Thursday, October 31, 2013

Galileo, Kepler, Coperincus, Ptolemy And St. Robert Bellarmine, S.J.

Galileo facing the Roman Inquisition by Cristiano Banti
Galileo Galilei has been disinterred, times without number, by the opponents of papal infallibility, and made to pronounce judgment against all such pretended claims. He has been portrayed as a martyr championing the cause of science against the Vatican obscurantists, as one tortured by the Inquisition, cast out of the Church's pale, and refused Christian burial. For these and other mythical reasons we Catholics are expected to feel nervously uneasy when the name of Galileo is mentioned — much as though a skeleton was in danger of being dragged from the cupboard to cast a shadow upon our good name.

Of these various accusations we are here concerned only with one, namely, that the sentence passed against Galileo and against the orthodoxy of his opinions is a glaring instance of science having proved that the infallible guide blundered.

The answer to this well-worn fable will become apparent from a brief statement of what occurred. Galileo lived from 1564 to 1642. In many branches of science, he was justly famous, but here we are interested only in his then novel theory that the earth moved round the sun. This theory was first mooted by Copernicus, and found additional arguments in its favour from the discoveries which Galileo made with his telescope.

(Footnote: It is undeniable that the arguments of Galileo for the heliocentric system were not by any means conclusive. He had not found evidence for what was later found to be true. Even Huxley who examined the case, states that the opponents of Galileo "had rather the best of it." The medieval astronomer had merely put forward an hypothesis that squared very satisfactorily with the facts.)

In spite of all deficiency in his arguments, Galileo asserted as indisputable the truth of his opinion. He wielded an able pen; and, as we shall see, this partly accounts for the treatment he received.

For four years, he had been proclaiming his theory, convincing some, and finding others who detected the weak points in his argument. In 1615, the ecclesiastical authorities took alarm. Up to that time, the letter of Holy Scripture was taken to express the final judgment in all matters, scientific and religious. On this principle, it seemed that Scripture clearly taught the opposite of Galileo's theory — for Scripture spoke of the sun staying its course at the prayer of Joshua, and of the earth as being for ever immovable. How then, it was asked, could Galileo, in the face of this, assert that the earth went round the sun?

Hearing that he was in disfavour, Galileo, in 1615, presented himself at Rome, and was courteously received. But meantime the official machinery was set to work. The experts, or "qualifiers," of the Inquisition were called upon to give their opinion on two propositions taught by Galileo: first, that the sun is the centre of the world and does not move from its place; and, secondly, that the earth is not the centre of the world and has a diurnal motion. The Qualifiers reported that the first statement was outright heresy, because in open contradiction to the explicit teaching of Scripture; and that the second statement was, at least, theologically, incorrect. Cardinal (Saint Robert) Bellarmine was instructed to inform Galileo of this decision, and to tell him that he must renounce these opinions and promise not to advocate them either by word or by writing. This Galileo promised to do, and so avoided further trouble.

This report of the experts of the Inquisition inspired a decree of the Congregation of the Index, which forbade the publication of works advocating the Copernican system, and which gave as its reason that it was open to heresy to declare that the sun did not move through the heavens.*

