The Brilliant Knight of the Soul

Cardinal Raymond Burke

Cardinal Raymond Burke

Many have wondered what is going on with Cardinal Raymond Burke. Pope Francis has moved him from his duties as prefect of the supreme tribunal of the apostolic signatura, a prestigious and important post in the Vatican to take over duties as the Cardinal Patron of the Knights of Malta. Since Cardinal Patron of this order has largely been a symbolic post, it is being construed as a demotion by almost all observers – and some as a clearing out of those who were moved into power by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

I have no special insight into this, except to say the old order in the world has already almost entirely passed away. We are in the early stages of a great Storm, a period of terrible trial and upheaval that will usher in a new age of peace and brotherhood. What was important in the old order still holds some residual prestige, but much of what was important in the old order will seem trivial and contrived as it passes completely from the scene. Many things that seemed unimportant are going to rise to new heights and be very important, indeed.

The most important thing during the Storm is for the faithful to “Go forth,” to live their faith actively in daily life rather than just talk about or contemplate it. If Pope Francis is stuck in the old order then this surely is a demotion for Cardinal Burke. If, however, Francis is the Pope of the Storm as I firmly believe – the captain sent by heaven to steer the Barque of Peter safely through an unprecedented world crisis – then already he is not thinking of things in terms of what is useful in the old order, but manning critical positions for the battle and to lead us safely into the era of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart. Like I say, I do not have any special insight into this, but if the Pope is looking ahead, what looks like a demotion for Cardinal Burke may turn out to be a critical promotion – from a desk job to an active station in preparation for the battle ahead of us.

There are many things that are going to be turned on their heads in this Storm. It will burn away the dross that most of the world – and each of us – count as meaningful. Elizabeth Scalia has an intriguing alternate view of what it all means at her Anchoress column today.

I don’t know what it all means, but I do know that it is not just the world that is going to be completely renewed: our very ways of assessing the import of actions is going to be completely renewed as well. This could be a demotion – or it could be something else entirely.

About charliej373

Charlie Johnston is a former newspaper editor, radio talk show host and political consultant. From Feb. 11, 2011 to Aug. 21, 2012, he walked 3,200 miles across the country, sleeping in the woods, meeting people and praying as he went. He has received prophetic visitation all his life, which he has vetted through a trio of priests over the last 20 years, and now speaks publicly about on this site. Yet he emphasizes that we find God most surely through the ordinary, doing the little things we should with faith and fidelity. Hence the name, The Next Right Step. The visitations inform his work, but are not the focus of it. He lives in the Archdiocese of Denver in the United States.
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68 Responses to The Brilliant Knight of the Soul

  1. Rosemary says:

    Thanks, Charlie. It certainly seemed very sad until you pointed out that we don’t always get to look under the veil at this time, and that our Lord is in charge. Cardinal Burke has held a very special place in so many hearts, and as time advances, and changes become almost obvious in the dividing of many hearts, people need to be open and trusting to our Lord’s divine will. Your friend in Christ, Rosemary

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    • charliej373 says:

      I pray for all the Bishops of the world each day – but pray for about 15 by name who I have had some experience or interaction with. Cardinal Burke has been one of those I pray by name for for about 15 years now. I, too, would hate to see his talents wasted. Perhaps it is wishful thinking – but I am thinking that seats for action are going to be far more important the next three and a half years than seats of contemplation. And the Knights of Malta are in a position to play a major role in the action ahead, if this Storm is what I say it is.

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  2. Cecilia says:

    Thank you for this, Charlie. How desperately I need to see the other side of things, at least other possibilities. My mind is so narrowed sometimes and I was crushed when I read the news about the change of position for Cardinal Burke. I kept saying to myself, “the Lord sees all and knows all, and He has his reasons. My ways are not His ways. Let His will be done.” But at least now I see other possibilities, even so, let His will be done. Again, thank you for broadening my narrow mind.

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  3. donna269 says:

    Interesting to read your perspective here, Charlie. I honestly have never heard of him prior to yesterday but many faith filled people seem to be baffled by his new assignment/demotion. Clearly the Lord’s ways are not our ways and I think you might be on to something. Perhaps he is being situated in the exact spot he will be so desperately needed for the Church. We shall see. I am, however, growing exceedingly tired of the throngs of people on the Pope Francis, False Pope train…Cardinal Burke’s new assignment has awakened the many who love to malign our Pope and his decisions. It’s gotten so that I don’t want to plug into my usual respites from the ongoing Storm because even there….the talk is on! But I suppose, this is a microcosm of the ongoing storm. It is here and NOW. It’s not coming, it is most certainly here. Sometimes it is difficult for me to discern what is the Spirit moving me, and what is the work of the evil one. Wouldn’t the evil one want to separate me from the very people who help me to see things as they transpire?

    So confusing, but your blog is helping me to stay center, focused and following God….for that I am most grateful Charlie. This blog is a gem.

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    • charliej373 says:

      Yeah, Donna, it has depressed me to see so many on the “False Pope” bandwagon. As I have written before, now that the Storm is arrived, the devil uses the power to mimic what is objectively good, what is orthodox, to confuse people and draw them away from the only ship that is made for their safety. I have just been surprised to see it rise in such waves. Alas, I am told it will get much worse.

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  4. Kati says:

    Personally, I believe that this will end up being one of the great surprises of the Holy Spirit. Fr. John Zuhlsdorf looks at this from a number of angles too. One of those is that such a change would allow Cardinal Burke to write, something he does very well. 😉 http://wdtprs.com/blog/2014/09/the-possible-demotion-of-card-burke-wherein-fr-z-rants Cardinal Burke will need our prayers for that which is to come…as do all of our good Cardinals.

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  5. Charlene says:

    Charlie.. Thank you for bringing up the subject of Cardinal Burke. He is on of my hero’s
    I was beside myself when the news broke, yet now that it is sinking in Yes I am confused but remember Our God is in charge, not me Theses times feel like a roller coaster ride..and all we can do is hang on and trust in Our God.

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  6. kathy kalina says:

    I’m surprised, also. I never dreamed there would be faithful Catholics who would find a way around the solid truth that Peter is the rock by claiming he wasn’t Peter at all.

    It kind of reminds me of the 3 standard defense tactics used by that sly and very successful attorney, Racehorse Haynes:
    1. My dog doesn’t bite.
    2. My dog was chained up at the time.
    3. I don’t have a dog.

    It seems some of our brothers and sisters are going with number 3. (I’ll stick with number 1!)

    I’m convinced that we need to pray for humility and the mind of Christ to survive what’s coming. When Jesus said, “You must eat my body and drink my blood,” those who left him were leaning on their own understanding. I’m sure every person who has ever walked away from the Church was positive they were doing the right thing. The pride of those who believe they are more Catholic than the Pope will take them down the same path, I’m afraid. No matter how confusing things get, we must follow Peter, even if our battle cry is as weak as, “To whom shall we go?” The Church, and Peter, will always have the words of eternal life, and the gates of hell will not prevail.

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    • charliej373 says:

      I am afraid, Kathy, that we have several generations of people who have been seduced into believing that good is evil and evil good. They must repent or perish – and fortunately the times are showing many of them the fruit of that attitude. Then there are those who have adopted terror as their preferred method of evangelism. They are being exposed for what they are also. Tragically, now comes the deception of imitation of orthodoxy – the more subtle claims of people demanding a righteousness of their own in contradiction to the Church. They, too, believe they are sufficient to themselves. I fear they eventually will set up a false church. Perhaps there will be more than one – with both those who think the Vatican is too harsh and those who think the Vatican is not harsh enough setting up their own varieties. They will find themselves at sea in a vessel that cannot withstand the violence of the Storm. Oh, that we could make our disagreements constructive and productive rather than divisive and barren. But God has determined that we are not fit for rescue until all vestiges of self-sufficiency are expunged.

