Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Patriarchal Encyclical on "Pachamama" and Idolatry

PATRIARCHAL SEE 13 November 2019 (ORCNS) - HIRH Don Rutherford, Archprince-Bishop of St. Stephen, issued the following Patriarchal encyclical in response to recent issues of pagan idols at the Vatican. 


Praelatus Ecclesiae Debent Contra Idola Esse 
Patriarchal Encyclical on Pachamama in the Vatican and General Idolatry in the Holy Church
On the Feast of Saint Didacus, Confessor 
13 November A.D. 2019 

The prelates of the Church must be against idols. That indeed should not have to be said now or ever. Yet, the recent apparent veneration of the pagan idol of Pachamana and use of such pagan idols in the Vatican, including by the Pope, necessitates that we fulfill Our sacred duty to protect, safeguard, and perpetuate the Holy Gospels and the Faith of Jesus Christ. We in Our office, as ecclesiastical successor to the temporal patrimony of Pope Leo X, with Our Roman titular seat in the Stanze di Raffaello in the Holy See and Our titular Roman Catholic church of Santa Maria Antiqua, would fail in Our most sacred duty and obligation, even in the Eternal City to which Our patrimony is so deeply rooted and perpetually connected, if We did not speak clearly and plainly, both to those directly entrusted to Our spiritual oversight and to others of the Christian faithful.
Saint Didacus

At the recent Amazonian Synod, statues of Pachamama, a pagan idol of the indigenous peoples of the Andes, were introduced in the Vatican and used in inappropriate ways in a Christian Church. That included but was not limited to a blessing by the Holy Father himself of at least one such idol. Although pagan imagery may legitimately be kept or displayed in museum settings as examples of art, ancient culture, etc., it may in no way and at no time be kept or displayed by the Christian faithful in any way that might indicate approbation of them, official or otherwise, or that would constitute veneration or could be inferred to constitute veneration. This is even more applicable to the worldwide hierarchy of the Church, for it is to us to whom the faithful look for guidance. If the shepherd does not teach his flock the difference between safe pasture and a perilous cliff, then it can hardly be a surprise when the flock falls off that cliff. Such is the grave responsibility of the shepherd.

We, therefore, call upon the faithful in all communities to join together in acts of spiritual reparation for this atrocity committed in the Vatican and to pray for the conversion of all who participated in such events. We look particularly to Saint Didacus of Alcalá, whose feast we celebrate today, for guidance and intervention. Born in Seville, he was a Franciscan whose ministry involved helping to bring the indigenous people of the Canary Islands to the saving light and love of Our Lord. We further call upon the faithful in all communities to pray for the Holy Father, all prelates of the Holy Church, and all clergy around the world.

Monday, October 21, 2019

The Florentine Triple Cross - A Flag of History in the Modern Era

PATRIARCHAL SEE 21 October 2019 (ORCNS) - The Florentine Triple Cross is one of the official flags of the Anglo-Italian Imperial Patriarchate. It is also sometimes known as the "military flag" of the Patriarchate since it is the flag used by the Walsingham Guard, the Patriarchate's  humanitarian wing with a military heritage dating back to the Crusades. The Florentine Triple Cross, similar to the other flags of the Patriarchate, helps to tell its rich and ancient history.

The Florentine Triple Cross flag
It is called the "Triple Cross" because of the three crosses superimposed on each other. First is the red cross of St. Stephen in the centre, which refers to the celestial patron of the Imperial Patriarchate, St. Stephen the Deacon and Protomartyr. That cross, with origins in Florence, is found in much of the symbolism of the Patriarchate.

Next is the red St. George's cross of Barcelona. That refers to the County of Barcelona, which represents the convergence of the Burgundian House of Arles and the Spanish Houses of Ivrea and Barcelona to which the Imperial Patriarchate is heir in the Imperial Italy. Ivrea, located in northwest Italy, was the seat of the House of Ivrea, which was also of Burgundian origin and ruled as Kings of Italy along with their relatives, the Burgundian House of Arles. Pope Leo X, of whom the Imperial Patriarchate is heir and successor, also descended from the House of Arles. From Italy and Burgundy, a branch of the House of Ivrea obtained the Kingdom of Castile y León and Empire of All Spain through marriage.

