Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Posts Tagged ‘Persecution’

Week 06 in Catholic Media, 2014

February 9th, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris





At the UN — collegial communications or a pseudo-tribunal?

In Week 03,  I skipped over a story in  Zenit and in the National Catholic Register about a presentation on January 16th in Geneva, Switzerland, to the UN by Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, Permanent Observer to the United Nations.  The main reason the story did not ‘make the cut’ that week was because it appeared to just be  a report, a speech, on a weighty subject but seemingly not being any more than a “communication.”  It seemed not to change anything in current practice, and most of the news stories covered here are about substantive changes or early warning alerts.  This one originally seemed to  be not much more than a gracious, international accommodation on a subject of mutual interest, and discussed between the parties, ‘from time to time.’  But this week the matter ‘exploded’ into front page headlines,  revealing an importance far greater than originally thought.  So, this week, the entire update is dedicated to the severe dictatorial UN report coming out of what seemed to be an innocuous ‘good faith’ presentation.  The last two articles are especially worth reading, to better understand the worldwide basis of attack on Catholic Moral Teaching.

Background:  On January 16, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi,  gave an address to the “UN Committee on the Convention of the Rights of the Child and the Optional Protocols.”  Click on the link to read the content of that address.  The reader will likely not find any surprises in the address, but rather pastoral concern, and a statement of commitment to obligations, as well as acknowledgement that the Catholic Church is among many organizations dealing with the problem of child abuse, made worse when it is propagated by those most trusted.  The Zenit story also noted:  “Aside from the Holy See, the reports of several countries were presented to the committee, including Russia, Germany, Portugal, Congo and Yemen.”

Abp. Silvano Tomasi

Abp. Silvano Tomasi

In part, Abp. Tomasi noted in his address:  “Today’s session, is an important occasion to reaffirm the value and the procedures of the convention and to accept any good advice that is given that can be helpful in the protection of children.”  There was also a timeliness, related to Pope Francis’ recent  approval of the establishment of a Commission for the protection of children and the pastoral care of abuse victims.  Abp. Tomasi expressed his assurance that the Holy See will fulfill its international obligations as well as to take the observations and comments of the committee “into due account.”  He said that the commission established by Pope Francis “will study the input and observations given by the committee.”   Now it sounds like the “input and observations” given, this week, went way beyond anything the Vatican could have anticipated.  Moreover, there are accusations that the feedback given, if it can be called feedback, substantially ignores everything  that was presented by Abp. Tomasi, even to the extent of rendering a report allegedly prepared even before his  presentation, with an agenda outside the expected, aka “with an axe to grind.”

Fr. Federico Lombardi

Fr. Federico Lombardi

On that same day, Vatican Spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi put out a statement on the reasons for the address to the U.N. committee.  The Zenit article is entitled:  “Vatican Spokesman Explains Background to U.N. Child Abuse Hearing.”  It goes on: “The Holy See is deeply saddened by the scourge of sexual abuse of minors, which harms millions of children throughout the world,” acknowledging that “sadly, certain members of the clergy have been involved in such abuse.”  Written in Italian, the note offers a history of the Holy See’s adherence to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as its response to questions posed by the committee.  The statement, unfortunately, comes across as somewhat defensive.  Zenit states:  “Fr. Lombardi explains that the enforcement of laws pertaining to the protection of minors lies with the civil authorities in countries that are party to the Convention, and are responsible for its implementation.”  He highlights the “Holy See’s position as a sovereign subject of international law, and the limits of the Holy See’s rights and responsibilities regarding the conduct of priests and religious worldwide.”  Fr. Lombardi says “it is not rare to find that the questions posed [by the committee] – above all where they refer to the sexual abuse of minors – seem to presuppose that bishops or religious superiors act as representatives or delegates of the Pope – [though this is] utterly without foundation.”   It was also mentioned that there had been reportedly anger that the Holy See would  not share the results of its own internal inquiry into sex abuse. The Vatican responded by saying it is “not the practice of the Holy See to disclose information on the religious discipline of members of the clergy or religious, according to canon law,” in order to “protect the witnesses, the accused and the integrity of the Church process.”

