Monday, April 26, 2021

Archfather Greets Christians on Feast of St. Mark

By Jean DuBois

FIRENZE-NUOVA ROMA 26 April 2021 (NRom)

His Holiness and Eminence Archfather Papa Rutherford I gave a brief greeting yesterday on his second Apostolic feast, the Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist. His Holiness gave a special blessing to the territories of the Patriarchal patrimony associated with St. Mark, Aquileia in Italy and Leontopoli in Egypt. The Archfather also gave a blessing to all Christians during  the difficult time in the world, reminding everyone to continue to hope in Christ. 

This is one of three main feasts of the Anglican Patriarchate and Stato Pontificio. The Patronal Feast is St. Stephen, kept both on 3 August and 26 December. The Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, the first Apostolic Feast, is kept on 29 June. The historical association of the Patriarchate with St. Mark is reflected by the sword in the insignia of the Patriarchal See, which is crossed with the key of St. Peter the Apostle. 

 





Saturday, April 10, 2021

Archfather Sends Condolences to Family of Prince Philip

By Jean DuBois

FIRENZE-NUOVA ROMA 10 April 2021 (NRom)

His Holiness & Eminence the Archfather sent a notice of condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II today for the death of the Duke of Edinburgh. The statement mentioned the Duke's devotion to marriage, family, and tradition, and his long period of public service. The statement was given by the Prefect of the Secretariat. A copy of the notice in full is provided below.



Sunday, April 4, 2021

Archfather Gives Blessing ex Urbe for Easter

By Alessandro Di Nardo. 

FIRENZE-NUOVA ROMA 4 April 2021 (NRom)

His Holiness and Eminence the Archfather gave the traditional Blessing ex Urbe for Easter today, with plenary indulgence to all who receive it, even electronically. In the allocution, Papa Rutherford I spoke of the need to live life to the fullest extent, with everything firmly rooted in the Christian faith. His Holiness and Eminence also called on the faithful to serve as example, so that others may be inspired to become Christian. 

The complete video is provided below. 




Friday, April 2, 2021

Holy Friday: Statement of the Archfather regarding Mass Shootings and the Need for Media Responsibility

By Jean DuBois

FIRENZE-NUOVA ROMA 2 April 2021 (NRom)

In light of continuing shootings even into Holy Week, His Holiness and Eminence the Archfather released a statement today on Holy Friday regarding the need for media responsibility in reporting shooting and other violent events. The statement results from a collection of scientific research demonstrating mass shooting events spread like diseases. The media can help save lives by limiting or eliminating its coverage of those events. In his statement, Papa Rutherford I called on media to exercise restraint and responsibility and for government to enact restrictions on the press if necessary.

Full text of the statement: 

Statement of the Archfather on Holy Friday
regarding Mass Shootings and the Need
for Media to Exercise Responsibility

Today as we solemnly remember the Passion and Crucifixion of our Lord, we also should pause to reflect on the current spread of mass shootings in the United States, one of which took place on Wednesday of Holy Week. It has been shown in scientific research that shootings such as these are contagious, spreading like a virus. Constant media coverage and attention does little but fan the flames and cause further spread. Research further suggests strongly that minimal or no coverage of such events could help greatly to prevent further shootings from happening after the initial violence takes place, saving lives. Yet, the media has consistently shown itself entirely unwilling to exercise such responsible restraint. Instead, it seems to relish in the death and destruction and the ratings increase and financial gain that no doubt results.

On this day in which Our Lord sacrificed for us all, suffering a horrific death on the Cross, We call upon the media to cease their excessive coverage of mass shootings and other such events. If the media refuses, then the civil government would be well-warranted to place stringent limits upon the media and its coverage of such violent in the legitimate interest of saving lives. Such is their duty to the people in their care.

Indeed, legitimate limits upon speech already exist, such as against certain exclamations in crowded areas that might induce panic and result in injury and possibly death. This, We believe, is no different. The press cannot hide behind a general duty to inform the public of facts while ignoring and abdicating completely the responsibility of providing those facts and the manner in which it is provided.

May Almighty God be with each of you as we continue through this Sacred Triduum and as the Easter season begins at the first mass of Easter on Saturday morning. May this Easter season be a rebirth of peace in the world and a renewal of normality.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Holy Thursday Letter of the Archfather to Clergy and Nobles

 FIRENZE-NUOVA ROMA 1 April 2021 (NRom)

The following is the text of the annual Holy Thursday letter of His Holiness and Eminence the Archfather to the clergy and nobles. 


TO MY VENERABLE BRETHREN THE BISHOPS, TO THE PRIESTS AND REGULAR CLERGY, AND TO THE SERENE PRINCES, ILLUSTRIOUS NOBLES, AND HONOURABLE KNIGHTS, GREETINGS ON THIS HOLY THURSDAY AS WE BEGAN THE TRANSITION FROM LENT TO THE GLORIOUS CELEBRATION OF EASTER.

