Category Archives: Church History

ABC in 2013: Benedict planned never to leave the Vatican

By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

A lot of information about what happened in 2013 merits to be look at again, with an impartial eye. Here is just one report, filed by ABC News on Feb. 12, 2013, the day after Pope Benedict read his Declaratio:

There is something stunning in this report, namely, that Pope Benedict had the Monastery Mater Ecclesiae restructured for months prior to his Act on Feb. 11, 2013, with the intent never to leave the Vatican. His brother is also interviewed as saying that the Pope was prepared months in advance and well thought out his act.

As a side matter, it says that Pope Benedict XVI had a pace maker installed in his heart, in the Fall of 2012.

The problem with the testimony of this report and that of his brother, is, How on earth can you prepare to resign for months in advance and still end up reading a Latin text with more than 40 errors in the Latin and at least 10 canonical errors in the formula of resignation?

We must return to the highly authoritative testimony of his brother: It was well thought out and no one forced him to do it.

The only conclusion possible is, then, that Pope Benedict XVI never intended to renounce according to the norm of Canon 332 §2 and leave the Vatican as Cardinal or Bishop Joseph Ratzinger. He fully and deliberately intended to remain the Pope.

For more on this, see the articles on How Benedict has defeated “Francis”, Benedict’s End Game is to defend the Church from Freemasonry, and The Imprisonment of Pope Benedict XVI.

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CNN in 2013: Italian press says Benedict’s act was one of desperation

By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

A lot of historical facts have been erased or forgotten or altered, to keep the narrative going that Bergoglo is the Pope. But some of them still remain. Here is a video report from CNN, dated seven years ago, Feb. 25, 2013, which says that Benedict despaired at all the corruption in the Vatican and that this was a prime motive for his act of Feb. 11, 2013.

Seven years later, the swift denials of the Vatican back then are seen for what they are. But the then unnoticed, and now noticeable, detail among them is that the Vatican spokesman characterized them as attempts to discredit the future pope.

Why would that be?

Unless of course the menace of the corruption had something to do with the invalidity of the Renunciation? And that Jorge Mario Bergoglio was involved somehow in both.

For more on this, see the articles on How Benedict has defeated “Francis”, Benedict’s End Game is to defend the Church from Freemasonry, and The Imprisonment of Pope Benedict XVI.

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Most grave violations of the Lateran Pact

By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Despite the attempts of all pro-Bergoglian apologists to make it appear that questions about his illegitimacy are merely caused by the aberrant subjective psychological state of his critics, his usurpation of the Office of the Roman Pontiff is a real legal crime of the highest order and has grave consequences on the international relations of all states with the Vatican.

First of all, with the Italian Republic, on account of the terms of the Lateran Pact of 1929, which was signed between Pope Pius XI and Mussolini, and celebrated with a fresco in the Church of Notre Dame de la defence, at Montreal, Canada of all places, with an image of both the Pope and Mussolini (on horse back) being watched over by the Saints of Italy from Heaven.

The Lateran Pact ended the near 70 stand off between the Apostolic See and the Kingdom of Italy, over the forced and illegal annexation of the Papal States and theft of ecclesiastical property throughout the Italian peninsula. Among its more well known terms was that the Kingdom of Italy would pay an annual sum to the newly recognized State called, Vatican City, without calling the payment reparations.

Other terms are nearly unknown of, outside of Italy. Lets examine a few of them and see how the usurpation of the Vatican by the St. Gallen Mafia gravely violated and violates their observance. (For the facility of our readers, we will quote the Lateran Pact in English translation, from this source.) My comments will be in Italics.

Article 4

    The sovereignty and exclusive jurisdiction over the Vatican City, which Italy recognizes as appertaining to the Holy See, forbid any intervention therein on the part of the Italian Government, or that any authority other than that of the Holy See shall be there acknowledged.

This article requires the Italian State to prevent the government of the Vatican City being overthrown by all enemies, foreign or domestic, and to prevent that from happening through the intervention of any foreign power, such as the United States of America through Obama bribing or coercing Cardinals.

Article 5

    For the purpose of the execution of the provisions of the preceding Article before the present Treaty comes into force, the Italian Government shall see to it that the territory forming the Vatican City shall remain free from any charge and from possible occupants. The Holy See shall arrange to enclose the access thereto, enclosing such parts thereof as remain open, except St. Peter’s Square.

This Article requires the Italian State to prevent any foreign occupation of the Vatican City State and liberate it from such domination.

Article 8

    Considering the person of the Supreme Pontiff to be sacred and inviolable, Italy declares any attempt against His person or any incitement to commit such attempt to be punishable by the same penalties as all similar attempts and incitements to commit the same against the person of the King.

    All offences or public insults committed within Italian territory against the person of the Supreme Pontiff, whether by means of speeches, acts, or writings, shall be punished in the same manner as offences and insults against the person of the King.

This Article requires that the Italian State defend the person of the Roman Pontiff as if he were a head of state in Italy, and to defend his person and honor from verbal attacks.

The effects of the Usurpation

On account of Bergoglio’s de facto claim to the office of Roman Pontiff, Italy is gravely bound to ascertain that claim as valid before undertaking any cooperation with the government of the Argentine Jesuit.

But as has been amply proven according to the norm of Canon Law, Bergoglio has no such legitimate claim. Therefore, the Italian Republic is de facto having relations with an illegitimate foreign criminal mafia which has unlawfully taken control of the Vatican government. This is a grave violation of Articles 4 and 5 of the Lateran Pact.

Also, inasmuch as the true Pope, Benedict XVI, is being unlawfully detained, manipulated, coerced, imprisoned, perhaps even drugged and physically abused — NOT TO MENTION nearly universally derided and insulted by the allies of Bergoglio in the Italian press and media, the toleration of these things is a grave violation of Article 8 of the Lateran Pact.

Actionability

It seems, therefore, since the legal argument against Bergoglio’s claim is entirely sound and incontrovertible that a legal contestation of the legality of the Italian Government showing or proffering any sort of recognition to the Bergoglian regime in the Vatican City State is certainly actionable.  It also appears that all officers at any level of government in the Italian Republic would have the grave duty to initiate legal action for the misappropriation of funds, services and manpower from the different Ministries of the Italian Government, which act as if Bergoglio is the Roman Pontiff.

Furthermore, it appears, that with the legal case won in Italian Courts, the Italian Republic will have the grave moral duty to liberate Pope Benedict XVI by armed miliitary force and to seize and apprehend Bergoglio and his supporters, inside and outside the Vatican, who may be in Italian territory, or flee thereto, to put them into custody and to punish them in accord with Article 22 of the Lateran Pact, which reads as follows:

Article 22

    At the request of the Holy See, or by its delegate who may be appointed in single cases or permanently, Italy shall provide within her for the punishment of offences committed within the Vatican City, save and except when the author of the offence shall have taken refuge in Italian territory, in which event he shall immediately be proceeded against according to the provisions of the Italian laws.

    The Holy See shall hand over to the Italian State all persons who may have taken refuge within the Vatican City, when accused of acts committed within Italian territory which are considered to be criminal by the law of both States.

    The same provisions shall apply in regard to persons accused of offences who may have taken refuge within the buildings enjoying immunity in accordance with the provisions of Article 15 hereof, save and except if the persons having authority within such buildings prefer to request members of the Italian police force to enter and arrest such persons.

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CREDITS: The Featured Image above is a photo of Guido Nichieri’s Fresco in the Nave of the Church of Notre Dame de la Defence, in Montreal, Canada, celebrating the signing of the Lateran Pact, and is used here under a Creative Commons Share-Alike 2.0 License as described here.

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Pope Benedict XVI gloriously reigning!

By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

A lot of Catholics are still wondering: What happened seven years ago on the 11th of February, 2013, when Pope Benedict XVI read out the Declaratio, which being with the Latin words, Non solum proper?

In appearances, all Hell broke loose. That’s what. The Cardinals, all of whom did not understand what the Pope had just read — some because they do not know Latin well enough and others because the act was full of nearly 40 errors in the Latin — nevertheless decided to exploit the aged pontiff and tell the world what they wanted it to mean, and perhaps what the pope thought it meant.

