The Church is Buffeted by the Rising Storm

stormy sea

Imagine that Jesus was a great physician who came to set up a hospital in which everyone who came would find healing. After He set it up and got it going, He commissioned certain disciples to act as divine doctors and continue the work.

The work was so successful that these hospitals started springing up around the globe, despite the sometimes furious and violent opposition of local witch doctors and shamans. People from all over were finding neither empty promises, nor rejection but simple joy and healing at the hands of these divinely appointed doctors, who prescribed the medicine the Master had given with fidelity and grace.

Over time, though, divisions arose. Some hospitals broke off, claiming that the true medicine had been tainted. These hospitals denounced the original work as a fraud and an offense. Soon enough, new hospitals broke off even from the new hospitals, with each claiming it had the original healing medicine. The world was treated to the shabby spectacle of a multitude of competing hospitals all denouncing each other in the name of the same Founding Physician, Jesus.

After the divisions and disputes, a lot of the doctors decided they were too smart to believe in the prescriptions of their Founder. They adopted a therapeutic culture while apologizing for the old culture of faith. Ordinary people found they weren’t receiving much healing anymore – and when they got a little it was rarely with much joy. The more the hospitals tried to get to be more like the rest of the world, the weaker their healing power became. Many former patients began trying new hospitals…some used crystals, others used chants. Oddities that had long ago been used and discarded because they did not avail and made things worse were tried anew in search of the healing and joy that had been lost. The new/old nostrums were a type of poison that gave a brief thrill before eating away at men’s hearts and souls. Things got worse as, even amidst plenty, people tried to hide the agony of their quiet desperation.

There grew up two major camps among the doctors at all the old hospitals. The first camp, which had fully signed on to the therapeutic culture that brought on so much misery, prided themselves on their compassion. Confronted with so much agony, they prescribed the very same things that brought it on in the first place, claiming the sick needed a little relief – and never mind about later. The second had stood, even though ineffectively, against the innovations that had brought things to this pass. But they had lost what was at the heart of the original medicine. They rarely roused themselves to do anything more than berate the sick for being sick.

So while some prescribe what makes people sick in the first place and the others berate the sick for being sick, the question is, who is doing the healing? You may be doing work, but if it is not healing work, it is not the Lord’s work.

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man-born-blind

Who is doing the healing? This is the situation the faith finds itself in as the Extraordinary Synod on the Family commences. It is a beginning, not an end – and has pitted Bishop against Bishop while stoking antagonisms throughout the world; a world that knows it is in crisis, that it is wounded and bleeding, even as it does not know from whence the damage comes. So wounded partisans lash out at forces they cannot see, desperately wanting someone to stop the pain – or at least to wound those they perceive as their antagonists. Who will do the healing?

I have welcomed the intense pastoral approach of Pope Francis, shaking up a Church administration and bureaucracy that had become insular and elitist, protecting sinecures and guarding perquisites rather than living witness. Pope Francis made it clear from the start he expected the shepherds of Christ’s Church to be marked with the smell of the sheep – and if they really wanted to hold sway in his councils, they had best quit living like petty satraps and start living like servants and witnesses.

Yet as he has shaken up old abuses, it worries me that, early on, he has fallen prey to that destructor of reformers; a penchant to replace old abuses with equal and opposite new abuses. I have gently made it clear here that the new Archbishop of Chicago, Blase Cupich, worries me sick. No doubt, he came to the Pope’s attention because of his reputation for pastoral inclusiveness. But it is not pastoral to wage battle and treat with near-open contempt those who have the temerity to take the words of Christ and the Magisterium seriously. To actively try to shut down pro-life sentiment or to dilute it as equal to non-Magisterial teaching is not just or merciful. I have stated that I, too, get annoyed with the harsh, uncharitable rhetoric of some rigid traditionalists. But I cannot understand why that demands that a shepherd should try to suppress traditionalists by taking away their ability to celebrate ancient Latin Rites in liturgy, as Cupich did in his first posting in South Dakota. His history of visceral hostility to any traditional expression of Catholic faith is not a pastoral virtue – and assigning him to Chicago does not open new avenues of charity; it just shuffles the deck of who will be oppressed and marginalized. I fervently hope that Cupich will be a surprise. But Chicago is one of the five or so Archdioceses in America that determine the direction of the whole Church in America. It should not have gone to one who would have to be a surprise to actually support the Magisterium and the faith.

Worse yet, I worry that the new mechanisms for assignments Pope Francis has put in place are defective. The stories I read of Bishops being disciplined or investigated all seem to come with orthodox sees. It is all too common in a political situation for hostile contenders to seize pretexts for attacking their opponents which mask the real agenda involved. When every Bishop disciplined, demoted or publicly investigated is noted for his orthodoxy, that is almost a sure sign that the political settling of scores is the animating spirit, not hierarchical reform.

So I suspect that progressives are using this moment to try to bury their orthodox opponents, to actively attack, undermine and then oppress them when enough power is amassed. But the new oppressors have forgotten something. Pope Francis, himself, was oppressed by his own Jesuit order – sent to teach high school in obscurity in punishment for his orthodoxy. He would have remained there except for having come to the attention of Pope St. John Paul, who plucked him from obscurity and consecrated him Bishop. It would be peculiar, indeed, if the Pope himself were now on a witch hunt to weed out the orthodox among the Bishops, imitating his corrosive superiors from a few decades back rather than the sainted Pope who rescued him. If that were Francis’ intention, the appointments of some seriously orthodox Bishops to high-profile spots would be incoherent. Yet that is what he has done, most notably appointing the orthodox Cardinal George Pell as Prefect of the newly formed Secretariat for the Economy. No, I think Pope Francis is exactly what he seems; a good-hearted holy man who genuinely wants to emphasize pastoral outreach as this Storm rises. He is no dummy, either. Woe unto those who have presumed to use his good nature to try to settle old scores. Within a year or so, I suspect they are liable to find themselves assigned to Antarctica if they don’t repent of their cynical gamesmanship.

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And now we have the synod, where all these currents, subcurrents and undercurrents have risen to the surface. Because insufficient fidelity to the words of Christ produced so much misery over the last few generations, Cardinal Walter Kasper proposes this be remedied with even more of the same – while blasting away the Magisterium and instructions of Christ – that is, defined doctrine, in the process. Oh, I know, like an American politician, he gives complicated explanations for why he is not actually proposing what he is proposing right before your very eyes. However well-intended he might be, I now understand why Pope Emeritus Benedict spent over three decades smacking down Kasper’s corrosive sophistry. Meanwhile, Cardinal Raymond Burke insists on leaving everything as it is. I have long admired Cardinal Burke. He is on a short list of Bishops I have prayed for by name every day for over a decade. Perhaps he is over-reacting to a perceived threat against the doctrine of the Church. But for the life of me, it sure looks like Kasper is prescribing more of the same narcotic that brought this terrible sickness on – in the name of compassion, while Burke is content to berate the sick for being sick. So who is doing the healing?

No doctrinal definitions will come out of this synod. No matter how noxious any recommendations might be, they do not even become formal recommendations until after another synod a year from now. Even there, no doctrinal definitions will be set. Rather; formal recommendations will be sent to the Pope for ultimate disposition. This synod is useful in separating the sheep from the goats. I rather think this meeting simply is drawing out those who are loud but not particularly serious for all the world to see – and perhaps, more importantly, to show the Pope what is in the hearts of those who surround him.

Meantime, it is not just drawing out clerics who have become worldly in their judgment. It is drawing out those laymen who are determined that the Church shall be in their image or they shall supplement the attacks from without on her by mounting subversive attacks from within. Three quick examples:

First, the execrably apostate Dr. Kelly Bowring, a man who had done some good work a few years back, has used this opportunity to circulate a provocative video, challenging the Pope to answer or be declared an antichrist. This would be more impressive had Bowring not become a devout follower of the apostate seer, Maria Divine Mercy, before she was exposed as a complete and utter cynical fraud. Before Francis was elected, Bowring was already vested in believing the next Pope would be an antichrist. He is just trying to protect his errant investment rather than renounce his error.

Second, and sadly, on his feast day, a dying prophecy attributed to St. Francis of Assisi made the rounds. I will not print the whole thing here, just the portion that has got those with itching ears in a tizzy. It says: “…At the time of this tribulation a man, not canonically elected, will be raised to the Pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavour to draw many into error and death.”

This is being used by those who desperately want to make Pope Francis into an anti-pope. Just a few problems with it:

– St. Francis did leave a dying testament. He wrote it out. This is not it.

– This did not appear for the first time until written in a book about St. Francis by one R. Washbourne in 1882, some 700 years after St. Francis had died. There is no earlier citation for this “prophecy” and NO contemporaneous attestation. It is almost certainly a legend made up after the fact.

– But, say defenders of the book, it received the imprimatur, so it must be true. Incorrect. The imprimatur does not guarantee the authenticity of everything in a book or even its doctrinal integrity. An imprimatur is simply a permission to publish with an assurance that the examining authority did not find anything contrary to faith and morals in it. If a man were not canonically elected, but treated as a pope, those who followed him would be in error. This “prophecy” does not say a Pope would infallibly teach error, but that a non-canonically elected antipope would teach error and gain followers. There is nothing doctrinally unsound in that, whether the actual “prophecy” is authentic or not.

– In the times of St. Catherine of Sienna there were, indeed, two claimants to the papacy and legitimate confusion as to which had been properly elected. Though we had a similar situation centuries later, we do not have that situation now. Even if this “prophecy” were true, it could not apply to Pope Francis because he was canonically elected. There is NO doubt on that point, despite the fevered wishes of those like Bowring.

– St. Francis was not given to making prophecies about the future. Rather, he occasionally had visions that applied to his time and how to rebuild the faith of the Church by gathering men who would be obedient to their superiors and serve the faithful. This would have been wildly uncharacteristic for him.

– If St. Francis had actually made that striking prophecy, someone ought to have noticed it in the 700 years between when he died and when Washbourne wrote it. No notes or attributions are made in the book (yes, I downloaded a copy to study the scholarship from an historian’s standpoint). It is just an assertion made by the author. At best, it can be traced back to tales told at the University of Cologne in the mid-1800’s, but we have to rely on the author’s word for that, too. In short, this prophecy has NO historical provenance except the word of R. Washbourne 700 years after St. Francis died.

Finally, a video from the Easter Vigil at the Vatican has made the rounds of the internet, supposedly showing that Pope Francis is praying to satan – and has even dedicated a chapel to the devil. It would be bad enough if this were the usual work of the tiny enclave of anti-Catholic bigots on the far fevered fringes of Christianity, but some Catholics have gotten themselves all worked up over it.

In English, Lucifer (with a capital L) is only used as a proper name – a name exclusively reserved for the devil. In Latin, lucifer (with a small L) is a common word. It means morning star – and sometimes light-bringer. So any time you praise the beauty of the morning star, you are simply saying the English word for “lucifer.” Are you praising satan when you admire the morning star?

To support the tale of the Pope’s supposed devotion to the satan, the claim is usually accompanied by a video of a Latin hymn being sung in procession, in which the word “lucifer” can clearly be distinguished. I suppose this could be alarming for those who are both unlettered and unable or unwilling to do an iota’s worth of research. The line, “Tu verus mundi lucifer,” meaning, “You are the true morning star,” is directed towards Christ and is sung with the lighting of the Paschal Candle at every Easter Vigil Mass at the Vatican going back into time immemorial. Now I suppose the ancient Romans, had they known we were going to adopt their word for morning star and apply it exclusively to the devil once there actually was an English language, could have been good enough to make up a new word. Or maybe we could have been decent enough to give satan the nickname “Morningstar” and left the poor dead Latin language alone. In which case, we might have called a morning star by the Latin word, “lucifer” without all the breathless vapors. Who knows, if we actually wanted to learn something before starting to denounce someone, we might have learned that the name, lucifer, was used with intentional irony to describe satan’s glorious state before the fall and just how far he fell – or that in formal theological documents, lucifer is always used to refer to satan before the fall. But I suppose that would not be near as much fun as giving it the DaVinci Code treatment. Woe to those more interested in showing how clever they are than living fidelity.

Please excuse me if I get a bit sarcastic in all this. I was shown long ago the discord that would reign in the run-up to full-scale chaos. Even so, I am still sometimes shocked at how eager so may are to go running off into apostasy – or to be scared out of their wits, so as to turn loose of Christ and go chasing after their own phantasms.

