by Pauly Fongemie
April 7, 2013:

PERSECUTION: Turning Point and Destiny

On Saturday I viewed a C-SPAN presentation on the growing worldwide persecution of Christians, including America; the panel [with moderator] consisted of three authors who had co-written their just published book, PERSECUTED. One of the authors was Nina Shea who has been interviewed on EWTN. It could not have been more timely from an American perspective, for on the same day THE REMNANT reported on our own government's persecution of Catholics, among other Christian faiths, that are deemed "religious extremist." The article, by editor Michael Matt, can be found here at this link:

The article is the first on the page for now, when archived you will be able to find the link at least for a short period of time, and we trust, always available, for:

 It is masterfully written, filled with insight; in fact it is a virtual catechism or primer for us Catholics, not only the why, but the what and how, what we must do and not do, how we are to conduct ourselves in the coming days of our persecution, and I mean this quite literally, which are nigh at hand. Mr. Matt's piece is a call, not to arms in the traditional political sense, but a call to arms of: prayer, mortification, steadfastness and forgiveness for those who will do such awful things to us, not for anything we do or might do, but only for what we believe, one tenet of which is that objectively taken, THERE IS NO SALVATION OUTSIDE OF THE CHURCH. Subjectively, the Church has always taught that those who are invincibly ignorant, that is, through no fault of their own, are exempt from blame in this regard. And if they are saved it is through the graces bestowed on them in some way by the Church through the infinite mercy of God, although you and I and others may not always be cognizant of this merciful grace in the life of any one person.

Two tears ago I recognized that we had reached the turning point here in the States, before the full crushing force of Obama care --- that we had a rendezvous with a life-changing destiny, unimaginable up till then. I had occasion to watch a program of Raymond Arroyo's on EWTN, THE WORLD OVER LIVE, in which a US chaplain serving our country was told that he was not permitted to use the name of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in a funeral service for a slain soldier. While not actually enforced per se for now, once the "policy" was exposed, it was however, not removed from the list of unpatriotic infractions, but simply set aside until the time is ripe to re-impose it with vigor and full penalty.  Still, one could not be accused of extremism if one deduced that the "ban" on Christ was at least intimidating to the less hardy soul and that perhaps that suffices for the time being for the intolerant and craven beholden to the real extremist power-brokers in the world. Perhaps the US Supreme Court is still so uncertain as to give pause momentarily for these mad men bent on eradicating all trace of Jesus Christ from our national life. One more liberal-infested justice gratis Obama and all bets are off. Just, as the training manual by the US Army Reserve has been exposed for its bigotry, the powers that be are claiming, not convincingly at all, that it was just "a mistake." Mr. Matt is not certain they mean it and neither am I, simply because of the government's politically correct pusillanimity [Paul Marshall, one of the PERSECUTED co-authors] where religious freedom is concerned. Now that Obama care's mandate forcing persons of religious faith to pay for abortion-contraception-sterilzation insurance coverage, services they do not want and ought not pay for, is still not settled, we might as well, for the present time anyway, add this to the increasing attacks on freedom of belief and practice, since we know the US government felt "free" to "unfree us" from freedom of worship in its so-called edict to that chaplain. Other chaplains told of the same, but refused to comply and remain as yet unmolested. But just think of the unmitigated hubris, the audacity and contempt for the holy Name of Jesus Christ in preference for "sensitivity" to non-Christian sects which apparently have some kind of veto power over our worship, while maintaining freedom for theirs. We also note in bold for contemplation, that freedom of religion or belief, freedom of practice and worship are not equivalent. Our government cynically and brazenly lying pretends that because they are not commanding us to believe something as not true, that this is the same as practice and worship, and thus we are still free, although it is plainer than plain that worship and practice are being restricted slowly --- the proverbial pot heating up as the public is conditioned psychologically --- and if we should comply why then the belief will fade into memory, just as surely as the natural law has ever since abortion. Forty years of mass murder and what is the natural law anymore to us? We ought to pause here also to note that Allah is not verboten still. A double standard? Of course with three alarm bells, but what else is new, actually, given the trajectory of our deplorably sad religious indifferent state creed that always ends up persecuting religious Truth. Why does this seem to always happen, you ask?

