Saturday, September 11, 2021

New Encyclical on Peaceful Resistance to Evil

By Jean DuBois

FIRENZE-NUOVA ROMA 11 September 2021 (NRom)

Today a new encyclical was released that discussed the issue of those in power who force their will on others around the world. The concept of peaceful, nonviolent non-cooperation was proposed as the appropriate Christian response during this current time in history. The complete text of the encyclical follows:

Those in worldly power, whether in government, companies, or institutions, who seek to dictate and force their will upon others ultimately cannot do so in the long run without the cooperation of those whom they wish to dominate. Without that cooperation, those in power become powerless. Indeed, peaceful, nonviolent non-cooperation can be more powerful than the sword.

Neither popular vote nor absolute power by itself determines what is right and just. Also, policies are not inherently in public best interest simply because they are proclaimed. Frequently the stated goal of public interest is nothing more than a mask for self interests. History provides plenty of examples of public interest, public benefit, and even public health being exploited as justifications for the most horrendous acts against human dignity.

The Church fathers have, through the ages, been quite clear on the rights of individuals not to follow dictates that are against the laws of God; to be free to follow their own conscience through the help of God, the intercession of the saints, and the guidance of the Holy Church; and ultimately to enjoy freedom that can only come through Christ. The Holy Church has, through her history, consistently fought in various ways in favour of the poor, the downtrodden, and the oppressed. In the world today, it is no surprise that we find yet another iteration and another variation of the selfsame story that plays out in every generation in the history of mankind.

Today We profess that the best course of action and course of resistance against those in the world who would unjustly dictate and force their will on others is peaceful, nonviolent non-cooperation. The small number of those in leadership roles in government, industry, schools, and institutions cannot force the masses of people to do their will without the cooperation of the people. Through fear and intimidation, and through mechanisms such as peer pressure and self-conscious insecurity, efforts to control and dictate may be successful for a time, but it cannot stand in the long run without cooperation. Indeed, a peaceful, nonviolent army of the righteous ultimately must be victorious.

This We teach solemnly as shepherd of the faithful. This We proclaim as the duty of all. This We state is the truth for which we must stand. It is in part for this purpose that the Church of Christ on earth is and must remain a completely sovereign entity, above all civil states. In this peaceful, nonviolent non-cooperation with evil, domination, and injustice, by the help of God and the intercession of Saints Peter, Mark, and Stephen, We will suffer any peril or threat before We relinquish Our Apostolic Office or allow Our sacred oath to be violated. This course of action likewise is the right and duty of the baptismal oath of each and every one of the faithful. May Almighty God in the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Blessed Michael the Archangel, and all the saints be with each of you now and forever.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Archfather Writes On Human Kindness


FIRENZE-NUOVA ROMA 7 September 2021 (NRom)

Patriarchal Letter of His Holiness and Eminence
Papa Rutherford I
on Human Kindness

7 September 2021

Laudetur Jesus Christus!

We have hopefully all been taught the Golden Rule that we should do unto others as we would have others do unto us. History, though, shows that this spirit of Christian brotherhood, responsibility, and kindness has not yet penetrated the hearts of mankind in the almost 2000 years since the Incarnation.

The lesson of how we should treat others has not been learned on a wide scale thoughout history, especially by those in positions of authority. The world today is no different, as we see horrid examples of people mistreating their fellow man, even behaving in ways that they surely would not like to receive if the tables were turned. Politicians and those in positions of power in industry and institutions likewise have forgotten to follow the Golden Rule – or else they are intentionally disregarding it.

