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Preview: Keeping It Catholic - with Marianna Bartold

Keeping It Catholic - with Marianna Bartold

Last Build Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2008 15:54:56 -0500


A New Look: Come Visit "Keeping It Catholic - The Blog!"

Thu, 27 Mar 2008 15:54:56 -0500

With a new and more streamlined look, new articles (as well as oldies-but-goodies), new graphics, and more color, I hope you'll keep in touch by visiting Keeping It Catholic: The Blog ---

That is KIC's new "place" on the web and the place where the (Catholic) Action is (pun intended!). At Keeping It Catholic: The Blog you'll find future KIC articles, news and reviews...not to mention my popular Red Flag Reviews.  

Btw, after all these years, I gave in: For those of you who have never met me at a conference (or for those who haven't seen me in a few years) - there's a recent photo of yours truly on the new blog.  (Kindly do not throw darts at it, because you might break your computer screen.)(image)

Major coincidence: My blog isn't the only thing that is more stream-lined these days! (image)

NOW AVAILABLE! Samples of "The Age of Mary" Catholic Internet-Based Study Guides

Tue, 4 Mar 2008 04:51:11 -0500

At the request of Catholic homeschooling parents, catechists, and school teachers, you can now view 8 SCREENSHOT SAMPLES of "The Age of Mary," the Catholic, Internet-Based Study Guide for junior high and high school students!  The preview spans the three following website pages: Age of Mary Preview I, Age of Mary Preview II, and Age of Mary Preview III.The question: Why should I choose "The Age of Mary" Catholic Internet-based Study Guides for my older students?The bottom-line answer: They're thoroughly Catholic, economical, and convenient! With ONLY two tools - your home computer and your Internet access - your students simply open the electronic "Age of Mary" Catholic Study Guide each day. Watch their interest soar as they click and type their way through their studies! Junior high and high school-aged students love "The Age of Mary," an intriguing set of Catholic Internet-based Study Guides, with each installment featuring syllabi and free-access, screened links.BENEFITS FOR STUDENTS WHO USE "THE AGE OF MARY":*Delight in Interesting, Integrated Subjects!---That means no more disconnected studies! The five-subject lesson plans are interrelated! What is covered in Religion and/or History is directly connected to Language Arts, Geography, and Science. *Receive a sound, doctrinal Catholic education, with Mariology (study of the Virgin Mary) and Church-approved apparitions as the foundation.*Whiz through colorful syllabi with screened, interactive links to online resources for:---Religion (see more about this in the next paragraph!)---Language Arts (including Poetry, Composition, Literature) ---History (with a "Catholic conscience," not a "perspective"!)---Geography (Make it fun, not dry and not boring!)---Science (Ditto!)*Enjoy quality computer time: Study Church dogmas and doctrines, delve deeply into history, soak in literature and poetry, type essays, reports or compositions, geographically explore specific parts of Europe, make virtual tours of shrines or other historical spots, and find out about various scientific branches *Strengthen independent-study skills (VERY important!)*Learn more about the popes, saints and other respected Catholic historical figures who left their mark on the studied time-frames (French Revolution  to World War I). *Discover philosophers (saints and otherwise) who greatly impacted history - and the times in which we live.*Study the writings of popes and great saints - online!*Cultivate a deeper interior life by learning how to daily live the Church's constant teaching: Pray, Study, Act!PARENT/TEACHER BENEFITS:---SAVE MONEY! For one low price, get everything needed for ONE SCHOOL YEAR of Religion, Language Arts, History, Geography and Science. (Everything is included except math.) The 4 quarterly installments provide enough lesson plans to cover 36 weeks (9 weeks per installment)! ---No website-fees, no yearly charges, no need to log-in to a website! The Age of Mary Catholic, Internet-based Study Guides are electronically delivered to you! ---Once you purchase "The Age of Mary," it's yours to use - year after year. (A great family saving!)---No books or extras are needed for "The Age of Mary." In each Catholic Internet-based Study Guide, there is included a Bonus List of Living Books or other items (which you may wish to purchase  elsewhere). While helpful, they are not strictly required - because everything your students need is included in "The Age of Mary"!---SAVE TIME! As your jr. high or high school student uses the computer for 5 core topics, you'll have extra hours to teach your little ones, take care of household tasks, or simply relax a bit!---Discuss topics (suggestions provided in the syllabi) and review "The Age of Mary" assignments in about one hour a day. Your student(s) can then study, read through links, and research or type assignments for the rest o[...]

