Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Fatima: How a Specific Lack Affects Your Daily Life

"If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer…"
~Our Lady of Fatima, July 13, 1917

It is vitally important that we understand the yet-to-be-accomplished collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary has always affected and continues to affect our own personal lives.

In a word, the Church's traditional dogmas, doctrines, "rubrics," traditional pious devotions, and truly charitable actions et al, collectively suffer from an almost total eclipse of the modernist heresy, as is evident by the following (admittedly incomplete) list:

-The pervasive denial of the dogma of the Faith, even by Catholics - e.g., that "the Church" founded by Jesus Christ is the Catholic Church and only the Catholic Church, which alone is the means of salvation.

-The astounding number of progressives (what modernists sometimes call themselves; unfortunately, they are now being dubbed 'conservatives') in key positions within the Church.

-"Ecumenism the euphemism" [catchy, isn't it? Forgive the pun, because ecumenism is catchy, like a nasty virus coursing through the Mystical Body]. It's an old word given a new definition, which is now nothing more than "religious indifferentism." In addition to dismissing the centuries-old definition of "the Church," the new ecumenism demands rejection of "the dogma of the faith" –e.g., that Catholicism is the one truth faith that offers salvation. Thus it follows that so-called "churches" not in union with Her are, objectively speaking, no more than groups of individuals who share similar heretical beliefs.

-The refusal to define the dogma of Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces, for fear it would offend those outside the Church.

-The alleged need for a "reform" of the Church (which led to the use of words like "traditional" or "perennial" to lead lay Catholic 'luminaries' to mock fellow Catholics who "hold fast" to tradition)

-The subsequent need for a "reform of the reform"

-The modernist changes made to all of the traditional Rites of the Seven Sacraments

-The same modernist changes made to the traditional definitions of all Seven Sacraments – e.g., Holy Eucharist fallaciously became a meal instead of the unbloody Sacrifice of the Lord's Body, Blood,Soul and Divinity; Baptism makes one only a member of the people of God instead of washing away Original Sin (although leaving its effects) and thus becoming an adopted child of God; Confirmation is now the "sacrament of personal responsibility," etc.

-The resistance that quickly arose against the Pope's "Motu Propio" of July 7, 2007.

-The tragic fact that the "Motu Propio" was even needed in the first place.

-The redefining and alterations [Can you say 'Aggiornomento!'?] of every Church doctrine, made under the excuse of a "deeper understanding," including but not limited to the following:

***Charity, the highest virtue, substituted for a politically-correct "social justice" in which God and His Truths are noted only by their absence.

***Charity, defined as a holy love (of the whole heart, mind, soul and strength) which first is given to to God and secondly our neighbor for love of God, is now subjugated to and superseded by a heretical definition of obedience.

***The Magisterium also redefined, again by the heresy of modernism. The brief definition is as follows: "the authority of the Church, by divine appointment, to teach the truths of religious belief; the commission of the Church to teach; the teaching office of the Church; the teaching and interpreting of the doctrines of faith carried on by the Church through the Pope and bishops andthose commissioned by them." (The Concise Catholic Dictionary)

***Papal infallibility also heretically redefined to mean that the Vicar of Christ is "only" first among the bishops, possessing no higher prerogatives than any other bishop. However, the new definition insists that he must always submit to "collegial authority" [authority now redefined as subjective opinion of the majority].

NOTE: INFALLIBILITY is a special prerogative of the Church as a teacher by which, being guided by the Holy Ghost, when she actively defines revealed truths, she is protected from error or the possibility of error. It is also a prerogative of the Pope when he DEFINES a matter of faith and morals with the intention that the definition is to be held by all the faithful. Too many sources explaining infallibility wrongly use the word 'teaches' instead of 'defines,' and there is a huge difference between the two. To teach [in a homily, a speech, a prepared statement] is not the same as to define!

-At the same time, the error of what Dr. William Marra called "papalotry" simultaneously arose with the redefining of "papal infallibility." The result is that many Catholics have tragically yet ironically assimilated the erroneous, terribly-skewed Protestant outlook in regard to the Holy Father's office – e.g., Protestants believe that the Holy Father may arbitrarily hold and express a personal view or make a practical decision on any matter, with the result that his personal view or action then becomes "a matter of faith" binding upon all Catholics. Such a belief is far removed from the true definition of "papal infallibility"!

To clarify this point, an alarmingly high number of contemporary Catholics have been led to believe the absurd Protestant definition (without even realizing it is a Protestant view on "papal infallibility") is, indeed, the Church's definition. Once more, that definition is not a true one; that insulting,derogatory view of the pope, his holy office and the filial duties of the Catholic faithful was originally held and spread by the apostate priest, Martin Luther. It then spilled over to other (and likewise new) Protestant sects. This skewed outlook upon the Holy Father and his prerogatives is the primary excuse of most Protestant sects which hate the Church and specifically despise the office of the Pope, if not also his person.

-The erroneous definitions above also support the total disregard that each reigning pope is 1) the Vicar of Christ and 2) the most highly placed monarch on earth, for his reign is not only temporal but more importantly is intended to guard and transmit the Deposit of the Faith, whole and intact, for the salvation of souls.

-Related to papalotry, there also arose another misguided, non-Catholic notion (related to the "new" and heretical definition of "collegiality"). That false notion is that any clergyman (priest, bishop, cardinal) must be perceived to be an oracle of the Holy Ghost; this is in direct contradiction to the traditional doctrine that, while a priest is "another Christ," especially when he offers the Sacraments, he, too, is a soul working out his salvation (hopefully, as the Scriptures phrase it, "in fear and trembling." That means a correct fear of God, fear of his faults, fear of abusing grace, fear of presumption, etc.)

-On the other side of this same coin [modernism being a heresy that seemingly contradicts itself], there is also opposition to the same false notion directly above, because most parishes possess a plethora of "ministries" (headed by lay people) and to which the pastor must submit himself!

-The alarming number of Catholics who, in recent decades, "voted with their feet" and left the Church.

-The willful blindness of family, friends and neighbors who, either with guile or direct openness, actively despise the Truths of Divine Revelation.

-The 1960's "Sexual Revolution." Result: The pervasive depth and breadth of sexual sins in world-wide society

-The euphemisms that accompany the most "popular" sins, which no longer cause Catholics to even blink their eyes – e.g., "living together" replaces the sin of fornification, "live-in girlfriend" replaces concubine, "live-in boyfriend" replaces a word that cannot be used in polite company, and "open marriage" replaces adultery - etc., etc., etc.!

-The ever-growing numbers of youth who do not know the Faith in which they were baptized, do not want to, have abandoned it, and are disrespectful to all authority, including that which they owe to their own parents.

-Continuing injustices and expectations against the family in various forms, including faithful Catholic men and women placed in horrific, sinful work situations (making it practically impossible to avoid "near occasions of sin"), enduring pay too low for the husband and father to adequately meet his family's needs, the financial necessity forcing mothers to work outside the home, lack of job security, etc.

-The spread of Communism throughout the world, just as Our Lady of Fatima foretold.

-Wars and skirmishes that have continued throughout the world since World War I.

-Lack of personal safety in our own neighborhoods, towns and states.

-The dire spiritual necessity to provide our children with a sound Catholic education at home .

We've never known a world any different, but that can all change if each one of us does all we spiritually can to follow all that Our Lady of Fatima requested...please join us in our Collegial Consecration Campaign!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Collegial Consecration Campaign

In just a few short days, May – the month of Our Lady – will be upon us. Soon after arrives May 13, the 91st anniversary of the first day the Virgin Mary appeared at Fatima.

For that reason, Keeping It Catholic is initating a “Collegial Consecration Campaign.” (For those of you not familiar with Fatima or the still-awaited collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I will also be adding files to this blog during the forthcoming

At any rate, it is so EASY to do for those who love God and His Virgin Mother – and God promises so much in return!

