Category Archives: 2013

81st anniversary of Pius XI’s second encyclical on the persecution of the Catholic Church in Mexico

Pope ius XIToday, September 29, 2013 is the 81st anniversary of Pope Pius XI’s second encyclical on the persecution of the Catholic Church in Mexico (by the Mexican Government.)  The encyclical was written in 1932 and was titled Acerba Animi.  Pope Pius XI’s first encyclical about the persecution of the Church in Mexico was titled, Iniquis Afflictisque and was published on November 18, 1926 in response to the horrible effects of Mexican President Plutarco Calles’ (pictured below) anticlerical law.  PlutarcoSalute

Calles’ brutal and murderous actions against Catholics led to the Cristero War.  This war was depicted in the 2012 movie, For Greater Glory.

220px-For_Greater_Glory_poster

Read the excerpted paragraphs from Pope Pius XI’s Acerba Animi below and click this link to read the entire encyclical:

4. In view of these unjust and intolerant injunctions, which would have subjected the Church in Mexico to the despotism of the State and of the Government hostile to the Catholic religion, you determined, Venerable Brethren, to suspend public worship, and at the same time called on the faithful to make efficacious protest against the unjust procedure of the Government. For your apostolic firmness, you were nearly all exiled from the Republic, and from the land of your banishment you had to witness the struggles and martyrdom of your priests and of your flock; whilst those very few amongst you who almost by miracle were able to remain in hiding in their own dioceses succeeded in effectively encouraging the faithful with the splendid example of their own undaunted spirit. Of these events We took occasion to speak in solemn allocutions, in public discourses, and more at length in the above-mentioned Encyclical Iniquis afflictisque, and We were comforted by the world’s admiration for the courage displayed by the clergy in administering the Sacraments to the faithful, amid a thousand dangers and at the risk of their lives, and for the like heroism of many of the faithful, who at the cost of unheard-of sufferings and enormous sacrifices, gave valiant assistance to their priests.”

Cristeroscolgados

“10. An effort has been made to strike the Church in a still more vital spot; namely, in the existence of the clergy and the Catholic hierarchy, by trying to eliminate it gradually from the Republic. Thus the Mexican Constitution, as We have several times deplored, while proclaiming liberty of thought and conscience, prescribes with the most evident contradiction that each State of the Federal Republic must determine the number of priests to whom the exercise of the sacred ministry is allowed, not only in public churches, but even within private dwellings. This enormity is further aggravated by the way in which the law is applied. The Constitution lays down that the number of priests must be determined, but ordains that this determination must correspond to the religious needs of the faithful and of the locality. It does not prescribe that the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy is to be ignored in this matter, and this point was explicitly recognized in the declarations of the modus vivendi. Now in the State of Michoacan one priest was assigned for every 33,000 of the faithful, in the State of Chiapas one for every 60,000, while in the State of Vera Cruz only one priest was assigned to exercise the sacred ministry for every 100,000 of the inhabitants. Everyone can see whether it is possible with such restrictions to administer the Sacraments to so many people, scattered for the most part over a vast territory. Indeed, the persecutors, as though sorry for having been too liberal and indulgent, have imposed further limitations. Some Governors closed seminaries, confiscated canonries, and determined the sacred buildings and the territory to which the ministry of the approved priest would be restricted.”

“11. The clearest manifestation of the will to destroy the Catholic Church itself is, however, the explicit declaration, published in some States, that the civil Authority, in granting the licence for priestly ministry, recognizes no Hierarchy; on the contrary, it positively excludes from the possibility of exercising the sacred ministry all of hierarchic rank – namely, all Bishops and even those who have held the office of Apostolic Delegates.”

Given at Rome, at Saint Peter’s, on the feast of the Dedication of Saint Michael the Archangel, the twenty-ninth day of September in the year 1932, the eleventh of Our Pontificate.”

st-michael-the-archangel.jpg

O Holy Spirit, strengthen us to defend all that is holy.

Peter L. Hodges Sr.

