A 28-Year Legal Battle Like No Other: Watch ‘Fighting for Life: The Story of NOW vs. Scheidler’ on EWTN

Today, most people in the United States take it for granted that they can protest – either in the streets or in print – something with which they disagree. But in 1986, that right was potentially challenged when the National Organization for Women (NOW) and two abortion providers sued a pro-life attorney named Joseph Scheidler in a case known as NOW vs. Scheidler.

This case, and a series of related lawsuits alleging everything from anti-trust to racketeering (RICO) violations, would take 28 years and three U.S. Supreme Court cases to resolve. Learn about the two men who gave everything to make the pro-life movement what it is today when EWTN airs “Fighting for Life: The Story of NOW vs. Scheidler.” (Airs 6:30 p.m. ET, Monday, March 22, and 11 p.m. ET, Wednesday, March 24 on EWTN.)

Pro-Life Lawyer Joseph Scheidler taught the fledgling pro-life movement how to peacefully and effectively fight for life.

The story begins as Joseph Scheidler leaves his lucrative career as a business lawyer in the marketing industry to start the Pro-Life Action League, a bold voice for the unborn. He was a charismatic man who quickly became in great demand as a speaker. It was Scheidler who would teach members of the fledgling pro-life movement how to effectively protest against abortion. In response to the demand for information, he also wrote a book outlining 99 ways to fight for life.

NOW and two abortion providers launched their first attack by filing an anti-trust claim on behalf of all abortion providers and all women seeking access to abortion. They claimed that Scheidler’s book urged the shutdown of the entire abortion industry and was therefore anti-competition.

Tom Brejcha, the lawyer who gave up everything to defend Joseph Scheidler and his book detailing 99 Ways to fight pro-abortion forces. Along the way, Brejcha founded the Thomas More Society, which continues to defend pro-lifers to this day.

The firebrand business lawyer turned pro-life champion sought to counter the lawsuit by hiring an equally forceful lawyer to defend himself against these ridiculous charges. When he met lawyer Tom Brejcha, he admits he didn’t think Brejcha had it in him to do what needed to be done. But when Brejcha calmly informed him: “I win my cases,” Scheidler wisely decided to put his faith in the less flashy man. At the time, neither man realized the lengthy journey on which they were about to embark.

One of the more fascinating moments in the legal journey outlined in the film occurs during the second U.S. Supreme Court case, which involved the RICO allegations. It would lead Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of the more liberal justices on the court, to ask the NOW attorney in oral arguments: “Could your theory have been used against the Civil Rights protestors?” When the answer was yes, Justice Ginsburg cut the attorney off. It was at that moment that the pro-life attorneys knew they had won that case. In the final opinion, Justices Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, considered two of the more liberal justices on the Court, quoted that exchange in their decision against NOW.

This excellent documentary also showcases the drama and the fortitude it took to survive NOW’s many lawsuits, and the personal fortitude of both pro-life attorneys. Brejcha was told he either had to give up the case or leave the law firm at which he was employed and also took some serious financial risks, which understandably scared his wife.

Former Planned Parenthood Clinic Director turned pro-life activist Abby Johnson says the Thomas More Society “stands hand in hand with [the prolife movement.]. We could never afford the legal services they provide.”

Brejcha would eventually found the Thomas More Society, which to this day defends those on the front lines of the pro-life movement. Former Planned Parenthood Director Abby Johnson says that pro-lifers know that “the Thomas More Society stands hand in hand with us. We could never afford the legal services they provide.”

What would motivate a young attorney to give up so much? Says Brejcha: “As a busy as a young litigator, I hadn’t been part of the pro-life movement or any protest movement, but I have come to believe that our rights come from the Creator, that they inalienable…that it’s a very honorable cause to serve during one’s lifetime.”

This film will help you realize what a huge debt the prolife movement owes to both the recently deceased Joseph Scheidler (may he rest in peace) and the quietly effective legal genius, Tom Brejcha. The story shows us yet again that the fight for freedom in the world is found not only on the battlefield but in the courtroom, and in the bravery of a small number of men and women who are willing to sacrifice their own lives so that others, including the unborn, may live.

Posted in Catholic Apostolates, Culture of Death, Current Issues, Pro-Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

‘Faith and Life’ Mini-Series Provides Hope For Our Fallen World

During a crisis, Catholics instinctively turn to their faith for the grace they need to handle tough times. But what if the Church itself, the nation, and the world are also in crisis? How do we cope?

Discover the inspirational stories of people who are truly living their faith and making a difference in the Church and in this turbulent world when EWTN premieres the first five parts of a new “Faith and Life” mini-series. (Airs 5:30 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, March 8-12, on EWTN. See video promo here: PROMO faith and life.