Slap-down by UN Committee ReplyWhether there was something in the Archbishop’s address to the committee, or something in the statement of Fr. Lombardi, that provoked a heavy-handed response from the UN, or not, remains a point of potential argument, but readers of the sharp UN reply observe that nothing in that reply evidences that they read or heard the address by Abp. Tomasi.  That observation almost implies a response was prepared in advance.  In any event, the original news stories that there was such a presentation in Geneva, and that the reasons were explained by Fr. Lombardi, are eclipsed by the follow-on words of the UN reply.  As the popular press would have it, the UN made nothing less than a call for the Church to change doctrine and Canon Law; i.e. to accept the immoral practice of the world, instead of the word of God.  It would seem to be one more evidence that “conscience rights” will increasingly be unrecognized and disrespected.

Reading even the highlights of the UN report, one can sense what appears to be a deliberate escalation of  hostility, especially of the UN toward the Vatican, and one has to wonder, “For what purpose?”  And THAT is the reason it is important to follow what is happening very closely.  In the best case, it is just a petulant backlash between figureheads of two organizations.  At its worst, it is a severe escalation of religious persecution of the Catholic Church.  Several writers clearly put forth the observation that it is the more onerous interpretation.  It is also an illustration of what happens when an organization loses the moral high ground, being no longer able to lead but instead becoming even more vulnerable to attack.  Unfair as the attack may be, there is one level at which Church leadership has only itself to blame.  Or, said another way, when the shepherds are struck, the sheep are scattered.  But in the heat of battle, we are probably 20-50 years too early for the analysis.  So, back to the unfolding story:

Fr. Lombardi: UN Report Shows “Serious” Lack of Understanding of Holy See

Vatican Spokesman Responds to UN Committee Recommendations on Sexual Abuse, Vatican City, Feb. 7, 2014

Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, … made several clarifications regarding the reaction of the UN committee on the Rights of the Child report.  The following are excerpts from the statement published on Vatican Radio.

  • “The UN committee strongly reproached the Vatican for its handling of abuse cases, while not taking many of the implementations to the Convention that the Holy See observed into consideration. It also recommended that the Church change its stance on homosexuality and abortion.”
  • The committee’s recent report, he said, “has aroused extensive reaction and response” [and] appears “to present grave limitations.”
  • The recommendations “have not taken adequate account of the responses, both written and oral, given by the representatives of the Holy See,” … “Those who have read and heard these answers do not find proportionate reflections of them in the document of the committee, so as to suggest that it was practically already written, or at least already in large part blocked out before the hearing.”
  • Fr. Lombardi also called the UN committee’s lack of understanding of the nature of the Holy See, a “serious” matter.  “[Are we dealing with] an inability to understand, or an unwillingness to understand? In either case, one is entitled to amazement,” Fr. Lombardi wrote.
  • He said a more serious matter was the committee’s interference in moral and doctrinal positions of the Church regarding contraception, abortion and human sexuality.  Those interferences, he said, were made in light of “the committee’s own ideological vision of sexuality itself.”

Fr. Lombardi concluded his statement, saying the UN “carries the brunt of the negative consequences in public opinion, for the actions of a committee that calls itself [by the UN name].”  Over the next few days opinion within the Church seemed to swing more toward indignation and backlash against the UN reply.  An “early responder” to the matter was Fr. Boquet, whose reply was covered by LifeSiteNews and published by Human Life International.  While usually giving links, the content is so important in framing out where this confrontation seems to be headed, that we cover most of the article below.  See also, received today, Feb. 9th, Brian Fraga’s contribution:  “UN Committee to Vatican “Change Church Teaching.”   That NC Register link is  and also see the NC Register link for an article by the founder of the Faith and Reason Institute, Robert Royal, on “The New Rights at the UN are Dead Wrong”



“UN Committee Statement Requesting Changes in Catholic Moral Teaching is an Egregious Attack on Religious Freedom”

