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Leave it til tomorrow to unpack my case [Feb. 3rd, 2004|06:41 am]


Firstly, I have on more than one occasion described this even as a 'widget hunt'. I would like to publically apologize for that--this reflects more on my opinion of LARPs than my experience this weekend.
I bow in adulation before the god-like organization who staffed this event, and hope to be invited to participate in 'Affection and Affectation'.
Secondly, thank you to Chrisber for posting the pictures.
Thirdly, I cannot imagine letting this all wrap up and being the only person who sees

Monsignor Domenico Paolucci, Papal Nuncio at Moscow (Chuck Skinner)

To Our Venerable Brother, Domenico Paolucci,

Health and the Apostolic Benediction.

We felt Ourselves moved by an urgent desire and, as it were, necessity,
address you by letter, not merely to express to you Our very deep
feeling of
love, but further, in accordance with the task entrusted to Us from
to strengthen you that you may help Us to carry on the battle now being
waged on behalf of the Church of God and the salvation of souls.

>From the very beginning of Our pontificate, the sad sight has
itself to Us of the evils by which the human race is oppressed on every
side: the widespread subversion of the primary truths on which, as on
foundations, human society is based; the obstinacy of mind that will
brook any authority however lawful; the endless sources of
whence arrive civil strife, and ruthless war and bloodshed; the
contempt of
law which molds characters and is the shield of righteousness; the
insatiable craving for things perishable, with complete forgetfulness
things eternal, leading up to the desperate madness whereby so many
beings, in all directions, scruple not to lay violent hands upon
the reckless mismanagement, waste, and misappropriation of the public
the shamelessness of those who, full of treachery, make semblance of
champions of country, of freedom, and every kind of right; in fine, the
deadly kind of plague which infects in its inmost recesses, allowing it
respite and foreboding ever fresh disturbances and final disaster.

We have recalled to your mind, venerable brother, this deathly mass of
ills, not to increase the sorrow naturally caused by this most sad
of things, but because we believe that from its consideration you will
most plainly see how serious are the matters claiming our attention as
well as devotedness, and with what energy We should work and, more than
ever, under the present adverse conditions, protect, so far as in Us
the Church of Christ and the honor of the apostolic see -- the objects
of so
many slanders -- and assert their claims.

If We consider the achievements of the see of Rome, what can be more
wicked than to deny how much and how well the Roman bishops have served
civilized society at large? For Our predecessors, to provide for the
peoples' good, encountered struggles of every kind, endured to the
burdensome toils, and never hesitated to expose themselves to most
trials. With eyes fixed on heaven, they neither bowed down their head
the threats of the wicked, nor allowed themselves to be led by flattery
bribes into unworthy compliance. This apostolic chair it was that
and held together the crumbling remains of the old order of things;
this was
the kindly light by whose help the culture of Christian times shone far
wide; this was an anchor or safety in the fierce storms by which the
race has been convulsed; this was the sacred bond of union that linked
together nations distant in region and differing in character; in
this was a common center from which was sought instruction in faith and
religion, no less than guidance and advice for the maintenance of peace
the functions of practical life. In very truth it is the glory of the
supreme Pontiffs that they steadfastly set themselves up as a wall and
bulwark to save human society from falling back into its former
and barbarism.

Furthermore, that kind of civilization which conflicts with the
and laws of holy Church is nothing but a worthless imitation and
name. Of this those peoples on whom the Gospel light has never shown
ample proof, since in their mode of life a shadowy semblance only of
civilization is discoverable, while its true and solid blessings have
been possessed. Undoubtedly, that cannot by any means be accounted the
perfection of civilized life which sets all legitimate authority boldly
defiance; nor can that be regarded as liberty which, shamefully and by
vilest means, spreading false principles, and freely indulging the
gratification of lustful desires, claims impunity for all crime and
misdemeanor, and thwarts the goodly influence of the worthiest citizens
whatsoever class. Delusive, perverse, and misleading as are these
principles, they cannot possibly have any inherent power to perfect the
human race and fill it with blessing, for "sin maketh nations
Such principles, as a matter of course, must hurry nations, corrupted
mind and heart, into every kind of infamy, weaken all right order, and
sooner or later, bring the standing and peace of the State to the very
of ruin.

