The Divine Mercy and Nine Days That Changed the World

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by Doug Lawrence

Our parish Divine Mercy Sunday Committee decided to do things a bit differently this year. Rather than simply showing one of the several good, traditional Divine Mercy videos early on Sunday afternoon, they decided instead to have two Saturday showings of “Divine Mercy, No Escape”
the story of Saint Faustina Kowalsa, with the late Helen Hayes doing the narration, plus a 1:15 pm Sunday showing of  “Nine Days That Changed the World” – Newt and Callista Gingrich’s 2010 excellent documentary about Poland, The Catholic Church, Pope John Paul II and the fall of the Soviet Union.

Other than the extremely tight interval between the end of the 95-minute video and the start of the 3:00 Divine Mercy Holy Hour, the showing was hugely successful and nothing less than inspiring.

The SnagFilms website is hosting the video on line
and you can watch it for free.

Here’s what they have to say about it:

Nine Days That Changed the World Synopsis

Pope John Paul II’s historic nine-day pilgrimage to Poland in June of 1979 created a revolution of conscience that transformed Poland and fundamentally reshaped the spiritual and political landscape of the 20th Century.

Newt and Callista Gingrich, along with a Polish, American, and Italian cast, explore what transpired during these nine days that moved the Polish people to renew their hearts, reclaim their courage, and free themselves from the shackles of Communism.

Millions of Poles, almost one third of the nation, turned out to see the Holy Father in person, while the rest of the country followed his pilgrimage on television and radio. Within sixteen months, Solidarity became the first officially recognized free trade union in the Communist bloc, with over 10 million members. The momentum of this nine-day visit would eventually lead to the fall of the Berlin Wall in November of 1989 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

I can tell you that the documentary actually covers a 10-12 year period, chronicling a chain of unlikely events, unparalleled in modern world history, that did indeed change the world. And it happened without the violence and bloodshed that typically accompanies these types of major, geopolitical upheavals (think: Arab Spring).

There’s a lot of great historical information, a lot of terrific newsreel footage of Pope John Paul II in Poland and elsewhere and a lot of powerful, inspiring stuff that should make every Catholic feel truly blessed … and make non-Catholics think seriously about converting … which is something that Newt Gingrich actually did!

There’s also great lessons in the video for all of today’s Catholics … in particular, our American Catholic bishops … about how to deal effectively with would-be tyrants, recalcitrant politicians and godless secularists.

President Barack Obama should watch this video … not that it would do him much good. I think he would at first, be jealous … and later, fearful.  And well he should be!

Happy Easter! Happy Divine Mercy Sunday!

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Supplemental reading: The Keys of This Blood – by Fr. Malachi Martin

Newt pokes a big hole in Obama’s phony contraception balloon


Watch the clip from “Meet the Press”

Submitted by Nancy W.

Newt’s Revenge: King Of Bain – When Mitt Romney Came To Town

Capitalism made America great – free markets, innovation, hard work – the building blocks of the American Dream. But in the wrong hands some of those dreams can turn into nightmares. This film is about one raider and his firm and how they destroyed that dream for thousands of Americans and their families – Mitt Romney and Bain Capital.

Controversial video

Related background

Gingrich’s unlikely conversion to Catholicism: Genuine, merely convenient … or politically motivated?

Gingrich didn’t convert to Catholicism in a sudden swell of emotion. Rather, it seemed a slower and headier process. Like many adult converts, Gingrich was drawn by the philosophical richness of the Roman Catholic Church.

“Let’s not forget this is a Ph.D., a former professor, a man who loves books and loves big ideas, and there is of course a very deep intellectual tradition within Catholicism,” says Mark Rozell, a political scientist at George Mason University. “And perhaps Gingrich found a natural connection there. It connects with his persona.”

Gingrich began studying the history of the Catholic Church and its influence on Western civilization, especially the church’s role in the fall of communism. In 2010, Newt and Callista Gingrich produced a documentary about Pope John Paul II’s historic trip to Poland. But for Gingrich, the turning point was Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the U.S. in 2008.

Read more

Newt Gingrich’s faith … and political … journey

Gingrich has identified with different branches of Christianity that mirror his surroundings at different stages of life.

Born near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, an area settled by the largely Lutheran Pennsylvania Dutch, Gingrich was the son of a Lutheran mom and a Pennsylvania Dutch stepfather who adopted him.

Attending college at Atlanta’s Emory University and grad school at Tulane University in New Orleans, Gingrich became a Southern Baptist.

And as a creature of Washington, where Gingrich’s wife sings in a Catholic choir and where many prominent conservative Republicans have converted to Catholicism in the last decade, Gingrich joined the Catholic fold in 2009.

Read more

Newt also a “flip-flopper” on key issues

Pro-lifers beware. Gingrich is well known for “erratic” political behavior.

Gingrich says now life begins at conception but said last week it begins at implantation, and he has also supported taxpayer funded embryonic stem cell research.

Gingrich says now he would defund Planned Parenthood but co-sponsored legislation that would have potentially given billions to the abortion giant.

Gingrich says now he supports the Mexico City policy but co-sponsored legislation that would have gutted it.

Read more

Mark Shea has absolutely no use for either Obama or Gingrich

In short, so what if Gingrich emits pieties? Sure, there is such a thing as a conversion from Saul to St. Paul.  But on the other hand, anybody can say “Lord, Lord”. The question is: do they do what Christ commands?  I’m willing to grant that Gingrich is, in some sense yet to be determined, a Catholic, much as I do for Biden and Pelosi.  Bully for them.  May the grace of God do them all good and bring them to a deeper knowledge of their sin and need for grace and forgiveness.  I wish them well and hope for their salvation.