So let me reiterate three things:

1) Francis is the man chosen to captain this ship through the Storm. I loved Benedict and his clear, penetrating theological insight and clarity. But it long troubled me that he did not much resemble, in behavior or temperament, the Pope of the Storm I had been shown. Pope Francis IS that man. And lest I had any doubt when he arrived on the scene, Our Lady, herself, told me in the mid 90s that the “Old World will be re-evangelized from the New World.” Pope Francis is the beginning of the fulfillment of that prophecy.

2) The shaking that comes grows both outside and inside the Church. It always had to be such. Christ is using His great winnowing fan right now, to separate the wheat from the chaff. Do not let it surprise you that the chaff is flying all over the place, clouding things up and causing men to choke and cough at the density of it. When things get difficult, I always go back to what I call ‘first things.’ These are the most basic commands to keep us from capsizing. It is Christ, Himself, who says we will find safety in the shelter of the ship which is the Church. He does not say the ship will not be rocked and tossed – only that it will not capsize. When you get yourself into a frenzy of worry over whether the Church will capsize, you are not doubting the capacity of the men Christ has put over it, but the promise of Christ, Himself, to preserve it. So make your assessments with sobriety – and without constantly searching for reasons to jump overboard. Outside the ship, there are only the wind and waves of the Storm – and you will not make it on your own, however angry you may get at the crew.

3) The important thing as we watch the pillars that have supported this venerable culture crumble before our very eyes is neither to panic nor to attack. Simply keep your post faithfully. Neither assaults from the left nor assaults from the right will prevail against Christ’s Church. It is good that they should come out in the open now, both to reveal the deceivers and to demonstrate that it is by Christ’s power, not man’s, that His Church endures. Keep to your post, acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around you. Do this well and you answer the question of who will do the healing. Through your fidelity to Christ in doing the little He has given you well, you will do the healing.

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 Anti-Christ, Church Governance, Discernment, Obedience, Satan, Spiritual Preparation, The Storm and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

115 Responses to The Church is Buffeted by the Rising Storm

  1. Kati says:

    Charlie,

    This is absolutely wonderful! The truth resounds within every word. This section, in particular, made my heart GROW: “Neither assaults from the left nor assaults from the right will prevail against Christ’s Church. It is good that they should come out in the open now, both to reveal the deceivers and to demonstrate that it is by Christ’s power, not man’s, that His Church endures. Keep to your post, acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around you. Do this well and you answer the question of who will do the healing. ”

    I plan to share this with several people.
    Happy Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary! 🙂

    Like

  2. vparisi says:

    Thank you Charlie, you always make so much sense. I have family members who are faithful and wonderful Catholics passing around that Bowring video and it breaks my heart! I gently told them about Bowring and Divine Mercy and just to keep in faith! We all know who loves all this discord- we need to pray without ceasing! Even the Catholic media is treating this Synod like some political campaign- the Church of Christ is not a political football- it is our refuge, our rock, and our hope! Going to pray the Divine Mercy now- laying it all at His feet is the thing to do right now!

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    • janet333 says:

      An open letter was sent to Kelly Bowring, in reply to his. I made sure he got it but he never replied.

      Dear Mr Bowring,

      Having read through your letter, full of conjecture. I feel it is my duty as a faithful Catholic to point out YOUR errors. It is YOU Mr Bowring who is actively encouraging schism by teaching Catholics not to acknowledge the Pope as the successor of Peter. The official teaching of the Church is that the office of Peter will not collapse into apostasy, but by Christ’s command…“Peter, you are rock”.. and the power of the Holy Spirit, it will remain a lasting and visible sign of unity for ever.

      “In order to preserve the Church in the purity of the faith handed on by the apostles, Christ who is the Truth willed to confer on her a share in his own infallibility. By a “supernatural sense of faith” the People of God, under the guidance of the Church’s living Magisterium, “unfailingly adheres to this faith”… The supreme degree of participation in the authority of Christ is ensured by the charism of infallibility. This infallibility extends as far as does the deposit of divine Revelation; it also extends to all those elements of doctrine, including morals, without which the saving truths of the faith cannot be preserved, explained, or observed… The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office. —Catechism of the Catholic Church, 889, 891, 2035

      You ask the Pope…”…..Why have you been deemphasizing the doctrines of homosexuality, cohabitation, abortion, and contraception?

      Pope Francis has not been de-emphasising the doctrines Mr Bowring. Regarding homosexuality the Pope says ….“At the present time there are those who, basing themselves on observations in the psychological order, have begun to judge indulgently, and even to excuse completely, homosexual relations between certain people. This they do in opposition to the constant teaching of the Magisterium and to the moral sense of the Christian people.”

      Pope Francis also stated….”The prospect that same-sex couples could adopt would deprive children “of the human growth that God wanted them given by a father and a mother….. “Here again is the envy of the devil, by which sin entered into the world, that cunningly seeks to destroy the image of God: man and woman who are mandated to grow, multiply and dominate land.”

      On abortion.. Pope Francis denounced today’s “throw-away culture” that justifies disposing of lives, and said doctors in particular had been forced into situations where they are called to “not respect life.”

      “Every child that isn’t born, but is unjustly condemned to be aborted, has the face of Jesus Christ, has the face of the Lord,” he said. He urged the gynecologists to abide by their consciences and help bring lives into the world. “Things have a price and can be for sale, but people have a dignity that is priceless and worth far more than things,” he said.

      Mr Bowring you asked the Pope….”Are you about to direct the Catholic Church to make a number of alarming statements………?…..Is there a single doctrine of the Faith that you refuse to believe in? Or are trying to change? Or will in fact soon change?”

      Here is your answer Mr Bowing….”Many Christians, the Pope said, suffer from “a hope too watered down, not strong: a faint hope, they do not have the strength and the courage to trust in the Lord. But if we Christians believe confessing the faith, and safeguarding it, taking custody of the faith, and, entrusting ourselves to God, to the Lord, we shall be Christian victors. And this is the victory that has overcome the world: our faith.” (Plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue)

      You tell the Pope that…”…some see your approach is that of seeking to adapt and compromise doctrine to current trends in secular thinking and behavior and bend it to accommodate other religious orientations.”

      Pope Francis answers..” the faithful must not renounce their own identity”, the Pope explained, “nor does it mean accepting compromises on faith and Christian morality..Confess the Faith all of it, not part of it! Safeguard this faith, as it came to us, by way of tradition: the whole Faith!,”

      Mr Bowring you go too far here…..”But while God cannot deceive, a pope can, especially with a deceptive badge of (false) humility and (false) love for humanity that is displayed and not genuinely practiced. Some have expressed concerns about your true intentions in this regard.”

      You are accusing the Pope of being false and deceitful. How dare you! Who gives you the right to slander anyone? This is a grave sin.

      Mr Bowring… “but you cannot change the Church’s doctrine, not even one iota, not even regarding the least significant doctrine (e.g., communion for the remarried,”

      Pope Francis criticised the “gnostic solution” of elite groups of “enlightened Catholics” who offer a “higher spirituality.” He said “some advocates of ordaining nuns to the priesthood or of giving communion to the divorced and remarried fall into this error.”

      Bishop Schneider is best known for arguing that Holy Communion should be received on the tongue while kneeling, which he insists is the more efficient way to foster respect for the Sacrament and to prevent abuse of the Sacred Hosts. The 53-year-old bishop has called also for clarification (a new Syllabus of Errors), aimed at the clergy, to put a stop to liturgical and doctrinal freewheeling on a range of issues in the “spirit of Vatican II”.

      This is what this good Bishop says of the Pope….”Pope Francis is perceived to be at the forefront of a new liberal attitude coming from Rome But Bishop Schneider says: “Thanks be to God, Pope Francis has not expressed himself in these ways that the mass media expect from him. He has spoken until now, in his official homilies, very beautiful Catholic doctrine. I hope he will continue to teach in a very clear manner the Catholic doctrine.”

      You then ask the Pope…..”Are You Leading the Church Toward the Great Apostasy and Schism?”

      No the Pope isn’t Mr Bowring, but you just might be causing the very schism you are warning against!

      Pope Francis…”The Church cannot be made to suit the modern world, nor can her doctrine be changed to become inclusive, in order to suit other denominations and religions and fashions.”

      ..” the faithful must not renounce their own identity”, the Pope explained, “nor does it mean accepting compromises on faith and Christian morality

      You wrote..”Our Lord too repeatedly warned about the false teachers who will lead many to spiritual ruin. ”

      Yes Mr Bowring.. this is why we worry about you and the false seers you support.

      You asked the Pope…..”Are you the prophesied false prophet of lies and deception who will lead the Church into schism? Are you the anti-John the Baptist and precursor of the antichrist who will rule over the world? Will you soon be at death’s door, as the Book of Revelation prophesizes, only then, just as if a miracle has taken place, seem to have risen from the dead?”

      What a lot of nonsense you talk Mr Bowring and you sell books that are filled with this garbage too!

      St. Paul warned in his first letter to Timothy “that in the latter times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and (false) doctrines of demons through the pretensions of liars” (1 Timothy 4:1).

      Liked by 2 people

      • charliej373 says:

        Absolutely magnificent, Janet! I would that Dr. Bowring would repent and return to the fold, but I have utter contempt for his efforts right now. After having been completely deceived by the fraud of Maria Divine Mercy, who was fully exposed as a secular marketing guru, one would have thought Bowring would have received a little humility, for it was a warning to him. Instead, he has decided that he, himself, is the true vicar of Christ while he intently tries to lead people away from the faith and the Church. It is doubly contemptible because he once did good work. But puffed up with vanity, he brazenly now says to the Pope and the Lord, “My will be done.” Woe unto those who cause any of the Lord’s little ones to fall into perdition. As Our Lord says, it would be better for them if they had never been born.

        Liked by 2 people

        • janet333 says:

          He insists on saying..it is “probable” that the Pope is a false prophet, and feels he is doing no wrong in saying this…but he is spreading the most awful slander. Every day there is a new post from him..on some new mistranslation, or deliberate distortion of the Pope’s words. I am praying in earnest for him. He has many following him. 😦
          .

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        • Mary Ann says:

          I wanted to reply to the Kelly Bowring latest postings. I just want to say, never underestimate the power of a “good” cult. We should pray for liberation for those who are caught in them.

          Liked by 1 person

        • janet333 says:

          We’ll keep praying for his return Charlie….he can bring many others back with him too if he will turn around.

          God Bless You in your work

          Like

  3. I haven’t a clue what is going on in the Vatican. I read a lot of things, but I have come to trust none of it. I will follow the Pope as our Spiritual Father; but as to who is doing what to who and why the Pope is doing what he is , I have no idea. Thanks goodness Vatican City is hundreds of miles from Ireland.

    As Padre Pio said, ‘Pray, hope and don’t worry’.

    To which he might have added, ‘..and don’t even think about the Vatican, it will just give you a bad headache’.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Ha Padraig, you always have some real wisdom to offer! Vatican City is over 5,000 miles from Denver, but sometimes that feels a little too close for comfort.

      For all of us who enjoy Padraig’s Irish wit and wisdom, a guest column from him will go up tonight.

      Like

    • Kris says:

      Amen! Long have I decided to choose this path and just take care of my home and family, spread the faith through good works and at times, by explaining the faith with words. Mostly learning to trust our Lord and Lady to guide me through the day in my vocation. It brings much peace.

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  4. Tom says:

    There are a lot of very good people caught up in the devil’s deceit right now and are actively questioning Pope Francis and all the lies and what ifs that evil wants to sow in their minds.
    I’m afraid I have not been very good at calmly explaining the truth to them and being a sign of hope to get them to stay inside the ship and not wander out into the devil’s snares. But now you come with this divinely inspired gift of a piece written above that I can now use to help steer those in my circle of influence back on board.

    May God bless and keep you, Charlie. You’re a good man and keeping your post well, I will strive to man mine half as effectively.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jim says:

    The definition of insanity is doing something the same way, over and over again, expecting a different outcome. Half of all marriages in the US, and a significant percentage of marriages in other countries, end in divorce. Based on those numbers, it is a good bet that the Catholic married population follows the same trend. Which has made and currently makes close to half of the Catholic married population persona non grata in participating in the sacraments. But the misery does not end there.

    Despite what some clerics would have you think, divorce is not without a significant amount of pain. And not just for the couple. Their parents and children, and to a lesser extent their siblings, suffer just as mush if not more. There is a bitterness fomented, whether justified or not, in thinking that the Church is persecuting their loved one. Do those in the indirect line of fire side with a Church that has been mostly AWOL for families and was not to be seen when societal norms were decaying all around them (except for the vigorous finger shaking after the fact at the sinners who strayed) , or side with those they love? Do they side with a Church that offered hope for reconciliation that now appears to be engaged in a sophisticated and coordinated political attack (book releases, well times and placed interviews, etc.) that is building momentum to dash any hope of mercy?