The coat of arms of Barcelona,
showing the St. George's cross
quartered with the arms of Aragón.
Barcelona is also significant to the heritage of the County of Sainte Animie, the personal title of the Archprince of St. Stephen and Imperial Patriarch in descent from Gévaudan in the Merovingian dynasty. The County of Gévaudan (also descended from the Burgundian House of Arles), where Sainte Animie is located, eventually passed to the Counts of Barcelona. They then became united through marriage to the crowns of Aragón and Castile y León, bringing together the houses of Arles, Ivrea, and Barcelona. (For more on that heritage, please see this article and this article.)

Burgundian Cross flag
The third cross in the triple cross is a white rotated Burgundian cross. The historic Burgundian cross, which formed a military flag of the Spanish Army and also served as the flag of the Spanish Empire, was a red St. Andrew's cross "ragully" (jagged) on a white field. (The St. Andrew's cross is in the form of an X is in memory of the cross on which St. Andrew the Apostle was crucified.) It came to Spain from the Duchy of Burgundy. In the Florentine Triple Cross flag, it is rotated 45 degrees to be in the same orientation as the St. George Cross. 

The diocesan coat of arms
of the See of St. Stephen
Lastly, the three crosses are on a blue field representing Our Lady of Walsingham the Patroness of the Patriarchal Household of the Anglo-Italian Imperial Patriarchate. A white cross on a blue field also evokes an image of the diocesan arms of the See of St. Stephen, and white-on-blue similarly corresponds to the colours of the coat of arms of the Archprince of St. Stephen. Also, the red St. George's cross on a white field is the coat of arms of the Electorate of Trier in the Holy Roman Empire, which is part of the patrimony of the Patriarchate, and also is the inverse of the coat of arms of the ancient Roman Catholic See of Utrecht, from which the Imperial Patriarchate's Roman Catholic Apostolic Succession derives.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Te Deum - Celebration of the Merovingium Dynasty

BUENOS AIRES 17 October 2019 (ORCNS) - A solemn ecumenical rite was a celebrated and the Te Deum was offered on the evening of Sunday, 13 October 2019. These special rites were part of the celebrations of the 50th birthday of HMERH Don Rubén Gavaldá y Castro, Count of Gévaudan, Prince of Septimania, head of the Royal Merovingian House of David-Toulouse-Gévaudan. 

(...continued below...)
The solemn ecumenical rite
The Te Deum was celebrated by H.G. Bishop Rodrigues,
titular Bishop of the See of St. Stephen

The solemn ecumenical rite was jointly celebrated by H.E. Manuel Adolfo Acuña, Charismatic Lutheran Bishop and Msgr. Alberto Palavecino of the Archbishopric of Exaltation of the Cross. The Te Deum was said in the traditional Catholic form of the Imperial Patriarchate. It was led by His Grace the Most Reverend Alejandro Paulo Rodrigues, titular Bishop of the See of St. Stephen, Anglo-Italian Imperial Patriarchate (Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church). There were more than a hundred people present, and a large number of additional people were able to follow the event by live streaming. H.G. Bishop Rodrigues also served as personal representative of H.I.R.H. Don Rutherford, Count of Sainte Animie, Archprince of St. Stephen, who was unable to attend. 

Over 100 people attended the birthday celebrations,
with many more viewing remotely by live-streaming

Monday, October 14, 2019

Merovingian Dynasty - 50th Birthday of HMERH the Count of Gévaudan, Prince of Septimania

BUENOS AIRES 14 October 2019 (ORCNS) - This October marks the 50th birthday of HMERH Don Rubén Gavaldá, Count of Gévaudan, Prince of Septimania, head of the Merovingian French dynasty. The Count is active in the promotion of Merovingian and Occitan cultural studies and also not only teaches popular courses in ceremonies and etiquette, but is a regular consultant on those topics with Argentinian television. Furthermore, Don Rubén is a highly-active in worldwide charitable endeavours. Ceremonies marking this milestone birthday were held in Buenos Aires, with representatives of the Imperial Patriarchate present.