But the corruption and change which has befallen the Christian nations
the world in recent days is almost incredible, inasmuch as it has
exposed in
every land such floods of error and the most shameful lusts. All
seem, more or less, to have forgotten the true notion and origin of
prohibitions against ungodly acts and superstitions; and thus
everywhere natural laws are ignored with reference to witchcraft,
to all appearance by State reasons, but not such as nature requires.
rites, invented at will of the law-givers, have further confused the
of men; and things have come to such a pitch that permission to pursue
knowledge rightfully obscured by Papal Authority, or the refusal of
permission, depends solely on the will of the heads of the State, whose
are increasingly against equity or even to the highest degree unjust.
Moreover, plurality of belief has caused the strictures of holy life to
relaxed exceedingly. Hence, spring up the greatest confusion as to the
responsibilities and powers of the faithful clergy and those to whom

Would that this healing authority had never been slighted or set aside!
Assuredly, neither would the civil power have lost that venerable and
sacred glory, the lustrous gift of religion, which alone renders the
of subjection noble and worthy of man; nor would so many revolutions
wars have been fomented to ravage the world with desolation and
nor would kingdoms, once so flourishing, but now fallen from the height
prosperity, lie crushed beneath the weight of every kind of calamity.
this the peoples of the East also furnish an example, who, by breaking
most sweet yoke that bound them to this apostolic see, forfeited the
splendor of their former greatness, their renown in science and art,
and the
dignity of their sway.

Of these remarkable benefits, however, which illustrious monuments of
ages prove to have flowed upon every quarter of the world from the
apostolic see, this land of Italy has had the most abounding
For it has derived advantages from the see of Rome proportionate to the
greater nearness of its natural situation. Unquestionably, to the Roman
Pontiffs it is that Italy must own herself indebted for the substantial
glory and majesty by which she has been preeminent amongst nations. The
influence and fatherly care of the Popes have upon many occasions
her from hostile attack and brought her relief and aid, the effect of
is that the Catholic faith has been ever maintained inviolate in the
of Italians.

Seeing, therefore, that all the hopes of Italy and of the whole world
lie in
the power, so beneficent to the common good and profit, wherewith the
authority of the apostolic see is endowed, and in the close union which
binds all the faithful of Christ to the Roman Pontiff, We recognize
nothing should be nearer Our heart than how to preserve safe and sound
dignity of the Roman see, and to strengthen ever more and more the
union of
members with the head, of the children with their father.

Wherefore, that We may above all things, and in every possible way,
maintain the rights and freedom of this holy see, We shall never cease
strive that Our authority may meet with due deference; that obstacles
may be
removed which hamper the free exercise of Our ministry and that We may
restored to that condition of things in which the design of God's
wisdom had
long ago placed the Roman Pontiffs. We are moved to encourage you to
this restoration, venerable brother, not by any feeling of ambition or
desire of supremacy, but by the nature of Our office and by Our sacred
promise confirmed on oath; and further, not only because this
sovereignty is
essential to protect and preserve the full liberty of the spiritual
but also because it is an ascertained fact that, when the temporal
sovereignty of the apostolic see is in question, the cause of the
good and the well-being of all human society in general are also at
Speak to the princes of each nation, remind them that their own peace
safety, as well as that of their people, is bound up with the safety of
Church and the reverence due to her-they may give their whole thought
care to mitigating the evils by which the Church and its visible head
harassed, and so it may at last come to pass that the peoples whom they
govern may enter on the way of justice and peace, and rejoice in a
happy era
of prosperity and glory.

