Formerly the Thinking Catholic Strategic Center
Deep Reconciliation: Repent; Confess; Convert.
This, as it turns out, is a continuation of the recently published American re-evangelization page. Shortly after publishing that page, I heard another of Fr. Eric's inspired homilies, this one on Reconciliation. And some of the thought that it provoked involved the fact that more than faith alone had been weakened, both in Catholic and in general American society. The Democrat Party driven program of secularization has gained tremendous ground over the many decades of its life, to the point where Christianity is regularly mocked and ridiculed in popular entertainment.
I used to think the most terrible thing to happen to Catholicism in America involved loss of recognition of the True Presence in the Eucharist. Many priests and bishops were offering, and many people were receiving, Holy Communion with God Himself, as a casual, normal, every-day sort of ritual celebration, to which everyone was invited. Heavens to Betsy, mustn't leave anyone out; why, how would that make them feel.
What Fr. Eric's homily reminded me of was the dramatic loss of recognition of, and belief in, the notion of sin itself. And that brought back a torrent of memories of how the Catholic culture notion of sin has softened just in my short lifetime. When I was a boy, I remember the intense arguments on Sunday mornings before Mass, over whether toothpaste was food, and whether accidentally swallowing a little toothpaste in the morning might break the pre-Communion fast, or not.
Boy how times change. All of America has changed, for the worse.
The worst of the "forgotten sins" all seem to be of a sexual nature, and they all seem to have been normalized into American culture since the sexual revolution of the 60s.
Fornication is condemned in many verses in many places in Scripture, and the Scripture has never changed. However, the very word fornicate is out of common usage today; you seldom if ever hear it spoken. People just do it, and people aren't particularly ashamed of it. In fact, they will speak openly about it, and they don't see it as a sin. An engaged couple today will often get their first apartment or house and move in together before the marriage, and that is seen as no big deal. Why, they're engaged, after all. Again the Scriptures have not changed. God has not moved.
Homosexuality is condemned in many verses in many places in Scripture, and the Scripture has never changed. However, the very word homosexual is out of common usage today; you seldom if ever hear it spoken. People just do it, and people aren't particularly ashamed of it. In fact, they will speak openly about it, and they don't see it as a sin. A homosexual couple today will often get an apartment or house and move in together, and that is seen as no big deal. Why, they're a couple, after all. Again the Scriptures have not changed. God has not moved.
With this sort of sin seen not as sin, but as normal cultural activities, can there be any wonder how it came to be that so many Americans would ever come to view the aborting of little babies to be a woman's rights issue, or a woman's health issue, and not a horrible sin unto the death of the soul? As we have said many times and in many places, all of this began with the social acceptance of artificial contraception, which was the worst thing that ever happened to Western Civilization, let alone Christianity, let alone the Catholic Church, let alone America. Artificial contraception, more than anything else you can name, led to our moral decline.
We have become a degenerate people, and we have our own social acceptance of artificial contraception to thank for it. It is time for a major turning. It is either time for a turning, or it is too late. It is said that it is never too late to turn back to God, and that is true, for any individual. But it can indeed be too late for a nation, once the enemy has gained enough ground and is advancing. All you have to do is look at our common overall entertainment, and measure the size of the moron vote to see that it may be too late already. We have a Democrat Party out to crush Christianity, and a Republican Party ashamed of its own Christian base. What does that tell you about America's relationship with God?
Look around at people at large, out in the public square. Grown men, all pierced and tattooed-up like walking freak shows, out in public with their pants down below their asses. The public square is turning into a Circus side show. What does that tell you about America's relationship with common sense?
Our morality - our ability to tell right from wrong - is now turned upside down. For many, many generations now, union-dominated public education and university academics have been indoctrinating Americans into falsehood, the news media has been propagandizing Americans into falsehood, and show-biz and celebrity have been popularizing all of this false indoctrination and propaganda. The Democrat Party has been sponsoring, championing and promoting such things as sodomy and abortion for so long now that any opposition to those things is now seen to be immoral and intolerant. All of education, all of the news media and all of show-biz has now been totally secularized, and they all work to further secularize the public at large.