All we have to do:

1. Offer our daily duties as a sacrifice for this particular intention. Begin the day by making the Morning Offering prayer that offers our every thought, word and action of the day to Jesus through Mary. (O my Jesus, in union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary…I desire today to gain every indulgence and merit I can and I offer them, together with myself, to Mary Immaculate, that she may best apply them to the interests of Thy Most Sacred Heart.) Since Our Lord has often revealed it is HIS command that the collegial consecration of Russia must take place, certainly our offerings would apply to this particular interest of His Sacred Heart.

2. Pray the Rosary every day, with the foremost special intention that the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, will command the bishops throughout the world to join him in making the solemn consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

3. Whether or not we have previously made the First Saturday devotions, we can make them again and *keep* making them.

The next First Saturday is just one week from today, Saturday, May 3rd. Each First Saturday throughout the year is a (literal) heaven-sent opportunity to make reparation to God for the five blasphemies committed against the Virgin Mother of God and also to ask for the grace of the collegial consecration.

Imagine the incredible good that could happen – including the conversion of sinners - if each of us would ensure we practiced this devotion of EVERY First Saturday of each consecutive month of the year, and not only for five consecutive months.

4. Forward this message to all those you know who are of good will, asking those whom you know love Our Lord and Our Lady to seriously consider joining us.

5. Finally, to those who do join us, kindly alert us by email that you are participating in Keeping It Catholic’s “Collegial Consecration Campaign.” (Your emails remain private; we simply hope to garner the actual number of people who are spiritually joining us in this critical effort.)

Both Our Lord and Our Lady insisted that it is only through “this means” (the collegial consecration, per above) that Russia will be converted.

Through that conversion, the errors of atheistic communism – which has already spread to so many countries – will cease….and an era of peace will be given to this world.

It is good to hope for the collegial consecration, but we must also pray and sacrifice for this particular intention.

In the love of Christ and His Virgin Mother,
Marianna Bartold
We're "Keeping It Catholic" on the Net

Five First Saturdays: Why?

A week from today shall be a First Saturday of the month, a day in which to make reparation to God and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. How to make that reparation shall be provided in another post.

Years ago, Father Gonsalves, who was Sr. Lucia's confessor when she was in the convent of Tuy, Portugal, had written a list of questions to ask the Lord should He choose to visit the sister again. One of the questions was as follows: "Why five Saturdays and not nine or seven, in honor of the Sorrows of Our Lady?"

For her part, Sr. Lucia prayed and implored the Lord to inspire her with the answer to the questions. It was her habit, on late Thursday evenings until Friday, to make a holy hour from eleven o'clock in the evening until midnight. This holy hour was Sr. Lucia's response to the requests of the Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary at Paray-le-Monial [1689]. It was during one of these holy hours that, as Sr. Lucia explained, Lord deigned to respond:

"As I was in the chapel with Our Lord part of the night of May 29-30, 1930, and speaking to Our Lord about questions four and five, I suddenly found myself more intimately possessed by the Divine Presence…here is what was revealed to me:

'My daughter, the reason is simple. There are five kinds of offenses and blasphemies uttered against the Immaculate Heart of Mary:

1. Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception.
2. Blasphemies against Her perpetual Virginity.
3. Blasphemies against Her divine Maternity, while refusing at the same time to recognize Her as Mother of men.
4. The blasphemies of those who publicly seek to place in the hearts of children indifference or scorn, or even hatred towards this Immaculate Mother.
5. The offenses of those who outrage Her directly in Her holy Images.

There, My daughter, is the reason why the Immaculate Heart of Mary inspired Me to request this small act of reparation and, in consideration of it, to move My mercy to forgive souls who have had the misfortune to offend Her. As for you, seek unceasingly, through your prayers and sacrifices, to move My mercy with regard to these poor souls.'

With these words, Our Lord proves true that "What offends the Mother, offends the Son." Our Lord's words also strongly indicate that it was through the intercession of the Virgin's Immaculate Heart, Ark of the Covenant and Sanctuary of the Holy Ghost, that His Mercy was "moved" to to forgive souls who offend Her! So the means of mercy [most especially in our times] are again given - reparation to God for the blasphemies committed against His Virgin Mother. What was revealed to Sr. Lucia was not meant only for her but also to each one of us:

"As for you, seek unceasingly, through your prayers and sacrifices, to move My mercy with regard to these poor souls."

Once more, we see the theme of true Catholic Action: Pray, Study, Act! The prayer is the daily Rosary, the study is of our faith as well as spiritual meditation, and the act is summed up in the Two Great Commandments.

But even this is not enough for the faithful Catholic. Above all, reparation must still be made...Remember the Morning Offering, the Nine First Fridays, and the Five First Saturdays.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!

Sweet Heart of Mary, be our salvation!

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Marge Asher: A Holy Death with Dignity

Long-time KIC members, Catholic homeschool supporters, vendors, and speakers will remember Marge Asher, a most valiant Catholic woman who was called by God yesterday morning, before dawn.

Marge joined the KIC List years ago, sometime around 1999-2000. As a homeschooling mother herself, Marge's interest in supporting Catholic home education led her to various roles and sources, including our humble email list. Eventually, Marge became one of the quiet, behind-the-scenes pillars of Catholic homeschooling.

Marge is remembered as a gentle woman with amazingly beautiful blue eyes and a sweet, peaceful smile, a lady who - as both time and her eyes, the mirrors of the soul, taught me - pondered many things in her heart. I last saw her in 2005, as she, Dr. Alice von Hildebrand, and I shared a meal and a very cozy conversation. Shortly thereafter, Marge was diagnosed with an formidable type of cancer, which she faced with supernatural charity and many other virtues, offering all of her many deep sufferings for the good of the Church.

As her husband, Greg, wrote with a full heart on the morning of his beloved's passing:

"Throughout her sickness, she constantly reminded me, His Will be done...In God's own time and according to God's plan.'...She deeply believed that her own suffering was for the Greater Glory of God." What a holy example she set, generously responding to the many graces given her, truly offering all of herself to Our Lord, Head of the Mystical Body! How courageously she picked up her last Cross and followed Him!

Marge's passing was truly a Catholic "death with dignity," which means a holy and sanctifying death. In God's eyes, that is the only real meaning of the phrase, for a holy, natural death is a death with dignity - one that is charitable, in the truest sense of the word, and submissive to the Will of God.

Burdened with extreme suffering, Marge proved - in her words and, more importantly, her actions - that she had received the grace of final perseverance. She submitted herself to the will of God in everything, even as she prayed and sacrificed and waited for that Will to manifest itself. Those who love her - I purposely do not say the past tense, loved, because Marge exists still and she is loved even as she still loves - asked for her cure. Such a request is one which we have every right to ask, even as we must understand the ultimate decision is God's. Through it all, Marge's prayer was the same as Christ's in the Garden of Gethsemane: My Father, if this chalice may not pass away, but I must drink it, thy will be done. Like Christ, she also had compassion and words of solace for those who suffered grief in witnessing her passion.

Certainly her long passion of suffering and her holy death with dignity is an example to the faithful, an example which has nothing to do with what so many today call "death with dignity." A sanctifying death with dignity is not akin to what is meant when contemporary supporters of euthanasia speak when they use the phrase, "death with dignity" - which is their euphemism for murder of the mentally and/or physically disabled and chronically or terminally ill, regardless of age.