Fr. Boquet

Fr. Boquet

 FRONT ROYAL, Virginia, Feb. 6, 2014 –The “Concluding Observations” on the report of the Holy See released Wednesday by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child are a flagrant and egregious attack on the religious freedom of the Catholic Church, her right and obligation to uphold the dignity of the human person and her estimated 1.2 billion members around the world….  “The audacity of the people who wrote this report is simply amazing in dictating to the Catholic Church what her moral teachings should be in order to advance false and dangerous notions of ‘tolerance’ and ‘rights’ so often pushed by those with an anti-life, anti-family agenda,” said Fr. Boquet. “While these are only the thoughts of a few members of one UN committee, we should take seriously any document coming from the United Nations telling a billion people worldwide that their deeply held moral beliefs are inappropriate and need to change.  They are using the priest abuse issue to delegitimize the moral teachings of the Church and attack her freedom and right to exercise those beliefs around the world,” he said.

The UN committee’s comments make several requests of the Holy See to amend Canon Law, the law of the Catholic Church, including Canon 1398 calling for latae sententiae excommunication for those who procure an abortion. The report also criticizes the Church’s moral teachings on abortion, contraception and homosexuality.  The UN committee also requests that the Holy See identify in Canon Law “circumstances under which access to abortion services can be permitted,” an impossible task considering the Church’s teaching on the dignity and sacredness of human life from conception until natural death.

“In addition to their attack on the Church’s religious freedom, it’s quite alarming that a UN committee that exists to protect ‘the rights of the child’ would make a statement so supportive of killing children through abortion, really a criminal act against humanity, that it actually asks one of the world’s major religions to change its moral teaching in order to make it happen,” Fr. Boquet said.

“The report also makes an unjust and unsubstantiated charge that the Church’s teachings on homosexual behavior “contribute to the social stigmatization of and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender adolescents and children raised by same sex couples.  This is a very serious charge, made very casually and without evidence,” said Fr. Boquet. “It is the type of calumny usually only seen in the most extreme ideological attacks directed at the Catholic Church, which is why it is so disappointing for an official agency of the United Nations to legitimize this slander by including it in an official document. Indeed, could one not also accuse the United Nations of encouraging violence against Catholics on exactly the same grounds, especially since the accuser does not need to provide evidence of actual incitement to violence in making the charge?”

“The Catholic Church and Catholics around the world deserve a correction of the deeply and thoroughly flawed Concluding Observations document which attacks the freedom of Catholics to express our faith without persecution,” said Fr. Boquet. “This type of language inciting hatred and violence towards Catholics cannot be allowed to stand.”

This issue is so serious, that we are only concentrating on a single issue this week. 

Next week, we’ll catch up on ‘the rest of the story.’

Week 05 in Catholic Media, 2014

February 3rd, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris

What does one say about an upside-down week in which Pope Francis is on the cover of Rolling Stone, California postpones enforcing mandatory co-ed restrooms, the Pentagon allows wearing of turbans and headscarves for religious purposes in the military, the NYS Governor goes on a childish rant heard ’round the world, and animal rights activists ask Pope Francis to stop releasing doves, which were being killed by swooping predators.  Perhaps the less said, the better.  (But scroll to the very bottom of this post if you have something to say about the Courier’s (CNS) front page lead article today fawning over Obama’s State of the Union Address.  Because a number of contributors to Cleansing Fire seemingly have been blocked by DoR in commenting on Courier articles, I hope that these weekly news reports will be a place for their comments too.)

In an upside down world, it is sometimes easy to forget, or not notice, how many individuals and organizations are working and praying 24/7/365 for a holier world.  It was obvious on January 22, as the pro-life forces flowed into and through the streets of the nation’s Capitol in protest of government-driven killing in the womb, and it continues to be obvious every day in print.  Consider the good work being done by the Becket Fund, for example, as recounted in the January 28th correspondence from






“Dear Friends,

As you may know, … the Supreme Court ruled that our client, the Little Sisters of the Poor, would be protected from crushing IRS fines while we continue to fight for them in the Tenth Circuit.  Not one member of the Court dissented from the order.  At once, we felt relieved for the Sisters.  No fines.  For now. We were also overjoyed … that the Sisters would not have to sign a government “permission slip” that is in direct violation of the Sister’s religious beliefs. 