But in the Church, a juridical act has an objective meaning, whether the one writing it or the one reading it, thinks otherwise. And the Church has to act this way, because it has a 2000 year history of incompetence and corruption, overcome by sanity and reason and law. — Those who want it otherwise, are simply false apostles and pathological liars.

Canonically, what happened?

By renouncing the ministerium which was entrusted to him, but not the office, the munus, or the power of the office of Saint Peter, Pope Benedict XVI arguable postied a juridical act which was valid but which did NOT separate himself from the office of Being the Pope or Roman Pontiff.

However, by renouncing the petrine ministry, he withdrew consent from every juridical act which would be posted for the remaining of his lifetime and put the College of Cardinals and the Roman Curia to a test, to see if they were loyal to Christ and Church Law or simply wanton careerists.

Whether Pope Benedict XVI intended this or not, that is the objective meaning of his act. — I won’t go into the fact that the Latin text actually says that he did this to excommunicate the College of Cardinals and liberate the Church from their corruption.

Canonically, what should have been the response?

True loyalty to a superior means serving him in fulfilling the legitimate and honest intentions he has in his acts of governance. This is especially true of the Roman Pontiff. And it is a mortal sin of great severity to obstruct the Roman Pontiff in such affairs. However, one can obstruct the will of the Roman Pontiff, not only by preventing him from doing what he wants, when it is legitimate, but by not correcting his proposed juridical acts which are defective.

On that fateful day of February 11, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI — we can say now — had no friends or allies who were both competent in Latin and Canon Law and willing to help him. Some may have seen errors in the Latin, but did not understand the consequences. Some may have seen errors in the juridical form, but said nothing, because on the one hand they wanted him to resign and get out of their way, and on the other hand they hoped the latent error would one day defeat God’s enemies.

We may never know who was of which disposition, then, but we can know today. Every Catholic who has authentic and true loyalty to the institution of the Papacy is gravely bound to advocate that the passing of this august office from one man to the next be done in accord with the Will of Christ, which is the norm of Canon Law, which requires the renunciation of petrine munus. — In this grave duty, all the Cardinals and all the Bishops alive today are either so ignorant they do not realize the problem, or so incompetent they have not the moral virtue to move to solve it, or so venial that they want the problem to persist. In each case, they probably will go to Hell for all eternity, and drag hundreds of millions of souls with them UNLESS we who know what the problem is, and know how to fix it — through a special Council, after the manner of the Synod of Sutri in 1046 — advocate that this be done.

POPE BENEDICT XVI IS STILL GLORIOUSLY REIGNING

And it is a special grace of God to know this and recognize this. But as to whom more is given, more shall be asked, let us not repose in the gladness of knowing the truth, but realize the great responsibility we have before God and before the entire Church to preach this truth!

So do not let yourself get sucked into the narrative control machinery and flow of propaganda of invalid and illicit acts coming out of the Vatican, keep insisting with your sacred Pastors that Benedict is the Pope and that they will be damned for all eternity if they persist in rejecting the norm of Canon law and leading the flock entrusted to them into the sheepfold of a liar, heretic, usurper and Antichrist.

Finally, let us keep praying for the Holy Father, who is nearly 93 years old, and who, God willing, by the end of July will have been the oldest reigning Roman Pontiff in the last 1000 years and perhaps ever.

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Archbishop Negri: Obama was behind the forced resignation of Pope Benedict

By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

On thing that is not well reported in the English speaking world is that the doubts about the validity of Pope Benedict’s resignation did not emanate from conspiracy theorists working in their mothers’ basements, but were pronounced publicly by some of the highest members of the Catholic Hierarchy.

Having just republished our report on Archbishop Lenga, in which he expresses the same doubts — doubts which I did not take seriously in 2015 because I assumed the men in the Vatican could not be psychopathic liars — I want to feature here in English some of the things said by Archbishopi Negi, of Ferrara, Italy — now retired — on Benedict’s act of Feb. 11, 2013, from what has been reported in the Italian Press.

I also do this to let the Vatican Secretary of State know, that if you are going to ruff up Br. Bugnolo in the Piazza San Pietro, thinking you are going to discourage him, that he wants you to know that you have succeeded only in making him more of lion who will ever be on your heels.

Mons. Negri’s stunning admissions

His stunning comments were published in Rimini 2.0, an online Italian News Journal, on March 6, 2017, nearly 3 years ago.

In that interview, after being asked about his close friendship with Pope Benedict, the Franco Fregni asks him this question — which I here present first in the original Italian and then in my own English translation:

Visto questo rapporto, si è fatto un’opinione sul perché Benedetto abbia rinunciato al papato, un gesto clamoroso nella millenaria storia della Chiesa?

“Si è trattato di un gesto inaudito. Negli ultimi incontri l’ho visto infragilito fisicamente, ma lucidissimo nel pensiero. Ho poca conoscenza – per fortuna – dei fatti della Curia romana, ma sono certo che un giorno emergeranno gravi responsabilità dentro e fuori il Vaticano. Benedetto XVI ha subito pressioni enormi. Non è un caso che in America, anche sulla base di ciò che è stato pubblicato da Wikileaks, alcuni gruppi di cattolici abbiano chiesto al presidente Trump di aprire una commissione d’inchiesta per indagare se l’amministrazione di Barack Obama abbia esercitato pressioni su Benedetto. Resta per ora un mistero gravissimo, ma sono certo che le responsabilità verranno fuori. Si avvicina la mia personale “fine del mondo” e la prima domanda che rivolgerò a San Pietro sarà proprio su questa vicenda”.

My English translation:

In view of this friendship, have you formed an opinion on why Benedict renounced the papacy, a clamorous gesture in the millennial history of the Church?

Yes, it certainly was an unheard of gesture. In my last meetings with him, I saw him physically enfeebled, but most lucid in his thoughts.  I have little knowledge — thankfully — of the inner workings of the Roman Curia, but I am certain that one day grave faults will emerge both inside and outside the Vatican.  Benedict XVI suffered enormous pressures. It is not by chance that in America, even on the basis of what was published in Wikileaks, some groups of Catholics asked President Trump to open a commission of inquest to investigate if Barrack Obama’s administration exercised pressure on Benedict.  For now, it remains a most grave mystery, but I am certain that those responsible will be exposed.  My own “end of the world” is approaching and the first question that I will ask of Saint Peter will be precisely on this affair.

And Pope Benedict’s Mysterious Reply

To refute the testimony of the Archbishop, La Stampa, one of the major Marxist newspapers of Italy, quoted words attributed to Pope Benedict by the German Journalist, Peter Seewald, which make Benedict appear to be someone who was never manipulated by anyone and who was always in perfect control of the Curia prior to Feb. 2013. — Words which now have been discredited by multiple sources, including by Archbishop Viganò. But one phrase of Seewald’s words, attributed to Benedict does not settle so well on the side of those who claimed he resigned:

Se avessero provato a farlo non me ne sarei andato perché non bisogna lasciare quando si è sotto pressione

My English translation, according to the context of the whole passage:

If anyone had tried to (force me to resign), I would NOT have gone, because there is no need to leave, when one is under pressure.

Pope Benedict is a brilliant man. He knows how to spill the beans while convincing his enemies he is not doing anything of the kind.

Just like when, on Feb. 14, 2013, when speaking to the Clergy of the Diocese of Rome, he gave them the principles to see his renunciation was invalid, while appearing to praise Vatican II for an hour, for no purpose.

I won’t point out here, that by resigning ministry, and not munus, as Canon 332 §2 requires for a valid papal resignation, Benedict did in fact remain, against all apparent pressures. QED.

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The Council of Trent anathemizes & excommunicates Amoris Laetitians

By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Its far to late to keep pretending that Amoris Laetitia — officially interpreted by Bergoglio by means of a personal letter he sent to the Bishops of Argentina, and published in the Act Apostolica Sedes, as allowing communion for public sinners — is NOT a heretical document, and that its faithful adherents by now are NOT formal pertinacious heretics.