As Marge's spouse wrote on the morning of her death:

As I sat with her through the long nights not knowing when the Angel of Heaven will come to guide her soul, it occurred to me that not only is Marge suffering greatly for the good of her faith and those around her, but that she is also showing us how to die with dignity and grace that comes with the great gift of life from God. Her faith allowed her to teach us about dignity and Grace. Our physical dignity and comfort on this earth pales under the bright light and love of our spiritual dignity. We too are suffering the pain of our loss and our suffering magnifies the glory of Marge's suffering, not in the pain, but in the spiritual dignity it presents to our Lord as gift of our love and devotion. I think we need to offer up our individual pain and suffering for the Greater Glory of God and the Life that awaits each of us. Marge has taught us how to die with spiritual dignity and grace that comes from our acceptance of the Lord's will."

Please remember in your prayers and Mass intentions the soul of this dear, valiant lady, as well as her family.

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord. May the perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Fleur-di-Lis: Flower of the Catholic City

Visitors to the original KIC blog have noticed that its design featured the ancient Catholic symbol, the “fleur-di-lis” (meaning “flower of the lily”). A few years ago, when the first of my books, the Keeping It Catholic Home Education Guides, was published, I knew I wanted the flower-like emblem somehow incorporated on the book’s front cover. As readers of my books will see, these “flowers” not only grace the front cover but also are found in miniature next to the inside page numbers.

For some reason, the fleur-di-lis always captivated me. I recall that, as a child, I once asked a classmate, blithely sporting the fleur-di-lis on his Boy Scout uniform, what it represented. He shrugged and said, "I guess it means faith, hope and charity." Only years later did I discover the "flower of the lily" is an ancient symbol with various meanings.

The simple yet gracious “fleur-de-lis” (sometimes spelled "fleur-de-lys" or "fleur-di-lys") becomes even more intriguing when one discovers the
Great Monarch prophecies. In a word, those prophecies relate that, with the power and the grace of God, a future Angelic Pastor (a pope), together with prince who recovers the “crown of lilies,” will restore the Catholic City – meaning the Church on earth.

In a doubting world where even Catholics question Church doctrine and sneer at prophecy, the truth still remains that the Church recognizes the validity of prophecy both inside and outside of the Scriptures. However, the Church views with great caution all prophecies outside of Scripture, unless such prophecies come from a Church approved apparition. While we cannot look to "private" prophetic revelations in the same way as we do Tradition and Scripture, neither should we despise them or dismiss them out-of-hand. Furthermore – and as the Church knows – a true prophecy does not foretell every minute detail of a particular person, event or series of events. It does, however, give enough information so that, when the prophecy finally unfolds, it is recognized as the “fait accompli.”

Prophecy is found throughout the Old Testament in regard to the Messiah. But the time of prophecy is not over, as the Apocalypse makes clear. Prophecy plays a great part in the complete story of Fatima, which does not fall into the realm of private revelation but rather public. A Catholic who is, as time passes, more often able to pray and meditate on the Church’s doctrine and dogmas, and who is fortunate to acquire what Hilaire Belloc called “the Catholic conscience” of history, will recognize the relation between Fatima (which is approved by the Church as “worthy of belief”) and the Great Monarch prophecies (which are not, strictly speaking, “Church approved”).

Our Lady, whose words can never be doubted, foretold at Fatima the persecution of the world if her wishes were not heeded. On the other hand, the Great Monarch prophecies indicate that an unsought prince will arrive on the scene of history during a great crisis of the Church and the world. (In fact, the prophecies say more of him than they do the Angelic Pastor.) Finally, it seems that the Great Monarch prophecies are tied to events about which Our Lady of Fatima warned if the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart was continually delayed by the reigning pope and the bishops.

Reasonable minds recognize that the consecration of Russia, exactly as Our Lady asked for it, has never been made. At some future date, however, a pope will order the bishops to join him and make this most necessary act. We know it will happen because Our Lady, acting as God’s messenger and our intercessor, foretold it. In the meantime, a sinful world waits, and it is punished –– by “wars and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father,” just as Our Lady of Fatima also foretold. If current world events continue unchecked, the near future may very well include another great world war, worse than this world has ever suffered.

When one studies Our Lady's warnings along with the Great Monarch prophecies, a picture of the fairly immediate future becomes clearer. It is not a pretty picture, and it never will be until a reigning pope and the bishops in union with him follow Our Lady's directions to the letter and consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

As for the Great Monarch himself, throughout the ages there have been a respectable number of saints and other noteworthy individuals who foresaw this forthcoming sovereign, thereby giving the rest of us a serious reason to pause and reflect. Throughout most of the prophecies of this future king, the "flower of the lily" is interwoven.

In historic tradition, the "fleur-de-lis" is associated with the Catholic French monarchy as the symbol of perfection, light, and life. Ancient legend relates that an angel presented a golden lily to Clovis, the Merovingian king of the Franks; the lily was a symbol of the king's purification upon his conversion to Catholicism. Yet another legend has it that Clovis took the symbol as his own when, during a battle, water-lilies showed him how to safely cross a river. Whether fact or legend, it cannot be denied that the “fleur-di-lis” and French royalty go hand-in-hand.

In the 12th century, it was either King Louis VI or King Louis VII (historians disagree about which king it was) who became the first French monarch to display the fleur-de-lis on his shield. As time passed, a French knight was known to stand high when his monarch bestowed upon him the right to also use in his coat-of-arms the favored fleur-di-lis. Two hundred years later, the insignia of many noble families included the lily. (A knight's surcoat, upon which was embroidered his noble family’s insignia, was worn over the coat of mail, which brought forth the term "coat-of-arms.") The English monarchs also took the lovely lily for their own coats-of-arms so as to make aggravatingly clear their claim to the French throne.

To all to this earthly glory, the three-petaled "fleur-di-lis" possesses even greater symbolism because it also represents:

--the Holy Trinity (symbolizing the Mystery of one God in three Divine Persons)

--the Blessed Virgin Mary (symbolizing her perpetual purity and her privileges of being chosen by the Trinity to be the Mother of God)

--Virgin saints and martyrs, especially the great St. Jeanne d’Arc, the Maid of Orleans, first Patroness of France. (Later, St. Terese the Little Flower was also given the latter honor.)

The King of France, Charles VII, granted arms and nobility to St. Jeanne (and her family) during her lifetime. Although she was given the right, the saint herself never used the “fleur-di-lis” symbol on her banner or coat of arms. But not even many Catholics know that, after the saint’s martyrdom, the King of France – Charles VII - the king for whom Jeanne sacrificed everything - bestowed upon her family and their descendants (both male and female) the unheard-of privilege of possessing and passing on the surname of “Du Lys” (“of the Lily”). Unfortunately, for monetary reasons, the right for females of St. Jeanne’s line to pass on the Du Lys name was revoked in 1614.

St. Jeanne’s mission from God was unique and it is precisely because of its uniqueness that it still mystifies to this very day. Why didn’t God chose a man instead? It would have made things so much easier – from a human standpoint.

I often wonder if St. Jeanne’s great sacrifice was given not only for the France of her day but also for the France of ours – a disgraced, unfaithful France who no longer wishes to be known as the “first daughter of the Church.” I wonder if St. Jeanne died a most terrible death not only for Charles VII but for one of his descendants – the unknown Catholic Monarch who will one day help the Angelic Pastor restore the Catholic City.

Tradition. History. Legend. Prophecy. And so Keeping It Catholic is honored to take as its own the ancient Catholic symbol of the fleur-di-lis, representative of God and so many of His saints. After the Holy Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the "flower of the lily" is a truly fitting symbol of the Catholic City.

(First posted March 29, 2006 to the original blog, Keeping It Catholic - with Marianna Bartold)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Fatima, History, and Homeschooling: The Last Catholic Emperor

Yesterday, we began a family read-aloud of A Heart for Europe (a poignant and heart-rending history of the last Catholic emperor, Emperor Charles and his beloved wife, Empress Zita) to accompany our current studies on World War I. In addition, we will recap the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima (already known well by my own children, since ours is a "Fatima-centric" family), possibly using Warren Carroll's book entitled 1917: Red Banners, White Mantle. This is our teens' second cycle in the study of world history, including the message of Fatima, together with research into the tragic fate of the Romanov's and the mystery of the Grand Duchess Anastasia.

