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  #16  
Old Jul 1, '12, 1:59 pm
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UpUpAndAway UpUpAndAway is offline
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Default Re: Persecution of Catholics in our day?

Yep, I live in France. The Archdiocese of Lille is in the north and borders Belgium on its east side.

Except to insure I am able to pray, I make no attempts to hide my faith. However, I have discovered that being in people's faces is counterproductive and I have never gotten anywhere with it - not in France, not anywhere else.

In addition to the crucifix, I wear a Miraculous Medal (acquired and blessed at the MM chapel on rue du Bac in Paris) and a St. Christopher medal around my neck. My wrist bears a bracelet with a Maltese cross and nine charm-sized medals: St. Thérèse of Lisieux, another Miraculous Medal, St. Joan of Arc, Our Lady of Knock, St. Bernadette, the Divine Mercy, St. Benedict, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and St. Jude. The crucifix, Miraculous Medal, St. Christopher medal and the entire bracelet were all blessed by my parish priest at my church on the Feast of the Sacred Heart this year. Because they have been blessed, I am very protective of them. I will add a St. James the Greater medal to the bracelet as soon as I can afford it, and I'll try to have it blessed by the same priest when I do.

I am very unhappy with the way certain things are going in France at the moment, but I realize the most productive thing I can do about it is pray. I am extraordinarily blessed to have the support, protection and encouragement of a parish priest who promotes and defends Holy Mother Church with all his heart, soul, and might. He is my inspiration and one of the greatest gifts God has ever given me. Without this incredibly intelligent and very holy man to guide me, I shudder to think how reticent, uncertain and fearful I might otherwise be.
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  #17  
Old Jul 1, '12, 7:23 pm
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Contra Mundum Contra Mundum is offline
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Default Re: Persecution of Catholics in our day?

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If you have any questions or want more information, please don't hesitate to ask.
Thank you.

8 years ago I was in Paris over the summer and for the feast of the Assumption of Our Lady there was a procession on the Seine in boats. Many people participated and the Rosary was prayed using the microphone and speakers system (or something like that). It was loud and obvious we were praying. People on the banks watched and waived. It was amazing. Would this kind of thing be allowed these days?
Also, Notre Dame was open during the night as well and was lit by candles only. Gregorian chant was sung. That was one of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced. It was so spiritual and I had a sense of belonging to the faithful who worshipped there for centuries.

I lived in the UK for 10 years. The country is getting more secular each day but I can't imagine people confronting a person who prays in public. I've never been ridiculed by a British person for my faith. You get a mild surprise, "oh, right" and a smile and the topic is changed if the person doesn't want to know more. I sometimes think that good manners are what holds the fabric of society together.

I have to say I find secularism truly frightening. I grew up under the communist regime in Europe and things that are happening in more 'sophisticated' western countries more and more remind me of the bad old days.
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Old Jul 2, '12, 11:43 am
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Default Re: Persecution of Catholics in our day?

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Originally Posted by Contra Mundum View Post
Thank you.
You're welcome

Quote:
Originally Posted by Contra Mundum View Post
8 years ago I was in Paris over the summer and for the feast of the Assumption of Our Lady there was a procession on the Seine in boats. Many people participated and the Rosary was prayed using the microphone and speakers system (or something like that). It was loud and obvious we were praying. People on the banks watched and waived. It was amazing. Would this kind of thing be allowed these days?
Yes, as long as city hall issues a permit for the procession it cannot be stopped. I doubt they would ever deny the permit, if for no other reason because these sorts of processions are good for tourism. The people watching from the banks of the Seine were probably tourists. Parisians are by and large on vacation in August and the city fills up with visitors. Were such a procession to take place outside of the summer holiday period, the people watching might not be so charitable and receptive. Or they would shrug their shoulders and put up with it as something purely cultural rather than spiritual.

Eight years ago, there was also no police directive to crack down on public prayer.

I heard - note that I can provide no concrete proof of this - that in 2008 the mayor of Lille was inclined to refuse the request for a permit for the Marian procession that takes place every June (and has done for something like 825 years). The reason: it would seriously disrupt the flow of motorized traffic for the sake of relatively few participants. The rector of the cathedral at the time was having none of that, and I guess he must have prevailed because the procession went on as scheduled. Who says you can't fight city hall?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Contra Mundum View Post
Also, Notre Dame was open during the night as well and was lit by candles only. Gregorian chant was sung. That was one of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced. It was so spiritual and I had a sense of belonging to the faithful who worshipped there for centuries.
This event has a name that escapes me at the moment. I think they do it every year, and it is indeed quite beautiful. But it's lovely being in that cathedral at any time. I go there every three months.

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Originally Posted by Contra Mundum View Post
I lived in the UK for 10 years. The country is getting more secular each day but I can't imagine people confronting a person who prays in public. I've never been ridiculed by a British person for my faith. You get a mild surprise, "oh, right" and a smile and the topic is changed if the person doesn't want to know more. I sometimes think that good manners are what holds the fabric of society together.
That's the UK Rude, nasty people are not absent from British soil but for the most part I find the people there to be quite courteous and accommodating. I think the difference is the legal separation of church and state that France has. To my knowledge, this doesn't exist in the UK - they do have, after all, a state church - but its existence in French law inspires some people to behave in all kinds of horrible ways. All in the name of upholding the law and "French republican values"...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Contra Mundum View Post
I have to say I find secularism truly frightening. I grew up under the communist regime in Europe and things that are happening in more 'sophisticated' western countries more and more remind me of the bad old days.
I don't find secularism so much frightening as I find it hollow. I was once well-immersed in that world and while it was fun, at the end of the day I felt so empty. I can't ever go back to that, and it surprises me to find so many people who think it's the only way to live. But you're not alone in your perception. I have spoken with a few Eastern Europeans who feel the same way.
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Just as God's will is creation and is called "the world," so his intention is the salvation of men, and it is called "the Church."
- St. Clement of Alexandria


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