Those who keep up this pretense, even if they call themselves Traditional Catholics are nothing of the sort.

The Council of Trent is clear, in its 13th Session and 11th Canon:

CANON XI.: If any one saith, that faith alone is a sufficient preparation for receiving the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist; let him be anathema. And for fear lest so great a sacrament may be received unworthily, and so unto death and condemnation, this holy Synod ordains and declares, that sacramental confession, when a confessor may be had, is of necessity to be made beforehand, by those whose conscience is burdened with mortal sin, howsoever contrite they may think themselves. But if any one shall presume to teach, preach, or obstinately to assert, or even in public disputation to defend the contrary, he shall be thereupon excommunicated.

If anyone thinks still that those who accept Amoris Laetitia do not deserve to be declared expelled from the Church, then they clearly are not Catholic, and are clearly opposing a sacrosanct, infallible Ecumenical Council on dogmatic and disciplinary measures which are valid until the end of time.

This Canon requires all of us who are Catholic to call Councils and Synods to condemn Bergoglio as a heretic and declare him and his collaborators outside of the Church. If you won’t act on that — I do not care who you are or what kind of threats you are under — you obviously do not have the faith which will save your soul. You are completely useless to Jesus Christ. This is a grave obligation for all Bishops. They will be damned if they go to their grave and not publicly call for such a Synod or Council. The salvation of all souls demands it.

So the next time someone tells you to “Recognize and Resist”, ask them when they decided to reject the teaching of the Council of Trent?

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CREDITS: The Featured Image is a fresco of the Council of Trent in the Palazzo del Buonconsiglio at Trent, Italy, which is used here in accord with a Creative Commons Share-Alike 3.0 unported licencse, as described here.

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Bl. Emmerich, Heavenly Patron of all in the discernment of the true Pope

By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

The Rev. Walter Covens has translated this article into French, here.

Tomorrow is the Feast of Bl. Anna-Katerina Emmerick, established by Pope John Paul II in the year of Our Lord 2003. In English, we spell her name, Ann Catherine Emmerich.

Origins, Childhood and the call of Grace

Anna-Katerina was born into a poor family of farmers in Germany, on the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lady, in the year of 1774, at Flamschen, at Coesfeld, a small farming town in Westphalia, in the Diocese of Münster.

As a child she worked in the fields helping her parents and 9 brothers and sisters. As she grew, she went to work for a three year stint at a larger farm to earn money for her family. She then became a seamstress, for the same reasons. She had very little education, but from childhood was devoted to prayer.

Sensing the call to dedicate herself to Christ as one of His faithful virgins, she sought admission to several convents. In those years, Convents required that the prospective vocations bring with them the basic necessities of life and sometimes even money. This was called the convent dowry. Being poor she could not afford this, then, so she took a job with a nearby family, to earn the money necessary. And her charity was so great, that seeing the poverty of that family she helped them rather than saved money, and so delayed some years outside of the Convent.

Eventually, at the age of 28, along with one of the daughters of the same family, she was admitted to the Augustinian Nuns at Agnetenburg in Dülmen, in the same Diocese of Münster. Soon she would show, as many late vocations who persevered through many trials to arrive, exceptional virtue.

Virginity and Devotion, path to Sainthood

After a year of formation, she took her vows. — Back then, perpetual vows were made after only a year. It was a good practice for the sincere since it enabled them to have more certainly for their vocation and protected them from many doubts that turn many vocations away in the current system of 3 to 5 years of formation.

She was known for her strict observance of the Rule of the Convent, a thing which characterizes every Saint of the Church who was a monk or nun or friar. And soon, in reward for her true devotion to her duties as Christ’s virgin bride, she was graced with an exalted mystical life and frequent ecstasies. Her extreme penances and fasts also caused her to have poor health. And both circumstances made her the object of much misunderstanding from her fellow nuns.

In 1812, the godless Jerome Bonaparte, now King of the French puppet state of Westphalia dissolved the monasteries and seized the property of her convent. She was forced to take refuge with a local widow. To the left, you can see a picture of the house where she would live for nearly the next 12 years.

In 1815, the Lord Jesus gave her His stigmata — mystically produced wounds which replicated some of those which He endured for our salvation.  Her wounds bled and remained on her body until 1818. Their miraculous nature and inexplicable duration was the cause of must astonishment among the doctors and scientists of the region, and remained a source of much controversy. She was written off by one local priest as a self-induced madwoman, because the shape of one of her wounds was that of the Cross in a local Church! At one point the hysteria about her wounds was such, that the Local Authorities detained her for 3 weeks under constant guard, and seeing that the wounds had no natural cause nor closed, let her go.

Mystical Life

Bl. Anna Katerina, in her sick bed.

In the Catholic Church, mysticism refers to the personal encounters of the soul with God and the Saints in extraordinary visible, audible or physical events. From her writings we know that Bl. Emmerich had visions of Jesus as a little girl and spoke with the souls in Purgatory. She was given the tremendous and very rare grace to behold the Most Holy Trinity under the form of an Angelic-iconic form, of 3 Circles, concentric about one another.

Of her visions, she best tried to describe them to Clemens Brentano as she could, so it is not surprising that some of her descriptions are very child-like or take from local lore and legend in an attempt to explain what she saw.

What most Catholics do not know, is that when Saints have visions they are nearly always things imaginary, audible or even physical produced by the Holy Angels who are sent to the Saints to help them understand divine things in a simple childlike manner. Not all saints understand what they see, because that is a separate grace and requires also some natural intelligence. And this is why Holy Mother Church is very cautious in proposing any credence to be given to visions of any kind, because they are very difficult to interpret, being caused by Angelic intelligences far beyond our own, intelligences which have a perfect knowledge of symbology and Scripture, which few of even the most learned theologians have an inkling of.

But her character and personal holiness demonstrated her credibility and soon she had acquired among her friends Father Clemens von Droest, future Archbishop of Cologne, and Johan Saller, Bishop of Ratisbon. Among her noble supporters were the Prince Archbishop, Karl Theodor Anton Maria von Dalberg of Regensburg, the Arch-Chancellor and Elector of the Holy Roman Empire.

Author

Sketch of Anna Katerina as a Religious Sister.

Bl. Emmerick on account of her poor education was inspired by God to ask Clemens Brentano to write her visions down, when he visited her, after many years, in 1818. Attacked and vilified by all the enemies of the Blessed, Brentano fulfilled the task so faithfully that he has become ever since the object of scorn by all who wish to de-legitimize Anna-Katerina and the graces she was given by Jesus.

After 10 years of taking dictation and re-editing the material, he published in 1833, Bl. Emmerich’s monumental Life of Christ, entitled, The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to the Meditations of Anne Catherine Emmerich. He then began her second book, but died before it could be completed. It was published ten years after his death in 1852, under the title, The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary from the Visions of Anna Catherine Emmerich.

Tomorrow will be the 1996th anniversary of the passing of Blessed Anna-Katerina to eternal glory, as she died on Feb. 9, 1824 in Dülmen, where her Convent had stood.

True Prophecies

Though the works of Bretano has been severely criticized and its authenticity attacked and discarded by many, the information related by Bl. Emmerich is without doubt prophetic.

The first such confirmation came in 1881, when Father Julien Gouyet, a French priest, believing in her visions, as transcribed by Brentano, rediscovered the House of Our Lady at Ephesus, using information related by Anna-Katerina. This ancient structure, which was venerated by Greek Christians in the earliest centuries, as the residence of Our Lady, when Saint John the Apostle preached at Ephesus, had been lost and forgotten for hundreds of years, with no trace of its exact location being know to scholars of that age.

Enemies Attack & are defeated

A reconstruction of what Anna-Katerina’s room looked like at the time of her death.

Her cause for beatification was begun in 1892, but was stopped in 1925 by the Vatican on account of the criticisms of Brentano’s work, which was believed to be more of his own production, than that of the Blessed. Subsequently, however, the Vatican laid aside his writings and began her process again, in 1973, based solely on her personal virtues and example.

