One or The Other
by Thomas A. Droleskey
The Apostle to Germany, Saint Boniface, whose feast is commemorated today, June 5, 2009, which is Ember Friday in the Octave of Pentecost and the First Friday of the month of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, the month of June, gave no quarter to the pagan religions of the land to which he had been sent to Catholicize, the land which the Roman Empire was never able to conquer.
Pope Pius XII, writing in Ecclesiae Fastos fifty-five years ago today, June 5, 1954, described the zeal of Saint Boniface for destroying the temples of the false idols of the Germans:
When by the grace and favor of God this very important task was done, Boniface did not allow himself his well-earned rest. In spite of the fact that he was already burdened by so many cares, and was feeling now his advanced age and realizing that his health was almost broken by so many labors, he prepared himself eagerly for a new and no less difficult enterprise. He turned his attention again to Friesland, that Friesland which had been the first goal of his apostolic travels, where he had later on labored so much. Especially in the northern regions this land was still enveloped in the darkness of pagan error. Zeal that was still youthful led him there to bring forth new sons to Jesus Christ and to bring Christian civilization to new peoples. For he earnestly desired "that in leaving this world he might receive his reward there where he had first begun his preaching and entered upon his meritorious career." Feeling that his mortal life was drawing to a close, he confided his presentiment to his dear disciple, Bishop Lullus, and asserted that he did not want to await death in idleness. "I yearn to finish the road before me; I cannot call myself back from the path I have chosen. Now the day and hour of my death is at hand. For now I leave the prison of the body and go to my eternal reward. My dear son, . . . insist in turning the people from the paths of error, finish the construction of the basilica already begun at Fulda and there bring my body which has aged with the passage of many years.
When he and his little band had taken departure from the others, "he traveled through all Friesland, ceaselessly preaching the word of God, banishing pagan rites and extirpating immoral heathen customs. With tremendous energy he built churches and overthrew the idols of the temples. He baptized thousands of men, women and children." After he had arrived in the northern regions of Friesland and was about to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation to a large number of newly baptized converts, a furious mob of pagans suddenly attacked and threatened to kill them with deadly spears and swords. Then the holy prelate serenely advanced and "forbade his followers to resist, saying, 'Cease fighting, my children, for we are truly taught by Scripture not to return evil for evil, but rather good. The day we have long desired is now at hand; the hour of our death has come of its own accord. Take strength in the Lord, . . . be courageous and do not be afraid of those who kill the body, for they cannot slay an immortal soul. Rejoice in the Lord, fix the anchor of hope in God, Who will immediately give you an eternal reward and a place in the heavenly court with the angelic choirs'." All were encouraged by these words to embrace martyrdom. They prayed and turned their eyes and hearts to heaven where they hoped to receive soon an eternal reward, and then fell beneath the onslaught of their enemies, who stained with blood the bodies of those who fell in the happy combat of the saints." At the moment of this martyrdom, Boniface, who was to be beheaded by the sword, "placed the sacred book of the Gospels upon his head as the sword threatened, that he might receive the deadly stroke under it and claim its protection in death, whose reading he loved in life. (Pope Pius XII, Ecclesiae Fastos, June 5, 1954.)
An apostate son of Germany, one who is the very antithesis of the spirit of Saint Boniface, wrote the following about those who destroyed pagan temples:
In the relationship with paganism quite different and varied developments took place. The mission as a whole was not consistent. There were in fact Christian hotheads and fanatics who destroyed temples, who were unable to see paganism as anything other than idolatry that had to be radically eliminated. People saw points in common with philosophy, but not in pagan religion, which was seen as corrupt. (Joseph Ratzinger, God and the World, p. 373.)
Was Saint Boniface guilty of being one of these "Christian hotheads and fanatics who destroyed temples," men "who were unable to see paganism as anything other than idolatry that had to be radically eliminated"? Ratzinger/Benedict not only blasphemes God as he denies the nature of dogmatic truth and esteems the symbols and the "values" of false religions. He blasphemes the work and the memory of the very saint who evangelized his own German ancestors.
