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Papal States, Schools in Iraq
& Monophysism

Papal States and Garcia Moreno
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Dear TIA,

An interesting sidelight regarding your article on Pope Pius IX and the loss of the Papal States is the fact that only one nation in the entire world raised a protest against this seizure. The tiny country of Ecuador, under its Catholic President, Garcia Moreno, lodged an official protest with the minister of King Victor Emmanuel of Italy.

Moreno accused Italy of a "hateful and sacrilegious assault" in depriving the Holy Father of his temporal domains and incomes, thereby impeding the liberty of the Church to fulfill its Divine Mission. Disappointed that the countries of the Old World made no protest against the injustice, Garcia Moreno appealed to the governments of the American continent to stand with Ecuador, but none dared follow suit.

Although their governments were cowardly, the people of Europe stood in amazement and grateful admiration at Ecuador's defense of the Church. Pope Pius is said to have exclaimed, "Ah, if he was a powerful king the Pope would have someone to rely on in this world!" In thanksgiving, the Holy Father heaped congratulations and honor upon Moreno, making him a Knight of the First Class of the Order of Pius IX. Ecuador was also among the first countries to send financial aid to the Vatican, now deprived of much of its revenues. (See Mrs. Maxwell-Scott's biography, Gabriel Garcia Moreno, Regenerator of Ecuador).


     Frank M. Rega
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Iraq Shouldn't Have Schools
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Dear TIA,

In response to the 3/12 comments section about how many good things are happening in Iraq.

The writer seemed very proud that so many schools and learning institutions were operating. What he failed to say is that all of the children are being taught the precepts of Islam: How to be a good Muslim.

If, and it's a big if, life in Iraq ever gets back to normal it will certainly be a Muslim country, inimical to the Christian faith. Countless Christians have already fled and many more are persecuted and live in fear.

I have no use for the liberal media but also no use for comments on how many Muslim schools are being built and operated with American money to educate those who have as their motto (as the "prophet Mohamed says) to, "Kill the infidel."

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Addressing a Jesuit Editor
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Dear Friends at Tradition in Action,

Thank you for providing so much information on your website as to the etiquette surrounding Catholic priests, nuns, and other Catholic clergy. You're doing a marvelous service for the public!

I have a question which I didn't seem to find addressed. I am sending a letter transmitting a document to a member of the Society of Jesus. He is editor of a publication. His name is "J.J., S.J." From the name and title, is there any way of telling whether he is a Father or a Brother? I don't know whether to call him either, or merely say: "Dear Editor:" Do both a Father and a Brother have "S.J." after their names? I want to be able to correctly address a gentleman whose name ends with "S.J."

(Note: He is referred to in a separate document (not published by the Jesuits) as "Mr. J." However, I'm not certain that's correct.)

Thanks very much for any help you may be able to give me.

Respectfully yours,


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TIA responds:

Dear R.J.T.,

We appreciate your kind words.

As far as we know, only Jesuit priests sign with the letters S.J. at the end of their names. A lay brother of the Order of the Society of Jesus normally is treated as Mr. X if he is addressed for the first time by a stranger, or Brother X, if he is addressed inside the Order by a priest, another brother or a supporter of the Order.

You may address the editor of the publication in the envelope as follows:

Reverend Fr. J.J., S.J.
Editor of ...
The address follows.

In the letter salutation, you may use: Rev. Father Editor, Dear Father Editor or Dear Father J (last name). In the body of the letter you may use various wordings: Fr. J, Father, Reverend Father.

Normally one closes a letter for a priest asking his blessing and/or prayers, or expressing some pious purpose, depending upon one's familiarity with him.

We hope this may be of some assistance.


     TIA correspondence desk

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Book on Mother Teresa
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Dear fellow Traditional Catholics,

Attached is the media kit for my book Mother Teresa: The Case for The Cause. If you are interested in seeing the book for review, I would be glad to send it to you.