There are many ways to "Keep It Catholic" in our studies; we just need to do a little searching, perhaps paying attention to timelines we can keep in our own minds. Although the following remark could be applied to all history, the years 1900 and onward are so compelling on a spiritual level, because (in addition to all that even secular history teaches) there lived the great saint, Pope Pius X, who - for reasons known only to God - died when human frailty would judge he was most needed as World War I began; in 1917, the apparitions and the all-important message and miracle at Fatima took place, followed by the horrid Bolshevik Revolution, the murder of the Royal Family of Russia, the allegations of England's betrayal in failing to assist the Czar and Czarina - extended members of their own family! Then came end-of-war negotiations and the unjust and overzealous punishment of Germany, which led to WWII (a lesson to victors that injustice eventually returns to those meting out the injustice), and the Great Depression in the US.

In Europe, the "night illuminated by a great unknown light" foretelling war and persecution manifested itself on the eve of WWII (just as Our Lady of Fatima warned); a great evil arose in Europe through the hands of Hitler and Stalin and Lenin; the A-Bomb was invented and detonated, thus ending WWII but causing unbelievable human suffering to the innocent civilians in Japan; in short, the world's pace stepped up considerably from brisk to frantic and chaotic.

And that is why Our Lady of Fatima came to the world in 1917. It was heaven's wish to avert all those tragedies; all heaven needed was our cooperation. Heaven is still waiting for our total cooperation, most especially by the Holy Father and the bishops when they collegially offer the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Only then will this tragic door of history be closed, to be joyfully replaced by an era of peace promised by Our Blessed Mother herself.

Of course, I haven't mentioned other historic happenings of the first four decades of the 20 century, like the sinking of the Titanic or the Lusitania or the Dust Bowl Years, or the evil Nazi attempts to annihilate whole races. Nor have I mentioned Cardinal Mindsentzy, the fate of Hungary, the communist take-over of China, the Truman years, the Bay of Pigs, or the dim memories of my own childhood revolving around the Vietnam War or Watergate. The point is - these things are not really ancient history (though it may seem so to us) but are a continuing line of events in the temporal order, leading to our own time in history. We must never forget the spiritual lessons of that same history. We must not forget the solution that Our Lady of Fatima gave us. It is the wish of heaven, the command of God and His Mother: Consecrate Russia, who has spread her errors throughout the world!

Until then - and even then - we must pray, study and act. In our homes and homeschools, we must pray for perseverance, we must study to acquire (or nurture) our Catholic conscience in history. (Have you read your Belloc lately?)

We must heed the Church's doctrines, especially those in regard to Catholic education. Once we humbly accept our need to "Keep it Catholic", we should seek out more Catholic resources, like the two mentioned above, and others like For Altar and Throne (the historical narrative of the Vendee - that small band of faithful Catholics of the cataclysmic French Revolution), Trianon and Madame Royale (both by Elena Marie Vidal - please don't miss these two!).

As we study history, we will find that we no longer see things with a "Catholic perspective" (which is a false notion) but rather with an informed Catholic conscience that understands history from within the bosom of Christendom, even if the walls of Western civilization are crumbling.

The one over-all truth that Catholic history teaches us is that God is with us, despite ourselves, but also that He also leaves mankind to his own devices when he becomes arrogant. (As the only creatures made in God's likeness and image, and on a whole, we human beings simply do not learn the lessons of history.) History teaches us that we needed a Redeemer and that we will always need Him. God keeps letting us re-learn the lesson.

Let us always pray for perseverance, not only for in persevering with our Catholic homeschools, but in learning what we must be and what we must do to persevere unto the end.

(First posted January 13, 2005 to the original blog, Keeping It Catholic - with Marianna Bartold)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Fatima and a New Revelation on the Star of Esther

Recently, I completed a lengthy article on Our Lady of Fatima and a heretofore unknown revelation, "hidden" in the Star of Esther which appeared between the knee and hem of Our Lady's dress. There is an astonishing revelation between Old Testament history related in The Book of Esther and the Virgin Mary. This revelation is one which I've not found noted anywhere, not even by highly respected Fatima experts.

Background: The star on the dress of Our Lady of Fatima is a symbol known as the Star of Esther. This symbol refers to the history of Queen Esther (recognized by St. Bernard and St. Alphonsus de Liguori as a Marian figure-type).

Esther's relevance has to do with her intercessory role, which led to the literal salvation for her people, the Hebrews. They were to be annihilated down to the last woman, child and baby - by the decree of the king's cunning advisor. (Can you say "Wormtongue"?)

As I explain in my article, The Book of Esther possesses incredible figures types: the king of Persia (figure type for God),the first queen (figure type of Eve), Hadassah (the Hebrew virgin who became Queen Esther of Persia, figure type of the Virgin Mary), Haman (the wily counselor, figure type for an anti-christ or the Beast of the Apocalypse), all of the virgins brought to the king and made part of his household (figure types of the Old Testament's holy women whom the king "accepted into his household" but who were not chosen as the Queen - e.g., the Virgin), etc. There is also the 13th day of the month, another correlation between Esther and Our Lady of Fatima. For the Hebrews were to be totally annihiliated on the 13th of Adar and Our Lady came to Fatima on the 13th day between May and October, 1917.

However, my upcoming article addresses another incredible, hidden connection, one which - as I said earlier - I have not found mentioned in any source on Fatima. It is my hope that this new revelation will, in a small way, help others turn toward and completely heed Our Lady of Fatima. To Jesus through Mary!

Until the article is published, I can say no more than that except---

My article is scheduled to appear in the May 2008 issue of The Catholic Family News in honor of the 91st anniversary of Our Lady's first appearance at Fatima.

[Note: For the sake of those who don't receive CFN, I will place my article either on the KIC website, this blog, or both once it is published.]

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Catholic Code of Chivalry

The following article, which comes from Keeping It Catholic's The Return of the King: A Catholic Study Guide, centers on the noble Catholic Code of Chivalry by Syler Womack. (Please Note: The Return of the King Catholic Study Guide is scheduled for republication.)

A Catholic Code of Chivalry

by Syler Womack

"For lo, the kingdom of God is within you."

(Luke XVIII: 20, 21)

“The world is all grown strange…

How shall a man judge what to do

in such times?” asked Eomer.

“As he ever has judged,” said Aragorn.

“Good and ill have not changed since

yesteryear; nor are they one thing

among Elves and Dwarves and

another among Men.

It is a man’s part to discern them,

as much in the Golden Wood

as in his own house.”

-from The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien

From the Shire to The Prancing Pony in Bree, from Weathertop to Rivendell, Moria and Lorien, from Helm’s Deep to the horrors of Isengard and Mordor, from Osgiliath and the Pelennor Fields to Minas Tirith, the saga of Middle Earth constitutes an ongoing parable. The epic’s charisma may be the underlying, perhaps unconscious, factor that its heroes and heroines recall the Age of Chivalry, an era possessing a standard and a code by which to live.

Years ago, Syler Womack, mother of five (three sons and two daughters) and a Catholic homeschooling veteran, adapted the following Code of Chivalry from the original work by Mr. Brian Rice, medieval expert.

“I read this to them at least once a week, with fervor,” says Mrs. Womack.” I wanted it committed to their hearts, souls, blood and sinew.”

It is not only a fitting conclusion to a Catholic study of LotR but also a Code, reflecting the Ten Commandments that we might seek to restore in our own day. ~MCB

+Prowess: To seek excellence in all endeavors expected of a knight, martial and otherwise, seeking strength to be used in the service of justice, rather than in personal aggrandizement.