Ratzinger/Benedict was recently at the Abbey of Monte Cassino, which was founded by the founder of Western monasticism, Saint Benedict of Nursia, whose missionary work was described as follows by Pope Pius XII in Fulgens Radiatur, March 21, 1947:
But while things started very favorably, as We said, and yielded rich and salutary results, promising still greater in the future, Our saint with the greatest grief of soul, saw a storm breaking over the growing harvest, which an envious spirit had provoked and desires of earthly gain had stirred up. Since Benedict was prompted by divine and not human counsel, and feared lest the envy which had been aroused mainly against himself should wrongfully recoil on his followers, "he let envy take its course, and after he had disposed of the oratories and other buildings -- leaving in them a competent number of brethren with superiors -- he took with him a few monks and went to another place". Trusting in God and relying on His ever present help, he went south and arrived at a fort "called Cassino situated on the side of a high mountain . . .; on this stood an old temple where Apollo was worshipped by the foolish country people, according to the custom of the ancient heathens. Around it likewise grew groves, in which even till that time the mad multitude of infidels used to offer their idolatrous sacrifices. The man of God coming to that place broke the idol, overthrew the altar, burned the groves, and of the temple of Apollo made a chapel of St. Martin. Where the profane altar had stood he built a chapel of St. John; and by continual preaching he converted many of the people thereabout".
Was Saint Benedict guilty of being one of those "Christian hotheads and fanatics who destroyed temples," men "who were unable to see paganism as anything other than idolatry that had to be radically eliminated"? Ratzinger/Benedict not only blasphemes God as he denies the nature of dogmatic truth and esteems the symbols and the "values" of false religions. He blasphemes the work and the memory of the very saint whose name he took when he was "elected" as the head of the counterfeit church of conciliarism.
Minions in the counterfeit church of conciliarism send annual "Happy Diwali" greets to Hindus, as Jean-Louis "Cardinal" did in October of last year:
1. As Diwali approaches, your religious feast, I am sure all of you in your respective families, neighbourhoods and communities will be taking time to share your joy with one another. On behalf of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue I am happy to have this opportunity, for the first time since taking office, to send you my greetings. Sensitive to your religious feelings and respectful of your ancient religious tradition, I sincerely hope that your search for the Divine, symbolized through the celebration of Diwali, will help you to overcome darkness with light, untruth with truth and evil with goodness.
2. The world around us is yearning for peace. Religions promise peace because they trace their origin to God who, according to Christian belief, is our peace. Can we, as believers of different religious traditions, not work together to receive God’s gift of peace and to spread it around us so that the world becomes for all people a better place to live? Our respective communities must pay urgent attention to the education of believers, who can so easily be misled by deceitful and false propaganda.
3. Belief and freedom always go together. There can be no coercion in religion: no one can be forced to believe, neither can anyone who wishes to believe be prevented from doing so. Allow me to reiterate the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, which is quite clear on this point: “It is one of the major tenets of Catholic doctrine that man’s response to God in faith must be free. Therefore no one is to be forced to embrace the faith against his own will” (Declaration on Religious Freedom, Dignitatis Humanae, 10). The Catholic Church has been faithful to this teaching as Pope Benedict XVI reminded recently to the Ambassadors of India and other countries to the Holy See: “… Peace is rooted in respect for religious freedom, which is a fundamental and primordial aspect of the freedom of conscience of individuals and of the freedom of peoples” (18 May 2006). Forming believers first of all to discover the full dimensions and depth of their own religion, and then encouraging them to know other believers as well constitutes an important challenge for religious communities committed to building world peace. Let us not forget that ignorance is the first and, perhaps, the principal enemy in the life of believers, while the combined contribution of every enlightened believer provides a rich resource for lasting peace.
