Saturday, November 10, 2018

On the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice

Rutherford Cardinal Johnson, PhD, FPRS, FRGS
Count of Sainte Animie, Imperial Patriarch of St. Stephen

The Cardinal Count of Sainte Animie
in a uniform of the Walsingham Guard,
the humanitarian wing of the Imperial
Patriarchate of St. Stephen with
military heritage dating back to the
Crusades and early years of the
Holy Roman Empire. Aspects of the
Guard's heritage are shared with
both sides of the Great War.
As we raise our swords and dip the colours in salute to the millions who died in the Great War (World War I) on this hundredth anniversary of the Armistice, it is interesting to note that the causes of the war are still being debated. It was a spark that snowballed into a global conflict. Fingers pointed, and blame was passed faster than a game of hot potato. Being of an ethno-religious Catholic minority that shares ancient heritage with both sides of the war, I especially believe in a cautious approach to the analysis of cause. Of course, growing up in the United States, I heard and indeed believed the rhetoric common to the Allied countries that it was Germany and especially Wilhelm II who was entirely to blame. Yet, particularly when the start was considered the assassination of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, some things did not quite seem logical. How did Austria putting down a Serbian rebellion lead to a global conflict, much less blame being placed on Germany? Has blame been mislaid? Have we been misled over the last century? 

It is true enough that Wilhelm II encouraged the Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Josef to put down the social-democrat rebellion that involved the assassination of Franz Ferdinand. The Allied countries also demonstrated their willingness in history to do the same thing. Also, Austria asked for and received Germany’s assurance of support in the event of need, as there was a possibility that the Russian Empire might oppose Austria since the Serbs are Slavs. Wilhelm II contact Tsar Nicholas II to try to dissuade him from war with Austria (and hence also with Germany), but to no avail. The war happened. 

And why did Germany invade France? The French and Russians had a long-standing treaty. War with Russia brought France into the war. Germany chose a strategic move of declaring war and striking first rather than waiting to be squeezed from both sides (which ultimately is what happened as the war dragged on). 

Belgium declared neutrality, but Germany invaded Belgium in order to outflank the French. I rather expect the Allied nations in a similar situation would do the same. However, Britain used that as a justification for entering the war – placing them, ironically, on the side of France, with whom they had centuries of wars. The British royal family, Saxe-Coburg-und Gotha, even changed its name to the now-familiar “Windsor,” after one of their castles. Britain was understandably concerned about German domination on the continent, but now the entire conflict had exploded to almost the entirety of Europe, with Germany and Austria fighting on two fronts. 

Then enter the United States in 1917. The sinking of the British liner Lusitania by German U-boats (submarines), which had a good number of American passengers, was used as a partial justification for entering the war. The Germans said she was a legitimate military target for carrying arms, which the British denied. However, it has since been shown that the Lusitania likely was carrying ammunition for small arms in compartments designed especially for that purpose. The unrestricted submarine warfare, coupled with a communique from Germany to Mexico asking for their support in the event that the United States entered the war (in return for reclaiming parts of the U.S.) actually caused Woodrow Wilson’s request to Congress for a declaration of war to be granted – even though no actual attack against American soil had taken place. Wilson gave as part of his justification his belief that the U.S. should spread American-style democracy around the globe, much as is discussed in present U.S. conflicts. 

So, where is the blame to be laid? It all started with a Serbian terrorist group. Why not there? Or why not Austria-Hungary, who sought to put down the rebellion in Serbia, rather than blaming Germany? Or how about with the Russian Empire, whose entry couple with the Franco-Russian Treaty caused the opening of the Western Front? Was Britain justified in entering the war simply because Belgium had been invaded for strategic military purposes, or was Britain’s action merely out of fear? Was the United States really justified in entering the war, or was it a “strike first” approach like Germany used? It is truly difficult to pinpoint one culprit, though propagandists find no trouble doing so. 

