From the homily at the canonization of the martyrs of Uganda by Pope Paul VI
The glory of the martyrs—a sign of rebirth
The African martyrs add another page to the martyrology — the Church’s roll of honor — an occasion both of mourning and of joy. This is a page worthy in every way to be added to the annals of that Africa of earlier which we, living in this era and being men of little faith, never expected to be repeated.
In earlier times there occurred those famous deeds, so moving to the spirit, of the martyrs of Scilli, of Carthage, and of that “white robed army” of Utica commemorated by Saint Augustine and Prudentius; of the martyrs of Egypt so highly praised by Saint John Chrysostom, and of the martyrs of the Vandal persecution. Who would have thought that in our days we should have witnessed events as heroic and glorious?
Who could have predicted to the famous African confessors and martyrs such as Cyprian, Felicity, Perpetua and—the greatest of all—Augustine, that we would one day add names so dear to us as Charles Lwanga and Matthias Mulumba Kalemba and their twenty companions? Nor must we forget those members of the Anglican Church who also died for the name of Christ.
These African martyrs herald the dawn of a new age. If only the mind of man might be directed not toward persecutions and religious conflicts but toward a rebirth of Christianity and civilization!
Africa has been washed by the blood of these latest martyrs, the first of this new age (and, God willing, let them be the last, although such a holocaust is precious indeed). Africa is reborn free and independent.
The infamous crime by which these young men were put to death was so unspeakable and so expressive of the times. It shows us clearly that a new people needs a moral foundation, needs new spiritual customs firmly planted, to be handed down to posterity. Symbolically, this crime also reveals that a simple and rough way of life—enriched by many fine human qualities yet enslaved by its own weakness and corruption—must give way to a more civilized life wherein the higher expressions of the mind and better social conditions prevail.
From a letter by Saint Peter Claver, priest
To preach the Gospel to the poor, to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim pardon to captives
Yesterday, May 30, 1627, on the feast of the Most Holy Trinity, numerous blacks, brought from the rivers of Africa, disembarked from a large ship. Carrying two baskets of oranges, lemons, sweet biscuits, and I know not what else, we hurried toward them. When we approached their quarters, we thought we were entering another Guinea. We had to force our way through the crowd until we reached the sick. Large numbers of the sick were lying on the wet ground or rather in puddles of mud. To prevent excessive dampness, someone had thought of building up a mound with a mixture of tiles and broken pieces of bricks. This, then, was their couch, a very uncomfortable one not only for that reason, but especially because they were naked, without any clothing to protect them.
We laid aside our cloaks, therefore, and brought from a warehouse whatever was handy to build a platform. In that way we covered a space to which we at last transferred the sick, by forcing a passage through bands of slaves. Then we divided the sick into two groups: one group my companion approached with an interpreter, while I addressed the other group. There were two blacks, nearer death than life, already cold, whose pulse could scarcely be detected. With the help of a tile we pulled some live coals together and placed them in the middle near the dying men. Into this fire we tossed aromatics. Of these we had two wallets full, and we used them all up on this occasion. Then, using our own cloaks, for they had nothing of this sort, and to ask the owners for others would have been a waste of words, we provided for them a smoke treatment, by which they seemed to recover their warmth and the breath of life. The joy in their eyes as they looked at us was something to see.
This was how we spoke to them, not with words but with our hands and our actions. And in fact, convinced as they were that they had been brought here to be eaten, any other language would have proved utterly useless. Then we sat, or rather knelt, beside them and bathed their faces and bodies with wine. We made every effort to encourage them with friendly gestures and displayed in their presence the emotions which somehow naturally tend to hearten the sick.
After this we began an elementary instruction about baptism, that is, the wonderful effects of the sacrament on body and soul. When by their answers to our questions they showed they had sufficiently understood this, we went on to a more extensive instruction, namely, about the one God, who rewards and punishes each one according to his merit, and the rest. We asked them to make an act of contrition and to manifest their detestation of their sins. Finally, when they appeared sufficiently prepared, we declared to them the mysteries of the Trinity, the Incarnation and the Passion. Showing them Christ fastened to the cross, as he is depicted on the baptismal font on which streams of blood flow down from his wounds, we led them in reciting an act of contrition in their own language.
Pope Benedict XVI must be doing something right because the press is crucifying him again. Monsignor Raun writes, “On his way to Africa, the Pope was asked what the Church thought of AIDS and condoms. Our Holy Father answered that the real answer was sexual morality, not pieces of plastic. The press dubbed him ‘a moral monster’.”
The liberalized world and press avoid the Truth, especially on issues of life. They prefer to propagandize, for the furtherance of liberal, secular, “progressive” agenda’s, which leave God out of such deliberations. As if an investigation without Truth could be substantive.
“I suspect every abortion, every “compassionate” bit of euthanasia has the evil one stamping his foot in triumphant glee.” says the Anchoress. In speaking of God’s influence and grace in the world, she submits that such grace is “subdued in the world” when those “enthusiastic about subduing new life – of judging how much life there should be, and of what quality” play God.
Monsignor Raun makes a few points of his own:
1. Ten to twenty percent of the time, condoms don’t
work. For argument’s sake, let’s say they don’t
work 1 percent of the time. Would anyone say it
was moral to do something that there was a one-ina-
hundred chance of giving someone a deadly illness?
Would any sane person take such a chance
with their own life? (If there was a one-in-a hundred
chance that holy water could give you
AIDS, would any of you put your fingers in the
fount, or allow your children to do so?)
2. And the sad fact is that some people think they are
“invulnerable” if they wear a condom, and so they
are all the more promiscuous – all the more spreading
the possibilities of infecting others with the disease.
Condoms are the answer to AIDS for those people who
are only willing to do what it takes to stop this horrible
disease as long as sexual freedom is preserved – which
for liberal society has become the ultimate good in life.
If you don’t want to get sexually-transmitted AIDS, be
faithful to your spouse or live a chaste single life. This
and this alone, is guaranteed to be 100% effective. It is
also the moral teaching of Christ and His Church –
which is the Holy Father’s duty to teach. To teach anything
else is cruel, and to gamble with peoples lives.
And, from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we have this:
To achieve the maximum protective effect, condoms must be used both consistently and correctly. Inconsistent use can lead to STD acquisition because transmission can occur with a single act of intercourse with an infected partner. Similarly, if condoms are not used correctly, the protective effect may be diminished even when they are used consistently. The most reliable ways to avoid transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), are to abstain from sexual activity or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner. However, many infected persons may be unaware of their infections because STDs are often asymptomatic or unrecognized.
The above report sounds like Russian Roulette to me. Chastity is still the best policy, even according to disease control scientific and statistical reports.