The Congregation for the Saints approved the recognition of a miracle attributed to her intercession in July of 2003. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II on the vigil of Saint Francis of Assisi, in 2004, 16 years to the date of the abominable idolatrous rituals in the Vatican, which she foresaw in part. — This seems to be an indication that the Pope had read her writings and put profound faith in what she had said about the coming war between the Church of Light and the Church of Darkness.

Her writings inspired Mel Gibson in his depiction of the Passion of the Christ, the movie.

God rewards Faith, Hope and Charity with prophecy

The great lesson of Bl. Anna-Katerina’s life is that God rewards his faithful servants with knowledge of divine and future things. He does this to console us, lead us to Heaven and help us know of troubles ahead here on Earth so that we can recognize them as such when they arrive. We are blessed if we accept them with the same simple faith that Bl. Emmerich had in receiving them.

It is in this childlike trust in her prophecies regarding Saint Mary Major’s, that Veri Catholici, the international Association of Catholics opposed to the St. Gallen Mafia, has sponsored the 40 Days of Prayer against the Church of Darkness, which FromRome.Info Video features every night at 11:52 PM Rome Time, on its video channel and with a post here at FromRome.Info.

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CREDITS: The image of the widow’s house is used in accord with a GNU Free license, and is take from this source. The Featured Image is used in accord with a Creative Commons Share-Alike 4.0 license and is taken from this source. — The sketch of the Blessed is by Thomas Jessen, used with permission granted, as stated here in this source. — The photo of the reconstruction of her room is in the public domain and is by Rabanus Flavus.

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Saint Ivo of Kermartin, patron of lawyers and canonists

By Attorney Frank Magill

As a convert, one of the aspects of Catholicism that I find most appealing is the Communion of Saints. Here, awaiting only our willingness to read and learn, is a treasure-trove of inspiration and wisdom, both practical and intellectual. Coming from every conceivable background, the most humble fisherman to the high-born, the dregs of society to royalty, the saints teach us how to live virtuously, to receive and revere the Sacraments, to overcome the greatest of challenges, to pray and practice devotions: in short, how to get to Heaven — if we will but follow their example.

It would be hard to find a more compelling example of a holy and virtuous life than that set by St. Ivo1 of Kermartin, who is revered as a patron saint of lawyers and judges as well as abandoned children. Most everyone has heard of St. Thomas More, also a patron saint of lawyers, but St. Ivo seems to be lesser known. Ervoan “Ivo” Helori, meaning “son of Helor”, was born in 1253 at the Manor of Kermartin near the town of Treguiér in Brittany, in the northwest of France, to a “noble and virtuous” family. His parents chose to educate him at home rather than sending him to a monastery or convent school. At that time, of course, the “progressive” institution of public, secular schools, (deemed by Marx and Engels to be a key component of a model communist society),2 did not yet exist in France.3

Saint Ivo went to the University of Paris in 1267 at age 14 to study the liberal arts and theology. According to Butler — whose account cites the evidence given in support of St. Ivo’s canonization as well as the Bull of canonization itself 4 — Ivo strongly desired to live a holy life, having been inspired from his childhood by his mother’s exhortations, and was repulsed by the hedonistic behavior of many classmates, devoting himself instead to his academic studies and to prayer. In his spare time he visited the sick at local hospitals. It was believed that Ivo’s example served to convince some of his fellows to reform their own ways. Following his years at Paris, Ivo moved on in 1277 to Orleans to study under two different clerics who later became bishops, one also being created Cardinal . Throughout his course of education, Ivo was noted both for his ability to learn and his piety.

By this time Ivo had established an ascetic way of life that would be unthinkable to most people today, when relatively few Catholics even know the fundamentals of the Faith, much less practice severe forms of self-discipline. He wore a hair shirt under his clothing, slept only sparingly, and then on straw or a mat, using a stone pillow. He strictly observed both Lent and Advent with bread and water fasts, as well as on vigils, ember days and other days during the year, and abstained from both meat and wine at all times. Privately, he took a vow of chastity, politely declining a number of offers of possible marriage without disclosing the real reason.

On completion of his course of study at Paris and Orleans, Ivo returned to Brittany where he was appointed to an ecclesiastical judgeship in the city of Rennes, on account of on minor orders he had received at Orleans. Wigmore points out that, at this point in history, the Church courts were the most advanced in Europe, having civil and criminal, as well as ecclesiastical, jurisdiction. Here Saint Ivo began in earnest his service to the poor, carefully protecting them from legal oppression, sometimes even representing indigent clients in other courts, paying their expenses, and visiting them in jail. His reputation as a judge among all parties was one of fairness and impartiality, and he would not accept the judicial bribes that were then common, nor did he ever accept fees for representation of the indigent. As a result of his actions, Ivo gained the informal appellation “Advocatus pauperum” (Advocate of the Poor).

St. Ivo, Defender of the Poor

Ordered by the Bishop of Treguier to return to his home diocese, 5 Ivo was ordained a priest over his initial objections in 1284. There, he proceeded to discharge the duties of that vocation just as virtuously and enthusiastically as he did his work in the law, often traveling throughout the diocese to preach at different parish churches, sometimes as many as seven times in a single day, with crowds sometimes following him from town to town. He arose nightly at midnight to pray the Office of Matins, and lay prostrate in prayer before the tabernacle before celebrating the Mass, at which he routinely shed tears of joy. His austere life style continued and even deepened during his priesthood, as he engaged in bread and water fasting several times per week year round, as well as throughout Advent and Lent as noted earlier. He continued his abstinence from meat and wine, celebrating high feast days by adding a couple of eggs to his regular spare vegetarian meals. Whether Saint Ivo ever took the habit of the Franciscan Third Order is disputed, according to Butler, with Gonzaga holding that he did so, but another ancient historian, Papebroke, denying that claim. Source.

On the legal side, he continued in the same capacity as at Rennes, advocating for the poor without remuneration when not serving as judge in his own court, and frequently prevailing upon litigating parties to settle their differences amicably. On one occasion, unable to convince a mother and her son to drop a particularly unpleasant legal dispute, Saint Ivo offered up a Mass for their reconciliation, whereupon they settled immediately. In another instance, Ivo saved a widow from being fleeced by two con-men, when he saw through their scheme and forced them to reveal their chicanery in open court.

In addition to his work before the bar and at the altar of the Holy Sacrifice, Ivo undertook to compile in one volume a record of all the various customary laws of Brittany, which was then “a welter of all sorts of unwritten and conflicting traditions as to tenure, dues, privileges, and the like.” Source. This book did not surface until about 20 years after St. Ivo’s death, but most likely proved quite useful to the legal profession and others for many years thereafter.

Saint Ivo died at the age of 49 on May 19, 1303, perhaps weakened by his hard work and severe fasting. His death was widely mourned in the region and throughout the country, with the cause for his canonization being championed by many, including John, Duke of Brittany, as well as King Philip and Queen Anne of France.

A commission was convened to examine the cause in 1330, which is reported to have heard a total of 800 witnesses: 500 at one sitting in the local church, and another 300 who were individually deposed.

Over 100 miracles were attested to by these witnesses, among which was the following account: A woman who lived in Treguier, after having discovered that her home had been robbed, prayed at the tomb of Ivo seeking his intercession. As she prayed, she heard Ivo’s voice speaking the names of three burglars. Two were apprehended and much of the missing property recovered; however, the third had apparently escaped. He, however, suddenly went blind and, believing he was being punished by God for his crime, returned to Treguier and gave back what he had stolen from the woman. His sight was instantly restored. This man himself was one of the individual witnesses before the commission.

Another miracle was attested by the Duke of Brittany, who averred that after praying for Ivo’s intercession, he had been cured of a “distemper” which his physicians had been unable to treat successfully.

