Up From Chaos

Pope Francis and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas

Pope Francis and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas

By Charlie Johnston

Sorry I have not been around for a few days. I was in transit, but more than that, several things have been occupying my mind. Some of you will recall that, after my December 20th visitation, I was shaken by how very confused things were going to get in the coming year. Among the things I worried about was that Pope Francis might make a major blunder or a series of them on purely secular matters – and that divisions among Bishops would become greater and more visible. When Pope Francis met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, all who were there reported that the Pope said that Abbas IS an “angel of peace” as he gave him a medal and gave Vatican recognition to Palestine as an independent state. Now I have had a little experience with the vicissitudes of merely social diplomacy in public settings. There are times I have had to say pleasant things in public comments about people I held in contempt. When I have, I have tried to keep it truthful, but incomplete. I could see myself saying that Abbas is called to be an angel of peace, but there are no circumstances in which I would call a man who approves of the naming of public parks and major roads in honor of people who butcher Jewish children in their sleep an angel of peace. Not ever gonna happen. It capped off a week of shocking events in Rome for me, so I have been reticent about writing until I know precisely what was said and have fully vetted what I need to say about it.

Now National Review’s Ellen Carmichael has energetically said that what was reported was not what the Pope said at all; that, in fact, his construction was practically identical to the diplomatic construction that I say above could be used…that it was an aspiration that Abbas become an angel of peace, a perfectly reasonable and hopeful public aspiration. Her piece has more energy than merit. Carmichael is engaging in wishful revisionism rather than precise reporting. The director of the Vatican Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, responded to the storm of controversy over the remark in much the same terms – except that he dissembled on what the Pope actually said. He claimed he wasn’t close enough to hear accurately what the Pope said; he did not argue with the unanimous witness of those who were close enough who said the Pope said Abbas IS an angel of peace, but explained that what the Pope meant was that he hoped Abbas would become one. What I know is that the Vatican accorded Palestine full recognition, even as it continues to call for the annihilation of Israel and genocidal destruction of the Jews. In this, if nothing else, the Vatican forfeited a ton of moral authority.

Pope Francis IS the Pope of the Storm, assigned to guide us through these troubled waters. On that score, I have no doubt. That does not mean he won’t make clumsy, sometimes offensive errors on matters that do not actually touch on faith and morals. I am afraid we are going to have many of the best, most holy Bishops make clumsy, sometimes arrogant, sometimes offensive proclamations in the next year. It does not touch on their legitimate authority – but it pleases God that they should get their fingers burned to encourage them to stick to their legitimate authority. It hurts, because a blunder on a temporal matter creates scandal and discredits the Church in the eyes of many who are not particularly religious but are watching. Things may get further confused as some of the worst actors are careful to be prudent, so as not to discredit themselves. We have a lot of chaos ahead. I am parsing the piece I am writing on it very carefully. It will be up tomorrow or the next day.

Meantime, I also am integrating my son, also Charlie Johnston, and my godson and nephew, Denton Brand, into the website as editors along with my sister, Kim Hocutt. I am writing out some guidelines for them. I am in the final edits of the “Go Forth” Prayer Booklets. I will meet with Lisa Fixler, owner of the Full of Grace Supply House Thursday afternoon to go over layout and printing. The long-promised buttons and stickers should be in later this week or early next. They will be available through Full of Grace – and I will take a bunch of them to distribute as I hit the road next month. And finally, I am actually working logistics this week for the first trip to the Southeast – and getting a helper on board to expedite arrangements for these visits. I will have a piece up tomorrow – sort of a checklist – on things that need to be incorporated into a visit, what a host needs to do to prepare and get others involved.

So I have not slunk into a hole, but am working to get a bunch of things taken care of. This is just one of those choke points where a lot of serious things come together at the same time.

About charliej373

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

147 Responses to Up From Chaos

  1. Lin says:

    Thanks for this update, Charlie. I appreciate the caution about the possibility of more muddied waters related to statements by the Pope and the bishops in the future, especially your distinction between “faith & morals” vs. temporal matters.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Michael says:

    Thanks Charlie , I was starting to worry!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Phillip Frank says:

    I’m not sure is clumsy, the Pope or the press…
    Anyhow, as I have said before, the Pope must be understood with a spirit of charity to be clesret on what he means when he speaks. Soon enough we will get a real clarification but for my part, even if he said ” Angel of Peace” in charity he would mean it as the Presidents position in world politics as a power for peace or war, but choosing to identify him as a power for peace in a positive affirmation of what he weilds if he so chooses.
    Phil

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Becky-TN says:

    I’d be lying if I wrote that I wasn’t a bit concerned about ya, Charlie. Always good to hear from you.

    God Bless,

    Becky

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mack says:

    I am glad that Francis is the pope of the Storm. I think perhaps some of his confusing statements may be part of God’s plan too, in the sense that it is more a sign of faith to support the pope even when he doesn’t always make sense. I mean that in a respectful way. I don’t understand why he doesn’t reflect more before he speaks. Some of these gaffes could have been easily avoided. The appointment of Radcliffe is also worrying given his support of homosexuality. But if the pope were more perfect we might have less faith that Jesus is in charge.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. SteveBC says:

    Ooooh, that’s too bad. I also figure he is going to get into some kind of trouble on the climate change stuff, which is an ongoing train wreck. I’m sitting here wondering why he declared the Church a field hospital (which by its nature is fraught with urgency in the moment) and is poking into climate and foreign policy issues that have only apparent but not actual immediacy. Seems like a lack of focus and therefore an example of bad management, if nothing else.

    Like

    • Judith says:

      Right on, Steve. MUCH confusion coming out of the Vatican lately. Must be an aspect of the storm. I always thought if things got crazy to keep my eyes on the Pope, to keep an even keel. Now, not so much. Too much “what he really meant” is going on. Seeing now more than ever why God calls us to pray for our priests and bishops, especially the pope, and national leaders. Answer is, keep my eyes on Jesus, it’s His boat. Jesus, I trust in you!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Judy says:

        People of the Islamic faith are always saying, “….but what the prophet really meant was…”. I surely hope that we do not have to explain what Pope Francis “really meant to say” every time we are surprised by his words. Of course, Charlie is still trying to confirm them, but Pope Francis has shown on prior occasions that he lacks a gift for speaking in public.

        Like

    • Joseph77 says:

      Steve,
      When at the firing line, shooting from the hip is a careless way to hit the target you are aiming at and can cause very serious injury, to self and others. IMHO Pope Francis’ appointments and off-the-cuff comments are, as you say, examples of bad management and cause of great concern for the Church and the world.

      Like

      • SteveBC says:

        Joseph77, I agree with you as a general point, but I must note something. In my final sentence I used the word “seems” deliberately because the jury is still out on the Abbas thing, and further, neither of us is privy to Pope Francis’s own understanding of strategy and tactics. He is not doing just anything that comes into his head, and I do not believe his comments are off-the-cuff. We may not agree with his goal, but we have to start from the realization that we don’t *know* his goal. And if he is moving as he does due to divine inspiration, well then we are really not privy to that! Charlie has said repeatedly that God will work in the Storm in unexpected and creative ways. I’d say Pope Francis tends to do the same.

        Pope Francis is a very smart guy, and I think he means every word he speaks. This upset doesn’t in any way involve an issue of faith and morals. He is a world leader and is who he is. He will make mistakes at this level and may have made one here. However, we mustn’t confuse his two roles and how he acts in each. If we judge, we owe him a duty to judge well.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. SteveBC says:

    “it pleases God that they should get their fingers burned to encourage them to stick to their legitimate authority.” Wow, this hit a nerve for me! I don’t know if any of the rest of you feel this could apply to some of your lessons through your life to date, but it sure applies to me.

    It makes me have real sympathy for these religious folks who, in the thick of the confusion, get this kind of lesson. It’s a completely worthy and good lesson to learn, but how I do sympathize!

    Liked by 2 people

    • charliej373 says:

      More than a few times God has let me have my way, only to make a big goof. Often, making the goof underlined the importance of getting that particular type of issue right than any mundane success would have. These are hard lessons – but they are the ones that get burned in deeply. These are times that require more than casual competence, so God is giving some deep lessons, I think.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. GordonB says:

    This is an interesting and disturbing video monologue Alex Jones posted tonight, simply titled, “something big is about to happen”…
    http://www.prisonplanet.com/something-big-is-about-to-happen.html
    Not fully sure what to make of Alex Jones personally, but as a frequent reader of CharlieJ, Jones’s perspective dovetails with much of what is spoken of on this website, and yet comes from outside the Catholic worldview. Its just more fuel for the fire….