Fatima: The Question of Consecration

Fri, 5 Oct 2007 20:31:28 -0500

Before going any further, I first wish to state it has been my intention to eventually address the historical facts regarding the papal consecrations so far made. Although I have been asked, it is not my intention to offer my personal conjecture on the why’s and wherefore’s regarding the reason(s) the collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary has not yet been made. At the same time, I again will say that Fatima’s history spans the last 90 years; I know my readers will understand that what I will share might be considered an historical “briefing” or a “highlighting’ of the key points of Fatima. To briefly respond on the question of Pope John Paul II's consecrations of the world to the Immaculate Heart: It was not only Pope John Paul II (may God rest his soul) who made world consecrations to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. There was, first, a world consecration made by Pope Pius XII in the first years of WWII; years later, the same pope alone performed a consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart, but he did not command the bishops to join him. These historical facts and the world events that followed them prove that, while God may accept such consecrations “to a degree,” they do not completely fulfill the obligation which heaven expects in regard to the solemn, collegial consecration of Russia (not the world) to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In the tradition of the Church, an act of consecration is a “solemn consecration” (whether made by a pope, reigning Catholic monarch, or a bishop in his own diocese). It is one that is publicly made in a church, basilica, or cathedral. It stands to reason that a solemn collegial consecration must follow the same traditional protocol.  Our Lady’s request in 1929 was succinctly and clearly made when she said: “The moment has come when God asks the Holy Father to make, in union with all the bishops of the world, the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means.”  Incidentally, while Our Lady did not specifically ask that the bishops join the Holy Father in Rome when the consecration of Russia is made to Her Immaculate Heart, it would be highly proper, from a pious standpoint, and could have been accomplished many times in the past. However, it does not seem that heaven requests that all bishops travel to Rome; it shall be enough that the Holy Father and the bishops of the world spiritually unite, on one day, to make the solemn consecration.In the love of Christ and His Virgin Mother, Marianna Bartold, Main ModeratorWe're "Keeping It Catholic" on the Net at"One day, through the Rosary and the Scapular, I shall save the world."  ~Our Lady to Blessed Alan de la Roche~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+[...]

FATIMA: One Secret, Three Parts

Fri, 5 Oct 2007 20:10:23 -0500

About a week ago, I announced that we on the Keeping It Catholic list shall discuss the entire message of Fatima. Since various obligations are pressing and also because covering 90 years of history in a succession of emails is a formidable task, I have decided to outline the Secrets of Fatima and then primarily focus on the yet-to-be-accomplished collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. To Our Lady, Mediatrix of All Graces, we dedicate our poor service in sharing with our fellow Catholics the entire truth about Fatima. To Jesus through Mary!Please understand that KIC’s only concern is that the entire message of Fatima is shared with our fellow Catholics. The One Secret in Three Parts inevitably demands a firm faith, as well as a strong grasp on the key doctrines of the Faith. Faith places obligations upon all Catholics (laity and clergy), because God revealed through both Tradition and Scripture that we only attain salvation through “faith and good works.” The Fatima revelations are in full conformity with Divine Revelation because, in their sum total, they underline, in the utmost simplicity, the key doctrines of the faith. As always, God chooses to act through persons, but the Fatima revelations make is clear that, in this era, it is His Holy Will that the Immaculate Heart must be loved and honored and that all Catholics on earth fulfill their roles in what He now asks, from the humblest lay person up to he who holds the highest office on earth, which is held by Pope Benedict XVI. Since 1830, Fatima was the only Marian apparition in which Heaven requests the cooperation of all Catholics to fulfill the Divine Plan for the world.The apparitions of Fatima revealed the obligations of Catholics to the Lord God, which are as follows:--Make acts of reparation to the Lord our God for sins, and also for the conversion of sinners, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. (This is God's confirmation of the holy and humble work of St. Louis de Montfort, who taught "To Jesus through Mary.")--Pray the Rosary every day (especially for the intentions of the Immaculate Heart of Mary who, as God’s handmaiden and Mother of God, desires not the eternal death of sinners but wishes to save them).--Make all that we do a sacrifice for the love of God - again, in reparation to the sins which offend Him and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and for the conversion of sinners. Our Lord later explained to Sr. Lucia that the sacrifice which He now requires of us is the faithful accomplishment of our daily duty.--Wear the Brown Scapular and live chastely according to one’s state in life--Accomplish the Five First Saturday devotions in reparation for five particular blasphemies against the Virgin Mother of God --- for what offends the Mother, offends the Son.---Finally, there is the most critical Secret in which the Lord commands His Vicar, who alone holds the office of Supreme Pontiff and who alone possesses the authority and solemn duty to command the princes (the bishops) to join him in the collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.   We Catholics cannot forget that a reigning pope holds the ultimate position as a reigning monarch in his office as God our King’s Steward. Jesus Christ is King and a reigning pope serves the King as Steward of the Catholic City, which is visible in the hierarchy and the laity but is also invisible, because it is found in the Catholic interior life of each faithful soul. "For lo, the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke XVII: 20, 21) The Pope’s authority as Christ's steward-monarch is world-wide and extends also to non-Catholics, although they reject his office. Like any of the King’s subjects, he also must obey the command of the King, whether through by His own word or by those of the Queen Mother, the Virgin Mother of God.The outline above highlights the true and entire mess[...]