      The men who hold office in the Church will sometimes err (though not on matters of defined doctrine when they speak as one). This is a temptation satan is allowed for a time. Do not be taken in by it and allow yourself to abandon the Barque of Peter because of it.

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  7. Fran says:

    If there is anything we can expect from the Lord, it is the UNEXPECTED! When Pope Benedict stepped down, everyone couldn’t believe it, it was so “unexpected”. But now that I look at it in terms of the storm coming, I see Pope Emeritus silently praying, making sacrifices, and offering it all for the Church and the world, and giving advice to Pope Francis who is at the helm of the ship now. We now have TWO popes for this time. Who would have guessed? It was a great act of humility for Pope Benedict to do what he did also, and in this “demotion” of Cardinal Burke, I also see a great act of humility, which seems to me to have “God’s plan” written all over it.

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  8. Gary says:

    Demoting Cardinal Burke is a sure sign that this Pope is not in line with Pope Benedict. The coming synod on remarriage and Communion and what the Pope does will be a sign of whether this Pope will adhere to the Magesterium or attempt to further muddy the water. This also is not the first time this Pope has removed authentic Catholic bishops in favor of liberals. I am willing to bet that the next Cardinal of the Archdiocese of Chicago will be liberal and antagonistic to the Tridentine Latin Rite.
    I have lived in this storm for a long time like a slow moving train wreck, and I will not be surprised if we will see an anti-Pope in the Vatican, but that will not shake my faith because I will know that his reign will be short and the Lady will crush his head.

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    • donna269 says:

      Gary, in your human mind it is a demotion….in the mind of God, it may be preparation for the battle….more will be revealed.

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    • charliej373 says:

      And I fear, Gary, that those who set the Pope and Bishop’s judgment aside on matters of faith and morals for their own will find themselves outside the Braque of Peter. One need not agree with a decision to abide by it, trusting Christ to set it right if it is, indeed, wrong. But to use a cultural metaphor, in the old movie, “The Godfather,” a differentiation was made between peace-time and war-time consiglieres. If all was completely right, the Pope would be moving people around in startling and unexpected ways to get the team to a war-time footing. If Cardinal Burke’s move is a demotion, I am disappointed, but I stand with the Church, for that is what Christ invested with Apostolic Authority.

      Sadly, I am coming to believe there will be an anti-pope, but it is not Francis. It will be the leader of the traditionalists who, in one of satan’s most devilishly clever deceptions, uses people’s very piety to pull them away from the Church in the vain belief that they are sufficient to themselves and they will only submit to the Apostolic Authority Christ set over them if they find it congenial. Satan has already seduced the weak lovers of pleasure and the vengeful malicious – but he has saved his best work for his final act…to use people’s certainty of their own piety to separate them from the Church.

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      • Nancy says:

        “Certainty of their own piety” sounds like pride. I reminds me of a writing of Mark Mallett:

        Do you know how to defeat Satan in this battle? If you think you can outwit him, you have already lost. If you think you can outsmart him, then you are already deceived. If you think you can outpower him with your will, then you have already been crushed. The only way you can defeat him is to draw upon a weapon he does not have: humility. When you sin, you must lay flat upon the ground before God and expose your heart to Jesus saying, “See Lord, I am a sinner. See, once again I have fallen greatly. I truly am weakness incarnate. I am the smallest in your kingdom.” from http://www.markmallett.com/blog/the-desert-of-temptation/

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      • Gary says:

        Charlie, it is patently absurd to think a traditionalist would ever be elected Pope. They have the standing to get someone elected. Nor the guile that liberals use to push the Church into an invention of their own image.
        It was the Church of Nice that pushed out the so called traditionalists: from the dioceses and archdiocese the are all owned by liberal mentality.
        And furthermore the traditionalist are the last people that would talk out of both sided of their mouths making comment like, ” who am I to judge?”.

        Make no mistake about it this is a demotion. This is not a pope who is holding back his best hitter to hit a home run until the last inning of the last game of the World Series.

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        • charliej373 says:

          I should note that Gary is a friend of mine and a very good man. I have known him for several decades and we have worked joyfully together on several important projects.

          But Gary, I am disturbed that you use political labels in the context of the faith. I do not use the terms liberal and conservative to describe faithful or leaders, as it reduces it to mere politics. I much prefer the term orthodox – which asks simply if one is true to the faith. I believe this Pope is entirely orthodox, as I believe Cardinal Burke is entirely orthodox – as were Benedict XVI and John Paul II. There is a difference in emphasis in each of them, but I see no departure from the deposit of the faith in any. I preferred some emphases to others, but until I see a genuine departure from the deposit of faith, I will not holler, “Devil!” Nor will I reduce it to the slimy level of an American political campaign.

          I am literally a St. John Paul II Catholic. I was received into the Church during his tenure and was progressively blown away by the scope, depth and breadth of his teaching. The theology of his encyclicals and writings is breathtaking – and I think he will be recognized as the greatest Doctor of the Church shortly after the Storm ends. I love the meticulous, gentle, but rigorous scholarship of Pope Emeritus Benedict. He refined the broad work St. Pope John Paul laid in preparing the Church for the Storm. But I deeply love Pope Francis – specifically because he is shaking up the complacency of all. Some in the establishment media have already shown hints of disturbance that, despite their best hopes, Francis continues to maintain the fundamentals of the faith. Most of all, I have long thought the traditionalists, who complacently deceive themselves that it is they who hold the keys to the kingdom, have long needed a good strong shaking – not out of anger, but out of charity for their souls. For if they continue down the path they have chosen without repenting, the Lord will say to them, “I never knew you.”

          I have had the good fortune to inspire many who had lost hope to find renewed hope in God. Nothing moves me more than to see the light of hope dawn fresh in someone’s eyes and to find I had something to do with it. But I only know of one success I ever had in convincing a traditionalist he needed to get into proper communion with the Church. It is very difficult because of the complacent self-righteousness most are possessed of and the certainty that their stunning intellect has discerned the truth of the whole matter. And in fact, while their conception of God is a launching point for their meanderings, God has little or nothing to do with it. Show me a confirmed traditionalist and I will show you a man who would have denounced both Jesus and St. Paul as liberal weenies had they been around to confront them – and would have done it with great erudition and smug satisfaction at their superior knowledge over these upstarts.

          So with respect for the wonderful times we have spent together, Gary, I must tell you that I will follow the Gospel according to Pope Francis and the Magisterium of the Church rather than the Gospel according to the super-apostles in the traditionalist movement.

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          • vicardwm says:

            There are a lot of good traditionalists. I hope I am one of them. However, I am charismatic as well, so that may disqualify me from being a “true” traditionalist in the eyes of some. I think Pope Francis putting the focus on evangelization is great, although most of the flock has to be woken up and catechized first. This Pope Francis “false Pope” thing is getting tiresome. Most of the questionable things he has said have been instances of the media twisting his words.

            I am disappointed that Cardinal Burke appears to be getting “demoted” but it will all work for good in God’s plan, whether that is what is really happening or not. The only thing that really disappoints me is if Pope Francis does not realize what a powerful force for good Cardinal Burke can be. It would be like putting Peyton Manning on the bench.