    Like

    • CrewDog says:

      Alex Jones might be a bit Far-Out & “Tabloid News-ish” but I think there is much value in what he says and other folks that don’t filter everything through the, Left-Wing driven, lens of Political Correctness. The Left hates this guy so I’m figuring that makes him a Good Guy 😉
      GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

      Like

  9. GordonB says:

    … and then there’s this from the hope department, from same website, a #BlackLivesMatter protest AGAINST Planned Parenthood. Brilliant!

    http://www.prisonplanet.com/infowars-blacklivesmatter-planned-parenthood-protest-announced.html

    Like

  10. Confusion will lead to schism within the ranks & persecution of the faithful which is necessary to divide the sheep from the goats. Though being much smaller in size in the end this will purify the Church bringing forth great holiness amongst those whom remain loyal through this first tribulation & the first new dawn that follows eventually allowing for the triumph over Satan.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Centurion_Cornelius says:

      Mais oui! You are very observant. These are the observations and conclusion of Pope Benedict, which I fully endorse. Through these difficulties, a smaller, yet more rigid and more pure Church will emerge, totally resplendent.

      It will be like the refining of precious metals. After much heat, pressure and time, the dross floats to the top in great excitement, to snap, crackle and pop. But the purist metal always rests at the bottom of the crucible–always there for those worthy enough to work hard to pursue and to value it.

      God, as always, is still in charge. Every atom, every electron of our being is held together by Him for His great good and plan for us; without it, we perish.

      I know who my Lord and saviour is. The past seventy years for me has seen a profusion of Popes–some good, some not so good. I keep my eyes upon Jesus.

      Side note: in Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke, Simon Peter’s new name was Kepha (which means a massive rock). Later this name was translated into Greek as Petros. May Pope Francis be experiencing a “rock-headed” episode? As Charlie and others mention, once you put your finger in the fire, you learn very quickly. We hope this.

      Like

      • Torchbearer says:

        I love your paragraph describing the refining of precious metals. Inspiring!

        I have read many wonderful things on Mark Mallet’s site and a few others. I have found them to be very nourishing/enriching. But since I began reading Charlie’s site, The Holy Spirit has used this blog to go a step further: to unveil and convict me of many things that need to be corrected/purged in myself. I truly feel that the ones who remain in this “smaller, more rigid, more pure Church” (that Pope Benedict speaks of) will be the ones who are humble enough to allow themselves to be convicted and changed by the Spirit. We need to be like little children, arms reaching up to Our Heavenly Father with total abandonment and childlike trust. And when the Father “disciplines” us by showing us what we need to change, we need to respond with humility, gratitude and fortitude. And like Charlie said, only then can we be “useful” to the Lord during and after the Storm.

        Like

  11. Too many things are being said without thought, or maybe he does know what he is saying, appointments of progressives and letting those Prelates that are defending the Magisterium and Cannon Law swim upstream, for me to feel comfortable about the Pope. It seems he just continues to let Kasper, Marx , Radcliffe, Wuerl, just to name a few. Not to forget the Cardinal from the Philippines who is quite progressive with regards to gay unions and communion for divorced/remarried couples. I am not comfortable at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Karen says:

      So many of my friends are openly questioning whether he is the anti-pope because of all the things you listed. I thank God for Charlie’s assurance that he is the Pope of the Storm. I keep reminding them Jesus Himself promised the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church. And echoing St. Peter, I think to myself, where would we go?! The Catholic Church has been entrusted with the Truths of the Faith, and the Sacraments. I will do my best to live as a faithful Catholic, and trust God to sort out the rest. Sometimes I wonder if Satan doesn’t instigate these blunders to make us fearful, and to take our focus off of prayer.

      Like

      • Karen says:

        What I mean to say is that it seems like all these appointments and comments Pope Francis is making are meant to shake our confidence in him. Pray without ceasing…

        Like

      • charliej373 says:

        There is a purpose to it…and an important one. I will discuss it in some depth in the piece I am working on.

        Like

        • Fran says:

          I am looking forward to your next piece on this, Charlie. The more I pray and think on this, the more I feel that there is an important reason for all this “confusion”. I remember wondering a few years ago that confusion was going to play a major part in the turmoil to come, and this is a different kind of confusion or disorientation among the faithful that I don’t think we have experienced before. That in itself says to me that this particular cross may have God’s touch all over it, as it is suited for our time. I hope I am explaining that as I mean to. I just feel like I should stand behind Pope Francis, and “wait and see” what God will do. This trial is perhaps an unprecedented true test of faith and trust for us.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Karen, I do believe that God wins of course. If Pope Francis does believe what he says and continues to make progressive appointments, I do not believe that God wishes us to sit back and take it.

        Like

        • Karen says:

          But other than pray, what can we do?

          Like

          • Judy says:

            Prayer is the only answer to the complete state of confusion that surrounds us…. And that brings me to thoughts about a local priest who is confused. When he hears a confession, he says “I do not want to know about the bad things you have done. I want to know about the good things you have done.” As if that is what reconciliation is for!!! Confusion, if that is what we must call it, reigns from top to bottom. I think that there are whole parishes that may be confused. The pope does not help matters. A think that a pope is elected to clarify truths. Do it promptly…. with clear language …. without fear. Give to God what belongs to Him: TRUTH Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.

            Like

          • Michelle says:

            Oh Judy, what you said about the priest is startling, isn’t it? See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. WOW!

            Like

          • SteveBC says:

            Wow, Judy, that priest really is strange. After all, the sacrament is called “Confession” not “Bragission” (to make up a word).

            As for the Pope, it doesn’t seem to me that a pope is always about clarity. He is about acting as God’s representative to the world. In most matters I agree clarity is useful, particularly in matters of faith and morals. However, popes have much more leeway in other matters, particularly in social, political, or other debates. A good leader does not always focus on clarifying. Sometimes, shaking things up is more important. Getting people to react and pay attention and make commitments to what they believe can lead to clarity in the people he triggers to action and debate. I could be wrong, but I think Pope Francis is currently leaning toward shaking things up.

            Like

        • SteveBC says:

          Kathleen and Karen, I agree that the Pope has what appears to be progressive leanings, at least in public issues (although notably not in his speech to the Synod). However, in the Church matters he probably is constrained to deal with all sides.

          Abraham Lincoln filled his cabinet with strong personalities who were often his political adversaries. He was both confident (enough) in his abilities to herd cats and also needed to have those who would fight him inside his administration and therefore in the open.

          Even if Pope Francis is actually a conservative, he would still be required to work with the material he has available to him. I do not believe it is time yet for him to declare one way or the other and touch off a fight with adversaries he would be trying to push out of power entirely. It would be a Pyrrhic victory at best. From this point of view, there must be progressive bishops and priests in many places in the hierarchy, and Pope Francis must appear to be sitting in the middle as everyone else hoots and hollers around him.

          If he is like Lincoln, the Church will slowly go in the direction *he* wants it to go and not where the two sides would each want to take it.

          I’m not saying Pope Francis is a good enough manager and leader to adopt Lincoln’s approach and be successful at it. I’m saying he *could* be doing this, and he is constrained. Therefore, since you are on one of the two sides, you will be frustrated and concerned, because that is the nature of such an approach by a leader capable of pulling it off.

          Like

          • Irish7 says:

            I tend to agree Steve…

            Like

          • Mick says:

            Kathleen, Karen, Judy, and SteveBC, I agree with SteveBC that the point of a pope is not necessarily to clarify things. I also believe that sometimes the confusion may come precisely as a clarifying tool.

            I may not be expressing myself well, but this entire discussion is bringing to my mind a startling passage from Scripture. In Luke 12:49-56 (Douay Rheims version), Christ Himself said: “I am come to cast fire on the earth; and what will I, but that it be kindled? And I have a baptism wherewith I am to be baptized: and how am I straitened until it be accomplished? Think ye, that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, no; but separation. For there shall be from henceforth five in one house divided: three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against his father, the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother, the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And he said also to the multitudes: When you see a cloud rising from the west, presently you say: A shower is coming: and so it happeneth: And when ye see the south wind blow, you say: There will be heat: and it cometh to pass. You hypocrites, you know how to discern the face of the heaven and of the earth: but how is it that you do not discern this time?”