(Footnote: We may note in passing that this decree seems to have been a clumsy compromise between the more conservative theologians and those who saw that perhaps it was not necessary to hold that every expression in Scripture was scientifically exact; for the decree allowed the Copernican system to be held as an hypothetical explanation of the movements of the heavens, provided this was not stated as a fact. Clearly, if the doctrine embodied formal heresy, no Church authority could tolerate its discussion, even as an hypothesis.)
On this point, (that it was open to heresy to declare that the sun did not move through the heavens) it is to be noted that Cardinal Bellarmine, the most influential member of the Sacred College, writes to one of Galileo's ardent supporters: — "I say that if a real proof be found that the sun is fixed and does not revolve round the earth, but the earth round the sun, then it will be necessary, very cautiously, to proceed to the explanation of the passages in Scripture which appear to be contrary, and we should rather say that we have misunderstood these than pronounce that to be false which is demonstrated." This admission is important in the light of after events.
Galileo paid no attention to his promise made to the Inquisition, and again loudly and constantly proclaimed his system true beyond all doubt. In 1624, he visited Rome again and was treated with lavish hospitality by the Pope; but he failed to secure the withdrawal of the decree against his works. In 1632, he employed a method of defence which was of rather questionable morality. He submitted to the Church authorities a work in which his view was treated all through as an hypothesis. The book was a dialogue between a Ptolemaist and two Copernicans, in which the Ptolemaist was completely routed. The censors gave leave for the work to be published. Having obtained this permission, Galileo now changed the setting of the work by advancing his view not as a theory but as a fact, and made the routed Ptolemaist closely resemble the reigning Pope, Urban VIII. This was published in 1632, and was rightly regarded by the officials at Rome as a direct challenge. Being cited before the Inquisition, he protested that since his former condemnation he had never held the views of Copernicus. This insincere declaration did not save him; he was condemned, as suspected of heresy, to incarceration at the pleasure of the tribunal, and to recite the seven penitential psalms once a week for three years.

The story of his torture and severe imprisonment is fiction. In no true sense was he a prisoner. His Protestant biographer, von Gebler, tells us "he spent altogether twenty two days in the buildings of the Holy Office, and even then not in a prison cell with barred windows, but in the handsome and commodious apartment of an official of the Inquisition." He was then allowed to live with his friends, first at Rome, and later at Florence, in a delightful place amongst the suburbs. When he was dying he received a special blessing sent him by the Pope, and, so far from being refused Christian burial, he was interred in the church of Santa Croce at Florence.

Our adversaries take their stand upon the decree which was published by the Congregation of the Index when it first condemned Galileo's theory. They assert that the question was one of faith, for a doctrine is condemned as heretical; and, moreover, that the Pope had full knowledge of the doings of the Congregation and sanctioned all its proceedings. Hence, they conclude that there is here another instance of the infallible guide blundering, and this time being corrected by science.

We frankly admit that this decision against Galileo was most unfortunate, in that it asserted, an opinion to be heretical which was later allowed to be orthodox; its finding was reversed when, years later, a proof for the heliocentric system was submitted which was as cogent as Galileo's was defective. The principle of biblical interpretation, upon which the decision was based, was a false one, although it was current at that time. It was thought, for instance, that Scripture must always speak in scientific terminology and with scientific accuracy, even when using the language which men ordinarily employ when conveying their ideas to one another; thus when it spoke of the sun rising or going to rest, it meant that the sun went through the two operations of rising and sinking. Whereas we now admit that the Scriptures, when describing what appears to our senses, may and do use the ordinary terms which we employ. For the sake of accuracy, the Scripture is not obliged — any more than was Newton — to avoid using the expression "the sun rose," or "the sun was stayed in its course through the heavens."

Did the Pope err as an infallible teacher? Surely not, if he did not assume the role of such a teacher. It is simply misrepresenting history to say that anyone, even the Pope himself, thought an ex cathedra statement had been made. As a matter of fact, the Pope's signature is not appended to any of the documents connected with Galileo's condemnation, and even if the signature were appended, it would merely be a guarantee of the authenticity of the document — unless clear indication were given that much more was intended. And, further, though the Pope was present at some of the deliberations of the Cardinals, and was aware of what steps were being taken, that fact alone does not constitute the decisions arrived at as infallible pronouncements. The same answer applies to the objection that a Papal Bull was issued accompanying a later edition of the list of books proscribed by the Index, amongst which books were included any that advocated the Copernican system. Such a Bull merely gives the list a guarantee that it is official.

Fair-minded Protestant writers are as explicit on these points as any Catholic could be. Thus, for example, the astronomer Proctor writes: "The Catholic doctrine (of papal infallibility) is perfectly definite; and it is absolutely certain that the decision in regard to Galileo's teaching, shown now to have been unsound, does not in the slightest degree affect the doctrine of infallibility as defined by the Vatican Council" of 1870 (Knowledge, volume 9, page 274). And again, another Protestant, Karl von Gebler, in his work, Galileo and the Roman Curia, writes to the same effect: "We grant that the two Congregations of the Index and the Inquisition, with the two Popes who sanctioned and promulgated their decrees, were in error; but not one ever held that the decisions of the Roman Congregations were in themselves infallible, even when approved by the Pope, unless specially set forth by the Pope with all the conditions required for an ex cathedra definition."