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          • charliej373 says:

            Yes vicar, I should clarify firmly that when I speak of traditionalists I do not speak of people who are merely very orthodox or cherish the rich heritage of the Church. I speak of the faction that stems from the Lefebvrists and their spiritual heirs who are ever seeking to leave the Church or condemn the sitting Pope as an antichrist. (Pope Francis is not the first to be charged with that from this crowd – the charges have rung out on every single Pope since St. John XXIII). This group has several times tried to recruit me to its ranks. I presume that has not been the case for most readers here, for I think you are getting a much different sense of traditionalist from what I mean. I am certainly an obedient traditionalist in the sense that I think most of you mean it. But I have little truck with those who are forever threatening to break from the Church if it proclaims authoritatively something they don’t like – and that actually includes those who treat certain apparitions as more authoritative than the Church, as well. Too many people want to be their own Pope. I don’t.

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      • I am a trad/conservative. I don’t see it that way. There is nothing new under the sun”. I know this phrase gets used a lot…..but it is true. All of a sudden ….it seems that many of the hierarchy in the church…feel like there is something new going on and there needs to be a new approach to how they view marriage, divorce,…etc so a synod is called. This synod is headed by a man who speaks unlike any church father, saint or Pope we have had. He thinks that there needs to be a different approach ….and that each person or persons evolved need to be weighed separatly on issues of marriage and divorce. Now as I see it….that’s basically saying that the church has missed something for 2000 yrs. and that the church fathers missed something. Marriage is the oldest institution in the world…..how has anything changed. There were problems like this from day 1 in church history and the teaching was clear. Traditionals are ….not the problem….or the anti- pope to come. We have been told in scripture and by Popes, Saints and Church Fathers to defend and adhere to tradition…..and this is something that has been repeated for 2000 yrs. Scripture tells us to adhere to tradition and what we have been taught. These things that are being proposed in this synod is not what we have been taught. These ideas are new and not part of any teaching that a Pope, saint or Church Father has taught. It says in the last days that men would depart with itching ears and new ideas. The world seduces and preys on the minds of those who need to be accepted under what they feel and not what God desires. This is not denying ourself and following Christ….but denying church teaching in such a way where everyone walks away a happy camper. Yes there are self righteous Catholics in every camp….not just trads. When you read all the church fathers and saints and you see how they wrote about things ….you can’t help but notice that these things are not so visible anymore. It has slowly disappeared after VII. Modernism is a killer. It’s like a slow moving fungus that eventually overtakes and destroys. Satans plan is to destroy the church from the outside and the inside. The danger that is now present is our hierarchy resting on what’s best for man and not what’s best for God. I was reading Saint Augustines teaching on Pastors last night. I saw Cardinal Burke in every turn. He is a defender and a Saint in my book and I am so saddened by the news. When he was sent to Rome from the US , I felt a bad feeling in my tummy. Now I have a stomach ache. He is not the only very conservative Cardinal to be shuffled off. There is a pattern emerging and it becoming a bit obvious to many just not in the traditional camp. What I have learned by all this is to just pray pray pray. Not to loose my peace but to WATCH and pray. God is my rock and my focus do I get uneasy at times ….yes….but I know the end…..the church will prevail. Until then ….I will not shy away from saying I am a Traditional Catholic. I …..like the Saints of old…stand on the rich magestic history that oozed truth that was clear and not clouded over. I hope I dont cause this reply to offend you Charlie…or anyone else. I feel that many times, traditional Catholics get a bad rap. I don’t think we should be called Traditional either. We are what the church has always been. God bless you Charlie. Thank you for showing us the good side of this. I hope Cardinal Burke will be happy. Malta is a wonderful place….so I am told.

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        • charliej373 says:

          No, you don’t offend me Charlanne, and I have not detected the self-righteous certainty in you that is the hallmark of so many who call themselves traditionalists. Ever since I was received into the Church, I have encountered traditionalists who, thinking because I am very politically conservative, that I was a natural for their movement. A couple of things to note here…

          In Scripture, tradition is not used in quite the sense that modern English speakers hear it. It literally refers to the deposit of faith, the accumulated teachings of the apostles. There is an overlap of the Scriptural meaning with the modern sense, but not quite the same tenor.

          I wrote a post on the subject of re-marriage in early June, but that was before this website went viral, so I am going to re-post it as soon as I finish this comment.

          I value tradition in the modern English sense as well as the Scriptural sense. I loathe going into one of those “modern” Catholic Churches that look as bare as the Protestant Churches I left. If I wanted to remain a Protestant, I would have. If some Catholics want to become Protestants – hey there are plenty of lovely denominations that would be glad to have you. But don’t strip the Church I came to of its unique Catholic heritage. I want the candles, icons, beautiful art and glorious liturgy.

          My problem with the aggressive traditionalists I have encountered over the years is how very eager they are to enter into rebellion. Many are on a hair trigger to set the Church straight on what it is or is not doing to meet their expectations. In the end, that is the sum of it – their expectations that are not being met, not God’s call or command. It is a vanity that will torpedo them.

          I regard St. Augustine as the patron of my conversion. It was reading his “Confessions” that led me to seriously inquire into the faith. (Ironic that Martin Luther should also blame Augustine for leading him out of the Church). The doctors of the Church…the deposit of the faith…these are the traditions that I hold on to. But we have to remember that these traditions were not formed in a vacuum. They were once the subject of intense controversy and dispute. As the same St. Augustine said when the Pope decided on a controversial heresy, “Rome has spoken, the matter is settled.” St. Paul, who fraternally corrected St. Peter vigorously, also accepted Peter’s final authority speaking from the Council – even seeking guidance on how to preach the faith accurately. I pray for the souls of those who set themselves above St. Augustine and St. Paul, thinking they need not submit to the lawful authority of the Church if they don’t like it. They have no idea how they imperil themselves.

          Now we have new controversies that roll and boil. The Pope, as so many Popes before him have, undertake to seriously consider the matters. The traditionalists I speak of do not merely state a position on these matters, but threaten obliquely and sometimes overtly to leave the Church and form a “true church” if the matters are not settled to their liking. This is not in the great Catholic tradition of dissent and intellectual rigor – it is to shut down discussion on such matters. In the first month and a half after I seriously contemplated entering the Church, I read about 30 dense books from Church fathers, Church documents, Church history…and the thing that astounded me was that, over 2000 years, the Church had plenty of Popes who were not worthy of the claim – and even more Bishops…and yet had never contradicted itself on a matter of defined doctrine. That stunned me. Coming from the secular world I could think of few organizations, even with the best of leadership, that had gone even 10 years without fundamental alterations. I simply consider it one of the great unheralded miracles sitting in plain site – and it can only be because Christ, the Lord of all, spoke truly when he said that though the gates of hell will pound it, they shall never prevail against His Church. Now I have to wonder if the Traditionalists I speak of believe or trust Christ at all – for it seems they are convinced that the Church will be prevailed upon by the gates of hell if they don’t get their way. Whether or not I like whatever the Church proclaims in its Magisterial teachings, I will obey and be glad of it. And if it needs to be corrected, I trust the living Christ to attend to the matter. When He does, I want Him to find me attending to the little work He has appointed to me.