            And He certainly did kindle a fire. Through his “off-the-cuff” statements, Jesus Himself caused much confusion, angst, soul-searching, and division among the faithful of his day. Some, like St. Peter, responded with, “Yeah, I don’t get it; but where else are we gonna go?” Some, like those who turned aside in John 6, said, “This is too much; I can’t take it anymore.” Some, like the Pharisees, decided to ignore the indisputable conclusion that this Man was sent by God and instead decided to “shoot the messenger.”

            And remember how Jesus’ statements and actions were so often either innocently misunderstood or intentionally misconstrued? Regarding the former, Jesus told the disciples to “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees” (they thought that he meant sourdough starter) and “Lazarus has fallen asleep” (they thought, “Sweet! A nap! He’ll be ship-shape in no time.”) Regarding deliberate misconstruction, the Pharisees attributed Jesus’ miracles to Satan (even though they knew that “a house divided against itself cannot stand”), and they paid false witnesses to testify that Jesus had threatened to destroy the Temple.

            Of course, Jesus is the perfect God-Man, and Pope Francis is a mere mortal who can and does make mistakes. But not only is he an Alter Christus; he is also the validly elected Vicar of Christ. He is Peter, the Rock. And if we want to stand firm during this Storm, we must choose to build our house upon that Rock… or else we shall be washed away by the wind and the waves.

            May God bless, guide, and protect Pope Francis; and may God help us all to build wisely.

            Liked by 2 people

          • SteveBC says:

            Mick, you are on fire! Brilliant comment.

            Like

          • Karen says:

            Thanks everyone for your wisdom. Steve, I know it is hard to believe, but in prayer Abraham Lincoln came into mind, specifically when he appointed his most vocal opponent to his cabinet. (I recently finished a series of books on the Civil War). Then I read your comment and was shocked to see you wrote the same exact thing. I thanked God for the confirmation, and your openness to the Holy Spirit!

            Liked by 1 person

  12. Mary says:

    I’m a little troubled myself Kathleen because actions do speak louder than words, regarding your comment. One bad apple might not spoil the whole bunch but it sure makes the whole bunch worthy of a second glance. Going to be a bumpy ride. I think this calls for an extra rosary and much discernment, trying to see the hopeful side in the year of mercy, knowing that God works in creative and mysterious ways and trying not jump to conclusions but today’s and this week’s Vatican news was a little concerning. And I am glad you are ok Charlie.

    Like

    • I have joined a rosary group that prays for issues attacking the Church. We pray the Rosary together 5 days a week via conference call. I had posted the number but I did not see it posted. I must confess, I had not been saying the Rosary on a regular basis. I pray for the Grace to keep praying the Rosary.

      Like

  13. Carmelite says:

    R. Sèy Moürre-Tissot : “Confusion will lead to schism within the ranks & persecution of the faithful which is necessary to divide the sheep from the goats. ”
    Charlie, I am truly trying to trust Pope Francis, but, like Kathleen, I am not comfortable. Confusion does reign just now, and perhaps without it, more goats could be lead through the sheep gate???

    Like

  14. DanSouthChicago says:

    I was listening to a priest on relevant radio recently. He knew Cardinal George and remembers the Cardinal speak of the palpable presence of the Holy Spirit in the conclaves that elected Benedict and Francis. While there probably was some politicking, Cardinal George said that he had no doubt that these men were the ones God wanted at those times.

    Just like Peter (and us), Francis will probably “drop the ball” from time to time. Hopefully, the damage won’t be too severe. I’m glad that God is in charge. I just have to be a better listener and follower.

    Take care, Charlie. May Our Lord bless all of us, our families and friends.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. DanSouthChicago says:

    Speaking of Cardinal George, Wednesday will mark thirty days since his death. The folks at the cathedral have already “hung his hat” next to the other past cardinals of Chicago. Please keep him in your prayers. God bless.

    Like

  16. Mick says:

    Charlie, please see the following article from the National Catholic Register:

    http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/the-pope-mahmoud-abbas-and-the-angel-of-peace

    That article is the second or third in which I saw the original Italian spoken by the Pope. He used the verb possa rather than the verb “e” (sorry, I don’t know how to do accents when I type). “Possa” is in the subjunctive; “e” is in the indicative.” The Holy Father did not say, “Lei e un angelo della pace” (you ARE an angel of peace); rather, he said “…che lei possa essere un angelo della pace” (MAY YOU BE ABLE TO BE an angel of peace). That is a huge difference in meaning. It is similar to the difference between “ainsi est-il” and “ainsi soit-il”: the one is a statement of what one believes to be already true; the other is aspirational about what one hopes will be true at some point in the future.

    Here is the pope’s statement to Abbas, so that we may see the context: “L’angelo della pace distrugge lo spirito cattivo della guerra. Ho pensato a lei: che lei possa essere un angelo della pace.” (The angel of peace destroys the evil spirit of war. I have thought about you: may you be able to be an angel of peace.)

    Here’s the article in Italian from La Stampa, in case you might like to look at it:

    http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/vaticano/dettaglio-articolo/articolo/palestina-palestine-palestina-vaticano-vatican-vaticano-41113/

    The difference between the subjunctive and the indicative is basic, second-year, high-school Italian. I believe that the English-speaking press that reported on the Pope here might have made a translating mistake; but such a basic mistake is inexcusable, and the reporters or translators ought to be fired. It’s also possible that the “mistake” was intentional, just another instance of trying to make it look like Pope Francis said something that he never said. I don’t think we even need to try to find a way to give the Pope the “benefit of the doubt” here. In my mind, he was not speaking clumsily or off the cuff; he said exactly what he meant to say, in a language that he grew up speaking. He exhorted Abbas to try to be a peacemaker, and I applaud him for it. I don’t, however, believe for a second that Abbas will do what the Holy Father is asking.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Mick says:

      Charlie, I also meant to say that I have not read the National Review article that you referenced (I’m still miffed at National Review for shoving Romney down our throats during the 2012 primaries :)). So if I said some of the same stuff that the author of that article said, then I apologize for going over the same ground.

      Like

    • Mick says:

      Oh, and one more thing. I personally believe that Vatican recognition of the non-existent state of Palestine is a travesty, but it is a travesty that did not begin with Pope Francis:

      http://hotair.com/archives/2015/05/14/breaking-vatican-use-of-state-of-palestine-started-under-benedict-xvi-in-2012/

      The article quoted in the Hot Air article above was written by John Allen, incidentally.

      And lastly (really), I’ve never quite understood why the Vatican has for so many years appeared to put such faith in the United Nations and in its pronouncements.

      Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Could be, Mick. The thing that is disturbing is that, thus far, every reporter who was within hearing distance of the scene said the Pope said “you ARE an angel of peace.” Many of those are not primarily English speakers. I have gotten disgusted at the many times when the Pope is misquoted – and I always look up the full text to get it right. For example, the famous “who am I to judge” comment about a priest’s homosexual act was NOT about homosexuality, but about the quality of the man’s repentance. I know the press is usually dumb and often malicious. But digging into it in this case has indicated they are probably right, despite the well-meaning but patchy efforts to “fix” what he actually said. I understand why this would dishearten Christians. It bothers me. But it won’t be fixed by saying that what he (hopefully) meant to say is what he actually said when, so far, all the actual first-hand witnesses are in agreement on what he actually said.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Mary Ann says:

        We have to remember that popes can be wrong about an awful lot, and do an awful lot of harm. But they will not solemnly teach error in faith or morals.

        Like

      • vkmir3 says:

        When I think of Pope Francis, St. Peter always comes to mind. I feel that St. Peter would sometimes speak before thinking things through or speak sometimes clumsily. I believe that Pope Francis is the Pope of the Storm and that God has a plan. I am trying just to trust, take the next step and bring joy and hope to all.

