Notre Dame in flames last April was the first time many people in America really became aware of anti-Catholic feelings in Europe. While Notre Dame was reportedly an accident, it still raised cause for concern and brought much needed awareness to the plight of Europe’s treasured Christian heritage.
Notre Dame caught fire, coincidentally, during a rise of arson activity and vandalism among many churches throughout France. These activities have been steadily increasing throughout 2018 and 2019 but have been largely uncovered by mainstream media sources.
From a RealClearInvestigations.com report yesterday:
LAVAUR, France – Late one night a few months ago, two teenage boys crept into the massive 13th century Cathedral of Saint-Alain in Lavaur, a postcard town in southwest France. There, they set fire to an altar, turned a crucifix upside down, threw another one into the nearby Agout River, and deformed a statue of Jesus into what the town's mayor called “a grotesque pose.”
Townspeople were shocked that two local boys could commit an act of such gratuitous vandalism against, of all things, their town's most historic and treasured site, a towering, massive, Gothic structure that has stood at the center of Lavaur's collective life for 700 years.
But there is nothing at all unusual about an attack on a Christian religious site these days in France, or, for that matter, elsewhere in Europe. The French police recorded 129 thefts and 877 acts of vandalism at Catholic sites – mostly churches and cemeteries – in 2018, and there has been no respite this year. The Conference of French Bishops reported 228 “violent anti-Christian acts” in France in the first three months of 2019 alone, taking place in every region of the country – 45 here in the southwest.
In all, according to the French Ministry of the Interior (which counted 875 anti-Christian incidents in 2018, slightly less than the tally by the police), the attacks on Christian sites quadrupled between 2008 and 2019. This has stirred a deep alarm among many Catholics and non-Catholics alike, worried that a powerful hostility to Catholicism – what they call “Christianophobia” – is sweeping their country.
“This kind of thing causes real consternation,” Henri Lemoigne, the mayor of a town on the English Channel, told a Catholic magazine after someone broke into the tabernacle of the local church and scattered its contents on the floor, evidently in search of something to steal. “People feel that their values are under attack, even their very beings.”
The article also reminds us of the trail of bodies on the rise, most notably the murder of 84-year-old priest, Jacques Hamel, by two men proclaiming allegiance to the Islamic State. His story made international news, as did the killing of 12 journalists at the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and the massacre of 130 people at the Bataclan Theater in Paris in 2015, but what of the string of attacks following these grave events, perpetrated by Muslim extremists? Crickets.
REMNANT COMMENT: Hey Anderson Cooper, what gives? Did you miss this one, guy?
Given this dramatic rise in Christophobia throughout the world, isn't it odd that the mainstream media, along with their little helpers and enablers--Leftist watchdog groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League--spend so much time shouting "fire" in crowded theaters over the alleged rise in 'Christian hate groups'?
Leaving the fact that a 'Christian hate group' is a contradiction in terms, since hate violates the founding principles of Christianity, why is there so little concern for the dramatic rise in documented, photographed, reported and ACTUAL hate crimes against Christians and Christian symbols going on all over the world?
And when will the mainstream media be held responsible for, in fact, helping to foment hate against Christians?
Christianity’s great law is twofold: Love God above all else and love your neighbor as yourself. Christianity simply cannot be reconciled with any call -- real or imagined -- to hate.
Our religion rejects the very idea of an eye for eye and a tooth for tooth, advocating instead to "turn the other cheek," as Christ commanded His followers to do.
Tell me, where's the Christian call for jihad against non-Christians? When's the last time a Pope put out a call for Catholics to get busy hating on non-Catholics? Isolated nutjobs claiming to be Christian don't cut it. Where's an official representative of Christianity calling for hate and violence against anyone, anywhere?
So, what gives? Could it be that such shoddy journalism and investigative reporting is, in fact, intentional...part of an orchestrated conspiracy to criminalize Christianity itself, since it is antithetical to the libertine madness of secularism and its Tower of New World Order Babble?