Beside the aforementioned politically correct imbecility and irrationality, there are four aspects of human nature at work --- the baser inclinations, that is:

The first is irony itself. An important part of the Catholic creed is that we do not retaliate against our persecutors in following Christ to the letter and in His spirit. That is why I wrote my just published column on the bashing of "Bible-thumpers" by Bill O'Reilly & Co. Those mediaperts who rose to his defense of that bigoted term insist that we are making too much of it. They remain undeterred, however, because they know we will be insulted up to our eyeballs and not attack back, that we resist hatred, revenge, etc. and, rather, forgive and pray for those who abuse and misunderstand us. This is one of the reasons why the assault on Christians is unabated and gathering steam full blast. As I put it in Tempest in a Teapot, April 3: " ...
make no mistake this term "Bible thumpers" is an insult to them [meaning Christians], and most especially to God, the ultimate author of the Bible and the author of Truth Who is all Truth ...: I recall hearing that phrase, along with "mackerel snappers" for us Catholics and Protestants back in the 50s. Believe me, we knew it was meant to sting, to marginalize us. It mattered not to those who disparaged our cherished beliefs that we were and are bound to forgive them. In fact they considered this aspect the frosting on the cake as they could act hypocritically with impunity, knowing full well that we knew it, too." Basic human nature #101.

The other three aspects are written about in a chapter from his book, LIFT UP YOUR HEART, 1950, by Ven. Archbishop Fulton Sheen [text in red]:

The way we live has an influence on the way we think. This is not a denial of the intellectual factors in belief, but merely an attempt to emphasize a neglected element. Some people imagine that they can bring a person to Divine Love merely by answering a doubt he has expressed. They assume that men are irreligious only because they are ignorant; that if atheists read a few good books or listened to a few choice arguments in favor of Divinity, they would immediately embrace the Faith. Religion seems to them to be a thing to be known, rather than a Personality to be embraced and lived and loved. But our Divine Lord, Who is Truth itself, could not convince the Pharisees and certain sinners; they were intellectually confounded by His knowledge so that, after one encounter, no man dared question Him againbut still they did not believe. Christ told those who watched the resurrection of Lazarus that some of them would not believe, though one rose daily from the dead. Intellectual knowledge is not the "one thing necessary": not all the Ph.D.'s are Saints, and the ignorant are not demons. Indeed, a certain type of education may simply turn a man from a stupid egotist into a clever egotist, and of the two the former has the better chance of salvation. [Emphasis in bold added.]

Many men today are ignorant, full of prejudice and misinformation about the Faith, and it is regrettable that they have had no opportunity for instruction, for acquiring knowledge of the Truth. But though God can be discovered by study, instruction, and reading, these alone will not bring one to God. There must also be a willingness to accept the Truth personally, that is, in all its implications. It is easy to find Truth; it is hard to face it, and harder still to follow it. Modern education is geared to what it calls "extending the frontiers of truth," and sometimes this ideal is prized and used to excuse men from acting on old truths already discovered. The discovery of the size of a distant star creates no moral obligation; but the old truths about the nature and destiny of man can be a reproach to the way one lives. Some psychologists and sociologists like to rap their knuckles at the door of truth about mankind, but they would run away if the door ever opened, showing man's contingency on God. The only people who ever arrive at a knowledge of God are those who, when the door is opened, accept that Truth and shoulder the responsibilities it brings. It requires more courage than brains to learn to know God: God is the most obvious fact of human experience, but accepting Him is one of the most arduous. The moral conditions for knowing Divine Truth are, next to Grace, the most important requisites for conversion. There are, indeed, some who do not come to the Truth because they do not know it; but there are many more who do not come because of their present behavior. It is not the way they think, but the way they live which constitutes the obstacle to union with the Spirit. It is not the Creed that keeps most people away from Christ and His Mystical Body; it is the Commandments. The intellectual factors of belief are generally known, as is the important factor of Divine illumination; but here we wish to concentrate upon three neglected factors influencing a man's assent to Divine Truth:

1. Good will.
2. Living up to the Truth he already knows.
3. Habits of living.

Why is it, when a strong intellectual argument for the Faith is given to person A and person B, that A will accept and B will not? Since the cause is the same, the effect ought to  be the same
but it is not. There must be some other factor present which makes one man embrace, the other reject, the Truthsomething in the mind it touches. A light striking a wall appears different from a light striking a window. Similarly this x factor, which makes for the rejection of Divine Truth in one case and its embrace in the other, is the will. As St. Thomas put it in his finely chiseled way: "Divine things are known in different ways by men according to the diversity of their attitudes. Those who have good will perceive Divine things according to Truth; those who have not good will perceive them in a confused way which makes them doubt and feel that they are mistaken." What a man will intellectually accept depends to a great extent on what man is or what he wants to be. The will, instead of admitting a truth presented to the mind, can ward it off and bar it out. God's pursuit of a mind is bound to fail unless the mind is also in pursuit of goodness. The message of the Angels on Christmas night told us that only men with good will would become God's friends. This good-will factor is so important that it seems probable there is no such thing as intellectual atheism. Reason is on God's side, not the Devil's; and to deny His absolute is to affirm a competing absolute. But if there is no intellectual atheism, there is a frequent atheism of the will, a deliberate rejection of God. That is why the Psalmist places atheism not in the mind but in the heart: "The fool has said in his heart, there is no God." This primary requirement of good will holds not only for those who are looking for Divine Truth but also for those who found It and who still make little progress spiritually. God's Grace is never wanting to those who long to cooperate with it. The will to be wealthy makes men rich; the will to be Christ's makes men Christians.

The second important prerequisite for coming to God in the domain of the will is living up to the demands of Divine Truth as we presently see it. A sculptor could have an idea for a statue in his head for years, but the idea would gradually fade and disappear if he did not finally work it out in stone; so a man could have a particular Christian truth in his head for a lifetime, but unless he put it into practice, he might never be given another larger truth. Many of us know a great deal about God, but few of us realize that knowledge in our lives. Those who do, become all they ought to be. They know the Truth in their hearts
a different thing from knowing it as a blackboard demonstration. There is no longer a partition in them separating intellectual truth from action. Some professors and knowledgeable men know the proofs of the existence of God and the dogmas of the Church, yet never become men of God. The reason is that they have never acted on that knowledge. Since they never dynamized the degree of Truth they knew, they were given no more; the knowledge they refused to fertilize by action remained sterile. The corn that is kept in the cribs too long will rot. To such unproductive souls, the Saviour orders: "Take the talents away." (Matt. 25:28.) But the simple soul, living up to the moral implications of the knowledge he possesses, is given new knowledge, and finally his wisdom surpasses that of the intellectuals. Our Blessed Lord went so far as to thank His Heavenly Father that He hid His Truths from the intelligentsia of His day and revealed them to the little ones, who would live by them. A simple girl like Catherine of Alexandria confounded learned professors with the wisdom given her by God, because she had won to a practical understanding of Divine Truth. When we climb a hill, a new vista is opened, which was hidden from the valley below. If, then, we rest passively on that hill, no new perspective will ever be revealed; but if we act on the knowledge received, walk to the end of the vista, then we shall discover that still new horizons open to the eyes and mind.

Christianity is founded on the historical fact: "The Word became Flesh." Wisdom became incarnate; God became man. Thus, knowledge passes into act; oughtness becomes isness, and theory becomes practice. Our Lord not only gave the Truth. "For if you will forgive men "their offenses" (Matt. 6:14), but from the Cross. He acted on it: 'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.' (Luke 23:34.) He pleaded with His followers to become like little children, but only after He Himself had become a child and been wrapped in swaddling clothes. He not only taught the theory that the greatest of all His followers should be the least, but He washed the feet of His Own disciples in demonstration. His hearers, too, were asked to become doers, because He said: "I have given you an example." (John 13:15.) The order, runs: first the Word, and then the Incarnation. This was reversed by Goethe, who gave the modern
an an escape from all moral obligation by saying, "In the beginning was the Deed"—first, you live; and then you rationalize your life. First you act; then you think a way to justify your action. First you seize property; then you write a law to sanction the theft. From this false primacy of the act over Truth comes all the moral disorder of the present day, as men no longer fit their lives to a creed, but choose a creed to suit the way they live.