    These are not difficult questions. Granted the parties are culpable for their acts. But what about the Church? Until recently, the Church seemed to fade away into the background while society decayed all around them. The flock needs reminders of the limits of their range to protect them from being lost. The Church has some culpability here, and it is disappointing that no one has mentioned it.

    Any deep thought on the subject seems all but lost in the rantings and ravings of Francis bashers. And one common thing I see in all the recent bashing is that the condemnations and ruminations of “experts” in theology all drip with the overwhelming stench of pride. Is the Holy Spirit closer to these men and women than He is to the Pope? For all their degrees, books written and honors, can they not remember the greatest virtue is charity? Or recall the constant message of Jesus for mercy? In the one prayer Jesus taught us, He told us to pray that the Father forgive us for our trespasses, just as we forgive those who trespass against us. We pray that the standard of forgiveness we employ be the very same standard the Father uses for us when we come in judgment before him. Does their education make them blind to the message of the prodigal son? Or that the first shall be last, and the last shall be first? Do they forget the message of Jesus to a prostitute who was under judgment of death for being freshly caught in another sinful act – your sins are forgiven; go and sin no more?

    What the Church has taught 3 generations is that there is not only no mercy for the divorced and remarried, but no hope either. I recall about a dozen years ago when the pedophile scandal was breaking, a high ranking Vatican cleric mused that pedophile priests could be forgiven, where divorced and remarried Catholics could not. By that statement, millions of Catholics were viewed as being damned into hell. Is this the message the Church wants to send? Salvation for me but not for thee?

    In this strife, I cannot help thinking that this is a time that is being repeated from history. Where religious leaders were in turmoil at the response of their people to a new message. Where that turmoil was perceived as a threat to their way of life and their control over the people. The first step was to shrug it off. The second step was to attack this new messenger and try to trip Him up in matters of faith, while telling the faithful that the man was from a low class in a bad part of town and could not be trusted. When steps 1 and 2 did not work, a decisions was made for one man to die so that theirs would be preserved. Just like in the Gospel of the landowner, who leased his winepress out to a caretaker. And when the master of the land sent servants to check on his holdings, they were beaten, shamed and killed. And when he sent His son in his stead to check, they killed the son to gain the son’s inheritance.

    Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Are any of those who deny mercy without sin?

    I pray that the Holy Spirit descend upon and remain with the Synod to guide them in God’s light. I pray that those who launch vicious written assaults against the Pope and others in the flock, listen to this recent message: “Let the words you speak or write give life not death… ” http://pelianito.stblogs.com/2014/09/27/let-the-words-you-speak-or-write-give-life-not-death/ . May the Spirit also descend upon you and enlighten you.

    Adolf Hitler never fired a shot in World War II; yet his speech and writings fueled the fire of millions of innocent deaths.

    And in the meantime, over half of the Catholic population affected by divorce in the United States and in the world begins to witness the destruction of hope, and of the love that they were beginning to feel from the Church for the first time in a long time, or ever. “Catholic” means universal – a Church for all. Or does it? Is the message of mercy in the Bible conditional, subject to a standard of worthiness found no where in scripture? A standard administered by only those whose education, credentials, honors and piety in accordance with rank imbue them with the right to judge, when the rest are admonished to judge not?

    The Pope has rightly convened a synod to discuss the matter. Nothing more. But the Pope knows that in convening a synod the Holy Spirit will provide His gifts of knowledge, understanding and counsel upon those Church leaders present. If they will open their hearts and minds, there will be a solution. If not, I pray for the future of our Church. A Church on notice by many of its clerical and lay leaders that it is their way or schism.

    God help the Church, and God help us.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Jim, I appreciate your thoughts. Just one quibble…you said no one has mentioned the hierarchy’s culpability in allowing this toxic climate to grow. In the first article I wrote on this back in June, fully the last half of my article was on the culpability of a hierarchy that had surrendered to a cult of therapy. I have reiterated the common responsibility several times. But maybe you were just talking about other commenters on the matter.

      This article, while built partly around the palette the synod affords. was more about the spirit of rivalry and dissension that is more and more rocking the faithful – and hopefully offering some relief from the noxious claims coming from both the left and the right in these times. This is Christ’s Church. He will care for it.

      Like

    • Mack says:

      You seem to be saying that mercy means that people who have sinned can be forgiven without repentance. Anyone who repents can be forgiven of any sin. The teaching on the indissolubility of marriage comes from Jesus himself in the Gospel. What has changed in the last several decades is not that teaching, but that many Catholics reject it. The underlying problem is a loss of faith. It is no mercy to tell people that their sins don’t matter. If the Church said, “Hey everyone, it doesn’t matter how you live, just come and receive Communion and do whatever you want,” that’s not going to help anyone. It’s not going to rekindle a dead faith.

      Liked by 1 person

      • charliej373 says:

        No Mack, that would be utterly wrong – and I have some concerns because I have heard some in the Church talk about that sort of approach. BUT, people rejecting the Church is not the only issue – and perhaps not even the most important. For several generations now the hierarchy, at least in America, the hierarchy has gone all mush-mouthed when it came to teaching boldly some of the fundamentals of the faith, such as life, the Real Presence, the indissolubility of marriage. The shepherds bear no little responsibility for improperly forming consciences on the matter – and having done so, it calls into question the actual sacramental validity of many marriages. I totally agree with Jim that it is completely unacceptable for these shepherds, having let the sheep out among the wolves, to simply berate them for having been slashed by the very wolves the shepherds were complicit in exposing them to.

        But the response must be administrative, through a case by case review – not the further dilution of doctrine.

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Yes, I am in a suburb that borders Denver. Just about 10 miles from right downtown.

          Like

        • Mary Ann says:

          I am in pastoral work of the “worst” kind, in the trenches, and I have some knowledge of canon law and theology. I would say that most people getting married in America have absorbed the culture’s definition of marriage, which is non-permanence. The Church has never preached her truth about it (TOB notwithstanding, you never hear the good news about marriage from the pulpit, much less basic catechesis). Put these things together with the fact that a very great many Catholics have been raised in divorce and abuse and addiction environments, and that every Catholic family has an abortion loss and denial going on (which has mega familial effects) , and you have people whose understanding and consent are both seriously impaired. The solution lies in a better annulment process, which will also require some real explanations and mea culpas by the Church. An approach somewhat like the Pauline privilege, wherein someone converting to real faith, finally realizing what they had not been taught but what is true, would be free from a union forged in alcohol, addiction, abuse, ignorance, etc. (Which would be invalid anyway, but those questions of family of origin are often not addressed in the annulment process). There is the other issue of early sexual activity, the destruction of the ability to develop authentically, habitual serial monogamy by the time of college, and impaired bonding – all of which would good evangelization as part of marriage prep. It’s not impossible, as a matter of fact it’s easy, but rarely tried, or, if tried, done as abstract flowery theology, not pastoral/evangelistic/spiritual addressing of wounds. Finally, the new English marriage vows are materially heretical and would seem to be invalidating to anyone who meant them as written – “all the days of my life” INDEED!!!! I have known young people who really thought they had to stay married after their partner died. Finally (again, this time for real), my experience with tribunals has been horrible. Serious ignorance, malfeasance, corruption, procedures that ignore the basic issues that must be addressed, and just plain idiocy….unbelievable. So reform in the annulment area would be good. Just ranting off the cuff here. The usual proviso that if I have said anything contrary to Church teaching, I take it back, but I don’t think I have….

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          • Mary Ann says:

            “all of which would NEED (add) good evangelization.” Sorry. Going too fast. One the Spiritual addressing of wounds aspect, you can, for instance, teach people how to bring past sexual bonds to the Lord, to surrender those partners and attachments to Him, and to ask for Him to repair you and free you for true union.

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          • charliej373 says:

            Oh, I understand, Mary Ann. I try to stay steady, but I sometimes internally pop my cork when I hear some of the poppycock some of our priests say. A fellow was saying the other day that we really need to do a better job of catechizing the faithful – and I grumpily muttered that we better start by catechizing some of our priests.

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      • Jim M. says:

        Mack

        I am not saying that at all. Sins do indeed matter. And confession and penance are not optional. What I am saying is that it is currently impossible for a divorced and remarried Catholic to repent. They are barred from communion and possibly from confession.

        Few of us have lead lives without straying from the Commandments, the Church or both. After the 60’s, there was little direction and little guidance. Some people just drifted away. Especially when preaching began to make the Church sound like just another new age fad.

        In the beginning Marriage was indisoulable, until it wasn’t. Moses recognized divorce. And then Jesus reset our understanding and said msn should not out asunder whwt God joined together. And the world pretty much obeyed that rule. Civil divorces could only be for strict cause. And judges in fact denied many. It was scandalous to be divorced.

        Until the 60’s. The world lead by the US changed the laws until a divorce was no more difficult than renewing a driver’s license.

        So we have a fall from faith, a Church not tending the flock and unchallenged changes in laws and morals.

        If someone is not Catholic, but converts, and before conversion went through a dozen divorces, does the Church treat those prior marriages as valid unions since none of those marriages were officiated by the Church? Should one baptized Catholic but not practicing in their adult lives be banned from returning and treated differently than the convert?

        Or one who murders their spouse? They can confess the sin of murder without question. Since their former spouse is dead, aren’t they free to remarry? You can see where that one is going.

        Does doctrine require a woman constantly beaten to within an inch if her life to stay with a man that may and probably will kill her some day?

        Or an ordained priest who changes his mind about being a priest. Is that vow not as sacred as marital vows?

        Jesus said the only sin that could not be forgiven was blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. He also preached mercy constantly. Is divorce and remarriage blasphemy against the Holy Spirit?

        Im in no way advocating turning a blind eye. I am saying that there must be consideration to providing a path to reconciliation, through penance and forgiveness. Right now, the doors are barred. And without mercy, they remain outcasts from the Church.

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        • Mack says:

          Thank you, Jim, for your thoughts here. To clarify one point, you asked,
          “If someone is not Catholic, but converts, and before conversion went through a dozen divorces, does the Church treat those prior marriages as valid unions since none of those marriages were officiated by the Church?”
          Yes, in fact the Church does treat those as valid marriages. Protestants validly marry in their own churches. Non-Christians marry validly too, though those are not sacramental marriages. Validity is one thing, and sacramentality is another. And a Catholic who marries a non-Christian, with the necessary dispensation for disparity of cult, is validly married but it is not a sacramental marriage.

          You also said, “What I am saying is that it is currently impossible for a divorced and remarried Catholic to repent.” I can’t agree with that because it is always possible to repent. That doesn’t mean it will be easy, however. You seem to be equating repentance with continuing to live as a divorced and remarried person (ie. sexually active). There are consequences to our actions. While we can certainly be sympathetic to people who are living in difficult situations, the fact remains that Jesus said that to remarry after divorce is adultery. When persons continue to commit a sin, the person can’t repent because they want to sin. That is the important difference. Repenting means stopping the sinful behavior. Again, it’s not easy, but a couple could live as brother and sister. It’s the same for any other sin, no matter what it is. If a person continues to commit the sin, they can’t be forgiven because they lack true repentance.
          A woman in a situation of domestic abuse can separate from the abuser, of course. But if she was validly married to him, she can’t remarry without committing adultery. It was Jesus who said this, not me, so maybe you need to take your complaints to the Lord.
          As for a priest who leaves the ministry, he is still a priest though he no longer functions as one. The sacrament he received was Holy Orders, and he is a priest forever. Diocesan priests make a promise of celibacy, not a vow (though priests in religious orders take vows). Vows are not sacraments. Marriage is a sacrament; hence the difference.

          Like

    • Mark says:

      Jim said: What the Church has taught 3 generations is that there is not only no mercy for the divorced and remarried, but no hope either. I recall about a dozen years ago when the pedophile scandal was breaking, a high ranking Vatican cleric mused that pedophile priests could be forgiven, where divorced and remarried Catholics could not. By that statement, millions of Catholics were viewed as being damned into hell. Is this the message the Church wants to send? Salvation for me but not for thee?

      Both can be forgiven if they repent from their sin. However, a divorced and remarried person, who has not received and an annulment, remains in grave sin untill they leave the sin of adultry. This is Church doctrine and cannot ever change.

      Liked by 1 person

      • vicardwm says:

        Yes, all that a remarried couple (without an annulment) would have to do is live as brother and sister and they could be full participants in the Sacraments. Certainly, it’s a tough situation, similar to what those who are same-sex attracted face, but it can be done with God’s grace.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Jim says:

    Charlie,

    I meant no one in the Church or those in positions of authority have mentioned it. The Church has admirably stepped forward in the pedophile scandal and we have seen much healing com from that. You have mentioned it more than once, and kudos to you for raising the tactic of punting on first down (to therapy you go) to deal with the issue. Spiritual problems beg spiritual solutions.