 But, there are a lot of hurdles ahead. And, for the sake of the Sisters’ work and every American’s religious freedom, we need to overcome them.  The “permission slip” or certification, is something worth considering for a moment since you will hear a lot about it in the months to come.  In broad strokes, the certification specifies that the Sisters oppose contraceptives and potentially life terminating drugs. This part is true. However—and this is the big however–it also authorizes, directs, and legally binds others to provide these drugs.  The government says the Little Sisters should sign and distribute the authorization form because “at this time” the government has not yet figured out how to force Christian Brothers to distribute the drugs.  But the government also emphasizes that it is still considering ways to force Christian Brothers and other third parties to act on the Sisters’ forms.  And the Little Sisters simply can’t authorize, direct, and bind people to provide contraceptives–they can’t help with the government’s contraceptive delivery scheme at all–even if the government says the system doesn’t work just yet.

Instead of protecting the Little Sisters’ religious liberty, the government has mocked their stance by characterizing  Little SistersA their courage, in court, as a fight against “invisible dragons.”  …  Just yesterday, Bill Mumma and I went to visit the Little Sisters of the Poor in their home in Baltimore. It was the most special day I have experienced in my almost 16 years at Becket.  The Little Sisters aren’t kidding when they say they go begging in order to provide for their residents. They truly devote all of their skills and talents to find every unique and possible way to make their residents feel loved and at home. They showed us how to be joyful and grateful despite having limited resources.  Their overwhelming gratitude towards us was humbling and a great reminder of why we do what we do.

And with this reminder, we will continue to fight for the Sisters in the Court of Law and in the court of public opinion. If the government is willing to do this to the Little Sisters, what will they do to the rest of the faithful?  … It is important for the American people to know what is happening to the Sisters and to religious liberty in this country.”

The Becket letter also gave an update on their support of Hobby Lobby, and the 50 amici briefs already filed.  Twenty individual states, religious leaders and legal scholars are supporting that challenge to the HHS Mandate, including 107 bipartisan members of Congress representing 34 states.  Religious groups are diverse, including the USCCB, the Orthodox Union, a leading Orthodox Jewish association, Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, a Santeria church that won a 9-0 Supreme Court victory under the Free Exercise Clause, Hindus,  The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Prison Fellowship Ministry, Anglican Church in North America, Coalition of Christian Colleges and Universities, and Democrats for Life.  The oral argument is March 25.

It’s not about Politics; it’s about knowing right from wrong.  But, on the Eastern Front: ….ScreenShot348

This past week the House of Representatives passed the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” by a vote which included 6 “pro-life”  Democrat votes, and 221 yea votes from all Republicans, except one.  Ordinarily, we might not notice one breakaway Congressman, except this one happens to be in our backyard.  Representative Richard Hanna is from the 22nd Congressional District, east of Syracuse and stretching from Lake Ontario to Binghamton.  This relevant local story was surprisingly picked up on January 29th by LifeSiteNews by Dustin Siggins,  and with better coverage than many of our local newspapers.

Besides being the only Republican to vote against this pro-life measure, Mr. Hanna was just casting one more  in a string of his pro-abortion votes.  “He opposed an amendment to defund Planned Parenthood in 2011, and was one of two Republicans who opposed a bill that would allow doctors and hospitals to turn away women seeking an abortion. In June 2013, he opposed a ban on most late-term abortions that passed the House,”  LifeSiteNews reported, adding: “First elected in 2010, Hanna lost the backing of the influential Conservative Party of New York in his re-election campaign in 2012.  State Party Chairman Michael Long told that ‘the Conservative Party of New York is very supportive of the pro-life movement, and therefore does not believe citizens’ tax money should go to pay for abortions.  His vote on H.R. 7 is a clear example of why he does not have our endorsement.’”

LifeSiteNews adds:  “Hanna’s vote comes less than a week after the Republican National Committee (RNC) urged candidates and all other Republicans to stand for life. Between 40 and 60 members of the RNC attended last week’s March for Life, including Chairman Rience Priebus.”  Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, HR 7  is unlikely to pass in the Senate.  If it does, President Obama has threatened to veto it.

 Meanwhile, on our Western Front:

 1)  Buffalo bishop slams Cuomo’s ‘rant’, says NY’s governor is the ‘extremist’

by Thaddeus Baklinski, Jan. 27th (see also VIDEO in the link.)