Host and Film Director Campbell Miller, who EWTN viewers will know from his blockbuster docudramas “Hope: Our Lady of Knock,” and “Bravery Under Fire,”, kicks off the half-hour episodes with a focus on Fr. Richard Gibbons, rector of the famous Knock Shrine in Ireland.

Fr. Joseph Mary of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in Limerick, Ireleand.

Episode 2 will focus on Fr. Joseph Mary of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. Fr. Joseph helped turn around a gang-run housing estate in Limerick, Ireland using lessons learned from his own teenage years and his conversion experience to evangelize the improve the lives of those around him. In this action-based mini-series, you’ll see Fr. Joseph take kids rock climbing and motorcycle riding, which are two of his own passions.

Fr. Martin O’Hagan, a member of the multi-platinum album selling group “The Priests,” with Writer/Producer Campbell Miller.

In another episode, you’ll meet Fr. Martin O’Hagan, a member of the multi-platinum album selling group “The Priests,” Other priests interviewed include Father La Flynn, Prior of the Lough Derg pilgrimage site in Ireland, which is also known as St. Patrick’s Purgatory; and Fr. Patrick Peyton, nephew of the rosary priest by the same name.

Father La Flynn, Prior of the Lough Derg pilgrimage site in Ireland, which is also known as St. Patrick’s Purgatory.

“These people didn’t have to give up their hobbies and interests to become priests,” Miller said in explaining his interest in his first round of guests. “Their interests actually added something to their ministry. They used these talents to reach out to young people, taking them out rock climbing and fishing, or to a concert singing hymns to our Lord. I want to show that people within the Church are not these two-dimensional figures. There’s much more to them than that.”

However, this week is only the beginning. As the pandemic eases, Miller plans to travel the world to interview a number of fascinating lay people, who are living inspirational lives as well, but you’ll have to tune in to find out who they are!

Writer/Director Campbell Miller hosts “Faith and Life,” a new mini-series on EWTN. More episodes will follow!

“Whether we interview clergy or lay people, I think people would like to know their faith journey, their testimony, what brought them to the Church. Each episode showcases a different personality,” says Miller, a former teacher who found that kids think teacher’s lives, like those of priests, end when class or Mass ends.

Says Miller: “Despite the way secular society is attacking us. there are some really positive things happening in the Church. We need people to see this is really a living Church. I want to break down any preconceptions someone might have. Such great things are happening. We really need to be shouting about it.”

Posted in Bishops, Priests, Religious, Church Around the World, Current Issues, EWTN Hosts, Employees, Shows | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Join Father Mitch On A Journey of Faith in EWTN’s New Mini-Series ‘Polish Catholic’

If you love stories of Catholic martyrs and other saints, images of beautiful Catholic cathedrals, or people meeting their long-lost relatives for the first time, then EWTN’s new mini-series, “Polish Catholic” with Fr. Mitch Pacwa is for you! (Airs the week of Feb. 22 at 5 p.m. ET on EWTN.)

Fr. Mitch invites viewers to accompany him on a personal journey of faith as he follows in the footsteps of famous and not-so-famous Catholic martyrs such as St. Andrew Boboula (“his body is incorrupt, you can see the kinds of tortures he went through”); St. Maximillian Kolbe (“whose body was burned to ashes at Auschwitz”); St. Stanislaus of Krakow (“the bishop martyred in a church by the King of Poland because he was fighting for the rights of the poor and for the Church”); St. Faustina (“we got inside her room in the convent”), and St. John Paul II (“we saw the museum that is his house”).

Chapel in the residence of the Archbishop of Krakow, where St. John Paul II lived and where he was ordained a priest.

“We went to all the places of each of these saints except for St. Andrew Boboula because he was martyred in Russia,” said Fr. Mitch. “But we filmed the episode in front of his body in the glass coffin in Warsaw.”

In addition to its martyrs, Poland is known for gorgeous Catholic cathedrals and the series doesn’t disappoint. You will go inside the incomparable Czestochowa Cathedral, aka the Cathedral Basilica of the Holy Family, where Father was able to celebrate Mass; and the Divine Mercy Shrine in Krakow, where St. Faustina lived.

The square in which the late Pope John Paul II famously addressed the people of Warsaw.

However, one of the more fascinating stories revolves around St. Mary’s Church, where a trumpeter plays a hymn every hour, which ends on a broken note. “They do that because a Tatar shot the trumpeter through the throat while playing a hymn [to warn the people of an impending Mongol invasion] so they still play it like he did in his day,” says Fr. Mitch. “It’s a hymn to Our Lady.” Because of that trumpeter, the city of Krakow was saved!

Father Mitch has been to Poland numerous times, and he knew the mother’s side of his dad’s family. But he had never met the father’s side of his dad’s family. In this series, you will see Father Mitch meet these relatives for the first time!

Some of Father Mitch Pacwa’s ancestors!

