Friday, November 21, 2014

Francis: a strong and widespread desire to walk together

Vatican City, 21 November 2014 (VIS) – “This anniversary invites us to give thanks to God for the many fruits harvested in this last half-century. In particular, there has occurred what the Council recommended: the appreciation of how much there is that is good and true in the life of Christians in every community”. Thus Pope Francis greeted the participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, the theme of which is “The aim of ecumenism: principles, opportunities and challenges, fifty years after Unitatis Redintegratio”.

The Pontiff remarked that fifty years ago on 21 November, the dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, and the Decree on the Oriental Catholic Churches, Orientalium Ecclesiarum, were also published alongside Unitatis Redintegratio. These three profoundly connected texts offer the ecclesiological vision of Vatican Council II.

“Firstly, we can rejoice in the fact that the teaching of the Council has been widely received”, affirmed Francis. “In these years, on the basis of theological reasons rooted in the Scripture and in the tradition of the Church, the attitude of us as Catholics has changed in relation to Christians of other Churches and ecclesial communities. Hostility and indifference, which had dug trenches that it seemed impossible to fill and had inflicted deep wounds, now belong to the past, and a healing process has begun that enables us to accept others as brothers or sisters, in the profound unity born of Baptism”.

This change in mentality has made it possible to “deepen our contact with many Churches and ecclesial Communities, and to develop new forms of collaboration. In this respect, the ecumenical traditions of the Sacred Scripture have been very important. Christians of different Churches and ecclesial Communities work together in the service of suffering and needy humanity, for the defence of human life and its inalienable dignity, for the protection of creation and against the injustice that afflict many people and populations”.

He continued, “while we give thanks, we must acknowledge that Christians remain divided, and that divergence in relation to new anthropological and ethical themes complicates our path towards unity. However, we cannot give in to discouragement and resignation, but must continue to trust in God who plants seeds of love and unity in the hearts of Christians, so they can face today's ecumenical challenges with renewed zeal; to cultivate spiritual ecumenism, to recognise the value of ecumenism of blood, and to walk the path of the Gospel together”.

Spiritual ecumenism culminates in the Week of Prayer for Christian unity, “a worldwide network of moments of prayer that, from parochial to international level, infuse the body of the Church with the oxygen of genuine ecumenical spirit; a network of gestures, that unite us in working together charitably; and it is also the sharing of prayer, thoughts and other texts that circulate on the web and may contribute to increasing mutual knowledge, respect and esteem”.

With regard to ecumenism of blood, Unitatis Redintegratio invites us to recognise, “in the brothers and sisters of other Churches and Christian Communities, the capacity, given by God, to bear witness to Christ unto the sacrifice of their lives. These testimonies have not been lacking in these fifty years, and continue to this day. ... Those who persecute Christ in his faithful do not differentiate in terms of confession: they persecute them simply because they are Christians”.

The Pope went on to remark that, in recent months, encountering many non-Catholic Christians, and reading their letters, he has noted the existence of a “widespread and strong desire to walk together, to pray, to know and love the Lord, to collaborate in service and in solidarity with the weak and suffering. I am convinced of this: on a common path, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and learning from each other, we can grow in the communion that already unites us”.

“Fifty years on from Unitatis Redintegratio, the quest for full Christian unity remains a priority for the Catholic Church, and it is therefore one of my main daily concerns. Unity is, first and foremost, a gift from God and it is the work of the Holy Spirit, but we are all called to collaborate, always and in every circumstance”.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Il Patriarca di S. Stefano esprime grave preoccupazione per Sinodo Vaticano - sollecita la preghiera e la determinazione

SEDE PATRIARCALE 13 ottobre 2014 (ORCNS) - Mons. Rutherford, Cardinale Patriarca di S. Stefano (Vetero Romano Cattolica tradizionale) ha espresso grave preoccupazione oggi sopra i rapporti dal Sinodo Vaticano della famiglia. Primario fra le sue preoccupazioni erano le significative modifiche dottrinali apparentemente in corso. "Dopo di decenni di sofferenza gli abusi seguendo il Concilio Vaticano II, che cosa sta succedendo in questo Sinodo non dovrebbe arrivare come nessuna sorpresa," ha affermato il cardinale. Ha continuato, "rendendo significativi o anche piccoli cambiamenti dottrinali, modifiche all'essenza della fede vera ed eterna, con il pretesto della cura pastorale non è né pastoralmente né dottrinalmente valido. È nostro dovere di presentare la fede eterna, nella sua purezza e nella sua semplicità. Non possiamo annacquamento o 'modificare la ricetta' semplicemente per placare il mondo." Anche se amministrativamente la Comunione Romana presente non è associata colla Chiesa Romano Cattolica di Rito Anglicano (Patriarcato di S. Stefano Vetero Romano Cattolico tradizionale), il Patriarca ha osservato anche che le azioni del Vicario di Cristo e di quei vescovi che partecipano a questo evento storico sono importanti per tutti i cattolici in tutto il mondo.

Molti hanno dichiarato la loro intenzione di lasciare la Chiesa Cattolica Romana sopra le decisioni essere raggiunge a questo Sinodo. C'è molta rabbia e confusione, e molti cattolici fideli semplicemente sono stufi di vescovi non adempiono fedelmente i loro doveri apostolici. Di questo argomento, il Monsignor Rutherford osservò: "Esortiamo tutti a rimanere fedele a Roma eterna ed al Magistero eterno della Chiesa Una, Sancta, Cattolica, Apostolica, e Romana. Come le pareti della Chiesa crollano intorno a noi, ricordiamo tutti ancora una volta le parole di San Athanasius, che coloro che tengono le tradizioni della Chiesa cattolica, anchese ridotto a un pugno, sono la vera Chiesa cattolica. Non è facile, eppure andiamo avanti in piena fede e conoscenza che siamo parte della vera Chiesa cattolica. Nel patriarcato che ci è stato dato a pastore, definiamo noi stessi non dello che siamo contro, ma dello che siamo a favore. Quando prendiamo la vita nuova in Cristo come cattolici, siamo ri-nati come combattenti. Questa è una lotta seria. Vi invitiamo a preghiere e determinazione da tutti i fedeli, entrambi dentro e fuori la nostra giurisdizione particolare. Pregare per il Santo Padre Francesco, pregare per coloro, come il cardinale Burke, si sforzano all'interno del Sinodo a conservare la fede, e pregare per quei vescovi chi si sono date al modernismo che si convertirano".

Monday, October 13, 2014

Patriarch of St. Stephen expresses grave concern over Vatican Synod - Urges Prayer and Determination

PATRIARCHAL SEE 13 October 2014 (ORCNS) - Msgr. Rutherford,  Cardinal Patriarch of St. Stephen (Traditional Old Roman Catholic), expressed grave concern today over the reports from the Vatican Synod on the Family. Chief among his concerns were the significant doctrinal modifications apparently underway. "After decades of suffering the abuses following the Second Vatican Council, what is going on at this Synod should come as no surprise," the Cardinal stated. He continued, "Making significant or even minor doctrinal changes, changes to the essence of the true and eternal faith, under the guise of pastoral care is neither pastorally nor doctrinally sound. It is our duty to present the eternal faith, in its purity and simplicity. We cannot water it down or modify the recipe simply to appease the world." Even though the present Roman Communion is not administratively bound with the Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church (traditional Old Roman Catholic Patriarchate of St. Stephen), the Patriarch also remarked that the actions of the Vicar of Christ and those Bishops participating in this historic event are important to all Catholics.

