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Theology of History & Ratisbonne

Hales on Newman
People Commenting

In the pre-Vatican II book The Catholic Church in the Modern World, the English Catholic historian E.E.Y. Hales writes:

"It could not be said that in England, despite the Irish immigration, the conversions arising from the Oxford movement, or the restoration of the hierarchy, Catholicism made any real impact upon the life of the country as a whole. Politics, literature, and the universities reflected either a secularist liberalism, or a nonconformist conscience, or a conventional conservatism associated with the Anglican Church of that day, all of which were un-Catholic; even the few spiritual and intellectual luminaries, such as Newman or Lord Acton, were regarded as 'anti-Roman' Catholics, so untypical that they were treated as exceptions proving the popular rule that 'real' 'Roman' Catholics, such as Ward of the Dublin Review, or Cardinal Manning, were 'un-English.'"(The Catholic Church in the Modern World, E.E.Y. Hales, Hanover House, N.Y., 1958, pp. 228-229).

Hales lectured widely, taught at Yale, and worked with the Ministry of Education in London. He authored the first book ever published in England on Pius IX, Pio Nono.


     Frank Rega
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Sacred Heart
People Commenting
Dear Friends,

Please could you support/promote this apostolate in whatever way possible. They're trying to build up a rota of Night Adorers in the home, in reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. A worthy apostolate.


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Theology of History
People Commenting
Dear Sirs,

Could you recommend a book or books on the history of the world that would start with Adam and Eve and continue to the present. It would be wonderful to be able to understand what was going on when, from the perspective of civilizations and there movement towards and away from God.

For example, one could observe the different heresies and observe the saints God raised up to combat them. It would be a theological history of man. I don't know if I am making myself clear.

Is there any book written about mans history with a true belief in the Faith, as God as Creator and man as creature? Is there a book written that tells the truth about mans history?

Thank you for your time.

     For the Glory of God,


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TIA responds:

Dear M.C.,

What you are looking for is called Theology of History. The classical authors on this matter are: We hope this can help you in your research.


     TIA correspondence desk

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Converting Protestants
People Commenting
Dear TIA,

I am so glad you point out the errors of Protestantism. This heresy was an act of supreme disobedience against the One True Faith and a manifestation of the sin of pride.

This does not mean that we should bear any bad feelings towards our traditional and conservative Protestant neighbors. They have much indeed to recommend them. Their love of modesty in dress, the stress they place on the obedience of the wife in marriage, the importance they place on disciplining their children. These aspects are all to be commended.

However, it does not allow us to forget that Protestantism is a heresy, and to be saved, they must return to the One True Catholic and Apostolic Church.

We must pray for them and hope they learn the errors of their ways. The tendency of the modernist church to accommodate other religions is manifestly wrong. Our efforts should be directed at the conversion of heretics and sinners. We give thanks to Almighty God that we have been raised in the True Church and we pray for those less fortunate who run the risk of condemnation to eternal hellfire.

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Fr. Alphonse Ratisbonne
People Commenting
Dear Dr. Horvat,

Thanks for your postings (here and here) on the conversion of Fr Alphonse Ratisbonne. Because of this information, I was inspired to buy a copy of the book: The Conversion of Ratisbonne. It is available from used-book sellers and the copy I obtained is printed by Roman Catholic Books.

What a marvelous story! It contains two accounts of Fr. Ratisbonne's conversion, one written by his family friend who was directly responsible for keeping Ratisbonne in Rome and taking him to the Sant'Andrea delle Fratte where the Blessed Virgin appeared to him, and the second account written by Fr. Ratisbonne himself.

Fr Alphonse Ratisbonne correctly foresaw that in following Christ he would lose all of his earthly inheritance and social connections amongst his Jewish friends and family, but went ahead in faith anyway. I found this story deeply moving and full of meaning for it tells of a conversion somewhat like the one I experienced.

I was an irreligious Protestant who hated and sought to antagonize Catholics and other "Christian" sects until a crisis caused by dabbling in the occult caused my mind to open for the first time to Christ, at the age of 44. Our Lord intervened and drove a demonic obsession out of my life, lifting veil after veil from my eyes.

I attribute His intervention to the prayers of our Blessed Lady, to whom I had had an inexplicable devotion even during my descent from a formless paganism into the occult. Her Holy Rosary had exercised a powerful attraction to me since my early thirties: more than a decade later this bore fruit. And all of the emotions and behavior described in this book ring true from my own experience. It is inspiring to read of Fr Ratisbonne's sacrifices, and will help converts to overcome natural pusillanimity when facing challenges to faith.

Can you suggest where one might obtain copies of the original, unadulterated writings of the Ratisbonne brothers? And bless all of you for posting on things such as this. Who knows how many souls may be saved because of your site?

     Deo Gratias,


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Dr. Horvat responds:

Dear K.Z.,

Thank you for your compliments on my article on Fr. Ratisbonne. Years ago, through my friendship with two Sisters of Sion, I became very interested in the Order and the brothers who founded it. What most impressed me was their absolute radicalism of spirit - accepting no compromises with their former religion.

At the same time, they showed an immense charity and zeal in their efforts to convert Jews - a goal they openly and unapologetically proclaimed.

I was also impressed with the high quality of education the Sion Order offered - the girls were taught French from kindergarten on and were required to speak it in the halls and to ask routine questions during class in that language (May I open the window, please?).

Unfortunately, I do not have any of the original writings of Fr. Marie and Fr. Alphone Ratisbonne. The sisters were under strict orders not to disseminate any of the "old" material until it had been updated. Even though the nuns threw out the vow of obedience after Vatican II, they strictly complied with this order.


     Marian T. Horvat

Blason de Charlemagne
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Posted March 2, 2010

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The opinions expressed in this section - What People Are Commenting -
do not necessarily express those of TIA

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