the castle grounds but the noise of the commotion aroused the defenders.

Cardinal David Beaton, Last Scottish Cardinal of an independent Scotland

The Cardinal was woken and rose from his bed as he was coming downstairs from his bed chamber Lesley and Melville with the others in the dastardly party confronted him and ruthlessly murdered him Henry VIII had his wish come true. From that moment marked the last days of freedom for Scotland as an nation in her own right as the country was to be plunged into hundreds of years of Presbyterian doom and gloom.

29th of May 1546 was and still is a tragic day in the annuls of Scottish history! Cardinal Beaton was one of the last bastions of an independent Scottish nation in her own right, and with his murder Scotland was thrown into the hands of evil and treacherous devils.

Henry VIII unbeknown to him had less than a year of his life left perhaps for invoking the name of God the demon king of England was riddled by the venereal disease syphilis.

His bones were to rot and he would go blind and his brain would be totally deteriorated and paralysis would encompass his whole body, a dreadful agonising death confronted Henry as he pursued the destruction of the Scots and the holy faith; Scotland was thrown into a period of unmatched turmoil in her history.

The murderous conspirator’s ranks were soon swelled to over one hundred and fifty traitors within the castle at St. Andrew’s

The Earl of Arran who was the regent a limp wrist fellow tried for more that a year to oust the rogues.

During April 1547 John Knox joined the rebels he had been in hiding awaiting a safe time to return.

Knox had wanted to be a Catholic priest but he didn’t like the discipline and faith demanded by the Church of Rome, or for that matter the law and order of his own Scottish government as he was paid and supported by the English invaders waiting in their war ships laying off the coast at St.Andrew’s. He rejected his faith a faith that fed and educated him then his government and was in league with the enemy who had burned murdered and destroyed half of Scotland and her people for hundreds of years this is not unique in history that the common people can be duped and brainwashed into the desires of one man with lieutenants of a similar train of thought as can be seen from recent history.

The Scottish Parliament asked her French allies to come to their aid to get the English ships away from the ancient capital and to help recapture the castle, in the hope of keeping Scotland free from English domination. June 1547 French galleys attacked the English and destroyed them and recaptured the castle after a bloody battle. The traitors surrendered to the French commander and were deported to France John Knox was among those imprisoned and taken to France. Though on the intervention of the English government he would be set free two years later to continue his insatiable desire to crush the Catholics of Scotland.

Queen Mary drove Knox from Scotland

Mary Queen of Scots, by Unknown artist,painting,circa 1560-1592

Although the monster Henry VIII had died in January 1547 and the French had helped to take back the castle at St. Andrew’s his evil policy was continued for the destruction of Scotland, and the search for the child Mary Queen of Scots. Lord Hertford now titled the Duke of Somerset was engaged of bringing the Scots to their knees with the great atrocities that the English were imposing on the nation. The Scots had no army to defend herself and what little defenders they had were slaughtered at Pinkie in the later part of 1541.

Emissaries were dispatched to France with the young queen Mary for her safekeeping.

The following year seven thousand French forces landed in Scotland and they mustard the Scots into some form of self belief to rise something of an army and the Scots together with their old trusted allies fought the English who still had control of many castles in Scotland, not without tremendous battles and struggles against the formidable fortifications the enemy had enveloped around her plundering murderous armies did the allies give the enemy a taste of there own medicine and drove the remnants of the invaders out of the country.

By 1550 at last Scotland had rid herself of the oppressors but an uneasy peace rained and the seeds of discontent had been sown and John Knox had been freed by the French as he was in the employ of the English where he was a Royal chaplain though he had never taken any vows to Edward VI. who was a boy and England was being run by the Duke of Northumberland who was acting as regent.

He had assumed this mantle from the discredited Duke of Somerset the butcher who ruthlessly tried to obliterate the Scots when he was the Earl of Hertford, he was to lose his head-on the chopping block in the turmoil of the English political mayhem.

During the next few years there was much to-ing and fro-ing over the reform movement in Scotland, and the child queen Mary of Scots was in the safekeeping of the French meanwhile in England another Mary the daughter of Henry VIII queen Mary 1 of England married Philip II of Spain in 1554 and restored the Roman Catholic Church into England.

On Mary’s accession to throne of England John Knox deserted his post as royal chaplain to the court of England and fled abroad again due to his popularity? In Scotland the young queen Mary’s mother Mary of Guise, the widow of King James V was exerting all her influence to take over as Regent, the Earl of Arran’s Regency was a flop and through the vacillating character of the government his estimation in the eyes of the nation was zero.

Arran resigned the regency of Scotland in April 1554 and the queen mother Mary of Guise took his place she was a woman of exceptional talents and had during her time in Scotland acquired a love and knowledge of the character and habits of her adopted nation. She ruled with remarkable moderation and showed herself to be tactful and considerate but she had many adverse influences and circumstances to contend with.

The nobles were never to be trusted and John Knox returned to Scotland in September 1555 and was defiantly preaching against his mother church the prior of St. Andrew’s who later became the Regent Moray the Earl of Argyle then Lord Lorne and others who had an eye on the church’s property were supporting Knox as he was an ideal patsy for them to manipulate or so they thought as he became the puppet master.

Knox was preaching zealously and venomously against the doctrines of the Catholic Church and he wanted to impose on the Scots the strict and drastic theocracy of John Calvin a Frenchman living in Geneva. His theology is centred on predestination under which the elect are predestined by God to salvation.

John Knox had betrayed his own church and country and sided with Henry VIII now he wanted his fellow Scots to believe his ways to be good, true and faithful. He had an intense hatred against the Scottish Catholic Church perhaps because he never rose above the position of a scribe.

The Catholic clergy were alarmed at the sermons Knox was preaching against the church and they realised the ulterior motives of the nobles, who were now openly supporting Knox. Many of the nobles had been in exile living under the wing of Henry VIII and had slunk back into Scotland after their protectors death during the weak regency of Arran.

Knox was summoned to appear before the court in Edinburgh on 15th of May 1556 but when Erskine and other nobles turned out with a massive force and demanded the citation to be withdrawn, instead of appearing before the court Knox preached to the gullible forces under the command of Erskine and the other rogue nobles.

Knox fled Scotland once again soon after this as other law-abiding nobles were searching for him and he escaped to Geneva, meanwhile as Scotland seemed to be slipping into a dark abyss the rest of the world was enjoying the discovery of new and colourful worlds.

Columbus had found the Americas by accident as he sailed to discover a new sea-route to the spice world of India spices were a vital part of life especially for keeping foodstuffs preserved. Pepper was the most valuable spice and accounted for seventy per cent of the requirements of Europe and the best of pepper was native to the sub continent of India, therefore whoever discovered a fast route to India could control the economic power of the spices. Great explorers emerged such as Columbus, Vasco de Gama, Vespucci and Magellan on tiny skips they sailed uncharted seas and brought back news of new discoveries of lands and peoples.

Instead of being a part of this new adventures the Scots economy and resources had been drained with over forty years of war with the English under Henry VIII.

(To be continued)

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