Some have said that this poor behaviour by politicians is simply what they must do as a matter of political expediency. However, We wholeheartedly reject that as an excuse, for to accept it would be to tolerate and be complicit in some of the worst behaviour of humanity throughout our collective history to the present. Acknowledging that politicians act in their political best interests or those in, for example, the corporate world act in their own financial interests or those of their stockholders may perhaps be a true realisation, but it is also irrelevant to the question of moral correctness and eternal truth. The choices we face in life are very often not easy, but they are invariably simple. We can choose to do the right thing, or we can choose to do the wrong thing. Very often, if not most of the time, the right thing is set aside by those in power and even by individuals because it is not the easy or popular thing to do. The decisions we face in life are important enough for individuals in general, but they become extraordinarily more important for those in positions of power and authority. The responsibility of people in power, whether in government, industry, or other institutions, to do the right thing, even if it is not easy, popular, profitable or politically expedient, is, again, dramatically higher due to the probable further reach of the consequences of their actions. That is not, of course, to say that the actions of individuals do not influence others, either positively or negatively, but simply a realisation that the decisions of those in positions of power and influence normally have wider ranging impact, either good or bad.

A recent discovery in the Ukraine of a mass grave filled with thousands of bodies from Stalin’s Great Purge underscores where power unchecked by righteous and moral responsibility can lead. Stalin in fact is estimated to have killed more of his own people than Hitler’s forces ever did in the Holocaust against the Jews, Slavs, and Catholics. It is a stark and poignant example of a complete abdication of the responsibility of a leader towards the people in his care. Yet, so many of the worst leaders in history claimed to be doing the right thing for the public good and public benefit, demanding total obedience and total agreement. Their actions, however, tell a different story – a story in violation of the Golden Rule.

The world of today is replete with examples of those in power treating others as they would surely not wish to be treated. Expediency cannot excuse it. The same is true of individuals in general. It might be said that such examples are not on the same level as the extremes of Stalin or Hitler, and while that is feasibly true, it does not change the impurity of underlying intent. One cannot excuse an ethical treatment of others by saying that it is nothing compared to the acts of others such as Stalin or Hitler. It is the same darkness behind both. When we realise this as individuals, we can begin to change our own behaviour towards others. When we realise this as a society, we will demand that governments, corporations, and institutions change the way that they treat their citizens, employees, clients, and others. Indeed, when we realise this as a society, we will no longer tolerate mistreatment, but our own treatment of others necessarily will improve. Let us each seek to allow Christ to into our hearts that we may live the Golden Rule and, leading by example, promote it in others.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

The Origins of the National Anthem

By Jean DuBois

FIRENZE-NUOVA ROMA 22 August 2021 (NRom)

The national anthem of the Stato Pontificio (Pontifical States, as distinct from the modern Vatican City-State) is the Gran Marcia Trionfale. It was written by Viktorin Hallmayer, the band director of the 47th Austrian Infantry Regiment of the Line, also known as the Count Kinsky Regiment. It was stationed within the Pontifical States in the 19th century and helped to defend the Church against outside threats, including the Italian unification movement.

The anthem was written in 1857 for Pope Saint Pius IX as a celebration of his entry into Bologna. As a result of its popularity, it came to be played when he entered other cities and even returned to Rome.

The anthem is often referred to as waltz-like, even though it is not in waltz 3/4 time, due to its style. Today the Vatican City-State uses a different tune as its national anthem, the Marche Pontificale, by Charles Gounod. The Hallmayer Gran Marcia Trionfale remains the national anthem of the titular Pontifical States today, which also commissioned its own special arrangement of the music. A video of the national anthem is below.



Saturday, August 21, 2021

The World is Traveling a Dangerous Path


FIRENZE-NUOVA ROMA 21 August 2021 (NRom)


Encyclical on decisions being made by government and industry leaders around the world