Many have stated their intent to leave the Roman Catholic Church over the decisions being reached at this synod. There is much anger and confusion, and many faithful Catholics are simply fed up with bishops not faithfully discharging their Apostolic duties. On this matter the Msgr. Rutherford remarked, "We urge everyone to remain faithful to eternal Rome and the eternal Magisterium of the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman Church. As the walls of the Church crumble around us, let us remind everyone once again of the words of St. Athanasius, that those who keep the traditions of the Catholic Church, even if reduced to a handful, are the true Catholic Church. It is not easy, yet we go forward in full faith and knowledge that we are part of the true Catholic Church. In the patriarchate that has been given to us to shepherd, we define ourselves not by what we are against, but by what we are for. When we take new life in Christ as Catholics, we are re-born as fighters. This is a serious fight. We urge prayers and determination from all the faithful, both in and out of our jurisdiction. Pray for the Holy Father Francis, pray for those, such as Cardinal Burke, who are striving from within the Synod to maintain the faith, and pray for those Bishops who have given themselves over to modernism that they will convert."

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Patriarch of St. Stephen speaks on current plague of Ebola virus

PATRIARCHAL SEE 7 October 2014 (ORCNS) - Statement of Msgr. Rutherford, Cardinal Patriarch of St. Stephen on the current plague of Ebola virus.

Faithful in Christ,

Many are familiar with with the widespread outbreaks of the Black Plague that occurred during the 14th and 18th centuries, spreading across Europe without mercy. This devastating disease killed somewhere between 30 and 60% of Europe's population during the 14th century. Without treatment, it is said that up to 80% of those infected die within a week of contracting the disease. Now the world is faced with the spread of another disease that is at least as deadly and merciless. The haemorrhagic fever known as Ebola has had devastating effect in Africa, with an average mortality rate of 67%, according to the World Health Organization.

Msgr. Card. Rutherford prays for the people
of New Orleans at the Cathedral Basilica
of St. Louis, and subsequently prayed
a rosary for those suffering from Ebola.

The disease is not actually new. There were hundreds of cases in 1976, with the numbers of infections ranging from none to the hundreds in the subsequent years. Some say that the disease has been around for hundreds of years. Previously contained to Africa, cases have been seen in America and Europe this year. It is not surprising that this has caused grave concern among government leaders and the population.

It need hardly be said that this is a matter that must be treated with rational seriousness. Thankfully the number of cases of this disease are relatively low at this time. We pray that those tasked with preventing its spread may diligently fulfill their duty. Let us pray for those who are researching Ebola that treatment may be made more effective and a cure proven. Most of all, let us pray for those suffering from this disease, that the blessing of health may be restored to them; for their families who also suffer by enduring the scene of their loved one's torment; for those engaged in treatment of patients who may come in contact with the disease, with respect for their devotion and courage; and for those under observation who may have come in contact with the disease, that they may be spared the illness. Let us also pray for a conversion of heart, that we all may care about the entirety of mankind, regardless of nationality or continent.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Reclaiming Traditional Clerical Dress

PATRIARCHAL SEE 6 September 2014 (ORCNS) - Upon committee recommendation, the Patriarchal See modified the standards of dress of clergy under its jurisdiction to be more in line with ancient traditional usage. To understand these changes and their historical context, it is a good idea to take a tour back in time through some of the highlights of clerical vesture.

Dress of the clergy has changed since the modifications following the Second Vatican Council. This occurred not only in the Roman Communion, but in the Anglican Communion and other Catholic jurisdictions. Today, the most widely-identifiable marker of a Catholic cleric is the clerical collar. This is a relatively new invention and is widely believed to have originated when an Anglican priest turned his regular collar around backwards and started wearing it without a tie (collars were detachable from shirts back then). More recently, the "tab collar" made its way onto the clerical stage. Yet, the clerical collar is in fact not the primary emblem of a cleric. (Spoiler alert: The real symbol of the clerical state is the tonsure. Keep reading for more about that later.) In fact, clerical neck wear has changed over the years. Observe the following painting, entitled Portrait of a Cleric, by Allesandro Allori in the 16th century. The collar is certainly different and much more like a "regular" dress shirt collar of today.




Also observe the very pronounced collar, vastly different from the modern clerical collars, in this famous portrait of Cardinal Richelieu.




These are examples of the clerical habit. But what of the clergy suit? And, did the clergy suit even always exist?  Answer - No, it did not. When the clergy suit first became used is not precisely known. When it became the norm, it was known in Italian as abito corto, or "short habit." It was simply a shortened version of the clerical cassock designed to be more practical for street wear. Streets used to be much more dirty, and it was all too easy for the bottom of a cassock to get soiled. In fact, the wear of the cassock as regular street dress did not come about in earnest until the reign of Pope Pius IX, who wanted the clergy to wear the cassock instead of abito corto after Rome was annexed by the House of Savoy into the newly-established Kingdom of Italy. It was at this time that the so-called prelatial "house cassock," also known as Pian dress after its inventor, became developed for prelates. This black cassock with purple or red trim is still in use today. This decision by Pius IX, however, was not an entirely popular one, and even Cardinal Pecci, the future Pope Leo XIII, continued to wear abito corto before his election as Pope. Prior to all this, the Italian clergy widely thought wearing the cassock as daily street wear was a liberal French affectation. A version of abito corto, complete with its longer jacket, was mandated by the Council of Baltimore for American Catholic clergy.

Abito corto was worn much like the cassock from which it derived. The zucchetto (skull cap) was worn with it by all ranks. The zucchetto is white for the Pope, red for Cardinals and many Prince-Bishops, purple for Bishops, and black for priests and other clerics. Certain prelates who are not Bishops have black zucchetti with purple or red trimming. So, abito corto was merely modified clerical habit for street wear as opposed to street clothes redesigned to be "clerical." There is an important distinction between the two from a philosophical, theological, and canonical standpoint.

Observe the following 19th century cleric in abito corto, including the zucchetto:




Since the tonsure (originally various formed of a shaved circle on the crown of the head) was the symbol of the clerical state because it was through admission of the First Tonsure that men were admitted to the ranks of the clergy, the zucchetto became common as a practical measure to cover the shaved spot and provide some protection. Eventually the zucchetto took on a symbolic meaning. It is the zucchetto, therefore, representing the tonsure, that is the primary outward symbol of a cleric.

So what was worn before the cassock became street dress and abito corto was developed? It was typical for secular clergy who were out and about town to dress like the gentlemen of their day, with appropriate modesty, complete with zucchetto. (Remember the tonsure, represented by the zucchetto, is the main symbol of the clerical state.)  In other words, they were either in their habit (the cassock) or they were in regular gentleman's street dress, properly adorned to represent the clerical state. This is believed to have been typical from the Medieval period well into the 18th century and was still certainly seen thereafter.

This brief journey through the history of clerical dress leads back to the decision made by the Patriarchal See earlier this year. The modern clergy suit has been abolished, as have shirt and trouser combinations. The cassock is the primary clerical habit of all ranks of the clergy, as it has always been. Clerics are, by canon law, entitled to wear the cassock and cannot be told not to wear it in favor of another form of dress.

Traditional abito corto has been retained to provide an alternative to the cassock when appropriate. Both the Roman/Anglican version with the knee-britches and the Baltimore version with full-length trousers are included as options, and both are worn with the zucchetto.