Whatever the case may be, the blood of Christians is flowing again all over the world.
So when, one wonders, will society get serious about confronting this growing threat to the lives of Christians? When will Christophobia become a thing? How long will the systemic anti-Catholic media bias be tolerated in America and Europe?
Notre Dame de Paris already went up in smoke. What's next, St. Peter's? When's enough enough?
Richard John Santorum is a board member of the new initiative at Cathio.com. The former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania is a devout Catholic and father of seven children.
Cathio provides Catholic organizations with a payments platform that aligns with Catholic values and provides tools to increase donations and connect with both local and global Catholic communities.
Since Cathio has been the victim of negative press in mainstream, leftist news outlets, they reached out to The Remnant for our help in setting the record straight.
Michael J. Matt Interviews Senator Santorum
MJM: Thanks very much, Senator Santorum, for taking the time to answer a few questions about this new project that could, as I see it, change the way the Church and various Christian action groups do business online and move their money. Can you tell our readers how this initiative got started?
Santorum: One of Cathio's co-founders, Ryan Thomas, spent many years working in Catholic news and media. What he saw, and what we've all begun to see, is the increasingly hostile nature in which tech platforms have begun to censor the Catholic Church because of our stances on issues like life and marriage. A few years ago, we saw Facebook censor Catholic content, remove our pages and limit our reach. Recently this has begun to happen with Pinterest and even Google. It's only a matter of time before financial institutions are pressured to do the same. Cathio aims to provide Catholics and Catholic institutions an option to move money with a company that shares their values and protects their interests.
MJM: This has garnered some negative mainstream pushback, which has led even to some attacks against you personally. What’s behind this antipathy to what seems to be a perfectly reasonable venture in a free market economy?
Unfortunately, there are elements of the new media, that have a knee-jerk negative reaction to any activity that I am engaged in because of the positions I have taken throughout my career which are consistent with our Catholic faith.
MJM: I think many Christian groups are ready to make changes in how they manage e-commerce but they need to know that the technical alternatives will actually work. Dwolla comes to mind. As an alternative to PayPal, it just doesn’t cut it. Technically speaking, can your group’s alternative actually compete with PayPal, for example?
Cathio is being designed with a deep understanding of both domestic and international regulations and the latest technology. Using blockchain to secure data and an advanced data model we have the ability to provide services to support the needs of the Church to move money quickly, cost effectively and across borders.
MJM: And what about online security? Consumer confidence is so important now.
Consumer confidence has been shaken by a number of systemic and process issues with some major industry providers. When there are multitudes of layers comprised of older and newer technologies, the complexity increases and chances for security vulnerabilities compound.
One of the advantages Cathio provides by building from the latest technologies is security at all levels. Cathio is deploying the latest security at the user level, at our integration points and data storage. The Cathio team started using blockchain and other advanced technologies to address these issues over eighteen months ago. JP Morgan recently validated this approach by using similar technology for high value transactions.
MJM: Christian groups have been rightly concerned about unfair treatment from service providers whose philosophy and politics are, let’s face it, antithetical to ours. If this venture is successful, what steps would you take to make Christians see the necessity of establishing the pro-Christian alternative.
What we are establishing is a safe place for people of faith to be able to efficiently and securely transact business without being persecuted for their beliefs.
We've also begun conversations with dozens of Catholic organizations, all of which - to date - understand the value Cathio will be offering and are ready to jump to the Cathio platform. So, the community understands the existential risk, they see the signs of the times, it's just been an issue that up until this point, there's been no other payment solution that meets their needs.
MJM: The far-Left Southern Poverty Law Center has been providing advisors for YouTube, Facebook, Twitter etc., ostensibly in order to help them identify and block “hate groups”. Given their track record and agenda, do you think it would be possible to keep them off your back?
We fully anticipate the SPLC to be critical of anything related to a biblical worldview. Cathio's blessed to count on a Board of Directors with extensive knowledge and experience in the political world as well as with religious liberty issues. From the early negative press we've received, we know more is coming, but we're prepared to respond and protect this platform to serve the Church.