We who still believe are held to be intolerant bigots and homophobes, right-wing religious nut jobs, Bible-thumping fundamentalists and gun nuts. We are even touted to be racists, by the Democrat Party, which is the Party of slavery, the Klan, Jim Crow and Segregation Forever!
What can I say?
Deep Reconciliation for Catholic Clergy. When it may be seen that a majority of Catholic bishops allow, at best, and promote, at worst, this softening of the rules of Catholicism and cheapen proper faith in the Church Christ founded, then the old saying that the fish rots from the head applies. The Church in America, and in a lot of other nations, is in dire need of a thorough house cleaning. It would be good to start with the infamous Lavender Mafia that has corrupted so many orders and so many dioceses.
Many think that the liturgical abuses we have all witnessed since the post-Vatican II changes were the worst of our clerical problems. Not by a long shot. Many a bishop has been seduced by the same false indoctrination and propaganda that has begun to lead the larger culture. Not only do they hold a more tolerant and softened view of the sins of fornication and sodomy (where they don't ignore them altogether) but they join the parade on false issues such as the Green Movement, the anthropomorphic Global Warming hoax, etc.
They, too, have been tricked and recruited into the cause of growing the government to solve what they think are global problems. But the unfortunate truth is that they are cooperating with a program of growing the government just for the sake of growing the government. They need to return their attention to ecclesial matters, and to a correct recognition of sin, and to adoption of an unflinching, unvarnished preaching of the original Gospel message. In all circumstances, they need to oppose growing the civil government. Again, God has not moved.
As an ordinary layman, I am no one to tell any bishop or any priest how to get right with God and with His Church. But I have eyes to see and ears to hear, and the corruption of the Church in America is not only visible, it is palpable. See the Smoke of Satan page for how deeply corruption is imbedded in the USCCB. We can no longer trust our largest organization of bishops.
In my opinion, it has gotten so bad that it may not be able to be corrected short of radical restorative action by a Pope. Most of these guys are probably too proud to honestly reconcile, one man at a time.
Deep Reconciliation for the Laity. Only Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox maintain a recognition of venial sin and mortal sin, as described in 1 John 5, 16-17. All denominations of Protestants, as far as I know, completely disregard that Scripture. We all commit venial sins on a regular basis, if we are human.
Catholics and Orthodox also hold to sacramental confession of sins to an ordained Priest. Our Lord granted the power of absolution to His Church in John 20, 21-23. The Church teaches that we must repent, confess and be absolved of mortal sin, lest we damn ourselves to hell. But we should confess even venial sins, and we should confess often, even regularly, even when we do not commit mortal sin.
If what we seek is God's grace, then we should strive for perfection, impossible though that may be. Gather grace, hold on to it, and treasure it. The Confessional is the perfect place to receive regular spiritual direction, and an important part of living Christian life.
Some of our Protestant brothers practice a sort of open confession, to a whole congregation, of sin of which they are repentant. Just about everybody of any Christian denomination recognizes the need to
This need to repent, confess and start anew is one of the common things held by all Christians, regardless of denomination. It is one of the items we all hold in common, in what Benjamin Franklin called "Our American Religion." Doctrines that flow from the First Tablet Commandments - those that deal with man's relationship with God - might vary greatly from denomination to denomination. But the doctrines that flow from the Second Tablet Commandments - those that deal with man's relationship with his fellow man, or his morality - are fairly common to all denominations.
Thus, all Christians hold a fairly common sense of what is sin, and what to do about it after having fallen into sin. And confession of some sort always figures prominently. For example, look at how AA treats the subject. While remaining vague in describing God, so as to include all denominations, it still maintains the common thread of confession, to another person, of failure.
The object of all of this is reconciliation, reform and return to grace. Now I know, there are denominations that believe the once saved, always saved dictum of Calvin, even despite Philippians 2:12, among other refuting Scriptures. And, of course, there is another dictum of Calvin that says that only the elect will be saved. Thus, there are Protestants out there who feel they are perfectly free to sin all they want to, and suffer no consequences. They are (I hope) a small minority among Protestants.
