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The great Pope Gregory XVI against the Revolution in the Church September 21, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, different religion, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Glory, Good St. Joseph, history, manhood, Papa, Revolution, secularism, sickness, Society, SOD, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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The Revolution – for it is ultimately one – has been brewing for a long time.  It has even found souls within the Church quite willing to support it going back hundreds of years.  For it was many Catholics who brought about the first great outbreak of the Revolution – the protestant revolt.  Men being the fallen creatures we are, temptation to change the Church from the indefectible institution founded by Christ that she is into something more worldly and amenable to men and their corrupt desires is a constant.  Even in the direct aftermath of the hellish chaos and persecution of the French Revolution – part of the second great outbreak of the broader satanic Revolution – there were many within the Church who still desired to reach some kind of accommodation with the many-tentacled Revolution.  It is to those souls that Pope Gregory XVI spoke in his epochal encyclical Mirari Vos. A few selected excerpts (most emphasis mine), in which you might be amazed – or not – to find the very same targets of the Revolution that we see emphasized today.

The Revolution never changes, because its author never changes:

5. We speak of the things which you see with your own eyes, which We both bemoan. Depravity exults; science is impudent; liberty, dissolute. The holiness of the sacred is despised; the majesty of divine worship is not only disapproved by evil men, but defiled and held up to ridicule. Hence sound doctrine is perverted and errors of all kinds spread boldly. The laws of the sacred, the rights, institutions, and discipline — none are safe from the audacity of those speaking evil. Our Roman See is harassed violently and the bonds of unity are daily loosened and severed. The divine authority of the Church is opposed and her rights shorn off. She is subjected to human reason and with the greatest injustice exposed to the hatred of the people and reduced to vile servitude. The obedience due bishops is denied and their rights are trampled underfoot. Furthermore, academies and schools resound with new, monstrous opinions, which openly attack the Catholic faith; this horrible and nefarious war is openly and even publicly waged. Thus, by institutions and by the example of teachers, the minds of the youth are corrupted and a tremendous blow is dealt to religion and the perversion of morals is spread. So the restraints of religion are thrown off, by which alone kingdoms stand. We see the destruction of public order, the fall of principalities, and the overturning of all legitimate power approaching. Indeed this great mass of calamities had its inception in the heretical societies and sects in which all that is sacrilegious, infamous, and blasphemous has gathered as bilge water in a ship’s hold, a congealed mass of all filth. [Oh Lord, can we please have a Pope like Gregory XVI again in my lifetime!  PLEASE?!?]

7. Indeed you will accomplish this perfectly if, as the duty of your office demands, you attend to yourselves and to doctrine and meditate on these words: “the universal Church is affected by any and every novelty”[5] and the admonition of Pope Agatho: “nothing of the things appointed ought to be diminished; nothing changed; nothing added; but they must be preserved both as regards expression and meaning.”[6] ……..

9. Furthermore, the discipline sanctioned by the Church must never be rejected or be branded as contrary to certain principles of natural law. It must never be called crippled, or imperfect or subject to civil authority. In this discipline the administration of sacred rites, standards of morality, and the reckoning of the rights of the Church and her ministers are embraced.

10. To use the words of the fathers of Trent, it is certain that the Church “was instructed by Jesus Christ and His Apostles and that all truth was daily taught it by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.”[12] Therefore, it is obviously absurd and injurious to propose a certain “restoration and regeneration” for her as though necessary for her safety and growth, as if she could be considered subject to defect or obscuration or other misfortune. Indeed these authors of novelties consider that a “foundation may be laid of a new human institution,” and what Cyprian detested may come to pass, that what was a divine thing “may become a human church.”………[I trust the ears of the vast majority of Germanic prelates are burning.  Paging Cardinals Marx and Kasper……]

11. Now, however, We want you to rally to combat the abominable conspiracy against clerical celibacy. This conspiracy spreads daily and is promoted by profligate philosophers, some even from the clerical order. They have forgotten their person and office, and have been carried away by the enticements of pleasure. They have even dared to make repeated public demands to the princes for the abolition of that most holy discipline. But it is disgusting to dwell on these evil attempts at length. Rather, We ask that you strive with all your might to justify and to defend the law of clerical celibacy as prescribed by the sacred canons, against which the arrows of the lascivious are directed from every side. [I don’t know if I’d say too many bishops today “strive with all their might”]