+Justice: Seek always the path of 'right', unencumbered by bias or personal interest. Recognize that the sword of justice can be a terrible thing, so it must be tempered by mercy, as God commands. If the 'right' you see rings true to the teachings of the Church, and you seek it out without bending to the temptation for expediency, then you will earn renown beyond measure. Be everywhere and always the champion of the Right and the Good against Injustice and Evil. Destroy Evil in all its monstrous forms. Avenge the wronged.

+Loyalty: Perform scrupulously your feudal duties, if they be not contrary to the laws of God. Never lie; remain faithful to your pledged word. Remain faithful and true to God and to those to whom you owe fidelity. Obey the laws of Chivalry, and all those of King and country which are not contrary to the laws of God. Never abandon or betray a friend, ally, or worthy cause.

+Defense: Seek always to defend and love your native land, your family, and those whom you believe worthy of loyalty. Defend the weak and innocent. Respect and protect women. Respect all those weaker than yourself, and constitute yourself their defender. Crush the monsters that steal our land and rob our people and defile our women. Defend the young and the old, and have reverence for life.

+Courage: Do not recoil from your enemy. Be prepared to sacrifice all in the service of God and virtue. Fight with prudence, but with courage. Never attack an unarmed foe. Never use a weapon on an opponent not equal to the attack. Never attack from behind. Exhibit courage in word and deed. Fight with honor and courage, even in the face of fear. Be Just and Merciful in victory. Do not torture. Die with valor.

+Faith: A knight must be devout in his Faith, for, apart from Salvation, faith roots him and gives hope against the despair that human failings create. He must obey and defend the Holy Catholic Church. Make war against the infidel without cessation and without mercy.

+Humility: Value first the contributions of others; do not boast of your own accomplishments, let others do this for you. Tell the deeds of others before your own, according them the renown rightfully earned through virtuous deeds. In this way the office of knighthood is well done and glorified, helping not only the gentle spoken of but also all who call themselves knights.

+Largesse: Be generous in so far as your resources allow; largesse used in this way counters gluttony. It also makes the path of mercy easier to discern when a difficult decision of justice is required. Be a benefactor to the poor, especially widows and orphans. Respect the special grace and dignity of those who strive in poverty through no fault of their own. Remember that stewardship requires you to care for and use with kindness all living creatures.

+Nobility: Live your life so that it is worthy of respect and honour. Do not lie. Do not cheat. Live for Freedom, Justice and all that is good. Exhibit self-control, respect for authority, and love of duty. Do your duty in all things. You can not expect to do more. You should never wish to do less. Seek great stature of character by holding to the virtues and duties of a knight, realizing that the quality of striving towards these ennobles the spirit, and refines it to take its place in Heaven. Nobility influences others and uplifts the weaker man by your example.

+Chastity: Keep yourself chaste for the sake of her whom you love. Do not choose to love one whom a natural sense of shame forbids you to marry. Be modest, polite and courteous at all times, and seek always to serve and protect women.

+Courtesy: Seek always to be polite, mannerly, respectful, and reverent. Cherish, as far as duty allows, the comfort of all you meet.

+Integrity: Seek to emulate everything I have spoken of as sincerely as possible, not for the reason of personal gain but because it is Right. Do not restrict Chivalry to individual areas of your life, but seek to infuse every aspect of your life with these qualities. Strive to become so infused with this code that your every action follows smoothly and naturally and without thought or consideration, so that any deviation from the Code becomes an outrage and an abomination to you. Should you succeed in even a tiny measure then you will be well remembered for your quality and virtue.

("A Catholic Code of Chivalry," Copyright Syler Womack with All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Reprinted with permission herein and in Keeping It Catholic’s "Return of the King Catholic Study Guide," Copyright 2004. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Aragorn: A Catholic Monarch?

Throughout the centuries, there have been many Catholics who have prophesied about this "Great Monarch" or, as some call him, the "Great Prince."

Think of the hope in the children's hearts today if they knew there was a Catholic prince like Aragorn somewhere on earth, under the protection of God, waiting to come into his own.

The prophesies regarding the great Catholic king-to-be indicate that he may be French or he may arise from France. Since the royal blood lines of Europe constantly intermingled, it is hard to tell what his "main" bloodline will be, even in the prophecies. However, studied as a whole, the various prophecies indicate Germany, France and England will play a key role in his life, either through bloodties or through events.

God gave us a "new" Adam and a "new" Eve with Our Lord and the Virgin Mother. He acts in the most mysterious and unexpected ways. Is it not possible that He will also reform the entire world through post-Christian Europe, the home of the Church and of Western Civilization, with a totally unexpected Catholic Monarch? The very thought is beyond our imagination at this point in history, since most contemporary monarchies are nothing but figure-heads.

Consider those very countries mentioned in prophecies regarding the "Great Monarch" - Germany had its Luther, England fell into schism under the influence of King Henry VIII, and France, "the first daughter of the Church," has still not recovered from the French Revolution.

Would it not be "meet and just" for God to "employ" these same countries in the Second Catholic Reformation?

(First posted October 29, 2003 to the original blog,
Keeping It Catholic - with Marianna Bartold)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Encyclicals: A Matter of Translation?

In April 2005, I was asked why excerpts from a particular encyclical, Militantis Ecclesia, from which I quoted (in a 1997 article) did not match with online versions of that same encyclical. The answer appears to lie in a matter of a "new" and "improved" English translations, but none of the online encyclicals make any note of such a change. My moderators and I referenced older hard copies and sought for online renditions. What we discovered is that there is quite a difference between previously published translations and the recent online versions.

Since at least 2005 (if not earlier), it seems almost all of the online sources for papal encyclicals are now using the "updated" translations. Some lines and paragraph remain the same as the former translation; those most pertinent and oft-quoted and which reinforce tradition are those revised. When you see the difference between the examples provided below, you also may wonder if the real problem is only "a matter of translation."

My original response to the question:
I am aware that at least two online sources for Militantis Ecclesiae (e.g. - EWTN Library and Papal Encyclicals Online) feature a different translation from the older version which I referenced at the time. Why there is such a variation in the newer translations is a matter of conjecture.

At any rate, it appears the your problem is rooted in a difference in the encyclical's more recent translation. In my book, Keeping It Catholic Home Education Guide (Volume I), I also quoted particular excerpts taken from paragraph #18 of Militantis Ecclesia as follows:

"Religion must not be taught to youth only during certain hours, but the entire system of education must be permeated with the senseof Christian piety. If this is lacking, if this holy spirit does not penetrate and inflame the souls of teacher and pupil, small benefit will be derived from any other sort of education; instead damage will be done." And finally, it states: "Religion must permeate and direct every branch of knowledge."

Now compare those few excerpts from the newer online version (below) of the same paragraph #18:

"18. Secondly, it is necessary to teach religion to children, butnot only at specified times. All their teaching should occur in anatmosphere of Christian piety. If it is otherwise, if this sacredinspiration does not penetrate the spirits of the teachers and ofthe students, the instruction will produce only little fruit andwill often even have seriously harmful consequences."

The paragraph then closes as follows: "The knowledge of many subjects should always go hand in hand with the care of the spirit. Religion should give shape and direction to all branches of knowledge. Its majesty and sweetness should strike home and inspire the souls of the young."

Again, there is QUITE a difference between my older hard copy version [which I acquired some time before 1990, from the Daughters of St. Paul] and the "newer" online versions.

Also, if you read paragraph #80 in the encyclical Il Divini Magistri (On Christian Education of Youth, 1929) it also quotes two sentences from Militantis Ecclesiae, which was promulgated by Pope St. Leo XIII. However, you will notice the sentence in which Il Divini Magistri quotes from the Militantis Ecclesiae encyclical does not match the updated online versions of the latter. This once more indicates a change in translation between older and newer versions.