But their allowing themselves to be identified as Catholic is not grounds for electing any of them to high office, particularly when, unlike St. Paul, they give me no particular reason to believe they are willing to obey the Church when it conflicts with their hunger for power…

Read more

Newt’s remarks on when life begins are seriously at odds with Catholic Canon Law

In 1988, the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts authoritatively (authentice) answered the question about whether deliberate destruction of pre-natal human beings “by any method at any time after the moment of conception” (quocumque modo et quocumque tempore a momento conceptionis) was an excommunicable offense under Canon 1398. The Council’s answer, approved by Pope John Paul II on 23 May 1988, was Yes. See AAS 80 (1988) 1818-1819.

Link

Is Newt just another faithless, expedient “converso”?

by Doug Lawrence

Newt Gingrich is a Catholic convert. And even though, due to various ethical lapses and serious personal issues, his past remains questionable, many recently seemed to be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Hence, Newt has recently moved up to front runner status, in the Republican primary race.

But there are signs of big trouble … the most recent being Mr. Gingrich’s apparent break with authentic Catholic teaching about when human life begins.

In a recent television interview with ABC White House Correspondent Jake Tapper, Gingrich clearly argued that life begins at the moment the fertilized egg is implanted in the wall of the uterus. Yet, according to the Church, life begins the moment the egg and sperm come together, in fertilization.  The moment of conception.

A brilliant politician, and a very intelligent man, it’s unlikely that Newt Gingrich would have made a statement such as this, unless he believed it. And if he actually believes what he appears to advocate, there’s probably going to be a lot of conservative Catholics shopping around for a new Republican presidential candidate.

Is this a calculated appeal to the “moderate Republicans” and the “independent voters” out there … the types who prefer to leave morality (abortion, homosexual marriage, etc.) out of politics … and who have, in the past, willingly thrown in with the Democrats to stop any real anti-abortion reform?

If it is, it just might work, since long experience shows that abortion tends to be a zero sum political issue … with pro and con just about evenly split … when it comes to votes.

What’s much more disturbing is the distinct possibility that Newt Gingrich is just another dime a dozen, faithless, opportunistic, Catholic in name only, politician.

Time will tell.

More details

Gingrich: Anti-religious judge’s office should be abolished by Congress.

“Federal District Judge Fred Biery issued the order to stop the school’s valedictorian from saying a prayer as part of her graduation speech. He did so in the name of the First Amendment, which is supposed to prevent government prohibitions of the free exercise of religion and protect the freedom of speech,” added Gingrich. “Judge Biery’s decision clearly is not about defending the Constitution. It is the anti-religious judicial speech police at work here in America.”

Gingrich called for Biery’s removal and, quoting Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist papers as well as Hamilton‘s rival Thomas Jefferson, insisted that the “founders never intended for judges to have free rein to interpret the Constitution according to their own ideological purposes.

“As a first step toward reining in an out-of-control, anti-religious bigotry on the bench, let’s start with this modest suggestion:

Judge Biery’s office should be abolished by Congress. He should go home,” stated Gingrich. “The American people would be better off without a judge whose anti-religious extremism leads him to ban a high school valedictorian from saying even the word ‘prayer.’”

Link

New video on Pope John Paul II by Newt and Callista Gingrich


Gingrich said Wednesday that his film, “Nine Days that Changed the World,” is needed to remind young Poles, secular historians and people worldwide of John Paul’s anti-totalitarian convictions.

The film tracks a visit John Paul made to Poland in 1979 and the electrifying effect it had on Poland’s anti-communist opposition.

Visit the site

Newt Gingrich Opens Up on Catholic Conversion

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Dan Gilgoff, God & Country, U.S. News & World Report

Former House speaker and Republican überstrategist Newt Gingrich is off to Europe next week to shoot a documentary on Pope John Paul II’s 1979 trip to Poland and how it helped to lay the groundwork for bringing down the Soviet Union. The film, Nine Days That Changed the World, is slated for release this fall.

The trip will take Gingrich and his wife, Callista, to Poland and to Rome for the first time since he converted to Roman Catholicism in March.

I caught up with Gingrich this morning and asked if he expected this trip to be different from previous visits to Rome. He gave a long answer that had him opening up about the reasons for his conversion to an extent he hasn’t done publicly before: 

I don’t know that it’s much different. That’s part of what led to my conversion is the first time we [he and Callista] went to St. Peter’s together. It’s St. Peter’s. I mean, you stand there and you think, this is where St. Peter was crucified. This is where Paul preached. You think to yourself, two thousand years ago the apostles set out to create a worldwide movement by witnessing to the historic truth they had experienced. And there it is. The last time we were there we were allowed to walk in the papal gardens and you get this sense that is almost mystical.

The moment that finally convinced me [to convert] was when Benedict XVI came here [to the United States] and Callista in the church choir sang for him at the vespers service and all the bishops in the country were there. As a spouse, I got to sit in the upper church and I very briefly saw [Benedict] and I was just struck with how happy he was and how fundamentally different he was from the news media’s portrait of him. This guy’s not a Rottweiler. He’s a very loving, engaged, happy person.  I’d first seen Pope John Paul II when he came to the U.S. when Carter was president and I was a freshman congressman. And I [later]   met   him as Speaker.

Read the article

—“Real Change Requires Real Change”— Newt Gingrich Becomes A Catholic

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Make of it what you will. The man appears to know his newly adopted Catholic faith.

And yes, we all remember Newt’s former personal scandals.

What do you think redemption is for?