The reality is that the Great War was a tragedy that had been brewing at least since the Franco-Prussian War, but still did not need to happen. A simple rebellion sparked an inferno that engulfed much of the world and changed the face of Europe. The terms of the armistice were also so punitive towards Germany that it opened the gates for Hitler to take over. Indeed, the seeds for the Second World War were sewn in part by the Allies in the terms of the treaty at the end of the First World War. The Great War was a tragedy that spanned not only the four years of its direct conflict, but for decades after, even into the death and destruction of the Second World War. If we want to know the culprit for the Great War, like in so many tragedies in history, we humans, no matter our flag, need only look in the mirror. Ultimately the blame game is unhealthy and a detriment to true healing and harmony.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Patriarchal Comments on Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting

PATRIARCHAL SEE 28 October 2018 (ORCNS) - The Imperial Patriarch of St. Stephen spoke today regarding the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA on Saturday. The Cardinal Father joined other religious and civic leaders in condemning the violent and brutal attack. He stated, "History has shown that there are those who are filled with hatred towards others and are willing to do violence to others because of that hate. The synagogue shooting appears to be yet another sad manifestation of that."

The Cardinal Father also said, "Even in the worst of tragedies, we should always hope for and work for something positive to come out of it. Let us hope that this tragic, senseless, and needless event may bring diverse peoples together in a lasting peace." 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Counts of the Patriarchate

The title of Count is of particular importance to the Patriarchate of St. Stephen. It is an old title dating back to the Roman Empire, and today it comes in many forms. It can be a middle or high level of nobility. When held by a royal person, it usually is among the highest of all titles. Count translates as Comes in Latin, meaning companion and was common to high officials of the imperial court and for provincial rulers as "companions of the Emperor." In the time of the early Holy Roman Empire, it was a common title for many rulers. In Italy, where some of the independent states were ruled by Counts, the last ruler of Tuscany in the ancient Holy Roman Empire was Countess Matilda, Margravine of Tuscany. She was a princess of the houses of Canossa, Lorraine, and Bar. (See also Les Comtes Royales.)

The use of the title of Count by certain princes in the Patriarchate of St. Stephen follows these ancient customs. Certain princes of the Patriarchate hold comital titles, mostly quite ancient in origin. It is the custom for the personal title of those princes to be Count, used with their forename, surname, or title name -- all are equally correct. The title applies also to their children and heirs. This is similar not only ancient Italian and French usage, but also to the Spanish and Italian use of "Don" for all nobles, including the King, as well as the international ecclesiastical custom of addressing all prelates as "Monsignor," regardless of rank. It is also similar to the British custom of using "Lord" for all peers, regardless of rank (excepting Dukes). The usage within the Patriarchate reflects its ancient, rich, and diverse heritage. 

Today this usage in the Patriarchate is common currently to four members of the Patriarchal Household -- the Counts of Marmande, Sainte Animie, Römerberg, and Coberly -- as well as to the members of their individual houses. 


Saturday, June 2, 2018

Patriarchal Allocution on the Feast of Corpus Christi 2018

Allocuzione Patriarcale del Festo del Sacratissimo Corpo di Nostro Signore

Patriarchal Address on the Feast of Corpus Christi
31 May A.D. 2018

DALLA Casa Fiorentina al mondo, come sempre, grazia e pace in questo festo del Sacratissimo Corpo di Nostro Signore Jesu Christo, nel anno 2018. Oggi e’ una celebrazione dell’unita’ di tutti in Cristo. In verita’ siamo unificati per il corpo di Cristo. Non esiste nessun politico chi puo’ unificare il mondo o, certo, neanche una nazione. L’unico chi puo’ unificare il popolo del mondo e’ Cristo. Carissimi, vi ammoniamo ricordare bene questo punto.

Oggi soffre il mondo per che’ il mondo si manca l’unita’. La vera unita’ venga solo da Cristo. Quindi, il clero cattolico ed i cristifideli devono pensarne. Non possiamo continuare definire noi stessi in tutto il mondo come “liberali” o “conservatori,” o per qualunche partito politico. Non possiamo usare quelli nomini e quelle idee come un esame di verita’ o come una ragione per amare o odiare qualcuno. Anzi, vi ammoniamo ancora usare solo la verita’ della santa fede di nostro Signore Jesu Christo per determinare la verita’ nel mondo. Non dire che tutte le idee dei conservatori, o dei liberali, o di qualcun politico sono buone o cattive. Se una idea politica fosse in accordo colla dottrina della fede, quella idea sarebbe buona. Se una idea politica non fosse in accordo colla dottrina della fede, quella idea sarebbe cattiva. Questa e’ l’unico esame autentico della verita’.

Quindi, non parlare delle cose politiche senza pensare della fede. Se un argomento politico fosse politico solo e non fa parte della dottrina della fede, non parlare mai di questa cosa. Non contribuare alla discordia nel mondo moderno. Essere una luce della pace.

