Monday, 22 September 2014

A Tale of Two Francis' and a St. Bernard (or Two Catholics and a Mongrel)

At the time of this tribulation a man, not canonically elected, will be raised to the Pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavour to draw many into error and death...... Those who preserve their fervour and adhere to virtue with love and zeal for the truth, will suffer injuries and persecutions as rebels and schismatics..... for in those days Our Lord Jesus Christ will send them not a true Pastor, but a destroyer.
     Prophecy of St. Francis on his deathbed, quoted in Works of The Seraphic Father St. Francis of Assisi, (R. Washbourne, London,1882), bearing the imprimatur of  +William Bernard, Bishop of Birmingham.

With this religious freedom has come also the possibility for every person to offer, according to their own religious convictions, a positive contribution; firstly, to the moral reconstruction.... No one must use the name of God to commit violence! To kill in the name of God is a grave sacrilege. To discriminate in the name of God is inhuman..... We cannot deny that intolerance towards those with different religious convictions is a particularly insidious enemy.
     Jorge Bergoglio, Albania, 21st September 2014.

You can not but know that we live in a period of chastisement and ruin; the enemy of mankind has caused the breath of corruption to fly over all regions; we behold nothing but unpunished wickedness. The laws of men or the laws of religion have no longer sufficient power to check depravity of manners and the triumph of the wicked. The demon of heresy has taken possession of the chair of truth, and God has sent forth His malediction upon His sanctuary.

Oh, ye who listen to me, hasten then to appease the anger of Heaven, but no longer implore His goodness by vain complaints; clothe not yourselves in sackcloth, but cover yourselves with your impenetrable bucklers; the din of arms, the dangers, the labours, the fatigues of war are the penances that God now imposes upon you. Hasten then to expiate your sins by victories over the infidels, and let the deliverance of holy places be the reward of your repentance.

If it were announced to you that the enemy had invaded your cities, your castles, your lands; had ravished your wives and your daughters, and profaned your temples - which among you would not fly to arms? Well, then, all these calamities, and calamities still greater, have fallen upon your brethren, upon the family of Jesus Christ, which is yours. Why do you hesitate to repair so many evils - to revenge so many outrages? Will you allow the infidels to contemplate in peace the ravages they have committed on Christian people? Remember that their triumph will be a subject for grief to all ages and an eternal opprobrium upon the generation that has endured it. Yes, the living God has charged me to announce to you that He will punish them who shall not have defended Him against His enemies.

Fly then to arms; let a holy rage animate you in the fight, and let the Christian world resound with these words of the prophet, "Cursed be he who does not stain his sword with blood!" If the Lord calls you to the defense of His heritage think not that His hand has lost its power. Could He not send twelve legions of angels or breathe one word and all His enemies would crumble away into dust? But God has considered the sons of men, to open for them the road to His mercy. His goodness has caused to dawn for you a day of safety by calling on you to avenge His glory and His name.
     St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Last of the Church Fathers and Doctor of the Church, quoted in Michaud's History of the Crusades (Routledge and Co., London, 1852).

*  A Mongrel:  of unknown or mixed religious pedigree.

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