MJM: What about Internet Service Providers themselves? Do you foresee a time when Christian groups will be so vilified that even just hosting Christian, pro-life, pro-family sites will become problematic, if not outright illegal?
There are a lot of smart, young Christians working on a variety of tech solutions right now, and we've had the opportunity since the launching of Cathio to be in contact with some of them. I hope that Cathio will inspire others to put the talents and gifts in service of the Church to respond to all of the needs we have.
MJM: Will this be something for everyone, or just larger online businesses?
Cathio will be rolling out in phases. First, we are working on the larger donor development side, offering tools and a platform to facilitate money movement. Next, we plan to expand to offer the platform for everyday Catholics to donate to parishes and non-profits through desktop and app integrations that will eventually allow Cathio to allow international transfers to support the Church's charitable works across the globe.
MJM: What can our readers do to help promote this project?
I'd say there are a few things: first, pray for the team that we continue to be faithful to our mission and use our gifts to be able to respond faithfully to what's being asked of us. On a practical level, you can go to the website and sign-up for our newsletter where we'll keep you up-to-date on our rollouts and maybe even be able to participate in some of our beta testing and pilot programs.
The Latin Mass Community of the Diocese of Wichita, Kansas, will cease to exist on September 1, 2019. Ending just shy of its twenty-fifth birthday, it will be replaced by a parish community which celebrates both Novus Ordo and Vetus Ordo Masses. The following is an anticipated obituary of the event:
"The Latin Mass Community was born on Sunday, September 6, 1992, when the Vetus Ordo Mass was celebrated in Wichita with episcopal approval for the first time since the advent of the Novus Ordo Mass. The celebrant was the late Bishop of Wichita, his Excellency Eugene J. Gerber. The service was held at St. Anthony's Church.
Since that time, diocesan priests have served as chaplains to the Latin Mass Community, which in turn has supported weekly celebrations of the Vetus Ordo at St. Anthony's. The parish is also home to a community which celebrates the Novus Ordo in Vietnamese and another which celebrates the Novus Ordo in English. These communities are served by the pastor of St. Anthony's.
The current arrangement will end on September 1, 2019. By direction of the Bishop of Wichita, his Excellency Carl A. Kemme, no chaplains will be assigned to the Latin Mass Community, the name 'Latin Mass Community' will be suppressed, and the Vetus Ordo will no longer be celebrated at St. Anthony's.
Instead, the parochial vicar of another parish, St. Joseph's Church, will celebrate a Vetus Ordo Mass on Sundays as an addition to the Novus Ordo Masses already celebrated there. One feature of the current arrangement will apparently remain: The Mass at St. Joseph's, like the existing Mass at St. Anthony's, will be the only public Vetus Ordo regularly celebrated on Sundays in the Diocese of Wichita with episcopal approval.
Bishop Kemme explained his rationale in a letter to St. Anthony parishioners:
Since my arrival here as bishop, I have desired more and more to make Pope Benedict XVI's vision a greater reality in our diocese in which the two forms of the one mass, the Ordinary Form and the Extraordinary Form enrich each other and becoming fully integrated into a parish community rather than one co-existing with the other. This will not happen overnight but it is my conviction that this can happen more deeply with the change I am announcing, providing a possible model for full integration of both forms of the mass.
In line with the bishop's rationale, a priest overseeing the change informed members of the Latin Mass Community that a distinct parish for the Vetus Ordo, such as one staffed by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, is not a possibility in the Diocese of Wichita.
The pastor of St. Joseph's has invited members of the Latin Mass Community to register in his parish if they so choose, but he has also assured them that all who attend the Vetus Ordo on Sundays will be treated as members of the parish community. Additional benefits are promised, such as two weekday Masses and other Sacraments in the traditional form. However things turn out, the passing of the Latin Mass Community will mean the Vetus Ordo is no longer a sufficient basis for community formation in the Diocese of Wichita."