Nel mondo moderno, non c’e’ nessun paese cristiano. E’ un grandissimo peccato, ma, carissimi, dobbiamo ricordare questa realta’. Non pensare mai che servire il stato e’ servire Cristo. Anzi, servire il stato e’ servire Cristo solo quando un regolo particolare o una situazione particolare e’ in accordo della dottrina della santa fede. Parlo e parlaro’ solo per la Chiesa, non per nessun stato, ecceto nostro sovrano patriarcato, e non per nessun partito politico. Dovete, carissimi, anche parlare solo per la Santa Chiesa e non essere un pedone di qualsiasi stato o di qualsiasi partito politico.

Allora, nostro patriarcato e’ forte e robusto per la grazia di Dio e per il Vostro lavoro, per cui vi ringraziamo di buon cuore. Il patriarcato è allo stesso tempo storico e modern – antico e nuovo. È sia distinti nel suo patrimonio e diversi nel suo lavoro in servizio a Dio ed agli altri. Ha una storia profonda di lavoro parrocchiale, ma oggi si concentra solo sul lavoro di missione. È del Regno del cielo di Cristo, ma saldamente piantato nel mondo. Il suo passato è radicato nella guida di diverse nazioni, ma oggi è una nazione senza frontiere. Il suo popolo è devoto e pio, compassionevole in servizio, feroce in difesa. È forse singolare nella storia moderna del mondo e la relativa gente è giustamente fiero di esso.


FROM the Florentine Household to the world, as always, grace and peace on this Feast of Corpus Christi, in the year of our Lord 2018. Today is a celebration of the unity of all mankind in Christ. Indeed we are unified through the Body of Christ. There is no politician who can unify the world or, in fact, not even a nation. The only One who can unify the people of the world is Christ. Carissimi, we admonish you to remember this point well.

Today the world is suffering for a lack of unity. The true unity comes only from Christ. Therefore, the Catholic clergy and the faithful in Christ must think on this. We cannot continue to define ourselves all around the world as "liberals" or "conservatives," or for some particular political party. We cannot use those labels and those ideas as an examination of truth or as a reason to love or hate someone. Indeed, we admonish you again to use only the truth of the Holy Faith of our Lord Jesus Christ to determine the truth in the world. Do not say that all the ideas of the conservatives, or of the liberals, or some particular political are good or bad. If a political idea were to be in agreement with the doctrine of the faith, that idea would be good. If a political idea were not to be in agreement with the doctrine of the faith, then that idea would be bad. This is the only authentic examination of the truth.

So, do not talk about political things without thinking about faith. If a political argument were to be political only and not part of the doctrine of the faith, never talk about this thing. Do not contribute to discord in the modern world. Be a light of peace.

In the modern world, there is no Christian country. It is a great shame, but, carissimi, we must remember this reality. Never think that serving the state is serving Christ. Indeed, to serve the state is to serve Christ only when a particular rule or a particular situation is in agreement with the doctrine of the Holy Faith. I speak and will speak only for the Church, not for any state, excepting our sovereign Patriarchate, and not for any political party. You must, carissimi, also speak only for the Holy Church and not be a pawn of any state or any political party.

Now, our Patriarchate is strong and robust by the grace of God and also by your work – so we thank you sincerely. The Patriarchate is at once historical and modern — ancient and new. It is both distinct in its heritage and diverse in its work in service to God and others. It has a deep history of parochial work, but today focuses only on mission work. It is of Christ's Kingdom of Heaven, but firmly planted in the world. It past is rooted in the rule of nations, yet today it is a nation without borders. Its people are devoted and pious, compassionate in service, fierce in defense. It is perhaps singular in modern world history, and its people are rightly proud of it.

Allora, preparatevi ricevere la benedizione di Dio.

Now, prepare yourselves to receive God's blessing.

Et benedictio Dei omnipotentis, Patris +, et Filii +, et Spiritus + Sancti, descendat super vos et maneat semper. R. Amen.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Rolling Parish - ARRCC Priest, Walsingham Guard Chaplain Serves Firefighters

LEXINGTON, S.C., USA 12 May 2018 (ORCNS) - Fire trucks are a well-known sight that indicates help is on the way. For Msgr. Abbot Anthony Giunta, TOR Mar, PhD, JCD, fire trucks are also a parish on wheels. As a fire chaplain, he not only helps the public he encounters, but serves those who serve. Firefighters and other first responders often are unable to attend church regularly and receive pastoral counseling, so Abbot Anthony brings the church to them. 