Watch the first edition of “EWTN News Nightly” with Colleen Carroll Campbell from September 3, 2013

EWTN News Nightly set

On Tuesday September 3, 2013 EWTN launched its first weekly (and soon to be nightly) news program.  It is called “EWTN News Nightly.”  The news program is anchored by Colleen Carroll Campbell.

The top stories:

  • Christian persecution in Syria
  • Pope Francis’ new secretary of state
  • Women fight HHS mandate

You can watch the entire news program below:

Coptic Christian American: Our government naive toward Muslim Brotherhood, revolution in Egypt

Church burningIn an effort to help American Catholics understand what is going on in Egypt, the ‘National Association of American Lay Catholics’ (Lay Catholics) conducted an interview with a member of the Coptic Orthodox Church in America on August 20, 2013.

Previous to this interview, Coptic Catholic and Coptic Orthodox churches and institutions were burned by supporters of Egyptian President Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood while he was in office but, mostly after he was removed from office during the June 30, 2013 revolution.  The Egyptian military removed Morsi by popular support of the Christian and Muslim people alike.

Please read the Q&A interview between ‘Lay Catholics’ and the member of the Coptic Orthodox Church in America (the member is referred to as Coptic Orthodox Christian) below:

Lay Catholics

What is the most important thing you want people in the United States to know about the current situation in Egypt?”

Coptic Orthodox Christian:

It is two-fold.  Extreme brutality by the Muslim Brotherhood regime exercised on the Coptic minority both, while in power and after being ousted.  And the deafening silence and neglect of the free world (Europe and North America) to the plight of the Coptic Christians.”

Lay Catholics:

How many Coptic Christians have been killed in Egypt?”

Coptic Orthodox Christian

Since 1990, 5,000 Coptic Christians have been killed by the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates.”

Lay Catholics:

The Coptic Catholic Bishop of Assuit, Egypt said the West (Europe and North America) failed to acknowledge the scale of unprovoked attacks on Christians by ousted President Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood supporters.  What would you like to say in this regard?”

Coptic Orthodox Christian:

The naïve perception in the West that the Muslim Brotherhood is a law abiding political group is gravely misplaced.  And as such, the revolt against the Muslim Brotherhood government and President Morsi expressed the sentiment of the majority of Egyptians.  Every call from the West to treat this revolt as a coup and every attempt meant to reconcile with the Muslim Brotherhood was used by the Muslim Brotherhood to escalate their brutality against the Coptic Christians, the peak of church burnings occurred after the visits and announcements of John McCain to Egypt.”

“The idea that the Muslim Brothers are peaceful law-abiding citizens and politicians is reminiscent of the calls in Europe to give Adolph Hitler yet few more chances to exercise his governance just because he was once freely elected.”

In a testament to the resolve of the persecuted Coptic Christians, the Coptic Orthodox Christian added:

The Orthodox Bishop of Minya (Egypt) said that he never saw the churches so packed as he saw them after they were burned.”

-end-

How can you help the Coptic Orthodox Christians?  CLICK HERE for information on the relief effort and CLICK HERE to go directly to donate to the relief effort.

coptic oppression relief fund

See important information and statements from the Coptic Orthodox Church regarding this persecution by the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates below:

CLICK HERE for the List of churches and Coptic establishments, that have been burned, destroyed or compromised (as published by the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt.)

Statement from the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt

Official Statement from all the Coptic Orthodox Bishops in North America

Catholic Bishop says the West (U.S. and Europe) should not support terrorists who use arms against Christians

Aid to the Church in Need

Coptic Catholic Bishop Kyrillos of Assiut, Egypt spoke with Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) on August 19, 2013.  He called on Western governments (U.S. and Europe) to work with the country’s new government in defeating the Muslim Brotherhood who are responsible for terrorism directed against nearly 80 churches and other Coptic Christian institutions.

The following is excerpted from the article by Aid to the Church in Need:

Bishop Kyrillos 2Describing how, since Tuesday (August 13th), almost 80 churches, convents, Church-run schools, clinics and other centers were hit, Bishop Kyrillos (pictured left) criticized the West (U.S. and Europe) for failing to acknowledge the scale of unprovoked attacks on innocent communities by Mr. Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood supporters.
 