12. Now the honorable marriage of Christians, which Paul calls “a great sacrament in Christ and the Church,”[15] demands our shared concern lest anything contrary to its sanctity and indissolubility is proposed….. However, troublesome efforts against this sacrament still continue to be made. The people therefore must be zealously taught that a marriage rightly entered upon cannot be dissolved; for those joined in matrimony God has ordained a perpetual companionship for life and a knot of necessity which cannot be loosed except by death. [Ahem. I wonder what Pope Gregory XVI would think about the recent Motu Proprios] Recalling that matrimony is a sacrament and therefore subject to the Church, let them consider and observe the laws of the Church concerning it. Let them take care lest for any reason they permit that which is an obstruction to the teachings of the canons and the decrees of the councils. They should be aware that those marriages will have an unhappy end which are entered upon contrary to the discipline of the Church or without God’s favor or because of concupiscence alone, with no thought of the sacrament and of the mysteries signified by it. [Which is true, but no justification for pretending that half of all marriages are invalid.]

13. Now We consider another abundant source of the evils with which the Church is afflicted at present: indifferentism. This perverse opinion is spread on all sides by the fraud of the wicked who claim that it is possible to obtain the eternal salvation of the soul by the profession of any kind of religion, as long as morality is maintained. Surely, in so clear a matter, you will drive this deadly error far from the people committed to your care. With the admonition of the apostle that “there is one God, one faith, one baptism”[16] may those fear who contrive the notion that the safe harbor of salvation is open to persons of any religion whatever. They should consider the testimony of Christ Himself that “those who are not with Christ are against Him,”[17] and that they disperse unhappily who do not gather with Him. Therefore “without a doubt, they will perish forever, unless they hold the Catholic faith whole and inviolate.”[18] Let them hear Jerome who, while the Church was torn into three parts by schism, tells us that whenever someone tried to persuade him to join his group he always exclaimed: “He who is for the See of Peter is for me.”……..[Which remains true even when we are faced with such a calamitous situation as we are faced with today. There is simply no remedy to be found by looking outside the Church to the Orthodox or whatever]

14. This shameful font of indifferentism gives rise to that absurd and erroneous proposition which claims that liberty of conscience must be maintained for everyone. It spreads ruin in sacred and civil affairs, though some repeat over and over again with the greatest impudence that some advantage accrues to religion from it. “But the death of the soul is worse than freedom of error,” as Augustine was wont to say. When all restraints are removed by which men are kept on the narrow path of truth, their nature, which is already inclined to evil, propels them to ruin. Then truly “the bottomless pit” is open from which John saw smoke ascending which obscured the sun, and out of which locusts flew forth to devastate the earth. Thence comes transformation of minds, corruption of youths, contempt of sacred things and holy laws — in other words, a pestilence more deadly to the state than any other. Experience shows, even from earliest times, that cities renowned for wealth, dominion, and glory perished as a result of this single evil, namely immoderate freedom of opinion, license of free speech, and desire for novelty. [Some may say “But look at the wealth of the West today.”  To which I would retort:  give it time.]

15. Here We must include that harmful and never sufficiently denounced freedom to publish any writings whatever and disseminate them to the people, which some dare to demand and promote with so great a clamor. We are horrified to see what monstrous doctrines and prodigious errors are disseminated far and wide in countless books, pamphlets, and other writings which, though small in weight, are very great in malice. We are in tears at the abuse which proceeds from them over the face of the earth…….

20. Nor can We predict happier times for religion and government from the plans of those who desire vehemently to separate the Church from the state, and to break the mutual concord between temporal authority and the priesthood. It is certain that that concord which always was favorable and beneficial for the sacred and the civil order is feared by the shameless lovers of liberty.