Each of you has a special purpose. This year our Lenten journey and coming Easter season is marred by the very same global humanitarian crisis that we experienced not just during Lent and Easter last year, but during the majority of the year. Yet it cannot diminish the light of Christ or the joy of the Resurrection! Crises and humanitarian concerns are certainly nothing new in history, and indeed they are common in most of the world on a regular basis. We as leaders in the worldwide Christendom must, therefore, treat this merely as an event to which we must respond. As so many leaders of the world equivocated and played political games at the expense of the people, as governments developed tunnel vision and sparked a humanitarian crisis unparalleled in recent memory, as societies forgot their proud heritage and instead fell apart, and as people turned on each other in the most vicious ways, you as a group displayed the very traits exemplary behaviour, and honourable service that We would expect from devout Christian leaders. The Roman State in antiquity, the foundation of modern society, was built on rationality, community, courage, and virtue. It was a society that built to last – so much so that even after the Empire collapsed, its influences and even its buildings remain. We are saddened that modern society has all but abandoned its legacy, but We are encouraged that it continues to live on in each of you.

It was largely the Roman roads and eventually the Empire itself that allowed the Christian faith to spread. In the chaos after the collapse of the Roman Empire, it was the Christian faith that sustained the populations and eventually allowed a rebirth of civilisation and more robust societal structure. By setting the example of Christian service, each of you not only helps to bring order out of chaos, but perpetuate the very ideals that are required for a rebirth of society in the present period.

On this day so many years ago, our Lord established the Holy Eucharist, ordaining the Apostles priests. This day we do indeed celebrate the establishment of the Christian priesthood, for it is truly from the altar of God that all authentic service must flow. The justice of God must not be allowed to be abandoned in favour of mere worldly expediency. Yet, that happens all too often in the world. Therefore, We charge each of you this coming Easter season to continue in your exemplary service, modeling the ideals of our Christian civilisation that the light of Christ may be seen in each of you and reflected to others.

Rutherfordus Ap. I 
Servant of the Servants of Christ


Sunday, March 21, 2021

Reflections for Passion Week and Holy Week 2021

Papa Rutherford on the summit of a
peak in the Alps on the Franco-Italian border
FIRENZE-NUOVA ROMA 21 March 2021 (NRom)


Reflections for Passion Week and Holy Week 2021

Archfather Rutherford

For speaking the truth, they took up stones to cast out our Lord, and thus Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple. It is that event that we commemorate and live on Passion Sunday each year in the liturgical calendar. In the introit to the mass this day, we hear from the Psalms “Judge me, O God, and distinguish my cause from the nation that is not holy: deliver me from the unjust and deceitful man, for thou art my God and my strength.” Indeed, it is the judgment of God that we must value above all else and which matters infinitely more than the mere judgment of man or even masses of men. How often do we find ourselves in these positions in daily life? The answer is quite frequently, even if more often on a less dramatic, far more simple and subtle scale.

Right is right, even if no one is right. Wrong is wrong, even if everyone is wrong. So easy is it to equivocate, abandon one’s faith and principles, and go along with the crowd or even the urgings of a single person simply to avoid what appears to be immediate trouble. What a pathetic and false logic that is! If someone claims to believe in something and value something, but then when pushed by others is willing to give it up, then one does not believe in or value anything other than one’s own transitory comfort. Indeed, society of today has become weak, soft, and tragically pitiful.

Unfortunately, we are so often taught a mixed message. On one hand we are taught to be strong and do the right thing, with metaphors such as “If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you jump too?” On the other hand, we are taught to go along with the crowd, set aside what we believe, and follow the cultural norms. It is no wonder, then, that people are confused and often fail when they are confronted with the choice to do the right thing when it is clearly out of step with cultural norms and contains a social penalty, which most people are not willing to bear. Sometimes doing the right thing, when it is out of step with cultural norms, puts people at risk of financial harm, job loss, and so forth. Usually the fear of such things makes people move backwards when they should move forward. Usually the fear of something is worse than the actual event, and the event quite often does not even happen.

A mountain guide with whom I climbed in the Alps told me that fear when climbing makes climbers often do the opposite of what they should actually do, and that is how so many climbers get into trouble and have accidents. I was a good thing to be reminded of since we were moving along sheer rock walls with foot ledges that were not even big enough for an entire foot in many places – with a 300 metre distance straight down to the ground below. I was never one to be particularly afraid in the mountains or any other dangerous situation, but I found his advice extremely useful. Indeed, any time concern entered my mind, it always suggested the wrong step. The only safe path forward on the mountain was to banish concern and move forward prudently, but without any fear.

The mountains, I have always found, are metaphors for life. Whenever we are confronted with a dangerous situation, we must move forward as Christians, prudently and soberly, yes, but we must also banish the fear. Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather controlling it so that we may do the right thing, take the right step, and follow the correct path.