“I saw the house where my dad was born. There were about five houses with Pacwas in them! That’s not a common name. The only Pacwas were my relatives.”

Father Mitch shocks his relatives (and us) by revealing that his grandfather on his dad’s side of the family emigrated to the United States to escape the police because he was a murderer!

A cemetery on the grounds on which St. Maximillian Kolbe started a friary with his all important printing presses..

“My mother was pregnant with me when he died of alcoholism so I never knew him,” Father Mitch said. “My relatives had no idea there were these problems. But they told me about my grandfather’s brothers, who had stayed in Poland. Some were killed by Germans during the war. Other members of the family survived, and there was one priest in the family who died just last year. I would have loved to have met him!”

Father Mitch also visits the village of his grandmother, about whom he knew nothing.

A gorgeous Cathedral in Krakow.

Father discovered much of this history by researching his family on ancestry.com. He even found photos of the ships on which his family came to America: His grandfather’s photo was on the register of the SS Furnessia, and his grandmother’s was on the SS Rotterdam.

Father Mitch hopes EWTN’s viewers will check out his new series: “We were able to see how much things have changed in Poland since [the fall of] Communism. This is well worth seeing!”

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Don’t Miss The Premiere of the EWTN Original Docudrama: ‘Explore With the Miracle Hunter: Lourdes,’ Plus A New ‘They Might Be Saints’

If you are a fan of travel shows – or simply love visiting Catholic sites where the most amazing miracles have taken place — you won’t want to miss the first of many episodes of “Explore With the Miracle Hunter.” First up: Lourdes! (This new 30-minute program debuts at 6:30 pm ET, Thursday, Feb. 11, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.)

“Lourdes is perhaps the greatest of all the miracle places in the world,” says Writer/Producer Michael O’Neill, who is best known to EWTN viewers for his series, “They Might Be Saints.” (More on this in a moment.) “The Basilica, the wheelchairs and stretchers, the waters, the candlelight procession attended by thousands in normal years. It’s stunning to see.”

In the first episode of “Explore,” O’Neill not only visits the famous Lourdes Basilica and the miraculous waters, but also travels to Nevers, France to see Visionary Bernadette Soubirous’ incorrupt body, and he dazzles us with spectacular drone footage of thousands upon thousands of people honoring Mary in a pre-pandemic nighttime candlelight procession.

That’s not all. As O’Neill walks around Lourdes, and all of the other places on his itinerary this year, viewers will also enjoy exquisite re-creations of apparitions and other miracles. In this first episode, viewers will see St. Bernadette’s visions of Mary.

“People see what happened because of this 14-year-old girl having 18 visions of Mary in 1858,” said O’Neill. “It gives viewers a sense of Catholic pride. People are not traveling right now, so this series is a chance for them to see some of the most sought after and exciting places where miracles took place right from their own couches. Travelers get a hint of what they would experience if they were able to go.”

Future episodes will take viewers to Paray-le-Monial, the site of the Sacred Heart apparitions; San Giovanni Rotondo, home of Padre Pio, the Holy House of Loreto; Lanciano, site of Eucharistic miracles; Rue du Bac, where St. Catherine Laboure received the Miraculous Medal, and many more.

Ven. Bishop Alphonse Gallegos

We would be remiss, however, if we didn’t mention the Miracle Hunter’s other EWTN series, “They Might Be Saints.” The Feb. 20 episode, the third to air in 2021, features Ven. Bishop Alphonse Gallegos, known in Sacramento, California as the Bishop of the Barrio. (Airs 5:30 p.m. ET, Saturday, Feb.20 on EWTN.)

“We have this conception of bishops in their offices and cathedrals, and you never see them except at a Mass,” O’Neill said. “But this bishop went to people’s homes and had dinner with them. He walked around the neighborhood. There was a lot of gang violence. The police would call him in to talk to the [gang members]. He would talk to low riders in their vehicles and encourage them to go to Mass. He was just a spectacular example [of the priesthood].”

Bishop Gallegos has been declared Venerable. This means that based on an examination of all of his writings and speeches, as well as witness testimonies, he is determined to have lived a life of virtue. The Bishop now needs a miracle to be beatified, and a second miracle to be canonized. Although a miracle has been submitted to Rome, the Feb. 20 episode, which airs at 5:30 p.m. ET, focuses on a remarkable cure that wasn’t submitted to Rome because it didn’t meet the requirements of “an instantaneous and lasting cure with no medical treatment.”

The patient, who had some medical treatment, was diagnosed with cancer that was so progressed that the doctors told him he had only two hours to live! However, this man had been one of the Bishop’s altar boys.

“He prayed, his family prayed, they had prayers cards asking for Bishop Gallegos’ intercession,” O’Neill said. “Decades later, this man is cancer free. It’s beyond remission. The cancer is completely gone. We have the testimony of this man talking about his condition. It’s a very emotional thing.”