        And speaking of the storm, we are experiencing a bit of a storm at our parish. A year ago, we were blessed with a new pastor and parochial vicar that cared for our parish and three others. These four parishes have a significant Hispanic population and one of the parishes only holds Mass on Sunday in Spanish. Both the pastor and the parochial vicar are very well versed in the Spanish language and culture. The parochial vicar is a newly ordained priest who is so filled with the Holy Spirit. His homilies are so inspired and delivered so beautifully whether it is for Daily Mass or Sunday Mass. We comment to each other that it is like sitting at the feet of Jesus. So, this past Sunday on the celebration of the Ascension, our pastor announced that he and the parochial vicar would no longer be at our parish but would remain with the other three parishes. That our parish, which was heavily clustered with one of the three other parishes would now be clustered with another parish nearby (which will be difficult as these two parishes share religious education and other ministries and even their bulletins). I know that the Body of Christ in our parish is the members of the parish and that we aren’t to get so attached to the priest, but the joy that these priests have brought to our parish has been noticeable and it is as if the announcement has taken the wind out of the sails. I felt like the significance of the announcement on the Ascension was not lost on me; however, both priests will be nearby and we can still have the opportunity to hear the young one teach. I have to remind myself that we are lucky to have priests and the opportunity to hear the Gospel taught and there may come a time when we won’t be so lucky. Sorry to be so long-winded, but this has been heavy on my heart, my husband’s heart (as his faith life has been enlivened by the teachings of the young priest) and the hearts of our fellow parishioners. I pray for our new pastor as he deals with all the reprecussions of all of this. Thanks for letting me share what is on my heart. Thank you, Charlie, for this blessed community.

        Like

    • EllenChris says:

      Wow. Fantastickly great job, Mick! Translations are really tricky and rally crucial.

      Like

    • EllenChris says:

      Wow. Enormously wonderful job, Mick! Translations are really tricky and really important

      Like

      • Mick says:

        Thanks a bunch, Ellen. Your kind words are making me feel like the school kid that’s gotten a compliment from one of her teachers. 🙂

        Like

        • SteveBC says:

          Mick, do you want to borrow the gold star I got in third grade? I think I’ve still got it around here somewhere. Hmmm. Let me think … where is that thing … 😀

          Like

          • Mick says:

            Ha, Steve! 🙂

            Speaking of third grade… One of the only things I remember about the third grade is that my otherwise wonderful teacher took points off of one of my assignments when I put down that the word “pumpkin” had two syllables. She told me that the correct answer was three. I tried to convince her otherwise, but to no avail. She thought that I couldn’t count (and that I was an argumentative menace, to boot); and, alas, I’m pretty sure that I got no gold star. 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

          • charliej373 says:

            Was your third grade teacher, by any chance, illiterate?

            Liked by 2 people

          • barb129 says:

            Being a teacher for many years, I’m trying to figure out how pumpkin has three syllables…hehe….

            Liked by 2 people

          • SteveBC says:

            Mick, Charlie, and Barb129, you’ve all given me a good laugh! Gold stars all around! 🙂

            Like

    • Maribel says:

      I agree. I don´t speak Italian, but my native language is Spanish, and I can tell you many of the things he has said in Spanish have been terribly translated.
      And many European or American translators forget the Pope comes from a very different culture and they don´t try to understand that. Many of his actions or words are perfectly understood by Latin American people.

      Liked by 1 person

      • charliej373 says:

        I know and appreciate that, Maribel – and I have often given the context for what the Pope actually said when he has been distorted or garbled. I appreciate that different cultures react differently. I try to find the most innocent construction of such things.

        But I do NOT understand calling a man who names parks and streets after murderers who slit the throats of infants in their sleep. I do NOT believe it is part of Hispanic culture to celebrate such things or to minimize them. I do NOT understand giving diplomatic recognition to an entity that remains committed to eradicating Israel from the face of the earth and genocidal war against the Jews. This fine Pope needs to know that when he warmly does such things, he does NOT help to resolve the problem, but creates questions on whether Catholic leaders know the difference between right and wrong.

        I support the Pope – as you know I have against some ugly attacks. But just as Peter needed to hear Paul tell him to knock off the nonsense, Pope Francis needs to hear the same right now. I support the Pope and the Bishops: I do NOT support never criticizing them. Such sham piety was a big part of what led to the sexual abuse scandals. I am grateful that the Pope apparently has heard the Pauls of the world, for the Vatican is walking it back with alacrity. Good. Get your fingers burned and it teaches you not to stick your hand in the fire. A useful, if painful, lesson for any of us – including Bishops and Popes.

        Like

        • Michelle says:

          Thank you Charlie for being open to the truth no matter what the truth may be and for doing all the hard work to get there. I’m looking forward to your next article.

          Like

        • kathyk1 says:

          It is not only priests, bishops and Popes who get their fingers burned by meddling in areas outside of their legitimate authority. The Pauls of the world, charged by God to correct those in authority in the Church, will have to answer if they don’t follow the Holy Spirit in their mission. I am not a Paul, and it is not my mission to correct the Pope. That is not sham piety, it is the truth.

          I have learned this lesson, deeply and well, by charging ahead of the Lord on self-assigned missions under the title “defending the faith” and have the singed fingers to prove it. Cultivating my critical spirit always feeds my pride, diverts me from my actual assigned work and steals my peace.

          I will assume the best of Pope Francis’ intentions, and I’m sure the Lord won’t count it against me if I’m wrong. By the grace of God, I’ll just tend to my own rat killing. (And in this storm, it’s likely to be raining rats soon enough!)

          Liked by 1 person

          • Mary Ann says:

            Kathy, I think the via media is best here, as in everything else. No false piety of never criticising, no self-appointed “defender of the faith” either. But canon law says the laity have the right and duty to stand up for the faith even with the clergy and hierarchy.

            Like

      • Lin says:

        Maribel, I’m glad to hear you say this. Although I am unable to read the Pope Francis’ words in Italian or Spanish, I have always thought that the English translations of his words had an awkwardness to them that I never noticed with the words of JP2 or Benedict. I have wondered if the fact that he is from South America has played a part in some of the confusion. Thanks so much for sharing your perspective.

        Like

    • NancyA says:

      and like again. Thanks, Mick! I have not been troubled by the Pope, but rather by the comments here and I thank you for putting into proper perspective. What you say here makes the most sense to me; it ‘sits right,’ where nothing else has.

      Like

      • Mick says:

        Thanks for your kind words, Nancy. Whenever I read that the Pope said this or that, my first inclination is to refrain from forming an opinion until either I’ve seen the original quote (preferably in the language in which it was spoken), or until I see an article about it in the National Catholic Register. 🙂

        Like

    • SteveBC says:

      Awesome, Mick!

      In general, I find myself thinking as follows:

      First and foremost, I believe Charlie when he says that Pope Francis is the legitimate successor of Peter.

      Second, in one of the most important moments for speaking as pope, if not the most important, so far in his tenure, his speech at the end of the Synod, he spoke beautifully, with a speech of such crystalline clarity I was amazed. This stuff with Abbas or climate change or whatever simply is not as important from the point of view of the Church as that moment was, although I do not in any way support a lack of clarity in these simply because they are not as important.

      Third, the pope generally does speak well in lesser moments and gets tarred due to journalists who mess things up, not due to any misspeaking on his part. Personally, I am inclined to believe Mick’s language analysis because it simply is what would be consistent with his other statements in similar circumstances. I understand Charlie has reason to believe otherwise, so despite my leaning toward Mick’s comments, I realize I may be wrong in this case.

      Fourth, the pope has been much more active in fields far away from the direct and urgent needs of a religious field hospital. Partly, that seems to be a necessity for any pope. Partly, I think he really enjoys getting involved, diving in, using his position to be active in an enthusiastic way. He seems to relish simply getting in and mixing up the situation. That can be misinterpreted by any others, but sometimes, a leader has to go where a manager would not, to mix things around and trigger thought and emotion which he hopes will lead to creative change of some unexpected source. I think this may be the main reason he does this far-afield kind of thing.

      So I have no issues at the level of whether this pope is legit. He is, so I know the Church will be safe in his hands when it truly counts. This gives me a great feeling of relaxation at the highest level. It also means that I simply slough off claims and worries and angers that others get caught up in when debating in worry or fury whether he is an anti-pope or some other awfulness. He’s the pope. Get used to it! 🙂

      Where I can get my hair up is when Pope Francis strays from his core (religious/spiritual) competencies into areas outside direct Church concern. In such cases my concern is at the level of public debate, not faith and morals. When Pope Francis weighs in on climate change, for example, I would argue as much with him as I would with my neighbor or anyone else in the debate who doesn’t agree with me (and is therefore obviously wrong 😀 ). He has no more credibility than I do insofar as climate change is concerned and possibly less, and I have a right and even a duty to call him on stupidities (of course, I never have stupidities of my own in such debates, right?).

      I think it extremely important that everyone, including myself, clearly understand when he is mixing things up as a world leader, and when he needs to speak as The Pope. Relax. Where it counts, everything is OK. Honest. Jesus, we trust in you about this.