We note further that the action of Cardinal Bellarmine clearly shows that the answer of the Congregation was not intended to be final; for he admits that if science can show, which at that time it could not do — that the earth moves round the sun, the principle then in use for interpreting Scripture will have to be carefully readjusted.

In conclusion, when we are taunted with the condemnation of Galileo, we may reply with a tu quoque (‘you also’) argument. For Protestants as well as Catholics, held to the views of Galileo's judges; for example, Luther called Copernicus a fool, for turning astronomy upside down, and Melanchton and practically all Protestant professors strongly condemned the system as contrary to the teaching of the Bible. And more remarkable still, just thirty-seven years before Galileo got into trouble, the Protestant Theological Faculty of Tubingen condemned Kepler for teaching the identical scientific truth which Galileo favoured. The divines unanimously decided that Kepler’s book, Prodromos Disserationum Cosmographicarum, contained a deadly heresy, because it contradicted the teaching of the Bible in that passage where Joshua commands the sun to stand still. Now, these divines held the doctrine of "private interpretation of Scripture"; are they not then in difficulties, when science has proved that on one occasion this interpretation was erroneous — and if on one occasion, why not on others? The condemnation of Kepler by the Protestants tells far more against them than does the condemnation of Galileo against us; for in the one case, science gives the lie direct to a fundamental principle of a whole religious system — the principle of private interpretation; while in the other case a defined dogma, that of papal infallibility, as in no way affected.

It is urged that the case of Galileo at least shows that the Church was itself mistaken in matters of faith; for it held a wrong canon of biblical criticism, namely, that the expressions in Scripture which describe physical phenomena are always scientifically exact. We answer that the Church never even considered this question — much less did she believe with the assurance of faith that this principle was correct; it was merely admitted by the majority of the theologians as a commonly accepted rule, and as yet, no convincing reasons had been adduced for rejecting it. No one ever asserted that it was a doctrine of faith; as we have twice remarked, Bellarmine was prepared to give it up; and, moreover, other orthodox theologians explicitly rejected it, maintaining, in defence of Galileo, that "the Bible taught us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go."
Link (here) to read the full article by Fr. H. B. Loughnan, S.J.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Georgetown University And Abortion

A Washington D.C.-based private Catholic university is slated to offer a class next semester that is expected to teach students how to promote and protect abortion coverage provided under the Affordable Care Act. The course, “Regulatory Advocacy: Women and the Affordable Care Act,” is set to be taught at Georgetown Law, and it has upset staunch Catholics, according to The Cardinal Newman Society, which first reported on the new academic offering.
“We have long warned about Georgetown scandals that undermine the Church’s strong defense of innocent life,” Patrick Reilly, society president, told Catholic Education Daily. “But here students are being required to work for a pro-abortion lobby, making America’s oldest Catholic university an active agent of the culture of death.”
The course will hone in on “regulatory advocacy as it pertains to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and women’s health,” and calls on students to work with the National Women’s Law Center “to develop projects that will assist in the organization’s regulatory advocacy efforts.” The law center publicly supports Obamacare and its mandate requiring religious institutions provide insurance coverage for abortions and other birth control.
Link (here) to The College Fix

Monday, October 28, 2013

“A Copernican Revolution”

Jan Matejko's Conversations with God
In an interview with L’Osservatore Romano, Father Cristian Martini Grimaldi, an Argentine Jesuit who has served for decades as a missionary in Japan, recalled the future Pope Francis’s leadership as a Jesuit provincial. Father Grimaldi, who was sent to Japan by the future Pope, now directs the martyrs’ museum in Nagasaki.

