Looking for a different game for house parties and rainy days? Try matching Popes with American presidents who are roughly contemporary.
In the style of Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans, you might match, say, Eisenhower with Pius XII, Kennedy with John XXIII, Johnson with Paul VI, Reagan with John Paul II, and Obama with Francis. The premise is that each age gives us Popes and Presidents to reflect it. Push the comparisons too far and they will break down, but determining exactly how and when would be half the fun of the game.
(Fundamental Reasons Why So Many Faithful Catholics Never Embraced the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary)
There is no mention whatever of the Rosary in the documents of the Second Vatican Council. Not even in the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, whose final chapter deals exclusively with our Lady ’s role in the Church. A vague reference in Article 67 to “practices and exercises of devotion towards her” might be assumed to include it, but according to Bishop Rendeiro of Coïmbra, the Bishops who wished to add to the text “the Rosary with meditation on the Mysteries of the life of Christ and the Blessed Virgin” were voted down. Apparently the Council deemed it best to follow the recommendations of the Theological Commission and make no mention of particular devotions, for fear of encouraging manifestations of piety beyond what they termed “the limits of sound and orthodox doctrine.” 
Charlie Hebdo is an equal opportunity violator of responsible free speech, attacking Pope and imam alike, mischievously igniting passions and blithely inciting violence wherever its willful pen wishes to strike.
Je ne suis pas Charlie. I am not Charlie. I am a Catholic. Which is to say, I see the current battle between secular France and Islam as a war between two erroneous ideologies, in fact, two false religions: Secularism and Mohammedanism. Make no mistake, secular liberal democracy, despite its deceptive pleading to the contrary, is every bit on a crusade against religion, both true and false.
Referring to the Jihadist attack on the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, the American Secretary of State, John Kerry, explicitly couched the secular cause in religious terms: “Those killed at the magazine are martyrs for liberty.”
He is known as the Catholic Pilgrim Poet who battled the Modernists. His footsteps are followed each spring by devout modern pilgrims who trek the three-day pilgrimage (the Peguy Way) from Paris to Chartres, France. He also went years without receiving Holy Communion. How does the life of Charles Peguy expose the heresy of Cardinal Walter Kasper?
Although diminutive in height and girth, he casts a wide shadow in the annals of French Catholicism. He was a devout Catholic burdened with a complicated personal life, yet nevertheless a faithful adherent to the dictates of canon law prohibiting him from Holy Communion.
He was devoted to the Blessed Mother, but separated from her Son in Holy Communion. A baptized Catholic who propounded socialism and agnosticism, and then reverted to the Faith to become one of the great French Catholics.
Neo-Catholic apologists like Dr. Mirus are committed to accepting and defending whatever the current occupant of ecclesiastical office declares at this moment, even if such declaration is in direct contradiction to what the previous holder of that same office declared years or even months previously
Christopher Ferrara with is customary acumen and wit exposed the nonsensical position of the Neo-Catholic party of the Status Quo in his October 15, 2014, Remnant Article “Defending Cardinal Kasper: Another Neo-Catholic Non -Surprise.” As Mr. Ferrara proves beyond even unreasonable doubt, Dr. Jeff Mirus is the most agile and adept member of the Party of the Defense of the Indefensible. Neo-Catholic apologists such as Dr. Mirus are committed to accepting and defending whatever the current occupant of ecclesiastical office declares at this moment, even if such declaration is in direct contradiction to what the previous holder of that same office declared just years or months previously.
The title Man of the Year, bestowed by the mass media on a gender-neutral “Person of the Year,” reflects the impact a public figure has had on world events during the year preceding. Thus it was quite understandable, even predictable, that Time, the world’s leading news magazine, and The Advocate, the world’s most prominent homosexualist publication, would both name Pope Francis “Person of the Year” for 2013.
For Pope Francis to use his influence in support of a police state, albeit with the express purpose of helping the Cuban people, will not end well - for the Church, or for the people he wishes to assist.
"A high-ranking Vatican official confirmed ...that the Obama administration and the Vatican have been working together for more than a year to end decades of hostility and restore relations between the US and the Caribbean nation."
So began one in a series of similar articles recently that extolled the work of Pope Francis I and Vatican diplomats in securing a normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba, something that has not existed since January, 1961, when President Eisenhower broke diplomatic ties to the newly established Cuban Marxist regime headed by Fidel Castro. Not since Ronald Reagan publicly credited Pope John Paul II's role in the collapse of communism has an American president so lauded the diplomatic efforts of a sitting pope.
Editor’s Note: Just hours before going to press with our Christmas issue this week, I received an email from a war veteran and Remnant reader who had served 13 years in the U.S. Army, including Vietnam in 1971 and 72. His name is Bob Baker and he wanted to know if I’d be interested in printing his story of a Christmas Eve Midnight Mass he’d attended in the middle of the Vietnam War. After reading it, I immediately set to work making the necessary layout adjustments needed to feature this beautiful and inspiring story here in our Christmas issue. Mr. Baker’s account reminds us anew that no matter how many wars tear apart the cities of the world, in the end those that love the Child of Bethlehem will survive so long as we continue to believe and so long as we never lose hope. A merry Christmas to all and a happy and holy New Year to all the friends and allies of The Remnant. Keep the old Faith. MJM
It didn’t do any good to complain and it wasn’t as if there was much else to do. Though I’d been in-country for almost four months, I still had less time there than most, so the job was mine – I had complete charge of our small compound for Christmas Eve, 1971 in Da Nang, Republic of Vietnam.
Puer natus est nobis, et filius datus est nobis
As the enemies of Christ our King continue to carry on old Herod’s mad assault on all that is innocent and Christlike in our world, even Christmas itself, it must surely remain a source of vexation for them to realize that despite the best efforts of their global anti-Christian war machine, a little Child continues to conquer them century after century. For 2,000 years they’ve been at it, and yet even today He reigns throughout the world in the hearts of the countless millions who still believe in the real meaning of Christmas. The old Faith will never die and Herod’s legions will go on busying themselves terrorizing children but always and forever ultimately failing in their campaign to destroy one, tiny Baby.
In my article Nuns on the Bus, Vatican II and the Decline of Women Religious; (Nov. 30 -Dec. 15) I mentioned that in mid-December, the Vatican's Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life would issue a summary of its findings regarding a Vatican inquiry into various aspects of "Women Religious" throughout the United States. I was skeptical about what the report would eventually say, and I wrote: "But will the Vatican....fess up to their responsibility as shepherds to their flocks? If what I suspect will be the tenor and tone of the press conference on the 16th, I doubt it." Was my pessimistic prophecy accurate?
"To the Church’s present flourishing condition, Pope Pius XII contributed enormously, and in all likelihood he will rank in history as one of the greatest of the Popes."...New York Daily News, 1958
In his Christmas message of 1944, Pope Pius XII lamented the fact that “for the sixth time, the Christmas dawn breaks again on battlefields spreading ever wider, on graveyards where are gathered the remains of victims in ever-increasing numbers… Even the little lamp is out in many majestic temples, in many modest chapels, where before the tabernacle it had shared the watches of the Divine Guest over a world asleep. What desolation! What contrast! Can there then be still hope for mankind?”
These words written in the midst of World War II should resonate anew with Catholics in 2014. For though there are good reasons to maintain that the situation in the world is markedly worse now than it was then, it would be the height of folly to underestimate the malaise that prevailed in large sections of the world during that horrific war. Yet, even so, the Catholic Church, shepherded by a strong Roman Pontiff, held despondency at bay and helped lift entire nations from the depths of despair. And so she will again.