      Like

      • Mick says:

        Steve, your excellent post reminds me of how Pope John Paul the Great initially caused an uproar amongst the “educated classes” by trying to get in touch with and mix it up with ordinary people around the globe, rather than staying behind the Vatican walls and being the above-it-all, unapproachable monarch/figurehead that they thought the pope should be. At one point, he was on his plane travelling to some far-off country. One of the reporters in the press corps asked him, “Some people say that you are travelling to much. How do you respond?” He answered, “Yes, I am travelling to much.” He paused, and then added, “But sometimes it is necessary to do something too much.” To me, that was a profound answer; and, to me, that seems to be what Pope Francis is doing. He’s blowing people’s expectations out of the water while he tries to get as many of us Home as he can.

        Liked by 1 person

        • SteveBC says:

          Great story, Mick! And yes, I think a lot of what Pope Francis is doing is exactly that, making people stop and think and *feel* by shaking things up.

          Like

      • Torchbearer says:

        Steve, I like the way you think. 🙂

        “So I have no issues at the level of whether this pope is legit….He’s the pope. Get used to it!” — Love it!

        Our family has dropped cable/satellite years ago. I skim headlines and occasionally read articles that seem significant. I trust that God will always let me know what I need to when the time comes. It has brought me much peace and helped me focus on The Present Moment. Regarding the Pope, I have found it beneficial to not react to anything until all the dust has settled. Renewing my consecration this Sunday (Our Lady Help of Christians/Pentecost) has also reminded me about how Our Lady pondered everything in her heart. She didn’t say much. But I am confident that b/c She pondered everything long before She spoke, She spoke only Wisdom. As Mark Mallet reminds us often, we should simply “watch and pray.”

        Liked by 1 person

    • torilen says:

      Thanks, Mick, for taking the time to do translate this.

      Like

  17. Judith Gaylord says:

    Mark Mallett’s repeat piece today is no surprise.  Your difficulty with neurologic pain probably caused a tremendous response because there must be many of us who seem to be experiencing that, family situations etc.,etc. pretty much on the same timetable you are. My heart goes out to you and all as I live it with you and I sincerely thank you for the pain you are carrying for all of us. From: The Next Right Step To: jryanva216@yahoo.com Sent: Monday, May 18, 2015 9:55 PM Subject: [New post] Up From Chaos #yiv6327192787 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv6327192787 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv6327192787 a.yiv6327192787primaryactionlink:link, #yiv6327192787 a.yiv6327192787primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv6327192787 a.yiv6327192787primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv6327192787 a.yiv6327192787primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv6327192787 WordPress.com | charliej373 posted: “By Charlie JohnstonSorry I have not been around for a few days. I was in transit, but more than that, several things have been occupying my mind. Some of you will recall that, after my December 20th visitation, I was shaken by how very confused things” | |

    Like

  18. Patricia says:

    Charlie,
    In the past few days I have had a few good friends who are Evangelical ask me what is going on with the Pope. They, like me, do not understand why the Pope would make the Angel comment or why he appointed Radcliffe to the Pontifical Commission. Do you have any good answers for them specifically? I will plod along with the understanding that Francis is our Pope but these good people are getting very bad feelings and I have no answers that they would understand. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • charliej373 says:

      Patricia, if you can wait for my longer piece, I address these things.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Anne says:

        Bottom line …..Charlie I suspect he is exposing all out into the Light! Like drawing out pus from a wound . Calling a spade a spade …..instead of a hidden schism …. Open one. I look forward to your article …. My Carmelite nun friend is so angry about this pope…She is getting difficult…. Come on Lord ….. We all need You!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Paul says:

    Thnx Charlie…I’m learning to not react when seeing media stories about what the Pope, or some other Catholic figure, has purportedly said. So often we’ve found out later the words, or meaning, were twisted to reflect a worldly interpretation. And as you suggest here, we also need to keep in mind that Francis is human, and that he can make a mistake. Although that’s not at times helpful, we need to be understanding of this. He strikes me as a man who not always speaks in measured terms, but often speaks from the heart, spontaneously. If this is the case, again, he’s only human, and will surely say things that in retrospect, he would have phrased or said differently, or possibly not at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. CrewDog says:

    I don’t know what to make of Pope Francis? I have no doubt that he is a sincere man trying to do what he thinks is best. The Catholic Church is a huge bureaucratic organization and needs, now more than ever, a Strong Hand at the Helm and good-n-faithful “Lieutenants” to carry out the “Captain’s” orders whilst being ever mindful of all lawful “Regulations”! If we are, in fact, within The Storm, I’m thinking that we don’t need some kindly Holy Joe running the Show! … NOW!! … I’m not “writing off” Francis as History is replete with examples of unlikely people “Riding to the Rescue” …. but … one must look at recent Church History. We have, in 60 years, two Popes declared Saints of the Church (Paul 6 might make it 3) and they were unable to stop the smoke of satan at the Vatican becoming a conflagration. I can only assume that it’s all of God’s Plan on the road to Glory!
    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. “I am in the final edits of the “Go Forth” Prayer Booklets. I will meet with Lisa Fixler, owner of the Full of Grace Supply House Thursday afternoon to go over layout and printing.”

    IF it would be possible and permissable, I would like to request there being a copy of it online (here) for home printing purposes, for those who need to get a quick-and-easy copy. I know I would like to do that for myself, for handing out to anyone I might find to join me in a group, and if that’s okay, even post a copy of it on my Blessed Hope site. Would that be alright?

    As for the Pope’s cringe-worthy comments, they’re not only a scandal to the non-religious looking on, but it really bolsters those many anti-Catholic Protestants who are sure that the Catholic Pope is to be the anti-Christ, and it supplies them ammunition. It makes it ever harder to explain.

    Like

    • charliej373 says:

      Yes, Linda, but God has a plan in all this.

      As far as the prayer books, eventually I will do that. But the Full of Grace Supply House has worked with me on these things…the prayer cards have been a good seller, which is good, because we give a ton away. But profits from those go into a pool to print up the stickers, buttons and prayer booklets…and a little walking around cash for me (surprisingly, a few hundred dollars a month). The initial printing of the prayer books will require a substantial upfront cost of several thousand dollars. So I decided I will wait until the initial cost is covered before making it available on Amazon or in a PDF format. The owner of the Supply House has treated these things as a ministry – it is not a profit center, except as building funds for producing more things and financing the free distribution. Because of prudent shepherding of those resources, I will be able to give prayer cards, buttons and stickers out at all the cities I visit to all who want them. So it will be available free, but not until original costs have been recaptured.

      Liked by 2 people

  22. Matthew says:

    In these confusing times, I think the safest route is to pay attention only to those papal statements that eventually appear in the Acta Apostolics Sedis (AAS). This official publication which appears annually records the official versions (sometimes edited from those publicly released) of what is to be regarded as the official teaching of a pope. Technically only what gets published in the AAS is considered to be a contribution to the official Magisterium of the Church.
    Focus on Jesus in the Eucharist and His Mother and pay no attention to the detritus that the Storm is blowing around.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Mary Ann says:

      Even these statements are ordinary non-universal magisterium, which is not infallible – unless he specifically states otherwise, as JPII did in Evangelium Vitae.

      Like

  23. Fernando H says:

    Or maybe the Pope is just having a problem with translation after all his native language is Spanish. I am an American of Mexican decent and when spoken to in Spanish I translate the conversation into English in my mind and then translate my thoughts into Spanish to reply. Sometimes things get lost in the process, anyway be happy, don’t worry the church prevails in the end. Viva Papa Francisco!!

    Like

    • At this point one would think that he would speak through an interpreter!

      Like

      • jaykay says:

        But Kathleen, who would trust it , even perfectly translated, to be reported correctly anyway,without some slant, given the state of slavering whoredom to which our “objective” media has willingly reduced itself ? Regensburg, anybody? It was only 9 years ago, but remember the orchestrated ****storm? Much worse than the current little ripple in a teacup. It just doesn’t suit them to take him down yet, but they’re circling. Yep, he’s prone to doing this, but his first predecessor was prone to a lot bigger gaffes. Now when Francis slices off some dude’s ear… Umm, now there’s a thought 😉

        Liked by 3 people

        • Mick says:

          Thank you, Jaykay, for an early-morning chuckle, as well as for some perspective. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for any ear-lopping incident (the reporting on THAT would be spectacular, I’m sure). 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • charliej373 says:

            Hee hee…occasionally people will comment somewhere else that I can be too grumpy and arrogant. One site had a poster who claimed fealty to St. Padre Pio who piously proclaimed that Pio would not approve of my occasional grouchiness. I told a friend privately that, “Well, I don’t actually slap people.” The friend, a devotee of St. Pio laughed and said that, yeah, Pio was a bad choice to cite to rebuke me for my occasional tartness.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Mack says:

            Even in the canonization homily, Pope John Paul mentioned how Padre Pio could be strong with people! But it was in view of the good of souls…!