The aspect of reconciliation that is unique to Catholics is - absolution! This is no small thing. We need to hear the words of the Lord, actually absolving us of our sin, and sending us forth to sin no more. The two times that a Catholic priest stands in persona Christi - in the actual person of Christ Himself - is when:
This is real. Just as the ordinary, unconsecrated host is transformed into the actual sacred Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord, right there at the Altar, the priestly words of absolution actually cleanse us of our sins. When we hear the words:
We are transformed, from our lost and sinful state to an actual state of Grace. It's the reality of it that most Protestants and all unbelievers cannot yet begin to recognize. Reconciliation and Eucharist are just two of the seven Sacraments, but they are the ones that involve the priest stepping into the person of our Lord for a moment, and for our benefit. These two holy sacraments highlight three realities that most of the world today cannot recognize:
We do it to cooperate with the free grace God gives us, and with our own redemption, purchased at such a great price. When you know what this Grace means, you will seek to increase it. This is real.
Deep Reconciliation for the Military. All of the above applies doubly to all members of the military. It is vitally important for America and the world that the military remain honorable, and "good". Despite any Chickafied revision of the military mission by over-educated fools, there is one and only one very singular mission of the American military.
It is the job of the military to kill people and break things. That is their profession. They are rigorously trained, and they are provided with the best weaponry, technology and support that can be produced, in order to enable them to apply irresistible, dominating force against any enemy, anywhere, in defense of our Constitution.
The mission of the military is war. Killing people and breaking things.
What happens if they are secularized, or otherwise turned from our national Judeo-Christian Ethos? What happens if they are somehow turned from being good men?
Answer: Decline into utter barbarity.
I have said, in many ways and in many places in this site, that the ultimate goals of Comrade Obama, peace be upon him, and his Democrat Party, and his Mainstream News Media, and his unions, and his public education system, and his upper academia, and all of his ever-growing, giant government bureaucracies, is to dismantle and destroy the Constitution of the United States, piece by piece. That is what he means by Fundamental Transformation.
Now, that is a vital point. Everything this administration is doing is causing chaos of some sort, and chaos is always required as preparation for revolution, or, transformation. All chaotic situations, always, demand government action, and, of course, government growth, and an upward migration of power from the people to the government. Most all federal level bureaucracies are un-Constitutional governmental regulating, administering and governing entities, at his command. Our bureaucracies are what the Russians used to call Soviets.
The Military Oath. The transformational purposes of our President and the sworn duty of our military seem to be at odds. The Presidential oath of office is an oath to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. The Framers never envisioned an opponent of all that is in the Constitution actually being elected President. The Presidential oath of office is meaningless to this President; he violates it daily. It was a photo-op; nothing more.
The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, directs the President to enforce the law. This President picks and chooses which laws he will enforce, which is a violation of his oath, a violation of the Constitution, and a crime. (The Constitution is law; violation of law is criminal.) Border security law is not enforced; immigration law is not enforced; voter-intimidation law is selectively enforced; etc., etc., etc. Purposely so.
Before any Soldier, Sailor, Marine, Airman or Coast-guardsman puts on his uniform, he swears a solemn oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and to bear true faith and allegiance to the same ... and includes the words "So help me God." That is what he swears to defend, and to bear allegiance to. Not home; not family; not soil; not the flag; not our nation. Our Constitution.
What needs to be remembered today is that the Constitution is America. It Constitutes America. It is an idea; it is an ideology. The Constitution, as the supreme law of the land, lays out the design of the American government, and provides its operating instructions. If the Constitution goes, America, as Constituted, ceases to exist.
Before this administration leaves office, all who ever took such an oath will be sorely tested.
The Constitution represents the formal "organization" of government spoken of in the Declaration of Independence, as explained in the Founding Principles. The whole purpose for the organization (Constitution) was to protect the founding principles; the natural, God-given rights to equal treatment, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The rights that are "self evident" and written on the hearts of men. This is from the Natural Law, which comes from God.
What the new recruit swears allegiance to, and swears to defend, invoking God, is basic American citizen civil rights; rights that were born of the most fundamental, natural law of God Almighty. He swears that the Constitution will keep doing what it was designed to do. In his allegiance to the Constitution, he indirectly protects himself, his family, his community and his nation, from any other government, and even from this government.