4. Like all human relationships, those between people of different religions need to be nourished by regular meetings, patient listening, collaborative action, and above all, by an attitude of mutual respect. Accordingly, we must work to build bonds of friendship, as indeed must the adherents of all religions. “Friendship is nourished by contacts, by a sharing in the joy and sadness of different situations, by solidarity and mutual assistance” (John Paul II, Message to the participants of the International Convention “Matteo Ricci: for a dialogue between China and the West”, 24 October 2001, 6). In situations of misunderstanding, people need to come together and communicate with one another, in order to clarify, in a fraternal and friendly spirit, their respective beliefs, aspirations and convictions. Only through dialogue, avoiding all forms of prejudice and stereo-typed ideas about others and by faithful witness to our religious precepts and teaching, can we truly overcome conflicts. Dialogue between followers of different religions is the necessary path today, indeed it is the only appropriate path for us as believers. Together, in collaboration, we can do much to build a society of harmony and a world of peace.
5. Dear Hindu Friends, the hand I warmly extend to greet you on the occasion of your feast is also a gesture of willingness on the part of the Catholic Church to meet and collaborate with you, your families, your community leaders and all followers of the Sanatana dharma, in order to promote harmony in society and peace in the world. Once again, I wish each one of you a happy Diwali. Jean-Louis Cardinal Tauran (Message to the Hindus on the Feast of Diwali.)
Has Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI ever corrected Jean-Louis Tauran for telling Hindus to "discover the full dimensions and depth of their own religion"? How can he? He says essentially the same thing to Mohammedans and Jews when he speaks to them without once mentioning the Holy Name of the Divine Redeemer, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, or extending to these people who deny His Sacred Divinity any kind of exhortation to convert to the true Faith lest they die in their false religions that have the power to save no one and that are hideous in the sight of the Most Holy Trinity.
Did Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI correct Jean-Louis Tauran for issuing the following "Happy Vesakh" message to Buddhists just two months ago?
1. The forthcoming feast of Vesakh/Hanamatsuri offers a welcome occasion to send you, on behalf of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, our sincere congratulations and cordial best wishes: may this feast once again bring joy and serenity to the hearts of all Buddhists throughout the world. This annual celebration offers Catholics an opportunity to exchange greetings with our Buddhist friends and neighbours, and in this way to strengthen the existing bonds of friendship and to create new ones. These ties of cordiality allow us to share with each other our joys, hopes and spiritual treasures.
2. While renewing our sense of closeness to you, Buddhists, in this period, it becomes clearer and clearer that together we are able not only to contribute, in fidelity to our respective spiritual traditions, to the well-being of our own communities, but also to the human community of the world. We keenly feel the challenge before us all represented, on the one hand, by the ever more extensive phenomenon of poverty in its various forms and, on the other hand, by the unbridled pursuit of material possessions and the pervasive shadow of consumerism.
3. As recently stated by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, poverty can be of two very different types, namely, a poverty “to be chosen” and a poverty “to be fought” (Homily, 1st January 2009). For a Christian, the poverty to be chosen is that which allows one to tread in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. By doing so a Christian becomes disposed to receive the graces of Christ, who for our sake became poor although he was rich, so that by his poverty we might become rich (Cf. 2 Corinthians 8, 9). We understand this poverty to mean above all an emptying of self, but we also see it as an acceptance of ourselves as we are, with our talents and our limitations. Such poverty creates in us a willingness to listen to God and to our brothers and sisters, being open to them, and respecting them as individuals. We value all creation, including the accomplishments of human work, but we are directed to do so in freedom and with gratitude, care and respect, enjoining a spirit of detachment which allows us to use the goods of this world as though we had nothing and yet possessed all things (Cf. 2 Corinthians 6, 10).
4. At the same time, as Pope Benedict noted, “there is a poverty, a deprivation, which God does not desire and which should be fought; a poverty that prevents people and families from living as befits their dignity; a poverty that offends justice and equality and that, as such, threatens peaceful co-existence (l.c.).” Furthermore, “in advanced wealthy societies, there is evidence of marginalization, as well as affective, moral, and spiritual poverty, seen in people whose interior lives are disoriented and who experience various forms of malaise despite their economic prosperity” (Message for World Day of Peace 2009, n. 2).