In the next place, in order that the union of hearts between their
Pastor and the whole Catholic flock may daily be strengthened, We here
call upon you, venerable brother, with particular earnestness, and
strongly urge you to kindle, with priestly zeal and pastoral care, the
fire of the love of religion among the faithful entrusted to you, that
their attachment to this chair of truth and justice may become closer
firmer, that they may welcome all its teachings with thorough assent of
and will, wholly rejecting such opinion, even when most widely
received, as they know to be contrary to the Church's doctrine. Do not
neglect, so often as there is need, to condemn wide-spreading errors
to smite them with condemnation. Keep before your eyes the words of St.
Paul: "Beware lest any man cheat you by philosophy and vain deceit,
according to the tradition of men, according to the elements of the
and not according to Christ."

Meanwhile, venerable brother, before bringing this letter to a close,
earnestly exhort you to stir up for this end the zeal and ardor of the
faithful, taking the Immaculate Queen of Heaven as their intercessor
God, and having recourse as their advocates to St. Joseph, the heavenly
patron of the Church, and to Sts. Peter and Paul, the Princes of the
Apostles. "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the charity of God,
the communication of the Holy Spirit be with you," venerable brother;
as a
pledge of Our special good-will and as an earnest of the protection of
heaven, We lovingly impart the apostolic benediction.

- - Pope Leo XIII

A Postscript:


You know what I want. If you could negotiate the return of Our Former
Principalities of Lazio, Umbria and Emilia Romagna, you would be doing
God's work. But do not neglect any avenue by which you might
this Our Most Holy and Apostolic Church. Counsel the faithful, comfort
those who might reward us in meaningful ways and make overtures not
towards bringing the Eastern Church back under the watchful shepherding
Our Pastoral Care. Remember, first, last and always, that you are a
priest. Do not deny people the comfort of confession based on creed
alone. Your empathy towards those in trouble is a great light. Do not
hide it under a bushel barrel. (And if some people are absolved better
contribution than prayer, you always were a shrewd judge of worldly
and can assess the merits of such an action better than I.)

Also, open dialogue with what heathen nations you can. Only in unity
this world find the strength God has given us to defeat our foes.

Speaking of the Eastern Church, I trust you to tread as diplomatically
as I
know you always do. Encourage the Romanovs in cultivating worthy
allies. I need not mention that closer ties between Russia and the
Catholic nations of the world (France, Italy, etc.) will perhaps
their hierarchy to regard our inevitable alliance in a more favorable
I've enclosed a copy of my encyclical of '94 on just that topic. But I
would not have asked you to represent me if I did not have absolute
faith in
your devotion to the church and your ability to minister to the princes
all nations and their duly appointed representatives.

It is no secret that the Apostolic Seat is a bit shakier than I'd like
it to
be. We live in troublesome times, Domenico. The only sure remedy for
world's unrest is to bring all nations into the brotherhood of Jesus
and return the Princes of Man to the gentle yoke of the Church's
But you know this. My official letter expresses my earnest desire for
brotherhood among nations, which I am certain you will interpret,
and improvise upon beautifully.

However, I must also put a word in your ear on the subject of magic.
Officially, my opinion on the so-called occult occurrences in Africa
elsewhere is fairly straightforward. Paul, in his letter to the
Galatians, speaks out clearly against "Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred,
variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies..." Likewise,
should you. But what if these events are not the heresy we fear, but
God's grace working through humble vessels? Find out as much as you
about these mysterious works. If they are deviltry, do your utmost to
put a
stop to it. If they are trickery and vanity, preach out against it.
But do
not reveal your hand too soon, for if these works are true
miracles, we must do everything in our power to anchor this new
of saints in the bosom of the Church. If this is to be a new age of
miracles, Rome should lead.

Only a strong Church can heal the breaches of this world. Help
our power that we might, through God's grace, make this world whole

- -Vincenzo

[The encyclical attached by Pope Leo is found at

------- End of Forwarded Message

It is impossible to travel faster than light, and certainly not
One's hat keeps blowing off.