The bishop said, “The Western governments are speaking about human rights; yes, these groups have a right to demonstrate, but not with arms. The Western governments do not see the reality of what is going on here.”

“A group of terrorists have used arms against us. [Western governments] should not be supporting this.”

Speaking from Assiut, Bishop William (Kyrillos) added, “The [Muslim Brothers] think that the Christians were the cause of Morsi being ousted. But the Christians were not alone: there were 35 million who went on the streets against Morsi.”

“Christians are being punished. We have been scapegoated.”

He stressed that, in spite of repeated efforts, including those by Western governments, to encourage the Muslim Brotherhood to engage in dialogue, the Islamist movement had responded with violence.

His comments come as Coptic Catholic Patriarch Ibrahim Sidrak of Alexandria issued a statement Monday, August 19, in which he declared our free, strong and conscious support for all state institutions, particularly the Armed Forces and the police, for all their efforts in protecting our homeland.”

Both he and Bishop William (Kyrillos) stressed how many Muslims had stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Christians in defending churches and other Coptic buildings from attack.

Bishop William (Kyrillos) said: “Our people are close to normal Muslims, moderate Muslims. When the fundamentalists came for the Christians in [Assiut’s] Old Town, the Muslims sent them away using arms.”

“In other cities, Christians and Muslims came to protect churches and they stayed next to the churches all day.”

He said that many Muslims shared the Christians’ view that there should be a clear separation between religion and the state.

Many bishops underlined how the attacks of last week came as a surprise. Bishop William said, “We had expected some response [from the Muslim Brothers], but not to this degree of brutality.”

Click here to read this article at Aid to the Church in Need’s website.

14 of 58 churches burned by Muslim Brotherhood are Catholic, says Egyptian Catholic Bishops’ spokesman

Agenzia Fides logoToday, Agenzia Fides, an information service of the Pontifical Mission Societies is reporting an interview of the spokesman for the Egyptian Catholic Bishops.  The interview is with Fr. Rafic Greiche.

The full article from Agenzia Fides is below:

Fr. Rafik Greiche58 churches and Christian institutions were attacked and set on fire in Egypt in past days. This was reported to Fides Agency by Fr. Rafic Greiche (pictured left,) spokesman of the Catholic Bishops of Egypt. “Out of 58 churches attacked 14 are Catholic, the rest belong to the Coptic Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant communities” says Fr. Greiche. “The attacks against the churches took place all over the Country, but are concentrated especially in the areas of Al Minya and Assiut, because it is there that we find the headquarters of the jihadists (radical muslims,) responsible for this violence,” adds Fr. Greiche.
“It should be emphasized – the priest says – that Muslims who live in the vicinity of the affected churches have helped men and women religious to put out the fires of the religious buildings.”
“This is not a civil war between Christians and Muslims”, emphasizes Fr. Greiche. “It is not a civil war but a war against terrorism. And the majority of the population is against terrorism and religious extremism”, concludes Fr. Greiche.

Click here to read this article at Agenzia Fides’ website.

“The Islamists are taking revenge on us Christians,” says Egyptian Catholic Bishop Kyrillos

Aid to the Church in Need

Aid to the Church in Need, a Catholic charity under the guidance of the Holy Father has today reported that the Coptic (Egyptian) Catholic Bishop of Assiut, Egypt, Bishop Kyrillos has stated, “The Islamists are taking revenge on us Christians.”  Islamists, being the Muslim Brotherhood or other dangerous radical groups like them.

The following is the full article from Aid to the Church in Need:

Bishop Kyrillos“The Islamists are taking revenge on us Christians”: With these words the Coptic-Catholic Bishop of Assiut, Kyrillos William Samaan (pictured left,) commented on the latest Islamist attacks on Christians and Christian institutions in Egypt.

The bishop made his comments while talking to international Catholic pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) on Monday, August 12th. 

The Bishop was referring among other things to events in the towns of Sohag, Fayum and Beni Suef and on the Sinai Peninsula, where churches have been attacked by Islamists and Christians have been threatened. There have also been fatalities.