Lawful versus Unlawful Orders. "You are not paid to think; you are paid to do, and I, and I alone, will tell you what to do!" Those words or similar ones should be familiar to anyone who has survived the grueling testing and grinding physical, emotional and mental stresses of basic training. And, for the purposes of turning men into soldiers, those words are true; but only on the surface, and only in training. Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen and Coast-guardsmen are, indeed, paid to think. They are required to think.
Our military is under not only the Constitution, but at a lower level, the Uniform Code of Military Justice. That code demands that they obey the lawful orders of superiors. It also demands that they disobey any unlawful orders of superiors. "I was only following orders" is no defense for committing a crime. This is America; our military is American. We are different. Our history proves that when a military man commits a crime, he is punished, and just following orders is never a defense.
When it comes to Constitutional law, or law legislated under the Constitution, the oath takes precedence. That means that our military cannot do the things the British military did, which preceded our Declaration and the Revolutionary War. Chief among these violations of civil rights was the issuance of the general or blanket warrant, under which the Redcoats would do invasive house-to-house searches, for nothing in particular, just anything suspicious. On the authority of the King.
Our Fourth Amendment in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution was written to prevent that very thing. Under the Fourth Amendment, we Americans have a civil right to be secure in our persons, property and private communications. We now know that this President is using the NSA to use sneaky technology to gather and permanently record all American citizen communications, without warrant, and even without citizen knowledge. Any member of the military who cooperates in this crime commits a criminal act. (It is a crime for the President, too, but it doesn't matter, because the Attorney General is equally criminal, and works exclusively for the President, not for the law of the land.)
The Test that is to Come. General MacArthur's farewell speech at West Point emphasized Duty, Honor, Country. That is what our military is all about. He spoke of the Long Grey Line of past cadets and military men, who had preserved the ideal of America thus far. Here is an excerpt from that speech:
The military sense of duty involves strong, solid moral commitment due to an ideal. The willingness to even die for an idea, which is encapsulated in our Constitution. Could there be any higher honor than to commit oneself, even unto death itself, to defense of the citizen civil rights enumerated in the Constitution? It is the idea itself that makes, or Constitutes if you will, the American nation. To defend the Constitution is to defend America.
The problem our military must wrestle with today involves the fact that the military sworn oath involves both obedience to the President, and defense of the Constitution. What we see today is a clearly anti-Constitutional President. He enjoys the full support of the Democrat Party, and no discernible resistence from the Republican Party leadership. Congress and the Court allow him to do as he pleases, and the Constitution may be damned.
Before this President leaves office, the military will be put to an unusual test, involving violation of some part of the Constitution, or violation of lawfully legislated law under the Constitution. And they will be called to remember Duty, Honor, Country, and to stand tall.
The first duty of the man who has undergone deep reconciliation is to God, and His law. Once that reconciliation has taken place, everything else becomes more clear and more simple. Everything falls into its rightful place and makes more sense. It is the Constitution that must be defended, and when an officer, or a President, works to oppose the Constitution, he must be disobeyed.
If any military man thinks his oath was a small, unimportant thing, or that God is unaware of the words he uttered with his hand raised, he is mistaken. If he violates his oath of allegiance to the Constitution, in my mind, he commits a fatal sin, a sin unto the death of his soul. But the President is working to secularize the military, even as he works to increase the number of Moslems in the ranks.
My advice is to make your reconciliation, or your new state of grace, a public thing. Wear your dress uniform to Mass, or to Church service, or to Synagogue. Be seen in public with a Bible in your hands. Let the Gospel light shine through you. You are an example, a model for others. Everywhere you go, everything you do, people are watching. Be a shining example of the honor and the decency of the American fighting man.
Let us pray.
Lord, help us to return to you with repentant hearts and commitment to serve you. We repent of every sin, not only because of the just punishment due, but because they offend you, who are all good.
Lord, help us to make of our nation a worthy, honorable and decent people whose worldly goal is truth, and true justice, in your name.
Lord, touch the hearts of the clerical order, that more of them might come worthily into your grace, and lead the way for the rest of us.
Lord, heal all the wounded souls of our war fighters, protect them from falsehood and illegal orders, grant them discernment and a sense of honor, and strengthen and hold them in your Grace. If any fall in battle, we beg you Lord, to see not their sins, but their willing sacrifice for others, and for the very idea of citizen freedom and liberty.