The Relics of St. Ivo borne in procession at Tréguier, France

The evidence taken by the commission ultimately resulted in the canonization of St. Ivo by Pope Clement VI, on the anniversary of his passing to glory, May 19 in the year 1347. Although not recognized as a feast day by the universal Church, the date is celebrated by the several dioceses in the Brittany region, and the Saint is listed in the Martyrologium Romanum for May 19: “In Brittany, [in the year 1303,] the holy Priest and Confessor Yves, who for the love of Christ pled the cause of orphans, widows, and the poor.” (Source). In addition, the University of Nantes, in the south of Brittany, once placed itself under his patronage, and the chapel of Kermartin is named after him, as are two churches in Rome, Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza and Sant’Ivo dei Bretoni. (Source.)

According to a 1991 article in the New York Times, local legend relates that the soul of St. Ivo approached the gates of Heaven along with a group of nuns. St. Peter asked the nuns to wait in Purgatory because there were already plenty of nuns in Heaven, but he told the Saint “You can enter immediately. We don’t yet have a single lawyer.” Another reported local saying about St. Ivo is “Advocatus sed non latro, res miranda populo,” or “A lawyer yet not a rascal, a thing that made the people wonder.”

The admiration shown by the people for Ivo has been shared also by many in the legal profession over the centuries, and even today brings lawyers and judges from around the world to the annual celebration of the Saint’s festival, the “pardon” (or pilgrimage) at Treguiers Cathedral, which contains an elaborate and beautiful cenotaph. (See photo below.) Visitors and locals also pay homage to the Saint at the church he endowed at the nearby suburb of Minihy, where his original tomb was located.

Click Here to see the Annual Procession at St. Ivo’s Tomb

The Lesson of St. Ivo

As stated earlier, the saints provide us with many types of wisdom and inspiration by their examples as well as their written works. Unfortunately, we have no written opus of St. Ivo from which to benefit, except for his compilation of Breton common law, which presumably did not also contain his own commentaries. What we do have, of course, is his sterling example of a life of service to his fellow man, as a priest, lawyer and judge. I daresay his virtuous conduct of these vocations would meet with universal approval today as well as in his own time, and well it should.

But perhaps an even more timely lesson might be drawn from St. Ivo’s ascetic life, with his frequent fasting and his lifelong abstinence from meat and alcohol. Indeed, his asceticism was so pervasive that it arguably shortened his earthly life, though it undoubtedly hastened his passage through purgatory and into the Divine Presence. In today’s society in which, even in the Church, worldly matters seem to take complete precedence over any concern for death, judgment, Heaven, and hell, a man who showed such disdain for creature comforts would be scorned and ridiculed. Of course, that is how most of the world today reacts to all faithful Christians, even those of us who do not engage in the strict disciplines followed by St. Ivo. But the lesson remains, which once was, and ought now to be, urgently taught in every Catholic home, school and parish: the present world is but a proving ground for the world to come, the new Heaven and the new Earth, the promise of Christ to all His faithful disciples. We are to live in this world but not be of this world. To lose sight of this is to lose sight of Christ Himself. Let us pray that our Church regains its bearings and returns to this first principle.

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FOOTNOTES

1 Or Ives, in English, or Yves, in French

2  Marx & Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party, Chapter II, p. 27, Marxists Internet Archive (marxists.org) 1987, 2000, 2010.

3 Secular education at public expense became mandated in France in 1882 as a result of legislation advocated by Jules Ferry, then Prime Minister of the Republic, who helped to continue the French renunciation of its Catholic history begun by the Revolution of 1789.

4  Unfortunately, as of this writing the web archive of the Holy See includes only one document from the papacy of Clement VI, who canonized St. Ivo, and it is not the bull of canonization. Additionally, there seem to be no historical studies of the Saint extant in English. Thus, not being fluent in French, we are constrained to rely chiefly upon Butler’s and Wigmore’s narratives for most details of the saint’s life and canonization.

5 The diocese was suppressed and combined with another by the Concordat of 1802 between Napoleon and the Holy See.

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CREDITS:  Rogier de Weyden, St. Ivo reading, in the National Gallery of Art, USA, is in the public domain (see here). — The Image of the procession is used under a GNU license (see here)

Bl. Urban II, patron of Popes who courageously oppose Anti-popes

By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

One of the greatest popes of all time, was born nearly 1000 years ago, in 1035 A. D., at Châtillon-sur-Marne, in the Kingdom of the Franks, to a noble family of knights and warriors who dominated that countryside.

Moved by the grace of God, in his youth, he forsook the easy life of a diocesan priest, with promises of being a local Bishop, and gave up this world and became a humble son of Saint Benedict, at the famous Monastery of Cluny, nearby.  Cluny was one of the leading religious communities in the Church. Founded nearly a century ago by Saint William in the remote forests, it grew to be a great center of monastic life, on account of the zeal and devotion of its monks and that it was free from all Feudal obligations of tax, tithe and service.

So talented and devout was Odo de Lagery, that he was chosen Prior of Cluny some time before 1046 A.D., as I estimate it. And as such he received a guest that would forever change the history of the world. I speak of  Saint Hildebrand

Hildebrand was an Italian. The son of a blacksmith in southern Tuscany. He had been a guest-student at the Benedictine Monastery of Tre Fontane in Rome, and had attached himself to the retinue of the man he thought was the pope, John Gratian, reigning under the name of Gregory VI  However, at the Council of Sutri in 1046, Gratian was deposed for the crime of having obtained the papacy by simony. At the time his acolyte, was but 16 year of age, and so when he went into exile he took the young Hildebrand with him.

Gratian died shortly afterwards, and Hildebrand, finding himself in Burgundy sought out the Monks of Cluny for lodging, perhaps having nothing to live upon and no where to go, as the former acolyte of an Antipope. But Prior Odo took him in for several weeks. Whereupon he left and attached himself to a Bishop in Burgundy, who was close friends with the Monks of Cluny: Saint Bruno of Egisheim, Bishop of Toul, who at the Diet of Worms late in 1048 was elected as Pope Leo IX.

Years later, after battling against simony and the abuse of lay princes in nominating Bishops, Saint Hildebrand, himself was raised to the Apostolic Throne, in April of 1073, and took the name, Gregory VII: he went on to become one of the top 10 greatest popes in history, and certainly the greatest of the Middle Ages for his unswerving zeal for the liberty of the Church of Christ.

Seven years later, Gregory VII named Prior Odo, Cardinal Bishop of Ostia, and in 1084 made him Apostolic Legate to the Holy Roman Empire. He was so trusted by Saint Hildebrand, that the Saint named him as one of the three men that should succeed him. Blessed Odo was the third, in that succession, and became Pope at Terracina, on March 12, 1088.

Pope Urban II

He took the name Urban II, recalling the Saint and Martyr by that name who reigned on the See of Peter at the beginning of the Third Century.

But Pope Urban II did not inherit a Church at peace, for in the strife which reigned between Pope Gregory VII and the German Emperor, the Emperor had descended to Rome in 1084 and set up the Antipope Clement III who had reigned there firmly ever since. So from day one, Bl. Urban II had to contend with an Anti-pope.

It is to be noted, that the mere fact that an Antipope controls Rome is NO OBSTACLE for the Church of Rome to elect a successor to the true Pope.

Many a man, and many a pope, would have run away or become so totally obsessed with the bad position in which he was in, as to take ineffective measured and let the Schism go on. But not Bl. Urban.

He traveled Italy — staying away from Rome — and held Councils at Amalfi, Troia and Benevento, condemning the Antipope and restoring ecclesiastical discipline with those Bishops who were favorable to true reform and renewal. Ancient canons were re-established, guilty clergy were punished and expelled. He assisted faithful Catholic nobility and clergy throughout Western Europe by sound counsel and decrees. He was ever open to holy suggestions.

The First Crusade

Upon the mountain of merits he had accumulated, God sent him the answer to his troubles which he never foresaw.

This answer began with a man called Peter the Hermit. It is not clear if he was a hermit or simply a priest of Northern Francis with that surname. Inspired by love of God he had traveled to the Holy Land on pilgrimage in 1093-4 and found himself in the spring of 1094 praying one midnight in the Holy Sepulcher, where Christ was buried and rose from the dead. There, he had a vision of Christ Crucified who commanded him to speak with the Greek Orthodox Patriarch and call upon the Bishop of Rome to call upon the Men of the West to liberate the Holy Land from the cruel yoke of the Muslims under which it had labored for centuries but, very heavily in the last 60 years. Peter complied, and the Patriarch wrote the Catholic Bishop of Rome asking for help.