HMERH Don Rubén, Count of Gévaudan,
Prince of Septimania on the occasion of
his 50th birthday. On the left of his jacket
is the insignia of the Legion of the Eagle.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

The Tradition and Etiquette of Calling Cards

10 October 2019 (ORCNS) - The calling card, or visiting card as it is sometimes known, is almost a lost custom in modern society. Yet, like the oaks that have seen kings and wars and plagues come and go, the calling card refuses to die. The calling card, distinct from the business card, is left when paying social calls. It has quite a few other uses that are part of its centuries-old tradition as well. Even in today’s rushed, sterile society…
and perhaps even more so because of the modern hurried, faceless environment…the calling card remains the mark of a lady or gentleman of class and distinction. To use calling cards is to have self-respect and respect for others. It is a reminder to those you encounter that you are thinking of them, despite your busy life. No lady or gentleman should leave the house without calling cards.

On a business card, one normally sees the name of the company, perhaps a logo, the individual’s name, and a full array of contact information. By comparison, the calling card is quite plain. Most traditionally, cards are white, with the name printed in black ink in block text or a script (rarely if ever should “Old English” or overly fancy fonts be used). There ends the required inclusions. Some sort of small heraldic emblem may optionally be placed in the corner or the top center. An address may be put in the bottom right corner, but this is not obligatory and typically superfluous. Telephone numbers and email addresses ought also to be avoided, but especially today they are often included. Most traditionally, an individual writes the address or telephone or internet information by hand at the time that the card is presented…and only when those pieces of information are needed. In any case, the bottom left should be left blank.

Style of the Name on the Calling Card

A calling card should indicate how you should be introduced by, for example, a butler or valet. So, names should be written out in full. Middle names may be omitted or abbreviated as needed. Other than Mr. and Mrs., titles should be spelled out except where space is a concern. For nobles and royals with styles such as Excellency, and Highness, these are typically omitted, as they are generally “implied” by what is on the card.

Boys who do not have titles of nobility simply have their name inscribed in the center of the card. They may adopt “Mr.” upon reaching the age of majority. Girls who do not have a title of nobility use “Miss” until they marry. The modern female business title of “Ms.” has no place on a social calling card.

Married women of gentlemen have their names inscribed as “Mrs.” followed by the full name of their husband. The possible variations for the wives of knights and nobles are too numerous to discuss in detail here. However, a good rule of thumb is that the wife’s card follows the same general style of the husband’s. This varies by the customs of the country of origin of the title and should generally not vary according to the country of residence or visitation.

Names should also never exceed a single line. Titles and, on occasion, offices such as Mayor or Governor may be written on another line or lines below the name as needed. Ultimately good taste and functionality determine the final layout of the card.

Exceptions exist, of course. For example, U.S. military officers, who are often expected to have calling cards, have a specific set of rules to follow. For junior officers, the name is in the center of the card, with the rank and branch of the service in the bottom right. For senior officers, the rank is placed before the name on the same line, with the branch in the bottom right. General and Flag officers may write “General” or “Admiral” with only their last name in the center of the card if they choose.

Joint Spouse Calling Cards

Married couples may also have calling cards. These may be used, along with the couple’s individual cards, when paying a formal visit. The joint card may also be used for gift enclosures. Joint cards are inscribed as “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith” or in a similar fashion for those with noble titles.

Use of Calling Cards

Calling cards are used, of course, when paying a formal call on someone. In the most formal circumstances, an attendant will take the card of the visitor to the host. It is also used to announce the visitor. When the host is not at home (which may mean simply “not receiving visitors”), a calling card says “I was here.”

When one receives an invitation that did not say r.s.v.p. or have a reply card, and one cannot attend, it is customary and polite to send one’s calling card by post to arrive on the day of the event or shortly before.

Cards may also be used as gift enclosures, to express condolences, or to give congratulations. They can also be used to convey information or to send/leave very brief notes.

In cases where one is leaving a card for a good friend with whom one is on a first name basis, one may cross out the parts of the name on the calling card except for the first name. Or, if there is a nickname, the entire name can be crossed out and the nickname written by hand above it. This is by no means obligatory. Notes may also be written on the front and/or back of the card.

Those Curious Initials in the
Bottom Left Corner

To make communication easier, a system of abbreviations in French developed over the years. These are written by hand in the bottom left corner of the card…which is why that corner should always be left blank in the printing process!

p.r. (pour remercier) 
To indicate thanks. (Should never take the place of a proper letter/note of thanks.)

p.f. (pour feliciter) 
To express congratulations.

p.c. (pour condoler) 
To express sympathy.

p.p.c. (pour prendre congé) 
Used when taking leave for the season or permanently. Though these may be left or sent as an advance notice, they should never be used solely in place of a formal call.

p.p. (pour presenter) 
To present another person. This should be accompanied by the card
of the person being presented.