“Buffalo’s Bishop Richard Malone has shot back after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo suggested “extreme conservatives“, including pro-lifers and pro-family advocates, have no place in … New York.  In a video posted on his diocesan website …, Bp. Malone said Cuomo’s “rant” was itself extremist.  ‘The governor of New York State actually said there is no place for us, if we are pro-life, in the State of New York,’ says the bishop.  ‘I think that comment is the best example of extremism I’ve heard for a long time.  At first it was so outrageous it made me laugh.  Then it made me deeply concerned,’ he continued.  ‘New York State already has the highest rate of abortions in the country,’ Bishop Malone stated. ‘The governor, and those who support him on this position, want to make us the abortion capital of the country.'”

“Cuomo’s statements, in which he also included pro-gun lobbyists as extremists, provoked a strong backlash from pro-life leaders and other conservatives, who took offense at Cuomo’s suggestion that, as quoted in the headline of the New York Post,  conservatives should ‘Leave NY!'”

 2) Saving St. Ann’s:  Source:  Buffalo News, reported in CathNewsUSA Jan. 27th.

The following is an opinion piece from the Buffalo News, reported in CathNews USA, which has ramifications not only for the Diocese of Buffalo, but also for a number of other dioceses as well, including Rochester.  It is excerpted, but not reworded, leaving its tone intact.





(citing the Buffalo News) “There are times when it pays to take a step back, take a breath and consider the long view.  For the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, which has been on a misguided campaign to erase an important architectural and cultural landmark from Buffalo’s streetscape since 2012, that time is now.  Earlier this month, a tenacious group of former parishioners from St. Ann’s Church and Shrine on Broadway won an important legal battle, when a Vatican court decreed that the church could not be deconsecrated – a demotion in religious status that would have allowed the diocese to demolish it.”

“The decree from the Vatican, which knows a little something about the importance of preserving churches as cultural and architectural treasures, should have given pause to the Diocese of Buffalo.  At minimum, it should have caused local Catholic leaders to reconsider their plan to tear down the priceless 1886 structure, which grew out of a 2013 analysis that put the cost of repairing the building at as high as $12.4 million.  But in a decision that boggles the mind, the diocese appealed the decree, charging ahead with its plan to reduce the church to rubble and leaving its immediate future in limbo….”

“In a release announcing its decision to appeal the Vatican decree, the Diocese of Buffalo paints a picture of a building that is far beyond repair. StAnnsChurch-300x183But former parishioner Martin Ederer, a SUNY Buffalo State professor and expert on the history of Buffalo’s Catholic churches, argued for taking a longer view.  ‘We’ve been very clear from our side that we don’t disagree that there’s some significant work that needs to be done there,’ Ederer said. He suggested a gradual, European-style approach to repairing the European-style church, which begins by addressing the most vital safety concerns and then unfolds in phases over a decade or more as the burgeoning downtown development inevitably stretches eastward.  ‘I think the diocesan approach is more to lock the church and do all the repairs within the span of a year or two and then reopen it perfect and pristine. I don’t know if there’s a right or wrong answer, but there is a philosophical difference,’ Ederer said. ‘Sometimes projects worth doing are going to take a lot of time.’”

“In response to a request for more information on the philosophy of the diocese, communications manager Kristina M. Connell wrote in an email that ‘the church is still closed due to safety issues/concerns, the diocese is not able to sell the church and the church cannot be razed.’ She declined to provide a copy of the Vatican decree.  It doesn’t take an expert to see whose approach makes more sense. It’s a false dichotomy to suggest, as the Diocese of Buffalo has done, that the only viable options are to immediately repair the building or knock it down. It would be much more logical to develop a long-term strategic plan, in tandem with former parishioners like Ederer, to repair the physical state of the church and develop it into a cultural as well as religious destination.”