Following ancient custom, a lay-style suit is also permitted as regular street-wear under certain circumstances, provided it is in accordance with the modesty of the clerical state. The zucchetto is the norm. Bishops wear the ring and pectoral cross. Other clerics may wear a simple silver pendant cross. Various other elements of this version of clerical dress are distinctly in the clerical counterpart to lay usage, such as gloves.

The Patriarchal See has a sacred duty to maintain the heritage and traditions of the Church. It was with this in mind that, after due reflection, prayer, study, and discussion that these modifications were made to the norms of clerical dress for this Particular Church. These modifications to a more traditional usage better place the clergy under the Patriarchal See within the historical context of the Church as traditional clerics with a mandate of mission, service, and charity.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Cardinal Wuerl speaks out on Iraq

WASHINGTON 28 August 2014 (ORCNS) - Cardinal Wuerl (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops) speaks out about solidarity with the people of Iraq, calling for people to raise their voices. The cardinal also questioned the silence by so many governments around the world.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Stephenian and Marian symbolism in Patriarchal heraldry


Catholicism is filled with symbolism. Heraldry of the Church is no exception. The traditional Old Roman Catholic Patriarchal See of St. Stephen has some of the most diverse examples of heraldry brimming with symbolic and historical meaning. One of the common themes in the heraldry of the Patriarchal See and in its insignia is the ombrellino (Italian for umbrella). This was first granted by Emperor Constantine the Great to Pope Saint Sylvester I, and later became used by Cardinals and Princes. Bishops even have some limited use of a similar canopy called a baldacchino, such as at a solemn arrival to their cathedral church. The Blessed Sacrament is carried, particularly indoors, underneath a white, gold, or white and gold ombrellino.


Usually only one ombrellino appears in heraldic drawings. However, in the full coat of arms of the Patriarch of St. Stephen, there are actually two. On the left, the ombrellino is topped with the red cross of St. Stephen, which also appears on the yellow panels. The pole of the ombrellino issues from a stack of three stones, which represent the stones of martyrdom of Stephen the Deacon and Protomartyr. The right ombrellino is topped with the blue cross of Mary Immaculate, which also appears on the yellow panels. The pole issues from a small tuft of earth and three lilies, representing Our Lady of Walsingham. Together these two ombrellini represent the See of St. Stephen and the Court of Saint Mary of Walsingham and thus the Anglo-Roman patrimony and religious, ethnic, and cultural identity of the See.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Pope Francis joins Patriarch of St. Stephen in calling for military intervention in Iraq

ROME 11 August 2014 (ORCNS) - Pope Francis joins the Patriarch of St. Stephen's earlier call for military intervention in Iraq to stop the advance of the Muslim caliphate and protect the Christians in that country. This move places the Pope in solidarity with Catholic minorities around the world. Cardinal Rutherford Johnson, the Patriarch of St. Stephen, whose traditional Old Roman Catholic jurisdiction continues the heritage of Catholic knights who fought in the Crusades, called for military intervention two weeks earlier. Reports from the Vatican indicate that military action is the only way to stop the Muslim militants and to create an environment of peace so desired by the Holy Father. The Chaldean Patriarch, Louis Sako, whose people in Iraq are facing genocide at the hands of the Islamists, also has strongly urged military action.

(Above L-R: Pope Francis, the Chaldean Patriarch,
and the Patriarch of St. Stephen)
At the taking of Jerusalem in the Crusades.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Pope Francis says diversity in the Church work of Holy Spirit

Pope Francis recently said that "the Holy Spirit is the source of diversity in the church. This diversity is very rich and beautiful. But then the same Holy Spirit creates unity. And in this way the church is one in diversity." The Holy Spirit, according to Pope Francis, is behind the diversity in the Church. He has affirmed that Pentecostals and other Protestants are part of the fabric of the Church family, and that the Holy Spirit creates unity in diversity. 

Even within the Catholic family, there is diversity. Within the Roman Communion, there are over twenty Rites, including Melkite, Byzantine, Ukrainian, and the largest, the Roman Rite. The diversity of Roman Catholicism also includes Old Roman Catholics, Old Catholics, and Independent Catholics.

Old Roman Catholics typically descend from the ancient Catholic See of Utrecht via the Apostolic line of Archbishop Arnold Harris Mathew. Utrecht was granted administrative autonomy in 1145, which was confirmed by various Popes and Councils, and thus Old Roman Catholics maintain that they have never split from the Catholic Church. Traditional Catholic liturgy and doctrine (usually pre-1955) is a common hallmark of Old Roman Catholicism, which may be found in many parts of the world today.

Old Catholics share a similar heritage with Old Roman Catholics, but diverged at the First Vatican Council over the issue of Papal Infallibility. The See of Utrecht today is Old Catholic and also has a parallel Roman Catholic diocese. There are various Old Catholic jurisdictions around the world today. 

Independent Catholics sometimes stem from Old Catholicism. Others come from Apostolic lines such as Roman Catholic Bishop Duarte-Costa in Brazil. Still others may be found in traditional Catholic organizations such as the Society of Saint Pius X, founded by Roman Catholic Archbishop Lefebvre to preserve the traditional liturgy and doctrine of the Catholic Church following the Second Vatican Council. 

All these lineages, and others not mentioned here, form the diverse fabric of the Roman Catholic tradition. Much like a large family, not everyone always gets along. However, as the Holy Father recently stated, "this diversity is very rich and beautiful." 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Flag of the Patriarchate - Our Identity and Purpose

30 July 2014 ( ORCNS) - The flag of the Patriarchal See of Saint Stephen represents its spiritual and temporal heritage as a traditional Old Roman Catholic patriarchate with Anglican patrimony. It consists of three vertical bands in green, white, and red, with the middle arms of the Patriarchal See depicted in the center upon a red St. Stephen cross. Red and white are the common colors among the various temporal territories of the Patriarchal States. Green is used to represent the Catholic faith and the martyr's palm of Saint Stephen the Deacon. Red is also a color of Saint Stephen, and white also is an ancient Marian color still often used today at Marian feasts.



If you think that looks somewhat like an Italian flag, you are correct! The use of those colors originated in Northern Italy during the conquest by Napoleon. Red and white were taken from the colors of the flag of Milan, and green came from the color of their guard uniform. The flag of the City of Milan from which the colors derive is the St. George cross. Saint George is the Patron Saint of England and chivalry, both of which also have clear significance to the See of Saint Stephen. The Saint George cross is featured within the patronal arms of the Patriarchal See, the arms of the Governor-General, and the badge of the Patriarchal Curia.

The temporal and territorial patrimony of the Stephenian Patriarchate is centered primarily within the Holy Roman Empire territories of Italy and areas with historic Italian linkage. The See of St. Stephen also continues the Anglican patrimony of the Tuscan region of Italy. English-speaking people have been in that area for centuries and continue as part of its culture and heritage.

Over time, the three colors eventually had a religious meaning attributed, namely that of faith, hope, and charity. This is a particularly nice symbolism that also applies to the Patriarchate’s mandate of mission, service, and charity. Mission flows from the altar of God and thus is a direct product of faith. Mission is putting faith into action. Hope means never giving up and not giving into despair. It is the belief that God is present in every human life, and this this is why we engage in service.