Carissimi,

The world is traveling along a dangerous path, guided by many troubling decisions and policies by government and industry leaders around the world, fueled by popular determination. Those decisions and policies are not led by God, but instead are induced by widespread public panic and other considerations that do not take into account the totality of public good. Indeed that very panic and fear was partly grown by government and other entities at the beginning of the pandemic, and partly was fueled by them like pouring gasoline on a bonfire. Earlier examples of leadership in both government and industry in previous pandemics did not stoke fear and impose such draconian restrictions on individual liberty, fueling a divided population and hatred very rarely seen – and with arguably no worse results in outcome. The degree of restrictions imposed, as well as already-underway mandates for essentially forced vaccination are, We are bound by Our teaching office to say, shortsighted. Such policies fail to take into account the potential long-term consequences of such actions, which can be very broad and diverse in scope. It appears the goal is to limit institutional liability and placate the panicked portion of the population (for indeed the entirety of the world population is not content to live in fear). However, We must caution against such actions, for they place the focus too narrowly and fail to take into account the totality of cost, both short-term and long-term, to both institutions and individuals. It saddens Us, though, for this is to be expected. Throughout the pandemic, government and many institutions around the world have consistently disregarded the true public good and the rights and benefits of individuals. The totality of health must not be pushed to the side to focus on one disease. The totality of public good likewise must not be trampled underfoot or put out of mind.

True public good is that which is defined by God, not by man. In democratic societies, such as those found across Europe and the Americas, good inevitably is defined for purposes of policy by popular vote – that is, it is defined by the people. Yet Christian people know better than this. Christian people know that what is good and what is bad cannot be determined by popular vote. If the leaders of a democratic nation, elected by majority vote, chooses a path that is wrong, the fact that they are supported by a majority does not, in the eyes of God, render that wrong decision to be right. Likewise, if the leaders of a nation or an institution are petitioned by vocal members of their constituents to take certain actions and travel down a particular path, the legitimacy of those actions are not determined by their popularity. Yet it is the clamoring voice of the majority that typically determines what elected leaders will do in a democratic society. Even if it is a determined minority that is pushing a certain action, it is in fact the will of the majority if the majority remains silent and does not oppose. Silence is a vote. Then, what is determined to be right in the eyes of the people is forced upon everyone, even quite often if it goes against their conscience, and even if it is truly wrong in the eyes of God. True freedom can never exist in a society that believes what is good and what is right may be determined by popular vote.

Today’s society believes itself so superior to previous societies, which it often considers oppressive and authoritarian. Yet, We see no true difference. It matters not the title of an office in government, but rather it matters what they do. Oppression and tyranny can easily happen, no matter the form of government. Oppression of the people by a tyrannical king is no different than oppression of the people by an elected official or by an angry mob.

It is Our duty to express this, Our sincerely-held religious belief that the world is traveling down an extremely dangerous path. This journey is led by government and industry leaders, but it is also the responsibility of popular determination. God controls life, not man, and humanity would do well to remember that rather than behaving with such hubris as it does now. Where this will end, we as mere humans cannot know. Let us all pray, though, that peace and freedom in Christ will prevail. This path is dangerous for the world, but so too it seems that speaking out in the love of Christ against the world going down this path is dangerous, for love of one’s fellow man is likewise a victim of the pandemic. May all Christians, then, receive Our Apostolic blessing to speak the truth of the Christian faith and proclaim the love of God in all things.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Chief of the General Staff on Afghanistan


FIRENZE-NUOVA ROMA 17 August 2021 (NRom)

The following is the perspective of First Marshal of the Pontifical States HIRH the Prince of Würzburg, Chief of the General Staff of the Pontifical Walsingham Guard on the situation in Afghanistan. 

As a combat veteran I can honestly say that we keep entering countries with good intentions but without full situational cultural and tactical awareness; without intelligent, realistic and achievable exit plans that do not ebb and flow according to the politics of the parties in power. 

We were not officially engaged there in peacekeeping nor nation building, although that was pretty much the defacto status quo.

I am not at all certain why we were still there. But I do know the consequences of not being there.

It certainly is a Vietnam Deja’ Vou all over again, (and again) to bail out as we have done, looking out for #1.

Sure, blame whomever you wish, but understand the cultural/religious and military/political realities. 

Fact is, we’ve never had the WW2 stereotype welcome we’ve expected anywhere we put boots on the ground since the Nazi era “good war”.