“In an era of declining population and shrinking parishes, this is sure to be a great challenge. But it is not insurmountable. In fact, if the diocese, the City of Buffalo, the proud supporters of St. Ann’s and the city’s active preservationists teamed up, it could become a model preservation project.  ‘At this point, well, the diocese owns it and we’re Catholics, and the bishop is our shepherd and we’re his people,’ Ederer said. ‘We always try to proceed in charity and we hope to continue to do so. That’s always our hope. It’s always our intention and it’s always easier to collaborate on things than to butt heads.’  It would be great to see the diocese come around to that way of thinking, to see things not only in terms of its current fiscal year but in the grand scope of the region’s history.   No less powerful an institution than the Vatican, now in the midst of its own renaissance of historical consciousness, has encouraged it to do just that. The advice is worth heeding.”

Comments on this week’s digital Courier? Catholic News Service’s Lead Story?

There seems to be a need for some place to offer commentary on Diocesan Courier articles, since some people have found their comments apparently blocked, perhaps by IP address.  We won’t comment on motives for blocking, only on the obvious — if one repeatedly offers comments which just don’t show up on-line, we assume they are being blocked.  So to provide a forum for such discussion, this weekly NEWS section might be the place to do so.  What do you think?   I’ll go first — I found the Catholic News Service article, run on the front page on February 3rd, about Obama’s State of the Union address, to be unrealistic, fawning, politically coercive and naive.  Perhaps the writers of the CNS article haven’t noticed, but this is the same administration which is forcing the HHS mandate on Catholics, ramping up abortion, giving away contraceptives, pushing gay marriage, forcing the Church out of adoption services, ignoring conscience rights and harassing home schoolers.  Euthanasia is expected next on the agenda.

Obama and his programs can realistically be called the worst persecution of Catholics since the founding of our country.  The Catholic praise heaped on his speech, and directly on his words and strategies, is scandalous in my opinion, confuses the faithful, and weakens resolve and encourages more persecution.  No wonder this administration acts like it can step all over Catholics.  It can and does.  Often.   Ignoring matters of intrinsic evil to concentrate on prudential judgment areas does a real disservice to those who are unreservedly fighting for the moral teachings of our Church.

At LEAST there should have been a substantive criticism of what Obama DIDN’T say, or meaningful alternative opinions to balance the article.  Or how about some recognition that all those banal give-away strategies, advanced for half a century, just don’t work?  If they did, the situation would be improving rather than going steadily down hill.   But, no, once again the Democratic agenda is front and center as if it were Catholic tenet.    Whatever happened to the basics: “Secure our borders. Stop the socialistic redistribution of wealth.  Cease undermining our country.  Hold people responsible.  Put them to work. ”  Whatever happened to 2 Thessalonians 3:10: “If any one will not work, let him not eat.”   This criticism is about the CNS, which seems to have forgotten its roots, or been victim of a liberal hijacking.  Unfortunately, when diocesan media use such materials it only encourages more such biased reporting, and impairs its own credibility.

Week 03 in Catholic Media, 2014

January 18th, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris

A Request for More Information about Central Africa

Since our last news update a week ago, one reader wrote to ask for more information on what is happening in the Central African Republic in particular, and throughout countries where Islamic militants are persecuting Christian Churches.  As one can imagine, just getting accurate news from some areas is very difficult, and it often comes late after corrections or updates may already be issued but not received.  There is also danger in repeating something inaccurate, as it could foment further harm.  Nevertheless, our persecuted brothers and sisters deserve more than silence, so we begin this week’s post with a limited patchwork of what we find in Zenit this week.  The more extensive full text can be found at:





Let Us Rebuild Together  in Peace:  “While the world was celebrating Christmas, we were spending our time killing one another”

ROME, January 15, 2014 ( – Here are excerpts from the Jan. 8 message from the bishops of the Central African Republic:


“On the threshold of this new year 2014, we, the bishops of Central Africa offer our wishes of peace and long life to all the people of the Central African Republic, despite the difficult situation our country is going through. To the French, Congolese and Chadian governments, to the families of the soldiers who have fallen in this land for our liberation, and for all our compatriots who have lost loved ones, we offer our sincere condolences…. The people of Bossangoa, Bouar, Bozoum, Gaga and Bangui have been particularly traumatised by this fratricidal violence. How did we manage to arrive at this human degradation?”  (The headlines of each section follow, with just a bit of content in some.  Use the link above to read the entire document.)