I always found the mountains exhilarating, particularly where the air was thin. Some of the most beautiful terrain and best views in the world were available to those who paired prudence and caution with nerve, resolve, and the control of fear. All of those things are necessary to succeed. Once again, the mountains are a metaphor for life. We may choose the easy path or the popular path, and that we may survive, we do not really live. It is those fortunate people who dare to brave the rough terrain, the difficult environment, and the challenging conditions, standing against the conventional wisdom of the masses and the ever-changing cultural norms, finding in themselves a courage of the spirit that they did not even necessarily know they had who really and truly live.

As we proceed through Passion Week and then through Holy Week towards the joys of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday, may Almighty God kindle in each of you a desire to find the strength and courage that resides inside you.

Friday, March 19, 2021

New Encyclical Addresses Southern Border and Military Humanitarian Crises

FIRENZE-NUOVA ROMA 19 March 2021 (NRom)


Encyclical “The Southern American Border”

RVTHERFORDVS PP. I

The southern American border is the scene of an ongoing humanitarian crisis about which the United States government habitually seems either unwilling to solve or is completely incapable of solving. Right now large numbers of migrant children are placed in camps and holding facilities that, according to credible reports, are completely insufficient in number and in terms of appropriate and humane conditions. Problems on the border of this nature are not limited by any means to the present American administration. It is inconceivable that the nation that is currently the wealthiest in the world is incapable of maintaining sufficient humanitarian conditions when dealing with migrants, legal or illegal, along the southern border. We, therefore, reiterate that:

1. It is the duty of all nations to provide appropriate and sufficient border control, which is to the benefit of both citizens and residents, as well as those who are immigrating or visiting.

2. It is the duty and absolute moral obligation under God for all governments to treat all persons crossing the border, legally or illegally in a humane manner. This includes providing sufficient, quality holding facilities for migrants seeking admission, as in the current example on the southern American border. If a particular government genuinely lacks the resources to properly care for any given number of immigrants, then it must appropriately limit the availability of immigration opportunities to prevent humanitarian crises from happening. However, governments with such resources are morally bound to provide humanitarian support and take all steps reasonable to prevent humanitarian crises.

3. All border facilities, especially holding facilities and detention centres, must be open to international inspection, particularly by humanitarian organisations, and above all by Holy Mother the Church.

4. It is the duty and absolute moral obligation of all governments not to separate families at border crossings. This includes the right for children to be reunited with their families who have already been granted admission.

5. It is the duty and absolute moral obligation of all governments to provide reasonable pathways to citizenship for children who were brought into a country illegally or for adults who were brought illegally into the country as children when such children are raised in the new country, speak its language, and grow up with in its culture. To deport such persons to the country of their birth when they have been raised effectively as a member of their new country is essentially to force immigration to a foreign country and culture. This becomes especially true when the children in question were entirely or largely unaware of their illegal immigrant status. However, such provisions must be contingent upon a lack of serious criminal behaviour and a clear intent to remain or become a productive members of society.

It must further be noted that the above declarations are not applicable solely to the United States, but equally to all nations in the world. Borders exist to secure peace and tranquility, as well as to provide reasonable security. Yet, they may not be used to justify humanitarian violations, which are an affront to God.

In addition, neither may borders be used as justification of denial of equality of human dignity. If Americans, for example, knew firsthand what it was like to have a war within their own borders, as they did in the past, but which We would not at all wish upon them now, then they surely would better understand the implications and the true costs of their long-term, ongoing military action overseas. Indeed, it is United States military policy to keep military action “over there,” making the citizens of other countries bear the true cost of that action and live in war-torn nations. Just as it is essential under the justice of God that the borders not become scenes of avoidable humanitarian crisis, so to is it essential that borders not be used to separate those who carry out military action and those who must bear the cost. To avoid that responsibility renders the major military powers the self-appointed determiner of human worth, separating the world into those it deems superior and worthy of not suffering from war, though they cause or participate in it, and those it deems inferior and therefore either deserving of the suffering or else are acceptable collateral damage. National interests do not by themselves justify any such policies that avoid responsibility. Indeed, We need only look to the Just War Doctrine of Holy Mother the Church to understand that. No one in a position of government responsibility who claims to be Christian may lay aside their Christian responsibility when making government decisions. Likewise, no citizen of a country who claims to be a Christian may lay aside those Christian principles when determining what government policies to support, either through voting or through moral support.

The responsibility of government is dramatic and grave, and it extends well beyond its borders. Yet it is not to exploit others as so often happens, but rather it is a responsibility to respect human dignity, respect the sovereignty of others, be good members of the global community of nations, and provide aid to those who are suffering, for indeed those on the other side of any border from us all, if we are to call ourselves Christians, our brothers.

Datum Florentiae Novae Romae apud S. Stefani sub sigillo Diaconis die 19 mensis Martii A.D. MMXXI.

Rutherfordus Ap. I