21. But for the other painful causes We are concerned about, you should recall that certain societies and assemblages seem to draw up a battle line together with the followers of every false religion and cult. They feign piety for religion; but they are driven by a passion for promoting novelties and sedition everywhere. They preach liberty of every sort; they stir up disturbances in sacred and civil affairs, and pluck authority to pieces. [Once again, oh to have such a pontiff again, fearless of the world, the flesh, and the devil, willing to proclaim the Truth in season and out, and never trembling before the opinion of mere men!]

———–End Quote———–

Unfortunately, the revolutionaries were never fully driven from the bosom of the Church, but in spite of periodic purges and constant urgings to the contrary, were permitted to multiply in far too many dioceses and eventually to burst forth in a dominant plurality in the mid-20th century.  This was not particularly due to a want of duty and vigilance on the part of the popes from Pius VIII to St. Pius X, but due to the insidious nature of the Revolution, its enormous and still-growing influence on the culture, and the failure of subordinate authorities to properly execute the duty the various popes laid before them. It was also, of course, due to the diabolical influence of the secret societies and the eventual penetration of the Church by large numbers of their adherents and fellow revolutionaries (in particular, the communists under Stalin).  Most of all, the Revolution is the product of satan in his eternal war against God and His Church.

Thus, prayer and penance remain our ultimate weapons, even as we take advantage of modern means of communication to (hopefully) inform souls of a different time in the history of the Church, with better leadership and clearer explication of Doctrine.  I pray you find this useful, and strongly recommend you read the rest.

What to do about the men’s vigils? September 21, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, manhood, sanctity, secularism, sexual depravity, Society, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
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Folks, I have to say with a somewhat heavy heart that the men’s vigils outside a local strip joint have experienced a pretty severe drop off in support in the past 2 months.  Since July, we’ve been down to just a handful of guys each night.  I want to make clear that I appreciate everyone’s support, and I thank all those who have made it out once or several times from the bottom of my heart.  Even having one other man come out and pray is a wonderful thing, and for those who have made an effort to come out,  you have my deepest admiration.

I knew this prayer vigil would be a dicey proposition for a number of reasons.  First of all, people might have qualms about being exposed to morally dangerous things outside a strip club. I can say that in about 20 vigils I’ve been involved in so far the only immorality we’ve been exposed to was the cussing of a manager of the strip joint several months ago.  For the past 3 months, we’ve had no interaction at all.  And maybe that’s part of the problem, contra praying outside mills and the great satisfaction of occasional saves, we really don’t have a lot of visible reward for our activities (although there is some). I’ve wondered if that might have caused some men to feel like we’re not having an effect.

The main thing, I suspect, is just that even those who are inclined to participate just have limited time or other priorities that make their participation difficult (which is why CH, who came just a couple of days after the birth of a daughter, is my hero).  Which is the point of this post: for those who live locally, or anyone with a bright idea for that matter, what could I do to help make participation easier for you?

Would you:

  • Favor another day of the week or time?  We do the first Wed and third Friday each month, presently, from ~8 to 10 pm.
  • Favor more or fewer vigil days per month?
  • Favor another venue?  I chose ‘The Men’s Club’ because we have a safe and well-lit parking lot directly across the way.  Others are not as advantageous in many regards, but I’m open to suggestions.
  • Favor a more confrontational approach?  Is perhaps just praying at a slight distance ineffective in your mind?  Would you prefer signs/placards, or standing directly at their entrance instead of across the street?
  • Prefer to focus your limited time on pro-life work or other endeavors?  That is, you think there are other endeavors more worthy of your time?
  • Suggest any other way to get the word out about these vigils?  At present I only use this blog and some e-mail lists to “advertise.”  I’m open to suggestions.
  • Like to see earlier/more reminders of upcoming vigils?

This prayer vigil is not really a number’s game, but I do know that we seem to get more response, and probably have a greater effect, when there is a larger crowd present.  Certainly, it is the simple witness of even a handful of men and the intensity of their prayers that is most important, but I had hoped that this effort might start to develop a sort of life of its own by attracting a good number of men, men willing to be co-leaders and go pray outside this or other strip clubs on their own initiative.  That is, I hoped it might start to grow into a self-sustaining movement, not entirely dependent on my presence or initiative.  Sort of life the pro-life movement, though I have no illusions that anything that large or universal would develop.