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          • I will ask the question then ….because I have never asked before but it’s always on my mind. What do we do then ….and I dread the thought…..if we should have a pope that changes things that we know in our heart is wrong ….wether he does it ex cathedral or not? For me….I stay put. But what if it’s ex cathedra? Does the true church go underground or do you stand and continue to say the Creed …..ONE HOLY CATHOLIC AND APOSTALIC CHURCH and in your heart and soul …..you don’t feel it true. Do you continue to go to Mass in a church that is no longer adhering to truth? I know people say that this cannot happen because then the gates of hell would prevail……but I have read in the saints and prophecies of saints that even if only 1 true Catholic Christian is left….then that is the church. I hate asking that…..but we have to prepare for the worst and pray for the best. I know God has protected the church through terrible times and under bad popes…..but when the church has entered a time when there is so much heresy and lies being told or the truth is being glazed over for the sake of not offending…..then is this question not feasible? I hope it’s not. But many writings of Popes and Saints say that it could happen. I hate asking this. I trust God with all my heart but this scenario has been given by Popes and Saints and Church Fathers….but I can’t find out what the answer is for us to do if it should happen. I see writings of the church going underground. But this would be leaving the ship so to speak and I see that people say that’s bad. But no one says what to do then if we have a anti pope who changes things ex cathedra. I hope you can answer this. I know you will have a good answer. I am sorry for this question. It’s a big elephant.

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          • charliej373 says:

            Charlanne, if a Pope were to be able to change defined doctrine ex cathedra then you would know our faith has been in vain from the start. It has not happened in 2000 years. Your question is not really a lack of faith in men, but a lack of faith in Christ’s promise. But it also arises from some bad catechesis, as well, for people just don’t seem to have a good grasp on what infallibility is. Let me give you an example I used to use when I was teaching RCIA.

            I told people to pretend for a moment that the Pope was infallible in matters of mathematics. If, then, he was given a mathematics test of 100 questions, how many would he be guaranteed to get right? I don’t think anyone ever gave me the correct answer – though they all gave me the same answer. They would say 100. But the actual answer is zero. The Pope is not guaranteed to get anything right – only not to get anything he speaks infallibly (or ex cathedra) on wrong. So he may well not be able to answer any of the questions.

            Moving on, I explained that to carry our example further we need to pretend that we are very primitive on mathematics. For centuries, let us say that Catholics always though 2 + 2 = 4. The Church was serene and untroubled over it. But then a new sect rose that taught that 2 + 2 is actually 22. Debate and controversy over it so engulfed the Church that finally the Pope was called on to consider the matter and give a decision. In order to restore peace to the Church, he does, and after due consideration announces infallibly that 2 + 2 = 4 – and that any other answer is error and heresy. It did not become the right answer because the Pope said so: rather God allowed the Pope to say so because it was the right answer.

            I said Catholics themselves frequently misunderstand this when they say we are “obliged” to believe defined doctrine. Incorrect…we are “privileged” to know with certainty that defined doctrine is correct.

            But Popes seldom weigh in on such matters unless the issue has already created controversy and division in the Church. They are reticent to speak infallibly unless it is necessary for the good of the whole Church. A Pope is perfectly free to write bad theology (and many have), sin terribly, or be completely unworthy. But when he takes the fearsome step of making an infallible decision, he would drop dead before he would be allowed to teach error. So infallibility is a great gift to the faithful, but a terrible burden for a Pope. Happy the Pope who does not have to make any infallible pronouncements.

            At the heart of the question, though, is not a lack of confidence in men, but a lack of confidence in Christ’s promise. Trust Christ, obey His Church on all things lawful, and all will be well. I am not surprised at the question, though Charlanne, for I have rarely found a cradle Catholic who understands the concept of infallibility – and have had to quietly correct more priests than I would like on the matter. I have complained to my priests frequently that the Catholic Church has the best infrastructure for catechesis of any church I have seen – and yet its members are among the most poorly catechized I have encountered.

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          • Joj says:

            It is a tragedy how few Catholics understand Papal infallibility. I like how you explain that, Mr. Charlie.

            Please let’s define our terms here. You’re talking about ‘Sede Vacantists’ literally the Seat is vacant, when you refer to them as Protestants. Traditionalists, on the other hand, cling to Tradition, which would include teachings on Papal infallibility. All Catholics should be Traditionalists. Church Tradition is a key to our Catholic Faith. A true Traditionalist just wants things to develop organically rather than change suddenly without reference to what has always been held. Traditionalists also favor the Extraordinary form of the Mass, because it is, well, Traditional. And thus the Mass of the Saints, among other reasons. Please don’t lump faithful Traditionalists with Sede Vacantists well deserving of rebuke.

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      • MM Bev says:

        I believe that you are quite right in your assessment. Now if one throws in what one can see coming, it’s going to be fairly mind blowing. Hummmm. ISIS (Please do not follow Obama’s lead (even to the spelling it out to the press) and many statesmen jumping on the bandwagon. The “L” stands for the Levant. The Levant is a crescent curve that runs from about the edge of the Suez Canal, through the Sinai Desert, around in a curve and up to Turkey. It encompasses Israel, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria and elements them as countries. When you use the “L”, you are falling into their trap of saying all those countries are part of the Caliphate, and you wipe Israel right off the map, just as they intend.

        I think we are going to be busy with ISIS, as there are quite a few members already in the US. And I finally think I understand why the Blessed Virgin’s statues have been bleeding blood from her eyes….Ebola anyone?

        A lot of what we think are priorities will swiftly change and disappear as more pressing things take their place. Focus on Jesus and trusting Him, go to Mass as long as one is available where you are, witness you Joy and Hope in the area you live in, and PRAY (more>)

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      • Observer says:

        My own thoughts from weighing so many contributions of good people over the years and just looking at stable prophecies, scripture, and early Church Fathers (which of course can be further enlightened by more “surprises”) lead me to think that, yes, there could be that overt apostasy rather than hidden now for so many decades and that it could stem from the fixed positions of the traditionalists. And during the times of greater tribulation in the world, this will even more greatly weaken the Church’s influence….a Church that may even be underground….at a time when that personage of an actual NWO Anti-Christ is accepted by the world due to its desperate need for order and basic survival needs. Such a person, described to be considered and accepted as a great humanitarian, environmentalist, “ecumenical” religious “uniter” that will justify his demands upon the populations, can then take advantage of this weakened and divided Church and use an apostate “Pope” from this apostatized side of the divided Church as a useful puppet and as the prophesied Anti-Christ’s “false prophet”. This to me is the sense of any “anti-Pope”. If the true Church attempts to revive its preaching and conversions this person can simply argue, on behalf of this NWO religion, that he had been a part of this “falsehood” and found it to be “from the evil one….the great harlot, et al”. Both the anti-Christ and this false prophet will of course desire control, financial ease, and positions of recognition by the world. So today we have to be very wary of desiring as favorites those who may be somewhat “addicted” to positions and power and influence over what the Spirit may be attempting to revise.

        A scenario with somewhat the same approach is the book, “Lord of the World” by Robert Hugh Benson, which Pope Francis has mentioned several times.

        Like

        • Gary says:

          There is no moral equivalency between those Traditionalists who wish to hold on to the Church’s
          traditions and rituals to those heterodox and heretical left wing unauthentic Catholics who wish to “modernize” the Church in their own image.