Peter met Bl. Urban at Bari, in Apulia, in the fall of 1094, and traveled with him to Piacenza, in northern Italy, in March 1095, where the Greek Orthodox Emperor of Constantinople renewed the call for military assistance. Bl. Urban had met his destiny and eagerly responded.

He went to Clermont, France, where he had summoned all the Bishops of the West, and on the 27th of November of 1095 gave a speech which changed the history of the world: for he called on the Catholic knights and noblemen present to lay down their arms against their brothers in the faith and take them up in a penitential pilgrimage to Jerusalem to free it from the infidel. — The crowds were so moved with fervor at his speech, that they shouted out DEUS VULT!  God wills it.

Bl. Urban II died on July 29, 1099 A.D., fourteen days after the Catholic Forces of the First Crusade had captured Jerusalem, in a military venture which was so unexpected and miraculous that all historians since have spoken of it and tried to explain it. The Crusaders took the city because the True Pope had called them and promised them victory. And God granted it, because Urban II and not Clement III was His Vicar on Earth.

The First Crusade was followed by 9 others, and they forever changed Europe, because they opened the Catholic World up to the idea of bringing the Gospel to all the Earth and defending the rights of Christians everywhere against the forces of unbelief. For this reason, Bl. Urban is the most hated pope by all the enemies of the Church, inside and outside the Church. But should be the most beloved by all who truly love the true God.

Bl. Urban had the consolation in seeing his rival also driven from power in 1097. Because one of the many Crusader contingents, passing through Italy on the way to Jerusalem, drove the Antipope from Rome and re-established the authority of the true pope.

The moral of the story is, be generous with God and He will be generous with you. And all take heart and be of good cheer, because all the Providence of God is at the back of those who support the True Pope!

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CREDITS: The Featured Image is a photo of the Statue of Bl. Urban at the Place de la Victoire, Clermont-Ferrand, France, and is used here according to the Creative Commons Share-Alike 3.0 unported license described here. — The sketch of Bl. Urban is by Artaud de Montor, see here for more info.

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The Nazi Forefathers of the St. Gallen Mafia

By Br. Alexis Bugnolo

This is a follow-up report to my article on how the members of the Rampolla episcopal lineage were instrumental in helping Nazi war criminals escape to Argentina, and how the wealth and ideas they took with them might be at the foundation of the St. Gallen Mafia. Not all members of the St. Gallen Mafia are Rampolla men, but those who are not trace their lineages back to close friends, collaborators and allies of that Sicilian Cardinal.

Here I will list the Bishops and Cardinals in the German and Austrian Episcopates who were Nazi sympathizers or collaborators, so you can see that when Bergoglio denounces anyone as a Nazi, he probably does not mean it as an insult, but merely as political theatre. All of them are Rampolla men, or like the St. Gallen Mafia members, descendants of Rampolla allies.

Theodor_Kardinal_Innitzer_-001-
Theodor Cardinal Innitzer , Archbishop of Vienna (1932-1955)

The first worthy of mention, is Cardinal Innitzer of Vienna, Austria, who on the occasion of the annexation of Austria by Hitler in 1938, he ordered the Catholic Churches of the city to display the Nazi flag and ring their bells to greet the Dictator upon his arrival in the City on March 14th of that year.

Needless to say, Cardinal Innizter was  a member of the House of Rampolla del Tindaro, just like Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, since both trace their episcopal lineage back to the Sicilian Cardinal, by a direct line of principal consecrators. See the evidence here for Cardinal Innizter and here for Cardinal Bergoglio.

Cardinal Innitzer, however, by October of the same year of 1938, had turned against the Nazi Regime, when he saw what it really meant. But his act of ordering Nazi flags to fly lead many astray.

The next Nazi collaborator was Bishop Alois Hudal, whose co-consecrator was Bishop Ferdinand S. Pawlikowski, a Rampolla man. Historical sources also indicate that Hudal was promoted to Bishop by none other than Cardinal Merry del Val, a Rampolla man and close collaborator with Rampolla.

As I mentioned in my article on Nazi Refugees, Hudal was instrumental in organizing at least one Rat Line to help Nazis escape Germany after the War.

But what I did not mention, was that Hudal rose in power at the Vatican after key members of the Rampolla faction — Cardinal Gaspari to be specific — praised a book written by the Austrian Diplomat, Pastor, who was the patron of Hudal. This is the kind of indirect methods of influence and control for which the St. Gallen Mafia moved their members into key positions during the Pontificate of John Paul II — I speak of Cardinal Daneels.

So zealous was Hudal for Hitler than he attempted to get Austrian clergy to vote in favor of the Anschlaus of Austria, by inviting them to do it upon the German Heavy Cruiser, the Admiral Scheer, in the harbor of Gaeta, Italy, in April of 1938.

Bishop Hudal in 1937 published a book, whose title in English translates as, The Foundations of National Socialism, in which he praised the Nazi State and its vision for Germany but criticized elements of their ideology as a bad form of National Socialism. That Cardinal Innizter gave the book an Imprimatur, shows that Hudal was clearly the spokesman for the Rampolla pro Nazi faction. Hitler is said to have been impressed by the book, though he ordered it banned in Germany because it advocated that the education of Catholic boys be kept in the hands of the clergy.

Bishop Hudal, after the War was one of the chief organizers of Ratlines to help escaped war criminals. The evidence is quite devastating, so I will quote it from his Wikipedia article:

In 1994, Erich Priebke, a former SS Captain, told Italian journalist Emanuela Audisio, La Repubblica, that Hudal helped him reach Buenos Aires, verified by church historian Robert Graham, a Jesuit priest from the United States.[53]

In 1945, Hudal gave refuge to Otto Wächter.[54] From 1939 onward, as governor of the Cracow district, Wächter organized the persecution of the Jews and ordered the establishment of the Cracow Ghetto in 1941. Wächter is mentioned as one of the leading advocates in the General Government who were in favor of the Jewish extermination by gassing and as a member of the SS team who under Himmler‘s supervision and Odilo Globocnik‘s direction planned Operation Reinhard, the first phase of the Final Solution, leading to the death of more than 2,000,000 Polish Jews.[55] After the war, Wächter lived in a Roman monastery “as a monk”, under Hudal’s protection. Wächter died on 14 July 1949 in the Santo Spirito hospital in Rome.[56][57]

While his official status was minor, Hudal clearly played a role in the ratlines. In 1999, Italian researcher Matteo Sanfilippo revealed a letter drafted on 31 August 1948 by Bishop Hudal to Argentinian President Juan Perón, requesting 5,000 visas, 3,000 for German and 2,000 for Austrian “soldiers”.[58][59] In the letter, Hudal explained that these were not (Nazi) refugees, but anti-Communist fighters “whose wartime sacrifice” had saved Europe from Soviet domination.[15]

It cannot be ignored that Hudal had help in Argentina and that his chief efforts were to export Nazis to Argentina. Cardinal Bergoglio, it must be remembered, is the heir of the Rampolla faction in Argentina.

Bishop Franz Justus Rarkowski, Head of the Military Ordinate of the Third Reich

Finally, there is Bishop Franz Justus Rarkowski, a man promoted by Cardinal Gasparri, a close Rampolla ally and collaborator. Rarkowski was the Bishop chaplain of the Germany Army during the Second world war, and was an enthusiastic supporter of the Nazi State. Here are the exact words of the Bishop:

“The German Nation has a great duty to fulfill in the face of the Eternal Almighty. Abroad and at home the Fuehrer has thanked God that his plea for His blessing for our good and just cause was expressed more than once, and was understood. Certainly, other nations opposed to us pray to God and beg Him to grant them victory. God is, in the same manner, Father of all nations, but He is not, in the same manner, arbiter of justice and injustice, of honesty and mendacity. From reports of field chaplains who were with you on all fronts during the past year, I was able to observe how naturally and joyfully you participated in religious services and received the sacraments, not only immediately before battle, but also in the many months when the fronts were quiet. Your Christian faith was everywhere where you, as soldiers, often had to achieve the superhuman, and was a valuable part of your spiritual and moral equipment.”[4]

Rarkowski praised the annexation of Catholic Poland, whose Bishops were nearly all non Rampolla men. For Rarkowski it was a just war.