Fatima Message: The Example of the King of France; Do We Have Less than 10 Years Left?

Sat, 29 Sep 2007 22:08:32 -0500

Those who study the history of Christendom with a "Catholic conscience," per the definition of Hilaire Belloc, and who also pay special heed to Church-approved apparitions might foresee, with a holy fear of God's Justice, that if the gentle, motherly requests of Our Lady of Fatima are not honored in full, that what awaits us is a horrific victory of the continuing Revolution against the Church, the Holy Father, and those who follow him. Certain words of Our Lord's to Sr. Lucia strongly indicate that the full portent of the Third Secret of Fatima may occur within 10 years’ time. This probable tragedy alone should inspire those who possess confidence in Our Lady of Fatima to courageously accept our collective obligation to declare the entire Fatima message throughout the Catholic world.The prophecies of Our Lady of the Rosary via Fatima and one, particular later warning of Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior, to Sr. Lucia about the collegial consecration bring to our attention the apparitions of the Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in Paray-le-Monial, France. Through this saint, Our Lord gave the world the devotion of the Nine First Fridays and the Twelve Promises to those who practice this particular devotion. Yet there is another serious matter surrounding the Paray-le-Monial apparitions to the saint, and it is one which is very little known.St. Margaret Mary was told by the Lord that she was to "inform the King of France, 'Eldest son of His Sacred Heart,' that the Sacred Heart wished 'to reign in his palace, to be painted on his standard, to be engraved on his arms,' and that it [the Sacred Heart] will make him 'triumphant over all the enemies of Holy Church,' if the King obeyed Christ's command on these matters. However, as history relates, “Either Louis XIV never received the letter or he refused to reply. But the command still stands." (The Secret of Saint Margaret Mary by Henri Gheon) On June 17, 1689, Our Lord also told the saint to tell the Catholic King Louis XIV that France must be solemnly consecrated to His Sacred Heart. This command, too, was ignored by the king and also by his heirs and descendants. As a result, France – first daughter of the Church – was not "triumphant over all the enemies of Holy Church" when France was besieged by the “enemies of the Church.”Furthermore, it is impossible to believe that God's mercy and justice would allow to come to fruition the the triumph of the Church's enemies,who would rise against France, if His messages to the King(s) of France had never been received by them.AFTER 100 YEARS - OUR LORD'S PATIENCE EXHAUSTEDExactly one hundred years later, on June 17, 1789, the reigning Catholic king of France (Louis XVI) was stripped of his kingly power and authority by the godless “Third Estate” of the French Revolution. Thus the Reign of Terror went into full motion. The king and his entire family (including children) were imprisoned. There are some who believe that, during his imprisonment, the King made a private consecration of France to the Sacred Heart, an act fulfilled in the presence of his confessor. But should this legend ever be proven as fact, it still remains that the Lord was not obeyed to the letter. His express command was that the King of France perform a solemn (e.g. – public) consecration of France to His Sacred Heart.Tragically, the king was executed by the guillotine, paying in his own blood for the disobedience of his forefathers and kings to the King of Kings. Nine months later, his wife the Queen Marie Antoinette, followed in his footsteps. Before her death by execution, the prison guards had taken the Dauphin, their young son, from the care of his mother and the comforting enclosure of his family. The poor little boy, who was badly treated, drugged, and perhaps tortured, was forced to say the mos[...]

