Belloc: The origins of that great movement which shook and split for generations the spiritual world, and which we call the “Reformation”.

The most important thing about the Reformation is to understand it. Not only to follow the story of it stage by stage – a process always necessary to the understanding of any historical matter – but to grasp its essential nature.

On this last it is easy for modern people to go wrong, and especially modern people of the English-speaking world. The nations we English-speaking people know are, with the exception of Ireland, predominantly Protestant; and yet (with the exception of Great Britain and South Africa) they harbour large Catholic minorities.

In that English-speaking world (to which this present writing is addressed) there is full consciousness of what the Protestant spirit has been and what it has become in its present modification.

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A run on Cyprus banks: Your ATM transaction has been canceled due to a technical issue.

Congratulations Cyprus savers – you were just betrayed by both your politicians, and by Europe – sorry, but you are the “creeping impairments” in the game known as European bankruptcy. And so is anywhere between 6.75% and 9.9% of your money, which you were foolish enough to keep with your banks (where at least you were compensated with a savings yield of… 0%).

More importantly, as of this morning Europe has finally grasped that there is a 6.75% to 9.9% premium to holding physical cash in your mattress rather than having it stored with your local friendly insolvent bank.

Luckily Cyrpus is so “small” what just happened there will never happen anywhere else: after all in Europe nobody has ever heard of “setting an example”. Or so the thinking among Europe’s unthinking political elite goes.

And congratulations Europe: just when people almost believed you things are “fixed” you go ahead and prove to the world that you are as disunified (because size doesn’t matter in a true union), as confused, as stupid and as broke as ever.

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Editor’s note: Coming soon to a bank in your neighborhood?

Cardinal Schönborn and his hopes for the New Evangelization

“From the very beginning of his ministry, the Pope has stressed that Christian faith, Christian life is not first of all a series of doctrines, not first of all as a series of rules, but a deepening friendship with Jesus. He (the Pope) is convinced that without faith you cannot understand Christian morals. Without faith you cannot understand Christian life. And therefore, I think the big challenge is really to deepen our faith. Call it new evangelization, call it mission – I think it has very much to do with conversion,” the cardinal explained.

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Did Constantine’s victory under the sign of the Cross lead to persecution of the Jews?

As Claire Sotinel, Professor of Roman History at the University Paris-Est Cherethites, will explain during her presentation at the international conference “Constantine the Great: The Roots of Europe,” to be held in the Vatican from 18 to 21 April: all Constantine did was open a Christian church in Jerusalem, which at the time was not Jewish, but pagan.

But the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Riccardo Di Segni, disagrees. “The conversion of Constantine changed everything,” the spiritual leader of the oldest Jewish community in Europe told Vatican Insider. “That event has had a decisive impact on history, and is closely related to the persecution of the Jews.” The conversion of Constantine, he added, “has divided history into ‘before’ and ‘after,’ causing such turmoil that Emperor Julian’s unsuccessful attempt to remedy it earned him the title of ‘the Apostate.’ It goes against all historical evidence to deny it.”

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Editor’s note: The seminal event for the Jews was the 70 AD destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, which was followed up by many years of wars and rebellions, leaving what remained of the Holy Land under the occupation of pagans, rather than Jews.

But it was the persecution of Christians by the Jews which ultimately contributed most to the separation of the two faiths, since that (along with the grace of God) is what caused St. Peter and St. Paul to journey to Rome, in the first place.

All this happened more than two centuries before Constantine.

The Rabbi does have a point, though. Once Christianity became the “official” faith of the Roman Empire … Judaism … along with many of the Roman’s favorite pagan cults … would soon and forever more … be cast as obsolete and essentially apostate religions.

The Miracle that is the Catholic Church

by Doug Lawrence

It was the year 1531. In Europe, the Protestant Reformation had begun, and the ranks of the Catholic Church would soon be reduced by hundreds of thousands … perhaps even millions … of fallen away souls.

Half a world away, at Tepeyac, a hill northwest of Mexico City, a poor farmer experienced a strange apparition, leading to a remarkable, supernatural turn of events that would result in the conversion of millions of native people to Catholicism, put an end to the local practice of human sacrifice, and more than make up for the losses suffered by the Church, on the continent of Europe.

Read more about the amazing events in Mexico, here.

The pope’s current visit to Africa reminds us, despite continuing, major losses in the developed world, that the Catholic faith is still remarkably vibrant, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is still hugely relevant, especially on the African continent, where over the last hundred years, Catholic Church membership has grown from 2 million, to over 160 million souls.

Read more about the Catholic Church in Africa, here.

Isn’t it nice to know that God has a way of doing things that … despite our many failings and shortcomings … and despite the many and continuing challenges in the world … always brings about what he ultimately intends … for our good … and for the good of his holy church?

To paraphrase our site’s motto:
God loves us. God will provide. Believe it. It’s true!

Greece now consigned to a new type of (Socialist) debtor’s prison

Factions inside the European Commission are discussing proposals to make defaulting states “wards” of the Commission, effectively ending national sovereignty for indebted states.  Each “ward” would be assigned a budget officer who would oversee spending in the geographical area under his or her direction.

How is this to be tolerated on a continent that once prized freedom and accountable, democratic government?  American victory in World War II seems overshadowed by the willful acquiescence to despotic rule which now characterizes European political organization.  The world watches with bated breath as European nations line up to surrender precious, historic freedom to Brussels.  And Greece, the cradle of democracy, is next on the menu.

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A little known fact about Ash Wednesday

It’s an American custom to smear the ashes on the forehead. In Europe, ashes are usually sprinkled over the crown of the head.

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