Father Grimaldi recalled how Father Jorge Mario Bergoglio would emphasize that the Jesuits under his care must take responsibility for their actions.
In Argentine Catholic culture at the time, Father Grimaldi recounted, priests would wait for the lay faithful to come to parishes before interacting with them. Father Bergoglio, he said, instituted “a Copernican revolution”: he instructed Jesuit novices to go out and teach the catechism in poor neighborhoods and invite the poor to church. 
Link (here) to Catholic Culture

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Blatty Effect

Protesting the speech by Kathleen Sebelius at Georgetown University
In over the year that the canon law Petition led by William Peter Blatty has been worldwide news, Georgetown University's "newspaper of public record," The Hoya, has given the matter scant news coverage, their last piece invented facts that were not true. By contrast, the managing editor of the blatantly liberal Georgetown Voice recently published an op-ed agreeing with one of Blatty's main allegations.
On Friday, The Hoya finally weighed in with some substance, publishing an interview of Georgetown University's canonist, Rev. Ladislas Orsy, S.J., still going strong at 92!
Orsy was one of the earliest critics of Ex corde Ecclesiae when it was issued 23 years ago and has argued for years that it has minimal reach. He does so again in The Hoya. Orsy had previously made the same argument regarding the canons of the 1983 Code of Canon Law addressing Catholic universities. Both documents were promulgated by Blessed Pope John Paul II and were each unfinished matters called for by the Second Vatican Council. (Vatican II). Both documents ended the "Land o' Lakes" apostasy, at least in words. Unfortunately, part of the problem with the Orsy interview is The Hoya's uninformed questions. Orsy clarifies that the Blatty Petition is not a lawsuit. There is no disagreement there. A recent press release by the Father King Society states: "The canonical procedure being employed is not a 'lawsuit'." Astonishingly, however, Fr. Orsy tells The Hoya that "[Ex corde Ecclesiae} says that the president of a Catholic university should be voted on by the board of trustees and agreed upon by the Vatican." In fact, Ex corde neither says nor suggests that! Orsy tells The Hoya that the Church has no power to remove its consent for Georgetown University to call itself "Catholic," suggesting that there is a difference between a university like Georgetown and a university that has "Catholic" in its name. Orsy's opinion has been repeatedly contradicted by Church officials and other canonists for decades now. 
Link (here) to

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Pope Francis, "The Presence Of The Devil Is In The First Page Of The Bible And The Bible Ends With The Presence Of The Devil, With God's Victory Over The Devil."

Did not Jesus call us to cast out demons? Did He not charge to us the task of healing? The Pope himself pointed this out recently when he during a homily at Casa Santa Marta after the reading on how some accused Jesus of casting spirits out in the name of Beelzebub and about how evil can attack. The Pope, as reported by Vatican Radio, noted that all along, 
"and even in our days, there is the temptation to belittle the figure of Jesus. Some priests when they read this Gospel passage, this and others, say: 'But, Jesus healed a person from a mental illness.' They do not read this here, right? It's true that at that time you could confuse epilepsy with demonic possession, but it is also true that there was the devil! And we have no right to simplify the thing, as if to say: 'They were not possessed; they were mentally ill.' No! The presence of the devil is in the first page of the Bible and the Bible ends with the presence of the devil, with God's victory over the devil." 
In this regard, warned the Holy Father, "we must not be naive." They are words spoken by a man who understands the spiritual component, words that should be sent to every parish in North America, Western Europe, and Australia -- where the devil has been turned into a cartoon as the Church bowed before scientism, listening, with all due respect, to Freud more than to Jesus. Will that change? How many cases are medical or psychological issues? How many have at least a partial demonic element? Judging from how many times Jesus cast out evil spirits before effecting a cure, the answer would seem to be, if not most, "many." Muteness. Deafness. Crippling ailments. Female problems. Epilepsy. Are not these all some of the illness Jesus cured by expurgating the devil?
Link (here) to Spirit Daily