Fatima Message: The Most Important Part is Still Missing

Sat, 29 Sep 2007 22:09:30 -0500

A few individuals have asked "Who is behind" the eclipse or the "hijack" of the national Rosary Campaign in regard to the complete Fatima message? In response, I can only emphasize that we don't know whether or not various organizations promoting the incomplete message fully realize what they are doing. Because the days are fleeting before the arrival of October 13, 2007, my view is that the time required to thoroughly investigate the answer is time better spent relating Fatima's historical events and the "Three Secrets" of Fatima.  Our only intention is to point out that the most important request of Our Lady is conspicuously absent and to rectify that most serious omission.In filial obedience to the Lord's and the Virgin Mary's requests, KIC also asks that those who may participate in a local Rosary Campaign politely invite the organizers to please include the most necessary request:"For the collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary."Only if one encounters resistance, there is recourse to Plan B (not to be used lightly except in extreme circumstances), which is to ask for the intention to be couched in the following way:"For the intentions of the Immaculate Heart of Mary."Yet, if even that does not work, then there is a last recourse: During the public recitation of the the Rosary, while at any Rosary Campaign, publicly and charitably announce the intention as the Rosary begins! Doing so will take much courage and fortitude, not to mention either overcoming or not possessing that awful encumbrance of human respect.That said, we Catholics should not be forced into compromise, but there are circumstances where prudence is the better part of valor. But it would be an offense to God if, due to a lack of the virtue of fortitude, we totally disregard THE MOST IMPORTANT PART of the Fatima message.The Rosary Campaign will take place in parishes and other places across the United States and, it is to be hoped, in other nations. We must keep in mind that, if thousands of Catholics  first and foremost pray the Rosary "for the intentions of the Immaculate Heart of Mary," together we shall be making thousands, if not millions, of supplications to heaven for the collegial consecration of Russia.Only an FYI, the organizations listed on a flyer insert of a local parish bulletin includes a small note at the bottom, "Coordinated nationally by Tradition Family Property and its American Needs Fatima campaign." Mothers' Watch also sent out a recent newsletter (dated Summer 2007) in which they included a one-page letter which stated, "Because of the different subject matter, this most important newsletter does not have the banner of Mothers' Watch, but 'Moms for Fatima' as our identity so that we may reach as many people as possible. This time we are not pointing a finger at bishops, sex education or Catholic schools. This special newsletter is a plea to bring as many people as possible to our Blessed Mother."At this point, I first must say I highly respect the Mothers' Watch ladies; some of you may also recall that I once wrote an article for them (Spring 1998). Due to the respect I hold for them, it was distressing to discover that, while the first half to three-quarters of their recent newsletter included pertinent facts and observations about the Rosary, Our Lady of Fatima, Masonry, and the Muslim threat (with a spot-on reference to Hillaire Belloc), the last section on Fatima repeated the half-truths and innuendos with which so many of us are familiar.The article of which I speak can be found at Should anyone choose to read that article, please be sure to pay special attention to the last part, especially the[...]

Fatima Message: Still in Eclipse

Sat, 29 Sep 2007 22:10:16 -0500

It recently came to KIC's attention that almost every "mainstream" Catholic apostolate and parish is currently promoting what might be sadly called an "eclipse" of the Fatima message via a nationwide "Rosary Campaign," which is planned for Saturday, October 13, 2007 - the 90th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun in Fatima, Portugal.

At first glance, the upcoming Rosary Campaign is a most welcome and pious commemoration of the greatest public miracle since the parting of the Red Sea. However, thus far the plans for the Rosary Campaign fail to acknowledge the most crucial command of the Lord our God - a command so imperative for the salvation of souls living during this crisis in Church history that He sent His Holy Virgin Mother to deliver it.