In the center, the coat of arms of the Patriarchal See are depicted upon a red cross of Saint Stephen, Deacon and Protomartyr, our celestrial Patron. The left side of shield (as you are looking at it) contains the principle armorial achievements of spiritual patrimony, and the right side contains those of the principal temporal patrimony. In the center is an oval displaying the emblem of the Patriarch. Behind the shield are crossed the key and sword, the symbols of spiritual and temporal authority, along with two lily sceptres of Our Lady of Walsingham, Patroness of English-Speaking Catholics and of the Patriarchal Household. Atop the shield is a crown representative of the territorial patrimony of the Patriarchate. The pallium of Metropolitan authority is suspended from the bottom of the shield, and the ombrellino of the cardinalatial dignity is seen at the top. Also pendant from the shield are the collars of the Legion of the Eagle and the Orders of St. Stephen and Mary Immaculate.

The flag of the Patriarchate represents who we are, the legacy we follow, and what we do in the fulfillment of our sacred mission. It represents our identity and our purpose.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

THE POPE TO THE PENTECOSTAL CHURCH: WE ARE ON THE PATH TOWARDS UNITY

Vatican City, 29 July 2014 (VIS) – Unity in diversity and the plea for forgiveness for the lack of understanding shown by some Catholics towards their Pentecostal brothers were the key themes of the Pope's address at the Pentecostal Church of the Reconciliation in Caserta yesterday, during his meeting with his friend, the pastor Giovanni Traettino, whom he known for many years, both in Buenos Aires and as bishop of Rome, engaged in ecumenism. The meeting took place in a cheerful and intimate atmosphere, and was attended by 200 people, mostly Pentecostals from Italy, the United States and Argentina, as well as other countries. “With men like you”, said Pastor Traettino to his friend, Pope Francis, “there is hope for us, as Christians”.

The Pope's address responded to the discourse pronounced by Pastor Traettino, who had remarked that the presence of Jesus and walking in the presence of Jesus should be at the centre of our life. Francis remarked that “walk” was God's first commandment to his people, represented by Abraham – “walk before me faithfully and be blameless” – and added, “I don't understand a Christian who stands still! I don't understand a Christian who doesn't walk. A Christian must walk … because that which is still, that does not move ahead, becomes corrupt. Like still water, which is the first to become stagnant. … There are Christians who confuse walking and moving ahead with moving around. These, instead, are errants who saunter here and there; these are people who lack parrhesia, the boldness to go ahead; they lack hope”.

He went on to cite the story of Jacob who, during a time of famine, sent his eleven sons – ten of whom were guilty of betrayal, having sold their brother Joseph – to Egypt to buy grain. There, they once again found Joseph, who in the meantime had become the vizier. “When we walk in God's presence, we find brotherhood”, asserted the Pope. “When instead we stop, we scrutinise each other too much, and we set out on another path, that of gossip. … And in this way it begins, from the first moment the division of the Church began. And it is not the Holy Spirit who causes division! … From the very beginning there has been this temptation in the Christian community. 'I am from this group, you are from that one', 'No! I am the Church, you are a sect', and so on. … The Holy Spirit creates diversity in the Church … diversity, rich and beautiful. But, at the same time, the Holy Spirit creates unity, and so the Church is one in her diversity. To borrow a phrase used by an evangelical, a phrase I love, it is the 'reconciled diversity' of the Holy Spirit, Who creates both of these things: diversity in charisms, and harmony in charisms”.

To offer an image of how unity in the Church could be, Pope Francis first described a sphere, all of whose points are equidistant from the centre. This, he said, was an example of uniformity, and “the Holy Spirit does not create uniformity”. “Let us imagine, instead, a polyhedron: it is an example of unity, but with many different parts, each with its own peculiarity and charism. This is unity in diversity. This is the path that we Christians take, giving it the theological name of ecumenism: we seek to ensure that this diversity is harmonised by the Holy Spirit and becomes a unity; we seek to walk in the presence of God to be blameless”.

Pastor Traettino had also referred to the incarnation of Jesus, and the Holy Father responded that “the incarnation of the Word is the foundation – it is Jesus Christ! God and man, Son of God and Son of man, true God and true man. This is how the first Christians understood Him to be and they fought hard to maintain this truth: the Lord is God and man. It is the mystery of Christ's flesh. … I love the poor, the widow, the slave, the imprisoned. … I love them all, as these people who suffer are Christ's flesh. … It is not possible to preach a purely intellectual Gospel: the Gospel is the truth but it is also love and beauty! And this is the joy of the Gospel!”.

“On this path, many times we have done the same thing as the brothers of Joseph, when jealous and envy have divided us”, he remarked. “That sad story in which the Gospel for some was lived as truth and they did not realise that behind this attitude there were bad things, things that were not the Lord's, an ugly attempt at division. That sad history, in which there are repeated the same things that Joseph's brother did: denouncements, the laws of these people who 'are against the purity of the race'. … And these laws were ratified by baptised persons! Some of those who enacted these laws, and some of those who persecuted, denounced their pentecostal brothers because they were 'enthusiastic', almost 'crazy', who spoiled the race. … I am a pastor of Catholics, and I beg forgiveness for this. I ask your forgiveness on behalf of those Catholic brothers and sisters who did not understand and who were tempted by the devil, and who did the same thing that Joseph's brothers did. I ask the Lord for the grace to recognise and to forgive”.

Pope Francis went on to comment on Pastor Traettino's words, “The truth is an encounter”. “An encounter between people”, he emphasised. “The truth is not made in a laboratory, it is made in life, seeking Jesus in order to find Him. But the greatest and most beautiful mystery is that when we find Jesus, we realise that He sought us first, that He had found us first, because He arrives before us. I like to use the Spanish verb 'primerea' to describe this, meaning that He precedes us, and always awaits us. … That encounter that transforms us: everything comes from that encounter. This is the path of Christian sanctity: seeking Jesus every day in order to meet him, and letting oneself be sought and found by Jesus every day”.

“We are on that path of unity, among brothers”, he concluded. “Some people will be surprised: they will say, the Pope has gone to the evangelicals! He has gone to meet his brothers! Yes! Because – and this is the truth – they came to me first, in Buenos Aires. … And so this friendship began, this closeness between the pastors in Buenos Aires, and here today. I thank you, and I ask you to pray for me, as I need your prayers”.

Following the meeting, in the mid afternoon, the Pope returned to the Vatican by helicopter.



Per ulteriori informazioni consultare: www.visnews.org 
Il servizio del VIS viene inviato soltanto agli indirizzi di posta elettronica che ne fanno richiesta. 
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Le notizie contenute nei servizi del Vatican Information Service possono essere riprodotte parzialmente o totalmente citando la fonte: 
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Copyright © VIS - Vatican Information Service - 00120 Città del Vaticano

Monday, July 28, 2014

Patriarch calls for military intervention

Patriarchal See 28 July 2014 (ORCNS) - Today the Patriarch of the traditional Old Roman Catholic See of St. Stephen made the following statement regarding ISIS and the situation facing Christians in Iraq and the Middle East.

Dear Brethren in Christ, the grace of God and our Apostolic blessing be with you all. In the past century, there was a holocaust that was undertaken by the Nazi regime against the Jews and Slavs. In the start of this century, we are faced with a new holocaust. It is a Christian holocaust waged by the Islamists against the Christians. These are not so-called Muslim extremists, but Muslims following precisely the precepts of Islam. In Iraq and Syria in particular, Christians are faced with dire choices. Christians are being killed, persecuted, beaten, tortured, and even crucified. Others are preparing to leave what has been their homeland since before Islam even existed.

We have heard many pleas for peace in the Middle East and a peaceful solution to this situation. Because of the ideology of the Islamists in ISIS and other organizations, such a solution in not a likely possibility. The achievement of peace in this situation is most likely to come only through a just war, just as the holocaust against the Jews and Slavs was ended only by military intervention of the Allies. There is indeed a certain type of peace that can come only on the other side of a just war.