    Jesus Himself told us there is only one sin that is without forgiveness, and that is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. The synod has plenty to discuss, if they open their minds and hearts.

    The Church will survive, but not without going through its own purification right along with the rest of us.

    Like

    • Fran says:

      Jim, you’ve said a couple of times that the only sin that Jesus says is unforgivable is the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. This sin that Jesus says is unforgivable, according to St. Augustine, and St. Thomas Aquinas is really the sin of final unrepentance. It can’t be forgiven because the person refuses forgiveness, and refuses grace. All other sins can be forgiven, BUT we are talking about sins that are in the PAST. You can’t be forgiven of a sin that you are currently engaged in and plan to continue (adultery in this case), unless the couple plans to live together platonically. While doctrine cannot be changed, perhaps the Holy Spirit will enlighten the synod with some other solution to this problem. We can all pray for that.

      Like

      • charliej373 says:

        That, I think, is at the heart of a lot of the disquiet on the matter, Fran. Many assume it cannot be dealt with without a doctrinal change. The good Lord may have a completely novel way of dealing with these things with great mercy and fidelity to the faith that none of us have thought of. That is what an Extraordinary Synod is usually about….recognizing a serious problem that is troubling the faithful and finding ways to address it in fidelity to the faith.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fran says:

          Yes, Charlie, “Extraordinary” is the operative word, and exactly how the Holy Spirit operates isn’t it? I am getting from your comments to people that you are concerned that they are already deciding what will happen based on their own fears, and are becoming too caught up in things that are for God and His Magisterium to handle. We can’t pay attention to all the hype, and tumultuous waves of controversy, and need to stand our post on the ship, or we will be washed overboard!

          Like

  7. Vladimir Repka says:

    Charlie, a BIG, BIG hug from Slovakia. I wish my country was next door to Colorado. I would be on my way to see you. By the way, are you living in Denver?
    God bless you and all readers as well.
    Vladimir, Slovakia

    Like

  8. Observer says:

    I think I’m ready for a silent retreat 😉

    Like

  9. Mark says:

    What I know for certainty is that doctrinal teachings (faith & morals) can never change, as Jesus is truth and He is the same yesterday, today and forever. If anyone is uncertain about what is truth or not, get a hold of the Catholic Catechism, as it, along with scripture and canon law will provide all we need to hold fast to the truth.

    Mark Mallett came out with a timely article on being being on the two gaurdrails http://www.markmallett.com/blog/the-two-guardrails/ as a train cannot stay upright if one rail is gone. the two gaurdrails in our journey are the law and love. One cannot talk about mercy (love) and at the same time be off the rail of truth (the law). Vice-versa, one cannot hold fast to the law and be unmerciful.

    Now, I have pondered and racked my brain trying to figure Pope Francis out. One the one hand he as without doubt thrown some hardballs to the orthodox side of the Church. At the same time he has shown deep compassion for the ‘liberal’ wing of the Church. No one can deny this. Now either he is a very shrewed leader and knows exactly what he is doing or he is leader who cannot help himself in dividing the Church. Either way, he has been tip-toeing on the cutting edge of some doctrinal issues, although without falling off the rail of orthodoxy. Because of this he still demands our fidelity and prayers.

    One thing seems apparent and that is Charlie is spot on in his assessment that Pope Francis is the man within the storm. Now whether he is shrewed enough to have been led to bring out both the extreme’s on both sides of the rail or not remains to be seen. I just hope that he keeps both wheels on the rails himself, as we know from history, there has been bad popes and anti-popes, but our faith assures us of only one thing and that is a validly elected pope cannot teach heresy, altough he can create great confusion among the faithful which seems to be the case thus far.

    Like

    • ann says:

      Yes Mark, you speak for many of us here. I have some unease over Pope Francis’s latest actions but I had some unease over some of Pope John Paul II’s actions as well and the Church has canonized him, so there you go. I remind myself that Catholics here in the pews are not the Pope. We don’t know what he knows. We don’t get the Divine inspirations that he gets, or the discernment. But in any case,I think this Synod will be very instructive for all of us. Perhaps it will clarify much. If Pope Francis agrees to some significant change in defined doctrine (or even an insignificant change) in an effort to be “pastoral” then we have to remember Paul’s words about an Angel of Light bringing a scripture that is not the scripture the Church has taught. Paul said it was to be utterly rejected. the truth must be spoken in love, yes, but truth still must be spoken. The words of Christ Himself cannot, cannot be contravened. Some truths are “hard sayings–who can accept them?” and many still walk away and Christ does not call them back. We’re in some very dicey times. I trust to the Holy Spirit that a Pope cannot speak error in his official teaching capacity as Holy Father. I guess we’ll just have to pray pray pray, stay close to the Blessed Mother, and watch this play out…. The narrow path just keeps getting narrower, huh?

      All the struggle and confusion in the Church just mirrors the struggles, hand wringing and confusion in the world at large. Have you ever known such a failure of leadership on such a giant scale??? More than ever I’m reminded of Yeats’ poem “The Second Coming”–the best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

      Like

  10. BB says:

    Just a word regarding Archbishop Cupich and Chicago:
    I’m a parishioner at St. John Cansius in Chicago. Father Frank Phillips, the pastor, has requested parishioners join him in praying a 30 day novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for the benefit of Archbishop Blasé Cupich, and for a “special intention” of the Canons Regular of St. John Cansius.
    I was recently told the following story:
    Back in the 1980’s Fr. Phillips was assigned as pastor to St. John Cansius which was being ministered by his order, the Congregation of the Resurrectionists. At that time Fr. Phillips was saying at least one Novo Ordo Sunday Mass in Latin, and not doing the Extraordinary Form at all. He received a phone call from then Cardinal Bernadin, asking if he would be willing to make St. John Cansius a church that provides the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, since there seemed to be a desire for it. Fr. Phillips immediately said yes; BUT, since he was in a religious order, he told the Cardinal he would have to ask his superiors first. When Fr. Phillips asked them, they said a definitive NO! Fr. Phillips reported back to Cardinal Bernadin, saying perhaps if Bernadin called them, they would relent. Bernadin called them, and they said an emphatic NO! So the Cardinal called Fr. Phillips, saying they turned him down. Fr. Phillips told the Cardinal to give him 30 days, then call Father Superior again. Fr. Phillips spent those 30 days praying a novena. I am not sure the prayer was to the Sacred Heart, or to Our Lady, and if he also had the parish praying. Whatever the case, when Cardinal Bernadin called Father Superior to ask again, the answer was YES! Prayer changes everything.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. donna269 says:

    Hi Charlie:
    So much of these accusations about our Pope are starting to look like the game of Clue (Colonel Mustard, in the kitchen, with the knife). Poor Kelly Bowring…..what indeed what wrong there? Is it haughtiness? Too smart for all of this? I suppose we can chalk it up to the evil one but then again, sometimes we are our own worst enemies. I am learning every day the key to the Spirit is with humility. The most humble saints are my favorites and I will try to follow their examples but I fall daily…..oh do I fall daily. But like the Little Flower, I offer it up and stay small….thank you for your wisdom on those who believe they are “in the know”……

    Like

  12. Anne says:

    Thank you Charlie for your comments especially about drawing out what is in hearts! The Light is shining and hearts are being exposed ……. And I can’t just think Only hearts of those involved in the synod.All our hearts , everyone’s hearts! We Truly are in a time of Mercy….. Synod started on feast of St Faustina…. Interesting.

    Like

  13. BB says:

    “Tu verus mundi lucifer,”
    I took a couple of Latin classes, and I am pretty bad at it, but if my memory serves, “mundi” means “of the world,” “mundus” being the noun, and “mundi” the possessive.
    Of course “lucifer” seems to translate “morning star” because light is “lux.”
    So the verse most likely means “You are the true Morning Star of the world.”
    Maybe someone with a good command of Latin could correct this if it’s wrong. But to your point, I cannot imagine anyone but enemies of the Church thinking the Pope is going around worshiping Satan. Heaven help us! 🙂

    Like

    • marie says:

      Couldn’t resist chipping in my tuppenny bit here, as I LOVE Latin. You’re right about ‘mundi’ being the genitive form (‘of the world’). ‘Lucifer’ is actually made up of two words: lux (light, as you say) and fero (bring or carry – it’s where we get words like ‘ferry’ or ‘ferryman’ from), so it literally means ‘one who brings light’ or ‘bearer of light’. I would say it means something like ‘You who are the true bearer of light to the world’, or ‘of the light of the world’, but perhaps someone who is more Latin-savvy can give a better translation☺ (sorry, Charlie, about the digression and please send this directly to BB if it’s too off-topic)

      Like

  14. vicardwm says:

    Hi Charlie, could you explain how Cardinal Burke is berating the sick for being sick? I am not following this part of what you are saying. Everything else you are saying is right on target. Let’s not pay attention to rumors.

    A priest at our parish gave a homily a few weeks back, and said something to the effect that the Church is the New Noah’s Ark. It can be crowded on the Ark, it can be contentious, it can be stinky, and it can be dirty and unsanitary – but stay on the Ark anyway as it is much better than the alternative. It is the only place where life can be preserved.

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    • charliej373 says:

      From everything I have read concerning these things, Cardinal Burke seems to want to leave everything just as it is. He is a guardian of orthodoxy – and certainly one of those I most respect. But his position, as I understand it, does not seem to have the hierarchy taking any responsibility for the errors they let creep in over these last few generations. Only the laity who were damaged by the shepherds misfeasance are to suffer for the errors. It is why examining the validity of marriages in the context of a culture that did not regard them as permanent – and a hierarchy that did not faithfully and boldly proclaim – seems a solid approach to me. It keeps faith with Christ’s doctrine, instills the seriousness of marriage to all who come forward, and give the Bishops a TON of work on the matter in penance for their failure to defend the faithful.

      Now, if I have misunderstood Cardinal Burke’s position on the matter, I will be glad to be enlightened. But as much as I admire him, he seems very defensive and intransigent to me on this issue.

      Like

      • vicardwm says:

        I’m heading off to Mass so this will be brief, but what would you like to see changed, as an example? We already have 90% of annulments which are applied for granted – would you like to see that number go higher, or what do you have in mind? I agree that the hierarchy and clergy bear a significant part of the blame, but how practically could the hierarchy take responsibility for these errors?

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        • charliej373 says:

          I halfway suspect you are playing with me, vicar. Again, I give a pretty good explanation of where I am coming from here. The issue is not a matter of numbers. If annulments are handed out like party favors, even 20 percent is too much. If the matter is just how restrictive or permissive we will be in giving out annulments, we might as well not waste the time, for we won’t solve a thing.

          The issue is to recognize the cultural issues involved in having given a deficient understanding of marriage as a covenant. Then giving classes, almost like a mini-RCIA, firmly teaching what marriage truly is, permanent, indissoluble and a covenant. And covenant is NOT merely a contract, but a participation in the life and family of God. When you have a mess to clean up because of a leak you have two things to do: clean up the mess and fix the leak, or else you will just have a new mess to replace the old.

          Like

          • Mary Ann says:

            Hey, you said what I said. Little minds think alike!

            Like

          • vicardwm says:

            Charlie, I wouldn’t play with you – I guess I misunderstood you. There is no question that, going forward, the Church HAS to do a lot better job catechizing on marriage and preparing couples for marriage. You have reason to believe that Cardinal Burke does not agree with that? I ask that seriously. I do not know – all I know is that I have met and talked to Cardinal Burke a couple of times, and it doesn’t sound like him to be intransigent or think things are just fine in the Church as they are.

            Like

          • charliej373 says:

            Oh, please do not think I admire Cardinal Burke any less because of what I say on this matter. I think he has been a great gift to the Church and the faithful. I think he is over-reacting on this matter and digging his heels in the ground for fear of things that have not happened yet – and it is keeping him from breaking through to solutions that would defend the faith fully, demand full responsibility from all that bear responsibility, and offer genuine healing and strengthening of the faithful going forward.

            Perhaps, vicar, I speak as I do because I spent much of my life acting as chief advisor to men of serious stature. I am always candid with them in private – and there is no one I know who is always right. To say that I think Cardinal Burke is not seeing clearly on this matter, probably because of his own fears on the matter, is not a matter of disrespect or to diminish his gifts his contributions to the faith. I have made it very clear that I consider it a terrible loss that he is not key in making recommendations for open Bishoprics. I have had more than a few serious men thank me after the dust had settled from a private tirade…and more than a few roar right back at me. The thing people forget sometimes is that these people are real people, not just symbols. I never treat someone like a thing – and never do I let my criticism on a particular issue impede my fundamental loyalty and admiration of someone who has earned it. Cardinal Burke has deeply earned it.