Next month, O’Neill will present an episode focusing on Ven. Aloysius Schwartz, a priest who served poor orphans in Mexico, the Philippines and Korea and founded two orders.

As the Miracle Hunter tells us: “We have such a supernatural faith. We forget that sometimes. These miracle stories are a great reminder of that!”

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Three Things You Can Do To Help Your Departed Loved Ones, And One To Ask A Priest To Do For the Dying

cemetery 6November is the month when the Church Militant prays for the Church Suffering, meaning the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Most of us submit the names of loved ones to our parish or a Mass society to be remembered during this month. But ask yourself this:

  1. What else can I do to make a difference for my loved ones who may still be suffering in purgatory?
  2. Besides the Anointing of the Sick, is there anything I can do to spiritually assist a loved one who is dying?

For answers to these questions, I turned to EWTN Chaplain Fr. Joseph Mary. Here’s what Fr. Joseph recommends we do in November:

cemetery 3

For the Souls in Purgatory:

  • November 1-8:  You can obtain a plenary indulgence applicable only to the souls in purgatory if you “devoutly visit a cemetery and, at least mentally, pray for the departed.”

(That means you don’t have to pray out loud, but you certainly can!) If you are reading this after Nov. 8, don’t worry. You can still receive a partial indulgence by performing the actions above.)

  • On All Soul’s Day (Nov. 2): You can receive a plenary indulgence for the souls in purgatory, if you “devoutly visit a church or oratory and recite an Our Father and the Creed.”
  • Daily in November: Here’s a suggestion Father Joseph was given and really likes – so he is passing it on to EWTN’s viewers. Get out your calendar, and write down the name of a deceased family member or friend that you intend to pray for that day. Offer up everything, good and bad, that happens to you that day, and pray as much as you can for their release, if necessary, from purgatory. This is an important spiritual work of mercy!
  • At any time, you can gain a partial indulgence for the poor souls by reciting morning or evening prayer from the Office of the Dead, or devoutly reciting the prayer “Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.”

cemetery 2For Those in Danger of Death:

There are many benefits of working at EWTN. When my husband was dying of cancer, I knew I needed to ask a priest to administer the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. In fact, my husband had been anointed a number of times over the eight years he battled the disease.

However, when EWTN Chaplain Father Joseph Mary visited our home in the days before my husband’s death, he asked my husband if he would like to receive an “Apostolic Blessing.” That’s something I didn’t know about. You definitely want to ask your priest to administer this blessing to a loved one who is dying as part of the last rites, which state, “A priest who administers the sacraments to someone in danger of death should not fail to impart the apostolic blessing to which a plenary indulgence is attached.”

If a priest is not present as a person is dying, and they haven’t previously received the apostolic blessing during that sickness (which would suffice),  the Church “grants to the Christian faithful, who are duly disposed, a plenary indulgence to be acquired at the point of death, provided they are in the habit of reciting some prayers during their lifetime; in such a case, the Church supplies for the three conditions ordinarily required for a plenary indulgence” (confession, communion, and prayers for the intention of the pope).  In those situations, the Church also commends the devout use of a crucifix.

cemetery 4All of the above has yet another benefit. Father Joseph says that #958 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that our prayer for the souls in purgatory “is capable not only of helping them, but also of making their intercession for us effective.”

Did you know that?  While the Holy Souls can no longer pray for themselves, they can pray for us!  Think of the greeting you will get one day when you meet a soul whom you helped obtain release from purgatory! In helping them, we may very well be one day helping ourselves, when they are in heaven and we are not yet there!

(Note: For the LIVING to receive an indulgence we must go to confession 20 days before or after we perform the indulgenced actions; receive Holy Communion, preferably on the day or days we perform the actions; pray for the Holy Father’s intentions; and be unattached to sin. That latter is a tough one, but all is not lost. Since most of us are attached to something, we may receive a partial indulgence rather than a plenary indulgence.)

Posted in Afterlife, Bishops, Priests, Religious, Prayers and Devotions, Sacraments | 2 Comments

Celebrate the Life and Legacy of Fr. Michael McGivney, America’s Newest Blessed

Every practicing Catholic has at least heard of the Knights of Columbus, but few know that it was founded by a Connecticut priest while still in his 20s – a priest with a heart for widows and orphans, a priest who would become known as an apostle of Christian family life, a priest who would found an organization that was a testament to spiritual brotherhood and charity. In a series of programs this week, EWTN invites you to learn more about this model priest and to watch as Father Michael McGivney becomes America’s newest Blessed.