This one command has yet to be obeyed in full: The Holy Father and the bishops throughout the world must consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

In response, it is my hope, both on this blog and the KIC email list, to cover the key points of Fatima and the very real necessity of the collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

September: A Holy Month to Start Homeschooling

Sun, 2 Sep 2007 15:16:35 -0500

The summer has practically flown by! I know many people view this first weekend in September only as the Labor Day weekend, but we Catholics know that it is much more than a secular holiday. After all, today is September 1, a First Saturday of the month - a special day of devotion and reparation to Our Lady's Immaculate Heart for five major blasphemies against the one one and only Virgin Mother. In addition, this coming Friday (September 7) is a First Friday, in loving honor and reparation to Our Lord's Sacred Heart.Speaking of how quickly time passes, members of the Keeping It Catholic list may recall my mentioning a literal answer to a prayer this past spring. That’s also the reason you haven't heard much from me. My "summer break" primarily focused on very real and serious health needs. Finally, I was able to fully implement (and plan to continue) an amazing combo of strategies that are working well: A low-carb lifestyle, loads of natural health supplements (including a pro-life option for natural, increased stem cell production), and water therapy three times or more a week. As a result, the more severe symptoms of arthritis, lupus and fibromyalgia have greatly improved. More and more often, I see a return to normal energy instead of chronic exhaustion. In addition, I no longer need daily medication, and (finally!) I am much slimmer. All glory to God and grateful thanks to Our Lady for answering my prayers!I’m also happy to say that my mom, who suffers from many diabetes-related health problems, recently returned home to us. Since we are all doing our best to help her, the home schedule shifted a bit and we are adjusting to it. Our second and third older children are working full-time and getting ready for their third year in college. Our high school-age son, who will be 17 yo this fall, wants to begin college classes this year, too, and our youngest is entering 4th grade. It looks to be another full year, with every day blessed with wholesome work!There are many things for which each of us can be grateful as September opens. September is another month in which to practice particular devotions to Our Lord, Our Lady, and the saints. Next Saturday, September 8, the entire Catholic Church will once more honor the Nativity of Our Lady. Just a few days later on Wednesday, September 12, we publicly revere the Holy Name of Mary. This year, the Exultation of the Cross falls on Friday, September 14 (and also is the eve of Our Lady of Sorrows on Saturday, September 15), and it is the same day that the Holy Father’s recent “Motus Propio” officially goes into effect. Wednesday, September 19, commemorates the apparition of Our Lady of La Salette, while Monday, September 24, pays homage to Our Lady of Ransom.Like most months on the liturgical calendar, every day of September honors at least one or more saints, from St. Stephen, King (September 2), Pope St. Pius X (September 3), St. Rose of Viterbo and St. Rosalia (September 4), St. Laurence Justinia (September 5), St. Eleutherius (September 6), and St. Cloud and St. Regina (September 7) to St. Padre Pio (September 23), the Eight North American Martyrs (September 26), Sts. Cosmas and Damian (September 27), St. Michael the Archangel (September 29) and, finally, St. Jerome (September 30).In addition to all these beautiful feasts, September also sees the majority of Catholic parents on the Keeping It Catholic List formally begin the task of home education. May we remember to humbly ask God the Father to bless us and our children, while we also petition the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts for their hourly help in carrying our daily crosses.In the love of Christ and His Virgin Mother,Marianna BartoldWe're "Keeping It Catholic" on the Net at[...]

MEN!!! Pt. 2: I Bid You Stand, Men of the West!