            Like

  24. Donette says:

    Ahhh, Charlie! I do so enjoy when you are back posting with us. It is such an enjoyment, especially for me, when I read all of your verbiage. It presents such a challenge to my intellect.
    Your use of the word “vicissitudes” sent me back to my trusty American Heritage Dictionary which has become a habit over time when I am reading or listening to those of the intelligentsia.

    Your comment about the pope being the pope of the Storm and of that you are sure. I’m glad you repeated that because I have for some time been thinking that he may actually be the Storm.
    I think sometime in the past I may have commented to you that our dear Berggoglio was known to be a progressive. Now Charlie, from my limited experience of viewing our congress we see the results of progressives. It has led me to ask the questions, “Does anything good come out of Chicago? Or, What good has come out of progressivism?”

    Do not allow these behaviors or acts of our Pope distress you and do pity the Director of the Vatican Press Office, poor Father Lombardi. Doesn’t Father Lombardi remind you of those ridiculous people who B. O. chooses to represent what the present administration occupying the White House does and says, no matter how ludicrous, and who have the guts to stand up and spin the B.S. to other newsmen sitting in front of them in the Press Room? After years of my Catholic upbringing, I began to think that it was churchmen who taught the world how to spin its speech over the centuries and the world of the progressives took that education to the extreme to include lies and deception. (And poor Bill O’Reilly believes “the spin stops here” on his program.)
    That in itself has given me greater faith and trust in God because if this Church was not set on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ, it would have gone the way of the ancient religions long ago. Man is truly fallible, but God is not.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Maureen says:

    Thank you, Charlie, for this post. I am so confused at times by this pope but I pray and hope, just like you have said time after time. You provide a lot of clarity for me. God bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Janice Givens says:

    Hi Charlie

    Praying for you Lifting you up I am from Atlanta – emailed you once before – when you come this way – I will publicize it to my list of Catholics Two other things -one – Atlanta has a Eucharistic Congress – where 30,000 Catholics come for speakers and exhibits – free event fist weekend in June See http://www.archatl.com for details Probably too late to get a booth but might be able to put info out at a booth from someone that is already signed up I think I have a few friends that have booths I usually get a booth but didn’t this year because I had to put my ministry on hold because I took on a busy second job (job ended so trying to get things running again) My ministry is Go FISH Outreach – that stands for Go Forth and Invite People Home (To Jesus) Igniting Catholics to REACH OUT and Inviting those not in our pews to REACH IN COncept is that Catholics might find it easier to “go FISHing” rather than to evangelize – too scary a word for most Catholics I promote events that lead people to take the first steps n evangelization and personal discipleship. It is still evolving (www.gofishoutreach.com) website out dated since I started the other job – but hopefully updated soon Peace Janice

    Like

    • jeanO says:

      Hi Janice! I am a St Brigid’s parishioner, too. So cool to see you here. Charlie, we have a great parish and the Eucharistic Conference in Atlanta is marvelous.

      Like

  27. Observer says:

    I’ve read two response articles that agree with this one:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/19/world/middleeast/vatican-seeks-to-quiet-uproar-over-popes-angel-of-peace-remark.html?_r=0

    Mr. Foxman, of the Anti-Defamation League, also sounded mollified. “The good news is that there are all sorts of efforts to step back,” he said, referring to the Vatican spokesman’s efforts to smooth the atmosphere.

    “That is more important than how that phrase got there,” he said, adding, “Whatever it is, whether it was misspoken, miswritten or misread, we welcome it.”

    Once had a sociology prof who made a pretty good analysis of human nature: “If you treat people as if they are as they show themselves to be you make them worse; if you treat people as if they are whom they were meant to be you make them better”. At least there’s a chance that that can happen once in a while.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. rbiel2 says:

    https://www.stratfor.com/weekly/net-assessment-world?utm_source=freelist-f&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Gweekly&utm_campaign=20150519?utm_source=freelist-f&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Gweekly&utm_campaign=20150519&utm_term=Gweekly&utm_content=readmoretext&mc_cid=a8dc192fe5&mc_eid=e768c4bde5

    A Net Assessment of the World

    A pretentious title requires a modest beginning. The world has increasingly destabilized and it is necessary to try to state, as clearly as possible, what has happened and why. This is not because the world is uniquely disorderly; it is that disorder takes a different form each time, though it is always complex.

    To put it simply, a vast swath of the Eurasian landmass (understood to be Europe and Asia together) is in political, military and economic disarray. Europe and China are struggling with the consequences of the 2008 crisis, which left not only economic but institutional challenges. Russia is undergoing a geopolitical crisis in Ukraine and an economic problem at home. The Arab world, from the Levant to Iran, from the Turkish border through the Arabian Peninsula, is embroiled in politically destabilizing warfare. The Western Hemisphere is relatively stable, as is the Asian Archipelago. But Eurasia is destabilizing in multiple dimensions.

    Like

  29. Mona says:

    I feel that Pope Francis is like the child Christ wanted us all to be. I feel he is so honest and so in the presence whith the persons he is in contact whith. He acts in situations according to the Holy spirit, I think. I have alle my life worked whith people, and this feeling is according to my experience and intuition. I do not know of all the other political stuff. I just feel he is right. He is just love that try to do the right thing.

    Liked by 6 people

  30. A Quiet Person says:

    With all of this confusion and so many people predicting a great apostasy I think it helps greatly if we arm ourselves with the truth of the tradition of the Catholic Church.That is not going to change no matter who says what. It is so important to really know what exactly the Church teaches on everything, especially on the issues which may cause us to divide and splinter. That way we can always be on steady ground, even if others around us seem to be shaking in their faith. We need to be prepared to articulate it to people in case the confusion causes people to go the wrong way. So, while some priests, bishops, and as has been pointed out, even the Pope can do some very confusing, questionable things, in the meantime we can avoid a lot of the confusion (or maybe help others not well grounded in their faith) by sticking with what we already know and what we know cannot change which is the tradition of the Catholic Church.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dave says:

      I agree with you AQP. Having differences with someone can actually help deepen your faith. Proverbs 27:17 says “Iron is sharpened by iron; one person sharpens another.” I had a priest that I disagreed with on a number of issues due to his lefty politics mixing with his leadership (such as having LGBT people in robes participate in a mass and stand to take a bow after). I resisted switching parishes to find someone to tickle my ears, and rather concentrated on what I differed and why. It ended up deepening my faith, and before he left he asked my wife and I to help in marriage prep training which has greatly strengthened our marriage which was already on good ground. Grace.

      For all the mental aerobatics Pope Francis is giving me, I am sure it was Gods will that he take leadership.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Jean says:

    For about a year after P. Francis became the pope, I struggled in conscience to reconcile my feelings with his leadership; in essence I found it difficult, if not impossible, to accept much of what he said/did. I was always angry it seemed; and I never was really satisfied with the apologetic whirlwind that followed every statement or action, or lets say, I didn’t buy it. Moreover, my radar picked up on many seemingly nuanced insults that accompanied much of what he said about ‘this group’ or ‘that group’, which seemed like so unpope-like behavior.

    Anyway, my conscience got the best of me (for these negative thoughts) and so I prayed fervently to God for grace to understand His will in choosing P. Francis or to accept what he says and does.

    Through grace I believe, three thoughts came to mind: first, that Catholic doctrine had been thoroughly hammered out to the world through two pontificates (more than 30 years) to the point where everyone, it seemed, had taken final sides on the hot-button moral issues of the day. Little more could be said that wasn’t said and human beings were digging their heels in deep. Second, was the fact while people are not moved easily by facts and academic explanations, they are often moved by love. So God saw there was a big catch that could be had simply by moving the focus away from doctrinal debate, and into the realm of love. People need to know the Church does not simply demand something from them, but offers an itinerary of love and mercy, in its dealings with human beings. Third, and the most difficult to swallow, is that God has already counted heads and knows who willingly submits to the doctrinal teachings of the Church. Now He wants us to see how faithful we really are (to the pope) in obedience when we have to bend to the admonitions and example of a man who rubs us the wrong way. In other words, He is testing our faithfulness even when we are blind as to where this is going.