We remember the bravery and devotion of the Crusaders who, despite the personal faults and flaws they may have had, defended the Christian people and the Holy Land against the Muslims. We, therefore, call on the nations of the world to use their military forces for the purpose of the liberation of the Christian people in Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere in the Middle East. The nations with strong militaries capable of forming expeditionary forces have a moral imperative to act and act decisively! Those who do not do so truly bear the responsibility for what is continuing to happen to the Christians at the hands of the Muslims. All the faithful in Christ ought to write to their government officials and representatives urging them to take appropriate action. Let the banner of the Cross be raised and the righteous nations of the world rally behind it, raising the sword in this just and glorious cause!

POPE FRANCIS' NEW APPEAL FOR PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST, IRAQ AND UKRAINE

Vatican City, 27 July 2014 (VIS) – After today's Angelus prayer, the Holy Father, remarking that tomorrow marks the centenary of the beginning of the First World War, launched a new appeal for peace in the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine, and called for a cessation of hostilities.

“Tomorrow is the one hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, which claimed millions of lives and caused immense destruction. This conflict, defined by Pope Benedict XV as a 'senseless slaughter', persisted for four long years and led to a more fragile peace. Tomorrow will be a day of mourning in remembrance of this tragedy. While we remember this tragic event, I hope that we will not repeat the errors of the past, but will instead pay heed to the lessons of history, ensuring that the reason of peace always prevails by means of patient and courageous dialogue”.

“Today, my thoughts extend to three areas of crisis, in particular: the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine. I ask you to continue to join with me in prayer that the Lord may grant the populations and authorities of these areas the wisdom and strength necessary to proceed with determination along the path of peace, facing every diatribe with the tenacity of dialogue and negotiation, and the strength of reconciliation. May the common good and respect for every person be at the centre of every decision, rather than particular interests. Let us remember that all is lost with war, but nothing is lost with peace”.

“Brothers and sisters: no more war! No more war! I think especially of the children, who are deprived of the hope of a worthwhile life, of a future: children killed, children injured, children mutilated, children orphaned, children who have as toys the remnants of war, children who do not know how to smile. Stop, please! I ask you with all my heart. The time has come to stop. Stop, please!”




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CHALDEANS IN IRAQ: PREPARE, LIKE ABRAHAM, TO LEAVE FOR THE LAND GOD WILL SHOW TO YOU

Vatican City, 28 July 2014 (VIS) – Yesterday, Sunday, Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, presided at the Divine Liturgy in the Cathedral of St. Paul the Apostle of the Chaldeans in San Diego, U.S.A. He prayed for the Christians persecuted in Iraq, the motherland of the Chaldean Church, and also included in his prayer those in Syria, Palestine and Egypt, as well as those who belong to the Greek-Catholic community in Ukraine, who are currently experiencing difficult situations.

The bishop of the eparchy, Sarhad Yawsip Hermiz Jammo, thanked the cardinal for the consolation that his visit and his prayers, as the representative of Pope Francis, offered to al the Christians of the East, and added that, in communion with Peter's Successor, they would persist in the faith of Abraham and, like the patriarch, they would prepare to leave for the land God will show to them, learning to read history in a higher dimension.

In his homily, Cardinal Sandri thanked those present and those Christians who suffer for their faith in the Gospel in situations of conflict, and assured them of Pope Francis' prayers and blessing and the closeness of all the Church. He expressed his hope for peace and justice for all those who have been afflicted by incredible and senseless violence.

The prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, in his visit to California, met with the Maronite and Syro-Malabar communities of Los Angeles and San Diego. During the coming days he will visit the Armenians and greet the priests of the Syrian, Coptic, Greek-Melkite and Romanian Greek-Catholic Churches who exercise their pastoral ministry in this region of the United States. The already populous Eastern is expected to increase significantly, especially from Iraq, due to the current conflict. He underlined that immigration is a pastoral challenge of historical proportions, and requires great efforts on the part of the Latin Church in support of the Oriental Churches.



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Friday, July 25, 2014

THE POPE RECEIVES MERIAM, THE SUDANESE CHRISTIAN IMPRISONED FOR APOSTASY

 Vatican City, 25 July 2014 (VIS) – Yesterday afternoon, at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Holy Father Francis received in audience Ms. Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag, the Sudanese Christian woman imprisoned and condemned to death for apostasy, and subsequently freed with the intervention of the international community.

Meriam was accompanied by her husband Daniel Wani and their two small children, Martin (aged one and a half) and Maya, born in prison two months ago. The family was accompanied by the Italian deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lapo Pistelli, who completed negotiations in Sudan yesterday and accompanied Meriam and her family to Italy, where they are preparing to move to the United States.

The meeting lasted for slightly less than half an hour and took place in a serene and affectionate atmosphere. The Pope thanked Meriam and her family for their courageous witness of constancy in faith. Meriam gave thanks for the great comfort and support she received from the prayer of the Pope and many other believers and persons of good will. The Pope’s secretary, Msgr. Yohannis Gaid, acted as interpreter. The Pope then greeted the Italian staff accompanying Meriam and her family in their stay in Italy.

With this gesture, the Pope wished to demonstrate his closeness, attention and prayer for all those who suffer for their faith and, in particular, for Christians who suffer persecution or curtailment of their religious freedom.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Patriarch's Call to Action - Help the Christian People of the Middle East

Rutherford Card. Johnson-Etruria-di Daniell
Patriarch of Saint Stephen.

Sub Tuum.


Translation of the Arabic:
"In Solidarity with the
Christian people of Iraq.
To the Faithful in Christ:

Christians are being murdered, tortured, raped, beaten, and otherwise persecuted in Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere in the Middle East, yet the West is silent! What I have heard from most religious leaders in their public statements, including my brother bishops, is to pray for the victims. This is something we should do, certainly. The power of the mass and the rosary must never be underestimated. Yet, when someone is sick, we do not say to pray for them and do nothing else. We call a doctor. We have a surgeon cut out the cancer. Therefore I say pray for the Christians in the middle east, but I also say to put that prayer into action!  The governments of the west have the military force to intervene. They must use it, or else the blood of these Christian martyrs is on their hands!

Faithful in Christ, write to your government leaders and representatives. Urge them not to be silent. Urge them to speak out. Use your voice and theirs to insist that the governments with the power to do something about this sickening abomination take action now! Carry your prayers to the people who can work decisively to end this genocide.

Also, contact those who lead organizations that might be able to bring refugees from Iraq. As we talk about amnesty for those who illegally cross the southern American border in search of better economic conditions, why are we not bringing those who are suffering genocide at the hands of the Muslim infidels?

If you say nothing, the blood of these martyrs is on your hands! If you do not do what is within your power to do, however large or small that act may be, the blood of these martyrs is on your hands!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Statement on the Islamic Persecution of Christians in Iraq

Rutherford Card. Johnson-Etruria-di Daniell
Patriarch of Saint Stephen


Sub Tuum. 

The Taking of Jerusalem from the Muslims by the Crusaders.
Christians in Mosul, Iraq, have been given a deadline (that has now passed) to convert to Islam, pay a tax, leave, or be killed. (Read the story here.) This comes after more than a decade of war waged primarily by the United States in Iraq ostensibly to stem the tide of terrorism and create a free society there. The job clearly was not done properly. I lay this squarely at the feet not of the soldiers, but of the politicians and political military commanders who insisted that the war be fought politically. They were more concerned about not offending Muslims than they were of gaining military supremacy and control. If the latter goal was not possible, then the exercise was not worth the time, money, and human life spent on it.