In the town of Sohag, there were reports that Islamic extremists had raised the black Al-Qaida flag over a church.

Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri had accused Egypt’s Christians of being jointly responsible with the military and the forces of the Mubarak regime for toppling the Islamist head of state Mohamed Mursi on July 3 of this year.

“This is absurd, of course. 33 million Egyptians had demanded his resignation. We Christians (by the way, there are only 8 million Christians in Egypt) were not the only ones to demonstrate against Mursi,” Bishop Kyrillos said.

In view of the current security situation, the bishop said he was worried but that he did not wish to reproach the law enforcement forces. “The police and the other organs of the state are at present busy keeping the Islamists under control.”

The Bishop stressed, however, that the climate had changed considerably for Egypt’s Christians since the fall of Mursi. “We feel at home again in Egypt,” Kyrillos explained.

He went on to emphasize that non-Christian publicists would now speak up for the Christians by stressing that the Christians should not be expected to pay the price of democratization.

The Bishop also saw it as a positive sign that in Sohag or Assiut, for example, moderate Muslims had defended Christian churches against demonstrating Islamists.

“This is the true Egypt: Christians and Muslims are united,” Bishop Kyrillos continued.

According to him, this year’s message from Pope Francis at the end of the Islamic fast of Ramadan was received very positively.

For the first time the Pope had use the opportunity to address Muslims worldwide personally. In previous years, the letter had been published by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue on the Pope’s behalf.

The Bishop criticized the deposed Muslim brothers for refusing to accept the new government’s offers of reconciliation.

“The problem is that they (Muslim Brotherhood) still want to have an Islamic state. The majority of Egyptians are happy, however, that this has not come about. They want a liberal state,” Bishop Kyrillos claimed.

The bishop is optimistic with regard to the future constitution. A 50-strong committee would soon be revising the constitution drawn up under the Islamist Mursi and adopted by referendum.

Representatives of Egyptian Christians would also be collaborating in this effort.

“All social forces will work on it. I am confident that state and religion will be separated. After all, mixing them is the source of much evil.”

Orthodox Pope Tawadros IIThe Coptic-Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II (pictured left,) the head of the largest Church in Egypt, made a plea on Monday for the avoidance of further bloodshed in the face of denominational tensions.

According to media reports, the Patriarch has suspended the weekly audiences in his Cairo cathedral for fear of attacks (by the Muslim Brotherhood.)

Previously, 16 Egyptian human rights groups had accused the Islamists of stirring up feelings against Egypt’s Christians since June 30th, the day of the mass protects against Mursi.

The human rights groups also criticized the state for not doing enough to protect Christian institutions and individuals.

Click here to read this article at Aid to the Church in Need’s website.

Catholic Bishop: U.S. Ambassador sent erroneous analysis of support for Muslim Brotherhood

Minya EgyptIn an interview published August 1, 2013, Bishop Hanna of Minya, Egypt made many comments of great importance regarding the June 30, 2013 revolution in Egypt.  Included in his comments is one about the errors of analysis by the Obama Administration’s U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, Anne Patterson and others.

Below are some excerpts from the interview by Agenzia Fides, an information service of the Pontifical Mission Societies:

  • “Western chanceries (administrative offices in Catholic dioceses) “have overestimated the real roots of political Islam in the Egyptian people” and now “remain floored and ambiguous before the scenarios opened by the revolution of 30 June,” while the Islamists “emphasize the role of Christians in that uprising also to justify the terrorist attacks being prepared against (Christians) them.”
  • “In past days, blogs close to the Muslim Brotherhood have labeled the new structure found by the country after the overthrow of President Morsi as the “Military Republic of Tawadros”, indicating Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II and his Church as the true architects of the popular uprising which led to the end of the Islamist government.”
  • “It is obvious” Bishop Hanna explains to Fides “that the Muslim Brotherhood wants to explain their political failure by resorting to the theory of ‘Christian conspiracy’.  To emphasize the role Christians had in the collapse of the Islamist regime will also serve to justify future terrorism against (Christians) them.”
  • “There is a plan of other attacks against churches, priests and religious that might be carried out when public controls in squares and neighborhoods – stronghold of the Muslim Brotherhood finish.”
  • At the same time, even the Coptic Catholic Bishop (Hanna) confirms the wide participation of Christians in the anti-Morsi uprisings: “It is certainly out of place to speak of ‘Christian revolution’.  At least 30 million Egyptians took to the streets. But among the demonstrators there were always so many Christians (only 8 million Egyptians are Christian.)
  • In the West, however, the Egyptian facts have exposed the errors of analysis of North American and European diplomats: “The U.S. Ambassador” says Bishop Hanna, “continued to send reports in which it repeated that in Egypt the only force supported by the people were the Muslim Brotherhood.  They staked everything on political Islam, without seeing that the Islamists had won the election only because the people would not vote the leaders of the old regime.  But they (Muslim Brotherhood) took us into a tunnel where everything was getting worse by the day.  And at some point, the patience of the Egyptian people is over.”

Read the full story here from Agenzia Fides.  Agenzia Fides is an information service of the Pontifical Mission Societies since 1927.

John Boehner is the target of Barack Obama’s (Organizing for Action’s) “Action August” protests

Barack Obama’s new community organization, Organizing for Action (OFA) sent an email to its followers on July 26, 2013 that Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, John Boehner will have a summer/August that will be hard to forget.  Another email was sent by Barack Obama on July 30, 2013 encouraging OFA supporters to engage in this ‘August Action.’

What could this email from ‘Organizing for Action’ mean?  Protests.  And guess what?  The protests started today right on cue.  I’m told they protested at the Speaker’s office and read the following story ↓ Immigration activists were arrested at the capitol today.

These protests will follow the 13 “power tactics” of Saul Alinsky and Barack Obama as seen HERE.

Let the email from July 26, 2013 speak for itself:

OFA Boehner email image

Barack Obama himself (his written text in green) then sent this email on July 30, 2013 encouraging OFA supporters to get in on the August Action:

Friend —

There is only so much I can do on my own.

The special interests know it, and they’re counting on you to be silent on gun violence and climate change. They hope you’re not paying attention to creating jobs or fixing our broken immigration system.

And they plan to make the loudest noise when your members of Congress come home for August recess.

I’m counting on you to be just as vocal — to make sure the agenda that Americans voted for last year is front and center.

Say you’ll do at least one thing as part of OFA’s Action August in your community, no matter where you live.

I know it’s easy to get frustrated by the pace of progress.

But it’s not a reason to sit back and do nothing — our system only works if you play your part.

If you don’t let your representatives know where you stand in August, we risk losing an important battle on your home turf.

So I’m asking you to speak up — commit to do at least one thing in your community during Action August:

http://my.barackobama.com/Commit-to-Action-August

Thanks,

Barack

Below is the graphic of the sign-up for the ‘August Action’ per the links Barack Obama refers to in his email above:

OFA August Action edited

In case there is any doubt.  Yes, the president of the United States is encouraging actions (protests) against the U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives.  These so-called actions have started as encouraged by Obama.  The 13 ‘Power tactics’ are being employed by Obama’s OFA.

What do we do to counter Obama’s and OFA’s actions?  Know what the 13 ‘power tactics’ are.  Don’t give in to them.  Share this information with everyone you know.

By the way Governor Scott of Florida is going through the same sort of protests from a group of Occupy affiliated anarchists inappropriately self-named the ‘Dream Defenders.’

Peter L. Hodges Sr.

The 13 anti-Catholic “power tactics” of Saul Alinsky, (Barack Obama) and community organizations

alinskysmallIn his book Rules for Radicals, Saul Alinsky states “Tactics are those conscious deliberate acts by which human beings live with each other and deal with the world around them.  In the world of give and take, tactics is the art of how to take and how to give.  Here our concern is with the tactic of taking; how the Have-Nots can take power away from the Haves.” p.126

Saul Alinsky’s 13 “power tactics” are inconsistent with Catholic teaching and prove to be anti-Catholic as you will see below.  Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and current community organizers have followed and do follow the “power tactics.”  These tactics are found on pages 127-134 of Rules for Radicals:

1.  “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.”