    And last, there obviously is something extraordinary that the pope will do that is necessary for the Church during the trial to come, that no other man would do. God can manage the fallout from his imperfections in the meantime.

    Liked by 8 people

  32. CrewDog says:

    It’s not just Pope Francis that needs to Focus on Church Business and the Salvation of Souls! Below is the kind of Feel-Good Idiocy that really Frosts My ******! Why don’t the USA Bishops issue a statement that proclaims: “US Bishops warn ‘without Sunrise tomorrow, world is in great danger’. They send a letter to Obama’s #2 Court Jester, John Kerry …. are you kiddin’ me!!? This doofus couldn’t find his butt with both hands! This Administration’s bungling ministrations in the Middle East, Europe and Asia have created the most dangerous Nuclear World since 1962! Saudi Arabia just announced that it’s buying nukes from Pakistan … with other rich Gulf States, no doubt, soon to follow…. Thanks to Obama wanting an Iran Deal ….. the costs/ramifications be damned … China/North Korea are watching and Israel is gettin’ an “Itchy Trigger Finger”! Human disarmament will only come with the Second Coming of Jesus!! During the Cold War and in the “Mean Streets” of the USA the message has been/is: A Bad Guy with a weapon can only be stopped by a Good Guy with a weapon! Just who, exactly, are the Bishops targeting with this waste of paper!? Goody-Two-Shoes Types who will clap-n-sequel in glee? Establishment Democrat Party Hacks with whom The Bishops seem, all too often, to be overly friendly? … Who!!? The time for Feel-Good nonsense is over!

    “US Bishops warn ‘without nuclear disarmament, world is in great danger”
    http://www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=27473

    … then I spotted this ;-( … Does the Vatican have an Intelligence, Scientific and Political Office? Does the Vatican not know that the entire Global Warming and Climate Change “Movement” has been rife with fraud, politics, spin-n-smear … and $$$$ ending up in the coffers of corrupt politicians, colleges/faculty and Crony Capitalists!??

    “VATICAN BIG GOES HARD AGAINST U.S. TEA PARTY CLIMATE SKEPTICS”
    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/05/19/vatican-big-goes-hard-against-u-s-tea-party-climate-skeptics/

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • charliej373 says:

      That caught my eye, too, CrewDog. At first I rolled my eyes. The world IS in great danger…but begging the good guys to disarm will not make it less dangerous, only ensure nuclear Armageddon. I thought, geez, the Bishops really ought to get a little more analytical depth than a teen beuty queen contestant on serious issues…but, this is just a reflex reaction to scary times. Bishops conferences have been spouting off with inane drivel on matters of public policy for several generations now, so it is kind of a safe place for them and helps them to avoid the very difficult work they actually need to do. Events, themselves, will focus them on serious matters and serious analysis soon enough. So after my initial reaction, I kind of chuckled and thought, “okay, let them sleep…their time will come soon enough.”

      Liked by 3 people

      • Donette says:

        Your comment here, Charlie,“okay, let them sleep…their time will come soon enough.” to Crewdog reminded me of the talk a priest gave many years ago.

        On a chalk board he drew a long zigzag line and while he did that he talked about the “Journey of God’s People (The Church) on their way to the heavenly Kingdom.

        Every zig and every zag had a date and a Happening. The priest wrote on one side ,the zig, identifying when the Church got off kilter from what God wanted it to be doing and every zag he identified what God did to get it back to the place He willed it to be. It was amazing to me that one priest put that much work into a talk like that for his parishioners. Blessed are those who have been give true Shepherds.

        So with your responding remark to Crewdog, especially “their time will come soon enough, I smiled. I can’t wait to see what God will do to wake them up, that is, if he permits me to see what He Will do.

        Like

    • Michelle says:

      CrewDog,Is this the “diabolical disorientation” that Sister Lucy wrote about? Where our leaders cannot see their error? This site certainly keeps us from being blind to it, thanks to Charlie and the support and prayers of all here. Sister Lucy advises ” Rosary is, after the holy Eucharistic liturgy, the prayer most apt for preserving faith in souls.” Pray the Rosary daily.

      Like

      • CrewDog says:

        Hey Michelle,
        I’m not smart enough to know if this is what Sr Lucy was talking about ;-( … but there be lots of “diabolical disorientation” goin’ on round here!! Being the old CrewDog that I am, I tend to think in an old military way. Make no mistake!! We are in Battle with evil. In my early bomber days, SAC Tactical Doctrine stated that during the mission aircraft defense was primary until you reached the IP (Initial Point). The IP was the last navigation “fix” before the target (same deal in my MAC Days but Target became a Drop Zone). Anyway! Once you were past the IP gettin’ on Target/DZ became the Primary consideration. Now!! You’re thinking. What the hell does this have to do with US!!?? The Church has been on a mission to the “Target” since 33AD. There has been time for all the learned theologians, clergy and philosophers to discuss the finer points of this-n-that and ponder upon what Jesus really meant to say. Time to wander off course here-n-there and correct or cover-up the misdeeds of Bishop Fumblebutt or Cardinal Fiddlefart … and …….. THEM DAYS ARE OVER!! …. We are past the IP Gang!! We are on the last navigation “leg”! It’s past time to fixate on the “Target”. Time to ignore satan’s Flak, Interceptors, Chaff-n-Jamming and … Focus on Jesus!!

        GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

        Liked by 1 person

  33. Anne says:

    The confusion is making everyone hungry and ready for theTruth.

    Like

  34. CrewDog says:

    Yes Charlie but I fear there are many good people that hang on the “words/actions” of the Pope/Clergy and are soon to be disappointed/disillusioned and …… which, of course, has been long prophesied in scripture at The End of the Age! I think we should constantly remind ourselves that the Church was created by Jesus Christ for one purpose only! That purpose is our (Family/Friends/Comrades in Faith) arrival at the Pearly Gates and safe passage through same! “When The Balloon Goes Up” and we are in survival mode …. Rome, if it still exists, will shrink to insignificance. It just occurred to me that most Diocese HQs sit smack in the middle of urban areas that will descend, within hours, into savagery when The Storm is at Force 10 ;-(
    As for me … I’ll, best I can, stick with The Faith of My Fathers, Apostles Creed and the message of The Divine Mercy……. and the fellowship of nearby Believers willing to do “What It Takes”!

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 3 people

  35. Alphonsus says:

    John Allen wrote a thoughtful, measured piece on the “angel of peace” business. He basically thinks it is much ado about nothing.

    http://www.cruxnow.com/church/2015/05/19/the-pope-abbas-and-the-fuss-over-the-angel-of-peace/

    My impression of Pope Francis is of a bishop who lives the charisms and does not quench the Holy Spirit. He is well aware that he is disorganized (has admitted it) and messy in his spontaneity. It doesn’t bother him that much. He asks people to pray for him and appears to trust the LORD’s reading of hearts and HIS ability to get things right in spite of our faults.

    Francis’s clear exuberance during the Abbas reception may have had more to do with his hopes, represented by the agreement, for improved conditions for Christians and the Church in the Palestinian territories than anything else. In this context, the peace in “angel of peace” would have a meaning closer to the what is stated here in the CCC than the strict political, worldly meaning that secular journalists and politicians would attach to it.

    2304 Respect for and development of human life require peace. Peace is not merely the absence of war, and it is not limited to maintaining a balance of powers between adversaries. Peace cannot be attained on earth without safeguarding the goods of persons, free communication among men, respect for the dignity of persons and peoples, and the assiduous practice of fraternity. Peace is “the tranquility of order.”98 Peace is the work of justice and the effect of charity.99

    Liked by 2 people

    • charliej373 says:

      In the end, I think you are right, Alphonsus. I think it is getting clearer that, regardless of how he phrased it, that is what he meant. And I think the spontaneity has an appeal all its own. I am most disturbed by the diplomatic recognition given to Palestine. I suspect the Pope is often an idealist, seeing the best and the potential in people. There is a grace in that. But he is also no fool and does not take kindly to being used. So if the Palestinians respond by actually dropping their genocidal hostility to Israel and Jews and actually work toward peace and justice, it will be a true miracle. If, on the other hand, they chuckle that they played the Pope and continue on their murderously bloodthirsty ways, I think they will find they have made a committed and energetic enemy in the Pope they tried to play. Either way, it will work out in the end.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Alphonsus says:

        I believe the agreement between the Vatican and “State of Palestine” has been 15 years in negotiation. I am not rankled by the Vatican calling Palestine a state. It’s really just acknowledging that the horse has left the barn – the UN granted observer state status to the Palestinians in, I believe, 2012.