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          • vicardwm says:

            OK, Charlie. Thanks for the clarification. I guess I was trying to understand exactly what Cdl. Burke had said that had led you to make the comments you did. I know that you admire Cardinal Burke.

            Like

        • Frodo says:

          Hi Charlie,

          I’ve been following our blog for a little while now and I feel the need to jump in here. I believe the good cardinal has been vocal about the failings of the church and the need to be a better shepherd to the flock.

          For example: two days ago there was an interview with Cardinal Burke in which he clearly stated that “One of the biggest challenges is the defective catechesis in the Roman Catholic Church—I can speak from my experience in the United States—for the past 40 to 50 years.” So he clearly acknowledges the problem.

          Then he states this: “…we need to help especially young people when they are at the age where one is preparing for marriage to see marriage itself as a beautiful call, a way to eternal salvation—not only to their happiness now on earth—and to assist them in every way we can. I think if we have a good catechesis for children and for young people it will be easier to reach them with the message of the Church, the message of reason and faith with regard to marriage as they come into their young adult years.”

          Seems to me that he gets it.

          Like

          • charliej373 says:

            Frodo, he does indeed get what the consequences of poor catechesis have been and is deeply dedicated to protecting current and future generations from those consequences. My problem is that I have not heard him offer any sort of practical means of relief to the generations who have been maimed by that bad catechesis, other than to stew in their own juices. It seems to me that these leaves the onus solely on the victims with no real consequences for the shepherds who encouraged them to put themselves in situations in which they would be victimized. Now, again, I am an admirer of Cardinal Burke and think he has been one of the most consequential churchmen of the last quarter century – so I am inclined to look with favor on him. But no one has yet shown me where he addresses this issue in a manner calculated to help bind up the wounds of the laity who were sent out among wolves that they should have been protected from.

            My inclination is that Burke will probably get serious about that matter between now and the more consequential synod that will actually make formal recommendations next year. But he is not there yet. Now if I am wrong about this particular issue, I will be glad to be shown evidence of it so I can repudiate what I have said on the matter to this point. But no one has given me that sort of evidence. And please, evidence that Cardinal Burke is brilliant and good and noble and all that stuff is unnecessary. I already know that. I am talking about evidence on an effective approach to binding up those wounded in the context of this specific issue.

            Like

          • Frodo says:

            Well I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree Charlie 🙂 Better catechesis going forward is the only way possible to try to stem the problem, and the annulment procedure indeed is a valid way for those who were done a disservice. I’m not sure what else could be done that doesn’t fall under those two points of which he is an advocate of?

            I guess to sum it up: I think the approach is effective, but the execution has been poor.

            Like

          • charliej373 says:

            Really, just leave the wounded to bleed? If that is what you believe I guess we will have to disagree on the matter. But who said the annulment process is not the way? Are you grounded in the teaching of the Church on what elements are necessary for a valid sacramental marriage? And if you are, you do not think that a widespread corrosive culture has any effect of the validity on most – or any marriages? The elements in determining the validity are, by their very nature, dynamic. What many who call for letting the wounded just bleed in misery until they die are pushing for is not, I don’t think. keeping to an authentic reading of the elements, but insisting on a static application of them regardless of larger outside cultural forces or whether the hierarchy has properly catechized the faithful on what the necessary elements are.

            If our only approach is, so sorry, we will try not to betray others in the future and leave them to die in misery, I not only find it unaccepatable, but a repulsive evasion of duty. And if that is the end answer, I think the architects of it will be judged every bit as harshly as those who are using this as an opportunity to attack the doctrinal foundation of the Church.

            Like

          • Frodo says:

            I’m sorry Charlie, but I just don’t see how suggesting that one goes through an annulment process is “leaving them to die in misery”; I’m saddened that you would try to frame the argument in such a way. I am somewhat well versed in the requirements for obtaining an annulment. How is getting an annulment a problem currently? There are very few instances of people getting denied. In fact, an argument could be made ( and in fact was a number of times by recent popes) that they are too freely given.

            St. John Paul II (who clearly wasn’t judged too harshly) warned in a speech to the Roman Rota of ” the scandal of seeing the value of Christian marriage destroyed in practice by the exaggerated and almost automatic multiplication of declarations of nullity.”

            Benedict XVI said in 2009 “We run the risk of falling into an anthropological pessimism which, in the light of today’s cultural situation, considers it almost impossible to marry.”

            What a difference 5 years makes… We have gone from running the risk of falling into anthropological pessimism to diving headlong into it. And those who try to voice their support for the church’s teachings are deemed among those who wish to let their brothers and sisters to die. In reality however, nothing could be further from the truth.

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          • charliej373 says:

            Frodo, forgive me. On this point you are right and I am wrong. I was a little crabby when I made my previous response for reasons that had nothing to do with you or this issue. I apologize. When you get right down to it, my main position is simply continue with annulments while taking the cultural factors into consideration. Stripped of the bells and whistles, that is it.

            Forgive me for my snappishness, particularly unwarranted since you have been such a gentleman here. I hope you stick around. I am not always a crab.

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          • vicardwm says:

            I think that both Frodo and I are struggling with trying to figure out what it is that you think needs to be done. How is it that we can stop the wounded from bleeding in your view? Certainly a widespread corrosive culture does have a terrible effect on many marriages, and I suppose that is why, of all of the annulments sought, 90% of them are granted. But you seem to be alluding to something other than annulments, or some wholesale change to the annulment process?

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          • charliej373 says:

            No, vicar, I just apologized to Frodo. I suppose when it came down to it, my position would ultimately make the annulment process tougher while in the short term, making it more arduous ONLY to the extent that it would contain a lengthier period of formal catechesis on what marriage is.

            But you are right that my base response is fundamentally a matter of giving direction on how the annulment process is to be administered. Sorry I was crabby on it for other reasons – any disagreement we have is primarily one of nuance, not of substance.

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    • ann says:

      Vicardwm–thank you for the Noah’s Ark analogy. Perfect!!

      Like

  15. Mark says:

    Charlie, one could use this very argument with every modern day sin (contraception, sterelization, masturbation, homosexulaity act, invitro-fertelization etc..) none of these grave sins have been talked about from the pulpit for 50 years. So is anyone really culpble to sin then>?

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    • charliej373 says:

      Mark, you are talking about entirely different things here.

      First, marriage is a sacrament, not a sin. The Church has always insisted that certain things are required to enter validly into that sacramental covenant – and if it turns out those things are deficient, it is not a sacramentally valid marriage. We are talking her about cultural influences that some of the hierarchy helped promote that, by their nature, diminished the proper understanding of what marriage is among the faithful. Those deficiencies will, in many cases, invalidate the marriage. That is not even a matter of pure mercy…just a matter of fact. The mercy largely comes in making sure that everyone, going forward, is properly taught what marriage is so that the churches are not co-conpirators in forming invalid marriages.

      Second, even with sin, the intent and understanding of the sinner DOES play a significant role in their culpability under canon law. There are cases of diminished capacity – which diminishes culpability. A priest is responsible both for hearing and forgiving sins AND forming the conscience of the sinner. This is not some new innovation, but ancient canon law. So the level of culpability does vary according to the understanding and capabilities of the penitent – but a priest who knowingly is deficient in forming the conscience of a penitent is, himself, falling into sin. This is one of the many reasons why we desperately need to pray for our priests. One of the perfect examples of the proper approach is from Jesus with the woman taken in adultery: He forgave her tenderly AND formed her conscience, directing her to go and sin no more.

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      • Kris says:

        Charlie, just a few questions. Over the past years I have had personal experience with an annulment and was so happy that what I knew in my heart was also recognized by the Church and I was allowed to remarry. The process is healing. Second, I have now met a priest who told a group that cannon law is based on the belief that everyone has a right to a good marriage. When explained fully, he stated that even if a person has to marry and be annulled 4 or 5 times to get it right, well that is where the annulment process comes in. I also know of a man who was married 4 times, had children in each marriage and then after annulments for each marriage entered seminary and became a priest. I must admit I was a big scandalized by all that. I can see the point of the cultural influences and how young people who many times are living together before marriage, then marry and then divorce have probably never bought into the idea that marriage is permanent. Can they enter into a marriage sacramentally? I don’t know. I just am amazed at how easy it seems for the annulments to go through not once or twice but on and on. Where is the idea that a person should seek help from counseling to try to find reasons for their frequent flyer miles? I am sorry if that seems a bit testy. I just wonder if we have gone too far with annulments and yet at the same time fail to help prospective spouses understand the permanence of the relationship. Just my wanderings.;

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        • charliej373 says:

          The major problem with the annulment process, in my mind, Kris, is that when it is granted, a person SHOULD have to go through an intensive couseling, either through an RCIA-like program or private counseling with their pastor. Before they marry again, a rather rigorous screening process should be gone through to make sure they enter into a sacramentally valid union the second time. The priest you describe that says four or five times has a rather hazy conception of canon law…and if a person genuinely has to marry four or five times to get it “right” the priests involved are guilty of a profound dereliction of duty.

          A fundamental duty of the clergy is to inform Christian consciences among those given to their pastoral care. If annulments are treated as a form of Catholic “divorce,” they are not proclaiming Christ with fidelity. If serial annulments are actually needed because of widespread improperly formed consciences, the clergy have failed in the most fundamental of their duties.

          Right now I have no doubt a huge number of marriages are sacramentally invalid probably a majority among the young. So I would be permissive in granting annulments now, but rigorous in programs of counseling and formation so that, going forward, annulments due to a defective understanding of the sacrament are almost non-existent. That will be demanding on those who seek to marry but even more demanding of the clergy. Penance all around to prune away the nonsense and open us up to real joy.

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          • janet333 says:

            I absolutely agree with you Charlie. I was granted an annulment, but when I was first interviewed by the Priest from the Tribunal he was looking for excuses as to why my marriage was invalid. None of the reasons he came up with had anything to do with the grounds on which I could be granted the annulment. I insisted on the correct reason why my marriage had not been valid. I also agree with the counselling you mentioned. I was going to remarry…but never did.

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  16. Matthew says:

    Charlie:
    First off I thought most of this column was excellent and spot on. You are so right about the need for healing. I have been the recipient of some extended prayer for inner healing and have just recently started to pray with others for this. I am not sure I have a charism for it but see the need and want to help. I also appreciate your candor in dealing with appointments like Cupich and some concerns over Francis’ MO. While I absolutely trust Christ and His Promise regarding His Church I admit to being a little less sanguine than you seem to be about Francis being the right man at this time.
    I’m, however, on board with vicardwm. I think your criticism of Burke is unfounded. There are two issues to which you seem to refer. First the issue of resolving marital cases. Second is the penalty due to bishops who have absolutely failed to teach the Faith for forty years. On the first point I think you may be right about Burke – that he may see little need for more than tweaking the legal process. The Second point seems to me where you (Charlie) have more of an issue. I am not sure what basis you have for that judgment. Burke has seemed very willing, certainly more willing than most, to apply the Churches penal code to clerics who have transgressed.
    My two cents.
    Oremus pro invicem!
    Matthew

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  17. Mary says:

    I think you can’t stand with one foot in and one foot out of faith and ever expect to have a properly formed conscience as has happened since the 60’s, even your reason will begin to fail you. I believe Jesus, The Holy Spirit and Mary will offer some form of comfort to those bearing this cross as the times get worse and people will hopefully begin to see and cling to the steady ship and the absolute beauty in I Am God, I Change Not. Grace will help them and doctrine will not change and with a return to that comes back understanding as to why family, marriage, no birth control were always the wisest and best doctrine. In other words when we reap the full whirlwind people will cling to the steady ship and God himself will be the first to throw out a lifesaver of grace.

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    • charliej373 says:

      Though I did not read it until I had been received into the Catholic Church, Pope Paul VI’s brief Encyclical, Humanae Vitae, stunned me when I did read it. It is the single most prophetic document of modern times. Now it is evident that Pope Paul was exactly correct in every prediction of what the consequences of this would be – and ALL the experts were dead wrong. If you have not read it yet, follow the link. When Pope Paul wrote this in 1968, he could not have described the culture we have become with more deadly accuracy if he had visited in a time machine.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mary says:

        Yes, that was on my mind as I wrote. Every society eventually learned the hard way why you don’t give yourself over to complete hedonism and they snapped back to reality. There is also another book out as to why the gay agenda will fail on it’s own, by reason alone. I pray that will happen even if we have to live with the consequence for a time.