Coverage begins with the Solemn Mass and Beatification, which airs live at 10 a.m. ET, Saturday, Oct. 31 (with an encore at 8 p.m. ET) from the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford in Conn. (2:30 hrs)

However, you will not want to miss two half-hour specials on Father’s extraordinary life as well as the miracle attributed to his intercession:

  • “Father Michael McGivney: An American Blessed,” which explores Father McGivney’s life, airs 9:30 a.m. ET, Saturday, Oct. 31.
  • “A Witness for the World: The Global Impact of Blessed Michael McGivney,” which explores the priest’s vision and impact, airs 5 p.m. ET, Saturday, Oct. 31 and 11 p.m. ET, Sunday, Nov. 1.

Young Michael McGivney’s difficult early years would be essential to his later understanding of his parishioners’ problems and to his vision for solving them. His parents were Irish immigrants – at the bottom of the social ladder. At age 13, the young boy completed his studies and asked to enter the seminary. But, at his father’s behest, he went to work in a factory making spoons. At age 16, he was finally given permission to enter a seminary in Quebec.

However, his father died, and the young seminarian had to move back home to help support his family. Fortunately, the Bishop of Baltimore later arranged for him to complete his studies and McGivney became a parish priest.

Learn how Father McGivney reached out to parish youth; to male parishioners who were being lured away from their faith by the promise of riches; to a young man in prison who would be hanged for shooting a police officer while drunk; and to widows and orphans, going so far as to accept guardianship of a widow’s child so he could stay with his family after his father died. That young child would on day become a graduate of Yale Law School.

But most of all learn how he founded an organization that was able to provide both spiritually, materially and fraternally for his parishioners, an organization that is still impacting millions today – and about the miracle attributed to Fr. McGivney’s intercession.

Father McGivney died of the Asian flu two days after his 38th birthday, which was common for overworked priests in those days. Even before his death, his parishioners considered him to be a saint. Why?

Powered by his deep prayer life, Father McGivney not only preached the faith, but lived it by transforming friends into brothers who were concerned about and who cared for one another. As St. John Chrysostom famously said: “A martyr dies once. A pastor dies daily for his people.”

Don’t miss a moment of this great priest’s story, which will appeal to young and old and everyone in between.

Posted in Bishops, Priests, Religious, Catholic Apostolates, EWTN Hosts, Employees, Shows | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Watch ‘The Divine Plan’ on EWTN: Learn How a Pope and a President’s Call From God Toppled the Berlin Wall and Defeated the Demon of Communism

“I who am a Son of the land of Poland and who am also Pope John Paul II—I cry from all the depths of this Millennium, I cry on the vigil of Pentecost: Let your Spirit descend. Let your Spirit descend, and renew the face of the earth, the face of this land. Amen.”

This stirring prayer of Pope John Paul II during his visit to Warsaw in 1979 galvanized the Polish people, who were crushed by Communism and forbidden from practicing their faith, even as it instilled hope in the heart of Lech Walesa, head of a movement that would help topple Communism in his country.

The future St. John Paul II and U.S. President Ronald Reagan were brothers in Christ!

“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

In 1987, less than 10 years later, U. S. President Ronald Reagan would deliver words that were equally stirring to the people of Berlin. By the end of 1991, the Berlin Wall, which separated the citizens and families of East and West Berlin, would fall and the Soviet Union would splinter into competing republics. With the smashing of this so-called Iron Curtain, which Pope John Paul II himself had witnessed being built as a child, the Cold War came to an end.

Few know the whole story behind these historic events, events which changed the world. Few know that both the Pope and the President worked together to not only tear down the Wall but to bring down the dictatorship of Communism, which has caused so much misery for so many people.

Authors Robert Orlando and Paul Kengor wrote the bestselling book, “The Divine Plan.”

To remedy this, Authors Paul Kengor and Robert Orlando wrote the bestselling book, “The Divine Plan,” and now they are bringing a beautifully filmed documentary of the same name to EWTN. The 90-minute film airs at 10 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Oct. 21 and 4 p.m. ET, Thursday, Oct. 22.

“The Divine Plan” dives deep into the pivotal bond between Pope John Paul II and President Ronald Reagan. Just six weeks apart in the spring of 1981, the Pope and the President took bullets from would-be assassins. Surviving strikingly similar near-death experiences, they confided to each other a shared conviction: that God had spared their lives for the purpose of defeating communism.

The film features exclusive interviews with renowned historians, scholars, journalist, and church officials including: Douglas Brinkley, H.W. Brands, Anne Applebaum, John O Sullivan, Craig Shirley, George Weigel, close Reagan adviser Richard V. Allen, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, and Bishop Robert Barron.

Behind the scenes of “The Divine Plan” with Bishop Robert Barron.

As a famous actor, we learn that Reagan had personal experience with Communists who were trying to take over the unions in Hollywood. One man even threatened to cut his “movie star face,” which caused him to sleep with a gun.

However, Reagan’s first connection with the Pope came through the evening news, which he was watching with a friend, Richard B. Allen, who would later became his National Security Advisor. Allen says future President was “astounded by the crowd size” and was so “deeply moved by the outpouring of emotion” that he actually “saw a tear in Ronald Reagan’s eye.”