The truths of the Church are not abstract truths like the truths of science, which are impersonal and a-ethical. Same escapist minds take refuge in the use of scientific truths as a basis for ordering their lives for precisely this reason. Psychological statements about man rarely demand moral amendment; they permit us to retain mere interested spectators of our own reality. Divine Truth, on the contrary, involves me uniquely, and with an urgency that is at first frightening; it even demands separation from the world. The full Truth permits no easy compromise on this point. There are a thousand other religions attitudes one can take without provoking the enmity of the spirit of the world, but that is because the spirit of the world recognizes that, following these sects, one is still identical with it. Our Lord gave the test whether we were His: were we hated by the world? "I have taken you out of the world, therefore, the world will hate you." (John 17:14.) It is, therefore, not enough for us to read and study about Christianity, for Divine Truth is not such abstract truth as a theorem in geometry. It will do us no good to know theology if all the while pride, sensuality, and selfishness are allowed the license and their anarchy in our lives. In that case, we may possess a knowledge of the love of God for us, we have no love of Him. Love is meant to be reciprocal.

The moral preparation for the Faith or for making Divine Truth dynamic in us is as important as the intellectual; both kinds of readying should go together, the Wisdom and the Love of God, the Son and the Holy Spirit are equal in the Trinity. If the reason is neglected, a different sort of error follows. Those whom the moral development outstrips the intellectual generally end in a religion that is negative, critical, and pharisaical, or else in. a vague, emotional piety without content—as those who have intellectual without no growth become skeptics, cynics, and doubters. We can never love until we know; but once we love, then it can increase knowledge: "If any one love Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and will make our abode with him." (John 14:23.)

Many people like to discuss religion, to argue about it, but as if it were impersonal, as if they were discussing Indonesian ritual dances. They miss the many-splendored thing because they never relate what they know to their own lives. A perfect example of this escape is to be found in the Gospel story of the woman at the well. The woman came to draw water, and Our Lord asked her for a drink. But when He tried to spiritualize the idea, thirst, to make her yearn to satisfy the thirst of her soul with the waters of everlasting life, she thought the waters He offered were something to be enjoyed and discussed, like poetry—that they carried no moral obligation. To jolt her out of such impersonality, the Saviour said: "Go, call thy husband, and come hither." (John 4:16.) As God, He knew the smallest detail of her life; and she knew, now, that her moral failings were in question. To avoid exposure, she answered: "I have no husband." (John 4:17.) Jesus told her: "Thou hast said well: I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands: and he whom thou hast now is not thy husband. This thou hast said truly." (John 4:17-18.) This, to the woman conscious of her adultery, seemed an intrusion into her private life; she did have many marriages and divorces, it is true, but why need He bring that up? Couldn't religion be discussed "in a civilized way," without allowing it to become personal? Like anyone caught in an embarrassing situation, she changed the subject. She shifted the conversation away from her guilty life back to the intellectual plane, changed it to the less embarrassing topic of whether she should worship on the Samaritan hill near by or in Jerusalem. That was her effort to escape the Saviour's plea that she lay bare her sin—and it has been repeated a thousand times since then. Bring the necessity of repentance to a sinner and, nine times out of ten, he will shift the subject to the impersonal, will pretend that it is his reason which keeps him back, will choose a safe topic with, "But what about the Decretals of Constantine?" or some such question.

The intellect does play its role—but it is not until one has begun to live right that one is able to reason well in this field. So long as self-will and egotism refuse to surrender, the mind is used only to justify the effort at escape. Until the resistance to reform is broken, nothing can get into the soul—neither truth nor goodness. That is why, when Our Lord was approached to settle an inheritance claim between two brothers, He refused to settle the dispute: "Man, who hath appointed Me Judge, or divider, over you?" (Luke 12:15.) He would not arbitrate between two selfish claims—but He would tell them how to avoid having any dispute at all: "Take heed, and beware of all covetousness; for a man's life doth not consist in the abundance of things which possesseth." (Luke 12:15.) Here it was covetousnes: in the case of the woman at the well, it was carnality
that kept the questioners of Our Lord back from Divine Truth. We do not know what happened to the brothers but we do know that the woman at the ­well met the moral demands and later saluted the Lord as "Saviour of the World." (John 4:42.)