We’re six months in and after some promising growth the vigils seem to be dying down a bit.  I will keep it up even on my own, but I thought I’d canvas for ideas to help generate more enthusiasm and support.  I understand it may seem pointless to pray since we have no idea of the impact we’re having, but I am certain we ARE having an impact and if even one man gives up his strip joint addiction that would make all the effort worthwhile in my eyes.  I tend to imagine we’ve had more impact than that already.

This is a battle with principalities and powers and it is not easy.  Again, those who have attended truly inspire me and have gladdened my heart.  God bless you all. Please, any of you, if you have some suggestions to help make this small but necessary effort at spiritual warfare more attractive, let me know!

At root behind the attack on marriage is a post-conciliar novelty demoting procreation as marriage’s primary end September 21, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, different religion, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Papa, priests, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society, SOD, the struggle for the Church.
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I was unable to find a place to link to the below online.  This insightful and important analysis comes from a newsletter I received from the group associated with catholicism.org.  Dr. Maike Hickson took Don Pietro Leone’s* The Family Under Attack and expanded on some of its themes in an article in the aforementioned newsletter.  Her key point is that we have gotten to this point where the family is under great attack even within the Church, where major attempts are underway at the highest echelons of the Church to make a mockery of marriage, because of fundamental errors regarding the proper ends of marriage and the propering ordering of family relations. And we got to this point through the grave novelties introduced during and after Vatican II.

I can’t take very much as it would be both too long and unfair, but thought you might find the bits I include below worth consideration (my emphasis and comments):

Don Pietro deals, for example, with the very foundational question, “why the indissolubility of marriage is so important,” namely: for the procreation, protection, rearing and education of children unto eternal life.  The author puts it as follows:

“Our analysis of the nature of sexuality in the light of the moral law has shown us that it is a form of love that belongs in that lifelong relationship which is marriage: such a relationship alone provides the support that both parties need for undertaking the heavy burdens of parenthood, it alone provides a background for the development of mature and happy children, the basis for the highest and deepest union and friendship that exists between persons, and the support of these persons in their old age.”

Don Pietro also deals with the importance of the proper ordering of the finalities of marriage. He shows that, traditionally, the Catholic Church with reference to Holy Scripture has always taught that the procreation of life is the primary end of marriage…….The very fact of the existence of male and female lies in the procreation of children so as to fill the earth with mankind.  [And it is not ultimately up to us to determine when the earth has “enough” people.  It is up to God.]

In 1944 the Holy See released a document where it condemned the claimed that mutual help and love has the same importance as the procreation of new life within marriage; saying, moreover, that such a proposed equalization goes contrary to the Church’s teaching.  Don Leone quotes from this document:

“The Declaration of the Holy See ends with the following question addressed to the Cardinals of the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office: ‘Can one admit the doctrine of modern writers who deny that the procreation and education of children are the primary end of marriage, or teach that the secondary ends are not essentially subordinate to the primary end, but rather are of equal value and are independent of it?’  They replied: ‘No, this doctrine cannot be admitted.'” 

However, the pastoral Second Vatican Council quietly reversed (or implicitly rescinded) this condemnation advocating that mutual love and respect of the spouses is now the primary end of marriage, while procreation is subordinate and comes second.  Don Pietro Leone addresses this fundamental doctrinal problem, since there are grave consequences that ensue from this novel teaching. [Boy I’ll say.  By undermining marriage, you can basically repeal almost the whole moral edifice of the Church, since marriage as a Sacrament mirrors Christ’s relationship to the Church, and so much more] While the procreation of life reminds the spouses of their duties before God and gives their conjugal life, from the outset, the right aim, purpose, and direction, the finality of “mutual love and help” tends to turn the spouses into self-centered people who seek first their own fulfillment and happiness, not their children’s attainment of eternal life.  If this reversal of priorities happens, however, a marriage tends to become more fragile, its primary purpose having become obscure, the marriage itself could fail. [And all too often does, especially in this country, where Catholic rates of divorce are equal to, if not slightly greater, than the general population.]