Yes, we do make friends, help people, train them and provide jobs and hope…for a while.

Yes, we had minimal troops there and few injuries and no fatalities for more than a year.

However, honorable people do not quietly depart in the dead of night.  Honorable people adequately assess the historical notion of a true orderly and efficient retrograde; they establish, coordinate, and communicate ground rules, protect our friends and support our allies with an eye on the long term goal (?) rather than the very short lived political “victory” claim of bringing troops home.  Honorable people make a positive difference, they hug their friends and wave farewell in the public light.

Fact is, I’m still waiting to see the Peace Dividend promised by President Clinton when we closed so many bases in Europe and the US.  All we seem to have done is to put more funds and faith in firepower than in the people who pull the triggers.

Fact is, we indeed cannot continue to spend trillions of our nation’s treasure—human and intrinsic—on fighting folly.  We should get in and out as soon as possible or not enter, ever, at all.

One simply doesn’t put boots on the ground if you don’t intend to win, because history should have taught us that wars are won by the one who is most willing to wipe the other fellow off the face of the Earth. No matter what it takes, from Napalm to Public Opinion.

There simply is no pacifist way to win a gunfight.

That said, nations are not built by the Peace Corps; it takes a nation of winners, not whining wimps focused on what passes for the de jure flavor of the day’s cancelled culture.

Tell that to the fellow who believed our myths, who lived up to our ideals, and gave his/her/et al’s limbs or life in the process, while Bubba back home complains about his wages,  working in air-conditioned splendor. Meanwhile, waves of immigrants are desperately seeking his low paid job simply to live in relative paradise.

Consider for a moment how much we ask of our soldiers.

Ponder how little we understand.

e have met the enemy—again, and again, it is us.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Chaos in Afghanistan - Papa Rutherford I Gives Official Statement

FIRENZE-NUOVA ROMA 16 August 2021 (NRom) 

Statement on the Current Situation in Afghanistan
Rutherford Pp. I

We stand in shocked horror at the events unfolding now in Afghanistan. We call on the people of the world to pray for those suffering in the confusion and destruction, for We know that death awaits many people at the hands of the Taliban. And, that death is likely to be a horrid, painful torture-death. We call on the governments of the world and on the United States to intervene, not because We endorse outside interference in other nations in general, but because this nightmarish situation is the direct result of such outside interference. Those that created the situation have an absolute moral obligation to fix it. 

     Instead, it appears that the United States has washed its hands of the mess that it created, leaving the people of Afghanistan to suffer greatly for it. Yet, American military doctrine says that military action should be kept “over there.” Thus it becomes very easy in practical terms for Americans to abandon others to their fate.

     The United States claims to be the land of the free and home of the brave, but their own government has long behaved as if it were the land of the tyrants and the home of the cowards. No Christian can morally justify the abandonment of Afghanistan under the present set of circumstances. The blood of every person who dies as a result in Afghanistan is on the hands of the American government and the American people. It is a sin crying out to heaven for vengeance by Almighty God!


Saturday, August 14, 2021

Archfather Comments on Current Societal Situation – New Encyclical


By A. DiNardo

FIRENZE-NUOVA ROMA 14 August 2021 (NRom)

His Holiness and Eminence the Archfather released a new encyclical addressing different pressing issues challenging society now. These include social infrastructure, healthcare, government and institutions, and more. The Archfather wrote that so many people have squared off against each other in harmful ways during the present debates. He called for everyone to display kindness and empathy during these difficult times and urged cautious restraint in policy decisions. His Holiness also wrote that religion and authentic science are not incompatible. He also expressed significant concern that apparent agendas may be clouding judgment and causing more suffering and confusion. The encyclical ended with an assertion that society must look to God to know what is right. The full text of the encyclical is given below.


