And the Beat Goes On…


Apparently Pope Francis did not get my email telling him I really needed a quiet week to catch up and so to avoid any controversy. If he did, surely he would have waited until next week to re-assign Cardinal Burke to the Knights of Malta. I try not to be wicked, but I surely am getting little rest these days.

I have a lot of different articles I need and want to get up here – and have promised that I would. Abraham Lincoln said candidly after his first year in office that he was not driving events, but that events were driving him. So it is with my posts. I have neat little lists of things that I want to cover….but stuff just keeps happening. I do have a post on how to engage in fraternal dispute and correction with a pastor or priest that I hope to get up later tonight (it is half written) – and a list of 11 other subjects I would like to cover before renewing the list. This website is becoming less like an excursion on a calm lake where I choose where to go and more like shooting the rapids in a canoe – where I can only use every bit of skill and prayer I have to keep from capsizing. So, we will slog on together.

I am going to add Elizabeth Scalia and her Anchoress column to the permanent links at right. Her article today on evangelization starts slow – and maybe even a little rocky – but quickly develops into one of the most powerful and clear pieces I have ever read on the subject. She is one who I don’t always agree with, but her vision is so clear and well-grounded that when I don’t, I take the time to more clearly refine my own thoughts. Try not to get too offended at her lead photo for this article. It certainly offers a shock, but it is not an illustration I would have chosen. Hers is a solid and profoundly worthwhile voice, though.

While I am at it, I have let just about everyone else have their say on Cardinal Dolan and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, so I would be terribly remiss if I did not reprint his statement from yesterday on the matter. I will say candidly that I am not entirely satisfied with his distinction between ‘identity’ and ‘advocacy.’ But it is his call to make – clearly within the jurisdiction of his prudential authority. If it is in error, I trust the Lord will make that clear in His time. What I know is that the Cardinal is a man of good faith and good will – who is determined to protect his flock from assaults from without while reaching out to others. So if he has made an error, I have no doubt the good God will show him the same grace He has always shown me, by leading all who look to Him with good will into a righteous path despite our often stumbling ways. But in truth, I like Scalia’s defense better than the Cardinal’s.

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.
This entry was posted in Church Governance, Conversion, Culture, Discernment, Obedience and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to And the Beat Goes On…

    • charliej373 says:

      A link to that article is already available on another comment, Mary, but I decided to give a repeat here lest people think I am trying to bury it on Page 32 or something. It is a sound article, clearly stated, whose conclusions I do not share.


  1. Ruth Ann says:

    We all love you Charlie, hang in there!


  2. Diane Mello says:

    For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. 1 Corinthians 9:19-23
    Reading your writings the past few days have led me to think of this verse and knowing that in all we do the best we can do is pray for conversions and pray for God to use us when He wants, to whom He wants and as He wants – to allow God to infiltrate into the hearts of those thirsting for Him. I often say – what if all that’s needed for the next conversion of a soul is just one more Hail Mary – and then I pray a Hail Mary.


  3. My two cents as a committed Catholic is that the explanation given by Cardinal Dolan in the context that he gives is truly acceptable to moral tradition however how many sureties must our bishops accept without using a bit of historical context.
    “I have been assured that the new group marching is not promoting an agenda contrary to Church teaching, but simply identifying themselves as “Gay people of Irish ancestry.”
    I agree with your opinion of the crisis magazine article, Charlie. I find the comparisons given a bit of a reach.


  4. donna269 says:

    Charlie….this may seem to come from left field but have you seen the new movie Calvary? So much of what is going on today in the church seems to be represented in this film gem….the persecution of a priest who is all loving and trying to tend to a flock who is either angry, disinterested or so thick in sin they loathe him and everything he represents….Christ and the Catholic Church.


    • charliej373 says:

      No I haven’t, Donna, but I will. I think it important that our shepherds see the serious concerns and discontent many of the faithful have that we may build a stronger mutual dialogue and strengthen our bonds with each other. Serious considered debate helps that process along.


  5. Peg says:

    Can’t we at least be heartened to think that at least there will be a st. Patrick’s Day parade in NYC next March?


  6. vicardwm says:

    I am not really persuaded by the Cardinal’s distinction either. What if it were Irish Alcoholics or Irish Kleptomaniacs marching? Sure, some of the alcoholics and kleptomaniacs would not be practicing, but marching under an identity is being proud of an identity, and though there is nothing “wrong” with being gay, there IS something wrong with being proud of it, because it is a disordered desire according to the teaching of the Church.


  7. Phil says:

    I think some things should raise eyebrows too many times. The obedient Church of the Holy Innocents is getting persecuted, while some St. Francis church is in good standing, somehow. This is interestingly happening during this proudly gay bunch marching in the parade.
    Then, there’s the boot for the South African priest, who complained of such things. I don’t know if he offended charity against the Bishop, but couldn’t he be a bit more magnanimous, if he’s of such good will?

    If it’s the chancery doing these things on its own or giving him ill council, he might need to listen to other voices like yours and/or take
    charge. If he had been fighting the good fight, he may need some
    encouragement from good Catholics
    like you, because I think he’s slipping into appeasement to those maybe
    threatening the Church or those he
    think he’ll bring into the Church by
    giving undue concessions to them. In
    turn, people of good will, Catholics and those who might consider the Faith, are getting scandalized when they need a leader in charitable assertiveness against groups parading sin.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s