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        • BB says:

          Mary, you are so right. It’s the old saying, those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. I too believe eventually society will learn all the agony, pain, and heartache that goes with defying the natural law is just not worth it. But, as I have been known to say to anyone who will listen (and they are fewer and farther between these days 🙂 ), yes, we will most likely swing back to valuing the moral law, but oh the destruction that occurs in the meantime. That is the real needless tragedy.

          Like

          • charliej373 says:

            At times past BB, occasionally a furious anger would rise up in me, thinking, oh, if this world had just shown a little humility, a smidgeon of faith, I could have had a normal life and you have robbed me of it. (The last time I felt that was before I left on my pilgrimage four years ago). But I probably would not have much liked a normal life, anyway, so who am I kidding? I am surprised at how deeply touched – and how much real joy – I get here from sensing people calming even as the Storm rises, helping to get people to see their trust in God is not in vain and, best of all. preparing to be signs of hope to those around them and being that already. One woman brought her two children to our little prayer meeting a week ago (lot of children there – I like that. Children are a joyful noise to the Lord!) Needless to say, her son was not enthused about going to a prayer meeting on a Saturday afternoon. But she said both wanted to know when the next one is going to be – and they are actively doing little things to be nice and helpful to their little friends. The “going forth” portion of the group is a call to do the little, ordinary things that bring smiles and joy to those right around you. Totally cool. I keep a lot busier than you would think, but my life is become a right joyful one.

            Liked by 1 person

      • MM Bev says:

        The utterly appalling fact with regard to Humanae Vitae, was the “Winnipeg Statement” made following it’s publication by the Canadian Conference of Bishops in Canada. It pretty much says, each couple can follow their own conscience in determining what they will do.
        Last year, a priest I know told me that the statement had been retracted and it was on their website. Well, I hunted, I search, I finally clicked on everything…and there in a statement to the aboriginal people of Canada, was a sort of ambiguous, kind of, maybe like, well, you might be able to read into it “thing” that maybe could be sort of taken for a kind of, well, I’m not sure.

        Now, the Winnipeg Statement (so called because that is where it was written), had been deleted from the website. So I emailed and asked for a copy. And in short order, one arrived in the mail. The envelope seemed fairly thick, thicker than the statement certainly had been. So with great expectancy, I opened it. Sure enough. There was the Statement, unchanged. Along with it was St. John Paul, the Great’s long explanation on how to form a Catholic conscience competently. Sorry, that really doesn’t cut it and doesn’t let them off the “hook” of retracting the statement in whole and telling Canadian Catholics the truth, in a letter to be read in every parish (for as many Sundays as the thing has been in existence, so that everyone KNOWS WHAT THEY DID BY HEART.)

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      • Kris says:

        And what was more amazing, he wrote the article with the help of the then Cardinal from Poland. He also wrote that encyclical even with much support from Bishops that he do just the opposite and allow the use of contraceptives. So we have in the encyclical and example of how the petrine office safeguards the Church even when the support from fellow Bishops isn’t there.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Mary says:

    The church is wringing their hands like little old ladies acting like THEY are the dispensers of grace. Maybe sometimes you need to be brought to your knees and feel the consequence of your actions before you can grasp THE hand that will give you the real strength to carry your own cross to the finish line and false comfort and a change of rules will never be THE hand.

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  19. Maybe Cardinal Burke knows more than we see and hear. I think if we were a fly on the wall and heard some of the things that Cardinal Burke has heard ….we might have heart attacks. As I see it….Cardinal Burke is much like all those that came before him……such as Popes, Church Fathers and Saints. They too stood firm ….but stood firm with compassion. It’s like being a parent. Parents MUST stand firm but always with love and understanding. Many men in the church need a serious time out…..and it’s not Burke. As for those who are hurting….it’s due to a lack of proper Catechesis and soft talk from the pulpit. This is just another effect from the errors that entered into the church after VII. Yes ….a bit of good came out of it….but BOY a lot of bad did too. Question. I was chatting with a priest on FB and I he had mentioned that communion on the hand is just wrong and sad. My question back was….why hasn’t one of Our Holy Fathers ….just stop it. He said he didn’t know why. …..but he said jokingly if he ever became Pope…it would be the FIRST thing he would correct. There is just so much stuff that has happened…..and all of it is because there is a severe lack of reverence for Our Lord in the Eucharist. So much fear tat if we say or do something ….it might offend someone….but all the while ….Its Our Lord who is most offended. I think many of the priests and hierarchy need to spend some time in a traditional large Catholic family and see how it’s done….by the Father and the Mother. They will see how the kids …..know the rules……and if they break the rules…..TIME OUT or a SPANKING…..LOL!!

    Like

    • Mary says:

      I prefer orthodoxy and reverence because I have seen the fruits but sometimes when your child is acting out due to deep hurt, they need a hug, not a spanking, so I see the other side too. We need a wise parent.

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      • charliej373 says:

        It really is, Mary, why I am so adamant about taking the next right step and being a sign of hope. In fact, the little prayer group we have started here – and are working on a booklet so others can do the same – internally, we meet afterwards. The point is not to congratulate ourselves (though that would be perfectly natural after a great success) but to examine what we have done to spark hope in those who came and what things we might have done to quench hope, so we don’t repeat them.

        Like

        • Mary says:

          I will be waiting to hear more about the book and how to get started. It’s a great idea!

          Like

          • charliej373 says:

            It will just be a booklet, Mary. Simplicity is the hallmark of it all (Ha ha, I bet that’s no surprise to anyone here). And it won’t be ready until after the first of the year, I am afraid. That is not because it is so hard, but because we are doing and then assessing, determined to set up in its structure ways to keep it from going off the rails while keeping it to such a clear simplicity that it can spread like wildfire and in complete purity and simplicity. I have had it in mind and dealing with it since early this year. Once it is ready, if it is possible, I will see about making it available free in a PDF format here, but will also make a hard copy available through the supply house that the prayer cards are available through and a version available through the Kindle Store at Amazon. So once I am satisfied with it, I can arrange for easy distribution very quickly.

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        • MM Bev says:

          The booklet sounds like a :wise parent” for prayer groups! I am really eager to get my hands on it eventually. The wisdom of taking time to make certain that it flows and accomplishes the goal will make it all that much more valuable. And the fact that you have included CHILDREN – what a truly wonderful blessing! There aren’t many places where faith is caught and taught that lets the entire family participate. I don’t know if this is a result of the long lessons early in your life or the long pilgrimage, or both, but I am awfully glad both happened. This is just another of an outpouring of the many gifts and talents God has blessed you with so that you, in turn, and obedience, pass to us. A lot of us won’t make it through the storm, but I am so glad that you will. The same wisdom you share with us will travel on after. I can’t tell you what hope and joy that gives me.

          Like

      • Yes hugs are needed. Discipline can be full of compassion. We correct with love at all times. But at this time…..there seems to be a bit of confusion on the rules and many are trying to get their way.

        Like

  20. Mary says:

    I honestly don’t know the answer but I know who does and I just pray that they know they know who does before they decide anything and do the next RIGHT thing. I trust Jesus will right his ship, I just hope it’s him at the helm.

    Like

  21. MM Bev says:

    I wish I knew how to solve the dilemma for this particular problem, especially because it is a sacrament. But I have not read one thing here that is the most important. Whatever the situation that’s been created by people, God made us all, and is calling all of us to Him. Just because someone divorced and remarried does not mean that said person cannot participate in going to Mass or being part of a parish. And most importantly, it does NOT mean that Jesus has abandoned him/her. It means that until that situation is resolved, they cannot receive absolution, or receive communion. Now, where exactly does that leave all our protestant brothers and sisters, never mind all the other people in the world who are neither Catholic or protestant.? My brother cannot receive an annulment because all the witnesses required are dead. But he has returned to Mass, often even daily, sings in the parish choir and has a relationship with Jesus. I told him he was still a Catholic, and to go and seek out a good priest, tell him everything even though he knows he can’t receive absolution, and let the priest know he wishes to return to attending Mass, making spiritual communions and to participate in the parish. Before you go, you tell Jesus that you know its just a horrible mess that your can’t find a way out of (or for some, don’t want to leave a new spouse-he’s divorced from number three, and living with another woman), but you give permission to Jesus to fix it however He can. Now, he may die, and Jesus may say to my brother, “This is how I fixed it.
    It’s the sort of, well, I just give up, no need to even try to relate to God or the Church or anything and I have no responsibility here for anything myself to fix what I can fix, that boggles my mind. You bet it’s not the perfect answer. Most people are going to die before one is found. So fix what you can fix yourself.
    When my son was diagnosed with a fatal illness, I didn’t just say, well that’s it, he’s going to die. I found out everything I could do to help him to survive as well and as long as possible and will let God decide what and how. I thought that was what we were supposed to sort of do in life. Isn’t that why we pray and intercede for others needs and our own? This is not an, “Oh Woe, I’ll just give up until the Church leaders figure it out and decide what to do (if anything)” We can actually even catechize ourselves and or help to catechize others as they show signs leading us to share and explain. Believe me when I say that if we wait until someone else does something, nothing will even get done. Let them do what they are responsible for doing, do what each of us is responsible for doing, and Jesus will judge and have mercy on all of us when we see Him face to face. He’s more likely to have a smile on His face if we’ve done our part when we see Him.
    Follow Charlie’s steps. They are clear, concise, and can actually be done.

    Like

  22. radiclaudio says:

    Excellent. Thank you again. In Christ.

    Like

  23. This night i sit reading the book of Saint Jude. My bible has a bit of commentary before. Here is what it says.
    FIGHT! Contend! Do Battle! When apostasy arises, when false teachers emerge, when the TRUTH of God is attacked, it is time to FIGHT FOR THE FAITH!
    Only believers who are spiritually IN SHAPE can answer the summons. At the beginning of his letter Saint Jude focuses on the believers common salvation but then feels compelled to challenge them to CONTEND for the faith. The danger is REAL. False teachers have crept into the CHURCH, turning Gods grace into UNBOUNDED LISCENSE to do AS THEY PLEASE. saint Jude reminds such men of Gods past dealings with unbelieving Israel., Disobedient angels, and wicked sodom and Gomorrah. In the face of such danger Christians should not be caught off guard. The Challenge is great!…but so is the God who is able to keep them from stumbling.

    Saint Jude….Pray for us and all our Shepherds.

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  24. Jim says:

    I understand the notion that “rules are rules”, but I question the glib answers we have received from the Church on divorced and remarried Catholics. Let’s start with the thought that everyone can be forgiven. When one is barred from the sacrament of reconciliation, how can they be forgiven when they are not permitted to even seek forgiveness? The second, that divorced and remarried Catholics may be accepted back into the fold if they cease living in grave sin. There are two options here – to seek an annulment or to renounce their existing marriage. I know many people who refuse to go the annulment route for a variety of reasons. Those include, rightly or wrongly, the thought that it will render their children illegitimate (I know the Church teaches otherwise), that they have tried but cannot relive that extremely painful experience of divorce by opening up that wound again, that the assessment for an annulment is something they cannot afford (I know the Church teaches those who cannot afford it will be covered, but in the same breath they say the Parish will pay for it, which leads people to ask why other members of the parish should pay for their problem), that the “pay to play” process is akin to the old practice of buying indulgences, and this is something they will not entertain.

    The second option is to renounce their current marriage. Let’s start with the thought that two wrongs do not make a right. Is a person to leave their present spouse, and possibly children as penance for the sin of divorce and remarriage. Is the Church saying it is necessary to destroy a subsequent union, some of which go 20, 30, 40 or 50 years, as the pound of flesh required for grace? Or that destroying a family is the price of admission to the sacraments?

    I mentioned how this impacts not only those in the marriage but their families. It also impacts a far greater audience. Young people have borne witness to the Church’s position on divorce and remarriage and are opting not to get married at all or not to get married in the Church. Their thinking, is that avoiding a Church marriage will not damn them to hell if they subsequently divorce and remarry. As the thinking goes, avoiding a Church marriage allows them to participate as full members in the Church. I saw a study a few weeks ago that said for the first time, there are more single people in the US than married.

    Which brings us back to the question of what do for people who stray from the Church’s teachings when the Church was AWOL for about 50 years on the topic. And when they did weigh in, they did so with a series of mixed, confused and downright wrong messages – “follow your conscience”, “continue to receive the sacraments”.