Sat, 29 Sep 2007 22:14:22 -0500

On the day my essay ("MEN!!!") was published on the KIC blog, I also posted it to my Keeping It Catholic email list (at Yahoogroups).In response to that essay, Syler Womack, the very lady whom I mentioned in that piece (as author of The Catholic Code of Chivalry), wrote a wonderful composition of her own. With her permission, it is posted here as a fantastic follow-up to "MEN!!" To openly borrow from Syler's signature line, our mutual message comes from the not-yet-crowned-king Aragorn in the move version of The Return of the King:"I Bid You Stand, Men of the West!"Well, it's sure not going to surprise you when I concur with you 100%...and you hit the nail square on the head when you said our men  are, for the most part, no longer chivalrous. How BLESSED are those of us who have real men for husbands! We are far too busy basking in their love and making their homes to embrace any sort of feminist behavior. Invading the realm of men is in no way appealing, for we are too joyful to be Catholic Wives!So, here's my word to those Trad Men who spend all their time worrying and writing about women:Fellows, you need to remember your place!Your place is at the head of your family---not as a tyrant, but as a provider and protector and one who cherishes his mate above all earthly things. Your place is to make your wife realize that she is the Queen of your world. She is your Guenivere--- your Isolde---your Dulcinaea. She has sacrificed her health and strength to bear you fine sons and daughters. Do you realize how many times the fate of nations has turned on the ability of a Queen to bear sons? If your wife has borne you one, or several, you should fairly weep with gratitude every time you think of her! If she has mothered adopted sons, why, she is even more to be exalted! If she has been open to life, she has been willing to sacrifice her own life so that YOU can have heirs! Do you thank her for it? Do you respect her for it?Your home is your wife's World. She desires nothing more than to make it a haven for you and your heirs. Do you ever see what she does? Do you ever thank her for the meals she cooks for you? For the patience with which she plans and executes thankless jobs every day? For the fact that she daily cleans your filth off the bathroom porcelain? or do you only see when she fails to live up to perfection?You complain about Feminism, and Feminism IS the oldest and most deadly heresy---but it is a heresy which is made possible not by women but by MEN. Your failure to honor her womanly accomplishments, your habit of taking her for granted---these are the things which have driven her out of her home, out of her realm and into situations which mock her and all women. She receives no appreciation from you, so she seeks appreciation in false venues. She feels like a thankless drudge at home, but she can be center stage as a eucharistic minister---and then, to make matters worse, you casually abdicate your responsibilities and allow her to take over because it's so much easier on you! Your sons see it, and it's fine with them for their sisters to take over their responsibilities on the altar.Shame on you! You have forgotten how to be men. You have forgotten to thank God constantly for this wonderful gift of a loving wife! You have failed to cherish her. Ah, but you can still find time to write critical tracts about her behavior! Step away from the computer and go love your wife! No, you won't receive adulation from all the other sour-faced fellows who browbeat their wives with your accusations, but you may just become the man you should be, and that will pave the way for your wife and children to be as they should be, too. Your place is at the head of your family, not in the bully pulpit. Get back to your place, and st[...]

His Holy Father or My Highness?

Sat, 29 Sep 2007 22:17:28 -0500

  Well, here’s a comforting piece of news from John Hooper in Rome, correspondent to The Observer (UK).  Don't the bungled words so often coming from the mouth of our president make you pine for Archie Bunker?  Meanwhile, the news from Rome just keeps getting better and better, right through to the last paragraph. -Not! ~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~What the President Said to “His Holy Father” John Hooper in RomeSunday June 10, 2007The Observer (UK) He really is priceless. Other world leaders see the Pope with their advisers and the Vatican's peerlessly punctilious protocol experts, making sure they do not commit the slightest gaffe. But George W. Bush can outwit them all. On the plane to Rome, he was already struggling. The Pope is addressed as 'Your Holiness'. Roman Catholics refer to him as 'The Holy Father'. But somewhere in the tumble dryer that is the part of the US President's brain set aside for words, the two concepts got tangled and he told Associated Press: 'I think His Holy Father will be pleased to know that much of our foreign policy is based on the admonition to whom much is given, much is required.' No doubt Pope Benedict, whom Bush later described as 'very smart', was able to deconstruct the rest of the sentence. But before he got down to cases with Bush, the Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles and Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church had the unusual experience of being called 'sir'. 'It's good to be with you, sir,' said Bush as he sat down. But it was just one of those days for George W. Even the car broke down.  His visit to Rome had been preceded by the biggest security operation this bodyguard's nightmare of a city had ever seen. The Tiber was dragged. The sewers were searched. Squares were cleared and roofs occupied. Yesterday the presidential cavalcade hurtled along its route preceded by a swarm of more than a dozen motorcycles, scooters and even motorised three-wheelers carrying tough-looking armed police riding pillion.But when it got to Largo Poli, near the Trevi fountain, Bush's car ground to a halt. It remained perilously immobile for a minute and half. The President and Laura Bush were hustled into another car. That was denied by a White House official, who said the reasons for the breakdown were 'unclear'. Just as unclear was how the wide presidential limo could get through the gates of the US embassy. It couldn't. The presidential couple had to walk in.   'But this is how we do things in Italy,' cried a delighted onlooker. At least Bush could take heart from the G8 summit in what, in talking to the German-born Pope, he termed 'your old country'. He described it as 'successful ... good'.   Not everyone saw it that way. Some felt Bush had been spectacularly wrong-footed. Russia's President, Vladimir Putin, suggested that, if America's anti-missile shield was really to protect Europe from Iran and not Russia, the US could use Russian-controlled radar. [Emphasis KIC's]  The Pope mischievously asked Bush if his talks with Putin had also been good. Glancing at the reporters who were about to be ushered from the room, the President replied: 'Ummm ... I'll tell you in a minute.' Source:,,2099509,00.html[...]