2.  “Never go outside the expertise of your people. When an action or tactic is outside the experience of the people, the result is confusion, fear and retreat.  It also means a collapse of communication, as we have noted.”

3.  “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.  Here you want to cause confusion, fear, and retreat.

4.  “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.”

5.  Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule.  Also it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.”

6.  “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.  If your people are not having a ball doing it, there is something very wrong with tactic.”

7.  “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag. Man can sustain militant interest in any issue for only a limited time, after which it becomes a ritualistic commitment, like going to church on Sunday.

8.  “Keep the pressure on, with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.”

9.  “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.”

10.  “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition. It is this unceasing pressure that results in the reactions from the opposition that are essential for the success of the campaign.”

11.  “If you push a negative hard and deep enough, it will break through into its counterside;  this is based on the principle that every positive has its negative.”

12.  “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.  You cannot risk being trapped by the enemy in his sudden agreement with your demand and saying “You’re right – we don’t know what to do about this issue.  Now you tell us.””

13.  Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. In conflict tactics there are certain rules that the organizer should always regard as universalities.  One is that the opposition must be singled out as the target and “frozen.”…  Obviously there is no point to tactics unless one has a target upon which to center the attacks…  Furthermore, any target can always say, “Why do you center on me when there are others to blame as well?”  When you “freeze the target,” you disregard these arguments…  Then, as you zero in and freeze your target and carry out your attack, all the ‘others’ come out of the woodwork very soon. They become visible by their support of the target.”

If a community organization on this list (click here) is in your Catholic diocese and has any of its parishes as members, then they use the anti-Catholic “power tactics” listed above.  Take these steps (click here) to remove them.

Change Agents V1To learn more about the history and damaging influence of Saul Alinsky on prominent Catholic clergy and laity click on → Change Agents: Alinskyian Organizing Among Religious Bodies, which is available at Amazon.  By Stephanie Block.

O Holy Spirit, strengthen us to defend all that is holy.

Peter L. Hodges Sr.

Courageous Egyptian Catholic and Orthodox bishops under threat of martyrdom warn about Muslim Brotherhood

Bishop KyrillosCatholic and Orthodox bishops in Egypt (also referred to as Coptic Catholics and Coptic Orthodox/Coptic Christians) are under daily threat of being martyred for their faith by the jihadists of the Muslim Brotherhood.  Yet they show exceptional courage in the face of this threat.  Bishop Kyrillos, the Catholic bishop of Asyut in Upper Egypt (pictured left) said:

“I can’t discount the possibility of single acts of violence by the Muslim Brothers… “

He states the Muslim Brotherhood’s name in a country where he could be murdered by them at anytime.  Catholic and Orthodox priests and laity are being murdered and their churches burned down by jihadist muslims.  Read the full story here about Catholic Bishop Kyrillos and Orthodox bishops in Egypt.  Read a previous story about the courage of Egyptian Catholic bishops in the face of Muslim Brotherhood terror here.

American Catholic bishops do not currently live under the immediate threat of martyrdom that the Egyptian Catholic bishops do from the Muslim Brotherhood.  But, the Muslim Brotherhood does exist in America.  See minutes 8:25 to 9:23 in the video below from the Center for Security Policy:

American Catholic bishops should allow experts on the Muslim Brotherhood threat to America to speak at Catholic meetings in their dioceses.  American bishops who will not allow this type of information in their diocese can reflect on the bravery of their brother bishops in Egypt.  Egyptian Catholic bishops, who speak openly about the jihadist muslim threat knowing they could be murdered by the jihadists of the Muslim Brotherhood for doing so.

Thank you to our American Catholic bishops who endorse the Catholic radio stations who cover the subject of radical Islam, the Muslim Brotherhood and its existence in America.

O Holy Spirit, strengthen us to defend all that is holy.

Peter L. Hodges Sr.