    Rules are indeed rules. But are they? How does the Church explain how Catholics in high political positions continue to receive the sacraments even though they very publically and personally oppose Church teachings or strongly advocate positions supporting sin. Abortion, contraception, divorce and remarriage, homosexual unions, et al. Rather than Churches embracing these people and openly administering the sacraments to them, should they not be acting to protect the flock from the wolves? Is it not hypocritical to condemn one group of sinners, while welcoming with open arms another groups who brings power and money to the table?

    We need guidance and a unified message. Clear direction. And a solution that only the Holy Spirit will guide the Church to on the subject of divorce and remarriage.

    We do have the Word we must follow. But let’s not forget that the Word not only includes rules, it includes mandates for charity and mercy.

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    • charliej373 says:

      Back when I was in college, I took an astronomy class with Dr. J. Allen Hynek. He had headed the Air Force’s Project Blue Book, shich studied UFO’s – and developed the classification system of different types of “Close Encounters.” (I was delighted when he was given a cameo near the end of the Stephen Spielberg movie, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”) In class, he would not discuss at any length his very famous work on UFOs, but he did do a public lecture every semester on the subject to satisfy the interest of any who wanted to hear about it.

      Professor Hynek maintained that even most scientists were badly deceiving themselves on the matter. They were gripped by a “temporal provincialism” (I LOVED that phrase) which led them to think that if there were UFOs they must come from outer space, so if they did not believe we had visitors from other planets, there must be no such things as UFOs. It was an a priori assumption that led them to entirely abandon the scientific method The proper approach, he said, was to examine the evidence and determine whether UFOs were a genuine phenomenon. If they were, the second step would be to determine what they are. Most implicitly answered the second question first, then based their answer to the first question on their belief in what their entirely unjustified and unexamined answer to the second question was. He said his study of the first question had satisfied him that the phenomenon existed. He had never gotten a good clue as to the answer to the second. But he wasn’t about to make an a priori bungle of the whole matter.

      I think a whole host of people – including many bishops – are gripped with a certain “temporal provincialism” here. They have decided the only way to deal with this matter is to change doctrine. But to change doctrine would be to attack the Church’s foundation. Ergo, they make the a priori mistake that we must do nothing so as not to change doctrine. There’s a problem here. It needs to be dealt with pastorally in a way that reconciles the faithful to the Church and invites more people in while strengthening the doctrinal purity of the faith. That is why this synod is the beginning of setting things to right; not capsizing the Church. I fully expect to hear quite a bit of poppycock and posturing come out of it…just like the diseased, smelly puss coming out of an absess. But in the end, God’s purpose will be accomplished through the process that has begun.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jim says:

        And thus we have now rendered this boiling soup down to its essence. There are solutions, but one must properly align the horse and the cart to have a proper base for discernment (horses go in front, not in back), and from that, the truth, the light and the way. You do not presume solutions and then back into facts. Great insight Charlie!

        Like

    • Mack says:

      Jim, I put an extended reply above, but no one is “banned” from confession except people who don’t want to give up their sin. Remarriage after divorce is adultery, Jesus said. If people are willing to give up the adultery they can go to confession. It’s not easy but it can be done with the help of grace.

      Liked by 1 person

      • MM Bev says:

        I like your reply, Charlie, and Mark’s as well. A divorce doesn’t just happen overnight. Neither does adultry. And so many people are so uncatechized that they have no idea what they did, or what they are doing, or what any of it means with regard to salvation. I’m not willing to say that remarroed Catholics are damned to hell. Wow. What I measure out is measured out to me. I’m gonna pass and let Jesus decide this stuff, while our “experts” (notice quote marks) figure things out. And this is just ONE of the messes that forty years have created. The devil has had a lot to do with this stuff, along with the world and the flesh. In fact, it’s mostly the world and the flesh.
        My sister committed adultery at age twenty, after a very competent seduction by an older and rich man. When he ended the affair to go back to his wife, she tried to commit suicide. The good thing was that after leaving and thinking for some time, he went back to talk to her again…and getting no respond, kicked in the door. She came so close it was almost thirty hours in the hospital before we knew if she would live.
        That affair began the day that she first agreed to go to coffee with a man she knew was married. She knew that it was just the two of them last after work, and you can bet that he’d made some gestures, verbal or nonverbal (I’ve been there) that made her aware subtlety that he was interested in her. That’s when one says, no thanks. I think that’s what is meant by the “near occasion of sin”. I am sorry to say, that I have gone a few places that were near occasions of sin. And some ended up being sin. Not Peasant. Horrible. Sickening, Scabby. Repulsive. Disgusting. I could add a lot more adjectives that enlighten people about how one feels when you sin. Doesn’t matter much which commandment. We have a whole church full of people who have never even heard the words regarding custody of the eyes, near occasions of sin and a lot more. And yet, and yet,…that doesn’t totally let us off the “hook”. Every single choice we chose every day determines the road we are walking down (or up?), and the natural law that God has built into our hearts (same as those pagans who don’t know Him) sniggles past the fact that we really don’t know. Now if we REALLY don’t know, God will deal fairly and mercifully with that. Sounds to me like someone who is cunning enough to chose to marry outside the church or just not marry is hedging their bets and they obviously have some idea that there are actually consequences to their actions. If they were truly ignorant, they wouldn’t even think of that.
        That does not be any means render me ignorant of the fact that a whole lot of things are a mess. Some of our making, some of our leaders making and it’s a hell of a mess (and that is not a pun) and only God can fix it all up. There’s so much that it’s virtually impossible to even try to decide where to begin.
        That’s why I’m here. Acknowledge God, hold your position, take the next right step, be a sign of hope and joy to everyone you meet. (In the hope and joy part you get some chances to bring or let them bring God into the conversation.) I’m not in any position to change anything. But I know I am responsible for my actions. I look at Shirley, whose husband left her with four children, no job and no real training to obtain one that would cover all her families expenses. So as Church, we need to step up to the plate. Meaning, babysitting free so she can become a nurse, cooking dinners for the freezer, driving them to Mass or a movie, taking her to a movie -with another woman- buying the kids some clothes or school supplies, passing on clothes that are in really good condition, helping her with doctor visits………..etc, etc, etc, (And end up doing it for the eighteen year old girl he married and then left with two children). The best indication of future behavior is past behavior. But we aren’t helpless.

        Like

  25. Mark says:

    I will reach out and say that all will be given clarity and a choice very soon. The correction will take place, but it won’t come from a vatican document or pronoucement, it will come from our Lord himself in the Great Warning that is soon coming. Everyone’s conscience will be illuminated with God’s truth, his love and his mercy. Then and only then will every human person alive be given a chance to see their sin, repent and choose whom they will serve (God or the world). This will be the moment of truth. This will be the moment of the out pouring of the Holy Spirit and a the great confusion and fog that is now taking place will evaporate. Come Lord Jesus, come.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Mark, I believe entirely in Garabandal, but I think it is the most badly misinterpreted prophecy of recent times. I believe the Warning has come and is almost finished, as I write about here. I understand the longing for the Lord to come directly, to show that everybody else is wrong and we are right. Shoot, that would be a great relief to me, for it would release me from a lot of trials and tribulations ahead. But just as those who were best informed in the most detail about the prophecies concerning the Messiah completely missed Him when He came (and most of these were counted among those who called for His crucifixion) because they were not about to believe in no Messiah until they saw Elijah in his fiery chariot pointing the Messiah out, so many of those best informed about the prophecies of Garabandal are missing the Warning even as it has unfolded right in front of us. I may be wrong – and I hope I am, as it would spare me a lot of grief. But I am given to understand that while we will have many small miracles, we will not get a universal. obvious miracle until we have abandoned our vanity. We must first stretch out our hands to God. Now, I won’t get into an extended debate of the proper interpretation of Garabandal. I know and am perfectly content for people to believe the conventional interpretation. But I don’t.

      Like

      • You can’t say you believe in Garabandal and then say that the Warning is already here. There are clear statements from the seers about the Warning and the events before the warning etc. There is also Saint Faustina and the other Saints that say that the Warning or Illumination is a moment in time when all the world will see and know HE exists and we will see the good we have done and bad and where we stand. I have met one of the seers of Garabandal and the messages they were given we’re very clear. God is not the author of confusion. Fatima was messages were very clear….just as they are at Garabandal. The prophecies of Fatima were clear. Garabandal is pretty clear. Saint Faustina messages from Jesus are clear. The Warning has not happened…..because confusion is rampant. The Warning will be a time of great clarity…..because it must be. Mankind will have to make a choice. It will be the dividing of the sheep and the goats.
        Gods mercy will be great on that day. But also fearsome.

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Charlanne, I appreciate your take on it and respect your interpretation. But yes you can believe in Garabandal and believe it is already ongoing. I do. I know what the seers say in their interpretation, which goes beyond simply what they saw. That is not so terribly unusual. There have been several times when a visionary has seen truly while misinterpreting some of what he saw.

          Again, one of the objections to Jesus as Messiah was that it could NOT be because Elijah had not come yet. An ancient Jew could just as easily have said, with as much conviction as you did, “You can’t say you believe what the prophets say about Elijah and then say that Jesus is already the Messiah!” I genuinely hope you are right, because it will make it much easier for me. I can retire and play with the grandkids, because almost everyone will be converted. There will be no need for humanity to go through this great trial, for only a remnant will remain in disobedience. When I reject the common interpretation of The Warning, I do so hoping that I am wrong – but also determinedly rejecting the temptation I spent so long succumbing to – of finding an escape door to get out of some very frightening things ahead for me if God gives no universal sign before the rescue and Triumph of the Immaculate Heart. It is the Lord who firmly warned me against taking any of these easy ways any longer. If He sends it that way, thanks be to God.

          God is not the author of confusion. We are. And if you look back at the history of prophecy, both Old Testament and in New Testament Times, we misinterpret what they mean and how they will be accomplished about 90% of the time – usually wildly misinterpreting it. The fundamental message is that everyone will see the state of their souls, that all will know and have to choose. I have read them and, having had a little experience interpreting these sorts of things – including 20 years where I misinterpreted just about everything I saw because of the sometimes dramatic but figurative language and imagery – I see the insistence that it all happens at the same time as an interpretive gloss. If I am wrong, I will be profoundly grateful. But if I am right, some of the folks that are waiting for the Warning to solve everything need to have an alternative thought in their head so they do not lose heart as they wait for a showy Warning that has already occurred.

          Like

          • I see your point Charlie. Yes it is true we shouldn’t put all our eggs in a basket by believing in a warning of sorts. But I always looked at it like this. The warning doesn’t come to end the storm. It comes because things will be so bad….that God sends it as a mercy for us to choose HIM before the chastisements come. We know from Garabandal that chastisement comes. We know from OUr Lady of Akita that a great Chatosement is coming if we do not amend our ways. The Medjugorje seers tell us these things too. I see it as as a last Warning from a loving Father to show the world HE is …..WAS and Shall Ever Be. Then man will choose. There will be a short time to convert and then the door shuts for man. Then the chastisements come to purify the earth. Our Lady has told the Medjugorje seers…..that now is the time of grace and conversion but they also say that when the secrets unfold ….there will be a decision that needs to be made and then punishments. We all must live our life as if this is the day we meet the Lord and stand in front of Him. That is how we all must be because we don’t know the day of our death. We live each day with love for God and our neighbor. There are so many in the world that don’t HIS love. They don’t know about him or ever read a bible. Perhaps that is why HE will send us a Warning……to call all. To give them a chance to decide before the hammer drops. I see it as a great mercy. Saint Faustina says before He comes as a just judge…..He will first come as a merciful Savior.

            Like

          • charliej373 says:

            I DO believe in a Warning. I just think it comes in a little whisper rather than the expected great quaking. But I mean it with complete candor, Charlanne, when I say I don’t begrudge anyone their preferred interpretation on this. I only get worked up when someone insists it is the only possible interpretation. And I really am rooting for your interpretation rather than my own…but I am instructed to tell what I know – and what I believe to be accurate interpretation – with complete candor. And so I do, even as I root for yours.

            Like

      • Mack says:

        Charlie, your perspective on the warning and the illumination is really interesting. I hadn’t thought of it like that. I don’t really know what to think about it, though, because it’s in St Faustina’s diary and there it sounds like it will happen to everyone at once. Jesus told her there will be a big cross in the sky while there is darkness on earth, etc. It sounds like a one-time dramatic event. Oh well, if it happens, it happens. Maybe not in our lifetime, because in the Diary it says it will happen shortly before the last day (but maybe that’s an ambiguous reference.).