          Like

  9. Becky-TN says:

    Charlie,

    I’ve been reading your posts, Mark Mallett’s writings and Peli’s messages and have been pondering them in my heart. Usually, I am quick to respond, but find myself these days waiting and pondering even more. Your post “Fractured Expectations” keeps resonating in my heart over and over. And I’d have to agree with your response to Gary. I think more and more “confrontations” are going to arise like the ones dealing with Cardinal Dolan, Cardinal Burke, Pope Francis and others that, without patience, love, and constructive dialogue are going to end up exactly the way you posted above to Gary.

    I remember when Saint JPII died. I remember sobbing, and I remember how fearful many of us were about what would happen to the Church. What would happen if a “liberal” pope was elected, etc…. That was the problem, fear. Fear of someone not “pious”, holy, conservative enough being elected. Gary, I understand your concerns. But I’m finding these days that much of what is in “the news” may not be as it really is. We can only go on what we are told in the news. And quite frankly, I don’t trust most of it.

    I know many “traditionalists” are very uncomfortable about Pope Francis and the choices he’s made/are making. And while, at first, I too was concerned, there is something that is starting to come through that I’m realizing “spiritually” has helped me to trust God’s plan and Pope Francis. You see, I was once one of those CINO Catholics. Attending Mass on Sunday (out of fear of Hell), going to Confession once in a blue moon (out of fear), what do you mean sex out of wedlock is wrong??? As long as you love them it’s ok, kind of Catholic. I could go on…. By the grace of God and a HUGE conversion experience, I am back on the right path. BUT, there was and is A LOT of brokenness that God is now/has been healing over the last 14 years. Thing is, one has to accept His healing in the way He wants to heal. And that takes time. And usually, you have to face some pretty scary truth about yourself to do that and become pretty vulnerable to finally accept the truth of yourself and most importantly about the truths of Him and His Church. He had the break through the ugly hardness of my heart and lay the foundation in order for me to even be ready to hear, read and accept the truths and teachings of His church and He was only able to do that with love and mercy. And I think that’s exactly what Pope Francis is trying to do. It is when we are most vulnerable that I think God can get through to us and hopefully heal and change our hearts. Only then are we able to possibly be ready to accept the truths of the Faith especially if we were vehemently against them originally. I can tell you that, for me, what I have come to believe within the faith would never have been accepted any other way. He had to prepare my heart to understand and in His time and in His way. A way that may look, well, liberal.

    I don’t know what the Pope is doing half the time cause I’m not the Pope. But I think someone on Peli’s blog mentioned something this week that I really think we ALL HAVE TO REMEMBER, our God is HUGE!!! Isn’t He Charlie?? And that is something we really, really need to remember. When stuff happens in the world whether at the Vatican or other religious issues arise that I don’t get and makes me doubt the decisions of our sheperds, I have to remember that it’s the Holy Spirit that guides our Church! Our shepards need our support and prayers. I always laugh at people who think that priests don’t need our prayers cause they some how have a “special direct line to God”. Say what???? Who do we think Satan is going to put at the top of His list to destroy?? Priests, bishops, cardinals, the Pope. And Satan would love us to do the work for him. We have to stick together everyone. We are all sinners, we all love our faith, but we were not all believers at certain times in our loves, we were not always Catholics, we were not always on the same page in regard to teachings of the faith, but we now can’t turn away from each other. If we are going to be in Our Lady’s army, we MUST do as Charlie is teaching us to do: acknowledge God, take the right next step and be a sign of hope to those around us. God put us on the earth at this time because we have a job to do. We are children of the Creator of the World – we need to act like it. And we will be held accountable if we don’t. Sure, we’ll dissagree, but we are family. Who doesn’t occassionally disagree with family??.. Gary, I understand your concerns, I really do. But we have to trust when the Lord said that the gates of Hell would NOT prevail against His church.

    While Cardinal Burke may have a new title, it’s just a title. He is still and will always be something more important, a priest of the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church.

    God Bless and prayers to all of you,

    Becky-TN

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      It was almost 20 years ago that I emphasized to my priests that, if ever the time came where they must choose to defend me at the risk of obedience to their superiors, they must be both faithful to the truth but MUST obey their superiors – even if their superiors were demonstrably wrong – and trust God to set things right. I have seen clearly that the virtue God most treasures in His servants is that of obedience – for in the end it is the virtue of trust in Him. Far too many think that the Church is dependent on their efforts. But it does not. God promised to keep the Church holy for Himself – and what He calls each of us to do is simply our homely duty. I knew that this was vital for these times…every man MUST man his station, not someone else’s or he is in danger of being lost.

      When Martin Luther nailed his 99 Theses to the wall, he was protesting many genuine abuses that had become common, both in the hierarchy and in the practice of the faith. His fundamental error was not protesting genuine abuses, but in setting up shop for himself afterwards and introducing the divisions that have riven Christianity ever since. He set up shop based on what he considered a greater piety and a better judgment of what was and was not right than the authorities set over him. Many who call themselves Catholic are preparing to do the same thing. But unlike today’s Protestants, who bear no responsibility for the longstanding divisions as they are only living what has been the faith of their fathers for nearly five centuries, the new protesters will bear responsibility – for they are among the ones who constantly chide historic Protestants over the Scriptures defining Peter’s primacy and Apostolic Authority. They cannot pretend it is not part of their faith heritage. Terrible is the condemnation they will bring upon themselves if they follow such new divisions!

      I knew this time would come. I am surprised to feel it come so powerfully and forcefully – and so engulf so many who I love and admire. For the past few months I have almost felt as if satan is personally taking pleasure in mocking me and showing me that he can and will sow divisions that I am utterly powerless to stop. I feel like Chief Brody in that iconic scene in “Jaws” when he first sees the shark – and says, “We’re going to need a bigger boat.” I struggle against a certain panic at good people being filled with angry malice…and then remember that God has just the size of boat we need. And I, too, must do the little things I can to light a candle against the darkness that grows, with the certain knowledge that God will strip every single one of us of all our vanities – including those we hide from ourselves – and then will set things right.

      Like

      • June1 says:

        Charlie, a question popped into my head yesterday and I’m going to go ahead and ask it. Does Gabriel still talk to you of these current events? If so, what kind of things does he say (if you are permitted to tell us)?

        And also… does he ever mention this online group we have here? 😀 Hee hee. Hi, Gabriel! *wave frantically* Pray for us, pleeeease!

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Yes, he visits. He treats me like a friend. But most of what we discuss is to help me for what I am called to. An important point that has been pounded into me is that most of what we discuss is so I am informed and taught through them, but I am to take full responsibility for what I say. Rarely is there something that I am directed to share – and I am expected to exercise the discretion you would use with friends sharing confidences – mainly because I am to take responsibility for faithfully imparting their mind on it. So I only share a few direct things…I like to share an amusing anecdote from time to time, but I have never been rebuked for that. I know they like that I convey a little of their authentic nature. But I am not to blame what I convey on them, because sometimes I come up with something really chowder-headed. BUT…my friends are pleased with the little community that is growing here – and I will say hi next time we speak (though he already knows).