The final factor affecting assent to the Truth is our habit patterns. These are the result of our failure to act upon the moral truths we already recognize (the second obstacle to belief described above). Customs have won through, now, to a hegemony of their own. They are so strong they can defy the weakened will. They stand as armed and angry guards at the gates to the intelligence and will let no truth past which threatens them. When the Christian truth comes to any mind, it is known according to the manner of the knower; and some knowers have a vast army of acts and habit patterns, prejudices and desires ready to war upon the Divine purpose of life. What the mind receives is received against a background which already forms a pattern of its own—and one will reluctantly disarrange or change. In the face of Divine Truth, the habit patterns with their inferior motives arise to contest the high motive driving the mind toward the True. Then one may say: "I fear to believe because I will be ridiculed," or "Because my family will not like it," or "Because I will have to break with my companions and will make enemies."

A struggle ensues between the intellectual comprehension of a Truth and the habit patterns of inferior motives inherited from the pre-Christian; way of life. When a man stands off from religion and admires the Truth from afar, he is full of praise of it and says: "If I became religious, I would certainly join the Church." But the real crisis begins when the Truth is seen as personal—when admiration gives way, to obligation, and when the Word becomes Flesh. The Divine Word, when He became Flesh, suffered crises such as suffering, hunger, thirst, contempt, the Cross—all as experienced facts: something of the same kind faces the mind that sees the Truth, and it shrinks back. Many souls fear to make Truth personal, intimate, or incarnate, because they know it may involve a Golgotha.

This is often the explanation of those escapists who want a religion without a Cross or who call themselves gnostics in order to avoid the moral consequences of Truth. Agnosticism, skepticism, and cultivated doubt do not represent an intellectual position—for wherever there is a shadow there must be light, and negation would not exist if there were nothing to deny. These attitudes are rather a moral position, in which a person attempts to make himself invulnerable to Divine Truth by denying its existence and turning his back on it, as Pilate did. It is not doubts that cause our loose behavior, as often as such behavior causes doubts. Our Lord was extremely emphatic on this point: "Anyone who acts shamefully hates the light, will not come into the light, for fear that his doings will be found out. Whereas the man whose life is true comes to the light, so that his deeds may be seen for what they are, deeds done in God." (John 3:20.) "You pore over the scriptures, thinking to find eternal life in them (and indeed, it is of these I speak as bearing witness to Me): but you will not come to Me to find life. I do not mean that I look for honour from men, but that I can see you have no love of God in your hearts." (John 5:39-42.) St. Paul reaffirms his Saviour: "They profess recognition of God, but their practice contradicts it; it is they who are abominable, who are disloyal, who are ill qualified for the practice of any true virtue." (Titus 1:16.)

This, then, is the dynamic that under girds those with the lust of power and the temerity to employ it unjustly if need be, who are emboldened in their actions and edicts. When joined to our willingness to forgive and not retaliate, they feel no need to think twice or moderate their intolerant hate-filled agenda in any way. To do less for them would be to allow their feeling threatened by our merely believing in the mercy and forgiveness of God as more than a threat, but the real possibility they, too, might be converted, and this, folks is the heart of the matter or the crux. They fear the Cross more than they fear Christ Himself and or any one of His followers. This is why Christ is banned at Christmas but Allah is not banned at Ramadan.  Down deep in their innards they know full well that Christ is True God and True Man and thus they must insist on dishonoring Him in order to maintain their own preferences for a chosen lifestyle, and honor the false, non-existent god, who cannot possibly be any real threat as long as they maintain power.

I encourage you all to read, print, and pass around Michael Matt's tremendous article in THE REMNANT, links above. I, too, with him emphatically plead [text in bold]:

Like Agnes, Sebastian, Barbara, Thomas More, Father Kolbe and countless Catholics who lived during times of persecution like these, we fight back by witnessing to the Truth in the public square each and every day, while leaving the hateful rants and clenched fists to those who know not what they do. We're up against Principalities and Powers. At the end of the day, this is a spiritual war between Christ and Anti-Christ. 

The Christian mission is simple:  frustrate the designs of the haters of Jesus Christ by simply keeping the old Christian Faith.  Keep our eyes on Christ even as He carries a Cross to which we ourselves may one day be nailed. Where's the justice in that? There is none, just as there was none for Him the first time around.