Msgr. Giunta leads worship on Sundays and also conducts scriptural studies on Wednesdays. Holy Week rites were also provided -- a much-needed opportunity for those who give up so much of their time in service to others. 

This sort of missionary service is nothing new to the Abbot. He is a long-time hospital chaplain who is frequently requested by name by patients. He also is a police chaplain and has served as a chaplain in the Civil Air Patrol. 

Abbot Anthony Giunta in uniform as a fire chaplain.

Abbot Anthony is the Superior General of the Franciscan Third Order Regular of the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a religious order within the Old Roman Catholic Patriarchate of St. Stephen (Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church). He also holds the rank of Colonel in the Walsingham Guard, the humanitarian organisation of the Patriarchate with a military heritage dating back to the Crusades, and is the Commandant of the Regiment of Chaplains.

Monday, May 7, 2018

The Sacred Merovingian Dynasty in DNA - Haplogroup G2A

Amidst the chaos that followed the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, a new power arose -- the Merovingian Dynasty. They were the predecessors to the Carolingians (the family of Charlemagne) that formed the Holy Roman Empire, and indeed the Carolingian Dynasty descended from the Merovingians. Their blood remains in some families today. 

Merovingian King Clothair I

The Merovingians were Franks and so are an important part of the history of what eventually became Germany and France (France takes its name from the Franks). They have even been the subject of fiction, such as the highly fanciful version of the Merovingians portrayed in The DaVinci Code. The real Merovingians, however, laid the groundwork for the structure of Medieval Europe and eventually the modern western world. At its greatest extent, the lands of the Merovingians covered much of Europe, from western Germany to the Spanish border, and from the north of France to the northern border of Italy. Charlemagne added Italy (formerly ruled by the Lombards), Bavaria, and other territories to the empire. 

As science and technology have progressed, DNA evidence has helped to provide more insight into the Merovingians. Based on DNA found in a gravesite linked to the dynasty, their Y-DNA haplogroup (that's the direct male line) is G2A with a likely subclade (subdivision) of P140. That haplogroup is rare and of Latin origin, with a particular concentration in central Italy. It is sometimes known as the "Merovingian Haplogroup."

King Richard III (Plantagenet) of England
A part of the Merovingian DNA Haplogroup

When the body of King Richard III was discovered and tested, the haplogroup was the same -- G2A. Blood on a handkerchief believed to have been soaked in the blood of King Louis XVI at his execution was likewise the same haplogroup. However, other tests on living male-line descendants of the Bourbon family suggest that Louis was of a different haplotype, R1b-U106. 

King Louis XVI (Bourbon) of France
It is unclear if he is of the Merovingian Haplogroup of not.
However, as a king, he succeeded them in rule of France.

The legacy of the Merovingian Dynasty and its successor, the Holy Roman Empire, persists to this day around the globe. In the monarchies and even in the republics of the modern world, their blood runs through the veins of several noble families and distinguished lineages.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Imperial Distinguished Scout and Sea Scout Leader Passes Away

JENKINTOWN, PENNA. 29 March 2018 (ORCNS) - Robert Gabage, a long-time and well-respected leader with Boy Scouts of America, passed away late this month. He was a strong supporter of the Imperial Scout of the Holy Roman Empire religious awards programme of the Patriarchate of St. Stephen. He helped several Scouts, Sea Scouts, and leaders earn the Imperial Distinguished Scout of the Holy Roman Empire Award. He was approved for the award, but it had not yet been presented. It will be presented posthumously at an event of his Sea Scout Ship in May 2018. 

In addition, he was the Chair for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Catholic Committee on Scouting and Scoutmaster of Troop 201 in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, USA. In Sea Scouting, he was Skipper of Ship 201 and Council Commodore for the Cradle of Liberty Council. He also served as Course Director for Wood Badge.

Mr. Gabage was a long-serving crew member of the tall ship Kalamar Nyckel. His Sea Scouts were also crew members, and it was the official vessel of their Sea Scout unit. 

He is survived by his wife, Margaret (Margie) (nee Quinn), and his children, Robert Jr., Melanie (Patrick) Gibbons, Michael, Robin, and Raegan.