 1.     A military and political crisis that has destroyed our social cohesion:  Certain demands of a social and political nature have led some Central Africans to resort to armed rebellion. The rapid advance of the Seleka coalition forced the ousted president to flee and led in consequence to a change of government. This movement was led to a great extent by Chadian and Sudanese mercenaries and young unemployed men, enlisted progressively during the advance of the Seleka forces, who committed numerous outrages (thefts, rape, looting, violence, murder…) against the civilian population. They have destroyed the administrative and economic system of the country and … the life of the nation, by destabilising its social cohesion. Human rights were trampled underfoot.

Central African Republic shown in yellow.

Central African Republic shown in yellow.

The disintegration of the state and the silent complicity of our rulers, of the political class, together with the slowness of the response by the international community have together driven those who felt themselves to be the victims of this system to take the law into their own hands and organise into self-defence movements in order to protect what was left to them. …. In the present conflict between the Seleka and the anti-balaka we have slipped into a cycle of reprisals and counter-reprisals in which the civilian population is held hostage. We condemn all this violence, regardless of its origin.  … The inaccurate language which equates the anti-balaka with a Christian militia has to be corrected. This generalisation, propagated by the national and international media, leads people to attribute a sectarian character to a crisis that is above all political and military.

2.   Gratitude to the International Community:

3.  Our responsibility as Christians and citizens: 

4.  The struggle for human advancement and social cohesion:  We present a deplorable picture of ourselves and of our country. We seem to be content to destroy what little infrastructure we still have left. The result is devastating. The country is laid low, like the rotten fruit that blankets the soil in our villages, while our people are scattered, wandering through the bush like wild animals. Far from the claims about the cementing of national unity, reinforcing social cohesion and good governance and the just distribution of the national wealth that were bandied about by the seleka coalition, in justification of the seizure of power, the country has instead been plunged into desolation. The roads are no longer maintained, the hospitals are destroyed or left devoid of medication and medical personnel. Those living with HIV AIDS no longer have access to the necessary drugs. The schools no longer exist. Now we are on our way towards a second lost year. Are we even aware of the children of schoolgoing age whom we are sacrificing on the altar of this crisis? The government administration is non-existent, the state employees are on strike and the young are unemployed. There is no sign of progress. There is no longer any guarantee of respect for the individual in his physical integrity and the protection of his goods. Killing has become a routine and anodyne action. We are sinking into a “culture of violence and death….”

5. The promotion of national unity:  Our present behaviour is an utter discredit to the values of unity, dignity and work on which our nation of Central Africa is founded.  …. Let us be on our guard that this crisis does not harden our hearts against our brothers and sisters and make us question the advantages of the spirit of welcoming and hospitality for which our country is renowned. It is heartbreaking to see our brothers and sisters departing in droves, who have been settled for decades here in Central Africa and who have contributed to the development of our country. It is equally discouraging to hear some of our countrymen speaking of the partition of the Central African Republic.”

6.     Fraternity

7.     Forgiveness as a healing process

8.     Some proposals for a way out of the crisis

9.    Conclusion:  The year 2013 has been a year of severe trials for the entire Central African people. No one has been spared by this crisis, which has brought so many misfortunes, plunged so many families into mourning and destroyed not only our social fabric but our entire administrative and judicial apparatus and brought our economy to its knees. Nevertheless, the Lord has not abandoned us. Trusting in his fatherly concern, which urges us to live as brothers and sisters because we are all his children, we pray that this New Year of 2014 may enable us to live in peace and mutual harmony.”

“For a united and peaceful Central African Republic, through the intercession of Mary, Queen of Peace.  Bangui Jan. 8, 2014”


When Children are Pushed Down the Slippery Slope, and the Common Core Curriculum Concerns

The history of the world of tyranny and dictatorship, of raw power, is a history of perpetuation of ideology through other people’s children.  It would be naive to think that were not still true today.  From capturing youth for the slave trade to the state schools of Nazi Germany, from  recruitment of suicide bombers to human sex trafficking, it is the young who are the focus of abominable use and of new cannon fodder.  Today, in the United States, and elsewhere in the world, we see well-defined threats not only to the bodies but also to the souls of children.   More than 40 years of legalized abortion has obviously destroyed millions of young bodies and reduced birth rates.  The emergent culture of so called “gay-marriage” begs the question “Where will the next generation of support for homosexual unions come from, if somebody else’s children are not raised to deny God and His moral teaching?”  The answer should be obvious.  Other people’s children must be, in some way, wrested away from the parents who would teach them of God, and in some manner “brainwashed” into believing what the emergent sin culture wants them to believe, in order to perpetuate itself.