          Like

      • MM Bev says:

        I agree that he’s trying his “damnedest”, but we are NOT POWERLESS. Our Lady Mother has shown us that the chain she will use is the rosary. Not the beads themselves, but those that are said…and that includes the ones said wonderfully, meditated on properly right down to the kind I say, which I will not describe because they are pretty lousy. However, all of them count, as well as all the other prayers we give her to give to her Divine Son. That’s the only way satan will be defeated and it is up to each and every one of us, and it is part of “standing at our post”. It’s a wonderful privilege to be asked and allowed to participate in his defeat. And it will take all of us, and as many others as we can convince to use the same tactics. The leader of a war, the commander, always has to have a plan that can be executed by the soldiers on the ground. That’s why we have to stand our post, eyes fixed on our task….OUR TASK. I have this great tendency to almost be diverted by all the other stuff going on around me. I have the curiosity of a cat, and it doesn’t matter much if it’s diversion in the Church or the world. So every day, my brother told me to take the time first thing to hold fast, place myself in God’s presence, no, REALLY place myself in God’s presence. Then I am pretty much in either knees, and face on the ground or whole body, face on the ground. I need to focus on WHO HE IS, and who I am (right now I need type that can shrink down to be almost illegible). Next step, he said, is to ADORE HIM. FOR SOME TIME. Then I realize, close my curiosity off (knowing is ok, but shut of judgments that aren’t mine to make), stand in the place He’s put me, and pray. No one is going to get any hope or joy from me unless I do that. And I also realize that I’m not going to get anywhere either unless I start there. And, boy, this is hard to do. There isn’t one morning that I don’t have to look at the fridge at the sign to remind me.

        Like

    • MM Bev says:

      Becky, I don’t know about your “before”, but we all have “before’s” What I do know is that you are shinning with the most beautiful, silvery light for what you have already achieved with God’s grace and you will be spectacular when He’s done.

      Like

  10. Fran says:

    “Do not waste energy in conflict and disagreement, but rather use it to build and to love”
    Pope Francis Sept. 18, 2014

    Like

  11. the phoenix says:

    This is wonderful news for Cardinal Burke and the Church! The motto of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta is “”Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum” (Latin) “Defence of the faith and assistance to the poor.” The poor are close to the heart of Pope Francis, so for the Pope to entrust such a mission to Cardinal Burke seems to me to show a great deal of respect and trust.

    From Wikipedia (link below), a look back at the early history of the Order of Malta: Around 1048, the Caliph of Egypt gave the Order permission to build a church, convent, and hospital in Jerusalem. “The constitution of the Kingdom of Jerusalem regarding the crusades obliged the Order to take on the military defence of the sick, the pilgrims, and the territories that the crusaders had captured from the Muslims. The Order thus added the task of defending the faith to that of its hospitaller mission.” And the fleet of the Order helped out at the Battle of Lepanto, there defeating the Muslims in 1571.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereign_Military_Order_of_Malta

    Does this ring any bells? Today we have Islamic militants declaring a caliphate in the Middle East, killing Christians there, and turning them out of their homes. We have Pope Francis telling us we’re in World War III. We have modern day prophets talking about people feeling called to set up refuges for displaced people, and seeing the Church as a field hospital. We are reminded that the Muslims were defeated at the Battle of Lepanto because Pope Pius V had many people praying the Rosary.

    And more from Wikipedia from the same link on the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, on their role today, “Through its worldwide relief corps—Malteser International—the Order is also engaged to aid victims of natural disasters, epidemics and armed conflicts.” Natural disasters seem to be in the news and on people’s minds quite a bit, earthquakes, for example. Epidemics are also in the news bigtime with Ebola and Enterovirus D68. Armed conflicts are being discussed everywhere these days, and I haven’t even touched on Ukraine yet.

    So it seems to me like Pope Francis is moving Cardinal Burke from the musty old courtroom, where the Cardinal has in fact done a tremendous job, to where the action is, quite likely making him more relevant than ever. Let’s join the Pope and the Cardinal in the spiritual battle! We can fast and pray, offer up a Rosary of support for this change and those involved, trust in the ever-present guidance of the Holy Spirit to lead the Church.

    Like

    • Kati says:

      Hats off to the phoenix!!! This is another interpretation of what is taking place that I really like. Cardinal Burke is WELL prepared for such an important position. Thank you very much for bringing this to the forefront. We should be praying regularly for our priests…in all positions that they hold from the Vatican down to our own parish. Do we want a good priest in our parish? ASK! Even the Scriptures tell us that we have not because we ask not….which is why I love Matthew 7:7. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Yes, it may take a bit of time, but our Lord DOES answer that prayer. 🙂 Let us pray for Cardinal Burke, for His protection, that he firmly remain on the path to holiness, for his obedience, for courage and wisdom and that the power of God reside powerfully with him. And then let us watch what our God does with holy anticipation!

      Like

      • charliej373 says:

        Kati, I long ago got in the habit of giving thanks for answers to prayer immediately after I ask – and well before they are responded to. It helps to keep me in mind that once I turn it over to God, His will will be done regardless of whether it actually coincides with mine. And I can tell you that the heavenly host LOVES that sort of Holy confidence and trust.

        Like

  12. Steve says:

    Hello Charlie, I’ve enjoyed reading your blog ever since Mark Mallet introduced you in his blog a few months ago. I’m often reluctant to respond to your post but a couple of things came to mind after reading Gary’s comments. I continued reading while solidifying my comments. Well I guess I don’t need to comment after all because you said both things I was reluctant to say.You didn’t just touch on similar topics but said them almost as I planned only better. If conformation is accepted I can offer that and maybe a couple of add ons. Something most saints have in common is the great desire for obedience. Their death of self and acceptance of others decisions coupled with love is the fast track to sainthood. God will bless obedience to the Church and its magistrate even if the decision seems wrong. An act of obedience and humility such as Cardinal Burke has shown brings him closer to sainthood far more than any prestigious post.The true love and humility our Papa (pope) has demonstrated makes me believe he puts far more importance on a position which can lead to more important positions in eternity. That obedience and humility aslo applies to our protestant brothers and sisters. Those raised in protestant homes are not necessarily being disobedient, but those protestants who wear the mask of traditionalist in the Catholic church beware, it would be far better to obey the Church and be wrong (allow God to work it out) than to stand smugly pointing at every pope screaming heretic and be wrong. There is a point where we disobey, I tell my nine children , only when asked to do something immoral or something against your conscience. Other wise obey joyfully !
    I had a friend tell me once proudly that he believed in about 80 percent of what his assembly type church taught him , I responded I believe in 100 percent of what my Church teaches and if I did disagree I would quickly change my thinking. Thank you ,I guess I’m now officially a reluctant blogger or responder of blogs instead of just a reader of blogs

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Welcome aboard, Steve. Glad to have you. But yes, obedience is the key to enduring the Storm. I feel a bit bereft, because I see the fissures opening up. I don’t know why I am so upset…I was told this would happen and, in fact, be the key line of division during the Storm. The reality of it sometimes overwhelms me a bit when it comes, though.

      I told my priests while still in the 90’s that though progressive and leftist nonsense both in and out of the Church irritated me, I did not dwell on it much, for I had been shown that the first heavy winds of the Storm would blow it away like the weightless chaff it is. That during the Storm, the most important tool satan would have would be to mimic orthodoxy to coax people into disloyalty. I was told that the Storm would not so much change hearts as reveal them. So if your heart was already given to rebellion and you had a pharisaical certainty of your own righteousness, that would be revealed. I have been disturbed by all the “Anti-Pope” Francis stuff bandied about, but seeing the winds of such rising on so many different sites today has upset me. I have to regain my equilibrium. Right now I am like a James Bond martini – shaken, not stirred.