As Catholics, we have a duty to defend and propagate the faith. As part of that duty, we must make sure that only the best candidates for sainthood are canonized. My purpose is not to tear down Mother Teresa's service to the poor, but rather to focus on the necessary theological virtues necessary for canonization in the Catholic Church.

My book is a unique book in that there is no book currently in print that explores the faith Mother Teresa practiced in light of the faith she professed. I assure you that if you like nothing I say in the book that you can still use it as a gold mine of Mother Teresa's words and deeds and the documents of the Church.

I am hopeful that you will find my book both interesting and edifying. I welcome any questions you may have.

     Thank you for your consideration,

     Mark M. Zima

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TIA responds:

Dear Mr. Zima,

Thank you for your book. We have assigned it to be reviewed, and hope that you will hear from us soon.


    TIA correspondence desk

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Mia-Physites or Monophysite?
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Error in the article about St. Matthew by Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira.

In the above mentioned article it is written, "It [Ethiopia] was one of the first to become Catholic and develop a strong personality. Later, unfortunately, it became Monophysite." To call the Ethiopian Church or the Coptic Church Monophysite is erroneous. Ethiopia has never been Monophysite in the full and theological sense. They have never adhered to the heresy of Monophysist. Throughout history many have falsely labeled them as such because there stance is similar, but profoundly different.

Fr. Tadros Y. Malaty writes in his book, Introduction to the Coptic Orthodox Church, that the Coptic Church (which for centuries was synonymous with the Ethiopian Church) has throughout history been accused of many false things including, "She is Eutychian!, and is called 'Monophysite!' This title means that she believes in one nature of Jesus Christ, that the human nature was absorbed totally in the divine nature. This idea differs from our own belief and from our Fathers' belief; and our church never accepted it."

Further in the book he goes on to explain how the Alexandrian and Antiochene schools of theology took different views of the incarnation and how out of both of these perspectives the heresies of Monophysitism and Nestorianism respectively developed. It is more appropriate to call the Ethiopians and all other non-chalcedonian churches Mia-Physites. They believe that Christ has one nature that is both fully human and fully divine. They do not believe one human nature, or one divine nature, or even one theantric nature, but one unified nature, just as God is both one and three.

In peace,


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TIA responds:


You forgot to tell us the background you have to make your judgments. By the ensemble of your attack/defense, we surmise you are a member of the so-called Coptic Orthodox Church.

We are Catholics and we follow the classification the Catholic Church makes of your heresy. In summary fashion, here is what A Catholic Dictionary by Donald Attwater says about Monophysism, which includes your sect:
"Monophysism, Monophysitism - The heresy that there is only one nature in Jesus Christ, his humanity being entirely absorbed in his divinity, and his body not of one substance with ours. It was an extreme reaction from Nestorianism and logically involved a denial of Christ's humanity, rendering his earthly life nugatory. The archmandrite Eutyches brought Monophysism into prominence (448), but Dioscoros, patriarch of Alexandria, was its chief champion; it was eventually condemned by the Council of Chalcedon, which defined the Catholic doctrine. Those who rejected this Council are known today as the dissident Coptic, Ethiopian, Syrian and Malabar Jacobite and Armenian churches. They are consequently in communion neither with the Catholics nor the Orthodox, and are commonly called the Monophysite churches. But in fact they all repudiated the teaching of Eutyches, and what religious considerations led them to reject Chalcedon is a difficult question. Today their alleged heresy is less certainly a theological conviction than a national, sectarian, traditional shibboleth" (the bold is ours).
So, this is the common opinion Catholics have of your heresy: you are normally called Monophysites. What we do is follow this general classification without entering into the details. Likewise, this is what Prof. Plinio did in his mentioned comments on St. Matthew. There is no error in his commentary.

We are not interested in entering into the divisions and subdivisions of your heresy. You may keep them to discuss with your own audience. Our audience is Catholic, and we use the Catholic terminology.


     TIA correspondence desk.

Blason de Charlemagne
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Posted March 26, 2008

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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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