People in recent times are fond of claiming that acts of terror and violence by Islamists are really the work of "Islamic extremists" and not those who follow the true principles of Islam. Utter garbage! Sheer insanity and stupidity! Those Mohammedans in Mosul who are telling Christians to convert, pay a tax, leave the area, or be killed ARE FOLLOWING THE PRINCIPLES OF ISLAM! That is what their religion tells them to do. They are following it to the letter. Christian people of the world, stop placating and equivocating and apologizing. Call it what it is - the brutal acts of individuals following a brutal religion that is, as a matter of historical fact, a heresy off of Christianity.

And where is the true international outrage? Where are the calls to invade Iraq again? Are Christians less important than oil or supposed weapons of mass destruction? Was Kuwait worth liberating, but not the Christian people of the Middle East? Why is the international community not concerned about the genocide of Christians in Muslim lands? Surely we do not think that Muslims have the right to treat our Christian people in this way? Then again, perhaps those in government actually think this. I recall some years ago some persons in the administration of the SolBridge International School of Business in South Korea, where I was a professor and chaplain, telling me that the Islamic students had every right to desecrate Christian iconography because that was part of their religion. Such is the vile influence of Islam. That was merely a small-scale example. Imagine the effects on a large scale when Muslims control the government, society, and the streets.

We are truly living in the age of the great martyrdom. More people are dying for the Cross of Christ than in any other period in history. Most Christians stand idly by with their heads in the sand, blind to what is going on. It is time to call what is going on what it truly is. It is time to condemn the genocide being waged by Muslims against the Christian people.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sovereigns, Dynasties, and Nobility

by Daniel v. Coberly v. Reichenberg

Fans of PBS television's Downton Abbey seem enthralled with the fictitious Crawley family's struggle to retain their ancient nobility...and their titles...in the post Edwardian era. And yet, few fans seem to notice that while Lord Crawley is styled the "Earl of Grantham," his wife Lady Cora is called a "Countess". And then there is the Dowager Countess, and the Marquess and the Marchioness of Flintshire. The world has been and continues to be greatly influenced by nobility and royalty. This handy reference, 6 years in the making, can help sort through the fog of ancient and modern titles no matter where you find them!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

ARCHIVES: Excommunication of Seminarian Dennis J. Klinzing

24 JUNE 2014 (ORCNS) - Dennis J. Klinzing, a former seminarian/minor cleric of the Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church was recently deposed from the clerical state and excommunicated latae sententiae (automatically). Church officials took the unusual step to respond to media queries about Klinzing in response to criticism that such firings are not often made public. According to Church officials, the former student was fired for a series of incidents that violated a seminarian contract and standards of personal conduct.

"While it is not uncommon for some seminarians to honestly renounce their commitment during the intense four-year or more training and screening process, dishonesty of any kind is non-negotiable. The ARRCC maintains high standards and expects its clergy to live up to them," said Msgr. Steinhurst, an official of the seminary.

Allegations were confirmed that Klinzing misrepresented himself as a valid priest (several websites appear to list a "Fr. Dennis Klinzing") while only in the Minor Order of Porter, and that he sought additional ordination in the Old Roman Catholic Church - Latin Rite (ORCLR) without proper excardination from the Patriarchal See. His attempt was confirmed by Boniface Grosvold, an official of the ORCLR. An investigation also found that Klinzing lied to his religious superiors when asked about his intent to seek an ordination from another denomination while already sworn as a seminarian in another church. It was determined by the judicial tribunal that Klinzing lied to avoid the required three and a half or more years of academic and practical study and experience still remaining that he agreed to perform before becoming eligible to take exams required for the priesthood.

"All clerics of the Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church sign a statement acknowledging that they are subject to the laws and authority of the Patriarchal See of Saint Stephen. The statement is also witnessed by a civil court official, usually a notary. Applicants also take the Clerical Oath and Oath Against Modernism and renew their formal petition at every new level of ordination. As a result of his own deceitful actions, Klinzing is no longer fit be be a cleric of any kind, nor will he in any way be affiliated with the Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church," said Msgr. Deffenbaugh, Chancellor.

For supplemental information, see these links:

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Tevin and Shasta King Wedding

Tevin and Shasta King and
Msgr. Deffenbaugh

Scott AFB 11 JUNE 2014 (ORCNS) - Tevin and Shasta King were united in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony on May 17th. Msgr. Douglas Deffenbaugh v. Aschaffenburg officiated. Both the bride and groom are U.S. Air Force Senior Airmen stationed at Scott Air Force Base. The bride is assigned to the 126th Air Wing Illinois Air National Guard as an Equipment Manager, and the groom is on active duty with the 375th Air Wing in the Re-Enlistments Section.

The ceremony was well-attended by friends and family. The rites of Matrimony were followed by a Tree Watering Ceremony. The bride and groom were accompanied by the bride's two boys in watering the tree as a family. This ceremony is a custom at many African-American weddings.

Friday, June 6, 2014

THE HOLY FATHER TO PRAY ON 13 SEPTEMBER FOR THOSE WHO HAVE FALLEN IN ALL WARS

VATICAN CITY 6 June 2014 (VIS) – On 13 September Pope Francis will pray at the military monument of Redipuglia, Italy, for those who have fallen in all wars, to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, “an enormous tragedy about which I heard many painful stories from my grandfather, who fought in the Battle of the Piave”. He announced this at the end of his meeting in St. Peter's square with the Carabinieri, Italy's military police corps, celebrating the bicentenary of its foundation.



“Between the Carabinieri and the people there exists a bond of solidarity, trust and dedication to the common good”; said the Pope in his address. “The Carabinieri 'stations', present throughout the national territory, are points of reference for collectivity, even in the most remote and peripheral towns and villages. And this capillary presence requires you to participate in the life of the community to which you belong, seeking to be close to the problems faced by the people, especially the weakest and those in difficulty. Your vocation is service”.

This vocation is made manifest in “the protection of individuals and the environment, in action for security, the respect for the rules for civil co-existence and the common good; it is a concrete and constant commitment to the defence of the rights and duties of individuals and communities. The maintenance of public order and personal safety is an increasingly current issue in a dynamic, open society committed to the protection of civil rights and liberties, such as Italy, where you serve”.

Pope Francis went on to speak about the history of the Carabinieri Corps, mentioning that it numbers among its members the Servant of God Salvo d'Acquisto, who at the age of 23 in Palidoro, near Rome, “offered his young existence to save the lives of innocent people from Nazi brutality”. He also commented on their notable efforts beyond national borders as “peacemakers, to ensure security, respect for human dignity and the defence of human rights in countries racked by conflicts and tensions of every type”. He concluded, “Never cease to give everywhere, in your homeland and elsewhere, a clear and joyful witness of humanity, especially towards the neediest and least fortunate”.





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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Priests who were (and are) scientists

21 MAY 2014 (ORCNS) - Mention a priest, and most people will likely think of a parish priest, dispensing the sacraments and tending to the needs of his flock. This isn't surprising, since most priests fall in this category. Some priests, though, have duties that fall outside this trend. For example, some are administrators, some are diplomats, and some are scientists. Some have even made significant contributions to science. Unfortunately far too many people consider the Church to be anti-science, and people so often brush aside the clerical state of many of the great scientists they otherwise laud and praise. This creates a distorted view of the relationship between the Church and the sciences. Let's take a look at just a few of the clerics who have been scientists from the past through today and help to dispel the myth that the Church is against scientific knowledge, enquiry, and advancement.