The New York Times would write that while the Pope’s visit to Poland may have inspired its citizens, it didn’t threaten the order of a nation or Eastern Europe. But Reagan saw it differently. It was at that moment that he said to Allen: “We’ve got to find a way to get elected, to reach out to the new Pope and make him an ally.”

And allies they would become. The Pope and the President would meet in person five times over eight years. However, the in-person meetings were only an outgrowth of the letters, telegrams and electronic communications that would go back and forth between them. So deep was their bond that Reagan actually shared classified CIA documents with the Pope, something a leader would only do with an ally. According to the film: “Reagan took the moral aspect of the Cold War more seriously than other American presidents. Others wanted to manage the Cold War. Reagan wanted to win it.”

While both the Pope and President had many problems with Communism, which the film notes was bringing about shortages of food and crumbling factories in the Soviet Union, their two biggest concerns, according to papal biographer George Weigel, had to do with its misreading of human beings and its repression of religious freedom.

“It [Communism] would not acknowledge the inherent dignity and God given value of every individual human life,” Weigel said. “If you don’t get that right, if you don’t get …the idea of the human person right, you are going to make a big mess out of your policy, your society, your economy, your culture.”

Later, Weigel notes that: “Repression of religious freedom is what most bothered both Reagan and the Pope. When you let that genie out of the bottle, you can’t put it back in. … Once a totalitarian state begins to acknowledge one human right, like a tapestry, if you tug hard enough the whole thing will unravel.”

This documentary continues to astound as it reveals the deep spirituality of the two men and even, to a lesser extent of course, Mikhail Gorbachev. The Soviet Leader was another player in this 80s drama, who we discover was secretly baptized as a young child in the Russian Orthodox Church!

Both the Pope and the President delivered their resounding Cold War victories after being shot and disabled. It’s impossible to watch this film and not to be inspired by their courage, their sacrifices and their deep spirituality.

President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan with Pope John Paul II.

Today, less than 30 years after the celebrated fall of the Berlin Wall, the specter of Communism is once again rearing its demonic head around the world. Watch this film and remember that the freedoms many countries of the world now experience were bought at a price and are now in the hands of the citizens of this generation. How will we respond?

Note: Purchase your own copy of this riveting film at http://bit.ly/TheDivinePlanEWTN.

Posted in Bishops, Priests, Religious, Communism/Socialism, Culture of Death, EWTN Hosts, Employees, Shows | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Watch: ‘A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing II – The Gender Agenda’

EWTN’s new film, “A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing II – The Gender Agenda,” examines the origins and depravity of the so-called Sexual Revolution, with its current emphasis on gender dysphoria and homosexuality, and explains how the battle over marriage and family will be won.

The film airs at 10 p.m. ET, Saturday, Oct. 17, and will be preceded at 8:30 p.m. ET by the original “A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” documentary, which explores the rise of Marxism in the U.S.

Simone de Beauvoir

The new film begins with Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, whose existential philosophy started a dumbing-down of the culture. But the two-hour program really shines in its exposure of Alfred Kinsey’s fake science and child abuse, which kicked off the Sexual Revolution, and its corresponding assault on marriage and family.

It was Kinsey – with his “research” involving 200 sexual psychopaths, 1400 sex offenders and more – who birthed a man like Hugh Hefner and a woman like Kate Millet, co-founder of the National Organization of Women.

It fact, it is Millet’s sister Mallory, Director of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, who tells viewers that every meeting of NOW opened with a call to destroy the American family. She reveals that their plan was to destroy both the American Patriarch and the ethic of monogamy by promoting promiscuity, eroticism, prostitution, abortion and homosexuality.

We also learn it was Kinsey’s sex therapists, and Communists such as Bella Dodd (who told Dietrich and Alice von Hildebrand that she helped infiltrate U.S. seminaries with 1,100 Communists), who helped usher in the sex abuse crisis which has roiled the Catholic Church in modern times.

New York Times Best Selling Author Dr. Paul Kengor, Professor of Political Science at Grove City College.

“[Current revolutionaries understand] “what earlier radical movements such as the Communist movement understood, which is that you’ve got to take down God…because religion gets in your way,” says Dr. Paul Kengor, Author and Professor of Political Science at Grove City College.

Fortunately, the film does not leave viewers without hope. The final third of the program transitions to calls from Archbishop Fulton Sheen, St. Louis Marie de Montfort, Fatima Visionary Sister Lucia and others who not only predict what will happen, but show viewers that the way out is actually the way up.

In the film, Archbishop Sheen decries those who, even in the 50s, were tearing down schools, tearing down churches, tearing down teachers, tearing down the government, and tearing down the police. He said: “Can you build anything down?” He says it’s time for our nation to change the words we use. “Let’s begin now to use the word up. Up from all this filth, up from the violence, up from the indifference of course, up, up to God!”