That war continues today against all Bishop who will not buckle under the St. Gallen Mafia regime, ruling the Vatican.

To get an idea of how much material from Nazi Germany made it to Argentina and was kept in Buenas Aires, see this video:

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CREDITS: The images are all in the public domain. The Featured Image shows Bishop Lugwig Sebastian, Bishop of Speyer and Bishop Franz Rudolf Bornewasser, Bishop of Trier, giving the Nazi Salute at an official celebration in Saarbruken City Hall, following the annexation of the Saarland. Neither are Rampolla men.

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Our Lord did not call Simon, “the Rock”, for nothing

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

The student of the history of the Catholic Church cannot ignore the fact of its longevity. It is the only visible institution in the history of mankind to outlast every government and temporal power, and every other kind of institution — using the term properly — of mankind. Countless Empires, Kingdoms, Duchies, Principalities, Unions and Nations have come and gone, but the Catholic Church remains.

This truth is found also in regard to the Apostolic See: the institution of the Papacy.

A fisherman — we do not even know if he was literate — from Galilee one day drops his nets and follows Jesus’ call to be a fisher of men. He tramps around the dusty byways of Galilee for 3 years hearing Him preach and seeing Him work astounding miracles. And one day, after giving the right answer to a single question, he received in return, the promise of the an amazing office, and had his name changed, from Simon bar Jonah, to Cephas, the Rock — which is rendered in Latin, as “Peter”.

The meaning of this name has been variously explained by theologians and ecclesiastical writers for 2000 years, but, here I want to consider the effect of that name in history.

Because, if you read the history of the Church, you see that that Name also has a meaning: the Rock, against which every power which takes up its hand, has been broken and destroyed from history.

This fisherman, after many labors and wanderings, came to Rome, and probably was seen fishing along the Tiber, where the fish are wont to be seen, down near where the Via Conciliazione leads today. He preached Jesus and with another man, called Saul of Tarsus, but who changed his name to Paul, they founded the Catholic Church at Rome.

There was Nero, who put Saint Peter to death. But Nero was almost immediately murdered by his supporters.

There were 9 more persecutions in the Roman Empire, and every one failed to exterminate the Church at Rome. Each of the Emperors involved, was quickly removed from power by his enemies.

When the Roman Empire fell, the Church of Rome and its Pope remained. The entire inheritance, cultural and physical of the eternal city fell into the hands of the Church, in a historic irony the importance of which is not ignored by all historians of Rome. Even the chief title of the religious leader, the Bridge-builder, in Latin, Pontifex, was inherited by the successors of that Galilean fisherman.

The Lombards sought to subject the Pop to their authority in the 6th Century, but the Kingdom of the Lombards has passed into history. The Greek Emperors tried in the 7th and 8th centuries, and their Empire has long ago fallen. The German Emperors were rather unique in this that they often came to the help of the Apostolic See, when it was tossed hither and thither by the rival clans of Roman Nobility, all of which have passed into history.

In the Middle Ages, a King of France at the beginning of the fourteenth century, sent his thugs to beat the pope to death. And not only did he die shortly afterwards, his dynasty is extinct, and his Kingdom is no more.

In more recent centuries, the Kingdom of Piedmont — which renamed itself the Kingdom of Italy — attempted to exterminate the Papacy, but it too is no more. The very enemy of the Apostolic See, after little more than 70 years, was conquered by all the forces of the West, in the Second World War and the Dynasty which governed it remains still, in its male heirs, exiled from the Italian peninsula.

From this we can see, that the Apostolic See, the Office of Peter, is the Rock of history. It is a Rock like a shoal in the sea, where, if any man dare to chart a course against it, he is smashed and defeated.

For these reasons, we can be sure that we shall soon see the power of that gift which Our Lord gave to that Fisherman from Galilee. Those who attacked him over His book on Celibacy, will shortly see their entire project smashed.

It cannot be otherwise, because he alone is the True Peter, the true Rock of the Ages.

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CREDITS: The Featured Image if a photograph of Saint Peter’s Basilica, built over the spot where the Fisherman from Galilee was buried in 69 A. D.. It was taken by Br. Bugnolo.

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Saint Vincent Ferrer, patron for those seeking the true Pope

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

The present Crisis in the Church, of having two popes, is not new in the Church. There have been more than a dozen such instances in Church history.

While nearly all of them included rivals which were supported by diverse factions of notable size (perhaps that of Benedict IX was not the case in 1046), yet they gave occasion for God to show us the way out of such crises by the example given to us by His Saints during those crises of ages past.

One such saint is Saint Vincent Ferrer. I have to admit, that of all the Saints of the Order of Preachers, he is my favorite, because he is such a stunning example of holiness and was so determined in the teaching of what it means to be holy.

Most Catholics, however, have no idea who he was. So let me tell you something about his life, and then show you how his example should be imitated by all Catholics right now.

saint-vincent-ferrer-01.2

So remarkable, many have thought he was a legend

Saint Vincent was born 670 years ago, on January 23, in the height of the Black Death.

The Catholic world was shaken to its core: millions were dying each month. It is estimated that more 100 million died in the entire world, and perhaps as much as 30 million in Europe alone, from the onset of the Plague in 1347 to 1351. It was a virulent strain of the Bubonic plague, which had spread from infected rats in the Gobi Desert to Caravans carrying rare goods to the Genoese trading port on the Black Sea, Kaffa, and thence by Genoese ships to Sicily and Western Europe.

The demographic, sociologic, psychological and economic effects were profound. So many bodies were piling up that people fled their villages, local priests fled their parishes in fear of dying. People took refuge in the wilderness and avoided contact with anyone with a cough. The strain was so virulent that those exposed in the morning were dead before midnight. It was spread by flees on rats but then became pneumonic, that is spread through the air by coughing. It is called the Black Death, because the lymph glands of the body would swell and then turn black, with death ensuing rapidly.

Catholics universally thought it was the end of the world, a fulfillment of the Apocalypse, which spoke of the fallen star Wormwood turning the waters of a third of the world poison. As there was no medical art which could precisely understand the causes, panic spread everywhere. The pope of the time survived only by sequestering himself in his palace at Avignon and having a huge fire set in his private chamber’s fireplace which was kept burning without stop for many months.

Into this horror, was born a Saint through which God would call most of Western Europe back from despair and apostasy, Saint Vincent Ferrer. At an early age he dedicated himself to Jesus Christ, and became a son of Saint Dominic.

Saint Vincent, being an devote practitioner of the ascetical life, quickly passed every spiritual test and was endowed by the Lord with extraordinary gifts of prophesy, foreknowledge, conversion, and miracle working.

On one occasion, being in a port which was suffering famine and starvation, he preached to the people to remain calm and that the Lord would send them ships filled with grain the next day. Sure enough, the next day a fleet loaded with food arrived.

But his fame began with a deadly fever which he contracted at Avignon, while the service of the anti Pope. You see, St. Vincent was a follower of Cardinal Pedro de Luna, who was one of the Cardinals who pledged obedience to the pope at Avignon, even though the Cardinal knew that he was an antipope and lied to Saint Vincent. But I will get to that, later.

It was at Avignon, while the forces of the Charles VI besieged the City to capture the antipope — the King of France was intelligent enough to investigate the controversy between the rival claimants to the papacy, and switch his allegiance back to the Pope at Rome — that Saint Vincent nearly died. But in the midst of his mortal fever, Our Lord appeared to him, along with Saints Dominic and Francis of Assisi, and commissioned him to be the 4th Angel of the Apocalypse: to preach penance everywhere, telling men that if they did not repent God would come and destroy the world. This was in September of 1398 A.D.. A year later, convinced of his divine mission, the Antipope appointed the Saint Missionary a lateri Christi, that is, sent from Christ Himself. The Saint spent the next 20 years in a most extraordinary apostolate which single-handedly saved Christianity in Europe.