5. Whereas we as Catholics reflect in this way on the meaning of poverty, we are also attentive to your spiritual experience, dear Buddhist friends. We wish to thank you for your inspiring witness of non-attachment and contentment. Monks, nuns, and many lay devotees among you embrace a poverty "to be chosen" that spiritually nourishes the human heart, substantially enriching life with a deeper insight into the meaning of existence, and sustaining commitment to promoting the goodwill of the whole human community. Once again allow us to express our heartfelt greetings and to wish all of you a Happy Feast of Vesakh/Hanamatsuri. (Message to Buddhists for the Feast of Vesakh/Hanamatsuri 2009, April 3, 2009.)
How are these "Happy Diwali" and "Happy Vesakh" messages issued by a lord of the counterfeit church of conciliarism with the full approve of the currently presiding antipope, Ratzinger/Benedict, to be reconciled with the work of Saint Francis Xavier, who sought convert Hindus and Buddhists as he rejoiced in the destruction of their idols?
As to the numbers who become Christians, you may understand them from this, that it often happens to me to be hardly able to use my hands from the fatigue of baptizing: often in a single day I have baptized whole villages. Sometimes I have lost my voice and strength altogether with repeating again and again the Credo and the other forms. The fruit that is reaped by the baptism of infants, as well as by the instruction of children and others, is quite incredible. These children, I trust heartily, by the grace of God, will be much better than their fathers. They show an ardent love for the Divine law, and an extraordinary zeal for learning our holy religion and imparting it to others. Their hatred for idolatry is marvellous. They get into feuds with the heathen about it, and whenever their own parents practise it, they reproach them and come off to tell me at once. Whenever I hear of any act of idolatrous worship, I go to the place with a large band of these children, who very soon load the devil with a greater amount of insult and abuse than he has lately received of honor and worship from their parents, relations, and acquaintances. The children run at the idols, upset them, dash them down, break them to pieces, spit on them, trample on them, kick them about, and in short heap on them every possible outrage. (St. Francis Xavier: Letter from India, to the Society of Jesus at Rome, 1543.)
We have in these parts a class of men among the pagans who are called Brahmins. They keep up the worship of the gods, the superstitious rites of religion, frequenting the temples and taking care of the idols. They are as perverse and wicked a set as can anywhere be found, and I always apply to them the words of holy David, "from an unholy race and a wicked and crafty man deliver me, O Lord." They are liars and cheats to the very backbone. Their whole study is, how to deceive most cunningly the simplicity and ignorance of the people. They give out publicly that the gods command certain offerings to be made to their temples, which offerings are simply the things that the Brahmins themselves wish for, for their own maintenance and that of their wives, children, and servants. Thus they make the poor folk believe that the images of their gods eat and drink, dine and sup like men, and some devout persons are found who really offer to the idol twice a day, before dinner and supper, a certain sum of money. The Brahmins eat sumptuous meals to the sound of drums, and make the ignorant believe that the gods are banqueting. When they are in need of any supplies, and even before, they give out to the people that the gods are angry because the things they have asked for have not been sent, and that if the people do not take care, the gods will punish them by slaughter, disease, and the assaults of the devils. And the poor ignorant creatures, with the fear of the gods before them, obey them implicitly. These Brahmins have barely a tincture of literature, but they make up for their poverty in learning by cunning and malice. Those who belong to these parts are very indignant with me for exposing their tricks. Whenever they talk to me with no one by to hear them they acknowledge that they have no other patrimony but the idols, by their lies about which they procure their support from the people. They say that I, poor creature as I am, know more than all of them put together.
They often send me a civil message and presents, and make a great complaint when I send them all back again. Their object is to bribe me to connive at their evil deeds. So they declare that they are convinced that there is only one God, and that they will pray to Him for me. And I, to return the favor, answer whatever occurs to me, and then lay bare, as far as I can, to the ignorant people whose blind superstitions have made them their slaves, their imposture and tricks, and this has induced many to leave the worship of the false gods, and eagerly become Christians. If it were not for the opposition of the Brahmins, we should have them all embracing the religion of Jesus Christ. (St. Francis Xavier: Letter from India, to the Society of Jesus at Rome, 1543.)
Was Saint Francis Xavier guilty of being one of those "Christian hotheads and fanatics who destroyed temples," men "who were unable to see paganism as anything other than idolatry that had to be radically eliminated"?