De Montfort says the time will come – or perhaps is already here – when the Lord will raise up saints, devoted to the Blessed Virgin, who will surpass in holiness all the other saints, a word that is meant to both challenge and comfort us.

The current assault is nothing more than “a house of cards,” says Brian Camenker, founder and director of Mass Resistance, a leading nonprofit that provides information and guidance to people who confront the assault on traditional family, school children, and the moral foundation of society. “[And while] it is not permanent…it’s not going to go away by itself. It’s going to take a push and it can either happen now or it can happen in 80 years like the Soviet Union. It’s up to us.”

Pre-order your copy of “A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing II-The Gender Agenda” here: http://bit.ly/ERCHDWGA.

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‘The Miracles of Padre Pio’ Premieres Sept. 23 on EWTN

Over the past couple years, EWTN viewers have enjoyed “Miracle Hunter” Michael O’Neill’s series “They Might Be Saints,” which chronicles the untold story of Americans who are on the path to possible canonization. Now, thrill to his newest show for EWTN: “The Miracles of Padre Pio, which premieres at 10 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Sept. 23 following a special 8 p.m. ET “EWTN Live” interview with O’Neill.

Michael O’Neill, who recently joined EWTN, talks about his EWTN special “The Miracles of Padre Pio,” which premieres 10 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Sept. 23.

And that’s just the first of many such shows viewers will enjoy, as O’Neill has recently joined the EWTN Team and will now be producing this type of content exclusively for EWTN. You’ll be able to listen to him on a new radio show called “The Miracle Hunter,” which will premiere at 7 p.m. ET, Saturday, Oct. 3 on the EWTN Global Catholic Radio Network. You’ll be able to see O’Neill himself on various EWTN radio and television shows, and you’ll be able to view even more episodes of “They Might Be Saints,” as well as a Dec. 12 special entitled “The Miracles of Our Lady of Guadalupe.”

However, the story behind the filming of “The Miracles of Padre Pio,” which airs next week, is as fascinating as the program itself.

“I’ve studied miracles for many years,” O’Neill said. “Three of the all-time best I’ve ever heard of are all in this piece!”

Vera Marie Calandra

Like many people, O’Neill said he was very aware of the supernatural phenomena and miracles attributed to Padre Pio. In fact, he said two of the most incredible interviews of his life occurred at the National Center for Padre Pio in Bartow, Pa. There, he heard the story of Vera Marie Calandra, whose bladder was removed by future U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop. In 1968, Calandra was blessed by Padre Pio and her bladder grew back!

He also heard the story of Paul Walsh, who had been irreversibly brain damaged and had slipped into a coma after being in a car wreck. He had a vision of Padre Pio while he was in his hospital bed and was miraculously cured.

Paul Walsh

O’Neill was aware of all of this the day he arrived in Italy’s San Giovanni Rotondo for the 50th Anniversary Feast of Padre Pio.

“This was before coronavirus, so hundreds of thousands of people were there,” O’Neill said. “I had my summer crew with me and we filmed a bit about Padre Pio.”

However, more than the miracles and the bilocation for which Padre Pio is known, the people O’Neill spoke with at San Giovanni Rotondo were most enthusiastic about the work the famous priest did to build “a very modern and completely Catholic hospital,” which is known as Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza. O’Neill was able to get a tour of the hospital, and to interview some of the doctors and administrators who work there.

Dr. Alfredo Del Gaudio, the Miracle Boy’s surgeon.

O’Neill said to one of them: “I heard the miracle used for Padre Pio’s canonization happened in this hospital. Is there a single person still here who might be able to tell a bit of that story? The woman [I was speaking to] got on the phone, called upstairs, and said to me, “You’re in luck! The doctor who did the surgery that day is here today; he is available right NOW, and he speaks English!”

O’Neill raced upstairs with his camera crew and sat down with Dr. Alfredo Del Gaudio, Chief of the Department of Anesthesiology and Resuscitation, who had an “incredible testimony.” The surgeon said he was operating on Matteo Colella, when he died on the surgery table. He immediately began praying to Padre Pio.

Miracle Boy Matteo Colella’s parents.

Said O’Neill: “The doctor said he gave a heart massage to this patient for one-and-a-half hours. In all of his 20 plus years of medicine, he said he had never seen a patient who has come back to life after that who didn’t have brain damage and other physical malfunctions. The boy’s heart rate was at 0, and it came right back up. When boy came to, he said he had had a vision of Padre Pio himself, who interacted with the boy while he was out. So [the boy] had his own vision of Padre Pio while everyone was praying to Padre Pio, including the surgeon!”

But O’Neill’s interview with the surgeon wasn’t the end of the incredible string of “coincidences” that he experienced that day.