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Thanks, Mack. I actually am not concerned that people buy my interpretation at all…just that they don’t lose heart if it does not come as they expect. When I made my “final vows” in the late summer and early fall of 1997, that I would see the work I had been being shown for over three decades then to the end, until death or rescue, I did it knowing I will be wrong about some things, I will make some errors, I will desperately wish for release sometimes. The conventional interpretation of Garabandal has worried me primarily because I see it as a temptation to believe God doesn’t really mean it with this Storm…that He is going to come and set things right and we won’t really have to go through these trials. I probably react a little too strongly to it because the hope of that is a siren song to me, too. I have come to think that part of the reason He gave me two decades of visions on little unimportant things which I always misinterpreted was not just to get me better at seeing what these heavenly things mean, but so I could help people not to lose heart if their hope was in a particular interpretation of a vision, rather than the fundamental message it carries. I am told – and have been prepared for over 50 years to encourage people – that we have a desperate ride right until the moment of rescue. It is part of keeping my station that I let nothing seduce me away from that. But only God is God…and I am just Charlie. Heaven knows I have misinterpreted before. If the Warning is one of those misinterpretations, it will be the happiest misinterpretation of my life. But I dare not think that way, lest I am tempted to abandon my post.

          Like

      • BB says:

        Charlie,
        I too am aware of the prophecies given at Garabandal and by St. Faustina’s, among others. I have always taken these prophecies under advisement, tentatively believing, yet not wedded to how or when they might happen or even that they will happen. I have always heeded the warnings, which I feel is their purpose, but mostly taken a wait and see attitude about chastisement or future events. But I can honestly say, I like others here, I understood the Warning as a single astounding event, and I have never thought of it as a process that has been going on for a while now, but I can see how that can be true.
        One thing I can confirm; over the course of the last 20 years or so, among my own circle of family and friends, it has become very, very clear who has decided for God, and who has not. And much like the Bible states, there have been divisions within our family because of it: Luke 12:53 – “They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” It has gotten so bad that some members will not invite other members to family occasions, just over whether you are following God or not. Those not following God say they feel “judged,” even though I have yet to hear even one word of condemnation from the ones following God. Some family members who are not following God say they don’t feel “comfortable,” at the homes of the family members who are, and though they don’t say why, I suspect it’s because of the religious objects in the house (pictures of the Sacred Heart, or Our Lady of Fatima, and a crucifix on the wall) of the family members who are following God.
        My point is, I can truly affirm that no one, at least in my family, either those following God or not following God, could ever claim they have not been warned.

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          One of the striking things that occurred that first got me thinking about this was the conversion of my brother, Steve. It came in January of 2009. He had been alienated from all churches and all things religious for well over two decades. He wouldn’t go near them. He and I had a very good relationship, though. (Everyone knows I am very religious, but I am easy to be around if you are of good will regardless of what you think about religion). In fact, like many in the family, he often sought and very much valued my counsel. BUT he knew absolutely nothing about my visionary experiences. (Before I became public, I lived a double life quite successfully).

          Well, one day he decided to google me, He really did not know much about my political activities, except that I was influential behind the scenes. I had helped him with a big problem with the Navy and he was rather impressed with the speed of the results. So he decided to learn more. He stumbled upon this article from Spirit Daily. He was stunned. He did not believe it – and was shaken to his core when he called me and I confirmed that, yes, it was true. Shortly thereafter, he converted to Catholicism and has been very faithful ever since. Some of you may enjoy knowing he is, in fact, significantly more of a traditionalist than I am. His Parish has the EF Latin Mass every Sunday evening, and that is his favorite. But in discussing the experience, he told me shortly afterward that for three days his world was completely turned upside down and described it as a time of darkness. When that finished, he thought of something from Narnia, and completely gave himself over to the Church. I thought at the time how striking it was that his experience sounded like the Warning writ small…and then with the business with Gosnell that I recounted in the link to Modern Prophecy, it finally dawned on me that people all over are experiencing illumination as these rumblings and jolts proceed. Some are converting; some are doubling down…but we are reaching the point that all know what it is they have chosen.

          Like

          • There is truth in your interpretation. I know in my family…..we have had 11 convert to the catholuc faith. Some are not too serious about practicing yet…..but they have been baptized and confirmed. The Lord really is calling many that’s for sure! It is beautiful! This is the Lords work and it is marvelous in our eyes.
            Thanks Charlie. I will ponder yet another lesson from you tonight.
            God bless.

            Like

      • Kris says:

        I am genuinely seeking what you mean by the warning having come and is almost gone? What could that mean?

        Like

        • charliej373 says:

          Kris, I explain it in “Modern Day Prophecy,”. I go into even more detail in my dialogue with Charlanne in the comments section of this article right here. Read those and if you have a specific question I have not addressed, I will be glad to take it up.

          Like

          • janet333 says:

            I think it could be both because many have had this kind of experience..but I also am sure it will happen all at once for millions when the time is right. I remember reading about St Edmund Campion, who just before he was martyred for the faith in the 16th century “pronounced a great day, not wherein any temporal potentate should minister, but wherein the Terrible Judge should reveal all men’s consciences and try every man of each kind of religion.” We also have Blessed Anna Maria Taigi who had a similar vision in which she foresaw that “a great purification will come upon the world preceded by an ‘illumination of conscience’ in which everyone will see themselves as God sees them.” You will surely be needed then Charlie because I have read that the A/C will say the warning came from him and so will deceive many into believing this. And then we will have the scientists explaining it all away as an great halluination etc. Yes, you surely will be needed at that time.

            Liked by 1 person

          • charliej373 says:

            My dear friend, Mark Mallett, has suggested that what I call the Rescue is actually the final Illumination of Conscience. I think he is probably right – and am pondering these things joyfully. God is going to reveal His majesty to us through His most favored daughter, who He sends to Rescue us.

            Liked by 1 person

          • janet333 says:

            “My dear friend, Mark Mallett, has suggested that what I call the Rescue is actually the final Illumination of Conscience. I think he is probably right – and am pondering these things joyfully. God is going to reveal His majesty to us through His most favored daughter, who He sends to Rescue us.”

            Has he?…I didn’t know this. So then the Miracle takes place after the Warning and I feel that is to do with our blessed Mother also because Fr Luis Andreu who is supposed to have seen the miracle said shortly after. “I am so happy. What a favor the Blessed Virgin has bestowed on me. How fortunate we are to have a mother like her in heaven ! There is no reason to fear the supernatural life. The girls have given us an example of how we must act with the Blessed Virgin. There is no doubt in my mind that the things involving the girls are true. Why should the Blessed Virgin have chosen us? This is the happiest day of my life.” And then he bowed his head and died.

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  26. Stephen Maresch says:

    You know Charlie that Saint Francis prophecy could also fit those who now follow the Pius the tenth. I know of several prominent people who believe that the Pope is not the Pope and have left to follow an agenda of dissent and rebellion.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      It does fit well, Stephen. I just don’t accept the prophecy as authentic at all. If a prophecy is not even mentioned anywhere until 700 years after the prophet’s death, there had better be some unimpeachable evidence or the prophecy is almost certainly a fraud.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Observer says:

    I’d just like to offer a couple of articles for reflection….the first today by our Mark Mallett who amazingly offers (and at just about the exact same moments) reflections that mirror my own and about the same troubling aspects of our individual human attempts at what that “next step” should be and its hopefully anointed outcome:

    http://www.markmallett.com/blog/can-the-pope-betray-us/

    and then….from today’s Spirit Daily’s link to this most amazing (when you really think about it) expression from our Pope that reflects such equally amazing times ….. the current quickening of that real convergence of things we all may have thought should take much longer. What’s going on here? Well, for myself, it can be nothing BUT the action of the Holy Spirit when one is committed to act courageously in accordance with Its movement within! (and, if I may, I can’t but honestly admit an amazing parallel with “those” locutions about this “game changer”; a most simple and humble man yet causing great consternation from all sides; one who would start out with groping steps but then walk hand in hand with that Spirit; and the coming of the great awaited unity, of which he speaks here, “jump” started by his own great future sacrifice?). Does he know or does he simply follow in the Divine Will…..realizing within as he admits to his death coming in about 2 or 3 years when he will return to the Father?!! Such times as these….beyond our most limited calculations which, when all human attempts at understanding seem to remain wanting, simply must turn to trust and confidence.

    http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Pope:-history-has-separated-Christians,-but-we're-on-the-path-to-reconciliation-and-communion-32365.html

    Like

  28. charliej373 says:

    I think Daniel O’Connor, whose occasional blog I link to below, makes a useful contribution to this topic today here: http://dsdoconnor.com/2014/10/08/three-points-on-the-synod/

    Like

  29. MM Bev says:

    I think that often there is an expectation that how a “prophecy” is fulfilled must be a kind of literal meaning when often it is, but it’s not. Take Fatima. And the consecration question for some. Now, Our Lady has stated that the consecration was fulfilled and accepted by God the Father. Were God and Our Lady lying? Or has the guy down the street or the “x – person’ blog” mistaken in their understanding? I’m gonna bat with God and Our Lady. If anything has been left out regarding Fatima, it has been the Laity, who have not fulfilled their part of the equation. (Anyway, Our Lady didn’t say Russian would be converted IMMEDIATELY THE DAY AFTER THE CONSECRATION, she just said that Russia would be converted.) (Kinda like my mother saying you’re going to have another birthday, too. She didn’t mean tomorrow, she mean next year.) Now Our Lady also told Sister Lucia in an apparition when she was in the convent that she was continuing her word of Fatima in Medjugorje. And whether you believe that or not, that is what is happening. The laity never did the First Saturdays of Reparation – which were not to be done just once, but to be continuous (and, gasp, leading to a deep conversion to God!).

    Fatima seemed pretty clear to me. If we could be THAT wrong on such a simple and straight forward statement, I hate to think of how we are messing up the other stuff. I think we would all benefit from what you went through for years to find out how heaven understands and see things before we jump to conclusions. (“My thoughts are not your thoughts……..”)

    Like

  30. MM Bev says:

    Off topic, but I just can’t help it. Listen you guys, (guys includes women–I had three brothers and two sons, no girls, they won) anyway, they’re busy at Rome. We’re busy here. We have 94 responses! Yes! 94 responses, and we don’t have to stop yet! This could be a record and if we keep thinking and commenting it could turn out that we’ve done more thinking and responding than those on the other side of the world. Just think of it. We might even come up with some good concrete ideas-there have been some awfully good answers so far! I’ve read this comment section twice and I have to say that I am impressed! It’s like a bunch of brains and hearts lighting up and sharing knowledge from person to person. How delighted that I am part of this. (And, Charlie, thank you. I’ve have changed colors right in the middle. Love it. ) (Hope that’s a good sign.) There have to be more ideas and thoughts out there.

    Like

  31. aj says:

    “Pray, hope, and don’t worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer.”
    ―St. Padre Pio

    Thats my take on this whole affair…if the Church via its Bishops and Chief Shepherd makes a wrong or bad ruling…I am utterly convinced that the Good Lord will fix it. If they come up with a wonderful pastoral approach that remains doctrinally sound…great! Mind you I’m watching closely…very closely! Looked at the World Over with Raymond Arroyo interviewing Cardinal Burke last night…interesting.

    Like

    • vparisi says:

      I agree AJ- I trust in Jesus which means I trust in His Word and His Church! I did not see Cardinal Burke last night, will try to find a rerun. We need to keep praying for our shepherds.

      Blessings,

      Val

      Like

  32. geoff says:

    This post is based on a lie. Can I correct it on here? Will my corrections be deleted? When I pointed out, on an unrelated “Franciscan” blog, that this other blogger had lied outright about St Francis’ supposed “ecumenism,” the blogger deleted my post. I would like to point out references to the prophecy of St Francis that exist from not much long after his death. Where do I go with this to point it out?

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      If you have credible evidence – and I do mean credible, Geoff – of course I will publish it. As I noted, there is nothing in the prophecy that relates to Pope Francis or the many contortions some are trying to force it into even if it was authentic. As a former history major who has edited books and written for professional publications, I found nothing to suggest this was anything other than made up well after the fact. I have no vested interest in it, for I saw nothing contrary to faith and morals in the purported prophecy itself, just in the way that it is trying to be applied.

      If your corrections are solidly grounded and sourced, of course they will not be blocked (though it is a reasonable question as I know many sites block anything that contradicts them). At this site, I have invited and published guest columns from people who disagree with me – so long as they source it well and write it civilly. But I demand solid sourcing for those things, too. I don’t take some of the laughably absurd made-up sources that so many like to use today, either.

      Just take a look at some of the many columns and comment streams here. You will find I encourage vigorous discussion, only demanding that we do not degenerate into trying to make sneers and sarcasm substitute for an actual argument or evidence. We are after the facts and truth.

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