Don Leone shows in other fields, such as contraception and the hierarchy of the family, how certain novel recent] teachings in the Church have also had weakening effects upon the modern family.  For example, he shows how, traditionally, and again with reference to Holy Scripture (Eph 5), the Catholic Church has taught that the man is the head of the family, that he has to rule and to suffer, with perseverance  and loyalty, for the greater good of his wife and children, as Christ did for His Church to the end.  On the basis of that hierarchy the authority of the husband is strengthened, while, at the same time, it fortifies his vocation to sacrifice for his wife and children.  However, in the novel teaching as we now have it, the husband and wife should mutually defer to one another, in a sort of diarchy of dialogue. [“Diarchy of dialogue” – I love it!  And I think this such a significant comment, that instead of the family headed by one figure, the husband/father, just as the Church proclaimed her sole role as THE Church founded by Christ, now we have endless and unproductive dialogue among equals, with the sects now held to be essentially the same as the Church in efficacy and constituent members of the Body of Christ!] The husband is not any more designated nor at all described as the head of the family.  The grave effect of this new teaching can be seen today: men are not any more as present in their families and they too often go to find their sought-for pleasures outside the home, or at the computer. Since they often do not feel any more respected and needed, they seek their putative fulfillment elsewhere……..[Again, I think this analysis is spot-on.  Certainly men have done their share in abandoning their roles as heads of families, but they have also come to this point after decades of brow-beating by feminists and others who have sought to ruin the image and actuation of fatherhood in order to achieve other, worldly goals.  As always, the children suffer the most from all this]

…….After presenting the major arguments of the papal magisterial texts Humanae Vitae and Familiaris Consortio in a detailed manner, Don Pietro Leone summarizes his appreciation, as well as his criticism of these recent magisterial texts, as follows: [Which is a subject I’ve discussed on this blog in the past (note, I was a newbie blogger then and not nearly so tradition-oriented as I am now), that the very language used by post-conciliar popes in magisterial statements on contraception or the family actually undermines, and gravely so, the very things they are striving to protect or prevent.  That is, for instance, acceptance by Pope Paul VI of the language of overpopulation and the “primacy” of the unitive end of marriage badly undermines his argument against contraception in Humanae Vitae]

“It is incumbent on the commentator first to acknowledge with gratitude that contraception has been condemned in modern Church teaching as vigorously as in the past; but second that this teaching is at divergence from Tradition in a number of points, of which we shall proceed to consider three: 1) It no longer accords priority to the procreative finality of marriage, but rather accords priority )at least implicitly) to “love;’ 2) It condemns contraception not for its frustration of the procreative finality of marriage, but rather for its rupture of the bond between ‘the unitve and procreative meanings of the conjugal act’; 3) It advocates natural birth control [Instilling what many consider a contraceptive mentality. I skipped a bit where Robert de Mattei’s history of Vatican II is mentioned, wherein he outlines the modernist’s success at VII getting the “unitive” instilled in documents as “first among equals” regarding the ends of marriage.]

————End Quote————

I can’t fairly take any more. I took really more than I should have, anyway, but it was just too excellent to stop!  I thank Dr. Hickson for this tour de force.

The post has already gotten long so I’ll limit my concluding comments to this: I must get that book!  But I think the main points made are all too key: we did not arrive at this point in the Church with Synods and Cardinals and, it seems, even Popes apparently ready to gut the Church’s 2000 year belief and practice regarding the family on the altar of worldly expediency and progressive zeitgeist accidentally, nor of a sudden.  There have been steady, concerted efforts to arrive at this point, and some of those have even been advanced in papal documents over the past 50+ years.  That the personalist and other philosophies underlying these documents are apparently at odds with the pre-revolutionary Magisterium, and appear often to totally contradict key elements of that Magisterium, is central to understanding the crisis afflicting the Church.  It is not a crisis of a few progressive modernists run amok and being permitted, by some failure of authority, to spread error and heresy without rebuke, but of a corruption of almost the entirety of the clergy, episcopate, and laity in a revolutionary mindset which is – it certainly seems – radically at odds with the Sacred Deposit of Faith they have been given such graces to uphold and pass on.