_______________________

Encyclical “The Present Societal Conditions”
Within the Octave of Saint Lawrence the Deacon and Martyr

Carissimi, the present societal conditions of the pandemic have exposed some of the darkest aspects of human nature. Modern society in its hubris thinks itself to have progressed so much from earlier eras in world history, yet again and again whenever humanity thinks thusly, it proves itself to be no different and no better. While technology and various aspects of life may change, the hearts of man remain constant, stubbornly refusing to love others in the example of Christ.

During this pandemic we have seen an intense breakdown in social infrastructure; we have seen winners and losers be chosen by government decree; we have seen many people with other diseases not receive proper treatment because society acts as if the current pandemic’s disease is the only one that matters; and we have seen the rights of countless individuals and even the sovereignty and rights of Holy Mother the Church trampled underfoot.

Indeed, we have seen countless acts of man’s inhumanity to man, as people choose sides in the various pandemic-related debates and are often willing not only simply not to listen to those on the other side, but to do harm of various types to those who do not think the same. That harm has taken the form of verbal abuse, employment-related damage, financial damage, and even physical assault. Truly society shows itself to have the same dreadful base instincts that it pretends it does not have but has always had.

Also during this pandemic we have seen the darkness of those who seek to control others, even on a large scale. There are those of what is arguably an oligarchy – major businesses and banks that exercise a tremendous amount of direct or indirect political influence – who have profited and are continuing to profit immensely from the conditions imposed by governments during the pandemic. The head of one such company is apparently now poised to become the world’s first personal trillionaire – an amount of money that no individual needs. We see open calls for what has been termed the “great reset,” a complete reordering of society dictated by the virus, not by the doctrine of faith that underlies society. The great technology that has improved so many aspects of life and has even multiplied the ability of Holy Mother the Church to exercise Her earthly ministry ironically has not only enabled fear and panic to spread at a lightning pace over a vast geographical area, but also enabled control mechanisms to be employed much more quickly and efficiently on a wide scale.

The attempt to exercise such control, no matter the stated reason, is nothing more than the arrogance of mankind seeking to play God. Mankind, having turned its back on its Creator, seeks to control that which cannot be controlled. Ultimately such attempts must fail in time, but that does not prevent them from doing massive amounts of harm to others and to society in the process.

Health and even public health must be balanced against other important considerations. Fear and panic must not govern. Groupthink must not drive decision-making, for right is right, even if no one is right, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is wrong. Government leaders and even individuals must not put on blinders and focus only on one issue. Issues must not be solved with a short-term mentality. Faith must be put in God and in God alone. Mankind in its arrogance must not think itself to be equal to God and attempt to control, for it will fall in the process.

At the centre of the debate now is the widespread presence of vaccine mandates in many countries around the world – a trend that no doubt will grow. In Italy, for example, the so-called Green Pass, a document that proves one has been vaccinated against COVID-19, has been mandated to go to a growing list of public places. This has turned many business owners effectively into policeman, which is problematic. It also restricts those who have not been vaccinated from a normal life – apparently potentially even from going to the grocery store. It has even been said that those who are unvaccinated should remain effectively under house arrest. Many churches in Italy are banning those who are unvaccinated, even going so far as to say they are unwelcome. In fact, Our Roman brother the Bishop of Rome is imposed the same restriction on the Vatican City-State, including the Basilica of St. Peter, the very church of the Prince of the Apostles of whom in humility We are temporal successor. Truly We cannot imagine St. Peter or any of our other most holy predecessors making such an abhorrent decision. Certainly We expect they would have been prudent, but not slam shut the doors of the church to any group of people, for the church is for everyone – especially those who are suffering and who are ill. We Ourselves have blessed the sick and the suffering in the Basilica of St. Peter and in St. Peter’s Square within Our city of Rome. That Our brother the Bishop of Rome would impose such a policy is unthinkable to Us. That any of Our brother priests would impose such a policy is likewise unthinkable to Us.