But in the end the Immaculate Heart of Mary will triumph, the gates of hell will never prevail, and Christ will be with us always, even unto the consummation of the world.   So we must help each other “be not afraid” to keep the Faith, even in the face of gross injustice and bloody persecution.
Can you do it?  Can I? Let's pray for each other that our faith will not fail us. 


To suffer so for our beloved Savior and King, Jesus Christ, is such a privilege, that knowing that I am but a sinner, I cannot grasp how I could possibly earn such an honor; surely it has nothing to do with my merits, and everything to do with His infinite Mercy, which is above all His works!


It is understandable that some of you think that I may be going too far to imply that the US Supreme Court may okay religious discrimination against Catholics and Evangelicals, for instance. Unfortunately the perspective of the "Supremes" has changed dramatically, so much so that to say one is uncertain of justice is to say a lot, indeed. But we do not even have to speculate for we have two recent cases where the US Court refused to take up clear cut cases of discrimination against Christians, and in one case, specifically Catholics and the Catholic Church. Now, why this is indicative of a possible preview of coming attractions is because that in order to take on a case [Certiorari in legalese] only 4 of the 9 justices have to agree. Remember there are supposedly 4 originalist justices who claim to uphold the Constitution as its founders intended. When a plaintiff cannot get a hearing before the Court because less than 4 justices would certify a case as having merit, leaving a lower court to ratify injustice because of its own liberal bias, this tells us something quite ominous. I mean to say that at least one of the 4 "origionalists" isn't in reality.

Now for these two cases. The first involved a New York state government elementary school where the Muslim religion was given preferential treatment and Christians were not accorded the same --- equal --- standing. On its face a farce and by any measure base and gross discrimination by a government entity, not a private organization. A lower court, when the case was brought before it by the Christian plaintiffs, sided with the government school. So the plaintiffs sought to have the US Supreme Court hear their case. It was denied. There were not 4 justices willing to hear this case, so in New York state, at least, if a public school wants to discriminate against Christians, and or Catholics, according to the Court, this is okay with them, by definition. I forget now, the year this occurred, but it was in the last decade or so, not really so long ago, history-wise.

The second case is a most unusual one at that. In 2006 the city of San Francisco, California, issued a resolution in which inflammatory language, designed to denigrate and arouse hatred of the Vatican was joined by a call by the city to its citizens and anyone else within the sound of its voice to disregard and or disobey Church teachings. The Church was branded by San Francisco as a hate group, similar to the Southern Poverty Law Center's constant diatribes. The SPLC works closely with the US Government ever since the Obama regime began its behemoth monstrosity pretending to be ordered liberty.

The ultra leftist Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that San Francisco, named after Saint Francis of Assisi, of all things, was in its "rights" to issue such an ordinance and refused to restore equal rights to Catholics in that city who had been officially proclaimed as less than equal citizens by virtue of the vitriol the city felt free to issue in such a threatening manner. The case was again denied by the US Court a la the New York case.

So, when I state that I am not certain about the possibility that Catholics can ever get a fair hearing in the current political atmosphere, I am not using hyperbole to make a point, I am speaking literally and as honestly as I know how. I did not say what the US Court would or would not do, I said I did not know in so many words, and neither do any of you, to be frank.


A Colorado Sheriff's deputy reported that they are being encouraged to view Christians with a wary eye. This was revealed by the Global Dispatch and Glenn Beck's BLAZE TV. Christians are more and more being viewed as a possible threat to the regime and the agenda of their allies.

Apparently some Protestant family organizations are under some scrutiny because they uphold the natural law on marriage and family.

I tell you this, my brothers and sisters, that soon it will not be safe for anyone of us who are faithful to the Word of God and the teachings of His Church, the Catholic Church. If the government insists that Catholics must pay for contraception they do not want or use, then why can it not further insist that Catholic priests must marry same-sex "couples"? Are not these two forbidden practices, which are grave sins, actually, not equivalently considered by the government as matters of so-called "rights"?


I inadvertently transposed the web site:

for the title of the book, which should have read, PERSECUTED, not Persecution. I apologize to the authors and to you. The web site is updated all the time so that those who have reports to provide or want the latest information can access it. I have put a link on our main-index page as well.


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