I do not know how it is that the Church, the very vehicle Christ instituted on earth to prevent this kind of thing from happening, has come to this point, but I do know that satan has been heavily involved, as we were warned by both Pope Leo XIII and Pope St. Pius X.  May they pray for us and our Church in this hour of desperate trial.

* – Dom Pietro Leone is the nom de plume of a high-ranking and influential priest in the Diocese of Rome.  May we be blessed with many more like him.

Who is Fidel Castro, in light of “sentiments of particular respect and consideration”? September 21, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, paganism, Papa, persecution, rank stupidity, Revolution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the struggle for the Church.
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Since it now seems that Fidel Castro, a brutal and repressive murderer motivated, in the words of his chief protege’ and ally Che Guevara, “by pure hate,” is worthy of “particular respect and consideration” by the highest authority of Holy Mother Church, I thought it might be helpful to share a brief compendium of some of Fidel Castro’s greatest atrocities and crimes, via the Cuban expatriate Babalu blog.  Given that Cuba has been under Castro a rigidly authoritarian society governed in a militarist command style, trying to claim that Castro was simply unaware of, or uninvolved in, these atrocities is simply false.  Whatever his personal knowledge and involvement in these crimes – and there is great evidence that he had a direct hand in many of them – he created and maintained by sheer force of his own personal will the system that made them possible.  As Supreme Leader of the Cuban Revolution and government, the one indispensable man, he bears a moral responsibility for each and every one of these atrocities.

So, the list:

1. Fidel Castro’s firing squads in Cuba – Cuba has executed at least 5,000 political opponents through firing squad and extrajudicial killings.  This is only the number that has been confirmed by evidence, the actual number is certainly much, much higher.  The trials that result in these killings are a farce of justice with the outcome predetermined. Note, the reported numbers only include those avowedly killed for political reasons, Cubans have been killed by their government for other alleged crimes, as well, including killing a cow to eat it (which constituted treason against the party, all livestock being owned by the people Communist Party).
2. Fidel Castro sank the 13 de Marzo tugboat killing Cuban women and children – a boat fleeing the starvation prevalent in Cuba following the collapse of the Soviet Union was deliberately sunk by attacking government craft.  41 of 72 on board were killed.
3. Fidel Castro’s shoot down of American civilian aircraft killing 4 people including 3 American citizens – This occurred in 1996. Aircraft flying in international airspace were attacked by Cuban air force MiGs and shot down in an unprovoked attack.
4. Fidel Castro’s Cuban political prisoners – hundreds of thousands to millions have been imprisoned for supposed “anti-revolutionary activities” – which might include complaining over lack of stock in a government run grocery – with many languishing in prison for years.  Political activism or simply expression of humanitarian concern for fellow Cubans which is critical of the ruling junta (which has become fabulously rich during its period of rule while ordinary Cubans endure an endless nightmare of deprivation and want) leads almost inevitably to a long and close familiarity with the Cuban prison system.
5. Fidel Castro’s Cuban forced labor camps, the UMAPs – tens of thousands of lesser dissidents not consigned to long prison terms were inducted into forced labor camps
6. Fidel Castro’s religious repression against Cubans – ongoing still today even during the Pope’s visit.  Leaders of a Catholic movement for the rights of the Church have been blocked from meeting with Pope Francis by the Cuban government.  They have been detained in prison.
7. Fidel Castro separates Cuban families
8. Fidel Castro restricts the movement of Cubans – well duh.  You have to get a difficult to obtain pass to move from one part of Cuba to another.  Even foreign tourists run into problems with this system.  For ordinary Cubans, movement in the country is looked up with deep suspicion by the government and thus difficult to obtain.
9. Fidel Castro’s foreign interventions resulting in thousands of deaths – this occurred principally in Angola, but also in Grenada and other parts of Africa.  Castro tried to export revolution throughout Latin America and had a fair amount of success.  The “Sandinista revolution” in Nicaragua and the civil war in El Salvador could not have been successfully conducted without massive Cuban support.  In Angola alone, Cuban intervention in a civil war there in favor of an illegitimate communist government prolonged the fighting and led to tens of thousands of deaths, including at least 10,000 Cuban military fatalities.  These Cold War struggles were fought with an impressively equipped Cuban military while ordinary Cubans starved and had little if any productive work.
10. Fidel Castro’s espionage – too long to go into, and it continues to this day.