      Like

  13. Stephen says:

    Hi Charlie, I just sent a response and didn’t realise my full name would pop up, I’m new at all this I guess. Would you mind just having Stephen in the name section if you decide to post it. I also misspelled Cardinal Burke’s name. If you think it’s disrespectful and is not to difficult please correct it. Thank you for being a watchman for us. In Christ ,Stephen

    Like

  14. charliej373 says:

    Also, on the matter of corrections…I will look at a comment and either clear it or pass on it. I only reject maybe one out of 40 or 50 comments. If it has a duplicate link in it to one already posted, is off track, or simply sulky rather than making a point I will reject it. I like comments that are well reasoned and soundly sourced that disagrees with me. That, I think, is how we find move closer to truth. But on comments, unless you send me a note asking, I do not edit them for fear of changing your intended meaning. I either clear them as is or reject them. But if you have a typo you would like corrected after you have already posted, just let me know and I will take care of it.

    Like

  15. Charlie….you are DEAR DEAR HEART! I am afraid I may have given you a head ache tonite and not to mention myself. Thank you for your answer on Infallibility (above) . I knew I was missing something. Bad catechesis is right. I learned more on google than in my class when I converted. I know God called me to HIS Church for a reason. I shall remain and try and not doubt when I see the waves get really big. But if I do start to sink …..I know God will be there to lift me up…..and say to me …..Oh you of little faith…..why did you doubt. Thank you Charlie!!! Thanks for lifting me up ..and pulling me out of the muck of fear. god bless and good nite.

    Like

  16. TC says:

    Charlie,

    When Christ came in the flesh, few recognized him. Even John the Baptist sent his disciples to ask Jesus if he was the Messiah or if they should look for another. Jesus’ response helps us to know how to recognize him: Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the Gospel preached to them And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me (Mt. 11:5-6).

    For most of my life, I basked in the glory of the JPII Pontificate. I didn’t think that any other Pope could measure up to him. Pope Benedict certainly won my esteem and affection, but my heart still had a special place for JPII. Pope Francis has surprised me. The more I see him and hear him, the more convinced I become that his ministry is a modern day mirror of the ministry of Christ. Pope Francis is giving the blind their sight, making the lame to walk and the deaf to hear. He is cleansing the lepers and preaching the Gospel to the poor. Blessed are those who take no offense at him.

    In Jesus’ day, those on the left and those on the right teamed up to kill him. Jesus did not fit into their neat and preconceived messianic boxes. Flesh and blood does not reveal the one who is to come – only the Father in heaven.

    I believe that through Pope Francis the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. He is the great witness of love in our times. I pray that all will remain in the barque of Peter as we are tossed about in the raging Storm.

    May the Immaculate Heart of Mary be our refuge and the way that leads us to God.

    TC

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Right on, TC! You know, when Pope Benedict announced his retirement, I told the priest who keeps the archives that I was troubled, for I had envisioned him enduring the Storm. Fr. Mark immediately responded and said, “He may very well endure it…just not as Pope.” But shortly after Pope Francis got rolling, I told my priest with some enthusiasm, because I had seen the nature of the Pope of the Storm that it had always bugged me a little because Benedict did not seem like what I had expected during the roughest times. Francis is what I expected.

      I have come to think of St. John Paul as the rehab contractor…he overhauled the great ship to prepare it for the Storm, pulling away the rotten timber and replacing it. Benedict was the finish carpenter, putting refined touches, particularly on the matter of faith and reason – a matter that now looms large in the initial confrontation. Francis is the captain – the skipper of the ship his two predecessors prepared for the journey – and he will get us safely to port. And how fitting it would be if when we come safely through to port that great ship should pass between the two pillars of the Eucharist and Mary, represented by the extraordinary grace of a Holy Pope and a Holy Pope Emeritus.

      Like

  17. Fran says:

    First thing I want to point out…Isn’t it possible that Cardinal Burke requested a different position? Perhaps being the holy prelate he is, he had some insights himself. Just a thought.
    Secondly, I know I put this link under a different post of yours already, and you don’t post repeat links usually, but this is so relevant, and I just really think it will help so many people struggling here!

    This priest gave this homily on Saint John of the Cross and scandal, back in April 2014 on Palm Sunday. He said in the homily that he believed the Church was entering its Passion. “Palm Sunday opens the door to the passion…and that means the devils and all who cooperate with them are now permitted to attack Our Blessed Lord and lay him low. The same is also mysteriously true of His Body and Bride, the Holy Catholic Church. So this means that we must innoculate ourselves, brace ourselves, against the trials that are here with more to come. In a word, we must avoid being scandalized by anything lest we become another Judas…” Giving precautions of Saint John of the Cross on what to do, he goes on to say that we need to carefully guard ourselves against what is happening with a particular prelate no matter how serious, even under the “color of zeal”. We should have holy forgetfulness,” UNLESS at the proper time, whomever, by rights, you ought to tell….as faithful members of the Church we do have a right to correct error, even that coming from the highest offices.” Saint John of the Cross said, ” For should you desire to pay heed to these things, many will seem wrong, even were you to live among angels, because of your not understanding the substance of these things”.
    There is more in this video from Videosancto. It is excellent!!! I think it will help all of us to keep our eyes on God, while the devil and his cohorts swirl around us!

    Like

  18. Gary says:

    When JPII kissed the Koran that pretty much soured me. I have learned long ago that no one can really have our complete confidence, short of God Himself; that hero worship no matter who, is worthy of that idolatry. For me the best pope we have had in 50 years was Benedict XVI. He kept a steady hand since the the 80’s.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      The one thing I thought got soft-pedaled by my great hero, St. John Paul the Great, was his almost desperate hope that we would not have to confront radical Islam. I thought it came from his experience of the Nazi horrors and the Soviet domination of his beloved Poland – hopes that we could be spared another such stark and brutal confrontation.

      I saw an article on Free Republic that had an interesting take with some photographic evidence here, but even if it is correct, it did seem to me that St. John Paul lived close to the edge of denial on the threat posed by Islam.

      That said, Gary, I am a bit startled and dismayed that you seem so eager to pronounce final binding judgment on the Church whose judge you are not, but which has been given power by Christ to loose or bind your sins. Surely you don’t reject Christ’s clear instructions on the matter of who needs to be obedient to whom.

      Like

  19. Gary says:

    How am I judging, Charlie. People are fallible and our trust should not be in the fallible but rather in Christ Himself. And as others have pointed out, we are not to obey an unlawful command. When and if a pontiff commands me to kiss a Koran.. I will not. The best I hope for is that I loved with Christian charity, I strive for nothing else. I want to be that Samaritan. But when it comes to leaders of the Church, I look with a cynic’s viewpoint. Just as all should in this day and age. Like Jacob I will wrestle with God, until he has won me out.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Gary, almost every Protestant I have gotten into a dispute over such matters with has used the same argument: I obey no man, but only Christ alone. The argument effectively makes each man his own pope and crushes the very possibility of a lawful authority on earth.

      But in Luke 10:16, Jesus tells His apostles, “He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects Him who sent me.” How then are you obeying Christ to reject His admonition to hear and obey His apostles?

      The argument about being ordered to kiss a Koran is a straw man that is beneath you. When has anyone ever ordered you to kiss a Koran? The issue is whether St. John Paul did, whether he knew at the time he did, and what his intention was in doing it. That is all that is involved here. You have made some broad assumptions about these questions and because of it, have taken the Protestant route. That is fine, Just own up to it. You cannot claim you believe Luke 10:16 in the Catholic sense yet maintain it actually does not apply to you and still remain Catholic in spirit.

      Like

      • Nancy says:

        Gary, Someday you will know the truth. What if your judgment is wrong? Wouldn’t it be better to “err” on the side of compassion and let God, who knows all hearts, sort it out? I don’t mean to sound superior, only that I have found the errors of my “judgments” the hard, humiliating way.