        At any rate, a couple of things in favor of the Vatican’s recognition are 1) it increases the international gravity of the agreement since it is state-to-state, which tends to obliterate the importance of who happens to be in charge on any given day; and 2) it sets a precedent whereby a Muslim-dominated state has formally ensured whatever requirements for Christian and Church treatment are in the agreement. This may be the solution – long term of course – to the depopulation of Christians from Muslim dominated Arab lands, and on that count may be a very clever move.

        Who can deny that the real war in the Middle East is not Arabs v. Israel – which can defend itself quite well – but Muslims against Christians who are hopelessly exposed and unprotected. What do you put in your bug-out bag if you are one of them and the nearest nominally Christian state that could protect you is – how far away?

        Liked by 1 person

  36. A Quiet Person says:

    I can’t imagine being in the Pope’s shoes. In spite of everything (or because of everything) people do pay attention to what he says. Sometimes I think though, with all of the important situations he has to deal with, maybe the most crucial one is the unification of Christians (and others who are interested but haven’t quite gotten on board yet). This would be not by way of sitting around dissecting differences because right now, we don’t have that time. Maybe the unification can come about in a more active, visible way to confront the evil that is palpable to most of us. When Mary comes to rescue us, I figure that would take care of most of our differences right then and there. We will be one and maybe then we will all truly live happily ever after.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Michelle says:

    Have you guys seen Mark Mallett’s new post? He talks of overcoming our fears. He talks of taking “The next right step.”

    Like

    • SteveBC says:

      Michelle, I just read it. Thank you for the heads-up. It’s a great article. We all are facing things that are scary to contemplate, let alone go through. However, as I come to understand a little more about the Storm each day I am here at this site, I find myself relaxing more than I thought possible.

      This really must come. Without the Storm we will end up in worse circumstances, and the evil people will win and take control. Like a serious operation that cures the patient, the future that results from the pain of the operation is going to be better than it otherwise would have been. We *need* the Storm.

      How many times has each of us in our lives gone through something we knew would be hard, or scary, yet we did it anyway because we knew it was the right path to take?

      That’s where we are now with respect to the Storm. If we avoid it, we will miss the future that can come if we gird up our loins and move through it with grace and courage.

      It *must* come. We *need* it to come, or this world will stagnate and turn ever darker. And we will help each other get through it, under the protection of Mary and Jesus.

      I am finding that that understanding settles me down more than I ever expected it would even just a few weeks ago.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Michelle says:

        I know Steve. I get it. I am also more comfortable lately. We are the lucky ones. We have had time to think things through. I feel sorry for the ones (and that is most) that the reset will come as a shock. I guess we will have to help them feel more comfortable when that time comes.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Elizabeth G. says:

        Indeed it must come. I can’t not imagine things turning around without it. Like you Steve, I am calmer in the face of these trials, knowing this is a chance to save souls.

        Like

        • kathyk1 says:

          Yes, I think this storm will provide an incredible opportunity for harvesting souls. I want to be sure that no matter how bad things get, I don’t find myself in the position of praying against the will of God. Lately my prayer is this:

          I thank you Lord for everything that comes from your hands – your divine mercy, your judgments and your justice. In this storm, please mitigate what can be mitigated, shorten what can be shortened, but above all, I beg you for souls – that your Son’s passion and death will not be in vain for even one more soul. Amen.

          Liked by 6 people

      • SteveBC says:

        Michelle and Elizabeth, if the Collapse occurs, many will be shocked and dismayed.

        If the Collapse doesn’t occur, *we’ll* be shocked and dismayed! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        • charliej373 says:

          Whatever happens, I will be neither shocked nor dismayed. When collapse comes, I was expecting it. If it passes us by, well, I dodged a bullet.

          Like

          • Michelle says:

            Charlie, is there a chance that the collapse could pass us by?

            Like

          • charliej373 says:

            Michelle, there is always a chance. But bluntly, no. Even from the purely secular standpoint I used to use for analysis of trends, there is no chance OTHER than a Divine Miracle. I have been prepared since childhood to help get us through a Storm. I do not know the mind of God, but by every matrix I can analyze, I see no chance. In July of 2000, still pleading every time I was visited that the Storm could pass us by, I was rebuked in the strongest terms ever by my angel and told not to ask that any more, but to prepare to deal with it and help people. So I put that as a caveat but no, I do not believe there is ANY chance it could pass us by. And still I sometimes quietly hope.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Michelle says:

            OK Charlie. Thanks for answering.

            Like

          • SteveBC says:

            Charlie, I would definitely hope as well that the Storm could pass us by. However, I don’t want it to pass us by if the result is that the dark trends that are visible everywhere just kept advancing and coalescing. That way lies madness and disaster.

            If by a miracle we can get into the Peaceful Land without paying a price, fine. Human nature being what it is, I think a whack upside our heads will be both salutary and the most efficient way to create the change we truly do need. Further, human nature generally needs time within which to change.

            Strange as it may seem, I am beginning to look forward to the Collapse and active Storm. Although I would be fine with postponing the beginning as long as possible, I just don’t see a path toward eliminating the need for the Collapse and Storm. At a certain point it is simply time to get on with it.

            Liked by 1 person

  38. Phillip Frank says:

    We need to be aware that for Pope Frances the whole world is his flock, not just Christians.
    Therefore, his concern is universal….which is what catholic means.
    Peace be with you then entails every person no matter who they are or what they represent.
    Our Lady told Mary of Agreda that both She and or Lord pleaded with Judas whom they knew his anger and intention, to turn from his plans. But they used great love and kindness in their argument not threats.
    Judas was threatening HIMSELF with this desire.
    Our Lady said Judas was torn by their gentle solicitudes but in the end his pride and subsequent hatred won out.
    Later in the book Our Lady confirmed to Mary
    of Agreda that one of the main causes of Jesus asking for the cup to pass was not to stop the passion which He had come to earth to accomplish but to spare a new more terrible form of Hell where His chosen few would go after knowing but then rejecting Him..who’s first resident would be Judas!

    Liked by 2 people

    • SteveBC says:

      Phillip Frank, you’re right, and I hadn’t considered it. The pope is interested in everyone, not just Catholics. Interesting comments about Mary of Agreda, too, but I don’t know how to evaluate them for accuracy. What can you tell me about her writings, in terms of credibility?

      Like

      • kathyk1 says:

        Look her up on mysticsofthechurch.com. She wrote a book, “Mystical City of God”, that she says the Blessed Mother dictated about her life. The book actually has held up her cause for sainthood because of some of things included there. (I listened to it on audiobook, at no charge on line.) It’s some pretty flowery writing, but amazing content.

        But she’s one of my heroes because of documented evidence that she catechized Native Americans in what is now Texas and New Mexico, bilocating from Europe to do it! When the missionaries showed up, the Indians already knew the basics of the faith. A chief was able to describe what she looked like, and said she sometimes visited to teach them 3 times a day! Under obedience, she was made to answer about this amazing story, and admitted that it was true.

        I put a lot of stock in the book, Mystical City of God – I’ve got to believe that a bilocating catechist wouldn’t make up messages from the Blessed Mother!

        Like

        • SteveBC says:

          Thank you so much, Kathyk1! I have her book and have read a little way in, but I’ve been having problems figuring out whether it is worthy of my attention or wishful thinking. You’ve been a big help in this for me.

          Great story, too. 🙂

          Like

  39. Lauraelel says:

    The media knows that the first story that goes out is the one that is remembered. Corrections after that are not as easily accepted by the public. Do yourselves a favor and be exceedingly doubtful of what the press claims the Holy Father said especially if it is odd. The Vatican is full of intrigue and there are those actively working for evil. I suspect that this is why Benedict retired….exhaustion of fighting this quiet war. In charity give the pope the benefit of the doubt. Being upset with pope is going to make it harder for you to pray for him and focus on your own tasks.

    Liked by 5 people

  40. CrewDog says:

    Here is an example of what others are thinking about even if they don’t refer to it as The Storm:
    ‘WE’RE COMING CLOSE TO END OF HUMAN HISTORY’ – Billy Graham’s daughter: ‘World is unraveling’
    http://www.wnd.com/2015/05/were-coming-close-to-end-of-human-history/
    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Like

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s