Note: Living clerics are presented without dates. 

Blessed Nicholas Steno: (1638-1686) A convert from Lutheranism, he was a Dutch Catholic bishop. He made significant contributions in the fields of anatomy, geology, and paleontology. He is often considered the father of the field of geology.

Nicholaus Copernicus: (1473-1543) A cleric in minor orders, he was a mathematician and astronomer. He formulated the heliocentric view of the universe.

Gregor Mendel: (1822-1884)  Born Johann Mendel, he entered the religious life through the Augustinian Order and took the name of Gregor. He was ordained a priest and is considered the founder of the modern science of genetics.

John Zahm: (1851-1921) A Holy Cross priest, he was also an explorer in South America.

Nocholaus Copernicus
Cleric and scientist
Gabriel Costa: Priest and mathematician.

George LaMaitre: (1894-1966)  A Belgian priest and Professor of Physics, he was made a prelate (Monsignor) by Pope John XXIII. He was the first to propose what is now known as Hubble's Law and first proposed the concept of the Big Bang theory for the origin of the universe.

Roger Bacon: (c. 1214-1294)  An English Franciscan Friar who was a strong proponent of the use of empirical methods for the study of nature. He was asked by Pope Clement IV to write on the place of philosophy within theology.

Pierre Gassendi: (1592-1655)  A French priest who published the first data on the transit of Mercury.

Giovanni Antonelli: (1818-1872)  An Italian priest who, along with Nicolò Barsanti and Felice Matteucci (themselves both priests), invented the first internal combustion engine.

Blessed Francesco Faà di Bruno: (1825-1888) An Italian priest, mathematician, and musician.

José Antonio de Alzate y Ramírez: (1737-1799)  A Mexican priest, he made contributions in meteorology, zoology, and botany.

Nicolò Arrighetti: (1709-1767) An Italian Jesuit and professor of natural philosophy, he made contributions in light, heat, and electricity, and on the causes of movement of mercury within barometers.

Thomas Bradwardine (c.1290-1349)  Archbishop of Canterbury. He was a scholar, mathematician, and physicist.

Blessed Nicolas Steno
Father of Geology

Nicolò Barsanti: (1821-1864)   See under Nicolò Arrighetti.

Francis Facione:  Old Roman Catholic archbishop and professor of pharmacology. 

Felice Matteucci: (1808-1887)   See under Nicolò Arrighetti.

Laurent Cassegrain: (1629-1693)  A priest, he was the probable inventor of the Cassegrain telescope.

Heyward Ewart: Old Roman Catholic archbishop and psychologist.

James Curley: (1796-1889)  An Irish Jesuit priest, he was the first director of Georgetown Observatory. Determined the latitude and longitude of Washington, D.C.

Benedetto Castelli: (1578-1643) A Benedictine mathematician, he was a student of Galileo Galilei. He also taught Galileo's son.

Václav Prokop Diviš: (1698-1765) Czech priest. Independent of the experiments of Benjamin Franklin, he studied lightning. He also constructed the first electrified musical instrument.

Franz Liszt: (1811-1886)  Hungarian cleric, musician, and composer.

Keith Steinhurst v.u.z. Westphalia: Old Roman Catholic archbishop and physician.

Gabriele Falloppio: (1523-1562) A religious Canon, anatomists, and physician. The Fallopian tubes are named for him.

Vincent LaRocca:  American priest and lawyer.

Placidus Fixlmillner: (1721-1791) A Benedictine priest and astronomers who was among the first to compute the orbit of Uranus.

Joseph Galien: (1699- c. 1762) A Dominican friar and professor, he wrote on the subjects of aeronautics, hailstorms, and airships. He was an early pioneer in the science behind what would become aviation and aeronautical engineering.

Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora: (1645-1700) A priest, mathematician, astronomer, and cartographer, he is credited with drawing the first map of the entirety of New Spain.

Robert Grosseteste: (c. 1175-1253)  English Bishop of Lincoln. Considered the father of the Scientific Method. 

Stanley Jaki: (1924–2009) Hungarian Benedictine priest; he contributed to the relationship between science and theology.

Karl Kehrle: (1898-1996)  English Benedictine monk and beekeeper. Considered a leading authority on bee breeding, he developed the Buckfast bee.

Otto Kippes: (1905-1994) A priest and astronomer, he worked on calculations of asteroid orbits. 

Edme Mariotte: (c. 1620-1684)  A French priest and physicist, he recognized Boyle's Law, studied the nature of color, and discovered the eye's blind spot.

Nicholas of Cusa: (1401-1464)  German priest, cardinal, philosopher, jurist, mathematician, astronomer, and polymaths. He also participated in the power conflicts between Rome and the Holy Roman Empire.

Jean-Antoine Nollet: (1700-1770) A French abbot and physicist, he discovered osmosis in natural membranes.

Luca Pacioli: (c. 1446-1517)  An Italian Franciscan friar, he published several works on mathematics. Also often regarded as the Father of Accounting.

Louis Rendu: (1789-1859) A French bishop, he made contributions to understanding the mechanisms of glacial motion. The Rendu Glacier in Alaska and Mount Rendu in Antarctica are named for him.

Johannes Ruysch: (c. 1460-1533) Dutch Priest from Utrecht, explorer, cartographer, and astronomer. He created the second oldest known printed map of the New World.

Anton Maria Schyrleus of Rheita: (1604-1660) A Capuchin astronomer and optician, he built Kepler's telescope.

Francesco Lana de Terzi: (1631-1687)   An Italian Jesuit priest, mathematician, naturalist, physicist, and pioneer in aeronautics. He conceptualized a vacuum airship, developed a theory of aerial navigation verified by mathematical accuracy, and is often considered the Father of Aeronautics. He also created a concept that developed into Braille.

Giovanni Battista Venturi: (1746-1822)  Priest; discovered the Venturi effect.

Rutherford Johnson-Etruria-di Daniell: Old Roman Catholic cardinal, economist, and explorer.

János Vitéz: (c.1405-1472) Archbishop, astronomer, and mathematician.

George Coyne: Jesuit priest and astronomy. Director of the Vatican Observatory.

Martin Waldseemüller: (c. 1470-1520) German priest and cartographer. He is credited, along with Matthias Ringmann, with the first recorded usage of the word "America."

Kevin Fitzgerald: American Jesuit priest and molecular geneticist.

Francesco Zantedeschi: (1797-1873) A priest and physicist, he was among the first to recognize the absorption by the atmosphere of red, yellow, and green light. He also wrote on electromagnetism, which would be followed by Michael Faraday's experiments in 1831.

Robert Frederick Drinan: (1920-2007) Jesuit priest, lawyer, and member of the United States House of Representatives.

Monday, April 7, 2014

In Memoriam Mons. Patrick H. King, SOAR

SAN FRANCISCO 7 April 2014 (ORCNS) - It is with great sadness that we recall the death of the Most Reverend Patrick H. King, SOAR. The Bishop died on January 7th of this year. Mons. King was known as a true priest and dedicated Bishop. He was the Western Regionary Bishop for the Old Roman Catholic Church in North America. Those who knew him spoke of his warmth, compassion, and devotion. He will be greatly missed.





Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Autism Awareness Fundraising a Success

PATRIARCHAL SEE 2 April 2014 (ACNS) - Blue was the color of the day today across the United States as many people got out to spread the word about autism. This often debilitating disease affects 1 out of every 68 children born in America now. Its causes are still a mystery. Fundraising and awareness efforts like those around the country today are key to improving the lives of the autistic and their families.