In some countries, that might mean taking the children away from their parents entirely (see below, regarding an adverse judicial decision in Germany this week.)    In the U. S. there have been pressures on organizations such as the Girl Scouts to promote Planned Parenthood connections, and this past autumn there was the charter change to admit alleged homosexual boys to the scouts.  The biggest looming threat would seem to be the Obama administration’s proposed Common Core Curriculum, already denounced by several U.S. bishops.  Deliberate actions against home-schooling are increasingly reported as well, setting the stage for further manipulation of children.  It would be well for Catholics to refresh themselves on the rights of all parents, found in the Catholic Church’s Charter of the Rights of the Family,  especially Article V regarding education.


Children taken away from Home-Schooling Parents in Germany

by Peter Baklinski,  DARMSTADT, Germany,  Jan. 16, 2014

A family court judge in Germany has denied a Christian homeschooling couple custody of their 4 children, to prevent their fleeing Germany, calling homeschooling a concrete endangerment to the well-being of the child, a “straitjacket” to bind children to years of isolation.  This is the same family, the Wunderlichs, whose home was stormed by police last August and the children forcibly removed.  Homeschooling is illegal in Germany, just as it was in East Germany under communism and in all of Germany under the Nazis.

Apparently, the standards set forth in international law documents — such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the right of parents to direct the education of their children, and the right of individuals to leave a country are all likely being violated.

Something is rotten in the state of education: The Abominable Common Core Curriculum 

by Anthony Esolen, Fri Jan 17, 2014 13:53 EST

LifeSiteNews has reprinted  the subject opinion piece, stating “Any land in which parents, singly or in groups, do not have first and last authority over what and how their children learn is not free.”  The original article can also be read on the Witherspoon Institutes Public Policy discourse, where it is entitled:  “Peonage for the Twenty-First Century.”  Here are a few key excerpts from the author:

  • “The Common Core exists only because we have forgotten that parents have a right to educate their children. The state has no educational authority of its own apart from what parents delegate to it.”
  •  “Common Core…is a bag of rotten old ideas doused with disinfectant; its assumptions are hostile to classical and Christian approaches to education; it is starkly utilitarian; its self-promotion is sludged up with edu-lingo, thick with verbiage and thin in thought; its drafters have forgotten, if they ever knew, what it is to be a child.”
  • “…that there should even be a Common Core proves how far we have fallen into peonage to the State.”
  • “The family delegates some of its educational task to the schoolteacher, who is, as it were, a general governess or tutor hired by the parents through the intermediary of the town or county. The school is a deputy of the family, or, in the case of the death or debility of the parents, a substitute. It has no authority of its own apart from what the employers, the parents, delegate to it.”
  • “…that we might countenance national authority over the mind of a child shows our abjection.”

In case you missed  prior articles regarding the dangers of the Common Core Curriculum, here are a few of interest:

  1. See LifeSiteNews regarding “Homeschool group, Catholic education watchdog … concerned by Common Core standards” here:
  2. the Cardinal Newman Society’s:  “Common Core May Endanger Religous Freedom of Catholic Schools” here:
  3. the Cardinal Newman Society’s: “Common Core’s  ‘National Standard’ Threatens Autonomy, Religious Freedom, Says Education Policy Expert” found at:
  4. CathNewsUSA’s News from Nov. 4, 2013:   “Catholic scholars blast Common Core in letter to U.S. bishops” which can be found here

LATE BREAKING NEWS: JWYTICGAC  (Just when you thought it couldn’t get any crazier) — NYS Assemblywoman Margaret Markey from Long Island has introduced a bill to require psychological testing and evaluation of every single student in public school.  Now if the plan started with the NY Assembly, it might have made some sense.