Were the popes who called the Crusades to dislodge the Mohammedans from the Holy Land wrong?
Was Pope Saint Pius V wrong to call upon Catholics to pray Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary for the defeat of the Mohammedans in the Battle of Lepanto on October 7, 1571?
Was King Jan Sobieski of Poland wrong to have used Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary as the weapon to turn back the Mohammedan hordes in the Battle at the Gates of Vienna on September 13, 1683?
Jean-Louis Tauran had the temerity last year to thank Mohammedans for "bringing God back into the public sphere in Europe:"
PARIS (Reuters) - A senior Vatican cardinal has thanked Muslims for bringing God back into the public sphere in Europe and said believers of different faiths had no option but to engage in interreligious dialogue.
Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, head of the Catholic Church's department for interfaith contacts, said religion was now talked and written about more than ever before in today's Europe.
"It's thanks to the Muslims," he said in a speech printed in Friday's L'Osservatore Romano, the official daily of the Vatican. "Muslims, having become a significant minority in Europe, were the ones who demanded space for God in society."
Vatican officials have long bemoaned the secularisation of Europe, where church attendance has dwindled dramatically in recent decades, and urged a return to its historically Christian roots. But Tauran said no society had only one faith.
"We live in multicultural and multireligious societies, that's obvious," he told a meeting of Catholic theologians in Naples. "There is no civilisation that is religiously pure."
Tauran's positive speech on interfaith dialogue came after a remark by Pope Benedict prompted media speculation that the Vatican was losing interest in it. Some Jewish leaders reacted with expressions of concern and the Vatican denied any change.
The "return of God" is clearly seen in Tauran's native France, where Europe's largest Muslim minority has brought faith questions such as women's headscarves into the political debate after decades when they were considered strictly private issues.
Tauran said religions were "condemned to dialogue," a practice he called "the search for understanding between two subjects, with the help of reason, in view of a common interpretation of their agreement and disagreement."
That seemed to clarify Benedict's statement on Sunday that interfaith dialogue was "not possible in the strict sense of the word". Church officials said a strict definition would include the option that one side is ultimately convinced by the other.
Dialogue participants could not give up their religious convictions, Tauran said, but should be open to learning about the positive aspects of each others' faith.
"Every religion has its own identity, but I agree to consider that God is at work in all, in the souls of those who search for him sincerely," he said. "Interreligious dialogue rallies all who are on the path to God or to the Absolute."
The uncertainty about the Vatican view coincided with increasing contacts among world religions.
Early this month, the Vatican held a pioneering conference with a delegation from the "Common Word" group of Muslim scholars who invited Christian churches to a new dialogue.
A week later, Saudi King Abdullah gathered world leaders at the United Nations as part of a dialogue he launched with a conference of faith leaders in Madrid last July.
Christianity and Islam are the world's two largest faiths, with two billion and 1.3 billion followers respectively. The latest interfaith efforts are meant to counter growing tensions between these two after the Sept. 11 attacks.
An Indian prelate, speaking after the Mumbai attacks began, said in Rome that a lack of courage to meet across faith lines was often behind religious violence in his country.
Archbishop Felix Machado of Nashik diocese, just east of Mumbai, told Italian priests the violence was caused by "inequality, a lack of justice and understanding and, above all, a lack of courage to dialogue," the Vatican daily reported. (Vatican thanks Muslims for returning God to Europe.)
Did Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI ever correct Jean-Louis Tauran for "thanking" Mohammedans for "bringing God back into the public sphere in Europe"? Indeed, did Ratzinger/Benedict ever respond when a convert to the conciliar structures from Mohammedanism, Magdi Allam, called upon him, Ratzinger/Benedict, to correct Tauran's views on Mohammedanism?
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Muslim-born journalist baptized by Pope Benedict XVI at Easter asked the pope to tell his top aide for relations with Muslims that Islam is not an intrinsically good religion and that Islamic terrorism is not the result of a minority gone astray.
As the Vatican was preparing to host the first meeting of the Catholic-Muslim Forum Nov. 4-6, Magdi Allam, a longtime critic of the Muslim faith of his parents, issued an open letter to Pope Benedict that included criticism of Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.