Friday, October 18, 2013

Saint Among Savages

St. Isaac JoguesWe could say that St. Isaac is the true standard bearer of the faith in a new land, carrying the banner of Christ into unchartered territory. In this he followed in the footsteps of Christ himself, laying down himself in sacrifice out of love for others, even those who despised him, and in doing so became a pioneer in the truest sense: “Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame” (Heb 12:2). This deliberate following of Christ can be seen in a consecration of himself that Jogues made while still safely within his Huron mission in French Canada. Fr. Francis Talbot, S.J., in his monumental biography of Jogues, Saint among Savages, recounts this incident: “He begged and demanded of God that he would be immolated, would be sacrificed as a victim of Divine love. He offered himself, body, soul, will, mind, memory to God, that God might do with him as He pleased.” Like the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, this prayer ought to be considered one of the foundational statements of America. This This willingness to endure death at the hands of savage torturers helped birth a new Christian realm in this continent. Interestingly enough, during his captivity Jogues had a dream in which his ministry and martyrdom appeared to him as a tour through a large city, built upon the exact spot as the Mohawk village of his imprisonment. He describes his first sight of the city as follows: “I had gone out of our village as I usually did…. When I returned, everything seemed changed. The tall palings that surrounded our village on all sides were transformed into very beautiful towers, battlements, and walls…. some savages…came out and assured me that it truly was our little hamlet.” Entering the first wall of this city he saw a slain lamb over the gate. Passing through a second gate he encountered a garrison and was apprehended and brought to a palace. Outside the gate of the palace Jogues saw many people who knew from France. He was taken in and judged and punished by the king of this city in a manner similar to how the Mohawks had tortured him. Jogues interpreted his judgment of suffering as the price he had to pay to abide in this city. He does not, however, provide us with an explanation of the rest of the dream. Could this great city be an image of the new realm of Christendom which was formed in the continent of America? What strikes me most about the city is that it combines images from America, France, and Heaven with Christ as king ruling over all. The city was placed on the site of the Mohawk village, with the natives outside of and exiting the outer ring; the second ring that of his fellow Christians and guarded by angels; and finally the palace, the seat of Christ. To me it seems that from the palace Christ’s reign would extend to the outer circle through the mediation of the more interior one. Thus, we can see Christ’s plan for the extension of his domain, creating a unity that draws all together, but through the mediation of Christian suffering.
Link (here) to Crisis Magazine

Friday, October 11, 2013

Naval School of Mechanics

The Vatican has firmly denied these claims and there have since been many reports of the "quiet diplomacy" used by Pope Francis, who was then named Jorge Mario Bergoglio and head of the Jesuit order in Argentina. There was no official word on the content of the talks between Francis and Jalics, who was born in Hungary and now lives in a German monastery. Francis has said he experienced "a period of great internal crisis" at the time of the junta and admitted to making mistakes in his leadership. A recent book by an Italian journalist, however, said he took in many leftist students at risk of being jailed by the dictatorship and advised hi
s priests on how best to avoid being spied on. It also published transcripts from testimony given by Bergoglio to prosecutors investigating the crimes of the junta in which he said he lobbied for the release of Jalics and Orlando Yorio.
The two young Jesuits who were preaching in the slums were taken in March 1976 to the notorious Naval School of Mechanics, a torture centre run by the junta. They were freed after five months. 
Father Franz Jalics now lives in a monastery in Germany. Following controversy after the Pope's election in March, Jalics released a statement saying: "Yorio and I were not reported by Father Bergoglio". "I myself formerly tended to believe that we were reported. At the end of the 1990s however it became clear to me after numerous conversations that this assumption was baseless," Jalics said.
Link (here)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

William Peter Blatty, "Georgetown Takes Pride In Insulting The Church And Offending The Faithful,"

William Peter Blatty
Concluding that his alma mater "takes pride in insulting the Church and offending the faithful," William Peter Blatty, author of the best-selling book The Exorcist, filed a Canon Law petition with the Vatican this summer asking that Georgetown University be denied the right to call itself Catholic. Calling Georgetown a "Potemkin village," Blatty complained that at "alumni dinners, a Jesuit would be placed at every table like a flower centerpiece." For Blatty, Georgetown is "merely the leader of a pack" of schools that are failing to live up to their Catholic identity.
Mr. Blatty's 200-page papal petition contains more than 480 footnotes, 99 appendices, 124 witness statements. It also includes a commissioned 120-page institutional audit of Georgetown. According to Manuel A. Miranda, who serves as Mr. Blatty's counsel, "We have documented 23 years of Scandals and dissidence, over 100 Scandals in the most recent years alone."
The petition -- with the signatures of more than 2,000 Catholics -- asks Pope Francis to require that Georgetown implement Ex Corde Ecclesiae, the 1990 papal document requiring all Catholic colleges to teach "in communion" with the Church. The goal of Blatty's petition is to revoke Georgetown's right to call itself Catholic -- unless it complies with Church teachings. Since 1967, when Catholic college leaders gathered in Land O' Lakes, Wisconsin, to create a manifesto that declared their "true autonomy and academic freedom in the face of authority of whatever kind, lay or clerical," most Catholic college presidents have ignored any attempts by their presiding bishops to bring the Catholic colleges and universities into communion with the Church. 
Link (here) to The Huffington Post

