Fr. Charles O’Connor- Defenders of the Faith in Word and Deed

In 15 Audio on 2011/10/27 at 1:11 AM

Defenders of Faith in Word and Deed

Host – Fr. Charles Connor

This series seeks to examine Catholics who have defended the faith in word and deed by their wet martyrdom, (the shedding of blood) and dry martyrdom, (exclusion or banishment, persecution, imprisonment.) It is hoped that Catholics who view these programs will be strengthened in the Faith they profess by looking more closely at the lives of these who have sacrificed all in it’s defense.

Please click on this link to access these programs: : http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/seriessearchprog.asp?seriesID=6145&T1=Connor

Defenders of Faith in Word and Deed

1. The Early Christian Martyrs of Rome: Fr. Charles Connor teaches about how the early Christian Church was persecuted on and off for over 300 years by the Emperors of Rome. Christians were considered enemies of the state and were persecuted and martyred until the conversion of the Emperor Constantine in the year 313 AD.

2.The 4th Century – Augustine & Athanasius: These two great Doctors of the Church defended the faith against the heresy of Arianism which promoted the idea that Jesus Christ was not a divine person of the Trinity but merely a human created by God.

3. The 13th Century = Albert and Aquinas:  these two great Doctors of the Church of the 13th Century were instrumental in explaining the Theology of the Catholic Church.

4.The Counter Reformation = Ignatius of Loyola and the Jesuits: St. Ignatius of Loyola along with six others began the Jesuit order which was blessed by Pope Paul III on September 27, 1540. The Society of Jesus was like no other order in Church history. They first sought to defend the Roman Catholic faith from the ever spreading heresy of the Protestant reformation. They were expertly educated men of great character and strength and sought to secure the faith by preaching first to those in political power.

5. St. Charles Borromeo and the Reform of the Clergy: The counter-reformation also tackled the problems that led to the Protestant reformation which included a laxity among the Catholic clergy. In many religious communities there was ignorance, immorality, laxity, spiritual decay, superstition and abuse in religious practice. St. Charles Borromeo was instrumental in the reformation of the clergy. He opened several seminaries, organized the laity into spiritual guilds and wrote the Catechism of Trent.

6. St. Thomas More:  One of several Catholic martyrs who refused to accept King Henry VIII as the supreme head of the Church in England, with authority superseding that of the Roman Pontiff. Consequently, St. Thomas was stripped of his Office as Chancellor of England and imprisoned in the tower of London. Refusing to sign the oath of succession, he was executed in 1545.

7. St. John Fisher: Another Martyr of the English Protestant reformation instigated by King Henry VIII. St. John was the last Catholic Bishop of Rochester. When imprisoned by Henry, the Pope elevated him to Cardinal. King Henry resented this and is quoted as saying: “Well let the Pope send him a red hat when he will – But I will so provide that when so ever it comes, he shall wear it on his shoulders, for head he shall have none.”

8. St. Edmund Campion: Unique Martyr of the English Protestant reformation, St. Edmund Campion was executed during the reign of Elizabeth I. Once a favorite of the Queen and Court, Campion returned to the Catholic faith, left England and joined the Society of Jesus. He then returned to England at the risk of being tried and executed as a traitor to the Crown. On his return he ministered to the many recusant Catholics who were ostensibly Protestant, but practiced their true Catholic faith in secret. He was found out, imprisoned, tortured and executed.

9.St. Philip Howard: A member of the nobility of England and became the Earl of Arundel in 1580. St. Philip wrote a letter to Cardinal Allen, asking what he could do to help the Catholic Church in England. The letter was intercepted and Howard eventually was arrested for treason. Although St. Philip was not executed, he suffered a dry martyrdom of imprisonment and died in his bed in prison in 1593.

10.Forty Marytrs of England and Wales:  Canonized in 1970 along with Campion, Howard and Southwell. Some of the most notable of these great Defenders of Faith were three Carthusian priests, Houghton, Lawrence & Webster who refused to take the oath against the Pope and renounce the Catholic Church. Other martyrs include St. Cuthbert Maine, John Southwell, Edmund Arrowsmith, Margaret Clitherow. Many were imprisoned and executed for attending and offering Holy Mass.

11. Modern British Defender: Hilaire Belloc: Writer of  many books about the Catholic Church and the Catholic Faith. As historian, cultural commentator and critic, Belloc opposed the ideology of the “Servile Liberal Welfare State.” He along with Chesterton believed in a theory called “distributism.” He criticized greed that ignored the needs of others but favored a free economy in which people would be able to receive their justly due dignity, freedom and power.

12. Catholic Evidence Guild and Truth Society: Begun in 1884 by Bishop Vaughn, a group of laity who met weekly at various members’ homes. Both of these groups were composed primarily of laity who wrote and published informational and evangelical pamphlets about the Catholic faith which were then distributed to parish churches as well as to anyone who wished to know more about the faith. These lay persons were rigorously trained in the faith before they would be allowed to go out into their daily lives and distribute these pamphlets, preach on the streets and give talks and lectures which defended the Catholic Faith.

13. Maryknoll Martyrs: Ford and Walsh:  In 1912 James E. Walsh joined the Catholic Foreign Missionaries of America, also known as the Maryknolls. Walsh, along with Fr. Francis Ford were missionaries to China. When the communists took over, these Maryknoll Bishops refused to leave. They were both imprisoned as spies and tortured. They are known as the Martyr Bishops of Maryknoll.

14. Cardinal Mindzenty – Dry Martyr of Hungary…The Nazis had control of Hungary and Jews living in Budapest were ordered to the Ghettos. Mindzenty and other Hungarian Bishops wrote a letter denouncing this action and called for their human rights endowed by God. Mindzenty was arrested for writing this letter and charged with offering resistance to the authorities. After the war the communists took over Hungary and in 1949, Mindzenty was charged with espionage and imprisoned for eight years in solitary confinement. When released, he took refuge in the American Embassy in Budapest in order to escape deportation to Russia. He was there for 15 years.

15. Fr. Walter Ciszek: Author of “With God in Russia” and “He Leadeth Me”.  Born in America of Polish descent, he became a missionary priest to the people of Russia. He had to have a fake Polish passport, fake name and disguise his identity as a priest. Once behind the Iron Curtain, he was eventually arrested and sent to the Lubianka prison. He spent a total of 23 years in various prison and labor camps in the Soviet Union, yet all the while he continued his work as a holy priest of God by ministering to any and everyone he possibly could. He remained not only faithful, but joyfully so, in serving his God throughout tremendous pain, hunger and suffering.

16. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger:As a young seminarian Ratzinger wanted to be a priest but as a brilliant student he also wanted to continue his scholarly studies in theology. He was blessed by winning a writing contest, which allowed him to do both. He was eventually made Archbishop of Munich and in 1978 met John Paul II. He was made prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He has written extensively on the problems facing the church in the modern world – a culture that has become selfishly individualistic, rationalistic and hedonistic. He has addressed the difficulties with cross-cultural assimilation. He tells us that reform in the Church will not come from forums and synods but from “the convincing personalities whom we call saints.”

Click here to access these programshttp://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/seriessearchprog.asp?seriesID=6145&T1=Connor


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