These are not the only such restrictions, though. In some places like the United States, where government mandates, particularly at a federal level, are difficult or impossible, mandates are still going into effect. Rather than being imposed by government, they are imposed by private institutions and employers. In some cases, the choice given is either to get the vaccine or not to work in a particular company, which can easily have career and financial implications. In other cases, employment without the vaccine may still be continued, but there are significant penalties and restrictions imposed.

Such restrictions do not allow for choice of conscience, either, for a significant penalty placed upon a given preferred choice is not in fact real and free choice. Such restrictions and mandates also failed to take into account the many other factors beyond the current issue of the pandemic.

These mandates also bring to the forefront the aforementioned issue of widespread control in the arrogance of mankind. Humanity with all of its technology and all of its scientific advancement has widely abandoned God and sought to replace religion with a vapid humanistic form of scientific philosophy to guide life. This is both sad and ironic since religion and science are not incompatible. Indeed, authentic science is nothing more than an explanation in human language of God’s universe and the way He created it to function. That science progresses and builds on prior knowledge, even sometimes finding that earlier ideas were incorrect, is a result of the vastness of the mind of God, which humanity is incapable of knowing in its entirety. That science is a complex process over time, and new knowledge may demonstrate that old ideas and scientific thought were incorrect should give any rational person pause when serious decisions are made by government and industry that can have wide-reaching, dramatic consequences based on rapidly changing data and science. That a variety of political and other agendas are intertwined with scientific research should give further pause. Many times it is better to exercise prudent and cautious restraint.

Now, We must reiterate that We in general are in favour of vaccines and encourage those who wish to take them to do so, with proper consultation with their own physicians. Yet, in charity we must all be kind and respect those who have hesitancy to take any given vaccine or who refuse them all together – even if we vehemently disagree with the reasons. There are in fact, however, many valid reasons for which some people choose not to take a given vaccine. For example, no Catholic may rightly take a vaccine that is made directly with aborted fetal tissue under any circumstances. We have already spoken on this given Our direction on the matter, including which of the present vaccines are morally acceptable. Others may have medical reasons by which they may not take a vaccine. Yet in the present zeal to vaccinate one and all, exceptions are being challenged – even those who object on religious grounds. Again, a desired choice that comes with a negative consequence is not a free choice at all.

It seems that society is using a stick and honey approach, which should give rational people of faith even more pause. First came the encouragement campaigns, with even some local governments paying people to get vaccines. Then there were certain discretionary recreational activities that some cases required vaccines. Educational campaigns were launched, and various public figures used their popularity to promote getting the vaccine. That was the so-called honey – which failed to produce the results that government perhaps the population wanted. Now has come the stick. Around the world those who fail to comply, even if they have what they believe is a valid reason for not wanting to get the vaccine, suffer often serious consequences. That should give yet again pause to any rational person of faith.

We must therefore insist and encourage caution and rational restraint in mandates, whether they are for vaccines in the present pandemic or for anything else determined by anyone to be, in their opinion, in the best interests of society. One need only look to history to know where this can lead and where it has led. Even if the present vaccine campaign were to be itself positive or at least benign in impact, the precedent it sets to force anything on anyone, even if it goes against their conscience or own determination about what is best for them, sets a dangerous precedent that is quite concerning. It is not that long ago that forced sterilization in the United States was a common practice, for example. That, too, was deemed to be in the best interest of society. And, any society that allows the wholesale murder of millions of unborn children cannot claim that it is making policies in the best interests of society, of health, and of life.

Once again, We commend and applaud all of Our brother clerics and all healthcare workers and others who seek to improve and save life on earth, for the right to life is the most fundamental of all rights – the right upon which all other rights are necessarily dependent. Yet society must not seek to play God, arrogantly attempting to control. Matters of health must be balanced against other factors. We must be skeptical of any policy that seeks, directly or indirectly, to force people to violate their conscience, no matter the real or stated good intentions of that policy. What is good is not defined by government or by popular vote or by an angry mob. It is God and God alone that determines what is good. We look to science to know what to do, it will be to no avail if we do not simultaneously look to God to know what is right.