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

“I Used To Do Abortions Before My Conversion"

A former abortionist’s far-fetched dream of surrendering the medical instruments with which he had once performed abortions to Pope Francis became a reality recently, when, to his astonishment, Dr. Antonio Oriente found himself face to face with the pontiff.
In a testimony posted to Facebook, Dr. Antonio Oriente expresses his surprise at the encounter, explaining that he had originally decided not to go to Rome for a conference of gynecologists to which he was invited, because of a father-in-law in “grave health” and the fact that there was no guarantee he could even see the pope personally. But at the last minute, he changed his mind.
Oriente, the vice president and founder of the Associazione Italiana Ginecologi Ostetrici Cattolici (AIGOC), told ACI Presna, “I used to do abortions before my conversion, and I had the desire to entrust the [instruments] to the Holy Father, after I had failed to do it with John Paul II nor with Benedict XVI.” A fellow member of AIGOC had confirmed that the group would be included in a papal audience for the conference, but said only a small number would be able to meet personally with the Holy Father. Of AIGOC, he said, only the president and secretary were in that number. “I knew I could not confer with the Pope, and that therefore my desire to give him the surgical instruments which I used as an abortionist would have been nearly impossible,” Oriente said in his testimony. But despite these reservations, and worries about bringing the instruments on a flight, Oriente decided to take the flight up from Messina to Rome, “after I prayed and asked the Lord just the same”. 
Link (here) to Lifesite to read the full story

"I'm Not Francis Of Assisi"

"I'm not Francis of Assisi and I do not have his strength and his holiness. But I am the Bishop of Rome and Pope of the Catholic world. The first thing I decided was to appoint a group of eight cardinals to be my advisers. Not courtiers but wise people who share my own feelings. This is the beginning of a Church with an organization that is not just top-down but also horizontal. When Cardinal Martini talked about focusing on the councils and synods he knew how long and difficult it would be to go in that direction. Gently, but firmly and tenaciously."
Link (here) to the full interview by  Eugenio Scalfari of Pope Francis 

Link (here) to the twelfth rule of Saint Ignatius' Spiritual Exercise and his his complete discourse, TO HAVE THE TRUE SENTIMENT WHICH WE OUGHT TO HAVE IN THE CHURCH MILITANT

Twelfth Rule
 We ought to be on our guard in making comparison of those of us who are alive to the blessed passed away, because error is committed not a little in this; that is to say, in saying, this one knows more than St. Augustine; he is another, or greater than, St. Francis; he is another St. Paul in goodness, holiness, etc.

Pope Francis On St. Ignatius Of Loyola, "Ignatius Who Founded The Society, Was Also A Reformer And A Mystic. Especially A Mystic."

"Ignatius, for understandable reasons, is the saint I know better than any other. He founded our Order. I'd like to remind you that Carlo Maria Martini also came from that order, someone who is very dear to me and also to you. Jesuits were and still are the leavening  -  not the only one but perhaps the most effective  -  of Catholicism: culture, teaching, missionary work, loyalty to the Pope. But Ignatius who founded the Society, was also a reformer and a mystic. Especially a mystic."

Link (here) to the full interview by Eugenio Scalfari of Pope Francis 

Link (here) to read about St. Ignatius' mystical vision at Manreza

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The King Of Kings Bestows On Her His Graces

O happy day! With splendor softly glowing
The eastern skies announce thy blissful morn;
The soul with joy and happiness o'erflowing
On pinions swift aloft to God is borne.
With ardent love her Jesus she embraces;
The fervent yearnings for her Spouse are stilled;
The King of kings bestows on her His graces;
Her spotless shrine with light divine is filled.