Someone told him they had a connection to the father and mother of the miracle boy and asked if O’Neill wanted their contact information. He texted the mother and said he was only going to be in San Giovanni Rotondo for one day and asked the couple could meet with him. She said she was sorry, but they were very busy that day. Nevertheless, O’Neill said if anything changed to let him know.

“At 9 p.m. or 10 p.m., they called and said, ‘We’re available. If you can come right now, we will tell you about the miracle of our son!”

Matteo Colella

Again, O’Neill found himself racing to make an interview, this time at the home of the miracle boy’s parents. At that late hour, he even managed to bring an interpreter because the couple only spoke Italian! “Everything fell into place in a beautiful way,” he said.

You truly do not want to miss O’Neill’s beautiful recreations of each of these miracle stories when “The Miracles of Padre Pio” premieres at 10 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Sept. 23 on EWTN!

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The Fourth Installment of ‘The “Reformation”: Disagreement & Chaos’ Airs This Week on EWTN

Most Catholics know that Martin Luther was a dissident priest who broke away from the Catholic Church to start his own sect as part of the so-called ‘Reformation’. However, as EWTN viewers will learn in the latest episode of “The ‘Reformation:’ Disagreement & Chaos,” the rebellious monk almost immediately lost control of his own rebellion. (Tune in or record this episode which airs 5:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 7; and 2:30 a.m. and 11:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 8.)

In fact, as one group after another broke from Luther, it soon seemed that the only thing that the different so-called Protestant sects could agree upon was their hatred of the Catholic Church. Among other things, various sects set about replacing Latin with the vernacular, destroying religious imagery, and throwing out cassocks and other religious garb. Most importantly, they denied the Real Presence, which led to Protestants seeing the Mass not as a sacrifice but as a meal or a remembrance.

However, as Director Stefano Mazzeo says, it wasn’t just the different sects that couldn’t reconcile their beliefs. Martin Luther’s own religious beliefs were “a moving target.” At one point, Luther restored the Latin Mass and decided that clergy should wear habits. But later, he rescinded this, and even decided that clergy should marry. In fact, Luther himself married a former nun.

Each sect also had its own interpretation of the Bible, which made the Bible itself a bone of contention. One of Luther’s main competitors was a man named Ulrich Zwingli from Zurich, Switzerland, who decided that “someone” needed to adjudicate these differing interpretations of the Bible and see to it that the one who was “wrong” would be “silenced.” In Zwingli’s view, that someone would obviously not be the Catholic Church. Instead, it would be the Civic Counsel of Zurich.

As EWTN’s own Father Mitch Pacwa points out in this episode: “They [the Zwinglians] put the secular authorities over the Church; the State above God and the Church! … That’s an important lesson for everyone, [especially] Catholics tempted to some kind of watering down of the faith.” Why? Because it led to secularization, especially in Prussia and Scandinavia.

The Protestant sects also banned many pious customs, including praying to the saints, and they destroyed centuries of art, all of which led to fewer visits to church and less prayer. A person who didn’t stop into the Church to light a candle or to enjoy the art, also didn’t take a moment to also pray to God. Luther himself would decry the fact that liberty during that time was being confused with licentiousness, and that morals quickly became worse under Protestantism than they had been, in his mind, under the Papacy.

In fact, Luther was so upset about those who rebelled against Lutheranism that he stated: “Rebels must be killed as you would a mad dog. If you do not kill him, he shall fall upon you and the whole land.”

Zwingli had a similar intolerance for the Anabaptists, a group which rejected infant baptism in favor of adult baptism. Although the Catholic Church is frequently accused of believing in works over faith, she in fact supports infant baptism because she believes that it is Christ who saves.  So while the Catholic Church and the Zwinglians agree on infant baptism, they certainly did not agree on Zwingli’s penalty for those who believe in adult baptism. That penalty was death by drowning!

Interestingly, one of the biggest bones of contention between many Protestant sects and the Catholic Church is notion of Sola Scriptura, which contends that the Bible alone is the source of authority and truth. However, as Father Mitch points out, this logically means that somewhere in the Bible this “truth” must be stated. Unfortunately for Protestants, that statement cannot be found in the Bible.

In fact, as 2 Thessalonians 2:15 states: “So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.” In other words, Catholics hold fast to Scripture AND Tradition.

Another bone of contention is the Catholic belief in the Real Presence, which is based on the words of Jesus Himself in the Bible (John 6: 53-58). If the Bible is the source of authority and truth, you would think Protestants would hold the same view. However, most Protestants either don’t believe in the Real Presence or have a different interpretation of the Real Presence than Catholic do.

Want to understand more about the Protestant break from the Catholic Church and the beliefs of the differing sects, which persist to this day? Then tune in this week when EWTN airs Episode four of “The ‘Reformation.’”

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