To wish a Happy New Year.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

The Church and the Death Penalty -- Modern & Historical

8 October 2019 (ORCNS) - The death penalty is certainly a controversial topic in Catholicism today. Unlike some issues, though, there is actually plenty of room for disagreement. Good Catholics may hold divergent views on this topic as long as they are well-grounded in doctrine and theology, with a love of humanity in the model of Christ. As Pope St. John Paul II expressed, there is little if any actual need for the death penalty today. However, this was not always the practice of the Church during the different circumstances that existed in the past. Though obviously no element of the Church today imposes a death sentence, it was a different matter in earlier periods of Church history.

Reigning from the late 1800s to just after the turn of the 20th century, Pope Leo XIII stated that the church possessed the right to impose the death penalty and that it was just to impose it for offenses such as spreading heresies, for the damage to the soul is by far greater than anything a murderer could ever do. However, Leo also made it clear that the Church in her mercy, following the example of Christ, does not actually impose such a penalty or promote it being imposed. That was just over 100 years in the past, which, in the span of Church history, is not that long ago. Even with Leo's justification of the death penalty as a right of the Church, it was clear that its ultimate purpose was for the good of souls, and it was further made very clear that the Holy Church is merciful and would not and should not actually impose such a penalty or promote it being imposed.
Torquemada, Grand Inquisitor

Earlier in church history came an institution that enemies of the church, Protestants, and indeed modern society have all continually slandered. Truly, the Spanish Inquisition is the subject of much "fake news," both centuries ago and still to this day. If one actually considers the reality of what the Grand Inquisitor Tomás de Torquemada actually did, it paints a different picture. He was in fact known as a man of great piety and caring for others, and he softened the whole interrogation method so that it was quite mild by the standards of the day. And, the conditions of interrogation were highly controlled and limited, unlike those of the civil state. As Blessed Fulton Sheen pointed out some years ago, the church has vices, but at any given time in history, the church's vices are far better and far better meaning than those of the civil state. 

In the case of the Inquisition, the death sentence was only ever imposed for repeat offenders. When they were at the stake, they were given the chance to repent. If they did, they were immediately strangled. That seems certainly harsh to modern ears, but at the time the point was to prevent them from being able to sin again, thereby helping to ensure their salvation. Only if they did not repent were they then burned at the stake – but even that had its spiritual purpose. The hope of those at that time was that the flames would give them a picture of the flames of hell, thereby prompting a last-minute repentance before actual moment of death. Of course, this seems surely thoroughly odd to most modern ears, but it is not right to judge another age by the standards of this age. The Church, of course, promotes salvation and repentance exclusively through non-violent means now. 

Throughout the Church is history, even when a death sentence was involved, whether related to the Church or criminal proceedings of the civil state, the Church was far more interested in the condition of souls and in mercy than in the laws of man. Today that same sentiment remains, following the example of Christ.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Argentinean Bishop of the Patriarchal Household - Obispo de la Casa Patriarcal en Argentina

BUENOS AIRES 7 October 2019 (ORCNS) - Su Excelencia Monseñor Alejandro Paulo Rodrigues, Obispo de San Fernando en Buenos Aires, fue nombrado Obispo titular de la Casa Patriarcal por Su Alteza Imperial y Real Don Rutherford, Archipríncipe de San Esteban más temprano de este año. El Obispo tiene un ministerio activo con sede en Buenos Aires, Argentina, al servicio de los pobres y los necesitados. A continuación se presentan fotografías de una ordenación a las órdenes menores de varios de sus seminaristas.

His Excellency Monsignor Alejandro Paulo Rodrigues, Bishop of San Fernando in Buenos Aires, was named a titular bishop of the Patriarchal Household by His Imperial and Royal Highness Don Rutherford, Archprince of St. Stephen earlier this year. The Bishop has an active ministry based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, serving the poor and those in need. Below are photographs from an earlier ordination to the Minor Orders of several of his seminarians.

Mons. Rodrigues