In the letter, posted on his Web site Oct. 20, Allam said he wanted to tell the pope of his concern for "the serious religious and ethical straying that has infiltrated and spread within the heart of the church."
He told the pope that it "is vital for the common good of the Catholic Church, the general interest of Christianity and of Western civilization itself" that the pope make a pronouncement in "a clear and binding way" on the question of whether Islam is a valid religion.
The Catholic Church's dialogue with Islam is based on the Second Vatican Council's Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions ("Nostra Aetate"), which urged esteem for Muslims because "they adore the one God," strive to follow his will, recognize Jesus as a prophet, honor his mother, Mary, "value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting."
The council called on Catholics and Muslims "to work sincerely for mutual understanding" and for social justice, moral values, peace and freedom.
Allam told Pope Benedict he specifically objected to Cardinal Tauran telling a conference in August that Islam itself promotes peace but that "'some believers' have 'betrayed their faith,'" using it as a pretext for violence.
"The objective reality, I tell you with all sincerity and animated by a constructive intent, is exactly the opposite of what Cardinal Tauran imagines," Allam told the pope. "Islamic extremism and terrorism are the mature fruit" of following "the sayings of the Quran and the thought and action of Mohammed."
Allam said he was writing with the "deference of a sincere believer" in Christianity and as a "strenuous protagonist, witness and builder of Christian civilization."
After Pope Benedict baptized Allam March 22 during the Easter Vigil and Allam used his newspaper column and interviews to condemn Islam, the Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, said that when the Catholic Church welcomes a new member it does not mean it accepts his opinions on every subject.
Baptism is a recognition that the person entering the church "has freely and sincerely accepted the Christian faith in its fundamental articles" as expressed in the creed, Father Lombardi had said.
"Of course, believers are free to maintain their own ideas on a vast range of questions and problems on which legitimate pluralism exists among Christians," he said. (http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0805500.htm )
"Of course, believers are free to maintain their own ideas on a vast range of questions and problems on which legitimate pluralism exists among Christians"? You mean to say, Father Lombardi, that there is a "legitimate pluralism" as to whether Mohammedanism is a violent religion of its very false, diabolical nature?
Catholicism or conciliarism. It's one or the other. There is no middle ground. The Catholic Church cannot produce men in her official capacities who speak these things so promiscuously and without any word of correction for the sake of the honor and glory and majesty of God and for the good of the souls for whom Our Lord shed every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross.
Catholicism or conciliarism. It's one or the other. There is no middle ground.
Saint Boniface knew that there was no middle ground between Catholicism and any false religion. He knew that he had to evangelize the non-Catholics to whom he had been sent without engaging in what Pope Pius XI referred to in Mortalium Animos, January 6, 1928, as obstinate wranglings with unbelievers.
Pope Pius XII described the great missionary zeal of Saint Boniface in the aforementioned Ecclesiae Fastos:
Winfred, afterwards named Boniface by Pope St. Gregory II, was undoubtedly outstanding among the missionaries for his apostolic zeal and fortitude of soul, combined with gentleness of manner. Together with a small but courageous band of companions, he began that work of evangelization to which he had so long looked forward, setting sail from Britain and landing in Friesland. However, the tyrant who ruled that country vehemently opposed the Christian religion, so that the attempt of Boniface and his companions failed, and after fruitless labors and vain efforts they were obliged to return home.
Nevertheless he was not discouraged. He determined, after a short while, to go to Rome and visit the Apostolic See. There he would humbly ask the Vicar of Jesus Christ himself for a sacred mandate. Fortified with this and by the grace of God he would more readily attain the difficult goal of his most ardent desires. "He came, therefore, without mishap to the home of the Blessed Apostle Peter," and having venerated with great piety the tomb of the Prince of the Apostles, begged for an audience with Our predecessor of holy memory, Gregory II.
He was willingly received by the Pontiff, to whom "he related in detail the occasion of his journey and visit, and manifested the desire which for long had been consuming him. The Holy Pope immediately smiled benignly on him,"encouraged him to confidence in this praiseworthy enterprise, and armed him with apostolic letters and authority.