Below, I shall include the former English translation from paragraph #80, Il Divini Magistri in its entirety excerpt from Pope St. Leo XIII in Militantis Ecclesiae:

From Il Divini Magistri, the older version:

#80. For the mere fact that a school gives some religious instruction (often extremely stinted), does not bring it into accord with the rights of the Church and of the Christian family, or make it a fit place for Catholic students. To be this, it is necessary that all the teaching and the whole organization of the school, and its teachers, syllabus and text-books in every branch, be regulated bythe Christian spirit, under the direction and maternal supervision of the Church; so that Religion may be in very truth the foundationand crown of the youth's entire training; and this in every grade of school, not only the elementary, but the intermediate and the higher institutions of learning as well. TO USE THE WORDS OF LEO XIII: It is necessary not only that religious instruction be given to the young at certain fixed times, but also that every other subject taught, be permeated with Christian piety. If this is wanting, if this sacred atmosphere does not pervade and warm the hearts of masters and scholars alike, little good can be expected from any kind of learning, and considerable harm will often be the consequence. [Footnote 50, which refers in Latin to to Ep. enc. Militantis Ecclesiae, 1 Aug. 1897: Necesse est non modo certis horis doceri iuvenes religionem, sed reliquam institutionem omnem christianae pietatis sensus redolere. Id si desit, si sacer hic halitus non doctorum animos ac discentum pervadat foveatque, exiguae capientur ex qualibet doctrina utilitates; damna saepe consequentur haud exigua.]

Again, why there is such a difference from previous and more recent translations is anyone's guess. Yet the change seems to be a Red Flag. Is it possible that new version is due to the modernist infiltration of the Church? Modernism has tinkered with everything else; it would certainly explain why there are now "updated: translations of various papal encyclicals - which, in their original form and even in the former English translation, clearly outlined that which most helped the hierarchy and faithful "keep it Catholic."

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Real Scoop on KIC

From time to time, someone will alert me or one of my Keeping It Catholic (KIC) list moderators to another blog, board or list discussion which only serves to obfuscate others about KIC’s mission or its stance on certain topics. Although I’m made aware of most of these exchanges, I refrain from involvement with them. However, after a decade of hearing of the same old misconceptions, I decided it was best to clear the air – at least once.

The subject was Catholic Homeschooling, discovered on another board, and the very first message introducing the topic also brought up erroneous ideas [stated as fact] about KIC:

What does this [e.g. - Catholic homeschooling] mean to you? All texts being Catholic? Catholicism infused into every subject? God's truth in all things? There is great debate in the Catholic homeschool movement over this. Some (like Keeping it Catholic) state that everything must be Catholic in text and content) and recommend programs such as OLV and Seton. Others say using your own style (and your child's) is fine and take a much more relaxed approach, pulling in books from all sources and making sure to include God's truths in all areas. I know Keeping it Catholic also proclaims things such as Charlotte Mason homeschooling is heretical along with Montessori homeschooling and are to be avoided. What is your take?

A few posts followed – including two from a KIC list moderator who corrected the misconceptions aired about KIC. At that point, I decided it was time that I also enter the discussion.

For future reference, the following clarification was my response:

As the founder of Keeping It Catholic (KIC), I appreciate the opportunity to respond to what appears to be some common but erroneous assumptions in regard to our apologetics on the Christian education of youth.

As the KIC home page at
www.keepingitcatholic.org states: “Our general mission is to share and defend the Catholic Church's perennial teachings, especially those in regard to marriage and education. KIC's special focus is Catholic education at home, also known as Catholic homeschooling. Because we are faithful Catholics, our philosophy is the authentic philosophy of the Catholic Church - that is, it is scholastic. KIC imitates the Catholic Action apostolate of old, adopting its motto as our own: Pray. Study. Act.”

With that said, please note that it is not KIC’s intention to share opinions in regard to the noble task of Catholic education. Rather, KIC is guided by, and consistently points to, Divini Illius Magistri (1929), which teaches and expands upon the Church’s doctrine on Christian Education.

In regard to the first entry’s remark about KIC on Charlotte Mason:

One of KIC’s web pages, entitled “ ‘
Catholicizing’ Charlotte Mason
features excerpts from one of my books (Keeping It Catholic's Home Education Guide, Vol. 1), in which ten or more pages outline Mason’s errors. To elucidate further, Divini Illius Magistri and other papal teachings collectively make clear various truths as well as condemned errors (e.g., heresies). A great number of the latter form the basis of Charlotte Mason’s philosophy.

Divini Illius Magistri (#18) declares that “every form of instruction, no less than every human action, has a necessary connection with man’s last end, and therefore cannot be withdrawn from the dictates of the divine law, of which the Church is guardian, interpreter and infallible mistress.”

In opposition to this doctrine, Mason claimed her educational methods (which were, in truth, an entire system of child upbringing and education) were based on natural law, which was unfortunately subjected to her personal opinions and interpretations. Mason’s Educational System covered almost everything - how a child should be brought up, how to train children in habit, how to clothe a child, with what materials a child should be clothed, how much free time a child should enjoy, and how to give the child various opportunities.

In reality, Mason was expounding on her philosophy, which was rife with various heresies, including – but not limited to - the heresy of rationalism (which is the false belief that reason is sufficient without the truth of the Catholic faith), the heresy of pantheism (which is the belief that God is somehow immanent in Nature and NOT to be sought outside it), the heresy of naturalism (which denies that which is not evident to the senses), the heresy of humanism (the advancement of the human race without need of God.), and, last but not least, the heresy of Romanticism (which denies absolute truth but relies solely on an exaggeration sentimentalism or affectation).

As for an educational system based on naturalism, the Church is also clear:

“Hence every form of pedagogic naturalism which in any way excludes or weakens supernatural Christian formation in the teaching of youth, is false. Every method of education founded, wholly or in part, on the denial or forgetfulness of original sin and of grace, and relying on the sole powers of human nature, is unsound. Such, generally speaking, are those modern systems bearing various names which appeal to a pretended self-government and unrestrained freedom on the part of the child, and which diminish or even suppress the teacher's authority and action, attributing to the child an exclusive primacy of initiative, and an activity independent of any higher law, natural or divine, in the work of his education. (#60, Divini Illus Magistri) In this one paragraph alone,
Mason’s entire philosophy of education is revealed as “false” and “unsound.”

Mason’s notions on “mother culture” issues not from the Church’s teachings on the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony, but from Protestant and secular worldviews. (For more on this topic, please see the KIC blog entry entitled “
Charlotte Mason – For Whose Sake?”)*
In truth, the parental vocation to beget and educate children for God’s sake is attained only by the means of supernatural grace, which come from the Sacraments of the Church, our Mater et Magistra (Mother and Teacher).In other words, those supernatural graces help Catholic mothers and fathers raise their children with supernatural "mother culture"!

But Mason, a Protestant enraptured with Jean Jacques Rousseau and other heretical philosophers, cared nothing for the true Church. In fact, there is compelling evidence that she despised it. Her desire was for a set of her own followers, for she wrote: “No man sets himself up for a following of disciples who does not wish to indoctrinate these with certain principles or, at the least, maxims (rules of life). He who would draw disciples does not trust to force but to these three things: to the attraction of his doctrine, to the persuasion of his presentation, and to the enthusiasm of his disciples.”

Mason knew how to attract and persuade in her own time but, unfortunately, her false doctrines are still met with enthusiasm today. She developed her own maxims, which she called her “18 Articles of Education,” and which our contemporary Protestant adherents call Mason’s “18 Articles of Education Faith” (my emphasis). To provide just one example: In Mason’s 17th Article of Education, she insisted children must be taught that their chief responsibility is the acceptance or rejection of initial ideas. Compare that to the Church’s doctrine that our chief responsibility as Catholics is to accomplish the will of God.