He preached from Northern France to Italy and back to Spain. Upon seeing Bernardine of Sienna in Italy, he prophesied that Bernardine would convert Italy back to the faith. The crowds came to hear Saint Vincent were so great he could not preach in Churches, but had to use Piazzas and open fields. And his mission was signed by extraordinary miracles the likes of which have never again been seen in Christendom.

When he preached, his voice has a miraculous power to be heard at great distances. Those who could not enter the towns where he preached, would climb bell towers in near by villages and hear his voice distinctly at the distance of two to three miles!

One day he led the crowds listening to him to storm a Synagogue and immediately began preaching in Hebrew to the Jews. He was so convincing in their own tongue and from their own version of scripture, that he converted the entire congregation to the Catholic Faith and they immediately consecrated the place a Catholic Church!

On another occasion, he led the crowds from the Piazza in which he was preaching, to the Castle above the town, saying that great sin must be stopped. He broke through the gates of the Castle and found the noblemen in the most evil debauchery. He cursed them for their sin and everyone of them turned to stone!  A thing witnessed by all the officials of the town to the amazement and terror of everyone. Upon hearing the pleas of the relatives, he commanded that the afflicted return to life, heard their confessions and after giving them his blessing they all dropped dead, but this time, went to eternal life.

His preaching of penance was so persuasive that huge crowds of penitents followed him everywhere, beating themselves with chains and hooks and nails to blood. The sight of these flagellants arriving was the signal that St. Vincent was on his way and this news would empty the fields and villages of the area, for all wanted to hear him preach. In whatever language they could understand, his voice was miraculously heard, even though he always spoke in his own dialect or in Latin.

He is known to have raised from the dead at least 7 persons. On one occasion, in a most extraordinary way. To a fellow Dominican who did not believe his claims to be sent by Christ to preach, he said: Do you doubt that I am one the Angels of the Apocalypse? Bring a dead man here, one who has been dead 4 days and whose body is rotting, and I will prove that I am telling the truth. Whereupon, he commanded the decaying corpse to arise and give testimony. And the man came back to life and his body was instantly restored to perfect health!

I could go on and on about the wonders and virtues of Saint Vincent. But I recommend you find a biography about him and read it. It will change your life and make you want to abandon all and become a devout religious. A thing the Church really needs in great quantity now.

The Great Schism

Despite all the graces and gifts which Saint Vincent had, and despite the great wisdom and learning he possessed from years of studying — for example he memorized the entire Latin version of the Bible and spoke 5 languages: Greek, Latin, Hebrew, French and Langue d’óc  — CHRIST WITHHELD from the Saint graces to see who was and who was not the true pope. Our Lord did this, in my opinion, to give us as lesson for our own time.

The Saint was a close friend to Cardinal Pedro de Luna, who was a supporter of the Antipope.  The Schism began in 1378, when the previous pope, having been persuaded by Saint Catherine of Sienna to return to Rome, died. And the new Pope Urban VI was elected at Rome. The French Cardinals did not accept the election and immediately elected Clement VII. Cardinal Pedro knew his election was uncanonical, but concealed the facts from Saint Vincent for 38 years! In 1394, Cardinal Pedro was elected to succeed the antipope, and took the name Benedict XIII.

Saint Vincent was so deceived by Cardinal Pedro that he preached to convince the people of the Kingdom of Aragon to give allegiance to the Antipope of Avignon and to break from Rome! So troublesome was this schism to the soul of Saint Vincent that he said to others that it frequently made him ill.

The Great Western Schism had begun on a dispute where the wrong side was making claims on the basis of their allegations of being forced to vote. This kind of claim was really impossible to prove, it rested solely on the testimony of the alleged victims. No one disputed that the antipope was elected second. No one disputed the laws which govern the election.

But though he was a convinced supporter of the antipope of Avignon, Saint Vincent, nevertheless, loved the Church more than his personal friend, the Cardinal, and thus he urged Councils to end the Schism. And here is where his virtue is a lesson for us.

Because in Council of Perpignan, in the Kingdom of Aragon, in January 6, 1416, when the evidence was presented to Saint Vincent by the King of Aragon that Benedict XIII’s claim was not well founded, Benedict’s supporters could give no response and defend his claim against the charges. Saint Vincent had come to the Council a supporter of Benedict. He even preached in his defense. But when no evidence could be brought to defend the claim of the man whom he thought was the pope, St. Vincent immediately switched allegiance, for he recognized, being a master of Logic — a text book on which he had written — that when one side refuses to answer or has no argument, it means that they have no valid claim at all for their position.

In shame and penance for his having supported for so many years the wrong man, he went to France and spent the rest of his life in exile from his native land.

The “Renunciation” of Pope Benedict

The Great Western Schism began when the Cardinals elected Pope Urban VI and immediately upon his enthronement, seeing that he would curb their power, left the city, declared that they had been forced to vote for him, and elected instead Robert of Savoy as Clement VII.

We are in an analogous situation today. The Cardinals, not wanting to endure Pope Benedict XVI any longer, claimed on Feb. 11, 2013 that he had renounced the papacy. But in truth he had only announced his retirement from active ministry. They published false news to the world and through their personal contacts have suborned the entire Episcopate and Catholic Media to believe this lie. That is why they remain silent. They are the criminals of this Great Modern Schism.

Pope Benedict XVI for his part has been ignored and effectively locked up at the Vatican. But the truth of what he did on Feb. 11, 2013 has become known and now all Christendom can do what Saint Vincent did: ask the side which thinks Bergoglio is the pope for their explanation. Ann Barnhardt and hundreds of other Catholics have been doing this: she for four years, nearly, and others longer or less. But still there is no canonical explanation from the other side.

I think you can see how easy the choice is, who the real pope is. Do what Vincent did!

The Great Schism in its causes also sheds light on the principles of how to discern who today is the true pope and who is not.  As a legal case the solution of the disputed election of 1378 was a simple one: possession is 9 tenths of the law, that is, the first man elected is always presumed be the legitimate claimant, the second one elected has to prove that the laws were violated in the first election, not just claim that they were. This is especially true with those Cardinals who voted for the first claimant. Their votes are explicit consent to the validity and legality of that act. — Today, the same principal applies: Benedict must be presumed to remain the true pope, until there is a proof in canonical form that his renunciation — not anything he said before or after, or anything he did before or after — is conformable with the terms of Canon 332 §2. No proof has ever been given! So those who sustain Bergoglio is the pope, have no case!

Saint Vincent for all his supernatural gifts, erred for many years, because he put his trust in his favorite Cardinal, who was lying to him. And he never bothered to examine the case calmly according to the principles of the law. — He was not a canon lawyer, and so that failing is understandable in a man who was so humble as to never think evil of others. But it nevertheless was such a grave error in law, that God Himself did not give him the grace to see it by supernatural means. The truth came to him by the testimony of fellow men.

In November, I asked Cardinal Burke through Canon Lenhart for an audience to discuss the Renunciation. In December, I returned and asked again and was promised one in January. January has come and is now ended. Still no audience or response to my Scholastic Question, containing 39 arguments which conclude that Pope Benedict XVI is the true Pope.

In November, I shared that same Question with 700 members of the Clergy of the Diocese of Rome. But I got no canonical argument in response to refute it. In December I distributed 500 copies of the same to the students of theology and canon law in the City, at Pontifical Universities. I got no response in reply.

I say this to give you a personal testimony. I think you should now understand what it means. St. Vincent shows us the way.

POSTSCRIPT: Saint Vincent died at Vannes, France on April 5, 1419. He was canonized by Pope Calixtus III in 1455. He is buried in the Cathedral of Vannes, but you can find relics of his right arm at his Church in New York City, or in the parish Church at Castle Umberto, in the province of Messina, Sicily, where I stop by every time I am in town, to venerate them.

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CREDITS: The Featured Image and Image of Saint Vincent is by Giovanni Bellini and is conserved at Venice. It is in the public domain as a work of art older than 200 years.

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