The receiving of a mandate from the Vicar of Jesus Christ was to Boniface a mark of the divine assistance. Relying on this he feared no difficulties from men or circumstances; and now with the prospect of happier results he hoped to carry out his long cherished design. He traversed various parts of Germany and Friesland. Wherever there were no traces of Christianity, but all was wild and savage, he generously scattered the Gospel seed, and labored and toiled that it might fructify wherever he found Christian communities utterly abandoned for want of a lawful pastor, or being driven by corrupt and ignorant churchmen far from the path of genuine faith and good life, he became the reformer of public and private morality, prudent and keen, skilful and tireless, stirring up and inciting all to virtue.
The success of the apostle was reported to Our predecessor already mentioned, who called him to Rome, and despite the protest of his modesty, "intimated his desire to raise him to the Episcopate, in order that he could with greater firmness correct the erring and bring them back to the way of truth, the greater the authority of his apostolic rank; and would be more acceptable to all in his office of preaching, the more evident it should be that he had been ordained to it by his apostolic superior."
Therefore he was consecrated "regional bishop" by the Sovereign Pontiff himself, and having returned to the vast territories of his jurisdiction, with the authority which his new office conferred on him, devoted himself with increased earnestness to his apostolic labor.
Just as Boniface was dear to St. Gregory II for the eminence of his virtue and his burning zeal for the spread of Christ's kingdom, he was likewise to his successors: namely, to Pope St. Gregory III, who, for his conspicuous merits, named him archbishop and honored him with the sacred pallium, giving him the power to establish lawfully or reform the ecclesiastical hierarchy in this territory, and to consecrate new bishops "in order to bring the light of Faith to Germany;" to Pope St. Zachary also, who in an affectionate letter confirmed his office and warmly praised him; finally, to Pope Stephen II, to which Pontiff shortly after his election, when already coming to the end of his life's span, he wrote a letter full of reverence.
Backed by the authority and support of these Pontiffs, throughout the period of his apostolate Boniface traversed immense regions with ever-growing zeal, shedding the Gospel's light on lands until then steeped in darkness and error; with untiring effort he brought a new era of Christian civilization to Friesland, Saxony, Austrasia, Thuringia, Franconia, Hesse, Bavaria. All these lands, he tirelessly cultivated and brought forth to that new life which comes from Christ and is fed by His grace. He was also eager to reach "old Saxony," which he looked on as the birthplace of his ancestors; however, this hope he was unable to realize.
To begin and carry out successfully this tremendous undertaking, he earnestly called for companions from the Benedictine monasteries in his own land, then flourishing in learning, faith and charity, -- for monks and nuns too, among whom Lioba was an outstanding example of evangelical perfection. They readily answered his call, and gave him precious help in his mission. And in those same lands there were not wanting those who, once the light of the Gospel had reached them, eagerly embraced the faith, and then strove mightily to bring it to all whom they could reach. Thus were those regions gradually transformed after Boniface, supported, as we have said, by the authority of the Roman Pontiffs, undertook the task; "like a new archimandrite he began everywhere to plant the divine seed and root Out the cockle, to build monasteries and churches, and to put worthy shepherds in charge of them." Men and women flocked to hear him preach, and hearing him were touched by grace; they abandoned their ancient superstitions, and were set afire with love for the Redeemer; by contact with his teaching their rude and corrupt manners were changed; cleansed by the waters of baptism, they entered an entirely new way of life. Here were erected monasteries for monks and nuns, which were centers not only of religion, but also of Christian civilization, of literature, of liberal arts; there dark and unknown and impenetrable forests were cleared, or completely cut down, and new lands put to cultivation for the benefit of all; in various places dwellings were built, which in the course of centuries would grow to be populous cities.
Thus the untamed Germanic tribes, so jealous of their freedom that they would submit to no one, undismayed even by the mighty weight of Roman arms, and never remaining for long under their sway, once they were visited by the unarmed heralds of the Gospel, docilely yielded to them; they were drawn, stirred and finally penetrated by the beauty and truth of the new doctrine, and at last, embracing the sweet yoke of Jesus Christ, willingly surrendered to Him.