It is no mere coincidence that Charlotte Mason chose words like “disciples,” “indoctrinate” and “doctrine.” She had her own reasons for her educational “doctrine,” but they were not to bring children to God. No, Mason had another god – the god of SCIENCE.

Mason looked to science as the arbiter (e.g. - the final judge) of all truth. In fact, Mason often mentioned what she called “the science of relations.” What she meant by science was mere human reason. In her view, the human mind was the final judge of everything. It could not be corrected by anyone, not even God or the Church, but only by itself. Of course, a person who views science in such a skewed way will never look to the Church in order to submit his opinions to Divine Revelation.

Need I say that Mason’s philosophy neither includes Catholicism nor does it allow any room for it, much less Catholic character training, or an educational curriculum permeated with the Catholic faith and the Catholic conscience of history?

When all is said in regard to the Church’s doctrine and Charlotte Mason (and there is much more that could be said), the question is very simple and straightforward: Which should Catholics choose - the pure, clear source of Divine Revelation, which God entrusted to the Church, or the muddied philosophy of Charlotte Mason, a Protestant whose own philosophy was imbued with those of various heretics?

If that question does not pinpoint the real problem, please allow me to ask just a few more. Why would Catholics willingly follow a Protestant ideology when we have the rich educational doctrine of the Catholic Church? Would we exchange diamonds for dust, or trade a mess of pottage for our birthright?

To respond to a few other remarks – e.g., that KIC holds “everything must be Catholic in text and content” or, as implied, that we recommend only Seton or OLVS, or that we favor a “workbook” only approach – I will clarify. To those Catholic parents who wish to use the services of a home study program, we do recommend that parents seek only Catholic sources. However, KIC has never insisted that “homeschoolers must use these programs…believing that these methods are the be-all and end all of Catholic education.” Neither is KIC opposed to eclectic homeschooling (e.g. – customizing or designing a Catholic curriculum) but, again, we always recommend first seeking out Catholic sources. (For more information on these topics, please see “
How to Keep Your Homeschool Catholic
or “Building Your Own Catholic Curriculum” or our “FAQ” page.

KIC encourages our fellow Catholics to “keep it Catholic” in the homeschool because the Church teaches, “Religion must not be taught to youth only during certain hours, but the entire system of education must be permeated with the sense of Christian piety. If this is lacking, if this holy spirit does not penetrate and inflame the souls of teacher and pupil, small benefit will be derived from any other sort of education; instead damage will be done.” (Militantis Ecclesia, 1897)

On the other side of the same coin, KIC also warns against heavy reliance on heretical sources of programs, books, and ideologies because the Church, in her official capacity, teaches thusly:

“…there can be no ideally perfect education which is not Christian education.” (#7, Divini Illius Magistri)

“…it is necessary that all the teaching and the whole organization of the school, and its teachers, syllabus and textbooks in every branch, be regulated by the Christian spirit, under the direction and maternal supervision of the Church; so that Religion may be in very truth the foundation and crown of the youth’s entire training; and this in every grade of school, not only the elementary, but of the intermediate and higher institutions of learning as well.” (#80, Divini Illius Magistri)

Lastly, the person who initiated this discussion began it with the following question: “What does this [Catholic homeschooling] mean to you?” Truly, this question is the heart of the division within the Catholic homeschooling movement. My dear sisters and brothers in Christ, Church doctrine is not a matter of opinion or personal meaning but a matter of loving obedience to God and His Church’s Magisterium. For that reason, I ask my fellow Catholics who wish to know, love and defend the Church’s doctrine on the Christian education of youth to often read and study the Church’s encyclical – Divini Illius Magistri, 1929.

In the love of Christ and His Virgin Mother,
Marianna Bartold
We’re “Keeping It Catholic” on the Net

at http://www.keepingitcatholic.org

FYI: Here’s the direct link to the discussion, as it took place then

*The previous link to the article, Charlotte Mason: For Whose Sake? which was first posted on the original Keeping It Catholic - with Marianna Bartold blog has been replaced with a new link to the same article, which is also placed on this blog.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

St. Gabriel's in PA: Catholic Parents Note More Red Flags

One may wonder how or why St. Gabriel's "Catholic" Academy dares to present itself as Catholic. Let's examine the problem - it's called sophistry (which means "false reasoning").

As I made clear years ago, Christian means Catholic and Catholic means Christian. But thanks to modernism and its child, ecumania, the unthinkable is happening: Protestantism, erroneously believing itself to be Christian, now begins to call itself "Catholic." We should have seen this one coming.

Christian means Catholic and Catholic means Christian; that much is clear from all of the long-standing Church documents. So modernism, that schizophrenic heresy which is so adept at changing and adapting in order to sustain itself while simultaneously deceiving the unwary, coyly steps in. (Yes, it's "Modernism and the Borg Queen" all over again.) Still, all the semantics in the world cannot change the unchanging Truth that Christianity and Catholicism are one and the same. We are not speaking of Protestantism, which thinks itself Christian but is not.

The non-acceptance of that one truth - even amongst Catholics from all walks of life - is one reason why so-called "Christian" educational academies (that are only singular entities which cling to the heresy of Protestantism, which itself takes hundreds of forms) are gaining Catholic adherents. Since Protestantism is an erroneous "belief system," it is a false religion yet one that wrongly considers itself "Christian."

Today, the serious error has progressed even further, to the point that at least one of these false Christian organizations now calls itself Catholic. What a twist on "Catholic means Christian, and Christian means Catholic" - and that twist is nothing but a flagrant example of the modernist heresy at work.

Over a dozen years ago, armed with clear and concise Church doctrine, I warned my fellow Catholics that so-called "Christian" materials are "Red Flags" for Catholic homeschooling families. Why? There are many reasons, the first and foremost being the Church's doctrine on the Christian education of youth.

The key words in that last sentence above are "the Church" and "Christian." There is only one Church established by Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior, and His Church bears four marks. The Church is one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic - and these very words are used in The Apostles' Creed of the Church. Therefore, the one and only Church of Jesus Christ is the Catholic Church, simply known as "the Church" for many centuries. Today, however, Catholics are practically forced to say "Catholic Church," since those who accept the various Protestant heresies (and its many variations) and gather together to "worship" call themselves "churches."

To continue with the theme of Christianity means Catholicism and Catholicism means Christianity: Neither term means Protestantism. Protestantism is a heresy; it is not Christian, because it refuses to acknowledge that Jesus Christ founded the Church, which is one, holy, Catholic and aposstolic - e.g., the Roman Catholic Church. Protestantism is a heresy because it rejects one or more of the tenets of Divine Revelation. Protestantism, therefore, is not Christian because it is not Catholic, which means universal. Even with the word universal, we must now be careful, due to its new modernist definition.

The heresy of modernism redefines all the truths, down to every minute detail, of the Faith. Catholics hoping to avoid the traps laid by modernism should often refer to Pascendi Dominici Gregis; it is an infallible papal document, issued by the Holy Office, in which the "Doctrines of the Modernists" are well-explained and condemned. Modernism is the foundation of ecumania (literally, "a mania for ecumenism"), but ecumenism itself has been redefined by modernism! The modernist definition of ecumenism wrongly teaches all sorts of errors (heresies) as true doctrines of the Church - e.g., that all religions are good and equal; that the Church must conform herself to modern times; that the Mystical Body of Christ can learn a few good and worthy things from heretics (forgetting that if they teach anything that is good, it is because they retained a few Catholic truths); that the Church must seek for deeper understanding not only of herself but also of other "churches," and much more nonsense. Most of all, modernism insists that the Church must assimilate heresies into her very doctrines. Of course, the true Church (meaning Eternal Rome, the kingdom of God on earth, the Bride of Christ) will never officially define heresy as Truth, but individual Catholics within the Church can and do accept (and spread) modernist errors. Why? They dismiss the teachings of Tradition as "not relevant to today" (which itself is a modernist teaching!).