The Patriarch of Saint Stephen, Cardinal Johnson, who participated with others in fundraising efforts today, said, "This type of work is part of the very essence of our Patriarchate's mandate of mission, service, and charity. It was a great joy to meet with autistic children and parents and to help those who are working so hard to solve the puzzle of autism." Others interviewed praised the advances made in correctly identifying those with the condition and helping them to transition successfully into productive adult life as much as possible.

Blue balloons sporting the autism logo mark an event site.


Raising Money for Autism Awareness

PATRIARCHAL SEE 2 APRIL 2014 (ORCNS) - Today Cardinal Johnson joins many others in helping to raise money for Austism awareness and research. We rightly spend a lot of effort defending the right to life. However, 1 in 68 people who actually make it into this world in the US are born with some form of Autism. In some cases it is so profound that they cannot function. Some turn their disease into an asset. Programs that need funding are helping to help the autistic get to a point where they can "help themselves" and function in society.



Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ash Wednesday Patriarchal Address

PATRIARCHAL SEE 5 MARCH 2014 (ORCNS) - The Patriarch of Saint Stephen, Old Holy Roman Church of the English Rite, gave his Ash Wednesday address to the members of the Court of Saint Mary of Walsingham today. Ash Wednesday is one of the five times that these formal addresses are given on topics including administration, pastoral matters, and world events. Excerpts from the transcript are provided below.


___________________

On this day the faithful are reminded that we are all dust, and we shall all return to dust. It is a time to confront our own frail humanity, our own mortality, and our own weaknesses. The fallen state of mankind is so often exhibited in ways that also underscore our mortality. These include war and persecution, two prime examples of man’s inhumanity to man. As we speak, there is strife around the world, as it seems there always is. We need hardly mention that chief among these are the conflict in Syria and the tensions in the Ukraine. In Syria, while the leaders of the world pretend that nothing is going on, Christians are being killed, harmed, tortured, and persecuted. Some are forced to leave their ancient homeland in search of safety, for Syria is indeed one of the oldest areas in Christendom. In the Ukraine we see the results of revolution and the chaos it brings. More often than not, the anarchist revolutionaries that bring about such chaos profess to be overthrowing a bad government, only to institute a worse system when they themselves come to power. It is a vicious cycle that plagues much of the world. Indeed, I cannot say with certainty that the promises of liberty of the American republicanists in the 18th century are truly being realized. Such is the cyclical nature of mankind’s existence. Thus We ask that at least a portion of your Lenten sacrifices be dedicated to the intentions of those people around the world who are suffering from injustice, persecution, torment, and warfare.

Within Our See, We are pleased to announce a marked increase in vocations. We ever strive to have the highest level of clerics in the service of Christ and His Holy Church within the flock entrusted to Our pastoral care.

We also announce, in the spirit of this year’s liturgical theme of Chivalry and Service, a reiterated effort to the preservation of the history and traditions of the Holy Roman Empire. These traditions are kept and maintained in a living way within Our Particular Church, which was indeed born out of the Holy Roman Empire. That which was created under the authority of the Supreme Pontiff over one thousand years ago has not died.

As we begin Lent today, we look forward to the coming festivities of the Easter Season. That itself is reason enough to proclaim that Lent is not a time of sorrow or boredom or difficulty, but is itself a time of joy as we realize the full extent of Christ’s Sacrifice for us all. How can the faithful begin to appreciate what they experience on Easter without Lent? It would be similar to an athlete receiving an Olympic medal without first having gone through the experience of training and preliminary competition. How could that be appreciated at all? Truly there is no Easter without Good Friday. That might be an oft-used expression, but it is true. Too often in the world today, people demand the joys of Easter without the Sacrifice of the Cross. That cannot be. It cannot produce real results. It is entirely contrary to the laws of nature. Let us, then, as a collection of faithful in Christ, serve as an example to the world that the people everywhere may learn to engage in selfless sacrifice and service to others to put themselves in solidarity with Our Lord on the Cross.





Thursday, February 27, 2014

THE HOLY SEE WILL PARTICIPATE WITH A PAVILION AT EXPO MILAN 2015

Vatican City, 27 February 2014 (VIS) – This morning in the Holy See Press Office the protocol was presented for the participation of the Holy See at Expo Milan 2015. The general theme of the event will be “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”.


Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, Commissioner General for the Holy See for Expo Milan 2015, and Giuseppe Sala, Sole Commissioner Delegate of the Italian Government for Expo Milan 2015, signed the Protocol this morning in the Sala Regia of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, and spoke at the press conference.

Expo Milan 2015 will begin on 1 May 2015 and will continue until 31 October; 140 countries will participate with their respective pavilions. The theme of the Holy See's pavilion will be “Not by bread alone”, and aims to “highlight, above all, the inner, religious and cultural dimension that affects both the person and his relationships at all levels. Inner nourishment is just as necessary as that which responds to more immediate needs”.

From the universal value of sharing and solidarity to the protection of the Earth's resources that must not be squandered or plundered, the Holy See's pavilion will promote profound reflection on the concept of “nourishment”, and will do so by presenting four areas.

The first is a garden to preserve, which relates to the protection of Creation, with all its resources, a gift given by the Creator to all humanity, and a patrimony that must not be wasted, plundered or destroyed. The second will be food to share; the Gospel account of the multiplication of bread will provide the guiding image and will underline the universal value of sharing and solidarity, expressed in the Christian context of the many institutions that have implemented this commandment of brotherly love. The third is a meal that educates, and emphasizes that education is fundamental for forming young generations in the context of a culture of human relations focused on the essentials and not on consumerist waste (of both goods and human beings); and the fourth is bread that makes God present in the world, based on the typically religious and Christian dimension of the Eucharist, the Word and Bread of life, the source and culmination of all Christian existence.


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Friday, February 7, 2014

History of the Empire: The Electorate of Trier

4 FEBRUARY 2014 (ORCNS) - The Electorate of Trier, located in modern-day Germany on the banks of the Moselle River, was an important state of the Holy Roman Empire. Trier itself was once a Roman provincial capital known as Augusta Treverorum. Already an episcopal seat during the time of the Merovingian Dynasty, Charlemagne granted the bishops of Trier independence from local secular government. It was also during the reign of Charlemagne that the See was raised to the dignity of Archdiocese.

Map by de Wit of the Electorate of Trier

The territory was founded as an Electorate in 898, giving the Archbishop a vote in electing the Holy Roman Emperor. The Prince Archbishop also held the high Imperial office of Arch-Chancellor of Gaul, giving him administrative authority in the name of the Emperor over those lands. Other Prince Archbishop Electors included Mainz, Salzburg, and Cologne.

Prince Clemens of Sazony, last reigning
Prince Archbishop of Trier
The State continued until 1801, when it was annexed by Napoleon as part of France. After Napoleon crowned himself Emperor, Trier was part of the Napoleonic Empire until it fall in 1815. Part of the electoral territory was also secularized and annexed in 1803 by the Princely County of Nassau-Weilburg. Today the Diocese of Trier is a spiritual See with no temporal or territorial jurisdiction. The titular Prince Archbishopric under the Holy Roman Empire continues as a part of the patrimony of the See of St. Stephen. The city of Trier itself remains peacefully in the Moselle River valley, about 15 km from the border with the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Several ancient Roman ruins remain, and the city boasts several museums. It is also home to the University of Trier, founded in 1473.