On Fr. Paul Ginhac, S. J., "The Divine King Of Souls Was Eager To Establish His Reign In This Young Soul,"

John Anthony and Clare Monica preserved intact the noble traditions of their patriarchal families. They had twelve children, of whom Paul was the seventh. He was born on the last day of Mary's month, during the Octave of the Ascension, May 31, 1824, and on the same day he was baptized by the names of Peter Paul Hippolyte. His parents gave five of their children to God. One of these, a young curate in the Diocese of Mende, was struck down in the flower of his age; two daughters died almost immediately after profession in the Trappistine Convent of Maubec; another of Paul's sisters entered the Order of the Visitation; only one child, Victor, remained in the world, where he carefully cherished the precious inheritance of faith and virtue left to him by his ancestors. The father of eight children, he had the happiness of seeing three of his daughters consecrate themselves to God in the Order of St. Ursula, and one of his sons ascend the altar steps. Paul's father, John Anthony, was a simple, honest man, and a good Catholic. His home is thus described by an old servant: 

"I worked at Le Mazel for fifteen years, so that I saw and heard all that went on. There were no quarrels or disputes among the children, and the father, who was very kind to us all, worked hard. Every evening he taught us the Catechism, and twice every day we were called for prayers. Before supper, we usually said the rosary, and after supper we had prayers, which were recited by one of the family. Then a book was read, and none of us dared to leave till all was finished. Such has always been the custom in that house."
A Visitation Nun of Marvejols writes that, when she was quite young, she used to hide in a corner of the church in order to see M. Ginhac pray. His respectful attitude struck her with admiration. Clare Monica gave good example in everything, and watched carefully over her children and servants. The old people say that she was very liberal towards the poor, and that she loved to welcome them to her house. Nearly every night one of them would sleep in her barn, after having received a substantial supper. She privately gave them food, which she often secretly took with her to Serverette for them, so as to avoid notice. Another old servant says: "I went to Le Mazel as shepherd in 1814. Monica, then quite young, showed her mother-in-law the greatest respect. Never did I see her in anger, and this meekness was not indolence, because naturally she was very active. Once one of her servants got married, and Monica would not take another in her place, but did all the work herself." "She always feared to irritate us. She did not command, but begged! When others scolded us, she took our part immediately. In her later years Monica was still the model woman of Serverette, and it is through her that God's blessing has descended on that house." Canon Michel says: "She passed for a saint in the eyes of the public. She went every Sunday to Holy Communion, and, though not robust, she never hesitated to go in all weathers, fasting and on foot, to the church. Often it was only at High Mass that she could communicate." The Superior of the Visitation of Marvejols adds: " Monica lived in constant union with God, and so had heroic strength to endure the many crosses sent to her by Providence."
Formed to a Christian life by the example and lessons of such a mother, Paul's childhood was passed in study or performing the little tasks which in the country are usually confided to children. Like St. Vincent de Paul and Blessed Peter Faber, he will boast of this in his later life. During the long retreat at Liesse we shall hear him say: 
"'I go fishing,' said St. Peter to the other Apostles who were with him. He did not disdain his first calling, and neither will I hide my origin. In my youth I tended my father's cattle, but God gave me good and Christian parents, for which I daily thank and bless His Divine Providence."
At Le Mazel all the children did as they were commanded. They never uttered a word against father, or mother, or uncle, neither were they to be seen at the inn on Sundays. If, after Mass or Vespers, they chatted to their friends, it was only for a short time, and then went quickly back to Le Mazel, led by their mother, who would not allow any of them to remain behind. When Paul was nine years old, he was considered sufficiently instructed and pious enough to be allowed to make his First Communion. The Divine King of souls was eager to establish His reign in this young soul, which the devil was soon to assault so violently.
Link (here) to read A Man After God's Own Heart: Life of Father Paul Ginhac, S. J. written by Fr. Arthur Calvet, S.J.