The end result is that modernism claims that the "universal" Church is one in which all belief systems are accepted as true, valid and acceptable to God. This claim is an evil deception; modernism is the worst heresy that has ever afflicted the Church. In fact, one of the popes succinctly defined modernism as "the synthesis of all heresies," and so it is.

One may wonder: What does all of this have do with Catholic homeschooling? Too much, actually. We have long known that Protestant home study programs, academies, and services wrongly proclaim themselves to be Christian. With modernism so prevalent, it follows that it was only a matter of time before we began to see Protestant organizations daring to present themselves as "Catholic." Modernism is usually subtle but always cunning. We've already seen at least one example in which a Protestant home study organization pretends to be Catholic by including the word "Catholic" in its legal name... and it may be there shall be more to follow.

To clarify a previous blog entry under the Red Flag section, the legal name of St. Gabriel’s is St. Gabriel’s Catholic Academy. The mailing address is 10 Shurs Lane Philadelphia, PA 19127.

Catholic parents familiar with “Red Flags” sent the following information and/or personal testimonies in regard to the allegedly Catholic online service:

Note: July 31, 2009 UPDATE! Before continuing, it must be said at this particular juncture that since this post was first written in April 2008, St. Gabriel's "Catholic" Academy (SGCA) changed its website from www.stgabrielcatholicacademy.org page to another server. Its NEW home page is http://studioanino.com/clients/lbg/stgabriel/index.php?

Please take a look at St. Gabriel's Catholic Academy's "Homeschool Web Site Copyright Notice" which is now at [http://studioanino.com/clients/lbg/stgabriel/index.php?page=copyright]
. The notice clearly displays the strong Protestant affiliation of this “Catholic” academy, including use of a Protestant "Bible":

Materials, code, scripts, html, Uniform Resource Locators and other materials located on or associated with this homeschool web site are copyright © 1999–2008 ELRN, Inc. and/or Learning By Grace, Inc. and/or other copyright holders. All rights reserved. Duplication is permitted, on public domain etexts only, other site content may NOT be copied. Some material may be © Copyright 1999–2008 J. Banfill, IDG, Inc., EVS, Inc., Christian Liberty Press, Inc., Learning By Grace, Inc., Learning By Grace Delaware Inc., Oliver Schulz, Tutorbots, Inc., TheSchoolResources.Com Foundation, How Great Thou Art Publications, Glory Math Education, Inc. and other copyright owners. Some content is a trademark of or a registered trademark of Learning By Grace, Inc. and/or ELRN, Inc. and/or St. Gabriel Catholic Academy. (sic) and/or other trademark holders. The St. Gabriel Catholic Academy (sm) is a service mark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office. ‘Exploring Creation’ is a registered trademark of ELRN, Inc. used with permission. Scriptures marked as “(GNT)” are taken from the Good News Translation – Second Edition © 1992 by American Bible Society (www.americanbible.org, www.bibles.com). Used by permission. We thank American Bible Society for their generous provision and their historical mission. We thank Gutenberg Project for their massive contributions to the advancement in the worldwide availability of literature.

I saw red flags on the St. Gabriel site, too. Dr. Bill Bright (now deceased) was well known in Protestant circles, but he was not Catholic. He was the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization on college campuses all over the country which evangelizes college students to Protestantism. Catholics not firm in or not understanding their faith have been lost to the Church due to this ministry.

The St. Gabriel Catholic Academy religion course includes a [Protestant] book by Dr. Bright called "Living Supernaturally in Christ," so that tells me this could be a site with a hidden agenda or a very confused protestant (sic) trying to gain some Catholic homeschoolers…

If you compare the grade 9 Bible course of the [Protestant] Grace Academy with St. Gabriel Catholic Academy, you will see they are EXACTLY the same….[but]the Catholic faith and protestantism are not interchangeable. May we all be one in Christ one day, but it hasn't happened yet...


Check this link:


St. Gabriel's [Catholic Academy] appears to be identical to the above linked "sister" academies. Although St. Gabriel’s isn't mentioned, it has [an] identical mission statement, objectives and curriculum. The webpages all seem too similar to be coincidence.

I wonder if Mimi Rothchild is behind it? Please see: http://www.learningbygrace.org/mimi_rothschild.php


This is [the info] I sent to my home school group [on St. Gabriel’s Catholic Academy). In addition, all these other [Protestant "sister"] schools [with which St. Gabriel's is associated] have a variation on their statement of faith.

The woman I spoke with was very evasive. She never answered my questions [in a satisfactory fashion]. She sounded as though she was saying what she was told to say. [e.g. - “canned” replies]

[It appears that] Mimi Rothschild is involved with this. She and her husband were involved in starting a virtual charter school in PA a few years ago that was a flop. Perhaps someone in PA could provide more info on that?

There are also numerous complaints I found on other blogs. There were red flags everywhere![St. Gabriel’s Catholic Academy] is associated with Learning By Grace, Inc., which also runs other online Protestant schools. (All the schools share the same address in PA.)

I called to talk to someone at St. Gabriel’s Catholic Academy and while on hold I was treated to very holy music with monks chanting, etc. The woman with whom I spoke said they [St. Gabriel’s Academy) are an online curriculum provider. They do not give diplomas. You must register as a home schooler and they provide teacher "support.”

She said that the teachers are "trained in Catholic teaching" but are not necessarily Catholic. I could not get a straight answer as to who exactly runs this school or who started it or how they can claim to be Catholic.

So I asked about the other “Christian” schools run by them. She said that they "support those other academies as well.” I pointed out that they all appear to have the same curriculum. She said it is not the same [but] the "content is conducive to each religion." (!)

I then questioned her again as to whether the teachers at St. Gabriel's were Catholic and she said that "each teacher is an expert" in their area of study. (Why not let your "yes" be "yes" and your "no" be "no"?)

St. Gabriel's [Catholic Academy]…is identical, right down to the curriculum, to Learning by Grace which is very protestant. [sic]


St. Gabriel’s Catholic Academy uses the same curriculum as Morningstar Academy, which is an Anabaptist/Sola Scriptura (“Bible only”) provider. St. Gabriel’s Catholic Academy is not Catholic, so why is it pretending to be? Presenting itself as a "Catholic academy" is an outright deception.


The shared observations above are the latest information to date. As one can see, there appear to be extremely valid concerns in regard to the Protestant heresy which permeates the curriculum of this alleged “Catholic” academy.

This grave error only serves to once more prove that the Church's doctrine on the Christian (meaning Catholic) education of youth is our sure and sound mooring. The four pillars of true Catholic education (toward which Keeping It Catholic has consistently pointed for over a dozen years) must be present. For many years, I have explained the details of these four pillars on the Keeping It Catholic list, in my books, and in my various speeches.

The four pillars are solid anchors, but it seems that there are those who dare to use the Church's very documents in order to defraud Catholics. This is easily done when the word "Christian" is wrongly assumed to include Protestantism. Thus, when a Protestant site features excerpts from Catholic Church documents like Divini Illius Magistri or Militantis Ecclesiae which refer to "Christian" or "Religion," what other conclusion can we reach, other than their self-representation is a purposefully disingenous facade?

"...it is necessary that all the teaching and the whole organization of the school, and its teachers, syllabus and text books in every branch, be regulated by the Christian spirit, under the direction and maternal supervision of the Church; so that Religion may be in very truth the foundation and crown of the youth's entire training; and this in every grade of school, not only the elementary, but the intermediate and the higher instituions of learning as well." (#80, Divini Illius Magistri - "On Christian Education of Youth" - 1929)

Always remember...a Catholic is a Christian, and a Christian is a Catholic, but be on guard any "new" definitions of the meanings!