I’ll add another item to the list.  Castro was instrumental in fostering the Cuban Missile Crisis and was such an absolutely deranged communist that he actually WANTED the Soviets to engage in first-use of nuclear weapons (insanely, with even the mildest provocation), knowing that doing so would lead to the total destruction of Cuba, because he thought it would help bring about “world revolution” and the collapse of capitalism.

Castro was truly deranged, because there was probably no time during the entirety of the Cold War that the US enjoyed a more massive strategic superiority over the Soviet Union than late 1962.  There were probably 50-50 odds that if the US had conducted a decapitating first strike, the Soviet Union would have been utterly destroyed without a single Soviet nuclear warhead reaching US territory.  Not that the Kennedy Administration would have been unhinged enough to do such a thing (in fact, their exorbitant fear of Soviet capabilities helped precipitate the crisis), I simply bring that up to emphasize the degree of superiority in offensive and defensive armament the US possessed at that time.  Castro must have been completely fooled by Khrushchev’s bluster, because that’s about all it was – a handful of ICBMs that took hours if not days to get ready to launch, less than 100 bombers that could only be sent on one-way suicide missions, and a handful of very creaky, unworkable ballistic missile submarines.

One final note: it is odd that Pope Francis, when speaking in a communist state that has left its people mired in repression and the direst poverty for decades (OH, but the free medical care!  Yeah……not that great.) suddenly finds virtue in poverty, while his previous statements in many lands where the communist ideal is less fully realized found poverty there to be very nearly an intrinsic evil that must always be stamped out (and also someone else’s fault).  Change in environment facilitates a change in viewpoint?

Start Novena to St. Michael the Archangel today 09/20! September 21, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Novenas, Papa, Society, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
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Sorry, my being off on weekends means I am sometimes late on these kinds of announcements.  Rorate Caeli is asking readers to pray the long version of the original St. Michael prayer composed by Pope Leo XIII for the particular intention of protecting our Holy Mother Church from the diabolical forces attacking her from within and without at present.  I give a little bit shorter alternative below, but consider that the short version is more about individual concerns while the original prayer posted on Rorate is very much focused on the diabolical threats against Holy Mother Church.  I do wonder whether some may be daunted by such a long prayer and so offer this shorter alternative below, which intention could still be applied to the same purpose:

Saint Michael the Archangel, loyal champion of God and His people, I turn to you with confidence and StMichaelTheArchangelseek your powerful intercession.

For the love of God, Who made you so glorious in grace and power, and for the love of the Mother of Jesus, the Queen of the Angels, be pleased to hear my prayer.

You know the value of my soul in the eyes of God.  May no stain of evil ever disfigure its beauty.  Help me to conquer the evil spirit who tempts me.  I desire to imitate your loyalty to God and Holy Mother Church and your great love for God and men.  And since you are God’s messenger for the care of His people, I entrust to you this special request:

(Mention your request)

Saint Michael, since you are, by the Will of the Creator, the powerful intercessor of Christians, I have great confidence in your prayers.  I earnestly trust that if it is God’s holy will my petition will be granted.St_Michael_Raphael

Pray for me, Saint Michael, and also for those I love.  Protect us in all dangers of body and soul.  Help us in our daily needs.

Through your powerful intercession, may we live a holy life, die a happy death, and reach heaven where we may praise and love God with you forever.


In thanksgiving to God for the graces bestowed on St. Michael: one Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be.

The faithful who recite devoutly some prayers in honor of St. Michael with the intention of continuing the said prayers for nine consecutive days may gain: an indulgence of 5 years once each day; a plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions, at the end of their novena.