        Like

  20. Stephen says:

    When the pagans of Ireland worshiped the sun St. Patrick didn’t take it away from them he simply put the cross in front of the sun. He knew that to many would become hostile towards his message by beginning with an act of aggression. Today, the victor of Christ on earth should be concerned about the majority of the Islamic people who could convert . How many more Islamic people did he reach or plant a seed in by respecting their heritage then he would have if he dishonored and put them on the defense ?

    Like

  21. Observer says:

    A speculative idea;^) If, at some not so distant time, and with Pope Francis being elsewhere in the world on a “mission”, a “Pope” who has been seen in some prophesies as having to flee Rome for survival, perhaps Malta could just be his safe place for exile. Malta after all is still a faithful country and would provide protection that the elderly Pope Emeritus, left behind in Rome, would need. Perhaps too since Cardinal Burke is known for his organizational abilities Francis has tasked him with organizing this place of protection for his most respected friend. Pretty wild I know but in such a world today there could be a time when Francis himself may have already had to go into hiding or has experienced his own martyrdom elsewhere with Benedict still needing protection!

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Certainly it is speculative, Observer, but nothing contrary to faith and morals – and we live in some wild times that are about to get a LOT wilder. I think it kind of cool to think of Pope Francis also preparing a refuge!

      Like

  22. TommyG says:

    Hi Charlie,

    I’m new here… like others I have been brought over to your site by Mark Mallett. I’ve been following you & quietly listening in. I’m not one to post my comments (I’m truly shy in sharing my thoughts publicly), but I wanted to share something that I believe is worth sharing. The Lord is leading us to listen deeply, to look beyond what we normally see. I too have had problems understanding where Pope Francis is going… It seems like orthodoxy is being attacked outright and that maybe the pope’s examples of kindness and having a merciful heart is some form of leftist trap. How can you be authentically merciful and seemingly take a stance that could contradict Christ, who is love & truth itself? Could authentic love extend itself to a place that is false? Impossible! It’s that simple. I pray to Our Lady regularly for clarity. As a husband & father of three, how can I guide my little flock safely through these dark & troubled times? Trust!!! Then I had an insight this past weekend. Truth will not change (synod or no synod) – it won’t! I now have a sense of relief because of this. I also became aware that authentic mercy (radical love) can go anywhere without being effected because of its firm trust & love in God. I’m beginning to see Pope Francis as being a great saint, maybe even greater then St. John Paul II (and let me tell you, that’s hard for me to say for I encountered JPII personally – I know he was a saint). JPII led us in understanding & promulgating Divine Mercy. Pope Francis is leading us by a radical example of how to live in that mercy. I think Pope Francis is God’s final outstretched hand of mercy before this goes down (forgive my slang)! I believe that Our Lady has revealed it to me through this analogy… It is logical that in order to save someone who is caught in quicksand, that they place themselves on solid ground before helping the person in the quicksand – in order to avoid being lost as well. But I see that Pope Francis’ faith & trust in God is so strong that he is going into the quicksand to help save all who would embrace his message of authentic love – as Christ Himself did! It will be God who will pull them out. God is the one who saves, He just needs us to trust him in order that we may truly be His instruments. I foresee that He’s not changing anything, for he can’t – Truth is Truth (it’s that simple). But he is extending the heart of Christ (Truth itself) to all who oppose Christ & His Church – but from where they stand. The days of the militant statements (the take it or leave stance) will no longer work in an extremely rebellious house (let’s face it – the house has been breached). It is far too late for that, especially if you want to help save your brother (which seems to imply the pope knows what’s going down). Confrontation does not heal wounds, but opens them up again (which is what Satan wants). There is no greater way to destroy a family then from within. God who is the Father of all loves even the rebellious! Yes, even the unorthodox/ liberals (or the other extreme for that matter)! The pope is going into the deep (in this case he is going deep-sea fishing for men) to embrace all who would respond to Christ’s call for radical love in order to lead them back to the Truth. I have read/ heard of several saints (I can’t recall them now – St. Teresa of Avila comes to mind) who had stated that they would dare to go to hell and back if God would send them because of their trust in God’s loving protection – wow… now that’s trust! My fear is that God, through the pope, is showing us what we too must do…to live radical love. Don’t talk about it – live it! It looks like he is walking the via dolorosa. But will we join him? I too want to be an instrument that proves this world wrong; I too want to stand at the foot of the cross with momma (if not mounted on it) – but do I trust like that?! Anyway, that’s my two cents. Let me know your thoughts. …Let’s represent people – we’re God’s children – act like it – take courage! Viva Cristo Rey y La Virgen Santisima! I’m out – TommyG from NYC!

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    • charliej373 says:

      Wow, Tommy, you offer some very deep insight and subjects for contemplation. I think the Pope is far more Orthodox than he is generally given credit for, but I think you are onto something here. Duc in altem – cast out into the deep….one of my favorite verses. Please, weigh in from time to time, particularly when you get something this substantial. Deep and loving. Thank you.

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    • donna269 says:

      Amen, Tommy! Amen! You just articulated what I have been feeling in prayer for a long time about our good Pope! John Paul II represents HOPE, Benedict FAITH, Francis CHARITY…..

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    • SteveBC says:

      TommyG, shyness can give one the opportunity to become thoughtful and deep, but it isn’t until a shy one speaks that anyone knows what’s been going on inside and can see the results. Thank you for your willingness to pen such a fine comment and strong challenge. I can only truly speak for myself, but I dare say all who read your comment have benefitted.

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    • Observer says:

      Yes, I believe that the Cardinals who elected Francis came to the real and desperate conclusion (as many have stated) that they had to have someone who would take hold and make a real change in things. Perhaps they had in mind upmost just the workings of the Vatican itself. But, even if only subconsciously, they knew too that they and all Shepherds had to change too. They knew that this man had already walked the walked in his own “distant” land and would have the courage, mores than others they could choose, to truly follow the Spirit. And that movement in and of itself WAS the working of the Spirit within that conclave.

      Francis says you know a true Shepherd has been with his sheep because he “smells like them”. Catherine of Siena would have loved him. She was one who definitely “smelled” like the poor and sick and suffering. Humility within simplicity in action right before our eyes!

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  23. Fran says:

    Wow…I am soaking this in, Tommy. I have pondered some parts of these things that you have put together and articulated so well, especially the suggestion of looking beyond what we are used to seeing, and radical love, but the idea of Pope Francis going out into the quicksand to save his brothers and sisters… that…is….so…profoundly…..Jesus.
    I am in awe.
    Thank you.

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  24. Connie says:

    Tommy, what a blessing your comments are! I love that analogy “deep sea fishing”. I have a wonderful image in my mind of Pope Francis now in the vision of St. John Boscoe on the boat in battle but now he is also fishing in the deep. Your concept of radical love also, to me, makes a connection with “the Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary”’ when Our Lady tells Elizabeth Kindelmann, “Take this flame….it’s the flame of Love of my heart. Ignite your own heart with it and pass it on to others.” As Fran said you have articulated so well how we may begin “looking beyond what we are used to seeing”. Radical Love and Radical Perception are what is needed in these unprecedented times to combat this radical hatred. May the Immaculate Heart of Mary “spread the effect of grace of the Flame of Love over all humanity” and may the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary have a swelling of ranks of warriors who fight with Divine and radical Love.!

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