We pray this in the holy name of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Afterthoughts. A Marine veteran friend once told me that there is no such thing as an ex-Marine. Once a Marine, always a Marine, he would say. That which is formed in the Marine crucible is formed permanently.
In a similar manner, the oath taken upon induction into the American military is a permanent oath; it has no expiration date. Although we are no longer under the Uniform Code of Military Justice once we leave the service, we remain under the solemn oath we swore to maintain allegiance to our Constitution. We swore it. We raised our hands and we said it, and we said "So help me God." It is our word. It is our honor.
We owe it to our branch, our corps, our unit, our fallen, our nation and our God to keep it, and to never falter in our sworn allegiance.
Sarcastic Acronym Hover-Link Footnotes: For the convenience of those readers using devices that lack a mouse, these footnotes are provided for all webpages, in case any webpage contains any hover-links. (If you don't have a mouse, you can't "hover" it over a link without clicking just to see the simple acronym interpretation. Click a footnote link to see the gory details.)SLIMC1 Secularist Liberal Intellectual Media Complex
Culture=Religion+Politics; Who Are We? Vic Biorseth
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Respond to This Article Below The Last Comment
Date: Sun Jun 23 09:03:42 2013
Vic, Your comments on reconciliation and repentance are right on. We as a nation have turned from God. The John Birch Society publishes "The New American Magazine" with articles on history and culture that attempt to present the truth to their readers. The latest issue had a great essay on exactly what you are saying here -- that we, as a nation, have basically lost the culture war:
This link will get you to the essay I mentioned. In the secular world, we are being told that we need to accept amoral behavior as normal, and saying anything negative about the immorality of these behaviors is a "hate crime" and we are labelled "terrorists."
As an instructor in our parish RCIA program, I totally agree that an emphasis on reconciliation is important. Protestants who are being educated in the Catholic faith sometimes have a problem understanding how that works. The good news is that it is all totally supported by scripture, as well as the magisterium.
Thank you for pointing us back to the church.
Date: Sun Jun 23 14:09:06 2013
From: Vic Biorseth
Thank you; I just read your linked article, and I agree. Being unfamiliar with the John Birch Society, I did a quick search, and the first thing that popped up was a New American article titled Intellectuals and Race, authored by Thomas Sowell, one of my favorite authors, economists and very wise men. Knowing nothing more that that about the John Birch Society, I can say that anyone who quotes Thomas Sowell can't be all bad.
Date: Tue Oct 14 2014
From: Vic Biorseth
Changes pursuant to changing the website URL
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Never be lukewarm.
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He who is indifferent to God has already forfeited his soul.
He who is indifferent to politics has already forfeited his liberty.
In America, religion is not mere window dressing and citizenship is not a spectator sport.
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Returning America to the revolutionary High Ideals of the Founding Fathers, and to the formalized Ideology of Liberty that the Framers set down in the Constitution as the Supreme Law of the Land.
The Fixing America Pages
Almost all the rest of this site talks about our problems; these pages talk about how to fix them. Marxist anti-Americanism has advanced so far in even our politics and our own government that we now have to consider super-radical changes just to save the Constitution itself.
The Required Radical American Re-Revolution. Or, Re-Constitution. It took 100+ years to radicalize Constitutional America. It will take a radical re-revolution to bring it back to sanity.
Fixing it all, or, losing it all: the only options left for America. Fixing it all is our only option. If we don't fix it all, we will surely lose it all.
Going whole-Hog on American Constitutional Restoration. It's all or nothing, now. If we don't go whole-hog on Constitutional Restoration, the USA is history.
Constitutional America requires American re evangelization. We cannot revive Constitutionalism without an American re evangelization.
Deep Reconciliation means repentance, confession, absolution and conversion. A Serious, Deep Reconciliation is required of this whole nation, one man at a time.
At this moment in time, most Constitutionalists would love to kill the IRS. How do you Kill the IRS? Fast-track and pass the Fair Tax. Very simple; nothing to it.
Our argument supporting the Fair Tax as a sensible and practical Tax Revolution. Fair Tax presents the possibility of a real, popular, voter-supported, tax payer supported, grass-roots supported Revolution in America, and a radical change for the better.