Through the activity of St. Boniface, what was certainly a new era dawned for the German people; new not only for the Christian religion, but also for Christian civilization. Consequently this nation should rightly consider and regard him as their father, to whom they should be ever grateful and whose outstanding virtues they should zealously imitate. "For it is not only almighty God Who is called Father in the spiritual order, but also all those whose teaching and example lead us to the truth and encourage us to be strong in our religion. . . Thus the holy bishop Boniface can be called the father of all Germans, since he was the first to bring them forth in Christ by his holy preaching and to strengthen them by the example of his virtue, then finally to lay down his life for them, greater love than which no man can show."
Among the various monasteries (and he had many built in those regions) the monastery of Fulda certainly holds first place; to the people it was as a beacon which with its beaming light shows ships the way through the waves of the sea. Here was founded as it were a new city of God, in which, generation after generation, innumerable monks were carefully and diligently instructed in human and divine learning, prepared by prayer and contemplation for their future peaceful battles, and finally sent forth like swarms of bees after they had drawn the honey of wisdom from their sacred and profane books, to impart generously that sweetness far and wide to others. Here none of the sciences of liberal arts were unknown. Ancient manuscripts were eagerly collected, carefully copied, brilliantly illuminated in color, and explained with careful commentaries. Thus it can justly be maintained that the sacred and profane studies Germany so excels in today had their venerable origins here.
What is more, innumerable Benedictines went forth from these monastic walls and with cross and plow, by prayer, that is, and labor, brought the light of Christian civilization to those lands as yet wrapped in darkness. By their long untiring labors, the forests, once the vast domain of wild beasts, almost inaccessible to man, were turned into fruitful land and cultivated fields; and what had been up to that time separate, scattered tribes of rough barbarous customs became in the course of time a nation, tamed by the gentle power of the Gospel and outstanding for its Christianity and civilization.
Saint Boniface is indeed the father of the German people. One of his sons, Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, however, is the very antithesis of the zeal that he exhibited for the unconditional conversion of pagans and barbarians to the true Faith as he, Saint Boniface, destroyed the idols and the temples of the false gods. It cannot be the case that the father of the German people, Saint Boniface, and a wayward son, Ratzinger/Benedict, are both correct.
It's one or the other.
Saint Boniface observed the First Commandment and sought to convert others so that they could do so themselves as they learned how to love and serve God as He has revealed Himself to men exclusively through the Catholic Church, outside of which there is no salvation and without which there can be no true social order.
Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI and his conciliar minions violate the First Commandment as they esteem the symbols of false religions and praise their "values" as being able to help "build" the "better world."
It's one or the other. Catholicism or conciliarism. It cannot be both.
Saint Boniface was faithful to the mission of the Church that was begun on the first Pentecost Sunday when the first pope, Saint Peter, preached to convert the Jews gathered in Jerusalem. Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict is unfaithful to that mission.
It's one or the other. Catholicism or conciliarism. It cannot be both.
Invoking the intercession of Saint Boniface on this ember day in Octave of Pentecost in which he is commemorated, may we ask him to beg the conversion of the wayward son of Germany, Ratzinger/Benedict, and the other conciliar minions to the true Faith before they day, asking Saint Boniface as well to help us to make reparation for our own many sins by giving everything do and everything we suffer to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. May Saint Boniface help us to remain faithful to the Catholic Church without once making any further concessions to conciliarism or its false shepherds who violate the First commandments so regularly, so openly and so egregiously.
As I noted a few days ago, we need to beg Our Lady to send us the graces won for us by her Divine Son by the shedding of every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross so that we can be courageous enough to eschew all human respect for the love and honor and glory of God, recognizing that the Catholic Church and none of her true popes can ever give us anything that places in doubt the integrity of the First Commandment by being open at all times to strange "gods" that are, of course, nothing other than devils.
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now?
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, triumph soon!
Vivat Christus Rex! Viva Cristo Rey!
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saint Boniface, pray for us.
See also: A Litany of Saints