Intentions of the Holy Father for April

Ecology and Justice. That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick. That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.

Fight the Power

St. Charles Lwanga and Companions, Martyrs (3 June)

Today is the memorial of St. Charles Lwanga, a martyr, and the companions slain with him. He was an official in the court of King Mwanga of Uganda, a renowned pederast. When his predecessor at court, also a Catholic, was killed for denouncing Mwanga's murder of Protestant missionaries and for his perverse sexual predations, Charles knew that he might be next. Charged by the king with bringing him boys to abuse, holy Charles brought the king only excuses. By the beginning of 1886, the king's patience wore thin. He began a persecution of Christians in his court.

Toward the end of May of 1886, Charles and twenty or so others were ordered to undertake a trek of 37 miles under armed guard to the place of execution. Along the way, they passed the compound of the missionary priests who had evangelized them. The priests, White Fathers, were amazed to see their little flock being herded to death, and stricken at being powerless to save them. Charles called out to the priests to encourage them, "Why are you so sad? This is nothing to the joys you have taught us to look forward to!"

Arriving at their destination Charles and his companions (about half of whom were Protestant) were wrapped in mats and burnt to death in a heap on 3 June 1886. They died singing hymns and praising Jesus.

In our own day there are very powerful and wealthy persons working to legitimate grossly immoral sexual activity, even the preying of grown men on adolescent boys. We Christians are called to work across denominational lines to help perserve the safety of our young people and to build a culture that appreciates authentic human sexuality. In doing so, we will certainly be challenged and humiliated, threatened, perhaps assaulted, and maybe even murdered. Recently, Oklahoma state representative Sally Kern, the wife of a Baptist minister, spoke out against the homosexualist agenda and she has since received tens of thousands of pieces of hate mail and even death threats. The Catholic Bishop of Motherwell, Scotland, the Rt. Rev. Joseph Devine, has received like treatment for his outspoken opposition to gay marriage, adoption by gay couples, and his warnings of a well-orchestrated movement to achieve those and even more pernicious ends. We must work with all men and women of good will who understand what is at stake in this newest front in the global culture wars.

St. Charles Lwanga and companions, pray for us.

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