Fasttrack Fairtax: Stop income tax until repeal of Amendment XVI. Fasttrack Fairtax: Legislate to not collect income tax and pass FairTax.
Argument to Repeal Amendment XVI, the Income Tax Amendment. Repeal Amendment XVI and the very idea of progressively taxing income.
Argument for Repeal of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913. The Federal Reserve Act did not prevent the Great Depression, so why does The FED still exist?
Argument to Repeal Amendment XVII and the Politicizing of the Senate. We need to repeal Amendment XVII and restore our Senate to its original status.
It isn't just Obamacare; we need to kill controlled Health Care. Kill Controlled Health Care to get government and insurance out of the medical transaction.
We need to shut down the dept of education. Shut down the dept of education and cut $77B from the budget.
Argument against Public Education, which is, in fact, Government Indoctrination. Public Education equals State Indoctrination, pure and simple. Education is beyond the scope of government and not what our government is constituted to do.
Are our federal bureaucracies all malignant outgrowths of Marxism? Any extra-Constitutional government agency is likely to be a malignant outgrowth of Marxism.
My Proposed Constitutional Amendment to neutralize the enemy within. A proposed Constitutional Amendment to get anti-Constitutionalists out of power and authority.
The process of becoming a Godless Nation is the sure path to National Insanity. The Godless Nation: Can a totally secularized people even know right from wrong?
Regarding The President We Need, The President We Deserve, and God's Judgment. I can describe the President we need; what we have now is the President we deserve.
Compromise with Evil begins the ultimate death spiral. Compromise on any Vital Principle leads to death, for individual souls and for cultures.
Tolerating intolerance of America is what Americans are being trained to do. In tolerating intolerance of themselves some Americans think they are proving something or other.
Why is this American Christian nation not called a Christian nation? This American Christian nation is oddly referred to as something other than a Christian nation. Why?
Chastity Vs. The Modern World: Signs of a Culture in Decline. Looking more closely at what is REALLY at the heart of American political debate today.
The Chastity Vs Sophistication division: Wisdom Vs Elitist Celebritwittery. 'Naïve' Chastity Vs Sophistication of the Elite. Lechery, promiscuity, perversion are Sophisticated; chastity equates to naiveté. See?
Of Lies and Liars: All the devil's lies, and all the devil's liars cannot make a new truth. He can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but he can't fool all of the people all of the time.
Constitutionalism: Sovereign Citizenship and Limited Representative Government. The philosophy that government derives authority from citizens and is permanently limited is called Constitutionalism.
A minority tail furiously wags a majority dog unto death. In bending over backwards to mollify and molly-codle minorities, the majority forgets it is the majority.
The Christ-centered life, the godless life, and the inevitable ungodly life. When any Godly nation moves into godlessness, the inevitable end is an ungodly nation.
American survival requires bold, take it to the enemy leadership. What we need is radical, revolutionary take it to the enemy leadership just for national survival itself.
Undoing the damage and righting the wrongs, wherever possible. Undoing the damage must follow national survival (assuming national survival.)
American Foreign Policy: what it was, what it is, what it should be. Obamunists and Marxocrats turned American foreign policy into an absolute travesty.
Fix the VA by switching all Government Coverage to VA Coverage. Restricting Congress, the Presidency and the Court to Existing Military Coverage should fix the VA pretty quick.
Fix Military Pay by tieing it to Congressional Pay and Raises. Tying Presidential, Congressional, Judicial and Military to One Pay Scale should Fix Military Pay.
Regarding off-duty military concealed-carry of firearms. With Moslem potential Jihadists in our own military ranks, all American military should be armed at all times.
Sheriffs and Veterans and Citizens; Oh My! County Sheriffs and Veterans should together form volunteer Minute-Man like County Militia units of the free citizenry.
Patience. Be not afraid. A Glorious Sunrise is coming. The Son rose on a Sunday, following a Friday Crucifixion. Our Sunrise will come after much suffering; it will come with our reawakening to Truth.
"We belong to the Church militant; and She is militant because on earth the powers of darkness are ever restless to encompass Her destruction. Not only in the far-off centuries of the early Church, but down through the ages and in this our day, the enemies of God and Christian civilization make bold to attack the Creator’s supreme dominion and sacrosanct human rights.”--Pope Pius XII
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